Our Contribution to 'The Simpsons' Zeitgeist

Other than making it known that there’s a six pack of Buzz Cola in the fridge, and the taste hints suspiciously of a repackaged Royal Crown, I’m afraid there’s not much to add in the way of commentary for the weekend opening for The Simpsons Movie that hasn’t already been tackled elsewhere – everywhere (50 Simpsons facts, anyone?), but there is this: 24 year-old “free hands” guitarist Zack Kim, who chose to doubly-disassemble this familiar theme song, because as he tells it, “a girl who I wanted to impress suggested it.” Video is not safe for guitar heroes with fragile egos. Take a deep breath and count to three before beelining to the pawn shop.Via The Stranger

Posted by Ted Zee on July 28th 2007 | 1 Comment

Blockbuster, Like Everyone Else, Lies

Much of what’s disclosed in Filmwad’s Top Ten Lies Blockbuster Video Tells Their Customers can be said of a host of other pay-your-way-though-college restaurant or retail chains. The “sorry, the restroom is broken” line was a particular favorite in a previous line of work years ago, in response to countless unspeakable acts – but there’s something in the language (excerpted below), written in such squinty-eyed contempt towards all that is milquetoast and whitewashed that you can just about taste the bile – that speaks to my inner curmudgeon.

As mentioned earlier, Blockbuster employees, for the most part, know next to nothing about movies. As such, their recommendations will be at best useless and at worst harmful: whichever new release has the prettiest cover will likely be the one immediately recommended by the manager on duty.

On the other hand, the vast majority of those who frequent the shelves of Blockbuster Video are slobbering, slack-jawed idiots who harbor no true love for cinema, no desire to probe deep questions about life, and no ability to enjoy something that might require the slightest bit of effort.

Anxiously awaiting dispatches from ticked-off ticket-takers and popcorn-peddlers to add to the mix.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 26th 2007 | 6 Comments

Trailer: Wes Anderson's 'The Darjeeling Limited'


“Well originally I guess we came here [India] on a spiritual journey. But that didn’t really pan out.”

The Darjeeling Limited trailer

Directed by Wes Anderson. Screenplay by Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, and Roman Coppola.

Starring: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Angelica Houston. Rumored: Natalie Portman, Bill Murray.

Release date: September 29th, 2007.

Image via Brodylicious

The Darjeeling Limited
Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox is a go

Posted by Ted Zee on July 24th 2007 | 2 Comments

'Darjeeling Limited' Trailer to Show in Theaters This Weekend, Poster Surfaces

darjeeling-limited-poster.jpgOn the same day that the poster for Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited was released online (by Anne Thompson, see larger image), news comes from USA Today that the trailer will be showcased by Fox Searchlight beginning this weekend, in front of both sci-fi pic Sunshine and musical arthouse hit and Sundance Audience Award Winner, Once.

Although I’ve seen and recommend Once (which most will either love or loathe according to their musical tastes and soft spots for wailing sensitivity – trailer), it’s been out in theaters for a while. If your primary objective is to sneak a peak at Wes Anderson’s latest polyester costumed-creation with Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Adrien Brody, I wonder if all of the smaller arthouse venues showing it will have the trailer. The safer bet might be Sunshine (trailer), which opens this Friday and should be released to more theaters. Also keep in mind that the trailer will likely find its way online any day now, maybe as soon as this weekend.

darjeeling-limited-usa-today1.jpgDescribed by Wes as a spiritual journey though India, taken by three brothers after the death of their father that “really just turns into a bender”, The Darjeeling Limited will open in theaters on Sept. 29th.

Big thanks to Kory, who sent in an email tip about the trailer release, and took the time to scan the blurb which we weren’t able to find online. Check out Friends With Managers, which he contributes to.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 19th 2007 | 2 Comments

To Do, Tonight: 'Mad Men'

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner landed a to-kill-for gig on The Sopranos writing staff five years ago after a draft of his script landed on David Chase’s desk. “He said even if I fire you, you should keep trying to sell that script,” recounts Weiner. Set in the 60’s advertising industry on Madison Ave., though the focus is on the lust and indulgence, power plays and social “isms” in the backroom – early word has critics tripping over themselves to heap praise on the series. Seven years in the making, Mad Men finally lands on television tonight (Thursday 10/9 Central), thanks to AMC, who take it on as their first original drama.“Given our post-millennial fondness for political correctness, ‘Mad Men’ would seem more like History Channel fodder, but that’s where the powers of seduction come in — great writing and acting create a heady mix of glamour, irreverence and responsibility, a word rarely associated with a sexy drama.” – L.A. Times

“There were seven deadly sins practiced at the dawn of the 1960s: smoking, drinking, adultery, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism and racism. In its first few minutes ‘Mad Men’ on AMC taps into all of them…both a drama and a comedy and all the better for it, a series that breaks new ground by luxuriating in the not-so-distant past.” – NY Times

More Mad Men clips here.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 19th 2007 | 2 Comments

"Filth Flarn Filth" Never Happened, Says Cosby

raw21.jpgRyan Cormier of the Delaware News Journal scores a Bill Cosby interview which may debunk a legendary bit, from the times when historians will tell you that Eddie Murphy had comic chops, never woke up on the couch in a fat-suit-still-on sweat, and was allowed the leeway to harpoon Michael Jackson and raid his closet at the same time:

What about when you become part of their act? I guess the most famous one is Eddie Murphy’s “Raw.” Did he clear that with you first or did you hear about that when it first came out?

I heard about it when it first came out. But Eddie is a liar. And Malcolm-Jamal Warner was in the room in Lake Tahoe and heard me talk to Eddie on the telephone. And Malcolm knows that is not what I said to him.

Do you think that’s just Murphy stretching it out to make a good 20 minute part of his show about it?

No, this is a very nasty, nasty liar. Period. It wasn’t necessary. It was between us and what I was trying to explain to him. On top of that, there’s a reference to Richard Pryor and Richard called me later…Richard called and said, “Hey Bill, the thing that Eddie is saying I didn’t say that.” And I said, “I didn’t think you did.”

If you need a reminder as to significance of the words “Filth Flarn Filth” or “Tell Bill I said ‘Have a Coke and a Smile'” then you probably need to be told that this is some Not Safe For Work video material as well:

More of the Cos interview (via Pop Candy).

Posted by Ted Zee on July 19th 2007 | 53 Comments

How Much Love in HBO's 'Tell Me You Love Me'?

The cast and producers of HBO’s new very-adult series Tell Me You Love Me bobbed and weaved strong lines of questioning last week from critics on whether the show was about relationships or just about raw sex. More from The Kansas Star’s Aaron Barnhart:

That show revolves around three couples who all happen to be seeing the same 60-ish therapist, played by Jane Alexander. Most of the time they are talking — talking about how unhappy they are, what fears they have, the problems they are having communicating, and so on.

It’s the times when they aren’t talking at all that has everyone talking.

Tell Me You Love Me debuts on September 9th, just before the season premiere of Curb Your Enthusiasm. When told that the new show airing before his on Sunday nights would consist of “bosoms and things” (not to mention the pilot episode that ends “with a woman masturbating her husband to orgasm, with the entire act and all relevant body parts plainly visible”) Larry David responded “I’m in favor of that!”

Posted by Ted Zee on July 17th 2007 | 1 Comment

HBO at TCA: the Future of Curb, Deadwood, Big Love, Extras

Updates coming from media types convened at the Television Critics Association over the past few days – RE: returning series on the HBO docket.

The long and short of it – get comfortable with a changing of the guard folks, as most of your favorite shows are either in their death throes, or have questionable futures.

ld1.jpgCurb Your Enthusiasm – The long awaited 6th season will premiere on Sept 9th. There had been speculation in the past about whether this season would even happen. Now that it’s ready for airing, don’t expect any announcements on future Curb campaigns coming any time soon. “Every season I do is my last season,” says Larry David. “That’s the only way I can get through the season.” Having recently separated from his real-life spouse Laurie, maybe Larry will feel sudden inspiration to keep going. “I’ve just been cut in half,” he said, though the guy collects Seinfeld residuals in his sleep, so don’t hold your breath. (Past Deadline)

Deadwood – Nothing has changed since a year ago, when all that Deadwood watchers had left to pine for was two, 2-hour endcappers to wrap up the countless loose ends, and still there were no firm promises that they would come to fruition. Anyone who has followed creator David Milch’s storied career should know that he’s notoriously tardy when it comes to turning in scripts. Now, with his attention fully turned towards Imperial Beach surf clans in John From Cincinnati (stay tuned to see if makes it to a second season), and most of the Deadwood cast having moved onto other television and film roles (see Timothy Olymphant, who absolutely stole the show in the otherwise unremarkable Live Free or Die Hard, soon starring in Hitman), there are a lot of moving parts involved in getting the old crew back together. HBO Exec Michael Lombardo said that the Deadwood movies were “doable but daunting,” adding “We’ve had no conversations with David yet…We’re still interested but it may not happen.” (On The Air)

Big Love – “I’ve been worried about the show because it moved to Monday night and seems not to have much buzz or be a high HBO priority, but series creators Mark Olsen and Will Scheffer assured me they’re confident that it will be renewed for a third season.” Tuned In Journal interviews the show’s creators.

Extras – Very much like Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant wrapped up the original incarnation of The Office with a Christmas special (which I’m convinced was only done to appease fans maddened by the prospects of Tim and Dawn remaining un-hooked), there are plans to end the BBC/HBO production of Extras by way of a two-part special. Look for appearances from Madonna, Clive Owen, George Michael, plus David & Victoria Beckham when the Extras specials air around Christmas in the UK, and sometime next year on HBO. (Televisionary)

Coming up: more on yet-to-debut series from HBO, Showtime, and other non-garbage television offerings coming out of TCA.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 16th 2007 | 1 Comment

Video: Cate Blanchett is Bob Dylan

And David Cross is Allen Ginsberg, in this clip with Blanchett for I’m Not There. Director Todd Haynes has already deconstructed your Barbie and your Karen Carpenter in one fell swoop (43 minutes), so this seems like a natural progression.

Also Not There: Christian Bale is Dylan (and Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw).Via AICN.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 14th 2007 | 2 Comments




Knowing full well that film blogs traffic in this shit, HBO throws this bone out via their Entourage newsletter. Instinctively, a check of the ‘Tube for the Medellin trailer was in order to see if life mirrored art in this meta-marketing maneuver. No dice. Not yet.

However, after this Sunday’s episode, the network will air the real-fake trailer and release it to the fake-official website: medellinthefilm.com (via L.A. Times).

Related: After a saggy, uninspired, third season, we’re feeling a renewed sense of urgency, and funny, in number four. What, with Ari back in the fold, Drama and Turtle enjoying a renaissance, and finally – less talking films and more filmmaking – what’s not to like? Apparently, a lot, if you hear out Film Junk, who ask “Why does it suddenly suck?

More: Fake Harvey Weinstein does not drink cranberry (Hollywood Elsewhere). Old-hat marketing ploy: Cleaver.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 13th 2007 | 4 Comments

(Re)Visualize 'Blade Runner' and 'I'm Not There'

In all their exclamatory glory, AICN originally ran a post Wednesday evening entitled “Could These Be The Radically Reworked Opening Titles For BLADE RUNNER: FINAL CUT?!?!”, with a video (above) found on YouTube that came across a pretty slick re-imagining of the opening title sequence for the long awaited theatrical re-release, with 21st century tweaks. The post has since been pulled from the site, so we can interpret it to mean that either (as they wondered) the clip was a fake, a personal project by a fan, or that someone from the studio complained. Whatever the reason, the draft, with revamped music, soundbites, and visuals is still hanging around for the curious, until it isn’t. Compare it to the original. Blade Runner: Final Cut will be released to select theaters in late 2007 for a 25th-anniversary run, with a special edition DVD that includes the original theatrical version, the director’s cut, and “The Final Cut“, which will incorporate newly shot scenes and effects. More specifics over at The Big Picture.

Now, someone will have to consult the rulebook on whether it’s kosher to lump Ridley Scott and Bob Dylan together, but all this re-cutting and user generated film-fodder brings to mind a recent find by The Playlist – an “unofficial” trailer (below) for Todd Haynes’s Dylan biopic I’m Not There. The pic will feature the likes of Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, and Cate Blanchett (yes, really), among others, depicting the rock icon during separate periods in his career, though as The Daily Swarm points out, the footage for the trailer was merely lifted from Dylan’s “Series of Dreams” video (1992). Well played, all the same.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 12th 2007 | 10 Comments

'Pure Imagination': Jonah Hill as Apatow Progeny

hillMaybe you remember him only as the pushy-pudgy kid in The 40 Year Old Virgin with an eye for pimp-ish goldfish platforms, but the 23 year-old Jonah Hill has enough going for him that hot-commodity director/producer Judd Apatow has decided to rest a handful of movie prospects on his shoulders. Jonah, who along with Michael Cera might see more on-screen time in next month’s Superbad than in all of his previous roles combined, has two additional projects lined up with Apatow as producer. He told MTV News of his latest, Pure Imagination, which he wrote and will star in, saying “Basically, I go through a bunch of traumatic stuff, and I develop an imaginary friend. Then what happens is I meet a girl, and we start dating…but the problem is I don’t know whether she [actually] exists [or] whether she’s a figment of my imagination.”

Looking to give the film more of a surrealist Eternal Sunshine-like bent, Johan goes on to say “It’s trying to do what we do with ‘Knocked Up,’ ‘Superbad’ and ‘Virgin’, and mix it a little bit with stuff that Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry do,” he said. “It’s kind of like a little bit artisier. I’m so psyched about it; I’m the producer, and Judd’s the producer, and it’s cool.”

Jonah Hill reel: Thoughtful film criticism in a Knocked Up deleted scene. R-Rated Superbad trailer. Guesting on this Human Giant spot, though it’s much more of a Mary Lynn Rajskub vehicle. Not that anyone’s complaining.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 10th 2007 | 5 Comments

Video Selections: Television, 7/9

melI’m slowly warming to HBO’s new Flight of the Conchords. As a generality, hipster comedy is often just so much fluff intermingled with a hot soundtrack and thrift store costuming, as if it’s OK to package garbage in a kitchy but slick package that twenty-somethings can relate to. But against my hater instincts, I have to report that there’s actual comedy here – even the musical interludes, more often than not, are beyond eye-rolling reproach. A welcomed inclusion to the Conchords ensemble is comedienne Kristen Schall as freaky-fan Mel. (Schall can also be seen guest-hosting over at VBS.tv’s video Do’s and Don’ts and Friends.)

Mel’s video Stalker-blog | If You’re Into it | Flight of the Conchords podcasts – iTunes

Luckie Louie still dead. Louis CK – not at all. Videos. (GreenCine)

NYT on ex-Arrested Development wunderkind Michael Cera and his weekly web-only series at clarkandmichael.com.

— Liz Lemon alert. Cracked Magazine compiles the 10 Best 30 Rock moments.

— Check in on Parker Posey and Six Feet Under alum Lauren Ambrose in clips (123) from the still-in-developmental stage The Return of Jezebel James. Created and produced by Gilmore Girls scribe Amy Sherman-Palladino, slated for eventual fall deployment on Fox. (Spout)

Nicole Kidman checks her (Nintendo) brain age. (Dave and Thomas)

Posted by Ted Zee on July 09th 2007 | 1 Comment