Casual Browsing: 8/29

notthere1ONTD passes on a Italian one-sheet for the can’t-get-away-from Bob Dylan biopic on everybody’s lips, I’m Not There. More importantly, 28 images from the pic in which half of Hollywood gets a crack at the balladeer. Via Awards Daily.

– Also from AD - the theatrical one-sheet to go along with the trailer for Lars and the Real Girl. Blow-ups are on the brink of obsolescence, as Ryan Gosling elevates his plastic girl to going-steady status.

Scriptland on a rewrite attempt of Abel Ferrara’s 1992 cult-scorcher Bad Lieutenant. Edward R. Pressman, producer of the original drugged-out death-wished cop story which starred Harvey Keitel, has brought a new scriptman in to give a post-9/11 N.Y. wrench-tightening for a possible remake, though neither Ferrara or Keitel have been attached as of yet. Also, in the thinking-out stages: more Wall Street.

– In the aftermath of Owen Wilson’s suicide attempt this past weekend, The Reeler directs you to well wishers and speculators on the future of his upcoming projects. Darjeeling immediately comes to mind, and the marketing machine for the film must slog on regardless. A handful of behind the scenes clips have been distributed to film sites in the past week or so - here are two from Moviefone. Also on the Wilson horizon: Drillbit Taylor - Trailer.

H.(illary)S.(wank) I love You. Her Ten Greatest Performances, ranked by The Film Experience.

– Slashfilm’s first look at Michael Moore’s upcoming film Captain Mike Across America. Fahrenheit 9/11 didn’t quite keep W out of office, but now we can rehash Michael’s exploits across the nation during the ‘04 presidential campaign in a doc that’s more Moore than ever (before). Self-portraiture? Tops the most vain of vanity projects?

Related: Paul Giamatti channeled old softy Karl Rove for villainy points (MTV Movies) in the cartoonish, appropriately titled Shoot ‘Em Up with Clive Owen. Trailer.

– [Big] Lebowski Fest finally makes it across the pond. The Guardian.

Willis, Affleck, Connery, Gervais, et. al. Actors Who Have Spent Their Entire Careers Playing the Same Character. FilmWad.

Susan Sarandon on the Wachowski Brother’s handling of the live-action Speed Racer film. First Bullet Time, now this: “They’re doing something where they’re layering film so that the front and the back are in focus like a cartoon and they’re also doing two dimensional and three dimensional stuff and mixing and everything is very, very saturated with some new kind of film.” Variety.

Jeremy Piven casted as lead for the Adam McKay & Will Farrell produced The Goods: The Don Ready Story - a used-car comedy. Hollywood Reporter.

Hollywood Elsewhere teases the steadily growing number of Michael Cera crushed fanclubbers - with a one-page peek at the script for his new project, Youth in Revolt.

Television

Peripheral reading, in relation to the previous topic: That is certainly on the table and not dead yet; I just don’t know when the right time will be.” - Jason Bateman knows of the mandate that not more than a handful of weeks can go by without an Arrested Development castmember reviving lost hopes of a continuation of the series on big or small screens. Reelz Channel.

– And then there was one faux-SNL. Tina Fey on the growing popularity of 30 Rock (what took so long?) and the prospects of season 2. IGN (via Vulture). Season one DVD release date - Sept. 4th. Season 2 premiere - Oct. 4th.

Why is this on the air? A.V. Club’s early preview of the upcoming broadcast lineups for fall.

Video

A clip from the Spanish site for Gus Van Sant’s young-skater-in-trouble tragedy, Paranoid Park. Mad About Movies. What’s the story with the RPMs on the Elliott Smith track?

– Three new clips from David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, with Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts. Movie City Indie.

– Musical Guests: Leslie Fiest n’ handclapping friends fill the bleachers. 1234. Letterman. Goldenfiddle.

– Vintage PSA-ing. “Hello, I’m John Waters, and I’m supposed to announce that there is no smoking in this theater, which I think is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard of in my life.” Nerve.

Posted by Ted Zee on August 29th 2007 | 3 Comments

DVD: Parker Posey in 'Broken English'

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It’s impossible to follow American independent film over the past 15 years or so and not have built up a healthy level of familiarity with Parker Posey, an actress who over the years - as a Party Girl, a Jackie O. poseur, an obsessed dog exhibitor - to her detriment, has been firmly pigeonholed as a bit of a sideshow. There’s often a metaphorical donning of the clown shoes and makeup when Parker is asked to turn in a performance. Very few simmering moments - it’s almost always “On”, rarely moody, even less frequently muted.

She’s nothing if not a prolific actress. Does she suffer from a lack of selectivity when it comes to roles? Or from having too many friends in the business to appease? Who was talking in her ear when there was an option to not skinny dip with Danny DeVito in a lagoon pool?

And then there’s Broken English, written and directed by first-timer Zoe Cassavetes. Parker headlines as Nora, a guest services director in a posh Manhattan hotel. She’s at the period where single friends become married friends. She’s stuck in the background, feeling the pressure to settle down - maybe not because it’s something she needs, but something that feels age appropriate. There’s a string of dead-end dates, one being a standout turn from Justin Theroux, who as a mohawked, self-absorbed movie star, does much of the heavy lifting to deliver the film’s funniest sequences . Though this has been tagged a romantic comedy, it should be noted there are darker moments here. There’s vulnerability and desperation that you’d not be inclined to expect from your star. Drea de Matteo chimes in advice as Nora’s closest married friend, as does Gena Rowlands (Cassavetes mother, just one half of her oft noted lineage) as Nora’s mother. Enter Julien (Melvil Poupaud), a sweet-talking Frenchman visiting the States for a short time, long enough to almost sweep the habitually skeptic Nora off her feet. Once he heads back to France, Nora comes to the conclusion that he has some of whatever it is that she’s been looking for, and the chase is on.

While critics have generally been handing out satisfactory marks for Zoe Cassavetes first directorial outing, there’s an overall sense of disappointment with what we’re faced with in the third act: with all of the previous thumbing of the nose towards romantic comedy conventions up to a point, we find ourselves on the streets of Paris on a man-hunt, with a handful of Lost in Translation trappings thrown in. Some tracks from Air or My Bloody Valentine would seem appropriate. Things get muddied. Old Hollywood compromises happen. Before Sunset cribbing happens.

The thing that Cassavetes get so right though, that so many Christopher Guest also-rans with Parker on their call sheets haven’t had the prerogative or balls to pull off in the past - was for once, to just roll Posey out un-caricatured. Though a well-off Manhattanite won’t pass for everywoman, her neuroses are relatively commonplace. There are few cheap or easy laughs. The comedy is eased, rather than crammed in. In fact, by design, you’ll feel more compellled to feel sorry for Nora than laugh at her. This is Posey in a lonesome role that you’d expect for entirely someone else.

A thirty-something single woman is a clichéd indie staple in itself, but this one in particular comes across with such earnestness, like an unhinging has taken place, like an actress has been allowed to cut the histrionics and piss-takes and bullshit, and just roll around in a role for a good long while, maybe for the first time. The crafting of Broken English is nothing to sneeze at, but - just for the surprise factor and very capable handling of the starring role alone - the film marks an above-par directorial debut for Cassavetes, and a career performance for Posey.

Available on DVD now. Broken English trailer.

Also recommended this week:
Dexter, Season 1

The Michael Haneke Collection

Posted by Ted Zee on August 24th 2007 | 4 Comments

This Day in 'Six Feet Under' History

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June 3rd, 2001 - August 21st, 2005

“I wanted to set the show in L.A. …because L.A. is the world capitol of the denial of death.” - Alan Ball

Two years ago today, HBO aired the finale of Six Feet Under, the landmark dramatic series -winner of 9 Emmys over its 5 seasons. Born just prior to 9/11/01, the timing proved to be appropriate for a series using death and the industry of keeping up appearances - for the dead and their surviving families - as a backdrop. Fresh off his Oscar win for the American Beauty screenplay, Alan Ball took on the HBO project, and was surprised at the network’s tolerance of frank talk and their readiness for the tweaking of paradigms. Molds were broken, or reshaped at least - something that two years of Sopranos success could afford them.

They had read my original draft, and the only note I got, was ‘It feels a little safe. Could you just make the whole thing just be a little bit more fucked up?’ And I thought ‘Thank you God.’ I didn’t think I would ever get that note from a network, ever.”

Featuring Nate (Peter Krause) as the prodigal son - brother David (Michael C. Hall in his first on-screen role) as the still-in-the-closet de facto head of Fisher & Sons funeral home - Frances Conroy as the too-forgiving matriarch, and Lauren Ambrose as the youngest Fisher coming into her own, Six Feet Under covered the territory of living - (hetero and same) sex & love, duty to family, adolescence, twilight - in such a way that death was merely the endgame in which Ball and the cast of relative unknowns could frame and import the everything in-between. With all due respect to David Chase, there’s no newness to the mob family game. It was the genre-twisting trailblaze of SFU, combined with the sure-bet lead-in of The Sopranos that earned HBO the follow-our-lead rep for cable television.

Attached: The Spoiler of All Spoilers - the final six-plus minutes of Six Feet Under. (New to you? Don’t. You’ll regret it someday. Watch the damn show.)
– More death of the party favors: Final minutes, extended cut | Alan Ball’s postmortem interview on NPR’s Fresh Air | A Sopranos Fan’s wishful-thinking SFU finale-mashup | Stalk the Fisher House with the help of Google Maps.

– Previously: Peter Krause in the upcoming ABC series, Dirty Sexy Money.
Also, Alan Ball’s next (2008-ish) HBO series: the vampired True Blood (Variety). Cross your fingers.

– Tabled discussion for the near-future: more Michael C. Hall in Dexter - and Lauren Ambrose to join Parker Posey in the Fox comedy: The Return of Jezebel James (buzz is bad with a capitol B).

Posted by Ted Zee on August 21st 2007 | 5 Comments

Trailer: Dylan Biopic 'I'm Not There'

The trailer for the much ballyhooed Bob Dylan biopic, I’m Not There, here (via IGN). Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw - all as Dylan. A Todd Haynes production. Release Date: November 21st, 2007. Chew on that. Next.Previously: a clip. Previous to that: a fake.

Posted by Ted Zee on August 20th 2007 | 0 Comments

Trailer: 'Cassandra's Dream', by Woody Allen

Woody goes for the hat trick in London, following Match Point and Scoop - hoping for the critical success of the former - this time with another crime drama in Cassandra’s Dream. The film stars Miami Vice Mojito loving Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Tom Wilkinson, and a relative newcomer: English actress Hayley Atwell. A young woman (Atwell) runs into two brothers (Farrell and McGregor) in London, discovers that one has fallen for her, and uses the subsequent sibling rivalry to manipulate the already cash-poor brothers into raising funds through ill-advised activities. Source: AICN.Release date: November 30th.

Posted by Ted Zee on August 19th 2007 | 1 Comment

'Flight of the Conchords' renewed

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HBO has opted to keep Flight of the Conchords in the mix for a second season (Variety), likely to go back to back on Sunday nights again, with The Ari Gold Show - also renewed, for its fifth season.

Season 2 spoilers:

– Murray finds the guys a new gig.

– Bret and Jemaine each meet a girl.

Season 1 videos: Murray finds the guys a new gig. Bret and Jemaine meet girls.

Posted by Ted Zee on August 18th 2007 | 0 Comments

Trailer: 'Harold & Kumar 2' Teaser

Stoner comedies are a two-way proposition - if the audience approaches the film with a specific set of adjusted, if not lowered standards, and the filmmaker can dole out a succession of laughs and keep the lulls to a minimum - everyone walks away smug and satisfied.

Harold & Kumar 2 will likely take no risks, and cover very little new territory. After all, it’s essentially a day 2 continuation of its base material (So yes. Neil Patrick Harris gets his love.) The pair have gotten themselves into some Homeland Security troubles on their way to Amsterdam - besides the obvious puff-positives over there, it’s where Harold’s neighbor and love interest has just headed. Dragged off the plane for a botched bong smuggle, they’re pegged as terrorist threats, but get away and lead authorities on a cross-country chase. Do they ever make it Amsterdam? Does it matter?

Posted by Ted Zee on August 18th 2007 | 0 Comments

Trailer: John C. Reilly in 'Walk Hard'

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Never having truly immersed himself in straight-up comedy until last year’s Talladega Nights, and seemingly comfortable in co-starring or supporting roles (highlights: the P.T. Anderson collection) John C. Reilly is making his high-profile starring role debut in the Jake Kasdan (Freaks and Geeks, The TV Set) directed, Judd Apatow (omnipresent) scripted mock-music-biopic spanning 40 years of hits and misses in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

Legitimate music notables include Jack White (as Elvis), Eddie Vedder, Jewel, Ghostface Killah, Lyle Lovett (themselves, says The Playlist) along with regular Hollywood folk - Jenna Fischer as Reilly’s June Carter-like love interest - Jack Black, Kristen Wiig, Justin Long, Paul Rudd, and a host of Apatow’s usuals receiving their obligatory screen time.

Pic looks to originate in Walk the Line territory and gradually devolve into every historical biopic ever made, tinged with the silly sweetness of an Anchorman - worst-case - a Joe Dirt.

Trailer likely won’t blow minds right out of the gate. Heavy on the early-life exposition, and the song-titled innuendo apparently is a recurring theme - that can go either way. Though there’s a wealth of talent invested, not an early-peek that divulges the film’s best moments, or so we can hope.

Film Ick has the trailer for you for download. Release date for Walk Hard is December 21st, and the trailer can be seen this weekend in theaters, prior to Superbad.

Update: YouTube.

Posted by Ted Zee on August 16th 2007 | 3 Comments

Michael Cera, 'Revolt', and the Apatow Effect

mcSuperbad star and Arrested Development alum Michael Cera has been named (Variety) to star in an upcoming film adaptation of Youth in Revolt, from the C.D. Payne novel of the same title. The film script focuses on Payne’s Nick Twisp, a sex starved teen, who meets his dream lady while on vacation with his family. In the first of the Twisp series of books, Nick is 14, so expect for the film lead to more closely match Cera’s age (19), allowing for more Superbad-ish sex-romping and youth-at-risk mayhem.

Cera’s also on Premiere’s 20 Hottest New Faces of Comedy, and by my count half of the 20 - Amy Adams, Ed Helms, Elizabeth Banks, Jenna Fischer, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, Cera, Justin Long, Seth Rogen, and Kristen Wiig - have all appeared, or will appear in a Judd Apatow directed or produced feature. Apatow appears to have the magic touch in kick-starting the careers of underrated talent, or as Seth Rogen calls them, “the unconventionals” (slashfilm). I mean, Kristen Wiig sidekicked Alec Baldwin in one of the few standout SNL skits of the decade (Carpooling, Bobby McFerrin…for once YouTube fails me) but it seems that a few scarce Knocked Up moments were all that was needed to finally get her name out there (goldenfiddle).

As if you didn’t know, Superbad opens this Friday. Instant classic, they say.

Related video: Cera on Conan 8/7. Apatow, 8/10.

Posted by Ted Zee on August 15th 2007 | 2 Comments

HBO Cancels 'John', Announces New David Milch Project

milchThe discussion probably went something like this - HBO exec rings the writing lab of one David Milch about halfway through the one and only season of John From Cincinnnati - “David, we’re going over the numbers, and this thing really isn’t catching on. We want to keep working with you. What else have you got?”

One day after JFC was - to the surprise of very few - cancelled, and two days after the series finale, HBO has wasted no time in announcing that master-scribe Milch is already working on another project for the network, reports Variety.

As a co-creator of landmark cop drama NYPD Blue and a writer on Hill Street Blues, Milch will ditch his one-and-done “surf-noir” series for much more familiar and ratings-friendly territory in an unnamed police drama set in the early 1970s.

Milch has described his lead as a Vietnam vet who’s sent back to the states, looking for a fast track into an NY detective spot. The cop goes undercover as a “disaffected veteran” to embed himself amongst antiwar activists, while struggling to internalize his own feelings about Vietnam. Milch refers to the project, which he actually began developing for HBO years ago, as a “tragic story.”

Now two projects removed from the set of Deadwood, the question still lingers about the fate of the two promised 2-hour movies that were supposed to end the series with its endless loose ends tied up. Again, no movement on that front, and with every new project Milch takes on, the probability fades.

Related: From last week, factors leading up to the John From Cincinnati cancellation, and a shortlist of backburnered David Milch projects.

Plus, unlike David Chase, who gave away nothing in the way of clues about his famed Sopranos closer, David Milch dumps out on Variety on the JFC finale, with trademark verbosity.

Video: Best Week Ever presents: John From WKRP in Cincinnati.

Posted by Ted Zee on August 14th 2007 | 4 Comments

Officially Official Trailer: 'Be Kind Rewind'

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Afflicted with hyper-magnetization, Jerry (Jack Black) inadvertently erases the inventory of VHS at his best friend Mike’s (Mos Def) video store. With a scheme to recreate the hits themselves with a two-bit videocam, the pair become unlikely neighborhood stars with their hand-crafted appropriations of America’s pop catalog. Robocop, The Lion King, and Driving Miss Daisy are but a handful that receive hat-tipped tributes in Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind.

By tapping into a wealth of moviegoers who don’t know The Science of Sleep from Weird Science, this appears to be Gondry’s most accessible and box-office viable offering to date. Past efforts may have been pooh-poohed as too twee or whimsical, but Black and Mos as tin-foiled Ghostbusters suggest too much pure-popcorn fun to deny.

Jack Black. Mos Def. Danny Glover. Mia Farrow. Be Kind Rewind trailer. (Via Slashfilm)

Release date: December 21st, 2007.

Related video: Gondry’s Crib.

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

Watch Online: 'Weeds' and David Duchovny's 'Californication'

dd.jpgmlp.jpgShowtime has made the premieres for season three of Weeds and David Duchovny’s new show, Californication available online. The first episode of Weeds can be viewed here, and ep. 1 of Californication is right here (updated: link for Californication is gone).

Weeds stars the milky-skinned Mary-Louise Parker as a widowed mother of two who takes up pot-dealing to upper-middle clientèle to make ends meet. Cast includes Kevin Nealon (SNL) and Romany Malco (40 Year Old Virgin) as partners in distribution, along with promised 10-episode stints from both Matthew Modine and former Full House-er Mary-Kate Olsen. Season two ended in a white-knuckle standoff - with multiple guns trained on Nancy (Parker) in a deal gone bad - so expect to be thrown right into the fray with the season opener.

Californication marks David Duchovny’s return to the small screen, as a broken-down novelist whose writer’s block, (almost) ex-wife, and pre-teen daughter do nothing to discourage him from leapfrogging from bed to bed in Southern CA. Skin and self-loathing abound in the series premiere. For mature audiences and all that rot.

The start date for both shows is next Monday, August 13th on Showtime.

Posted by Ted Zee on August 07th 2007 | 3 Comments

Cancellation Looming for John From Cincinnati?

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Update - 8/14: John is officially done for - HBO whips right around and announces a new David Milch project.

Original post:

The first words spoken in the first episode of HBO’s John From Cincinnati, mouthed by walking riddle John Monad, were “The end is near.” Maybe that was the first clue from creator David Milch that he didn’t expect, or maybe even intend for the series to be long for this world. And now there are rumblings that support from the network is gone. TV Blogger cites a source inside HBO that claims they do not intend to pick up John for a second season. Another unnamed source, reportedly from inside the show, backs that up, saying “I don’t know for sure, but from what I’ve heard, the grape vine and such, we won’t be back.” File this under unconfirmed speculation, but few would be surprised if that turned out to be the case.

The warning signs proceeded the premiere of the show. Some of the first early impressions came from Tim Goodman of The San Francisco Chronicle, who a week before the series debut, proclaimed “‘John From Cincinnati’ is bad. I love David Milch and he’s definitely a misunderstood visionary and a real character in the TV business. But this show is a total mess.’” More head scratching followed.

The day and date of the premiere didn’t help. HBO did the show no favors by airing it directly after The Sopranos finale. Many were too busy checking their cable boxes for failure in the closing minutes, hitting the message boards, or calling friends wondering aloud how David Chase could have the big brass balls to carry out such a closing act. While we were all trying to figure out what had just happened, the numbers on the odometer rolled over, and the standard bearer for a new era of HBO - John From Cincinnati was broadcast, though many viewers had already checked out for the night.

And more than a few that stuck around were thinking “they cancelled Deadwood for this? Levitating surfers? The man with the magic pockets? Al Bundy as a parrot-whisperer?” A three-generation surfing clan, a Christ-like figure with qualities unique to an answering machine, and parking-lot soliloquys are more the stuff of David Lynch than a blueprint for a breakout hit. For all the pre-airing hype and buildup, June 10th was not the day to roll out something as enigmatic as John From Cincinnati. A more modest premiere date, maybe something in the fall that could have coincided with the return of Curb Your Enthusiasm and the much talked about Sex & Couples Therapy & More Sex dramatic series, entitled Tell Me You Love Me - would have been a much more productive and realistic time to show off the embedded mysteries and cult-hit, slash word-of-mouth potential for John.

As it happened, with only Entourage, Flight of the Conchords, and season two of mid-size hit Big Love looming, an immediate back-to-back pairing with the finale to HBO’s most culture changing, most profitable show ever was way too much, too soon for David Milch’s follow up to Deadwood.

So with the shadow of The Sopranos hanging over - mixed reviews, sagging ratings, and a scripter with a penchant for using solved plot puzzles as building blocks for bigger plot puzzles, we come to a situation where the end may be near. Again, more questions than answers:

If a cancellation does come to pass, does that allow Milch the time to get back to work on those two, two-hour Deadwood movies, the one hope that the devoted have been clinging to? Could it even spark a decision to bring it back as a proper series? A few weeks ago, the word from HBO about the 2-hour closers was that they were “doable but daunting” and there had not been much discussion with Milch on them as of late. A JFC cancellation would certainly increase the chances of more Deadwood to come, but there’s also the matter of reassembling the cast and crew - Timothy Olymphant and Ian McShane probably being the most necessary re-gets - and the hardest considering their ever-increasing workloads on the big screen.

The bigger question is whether Milch could see himself back on old turf. He admittedly has a track record for turning in scripts at the eleventh hour - would a return to the Deadwood set be a motivational factor, or not a big enough thrill to get things going creatively? He’s not one for having only one iron in the fire at a time. Looking back over a year ago, when JFC was in pre-production, I had this written up in some state-of-HBO notes (it was never clear as to whether these were ideas for new HBO series or for another network): “Besides John, [Milch] is also developing Six Guys Named Gonzalez, about Puerto Rican culture in New York, another about the founding of the John Hopkins Medical School in the late 1800’s, a series about horse racing, and finally a police drama with a former NYPD Blue collaborator.” Whether any of these concepts get off the ground, or if John from Cincinnati manages to somehow make it to a second season despite the rumor mill, are just a few more questions to walk away with.

The season finale, if not the series finale for John From Cincinnati airs on August 12th.

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Posted by Ted Zee on August 06th 2007 | 8 Comments

TV To-Do: 'Minor Accomplishments'

minor accomplishments of jackie woodmanOK, so maybe if I wasn’t merely TIVOing IFC’s four part miniseries doc Indie Sex, I wouldn’t have been caught off guard by the return of their original scripted comedy series, The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman. The summer sleeper stars Laura Kightlinger (who was also double dipping last year on the set of the now cancelled Lucky Louie) as a decidedly unaccomplished screenwriter, aimlessly tooling around Los Angeles with eternally dim-lit pal Tara (Nicholle Tom) in tow. There’s outside-looking-in Hollywood satire, some raunch, and the pair dive headfirst into slapstick while still keeping things whip-smart in a Tina Fey type framework. Kightlinger is spot-on as a put-upon, “who gives two fucks if I’m single” underachiever.

There’ve been West-side Sex in the City comparisons tossed about in the past, but I’ve always felt a more acidic, low-rent, lo-fi AbFab vibe, and without ever really considering myself a fan of either of the former two (and this one is more guy-friendly by strides), I’ve committed to wrapping up my Sunday nights of Entourage and Flight of the Conchords with a basic-cable Jackie Woodman nightcap.

Premieres this Sunday evening at 11:30, on IFC. Catch last season’s closer episode, “The Republicunt”, in it’s entirety online - a prescription drugged Jackie falls ass-backwards into right-wing radio worship.  Bonus season two primer clips also available at the official site .

Posted by Ted Zee on August 03rd 2007 | 0 Comments

Housekeeping

There are repeat visitors that have found the blog by way of the “film-news” section linked to elsewhere. Ay, there’s bits of television and trailers/web videos to peruse around here as well, you know, if that’s your thing. Bookmark the home page for additional content, or better yet, subscribe to the feed and have it all delivered to your virtual doorstep. Thanks, and good day.

Posted by Ted Zee on August 03rd 2007 | 0 Comments

Red-flagging 'Southland Tales', Again

southland.jpgIMDB Keywords: Riot / Dream Like / Marxism / Dystopic Future / Ice Cream Truck

Lest we forget that the 2 and 1/2 hour, pre-apocalyptic, dark-Orwellian-comedy Southland Tales was broadly panned at Cannes over a year ago - in light of news that it has finally earned a release date - November 9th, The Guardian’s Shane Danielsen opts to start a pile-on redux, referring to Southland, boasting [?] such talents as Seann William Scott, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and Sarah Michelle Gellar, as “the worst film I’ve ever seen” right out of the block. Reflecting back on 2006:

“Southland Tales was one of those rare Cannes moments…when more or less the entire audience was united in its contempt. As the film proceeded, there was the sound of jaws dropping, then titters of laughter - growing steadily louder as the audience contemplated the full panoply of horrors on display, which included Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, as Boxer Santaro, literally twiddling his fingers - yes, like Shaggy in Scooby-Doo - to convey his terror, and Wallace Shawn, one of America’s finest contemporary playwrights, dressed in a silver foil costume straight out of Radar Men from the Moon.”

Hindsight shows director Richard Kelly’s previous film, Donnie Darko, grasping hands with Little Miss Sunshine and Napoleon Dynamite to form the trinity of most overrated cult-hits of the decade, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that his next was dissed and dismissed at its overseas unveiling, then triaged in some kind of bombed-out bunker for another year of rethinking and visual retooling as a salvage attempt. Edits or not, Danielson concludes that Southland Tales “is unrelenting; there are no highs or lows - and no character development, nor any story to speak of. And no amount of creative re-editing will disguise that..”

Posted by Ted Zee on August 02nd 2007 | 6 Comments

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