First Look: Edie Falco in Showtime's 'Nurse Jackie'

Posted by Ted Zee on October 17th 2008 | 0 Comments

Best Week Ever: And Then There Was One


This is what it means to use a hatchet when you need a scalpel: VH1 is drastically changing the format of its half hour weekly video clip show Best Week Ever by dropping its twenty-odd comedian commentators down to just Paul F. Thompkins as solo host. The move was intended, in part, to help compete with E! Television’s like-minded The Soup, which pulls in about 890,000 viewers per week to Best Week Ever’s 520,000.

The new show, titled Best Week Ever With Paul F. Tompkins, will retain some of the former in-house panelists for certain segments, but will feature more written content as Thompkins steers the show from a new set, complete with a “podium-desk.” This strips away what was arguably the best element of the show, where the revolving comedians would take off-the-cuff shots at the topic du jour from their respective angles, the way you would imagine a writers room to work. In hindsight, they could have cut the faux Extra-like celebrity gossip segment The Sizzler, which consistently sunk BWE mid-episode like a ton of bricks, and increased the funny by a good 50 percent. (New York Times)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 17th 2008 | 0 Comments

First Look at Diablo Cody's 'United States of Tara'

I’m cold on Diablo Cody until moved otherwise, but any mention of Toni Collete is an immediate ear-perker and amounts to a major coup for Showtime. Collete stars as a mom suffering from multiple personality disorder (or dissociative identity disorder for the stickers among us). Backed by Stephen Spielberg. United States of Tara is slated for a January debut. (via Pop Candy)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 16th 2008 | 1 Comment

HBO: The Presidential Debate You Didn't See

A couple NSFW chuckles in there (via Andrew Sullivan)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 16th 2008 | 1 Comment

Fox, Will Arnett Sign Free Reign Deal for New Series


Arrested Development star and certified scene stealer Will Arnett has signed on for a return to Fox Television, with complete creative control over choices for writers, producers, and directors for the new comedy series. The Hollywood Reporter assumes that Arrested showrunner Mitch Hurwitz would be a favorite for Arnett as a creative collaborator. The two are currently working together on the upcoming animated Fox comedy, Sit Down Shut Up.

Posted by Ted Zee on October 15th 2008 | 0 Comments

Amy Sedaris Preps New Comedy Series


Amy Sedaris and Strangers With Candy writing partner Paul Dinello have signed a deal with Fox and David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants production company to create a scripted, single camera comedy, likely geared towards cable viewers.  Not much more information to glean so far.  (Hollywood Reporter)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 15th 2008 | 0 Comments

Trailer: Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor in 'Incendiary'

Written and directed by Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones). Based on the Chris Cleave novel. Starring Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, and Matthew Macfadyen. Williams portrays a young mother who learns that her husband and son were killed in a London soccer stadium bombing while she was involved in an extramarital affair with a local journalist (McGregor). U.K. trailer.  Scheduled U.S. release: TBD.

“A thriller-romance-survivor movie-cum-psychiatric free-for-all, ‘Incendiary’ aspires to so much it ends up being less than the sum of its parts — one of which is a terrific performance by Michelle Williams.” – Variety

(Hat tip to Row Three)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 15th 2008 | 34 Comments

Return of The Gekkster


20th Century Fox is hoping that Michael Douglas is ready to sign on for a reemergence of Me Decade icon Gordon Gekko, as they prime a Wall Street sequel to be written by Allan Loeb (21). Part 2 would rejoin Gekko just as he finished up a long prison bid, only to find the torn-up financial landscape of present day. No indication yet on if Oliver Stone will be back to helm the project, thought it appears that Charlie Sheen won’t return to reprise his Bud Fox role. (Variety)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 14th 2008 | 0 Comments

Interviews & Profiles: Hendricks, Kaufman, Adams, Gerwig


“I’ve always had a bit of a walk—this girl’s got hips—but on the show it’s exaggerated. The first day, I put on those [retro] undergarments, and I was walking around the office like, boom, boom, boom! They called ‘Cut,’ and I turned to [creator] Matt Weiner and said, ‘That was Joan.’ And he said, ‘That was Joan.’ It all just dropped into place.” — Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks (Page Six)

— “Not only do I not know how I’m going to sell this, but I also don’t know if I want to sell it. I don’t want to figure out a way to trick people into seeing this movie. If it’s not your thing, you shouldn’t see it. It’s not going to be for all people—that’s what I’m learning. There are people who are not going to respond to it. And that’s fine. I don’t want to trick them… Synecdoche is not going to give you anything like, ‘Oh, it’s a dream or it’s a portal into John Malkovich or it’s a secret memory-erasing drug or whatever the hell it is.’ It’s not going to happen. This guy’s life is going to play out and you’re going to watch him age and you’re going to watch him not succeed at what he wants to do and have lousy relationships and you’re going to watch him die. — Charlie Kaufman mopes around with Vice (via The Michael Ryan)

— “I didn’t know what Junebug would be like… They were making it for under $1 million—you just don’t know when you’re involved in smaller projects if they’re going to be seen.” — Amy Adams, once one Oscar nominated gig away from leaving the business altogether (Vanity Fair)

— “I don’t mind being nude onscreen. Or anywhere, really. But having someone touch you on camera is really … [long pause] It’s really kind of an awful experience. Because half of your brain is like, ‘Okay, I wanna make this look real, because I want it to feel real for the audience,’but then you’re also fighting to say, ‘But it’s not real.’ But it is actually real, because somebody is actually touching you. That kind of work that you have to do to disassociate from your body is kind of traumatic. I don’t enjoy that at all. It’s … gross. — Mumblecore muse Greta Gerwig on Nights and Weekends (Vulture)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 13th 2008 | 0 Comments

'Life on Mars' Headlines Import Night


Tonight will make for an interesting, if not mixed bag of television viewing, with the first, election-centric SNL Weekend Update special airing after The Office, and the debuts of three Americanized adaptations – Australian import Kath & Kim (NBC), and two reworked UK series – Life on Mars (ABC) Eleventh Hour (CBS). The New York Times reviews the three, giving the retro-time-traveling-sci-fi slash gritty cop drama Life on Mars the highest marks and chances for survival:

“Set in 1973 [Life on Mars] exhumes a raunchier, dirtier, more dangerous New York City, the one depicted in “Serpico,” “Mean Streets” and, most recently, “American Gangster.” And it’s the show’s back-to-the-future feel, underscored by Harvey Keitel as a tyrannical police lieutenant and Michael Imperioli as a shaggy-haired, smart-mouthed detective, that lifts it above the ordinary and adds Scorsesian pizazz.

And did I mention that Mars cast includes not only Gretchen Mol, but heralds the return of Lisa Bonet? Sold.

Related, from Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Life on Mars: surprisingly great, its pilot living up to the lofty expectations of the original… a reason to set your DVR on Thursday nights beyond NBC’s comedy lineup.”
Kath & Kim: ” For every miraculous victory – say, “The Office” or, to a lesser extent, “Ugly Betty” – there are hordes of failures. This time it’s… a fantastically funny Australian comedy that goes into the record books on these shores as a contender for worst remake ever.”

Posted by Ted Zee on October 09th 2008 | 18 Comments

Will This Burn Up What's Left of Her Fifteen Minutes?


Giving NBC a shot at that ever so important “balance” and the John McCain campaign a chance to save face, the writers of Saturday Night Live may allow Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin a free shot back at Tina Fey. The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that the McCain camp is in talks with SNL about shooting a spoof of Fey’s American Express commercials with Palin playing her funnier, smarter, cuter doppelganger (that writes her own material, thank you very much). If it happens, the spot may air as soon as this Thursday night (after The Office) on the first of the Weekend Update election season prime time specials, or later after the next new SNL airs on October 18. (via Vulture)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 07th 2008 | 0 Comments

Trailer: Amy Adams and Emily Blunt in Sunshine Cleaning

Written by Megan Holley and directed by Christine Jeffs, Sunshine Cleaning stars Amy Adams as a housekeeper that enlists her sister, played by Emily Blunt, to join her in transitioning to a more profitable crime scene cleaning startup. Also stars Alan Arkin and Steve Zahn. Scheduled release: TBA. (via Row Three | Trailer Addict)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 06th 2008 | 1 Comment

Trailer: The Pleasure of Being Robbed


Directed by Josh Safdie, The Pleasure of Being Robbed stars Eléonore Hendricks as a fearless New York petty thief with Amelie-like, whimsical curiosity. Hendricks co-wrote the screenplay with Safdie. Open now in NY – more screens to follow, including IFC’s On Demand service.


Posted by Ted Zee on October 06th 2008 | 1 Comment

Trailer: Frontrunners


A la American Teen, Caroline Suh’s timely rookie documentary outing follows four student council president candidates at New York’s Stuyvesant High School. Scheduled release: October 15, 2008.


Posted by Ted Zee on October 03rd 2008 | 0 Comments

Avoidable Crash


Quick – who wants to play canary in a coal mine and watch the pilot for the (unwarranted) television adaptation of the 2004 (undeserved) Best Picture winner, Crash, that Starz has released online, and then get back to the rest of us with a report on how predictably painful or surprisingly tolerable the new series is? 123.. not it! (via Pop Candy)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 01st 2008 | 1 Comment

Trailer: Filth and Wisdom - Madonna's Directorial Debut

filth and wisdom

Always with a penchant for extracting the kink from the mundane, and vice versa, Madonna directed this tale of three London flatmates making “mischievous and naughty” sacrifices while chasing their big breaks. Starring Eugene Hutz, Holly Weston, and Vicky McClure. Featuring the music of Hutz’s band, Gogol Bordello. Scheduled release: October 17, 2008.

Trailer: Filth and Wisdom

Posted by Ted Zee on September 30th 2008 | 2 Comments

The Next Class from the Music Video Pipeline?

Six New Directors Who Are Making Music Video Cool Again – Wired Magazine

Maybe Cat Solen, Rik Cordero, Matthew Cullen, Vincent Moon, Vincent Morisset and Keith Schofield could be the next Jonze, Coppola, Cunningham, Gondry, or Hammer & Tongs – you know, if that’s what they’re gunning for. (via IFC)

Posted by Ted Zee on September 30th 2008 | 1 Comment

Micheal Cera at a Crossroads


Depending on who you ask – wunderkind Michael Cera, who traffics in subtleties and self-effacement, is either reluctantly baby-stepping towards stardom and unlikely sex-symbol status (Katrina Onstad, NYT), or is on the brink of joining the Owen Wilson school of typecasting himself into a corner (Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere), possibly “two or three steps from being over.”

Posted by Ted Zee on September 29th 2008 | 1 Comment

"Katie, I'd like to use one of my lifelines"

“Hello Tina, Lorne here. The viewers tuned out for the remaining 80 minutes, and frankly, I don’t blame them.  A stinker, yeah.  No, we still haven’t figured out what to do with Casey Wilson, and you know, Poehler’s bailing out soon, and Maya Rudolph won’t return my texts.  Bobby who?  Bobby Moynihan?  Oh, the guy we hired. No, haven’t met him yet.  Look, we’re going to need you to come back full time.”

—  “She is becoming a brand unto herself.” What’s Tina Fey worth? (via Goldenfiddle)

Posted by Ted Zee on September 28th 2008 | 1 Comment

Two Icons

Paul Newman and James Dean’s screen test for East of Eden. (via Movie City Indie)

— Newman in pictures (The Guardian)
— ” This is the raunchiest film I’ve ever done. The language is quite a bit beyond blue, heavy into purple almost. But I think it’ll be tastefully vulgar.” Slap Shot anniversary doc: Part 1 | Part 2

Posted by Ted Zee on September 28th 2008 | 0 Comments