Who would have ever expected taser-loving, groin-crushing Jackass star Johnny Knoxville to appear on an animated kids' show?
But, yes kids, the 41-year-old father of three (here in an exclusive pic,left) will make his triumphant SpongeBob Squarepants debut on Saturday at 8 pm. He'll voice the character Johnny Krill, a member of the Drasticals extreme sports team. When the crew comes to town, SpongeBob and his buddy Patrick try to show that they're just as extreme, throwing themselves into motor biking, hang gliding, surfing and even, extreme bubble blowing (the horror!). Making the episode was chum-buckets of fun for everyone involved. "Johnny's a fan of SpongeBob," Sarah Noonan, SVP of Talent and Casting at Nickelodeon Animation tells Hollywood.com. "He was really excited to be doing a voice on the show." Of course, his insane bone-crushing shenanigans on Jackass certainly played a role in production. "In the recording booth, we showed him some of the crazy stunts his character was doing in the storyboards and he said, 'Wow, I think I actually did a stunt like that,'" says Noonan. And, somehow, it totally makes sense in the end — in a SpongeBob sort of way. But should it really be all that surprising? After all, Johnny and SpongeBob have a lot in common: * SpongeBob is the star of successful TV shows and movies. * Johnny is the star of successful TV shows and movies. * SpongeBob's original name was SpongeBoy but it was changed because that was already the name of a mop. * Johnny also goes by a stage name. He was born Philip John Clapp. * SpongeBob lives in Bikini Bottom. * Johnny hangs out with men who wear bikini bottoms. See? They're practically like twins. Check out an early image of SpongeBob and Johnny Krill. And a clip from Thursday night's episode. And let's hope that Johnny's time in the water ends better than Steve-O's. Follow Michelle on Twitter @HWMichelleLee More: Hasselhoff glad he accepted SpongeBob movie role'Kung Fu Panda' Gets a Threequel (Of Course) Comic-Con 2012: 'Wreck-It Ralph' Footage Packs Non-Stop Video Game Jokes You Might Also Like: Cory and Topanga Are In! Big ‘Boy Meets World’ Spinoff News 12 Hot (And Horrifying) TV Nude Scenes
In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.
Source: The Wrap
After making the rounds in a few comedies (including the surprisingly successful Tooth Fairy and this August's The Other Guys), Dwayne Johnson is back on track to return to his ass-kicking roots. He'll follow up October's Faster with the lead role in Protection, an action thriller once set to star Clive Owen, says The Wrap.
The film is about a twenty-one-year-old daughter of a Mexican judge who's targeted by mob types (after she sees them kill her father and other family members), and must stay on the run through dodgy places on both sides of the border, while an agent (Johnson) tries to protect her and the bad guy is hot on her trail.
Brandon Noonan wrote the script. The director's chair is currently vacant as one time helmer Patrick Alessandrin has reportedly also left the project.
Though he can be entertaining as a funny man, Mr. Johnson's choice of comedies has been pretty weak overall. We like him best when he's running and gunning and it looks like we've got plenty of that to look forward to in the near future.