If you thought The Avengers was great (and odds are, you did), imagine how much greater it would have been with a laugh track. All the big screen superhero adventure you could want, with the feel of a good ol' network sitcom. Apparently, the minds behind Marvel are opting for this, however in a much subtler fashion than canning well-timed guffaws and provocative "ooh"s throughout their films: casting.
As you may have heard, Chuck star Zachary Levi is being considered to join the cast of Thor 2, potentially replacing Josh Dallas as Fandral the Dashing (one third of Asgard's Warriors Three). Levi is not the first small screen star to join in on the Marvel Universe — Captain America and The Avengers placed the character S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill in the hands of Cobie Smulders, better known as How I Met Your Mother's Robin Scherbatsky. Additionally, S.H.I.E.L.D. fan favorite Phil Coulson (Thor, The Avengers) is a starring player on the CBS comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine.
And then there are the one timers: Modern Family star Ty Burrell in The Incredible Hulk, 2 Broke Girls' Kat Dennings in Thor, and sitcom icon Garry Shandling in Iron Man 2. But who else can Disney pull from your weeknight lineup to join the Marvel Universe?
Danny Pudi (Community's Abed Nadir) as Ultron
Louis CK (of Louie) as Baron Zemo
Jemima Kirke (Girls' Jessa) as Enchantress
And the tour de force...
Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson) as Ivan Petrovich
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[Photo Credits: Marvel, NBC, FX, HBO]
February 08, 2002 2:07pm EST
Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein) is down and out in California when he runs into his old friend Marcus Ridley (LL Cool J) driving a pricey sports car and dripping in gold jewelry. As it turns out Ridley is making it big in an international Rollerball league and convinces Cross to do the same. Fast-forward four months into the future and Jonathan has become one of the biggest and most sought-after Rollerball stars. He's rich drives a nice car and is having a steamy relationship with his teammate Aurora (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos). From the looks of it Rollerball is a serious moneymaking operation: We are constantly shown million of dollars worth of currency going through money counters at record speed. And by the instant ratings numbers that appear on the organizer's monitors it's obvious that Rollerball fever has taken over the world. When conniving Rollerball creator Petrovich (Jean Reno) discovers that the ratings go through the roof when blood gets spilled things start to go very wrong. Cross and his teammates suddenly find themselves playing for their lives.
Chris Klein (American Pie 2) is Jonathan Cross the all-American Rollerball player but he underplays the role. You would expect a character in his position to have a certain amount of charisma and charm but Klein's delivery is a bit deadpan and lacking in attitude. His best pal Marcus Ridley is played by LL Cool J (Kingdom Come) who manages to add a bit of dimension to his otherwise underdeveloped character. In fact he may have been better suited for the lead. The only good part about model-turned-actress Rebecca Romijn-Stamos' (X-Men) role is that it didn't incorporate too many lines. Sounding like Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle you have to wonder what she was thinking with that accent which (contrary to the actress' recent statement on MTV that a bad accent is not necessarily bad acting) certainly is part of the acting and certainly is bad. Jean Reno (Just Visiting) was probably the most interesting character. He was all bad without a single redeeming quality which he at least pulled off with flair whether it was in his delivery or his elaborate fur coats.
Rollerball is director John McTiernan's (The Thomas Crown Affair) take on the 1975 classic directed by Norman Jewison. There is definitely enough action in Rollerball to keep viewers interested but the major problems lies within the characters' development-there isn't any. So while the action may keep your eyeballs glued to the screen momentarily you will find yourself indifferent to the characters their plight and what happens to them. Cross and Aurora's relationship for example is implied through one hastily done sex scene in the gym. Consequently when the evil Petrovich threatens to hurt her if Cross tries to leave the game we could care less because we don't really know her or how important she is to Cross. Being such an internationally renowned sport the accents which play a big part in the film are done too shoddily. The French accents go from Canadian to European within a sentence and that's only from the ones I could pick up. Who knows what other languages were massacred in the process?