For a while there, we could set our watches to Christopher Guest's directorial schedule. Every three-and-a-half years, the mockumentarian would release another gem: Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration. All dry and satirical, all celebratory of their shared performers' mile-deep pools of talent, all unique. But the pattern halted after the latter, Oscar-mocking picture, leaving us without a cinematic Guest gem since 2006. But if he's just been spending all that time developing his new HBO comedy Family Tree, then we can probably forgive him. Especially since he's roping in the comedy world's new prince, Chris O'Dowd.
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The below trailer for the film lands Irish O'Dowd among Guest's usual clan of American, British, and American-feigning-British heroes, including Michael McKean, Jim Piddock, Ed Begley, Jr., Don Lake, Bob Balaban, and (the powerhouse) Fred Willard. Will the rest of the troupe show up for the program? Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey? We can hope... but for now, we're just pleased with what we're already seeing:
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[Photo Credit: Ray Burmiston/HBO]
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After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
To those of you who’ve been holding out for a Blu-ray version of Footloose, have we got news for you. Namely, that there’s a Blu-Ray version of Footloose coming out on September 27th. The special release will include brand new special features, including interviews with Kevin Bacon and Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon’s original screen test, and two commentary tracks. The Blu-ray and DVD re-release is set to overlap with the release date of the remake on October 14. This way, when people see the trailer for the new film and are confused about why there’s an exploding bus, they can watch the warm and fuzzy original version. Let’s hear it for the cross-promotional opportunities!
Footloose is the story of a small midwestern town that bans dancing, and the young man (Bacon) who starts a revolution by dramatically dancing through an empty warehouse.
The special edition Footloose Blu-ray and DVD will be availible for purchase on September 27th. The new film Footloose, starring Kenny Wormald, is due out October 14th. In the meantime, here’s Bret from Flight of the Conchords doing his best Kevin Bacon impression below.
Here's the full list of specs for the release:
The FOOTLOOSE Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 6.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 2.0 Dolby Surround, Spanish Mono and Portuguese Mono with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The Deluxe Edition DVD is presented in widescreen with English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX, French 2.0 Dolby Surround and Spanish Mono with English, French and Spanish subtitles. Both discs include the following:
NEW Special Features:
- Let’s Dance! Kevin Bacon on Footloose
- From Bomont to the Big Apple: An Interview with Sarah Jessica Parker
- Remembering Willard
- Kevin Bacon’s Screen Test
- Kevin Bacon Costume Montage
Additional Special Features:
- Commentary by Kevin Bacon
- Commentary by producer Craig Zadan and writer Dean Pitchford
In addition to the above, the Blu-ray also includes:
- Footloose: A Modern Musical – Part 1
- Footloose: A Modern Musical – Part 2
- Footloose: Songs That Tell A Story
- Theatrical Trailer
Consideration follows the making of a small independent film Home for Purim the debut feature from director Jay Berman (Guest) about a Jewish family's turbulent reunion set in the 1940s. When Internet-generated rumors begin circulating that three of the film's stars--faded luminary Marilyn Hack (Catherine O'Hara) journeyman actor and former hot dog pitchman Victor Allan Miller (Harry Shearer) and ingénue Callie Webb (Parker Posey)--may be considered for golden statuettes award fever infects the entire production. Unit publicist Corey Taft (John Michael Higgins) talent agent Morley Orfkin (Eugene Levy) and producer Whitney Taylor Brown (Jennifer Coolidge) are all primed to milk this thing for as long as they can. Even Hollywood Now TV anchors Chuck Porter (Fred Willard) and Cindy Martin (Jane Lynch) pick up the buzz. As the hopeful Purim team careens toward the end of production and the upcoming award season tenuous relationships and brittle dreams play out in unexpected ways. The gang from Waiting for Guffman Best in Show and A Mighty Wind are all back and raring to go. Each actor once again comes up with their own unique character quirks and personalities--some of course more outrageous than others. Stand-outs in that department include Higgins as the uptight militaristic publicist Corey; Willard as the bombastic TV host with a “faux” Mohawk with the plastic Lynch smiling sweetly--and completely insincerely—by his side; and Coolidge as yet another dumb hat-wearing push-up bra-strapping blonde who delivers some of the funnier lines in the movie. But the real surprise is O'Hara as Marilyn the veteran actress who has all but given up on the dream of making it big—until she gets caught up in all the excitement and starts to believe again. It's actually more than a little heartbreaking to watch as O'Hara provides an emotional core amidst the sea of cut-ups. For Your Consideration might be director/writer Guest’s most introspective production to date. Done more as a straightforward film than a mockumentary this time Guest and co-writer Eugene Levy obviously felt it was time to make fun of the one thing they know a whole lot about. No dog shows small-town community theater or folk singing in this one. Yet in turning their satirical eye on themselves Guest Levy and the whole improvisational cast have created something that may hit a little too close to home and in doing so loses some of that hysterical exaggeration we’ve come to expect from their movies. Don't get me wrong its still hilarious much of the time but it's not quite as laugh-out-loud funny as say watching a panicked woman desperately trying to find her dog's favorite toy or an upbeat folk singer talk about her past as a porn star. While its subtle approach may disappoint some fans For Your Consideration is still a worthy—and somewhat refreshing—change of pace for the Guest crew.