First of all, Vinny the dog has replaced Brian in the opening credits. Weak.
A buzzing bee startles Quagmire and Peter causing them to shriek like a couple of scared girls. They notice that their shrieks sound kind of good, like maybe they could be singers. It actually sounds like one half of a barbershop quartet, but Family Guy couldn't do an episode like that, then they'd be blatantly ripping off a Simpsons episode.
Vinny is in his second episode. He's no Brian. Get rid of him, Family Guy.
Quagmire and Peter buy paper at Mort's store, prompting the tightwad owner to explain how he had experience managing Earth, Wind, Fire & Pollen back in the day. The duo decides to take Mort on as their manager.
Griffin & Quagmire's first performance is at a library. Their first song is about not being able to poop in public. After their performance, Mort books Griffin & Quagmire at the New England music festival. This time, their song is about putting butter on a Pop-Tart.
After the performance, a shady guy in a leather jacket promises he will pump up the careers of Griffin & Quagmire.
Peter abandons his family hoping to find great success on a road trip. He slowly develops a diva attitude, belittling Quagmire and worse, farting in a recording booth.
Meanwhile, the song lyrics continue to get more random. One talks about how a "waitress is prettier than my wife" and after that he will "kill his family with a knife." Another subject points out that you should never look at your mom and dad's private parts. Good advice.
During a live performance on Conan, Peter's guitar pick gets stuck. Of course, he screws around trying to find it rather than continuing the performance. This foolishness pisses off Quagmire, forcing a fallout between the duo. At the end of the episode, Peter goes back home and he even makes amends with Quagmire. Peter mentions that life after fame is always better. He goes back in the tour bus to grab his stuff. Instead, he apparently shoots himself in the face. We know Peter will be back in future episodes, hopefully the same can be said about Brian.
Where did he come from? A plaguing question that surrounds any grand figure, heroic or villainous, and one that has been answered in accord to many of cinema's favorite characters: Anakin Skywalker, Indiana Jones, Bilbo Baggins, Butch Cassidy, Charles Xavier, Mike Wazowski, and the Man With No Name. When it comes to fictional greats, we have the opportunity to travel back in time — via the good graces of the "prequel" — to engage in the origin stories that got these individuals set on their paths to glory. Or terror. Or small scale duplicity and tactless one-liners... that last one we can chalk up to the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, a comedic series centered around Bob Odenkirk's shifty lawyer Saul Goodman in his pre-Walter White era.
TheWrap reports that the idea, floated by the AMC network and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan a while back, is now officially a go. We're still not totally sold on the project — a bit nonplussed by the idea of anything thinking it might carry the Heisenberg torch — but we're at the very least curious. After all, with more of a humorous hue and a far different type of character at the forefront than Breaking Bad has, Better Call Saul is going to veer quite a bit from its predecessor. So what, exactly, will this show be like? Maybe some of the involved parties' past works might inform us...
The X-FilesMany Breaking Bad fans know that creator Gilligan is an X-Files vet, having written and produced the classic sci-fi series starting in its second season. We don't presume that Saul Goodman is going to have many run ins with alien life forms or the Cigarette Smoking Man, but maybe a week-to-week super-procedural, steeped in mystery and dense mythos, might best fit the amoral attorney. Roswell ain't too far away from Albuquerque, you know.
Mr. Show with Bob and DavidEveryone who knew Odenkirk before Breaking Bad knew him from Mr. Show, a sketch comedy series starring and created by the actor/writer and Arrested Development's David Cross. Although it sounds crazy, maybe Better Call Saul would work best in sketch comedy form. Each week, the lawyer could find himself in three or four distinct scenarios — defending junkies, spying on clients, poisoning schoolchildren — each erupting in wacky hijinks that only his doubletalk can solve. (Costarring David Cross as rival attorney and constant one-upper Mort Grandfellow.)
HancockWanna hear something weird? Vince Gilligan wrote Hancock. Remember Hancock? That Will Smith superhero movie you don't remember? Yeah, that one. Again, we're not expecting anything too mystical to come from BCS, but if we can dream, we wouldn't mind a comical series about a superpowered laywer... or better yet, a lawyer who defends superheroes. There've got to be an awful lot of property damage cases.
The Spectacular NowIf you've seen this summer's powerful coming of age drama, you know that supporting player Odenkirk can pack a wallop of sentiment. As the surrogate dad to main character Sutter (Miles Teller), he doles out reserved charm and somber advice... the sort of wisdom that you could almost see coming from Saul Goodman, if he were to have just a fraction more of a soul. But hey, Saul and a teenaged delinquent? A pseudo-father-and-son dramedy about a childless Goodman and the young meth head he takes under his wing... that could be the winner.
What version of Better Call Saul would you want to see?
More:'Breaking Bad' Recap: To'hajiilee'Breaking Bad' Recap: Rabid Dog'Breaking Bad' Recap: Confessions
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Woody Allen likes Louis C.K.. A lot. Not only was he enough of a fan of the standup comic's slice-of-life FX series Louie to cast him in Blue Jasmine (out July 26) Allen came to appreciate C.K.'s gifts so much while making the movie that he's determined to act opposite him in a future film. "He's clearly such a sweet guy," Allen told The New York Times. "I'd love to do a movie with him and me, a comedy. I'm looking for some idea that would work, for the two of us to do." Even more remarkable, he's also considering a return to standup, which he hasn't actively been involved in since the Jack Paar '60s.
Those who think of Woody Allen's latter-day efforts as primarily nostalgia pieces — crammed with moth-eaten euphemisms like "making love" to describe any sexual encounter and scored by his personal collection of crinkly jazz LPs — may be surprised that he'd find such a kindred spirit in Louis. Sure, there's a generation gap there. Allen is 77, and C.K. is 45. But Allen's shown an admirable openness when it comes to casting his recent films. Who would have thought that Owen Wilson would prove his jittery avatar in Midnight in Paris? Or that Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz would become his recurring, post-millennial muses? In the Times piece, Allen even says that his next project is "the perfect movie for Colin Firth and Emma Stone." If you stop to think on it, C.K. is really the perfect partner to complement Allen's vision. Certainly much more so than Larry David, whose neo-Borscht Belt attitude hearkens back to Allen's "earlier, funnier movies" but felt out of place amidst the existential musings of down-and-dirty Big Apple character study Whatever Works.
Louie is, at heart, a study of futility, which is also Allen's primary theme. Much of what C.K.'s FX alter ego experiences could be described as "Anhedonia," the original title of Annie Hall — a movie also about a standup comic dealing with a parade of exes and relationships that go nowhere. C.K. doesn't have many of Allen's iconic nebbish-isms, but the slice-of-New-York-life structure and sensibility of Louie makes each 20-minute episode feel like a mini Annie Hall. Whether dealing with rude fans or shallow showbiz types, Louie's trying to keep his head above the muck in a city he simultaneously loves and finds sullied and discover somewhere in it a lick of truth. Louie's failed sitcom pilot from Season 1 — complete with much younger, overly hot wife — feels like the lazy sketch show Woody works on in Manhattan. The Matthew Broderick-starring Godfather remake he's cast in could have been made by Alan Alda's "if it bends, it's funny!" producer in Crimes and Misdemeanors. You could argue there's no comedian today who bottles literacy and raunch the way Allen always has as effectively as Louis C.K..
Allen even went so far as to say that he's considering a return to standup. That's something he hasn't actively done in decades, though he does continue to perform live as a clarinetist with his jazz band. In the Times he said that he was inspired to give standup another try after seeing the 85-year-old Mort Sahl do it. "Since I saw him, I’ve just been toying with the idea," Allen said. "I would love to see if I could. Just getting together an hour of stuff to talk about would be a lot of work." It's hard not to think, though, that his working friendship with C.K., arguably the finest practioner of the form today, also encouraged this idea. Far from being a stodgy, talky filmmaker for old folks, Allen's always shown his capacity for synthesizing the new. But if he does return to standup, if he does star in a film opposite C.K., it'll show something else: that at 77 he's still a risktaker too. And we'll be the ones to share in the reward.
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A contestant on the French version of Survivor is dead. During the filming of a challenge in Cambodia on the first day of taping a new season — the 16th cycle of the long-running franchise – 25-year-old Gérald Babin suffered a heart attack. By the time he arrived at a Cambodian hospital, he was pronounced dead.
Unexpected Injury Forces ‘Survivor’ Player To Leave the Game
Called Koh-Lanta, after a region of Thailand, the French version of Survivor has never experienced such a tragedy before. After Babin's death, producers immediately scrapped filming the season and sent the contestants back to France.
In a statement, Koh-Lanta's network, TF1, said, “Gérald Babin, 25, a participant in the 16th season of Koh-Lanta died today of cardiac arrest during the first day of filming in Cambodia. … All their thoughts are with his parents, his sister, his girlfriend and his family. It was immediately decided to stop filming and repatriate as soon as possible all the teams in Paris.”
There have been a number of close calls on the American version of Survivor, hosted by Jeff Probst. On the second iteration of the series, Survivor: The Australian Outback, contestant Michael Skupin lost consciousness after standing over a fire and inhaling the smoke, causing him to collapse into the flames and burn his hands. He has evacuated by helicopter for treatment of his injuries and forfeited his spot on the show. There's never been a fatality, though. The Bulgarian version of Survivor, however, did suffer a fatality in 2009.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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Because nothing sells a product quite like a frown, Grumpy Cat (who really needs no introduction, but here, if you insist) has been named the newest face of Friskies. And if TMZ is to be believed, she is being more than a little high maintenance about it.
To get to her first Friskies photo shoot, which took place in Austin, Texas, Grumpy was flown to the Lone Star state first class. Then, TMZ reports, she feasted on an endless supply of Friskies, bottled water, and filet mignon. To prep for her close-up, Grumpy was brushed to fluffy perfection by her own, full-time assistant. And then, when shooting was done for the day, Grumpy had her chauffeur drive her back to her four-diamond hotel where she could take a quick cat nap in her own king-sized bed.
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And to think, my cat is satisfied with a half-eaten can of tuna and a sunny, cat-sized spot on the tile floor.
Grumpy's newly discovered diva antics got us thinking: What crazy demands would our other favorite Internet cats be wont to make. The possibilities are endless.
Spaghetti Cat obviously needs a bottomless bowl of the pasta. Only handmade noodles flown in from Italy will do, and they must be served in a Waterford crystal bowl. Allowances must also be made for Spaghetti Cat's video entourage, which follows him everywhere to document his life for The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet.
Maru, the Japanese box-loving Scottish Fold, demands six dozen cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes. We're talking large boxes, small boxes, skinny boxes, boxes with lids, boxes with both ends open. Oh, and all boxes must be covered in gold leaf. Maru also requires at a patch of sunlight no smaller than 36 square feet.
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Shironeko, aka Basket Cat, is too lazy to write up his own list of demands. But his second assistant reports that he won't show up to a photo shoot for less than 24 baskets a day — he needs a new basket for each hour. Oh, and a crown. Shironeko wants a crown... made out of heirloom cherry tomatoes.
Tiny Lil Bub, who is now officially a movie star — no really, a documentary about the bug-eyed feline premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival — calls for Beluga caviar, to be fed to him one roe egg at a time (because his lil tongue is too small to handle more than one) by his own personal spoon feeder. And he demands a silver — no, platinum — spoon.
But Henri, Le Chat Noir, doesn't need anything. C'est la vie. C'est la mort.
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[Photo Credit: Tardthegrumpycat.tumblr]
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A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.
One is understandably wary of a movie like The Intouchables after years of heart-tugging relationships between people of different socioeconomic backgrounds who learn important life lessons from each other. A young man from the projects shows up to interview for a job he's not qualified for merely so he can apply for benefits. The job is to take care of a rich paraplegic who turns out to like the kid's doesn't-give-a-crap style and hires him despite his lack of qualifications. I am guilty of this knee-jerk suspicion although not without reason but I'm always thrilled to be disproven. Thankfully I was very wrong about The Intouchables.
Indeed all of those things happen in the movie but the skill of the cast and crew elevate what could be even the cheesiest moments. Driss (Omar Sy) is a young Senegalese man from the projects. He's got a record and he's totally unqualified to take care of a paraplegic; he doesn't even want the job but Philippe (François Cluzet) is tired of caretakers who feel pity for him. Driss doesn't feel sorry for anyone including himself. Later in the movie Driss bluntly tells Philippe he'd have shot himself had he been similarly paralyzed. Philippe dryly retorts "That's not easy in my condition." Driss doesn't have a lot of options so staying in a luxurious house for a few weeks while he auditions for a job is a pretty attractive situation.
At first this set-up is played for humor. Driss is so happy to have his own bathtub that he's busy blasting music through his Dr. Dre headphones to hear Philippe over the baby monitor he's supposed to have near him at all times. Driss relentlessly hits on Philippe's assistant Magalie played by Audrey Fleurot. He refuses to attend to Philippe's more personal needs and is uncomfortable even dressing him.
This dynamic changes forever when Philippe is seized with phantom pains one night. Driss has no problem asking what most of the people in Philippe's life wouldn't dare like whether or not Philippe can have sex. He shares joints with Philippe placing them gently between the other man's lips and instructing him on how to inhale correctly; they help him relax when the pain and panic seizes him at night. He takes the dust cloth off the fancy Porsche in the driveway and drives Philippe around in that rather than his wheelchair-friendly van; at first it's because he's embarrassed to be seen in the van and because hell it's a Porsche. But it becomes a symbol of Driss' disregard for what's "proper" for Philippe; it might not be as safe as his van but it's fun for them both.
Inspired by the documentary A La Vie A La Mort this French crowd-pleaser snagged five César award nominations and Omar Sy won Best Actor over The Artist's Jean Dujardin. The writers and filmmakers Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache took some small liberties with the real life story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and his friend and former caretaker Abdel Sellou. Omar Sy is obviously not Moroccan as Abdel is but the filmmakers had worked with him before; he'd grown up in the Parisian projects and they felt that "the background is less important than the personality type in this kind of story." Toledano and Nakache met with di Borgo and consulted with him via email as well.
The dynamic between Sy and Cluzet is spot on and the movie's direction and cinematography lends it an art house feel that in addition to the actors' proficiency keeps it from veering into overly sentimental territory. There are moments that feel off like when Driss comically pops his eyes out at the sight of his very own bathtub but once the movie hits its stride the characters gather meat and dimension.
Brace yourself for the coming adaptation with Colin Firth as Philippe and Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) to direct. Meanwhile I predict we'll be seeing more of The Intouchables this Oscar season.