Freaks and Geeks has a unique position in the world of cult television. No other show (be it cult or huge hit) can boast the sheer magnitude its actors, creators, and even bit players have had in the entertainment world following the demise of the little program.
Take, for instance, this past month at the movies. Three big films each featured one of the three main freaks. 127 Hours with James Franco, The Green Hornet with Seth Rogen and Gulliver’s Travels with Jason Segel. And they can all be traced back to that one little TV show about a high school in Michigan.
No other show can attest to that level of saturation post-ending. None of the four main cast members of Seinfeld have come close. Arrested Development might make it if Jason Bateman were to suddenly become uber-famous, and does anyone remember what happened to the kids from The Wonder Years? Of course not.
Perhaps the most consistent F&G alum, Rogen has neatly divided his post-TV career into three (respectable) categories: acting, writing and voice work. While his acting has been most prominent, he often writes his own material, having penned the screenplays for Superbad, Pineapple Express and The Green Hornet. His distinctive voice has also been utilized in many childrens movies and coming later this year he can be heard as the titular alien in Paul.
The insane one. After F&G, what hasn’t James Franco done? No, seriously. What hasn’t he done? He’s done high brow, low brow, enrolled in four graduate-level degrees (at the same time), had a book published and even had a recurring part on General Hospital. He’s delivered comic gold in Pineapple Express, played moody men in Tristan and Isolde and Annapolis, garnered heaps of critical praise with Milk, 127 Hours and Howl and for the hell of it made a documentary about SNL. Appear in drag on the cover of a magazine? Yep. Next up, he’ll be directing adaptations of Cormac McCarthy and Faulkner.
After F&G, Segel has taken the cautiously adventurous road. He’s been a main character on How I Met Your Mother for the past six seasons, but in between he has made several films expanding his career beyond sitcom territory. We saw his penis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which he wrote as well) and is currently writing and starring in the next Muppet Movie.
I often wondered what happened to my beloved Linda Cardellini. Her portrayal of Lindsay Weir was simply astounding and that moment when she walked in with that dress? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, I thought she simply disappeared for a while. Sure, she was in Grandma's Boy but I hadn't seen her in anything really worthy of her presence. It was something like three years after seeing it that I realizes she was in Scooby Doo (Ruh Roh) and then I sat down to watch TV with my mother one evening several years ago when in walked Miss Weir as a nurse on ER. Needless to say, it was good to have her back. And this picture is just here because, why not?
John Francis Daley
The other main character who seemed to fall off the face of the Earth post-F&G turned out to be hiding in plain sight. Daley has been a recurring character on Bones for several years now, playing the baby faced psychologist (can he ever really play anything else?). He had the memorable young waiter-in-training role in Waiting and also plays in the band Dayplayer. They’re not too bad. His next big thing is Horrible Bosses, a Warner Bros. comedy that he wrote. The film stars Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and I shit you not, The Old Spice Guy. My how our geeks have grown.
I'll be honest, I didn't enjoy the Kim stories on F&G. That's not to say that I don't enjoy Phillips, I just never could get into her character. But luckily Phillips has found success recently on Cougar Town, much to everyone's surprise (the show, not Phillips success of course).
Seemingly appearing in any given sitcom at any given time, Levine has been busy since his F&G days but unfortunately nothing has been able to stick. He played a Basterd in Inglorious Basterds, which was his most visible role, but also in a bit of meta-casting, he played another high-schooler in Not Another Teen Movie. A gifted actor, we hope to see more of him in the future.
The biggest surprise of them all. Who would’ve thought Martin Starr, good old Bill Haverchuck, would end up in some of the best comedies of the past decade? His look in F&G was so iconic that many people don’t make the connection when they see him in Superbad or Knocked Up. Its easier to see in Adventureland or Party Down, where he is basically playing Haverchuck with more balls each time, but his distinct delivery and incredible sense of humor elevate him above those around him. Also - check out this picture of him and fellow F&G alum (and Party Down too) Lizzy Caplan. Get'em Haverchuck!
And it doesn't even end there. Several bit players from F&G have etched their own place in the entertainment community. Here are five of the most prominent:
Shia Labeouf played the original mascot whose injury gave Sam the chance to show off. Now he's off on Wall Street and transforming all over the place.
Ben Foster was the mentally handicapped character Eli. He stars along with Jason Statham in The Mechanic later this month.
David Krumholtz was Neal's cousin in F&G, appearing in only one episode. But he later starred in over 100 episodes of Numb3rs. Not too shabby.
Rashida Jones played one of Kim's tough friends. Now she's off stealing hearts in Parks and Recreation, The Office, I Love You, Man, and basically anything she's appears in.
Jason Schwartzman sported one hell of a haircut in F&G. This year alone he appeared in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Bored to Death, two of the funniest comedies from 2010.
Lizzy Caplan, oh Lizzy Caplan. Even in F&G she was cute and it just continued and continued through Party Down, True Blood, Cloverfield, and Mean Girls.
The Julie & Julia star has been feted for her outstanding career achievements.
She joins an elite 112-year-old club that includes theatre impresario Stephen Sondheim, directors Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese, and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.
The announcement was made by Academy officials on Monday (12Apr10) and Streep admits she is overwhelmed by the accolade.
She tells the Associated Press, "I have to say that I was stunned, and when they sent me the roster of people in the Academy I just burst into tears. I couldn't believe that I'd be even allowed in the kitchen."
Conductor James Levine has also been honoured by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, in a special category recognising "Americans of great distinction in the arts whose work falls outside the traditional departments" of music composition, literature and art.
Streep and Levine will be formally inducted in a ceremony next month (May10) in New York.
Jonathan Levine has come on to direct Mandate Pictures' now untitled cancer comedy, which will star James McAvoy and Seth Rogen. Also joining the film is Anna Kendrick, a recent Golden Globe nominee for her turn in Up in the Air.
The project, previously titled I'm With Cancer, was to be directed by Nicole Holofcener, who dropped out in November. Levine's credits include The Wackness and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.
Principal photography starts next month in Vancouver. Mandate International will commence pre-sales in Berlin in February.
Kendrick will play a psychologist assigned to a young man (McAvoy) who learns he has cancer. The character is based on the real experiences of screenwriter Will Reiser.
Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Ben Karlin are producing. Reiser is executive producing along with Mandate president Nathan Kahane. Mandate's Tendo Nagenda is co-producing.
The Independent Spirit Awards kicked off the night with prizes going out to James Franco and Penelope Cruz for their supporting roles in Milk and Vicky Cristina Barcelona respectively.
Click Here: Watch Spirit Awards Live & Uncut
The night ended with The Wrestler and Mickey Rourke taking took top honors for best film and lead actor. Melissa Leo, who some may have seen as the under dog, rounded out the night winning best female lead for her performance in Frozen River.
The complete list of nominations & winners:
Rachel Getting Married
Wendy and Lucy
The Wrestler -- WINNER!
Ramin Bahrani, Chop Shop
Jonathan Demme, Rachel Getting Married
Lance Hammer, Ballast
Courtney Hunt, Frozen River
Thomas McCarthy, The Visitor -- WINNER!
Best First Feature
Medicine for Melancholy
Sangre de Mi Sangre
Synecdoche, New York -- WINNER!
John Cassavetes Award
In Search of a Midnight Kiss -- WINNER!
Prince of Broadway
Turn the River
Best First Screenplay
Dustin Lance Black, Milk -- WINNER!
Lance Hammer, Ballast
Courtney Hunt, Frozen River
Jonathan Levine, The Wackness
Jenny Lumet, Rachel Getting Married
Woody Allen, Vicky Christina Barcelona -- WINNER!
Anna Fleck and Ryan Boden, Sugar
Charlie Kaufman, Synecdoche, New York
Howard A. Rodman, Savage Grace
Christopher Zalla, Sangre de Mi Sangre
Best Female Lead
Summer Bishil, Towelhead
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Melissa Leo, Frozen River -- WINNER!
Tarra Riggs, Ballast
Michelle Williams, Wendy and Lucy
Best Male Lead
Javier Bardem, Vicky Christina Barcelona
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Sean Penn, Milk
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler -- WINNER!
Best Supporting Female
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona -- WINNER!
Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married
Rosie Perez, The Take
Misty Upham, Frozen River
Debra Winger, Rachel Getting Married
Best Supporting Male
James Franco, Milk -- WINNER!
Anthony Mackie, The Hurt Locker
Charlie McDermott, Frozen River
JimMyron Ross, Ballast
Haaz Sleiman, The Visitor
Maryse Alberti, The Wrestler -- WINNER!
Lol Crowley, Ballast
James Laxton, Medicine for Melancholy
Harris Savides, Milk
Michael Simmonds, Chop Shop
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Encounters at the End of the World
Man on Wire -- WINNER!
The Order of Myths
Up the Yangtze
Best Foreign Film
The Class (France) -- WINNER!
Secret of the Grain (France)
Silent Light (Mexico/France/Netherlands/Germany)
Robert Altman Award: (Given to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast)
Synecdoche, New York
Director: Charlie Kaufman Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy
Ensemble Cast: Hope Davis, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, Tom Noonan, Dianne Wiest, Michelle Williams
Someone to Watch Award
Barry Jenkins, Medicine for Melancholy
Nina Paley, Sita Sings the Blues
Lynn Shelton, My Effortless Brilliance -- WINNER!
Truer Than Fiction Award
Margaret Brown, The Order of Myths -- The WINNER!
Sacha Gervasi, Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Darius Marder, Loot
Lars Knudsen and Joy Van Hoy, Tireless Mountain and I'll Come Running
Jason Orans, Goodbye Solo and Year of the Fish
Heather Rae, Frozen River and Ibid -- WINNER!
MORE NEWS: Is It Puppy Love for 'Slumdog' Stars?
Britney Spears' custody case has just suffered another blow--her lawyer is on the verge of quitting.
The singer is currently embroiled in a bitter battle with her ex-husband Kevin Federline over the care of their two sons Sean Preston, 2, and 1-year-old Jayden James.
According to TMZ.com, Spears' lawyer Laura Wasser will submit legal papers formally withdrawing as her attorney on Monday.
Reports suggest Spears was a "problem client" who failed to listen to Wasser's advice.
The Web site reports Spears' new lawyer will be high-profile attorney Marci Levine.
The singer and her ex were expected to appear at a Los Angeles court on Monday to hear Federline's case for removing the children from Spears' care.
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Meet Chuck Levine (Sandler) and Larry Valentine (Kevin James) two devoted--and completely heterosexual--New York firefighters who’ve had a long career watching each other’s backs. So naturally when salt-of-the-earth widower Larry has a hard time trying to get the proper life insurance benefits for his two young kids he asks his best friend a huge favor: to be his domestic partner on paper to get the benefits. No big deal right? Riiight. Needless to say the “arrangement” comes under fire when a snippy spot-checking bureaucrat (Steve Buscemi) becomes suspicious that they are committing fraud. Suddenly Chuck and Larry are all over the news much to the chagrin of their firefighting colleagues. They hire a hotshot lawyer (Jessica Biel) who lights Chuck’s fire to look into the case. But Chuck and Larry have to pretend to be love-struck newlyweds in the meantime fumbling through a charade of domestic bliss under one roof--and along the way find the meaning of happiness love family and all the rest as well. Adam Sandler is up to his old tricks and he’s dragging Kevin James into it this time. Sandler’s usual juvenile smart-alecky leading man has in turns been endearing (50 First Dates) and hilarious (Happy Gilmore). But in Chuck and Larry he just grates--creating his own personal la-la land where he gets to play a womanizer who can bed four totally hot women at the same time--and then feel up a scantily clad Jessica Biel. Please. I covet the days Sandler starred in movies like Punch-Drunk Love. James comes off much better than Sandler as the sweet Larry a guy having a tough time since his wife died. The actor/comedian has perfected the teddy-bear persona who's still a little rough around the edges. In fact if James were the one to hook up with the unbelievably fetching Ms. Biel you’d totally believe it. For her part Biel is cute and fun just like she’s supposed to be. Of course all of Sandler’s cronies make appearances including Rob Schneider as an Asian wedding chapel owner. At least he doesn’t say “You can do it!” Standing out is Ving Rhames as a badass firefighter who comes out of the closet because of Chuck and Larry’s love and shakes his bare tail-feather in more ways than one. With Chuck and Larry director Dennis Dugan a longtime Adam Sandler collaborator (Happy Gilmore; Big Daddy) knows how to create those comedic Sandler set pieces. Take for example the scene in which Chuck and Larry have to save a grossly obese man from a burning building only to watch him tumble down a flight of stairs with the firefighters entangled landing on top of Chuck and then passing gas. Ah the farting fat man...I guess if it floats your boat. There are other more genuinely funny moments in Chuck and Larry but what a Sandler comedy prides itself most on is that at its core there is a beating heart. Chuck and Larry certainly has one making very valid points about homophobia gay rights and the meaning of true friendship but somehow when everyone is going through their own self-realizations in Chuck and Larry’s climactic big scene it feels forced. Oh well. Chuck and Larry is still a formula that has worked well for Sandler time and time again bringing him untold millions. Why should he worry if it isn't his best effort?
A billionaire TV producer (Robert Mammone) has a great idea for a reality show that he wants to put on the Internet and his goal is to beat the 40 million Super Bowl audience. He has compiled a crack team of young hip and immoral tech geeks directed by Goldman (Rick Hoffman) and puts cameras throughout a remote island where former prisoners are going to kill each other while audiences watch after shelling out the pay-per-view fee. The location is done on a remote secret island and the death row prisoners are bought from prisons around the world with the promise that the survivor gets to walk free. Among the contestants are a rogue Aussie named McStarley (Vinnie Jones) a martial arts expert (Masa Yamaguchi) a husband-and-wife team (Manu Bennett and Dasi Ruz) a monstrous killer who doesn't do much more than grunt (Nathan Jones) and others known only as The Italian The German and other monikers quickly forgotten. Enter the sole American Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) who's in a South American prison for some obscure reason and is recognized on TV by his wife (Madeleine West) who tries to save him. However it looks like Conrad is pretty good at helping himself. Don't expect the acting to be much more evolved than what could be seen among the World Wrestling Entertainment superstars especially since many of them were plucked from the ring to star in this morality tale. But Austin (who had in a strong cameo in Adam Sandler's Longest Yard) proves he has a sense of humor as well as strength. Vinnie Jones is ridiculously over-the-top as the Aussie who's the hand-picked winner of this game shown setting up alliances Survivor style only to turn on them later. The supporting cast are refreshingly entertaining but one-note caricatures both in the contest and running the contest. It's obvious that they aren't going to be around long but the actors do milk their tiny roles for every bit of attention they can get. Rick Hoffman as the brilliant camera mastermind of the project is both whiny sniveling and mean-spirited so when he joins some of the rest of the crew and suddenly develops a backbone and a conscience he ends up stealing the movie with his acerbic humor. But it's the understated American hero Conrad who holds a mirror up to the people who like to watch this stuff. Director Scott Wiper who co-wrote this story has also acted in similar movies like this (A Better Way to Die). It’s obvious he knows what he’s doing with The Condemned and develops a sense of voyeuristic angst like those of us who can't keep our eyes off a train wreck. Like the darkly subversive Belgian film Man Bites Dog the camera crew remains safely distant and remote until the reality directly involves them. Then the crew wonders "What the hell are we doing?" while the audience might be thinking "What the hell are we watching?" Much like Series 7: The Contenders Rollerball and other movies which show a dark and bloody near future this kind of reality doesn't seem too far away and maybe proves that movies which provide this type of gladiator spectacle target a certain segment of the human population who need to blow off steam.
The 59th Venice Film Festival will kick off its venue with the long-awaited Frida, a biopic about the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, starring Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas. Other films in competition include Steven Soderbergh's newest, Full Frontal, and Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition, starring Tom Hanks, as well as Between Strangers, the directorial debut of Edoardo Ponti, the 29-year-old son of Sophia Loren, who also stars in the film. Those celebrities scheduled to attend include Hayek, Loren, Hanks and Julianne Moore with her film The Hours. The festival runs Aug. 29 to Sept 8.
Not to be outdone by another pop diva, Celine Dion is jumping on the fragrance-line bandwagon. (J.Lo, watch out.) Dion will be creating a perfume with Coty Inc., which also produces Jovan and Stetson fragrances, and the scent should be in stores in early 2003. Jennifer Lopez's fragrance, Glow, is ready to hit the market soon.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell may have to wait until October before learning if she has beaten an appeal by the British tabloid Daily Mirror, which was ordered in March to pay her damages of $5,493 for breach of confidence and invasion of privacy. Why the wait? The Court of Appeal in London is going on a summer break and won't be back until October. Campbell's lawsuit stems from the newspaper reporting that she was attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' 25th annual Kennedy Center Honors will go to an eclectic group that includes Elizabeth Taylor, James Earl Jones, Chita Rivera and musicians Paul McCartney and James Levine. The honorees will be received at the White House Dec. 8 before attending the Honors Gala event at the Kennedy Center. CBS will air the two-hour special later in December.
Director Jon Amiel (Entrapment) is in negotiations to remake the 1966 thriller Seconds, which was directed by the late John Frankenheimer and starred the late Rock Hudson. Variety reports the film centers on a man who trades his life for a new identity and gets more than he bargained for. Sounds thoroughly Twilight Zone-ish.
HBO will be releasing its first feature film in October with Real Women Have Curves, the winner of this year's audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. Based on Josefina Lopez's autobiographical play, the film takes a look at a first-generation Mexican-American woman who lives in East Los Angeles and tries to balance her ambitions and her cultural heritage.
NBC is bringing back the old in a brand-new way. The Rerun Show, which airs this Thursday at 9:30 p.m., has an ensemble cast re-enacting storylines from such sitcoms as Diff'rent Strokes, The Partridge Family, One Day at a Time and Bewitched. The episodes run shortened, yet word-for-word, as the actors impersonate the original sitcom stars--and the absurdity of it all isn't lost. Executive Producer David Salzman told The Associated Press, "If you can do it with Shakespeare, why can't we have fun with these shows?" Why, indeed.