Pity Mitch (John Francis Daley). It's his first day on the job at Shenanigans--a take on the nationwide-chain Bennigan's. The waiter who trains him Monty (Ryan Reynolds) is the same one he looks down on him. Monty shows Mitch the ropes as well as the cooks' genitalia. Sorry there's no other way to put it. See there's this game that the male employees play whereby...let's just say it's one of many unspeakable "games" they play that'll make you watch the film as you would a horror movie: your hands covering your eyes with just enough space between two fingers to catch a glimpse. And these are just Mitch's first moments on the job. Over the course of his shift he'll meet a twenty-something named Dean (Justin Long) who's trying to go straight--that is do something else with his life; a pushover (Patrick Benedict) whose timidity carries over to the urinal; and a veteran waitress (Alanna Ubach) who barks profane tirades about her patrons but not to them. People knock the MPAA's sense of humor but if they truly didn't have one this gross-out flick would be slapped with an NC-17 rating.
A film set in a restaurant falls squarely on the shoulders of its actors. Thankfully Reynolds and company make good carrying the film and its script of top-that one-liners and well shenanigans. Reynolds while now a bankable star in avenues other than comedy clearly has a knack for this stuff. His comedic timing and delivery are truly first-rate never more so than in Waiting excelling in the sheer vulgarity he has to shell out. Dodgeball's Long as Dean is downright earnest next to his buddy Monty but it's his role to defer to Reynolds' eloquent sarcasm. Of course this doesn't totally preclude him from joining in on the fun. He's just forced to take more barbs than he can dish out. Anna Faris (from the Scary Movie series) flies even more under the radar as Monty's ex the only one that stands in his way of proclaiming his prowess second to none. Also making pitch-perfect appearances as malevolent employees are fringe-sters Luis Guzman Chi McBride Dane Cook and Andy Milonakis with Anchorman's David Koechner as the manager.
Waiting is not the type of movie in which a separate director and writer is required--it's a package deal. That's because--and let's be honest here--a film set almost entirely in one location without a single stunt person or special effect doesn't need more than one voice. To this effect writer/director Rob McKittrick makes his first foray into each arena. Needless to say his directorial debut is almost a non-entity but that's more complementary than detrimental on a project like this. His stinging commentary on the other hand displays a comedic deftness that is worth keeping an eye on in the future especially if Waiting does any business at the box office.
Top Story: Hoppin' Mad
The war of words between actor-director Vincent Gallo and film critic Roger Ebert over Gallo's controversial and poorly received Cannes entry The Brown Bunny continues, but perhaps not with negative affect. After most critics panned the film at the fest, Gallo apologized and called his work "a disaster and a waste of time," according to Screen Daily. But back Stateside, Gallo went on the defensive, directing much of his ire towards film critic Roger Ebert and calling him a "fat pig." Ebert responded with, "It is true that I am fat, but one day I will be thin, and he will still be the director of The Brown Bunny." Ironically, though, all the controversy may be just the hook that gets the film a distribution deal. Ryan Werner, theatrical distribution head of Palm Pictures (which has not put out an offer for the film), told The Hollywood Reporter he thinks the film is "self-indulgent," but added, "Without a doubt, someone can release this movie and not spend an exorbitant amount of money."
Doctor Says Jackson Wasn't Faking It
A doctor confirmed that he indeed treated Michael Jackson May 21 in Indianapolis for a suspected anxiety attack the day the singer was to appear at a court-ordered deposition. AP reports Jackson's condition was described in an affidavit provided by Methodist Hospital emergency physician Dallas Peak after a federal judge sought proof of the 44-year-old pop star's illness when he failed to appear to give the deposition in a copyright lawsuit against him. Judge Philip Simon ordered Jackson to return to Indianapolis by June 13 to complete the deposition, and warned he will dock Jackson $1,000 per day for any delays, AP reports.
If your kids get the brilliant idea to set their pet fish free by flushing him down the toilet after seeing the animated film Finding Nemo, you should warn them it won't work. According to the JWC Environmental Company, which manufactures equipment used to process sewage, drainpipes do lead to the ocean but sewage first goes through powerful machines that "shred solids into tiny particles," The Associated Press reports. "In truth, no one would ever find Nemo and the movie would be called Grinding Nemo," the company told AP.
Maguire's Yo-Yo Diets
Tobey Maguire admitted to MTV News he has had to alter his diet in the last few years for the roles he has played. The actor bulked up to play the comic book webslinger in Spider-Man, then had to slim down for his role as a jockey in the upcoming Seabiscuit only to bulk up again for the Spidey sequel. "I'm a vegetarian," AP reports Maguire told MTV News. "It can be a little tedious sometimes. You're eating more than you'd like to eat or you're not working out as much as you'd like. But it's fine."
Costner's Buffalo Sculpture To Get Public Display
A 17-piece sculpture commissioned by actor-director Kevin Costner nine years ago is finally getting its public debut in South Dakota, AP reports. Known as "Tatanka--The Story of the Bison," the sculpture, created by artist Peggy Detmers, shows three Lakota hunters driving 14 buffalo over a cliff and will be the centerpiece to a $5 million tourist attraction, giving the history of the proud American Indian culture.
Luther Vandross' New Album Released
Plans are being made to release Luther Vandross' album Dance With My Father--without any publicity. The 52-year-old R&B singer finished recording the album before a debilitating stroke April 16 left him semi-conscious, AP reports. "We're just in effect releasing the music; the rest will take care of itself," J Records label founder Clive Davis, a legendary music mogul, told AP. "I think the music will tell its own story."
Role Call: Rick Schroeder Under Black Cloud, Jack Black is Rad
Former NYPD Blue Rick Schroeder will make his directing debut with the film Black Cloud, which will also star country singing legend Tim McGraw in his acting debut. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is an inspirational story about a Native American boxer facing personal challenges as he comes to terms with his heritage while fighting his way to a spot on the U.S. Olympic boxing team. McGraw will play a sheriff…Meanwhile, funny guy Jack Black is looking to produce and star in Rad Brad, Modern Warrior about the world's greatest video game player recruited to save the world from a rogue military faction that has developed a robot with superhuman destructive powers. That's got to be good.
Top Story: Grace Under Fire Creator Sues Show
Grace Under Fire creator Chuck Lorre sued production company Carsey-Werner-Mandabach Tuesday, claiming he was underpaid for his work on the ABC sitcom. The comedy, which focused on the "trailer trash" life of former standup comedian Brett Butler, aired from 1993 to 1998. According to the Los Angeles Superior Court suit, Lorre, who served as executive producer for the first season, lost millions of dollars because of payments made to cast and crew members who were sexually harassed and verbally abused by Butler. Although the lawsuit did not offer details of the alleged harassment and abuse but claims Lorre claims Carsey-Werner settled them by paying "substantial" settlements to those who complained. Butler's manager, Mark Burg, disputed the allegations against the actress and said she is still friends with people who worked on the show, Reuters reports.
Jack Osbourne Doing Well in Rehab
In an interview with US Weekly magazine, Kelly Osbourne said her brother Jack is in "good spirits" after admitting himself into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic last week. Kelly said she and her family had had no idea how serious her 17-year-old brother's problems were before he checked into the clinic on April 23. "He's doing very well and we're all very proud of him," she told the magazine. "He's in really good spirits."
Tom Arnold Sued for Sexual Harassment
Tom Arnold, former NBA player John Salley, and others involved with Fox Sports Network's Best Damn Sports Show Period are being sued for sexual harassment by a show hairstylist, the AP reports. Lisa Brescher's lawsuit alleged that Arnold and Salley made unwelcome sexual advances towards her. Brescher, 29, claims Arnold took her off her "lucrative Sunday shift" when she filed a sexual harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
T2 Goes High Definition
Artisan Entertainment and Microsoft Corp. unveiled Monday T2: Extreme DVD--the first DVD to be released especially for digital high-definition computer and television monitors. Reuters reports the two-disc DVD contains a standard DVD of Terminator 2: Judgment Day and a second that contains a high-definition version of the film to be played on a computer DVD-ROM drive and high-end monitors. The two-disc set hits stores on June 3.
Treasure Planet Finds Riches on Home Video
The home video debut of Disney's animated feature Treasure Planet sold more than 1 million VHS and DVD units on its first day in release. One major retailer who asked not to be identified told The Hollywood Reporter he believes Treasure Planet is likely to exceed its nearly $40 million domestic box office gross within the first week of release. The film, which cost a reported $140 to make, was a high-profile bust last year in theaters.
Madonna's America Life No. 1
Madonna's new album, American Life, opened at No. 1 on this week's Billboard charts. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album sold 241,000 units its first week in stores--a respectable amount but still far below the 420,000 units her last release, Music, sold three years ago. Rapper 50 Cent came in at No. 2 with Get Rich or Die Tryin', followed by Kelly Clarkson, who slipped to No. 3 with her debut album, Thankful.
Berry Makes "Beautiful People" List
X2: X-Men United star Halle Berry made People magazine's annual list of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World"-- for the seventh time. Also appearing in this year's issue are celebs Julia Roberts, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Ryan Seacrest, singers Norah Jones and Usher, and basketball player Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs. The issue hits newsstands Friday.
Role Call: Ben and Jen May Play Boston Sleuths, Turturro Joins Latest King Adaptation
Alan Ladd, who is currently producing An Unfinished Life starring Jennifer Lopez, told Variety the singer/actress may co-star with Ben Affleck in his next project, Gone, Baby, Gone for Paramount. Affleck is writing the script for the pic, in which he will also star and possibly direct. The pic revolves around two Boston private eyes who investigate a series of mysteries. Ladd said J.Lo would play Affleck's partner ... John Turturro is set to star opposite Johnny Depp in Columbia Pictures' Secret Window, Secret Garden for writer/director David Koepp. The pic is a thriller based on a Stephen King novella about a psychotic stranger stalking a writer he claims stole his story but changed the ending. Maria Bello, Timothy Hutton and Ving Rhames are in negotiations to join the cast.