Today is just filled with news about the possibility of hyperextending television series. I just finished reporting on one of my favorite shows that is in danger of going on past its due, and now I'm forced to bring up another: 30 Rock.
Lorne Michaels recently said that, although he "can't imagine the show going on without Alec Baldwin" he doesn't intend to end it anytime soon. Baldwin stated that he intends to leave the show after the upcoming sixth season, which many fans (and Baldwin himself) assumed would bring an end to the series entirely. Michaels feels no such way, however, and intends to continue 30 Rock for seasons to come.
30 Rock was, for its first three seasons, remarkably funny, interesting and well-written. Although I'd never jump off the bandwagon entirely, I will say that Seasons 4 and 5 did not live up to the quality in which the show once reveled. However, they were still acceptable, due in large to Jack Donaghy's (Baldwin) mammoth prominence, as well as his relationship with Tina Fey's Liz Lemon (which is the show's lifeblood). To continue the show without Jack would be to turn the show into something it is not. Since the first episode, the show was about Liz and Jack: we watched an antagonistic rivalry grow organically into a heartfelt, codependent friendship. So, without one component of this primary drive of the series, we've just got a lot of this. And don't get me wrong: that's hilarious. But is it enough to stay invested? Yeah, more or less. I know I'll keep watching. But that's not the point! Oh, what's the use. Do what you will, NBC. I'm forever a slave to your flash cuts and rapid-fire celebrity jabs.
Beverly passed away of natural causes on 15 July (11) at the Motion Picture and Television Fund hospital in Los Angeles.
She launched her career in Yiddish theatre and films, including Green Fields and The Light Ahead, before branching into Hollywood with roles in movies such as Black Magic with Charlie Chan and the musical Stairway for a Star.
She was the first wife of On the Waterfront star Lee J. Cobb, who she wed in 1940. The couple later divorced in the 1950s.
Beverly is survived by her actress daughter Julie Cobb, who was once married to actor James Cromwell, and her granddaughter, Nancy Drew star Rosemary Morgan.
Following the Valentine's Day model of picking up every recognizable star under the sun, it's just been announced that Chace Crawford has joined What to Expect When You’re Expecting. And since food trucks are an obvious fad that are here to stay, he’ll have one!
In the movie, Crawford will strike up a turf war with a rival food truck owner, played by Anna Kendrick, that happens to be an old flame. That also happens to be Seriously, this just sounds like someone reached their hand into a grab bag and pulled out “food trucks,” “the girl from Up in the Air and Twilight,” and “Chace Crawford.” At least we know due to the subject of the film, Kendrick is gonna get knocked up. Maybe in a food truck? As they say, "when the food truck is a rocking, don’t bother knocking."
Crawford is the latest to join the film that already includes Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Brooklyn Decker, Rob Huebel, Chris Rock, Ed Helms, and Elizabeth Banks.
At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.
Mark Wahlberg likes to play tough characters, this much we know. So, it makes sense that he would team up with Allen Hughes to play an ex-cop turned private investigator who winds up getting in too deep with a crooked mayor. Broken City just screams Wahlberg. Which is why he’s signed on to produce and star in the movie. It just makes sense.
As I mentioned, Hughes will be directing the film, though he's normally one half of the Hughes Brothers with his twin Albert. They’re some pretty hardcore directors considering they're responsible for The Book of Eli. And they also got Tupac sent to jail back in the '90s. That’s pretty ballsy. Normally, I’d be a little underwhelmed at the thought of ANOTHER Wahlberg cop movie, but teaming with Hughes gives the movie a much-needed dose of potential.
Fantastic news everyone! Ricky Gervais’ new show Life’s Too Short will travel across the pond and air on HBO in 2012 after debuting on BBC2 later this year. How fantastic is this? In Gervais’ own words he describes it as “a combination of The Office and Extras.” But with a dwarf. In the faux-doc form, the show follows Warwick Davis who plays a fictionalized version of himself as a struggling actor. Gervais and collaborator Stephen Merchant will have small roles as themselves but each episode will feature a prominent guest star, similarly to Extras. So far, Johnny Depp, Sting, and Steve Carell have been announced. Does anyone have a fresh pair of pants I could borrow?
Here’s HBO's short teaser for the show:
UPDATE: Ron Howard's ambitions are expanding to include two more possible projects. The first is Spy Vs. Spy, an action-comedy derivative of the Antonio Prohias comic strip under development by David Koepp and writer John Kamps. The second project is a Frankenstein adaptation from the perspective of Igor, being written by Max Landis for Fox. These two films may join Howard's heavy workload which includes Rush and The Dark Tower. Tower might be in danger of termination, although Howard assures the public that he intends to complete the film.
EARLIER: The days of thunder have returned—with class. A biopic called Rush, about the rivalry between Formula One racing drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt, is now in the works. And to transform what could have been Fast and Furi-Six (that’s what they’ll call it) into a legitimate examination of human relationships in high-stakes competition, the project's creators enlisted director Ron Howard.
When I put it that way, it sounds boring. But Howard is capable of gold. Look at A Beautiful Mind—he made us care about a guy whose entire life was basically just math. Cocoon—he turned hyperactive geriatrics into a classic sci-fi. EdTV—okay, bad example. But if anyone can take a topic like auto racing—a theme more connoted with base animal mindlessness than any other—and explore the intricacies of humanity that probably exist behind it, it’s Howard.
Paul Greengrass, who gave us two thirds of the Bourne series, was originally attached to direct and the script comes from Howard’s Frost/Nixon collaborator, Peter Morgan.
Howard will also be working on The Dark Tower—an apocalyptic western starring the horrifyingly good actor Javier Bardem. So, after immortalizing the auto industry with this groundbreaking study of interrelationships, Howard is sending Anton Chigurh on an amble—or a mosey—through the desert to save his dying world. Awesome just got awesomer.
How charming is Tom Hanks? He can go on a Hispanic morning news show, doesn’t speak a word of Spanish, yet every knows what he’s talking about, he understands them, and he does the most entertaining weather report since that one guy brought in a traffic cone. He even dances and it doesn’t look that awkward! That’s charm and Tom Hanks is awesome. That is all folks.
Oh boy, it looks like Ben Affleck is attached to direct ANOTHER movie. I swear he gets more offers than the only cute stripper out on Route 49 (hey Sheila!).
Anyway, the latest is the remake of the French film Tell No One, which is itself an adaptation of the popular American mystery writer Harlen Coben’s book. Got that? It’s an American remake of a French adaptation of an American mystery book. This should wind up as well as Google translating something into Japanese, then Russian, then back to English. Scheduled to pen the script is Chris Terrio, who also wrote Affleck’s next project Argo.
The book follows a doctor whose wife is abducted by a serial killer, but he’s still under suspicion when more murders are found at the exact same spot where his wife was abducted. Throw in a little mystery about his wife possibly not being dead and you've got the movie. Which is too bad considering this will probably never happen.
Sure, why not. We all know Jeremy Renner is a busy man. This is a fact. Now he just seems to be messing with us. Not only is he doing his own version of a Steve McQueen biopic in addition to the four major features he’s starring in (the Bourne reboot, The Avengers, M:I 4, and one of the billion Hansel and Gretel fairy tale movies being made), he just added another movie to the list and he wants to star in it and produce it. Thankfully though, this one sounds interesting.
Slingshot follows the true story of a guy who bought a ‘91 BMW through Craigslist and then entered a professional rally race. And he came in third. That’s hardcore. Apparently, Renner is cognizant of how thin he's stretching himself and will only do one of the two films he is developing. So, it’ll either be this racing movie or the McQueen biopic. Start placing your bets but methinks the safe bet would be that he’ll do both. If anyone can find a way, Renner can.