Filmmaker Cedric Nicolas-Troyan has been tapped to direct the upcoming Snow White And The Huntsman sequel following Frank Darabont's exit last week (ends16Jan15). The Walking Dead creator Darabont recently parted ways with project bosses at Universal Pictures over creative differences, and now Nicolas-Troyan, who scored an Oscar nomination for his visual effects work on the original film, has signed on as his replacement.
The Huntsman will feature the return of Chris Hemsworth as the title character, while Charlize Theron will also be back as the villainous Ravenna.
The new story will not feature Snow White, previously played by actress Kristen Stewart, and instead will focus on the lives of the Huntsman and Ravenna before Snow White's arrival.
Into The Woods star Emily Blunt is reportedly in talks to join Hemsworth and Theron in the forthcoming movie, which is still set to open in April, 2016.
The first film was directed by Rupert Sanders, who hit headlines when he was caught kissing the movie's leading lady, Stewart, in a Los Angeles car park after the shoot had wrapped. The fling ended his marriage and her romance with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson.
The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont has been tapped to direct the Snow White And The Huntsman prequel. The film will see the return of Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. Both are set to reprise their roles as The Huntsman and villainous Ravenna, respectively.
Darabont replaces Rupert Sanders who directed the first film, but grabbed headlines when he was caught kissing the movie's leading lady, Kristen Stewart, in a Los Angeles car park after the shoot had wrapped. The fling ended his marriage and her romance with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson. Stewart is not expected to return as Snow White.
Snow White and the Huntsman 2 is slated to hit cinemas in April, 2016.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron are reprising their characters from Snow White & The Huntsman for a spin-off movie.
The two stars will be back as hero and villain without Snow White, who was portrayed by Kristen Stewart in the 2012 film. Moviemaker Frank Darabont is in talks to direct the new movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
The original grabbed the headlines when Stewart was caught smooching with director Rupert Sanders. The fling ended his marriage and her romance with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson.
Much to the dismay of Trekkers everywhere, Roberto Orci will be making his directorial debut with Star Trek 3. According to Variety, Orci, who wrote and produced the first two installments of the franchise with his business partner Alex Kurtzman, has been the frontrunner for some time now, although the names of the other directors being considered haven't been revealed. Orci's name has been in contention for the job since he and Kurtzman announced their split, so the news doesn't come as too much of a surprise. He's also been working on the script with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, while J.J. Abrams will serve as producer.
Star Trek is just the latest franchise to take a chance on a new director, as studios have recently made it a habit of picking independent or first-timer directors to helm blockbusters like The Amazing Spider Man 2 or Godzilla. In fact, many of the most expensive films ever made were headed by directors making their feature film debut. Considering Star Trek Into Darkness had a budget of $185 million, it seems as if Orci will soon join the ranks of first-time directors taking on a big-budget franchise. In honor of the major challenge that Orci has ahead of him, we've rounded up the six most expensive directorial debuts and how those directors handled them. That way, Trekkies can try and manage their expectations.
Robert Stromberg, Maleficent - $180 millionWalt Disney Studios
Though fantasy fixtures like David Yates and Tim Burton were rumored to helm the Disney prequel, the studio instead handed the reins to Stromberg, an Oscar-winning production designer. We'll have to wait until the film's May 30 release in order to see how well he handled the material, but from the trailers it's clear that the director's previous experience has resulted in visually stunning movie.
Bob Peterson, Up - $175 millionWalt Disney Co. via Everett Collection
Before he took the helm for Up, Peterson was best known for providing voices for some of Pixar's most icoinc characters. However, his directorial debut blew his other projects away, earning five Academy Award nominations — including Best Picture, making it only the second animated film to be nominated in that category — a win for Best Animated Feature, and opening the Cannes Film Festival. Oh, and it grossed over $700 million at the box office.
Carl Erik Rinsch, 47 Ronin - $175 millionUniversal Pictures via Everett Collection
Loosely based on the fictional account of 47 samurai who avenged their master's death, the big budget film was entrusted to Rinsch by Universal, despite his lack of feature film experience. Unfortunately for the studio, it wasn't a gamble that paid off, as the film's release date was pushed back several times, it received largely negative reviews and it failed to break even at the box office. Hopefully Paramount won't find themselves in the same situation with Star Trek.
Rupert Sanders, Snow White and the Huntsman - $170 millionUniversal Pictures via Everett Collection
Prior to Snow White and the Hunstman, Sanders had primarily directed commercials, although that didn't stop Universal from trusting him with this fantasy epic. The resulting film did well at the box office even though it received mostly mixed reviews, and was rumored to be getting a sequel, with Sanders taking the helm once again. However, both films were overshadowed by the tabloid frenzy that resulted from Sanders' affair with his leading lady, Kristen Stewart, so it doesn't look like that will be happening any time soon.
Joseph Kosinski, Tron: Legacy - $170 million Walt Disney Studios via Everett Collection
When Disney decided to make a sequel to Tron almost thirty years after the first film was released, they turned to Kosinski, who had become known for his work with computer generated effects in the commercials he directed. Though Tron: Legacy received mixed reviews, choosing Kosinski turned out to be a smart choice in the long run, as the film grossed over $400 million during its run in theaters.
Rich Moore, Wreck-It Ralph - $165 million Walt Disney Studios via Everett Collection
Before taking on Wreck-It Ralph, Moore made his name directing episodes of The Simpsons and Futurama, which made him a perfect fit for the goofy, self-referential film. It was a major hit for Disney, grossing over $400 million at the box office, winning the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature and earning an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Picture. Unfortunately, it lost the award to Brave, because nobody loves a Pixar movie more than the Academy.
The Croods, which just swept the weekend box office and knocked Oz The Great and Powerful off its pedestal, almost went into production without its adorable breakout star, Belt. Directors Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco sat down with Hollywood.com (video below) and explained how the lovable sloth-like creature who not only holds up Guy’s (Ryan Reynolds) pants, but consistently steals scenes with his giggle-inducing interjections was saved from the fate of prop-hood.
RELATED: 'The Croods' Belt and 14 Other Adorable Cartoon Creatures
“He’s interesting character because he really did start as a belt. He was a prop and at the last minute, we gave him a little rigging in case we need him to move around a little bit. We didn’t know he was going to become a big star in the movie the way he did,” says Sanders, who also voices the furry scene-stealer.
“Normally in Hollywood, it's just extras who try to become stars, but in animation even props become stars,” adds co-director De Micco, with a laugh.
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But it’s not just Belt who’s making audiences ooh and ahh, the film is full of imaginative creatures including whales that walk, over-sized rabbits, and even a rainbow sabre tooth tiger, all of whom pop up along the way as cavewoman Eep (Emma Stone), her caveman father Grug (Nicholas Cage), and their family follow Reynolds' Guy into the unknown.
Where did all these ideas come from? “Our tiny heads and our tiny brains,” says Sanders. “We invented this time period, called the Croodatious … We wanted the audience to explore the new world along with the Croods.” It allowed the filmmakers to create landscapes and creatures that only could have existed in their minds, resulting in a field of visual delights for movie goers.
RELATED: 'The Croods' Review
But what’s the hazard of having complete and total control over the creation of a multitude of new species? Extreme cuteness. “Even the ones that can eat you are cute,” says Sanders. That's certainly fine with us.
The Croods is in theaters now.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: Dreamworks Animation]
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As expected, The Croods bashed the competition — with a blunt club, most likely — at the box office this weekend. The family-friendly animated film, which stars voicework by Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, and Cloris Leachman, raked in $44.7 million dollars, a bit over the expected $40 million.
Also surpassing Oz The Great and Powerful this weekend (which has held court at the top spot since it was released March 8) is FilmDistrict's Olympus Has Fallen. The action flick, which chronicles the abduction of the President of the United States and consequent takeover of the nation's capital and stars Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, and Aaron Eckhart, made $30.5 million at the box office this weekend. This breaks the trend of R-rated action movies foundering at the box office this year.
Despite The Croods and Olympus' strong opening numbers, however, the overall box office is down 34% from the same weekend in 2012. Considering it was this same weekend last year that The Hunger Games burst onto the scene, the drop isn't so surprising. During its opening weekend in 2012, The Hunger Games set a record with its incredible $152.5 million debut.
Who else scored at the box office this weekend? Here are the top five:
1. The Croods: $44,700,000
2. Olympus Has Fallen: $30,500,000
3. Oz the Great and Powerful: $22,031,000 with $177,559,000 to date
4. The Call: $8,700,000 with $30,904,000 to date
5. Admission: $6,445,650
[Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animation]
The Croods will entertain smaller children with its bright colors and funky animal creations, but anyone looking for more than that will be sorely disappointed. The plot is, shall we say, crudely simple: A family of cave-dwellers must abandon their way of life when the tectonic plates shift, causing a ripple effect of natural disasters that threaten not just their cave but their lives. The future beckons, and the Croods' guide is Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a slightly more evolved human who knows about things like fire, shoes, and belts — specifically, a sloth named Belt who holds his pants up and acts as adorable comic relief. Guy also serves as a romantic interest for our heroine Eep (Emma Stone) and the burr in Daddy Crood's backside, an old school Neanderthal type with a low-hanging brow and a fiercely overprotective nature.
The push/pull dynamic of the Croods' fear of the future and desire to learn more about Guy's world (and also not die) is a decent foil to the more personal tension between our heroine Eep and her dad Grug (Nicolas Cage). In this world, sneaking out at night could lead to certain death, and the family has only survived so far because Grug is strong and cautious. "Fear keeps us alive. Never not be afraid," he tells his family, just in case we didn't get the point.
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Eep is at that shaky time in a teen girl's life where she's still her daddy's baby but also longs for sunshine and adventure and love. Guy's the one who urges them towards a mystical place called Tomorrow, and eventually Grug's gotta decide if he wants to keep up with the times or stay behind. The majority of the movie consists of the Croods mock-fighting with each other and chasing or being chased by large animals, strung together by hollow emotional interactions between the characters. The story itself has promise, but its execution is lacking.
The strangest thing about The Croods is that its talented voice cast is so bland as to be unrecognizable. The charming Stone is lost behind her character's muddy identity, which switches between a present-day teen and a Neanderthal with overpowering strength and the ability to walk and run on her hands and feet. Keener's character Ugga, Eep's mom, is nearly invisible, and mostly serves as a body to transport the obnoxious toddler Sandy. Cloris Leachman voices Gran, a character that allows writers/directors Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders (Space Chimps) to flex their Catskill-era comedy skills when it comes to jokes about mother-in-laws that are too mean or stubborn to die.
Thankfully, The Croods does offer viewers something to look at while the characters go on their interminable trip. Although the Croods and Guy themselves leave something to be desired in terms of design, the environments they travel through are inventive, wildly colorful, and fun. Granted, we're not talking about a ParaNorman-like attention to detail, but it's something to look at while you're biding your time. The animals they encounter are strangely cute, too, like the weird Corgi/alligator that Thunk Crood (Clark Duke) adopts and named Douglas. The 3D is fine and doesn't feel like too much of a rip-off, but it's not necessarily going to blow your mind. Still, there's something missing if the most interesting and memorable thing in your movie is a pink sloth that doubles as a belt. Hopefully, parents are ready to hear their little ones imitate Belt's "Dun dun DUNNNN!" and buy all the Belt-branded merchandise sure to follow.
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The 2013 nominees for the Writers Guild of America awards have been announced. Writers, you say? Yes, writers! The people that make words dance on pages to create the worlds in which our favorite shows flourish. Some people, when confronted with a brilliant episode of television automatically assume the credit for its general goodness should go to the actors. But what about the writers? They are often just as (if not more so) likely to be the reason you laughed, cried, gasped, guffawed, or squirmed in your seat during last week's episode of your favorite show.
These makers of televised scripts carry a good chunk of a show's success (and failure) on their shoulders, and leading the pack of successful witty wordsmiths? Lena Dunham and her HBO darling Girls. Overall, it seems as though cable dramas fared better than broadcast (which, duh), but on the flip-side, broadcast comedies outdid their cable brethren. Breaking Bad cleaned up in the episodic drama category, and comedy lady hero Amy Poehler got herself a nod for the episode of Parks and Recreation she penned, "The Debate."
Check out the full list of nominees below!
Boardwalk Empire written by Dave Flebotte, Diane Frolov, Chris Haddock, Rolin Jones, Howard Korder, Steve Kornacki, Andrew Schneider, David Stenn, Terence Winter; HBO
Breaking Bad written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC
Game of Thrones written by David Benioff, Bryan Cogman, George R. R. Martin, Vanessa Taylor, D.B. Weiss; HBO
Homeland written by Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Meredith Stiehm; Showtime
Mad Men written by Lisa Albert, Semi Chellas, Jason Grote, Jonathan Igla, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Brett Johnson, Janet Leahy, Victor Levin, Erin Levy, Frank Pierson, Michael Saltzman, Tom Smuts, Matthew Weiner; AMC
30 Rock written by Jack Burditt, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tom Ceraulo, Vali Chandrasekaran, Luke Del Tredici, Tina Fey, Lauren Gurganous, Matt Hubbard, Colleen McGuinness, Sam Means, Dylan Morgan, Nina Pedrad, John Riggi, Josh Siegel, Ron Weiner, Tracey Wigfield; NBC
Girls written by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Lena Dunham, Sarah Heyward, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Jenni Konner, Deborah Schoeneman, Dan Sterling; HBO
Louie written by Pamela Adlon, Vernon Chatman, Louis C.K.; FX
Modern Family written by Cindy Chupack, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Audra Sielaff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker; ABC
Parks and Recreation written by Megan Amram, Greg Daniels, Nate Dimeo, Katie Dippold, Daniel J. Goor, Norm Hiscock, Dave King, Greg Levine, Joe Mande, Aisha Muharrar, Nick Offerman, Chelsea Peretti, Amy Poehler, Alexandra Rushfield, Michael Schur, Mike Scully, Harris Wittels, Alan Yang; NBC
Girls written by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Lena Dunham, Sarah Heyward, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Jenni Konner, Deborah Schoeneman, Dan Sterling; HBO
The Mindy Project written by Ike Barinholtz, Jeremy Bronson, Linwood Boomer, Adam Countee, Harper Dill, Mindy Kaling, Chris McKenna, B.J. Novak, David Stassen, Matt Warburton; Fox
Nashville written by Wendy Calhoun, Jason George, David Gould, David Marshall Grant, Dee Johnson, Todd Ellis Kessler, Callie Khouri, Meredith Lavender, Nancy Miller, James Parriott, Liz Tigelaar, Marcie Ulin; ABC
The Newsroom written by Brendan Fehily, David Handelman, Cinque Henderson, Paul Redford, Ian Reichbach, Amy Rice, Aaron Sorkin, Gideon Yago; HBO
Veep written by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Tony Roche, Will Smith; HBO
“Buyout” (Breaking Bad), written by Gennifer Hutchison; AMC
"Dead Freight” (Breaking Bad), written by George Mastras; AMC
“Fifty-One” (Breaking Bad), written by Sam Catlin; AMC
“New Car Smell” (Homeland), written by Meredith Stiehm; Showtime
“The Other Woman” (Mad Men), written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner; AMC
“Say My Name” (Breaking Bad), written by Thomas Schnauz; AMC
“The Debate” (Parks and Recreation), written by Amy Poehler; NBC
“Episode 9” (Episodes), written by David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik; Showtime
“Leap Day” (30 Rock), written by Luke Del Tredici; NBC
“Little Bo Bleep” (Modern Family), written by Cindy Chupack; ABC
“Mistery Date” (Modern Family), written by Jeffrey Richman; ABC
“Virgin Territory” (Modern Family), written by Elaine Ko; ABC
LONG FORM – ORIGINAL
Hatfields and McCoys, Nights 2 and 3, teleplay by Ted Mann and Ronald Parker, Story by Bill Kerby and Ted Mann; History Channel
Hemingway & Gelhorn written by Jerry Stahl and Barbara Turner; HBO
Pilot (Political Animals), written by Greg Berlanti; USA
LONG FORM – ADAPTED
Coma, Nights 1 and 2, teleplay by John McLaughlin, based on the book by Robin Cook; A&E
Game Change written by Danny Strong, based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann; HBO
“A Farewell to Arms” (Futurama), written by Josh Weinstein; Comedy Central
“Forget-Me-Not” (Family Guy), written by David A. Goodman; Fox
“Holidays of Future Passed” (The Simpsons), written by J. Stewart Burns; Fox
“Ned and Edna’s Blend Agenda” (The Simpsons), written by Jeff Westbrook; Fox
“Treehouse of Horror XXIII” (The Simpsons), written by David Mandel & Brian Kelley; Fox
COMEDY / VARIETY (INCLUDING TALK) – SERIES
The Colbert Report writers: Michael Brumm, Stephen Colbert, Rich Dahm, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Dan Guterman, Peter Gwinn, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Frank Lesser, Opus Moreschi, Tom Purcell, Meredith Scardino, Scott Sherman, Max Werner; Comedy Central
Conan writers: Jose Arroyo, Andres du Bouchet, Deon Cole, Josh Comers, Dan Cronin, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Laurie Kilmartin, Rob Kutner, Todd Levin, Brian McCann, Conan O'Brien, Matt O'Brien, Jesse Popp, Andy Richter, Brian Stack, Mike Sweeney; TBS
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart writers: Rory Albanese, Kevin Bleyer, Richard Blomquist, Steve Bodow, Tim Carvell, Hallie Haglund, J.R. Havlan, Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Zhubin Parang, Daniel Radosh, Jason Ross, Jon Stewart; Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live writers: Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Joelle Boucai, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Gary Greenberg, Josh Halloway, Bess Kalb, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeff Loveness, Molly McNearney, Bryan Paulk, Danny Ricker, Rick Rosner; ABC
Key & Peele writers: Jay Martel, Ian Roberts, Keegan Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Sean Conroy, Colton Dunn, Charlie Sanders, Alex Rubens, Rebecca Drysdale; Comedy Central
Portlandia writers: Fred R. Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Karey Dornetto, Jonathan Krisel, Bill Oakley; IFC
Real Time With Bill Maher writers: Scott Carter, Adam Felber, Matt Gunn, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Jay Jaroch, Chris Kelly, Mike Larsen, Bill Maher, Billy Martin; HBO
Saturday Night Live Head writer: Seth Meyers. Writers: James Anderson, Alex Baze, Neil Casey, Jessica Conrad, James Downey, Shelly Gossman, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Joe Kelly, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney, Christine Nangle, Mike O’Brien, Josh Patten, Paula Pell, Marika Sawyer, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, John Solomon, Kent Sublette, Bryan Tucker, Additional Sketch By Emily Spivey, Jorma Taccone, Additional Material By Frank Sebastiano; NBC Universal
COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS
66th Annual Tony Awards written by Dave Boone; special material by Paul Greenberg; opening and closing songs by David Javerbaum, Adam Schlesinger; CBS
2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards written by Billy Kimball, Wayne Federman; IFC
After the Academy Awards Head writers Gary Greenberg, Molly McNearney. Writers Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeffrey Loveness, Bryan Paulk, Danny Ricker, Richard G. Rosner; ABC
National Memorial Day Concert written by Joan Meyerson; PBS
Days of Our Lives written by Lorraine Broderick, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Christopher Dunn, Lacey Dyer, Janet Iacobuzio, David A. Levinson, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Melissa Salmons, Roger Schroeder, Elizabeth Snyder, Christopher J. Whitesell, Nancy Williams Watt; NBC
One Life to Live written by Lorraine Broderick, Ron Carlivati, Anna Theresa Cascio, Daniel J. O’Connor, Elizabeth Page, Jean Passanante, Melissa Salmons, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Courtney Simon, Chris Van Etten; ABC
The Young and the Restless written by Amanda Beall, Jeff Beldner, Brent Boyd, Susan Dansby, Janice Ferri Esser, Jay Gibson, Scott Hamner, Maria Kanelos, Natalie Minardi Slater, Beth Milstein, Michael Montgomery, Anne Schoettle, Linda Schreiber, Lisa Seidman, Sarah K. Smith, Christopher J. Whitesell, Teresa Zimmerman; CBS
CHILDREN'S – EPISODIC & SPECIALS
“The Good Sport” (Sesame Street), written by Christine Ferraro; PBS
CHILDREN’S – LONG FORM OR SPECIAL
Girl vs. Monster story by Annie De Young; teleplay by Annie De Young and Ron McGee; Disney Channel
Winners will be announced on February 17th at events in New York and Los Angeles. What do you think of this year's nominees? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/HBO]
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The absolutely wacky trajectory of NBC's baby momma drama comedy Up All Night continues in a path that even the most seasoned television news meteorologist couldn't have predicted: it's going from a one-camera show to a three camera show. That's crazier than a bag full of cats in a cheese factory when all the cheese is made of LSD and fermented toe nail clippings.
At home you're probably thinking, "Who cares? They got two more cameras. Good for them!" But it's not the number of cameras that matters but the whole format of the show. The more modern, snarky, and critic-friendly comedies have only one camera and no laugh track and a general edgier feel (think Community, Arrested Development, or The New Girl). Three camera shows usually have a laugh track or studio audience providing the laughs, a more traditional feel, and the giant ratings that go along with them (think Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, and just about every comedy up until The Larry Sanders Show). This is a major shift and one that makes sense for NBC, which has been doing a lot of crowing about making their comedies more broad and attracting more viewers (their great broad hope, Animal Practice was single camera and already cancelled so this might be collateral damage).
Up is going to film five more episodes for season two using the new format (filming starts again in February after rejiggering everything to accommodate the shift). The already-filmed episodes with only one measly camera will air by December and the renovated and rebooted series will come back around March or April. Happy Days also made the same realignment with its third season beginning with three cameras, but back then all sitcoms were going to that format where as now most new favorites (think Modern Family) are headed away from it. Ironically, Happy Days also gave us the phrase "jump the shark." If Up All Night gets a cousin Oliver, moves to Hawaii, decides the first two season are all a dream and Bobby was in the shower all along, then it's getting axed from recording on my DVR ever again.
Season 2 has been especially hard for this show which already underwent a format change. The first season was about Will Arnett's Chris staying at home with a baby daughter while his wife Reagan (Christina Applegate) worked on a talk show with an insane and demanding boss (Maya Rudolph). This year, the talk show is cancelled, Rudolph's Ava is still kicking around with nothing to do, and Reagan is at home while Chris and Reagan's brother run a construction company out of the garage. The ratings are still modest even though the cast and writing have always been top notch.
Applegate and Rudolph have plenty of experience making traditional sitcoms work (if you want proof just search for Married with Children reruns, because that s**t is still on) so I have lots of faith, but again, this deviates from the show that we all signed up for. This doesn't mean a three camera Up All Night can't be great, especially if they focus on the diva-tastic Ava, avoid the hackneyed plots of other sitcoms, and try to maintain their original voice. Still this choice reeks of desperation, and there is nothing worse than getting stuck next to the person at the party that will do say and do anything to get you to like it. Even if that person is someone you once knew and really, really liked.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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When you're in high school it feels like the whole world is against you. In writer/director Stephen Chbosky's high school-set The Perks of Being a Wallflower the whole world may actually be against Charlie (Logan Lerman) whose freshman year of high school should be listed in the dictionary under "Murphy's Law." Plagued by memories of two significant deaths as well as general social anxiety Charlie takes a passive approach to ninth grade. A few days of general bullying later he falls into a friendship with two misfit seniors Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson) who teach him how to live life without fear. Perks starts off with a disadvantage: introverts aren't terribly engaging but Chbosky surrounds Charlie with a vivid cast of characters who help him blossom and inject the coming-of-age tale with a necessary energy.
Set in a timeless version of the '90s Charlie's world is full of handwritten journals mixtapes and a just-tolerable amount of tweed. He writes letters to a nameless recipient as a way of venting a preventative measure to keep the teen from repeating a vague incident that previously left him hospitalized. The drab background of Pittsburgh fits perfectly with Charlie's blank existence. And when he finally comes to life as part of Patrick and Sam's off-beat clique so does the city. Like the archaic vinyl records Sam lusters over (The Smiths of course!) Chbosky visualizes Charlie's journey through the underbelly of suburban Pennsylvania with a raw emotion blooming lights and film grit at every turn. Michael Brook's score and an adeptly curated soundtrack accompanies the episodic affair which centers on Charlie's search for a song he hears during the most important moment of his life.
The charm that keeps The Perks of Being a Wallflower from collapsing under its own super seriousness come from Chbosky's perfectly cast ensemble. Lerman has a thankless job playing Charlie; often constrained to a half-smile and shy shrug Lerman is never allowed to grapple with Charlie's greatest fears and problems until (too) late in the film. Watson nails the spunky object-of-everyone's-affection but she's outshined by Mae Whitman as Mary Elizabeth another rebellious friend in the pack who takes a liking to Charlie. The real star turn is Miller riding high from We Need to Talk About Kevin and taking a complete 180 with Patrick a rambunctious wiseass who struggles to have an openly gay relationship with the football captain but covers his pain with humor. A scene of confrontation — at where else the cafeteria — is one of the best scenes of the year.
Chbosky adapted Perks of Being a Wallflower from his own book and the movie feels stifled by a looming structure. But it nails the emotional beats — there is no obvious path to surviving high school. It's messy shocking and occasionally beautiful. That about sums up Perks.