In the cinematic desert that is the January-February movie-release schedule one gains a greater appreciation for mere competence. And that’s precisely what you’ll get with Man on a Ledge a mid-budget thriller with modest aspirations and genuine popcorn appeal. Sam Worthington (Avatar Clash of the Titans) stars as Nick Cassidy a former New York City cop wrongly convicted for the theft of a prized diamond. After exhausting all judicial avenues for exoneration he takes the unusual and seemingly desperate next step of planting himself on a ledge outside the penthouse of midtown’s Roosevelt Hotel and threatening to jump. An NYPD psychologist (Elizabeth Banks) is summoned to talk him down unaware that Nick harbors an ulterior motive. From his perch above midtown he is secretly orchestrating a scheme to take revenge against the corrupt corporate chieftain (Ed Harris) who engineered his demise and prove his innocence once and for all.
Director Asger Leth making his U.S. feature-film debut with Man on a Ledge keeps the pace brisk and never allows the tone to stray into self-seriousness which is crucial for a movie whose premise is so devoutly ridiculous. The script from Pablo F. Fenjves provides enough feints and twists to keep us engaged. Jamie Bell and Genesis Rodriguez aren’t the most believable of couples but there’s a screwball charm to their comic routine as amateur thieves charged with aiding Nick’s scheme. (Leth can’t resist inserting an entirely superfluous – but nonetheless greatly appreciated – scene of the criminally gorgeous Rodriguez stripping down to a thong in the middle of a heist.) Worthington makes for a likable populist protagonist even if his Australian accent betrays him on copious occasions and Harris’ disturbingly emaciated frame lends an added menace to his devious plutocrat villain.
Update: New panels announced for San Deigo Comic-Con! Exciting additions include Wednesday night previews of upcoming pilots, and an advance screening of the latest Torchwood episode. SDCC 2011 looks to continue the Comic-Con legacy as the pop-cultural smorgasbord of the year.
Earlier: Comic-Con promises, as always, a variety of worthwhile material. Some of the attendees this year are listed below, with many others yet to be confirmed.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 22
UPDATE Special sneak-peak pilot screenings includes some interesting new programming:
J.J. Abram's new series Alcatraz, about the infamous prison; Person of Interest, a crime drama from Dark Knight scribe Jonathan Nolan; an anime adaptation of long-running CW show Supernatural, and supernatural romance drama The Secret Circle
THURSDAY, JULY 21
A screening of Awake: Following a car accident, a policeman and his son deal with the death of his wife … in a different reality, that same police and his wife deal with the death of their son. We have no idea which one is real, if either. Somebody really liked the last season of LOST.
Mike Judge's revival of his Beavis and Butthead series
Game of Thrones’ panel will include author George R. R. Martin, showrunner David Benioff, writer D.B. Weiss, and actors Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Jason Momoa, and Nikloaj Coster-Waldau.
Napoleon Dynamite the Animated Series (with a cast identical to that of the movie—minus Kip) will screen a preview.
Penn & Teller Tell a Lie
UPDATE: Advance screening of the third episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day
FRIDAY, JULY 22
UPDATE: The Big Bang Theory panel plus Q&A with cast
Bob’s Burgers will offer a preview of season 2, as well as a Q&A with writers and voice-actors, including H. Jon Benjamin and Kristen Schaal.
Bones/The Finder Panel discussion with writer Hart Hanson, producer Stephen Nathan, and actors David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel.
UPDATE: Children's Hospital screening of new episode, Q&A with cast including Rob Corddry and Malin Ackerman,
Falling Skies The new series that has nothing new to say about aliens
UPDATE: Green Lantern: The Animated Series video screening and Q&A
UPDATE: Locke and Key pilot screening, discussion featuring Joe Hill, Rodriguez, writer/producer JoshFriedman, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
Reign of the Dinosaurs Erik Nelson, David Krentz, Ricardo Delgado
Spartacus: Vengeance The unveiling of Liam McIntyre. Panelists include writer Steven DeKnight and actors Dustin Calre, Manu Bennett, Katrina Law and Xena herself.
UPDATE: World premiere of=""> Thundercats, the remake of the 80's cartoon. Episode screening and Q&A with cast.
Torchwood: Miracle Day The cast and crew will attend
True Blood The cast and crew host a panel in the show's fourth appearance at Comic-Con
SATURDAY, JULY 23
American Dad A season-7 preview featuring a guest appearance by Cee Lo Green. Panel discussion features the cast and crew, with conspicuous absence by Seth MacFarlene.
Family Guy Sneak preview of Stewie Goes for a Drive. Cast and crew on panel, again no MacFarlane.
UPDATE: Fringe panel, ="">Anna Torv, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole, John Noble, and executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman appear to answer questions about the intriguing past season.
Futurama The nerdiest show at the nerdiest event in nerddom. A sneak preview will feature the show manifested as Japanese anime, for probably no reason (the best reason of all). Bill Morrison moderates a panel including creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen join a panel of voice actors Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio and Maurice LaMarche.
UPDATE: Nikita panel and Q&A
Power Rangers Samurai
The Simpsons Matt Groening again appears on panel (and Seth couldn’t even do one), with Al Jean, Rob Lazebnik, Matt Warburton, Mike Anderson and Tom Gammill.
MTV’s Teen Wolf
Screening of the pilot for Terra Nova: a family from a hundred years in the future is transported to prehistory. Attendees include Stephen Lang, Rene Echevarria and Brannon Braga.
UPDATE: Vampire Diaries screening and Q&A with cast.
SUNDAY, JULY 24
The Cleveland Show will host a Q&A with cast and crew members following the show's Die-Hard
Allen Gregory (Jonah Hill's new animated series) Hill, David Goodman, Andrew Goodman, Jarrad Paul and voice cast will offer a sneak preview
Glee Creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk will show never-before-seen footage (there's probably singing)
UPDATE: Supernatural Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles return with additional cast to discuss the seventh season.
UPDATE: Young Justice producers and creative team Q&A.
Source: Hollywood Reporter, Bleeding Cool
The Producers Guild of America will give out awards tonight, with the teams behind A Beautiful Mind, Moulin Rouge and Shrek among those in contention for its top honor. The producers of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring are also in the running for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award.
The honor is similar to the motion picture academy's best picture prize, and the winner is considered a near shoo-in for Oscar gold. The 1,500-member Producers Guild has correctly predicted the best picture Oscar winner 10 out
of the last 13 years.
A Beautiful Mind, Lord of the Rings and Moulin Rouge are
nominated for both the PGA award and best picture Oscar. But the guild opted for box office hits Shrek and Harry Potter for its other two slots,
while the Academy chose the indie critic faves In the Bedroom and Gosford Park.
The Producers Guild will also hand out awards in three television categories, with such shows as The West Wing and The Sopranos among those in the running.
The teams behind CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and The West Wing are nominated for the Norman Felton Producer of the Year Award in episodic television-drama.
Contenders for the Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in episodic television-comedy are Frasier, Friends, Malcolm in the Middle, Sex and the City and Will & Grace.
The nominated producers of Frasier include the late David Angell, who was aboard one of the hijacked planes that crashed on Sept. 11.
Among the David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in longform television nominees are some well-known names--Billy Crystal for HBO's 61*, and Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg for HBO's Band of Brothers.
Husband-and-wife actors Bradley Whitford of The West Wing and Jane Kaczmarek of Malcolm in the Middle will host the guild's 13th annual ceremony at the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa.
Formed in 1950, the Producers Guild has about 500 active members and 1,000 affiliated members.
Here is the full list of nominees:
Darryl F. Zanuck Theatrical Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award in Motion Pictures
A Beautiful Mind, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, David Heyman
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh
Moulin Rouge, Martin Brown, Baz Luhrmann and Fred Baron
Shrek, Aron Warner, John H. William and Jeffrey Katzenberg
Norman Felton Producer of the Year in Episodic Television-Drama
CSI Crime Scene Investigation, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ann M. Donahue, Carol Mendelsohn, Anthony Zuiker, Jonathan Littman, Sam Strangis, Danny
Cannon, Cynthia Chvatal and William Petersen
Law & Order, Dick Wolf, Barry Schindel, Jeffrey L. Hayes, Lewis H. Gould and Kati Johnston
Six Feet Under, Alan Ball, Robert Greenblatt, David Janollari and Alan Poul
The Sopranos, David Chase, Brad Grey, Mitchell Burgess, Robin Green, Ilene S. Landress and Terence Winter
The West Wing, John Wells, Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme, Llewellyn Wells, Christopher Misiano, Alex Graves and Michael Hissrich
Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television-Comedy
Frasier, David Angell, Peter Casey, Kelsey Grammer, David Lee, Dan O'Shannon, Mark Reisman and Maggie Blanc
Friends, Kevin S Bright, Marta Kauffman, David Crane, Shana Goldberg-Meehan, Scott Silveri, Andrew Reich, Ted Cohen and Todd Stevens
Malcolm in the Middle, Linwood Boomer and James S. Simons
Sex and the City, Michael Patrick King, Cindy Chupack, John P. Melfi and Sarah Jessica Parker
Will & Grace, James Burrows, Jeff Greenstein, Max Mutchnick, David Kohan and Tim Kaiser
David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Longform Television
61*, Billy Crystal and Ross Greenburg
Anne Frank, Hans Proppe and David R. Kappes
Band of Brothers, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Tony To
Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Robert Allan Ackerman and Lorna Luft
Wit, Cary Brokaw