The Morning Read (4.06.09) Haley's Krueger and the NY Times on Jody Hill
So how was your weekend?
Mine was nice, but not nearly as productive as it needed to be. Sort of the story of my life, I guess, but I really wish I had about seventeen extra copies of myself. I might have some hope of eventually catching up if that were the case.
As it is, I've got about seven things to write today if I want to just keep from falling further behind. Let's see if I'm able to pull it off.
By the way... if Roger Friedman has indeed been fired, as we've heard and reported, then someone should probably tell Roger Friedman. Actually, it sounds like things are still in play. Friedman's got a chance to argue for his job today, according to Gawker's source.
Have you had a chance to check out the new Starz original series, "Party Down"? It's co-created by Rob "Veronica Mars" Thomas and Paul "Paul Rudd" Rudd, along with John Enborn and Dan Etheridge, both also "Mars" veterans. It's a series about a catering company, with each episode set at a different event. Very simple. Very, very funny, and the cast is excellent. Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Lizzie Caplan, Ryan Hansen, the great Martin Starr, and Ken Marino are the regulars, and it's been a loooooong time since I've seen any series premiere with a bench that strong. There's not a weak link in that cast. Still not convinced? Well, you can see for yourself right now. Starz has two of the episodes online over at their site, The Screening Room, and you can check them out after entering some info for the age gate. It's mainly for language and a quick glimpse of Enrico Colantoni's junk. I'm not sure what my favorite line in the two episodes was: "I believe the preferred term is jigroes." Or maybe, "It was like watching a mummy battle." Either way, check it out.
[more after the jump]
Jackie Earle Haley is Freddy Krueger. Latino Review made the call early and then confirmations came cascading in over the last week with the trades bringing up the rear. Brad Fuller discusses the casting on his blog over at Bloody-Disgusting, and he sounds justifiably psyched by the idea that he got Haley to play the part. I am, too. I just read a recent draft of "Nightmare On Elm Street," and at this point, I think it reads as a smart, potentially scary update to the property, with a Freddy Krueger that I think honors the core of the character. He's vile. He's not a stand-up comedian. He's dangerous. His dreamscape is weird and surreal, and it's about punishing those he feels wronged him. He's very, very violent. Sadistic. Awful. Haley has already got the reputation of being the go-to guy to play damaged goods, but if he puts everything he has into this new version of Freddy, it could be one of the most successful reinventions of a horror icon ever.
Rakontur is a company that produces some mighty fine documentaries and films, and they're probably best known for the "Cocaine Cowboys" series, including a third film they're making right now. They're embroiled in a battle with the state of Florida over whether or not documentaries qualify for the state's tax incentive rebates, and they're a little bit pissed off.
I love it when actors get older and have no box-office clout to protect and they just start telling it like they see it, and without a filter. And I love Elliott Gould anyway. You give him a platform to talk about his life and his work and I'm absolutely fascinated.
I showed Toshi this page of items for sale for the pool over at StarWars.com, and he proceeded to lose his mind like Navin Johnson on new phone book day. So it looks like my pool is gonna be all sorts of awesome this summer. Awwwwww, yeah. Now if only ThinkGeek would get crackin' on those awesome TaunTaun sleeping bags...
And speaking of Toshi, one of his favorite TV shows to watch on DVD is the 1967 "Spider-Man" animated show. He knows all the words to the theme song now (although he mangles "radioactive" every single time he sings it) and he is riveted by the show even though it's sort of inert when you watch it from an adult's perspective. It's enough for him that Spider-Man is in it, and that he likes the bad guys. And now, you don't have to have a DVD box set to watch every episode. According to Jerry over at Cartoon Brew, Marvel.com is set to post every episode to their own website, one per week.
And speaking of ThinkGeek, I am impressed by their personal soundtrack t-shirt, and I think this may indeed end up as a required purchase at some point soon. I'm already contemplating what to put on my SD memory card. I think I'm going to enter rooms to the sound of "Anvil Of Crom" from the "Conan" score from now on. It can only help when I'm going on pitch meetings, right?
The horror nerd community has been abuzz since the news broke over at Deadpit.com that Fred Dekker's cult classic "Night Of The Creeps" is coming out on DVD finally, and Quint at AICN has a piece with some great details about what to expect when it finally comes out.
I'm not familiar with Sarah Haskins, but I have to say... I think I like the cut of her jib. I hate advertising. I think it's repulsive and stupid and I think it reinforces the worst stereotypes in the world as a shortcut to brainwashing you. It's a field filled with talented people who do incredible technical work in the service of absolute bottomless evil. So I like anyone who points out just how bizarre and amoral the underlying message in a lot of what we watch can be.
Looks like Vern's onboard with Australian exploitation cinema, and I love that he sort of snuck up on it his own way, never realizing that "Not Quite Hollywood" is about to drop a time bomb on pop culture that will hopefully lead to people slowly but surely realizing that Ozploitation is some of the most insane and delicious low-budget madness you can find. He reviews "Dead End Drive-In" this week, and I'm glad he finally caught up with a movie I've got a real fondness for.
Did Tom Leonard really think that J.D. Salinger was going to suddenly open up and decide to talk to him just because he showed up on the reclusive author's doorstep? Or did he just decide that harassing a 90-year-old recluse might liven up a slow news cycle?
Anne Bilson reeeeeeeeeeally doesn't like British movies. Either Richard Curtis's "The Boat That Rocked" just rubbed her so much the wrong way that she had a temporary freak-out, or she really does think that her local industry is a near-complete failure.
Okay... this is strange. I was talking to someone about the work of Jody Hill the other day. Along with his collaborators Ben Best and Danny McBride, I think he's carving out a unique place in modern comedy, and with each new project, I think he gets better at it. I was trying to explain what it is that I love about his characters to my friend, and I said, "It's like all of his leads... all the people in his films... in their minds, they are all the stars of their own movies." And then tonight, I'm reading this New York Times profile on Hill, and he uses almost the exact same phrase to describe his characters. I think it safe to say that I am on the same wavelength with Hill in terms of what I respond to and what it is that he enjoys doing. Looks like I'm in for a lot of entertainment as long as we keep these guys working.
And if you're freaked out or turned off by "East Bound and Down" or "The Foot Fist Way" or "Observe and Report," then perhaps Mr. Shawn Levy is more your speed. Go with God. Sincerely. It's not my thing, but I love that one newspaper can profile two such radically different comic film talents in one day.
I guess it makes sense that right now, people would be desperate for work in any field, and a lot of people think extra work is easy money. I've done some of it. I thought it was wretched and soul-crushing. But right now, I guess it's a job that a whooooole lotta people want to try.
BoingBoing had some great stuff up over the weekend. One article linked to a blog piece about words that were created by science-fiction authors that are now used by actual scientists. That's awesome. Another article is about public hearings on copyright law being held today in Van Nuys, and if I can get my shit together in time, I may head over there myself. And finally, they ran a piece about a guy who was detained by TSA because he was carrying $4,700 cash. That's it. That's the whole reason they freaked out and almost dragged him out of the airport. I am amazed how many of our civil rights we seem delighted to just piss away so we can travel. At some point, the system's gonna break, and I can't imagine what will happen when it does.
And speaking of a slow erosion of civil rights, there's a great piece looking back at Orwell's 1984 over at The House Next Door. Well worth your time, and a great look at just what it is that makes the novel so timeless.
I'll leave you with one other link from The House Next Door, the second part of Matt Zoller Seitz's video series on the work of Wes Anderson. I think it pretty much speaks for itself.
I just looked at the tags for today's Morning Read, posted at the bottom of the article form, and it's one truly weird-ass list today. Seems like the perfect way to start the week. See you back here later today as I try to catch up on the Motion/Captured Must-See Project and also prepare this week's "On The Shelf," even as I have a million other things to get ready. Sheeeesh.
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1975 | Science Fiction | GSummary: The original Disney sci-fi superhero movie for kids, in which two orphans figure out how to live with their superhuman powers as they are haunted by memories of their lost home. If only they could figure out where that home was...Director: John Hough
Cast: Eddie Albert, Ray Milland, Donald Pleasence
1940 | Comedy | NRSummary: One of the greatest and most radiant comedies from classical Hollywood features Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and Jimmy Stewart in the tale of a woman whose ex-husband walks back into her life just as she’s about to marry someone else.Director: George Cukor
Cast: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart
2014 | Romance | RSummary: Overeducated and underemployed, 28 year old Megan is in the throes of a quarterlife crisis. Squarely into adulthood with no career prospects, no particular motivation to think about her future and no one to relate to, Megan is comfortable lagging a few steps behind - while her friends check off m...Director: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Kaitlyn Dever
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Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman
1987 | Comedy | NRSummary: Early Fox TV sitcom that drops a nuke on the TV myth of the perfect American family by focusing on the uncouth and decidedly unrefined Bundys.Director: Ron Leavitt, Michael G. Moye (creators)
Cast: Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal
1974 | Comedy | NRSummary: Good Times gave actors like Esther Rolle, John Amos and Jimmie Walker loads of great material as members of a family living in Chicago’s inner city, and for a couple years was one of mainstream America’s most reliable views of black American life -- at least until producers allowed it to become a...Director: Mike Evans, Norman Lear, Eric Monte (creators)
Cast: John Amos, Esther Rolle, Jimmie Walker, Ja'net DuBois, Ralph Carter, BernNadette Stanis
1994 | Drama | PGSummary: With their father away as a chaplain in the Civil War, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy grow up with their mother in somewhat reduced circumstances. They are a close family who inevitably have their squabbles and tragedies. But the bond holds even when, later, male friends start to become a part of the hous...Director: Gillian Armstrong
Cast: Winona Ryder, Gabriel Byrne, Trini Alvarado, Samantha Mathis
1986 | Crime | RSummary: A high school kid kills his girlfriend, but when the crime is revealed to his friends, they decide not to tell the cops. Keanu Reeves has an early role in this dark and sometimes blackly comic teen tale.Director: Tim Hunter
Cast: Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye
1997 | Drama | NRSummary: Brutal and compelling series about the experimental unit of Oswald State Penitentiary, which houses a wide array of prisoners, who are organized in a strict power structure. Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, and Dean Winters are just a few members of the impressive cast.Director: Tom Fontana (creator)
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