<p>Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz are the madmen behind the amazing BBC&nbsp;comedy 'Look Around You,' available now on DVD.</p>

Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz are the madmen behind the amazing BBC comedy 'Look Around You,' available now on DVD.

Credit: BBC Video

'Look Around You' throws a dinner with Peter Serafinowicz and Robert Popper

The creators of one of the best English cult comedies engage in a loose, informal chat

It's no secret if you've read my work over the years that I am a rabid fan of British comedy.  I think it's one of those things you develop a lifelong taste for when you're young, and in my case, it led to a lifelong hunger for the new.

One of the things that's been fun about being a fan of UK comedy since I was a kid was the way I would hear about things I should see.  Word-of-mouth, worn videotapes passed hand-to-hand, years of searching... all par for the course.  In recent years, DVD has finally become a real option for American fans, but even then, years can go by between first hearing of something and finally seeing it.  Sure, there are uber-famous titles like "The Office" that make the jump quickly, but most titles remain cult items and can take much longer.

Case in point:  "Look Around You."

There are few shows I can compare this to, and that's a good thing.  The work of Peter Serafinowicz and Robert Popper, this mock-serious science show is surreal, silly, and desert-dry for every second of each ten-minute episode.  It's not for everyone, but it's one of those shows that fans get protective about because it feels like it was made personally for them.

It's finally available in the US, where Adult Swim's been showing it for a little while, and where BBC Home Video has now finally released the show's first season on home video, and just before Comic-Con, I sat down to dinner with Devin (CHUD) Faraci, Jeremy (Ain't It Cool) Smith, Damon (Collider) Houx, and Serafinowicz and Popper to talk about the U.S. DVD debut.  It's nearly impossible to separate who asked what, and the audio of the dinner was a hideous mess, almost impossible to transcribe.  The conversation may have gotten away from us just a bit. 

I think it's better for it.

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<p>Is Hayao Miyazaki returning to one of his most beloved films with a sequel to 'Porco Rosso'?</p>

Is Hayao Miyazaki returning to one of his most beloved films with a sequel to 'Porco Rosso'?

Credit: Studio Ghibli

Is Miyazaki planning a sequel to 'Porco Rosso'?

Plus the animation genius discusses the future of Studio Ghibli

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the greatest working filmmakers.

Not just in animation, although that is what he's known for, but in all of film, in my opinion.  Miyazaki has created a body of work that is both profound and artistically gorgeous, working in big mythological tropes.  His work transcends age and language and culture.  It is universal, easily understood by children but with enough depth to reward repeat viewings by adults.  His world view is uncommonly human, and his films deal with themes about who we are, who we should be, and who we must resist the urge to become.

There are films of his that have become iconic, characters that have become immediately recognizable around the world, and there are other films that are not particularly well-known, but that are equally worthy and interesting.  There are few filmmakers with the breadth of filmography that Miyazaki has, and when even your relatively obscure titles are fantastic, it's a sign of just how innate his talent really is.

"Porco Rosso" has never been one of the films I really hear people rave about when Miyazaki's name comes up.  I know a few hardcore fans who appreciate the story of a fighter ace who, dehumanized by his experience with war, literally turns into an anthropomorphic pig.  The film feels like a classic Hollywood movie from the heyday of the studio system, and it's one of the greatest expressions of Miyazaki's career-long obsession with flight.  The lead is one of Miyazaki's most prickly and particular creations, which may be the reason people don't embrace him the same way they embrace characters like Totoro or Kiki or Ponyo.  It's not easy to love Porco Rosso, but it's worth it.  He is an amazing character, and just looking at the actors who have voiced him in different international dubs of the character (both Jean Reno and Michael Keaton have played him), you can tell he's not the typical lead for a "children's film."

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Ving Kill Fish

Ving Kill Fish

Bitey Fish Will Be Back: Sequel to 'Piranha 3D' announced

Will flying fish be in our future?

In a move that may seem a tad contrived, Dimension Films has announced today they will be making sequel to bitey fish movie "Piranha 3D". The Film opened in 6th  place for the weekend, making a little over ten million dollars, about half of its stated production budget of 24 million. But this was apparently enough to announce a sequel.

The reviews have been strong, and I'm sure the producers see it making its money back, especially once it opens internationaly.The announcement should fuel talk of movies with similar opening weekends, like say, Scott Pilgrim, and the miracle of well managed expectations.

For me it's great to see a full-on genre pic that wore its gore and zaniness as a badge of honor in all its publicity.  I have not seen it yet so I cannot speculate as to any returning stars or the storyline. I hold the original in a special place in my heart, as I do most New World Pictures.

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<p>Russell Tovey, Aidan Turner, and Lenora Chrichlow are the accursed roommates in the BBC&nbsp;production 'Being Human,' created by Toby Whitlow</p>

Russell Tovey, Aidan Turner, and Lenora Chrichlow are the accursed roommates in the BBC production 'Being Human,' created by Toby Whitlow

Credit: BBC America

The M/C Interview: Toby Whithouse on vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and 'Being Human'

A short chat with the show's creator as the first season arrives on Blu-ray

As with comic books, I'm somewhat slow to find TV shows during their first run on whatever channel airs them, often catching up with them on DVD instead.  I'm that guy who picks up trade collections to read comics, catching up with something like "Y The Last Man" once it hits book form, and I'm the guy who discovered "Deadwood" as a group of DVD box sets instead of on HBO.

As a result, when I'm sent shows on DVD, I'll almost always give them a try.  If the premise even slightly appeals to me, I'll throw the first disc on and see if anything hooks me.  With the show "Being Human," I hesitated briefly because I had a hard time imagining how anyone would wring fresh life from a show about a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire sharing a flat in London.

That's where Toby Whithouse comes in.

Whithouse is the creator of the series, and after seeing what he did with that very, very basic premise, I was happy to hop on the phone with him to discuss the show's first two seasons and where he might be headed with it in the future:

Drew:  Hi, good morning.  How are you, sir?
 
Toby:  I’m very well, Drew.  How are you ?
 
Drew:  Very good.  So I finally caught up on the show and I really enjoyed it.  It’s one of those shows where you hear the initial premise and you think, "Well, that’s like the most obvious setup for something in the world."  Then it becomes about what you end up doing with the characters and the situations, and you realize it's not that basic thing at all.  Can you talk about the evolution of it and specifically how you sold it to BBC?
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<p>The Blues Brothers may have been the most iconic creation to come out of Belushi and Aykroyd's time on 'SNL'</p>

The Blues Brothers may have been the most iconic creation to come out of Belushi and Aykroyd's time on 'SNL'

Credit: NBC/Broadway Video

Saturday Night At The Movies: Belushi, the Bully Boys, and 'Wired' 2.0

What makes the Beloosh such an enduring icon?

John Belushi remains, in my opinion, one of the five greatest talents to ever move through the "Saturday Night Live" machine, and I would argue that it is only because he was one of the first-generation cast members that the show ever became the self-perpetuating legend that it is today.

There is a reason that first run of episodes from 1975 - 1979 gets romanticized by longtime fans of the show and comedy nerds in general.  There have certainly been many funny people on the show over the years, and there have been great moments with various eras of cast and writers, but it was the first cast that created the template that everyone else has followed since.  If you weren't there at the time, you have to try and imagine what the cultural landscape was like at the time the show went on the air  The conflict between young and old, hip and square, the institutional and the subversive, was playing out on the national stage in any number of ways, and while "Saturday Night Live" didn't create counterculture humor, it was the moment where it made the most aggressive leap to the mainstream, and the ripples from that moment are still felt today.

Sure, there were earlier examples like "Laugh-In" or "The Smother Brothers Hour," shows that helped pave the way for what "Saturday Night Live" managed to do, but those were prime-time shows under even tighter network control, and anytime the shows pushed the boundaries, there was blowback.  "SNL" was, by design, dangerous the moment it went on the air.  Calling its cast the "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" and making it a destination Saturday late-night event were part of the way they sold the audience the idea that they were seeing something beyond what TV normally allowed.  Anything could happen.  The cast felt like people who might lunge right out of the set at you.  If anyone embodied that rowdy, edgy attitude, it was John Belushi.  The Beloosh.  One half of the Bully Boys.  Behind the camera, Michael O'Donoghue got a reputation as the wildest of all the wild cards, but it was Belushi who the public knew and fell in love with right away.

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<p>James McAvoy, seen here in the new Robert Redford film 'The Conspirator,' appears as a young Professor X in 'X-Men:&nbsp;First Class'</p>

James McAvoy, seen here in the new Robert Redford film 'The Conspirator,' appears as a young Professor X in 'X-Men: First Class'

Credit: AFC/Wildwood

Bryan Singer reveals 'X-Men First Class' details: some big surprises, some big gambles

Xavier and Magneto put McAvoy and Fassbender center stage

Holy cow, some days it pays to pick up the phone at Harry Knowles' house.

Original "X-Men" Director and "X-Men: First Class" producer Bryan Singer and Harry have a relationship that goes waaaaaaaaay back to the start of both the site and Bryan's career as a filmmaker.  And it's as simple as Harry feels a great affection for Bryan's work, start to finish, and Bryan seems to like talking to Harry.

And when they talk, it usually results in Bryan spilling the beans in a major way, and that's what happened again.  Harry just wrote it up, and it is a vintage Ain't It Cool special.  Harry lays out a lot of the film's big ideas, pretty much exactly as Bryan voiced them to him.  It's not a critical piece... it's pure pitch, and as a pitch, it's a pretty radical shift for the series.

I'm a fairly on-the-record fan of Matthew Vaughn as a director, and I know he was disappointed on a creative and a personal level when "X-Men 3" didn't happen.  So far, it appears he's been able to bring his entire creative team with him to the project, and that's very good news.  I've long considered his partnership with screenwriter Jane Goldman to be one of the "secrets" of why Matthew Vaughn's done so well with his three films so far.  And the same is true of his producer Tarquin Pack.  And the same is true of his cinematographer, his sound guy, his costume and make-up people... Matthew's from that British tradition of the rep company, the people you keep employed and fed and working and prosperous, and who work their asses off for you in return.  He gets better and better as a director because they work together better and better as a team each time.  I'm really pleased to see they're shooting this in London and not in Vancouver or in Los Angeles, and not because I have an issue with those cities... it's just that a London shoot would indicate that this is Matthew's movie.

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<p>Kissing... fighting... love triangles... what's not for 'Twilight' fans to love about 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World'?</p>

Kissing... fighting... love triangles... what's not for 'Twilight' fans to love about 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World'?

Credit: Universal Pictures

An open letter to 'Twilight' fans about 'Scott Pilgrim'

Why you might be missing something you'll love right now

First, let me just say that's a lovely shirt you're wearing today.

I know we've had our differences, "Twilight" fans.  I mean... there was that one time... and then there was that other time... I admit it.

But even when I've been most vocal in my dislike of the actual "Twilight" films, I've had enough respect for "Twilight" fans and the conversation with them to take those reviews seriously.  I don't dismiss the books or the fanbase... I just disagree.

Last year, when "Twilight" showed up at Comic-Con, I remember having a long talk with Devin Faraci at one point during the weekend about how much fun "Twilight" fans looked like they were having, and how nice it was to see.  Some were young, enthusiastic, vocal, and wide open to the experience of the rest of the programming at the Con as well.  Some were older, but not the typical Comic-Con crowd, newbies who seemed to dive in whole.  It was impressive, and it was a reminder of just how fervent our first big pop culture loves can be.  I was a "Twilight" fan when the first "Star Wars" came out.  Rabid.  Enthusiastic.  Ready to expound on the matter at any opportunity.  Passionate enough to argue with anyone who dared speak ill of my beloved.  And it was my gateway drug to everything else I love today.

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<p>Adam Scott and Elizabeth Shue co-star in the bloody b-movie rampage 'Piranha 3D'</p>

Adam Scott and Elizabeth Shue co-star in the bloody b-movie rampage 'Piranha 3D'

Credit: Dimension Films

The M/C Review: 'Piranha 3D' redefines what 3D should be

Dimension Films finally lives up to their company name in style

First, let me pose a question to you:  what would you expect, or more importantly want, if you paid to see a film in the theater called "Piranha 3D"?

The worst case scenario for a reaction to a movie like this would be, in my opinion, indifference.  There's nothing more depressing for me to sit through than something mechanical and boring and perfunctory.  When a film has no pulse at all, I find it more unpleasant to sit through than an enthusiastically terrible film.  If someone really goes for it, but they fail completely, it's still worth seeing if only for that misguided passion.  It's the films where it feels like all involved are just picking up a check and sleep-walking through the work that chip away at me each year.

Thankfully, Alexandre Aja is a lunatic.

He seems to have rebounded completely now from the rancid, joyless "Mirrors" with this fishsploitation joyride that does its best to entertain from the first shot to the last.  It is shameless, in every way that matters, amazingly gory, packed with gratuitous nudity, and cheerfully unconcerned with padding at a brisk 82 minutes.  The film starts with a silly celebrity cameo and a bunch of wink-wink in-jokes that will entertain fans who know the origins of the original '70s "Piranha," as well as a fistful of CGI and blood.  That sets the tone that the rest of the film adheres to, and it seems like Aja's never been more comfortable than he is playing loose and ridiculous here.

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<p>Idris Elba, seen here in his iconic role as Stringer Bell on &quot;The Wire,' is set to play Alex Cross in a new movie directed by David Twohy.</p>

Idris Elba, seen here in his iconic role as Stringer Bell on "The Wire,' is set to play Alex Cross in a new movie directed by David Twohy.

Credit: HBO

Idris Elba and David Twohy team up to kickstart 'Alex Cross' franchise

Two guys who both deserve a monster hit team up on a good bet

When I went to the press day for "The Losers" earlier this year, Idris Elba was one of the people I interviewed, and before I got a chance to sit down with him, he took a break and went walking around the hotel where we were all waiting.  My buddy was there with me, and he's a guy who hasn't seen a single episode of "The Wire."  After the press day, he told me that he knew Elba was a movie star just from his time walking around the lobby and chatting with people before heading back inside.  "That guy was just cool."

Anyone who has seen "The Wire" understands that Elba's appeal goes far beyond the surface cool that made Stringer Bell so immediately arresting, and I think he's just waiting on the right role, the right film.  He was great in "The Losers," and I think he's done his time.

So it is good news indeed to see him step up to star in "Cross," based on one of the James Patterson novels about the brilliant detective Alex Cross.  Morgan Freeman played the character in "Kiss The Girls" and "Along Came A Spider."  Those were both midlevel hits for Paramount, but neither one duplicated the success of the novels, which are fairly huge publishing events.

Even better new?  David Twohy is rewriting the film right now and will direct.

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<p>Leonardo Di Caprio is lost within a dream within a dream within a dream in Christopher Nolan's brain-bending thriller 'Inception,' still sparking heated conversations among audiences</p>

Leonardo Di Caprio is lost within a dream within a dream within a dream in Christopher Nolan's brain-bending thriller 'Inception,' still sparking heated conversations among audiences

Credit: Warner/Legendary

Finally... as promised... 'Inception': One Last Kick

Yes, it's true, we're going even deeper into Christopher Nolan's dream thriller

Would you believe me if I said that the delay between part one of this article and part two was a way of demonstrating a story point about limbo in the context of how it's used in Christopher Nolan's "Inception"?

Would you pretend you believe me for the sake of our friendship?  How about if I promise to make this article better than the first one?

I will apologize for taking so long with this.  My vacation (the single longest stretch of time I've taken away from work in the past four years, according to my wife) was certainly responsible for some of the delay, but it was more than that.  It seems like it's been forever since the first review I wrote for the film.  Which I liked.

But, honestly, I don't think I did a very good job with the first half of this revisit article.  I was working too hard to impress, and I think I sort of cocked it up.  Summary is fine, and I really was trying to lay all the pieces on the chess board so we could talk about the moves Nolan makes in the film, but it's not analysis, and what a re-review should be on the rare opportunity that I write one is a chance to dig deeper into a film once spoilers don't matter anymore.  So instead of calling this part two of the earlier article, let's take a cue from Hollywood and call this a reboot instead.

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