Friday, October 20, 2006

Kill Ahmet Zappa

I'm normally a fairly peace-loving guy, but after hearing this news this morning, I see no other possible course of action. No longer happy with simply living out his days in a d-list daze, Ahmet Zappa has now become an active danger to others and must therefore be eliminated.

If not, he'll actually follow through with this threat: A "Fraggle Rock" feature film. Yes, you heard me right. Apparently he woke up at 3 p.m. one day, lit up a fat one and happened on an old episode on TV. No longer content with simply living off his father's money, he's decided he just has to pen a feature film for our beloved furry friends.

And, much worse than that, key people actually want him to succeed. Lisa Henson, who serves as co-CEO of the Jim Henson Co. with her brother Brian Henson, brought Zappa on board as exec producer after a pitch meeting with him.

"I'm very excited to be working with The Jim Henson Company on this project," said Ahmet Zappa. "So much of my childhood was spent watching 'Fraggle Rock' ... I never missed an episode! I'm also really looking forward to using music to tell the story; it played such a central role in the original series and truly helped create the 'Fraggle Rock' that we know and love today."

Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. After all, "Fraggle Rock" was all about peace and love. So maybe we shouldn't kill him, but if you have any other way to stop this project right now, I'm certainly listening.

Buffy alum update

Michelle Trachtenberg, who didn't even become a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" regular until the fifth season, has surprisingly had more post-Buffy success than any of her co-stars (even poor emaciated Sarah Michelle Gellar).

Now she'll be co-starring with Kelly Preston in "The Possibility of Fireflies." Dominique Paul is making her directorial debut on the film, an adaptation of her novel.

Preston will play a single mother struggling to keep her life in order after her husband abandons her, forcing her to raise their two daughters on her own. Trachtenberg will play the older daughter. The drama will shoot in January in South Carolina.

Sounds like a souped-up Lifetime movie of the week to me, so I'll most likely pass, but huzzah to Michelle anyhow.

Trachtenberg next appears in the horror movie "Black Christmas," due Christmas Day. She recently completed "Beautiful Ohio" with William Hurt and Rita Wilson.

"King of the Hill" returning

Variety was kind enough to answer a query that enters my cluttered mind about once a week or so, usually around 7 p.m. each Sunday: What the heck happened to "King of the Hill"?

Well, Fox apparently shut down production on the show last spring before having a change of heart. So, after a brief hiatus, "King of the Hill" will return for its 11th season Sunday, Jan. 21, at 7:30 p.m. The midseason start means, for once, it won't get bumped week after week by the NFL behemoth.

Finally, some good news for Mike Judge. Watching the shoddy treatment of his "Idiocracy" flick has only depressed me, especially since everything I've read from people who have seen it has been positive.

Looking at the clock on my monitor, in honor of Hank Hill and directed squarely at myself, I'll simply close with this: "6 a.m., and already the boy ain't right."

P.S.: Having already managed to see "Marie Antoinette" way back in July (a good thing since it isn't even opening in my little corner of the world), I urge everyone else to do the same, even if it is a train wreck. As for me, I'll be seeing "The Prestige" Saturday and "Flags of Our Fathers" Sunday, so please feel free to check back for reviews of each. Man, do I love the fall.


Barbarian02003 said...

Black Christmas? Is that a remake? The first Black Christmas was such a horror flop that only a few people today know it exists. I certainly hope this Black Christmas will be better.

wcdixon said...

The original Black Xmas did okay I think.

Train wreck? As in so bad its good? Or just an interesting mess?

Barbarian02003 said...

If you liked SHAUN OF THE DEAD, have you seen anything on SEVERANCE?

Anonymous said...

It's good to hear that King of the Hill will be back. I actually believe that of the primetime animated series, it has been the most consistent in quality. And it catches small town Texas perfectly.

As to the original Black Christmas, if I recall it didn't do that well on initial release (but then with its low budget it didn't have to do well), but it became a hit on the midnight movie circuit. I remember it showed at the Kennedy in Kirksville back in 1981 one weekend.

Reel Fanatic said...

I have heard rumblings about Severance for some time now, barbarian, and it is definitely one I am looking forward to seeing when I can .. I definitely prefer my horror with at least a little humor .. thanks for the heads up!

Wcdixon, I'd call Marie Antoinette more of an interesting mess .. The mixing of contemporary and historical seemed random at best to me, but as she always does, Sofia put the whole thing together with plenty of style .. I would have posted a complete review, but it has been more than three months since I saw it on vacation, I therefore didn't feel comfortable about reviewing it after the long gap.

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan of Michelle Trachtenberg's since "Harriet the Spy," and she was terrific in "Mysterious Skin."

I agree with you about "Marie Antoinette." A lot of very high-end eye candy, not entirely successful but always interesting.

And I agree with you about "Fraggle Rock." It makes me nuts when 30-somethings decide its a bright idea to make a feature film out of whatever they had as a lunchbox in third grade. This is how we get dreck like "Dukes of Hazzard."

Reel Fanatic said...

I think you nailed my fears with Fraggle Rock specifically by mentioning Dukes of Hazzard, Nell ... Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't think of another time when studios were mining the past so notoriously instead of trying to come up with any new ideas

Christopher55 said...

I can't believe I'm admitting this. I enjoyed Michelle in "Ice Princess."

Lons said...

I know it's based on a book and probably has some kind of significance thematically to the story, but "The Possibility of Fireflies" is the worst title for a movie I've heard in YEARS.

We're talking "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever" bad. You could cast Bruce Willis, Jude Law, Humphrey Bogart and Jesus in a movie called "The Possibility of Fireflies" and the vast majority of Americans would STILL stay away in droves.

Reel Fanatic said...

I definitely had the same immediate reaction to that title as you, Lons .. What the hell could that possibly even mean? Has some evil scientist hatched a plot to rid the world of firefiles? Sheesh

SamuraiFrog said...

Black Christmas is being made by the same guys who made Final Destination and Willard (another remake), both of which were so over-the-top that I loved them. It also has Lacey Chabert in it.

Ever since selling the Muppet Show characters to Disney, Brian Henson's ideas have all revolved around simply remaking Henson projects from the eighties. Now we have the Fraggle Rock movie, the Dark Crystal sequel, and probably at any given moment he's going to resurrect those old Land of Gorch segments from Saturday Night Live for a miniseries, or something. Well done, Brian. Way to get out of your father's legacy, like you always wanted.

Reel Fanatic said...

I have much more hope for the Dark Crystal project, Samuraifrog, but you're right ... it would be much more impressive if they were to come up with something new to bring to the table

Chance said...

I'm glad that Michelle Trachtenberg is doing better than Buffy. Something about Sarah Gellar annoys her voice, also the fact that she goes by all 3 of her names. Michelle Trachtenberg is also alot better looking & probably will even get even more in time.

Jim Donahue said...

King of the Hill is criminally underrated--I'm glad it's coming back.

BTW, as far as bad titles go, I think "The Prestige" is an awful name for a film. (Great trailer though--I'm looking forward to seeing it.)

Reel Fanatic said...

I have to agree with you there, Mr. Donahue .. The title comes from the great book it is based on, but Mr. Nolan should have considered a change anyway