Monday, July 23, 2007

Who won't be on "The Simpsons" this fall?

I saw Michael Moore's "Sicko" last weekend and was mildly disappointed. I'm still trying to put my finger on exactly why, so in the meantime here's the best news I could find this morning.

In a shameless attempt to ride the hype wave for this week's "Simpsons" movie, which I have decided will just be tons of funny (and of course I do have control over that), here's some details about characters and plots for the next season on Fox.

I have to admit, I've often been annoyed by the show in recent years. The writers often seem so distracted that they are unable to string together even a half hour's worth of coherent plot. When it's on target, however, it's still well worth watching.

In the season premiere, "He Loves to Fly and He D'ohs" (Sept. 23), Homer saves Mr. Burns from drowning in a mall fountain (funny already) and is rewarded with a flight to Chicago on Burns' private plane. In the course of all this, guest star Lionel Richie somehow ends up serenading our hero with "Say You, Say Me," and then Homer enlists a life coach (Stephen Colbert) to help him find a job that offers him the use of a corporate jet.

In "I Don't Wanna Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" (Sept. 30), Marge convinces a bank robber (Steve Buscemi) to turn himself in with the promise that she will visit him in prison. When she doesn't, he escapes to find her.

This next one sounds like it's actually a dream from my own head. In "Husband and Knives," Milo (guest voice Jack Black) opens Coolsville Comics & Toys directly across the street from Comic Book Guy's store. At Milo's store, the kids get to meet cool folks like Alan Moore, Art Spiegleman and Daniel Clowes. Sheesh. I guess when you've been on the air for 19 years you really can do anything you want to.

Later in the season, Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce and John Mahoney are reunited playing Sideshow Bob, his brother and father, respectively, and Jon Stewart, Matt Dillon, Maya Rudolph, Dan Rather, Placido Domingo, Kurt Loder, Weird Al Yankovic, Beverly D'Angelo and Topher Grace also pay Springfield a visit.

In the meantime, I'll be imagining what's coming with Friday's movie instead of thinking about my actual job.

A "Family Guy" movie?

Can you imagine how many gags it would take to fill even a 90-minute "Family Guy" movie? It could quite possibly be joke overload, but I'd definitely be there to find out.

Creator Seth MacFarlane told the Hollywood Reporter that a flick could soon be in the works.

"We have been trying to figure out how to do that and the series at the same time without the series suffering," MacFarlane said. One possibility is having longtime writer Ricky Blitt (writer of one of the worst movies I've ever seen, "The Ringer," so take that into consideration) work on a script for the flick.

Whatever comes of it, MacFarlane couldn't resist taking a shot at the "Simpsons" movie and its rather insane (but still secret) plot: "I don't want to do 'The Griffins must save the world,' " he said.

Tucci landing killer role

These next three casting tidbits are just nearly perfect. Stanley Tucci is in negotiations to play the pivotal role of killer George Harvey in Peter Jackson's adaptation of "The Lovely Bones."

Rachel Weisz and Ryan Gosling are already on board as the parents of Susie Salmon (newcomer Saoirse Ronan), a 14-year-old who has been raped and killed by a neighbor she refers to as Mr. Harvey. Alice Sebold's best-selling 2002 novel is told from the perspective of Susie, who looks down on her family and Harvey from the afterlife.

It seems like this flick has been taking shape forever now, but it's apparently finally set to begin shooting in October in Pennsylvania and Jackson's native New Zealand.

Chow down on this!

According to the L.A. Times' movie blog, Seth Rogen isn't afraid to bring on a sidekick with even better comic timing than he has for "The Green Hornet."

According to the paper, Rogen let it slip at Comic-Con that he wants none other than Stephen Chow to play his sidekick Kato, who was played on TV by Bruce Lee. I can't see any possible way that wouldn't be tons of fun, but there's no word yet if Chow is willing. Here's hoping!

Possibly the world's most beautiful woman joins 'Che' pics

If you somehow haven't seen "Maria Full of Grace," drop whatever you have planned for tonight and get thee to a video store. It's that good.

Now, "Maria" star Catalina Sandino Moreno has signed on to Stephen Soderbergh's two upcoming Che Guevara flicks, "The Argentine" and "Guerilla," which are set to begin shooting Wednesday in Spain. Benicio Del Toro is set to play Che, and though I'm not sure which role the lovely Ms. Sandino Moreno will play, she falls squarely into the category of women I will watch do just about anything.

Yes, John Krasinski will get to be in a good movie has what it says is the first pic from the screwball comedy "Leatherheads," which I've of course swiped. Though I'll take Mandy Moore over Renee Zellweger any day, it looks like John Krasinski will emerge from the wreckage of "License to Wed" unscathed.

In the fictionalized account of the origins of the NFL, George Clooney plays the coach of a wannabe pro football team in the 1920s and Krasinski plays the World War I hero/star football player. Ms. Zellweger gets caught between the two in some kind of love triangle or other.

Though he can be an awfully smug bastard, Clooney is also a damn fine movie director (and Soderbergh is on board to help with the script), so I have high hopes for this one.

New "No Country for Old Men" poster

I still have a day job, so I'll have to wrap this up quick, but here's a parting gift: a new poster for the Coens' upcoming take on Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for old Men." Enjoy, and have an entirely bearable Monday. Peace out.


Beth said...

Even a "bad" episode of The Simpsons is better than 95 percent of what's on television.

Chalupa said...

I have my doubts about a Family Guy movie, but I also had my doubts about a South Park movie. I'll admit Team America wasn't that great, but Bigger, Longer, Uncut was and still is one of the funnier movies I've seen.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm definitely with you on that South Park movie, Chalupa ... If I'm not mistaken, the guys who wrote all the songs for that also did the same for the "Hairspray" musical and new movie, which I've so far managed to avoid seeing

Mercurie said...

I've also thought that The Simpsons has gone downhill the past several years, although I am anxious to see the movie this weekend. It sounds like this coming season might be improvement although I guess we won' know for sure until this fall.

I'm glad to hear Stephen Chow was cast as Kato. I thought he was great in Kung Fu Hustle. And he certainly has what it takes for the part. I have to agree that The Green Hornet is shaping up to be a fun movie!

Marina said...

I completely agree that I'd love to see a "Family Guy" movie but I'm more on the 'love the idea' than 'want to see it' side of the story. I was severely disappointed by "Stewie Griffin - The Untold Story" and I'm just not sure a 90 minute movie is doable.

Excellent recommendation in "Maria Full of Grace" fantastic little film with an amazing performance from Moreno.

As for the "Old Men" poster...something about it doesn't sit well with me. I think it's the face in the background.

Reel Fanatic said...

That poster is indeed rather strange, Marina ... I'm thinking it's some kind of early test version and that there will be posters as the movie release approaches, but I could be wrong

Bob said...

Glad to see John Krasinski will be in something good. "License to Wed" was so awful in absolutely every way.
Also, cool to know that you're a "Withnail" fan! It's so hard to find people who've even heard of it, let alone love it.

Chalupa said...

I've been avoiding Hairspray too. Everybody I know that has seen it keeps telling me it's awesome. Maybe I'll netflix it or something. I just can't get over Travolta in the fat suit. It's not because it's a guy in a fat suit. It's because of Travolta in the fat suit.

Reel Fanatic said...

I've sworn off of guys-in-fat-suit movies after sitting through Big Momma's House 2 while trapped on an airplane, Chalupa .. I'm gonna try to stick to that!