Thursday, September 27, 2007

Finally, a Scorsese music documentary to cheer about

When Martin Scorsese earlier this year got together with the Rolling Stones for a documentary/lovefest, it elicited nothing from this corner but a fairly loud yawn.

Not for Marty, mind you, but for the Stones, who I just couldn't care less about. As Scorsese recently proved with his PBS doco "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan," he still has a hunger and flair for the genre, and this morning comes word he has a much more worthy subject than Mick Jagger to work with.

He's now apparently lined up the support of Olivia Harrison and others to make a feature-length flick about the life of George Harrison (a k a the second-most talented dead Beatle; as an aside, I'm listening to Lennon/Ono's "Double Fantasy" this morning, and it's just as sublime as ever.

And with Harrison's life trajectory in mind, this certainly seems like an ideal fit. Along with his forays into Eastern religions, Harrison also tried his hand at the movie business as a backer of Handmade Films and produced films such as "Monty Python's Life of Brian" and "Time Bandits."

Next for Wes Anderson, a Murray-Schwartzman reunion

Anyone who thinks I write about Wes Anderson too much here is probably right, but so what? There are very few directors whose work I enjoy seeing more on the big screen, so any word of what he might be up to is worth reporting.

After "Darjeeling Limited," which opens the New York Film Festival tomorrow night for anyone lucky enough to be there, he's long been rumored to be getting into the animation game with his take on Roald Dahl's "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." And now, according to the surprisingly good MTV movies blog, things are finally moving forward on this odd project.

As Anderson told MTV, George Clooney is the big dog as the voice of Mr. Fox, but Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman will stage a "Rushmore" reunion of sorts as supporting voices. However, just in case this gets anyone else as excited as it does me, be warned: We won't see this one anytime soon.

“It will take a couple years to do the animating," Anderson told MTV. “It’s stop-motion. It’s like ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ or those Christmas specials. These [characters] have fur, so it’s not like claymation.”

I'm still not sure he can pull this off, but I'm just happy to see him trying a new challenge or, for that matter, working at all.

If you want to get your Wes Anderson fix on much sooner and you have the Itunes software (which I will later today so I can see this), you can apparently watch his short film "Hotel Chevalier" now for free. At the NYFF, this 13-minute piece starring Schwartzman and Natalie Portman (and, apparently, in case this is an incentive, Ms. Portman's bare bum) is screening as an opener to "Darjeeling Limited," but apparently won't make the theatrical cut coming soon.

A free Wes Anderson flick? I'm in, as soon as I can put the Itunes player on my work computer.

DVR alert: "The Office" reopens tonight

"No, Dwight, I don't care if that's how they consolidated power in ancient Rome."

You can argue whether the season three finale of "The Office" was last season's funniest hour of network TV, but for my money Angela definitely had the best spit take-inducing line with that little gem.

Season four begins tonight with the first of four one-hour episodes, so be ready. With Pam and Jim possibly finally a real couple and Ryan the former temp now given broad authority to torture Michael Scott at very turn, this should be nothing but fun.

Here's a look at the plot lines for these opening four salvos:

Tonight: “Fun Run”
A freak accident causes Michael (Steve Carell) to feel the office is cursed. He explores the religious beliefs of his employees before deciding to hold a charity 5K fun run. Meanwhile, further developments in the romances of Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim (John Krasinski), and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) and Angela (Angela Kinsey) are explored. (As an aside, my favorite episode so far would have to be "Diwali," so this should be a blast.)

Oct. 4: "Dundler-Mifflin Infinity"
Much to the dismay of Michael and many of the employees, Ryan (B.J. Novak) returns to the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin to bring the company into the digital age. Angela is still upset about her cat.

Oct. 11: "Launch Party"
The Dunder Mifflin Infinity Web site is launching and Michael is excited about going to the big launch party in New York while Angela plans a satellite party for the Scranton branch. Meanwhile, Dwight competes against the Web site to see who can sell the most paper in one day.

Oct. 18: “Money”
As Jan renovates the condo, Michael confronts his growing debt every way he can, which includes pressuring his employees for a loan. Pam and Jim spend a night out on Dwight’s farm, now a bed and breakfast.

I've been putting my DVR through a few warmups taping "Heroes," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and, yes, I'll admit it, "Gossip Girl," but "The Office" is the show that convinced me to finally break down and get it in the first place, so definitely bring it on. Peace out.


Bob said...

First of all, you can never write about Wes Anderson too much. Secondly, that's cool to hear that Murray and Schwartzman will both appear in "Mr. Fox."
Also, that George Harrison documentary does sound cool. But you forgot to mention that his Handmade films also made "Withnail and I." "How DARE you!" :)
In other Beatles related news I saw "Across the Universe" last night. Didn't really like it. I'm gonna go write a review right now actually.

Reel Fanatic said...

Let me know when you've written it, Bob .. I don't think we'll ever get that one way out here, especially since it's gotten pretty roundly panned

Eric said...

Marty also did one of my favorite band shows, The Last Waltz. For any dinosaurs out there that are fond of The Band and Niel Young or any of the big names from the 70s it is a must see. Dylan even makes an appearance.

As for the office....Can't wait

Bob said...

The "Across the Universe" review is written!

Reel Fanatic said...

I love "The Last Waltz" almost more than words can express, Eric ... In fact, I used to own two copies of the special edition that was released a few years back, until I gave one of those away to a friend

Eric said...

Yeah I oreded it on Net Flix, Lost it and reproted it as such and they (rightly) charged me for the disk. but then I found it and now Whenever I want to see it I can.
But it usually makes me drink too much :)

Mercurie said...

A Scorsese documentary on Harrison is certainly worth a look. George has always been my second favourite Beatle (after John).

And I am definitely glad we're going to have new episodes of The Office tonight!

kat said...

I'm unbelievably geeked about the Scorsese/Harrison documentary. And I'm also pretty jazzed about "The Office" coming up in, oh, 2 minutes. I think I really like your blog. You've got good taste. (Well, you've got MY taste, so it must be good.)

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks, Kat ... I think you'll find I'm kind of like Nixon in as much as, I think he said, "I may not know art, but I know what I like"