Monday, February 11, 2008

Ellen Page is headed to "Hell"

The big news this morning, of course, is that the writers' strike finally appears to be at an end.

Showrunners are back at work today, and writers are expected back Wednesday, but I have to ask: what exactly did they win? WGA west President Patric Verrone said the new deal is "... not all that we hoped for, and it is not all we deserve." Judging from what I see in TV commercials, however, I fear it will be even worse than that.

Why so pessimistic? I was fairly happy that this was all over until, on Sunday night, I saw a commercial for something on NBC with the word "Truth" in it (the full name escapes me, and I really just can't justify the effort to find out what it is). On this rather reprehensible program, a man seemed to be answering questions, while hooked up to a lie detector, with his marriage and, I presume, most of his life in the balance.

Does anyone see the entertainment value in this? And if so, could you please explain it to me? Here's hoping that the labor peace will lead to some actually scripted TV this fall, but I fear the breach will be too much to mend. I'm sure there's blame to go around, but just to pile on NBC a bit more, the network has already announced it is ending the pilot process used to woo advertisers, which can only be a bad sign.

But enough of that. Even if I fear it will be a phyrric victory at best, the writers are indeed headed back to work, and we should at least celebrate that. And, since nothing makes Mondays go down better than good news about beautiful women, that's all I'll have from here on out (at least until the very end.)

No "Heroes" until Fall

One show that will definitely return, but not until Fall, is NBC's "Heroes," which is seriously in need of a good season after the near-disaster that was Volume 2.

Hayden Panettiere, while at the Berlin Film Festival, spilled the beans to an AICN scribe that filming on season three is set to start in April, which would logically mean we wouldn't get anything new until the Fall.

Whenever it comes, I'll be ready for more. Season two was often a maddening one to me (what in the world was the point of adding the wonder twins Maya and Alejandro, for starters?), but the last few episodes really picked up steam and set up well for the next edition, so definitely bring it on.

Ellen Page is headed to "Hell"

And finally we get to the still-fairly-young lady of the moment. Lest anyone get suspicious that I write about Ms. Page so often simply because it leads to more traffic on this site (which it certainly does), you'll have to trust me that that's not it.

I've seen "Juno" twice now, and it's simply a charming little movie, and mostly thanks to Page's work in the lead role. It's not the best movie of 2007, an honor that I'd split between "No Country for Old Men" and "Ratatouille," but I would call it just about the most fun flick of the year, and that's good enough for me.

And now Ellen Page is about to spread some of her good karma to someone who sorely needs it: Sam Raimi. No one (except for maybe M. Night Shymalan) is more in need of a satisfying flick than Raimi after the dour disaster that was "Spider-Man 3," and his next one, "Drag Me to Hell," is rapidly shaping up to be just the ticket.

All I know so far is that Ellen Page has just signed on to star in the horror flick and that it's described simply as "a morality tale about the unwitting recipient of a supernatural curse."

Raimi and his brother Ted, the team behind "Spidey 3," wrote the script for this one too, so here's hoping they indeed have a lot more fun when this begins shooting in March.

"Veronica Mars" gets Disney treatment

Speaking of "Heroes," Season 2 semi-regular Kristen Bell has just signed on for a Disney romantic comedy, not at all my cup of tea but noteworthy nonetheless.

In "When in Rome," also set to begin filming in March," Bell will play a successful real estate agent in New York City who can't find a lasting relationship (already more than bit hard to believe.) When her younger sister impulsively marries in Rome, she flies out for the wedding and, after picking up coins from a reputed "fountain of love," finds an overabundance of suitors waiting for her back home.

Like I said, sounds like a whole lot of meh to me, but don't blame the messenger.

"Ratatouille" cleans up at Annies

And speaking of "Ratatouille," Brad Bird's Pixar flick won a leading 11 Annies (by my best estimate) at Friday's ceremony, so a hearty huzzah to that.

Along with best picture, best writing and best directing, it also scored the voice work prize for Ian Holm (though I would have given the honor to either fellow "Ratatouille" nominee Janeane Garofalo or the somehow-snubbed completely Peter O'Toole.) And while we're at it, congrats too to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" vet Seth Green, a winner for best director of a TV show for the sublime "Robot Chicken."

And why not wrap this up with a look at Pixar's next summer offering, "Wall-E"? I still have doubts that this largely dialogue-free flick will work, but just a look at Wall-E's eyes is enough to give me hope. Enjoy the trailer, and have an entirely bearable Monday. Peace out.


Mercurie said...

The show is The Moment of Truth, and actually it's on Fox, not NBC. Regardless of the network it is on, I must say I find it one of those most vile creations in the history of television. Why WOULD anyone find this entertaining?

I kind of hate Kirsten Bell in a Disney romantic comedy, but then I suppose that is better than not seeing Miss Bell at all....

Bob said...

As awful as "The Moment of Truth" is (keep in mind I haven't watched it and don't plan to) I have absolutely no sympathy for the people who go on it. They know what they're getting into.
Sooo...Kristen Bell is going the Amy Adams route? Well it's worked for Amy so why not?

Reel Fanatic said...

Ah .. thanks for the correction, Mercurie ... I was flipping through sports as I watched some DVDs, so I must have seen it during the Pro Bowl ... No matter what network it's on, though, it just seems to be pure shite

Divinity said...

I'm pretty sure that it was Sam and Ivan Raimi that wrote Spidey 3. Joxer the Mighty's a sweetie but I don't think he writes... yet.

Reel Fanatic said...

Ah ... you're right at that, Divinity, and it turns out that it is indeed also Sam and Ivan who have written the script for "Drag Me to Hell," so thanks for the correx