Statler: Well, how do you like the film?
Waldorf: I've seen detergents leave a better film than this.
Yeah, yeah, I suppose there's pretty big news out there today about a certain wizard's seventh book being divided into his seventh and eighth film, with David Yates coming back to direct them both, but if you look at the world like I do, that just pales in comparison to this:
There's gonna be a new Muppets movie! Not a remake of the movie I was convinvced, at 9 years old, was the greatest cinematic creation of all time, but an actual new Muppets movie.
I shouldn't get so excited about this, I suppose, but I can't help it. I just love the Muppets beyond all reason, and everything about this project sounds right so far (though really, we don't know too much at all right now.)
The facts, so far, are these: Former "Geek" Jason Segel and his writing partner, Nick Stoller, will come up with an original Muppets script, with Stoller set to direct.
So, just how does someone land this rather distinguished honor? Well, apparently, the Henson folks had a hand in Segel and Stoller's upcoming camp Apatow comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," which hopefully won't suck when it drops April 18. In the flick, Segel's character, who has just had his heart broken by Veronica Mars (more on that, sort of, later in this post), somehow ends up performing a "Dracula" puppet show using creations from the Henson shop. How exactly this emboldened Segel to make a pitch to the Henson folks to come up with a Muppets movie I'm not sure, but he did, and, thankfully, both Henson and Disney bit.
Along with being an alum of both "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared," easily my two favorite one-season-only TV shows, Segel of course also stars on the very funny (but somehow apparently on the "bubble") "How I Met Your Mother," which returns to CBS with new episodes Monday. If you like this show at all, please tune in so CBS doesn't pull the plug on a fourth season!
As for the Muppets movie, I offer only one dose of caution. Please, please, please remember that the Muppets thrived on jokes, like the one that started this post, that were always a little cheesy but also always appropriate for all ages. They were never (too) crude, and they were never, to the best of my memory, computer-generated. With those simple rules in mind, I say congratulations Mr. Segel, and please have a lot of fun with this!
Warner Independent gets its 'Wishbones'
How exactly does every book Tom Perrotta write get made into a movie? Don't get me wrong: "Election" is close to a minor comic masterpiece, and once I finally got around to seeing it, "Little Children" was easily one of the best movies of 2006. I'm just saying, the dude certainly is on a winning streak.
His newest novel, "The Abstinence Teacher," which I haven't read, was picked up by Warner Independent Pictures before it came out, and now the same studio has purchased the rights to my favorite Perrotta novel, "The Wishbones."
Though admittedly rather similar in tone (but not structure) to Nick Hornby's "High Fidelity," it's still an endearing tale of growing up (and refusing to.) The "hero" is a 30-year-old New Jersey wedding band (the Wishbones) musician who still lives with his parents. Just as he's about to marry his longtime girlfriend, he begins an affair with a Bohemian poet from Manhattan and, well, the rest you can find out for yourself.
The "Little Miss Sunshine" producing duo Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa are overseeing both this and "The Abstinence Teacher," which is being directed, not too coincidentally, by "Little Miss Sunshine" helmers Valere Faris and Jonathan Dayton. A little incestuous, perhaps, but if it leads to good movies, so what?
Please, Naomi, say it ain't so!
A question for Naomi Watts: If you have to spend the next two years or so saying nice things about thoroughly unnecessary and, in the latter case, outright criminal remakes, does your soul die or just erode a bit?
I like Naomi Watts in a lot of things ("Eastern Promises," "The Ring" and, way back when, "Flirting" come to mind), but how in the world did she end up in both Michael Haneke's remake of his own movie, now known apparently as "Funny Games U.S.", and Michael Bay's latest assault on cinema, an actual remake of "The Birds" (being directed by Martin Campbell)?
I'm sure she'll make movies I'll like (or even bother to see) again, but in the meantime she's left to heap empty praise like this on the "The Birds" remake:
"It's a work-in-progress at this point. I think it's a wonderful film. There are great things in it that interest me. The script isn't completely there yet, it probably won't happen until next year."
I hope that means there's still time to pull out of this before it destroys you, Naomi!
From "Veronica Mars" to "90210"?
I suppose that "Veronica Mars" creator Rob Thomas has gotta eat, but this project just sounds too silly to be real (which of course means it is.)
The programming geniuses at the CW have indeed commissioned Thomas to develop a contemporary spinoff of "Beverly Hills 90210" for CBS Paramount Network TV.
Though I'm almost certain I couldn't bring myself to tune into this, assuming it ever hits the airwaves, I do have one question: Since most of the "kids" seemed to be at least 30 when the original "90210" went off the air, won't they be approaching 50 now? Who in the world really wants to see that?
And since you're in the spinoff biz, CW, why didn't you bite on Thomas' original spinoff pitch, which would have put Kirsten Bell's Veronica Mars character at the FBI Academy? Sheesh.
A new trailer for "The Incredible Hulk"
OK, enough silliness. I'll end instead with this fairly cool trailer for the upcoming "Incredible Hulk" movie starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler and Tim Roth. I think I'm just about the only person in the world who actually liked Ang Lee's take on the hulk, but I will admit that from what little I've seen of this new version it does look and feel a lot more like a comic book movie at heart. Peace out.