Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sam Raimi visiting the "Monster Zoo"

Even if he has been rejected by Ellen Page, Sam Raimi still seems to be having a boatload of fun since unshackling himself from the "Spider-Man" ship.

After directing the Universal thriller "Drag Me to Hell," which he's co-writing with brother Sam (and which Page pulled out of, to be replaced by Alison Lohman), he'll next take the producing reins of (and maybe direct, who knows) a crazy creation called "Monster Zoo," an upcoming graphic novel by Douglas TenNapel.

Now, one of the many problems with having to work for a living is that I don't get to sit around and read comic books all day, so I must confess I wasn't familiar with that name before reading the report this morning. I've included, however, courtesy of, the cover of "Monster Zoo."

So, what is "Monster Zoo" about? Well, thankfully, the title pretty much says it all: It's the story of a young boy who discovers his local zoo contains critters much more frightening than the ordinary collection. The tale is apparently set in motion when an ancient idol is unearthed and transported to the zoo, where its spirit awakens and starts to mutate the caged animals (of course.)

This just all sounds like tons of fun to me, and here's what the creator himself, Mr. TenNapel, had to say about it in getting geeked up on his own blog:

Raimi’s movie A Simple Plan is among my favorite all-time films. It’s nice to be in business with people who love telling stories…about creatures, comics and underdogs. Amen, brother.

Amy Sherman-Palladino is - finally - back!

A hearty huzzah to always-welcome reader Jeremy, who clued me in to the fact that Amy Sherman-Palladino's new series, "The Return of Jezebel James," will finally hit the airwaves this Friday night at 8 on Fox (with two back-to-back episodes, no less.)

Now, it's been a while since I've talked about it, but I've made no secret of my love for ASP'S "Gilmore Girls." For six years or so (not counting the last, rather disastrous season), it was just about the funniest and smartest thing on TV, and packed with beautiful women to boot, so why not tune in week after week?

Thankfully, though a half-hour comedy (probably saddled with a laugh track, sheesh), "Jezebel James" seems to mine many of the same issues, and it's headed by two veritable babes as well, if I may be so blunt.

Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose lead the cast as two estranged sisters. In the pilot episode (of which I've included a short YouTube preview below), Posey asks Ambrose's character to move in with her and, rather more importantly, I'd think, carry and have a child for her. "Gilmore Girls" fans should note that Scott Cohen, a k a Lorelai Gilmore's paramour Max Medina, will also be a "Jezebel" regular.

In a preview at the great Gilmore Girls News site, doubts were raised about whether or not Posey can keep up with ASP's signature quick and (hopefully still) witty dialogue, but I'm hoping they're wrong. Definitely tune in to find out (or if, like me, you have to work on Friday nights or - even better - actually go out on the town, set your TIVO/DVR.)

Mitchell Hurwitz's coming back too!

I suppose this means that any movement toward an "Arrested Development" movie is, for now at least, on hold, but let's just focus on the positive for the moment.

The good news is that the "AD" creator is coming back to Fox with an animated adaptation of the short-lived Aussie comedy series "Sit Down, Shut Up." Though I've never heard of it, it apparently revolves around the lives of seven staff members of a dysfunctional high school in a small northeastern fishing town (sounds like perfect Hurwitz territory already.)

I'm a little skeptical about the animated thing, but it's certainly what Fox thrives on, so here's hoping that Hurwitz can come up with a winner if and when this finally comes to fruition (and that, of course, all hope is not lost for an "Arrested Development" movie somewhere down the line!)

Fun with posters ... and a trailer

OK, I'm bringing it back to movies now. Though these two posters are, I suppose, both somewhat related to kung fu, they really couldn't be much more different. My impressions: The one for the Jackie Chan/Jet Li flick "Forbidden Kingdom" looks a little bit queer (not that there's anything wrong with that, of course), and the tagline for Jody Hill's "Foot Fist Way" is enough to reinforce my belief that the flick, coming in June, will be a real sleeper hit this summer. Enjoy!

And, lastly, here's the final trailer for Pixar's next summer offering, "Wall-E," also scheduled to hit in June. Unlike what we've seen thus far, this clip offers a look at the second half of the flick, after our hero has left his cleanup job on Earth. I'm still more than a little skeptical that a flick with little to no discernible dialogue will be much of a hit with the tykes, but it looks simply beautiful, so here's hoping I'm wrong. Peace out.


Michelle said...

nice review on 'monster zoo'...looking forward to watching it!

ren said...

doug tennapel has one of the most unique comic styles around. his art is beautiful. i highly recommend his comic "gear" which later morphed a bit and sort of became the nick toon "catscratch".

Reel Fanatic said...

I'll certainly check it out, Ren .. thanks for the recommendation!

Mercurie said...

While I've heard of Monster Zoo, I must confess I haven't read it. At any rate, it sounds like it could be a lot of fun, and right up Raimi's alley.

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