Thursday, April 09, 2009

A great day for comedy

If you like comedy of almost all kinds (and who doesn't?), there's a lot of good news and clips out there today, and at least one simply horrible idea: Having run out of appealing targets to roast well before they hit Larry the Cable Guy last month, Comedy Central is now turning to its worst subject yet: Joan Rivers.

I mean, really, if the person you're roasting is so unfunny that she deserves at least the abuse being hurled at her by her "friends" and more, where's the entertainment value in that? I think I'm just the wrong audience for these to start with, but that just sounds like a whole new low.

In much, much better news, tonight on NBC should just be epicly good. At 8:30, the new show created by "The Office" writers Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, "Parks and Recreation," debuts. I can only take Amy Poehler in very small doses, but I thought the same thing about Steve Carell before "The Office" started, so here's hoping I'm wrong.

Even better than that, though, is that it will be sandwiched between two brand spanking new episodes of "The Office" itself. I don't think anyone really believes Michael and Pam have left Dunder Mifflin for good, but it should still be cool to see Michael's big showdown with Charles, played by "The Wire" vet Idris Elba. For just a taste, here's the opening 90 seconds or so courtesy of NBC, featuring Kevin's considerable lack of ability to answer the phone and a very funny kicker:

You're bad at this too!

And in a very good bit of TV news for those who don't mind their humor dark and - as Jody Hill himself puts it - "full of a**holes," HBO has picked up a second season of Hill's series "Eastbound and Down," starring veryfunnyman Danny McBride as a former Major League ballplayer trying to make a comeback (like the mighty Baltimore Orioles, who are now 2-0 at the expense of the dastardly Yankees!)

Director Hill, of course, hits theaters this week with the mall-cop comedy "Observe and Report" starring Seth Rogen. Even with the tired premise, when I saw Associated Press critic Christy LeMire's hyper-ventilating review in which she called it both "vile" and "disgusting" (overkill, anyone?), I knew this would deliver just about completely what I'm expecting and looking forward to.

OK, enough of that. There are three promising trailers out there today that in their own way serve up comedy too. Sometime around August of last year, I put up a poll in which 26 readers voted (not a scientific sample, mind you, but not too shabby, I suppose) for the movie they were most looking forward to for the rest of the year. At the time, I declared that "Slumdog Millionaire" was the single movie I most wanted to see in all of 2008, and we all know what happened to that one.

Well, I don't think it's headed to the same fate as Danny Boyle's flick, but I'm giving the same designation this year to Rian Johnson's "The Brothers Bloom," finally set to open hopefully very wide in a busy May 29 weekend that will also feature at least Sam Raimi's "Drag Me to Hell" and Pixar's "Up."

Why so excited for this one? Well, if you haven't seen Johnson's high school noir flick "Brick," rent it now, and you'll see how much potential he has as a director. Plus, I just love goofy movies about a big con, and when it features Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody and Rinko Kikuchi, I'm definitely in. Enjoy the new trailer.

"Where are we going?"
"New Jersey?"
"I'm gonna grab my coat."

Almost as good is the video proof that Mike Judge is returning to the working world for "Extract," hopefully coming to movie theaters outside of L.A. and Austin sometime in August. Starring Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Mila Kunis, J.K. Simmons and a fairly well-disguised Ben Affleck, it's about "the personal and professional problems of the owner of a flower extract plant (Bateman)." I'm laughing about that already.

And if I can digress just a bit before we get to the trailer, as Judge's "King of the Hill" is coming to an end on Fox after a rather remarkable 13-year run, he's about to have a new animated comedy coming to ABC. Called "The Goode Family," the show about a politically incorrect clan will premiere at 9 p.m. May 27. And in a final bit of TV news for all fans of ABC's late "Pushing Daisies," the facts are these: The final three episodes of that fantastic fantasy will indeed hit the air, for three weeks in a row beginning at 8 p.m. June 20.

And now, without further dithering from me, here's the "Extract" trailer:

"They're just hanging there."

And finally, for real, here's a first glimpse of what Robert Rodriguez is cooking up with "Shorts," also set to hit theaters in August. I'm a sucker for what Rodriguez comes up with when he makes movies for kids, especially the first "Spy Kids." This one looks very similar to others in the current crop of mild fantasies being pitched to youngins by Walden Media and other companies, but I'm still betting it will be a lot of fun. Enjoy the trailer, and have a perfectly pleasant Thursday. Peace out.

"I wish I had telephonesis!"


Chalupa said...

I've been interested in The Brothers Bloom. I wonder if Rachel's performance in this will change my mind about her. I don't think she's terrible, but I don't think she's great either. All the buzz about her role in The Constant Gardner just drove me nuts. I didn't think she was the good in it. I did enjoy The Shape of Things though.

Mercurie said...

I'm glad to hear ABC will finally air the last episodes of Pushing Daisies. I was wondering if they would ever air them! I am still sore over its cancellation.

Reel Fanatic said...

I've never been all that high on her either, Chalupa, but from the footage I've seen so far it looks like she's just having goofy fun with "Bloom," which might make her more likable

RC said...

roasting joan...i'll pass on that.

jason bateman...he's great...he always cracks me up, especially in arrested development.

Nell Minow said...

These all look splendid -- I am especially looking forward to "Brothers Bloom" as "Brick" was simply astounding and the cast is superb. Did I catch Clifton Collins in that "Extract" trailer? I am a huge fan. If you have not seen "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit," take a look. He is terrific in it.