Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What kinds of kids will appear next under "Friday Night Lights"?

You know, I tend to rail against sequels and remakes all the time (and just for the case of symmetry, a rather dastardly one of the latter will be showing up at the end today), but occasionally you hear of one that's just screaming out to be made.

To give all credit to where it's due, I read about this amazing bit of news/gossip on the fantastic blog The Playlist. It seems that on Adam Carolla's podcast recently (I really can't imagine any way I'd be listening to that), he was apparently interviewing Jules Asner, who used to be a host on E! but is now, among other things I suppose, the wife of Steven Soderbergh.

Well, as they were discussing Soderbergh's movies, she let fly this juicy bit about what just happens to be my co-favorite (along with the sublime "Out of Sight") Soderbergh flick, "The Limey": "He wants to do a sequel to The Limey and Terence wants to do it. Terence and Michael Caine."

Take a minute to envision just how cool that could be. Now, I know that "The Limey" has a very definite ending, but I'd still certainly welcome the chance to see Terrence Stamp reprising his role as one of the baddest asses of all time, especially along with Michael Caine. Perhaps Soderbergh is up for a revenge flick after being burned so bad on "Moneyball," but whatever his motivation might be here, I can only say bring it on!

And, before I get to today's "Friday Night Lights" main course, and then two wickedly entertaining videos, comes easily the funniest bit of news I could find in the last couple of days.

When I first heard they were gonna make a live-action movie of "Hong Kong Phooey," I was perfectly happy to simply shrug it off as yet another movie I'll never, ever see. But then I saw who's producing it. It seems that Brett Ratner, who just made my eyes bleed with what he did to the "X-Men" saga, has nothing better to do than produce this mess. Sheesh.

OK, now on to the main event, which comes courtesy of the seriously TV-obsessed Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly.

Anyone who tuned in to the third season of "Friday Night Lights" on either DirecTV or later on NBC (like me and most of the world) watched what I think has turned into easily the best drama on television right now. And if you didn't, why the heck not?

As you may well remember, season three ended at a definite crossroads, with Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) being ousted as coach of the Dillon Panthers and shipped off to coach at a brand new school, East Dillon High. It sets up all kinds of crosstown rivalry possibilities, especially since Dillon's QB1 JD McCoy (Jeremy Sumpter) was at the center of Taylor's ouster.

Anyways, it's gonna be hard to wait until February or so to get to see this again on regular TV, but Ausiello has four sketches of the new characters to fill the void a little. And please, as you read them, remember that one of the real pleasures of watching "FNL" (at least for me) is that it takes what truly is soap opera material and turns it into fairly high art, so the characters are gonna sound even more tawdry on paper. Per Ausiello, here goes:

Vince: A charming yet dangerous East Dillon junior. He's African-American and, when we first meet him, he's running from the cops. Look for Coach Taylor to put his speed to better use as a member of the Lions. Series regular.

Luke: Vince's classmate and arch nemesis. He's Caucasian, cocky, and charming. Reminds some of a young Paul Newman. Dillon's new geographical breakdown has him playing for the Lions, and he's not happy about it. Series regular.

Jess: The super-energetic daughter of a onetime NFL hopeful, she knows the game inside and out. When she's not busy coaching her younger brothers, this sophomore/junior is getting crushed on by every guy in Dillon, East and West. Series regular.

Becky: A freshman beauty queen whose family is purebred trailer trash. Think Blair Waldorf with lousy genes. She finds Riggins in bed with her mother and reacts by trying to seduce him herself. My new favorite character is listed as recurring.

That last bit is key, because I can only assume that means that, although regulars Minka Kelly, Adrianne Palicki and Zach Gilford have all been lost to graduation, Taylor Kitsch will take time out from his new life as Gambit to return to the role that made him semi-famous, Tim Riggins. Man, with this and "Chuck" returning, TV's second season is gonna easily be better than the first.

OK, enough of that. Before I go, I've got two videos that certainly made me smile. I've stated here before that I have almost unconditional love for what Zack Snyder did with "Watchmen." One of my only beefs, in fact, was that he omitted a key scene from Alan Moore's and Dave Gibbons' funny book, the death of Hollis Mason.

Well, as you can see from this video courtesy of Trailer Addict, it will be in the director's cut set to hit DVD July 21 (and though I've severely curtailed my DVD buying of late, that is a must-have for me.) I especially like how poor Hollis flashes back to the baddies of yore as his demise nears. Enjoy.

Next comes a seriously good bit of funny from Aziz Ansari, who stars on NBC's "Parks and Recreation." He also has what is apparently (and unfortunately) only a bit part in Judd Apatow's July 31 flick "Funny People," as the comedian Randy.

Now, Randy is far from the kind of comedian I'd want to see live, delivering as he does the broadest and basest possible jokes, but seeing how Ansari jumped into the role with affection and energy is just a joy. Even though he apparently only gets a couple of minutes at best in the flick, Ansari got into the spirit enough to make a mockumentary about his character, the first part of which you can watch below courtesy of Funny or Die (and in this case I definitely vote for Funny.) Enjoy.

And finally, I should really just ignore this project, but I have to admit it has me almost as morbidly fascinated as it does simply disgusted. There's certainly no reason in the world for a talented director like Matt Reeves to make an English-language remake of my single favorite movie of all of 2008, the flawless coming-of-age horror flick "Let the Right One In," but I'll probably go see it to witness the flaming train wreck he comes up with. As you can see from the poster below, he at least keeps Oskar at about the same age, even though he felt compelled to shorten the title to simply "Let Me In." And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get ready for the job that still pays me just enough shekels to keep the lights on. Peace out.


Bob said...

"Let Me In," ugh. But another "Limey," HELL TO THE YES! Terence Stamp is incredible in that. Definitely my favorite Soderbergh movie and who doesn't love Michael Caine? It's just a shame Nicky Katt got killed off in the first one because I'd love to see more of his character.

"You tell him. You tell him I'm coming! Tell I'm F@#$ING COMINGGGG!"

Reel Fanatic said...

Amen, brother .. I own an old copy of it on VHS, and still go back and watch it once a month or so

Mercurie said...

I have to admit, I usually expect cartoon adaptations to be horrible. I mean, just look at what Disney did to my favourite Saturday morning cartoon of all time, Underdog. But maybe Hong Kong Phooey will buck the trend. I liked what And I fear Hong Kong Phooey will be no different...

I am glad to hear that they are including the death of Hollis Mason in the director's cut of Watchmen. It was one of my favourite scenes from the graphic novel--dramatic and saddening--and it looks like Zack Snyder did it up right for the movie.

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