Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Free Tom Waits and a ton of fun news

The best thing I can possibly think of to start a Wednesday morning on which it's pouring outside would be some new, free music from Tom Waits.

The great Mr. Waits is about to put out a double live album recorded on his Glitter and Doom tour (which I didn't get to see), and he's released an eight-song preview through his Web site that you can get by clicking here and giving up your e-mail address (hey, nothing's really totally free, right?) Listening to it as I am now, I can confirm it's well worth checking out, and even contains one of my favorite Waits songs, "Fannin Street."

R.I.P. Johnny Fontane

Before I get into anything approaching the news of the day, it's sad to report that crooner Al Martino, a k a Johnny Fontane, has died at the age of 82. Before he became the entertainer at Connie's wedding and the reason for the horse head in the bed in "The Godfather," the south Philly singer also had a string of fairly big hits. Rest in peace, Mr. Martino.

Shaun and Dr. Who a comedy dream team?

According to Bloody Disgusting, David Tennant, a k a Dr. Who, has signed to co-star with Simon Pegg in "Burke and Hare," set to be directed by John Landis. Any flick starring those two and about the true story of two 19th century graverobbers who provided cadavers to an Edinburgh Medical School is certainly one I'm going to keep my eyes on.

Zombie Joe Pesci?

If you'll bear with me today, I'm certain it could seem like I'm more than a bit schizophrenic as I flit from topic to topic, but there's a lot of good stuff out there, including the inside dirt from Hitfix about how easily the funniest cameo of this summer almost didn't come to be.

I'm just gonna have to assume that everyone who cares knows by now that Bill Murray makes a hilarious appearance about halfway into "Zombieland" that wakes the movie up and makes it hum along right to the finish (which was, a co-worker tells me, filmed at Great Adventures in Valdosta, taking advantage of the Peach State movie-making tax incentive, so bully to that.) Here's what Mr. Murray, apparently quite seriously, had to say about Joe Pesci and the part he passed up.

"I just thought playing yourself as a zombie was irresistible. And I thought Pesci was a fool. Pesci would be a spectacular zombie. Just imagine that guy with super-human zombie powers. He's already like that. In a way I thought, 'He missed the boat on this one.' Even while we were shooting, 'Why did he not do this? This is crazy.' "

Indeed. Oh well, there's certainly gonna be a "Zombieland" sequel or two since it's made so much money already, so maybe Mr. Pesci can get in on the fun next time. I'm certainly glad he passed this time, though, because Murray was just the definition of funny.

Kudos for Kendrick

Just a quick word about this, but anyone who's been here before knows that the charming Anna Kendrick is a big favorite around here, so I wanted to share it. Kendrick, who you may have seen in a certain little movie called "Twilight" and in the much, much better "Rocket Science," co-stars with George Clooney as a fellow downsizer in Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air," has been rightly honored by the 21st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival with its Rising Star Award. Huzzah.

"Golden Suicides" for Van Sant

As morose as this new project sounds, it also seems to be just about right for Gus Van Sant, who will team with author Bret Easton Ellis to pen "The Golden Suicides."

Based on a Vanity Fair article, it will be the story of the double suicides of Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake, respectively a video game designer and "digital painter." The couple descended into a paranoid spiral when the artists developed a consuming belief that government and religious organizations were conspiring against them. She killed herself in 2007. Blake found her body on the floor of their bedroom, and walked into the Atlantic Ocean a week later, ending his life.

No word on whether or not Van Sant would direct this, but I'd have to assume so, and like I said, it seems like just about a perfect fit.

"Gilmore Girls" creator coming to HBO

Given how much I loved "Gilmore Girls" (yes, really, and you would too if you had watched it), I really should have led with this news.

It seems that "Gilmore Girls" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino has signed on with HBO to create an as-yet-untitled show which "chronicles the complicated relationship between three adult sisters, all writers sharing the same upper east side apartment building, and their mother, a domineering literary lioness who reserves most of her affections for their ne'er-do-well brother."

Sherman-Palladino has already made one post-"Gilmore" effort of sorts with the truly execrable "Return of Jezebel James" on Fox (if I remember correctly), but given her easy ear for family dynamics and the loose confines of HBO, I think this could be a real winner.

And finally, "Friday Night Lights"

If I had to pick one single favorite current TV show, it would certainly be "Friday Night Lights," edging out "Chuck" by a nose (it amazes me that NBC, the same network that makes eyeballs bleed with Jay Leno five nights a week, is also capable of airing such great shows - when it gets around to it.)

As fans of "Friday Night Lights" know, season three (the best yet, in my opinion) ended with a schism - Coach Taylor shipped out to coach at the new East Dillon High while Tami is left behind as the principal of Dillon. It also meant the graduation and departure of a lot of favorite characters, so it will be fascinating to see how they rebuild - though I won't get to see it until sometime next year.

For those of you who may have DirecTV, however, the show is about to return Oct. 28. Below is a sort-of-making-of featurette for a DirecTV promo, followed by the promo itself. I know that doesn't sound like much fun, but it's just nice to see all the characters again, and if you don't mind me saying, I think I'd be entertained by simply watching Connie Britton eat a box of crackers. Enjoy, and have a perfectly passable Wednesday. Peace out.


valerie said...

You may already know this, Zombieland was originally supposed to be a tv show. That's why they had things like "Kill of the Week". There were only two KotW's in the movie, because that's how far they got along in the series.

Reel Fanatic said...

I had no idea, Valerie ... Perhaps now it will be transformed into a TV show at some point in the future, and if so, I'd certainly tune int