Tuesday, May 04, 2010

"Brick" team reuniting for something really crazy, but hopefully great

If the survival of "Chuck" was really contingent on the ratings for last night's episode, as Deadline Hollywood and other sources claim, the creators at least put up a real winner.

With guest stars Swoozie Kurtz and Fred Willard, plus a mean Bengal tiger, it was just good, old-fashioned goofy, with more than enough romance thrown in to sweeten the deal. And the kicker with Ellie and Awesome in Africa points to a fantastic finish.

Word should come very soon on whether or not there will be a fourth season, but in the meantime, NBC has already made, in its first new series pickup, what would make the perfect leadin to "Chuck" for a spytastic Monday night.

J.J. Abrams of "Lost" and "Alias" has pitched a show called "Undercovers," about a married couple who just happen to be former top spies with the CIA. They get called back into duty (by Gerald McRaney, naturally) after a former co-worker goes missing while on the trail of a Russian arms dealer. Actually, it's probably too much like "Chuck" to pair the two, though I seriously doubt this new show will bring the funny as regularly or as well as "Chuck" does.

In other good TV news, FX has just announced that it has picked up a second season of "Justified," the series based on an Elmore Leonard short story and starring Timothy Olyphant as, well, pretty much the same character he played in "Deadwood," just in modern-day Kentucky (which, oddly enough, isn't all that far removed from the Old West.)

The show, like another new one I'm really digging, "Treme," is certainly on a slow boil when it comes to a running storyline, but it has plenty of personality, and I'll definitely keep tuning in to see where this all goes. The finale of season one, by the way, comes June 8.

All I've got besides that today, as the headline promised, is news about just what director Rian Johnson and co-conspirator Joseph Gordon-Levitt are up to now, and then a nifty George Clooney trailer to finish things off.

The duo first teamed up for easily one of my favorite films of the last 10 years or so, the high school film noir "Brick." If you haven't seen this one, just rent it already, and I guarantee you'll enjoy it. Next for Johnson came "The Brothers Bloom." The first time I saw this in the theater it just left me cold, but coincidentally enough, I just red boxed it again last weekend, and while the plot still doesn't quite add up, there's more than enough style along the way to make it at least an enjoyable failure (and Rinko Kikuchi is just an adorable hoot as Boom Boom.)

Now, he and Gordon-Levitt seem to have something entirely different in the works for their next movie, "Looper." The plot details so far are more than a little confusing, but as far as I can tell it's a piece of "dark sci-fi" about hit men who are sent back in time to find their victims. Sounds more than a little like the average Bruce Willis movie that will appear in February and make exactly no impression at all, but here's hoping that in the hands of these two, it turns into a whole lot more.

And finally, in an admittedly brief report because I'm just running way behind today, I'll leave you with the first trailer I know of for a flick I had never heard of until this morning, Anton Corbijn's "The American." Starring one George Clooney, it's about an assassin who gets one final case in Italy, and judging at least from this brief glimpse, it looks like the old-fashioned, low-tech kind of thriller that I can really get into. Enjoy the trailer for this one, keep an eye out for it in September, and have a perfectly passable Tuesday. Peace out.


jeremy said...

Anton Corbijn, wow, I haven't thought of him in a long time. I thought Control was criminally underrated and perhaps the best filmed/shot movie of 2007. I see he's working w/ the same cintematographer, and that makes me happy.

Reel Fanatic said...

It took me two years to get around to watching that one, Jeremy, but I have to agree with you ... it's one fantastic flick