Thursday, June 24, 2010

Into the breach, meatbags! New, scab-free "Futurama" premieres tonight

You know, I've never even been remotely tempted to watch a Syfy movie, but the channel may have finally just found the formula to break down my resistance for about five minutes or so.

In a move that surely can only be hailed as evil genius, it has made the cast of its next movie, "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid (because, I suppose, on Syfy it always has to be something vs. something), a real battle of the '80s pop divas, Tiffany vs. Debbie (apparently back from Deborah) Gibson. And yes, really.

Just in case the plot actually matters to anyone, here goes: Debbie "not Deborah" Gibson will play a fanatical animal-rights activist who frees illegally imported exotic snakes from pet stores, sending them into the Everglades, where they grow to mega sizes (natch). Tiffany will play an overzealous park ranger who uses dangerous methods to save endangered alligators. Then, of course, the pair brawl at a party, then take matters outside into the swamp.

That's really probably enough about that nonsense, but just for the record, I'll take Tiffany, just on general principle, and because her dance music career has brought her here to Macon twice in the last few years.

In other, hopefully more important, news, the signs are increasing that Cameron Crowe really will direct another movie and at least somewhat wipe the sour taste of "Elizabethtown" from my movie memory. It appears that Matt Damon is in negotiations to play the lead in "We Bought a Zoo," which would begin shooting in January for a Dec. 23, 2011, release.

So, what's the movie about? Well, it's based on a memoir by Benjamin Mee, who along with his family bought and moved into a dilapidated zoo housing 200 exotic animals in the English countryside (but not, as far as I know yet, either Debbie Gibson or Tiffany.) In all seriousness, though, I really hope this all does come together, because with "Almost Famous" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" the man has directed and written two of my favorite flicks, and he surely deserves another winner.

And speaking of another director I really like who's been on a bit of a losing streak lately, I finally got around to watching Fernando Meirelles' "Blindness" a few weeks ago, and man was that a bleak bit of business. Not entirely awful, but not too close to entertaining either. Anyone who bothered to read my list of the best 100 movies of the '00s (and I suppose there just might be one of you) knows, however, that Meirelles rather easily topped that list with his debut flick, "City of God," so any news of him working again is welcome in this corner of the world, especially when he joins forces with a first-rate screenwriter.

Meirelles and Peter Morgan (writer of "Frost/Nixon," "The Queen" and, best of all, "The Damned United" - do yourself a favor and watch that ode to futbol futility as soon as possible) are joining forces for the "mature" drama "360." It will be based on the 1900 Arthur Schnitzler play "La Ronde" (which I'm not going to claim I've actually read), which apparently examined "the sexual morality and class ideology of his day through a series of sexual encounters between pairs of characters.” Sounds like equally juicy and heady stuff, and I'd imagine they'll contemporize it for what should be anything but a boring flick. Stay tuned ...

OK, before I got distracted by all that, this was supposed to be about the rather miraculous return of "Futurama" with back-to-back new episodes on Comedy Central tonight at 10 p.m. After Fox's brief flirtation with firing the entire voice cast and replacing them with scabs, they were eventually shamed into backtracking and bringing everyone back, and everything I've read about the new episodes indicates they're just as fun and trippy as ever. Just in case you need a refresher on all things "Futurama," here's a 7-minute "Recap-O-Rama" clip hosted by legendary Captain Zapp (not Zaff, as an alert reader politely informed me) Brannigan to get you caught up. Tune in to "Futurama" tonight and have a perfectly pleasant Thursday. Peace out.

FuturamaThursdays 10pm / 9c
Recap-O-Rama: 5 Seasons in 7 Minutes
Futurama New EpisodesFuturama New EpisodesUgly Americans


Justin said...

I can't wait for Futurama to return either, but isn't it Zapp Brannigan?

Reel Fanatic said...

You're right ... I think I made that mistake 'cause I was hit by the hypno toad .. changing it now .. thanks!

Justin said...

The sound of Hypno-Toad is perfect, isn't it?