Thursday, June 17, 2010

This just in: "The Blues Brothers" is a classic

Complaining about the vuvzelas is embarrassing. It's part of their game and we are their guests. Suck it up and stop whinging. Hooooooooonk!

Amen, brother. Not surprisingly, Simon Pegg gets it exactly right in that tweet. Do the vuvuzuelas really bother you that much, or more to the point, how are they any more annoying than thunder sticks, the wave or any other obnoxious thing we do at sporting events?

But, one paragraph in, already I digress. Just watch the World Cup already, and enjoy it as I am.

Here today, however, it's all about a startling discovery by the Vatican, well known for it's cutting-edge pronouncements on film and everything else. Its latest directive, issued in the Vatican's official newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano," in honor of the 30th anniversary of John Landis' movie, calls "The Blues Brothers" a "Catholic classic" and says it should be recommended viewing for Catholics everywhere.

Well, duh. The only way you could make that statement more accurate would be to make it say "film and comedy lovers" everywhere, but how in the world could the tale of Jake and Elwood, on a mission from God to save a Catholic orphanage, among other pursuits, not be a classic? Way to finally get on board, guys ...

And just in case you want to get all your viewing advice from the Vatican, here are a few others they have endorsed (and though I haven't seen "The Passion of the Christ" and won't, I can confirm that the rest of these are indeed very good, if not particularly edgy, movies): "The Blues Brothers" joins the list of dozens of films recommended by Catholic authorities that includes Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments," "Jesus of Nazareth" from Franco Zeffirelli," Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ," Victor Flemming's "Joan of Arc," and "It's a Wonderful Life" from Frank Capra.

OK, from here on out today, before we get to a few trailers, it will be all about comedies to come that will hopefully bring the serious funny, starting with a bold pronouncement from Ricky Gervais, who is the king of comedy in my book.

Anyone who's seen the original "The Office" or "Extras" knows that Gervais and writing partner Stephen Merchant have already established themselves as purveyors of very good observational comedy. So, when you see a statement like this, even if it's obviously self-promotion, you have to get at least a little excited:

"It's the funniest thing we've done," Gervais said while attending the Banff World Television Festival. "It's pure funny."

So, what's he talking about? Well, it's "Life's Too Short," and it's a show he's doing now for BBC2 (and hopefully HBO or some other American medium soon enough) starring the truly great Warwick Davis as a little person with "a small-man complex."

According to Gervais, among the real-world experiences shared by Davis are using a broom handle to retrieve out-of-reach supermarket products, or being forever touched by ordinary people for good luck, as if he were a leprechaun (just go ahead and admit it - you laughed at that last bit too. It's OK, because it's just plain funny.)

Bring this on already, and as soon as possible. If the aforementioned list of my funniest people in the world were expanded a bit, it would certainly include Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Dave Chappelle, Kristen Wiig and Larry David, and not too long after that, Danny McBride, so you can count me as psyched any time he sets up a new project.

Mandate has picked up "Bullies," from an original McBride idea and to be penned by "Yes Man" scribes Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul (so I suppose they're due for a winner, right?) The comedy, which one would have to assume will also star McBride, centers on two brothers who have bullied people their whole lives and finally get what is coming to them.

Sounds good to me, and for fellow Danny McBride fans, 2011 should be a very good year. He's just wrapped "Your Highness," a stoner/knights in armor comedy also starring James Franco, Zooey Deschanel and Natalie Portman, and directed by David Gordon Green (and if you've seen "Pineapple Express" and that didn't make you smile at least a little bit, why the heck not? If you haven't seen it, rent it immediately.)

He's also now shooting the second season of HBO's "Eastbound and Down" with director Jody Hill (yes, the South is rising again, in very good comedy.) I may be the only person in the world who's psyched that this seriously bitter show about a washed-up former pro baseball player (McBride, natch) got a second season, but I certainly am.

And finally, he'll also star in "30 Minutes or Less," director Ruben Fleischer's follow-up to the rather insanely funny "Zombieland." The dark comedy also starring veryfunnyguy Aziz Ansari is about two fledgling criminals who kidnap a pizza delivery man and strap a bomb to his chest to make him rob a bank. I said dark, right?

OK, enough of that. All I have after that today is a trio of trailers for flicks that look like they'll certainly be worth catching. First up, does anyone remember the "Chronicles of Narnia" series? The flicks certainly seem to be lost in our current sea of bad 3-D and thoroughly unnecessary sequels/prequels/remakes/reimaginings, but I loved "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe," and thought "Prince Caspian" was even better. So, you can certainly count me as jazzed for "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," set to come out this Christmas. Enjoy the first trailer I know of for it.

OK, since you must be using the Internet to read this, I have to assume you've been on it at least once, and have probably noticed that along with the musing of movie fans, you can also count on it as a pretty solid source of pornography of just about any kind you can imagine (if you somehow didn't know that, go ahead and take a few minutes to find out - I won't tell anyone.) Well, it wasn't always that way, and this next flick, "Middle Men," which I had never heard of until this morning, stars Luke Wilson and Giovanni Ribisi and takes a clearly tongue-in-cheek look at one of the pioneers of turning the Internet into a moral wasteland (congrats!) Seriously, though, this looks like it could be really good when it drops in August. Enjoy.

And finally, since I declare my love for "This is Spinal Tap" in the permanent sideboard of this site, I should at least give the benefit of the doubt to the first movie Rob Reiner has both written and directed since that true gem, right, even if he has made a ton of stinkers in between? "Flipped," as you'll see below, is a sweet-looking tale of kids growing up in the 1950s and discovering that, yes, boys and girls can have all kinds of fun together. It will make you obviously think of "Stand By Me," and it does somehow have veryfunnyguy J.K. Simmons in it, so here's hoping this will far from suck when it also comes out in August. Enjoy, and if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch some World Cup before I have to go to the job that I somehow still get paid for. Peace and futbol ...


*lynne* said...

Oh cool I'll definitely be watching that Narnia movie -- I've not read any of the books, and the two movies so far have been decent enough that I'd like to see more of that world :)

btw I am grinning from ear to ear: just found out about the Smurf movie!! :) This might actually be enough of a draw for me to venture into a movie theatre (usually I just use Netflix and get the DVD: hubby and I like to have closed captioning / subtitles on!).

Justin said...

I'm quite excited about a second season of Eastbound & Down as well.

Reel Fanatic said...

I knew I couldn't be the only one, Justin, but I think we're part of a very small crowd ... And I'm not sure I can get too excited about the "Smurfs" movie, Lynne, but I've been wrong before (and probably at least once today already), and would be nothing but happy if I am again

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