Thursday, December 09, 2010

A one-star turkey? Sheesh

Actually, before we get in to that, there's two bits of interesting news out there today about James Franco and the one-season wonder that launched him.

Franco, who apparently won a Golden Globe for playing James Dean in a 2001 TV movie I have never seen, is returning to the scene of "Rebel Without a Cause," but this time to look at the rather juicy life of Sal Mineo.

He's optioned the rights to the new book "Sal Mineo: A Biography" (way to put a lot of thought in to that title!) by artist and photographer Michael Gregg Michaud for his Rabbit Bandini shingle to so far at least write and direct a movie from, but I'd imagine he'll probably want to play Mineo in this too.

In his short life, before being murdered at age 37 in West Hollywood by a pizza delivery man, Mineo of course got to hang with Dean, Natalie Wood and other beautiful people, and became (at the time) the youngest performer nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in "Rebel Without a Cause."

And in much better news that I would have to assume would involve Franco, Judd Apatow has let slip that for next year he's plotting a 10-year-or-so reunion of the cast of "Freaks and Geeks," the one-season wonder that also just happens to be easily one of my all-time favorite TV shows, for Paleyfest 2011.

Given that, along with Franco, the cast also featured Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Lina Cardellini and veryfunnydude Martin Starr, this would have to be a very hot ticket, and if I were anywhere near L.A., I'd certainly be there.

But for the second weekend in a row here at my local multiplexes, the entertainment options are looking surprisingly bleak, especially since I at least thought it was the holiday movie season.

How much do I like going to the movies? Enough that I even went to see "Warrior's Way" last week, and even though it was a truly awful flick, Kate Bosworth's guaranteed-to-garner-a-Razzie performance made it well worth the price of a matinee ticket.

And this week, there is the third "Chronicles of Narnia" movie, which I'm quite looking forward to, but also "The Tourist," which has landed as much more of a dud than I would have imagined.

When the word came down on Tuesday that the movie, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp (heard of them?) and directed by "Lives of Others" helmer Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck (try saying that five times fast!), wouldn't be reviewed until midday Wednesday, still well in time for me to include it in the entertainment section I lay out each week, I wasn't worried ... yet.

What I wasn't expecting, however, was a one-star review from Christopher Kelly of the Dallas Morning News, calling it an empty charade of a flick that's much too in love with itself. Roger Moore (the Florida movie critic, unfortunately, not James Bond), who is usually the more kind of the two, gave it two stars, but was really just as harsh in his assessment.

Sheesh. Just to make sure, I checked Rotten Tomatoes, and it's only at 27 percent positive, so I guess that seals it. I had been looking forward to this one for much of the year, but that's why I, at least, still read and cherish movie critics: To be warned when a real turkey arrives in fancy duds. Oh well. At least there's Narnia.

And tonight, there's something really cool coming to NBC for its best show, "Community." Though the entire Thursday night comedy block will be doing Christmas episodes (including an hour-long "The Office," so hopefully no "Outsourced"), "Community" is - not surprisingly - upping the ante by making a stop-motion episode in the vein of all the old TV Christmas specials. This episode, which supposedly teaches Abed (the supremely funny Danny Pudi) about the meaning of Christmas, should be a real hoot. Enjoy this brief preview, and have a perfectly pleasant Thursday. Peace out.


Bob said...

Playing Sal Mineo, huh? Think he'll sniff a jacket?

Reel Fanatic said...

Ha ... I certainly hope so!

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