Saturday, April 02, 2011

An extended look at "Water for Elephants"

Actually, before we get into any of that, a couple of tidbits about TV, starting with a question: When's the last time you actually tuned in for a live broadcast of "Saturday Night Live."

For me, I couldn't even tell you for sure, because it's been well more than 10 years. I can, however, guarantee you that I will be tuning in one week from today, when they've managed to land the perfect host: Dame Helen Mirren, presumably to pimp the "Arthur" remake starring Russell Brand and somehow Luis Guzman too that comes out that week. Yeah, I'll watch both of those.

And HBO has just announced that the summer's funniest stretch begins at 10 p.m. July 10 when Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" returns for (I think) its eighth season. Last season's "Seinfeld" reunion of sorts was more than a bit of a dud, but with the show hitting New York this season and Ricky Gervais set to appear in some form, I'm betting on a return to very, very funny.

OK, on to the main event. Although I'm certainly going to see Duncan Jones' "Source Code" today and really looking forward to it, and thoroughly enjoyed the slyly witty "Cedar Rapids," my money is on "Water for Elephants" as the first great movie of 2011. I quickly devoured the novel by Sara Gruen, a rather epic romantic triangle tale that unfolds at a traveling circus. And the casting of this, with Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and, looking great in these clips, Christoph Waltz as the circus' big man around the tent, looks just about perfect. And though he makes no appearance in these seven minutes or so courtesy of, keep an eye out for definite Reel Fanatic fave Hal Holbrook too. Enjoy these seven scenes from the movie, and stick around afterward for something truly very funny from "Parks and Recreation."

Quietly, "Parks and Recreation" has surpassed "Community" in my book as the funniest entry in NBC's Thursday night lineup, and this 15-minute blooper reel shows you many of the reasons why. Among other things, look out for Nick Offerman being so funny that he makes the camera man walk into a door frame, and the great Louis C.K. tell a simply disgusting dog joke. And take note, not surprisingly, the language in this can get a bit foul, so if you're somehow working on this Saturday, certainly watch it with headphones on. And if you'll excuse me now, I'm off to do some swimming and then see "Source Code." Peace out.

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