Wednesday, April 27, 2011

If at first you succeed ... plus a big Wednesday clip show

Well, if you're Aaron Sorkin, if you've done something exactly right the first time (even if it was severely under appreciated), just do it all over again almost exactly the same way.

Does anyone remember "Sports Night"? It was a truly great Sorkin show that ran for a couple of years simultaneously (I think) with the early years of "The West Wing." As you may remember, it was about a sports news show hosted by two dudes and produced by two women, with another producer as a rival for one of the hosts' affections.

Just believe me, it was a whole heck of a lot better than I'm making it sound here. In the original version, the two hosts were Josh Charles and Peter Krause, the producer was Felicity Huffman and the associate producer was the sorely-missed Sabrina Lloyd. I frankly can't remember who played the other part, but you get the idea.

Now, fast forward about 10 years or so, and Sorkin has sold something called "More as This Story Develops" to HBO, and with the exception that it's about a news rather than sports show, it sounds like pretty much exactly the same thing, with pretty much the same cast dynamic taking shape (and although it may sound like I'm complaining, I'm really not ... "Sports Night" was fantastic.)

This time around, if all the pieces fall into shape, Jeff Daniels will play the host, Marisa Tomei the producer (and following the "Sports Night" model, probably unrequited love interest), Alison Pill of "Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World" will play the associate producer and Olivia Munn will play a business news reporter and undoubtedly rival for Daniels' affections. I could be wrong of course, but that certainly does sound familiar, no?

Either way, I'll definitely be tuning in when this hits HBO, perhaps sometime this fall.

And in just a bit of movie news, it seems that Russell Crowe is reuniting with the source of his best movie so far, "L.A. Confidential," for his first directing effort.

Crowe would also star in "77," based on a James Ellroy script that is apparently being rewritten by someone else. Best as I can tell, per Deadline, it's about the unsolved murder of an LAPD officer, and the nationally televised shootout in South Central L.A. between the Symbionese Liberation Army and the LAPD, as seen through the eyes of two police partners, one black and one white.

Sounds like typically juicy Ellroy stuff, so stay tuned. And now, on to the clips ...

OK, today, these are pretty much in descending order of funny until the end, a plug for tonight's premiere of the 15th (really!?!?) season of "South Park." First up, courtesy of The Onion, comes an interview with the screenwriter of "Fast Five," 5-year-old Chris Morgan. Now, I have nothing against the Fast and Furious flicks (that Tokyo one is some pretty seriously satisfying Saturday afternoon viewing for a half hour or so), but this is seriously funny. Enjoy.

Today Now! Interviews The 5-Year-Old Screenwriter Of "Fast Five"

Next up is the first red band trailer for Kristen Wiig's "Bridesmaids," courtesy of Myspace, and having watched it, I'm now certain the ladies are going to bring a whole lot of funny when this drops May 13. You do have to feel more than a little bad for Melissa McCarthy, who is apparently going to be one running fat joke in the flick, but she does at least seem to be in on the joke. Enjoy.

OK, these next two I'm a little more dubious about, but I like the stars of both, so here goes. Paul Rudd, who can be really funny when he allows himself to be (just trust me, "Role Models" is a minor comedy classic), stars as the titular idiot in "Our Idiot Brother," set to come out Aug. 16. Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks and Rashida Jones all play his sisters, so here's hoping this will be a whole lot funnier than I'm expecting. Enjoy.

And for the last of our trailers, there isn't a comedienne working today who deserves a great starring role more than Anna Faris. She's just a natural wit (and yes, I even love "House Bunny"), but I don't think the role she's been waiting for arrives with "What's Your Number?", for which the titular question seems to be addressing how many rom-com cliches can be stacked into one two-minute or so trailer. Oh well. "Enjoy" this trailer, and then stick around for a much better look back at her career so far, courtesy of the New Yorker.

And finally today, Trey Parker, Matt Stone and friends are indeed back tonight, and only those guys could combine Steve Jobs, the iPad and ... well, just watch the clip to see. I'll just say it's expectedly both disgusting and simply hilarious. "South Park" returns to Comedy Central (and my DVR) tonight at 10 p.m. Enjoy the clip, and have a perfectly passable Wednesday. Peace out.



J. Marquis said...

I believe the other male lead on Sports Night is the guy who now plays Alicia's boss on "The Good Wife".

I feel sorry for Peter Krause. He's such an awesome actor and he's stock on that primetime soap opera "Parenthood". Yuck.

Reel Fanatic said...

I couldn't disagree with you more (civilly, of course) about "Parenthood" .. it is indeed more than a bit soapy, but not surprisingly, since like "Friday Night Lights" (my favorite TV drama), it was created by Jason Katims, it's also really funny and human too .. one of my favorite primetime shows on now, though I'm well aware it's not for everyone

Kevin said...

I knew you would jump on that bit about “Parenthood”. Regarding Krause, have you ever seen “the lost room”? (They didn’t capitalize it on the box.) It’s different, but in a good way. It plays like a series that may have ended too soon, but at least they finished what they started (unlike a few cancelled network shows). It also has Julianna Margulies (remember this if you like to play that game about Kevin Bacon).
I loved the clip about “Fast Five”. I will probably see that movie this weekend. It should be entertaining. I agree with you on Paul Rudd, although that clip is no longer available. Fortunately the two clips with Anna Faris were still there. I think she’s great, too.
Have fun in Atlanta, and enjoy the film festival!

Reel Fanatic said...

I had never heard of that, Kevin, but I'll try and track it down .. thanks for the recommendation!