Thursday, April 07, 2011

Robert Redford to resurrect the big baseball movie

Where to start in a baseball season in which, while the Orioles have lost a game, they're still in first place in the American League East, and for once by power of something besides sheer alphabetical order? With talk of a grand baseball movie, of course.

It seems that Robert Redford, who has been shopping the idea of a Jackie Robinson movie for some time now, is finally getting things rolling with the choice of a writer/director, Brian Helgeland. And being Robert Redford, he's scooped up a choice role for himself: Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager who brought Robinson to the big leagues.

The movie will apparently focus on the complicated relationship of Robinson and Rickey rather than specifically on Jackie's breaking of the MLB color barrier, but no matter what the focus, there are few genres of flicks I love more than the big baseball movie, so bring it on!

It will be a short report today because I was up rather late (well, by my standards, anyway) watching "Spamalot" (thanks, Stephanie!), and therefore got up late too. There is, however, some big news out there about just who might be the new boss of "The Office" when Steve Carell steps down at the end of this season.

Following Michael Scott's rather nifty proposal to Holly (Amy Ryan), it was revealed that Will Ferrell will at least be serving as an interim boss, but that's apparently only for a few weeks. Shame, because he's a better candidate than just about anyone else set to interview on the show's season finale (or at least better than anyone who could actually get the job.)

Now scheduled to interview to be the next boss of Dunder Mifflin, according to the seriously TV-obsessed Michael Ausiello, are these five people: Ricky Gervais, Gob Bluth, Ray Romano, James Spader and Catherine Tate.

While having Gervais be the boss for a season or two would certainly be a scream, I really can't see him doing that. And, as Ausiello points out, Ray Romano already has a fairly great show of his own with "Men of a Certain Age," and Arnett is already committed to some kind of other pilot for NBC.

That leaves Spader and Tate, I suppose, and I'd have to say the latter would be the FAR superior choice. Nothing against Spader, who could potentially be very funny, but Catherine Tate is simply great. Perhaps best known for her role as Donna Noble on "Doctor Who," she was also fantastic in "Starter for 10," a rather criminally underseen British romantic comedy starring James McAvoy and Rebecca Hall (rent that one already!) She certainly gets my vote, but no matter how it turns out, this should just be a really fun finale.

OK, I was going to post the New Yorker's profile of veryfunnywoman Anna Faris, but it's behind a pay wall, but just trust me: If you don't get the magazine, it's worth buying this issue, just for that.

And the last thing I have today is the latest Funny or Die production which, though it starts a bit slowly, falls solidly into the former category once it gets going. The "When Harry and Sally 2" of sorts clip stars Billy Crystal, Dame Helen Mirren, Rob Reiner, Adam Scott and even Mike Tyson (but no Meg Ryan), and is pretty sublimely silly. Enjoy, and have a perfectly pleasant Thursday. Peace out.

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