Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday fun: Of "Parenthood," time travel and more

After that rather sublime photo of Sir Ian McKellen from the set of "The Hobbit" just well, because, I like it, we actually start with TV and NBC today because it's that time of year, and they keep picking up shows I really like.

This one isn't all that surprising, since I think "Parenthood" did very well last season and got stronger as the year went on, but it's still good to know that one of my favorite TV dramas is getting a full third season starting next fall. The show, created by "Friday Night Lights" guru Jason Katims, is indeed soapy and sometimes awfully dopey too, but it has a great cast led by Lauren Graham (welcome back!) and Peter Krause, and it's just full of humor, humanity and heart, the perfect mix after a long day of work. And besides, I challenge anyone to point out a more entertaining hour in the past year on network TV than the "Parenthood" finale, which was just a doozy.

So, great news there, but now on to some movie tidbits. If it indeed seems like just about anything can be fodder for a movie idea these days, you're right, but before you judge this too quickly, remember: At least its not somehow "based" on a board game.

This one, in fact, springs from a classified ad in something called "Backwoods Home Magazine" (yes, really). Here's the text of it: "WANTED: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke ... You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before."

And even though the ad was unfortunately just a joke (and a pretty great one at that), that hasn't stopped Big Beach and the Duplass brothers from picking up on it, and even hiring some dudes named Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly to, respectively, direct and write this. And I'd leave it at that, except that this is also attracting a pretty first-rate cast.

The flick, to be titled "Safety Not Guaranteed," is about a trio of magazine employees who investigate the ad, and it will star Kristen Bell and Aubrey Plaza, and has somehow just added the rather sublimely funny Jeff Garlin of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," too. Stay tuned ...

In other movie news, Martin Scorsese has agreed to be really, really annoyed by Lars Von Trier for something that will definitely be bizarre, but could be a lot of fun, too. Scorsese has apparently taken up the challenge issued by Von Trier to be tortured by the latter in a remake of his own movie, "The Five Obstructions."

The original, which I haven't seen, had Von Trier challenging his mentor, filmmaker Jørgen Leth, to remake his 1967 picture “The Perfect Human,” five times, with different conditions, or ‘obstructions’ each time (and these are per The Playlist, hence the quotes) — "in Cuba, with no shot lasting more than 12 frames, in ‘the worst place in the world,’ but without showing that place, in any way he chooses (as a punishment), as a cartoon and, in something of a twist, a version already made by Von Trier himself, but with narration from Leth."

Sounds like pretty wicked fun, and though when this was first rumored with Scorsese, the thought was the movie might be "Taxi Driver," nothing has been confirmed yet. What I do know is that, before that, the next movie Scorsese will be making is "Silence," starring Daniel Day Lewis and Benicio Del Toro and set to begin filming early next year.

That is about a group of Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in the 17th century to try and spread the Gospel. Sounds like perfect Scorsese material, and keep an eye out before that for his next movie to hit theaters (unfortunately in 3D), "Hugo Cabret" (shortened from the title of a book I adore, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret"), starring Hit-Girl Chloe Moretz and Asa Butterfield and coming out Nov. 23.

OK, this has gone on longer than I intended already today, but there's one more movie in the works that caught my eye this morning. Director Jay Roach, when he's not making screwball comedies like "Meet the Parents" or that "Dinner for Schmucks" remake, also manages to make pretty good political dramas, as he did for HBO with "Recount" and is now doing for the network again with "Game Change," about the 2008 Obama-McCain race. And in another project, he's combining those two paths for something called "Rivals" that sounds like it was just tailor-made for me.

Set for release in August 2012, it's set to star Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as two politicians jockeying for position in a small congressional district in South Carolina. I'm laughing at that already, so I'm definitely in. And with that, I'm off. Have a great weekend, and definitely go see "Bridesmaids." Peace out.


jeremy said...

When was the last time you watched Ron Howard's "Parenthood?" We watched it last weekend, and I was really surprised at how many of the storylines from the movie carried over into the show--and are still being dealt with.

Reel Fanatic said...

I haven't watched that since way back when it first came out, Jeremy, but if it's streaming, I'm going to have to check it out again .. I just assumed that the show was dealing with all new stuff, but you know what they say about assuming ...

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