Friday, May 27, 2011

Michael Mann revving up something that could be really fun

Actually, though I wish it were something more solid (like when exactly we might get to see it again), any news about "Mad Men" in motion is welcome in this little corner of the world, so let's start there.

When we finally do get to see the great show again, which will apparently be some time in march (nards!), Jon Hamm will be directing the season five premiere, following in the footsteps of John Slattery, who directed two episodes from season four. Why? Because he's Jon Hamm, and if he asked to do this, do you really think anyone at "Mad Men" was going to say no?

Still a long time to wait, but at least there is a deal in place now to keep showrunner Matthew Weiner around through a seventh season, when the show is set to end.

And in movie news, one of Michael Mann's great strengths is giving his movies a strong, sometimes suffocating sense of time and place (see "Public Enemies," which I liked a whole lot more than just about anyone I've talked to about it), so he should really have a lot of fun with what Variety says he's about to sign on for.

The director is eyeing "Go Like Hell," which will be based on the book "Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans" by A.J. Baimes (sounds like what might be next on my reading list, since I'm finishing up Patrick DeWitt's sublimely funny "The Sisters Brothers").

As the book title makes fairly clear, it's about, according to the book's rather minimal official site:

The remarkable story of how Henry Ford II, with the help of a young visionary named Lee Iacocca and a former racing champion turned engineer, Carroll Shelby, concocted a scheme to reinvent the Ford company. They would enter the high-stakes world of European car racing, where an adventurous few threw safety and sanity to the wind. They would design, build, and race a car that could beat Ferrari at his own game at the most prestigious and brutal race in the world, something no American car had ever done.

Sounds like a perfect match for Mann, who hasn't directed a feature film since "Public Enemies," and I love movies about American ingenuity (see "Tucker"), so here's hoping it happens. Stay tuned ...

After that today, I just have a couple of videos, but the first one has Muppets, so bully. There's not much new here at all, but just in case you're planning to skip "The Hangover: Part II," consider me sharing this second teaser for "The Muppets" that both spoofs and will precede it as a public service. Enjoy.

To close today, Zach Galifianakis' "Between Two Ferns" segments for Funny or Die often tend toward to the latter, but he does bring some of the funny in this clip featuring Will Ferrell. And just to bring the "Mad Men" vibe full circle, keep an eye out for Jon Hamm near the end. And with that, I'm off to do some laundry, go swimming, and then probably see "Kung Fu Panda 2" in glorious 2-D. Peace out.

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