Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Wednesday chock full of fun news

There's a lot of movie stuff that caught my eye this morning, but the two best bits come from Fox's fall TV schedule, so let's just start there.

Along with killing off five shows that I never bothered to tune in for, the network also added two that I'll definitely give a chance to next fall at its upfronts.

First up is "Alcatraz," which comes from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot company and is a crime drama revolving around a team investigating the mysterious reappearance of the prison's 1960 inhabitants in the present. Sounds like a pretty serious mindf%$#, and it will star Jorge Garcia of "Lost."

Perhaps even better, Fox has also picked up something called "The New Girl," a comedy starring Zooey Deschanel, who I'll certainly watch in just about anything. This show is about a "quirky female teacher" (Zooey, natch) who becomes roommates with three guys: A man-child, a player and a cynic. Bring it on.

And in one final bit of TV news, I saw a few reports this morning that led with the headline "Martin Freeman leaving 'The Hobbit'," but reading into it just a bit revealed it's just for a short while and so he can work on more "Sherlock" with Benedict Cumberbatch. Bully, because the three episodes they showed a short while back on PBS with Cumberbatch as the titular detective and Freeman as his pal Watson were fantastic.

OK, like I said, a pretty busy day of good movie news, so I'll just get to it briskly before some fun videos, and at least one that's simply bizarre.

First up, now that, thankfully, Darren Aronofsky won't be wasting his time on yet another movie about "The Wolverine," he's now hitched up with George Clooney for something that sounds much more interesting.

According to Vulture, he's now at work on a science fiction movie titled "Human Nature," which will star Clooney as a man who is cryogenically frozen, only to wake up in a future where humanity has become pets to another species. That's all I know about that, but it certainly sounds like a perfect Aronofsky mind-bender.

In other news, Niels Arden Oplev, who made one of my favorite recent thrillers with his take on Stieg Larsson's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," has now set his sights on a genre thriller with a great cast.

The movie, called "The Last Photograph," is a revenge story starring one Sean Penn as a special ops soldier who goes to Afghanistan to track down who murdered his brother, and Christian Bale as a photographer who documented the killing. Sounds like juicy stuff.

Moving quickly (I do have an actual job that still pays me something, after all), there are few genres of movie I love more than boxing flicks, and it sounds like "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" director Jeff Feuerzeig is putting together a potentially sweet one.

Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber and Christina Hendricks will star in "The Bleeder," based on the true story of former New Jersey heavyweight boxer and womanizer Chuck Wepner, who boxed 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali and apparently inspired Sylvester Stallone to pen 'Rocky.' " Fun stuff, that, and I assume Schreiber would play the fighter.

And in a final bit of news before we move on to the videos, it's already known that, in a more-than-slightly odd change up, Tyler Perry will be playing Alex Cross, the role already played twice by Morgan Freeman, in "I, Alex Cross." And now comes very welcome word that Frenchy Jean Reno is joining the cast too.

This time out, James Patterson's creation is squaring off against a psychotic mob hitman to be played by Matthew Fox. No word yet on what role Reno will play, but he can class up just about anything except that remake of "The Pink Panther," so this could be fairly great.

OK, now on the videos. Not surprisingly, what Pedro Almodovar has cooked up now looks as bizarre as it will hopefully be entertaining, as I almost always find his movies to be. "The Skin I Live In" reunites the director with Antonio Banderas, and is a revenge tale that tells the story of a plastic surgeon (Banderas, I have to assume) on the hunt for the men who raped his daughter. It's in competition this year at Cannes, but for now enjoy this very short clip to whet your appetite.

Next up comes a bit of fun courtesy of MTV News. As everyone probably knows, there's another pirate movie starring Johnny Depp coming out soon (May 20), called "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." I'm still on the fence about seeing it, although the presence of Penelope Cruz cutting up is certainly a plus. What I did like, at least, was this bit of Legos fun. Enjoy.

I assumed that this week's "South Park" would be all about Osama Bin Laden, but it seems I'm wrong once again (don't worry, I'm used to it). Instead, in something that could be wickedly funny, they take on the royal wedding, which in Trey Parker and Matt Stone's warped minds actually involves a Canadian princess. By the way, NPR is streaming the "Book of Mormon" soundtrack here, and it's just perfectly profane entertainment. Enjoy that and this brief clip from tonight's episode.

And finally today, how better to start Wednesday than with a free movie? I know it has its detractors, but "O Brother Where Art Thou" is still my favorite Coen Brothers' movie, and you can now watch it in its entirety on YouTube. This looks good at full frame, and watching it certainly sounds like a lot more fun than working. Enjoy, and have a perfectly passable Wednesday. Peace out.


Jake Mabe said...

Well, good news, if that does mean we're going to get more "Sherlock." Our British friends have been on a roll lately, with "Sherlock," "Downton Abbey," the revamped "Upstairs Downstairs" and "Any Human Heart."

Reading your description of the upcoming FOX shows makes me want to recommend Joe Haldeman's "1968," if you're interested in Vietnam-era history. Talk about one big mindfuck...

Reel Fanatic said...

I hadn't heard of that, Jake, but I'll definitely check it out ... And I have no idea when "Sherlock" will return to America again, but I know the numbers for PBS were huge the first time, so I'm sure they're frothing for it