Thursday, May 12, 2011

Will "Chuck" really rise yet again?

What in the world does it take to kill "Chuck"?

Don't get me wrong: I love the show, but the numbers this season have been atrocious, starting out at a still fairly respectable 2.0 among the 18-49 set, but then slowly and consistently sliding down to the 1.4 of last week. And frankly, if you watched the coming next week at the end of last week's episode, what we clearly saw happen to Sarah didn't, well ... you know. Just plain silly.

Even with all that, however, according to Deadline, NBC is currently negotiating with the creators for a fifth, 13-episode season, though I don't yet know if that would be in the fall or spring (assuming the deal gets done at all.) And, even given my beefs with this season, I've got enough love for the show to stick it out until the bitter end, whenever that may be.

But in much, much worse news, NBC has followed up on its most dastardly of plans and picked up the American redo of "Prime Suspect," the simply sublime UK police serial starring Dame Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison.

Who can fill her shoes? Well, no one, but in this abomination of a new "idea" for a show, Maria Bello gets the task. And, just to make it worse, Peter Berg, who was at least involved in the early stages of "Friday Night Lights," is involved in this as an executive producer. Just shame, shame, shame all around.

OK, enough of that. On to the movie news, because there is a bit of it out there today, and it's all pretty good, starting with word of a new Martin McDonagh movie taking shape.

It's been a few years now, but he managed to make easily one of my favorite movies of 2008 with "In Bruges," which is in fact the first movie I bought on blu-ray once I finally gave in and bought a player. It's just a perfectly, wickedly funny little hitman comedy starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes, and I recommend it extremely highly as a rental if you've never seen it.

And now, Farrell has signed on with McDonagh again for something called "Seven Psychopaths," and it's attracting a great cast to go with him. The movie apparently tells the story of a screenwriter (Farrell) struggling for inspiration who gets drawn into a dog kidnapping scheme by his oddball friends (Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken, picture that). "Things take a turn for the worse," per Variety, after a gangster's (Mickey Rourke) dog goes missing. Picturing all that in the hands of McDonagh has me laughing already.

Also taking shape with a pretty first-rate cast is an adaptation of the Henry James novel "What Maisie Knew," with the newest addition being Alexander Skarsgard of "True Blood" fame.

The movie will move the story to contemporary New York and center on 6-year-old Maisie, who gets caught in the middle of the divorce of her parents, Julianne Moore as a rock 'n' roller of some sort, and Steve Coogan (who I'll watch in just about anything) as "a charming but distracted art dealer. Skarsgard will play Moore's new husband, and filming is set for August in New York. Stay tuned ...

And, in the last bit of news before we get to a couple of videos, frequent Coogan co-conspirator Michael Winterbottom has latched onto a new movie, this time with Jack Black.

Although I couldn't even make it through all of "The Killer Inside Me," which was just thoroughly disgusting (and I don't get offended very easily at all), I count "Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story" and "24-Hour Party People," both with Coogan, among my favorites. And, coming to at least a few theaters and then VOD quickly in June will be Winterbottom's "The Trip," which follows Coogan and bud Rob Brydon on a series of conversations in posh English restaurants. I'm in for that, for sure.

And now comes word that, after that, Winterbottom will now make "Bailout," a comedy based on Jess Walter's novel, "The Financial Lives of The Poets." The novel details the story of one man's (Black) attempt to come back from the brink of financial ruin after meeting a couple of losers in a late night supermarket. Timely stuff that, and Walter has apparently penned the screenplay, too.

OK, before I'm off for my morning swim, a quick couple of videos. First up, though there have been plenty of trailers and character sketches from Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men: First Class," finally set to drop on June 3, this is the first actual footage straight from the movie I've come across. Enjoy, and then stick around for one more video that promises the funny, but looks like nothing but disaster.

Finally today is the first trailer I've seen for "Horrible Bosses," set to come out July 8. Unfortunately, despite the fact that it stars Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and even Charlie Day of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and is directed by "King of Kong" creator Seth Gordon, the trailer at least doesn't look all that funny at all. Oh well, judge for yourself and please feel free to tell me if I'm wrong, and have a perfectly pleasant Thursday. Peace out.

1 comment:

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