Friday, June 03, 2011

Friday news, of Torchwood, Elmore Leonard and even Tarzan ... yes, really

There's really not anything I can add to Leslie Nielsen's rather blissfully funny tombstone, so I'll just let that speak for itself and move on.

Though I do try to be selective in my TV viewing, when there aren't many new shows on (like, say, now) it does leave a bit of a void.

I did quite enjoy the new season premiere of "Men of a Certain Age," especially since I'm now clearly one of them, but I don't think that show's ever gonna gain many more viewers than the very few it has now. HBO has certainly also stepped up with season two of "Treme" (another great show that just about no one watches) and, of course, the sublime "Game of Thrones," and FX has two shows coming up I'll tune in for, the second of season of Louis C.K.'s "Louie" and the truly odd-looking "Wilfred."

After that, however, it's time for catching up with shows I've simply missed that are now streaming on Netflix, starting (with the recommendation of my fellow cubicle slave, Renee Martinez) with "Torchwood."

Most anyone who would be in to such a thing probably already knows that it's a show about a sort of alien-hunting detective agency and is a spinoff of "Doctor Who," and three episodes in now, I really dig it. And in a rather severe case of burying the lead, I tell you all that to tell you this: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" scribe Jane Espenson and star Eliza Dushku are reuniting for "Torchwood: Web of Lies," which will be an animated tale appearing online in three installments before the July 8 premiere of season 4 of the live-action show on Starz.

Dushku, along with series regulars John Barrowman and Eve Myles, will do voice work for the animated offering, and you can be sure I'll tell you how exactly to find it as soon as I know. And Espenson, easily one of the best writers on TV, wrote an episode of "Game of Thrones" and is one of the main writers for the new "Torchwood" season, so definitely tune in.

OK, moving on to movie news, I love most of the movies made from Elmore Leonard's uniformly juicy source material (with "Out of Sight" easily being on any top 10 list if I were to make it), and "Justified" just made a huge leap forward in season two, so any news of a new Leonard movie is certainly welcome in this little corner of the world.

Well, there's a take on the Leonard novel "Freaky Deaky" in the works, and it's quickly assembling a pretty first-rate cast. Per Variety, the story revolves around a Detroit police sergeant (Matt Dillon) who moves from the bomb squad to sex crimes (of course), coming up against a group of '60s radicals who, in 1974, are part of an investigation involving the bombing of a limousine. Brendan Fraser will play a former activist who now uses his knowledge of explosives to provide effects for Hollywood films, and veryfunnyman Craig Robinson will play Donnell Lewis, a Black Panther in the '60s and now the assistant to a Hollywood power player (William H. Macy).

Sounds like a typical cup of Leonard craziness, so stay tuned for any more news about this flick being written and directed by Charles Matthau (director of "The Grass Harp," way back in 1995) as soon as I spy it.

And finally, before a couple of videos, the bizarre ... the once-great Craig Brewer, who managed to create another movie that's probably in my top 10 of all time, "Hustle & Flow," before lowering himself to an upcoming remake of "Footloose," is now going seriously ape-s%$# crazy.

Warner Brothers has apparently signed Brewer up to write and direct a new "Tarzan" movie, and he already has his mind set on a trilogy about the tree-swinger (I'm sure Fraser would jump all over this.)

It's another odd turn for a clearly talented but maddening director. I really couldn't make anything of the mess that was "Black Snake Moan," and I can't see any way I'll possibly go see this new "Footloose" monstrosity, but with this, well, I can only wish him good luck.

OK, quickly on to the clips, because I want to get out of here to go swimming and then see "X-Men: First Class" (man, do I like being off on Fridays.) First up, Jon Stewart making fun of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump eating "New York pizza" in Times Square is the very definition of shooting fish in a barrel, but that doesn't make it any less funny. You really don't need to watch the full seven minutes-plus of this, but if you haven't seen it, it really is a pretty first-class rant. Enjoy.

And finally today, it may be a severely chicky tale, but I enjoyed Kathryn Stockett's "The Help" (though it's certainly not without its faults), and am really looking forward to the movie version due out Aug. 12, both for the movie itself and because it should be what finally rightly makes a big star out of Emma Stone. In the movie and this short clip with Viola Davis, she plays Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, who rouses the black maids of 1960's Jackson, Miss., to tell their stories. Enjoy the clip, and have a perfectly pleasant weekend. Peace out.


Kevin said...

As one that does have to work on Fridays, and then doesn’t want to drive to Zebulon Road to pay higher late showing prices, I had to wait till Saturday to see the X-Men. You were right (in your later post). It was excellent! I didn’t see any flaws. I am sure I will watch it again on the big screen, so I’ll let you know if I see anything wrong next time. I saw the 2:20 showing Saturday. I was surprised how many stayed till the very end, as I do with this type of movie, to see if there is anything extra after the credits (and to let the rest rooms clear out). I can report that there were none, this time.

I’m glad to see you took Renee’s recommendation to watch Torchwood. I think I like that one even more than Doctor Who, although it’s as close to a tie as you can get. I didn’t know anything about Web of Lies, so thanks for the tip, and I will watch for more information.

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the report on the credits, Kevin ... I had a feeling that Vaughn wasn't going to just copy that Avengers trick, so I'm glad I didn't miss anything!