I'm curious to see what the long-term arc of Danny McBride's career looks like.
Right now, I still feel like Hollywood's trying to figure him out, and vice versa. He's had his shot in a few films, and he's played a lot of supporting parts, and overall, I think we've seen some of what he's capable of, but not anywhere near all of it.
McBride's a better actor than he seems to be given credit for, and I guess part of that is that the comedy persona he's created seems larger than life in some ways, full of swagger, and I think people honestly believe that's who he really is. If he was really just Kenny Powers, and there was no difference between the two of them, I can't imagine anyone wanting to work with him twice. The real McBride strikes me as a smart guy who knows what his own comfort zone is, and he's been able so far to craft comedy material that fits him easily.
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I'm curious to see what the long-term arc of Danny McBride's career looks like.
A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as I burn my hand on a potato...
I'm more than a little under the weather today, but even at full health, I doubt I'd have the enthusiasm to write a full review of ABC's "How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)," which debuted tonight in the post-"Modern Family" timeslot. It's a sitcom featuring a bunch of actors I often like (Sarah Chalke, Brad Garrett, Elizabeth Perkins), given material that's alternately limp and frantic. (Though Chalke's always been frantic; it's just that "Scrubs" knew how to turn that to the show's advantage in a way most of her other gigs have not.) Garrett demonstrated on "Til Death" that he had an ability to wring laughs out of weak material, but that was when he was playing to a studio audience; one of the disadvantages of the single camera sitcom format is that there's no crowd whose energy you can feed off of.
It's airing Wednesdays at 9:30 because ABC hasn't given up on the idea that some show they air there will retain more of the "Modern" audience than "Cougar Town," "Happy Endings," "Don't Trust the Breadbox in Apt. 23" and "Suburgatory" have managed to, and because it was either this or "Family Tools," which is being held all the way until May. But it's unmemorable at best, and in hindsight — given how much it evolved from its lame pilot — I wonder if ABC might have been better off just leaving "The Neighbors" there as originally planned.
For those who tuned in tonight, what did you think? You setting a season pass, or waiting for any or all of the cast to find other work?
Sitting down with Matthew Beard, Joshua Sasse and Leah Gibson to discuss their new series, "Rogue," what's immediately striking is their accents. Beard and Sasse are Brits and Gibson Canadian. I wondered what it was like on the set with so many actors from so many places (star Thandie Newton all coming together to play a buch of tough Hungarian criminals and the cops who hunt them.
Wednesday (April 3) night is Classic Rock Night on "American Idol," apparently. Given that our Top 7 has devolved into a talented, but familiar assortment of weekly ballads, we'll see if the Classic Rock theme means a change of pace or a lot of cheating.
One thing that's for sure is that we can expect a lot of padding and we can also expect whoever gets paired with Lazaro Arbos on their group performance to struggle.
Click through for the full adventure....
Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives," the follow-up to his 2011 genre thriller "Drive," ranked pretty high up on Guy's recent wishlist of Cannes entries. It wouldn't be outrageous to anticipate a bow there, seeing as "Drive" was so warmly received on the Croisette, translating to a Best Director prize for Refn. Pity, though, that the awards season yielded a mere single Oscar nomination for the film, albeit in the unexpected (though no less deserving) field of sound editing.
There are very few pieces of art that I consider flawless. If anything, flaws are part of what makes art fascinating. Once in a long while, though, I see something or read something that I consider a perfect execution of an idea, and one of the examples I'd give would be "The Remains Of The Day," the 1993 film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Adapted from the Kazuo Ishiguro novel, the film is exquisitely crafted, and that script is remarkable for the way it communicates volumes of material with a single gesture. Anthony Hopkins is one of those guys who can ham it up when you ask him to, but the challenge of this script was to keep almost everything internal, and Hopkins rose to the challenge with what I would argue is one of the finest examples of film acting I've ever seen. Yes, it helps when you have Hopkins and Thompson at the top of their game, but that script is something else. You could teach an entire class on adaptation just by taking that film and comparing it to the source material.
Oddly, that's the one time she was nominated for an Oscar without winning. She took home the award for both "A Room With A View" and "Howard's End," although she didn't show up to accept either award. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen her interviewed or really learned much of anything about her. She was simply a constant presence in the world of highbrown period films for adults, a name you would see on a poster that automatically suggested a certain kind of polished, contemplative drama.
The members of Daft Punk like to hold onto their relative anonymity, yet want to promote the hell out of their next studio effort "Random Access Memories." So now they've launched a video channel to feature the album's various collaborators. Problem solved.
Up first to bat: legendary dance producer, label founder and studio-starter Giorgio Moroder, who regales viewers with tales on the come-uppance of dance music, working with disco queen Donna Summer and mentions he's working on a little "rap" with Daft Punk on "Memories."
And like Daft Punk itself, the clip has a high production value, and is nicely educational! Pencils down.
Sometimes technical difficulties aren't such a bad thing. Thandie Newton and I had just started discussing her new DirecTV drama, Rogue (her first spin as the lead in a TV series), and the clock was ticking. I had so many questions and so little time, I babbled out my first question more than asked it (and managed to call "Missing" and "Red Widow" movies instead of TV shows). But then, the camera guy called for the interview to stop. Something had gone wrong with his camera, so we needed to wait. And wait.
One thing's certain: it's hard to forget James Wan after you meet him.
For example, I've never heard anyone who worked with him have a bad word to say about the guy. That's genuinely unusual in this business, and you can't overrate the impression it makes on people. For another thing, you almost can't believe how wildly "Crocodile Dundee" he gets when he speaks. I think that's what I love about Australian accents in general... you can't go too big when imitating them, because they are big accents to begin with.
The last time I spoke to him, he was joined by his writing partner Leigh Wannell at the Magic Castle, part of the press day for "Insidious," and he seemed happy with the reactions he was getting for that one. One of the things we discussed in this new interview is how he's finally become more than just "the director of 'Saw,'" and how hard it is to be defined by the success of your first film no matter what else you do.
I think Wan won't have to worry about that after "The Conjuring" is released in July. It feels like he figured something out a few years ago and refocused himself, and the result has been a new energy to his filmmaking. During the WonderCon panel, as the clips were playing, I watched him watching the crowd, and every time they jumped or reacted or anytime someone tried to break the nervous tension in the room, Wan looked delighted. He genuinely loves the emotional experience of scaring the holy hell out of people, and he's more in touch with that skill set now than ever before.
The-Dream’s “Slow It Down” offers up the absolutely most ludicrous Winnie The Pooh reference we’ve ever heard in a song (courtesy of guest Fabolous), but that’s just one of the questions we have with the new clip.
[More after the jump...]