15 items from 2008
Chuck The Movie Guy interviews actress Keri Russell on the fantasy film “Bedtime Stories” by director Adam Shankman (Hairspray 2, Hairspray) and starring Adam Sandler (Funny People), Keri Russell (August Rush), Guy Pearce (Traitor, Last Man), Courteney Cox (Friends), Russell Brand, Lucy Lawless (Bitch Slap, Xena: Warrior Princess), Jonathan Pryce and Teresa Palmer (The Grudge 2). Synopsis: A family comedy about a hotel handyman (Adam Sandler) whose life changes when the lavish bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to magically come true. For more great interviews from Chuck The Movie Guy, be sure to visit Themovieguy.com. Stay tuned to Shockya.com for the latest “Bedtime Stories” movie news and celebrity interviews. »
- Brian Corder
In previous posts, I let you all know that Channing Tatum topped Fandango's Next Star of 2009 Hot List and that his upcoming film 'Public Enemies' made MovieTickets.com Top 10 Most Anticipated Films list.
Fandango.com has released more results from their annual Hot List, and after polling 2000 of its users, both 'G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra' and 'Public Enemies' have made the cut for their Most Anticipated Blockbusters of 2009. Below you can check out the results and get a quick synopsis of both films...
Most Anticipated Blockbusters of 2009 - According to Women:
1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
2. New Moon
3. Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen
4. Angels & Demons
6. Star Trek
8. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
10. Where the Wild Things Are
Most Anticipated Blockbusters of 2009 - According to Men:1. Star Trek
2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
3. Harry Potter »
- Blog Expert
Chuck The Movie Guy recently interviewed actor Adam Sandler on the fantasy film “Bedtime Stories” by director Adam Shankman (Hairspray 2, Hairspray) and starring Adam Sandler (Funny People), Keri Russell (August Rush), Guy Pearce (Traitor, Last Man), Courteney Cox (Friends), Russell Brand, Lucy Lawless (Bitch Slap, Xena: Warrior Princess), Jonathan Pryce and Teresa Palmer (The Grudge 2). Synopsis: A family comedy about a hotel handyman (Adam Sandler) whose life changes when the lavish bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to magically come true. For more great interviews from Chuck The Movie Guy, be sure to visit Themovieguy.com. Stay tuned to Shockya.com for the latest “Bedtime Stories” movie news and celebrity [...] »
- Brian Corder
It sounds like a can't-miss concept: a Disney movie about a guy who tells wonderful, fantastic bedtime stories that actually come true in real life. And when the guy is Adam Sandler, how can this possibly be a bad movie? Aren't you buying tickets online for your entire family right now, even as you read about this possible cinematic land of delights? Except that watching Bedtime Stories is about as delightful as peeking into your Christmas stocking and finding it empty except for a few lint-covered peppermints.
The movie opens with a little tale narrated by the most stereotypically folksy voice you can imagine, a distillation of Wilford Brimley and Roy Rogers ... and it's Jonathan Pryce, setting up the story of Sandler's character Skeeter. Seeing Pryce at this time of year made me think of Brazil, thus triggering nostalgia for a movie that is the diametric opposite of this one. »
- Jette Kernion
The Disney live-action fantasy Bedtime Stories is a strange and a dysfunctional hybrid, attempting to construct a magical Enchanted-like special effects fairytale around a typically ramshackle Adam Sandler comedy. Great expense has been poured into creating a CGI wonderland of storybook castles, Roman coliseums, and space stations, only to have them crushed under the tire treads of a monster truck rally. Though Sandler tones down his act for the kiddies, his infantile, mush-mouthed man-child persona still dominates the proceedings to such an extent that the Disney branding never stands a chance. Sandler’s laziness, sloppiness, and cynical pandering are all over Bedtime Stories, and it turns what’s intended to be a graceful intersection of fairytale whimsy and real-world slapstick into an ugly, head-on collision. The prologue has Sandler’s father (Jonathan Pryce), the proprietor of a charming family-owned motel, signing over the deed to his failing business to a Howard Hughes type. »
- Scott Tobias
Those other Adam Sandler comedies? Turns out they were the grown-up efforts.
"Bedtime Stories," Sandler's bizarrely clunky kiddie flick, is a sort of upside-down "Princess Bride." This time the fantastic fairy tales told to a little boy and girl are only about one-tenth of the movie. The rest deal with the dreary life of their storyteller, Uncle Skeeter (Sandler), "a gum-scraping handyman" who dreams of running the hotel once owned by his father (Jonathan Pryce).
Bankrupt, the old man sold out to a germophobic entrepreneur (Richard Griffiths) who leaves management duties to »
- By KYLE SMITH
By Neil Pedley
After a December in which big name stars have been mostly Mia, this holiday week finds Dustin Hoffman getting fired, Brad Pitt getting old and Tom Cruise trying to explain why you really should spend Christmas Day with your family reliving one of the most bloody chapters in recent history. Merry Christmas everyone!
A simple glance at the one-sheet for this anarchic family friendly crowd-pleaser from the Mouse House tells you everything you need to know. Searching for a new cash cow post-"Pirates," the folks at Disney took one look at the numbers for "Night at the Museum" and decided they fancied a bit of that, so here comes Adam Sandler fending off aliens, cowboys and Romans when his world is transformed (literally) by the outlandish bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew to sleep with each night, only to discover the stories »
- Neil Pedley
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures released this brand new movie poster from the upcoming fantasy film “Bedtime Stories” by director Adam Shankman (Hairspray 2, Hairspray) and starring Adam Sandler(Funny People), Keri Russell (August Rush), Guy Pearce (Traitor, Last Man), Courteney Cox (Friends), Russell Brand, Lucy Lawless (Bitch Slap, Xena: Warrior Princess), Jonathan Pryce and Teresa Palmer (The Grudge 2). Synopsis: A family comedy about a hotel handyman (Adam Sandler) whose life changes when the lavish bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to magically come true. Stay tuned to Toxic Shock TV for the latest “Bedtime Stories” movie news and posters. »
- Brian Corder
ComingSoon.net received our first look at Adam Sandler in Bedtime Stories. Bedtime Stories has quite a large cast consisting of Guy Pearce, Keri Russell, Richard Griffiths, Courteney Cox, Lucy Lawless, Teresa Palmer, Russell Brand, Aisha Tyler and Jonathan Pryce. Sandler plays Skeeter Bronson, a hotel handyman whose life is changed forever when the bedtime stories he tells [...] »
Comedy heavyweights from the Us and UK are teaming up on a new sci-fi comedy series for BBC Three. Adam Chase, an executive producer on Friends, has written the show and recruited Ash Atalla, who produced the UK version of The Office, to help him make it. Clone will star Jonathan Pryce (Pirates Of The Caribbean) as Dr Victor Blenkinsop, a scientist who creates the first human clone. The product is meant to be an elite super soldier, but turns out kindly and wimpish. Chase, whose only previous work in the UK was for the two London Friends episodes, said his idea was too radical (more) »
- By Dave West
What's wrong with this picture? Well, "Clone" is a British show shot in London for BBC3.
With British scripted formats invading the U.S. marketplace in the wake of the success of "The Office," Chase went against the current, creating a show for the U.K.
"Clone" is a multicamera sci-fi comedy with single-camera and greenscreen elements. It stars Jonathan Pryce as a scientist who creates the first human clone. Intended to be a prototype supersoldier, the doctor quickly realizes his creation is more likely to hug someone than shoot them.
"Clone" is described as a fish-out-of-water tale, and that's exactly what Americans Chase and Schiller are in the British TV industry.
Chase's only British production experience was filming the two-part London episode of "Friends."
"I'd been thinking about doing a sci-fi comedy for a while but was concerned about getting it through the American development process," said Chase, who grew up with genre-mixing British fare like Monty Python. " 'Clone' is extremely violent; people die every week. Audiences (in the U.K.) are very sophisticated, and they have no problem switching form genre to genre."
A couple of years ago, Chase met Ash Atalla, producer of the British version of "The Office," when they served as judges on a sitcom-writing competition on BBC3. Chase shared his idea for "Clone," and Atalla quickly came aboard.
After letting it percolate for a while, Chase set out in summer 2007 to write it as a spec. He rented a one-bedroom apartment in London and penned the script in 2 1/2 months.
He and Atalla sent it to several networks; a couple were interested, and BBC3 offered a series order.
"It was a dream come true," Chase said. "Then I saw the budget. Here you get amazing creative freedom and a tiny budget."
The BBC commissioned the series for what is said to be $500,000 an episode -- less than a third of what a similar show would cost in the U.S. The money is transferred upfront, and there no overages are tolerated.
Schiller said he initially was shocked by the budget constraints but adjusted and even found a silver lining.
"It's good as it makes us lean and mean, thinking twice about what we do," he said.
"Clone" has only one 12-hour day onstage per episode for blocking, rehearsal and taping -- something done in the U.S. over three to four days. Chase and Schiller found themselves extensively prepping -- writing and rewriting every scene and storyboarding every shot.
During production, the actors rehearse in a church, and the writers do rewrites in a room next to the soup kitchen.
"There's a sign outside the entrance of the kitchen that says, 'Please don't use the yard as a lavatory,' " Chase said. "I don't walk through the yard anymore."
One good piece of news is that in the U.K., most TV shows pay talent little money. And with short orders of six to seven episodes, feature stars are willing to do them. That's how Chase was able to land Pryce.
For "Clone," Chase employed the American writers room model. His team consisted of five scribes: two Yanks, including old "Friends" pal Alexa Junge, and three Brits. That number has dropped to two part-timers during production.
Chase follows in the footsteps of former "Seinfeld" executive producer Fred Barron, who created the long-running BBC sitcom "My Family," which also uses the writers room model. Additionally, veteran sitcom producer Caryn Mandabach opened shop in the U.K. several years ago and is producing projects for BBC and ITV.
The BBC, which has a 25% quota for indie producers, recently opened its doors to outsiders even further with the implementation of Window of Creative Competition, a program reserving another 25% of BBC's programming real estate for anybody with an idea.
U.S. writers might get attracted by the prospect of getting paid in British pounds. With the dollar sliding against the pound, "I've got a de facto raise," Chase quipped.
Chase is looking to one day do a U.S. version of "Clone."
With the heat surrounding British formats, that might come soon. In fact, Chase recalls some advice he got from a Hollywood agent when he was contemplating doing a U.K. show: "The shortest route to get to American television is to produce for British television."
The work on "Clone" has taught Chase a thing or two about the U.K. TV business, including, "People are really polite when they give you bad news," and "They really like to stop for tea at 4 p.m."
But most of all, "we take a lot of things for granted in an American production," Chase says. "Bottom line, I've leaned how to produce a show of equal quality for a lot less money." »
- By Nellie Andreeva
London -- Viewers may have been left in the lurch over whether he will return to screens here again as "Doctor Who," but actor David Tennant will take on a very different mantle when he plays a British astrophysicist in a new drama that will air on BBC2 this autumn.
In "Einstein and Eddington," due to hit screens in the fall, Tennant will play Arthur Eddington alongside Andy Serkis (the "Lord of the Rings" movies), who plays Albert Einstein in a drama that explores the relationship between two pioneering scientists, one British and one German, against the political backdrop of Europe on the brink of World War I.
In "Fallen," the network will commemorate the lives of British servicemen and women who died serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in an epic three-hour documentary that examines their lives and the impact their death has made on their families and friends.
Factual highlights include "Oceans," exploring underwater archaeology, geology, marine biology and anthropology, while "WWII -- Behind Closed Doors" looks at the relationships Joseph Stalin and the leaders of the Western allies. BBC2's main acquisition "Heroes" will return for Season 3. »
- By Mimi Turner
Hollywood actress Uma Thurman is set to make a move to the small screen - she has reportedly signed up to star in a new BBC TV drama.
Thurman will star alongside Pirates of the Caribbean actor Jonathan Pryce in the show, according to British newspaper The London Paper.
BBC Two has signed up star-studded casts for two stage-play adaptations to air later this year. A production of David Hare's My Zinc Bed will feature Uma Thurman as recovering alcoholic Elsa, Paddy Considine as penniless poet Paul Peplow and Jonathan Pryce in the role of Victor Quinn, an internet entrepreneur. The second play - Caryl Churchill's A Number - stars Tom Wilkinson and Rhys Ifans in father and son roles. Bernard, (more) »
- By Dave West
George Clooney's "Leatherheads" is a movie you want to like. The Roaring '20s costumes, sets and music all look terrific, and a story about the early days of professional football -- a sport then relegated to college play -- is a fresh movie subject.
But Clooney, the film's director and star, can't make up his mind how to approach the story. One minute it's a romantic comedy. Then it switches to slapstick, then to screwball comedy before sliding into Frank Capra territory with a crusading female reporter and a phony hero before settling on a gridiron version of "The Natural", a tall tale about how legends are made. It's all over the place but never feels comfortable in its own period clothes.
Trying out all these comic subgenres takes time. The film overstays its welcome by a good 20 minutes, making the climactic game feel anti-climactic. Clooney and co-star Renee Zellweger certainly will lure customers, but story weaknesses and ill-defined characters will challenge their most ardent fans to root for anything other than a swift ending. Boxoffice prospects looks mediocre domestically, and you can forget about overseas.
The year is 1925, the same year Harold Lloyd made his classic "The Freshman", to which the football action looks surprisingly similar. Pro football is a pitiable thing, drawing dozens of fans, mostly tanked up on Prohibition hooch, and bored cows to tiny fields while college boys, paid only with scholarships, draw tens of thousands. Clooney's Dodge Connelly -- now that's a football moniker! -- aging star and guiding light of the Duluth Bulldogs, means to change all that.
He entices college star Carter "The Bullet" Rutherford John Krasinski) -- or to be accurate, his manager CC Frazier (Jonathan Pryce) -- to play for the Bulldogs. He is not only a football hero but also a World War I hero, having captured an entire German regiment (the details keep changing) single-handedly. Historical accuracy pretty much flies out the window here since a college player would've played pro under an assumed name, and he certainly would not have a manager.
Zellweger is the "His Girl Friday" news hen, Lexie Littleton, who is assigned to suss out the real story behind the war-hero act. In the process, she seemingly falls for both Dodge and Bullet, if only for their names alone. She gets her story, and the fate of pro football hangs on its accuracy -- but not really. In fact, far too much time is taken up by this dubious subplot that has nothing to do with pro football.
The parts never add up. The journalistic aspects are all stolen from "The Front Page" and "It Happened One Night" and feel tired. The chases, fisticuffs and pratfalls are exceedingly lame. And the romances never are convincing. Our Lexie wouldn't fall for either of these mugs.
The film shifts styles so often that it strips its gears. Characters turn up, often coincidentally, to push the story along, but the script by one-time Sports Illustrated colleagues Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly relies heavily on old movies and not enough on historical invention. The haphazard nature of the narrative speaks to the clumsiness of every unlikely plot turn and character.
Clooney's character -- part Clark Gable, part Cary Grant, part you name it -- is too shifty and conniving to be a rogue gentleman. Zellweger's goes way too misty-eyed at the prospect of marriage to fulfill the Rosalind Russell role. And Krasinski spends the entire movie being manipulated rather than allowed to assert a nature that is perhaps more heroic than he's given credit for.
The music is great fun, though -- a mix of era-perfect soft jazz and old standards -- while the design, perhaps a bit self-consciously, does put us in a '20s mood.
A Smokehouse Pictures/Casey Silver production
Credits: Director: George Clooney; Screenwriters: Duncan Brantley, Rick Reilly; Producers: Grant Heslov, Casey Silver; Executive producers: Barbara A. Hall, Jeffrey Silver, Bobby Newmyer, Sydney Pollack; Director of photography: Newton Thomas Sigel; Production designer: Jim Bissell; Music: Randy Newman; Costume designer: Louise Frogley; Editor: Stephen Mirrione. Cast: Dodge Connelly: George Clooney; Lexie Littleton: Renee Zellweger; Carter "The Bullett" Rutherford: John Krasinski; CC Frazier: Jonathan Pryce; Suds: Stephen Root; Coach Ferguson: Wayne Duvall; Commissioner: Peter Gerety.
MPAA rating PG-13, running time 114 minutes.
15 items from 2008
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