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6 items from 2004


Bateman Campaigns for On-Screen Romance - With Sister

7 September 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actor Jason Bateman has campaigned to get a new love interest on his acclaimed show Arrested Development - his older sister Justine Bateman. Jason's quirky show, which also features former Ally McBeal star Portia De Rossi, has been lauded by critics since is debut, while failing to attract huge audiences. And Jason admits he decided that bringing his former Family Ties star sister - who is now a successful fashion designer - on board would be a great ratings boost. He says, "The brilliant, genius Mitchell Hurwitz, who's our leader and creator of the show, was talking to me last year about a love interest. It's a whole demographic thing, they needed more women and whatever. So I said, 'What about Justine?' Justine is into it. But here's the thing: she wants to get back into acting now and we would make her some sort of religious zealot that makes it taboo to kiss, touch, do anything before you're married so that's the way we'd get around anything unseemly." He adds, "I don't think it's gonna happen because now that it's been leaked, it looks like it's a horrible reach for ratings. But I would love for her to be on the show, maybe in a different way." »

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BBC2 focuses on Brit history with fall slate

28 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

LONDON -- BBC2 channel chief Roly Keating on Wednesday unveiled the network's £90 million ($163 million) fall schedule, which he said was themed around an exploration of the social history of Britain. While the channel remains thin on U.S and imported product, BBC2 expects to give a primetime slot to the Ron Howard-produced "Arrested Development", starring Jason Bateman and Portia de Rossi. The channel also will air war-on-terror drama "The Grid", with Julianna Marguiles and Tom Skerritt, a BBC2 co-production with TNT and Fox. "We want to provide quality, range, variety and impact, we should be reporting and innovating, and this season scores brilliantly on all those counts," Keating said at the launch. »

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Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

9 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Buried under several layers of crass humor, a wickedly funny satire about sports movies struggles to free itself in "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story."

In his feature debut, writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber comes up with the right idea -- a movie that could do for the pretty useless sport of dodgeball what "Best in Show" did for dog shows -- but the wrong execution. For this piece of juvenilia all too willingly embraces the team motto of the movie's heroes: Aim low.

A pity, though, because underdog sports movies from "The Bad News Bears" to "The Mighty Ducks" could have stood a bit of good-natured ribbing. Aiming low should take in a wide demographic among young audiences, especially males with dates in tow, to achieve boxoffice success for at least a couple of weeks, then move on to the home rental market for frat-house parties and the like.

The film's hero and villain are classic comedy figures. Vince Vaughn's amiable underachiever Peter La Fleur, clearly modeled after Bill Murray's early comedy roles, operates a rundown gym called Average Joe's, where bookkeeping is nonexistent -- he hasn't bothered to collect membership dues in months -- and the clientele consists mostly of the kind of men who seldom frequent gyms. We're talking geeks, obsessive personalities and 95-pound weaklings who dream about girls but are lucky to land a date with an inflatable doll. Directly across the street is the sleek Globo Gym, crowded with beautiful, buffed bodies and run by the egomaniacal yet hugely insecure White Goodman, played to the hilt by Ben Stiller with a fake tan, Fu Manchu mustache and hair blow-dried to perfection.

The bank is about to foreclose on Average Joe's, having taken the precaution of installing attorney Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor) to facilitate the process. Eager to acquire the property and turn it into a parking lot is White. To stave off the inevitable, Peter must come up with $50,000 in a month.

Then Peter learns of a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament with a $50,000 prize from gym rat Gordon (Stephen Root), who gleans this news from the pages of Obscure Sports Quarterly. Peter reluctantly organizes a team of misfit dodgeball players from the gym, which consists of the hapless Gordon; Steve (Alan Tudyk), a guy convinced that he is a pirate; Justin (Justin Long), who obsesses over an unapproachable cheerleader; Owen (Joel David Moore), who is exceptionally dim; and Dwight (Chris Williams), an earnest know-it-all.

In the tradition of all sports movies, along comes an aging but tough coach determined to mold these misfits into heroes. This would be Rip Torn's Patches O'Houlihan, a foul, demented, wheelchair-bound dodgeball legend whose idea of training is to throw monkey wrenches at players. They will learn to dodge objects or suffer the painful consequences.

White, believing himself to be a sex machine, makes enough passes at a nauseated Kate that soon she is off the bankruptcy case and on Average Joe's team, where her former softball pitching serves her well. Everyone winds up in Vegas for a grudge match against Globo's all-star team, which is broadcast by ESPN 8, a cable network that boasts, "If it's almost a sport, we have it here!"

In outline, the story is pretty funny, and the film's outlandish takes on sports-movie conventions deliver some laughs. But Thurber chooses the low road to those laughs so often that he undermines his own satirical design. His actors certainly deliver amusing, spirited performances, but again, they get done in by relentless adolescent humor.

The film does score satiric hits in its send-up of the sports media, which includes Globo Gym's infomercial and ESPN 8's graphics and hype-hype-hype broadcasters (Gary Cole and Jason Bateman). Timely and very funny cameos by Lance Armstrong and Chuck Norris point up how bright this movie could have been.

Cinematography, production design and costumes suit the mood, poking fun at our national obsession with looks and fitness.

DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY

20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox presents in association with Mediastream IVa Red Hour production

Credits: Screenwriter-director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Producers: Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld

Executive producers: Mary McLaglen, Rhoades Rader

Director of photography: Jerzy Zielinski

Production designer: Maher Ahmad

Music: Theodore Shapiro

Costume designer: Carol Ramsey

Editor: Alan Baumgarten. Cast: White Goodman: Ben Stiller

Peter La Fleur: Vince Vaughn

Kate Veatch: Christine Taylor

Patches: Rip Torn

Justin: Justin Long

Gordon: Stephen Root

Owen: Joel David Moore

Dwight: Chris Williams

Steve the Pirate: Alan Tukyk

Fran: Missi Pyle

Me'Shell Jones: Jamal E. Duff

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 91 minutes »

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Starsky & Hutch

9 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Opens Friday, February 27

For his follow-up to "Old School", director Todd Phillips has literally gone old school -- giving a comedy fuel injection to the mack daddy of 1970s cop shows (sorry, "Baretta"), "Starsky and Hutch".

The end result, which has gained an ampersand in the process, finds Phillips' comedy street cred (he also was responsible for 2000's "Road Trip") reasonably intact, and if it doesn't hit as many inspired highs as last year's smash, it still cruises along agreeably on the easy chemistry between Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, who step in where Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul left off.

It's definitely a lot more fun than the last "Charlie's Angels" picture, another big-screen redo of a '70s Spelling-Goldberg production which has managed to occupy a place in the collective pop culture psyche.

Expect a huge payoff and at least one sequel for the Warner Bros. release (Dimension Pictures has it internationally), which will see Stiller build on that "Along Came Polly" momentum, while Wilson will be able to rebound from "The Big Bounce" and "I Spy".

Effectively laying down the groundwork for the enduring odd couple buddy cop vehicle, the ABC series, which originally aired between 1975-1979, served up a smooth mix of character-driven banter and gritty action.

It was ultimately deemed a little too gritty for the network's tastes, which ordered the violence toned down for the 1977-78 season.

No worries for the kinder, gentler, funnier 2004 version, in which Stiller's feverishly devoted, quick tempered Detective David Starsky is partnered with Wilson's more laidback, rules-bending Detective Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson in the investigation of a Bay City murder.

The trail of clues soon lead them to Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn), a sadistic, polyester-clad businessman who has found a way to make cocaine undetectable by taste or smell.

But it will take more than a trunkful of disguises and a few spins in their trusty Ford Gran Torino (aka the Red Tomato) to successfully nail Feldman before he pulls off the biggest drug deal in the greater Bay City area.

Stiller has put his skills as an astute mimic to good use here, capturing the original Starsky's caffeine-enhanced body language. Wilson, on the other hand, is essentially playing his surfer-boy-self here, but it serves the character well, and after appearing in something like half a dozen movies together, the two have an easy give-and-take that's more Hope and Crosby than Matthau and Lemmon.

The smart casting also applies to the effectively utilized presence of Snoop Dogg, who neatly slides into Antonio Fargas' slick shoes as fly informant Huggy Bear.

Also popping up are Will Ferrell as a jailed associate of Vaughn's with a dragon fetish, Juliette Lewis as Vaughn's naive girlfriend on the side, Jason Bateman as his lackey and Amy Smart and Carmen Electra as a pair of Bay City cheerleaders with a thing for cops.

Even the original Starsky and Hutch put in a final act appearance, and while the former looks more or less the same, the latter is barely recognizable from his "Don't Give up on Us" days.

Phillips, who contributed to the script along with his writing partner Scot Armstrong and John O'Brien, keeps things clicking at a suitably low-tech pace, although some sharper actual writing and a little less improvising would have helped the picture over a few sluggish spots.

Behind-the-scenes, the '70s live again thanks to production designer Edward Verreaux's authentic interiors, costume designer Louise Mingenbach's shudder-inducing threads and Theodore Shapiro's evocative score which doesn't skimp on the wah-wah guitar.

Starsky & Hutch

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Dimension Films present a Riche-Ludwig/Weed Road/Red Hour production of a Todd Phillips movie

Credits:

Director: Todd Phillips

Screenwriters: John O'Brien, Todd Phillips, Scot Armstrong

Story by: Stevie Long, John O'Brien

Based on characters created by: William Blinn

Producers: William Blinn, Stuart Cornfeld, Akiva Goldsman, Tony Ludwig, Alan Riche

Executive producer: Gilbert Adler

Director of photography: Barry Peterson

Production designer: Edward Verreaux

Editor: Leslie Jones

Costume designer: Louise Mingenbach

Music: Theodore Shapiro

Cast:

Detective David Starsky: Ben Stiller

Detective Ken Hutchinson: Owen Wilson

Reese Feldman: Vince Vaughn

Kitty: Juliette Lewis

Huggy Bear: Snoop Dogg

Police Capt. Dobey: Fred Williamson

Staci: Carmen Electra

Holly: Amy Smart

Running time -- 100 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13 »

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Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

18 June 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Buried under several layers of crass humor, a wickedly funny satire about sports movies struggles to free itself in "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story."

In his feature debut, writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber comes up with the right idea -- a movie that could do for the pretty useless sport of dodgeball what "Best in Show" did for dog shows -- but the wrong execution. For this piece of juvenilia all too willingly embraces the team motto of the movie's heroes: Aim low.

A pity, though, because underdog sports movies from "The Bad News Bears" to "The Mighty Ducks" could have stood a bit of good-natured ribbing. Aiming low should take in a wide demographic among young audiences, especially males with dates in tow, to achieve boxoffice success for at least a couple of weeks, then move on to the home rental market for frat-house parties and the like.

The film's hero and villain are classic comedy figures. Vince Vaughn's amiable underachiever Peter La Fleur, clearly modeled after Bill Murray's early comedy roles, operates a rundown gym called Average Joe's, where bookkeeping is nonexistent -- he hasn't bothered to collect membership dues in months -- and the clientele consists mostly of the kind of men who seldom frequent gyms. We're talking geeks, obsessive personalities and 95-pound weaklings who dream about girls but are lucky to land a date with an inflatable doll. Directly across the street is the sleek Globo Gym, crowded with beautiful, buffed bodies and run by the egomaniacal yet hugely insecure White Goodman, played to the hilt by Ben Stiller with a fake tan, Fu Manchu mustache and hair blow-dried to perfection.

The bank is about to foreclose on Average Joe's, having taken the precaution of installing attorney Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor) to facilitate the process. Eager to acquire the property and turn it into a parking lot is White. To stave off the inevitable, Peter must come up with $50,000 in a month.

Then Peter learns of a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament with a $50,000 prize from gym rat Gordon (Stephen Root), who gleans this news from the pages of Obscure Sports Quarterly. Peter reluctantly organizes a team of misfit dodgeball players from the gym, which consists of the hapless Gordon; Steve (Alan Tudyk), a guy convinced that he is a pirate; Justin (Justin Long), who obsesses over an unapproachable cheerleader; Owen (Joel David Moore), who is exceptionally dim; and Dwight (Chris Williams), an earnest know-it-all.

In the tradition of all sports movies, along comes an aging but tough coach determined to mold these misfits into heroes. This would be Rip Torn's Patches O'Houlihan, a foul, demented, wheelchair-bound dodgeball legend whose idea of training is to throw monkey wrenches at players. They will learn to dodge objects or suffer the painful consequences.

White, believing himself to be a sex machine, makes enough passes at a nauseated Kate that soon she is off the bankruptcy case and on Average Joe's team, where her former softball pitching serves her well. Everyone winds up in Vegas for a grudge match against Globo's all-star team, which is broadcast by ESPN 8, a cable network that boasts, "If it's almost a sport, we have it here!"

In outline, the story is pretty funny, and the film's outlandish takes on sports-movie conventions deliver some laughs. But Thurber chooses the low road to those laughs so often that he undermines his own satirical design. His actors certainly deliver amusing, spirited performances, but again, they get done in by relentless adolescent humor.

The film does score satiric hits in its send-up of the sports media, which includes Globo Gym's infomercial and ESPN 8's graphics and hype-hype-hype broadcasters (Gary Cole and Jason Bateman). Timely and very funny cameos by Lance Armstrong and Chuck Norris point up how bright this movie could have been.

Cinematography, production design and costumes suit the mood, poking fun at our national obsession with looks and fitness.

DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY

20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox presents in association with Mediastream IVa Red Hour production

Credits: Screenwriter-director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Producers: Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld

Executive producers: Mary McLaglen, Rhoades Rader

Director of photography: Jerzy Zielinski

Production designer: Maher Ahmad

Music: Theodore Shapiro

Costume designer: Carol Ramsey

Editor: Alan Baumgarten. Cast: White Goodman: Ben Stiller

Peter La Fleur: Vince Vaughn

Kate Veatch: Christine Taylor

Patches: Rip Torn

Justin: Justin Long

Gordon: Stephen Root

Owen: Joel David Moore

Dwight: Chris Williams

Steve the Pirate: Alan Tukyk

Fran: Missi Pyle

Me'Shell Jones: Jamal E. Duff

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 91 minutes »

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Starsky & Hutch

23 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Opens Friday, February 27

For his follow-up to "Old School", director Todd Phillips has literally gone old school -- giving a comedy fuel injection to the mack daddy of 1970s cop shows (sorry, "Baretta"), "Starsky and Hutch".

The end result, which has gained an ampersand in the process, finds Phillips' comedy street cred (he also was responsible for 2000's "Road Trip") reasonably intact, and if it doesn't hit as many inspired highs as last year's smash, it still cruises along agreeably on the easy chemistry between Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, who step in where Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul left off.

It's definitely a lot more fun than the last "Charlie's Angels" picture, another big-screen redo of a '70s Spelling-Goldberg production which has managed to occupy a place in the collective pop culture psyche.

Expect a huge payoff and at least one sequel for the Warner Bros. release (Dimension Pictures has it internationally), which will see Stiller build on that "Along Came Polly" momentum, while Wilson will be able to rebound from "The Big Bounce" and "I Spy".

Effectively laying down the groundwork for the enduring odd couple buddy cop vehicle, the ABC series, which originally aired between 1975-1979, served up a smooth mix of character-driven banter and gritty action.

It was ultimately deemed a little too gritty for the network's tastes, which ordered the violence toned down for the 1977-78 season.

No worries for the kinder, gentler, funnier 2004 version, in which Stiller's feverishly devoted, quick tempered Detective David Starsky is partnered with Wilson's more laidback, rules-bending Detective Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson in the investigation of a Bay City murder.

The trail of clues soon lead them to Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn), a sadistic, polyester-clad businessman who has found a way to make cocaine undetectable by taste or smell.

But it will take more than a trunkful of disguises and a few spins in their trusty Ford Gran Torino (aka the Red Tomato) to successfully nail Feldman before he pulls off the biggest drug deal in the greater Bay City area.

Stiller has put his skills as an astute mimic to good use here, capturing the original Starsky's caffeine-enhanced body language. Wilson, on the other hand, is essentially playing his surfer-boy-self here, but it serves the character well, and after appearing in something like half a dozen movies together, the two have an easy give-and-take that's more Hope and Crosby than Matthau and Lemmon.

The smart casting also applies to the effectively utilized presence of Snoop Dogg, who neatly slides into Antonio Fargas' slick shoes as fly informant Huggy Bear.

Also popping up are Will Ferrell as a jailed associate of Vaughn's with a dragon fetish, Juliette Lewis as Vaughn's naive girlfriend on the side, Jason Bateman as his lackey and Amy Smart and Carmen Electra as a pair of Bay City cheerleaders with a thing for cops.

Even the original Starsky and Hutch put in a final act appearance, and while the former looks more or less the same, the latter is barely recognizable from his "Don't Give up on Us" days.

Phillips, who contributed to the script along with his writing partner Scot Armstrong and John O'Brien, keeps things clicking at a suitably low-tech pace, although some sharper actual writing and a little less improvising would have helped the picture over a few sluggish spots.

Behind-the-scenes, the '70s live again thanks to production designer Edward Verreaux's authentic interiors, costume designer Louise Mingenbach's shudder-inducing threads and Theodore Shapiro's evocative score which doesn't skimp on the wah-wah guitar.

Starsky & Hutch

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Dimension Films present a Riche-Ludwig/Weed Road/Red Hour production of a Todd Phillips movie

Credits:

Director: Todd Phillips

Screenwriters: John O'Brien, Todd Phillips, Scot Armstrong

Story by: Stevie Long, John O'Brien

Based on characters created by: William Blinn

Producers: William Blinn, Stuart Cornfeld, Akiva Goldsman, Tony Ludwig, Alan Riche

Executive producer: Gilbert Adler

Director of photography: Barry Peterson

Production designer: Edward Verreaux

Editor: Leslie Jones

Costume designer: Louise Mingenbach

Music: Theodore Shapiro

Cast:

Detective David Starsky: Ben Stiller

Detective Ken Hutchinson: Owen Wilson

Reese Feldman: Vince Vaughn

Kitty: Juliette Lewis

Huggy Bear: Snoop Dogg

Police Capt. Dobey: Fred Williamson

Staci: Carmen Electra

Holly: Amy Smart

Running time -- 100 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13 »

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6 items from 2004


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