11 items from 2008
D.B. Sweeney's road comedy Two Tickets to Paradise tracks a trio of beleaguered buddies (Sweeney, John C. McGinley, and Paul Hipp) who motor from small-town Pennsylvania to Florida to attend a college football bowl game. Considering the movie's blue-collar sensibilities, the term auteur might seem inappropriately highfalutin to describe Sweeney. But he clearly assumed such a role here — directing, co-writing, and producing. The actor (Eight Men Out, The Cutting Edge) had not originally planned to direct or produce. But he was interested in scripting a project for himself, and he enlisted friend Brian Currie, a bouncer-turned-scenarist, to help develop a story. Having spoken with firefighters and police officers in the wake of 9/11, Sweeney knew that many middle-aged working-class men were dissatisfied with the way they're portrayed onscreen. Citing the new film Zack and Miri Make a Porno, he says, "Seth Rogen is with this beautiful girl. The geeky guy »
- Mark Dundas Wood
By Neil Pedley
Providing the requisite stopgap between showy Thanksgiving distractions and award season stragglers, female directors and assorted indie debutantes are making a strong showing this week.
'What's Eating Elissa Down?' is the question to ask as the award-winning director of Aussie shorts makes the jump to features with this semi-autobiographical tale of a frustrated adolescent on the verge of manhood weighed down by his responsibilities to his autistic younger brother. Daytime soap star Rhys Wakefield takes the role of the Gilbert Grape-esque Thomas, a burdened army brat charged with his brother's care while his parents drag the two up and down the country until he meets Jackie, a free spirit who teaches him how to shed his bitterness. The always impressive Toni Collette anchors this teenage ensemble as the boy's mother, Maggie. Luke Ford and Gemma Ward co-star.
Opens in New York and Los Angeles. »
- Neil Pedley
By Neil Pedley
With the fall season's heavy hitters already starting to make an appearance, this week's feast of indie offers some calm before the big studio storm. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Celebrated Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai gathered together lost and damaged footage to painstakingly rework his only martial arts epic, first released in 1994, into a fresh, definitive edition (complete with an all new score from Yo-Yo Ma). With a blindingly colorful palette, Wong paints a looping, stylized portrait of an embittered agent Ouyang Feng (the late Leslie Cheung) who channels the unbearable pain of a broken heart into commissioning bounty hunters to commit acts of vengeance. Tony Leung Ka Fai, Maggie Cheung, Carina Lau and Jacky Cheung round out the still-impressive cast.
Opens in New York and Los Angeles.
"Body of Lies"
In terms of the global espionage thriller, orange is the new »
- Neil Pedley
Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Program The Colbert Report • Comedy Central • Hello Doggie, Inc. with Busboy Productions and Spartina Productions Tom Purcell, Head Writer The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • Comedy Central • Hello Doggie, Inc. Steve Bodow, Head Writer Late Night With Conan O'Brien • NBC • Conaco, Broadway Video, in association with Universal Media Studio Mike Sweeney, Head Writer Late Show With David Letterman • CBS • Worldwide Pants Inc. Eric Stangel, Head Writer Justin Stangel, Head Writer Saturday Night Live • NBC • SNL Studios in association with NBC Studios and Broadway Video Seth Meyers, Head Writer Andrew Steele, Head Writer Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series Flight Of The Conchords • Yoko • HBO • Dakota Pictures and Comedy Arts in association with HBO Entertainment James Bobin, Written By Jemaine Clement, Written By Bret McKenzie, Written By The Office • Dinner Party • NBC • Deedle Dee Productions, Reveille LLC, Universal Media Studios Lee Eisenberg, Written By Gene Stupnitsky, »
20 September 2008 9:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
It was a record-breaking night at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, with HBO's "John Adams" establishing a new standard for most wins for a program in a single year and CBS' "The Amazing Race" and Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" posting unprecedented sixth consecutive best series wins.
With its best drama series trophy, "Mad Men" became the first basic cable program to win a major series category. In addition to the "30 Rock" repeat as best comedy series, its creator/star Tina Fey also won Emmys for lead comedy actress and comedy series writing, while "Mad" walked away with a drama writing Emmy for creator Matthew Weiner.
- By Kimberly Nordyke
Yes! Yet another one of our Vault Of The Forgotten And Obscure picks is finding its way to DVD! The fiends over at Deadpit.com recently chatted with director J.D. Feigelson who confirmed that a DVD (and a Blu-Ray) release of his cult-classic made-for-tv 1981 flick Dark Night Of The Scarecrow is in the works! Dark Night Of The Scarecrow is a classic revenge tale which features Larry Drake (Darkman, Dr. Giggles) playing the slow, yet innocent Bubba Ritter who gets wrongly accused of a local girls murder and gets killed by the townsfolk. They get away with it, but not for long! The movie also stars Lane Smith and Charles Durning. Details are scare as of now, but we'll keep you posted on more when we hear it. Click Here to read more about it from our May 2006 Vault edition!
Now here's some truly great news. Deadpit.com's "Creepy Kentuckian" is reporting that the classic (and largely unseen by today's audiences) 1981 made-for-tv fright flick Dark Night of the Scarecrow is at long last getting the DVD and Blu-Ray treatment. About damn time!
Dark Night of the Scarecrow is a genuinely creepy horror movie about a mentally handicapped young man (Larry Drake, Dr. Giggles) wrongfully accused of assaulting a young girl in a rural farm community who is then hunted down by a lynch mob led by legendary character actor Charles Durning. The frightened simpleton tries to disguise himself as the scarecrow in his mother's field only to get gunned down in cold blood by the mob. The murderous rednecks then try to cover their tracks by putting a pitchfork in his hands and claiming self defense. They get away with it too until that night someone dressed at that scarecrow »
18 July 2008 7:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Cable networks shattered Emmy's glass ceiling Thursday.
After no other cable network besides HBO had ever been able to break into the best series categories, three cablers -- AMC, FX and Showtime -- made their debut among the nominees in the top fields at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards.
In doing so, they also broke their previous Emmy nom records, as did Bravo and Sci Fi Channel.
Cable's breakthrough performance also comes just as the broadcast networks are reeling from a tough season, scarred by the effects of the writers strike.
"The TV academy and its members finally recognized cable television in an unprecedented way," "Damages" co-creator/exec producer Todd Kessler said. "What I hope it ultimately means is that more shows and more people will embrace opportunities away from network TV -- and hopefully network TV will reflect, in terms of content and storytelling, what's going on in other areas of television."
Also nominated for best drama series are ABC's "Lost," which returns to the category after a two-year absence coming off one of its strongest seasons, along with ABC's "Boston Legal" and Fox's "House."
The show's tally is the largest ever for a comedy series in a single year, surpassing the 16 for HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" in 1997.
In the comedy series category, defending champ "30 Rock" will face 2006 winner "The Office" and HBO's "Entourage" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." CBS' "Two and a Half Men" is the lone representative of the multicamera sitcom genre in the category dominated by single-camera half-hours.
Toon "Family Guy's" quest to make history with a best comedy series nomination came up short after making the list of 10 finalists. (It still landed a nom in an animated program category.) Also absent from the comedy series category: ABC's much-lauded freshman "Pushing Daisies."
Not surprisingly, HBO bagged the most nominations among all the networks, 85, followed by ABC with 76 and CBS with 51.
As strong a presence as cable had in the best series categories, its dominance in the lead drama acting categories was even more impressive.
Four actors on cable series -- Hamm, Michael C. Hall of "Dexter," Bryan Cranston of AMC's "Breaking Bad" and Gabriel Byrne of HBO's "In Treatment" -- made the list, joined by returning contenders James Spader of "Boston Legal" and Hugh Laurie of "House."
On the distaff side, Glenn Close of "Damages," Holly Hunter of TNT's "Saving Grace" and Kyra Sedgwick of TNT's "The Closer" are facing the past two winners in the category: Sally Field of ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" and Mariska Hargitay of NBC's "Law & Order: Svu."
In the lead comedy actress category, Fey -- who won the Golden Globe in January for her starring role on "30 Rock" -- will compete against past winners Julia Louis-Dreyfus of CBS' "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and America Ferrera of ABC's "Ugly Betty," along with Mary-Louise Parker for Showtime's "Weeds" and Christina Applegate for ABC's freshman comedy "Samantha Who?"
Notably missing are the ladies of Wisteria Lane as ABC's "Desperate Housewives" was shut out of the top categories.
In the lead actor in a comedy series field, Steve Carell will have his third shot at an Emmy for his role on "The Office." He is going up against three-time winner Tony Shalhoub of USA's "Monk," Baldwin, Charlie Sheen of "Two and a Half Men" and Lee Pace of "Pushing Daisies."
While new cable series were red-hot, freshmen broadcast series barely registered this go-round, with just a handful of acting nominations. Last year, three rookies -- "30 Rock," "Ugly Betty" and NBC's "Heroes" -- earned best series noms; "30 Rock" won.
But this past season, freshmen series were heavily impacted by the writers strike, and many of them, including "Pushing Daisies," didn't produce more episodes beyond their short fall runs.
The work stoppage affected all broadcast series, which produced fewer episodes, and the long winter drought of originals might have steered viewers, including TV academy members, to cable.
Louis-Dreyfus said it was a "huge relief" to get nominated because the show shot only 10 episodes because of the strike.
"I thought any chance of getting any nomination was slim for that reason," she said.
Coincidence or not, all of the broadcast series that landed in the top categories aired original episodes in the spring.
"House" almost didn't, as Fox originally opted not to order more originals after the strike. It eventually did, and one of these extra episodes yielded a nom for director Greg Yaitanes.
While there might have been some impact from the strike, the recognition for cable mostly is a reflection of its creative strides in the past few years, said "House" creator/exec producer David Shore.
"With the gains they've made, it's long overdue," he said. "The way for us to keep up is by trying to do as good television as we can."
Additionally, the tally of some cable networks, including Showtime, may have been boosted by their decisions to stream episodes or full seasons on the Web for TV academy members.
The Emmy ceremony will be held Sept. 21 from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and broadcast on ABC.
Ray Richmond contributed to this report.
A list of nominees is on the next page.
A list of nominees follows:
Outstanding drama series
Boston Legal (ABC)
Mad Men (AMC)
Outstanding comedy series
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
30 Rock (NBC)
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
The Andromeda Strain (A&E)
John Adams (HBO)
Tin Man (Sci Fi Channel)
Outstanding made-for-television movie
Bernard and Doris (HBO)
Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale (HBO)
The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Lifetime)
A Raisin in the Sun (ABC)
Outstanding variety, music or comedy series
The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Lead actor in a comedy series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)
Lead actor in a drama series
Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)
Lead actor in a miniseries or movie
Ralph Fiennes, Bernard and Doris (HBO)
Lead actress in a comedy series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)
Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)
Lead actress in a drama series
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Svu (NBC)
Lead actress in a miniseries or movie
Susan Sarandon, Bernard and Doris (HBO)
Phylicia Rashad, A Raisin in the Sun (ABC)
Supporting actor in a comedy series
Supporting actor in a drama series
Supporting actor in a miniseries or movie
Supporting actress in a comedy series
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Supporting actress in a drama series
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Supporting actress in a miniseries or movie
Alfre Woodard, Pictures of Hollis Woods (CBS)
Audra McDonald, A Raisin in the Sun (ABC)
Guest actor in a comedy series
Rip Torn, 30 Rock (NBC)
Will Arnett, 30 Rock (NBC)
Steve Buscemi, 30 Rock (NBC)
Tim Conway, 30 Rock (NBC)
Guest actor in a drama series
Robin Williams, Law & Order: Svu (NBC)
Oliver Platt, Nip/Tuck (FX)
Guest actress in a comedy series
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Carrie Fisher, 30 Rock (NBC)
Edie Falco, 30 Rock (NBC)
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock (NBC)
Guest actress in a drama series
Cynthia Nixon, Law & Order: Svu (NBC)
Sharon Gless, Nip/Tuck (FX)
Individual performance in a variety or music program
Jon Stewart, 80th Annual Academy Awards (ABC)
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Host for a reality or reality-competition program
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Howie Mandel, Deal or No Deal (NBC)
Directing for a comedy series
Flight of the Conchords -- Sally Returns; James Bobin, director
30 Rock -- Rosemary's Baby; Michael Engler, director
Directing for a drama series
House -- House's Head; Greg Yaitanes, director
Outstanding animated program (less than one hour)
Creature Comforts America (CBS)
King of the Hill (Fox)
Robot Chicken (Cartoon Network)
SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon)
The Simpsons (Fox)
Outstanding animated program (one hour or more)
Blue Harvest (Fox)
Imaginationland (Comedy Central)
Justice League: The New Frontier (Warner Bros. on Demand)
Click here for a complete list of nominees. »
- By Nellie Andreeva
A list of nominees follows:
Outstanding Drama Series
Outstanding Comedy Series
"The Andromeda Strain" -- A&E
"Cranford" (Masterpiece Theatre) -- PBS
"John Adams" -- HBO
"Tin Man" -- Sci Fi Channel
Outstanding Made for Television Movie
"Bernard and Doris" -- HBO
"Extras: The Extra »
Variety reports today that The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s committee has chosen 25 new recipients to be added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. According to the report, Hugh Jackman, Ben Kingsley, Cameron Diaz, Robert Downey Jr., Director Tim Burton and Kfi radio personality Bill Handel will be added. Others include William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Leslie Caron, Charles Durning, William Petersen, Ralph Fiennes, Kyra Sedgwick, John Stamos, Mark Burnett, Chuck Lorre and more. For a complete list and other [...] »
- Brian Corder
4 January 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
The production, helmed by Russian director and Chekhovian scholar Viacheslav Dolgachev, will begin previews Feb. 20 in advance of a March 13 opening. The limited engagement will run until March 30.
Wiest, who won Oscars for her work in the Woody Allen films Hannah and Her Sisters and Bullets Over Broadway, most recently appeared onstage in New York in 2005, when she starred with Charles Durning in Third at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center.
Cumming, who won a Tony for the Sam Mendes revival of Cabaret, recently starred in the Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera during the 2005-06 season.
Dolgachev is the artistic director of the Moscow New Drama Theatre and a former associate at Moscow Art Theatre. He has taught and directed Chekhov in Moscow, Switzerland and the U.S., including New York and Columbia universities and New York's Actors' Center. »
11 items from 2008
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