2 items from 2005
Comedy Central has greenlighted a weekly series satirizing the world of entertainment with David Spade. The Showbiz Show With David Spade will be hosted by Spade, who will executive produce with Brillstein-Grey Co., Gavin Polone of Pariah Prods. and Hugh Fink, who used to collaborate with the comedian on the similarly minded Celebrity Minute segment of Saturday Night Live. "I would say it's a combination of 'The Daily Show' meets 'Talk Soup,' with 'Celebrity Minute' sprinkled in," Fink said. »
10 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
The amazing and hilarious achievement of director Chris Noonan and his team of animal trainers and CGI whizzes in the 1995 hit film Babe becomes more apparent every time someone else attempts a sequel or knockoff. Racing Stripes, directed by Frederik Du Chau, copies the formula of a farm animal unaware of its own identity. But the results don't come close to duplicating Noonan's charming and gentle barnyard fable. At best, Racing Stripes should play nicely to youngsters with the cutoff for enjoyment extending no further than midteens.
Instead of a pig who believes he is a sheepdog, Racing Stripes concerns a zebra who thinks he is a race horse. Like Babe, the zebra named Stripes converses with other animals on the family's Kentucky farm. This is achieved again with a mix of real animals, computer technology and animatronic doubles.
Stripes is named by the young daughter (Hayden Panettiere) of a former horse trainer (Bruce Greenwood) who rescues the lost foal. Once the humans retire from the barn, all the animals begin to chatter up a storm. Three years later, the daughter gets the idea she would like to ride the zebra, every bit as much as Stripes would like to be ridden because he thinks he can run in races against horses. But, in a bit of unconvincing melodrama, Dad won't allow this because his late wife lost her life after being thrown from a horse.
David Schmidt's screenplay switches back and forth between the two story lines of the animal kingdom and the horse race movie, but the narratives never really merge as the story lines never play off each other. Famous voice actors do inject a bit of whimsy into the barnyard banter, especially Dustin Hoffman as a cantankerous Shetland pony, Whoopi Goldberg as a sagacious goat and Joe Pantoliano as a Mafioso pelican on the lam from the big city. Meanwhile, Frankie Muniz and Mandy Moore give Stripes and his filly girlfriend, Sandy, a coltish innocence.
The human actors including M. Emmet Walsh as a racetrack junkie do respectable work with the stock characters in the National Velvet story line, though Wendie Malick is over the top as the coldblooded doyenne of the Kentucky racing circuit. Two well-animated horseflies with a penchant for breaking into song and dance, played with unapologetic zeal by Steve Harvey and David Spade, take the film south into poo humor so beloved by youngsters. They are not, however, the only offenders.
Du Chau is better at integrating the racing footage -- which must have been tricky given that zebras really aren't racers -- with the animation and animatronics. The CG work allowing the animals to mouth dialogue blends well into the live action. David Eggby's cinematography and Wolf Kroeger's sets make the South African locations look convincingly American.
Director: Frederik Du Chau
Screenwriter: David Schmidt
Story by: David Schmidt, Steven P. Wegner, Kirk DeMicco, Frederik Du Chau
Producers: Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Ed McDonnell, Lloyd Phillips
Executive producer: Steven P. Wegner
Director of photography: David Eggby
Production designer: Wolf Kroeger
Music: Mark Isham
Costumes: Jo Katsaras
Editor: Tom Finan
Nolan Walsh: Bruce Greenwood
Channing Walsh: Hayden Panettiere
Woodzie: M. Emmet Walsh
Clara: Wendie Malick
Stripes: Frankie Muniz
Sandy: Mandy Moore
Tucker: Dustin Hoffman
Franny: Whoopi Goldberg
Goose: Joe Pantoliano
Buzz: Steve Harven
Scuzz: David Spade
Reggie: Jeff Foxworthy »
2 items from 2005
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