6 items from 2006
Julia Roberts will present George Clooney with the 2006 American Cinematheque Award on Oct. 13 during the 21st annual Cinematheque Award Show at the Beverly Hilton. Colleagues who will pay tribute to Clooney at the event -- to be broadcast Dec. 13 on AMC -- include Ellen Barkin, Don Cheadle, John Cusack, Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Morgan Freeman, Salma Hayek, Bonnie Hunt, Richard Kind, Bernie Mac, Julianna Margulies, Carl Reiner, David Strathairn, Bruce Willis, Noah Wyle, Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones. »
In his first feature as writer-director, "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" Jeff Garlin has crafted a winningly low-key "Marty" lite, bringing a Jewish, showbiz spin to the tale of an overweight man still living with his mother. "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With" - the cri du coeur of the sad sack at the story's center - is an enjoyable, if slight, valentine to Garlin's native Chicago and old-fashioned romance, with nods along the way to vintage coffee shops, homemade kugel and Jackie Gleason.
The comedy, a late addition to the recent Los Angeles Film Festival, makes good use of some of Garlin's fellow Second City alumni: Bonnie Hunt, Amy Sedaris, Dan Castellaneta and David Pasquesi. And though his script only loosely connects scenes and shtick, Garlin's assured directorial touch infuses the proceedings with generosity and heart.
Mina Kolb, who plays Garlin's character's mother on "Curb", does so here as well, bringing a believable mix of maternal manipulation and understanding to the part. When he's not home with her or working, 39-year-old actor James (Garlin) fills his nonworking hours with junk-food binges, aimless perambulation and visits with his best friend (Pasquesi). After he's unceremoniously dumped by a Second City colleague, James succumbs to an attractive ice-cream parlor wacko (Sarah Silverman) and begins a tentative flirtation with a slightly more grounded, jazz-loving schoolteacher (Hunt).
A vague sense of career purpose takes hold when he learns that his favorite film, "Marty", is being remade - in typically idiotic fashion, by people who wouldn't know Paddy Chayefsky from Patti LuPone. Garlin also takes swipes at reality TV: At the beginning of the film, James quits his stint on the cruel and stupid "Smear Job", a show directed with pointless gusto by Charlie (frequent "Curb" cast member Paul Mazursky).
Garlin's terrific comic timing is a key attribute, as is that of his strong cast, which also includes Wallace Langham, Roger Bart and Richard Kind. From both sides of the camera, he knows how to let these comedy masters shine. »
NEW YORK -- This latest CGI effort from Disney is all too indicative of the current glut of animated films. Lacking distinctive personality or humor and unfortunately coming across as an all-too-soon remake of last year's "Madagascar", "The Wild" is unlikely to achieve the sort of boxoffice numbers garnered by its predecessor, though its holiday weekend release should help.
Yet another tale of animals transported from the cushy environs of a New York zoo to the perils of the jungle, the film depicts the adventures of a lion (Kiefer Sutherland), a giraffe (Janeane Garofalo), a squirrel (Jim Belushi), an anaconda (Richard Kind) and a koala (Eddie Izzard) as they attempt to rescue the lion's cub (Greg Cipes) after he is mistakenly shipped to the wild.
Providing the emotional hook to the story is the lion having to come to grips with the fact that he has lived his whole life in a protected environment, and the struggle of his young cub to find his "roar." Oh, and there's a love story of sorts between the giraffe and the squirrel.
Directed in ultra-frenetic style by the aptly nicknamed Steve "Spaz" Williams, the film is a relentlessly loud and ultimately exhausting exercise only partially leavened by the usual heavy doses of wisecracking humor and visual gags. Despite numerous clever touches, the film isn't entertaining enough to lift it above its general air of familiarity, though tykes with short memories should find enough to amuse them.
The impressive animation is rendered in a more realistic style than usual, with the animals depicted in a down-to-earth fashion that only slightly conflicts with the fact that they're engaged in such activities as steering boats. But while their visual details are impressive, the characters lack the personality of those in such efforts as "The Lion King", the stage version of which gets a prominent plug in this film.
The voice talents generally get the job done. Sutherland's impressive tones provide the proper gravitas as the loving lion father; Garofalo gives her giraffe an amusing air of exasperation; Belushi scores laughs with his love-struck squirrel; and William Shatner bellows with gusto as a wildebeest. The funniest contributions come from Izzard's wittily acerbic koala and Lenny Venito and Joseph Siravo's Brooklyn-accented alligators.
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Walt Disney Pictures presents
a Hoytboy Pictures and Sir Zip Studios production
a Contrafilm production
Director: Steve "Spaz" Williams
Producers: Clint Goldman, Beau Flynn
Screenwriters: Ed Dector, John J. Strauss, Mark Gibson, Philip Halprin
Story by: Mark Gibson, Philip Halprin
Production designer and art director: Chris Farmer
Editors: V. Scott Balcerek, Steven L. Wagner
Composer: Alan Silvestri
Supervising character designer: Erich Rigling
Samson: Kiefer Sutherland
Benny: Jim Belushi
Nigel: Eddie Izzard
Bridget: Janeane Garofalo
Kazar: William Shatner
Larry: Richard Kind
Ryan: Greg Cipes
MPAA rating G
Running time -- 85 minutes »
Jenny McCarthy has been tapped to co-star opposite Patricia Heaton in Heaton's untitled comedy pilot for ABC. Meanwhile, Richard Kind has joined CBS' comedy pilot The Angriest Man in Suburbia. The untitled Heaton project, from Touchstone TV, stars Heaton as a recent widow who finds friends and a path to a new life through joining the PTA. McCarthy, who recently wrapped ABC Family's holiday movie Mary Christmas, next appears in the summer feature John Tucker Must Die. »
IDT Entertainment announced a new title for its first CG-animated feature that will be distributed through 20th Century Fox. Previously known as Yankee Irving, the family comedy has been retitled Everyone's Hero, and its release date was pushed back from Aug. 25 to Sept. 15. The film originally was directed by Christopher Reeve; after his death, Colin Brady and Dan St. Pierre took over. The voice cast is led by Rob Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Brian Dennehy, Raven-Symone, William H. Macy, Mandy Patinkin, Robert Wagner, Richard Kind, New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, Jake T. Austin and the late Dana Reeve, who also serves as an executive producer. »
The OC star Peter Gallagher and Alessandro Nivola were among the actors showing off their singing skills alongside Macy Gray and Dwight Yoakam at the Independent Spirit Awards in California on Saturday when they performed witty ditties to honor the Best Film nominees. Gallagher offered up a musical tribute to Brokeback Mountain on stage at the event in Santa Monica, California, while Nivola joined Zooey Deschanel to honor The Squid & The Whale with a quirky rendition of "You're The One That I Want" from Grease. Meanwhile, Gray sang a tribute to Capote and Yoakam performed "Act Drastically" to the tune of "Act Naturally" as a way of honoring The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada, in which he starred. And George Clooney's best pal, actor Richard Kind, stunned the actor/director when he stepped up to honor his film, Good Night, And Good Luck. »
6 items from 2006
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