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5 items from 2007

Harrison gets his Fifteen Minutes gig

27 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

PR agency Fifteen Minutes has named Bill Harrison president and COO, while founder Howard Bragman is assuming the title of chairman and CEO.

In his new role, Harrison will continue to head the corporate entertainment division while assuming overall agency management responsibilities and continuing to work with Bragman on new business development and long-term planning.

Before joining Fifteen Minutes, whose clients include Carlos Mencia, Cathy Schulman, Isaiah Washington, Mario Lopez and Ricki Lake, Harrison Held roles at talent agency Paradigm, PMK/HBH and Zukerman Communications. »

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Comedy makes up mind for 'Mencia,' 'Bush'

2 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Comedy Central has renewed Mind of Mencia and the animated series Lil' Bush.

The network has ordered 10 new episodes for the fourth season of Mind of Mencia, featuring comedian Carlos Mencia offering his point of view on various topics, and is targeting a spring premiere. The show is executive produced and created by Mencia and Robert Morton.

Mencia averaged 1.5 million total viewers during its third season, ranking No. 1 among basic cable with men 18-24 in its time slot at 10-10:30 p.m. Sundays. The third-season DVD hits stores Oct. 23.

"Carlos Mencia is a huge asset to our network," said Lauren Corrao, exec VP original programming and development, adding that he "connects with our audience on every level."

Added Mencia: "I look forward to doing another season of 'Mind of Mencia.' I hope this doesn't mean I can't be on 'Dancing With the Stars.' "

Mencia next appears on the big screen in The Heartbreak Kid. He is repped by Gersh Agency, managers Lee Kernis and Tim Sarkes at Brillstein Entertainment and attorney David Matlof. »

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The Heartbreak Kid

2 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Who knew that buried within director Elaine May and screenwriter Neil Simon's 1972 taboo-busting comedy "The Heartbreak Kid" there lurked a Farrelly brothers movie?

Of course, Peter and Bobby Farrelly have to dispense with the original movie's ethnic context, where a Jewish man is torn between a nice Jewish girl and a blond, blue-eyed shiksa. And they must jettison the satirical elements about social climbing and any notion that a comedy can edge into seriousness. But in terms of the audience for films by the Farrellys and star Ben Stiller, this "Kid" is all komedy with no heartbreak in sight. Domestic boxoffice will be significant.

The screenplay, from no fewer than five scribes -- Scot Armstrong, Leslie Dixon, Kevin Barnett and the two directors -- follows the general outline of the original penned by Simon from a short story by Bruce Jay Friedman: Man marries quickly without doing due diligence on his bride, suffers a disastrous honeymoon and falls in love with another woman before the honeymoon is over.

Stiller's Eddie Cantrow is a San Francisco sporting goods owner who at 40 has never married and is getting pressure from his vulgarian father (Ben's real-life father Jerry Stiller) and henpecked buddy (Rob Corddry) over his bachelor status. The wedding of his longtime fiance, which he actually attends, provokes a hasty response to a chance encounter with blond princess Lila (Malin Akerman), the victim of a purse snatching.

After a whirlwind courtship, which apparently does not include sex -- unlike the original, this film is a bit vague on that point -- a quickie wedding ensues. The couple then embarks on a car trip to a luxury hotel in the Mexican seaside resort of Cabo San Lucas. En route, Eddie makes the alarming discovery that his new wife sings along to every tune on the radio, has a sordid past and likes having sex with an athleticism that can cause serious back pain. Oh, and she has debts like you wouldn't believe.

A horrible sunburn consigns Lila to the bridal suite for several days. This provides plenty of time for Eddie to meet and fall for sweet, down-to-earth Miranda (Michelle Monaghan), who is vacationing with her entire Mississippi-based family. Somehow he never finds the right time to mention that he is on his honeymoon. That situation becomes not so much an angst-provoking torment as an excuse for a host of comic misunderstandings and running gags. Again, heartbreak does not enter the picture.

This romantic triangle with a perverse twist also serves as a vehicle for that Farrelly brothers speciality: the gross physical gag. This film concentrates on the nose. Lila has a deviated septum, which causes liquids, food and even pills to pop out of her nostril. And Miranda's cousin Martin (Danny McBride), who takes exception to her romance with Eddie, jams a painfully hot Chili Pepper up Eddie's nose. Other "physical" gags include the size of a donkey's penis and the lushness Lila's pubic fur. Now why didn't Neil Simon think of that?

A Farrelly brother film operates in a morally neutral zone. Even when a hotel worker (stand-up comic Carlos Mencia) "crosses the line" by placing Lila's hand on his genitals, this is treated as just another gag, of no more consequence than stealing a sip from someone else's margarita. Audiences can't take offense because these things all happen amid utter bad taste and outrageousness. The thing about this "Kid", though, is that the situation was designed for a more serious movie, so the brothers can't build sequences and toss off gags as they did with "Dumb and Dumber" or "There's Something About Mary."

The filmmaking glistens with a photogenic San Francisco, a swank resort, gorgeous sunsets, helicopter shots, a soundtrack of rock classics and a sheen that comes from such top professionals as cinematographer Matthew F. Leonetti and production designer Sidney Bartholomew. Farrelly brothers films are looking better and better, but aren't nearly as funny as their grungy early films that hit with the stealth and vigor of guerrilla commandos. Maybe there is a kind of heartbreak here after all.



DreamWorks presents a Radar Pictures/Davis Entertainment/Conundrum Entertainment production


Directors: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly

Screenwriters: Scot Armstrong, Leslie Dixon, Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, Kevin Barnett

Based on a screenplay by: Neil Simon

Based on a short story by: Bruce Jay Friedman

Producers: Ted Field, Bradley Thomas

Executive producers: Marc S. Fischer, John Davis, Joe Rosenberg, Charles B. Wessler

Director of photography: Matthew F. Leonetti

Music: Brendan Ryan, Bill Ryan

Co-producers: Tony Lord, Matthew Weaver

Costume designer: Louise Mingenbach

Editors: Alan Baumgarten, Sam Seig


Eddie Cantrow: Ben Stiller

Miranda: Michelle Monaghan

Lila: Malin Akerman

Doc: Jerry Stiller

Mac: Rob Corddry

Uncle Tito: Carlos Mencia

Boo: Scott Wilson

Martin: Danny McBride

Running time -- 116 minutes

MPAA rating: R


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Creative Arts Emmy presenters set

7 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Kristen Bell, David Boreanaz, Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tim Daly, Josh Duhamel, Omar Epps, America Ferrera, Marcia Gay Harden, Tom Green, Seth Green, Greg Grunberg, Rex Lee, Mekhi Phifer, Jennifer Morrison, Rob Morrow, Neil Patrick Harris, Emily Procter, Yeardly Smith, Maura Tierney, Stanley Tucci, Blair Underwood, Michael Urie and Rainn Wilson have been confirmed as presenters for the 2007 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

The ceremony, hosted by Carlos Mencia, is set to take place Saturday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and will be broadcast as a two-hour special at 8 p.m. Sept. 15 on E! Entertainment Television.

The 2007 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards is set to highlight more than 75 categories of Emmy Awards, including guest actor/actress in a comedy series and guest actor/actress in a drama series. »

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Kindler delivers State of Industry address

21 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

MONTREAL -- The 25th anniversary of the comedy festival, the Chris Albrecht controversy, Don Imus, Carlos Mencia, the big agencies and "Saturday Night Live" were among the objects of punchlines in Andy Kindler's annual State of the Industry address here at the Just for Laughs festival Friday afternoon.

Kindler, who has given the address for 12 years, once again played to a crowded room and earned strong reviews from his peers.

Talking about JFL, Kindler said its first edition was probably like Woodstock, "just not as good." In reference to his having delivered his annual fixture at about half of all festivals, he said: "If the festival is a dinosaur, I'm a wooly mammoth."

Kindler also suggested a good way to celebrate JFL's 25th anniversary: "Let's celebrate right now by ending it!"

Discussing Albrecht's departure from HBO, the comic said a network executive had argued the longtime boss still had his fingerprints all over HBO projects. "When he made Arliss, he wore gloves," Kindler quipped. "I thought he'd get arrested when they did that show."

The big talent agencies these days seem to have various people handling different aspects of a client's career, Kindler noted, pointing to Mel Gibson's recent image issues as a case in point. »

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