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As I was watching Community‘s glorious entry into the claymation Christmas canon last night, I couldn’t help from thinking about my essay about the series that discusses Abed’s popular culture-tinted worldview. Last night’s episode is kind of an obvious example for the points I make in that long essay, but I’m not really sure that makes them any less valid. Some weeks, Abed needs to film Jeff and Britta so he can make a movie about the guilt he feels in relation to his parents’ divorce. Other weeks, he needs to dress up as Jesus and make a film about Jesus as a way to understand Christianity a little better. And this week, his whole world crumbles so much when he finds out that his mother won’t be continuing their annual trend of watching claymation Christmas specials, everything actually turns into a claymation Christmas special. »
- Cory Barker
I imagine that “Mixology Certification” is the most divisive episode of Community‘s second season. It’s set outside of the safe Greendale walls, features little pop culture referencing and for the most part, isn’t funny in the same kind of way all the “great” episodes of Community are. Instead, it features a fairly boiler-plate sitcom plot and really doesn’t even play that plot in a traditional sitcom way and in more like a semi-serious dramedy kind of way that is just really compelling to watch unspool. But because the episode is so successful in its undertaking of this different kind of approach, it more or less proves that Community can do any sort of story with relative ease.
“Certification” is really not all that funny. Instead it does a lot of work in showing us how all the members of the study group have grown to rely »
- Cory Barker
When gay advocacy groups tally the number of gay characters in prime time, they may not know quite what to do with Craig Pelton, the bald, skinny Greendale Community College leader on NBC’s Community (8 Pm Thursday).
“As he says, gay is probably an over-simplification,” said series creator/executive producer Dan Harmon of the recurring character.
The show’s Wikipedia page describes Dean Pelton as bisexual, and more than anything, he’s probably a fool above and beyond whatever sexual identity viewers ascribe to him. In the show’s Halloween zombie episode, Pelton gleefully agreed that he was too stupid to orchestrate a complex caper.
And yet Community's writers have left plenty of clues pointing to the character’s queer sexuality, as well as a fair number that seem designed to confuse the issue. At times, he seems as sexually ambiguous as the weirdly androgynous school mascot, »
- Rob Owen
Though the movie still doesn't have a leading lady attached to it, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" is one of the hottest film adaptations-to-be in Hollywood right now. The previously attached director was David O. Russell, who has headed such quirky films as "Three Kings" and "I Heart Huckabees," but he left the project last month to direct "Uncharted Drake's Fortune." Since then, Lionsgate has been toying around with just how they're going to present the flick to audiences, and thus has yet to settle on a replacement.
That could change very soon. The Los Angeles Times blog 24 Frames is reporting that the two lead contenders to direct the flick are "The School of Rock" scribe Mike White and "The Descent" helmer Neil Marshall, though they say there's also a chance "Rocket Science" director Jeffery Blitz could sneak up and snag the project from both of them. The three very »
- Terri Schwartz
Apologies for the delay in this write-up, it’s been a busy couple of days. That’s unfortunate, however, because “Epidemiology” is most certainly the highlight of Community‘s young second season and one of the best episodes the series has ever done.
A few weeks ago, I wasn’t too high on “Basic Rocket Science,” the Nasa-related episode and I spent most of my post detailing how the episode failed to capture any sort of connection to character amid the sea of references in the way that similarly-themed efforts like “Modern Warfare” and “Contemporary American Poultry” did. Thankfully, “Epidemiology” is more like its season one brethren than “Rocket Science,” as it is full of small character moments and one sizable thread running through the ridiculous events happening in the episode.
What’s particularly impressive about this episode is that it is clearly the biggest risk the series has taken. »
- Cory Barker
Last Sunday afternoon I attended Reel Women: Power Players, a panel discussion hosted by the Chicago International Film Festival (which wrapped just a few days ago). The panel featured some of the brightest and most talented filmmakers in the world, who also happen to be women. In attendance were Effie T. Brown and Shebeta Carter, along with a diverse panel of directors and producers. Despite what the title of the panel suggests, this event wasn’t necessarily filled with “rah rah, we are woman here us roar!” sentiment. In fact, it was pretty much your basic, yet titillating filmmaker’s panel. While the moderator did ask some woman related questions, most of what the panel had to say was applicable to industry professionals across the board.
Nevertheless, attending this event prompted me to think about the state of women in film today. I’ll share some thoughts on that below, »
Ahoy friends. Brian Gallagher here with a glimpse at all of the stories that weren't necessarily fit for print this past week. There's a lot to get into this week so lets get started with a Sunday Funnies regular, the hit NBC comedy series Community.
You wouldn't normally think that a comedy like Community would be a series peppered with easter eggs, but Episode 2.3: The Psychology of Letting Go proved otherwise. Notably absent in the episode was Danny Pudi's Abed, which was even noted by Yvette Nicole Brown when she says that she barely saw Abed all week at the end of the episode. However, if you look closely at this clip, you'll see that he was busy... delivering a baby. Take a look at this intriguing clip below:
I honestly didn't pick up on this when »
What did you think of last night's episode of Community? This week marked another go on AOL Television's Skype Second Opinions, where I connected via Skype to ramble on for a few minutes about this week's episode of Community ("Basic Rocket Science"), which included an Apollo 13 homage, the KFC Eleven Herbs and Space Experience, butt flags, heroes' welcomes, Sanders, and more. (You can read my advance review of this episode here.) You can watch the video in full over here at AOL Television or right below. Next week on Community ("Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples"), Shirley consults Abed when she decides to make a religious film, but the two end up clashing after Abed reveals his plans to make one, too; Pierce is recruited by a group of students his own age.
Read the full article at Televisionary (http://www.televisionarytv.com).
After last week's sneaky good episode of Community, I was really looking forward to keeping my eyes glued to the screen. Last week the show pulled a fast one on us and had Abed involved in a subliminal storyline that I all but missed completely. (Check out the video of Abed's bizarre subliminal storyline.) So this week the episode was basically a giant product placement for KFC. However, when you consider the low ratings the show has been getting, I'll take Community any way I can get it.
"Basic Rocket Science" existed solely to pay homage to space exploration films like Apollo 13, The Right Stuff, and Space Camp. Nothing about the plot of the episode had anything to do with the long form narrative but that doesn't really matter when you're dealing with Community. As usual with our little show that could, the plot was secondary to all the »
Community went to the outlandish well one too many times with "Basic Rocket Science."
A parody of Apollo 13, the episode has been compared to last season's classic paintball installment, "Modern Warfare." But that worked for a few reasons: the impressive action sequences; the incredible jokes and references; the character development (Jeff and Britta actually slept together during it, remember).
Conversely, this week's attempt at fake space travel relied too much on its broad concept. There weren't many memorable lines, as the show seemingly wanted viewers to enjoy the overall idea of mocking space travel adventures.
And it had its moments in relation to that: the slow-mo walk, the heroic conclusion, the fact that Abed keeps an astronaut suit in his dorm room.
Overall, though, the episode relied on its premise more than its characters, which is a shame considering how enjoyable it is to simply watch Jeff, Annie and »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (M.L. House)
Holy Apollo 13 homages! You do not want to miss next week's Community. Yes, there's still this week's Pierce-centric episode to look forward to, but it was with a certain impish glee that I sat down to watch next week's hysterical and out-there episode of Community ("Basic Rocket Science"), written by Andy Bobrow and directed by Anthony Russo, in which the gang blasts off into to outer space. Well, sort of, anyway. In true Community style, the gang unwittingly recreates some of the most famous moments from Apollo 13 without actually leaving the earth's atmosphere. It's a masterful and bizarre installment revolving around Greendale's space (simulation) race with their bitter rivals, City College, which is planning to announce its own flight simulator. Lest Greendale be turned into a parking lot for the rapidly expanding City College, Dean Pelton (Jim Rash, here at his finest) launches a scheme of his own, »
What did you think of last night's episode of Community? This week marked another go on AOL Television's Skype Second Opinions, where I connected via Skype to ramble on for a few minutes about this week's episode of Community ("The Psychology of Letting Go"), which included Shirley's best line ever, June Bauer (Betty White) discussing Inception with some African tribesmen, the return of John Oliver's Professor Duncan and his feud with Chang, Pierce's mother being inside a lava lamp, Annie and Britta wrestling in some crude oil, and more. You can watch the video in full over here at AOL Television or right below. Next week on Community ("Basic Rocket Science"), Dean Pelton asks the study group to clean and refurbish the Greendale flight simulator; after an accidental launch, Abed must navigate a safe return. (You can read my advance review of this episode here.)
Read the full article at Televisionary (http://www. »
Another world premiere I caught up at the Toronto Film Festival was Max Winkler's Ceremony, an indie comedy starring Michael Angarano (Snow Angels, Gentlemen Broncos), Lee Pace (The Fall, A Single Man), Reece Thompson (Rocket Science) and also Uma Thurman (who needs no introduction). It's a smart indie with some snappy dialogue, but it's a wonderfully amusing film about two friends who learn their is more to life than just chasing after older women. Well, at least that's what Angarano learns, as the plot involves him attempting to crash Thurman-Pace's wedding as he's in love with Uma and doesn't want her to marry him. Although I enjoyed Ceremony through and through, Angarano's dialogue threw me off at first, as it was way too fast, too snappy, but I think that was a part of his character that developed throughout the course of the film, and by the end he »
- Alex Billington
Max Winkler, known for his work on one of my favorite web series Clark and Michael, premiered his debut feature at Tiff this year. The comedy/drama Ceremony stars Michael Angarano (Snow Angels, Gentleman Broncos), Uma Thurman (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction), and Reece Thompson (Rocket Science, Assassination of a High School President).
Sam David (Angarano) is planning a weekend trip with his best friend, who hasn’t talked with for over a year, Marshall (Thompson). When they get to their vacation location, the truth comes out that Sam actually planned the whole trip to get closer to an ex-girlfriend who is getting married that weekend, Zoe (Thurman).
Right off the bat, Winkler sets a very hyper-realistic tone. The dialogue is a little too perfect and Sam is a character that acts way older than he is. Once one gets used to the style, the film really gets in a groove »
- Jordan Raup
Nicholas D’Agosto (Fired Up!), Ellen Wroe (Huge), and Meghan Ory (Dark House) have joined the cast of young actors who will perish in horribly fantastic ways in Final Destination 5. Miles Fisher (Superhero Movie) and Arlen Escarpeta (Friday the 13th) are likewise official members of the cast, while Bloody Disgusting reports Warner Bros. has made an offer to funnyman David Koechner (Extract) for a role.
This is director Steven Quale’s feature debut — fresh off his work heading up the second unit on Avatar — with a script by Eric Heisserer (A Nightmare on Elm Street). I’ve had D’Agosto filed under “Charmer” in the back of my mind ever since Rocket Science, so I may just have to see Final Destination 5 when it hits theaters August 26, 2011.
- Brendan Bettinger
Update: I was wrong... The documentary is executive produced by Jeff Blitz, and directed by "Mac Carter, a stellar commercial director at Anonymous Content, who, in the comic book world, is highly regarded for writing The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft." DC Comics is celebrating their 75th Anniversary Documentary with a documentary chronicling the story of the comic book company. Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics is directed executive produced by Jeffrey Blitz, the filmmaker responsible for one of my favorite documentary films Spellbound, and the Sundance coming of age movie Rocket Science (which is the film that really put Anna Kendrick on the map for filmmakers, before films like Up in the Air and the Twilight series). The official synopsis doesn't reveal much: An expansive documentary exploring the 75 years of DC Comics, the memorable characters of its universe and the talented artists and writers who brought them to life. »
- Peter Sciretta
On November 9, Warner Home Video will be releasing a very cool documentary called Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics and it’s going to be narrated by Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern). As the press release says:
The original DC Comics Documentary is the first of its kind: a compelling look at the company that created the modern super hero, produced with unprecedented access to the archives at Warner Bros. and DC Comics. Both a celebration of the best writers and artists in comics and a thoughtful exploration of seventy-five years of DC Comics history, Secret Origins combines insights from respected hitorians, interviews with some of the most influential comic book creators in history, and excerpts from comics, films, and television shows to bring the story of DC Comics to life in new and unexpected ways.
While the press release makes no mention of who directed and produced the documentary, »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Update: Remember how, over a year ago, Reality TV production companies like Next Entertainment (The Bachelor) and Rocket Science (Joe Millionaire) were accused of violating labor laws by a writers' lawsuit orchestrated by the Writers Guild Of America as a step towards unionizing Reality TV? Well, the question is: Where's the money? Bad enough the lawsuit claimed the writers were denied overtime pay and breaks and were told to falsify time cards. But I'm told that, so far, writers on the 16 shows covered in the lawsuit fight on and haven't received one dime. One of the compues sued Rocket Science filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in California back in September 2009 primarily because of the litigation. What is the WGA doing about this now? And in case anyone didn't notice, production companies continue to put on primetime network Reality TV shows with non-union writing so this legal action didn't change anything. »
- Nikki Finke
One of the films I was really excited to see this past year at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival was a documentary titled Lucky. Directed by Jeffrey Blitz, the filmmaker behind one of my favorite documentaries Spellbound, as well as the great but under-seen indie film Rocket Science (which won him the Sundance Film Festival Directing Award in 2007 and featured a career-launching performance by Anna Kendrick, who later was nominated for an Oscar for Up in the Air).If you haven't seen either of the movies, you should add both of them to your netflix queue right now. Lucky is a documentary film which "crisscrosses the country following winners as they navigate their newfound riches, and hopefuls who have a 'dollar and a dream.'" I've always found the story of working class people who hit it rich and somehow lose everything interesting,but this film lacked the narrative that made Spellbound great. »
- Peter Sciretta
Pamela Guest on Julia RobertsIn 1985 or '86, I was hired to cast "Blood Red," an independent film starring Eric Roberts and directed by Peter Masterson, thanks to my mentor and friend Ellen Chenoweth. I had to go to New York to cast, and because Pete had connections at the Actors Studio, we held our auditions there. In Eric's contract was a clause that we had to either cast or audition his younger sister for a part in the film—I can't remember which. She'd been in New York a short time, and Eric wanted to help her get a start. The producer asked me to meet her, read her, and decide whether including her in the cast would ruin the movie. I spoke to her manager, Bob McGowan, about setting up a time, and he convinced me to just meet her that night. I agreed to a quick meet-and-greet at »
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