Talk in Technicolor 06/26/13- I is what I isA movie news article
Talk in Technicolor is your weekly round-up of the biggest news in tv and film, as well as a run down of what happened at the box office over the weekend and some suggestions about what new shows and films are worth checking out.
James Gandolfini, R.I.P.
Last week, news broke that James Gandolfini, the beloved actor best known for his lead role in HBO’s The Sopranos, died from a heart attack while vacationing in Rome. Gandolfini was 51 and while his work on The Sopranos is rightly held up as one of his best performances, the actor had a long and impressive career, beginning with his Broadway debut in A Streetcar Named Desire back in 1992, which led to a small but breakout performance in the Quentin Tarantino scripted Tony Scott film True Romance that eventually landed him the part of Tony Soprano. Outside of The Sopranos, Gandolfini provided excellent performances for the likes of the Coen Brothers (the underrated The Man Who Wasn’t There), Barry Sonnenfeld (Get Shorty), and even an unexpected part in Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are.
Gandolfini’s dramatic range was impressive and while he was frequently type cast as a heavy, his post-Sopranos career showed off his ability to turn that intensity towards less obvious directions, whether it was his comedic chops in the biting satire In the Loop or the darkness of Zero Dark Thirty. Of the three works Gandolfini had just completed, two are comedies while the other, Criminal Justice, is a crime drama from the BBC. Gandolfini’s funeral is planned for tomorrow, but Hollywood has been mourning the loss of the great actor since the news broke, with many of his peers and collaborators singling out his warmth and authenticity. If you look through his credits, you’ll find that isn’t all that surprising, as those are the qualities that stood out in his performance as Virgil in True Romance, the first film of his I saw and still one of my favorites, a performance where he somehow makes a brutal henchman tasked with torturing a woman vulnerable and sympathetic.
- Nick Hanover
Robert Downey Jr. Confirmed for Next Two Avengers Films
Will continue to play Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark as Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr, unsurprisingly, is returning as Iron Man for The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3. Obviously no one has publicly stated the details of the deal, but one can assume he’s probably getting paid somewhere between “Fred Willard Money” and “Tony Stark Money.” I mean The Avengers made more than $1.5 billion.
But in any case, I kind of don’t want there to be any more Iron Man movies. Iron Man 3 put a nice bow on the series and I’m fine with only seeing Stark again intermittently in The Avengers.
But that won’t happen.
- Andrew Tan
Paula Deen Fired By Food Network
Something something butter.
Paula Deen, world famous southern caterer, restaurateur, and Food Network show host shocked the world last week by becoming history’s first racist old white southern woman.
The National Enquirer reportedly obtained a video of her deposition from a workplace discrimination lawsuit Deen is currently involved in. Deen is quoted as allegedly saying “Well, what I would really like is a bunch of little n****** to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties. You know, in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around,” in reference to a wedding idea she had for her brother Bubba’s wedding.
While the video has yet to surface, Deen and her PR people decided to do more damage by releasing a weird ass apology video seemingly filmed by the Taliban, then another slightly less strange apology video where she apologizes for bouncing on her Today Show appearance. Shortly after the second video, Food Network announced her contract would not be renewed, thus ending her 14 year relationship with the network. Somewhere in a shadowy Hamptons dungeon, Ina Garten tents her fingers and quietly whispers, “Good. Goooooood.”
UPDATE: Paula Deen made a mesmerizing appearance on the Today Show this morning.
- Dylan Garsee
Locke & Key Gets Optioned for Film from Universal
Somehow will get made and then wind up never being released
Despite its status as a great pilot that Fox passed on not too long ago, Locke & Key is getting a second lease on screen life thanks to Universal, which has acquired the rights for a film adaptation. The pilot, as you’ll remember, involved Steven Spielberg as an executive producer and Mark Romanek as director, with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman producing and developing the series. Orci and Kurtzman are still involved through their K/O Paper Products production company but there’s no word yet on a director or screenwriter. Still, since the budget was the cited reason for Fox not picking up the pilot, there’s hope that this will make more sense as a film (hopefully as a franchise), even though it’s important to remember that it was originally intended as a film adaptation before it turned into a tv series concept. Sigh.
David Cross Developing Comedy Series for Showtime
Resists calling it The Incredibly Poor Decisions of David Cross
David Cross is executive producing and writing a new series on Showtime centered around a travel writer keeping his multiple families satisfied and a secret from each other. According to Deadline’s article above, Cross may not star as the aforementioned travel writer but may be in another role.
Honestly I just hope he puts more effort into this one than he put into his book.
Paul Giamatti Heads to Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey to add schlubby screenwriter to cast.
Best known for his roles in Fred Claus and Big Fat Liar (and other stuff, I guess), Paul Giamatti has joined the cast of popular British drama Downton Abbey as the playboy brother of Countess Cora. Because what the slow, soapy Downton needs is a hairy man shouting things with air quotes for an hour. Giamatti joins Shirley MacLaine as the only Americans on the otherwise British series. I gave up on the show halfway through the second series, so I can only assume that the upcoming season will see that Lady Mary and the Dowager Countess will play tennis in the courtyard while Giamatti just screams about merlot or something.
Helena Bonham Carter Joins Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella
Lace budget has now doubled
Continuing his trend of directing old timey period stories that may or may not involve magic, be it in the form of hammers or glass slippers, Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella seems poised to capture the zeitgeist the way all those Snow White films did a couple years back. By which I mean it has now added Helena Bonham Carter to its ranks in an effort to further confuse moviegoers who thought this was going to be a Tim Burton flick. Carter is just the latest star to join the live action Disney film, which I’m sure will be totally different from Enchanted in that Helena Bonham Carter is not Susan Sarandon.
Bad Teacher 2 is Happening
And there's nothing you can do about it
So the whole “Hollywood has run out of ideas” thing has reached the point of self-parody. Bad Teacher 2 is happening and I guess, the whole team is getting back together if you cared. Presumably several to many million dollars are being spent on making a sequel to this instead of I don’t know, burning it and selling tickets to see that instead.
50 Shade of Grey Movie Still Happening, Finds Director
Will be rated PG, probably
E. L. Jame’s 50 Shades of Grey, last year’s massively successful erotic Twilight fanfiction, is still being made into a film apparently and as we all know, adapting a film series based on a book based on a film series based on a book will likely open the rip in the space-time continuum started by the Doritos Locos Tacos Doritos.
Sam-Taylor Johnson, best known for marrying the 20-years-junior-star of her debut film Nowhere Boy has been officially announced as the director of the first film in the planned trilogy, because she obviously has experience in icky sex things. The film still doesn’t have a release date, but let’s just hope nobody is forced to see it with their mothers.
Box Office Antidote
Despite a mostly disappointing critical reception, World War Z did well at the box office, breaking Brad Pitt's previous highest opening with Mr. & Mrs. Smith by nearly $20 million, which I guess proves that people are into zombies enough to go see neutered adaptations startling effective books. Still, Monsters University was the highest earner over the weekend, beating Z out by a healthy margin of more than $15 million. Nothing else new entered the top 10 this week, as Man of Steel and This is the End continued to hold onto their respective fourth and fifth slots and the other five entries basically stayed course. The only surprise is the continued ascension of The Bling Ring, which saw huge growth over last week and just barely missed out on the top 10. With any luck, it will nudge out Iron Man 3 next weekend.
Movie Recommendation of the Week:
A Band Called Death
At SXSW this year, before I gave up and just started drinking all day, I caught A Band Called Death, an impressive documentary about an almost forgotten proto-punk band. While there’s seemingly a neverending supply of punk docs, A Band Called Death is unique in that it explores a gifted group of musicians who were far, far ahead of their curve and didn’t fit into the white-centric notion of punk. A group of black brothers whose musical dreams started when their mom received a settlement and bought them instruments, Death was originally the Rock Fire Funk Express, but as bandleader David Hackney’s interests shifted, the band became harder and more subversive. Predating not just hardcore legends the Bad Brains but also the entire New York punk scene-- while operating at the same time as other local proto-punk outfits The Stooges and the MC5-- Death should have been part of the story of the rise of punk, but a mixture of idealism, bad business and personal tragedy eventually sank the band. Even if you aren’t interested in the music, this is a must-see documentary that explores how great music can go undiscovered for far too long and while it’s not entirely a happy story, it does offer some redemption in the end.
TV Recommendation of the Week:
Yes, I could be watching Under The Dome, but instead I’m watching a new murder mystery reality show, Whodunnit?, because I’m classy as fuck. Now, I could get into a whole spiel about quality reality shows (again) but instead I’ll just sing the praises of ABC’s Whodunnit? Yes, it’s very obviously staged, but like the amazing RuPaul’s Drag Race, it embraces the cheese like me at Taco Bell (I’m very tired). One part The Mole, two parts And Then There Were None, and a dash of that one episode of Scream Queens where the girls got chased by the doll, 13 contestants gather in a house and each episode, one is killed off by a mysterious murderer, who is actually one of the contestants (!), and like an old point and shoot adventure game, they have to examine the clues at the crime scene and build their case. At the end of the episode, each contestant states their case as to who they think is the murderer, and whoever is the most wrong about how it actually goes down gets “killed.” It’s beyond corny, but in the summer, it’s good to have something totally ridiculous to hold us over until Breaking Bad starts back up again.
Dylan Garsee is a freelance writer/bingo enthusiast currently living in Austin, TX. He is studying sociology, and when he's not winning trivia nights at pork-themed restaurants, writing a collection of essays on the gay perspective in geek culture. An avid record collector, Dylan can mostly be seen at Waterloo Records, holding that one God Speed You! Black Emperor record he can't afford and crying. You can follow him on twitter @garseed.
Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he's the last of the secret agents and he's your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Comics Bulletin, where he reigns as the co-managing editor, or at Panel Panopticon, which he started as a joke and now takes semi-seriously. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd rants about his potentially psychopathic roommate on twitter @Nick_Hanover and explore the world of his musical alter ego at Fitness and Pontypool.
Andrew Tan spends his days working on a bunch of different stuff he can't really explain here. Before that, he majored in Journalism at the University of Florida, where he worked for a few newspapers. He loves comics (obviously), sad music, duck confit and San Francisco. He also has a sentence published in McSweeney's that he is proud of. He was also mocked in Gawker for said sentence, which brings him roughly the same level of pride.
Andrew is one of the many people on the internet vying for the moniker of Tandrew. Some are him, some are not. You can find him on Twitter at @TandrewTan.