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August 23, 2007


D. McEwan

Please, DALLAS was cancelled years ago. Isn't it a fictional city?Many years ago I remember hearing Lohman & Barkley do a commercial for a luxery flight to Houston. They described all the great bonuses and treats and wonderful service you'd receive on this flight. Then Al said, "Unforunately however, at the end of the flight, you are in Houston. There is that big drawback."Better title for EIGHT MEN OUT would be BENT LIKE BECKHAM.No matter how old she is, Michelle Feiffer is still so much more beautiful and so much more interesting than most all teh 20something starlets around combined. My guess is that Paul Rudd didn't complain.I AM LEGEND isn't eactly an urban CASTAWAY. He's the last human being, but a lot of mankind is still around, as zombie vampires! It's rich with huiman experience. Actually it's a remake of Vincent Price's THE LAST MAN ON EARTH & Charleton Heston's THE OMEGA MAN. It has a chance to be better than either, sicne the Price film is - well - lousy, and Smith's movie won't have Charleton Heston in it. It's based on Richard Matheson's novel, which despite the silly-sounding, over-the-top premise, is actually a really good book.GOLDEN COMPASS is based on the first book in a fantasy trilogy I'm told is really excellent, asn really blasphemous, and a MAJOR attack on the Catholic Church. Sadly, the Catholic Church in the movie has been replaced in teh movie with a fictional magical consortium. They didn't want to offend the church that the book was written INTENDING to offend. It's like making a film about The Spanish Inquisition, and blaming the inquisition on Princess Ozma. Nocille Kidman plays a witch, so she learned nothing from BEWITCHED. And Daniel Craig is in it, showing he learned nothing from THE INVASION, and Eva Green is in it, hoping to reignite their CASINO ROYALE chemistry.I can't wait for SWEENEY TODD. Maybe Marni Nixon can sing for Helena.

D. McEwan

Oops. I forgot to proof read that, didn't I? Sorry for all the gibberish misspellings.

la guy

"Michael Caine and Demi Moore try to recreate the magic they created together in BLAME IN ON RIO"How could you get the title wrong Ken? "Blame It On Rio" featured a classic pair... of actresses.Have fun with the Mariners, although as an Angels fan I have to say they're starting to get on my nerves.


I realize there's such things as makeup, lighting, blah diddy blah, but it ALMOST looks as if Michelle Pfeiffer is getting younger.Kind of "Picture of Doris Gray".


I'll only go see the Alvin movie if there's a Clyde Crashcup feature.

Kevin Arbouet

"Jesus Christ. When does Judd Apatow sleep?"On a mattress made of gold.


Emily,Are you asking Jesus Christ when Judd Apatow sleeps? Don't you know the Lord doesn't read blogs?


The original Last Man on Earth may not have been great, but it had its moments. Shot in Italy, with a primarily Italian cast save for Price, the widescreen B&W visuals had me thinking, "Hmm... La Notte of the Living Dead."d. mcewan said, re The Golden Compass: "Sadly, the Catholic Church in the movie has been replaced in teh movie with a fictional magical consortium."I think the first sequel will be titled "Mr. Monsortium's Magical Consortium."


Did I miss it, or did you? The Coen Bros "No Country For Old Men".Looks like a keeper, judging by the trailer - very reminiscent of "Blood Simple".Also, what's up with "Rochelle, Rochelle"? Did that get pushed back again?


Also, what's up with "Rochelle, Rochelle"? Did that get pushed back again?For reasons having to do with studio accounting, it must be released on the same date as Prognosis Negative, which is currently in post-post-production.

D. McEwan

"The original Last Man on Earth may not have been great, but it had its moments. Shot in Italy, with a primarily Italian cast save for Price, the widescreen B&W visuals had me thinking, 'Hmm... La Notte of the Living Dead.' "Now I am one of the biggest Vincent Price fans this side of Tim Burton (I'll get to Tim in a moment), and I have LAST MAN ON EARTH on DVD as well as having seen it in a theater when it came out, but it's a mess. Yes, it was shot in Rome, but it is set (As is the novel) in Los Angeles. Rome doubling for Los Angeles doesn't begin to work. (Our Coliseum is in MUCH better shape!) It's an earnest attempt, and it doesn't have Charleton Heston in it, which is always a plus, but it stinks. I'm afraid Will Smith's I AM LEGEND will be something of a "departure" from the novel too, at least geographically, as they moved the setting to New York City, taking the revolutionary tactic of actually shooting it in New York City, and not Rio or Bangkok. I fear they will have "Improved" the very good book.R.A. Porter, we disagree on Tim Burton rather radically. Although I found BIG FISH just Godawful, I LOVE his movies. (We have that mutual Vincent Price love thing.)"he doesn't give a s**t about your feelings, he doesn't give a s**t about your childhood memories, and he certainly doesn't give a s**t about other creators' visions. He doesn't care about Pierre Boulle or Rod Serling or Frank Miller or Bob Kane. His own ideas are sooo much better than all of those hacks."Since Tim and I both grew up eating Vincent Price movies with a spoon, he and I have a lot of the same childhood memories, so that's never been a problem. I don't see how you can say he doesn't give a shit (I'm too old for astericks.) about Frank Miller (Not that he was filming THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS) since his first BATMAN movie was so clearly strongly influenced by Miller.Have you read Pierre Boule's MONKEY PLANET? Because if you have, as I have, you'd see Rod Serling didn't give a shit about Boule either, since his film is NOTHING like the book. Serling felt free to craft the movie he wanted, so why shouldn't Burton be free to film the movie he wanted? Burton's film owes far more to Serling than to Boule.Besides, what would be the point of just re-filming Serling's movie? We already have that one, albeit with Charleton Heston in it, never a plus. Why should Burton give a shit about other artist's visions? He isn't making THEIR work; he's making HIS.Burton, in interviews, described how SWEENEY TODD just grabbed him and thrilled him when he first saw it on stage, exactly how I felt when I saw it the first time. I felt like they'd written it just for me. The stills I've seen from it look just right. I am excited to see what he does with it. and if I don't like it when I see it, well, I still have my DVD of the production in Los Angeles with Angela and George Hearn, a production I saw twice that same week they shot the DVD. Those memories are safe.And what is your problem with Angela's singing? You remind me of whoever the genius at MGM was who DUBBED a different, "Honeyed" singing voice over Lansbury in THE HARVEY GIRLS, even though she'd already been Oscar-nominated after singing, with exquisite charm, "Little Yellow Bird" with her real voice in THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. You want to hear honey replaced with acid? Listen to Angela's recording of the MAME score, and then listen to Lucille Balls's.Now THAT'S scarier than anything in SWEENEY TODD.

D. McEwan

R. A.,I didn't say Burton was "Channelling Miller". Merely that he was strongly influenced by him, which he clearly was. I am reminded of the insane fools at the time of that movie's release who complained bitterly because he hadn't cast Cesar Romero as The Joker.What is wrong with Burton's first BATMAN movie was a writer's strike that hit just after the first draft was done. The script never had a rewrite or a polish, so there's lots of story problems. And I still don't get the casting of Michael Keaton myself.Victor Garber? He's 26 years older than he was when Sweeney opened, WAY too old to play Anthony Hope. You're pre-condemning a film that isn't even finished based on his not casting an actor from the original production who is almost three decades too old for his old role? I can't think why Burton would go out of his way to cast Garber in some role, just to include him, nor any of the many, many other still-living original SWEENEY verterans. You might as well complain that Angela Lansbury isn't playing the beggar woman. And of course, it's possible that Garber was BUSY. He has a new TV series in the fall, I believe.Not yet having seen Sasha Baron Cohen's performance any more than you have, I have no idea whether he'll be good or not (Neither do you.) but Pirelli is hardly a major part. One big number and he's dead. And Cohen is spectacularly talented."a small role tossed Anthony's way would be an awfully nice gesture to Sweeney fans, I think." Who are you referring to by "Anthony"?Having seen Hearn & Lansbury do Sweeney live three times, and having been thrilled by them (Hearn was VASTLY better than Len Carou on the album), I do not see them as tired on the DVD, but that may be a holdover from my being around that production a lot, including being taken backstage by Ken Jennigns and introduced to all the leads. I saw Angela's final performance ever in the role.The BEST Mrs. Lovett I've ever seen was Julia MacKenzie in London in 1994. She was SPECTACULAR. But I'm not pouting that Burton didn't cast her."it feels like he's shitting on my youth." Just exactly why should Tim Burton try to carefully reproduce YOUR youth? He's not doing anything to your youth. He's making his own movies. Your youth is your problem. He is making my middleage a lot better.For myself, while I hated BIG FISH and was indifferent to PLANET OF THE APES, I loved SLEEPY HOLLOW (Like a new Hammer Horror movie 30 years later.), CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Except for Johnny Depp's weird performance, which ALMOST works, it is otherwise a VAST improvement over the cheap, slapdash earlier film.) and THE CORPSE BRIDE. Hell, I even liked most of MARS ATTACKS.I also read Boule's MONKEY PLANET in English, as French is gibberish to me, but it was the Heston film which was the shock, as I read the book before the Heston film was shot. But I didn't write Serling, complaining about him shitting on my youthful reading.I'll read your linked comments, but I fear the worst. YEs, I'm pre-judging them before I read them, like you're pre-judging a film that is still shooting.


Why would anyone cast Jerry Seinfeld to be a voice actor? Ever? Better still, why would anyone cast Jerry Seinfeld to be anything besides Jerry Seinfeld on a show named after him?Are these the same people that let Josh Hartnett have a career? Are these the same people that have the balls to go into an interview and talk like they know what good acting and choosing good actors is all about? Are people just entirely this stupid and self-deluded, or is all this a sham and every producer in Hollywood knows it so long as it gets them the money? I can at least understand it if it's all for the gain, but if they honestly think that they're making quality entertainment... oh, dear God.Don't get me wrong. It's not cheap laughs and mindless entertainment that I have a problem with. It's how low the bar is for that entertainment.And it also gets to me that someone could hear Seinfeld voicing an animated bee without his head exploding. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Paul Duca

Doug...does Talullah have any comment about today's films, other than Hollywood's willful ignorance in refusing to cast her?And do you think she'd let little Kent do her the honor of escorting her to the opening of WAITING FOR CHEYENNE (assuming he didn't ask her when they met at the box office)?

D. McEwan

Tallulah may comment on today's films (Though she sees very few of them.) but she'd do it over on her own blog, rather than rudely upstage Ken. She just posted a piece on today's Hollywood stars a few hours ago.


"I’m assuming the autobiography of Victor Buono."Wow. I was just looking at Victor Buono's profile on IMDB (I followed a link from Clevon Little's - they both appeared on Super Train - because I watched Blazing Saddles last night).What's the word for almost-synchronicity?


"Nocille Kidman plays a witch, so she learned nothing from BEWITCHED."Nicole Kidman does not play a witch in "The Golden Compass." She plays a very wicked woman, but she is not a witch.The "His Dark Materials" trilogy, including "The Golden Compass," is being written off by many as just another fantasy trilogy, when it is so much more. At least, the books are. I can't really speak for the films given that the books explicitly question religion, and it appears that is going to be toned down in the movies.

D. McEwan

"Nicole Kidman does not play a witch in 'The Golden Compass.' "Sorry. My goof. Eva Green plays a witch, judging by the photo of her flying on a broomstick in Entertainment Weekly, which also quoted Kidman saying, "The Catholic church is part of my essence. I wouldn't be able to do this film if it were at all anti-Catholic." which is supposed to make fans of the books okay about the Catholic church being replaced in the "watered-down" (Kidman's term) movie with "The Magisterium". I'm sure that's cold comfort to Phillip Pullman, the author of the fine (I'm told by a friend whose opinion I respect) fantasy trilogy. I look forward to reading the books. I may skip teh movies, unless Daniel Craig undresses.


First he helps to ruin Underdog and now he's gonna ruin Alvin and the Chipmunks....Jason Lee must be stopped before he he ruins an more cartoon memories!I saw the trailder today....Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. must be spinning in his grave!


"he's gonna ruin Alvin and the Chipmunks"What's to ruin? It's not like they were any good in the first place.

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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