Christopher Guest is one of a kind. The writer/director/producer/actor carved out a niche of his own in the filmmaking community with the brilliant 1984 comedy This Is Spinal Tap, directed by Rob Reiner, and went on to helm a string of comedy hits himself in his distinctive “mockumentary” vein. Though all of his films have something great and unique to offer, there’s something particularly special about 2000’s Best in Show. The film’s characters are ridiculous and at times loathesome, but there’s a sincerity to the picture that prevents things from ever becoming too cynical. The result is a delightfully hilarious comedy classic. Hit the jump for my review of Best in Show on Blu-ray.
HBO has released the first trailer for brilliant satirist Christopher Guest’s newest television venture, Family Tree. Family Tree stars Chris O’Dowd as a man who starts to track down his real family, and follows him on that crazy journey. The trailer gives a quick look into this journey, with O’Dowd’s character discovering his family’s military past, and eventually making it out to Los Angeles. O’Dowd was last seen in Judd Apatow’s This is 40, but also made big splashes stateside with Bridesmaids and his recurring appearances on Girls.
I’m glad that O’Dowd is getting the chance to lead his own comedy series, and with help from Guest mainstays like Michael McKean, Ed Begley Jr., and Fred Willard, Family Tree could be a really solid new HBO comedy. With a straight-to-series eight-episode pick-up for the first season, it looks like HBO is starting to hone in on creating a fantastic roster of innovative and hilarious comedy shows that could rival any of the big networks. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
A few Christopher Guest regulars have joined the filmmaker’s upcoming HBO comedy series Family Tree. The documentary-style show stars Chris O’Dowd as a man who, after inheriting a mysterious box from a great aunt he never met and losing his job and his girlfriend, begins exploring his family heritage. THR reports that Fred Willard, Michael McKean, and Ed Begley Jr. have all signed on to appear on the series in recurring roles, with Don Lake set to guest star. Willard, McKean, and Begley have all appeared in Guest’s stellar “mockumentary” films This Is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration, so this bodes extremely well for Family Tree.
The show was picked up straight-to-series by HBO with an eight-episode first season order. Willard will play O’Dowd’s neighbor, McKean will play his father, and Begley is set as his Uncle Andy. Hopefully this means Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, and Jane Lynch will pop up on Family Tree at some point as well.
Before Chris O’Dowd really started making a splash on the movie scene with Bridesmaids and Pirate Radio, I was already a fan of the funnyman from his work in the British TV series The IT Crowd (check it out on Netflix Instant). And with his rising star in Hollywood (he next appears in Judd Apatow’s This is Forty), we’re only going to see more of him on the big screen. But it also sounds like more TV is in store for O’Dowd and with a truly brilliant man of comedy. Apparently mockumentary and satire icon Christopher Guest (the behind films like Best in Show and A Mighty Wind) is working on a new improvised comedy series called Family Tree that would see O’Dowd as a man attempting to track down his real family.
Hit the jump for more.
Director Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show) is going back to mockumentaries once again and this time he’s turning his attention to “retro collectors. Women on the Web [via Cinematical] says the new movie will focus on “people who ferret out such things as old comic books, Barbie dolls, vintage magazine ads, vinyl 45-rpm singles, or even – ick! – Charles Manson song lyrics written on Kleenex. There’s a massive underground of collectors who would do the Borgia’s proud as they scheme and double-cross to possess the item they crave. (Those who collect movie star memorabilia can be especially treacherous.).”
Guest standbys Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, and John Michael Higgins, are reportedly being considered for roles. If Guest is getting his band back together, should we also expect Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Ed Begley Jr., Larry Miller, Fred Ward, Catherine O’Hara, and Eugene Levy? Let’s hope so. But more than the great cast that Guest will almost certainly assemble, I hope that this new film will feel more energetic than his tired last effort, For Your Consideration.
Early in the 1990 horror film Troll 2, Michael Waits (played by Dr. George Hardy) now famously yells at his 10-year-old son Joshua (Michael Paul Stephenson), “You can’t piss on hospitality!” 20 years later, its stars have taken that lesson to heart. Adoring fans around the world have turned the once obscure, overwhelmingly flawed flick (witness a 0% score on rottentomatoes) into that rare gem of an actual cult classic.
Stephenson & Hardy have embraced the affection to reclaim their initially dark experience with a love letter of a documentary: Best Worst Movie. The film chronicles the making of Troll 2, its odd resurrection, the fans that made it happen and the cast members’ search for a little artistic redemption.
Collider chatted up Stephenson (BWM’s director) & Dr. Hardy (its main subject) for a funny back-and-forth this week. Hit the jump for the interview’s full audio and transcript, along with stories of whether Troll 2 actually works in other languages, what links Quentin Tarantino to the story and a budding rivalry with The Room‘s director Tommy Wiseau.
Ricky Gervais has a cult following in America for his work on the British version of The Office. The show didn’t hit cultural saturation stateside (though it is a masterpiece), it did inspire the American version, and Gervais made some in-roads with HBO-released Extras. Cinematically, he made a cameo in Stardust, and they have now given him two films to star in: Ghost Town, a more standardized romantic comedy, and The Invention of Lying, which was more in tune with his comic sensibilities. It also attracted a great deal of talent, which speaks to Gervais’s power in the community. In the film are Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., Rob Lowe, Jeffery Tambor, Jennifer Garner, and a number of high profile cameos. Unfortunately for Gervais, neither did all that well, but both are fun to watch. The Invention of Lying stars Gervais as the first person to ever figure out lying in world where lying never existed before. My review of The Invention of Lying Blu-ray after the jump.
Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer). David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean). Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest). This. Is. Spinal Tap. You can argue it’s the start of at least two filmmakers career. Rob Reiner, who was one of the best directors in the 1980′s, and found himself out of ammo by the time of the 1990′s. The other is Christopher Guest, with Waiting For Guffman and all the rest coming from them. If you think this movie doesn’t still hold up, you’re sadly mistaken. My review after the jump.
There may be bigger comedies on the horizon (“Bruno”, “Funny People”) but Ricky Gervais’ “The Invention of Lying” (formerly known as “This Side of the Truth”) remains high on my radar as it should anyone that is fan of Gervais because while “Ghost Town” was surprisingly good, I feel like this is his big cinematic debut for US audiences.
Yahoo! Movies recently debuted the trailer for the film and it looks very…Gervais. Based in a world where everyone always tells the truth, Gervais’ character discovers that he can lie. If there’s only minor flaw that caught me in the trailer, it seems like Gervais’ character is astounded when folks tell him the truth. Everyone else reacts deadpan and like it’s not a big deal (which makes sense) but Gervais reacts like he does whenever anyone said something stupid to him on “Extras”. But perhaps these reaction shots are after he’s acquired his “lying” ability. Check out the trailer after the jump.