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.
You’re driving down the street, and it’s suddenly blocked off. You notice these weird yellow signs with nonsensical letters or numbers. There’s unusual glow lighting up a neighborhood you can’t usually see from your house. What you might have here is a film company shooting in your town. It happens a lot, and you never know where they might pop up…until now.
The following is a semi-comprehensive list of films currently shooting, what they’re shooting, and where they’re shooting. We’ll be telling you where you might get to see the very famous, the kinda famous and (if all goes well) the soon-to-be famous. While we can’t list every single movie, television show, or student film in production, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what the heck is going on where all those people are buzzing about. Want to know where in the world are Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone, Woody Harrelson, and Leonardo DiCaprio? Hit the jump for more.
There are two things it’s hard to get away from when discussing Woody Allen: the first is that his output is so constant, there’s going to be winners mixed with losers. Over the last couple years, Allen’s talent has been scattershot to say the least, but then he might surprise you with a film like Match Point, or Vicki Christina Barcelona. Even his early funny period had some misfires, but that leads into the second point, which is that Allen has not been strong for a long time. You can never count him out, but the 21st century is easily his weakest period of cinema. Whatever Works, however, was written a very long time ago, and it shows, so it combines early funny with later Woody. My review after the jump.
After forty-two films and the current rate of one film per year, Woody Allen remains his own greatest ally and foe. His innate talent and ability coupled with his freedom to make a film entirely on his own terms with just about every professional actor willing to drop everything and work for him (except Nicole Kidman who couldn’t find a good movie with two hands a flashlight) is refreshing in an age of endless franchises and inevitable compromise to hit all four quadrants in a demographic. Sadly, Allen’s greatest drawback is his insistence to make one film per year. Perhaps his process works best at an accelerated rate but I feel that it forces him to retread and neglect the polish that would best serve his film. His latest, “Whatever Works”, is a good film but could be great with just a little more time and effort. Thankfully, it’s not a disappointing and eye-rolling “been there, done that”.
Opening June 19th is the new Woody Allen movie “Whatever Works”. This is the one where Larry David (“Seinfeld, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) plays the Woody character. I managed to see a screening at this year’s ShoWest and while it isn’t the best Woody Allen movie I’ve seen, there was plenty I liked. Also, it was great to see Woody return to his New York City roots after being in Europe with his last few films.
Anyway, we’ve been given a few clips from the film and you can watch them – along with the trailer – after the jump. Finally, here’s the full synopsis:
An eccentric New Yorker played by Larry David abandons his upper class life to lead a more bohemian existence. He meets a young girl from the south and her family and no two people seem to get along in the entanglements that follow. This is a comedy also starring Ed Begley Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Conleth Hill, Michael McKean, Evan Rachel Wood, and a number of other amusing types.