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.
Here’s the latest casting news:
- Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses) and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) are set to star in indie romantic comedy Tumbledown.
- 42 star Chadwick Boseman is closing in on a key supporting role in Ivan Reitman’s football-oriented drama Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.
Hit the jump for more on both projects.
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.
The first trailer for the animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s highly regarded graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns has gone online. For those unfamiliar, the story takes place a decade after Bruce Wayne gave up being Batman and entered retirement. The return of Harvey “Two-Face” Dent and a gang of criminals known as The Mutants force Wayne to don the suit once again, and he’s joined by a young girl taking on the persona of Robin in his quest.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 features Peter Weller as the voice of Batman, joined by David Selby as Comissioner Gordon, Ariel Winter as Robin, Wade Williams as Two-Face, and Michael McKean as Dr. Bartholomew Wolper. Judging by the trailer, it looks like director Jay Oliva has brought the goods, and fans of Miller’s story should be quite pleased. Hit the jump to watch for yourself. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 will be released on Blu-ray on September 25th.
Last year, Warner Premiere released an animated adaptation of Frank Miller‘s popular graphic novel, Batman: Year One. However, the popularity of that book pales in comparison to one of the most influential comics of all-time, The Dark Knight Returns. Along with Watchmen, Returns was a major deconstruction of the superhero genre, and pushed it into a more violent and gritty direction. Miller’s take on the Batman universe showed Dark Knight as more of a fascist than a hero (you can skip Miller’s atrocious sequel series, The Dark Knight Strikes Again). Although Christopher Nolan has eschewed a comic-book tone with his Batman movies, he has retained the themes of Miller’s 1986 comic.
Today, THR reports that WP is moving forward with an animated adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, and that they will split the feature into two-parts. Hit the jump for more including the film’s voice cast.
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.
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.