HBO has announced that Evan Almighty director Tom Shadyac will helm television movie about comic Sam Kinison. And who will play the great manic comic? Dan Fogler. You probably know him as the annoying fat guy they hire when they can’t afford Jack Black or Jonah Hill. That said, he has an uncanny resemblance to a young Kinison. The film will be based on Brother Sam: The Short, Spectacular Life of Sam Kinison, a memoir written by Sam’s brother and manager Bill Kinison. The official description for the book reads:
“A brother recalls the excessive and flamboyant life of the late comedian who died in an April 1992 car crash, portraying Kinison’s checkered early years, his road to fame and fortune, and his personal struggles.”
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, the writer/directors of American Splendor, have penned the teleplay adaptation. I would have much rather seen Berman and Pulcini direct. Shadyac was responsible for the launch of Jim Carrey’s movie career (Ace Ventura, Liar Liar), but hasn’t produced a good movie in the last decade. Years ago, Howard Stern in talks to develop a film based on comic Kinison’s life, but for one reason or another, it never gained momentum.
I’ve heard many stories about the behind the scenes problems which pushed the release of Fanboys back again and agin, but having just left a screening of the finished version, a director’s cut by Kyle Newman, I can assure you that the problems have been greatly exaggerated. You have a very marketable cast, and a film which seems like an extremely easy sell to the target demographic. I think the problem is that The Weinsteins were hoping for an American Pie type film with mainstream appeal, but they instead have a movie aimed at a very targeted niche. But lets not forget, George Lucas has been able to make tons of money off this targeted group of fans.
After high school, Eric (Sam Huntington) ditched his Star Wars fanboy friends for a job as a car salesman, and now finds himself ready to take over his father’s franchise of car dealerships. When he learns that one of his former best friends Linus (Chris Marquette) has been diagnosed with Cancer and only has months to live, he convinces his former friends (Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel) to go on a road trip to break into George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, so that Linus could watch Star Wars: Episode I before he dies.
The film is your typical teen road trip film, laced with so many Star Wars references you’ll probably want to see it twice to take them all in. There are conversations about how Boba Fett is like Michael Bay, style but no substance, and arguments about if Luke really had a thing for his sister. The series of adventures include a stop in Riverside Iowa (the future birthplace of Captain Kirk) to fuck with Trekkies. Kristen Bell plays Zoe, a girl with feisty Princess Leia-like attitude who works at a comic book store, and is well versed in everything from Star Wars to video games. Basically, she’s a fanboys wet dream.
Seth Rogen has triple duty, playing a trekkie (who seems perfectly modeled after Gabriel Köerner from Trekkies), a Star Wars tattooed pimp, and a Star Trek alien who they run into while in Las Vegas. At one point in the film, one version of Seth Rogen fights another version of Seth Rogen on the big screen. Epic! Ethan Suplee plays Ain’t It Cool News’ Harry Knowles, and there is a bevy of other cameos which include Billy Dee Williams, Danny Trejo, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Craig Robinson, Lou Taylor Pucci, Carrie Fisher, Danny McBride, and William Shatner playing himself. Ray Park (Darth Maul) even has a cameo as a THX security guard.
The film is not perfect, nor is it even on par with the best the teen comedy genre has to offer. Some of the problems include a kid dying of cancer who shows very little (if any) signs of sickness, a poorly developed romantic subplot, and a scene in a gay biker bar which should have been completely exorcised from the completed film. Oh, and Dan Fogler is painfully annoying. If only they had cast Jonah Hill or Tyler Labine instead. But the target audience of Star Wars fanboys and comic book geeks will surely eat it up. In it’s best moments it is a love letter to fandom and friendship.
/Film Rating: 7 out of 10
The trailer for the computer animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who premiered on selected prints of The Golden Compass and is now online. I love the look of this thing. Fox has perfectly captured the Seussian style without going off the deep end. And this is coming from a guy who hated the Ice Age movies (Pixar they are not). I wonder how this will compare to the 1970 2-D animated Chuck Jones television short film. Lets hear what you guys think. Watch the new trailer after the jump.
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Carol Burnett, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Isla Fisher, Dan Fogler, Amy Poehler, Dane Cook, Jaime Pressly and Jonah Hill will join Jim Carrey and Steve Carell in the computer animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who.
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Black Snake Moan has been moved back a week while Balls of Fury has been pushed back five months. Let’s take a look at why.
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