Even the creators of The Simpsons know we love the old stuff. Specifically, the first 10 to 12 seasons. That’s the period in which Matt Groening‘s iconic yellow family took the world by storm and became a television institution. Since then many fans have fallen off the show, citing a decline in quality, and maybe that decline is a fact. But The Simpsons endures. This year is the 25th anniversary of the show, making it the longest-running sitcom in U.S. history.
To celebrate the anniversary, The Simpsons took over legendary Los Angeles concert venue The Hollywood Bowl for a three night concert event called The Simpsons Take the Bowl. Hosted by Hank Azaria (the voice of Moe, Ape, Chief Wiggum and many others), the event featured a slew of guest stars performing songs and score from The Simpsons, with a strong focus on the early years. Mainly, songs from the 1997 album Songs in the Key of Springfield, including The Monorail Song, Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart, The Stonecutters Song, Happy Birthday Lisa and others. This being Hollywood, there were some references to The Simpsons Movie, too, and Hans Zimmer live-conducting the score to the Oscar-nominated short, The Longest Daycare.
Basically, if you loved The Simpsons as a child or adult, it was a simply fantastic evening of entertainment. And, if you couldn’t be there, several of the numbers from the evening have been uploaded online. Check them out below. Read More »
The Beaver may not have been quite the comeback that Mel Gibson wanted, but it was probably the comeback that he deserved. Still, signs point to the fact that the film’s relative under-performance is due less to disdain for the actor and more towards a general sense of disinterest and lack of awareness about the film. For real comeback action Mel Gibson will probably have to work in a genre that has more potential for audience impact. How about some form of buddy comedy — that being the format that defined one stage of his career thanks to the Lethal Weapon films? Indeed, he is now in talks to join the buddy heist comedy Sleight of Hand, which has Kiefer Sutherland, Gerard Depardieu and Thomas Jane set for smaller roles. Read More »
I wonder what’s been happening with Kevin Smith lately. The filmmaker hasn’t been in the news at all. There’s that small instance of deciding to self-distribute his latest film Red State and take it out on the road, there-by reinventing himself as both a filmmaker and a person. Then there are the records the tour has broken and the creation his own online radio station filled with his SModcasts, but beyond that, Smith hardly tweets at all and has been a pretty tough nut to crack.
Due to that prolonged radio silence, we figured it was a good time for a Kevin Smith update. The man best known for writing and directing Clerks, Chasing Amy and Dogma just announced that a script he wrote a few years back for The Six Million Dollar Man is going to be adapted into a comic book and that his new podcast station, called S.I.R. (SModcast Internet Radio) will feature podcasts on the history of Saturday Night Live with co-host Jon Lovitz as well as the history of Miramax, with co-host producer Jon Gordon. Read more after the break. Read More »
I wasn’t planning to write about Gallery1988′s first annual “Is This Thing On” art show as it really has little connection to movies or television (or so I thought… the above piece featuring Judd Apatow mashed-up with the infamous Star Trek Tribbles episode is a fine example of this). The show, co-sponsored by FunnyOrDie, features over 100 artists, each creating pieces that are portraits of their favorite funny people, both beloved comics of yesteryear and emerging superstars.
The line up of comedians depicted include: Chris Farley, Will Ferrel, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, Paul Reubens,Tim & Eric, Nick Kroll, Demetri Martin, Chris Rock, Whitney Cummings, Jon Lovitz, Sam Kinison, Bill Murray, Woody Allen, Colin Quinn, Bill Hicks, Howard Stern, Judd Apatow, Chris Hardwick, Marc Maron, Scott Auckerman, David Spade, Andy Dick, Lenny Bruce, Adam Sandler, Amy Sedaris, Lisa Lampanelli, David Cross, Andy Kaufman, Christopher Guest, Mr. Show, Rob Corddry and Children’s Hospital, Gilbert Gottfried, Jeffrey Ross, Bill Cosby, Bobcat Goldthwait, Tracy Morgan, Roseanne, Patton Oswalt, Dave Attell, David Wain and Wet Hot American Summer, Will Forte, John Candy, Lilly Tomlin, Phil Hartman, John Belushi, Mel Brooks and Young Frankenstein, Chevy Chase, Louis CK, Norm MacDonald, Flight of the Conchords, Jim Carrey, Reggie Watts, Steve Martin, Larry David, Rodney Dangerfield, Mitch Hedberg, Ellen DeGenerous, Margaret Cho, Steven Wright, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, Richard Lewis, George Carlin, UCB Theater LA, Upright Citizen Brigade (TV show), Human Giant, Sasha Baron Cohen, Gallagher, Dana Carvey, Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, Danny McBride, Carrot Top, Greg Giraldo, Donald Glover, Zach Galifiankis, Charlene Yi, Andrew “Dice” Clay, Chris Elliot, Jon Lovitz, Artie Lange, Doug Benson, Redd Foxx, Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais, Dave Chapelle, Chelsea Handler, Aziz Ansari, Eddie Murphy, SF Sketchfest, Cheech & Chong, Sarah Silverman, Stella, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Brian Posehn, Charlie Murphy and Kids In The Hall.
The show is ongoing until January 29th 2011 in the Melrose Gallery 1988 location. Hirt the jump to see some of my favorite pieces of art from the exhibition.
When we first saw a trailer for Casino Jack, starring Kevin Spacey as disgraced ‘super lobbyist’ Jack Abramoff, the film was called Bagman and the trailer was miserable. Tonally the clip was all over the place, the voice over was laughable, and it committed a serious sin by trying to pretend that Rolling Stones songs like ‘Gimme Shelter’ and ‘Sympathy For the Devil’ have any life left for use in cinema.
Now there’s a new trailer, and it is certainly cut with a lot more skill and consistency. Check it out after the break. Read More »
There are two films about disgraced ‘super-lobbyist’ Jack Abramoff. The documentary Casino Jack & The United States of Money is in theaters now. The other, a feature once called Casino Jack and now titled Bagman, is directed by George Hickenlooper and stars Kevin Spacey as Abramoff. A promising combination, to be sure, but if this new trailer for the film is anything to go on, this is a promise unfulfilled. Read More »
Update: Buzz continues to build as the film just won Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival.
I like how Todd Solondz talks. In the below featurette—ideal for a Saturday afternoon in both length and Puerto Rico palm casualness—the writer/director of Welcome to the Dollhouse discusses his new film, Life During Wartime. Yep, titled after the Talking Heads’ classic. You may or may not know that Wartime is being cited in early reviews as a return to form for Solondz, the rare American director who is unwaveringly committed to exploring the fringes and norms of society.
There was a time in the mid ’90s when I actually confused Solondz and Wes Anderson, due to their media-buzz indie predilection and similar disheveled nerd-artist appearances. Funny that in 2009, that seems like such an odd and off mix-up. Perhaps tellingly so. Wartime stars Paul Reubens, in sickly make-up, the swell Allison Janney, a dour-looking Ally Sheedy, and Little Boston’s Paul Dano, and finds Solondz revisiting and reimagining several characters from his controversial pedophile study Happiness, in addition to ones from Dollhouse. Variety has called it Solondz’s best.
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