Posted online as a showreel piece for the actor Federico Dordei, YouTube is currently hosting a clip reel from the ill-fated US attempt to remake Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes and Edgar Wright‘s sitcom Spaced. You can see it embedded below the break in all of its… er… glory. In case you don’t recall, the creators of the original were none too impressed with this redux.
Fans of the British incarnation will probably agree that this clip is at once familiar and also almost unutterably alien. Now, I don’t believe a good American remake of Spaced would be impossible, but I sure as heck also believe that this isn’t it, disappearing tram or no disappearing tram.
The new cast includes Federico Dordei as Christian, formerly Brian; Josh Lawson as Ben, formally Tim; and Sara Rue as Apryl, formerly Daisy and, to be fair, none of what’s wrong is actually their fault. Indeed, I suspect they’re even more upset about how the show turned out than I am.
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Tyler Stout has created this geekarific poster for the British television series Spaced. The poster was created for a special Alamo Drafthouse event on Sunday. The leftovers will likely sell out at the event itself, so you have 36 or so hours to snap this one up before it is gone forever. The poster features a 3 color design on a 24×36 one-sheet, and is individually numbered. Available now for $30 on Mondotees.com. Click on the poster below to see it in high resolution.
Cool Stuff is a daily feature of slashfilm.com. Know of any geekarific creations or cool products which should be featured on Cool Stuff? E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.
SPACED (THE COMPLETE SERIES)
Finally being made available in the US, the 14-episode long UK sitcom Spaced proves what hilarious characters and writing can do with even the simplest of premises. The show comes from the minds of the hilarious star-director duo Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright (and let’s not forget Nick Frost, who has a supporting role here), who later went on to make the instant classic hits Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. If that isn’t enough to convince you this is a must buy, you must not have seen those films.
Notable Extras: New audio commentary By Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Bill Hader, Matt Stone, Patton Oswalt and Diablo Cody, the original commentaries included on the VCI release, deleted scenes, raw footage, a Spaced On Stage reunion Q&A, a feature length documentary, outtakes, and a Homage-O-Meter.
|Target||Best Buy||Circuit City||Fry’s|
ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS
Beating out Family Guy’s Star Wars special (entitled “Blue Harvest”) to the punch by a few months, Robot Chicken’s special is just now getting the treatment it deserves. Some people may not find much incentive to pick this set up, being that it’s only one 23-minute episode and you can already watch it online for free at AdultSwim.com. More diehard fans of Robot Chicken/Star Wars, however, will find justification for the splurge courtesy of the extensive amount of special features and the very low price.
Notable Extras: Seven audio commentaries, video commentary, an animation meeting, a behind the scenes featurette, a production design featurette, deleted scenes, a panel presentation, time lapse sequences, alternate audio recordings, and on-air bumps.
|Target||Best Buy||Circuit City||Fry’s|
HIGH AND LOW (CRITERION COLLECTION)
From Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, this two-act 1963 police procedural (based on a detective novel by Ed McBain) insightfully explores and comments on Japanese society through the tale of a wealthy industrialist who learns his son has been kidnapped. High and Low may not be one of Kurosawa’s most popular works, but quality-wise it’s definitely up there.
Notable Extras: An audio commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince, a retrospective documentary with Akira Kurosawa, two interviews, a trailer gallery, and a booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and an on-set account by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie.
|Target||Best Buy||Circuit City||Fry’s|
VAMPYR (CRITERION COLLECTION)
An excellent movie for art-lovers and those interested in filmmaking, Vampyr is a 1932 French-German picture that tells a nightmarish tale about a young student of the occult who visits a strange castle and starts to experience haunting dreams and supernatural visions. It doesn’t have much dialogue or plot, but is heavily admired for its innovative use of light and shadows.
Notable Extras: An audio commentary by film historian Tony Rayns, a documentary about the director’s life and work, a ‘visual essay’ featurette, a 46-page booklet which features essays about the film and director Carl Theodor Dreyer, and a 200+ page book which features Dreyer’s script and the story Carmilla.
|Target||Best Buy||Circuit City||Fry’s|
(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Deluxe Editions)
While not exactly terrible, the wholly generic Hollywood fluff flick 21 falls flat due to its incessant need to remove anything that could’ve made the film even remotely original or interesting. This includes, among other things, getting rid of the important cultural aspects from the true story on which the film is inspired (they were primarily Asian males), focusing far too much energy on making everything look flashy and cool instead of actually informing the audience what it is that’s happening on the blackjack table (I still have no idea what the hell counting cards entails), and spending so little time developing the lead character’s transformation that it barely even registers as an arc (there goes any hope for a compelling character study). In the end, the only thing that resonates in the slightest is the kickass soundtrack.
Notable Extras: A filmmaker commentary and 3 featurettes. In addition, the 2-disc set includes a digital copy of the film.
|Target||Best Buy||Circuit City||Fry’s|
*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores.
What? Deluxe Edition includes The Basics of Winning Blackjack book.
What? Deck of 21-themed cards.
Where? Best Buy
Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Picture This! – The Last Winter – Bird (2-Disc Special Edition) – L.A. Ink (Season 1) – Las Vegas (Season 5) – Masters of Horror (Season 2 Box Set) – Kiss of the Spider Woman (2-Disc Collector’s Edition) [Amazon.com Exclusive]
Discuss: What are you planning to rent or buy this week?
NOTE: Some deals may be in-store only.
Exclusive: Free E-Movie Cash (up to $7.50) to see The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, plus a Sneak Peek disc, with any of the following $5.99 DVDs.
$5.99 – Miami Vice, Children of Men, The Scorpion King, Serenity, Alpha Dog, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Unrated Director’s Cut), Tremors, Land of the Dead, Cape Fear, Billy Madison, and more…
$14.99 – Robot Chicken (Season 1-2), Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Season 1-4), The Venture Bros. (Season 1-2), Metalocalypse (Season 1)
$19.99 – Dexter (Season 1), The Tudors (Season 1)
$24.99 – Jericho (Season 1), The L Word (Season 3-4)
$27.99 – Lost (Season 3), Dirt (Season 1), Desperate Housewives (Season 3)
$5.99 – Rounders, Swingers, Gangs of New York, Equilibrium, Good Will Hunting, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Grosse Point Blank, From Dusk Till Dawn, and more…
Exclusive: Free movie money (up to $7.50) to see The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with any of the following $9.99 and $6.99 DVDs.
$9.99 – The Mummy (2-Disc Deluxe Edition), The Mummy Returns (2-Disc Deluxe Edition), Fearless (Director’s Cut)
$6.99 – Miami Vice, Smokin’ Aces, Children of Men, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and more…
$4.99 – The Island, The Warriors (Ultimate Director’s Cut), Lucky Number Slevin, Minority Report, The Princess Bride (20th Anniversary Edition), and more…
I’ve decided to consolidate a bunch of tv updates down to one posting, because, after-all this is still a movie blog.
The writers strike caused LOST to lose two hours of it’s planned fourth season. The show’s producers have announced that they will reclaim those hours in the show’s fifth and six season. That means that the finial two seasons of the hit show will now be 17 episodes in length instead of the planned 16 episode arcs. [THR]
Nikki Finke is reporting that the American remake of Edgar Wright’s Spaced is a no-go. This should satisfy fans of the original British fanboy series starring Simon Pegg. For those of you who have never had a chance to watch the original Spaced, it finally comes to DVD in the states on July 22nd featuring new Exclusive Commentary By Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Bill Hader, Matt Stone, Patton Oswalt and Diablo Cody.
Fox has picked up JJ Abrams‘s Fringe, which follows a young female FBI agent who tackle cases involving unexplained medical and scientific phenomena. Abrams’ Bad Robot produced a two-hour pilot which was written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Transformers, Star Trek) and directed by Alex Graves (Journeyman). The series’ cast includes Anna Torv, Mark Valley and Joshua Jackson. [Variety]
And finally, NBC has started running a promo to promote Heroes Season 3. Watch it below.
Simon Pegg has released an official statement regarding the American remake of Edgar Wright’s UK show Spaced, which is being produced by McG.
If you’re a huge fan of Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (you know, the guys who brought us Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), than you’ve might have seen their now cult classic British television show Spaced. The original series, which ran on Channel 4 in the U.K. for two seasons, was written by Pegg and Jessica Hynes, and was directed by Wright. The show followed two strangers who must pose as a married couple to rent an apartment. It earned two BAFTA nominations and an International Emmy nomination. If you have never watched this series, now is a great time to import the DVD box set or download the series.
Wright and Pegg are clearly unhappy that they have not been included in on the development of this project, since they were clearly responsible for much of what became the Channel 4 series. Read Pegg’s statement below:
SIMON’S OFFICIAL STATEMENT REGARDING THE US SPACED
Thoughts on the subject of an American Spaced. Feel free to skip to the end.
Now that the pilot has been officially announced, I thought it might be a good idea to clarify my position on the subject. The whole affair seems to have inspired some spirited debate and some heartening displays of loyalty and love. All this for a show which is almost 10 years old, is all rather wonderful and a vindication of all the blood, sweat and tears (both of joy and pain) we shed in the show’s creation. It was always our aim to create a comedy which spoke to its audience on such a personal level, it almost felt one on one. It would seem the fan reaction to the news that Fox has appropriated the format, confirms at least, that we succeeded.
As far as remaking TV shows for different territories is concerned, I don’t have a problem. The Office remake being a perfect example. Yes, the original British version is a wonderful and compact piece of comedy writing and performance, but I think it’s bit much to expect a large scale American television audience to fully relate to the minutiae of day-to-day business life in an obscure British suburb. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you are the type of person who takes pleasure in the variety of entertainment you enjoy, relishing the differences between our various cultural touchstones but there is a massive audience out there, which perhaps isn’t as culturally savvy (euphemistic phrase for ‘geeky’) as we are and need their signifiers to be a little more familiar. So, Slough is replaced by Scranton, and the office archetypes become a little more archetypal to an American audience. The spirit of the show remains intact. The performances are uniformly great and the show scores big ratings and wins EMMYs, whether we as comedy purists prefer the original or not. The success of the remake is born out by it’s undoubted success and appeal.
My main problem with the notion of a Spaced remake is the sheer lack of respect that Granada/ Wonderland/Warner Bros have displayed in respectively selling out and appropriating our ideas without even letting us know. A decision I can only presume was made as a way of avoiding having to give us any money, whilst at the same time using mine and Edgar’s name in their press release, in order to trade on the success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, even professing, as Peter Johnson did, to being a big fan of the show and it’s creators. A device made all the more heinous by the fact that the press release neglected to mention the show’s co-creator and female voice, Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson). The fact is, when we signed our contracts ten years ago, we had neither the experience or the kudos to demand any clauses securing any control over future reversioning. We signed away our rights to any input in the show’s international future, because we just wanted to get the show made and these dark days of legal piracy seemed a far away concern. As a result, we have no rights. The show does not belong to us and, those that do own it have no obligation to include us in any future plans. You would perhaps hope though, out of basic professional respect and courtesy, we might have been consulted. It is this flagrant snub and effective vote of no confidence in the very people that created the show, that has caused such affront at our end. If they don’t care about the integrity of the original, why call it Spaced? Why attempt to find some validation by including mine and Edgar’s names in the press release as if we were involved? Why not just lift the premise? Two strangers, pretend to be a couple in order to secure residence of a flat/apartment. It’s hardly Ibsen. Jess and I specifically jumped off from a very mainstream sitcom premise in order to unravel it so completely. Take it, have it, call it Perfect Strangers and hope Balkie doesn’t sue. Just don’t call it Spaced.
It’s a shame, since the pilot is now a certainty, whether we like it or not, a simple phone call and a few reassurances might have helped to at least curtail the tide of indignation from fans and creators alike. I have, as of yet, heard nothing.
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If you’re a huge fan of Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (you know, the guys who brought us Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), than you’ve probably seen their now cult classic British television show Spaced. The original series, which ran on Channel 4 in the U.K. for two seasons, was written by Pegg and Jessica Hynes, and was directed by Wright. The show follows two strangers who must pose as a married couple to rent an apartment. It earned two BAFTA nominations and an International Emmy nomination. If you have never watched this series, now is a great time to import the DVD box set or download the series.
Today it was announced that producer McG is bringing the series to America, but is that a bad thing? So far the majority of internet fans seem to be up in arms over the idea of an American remake. The show would likely see no involvement of Wright and Pegg. The great thing about the Spaced television show was that it nailed the geek characterizations / references / information accurately and without degradation. And while I’m an avid watcher of the McG-produced television show Chuck, I’m disappointed with the shows treatment of geek culture. And if they can’t get that aspect of the show right, it will be sure to ultimately fail.
Will & Grace scribe Adam Barr is writing the pilot script, which has garnered interest from several networks. Barr’s credits also include Weird Science, Parker Lewis and The New Adventures of Old Christine.