Category Archives: will ferrell

Megamind

Megamind ~ When I saw the first preview of this film months and months ago it seemed like a sly parody of the Superman mythos and a more original super-intelligent foe, sort of a Luthor/Brainiac hybrid. As clever as it seemed, the previews that followed as the release date got closer seemed to reveal more and more of the plot. So much was given away that I feared that I had not only gotten the gist of the flick, but perhaps no longer needed to even see the film.

The truth of the matter was that I felt I no longer needed to see it. I got the point. I could wait for the DVD or even for regular television. Bottom line, the only reason we did see it was because we had several gift cards for the theater and decided to make a night of it. Free goes a long way toward making things more enticing. Unfortunately the gift cards were for Loew’s, and you folks know how much I like them. The quality or relevance of Megamind completely aside, I could not believe how much it cost to see this flick on a busy weekend night, in 3-D, and in IMAX. It was enough to put me off first run movies for a while. Thank the gods for gift cards.

Now I’m not going to give away any details of Megamind for the sake of the folks who have yet to see it, but suffice it to say that what I said and believed above was not true. The whole movie, nor the entire plot, is not revealed in the previews. There’s a lot more to this than meets the eye. And it is clever, and rarely goes where you think it is. This is a smart superhero parody for the whole family, working on several different levels, and it’s also the best use of the new 3-D I’ve seen in quite a while. David Cross steals the flick, and even Will Ferrell is good here, and I usually don’t like him. Recommended.

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Emmy Noms and Predictions

Just the highlights…

Outstanding Comedy Series

30 Rock • NBC •
Entourage • HBO •
Family Guy • FOX •
Flight Of The Conchords • HBO •
How I Met Your Mother • CBS •
The Office • NBC •
Weeds • Showtime •

I’m at a handicap here, only having seen a few. I love “Entourage” but I think “Family Guy” takes this one.

Outstanding Drama Series

Big Love • HBO •
Breaking Bad • AMC •
Dexter • Showtime •
House • FOX •
Lost • ABC •
Mad Men • AMC •

Again, I love “Dexter” but “Mad Men” is simply one of the best series on television, period.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

30 Rock • NBC • Alec Baldwin, as Jack Donaghy
Flight Of The Conchords • HBO • Jemaine Clement, as Jemaine
Monk • USA • Tony Shalhoub, as Adrian Monk
The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Jim Parsons, as Sheldon Cooper
The Office • NBC • Steve Carell, as Michael Scott
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Charlie Sheen, as Charlie Harper

Geeks stick together. Go, Sheldon.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Breaking Bad • AMC • Bryan Cranston, as Walter White
Dexter • Showtime • Michael C. Hall, as Dexter Morgan
House • FOX • Hugh Laurie, as Dr. Gregory House
In Treatment • HBO • Gabriel Byrne, as Paul
Mad Men • AMC • Jon Hamm, as Don Draper
The Mentalist • CBS • Simon Baker, as Patrick Jane

Tough one, but again, “Mad Men” takes it.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

30 Rock • NBC • Tina Fey, as Liz Lemon
Samantha Who? • ABC • Christina Applegate, as Samantha Newly
The New Adventures Of Old Christine • CBS • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as Christine
The Sarah Silverman Program • Comedy Central • Sarah Silverman, as Sarah Silverman
United States Of Tara • Showtime • Toni Collette, as Tara Gregson
Weeds • Showtime • Mary-Louise Parker, as Nancy Botwin

Anyone who’s seen “United States of Tara” knows that Toni Collette blows the competition away.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

Brothers & Sisters • ABC • Sally Field, as Nora Walker
Damages • FX Networks • Glenn Close, as Patty Hewes
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC • Mariska Hargitay, as Detective Olivia Benson
Mad Men • AMC • Elisabeth Moss, as Peggy Olson
Saving Grace • TNT • Holly Hunter, as Grace Hanadarko
The Closer • TNT • Kyra Sedgwick, as Brenda Leigh Johnson

Peggy from “Mad Men” obviously.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Accidental Friendship • Hallmark Channel • Chandra Wilson, as Yvonne
Coco Chanel • Lifetime • Shirley MacLaine, as Coco Chanel
Grey Gardens • HBO • Drew Barrymore, as Little Edie
Grey Gardens • HBO • Jessica Lange, as Big Edie
Prayers For Bobby • Lifetime • Sigourney Weaver, as Mary Griffith

One of the two actresses from Grey Gardens, which will take several awards this season. Yeah, it’s just that good.

Outstanding Reality – Competition Program

American Idol • FOX •
Dancing With The Stars • ABC •
Project Runway • Bravo •
The Amazing Race • CBS •
Top Chef • Bravo •

I love me some “Idol” and “Race” but for pure entertainment value (both intentional and unintentional), I gotta go with “Runway.”

Outstanding Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow • PBS •
Dirty Jobs • Discovery Channel •
Dog Whisperer • NGC •
Intervention • A&E •
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List • Bravo •
MythBusters • Discovery Channel •

Just give it to Kathy.

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series

Late Show With David Letterman • CBS •
Real Time With Bill Maher • HBO •
Saturday Night Live • NBC •
The Colbert Report • Comedy Central •
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • Comedy Central •

Ahem. That’s right, folks – Stewart, Colbert and Maher are not news, it’s at best comedy opinion – not news. That said, “SNL” will get the Emmy.

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special

Chris Rock – Kill The Messenger • HBO •
Kathy Griffin: She’ll Cut A Bitch • Bravo •
Ricky Gervais: Out Of England — The Stand-Up Special • HBO •
The Kennedy Center Honors • CBS •
Will Ferrell: You’re Welcome America. A Final Night With George W. Bush • HBO •

Chris Rock deserves it, but just to get even for my comments in the last category, Will Ferrell will get it, because America hates Bush, but loves laughing at him.

My favorite nomination? Justin Timberlake for original composition… of “Motherlover.” Love it.

For a full rundown of this year’s Emmy nominations, click here.

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Land of the Lost

Land of the Lost ~ ”Marshall, Will and Holly, on a routine expedition, met the greatest earthquake ever known…”

And so began the opening of one of the more innovative series ever to grace Saturday mornings. Created by Sid and Marty Krofft, notorious for Saturday morning kids fare that seemed to be acid-induced like “H.R. Pufnstuf,” “Lidsville” and “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters,” “Land of the Lost” was different.

The series, in the first two seasons at least (we will not speak of the Uncle Jack episodes), featured a solid science fiction premise, which is no wonder with folks like David Gerrold, Larry Niven, Ben Bova, D.C. Fontana, Norman Spinrad, Theodore Sturgeon and Walter Koenig involved in its production.

The premise involved a family on a camping vacation dropped into a place outside of time and space, structured by dimensional portals that controlled every aspect of the world, which was populated by dinosaurs, cave people called Pakuni (the writers even created a 200-word language for them) and hissing lizard-like inhabitants called Sleestak. The world had a very precise internal continuity and logic, and the well-written stories (despite the drinking game that can be had every time someone yells the kids’ names or Dad touches one of them) more than made up for the sometimes less-than-adequate special effects. This was the 1970s after all.

The show is held in high regard by many, including comedian Will Ferrell, who coincidentally played a character named Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly in Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Now, in this 2009 feature film version of “Land of the Lost,” he gets to play the real thing.

Now, I’ve never been a fan of Ferrell’s comedy, either on “Saturday Night Live” or in film (although I did like his semi-serious turns in Winter Passing and Stranger than Fiction), so I was a bit distressed when I heard he would be starring in this obviously comedic take on the classic scifi series. It should also be noted, and not forgotten, he also had a hand in another TV remake for the big screen – the better-off-forgotten Bewitched.

The preview was at the dreaded Cherry Hill AMC Loews, where it was sponsored by at least four media outlets. WXPN (the only terrestrial radio station in town worth listening to any more) gave us the passes but they weren’t there. Glenn Kalina, now doing mornings for 97.5 Now, has looked better, and seemed so thrilled doing the pre-show trivia and giveaways. Maybe a bit more caffeine, Glenn.

Vittoria from the ‘CW Crew’ had considerably more energy, as did the nameless dude from WMMR. And props to him too for telling people to turn their damned cellphones off. I also had issue with one of his trivia questions. He asked what MMR stood for and took the answer ‘Means More Rock’ – but really, isn’t the answer ‘Metro Media Radio’?

The film begins (and ends) with the Matt Lauer bit that we’ve all seen in the previews, and thus starts the pattern of every other typical Will Ferrell slob comedy. All my hopes from seeing interviews from Sid and Marty Krofft that this was “a respectable, serious take” on their property are dashed pretty quickly on. When pee-pee and poo-poo jokes are given more screen time than the actual plot or character development, the truth is pretty much splashed on the wall.

There are a couple funny bits, I’ll admit it. Chaka is a hoot, and a far cry from the innocent ape-child of the TV series. And Leonard Nimoy doing his best George Takei impersonation while voicing the Zarn is hilarious. What hurts most is that this could have been a serious adaptation. The effects are here, and so are all the elements. It’s all here. Fans of the show can see all the trademarks of the show – Pylons, Sleestak, the Library of Skulls, the Pakuni language, Grumpy, Alice, the Altrusian moths, even Holly’s Dopey speech. It’s all here.

Anna Friel, of “Pushing Daisies,” using her real accent for once is fun, as is Danny McBride of HBO’s “Eastbound & Down.” And I really liked the revamping of the Sleestak, nice updated design. This film is similar to “Smallville” when compared to its source material, the old Superboy comic books. Some of the names and situations are the same – but it’s completely different.

This was an okay movie for free, and funny and fun occasionally. Will Ferrell fans will love it, unfortunately I’m not one of them.

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