The Hallmark Channel is close to receiving approvals from the State Department to produce a heartwarming, feel-good movie about the happy, diplomatic resolution to yesterday’s interaction between the Iranian and US Navies. According to State sources, the US Naval vessels were straying into Iranian waters as a result of some sort of mechanical failure. The Iranian Navy provided mechanical assistance (and even checked out the American communications equipment for good measure), kept the sailors warm and safe (to include a hijab for the female sailor), and provided overnight accommodations (the hummus was reportedly out of this world), before sending them on their way. State also added that there were unconfirmed reports of hugs exchanged before the US vessels got back underway. It is unknown whether the piece would include portrayal of the potential disciplinary action for those American sailors who were clearly in the wrong.
“Our viewers look forward to schmaltzy stories of new found friendships and dramatic changes of heart ; we make a lot of money making up stories in that vein, but producing a story based on a real-life event would be a big win for us” said Barry Heart, Senior Executive of Production.
The two-hour special will highlight the new environment of cooperation between the two previously at-odds nations, and how diplomacy and civilized discourse can solve any problem. Hallmark expects to receive approval from the State Department this week. The production would be slated to air in mid or late October.
BREAKING: Oscar host Seth MacFarlane’s “We Saw Your Boobs” song has broken iTunes download records previously set by Adele’s “Skyfall” debut earlier this year.
HOLLYWOOD: Early reports seem to indicate that Harrison Ford (age 70) will reprise his role as smuggler-hero-pilot Han Solo in JJ Abrams’ Star Wars VII project that is in early pre-production stages. Insiders say that Ford will appear as Solo in a Tatooine nursing home, where a partially demented, incontinent Han Solo resides with other aging veterans of the imperial wars. Solo will be visited by his children, and other new characters. Ford is no stranger to hanging onto roles far longer than seems reasonable, as evidenced by his latest in the Indiana Jones franchise: “Indiana Jones and the Early Bird Special”.
I was hanging out with my nephew one day this week, while he was recovering at home from some minor surgery. I thought we’d gab and watch some good TV; they have most of the pay channels on top of a great Verizon cable (oh, I mean FIOS) lineup. We spent most of the time changing channels – the amount of crap out there was amazing. The crap actually spanned decades, with crap movies from the 60’s to today. Encore!, like the other premium channels has a number of channels that come with your subscription: Encore Romance, Encore Classic, Encore Kids, Encore Western, etc. The movie showing on Encore Western was “The Gambler V”, you know, with Kenny Rodgers. For thirty bucks a month you get ten crappy channels to choose from, where you don’t even get “The Gambler” – the original one! The mere fact that they produced five of those movies is staggering, but for your $30 you got number five? The best option for us was that day was to jump halfway into a movie about two young Hasidic Jews that turn to drug smuggling and run into trouble, etc. Talk about SLOW.
So I’ve come up with an idea for a new channel: Encore Crappy Sequels. They wouldn’t show any of the first editions of the movies: only Jaws 4, Ghostbusters 2, Rocky IV, Godfather 3 (totally not in the same league as the first two), Big Mama’s House 2, Nightmare on Elm Street 2 through 11, Staying Alive (which is really Saturday Night Fever 2), . I recently watched Rush Hour 3 and sadly had to add it to this crappy list. At least you would know right off that they were crap. You wouldn’t be led to believe that you’d get a good movie. Sometimes you want to watch one of the crummy movies for fun, to bask in its crumminess, and rip on the poor quality of the cast/script/cinematography, etc. But you’d have a channel devoted to it, instead of spreading it out all over the dial. Now THAT would be worth paying for.
One of the BBC’s most well know comedians has been signed by Lifetime Television to star in their upcoming biographical movie of Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan. Although Kagan has not yet been confirmed (though confirmation is widely expected), Lifetime executives have inked a deal with Mr. Mitchell to star in the network’s original feature. American audiences will recognize Mr. Mitchell from the BBC and his wildly successful sketch comedy shows “That Mitchell and Webb Look“, and “Peep Show“, a partnership with longtime colleague Robert Webb. Mitchell allegedly signed the deal to “get his bloody foot in the door for some serious acting”. Mitchell, 36, has been performing since primary school, and became even more passionate about it while at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he became president of their famous “Cambridge Footlights” performance group. Mr. Mitchell has also had several cameos and small roles on BBC programs, in addition to his successful comedic work with partner Robert Webb.
Lifetime executives had been shopping around two draft screenplays, when a low-level staffer happened upon Mitchell on BBC America. Mr. Mitchell, no stranger to dressing in drag for his comedic craft, jumped at the chance to play Kagan on the made-for-cable movie. “Well it won’t be much of a visual stretch, now will it?” suggested Mr. Mitchell, “I’ve got to really show my stuff to be taken seriously, and the viewers won’t be distracted by clumsy makeup and wardrobe. I’ll still look like me in a wig, but I’ll be acting like Ms. Kagan.”
Lifetime executives were asked if they thought their viewers, and Ms. Kagan, would be offended if the lead role in the movie were given to a man. Lifetime is, after all, a network “for women”, telling the story of a hard-working, intelligent woman, going boldly into a male-dominated field. These executives told us that “Lifetime network viewers are among the most sensitive, open-minded, and fair people in our country. They’ll support the best actor for the role, and will be empowered by the fact that they will be part of this courageous, ground-breaking decision. We also think that Ms. Kagan will be thrilled with the end product.”
Lifetime expects the feature to begin production at the end of the summer, with a broadcast date slated in the December time frame. The network anticipates signing Valerie Bertinelli for the role of Ms. Kagan’s best friend during law school, and is reportedly working with author Norah Roberts on the screenplay. Working titles include “Confirming Elena”, “My Lips are Sealed: The Elena Kagan Story”, and “That’s no Man, That’s Elena Kagan!”.
After a loss to Denmark, Cameroon becomes the first team eliminated from the World Cup. Since you never read about Cameroon in the news, I can’t help but think of Trading Places when I hear “Cameroon”:
Brush up on your Swedish, or practice reading subtitles, because the film version of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” opens in the U.S. on March 19th. Locally, it will be in Cambridge (Kendall Sq.), Boston (Commons 19), and West Newton. See the official trilogy website here. Haven’t read the book yet? Order it on Amazon.com now for only $5.50! One reviewer called the movie “the biggest thing to come out of Sweden since ABBA”. Now that’s a recommendation!
PS: the book is part of a trilogy, and the Swedes have made all three movies with the same cast, kind of the way the Lord of the Rings stuff was done.
PPS: Hollywood has signalled that it is interested in making its own version of the movie, which means they’ll crap it all up and put Reese Witherspoon in it or something.
Peter Graves is an icon; he’s uttered some of the greatest lines ever used on the big screen. Find somebody who doesn’t know what you’re talking about when you use the “Joey…” lines, and I’ll send you a dollar. (Offer not valid in most states, eligibility requirements must be met, terms and conditions may apply).
This week, the Walt Disney Company announced that they will buy Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion (BILLION) in cash and stock. The move “changes the landscape in Hollywood”, since Disney would own rights to almost five thousand Marvel characters that could be marketed to death. Upon hearing the news, Wolverine (James Howlett ) and the Hulk (Bruce Banner) were less than enthused. Wolverine said, “I dont’ give a rat’s ass WHO owns us now – I’ll never do a movie with friggin’ Mickey Mouse or Hannah Montana. I’d eat the Jonas Brothers for lunch”. (We should note that Sony owns film rights for the entire Fantastic Four.) Hulk had no verbal comments, but he smashed up the facade of the Manhattan Disney Store, two cabs, and a hot dog cart before being sedated. Other Marvel heroes were unavailable for comment, including the two characters specifically excluded from the deal: Captain Rectitude (too uptight even for Disney), and Unus(sounds too much like anus). The deal opens up almost endless opportunities for Disney, given their obvious expertise in publishing, movies, television, marketing and branding. Several projects are already in the early planning stages of development: ‘Beauty and THE BEAST ‘(the blue one from X-Men fame), ‘Super Freaky Friday’ (The Incredibles inexplicably switch places with the Fantastic Four), and a teen-targeted romance between She-Hulk and Wall-E.