DID YOU READ

John Boorman, sinner and sinned against.

John Boorman, sinner and sinned against. (photo)

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It seems like every day brings ever more remake announcements. The entire internet is frothing at the mouth with ongoing discussions about childhoods being metaphorically raped and the point of it all. Most notable this week was the outcry when it was reported that Robert Zemeckis and Disney are in negotiations about a 3-D motion-capture animated version of “Yellow Submarine.” It’s not like there’s anything sacred about “Yellow Submarine,” a perfectly fun movie with lots of cool visuals, bad puns and surrealist logic. How could it be tarnished with a remake that ups the eye candy factor? The director of “Back To The Future” doesn’t get comedy? C’mon.

And if you think “Yellow Submarine” is untouchable, perhaps you’d like to exchange a few words with John Boorman about his upcoming animated remake of “The Wizard of Oz.” Boorman cheerfully admits he finds the original movie “very clunky.” He’s going to rectify that with an animated version in which Toto talks. Also, he plans to answer the question of why Dorothy is “so anxious to get back to this ghastly place, Kansas.” Take that, heartland platitudes! You have to admire Boorman’s chutzpah, which will endear him to no one not in love with perverse endeavors. As long as nobody touches Walter Murch’s deliriously messed-up, untoppable “Return To Oz,” I’m cool with it all.

In karmic return for potentially desecrating a movie beloved by millions, Boorman will just have to sit back and watch as Bryan Singer tries to remake 1981’s “Excalibur.” Boorman’s fondly remembered King Arthur hit is less infamously nutty than his earlier “Zardoz,” but it’s still idiosyncratic enough to make you wonder why Singer would bother. Singer’s a good company man when it comes to efficient blockbusters — at least around the time of “X2,” not so much on “Superman Returns.” Why someone thought Singer’s potential for overwrought portentousness should be married to Boorman’s own penchant for the over-the-top is unclear, but hey: it’s been five whole years since Antoine Fuqua’s “King Arthur” flopped! Time to try again!

I assume Singer’s Arthur will be just as moody as Superman, just as coded a metaphor for gay outcasts as the X-Men and just as inadvertently silly as pretty much every Camelot movie ever made. There’s a long history of Arthurian movies flopping, because they’re inevitably so silly and cliche-ridden (in his review of 1995’s long-forgotten “First Knight,” Anthony Lane mocked the usual “peasant” dialogue: “I tell you, there’ll be some feasting today!”). It seems unlikely this movie will actually get made; it’s too expensive and too senseless for even the dimmest studio exec. But “Yellow Submarine”? I’m totally rooting for that.

[Photo: Oh my. “The Wizard of Oz,” MGM, 1939]

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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