Friday, November 21, 2008

AD movie, Mormon Musical, PD cancellation, Colbert Christmas, and more

Thank goodness it's Friday. I've somehow been very busy this week. I'm starting to panic about grad school applications enough that I've been spending time on them, but not panicked enough to actually be getting anything done. I'm also coming up with new and pathetic ways to waste time while not working on grad school apps. You have no idea how much time I can spend compiling an 18-track mixed CD, and I need a handful of them for my upcoming long car trip home for the holidays. Well anyway, here are my thoughts on recent entertainment events.

Filming in Buckinghamshire, England for the Prince of Persia movie has been disrupted by scorpions on set (IMDb). They apparently caught a ride over when the filming transfered from Morocco. The scorpions in question were PoP: SoT fanatics who had devoted significant time and resources to tracking down the film location and then following the set to England. Most were caught, but some escaped to post their on-set photos online.

South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are teaming up with Avenue Q co-composer Jeff Marx to write a Broadway musical comedy about the Mormon faith (IMDb). I am not a fan of South Park, but I am a huge fan of Avenue Q. I get nervous when people make fun of religions, but I do think that people who can't put up with challenges to their religion don't have enough faith in it (and thus shouldn't be complaining). I have some friends who are Mormons, but I am not pleased with certain recent contributions of the church to a certain cause. Anyway, I'm not quite sure what to expect from this musical, and I don't know how people are going to react to it, but I do think it's hilarious that someone is writing a Mormon Musical.

Ron Howard has confirmed that an Arrested Development movie is in development (, more confirmation at Variety). I have not seen every episode, and I did not see them even remotely in chronological order, but what I saw I found pretty hilarious. It is so much funnier than most comedies that are on today (How is Two and a Half Men the most popular sitcom? How?). They'll have to be careful about the budget, though, now that Michael Cera is such a hot commodity.

Domino's pizza has made a groundbreaking new deal with TiVo. TiVo owners can now order delivery pizza... on their TiVos (IMDb). "This is the first time in history that the 'on-demand' generation will be able to fully experience couch commerce by ordering pizza directly through their television set," says Domino's marketing executive. Unfortunately, the pizza itself will not be delivered from the TV set (I can't wait for that to happen!), so the customers will still have to stand up and walk to answer the door when the delivery guy shows up. Still, this is a significant step forward towards the ultimate American dream. And can I just reiterate: "couch commerce."

Gossip Girl and OC creator Josh Schwartz has been tapped by Twentieth Century Fox to write, and possibly direct, a new X-Men "First Class" movie, which would focus on various mutant superheroes as teenagers at Xavier's school (Variety). Because Mutant High needs the Gossip Girl treatment. XOXO Rogue. Maybe they're trying to make X-Men appeal to teen and tween girls as well as teen fanboys. Well, as always, we'll see what comes of it.

Twilight is opening this weekend!!! OMG!!!!! A grad student at work (we work within sight of each other) asked me last night if I have read Twilight, since she was trying to get a group together to go see it. She's always having bunches of grad students over to her house for partying and drinking or going out with people to lunch or happy hour, and she has never invited me to anything. Ever. But she asked me if I wanted to go see Twilight. I guess I should be happy she bothered to notice me, but NO, I HAVE NEVER READ TWILIGHT. NO, I DON'T PLAN TO. JUST BECAUSE I'M A TOTAL FANTASY GEEK AND A GIRL DOES NOT MAKE ME A TWILIGHT FAN. Sorry, I don't mean any offense to Twilight fans (well, not to all Twilight fans at least.... The ones who faint when Robert Pattinson makes an appearance could use a little insulting). I just have to shake my head at the fact that I've been labeled as "Total fantasy geek, not fun at parties." Alas. Well anyway, with midnight numbers in, Twilight box office receipts are already astonishing. With a core audience of tween and teen girls, it is not expected to set records for opening weekend. But I wonder if this core audience will be an advantage in the long-term box office, since many will recall the power of the teen girl repeat viewing in Titanic's success.

And now for the tragic news of the day. It looks like Pushing Daisies has been canceled (IMDb). No, I'm not going to make any bad puns about the show's demise. I am too heartbroken. Eli Stone, Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Chuck are also looking shaky. If they all get canceled, I'll suddenly be finding myself with a lot of time on my hands. Still, of all my shows on right now (that means not counting BSG and Lost, which are on hiatus), if I could have saved one, it would have been Pushing Daisies. PD executive producer Bryan Fuller says that he has plans to continue the story in a comic and even in a movie. Comics are all well and good, but I am more interested in this movie option. I can't really picture the characters at this point without the actors in the roles. Chi McBride is hilarious, Kristin Chenoweth is absolutely brilliant, and... okay, fine, I find Lee Pace as Ned to be excruciatingly adorable. Maybe I'm no better than Pattinson's screaming girls (though I don't think I'd squeal if I saw him, and I am able to differentiate between Lee and Ned, thank you very much). Knowing how hard it is to get projects to the big screen, I'm not overly hopeful about the chances of a Pushing Daisies movie. Still, assuming that it does get made, will I be satisfied? What does this remind me of: critically praised but under-viewed show suffers premature cancellation, gets some comics to continue the story, then is made into a feature-length film? Yes, Serenity was a great movie, but it was not a satisfactory consolation prize for the canceled Firefly. I still mourn the too-soon loss of Firefly. But Serenity was certainly better than nothing. We'll see what happens.

Bringing a ray of sunshine, or at least some Christmas cheer, is none other than the amazing Stephen Colbert. His Christmas special, "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All", airs this Sunday night, November 23, at 10 pm on Comedy Central (Variety blog, NY Times). Be there or be square. I will be square, of course, since I don't get Comedy Central (or any other non-network TV channel), but folks like me can buy the DVD starting November 25. No, I am not advertising on my blog. Okay, maybe a little, but it's Stephen Colbert and friends doing a musical comedy Christmas special. This will be one worth adding to your family Christmas tradition, even if you don't celebrate Christmas!

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