What Elsa Ya Got? “The Invention of Lying”

For a movie that didn’t exactly perform well at the box office, Warner Bros. has put together a pretty strong collection of extras for the Blu-ray release of “The Invention of Lying.” You’ll get all of the same material on the DVD version, though, so unless you care about the added incentive of a digital copy, you might be better off just saving a few bucks on what isn’t exactly a must-own film.

Prequel: The Dawn of Lying

Originally conceived as a pre-credits sequence, this alternate opening details evidence of the very first lie in history. Narrated by Patrick Stewart and starring the film’s principal cast as their prehistoric counterparts (including Ricky Gervais, Rob Lowe and Jeffrey Tambor), the scene is mildly entertaining, but was rightfully cut during post-production. It might sound great on paper, but it just doesn’t work tonally.

Meet Karl Pilkington

Anyone who’s ever listened to the Ricky Gervais podcasts is already familiar with his friend/punching bag, Karl Pilkington. This 18-minute video diary documents Pilkington’s trip from England to Boston to serve as an extra on the film. It’s not exactly the most economical thing to do, but if nothing else, it proves just how far Gervais is willing to go for his own personal amusement. The fact that Pilkington’s scene just so happens to be the one that was cut (see above) only makes the investment seem that much more senseless. Hey, at least they got a funny extra out of it.

A Truly ‘Honest’ Making of Featurette

It’s not quite as advertised, but this short 7-minute featurette does offer interviews with the cast and crew about working on the film, as well as a few exclusive outtakes and a behind-the-scenes look at the many variations of Gervais’ infectious laugh.

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Just a couple of things… (updated)

I’m going to be spending this extremely rainy So-Cal MLK day doing some catching up with various movie-watching obligations, including some awards-type flicks I’ve been criminally behind on, but first a couple of random left over things.

* I expected a bit more fall-out, perhaps, from Ricky Gervais’s more-mean-than-funny gag at the expense of Paul McCartney and his recent divorce, but I guess I wasn’t alone in my mixed reaction to last night’s festivities as a show. Of course, my mixed reaction has nothing on the sheer, predictable venom of Nikki Finke’s nevertheless readable “live snark” of the event. She does have a point, exaggerated though it likely is, in underlining that — even among big show business awards — the Globes aren’t exactly known for their uncompromising integrity. Certainly, last night’s win by Robert Downey Jr., as talented and committed a performer as he is and has been for decades, does seem to follow her statement that “Stars win in direct correlation to their glamor quotient.”

One great line that a lot of us missed from the pre-show activities came courtesy of who else but the wondrous Tina Fey, remarking upon the unstereotypical Southern California weather last night: “No, it’s not rain. It’s God crying for NBC.” The rain, by the way, is expected to continue all week. I guess we know Who Else might be on Team Coco.

Also, one thing I forgot to say last night. “Sofia Loren.” I’m just impressed to see her, anywhere. Time may wear on, but that face is eternal.

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UPDATE: I forgot to add that the ratings for last night’s telecast were up from prior years, and I suspect Gervais’s presence did not hurt.

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Golden Globe movie wrap-up: It’s an “Avatar,” “The Hangover” kind of a crazy, mixed-up night

First of all, I would like to thank my DVR for allowing me to watch a three hour telecast in less than 115 minutes. Also, Will Harris, you crazy Golden Globes Premium Hollywood TV live blogger, put down the Maker’s Mark and go to bed!

But, before I get carried away with paraphrasing Sandra Bullock‘s Best Actress in a Drama acceptance speech tonight, first of all let me make clear that I’m not going to attempt to one-up Mr. Harris’s live-blog extravaganza. No, I’ll simply start by linking to a complete list of tonight’s results and some (I’m thinking relatively brief) thoughts on the cinematic goings on tonight.

Okay, so here’s that link to the results courtesy of /Film and now on to the bloggy/thinky portion of tonight’s festivities.

Big deals: Clearly, the film headlines tonight are the awards that went to James Cameron’s ultimate-big-deal of a movie called “Avatar” and this year’s ultimate mega-successful modestly budget comedy, “The Hangover“. It’s the kind of comedy that never gets nominated for, much less wins, awards no matter how well constructed, and this was one incredibly well-constructed comedy. I’m delighted to see it get this kind of recognition. I truly couldn’t imagine a better movie with that premise and its success shows that you can make a male-oriented farce that respects its viewers’ intelligence and better natures. As for “Avatar,” does anyone even care what I think? It is what it is. Ask me again in a couple of months.

Biggest non-surprises of the night: The supporting actor twosome Mo’Nique from “Precious” and Christoph Waltz from “Inglourious Basterds” won, yet again, and seem about as big a lock for Oscars as you ever get. Both are sure getting a lot of practice at the art of acceptance speeches. Mo’Nique’s speech was both king of moving and way over-the-top in that actory way some folks (like Drew Barrymore, who praised it one of her typically overwhelmed acceptance speeches) just eat up with a fork. Waltz, who really does seem to be a pretty humble guy, was a bit more low key with a nice riff on the international nature of the Hollywood Foreign Press’s awards. I think we’ve got a buddy-cop movie, possibly directed by Michael Bay, with Waltz and Mo’Nique in our collective futures. “Bad Goys”?

Jeff Bridges Best Actor award is starting to edge into the same kind of category and he’s starting to look like a gigantic Oscar shoe-in. It’s as if everyone suddenly remembered how great he’s been in countless movies all at the same time. “You’re really screwing up my under appreciated status here,” he said. As well they should.

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TCA Tour: Live from (the same state as) the Golden Globes!

Since I’m currently sitting in southern California with a bunch of TV critics and watching the Golden Globes, it seems a little ridiculous for me to do anything other than live blog the thing…well, the TV portion, anyway. I wouldn’t dare take away anything from Mr. Westal’s coverage of the film portion. With that said, however, I can’t exactly ignore the show’s host, Ricky Gervais, so I’m definitely planning to give him a shout-out whenever he offers up a great line.

I’ve never done this before, so be gentle with me…

8:01 PM: Gervais suggests that most people probably know him as the guy from the original British “Office,” then shakes his head and says, “No, you don’t, do you?” The highlight comes when Gervais suggests that “quality, not quantity” makes his version of “The Office” the better one, which results in Steve Carell’s mouthing of “I will break you” to Gervais.

8:02 PM: “I’m not used to these sort of viewing figures. Then again, neither is NBC.”

8:03 PM: “Actors: they’re just better than ordinary people, aren’t they?” Hugh Laurie seems amused by Gervais’s remarks about he plays a doctor on television better than a real physician would, while Kiefer Sutherland is perhaps less so by the suggestion that some of the fights on “24” aren’t scripted.

8:04 PM: “Let’s get on with it before NBC replaces me with Jay Leno.”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy: Toni Collette, “United States of Tara.” Although I’m a little surprised that Tina Fey didn’t take home the award, I acknowledged in my nominations piece that I figured a lot of people might favor Collette. I guess it was an easy pick. It just wasn’t mine. I still think it’s John Corbett and the kids who are the real stars of that show.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television: John Lithgow, “Dexter.” I still haven’t seen his performance yet, and yet I still picked it. That’s how strong the buzz was. Glad to see it paid off.

8:29 PM: “We’ve seen some worthy winners…aaaaaaand we’ve seen some not so worthy winners.”

8:30 PM: After observing that one can’t officially buy a Golden Globe Award, Gervais concedes that he’s probably never going to be allowed to do the show again.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama: Michael C. Hall, “Dexter.” I think that, at three (TV) awards in a row, you can officially begin to suggest that Showtime is dominating the proceedings. Given the acclaim that this season has received, I’m not surprised that Hall beat out my pick (Hugh Laurie), and once you’ve factored in the fact that he’s battling back from lymphoma, who could complain, really?

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama: Julianna Marguiles, “The Good Wife.” Holy crap! My dark horse pick took home the win! What an awesome line from Julianna about CBS keeping the faith by continuing to air quality drama at 10 PM. I announced to my fellow critics that I’d gotten this pick right, and I was accused of being Nostradamus. Somebody cue up “We Are The Champions,” please. I’d like to enjoy this victory as long as possible.

8:43 PM: Gervais bashes Paul McCartney by claiming that he shared a flight with the former Beatle, with Gervais in first class and Macca in coach because he’s “saving money.” After receiving several boos for his trouble, Gervais assures the crowd, “Uh, I think he’s still doing all right!”

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: “Grey Gardens.” No complaints. I picked “Taking Chance” for this category, but I picked Drew Barrymore for her performance in the film, so I can hardly argue with this selection.

8:59 PM: Gervais decries the boozing, brawling Irish stereotype, then introduces Colin Farrell. (Farrell admits, “When I heard Ricky Gervais was gonna be introducing me, I said, ‘Oh, balls…'”)

9:09 PM: When Helen Mirren said, “Life,” then paused, I was really hoping she was going to follow it by saying, “Don’t talk to me about life.” But she didn’t.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Kevin Bacon, “Taking Chance.” Same situation as above. I wanted to see Chiwetel Ejiofor take it home for “Endgame,” but given how much I loved “Taking Chance,” I’ve no complaints.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Drew Barrymore, “Grey Gardens.” Exxxxxxxcellent. Someone here just referred to the performance as “her first acting award,” and there’s a certain amount of truth to that, as she offered up more in “Grey Gardens” than most people would’ve expected that she had in her. You know, I’ve watched “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” a lot of times, but that reference to “Jeff Spicoli’s girlfriend” flew right over my head. Anyone…?

9:22 PM: Gervais notes how actors want to be ever-changing and constantly moving, then says, “Please welcome Rachel from ‘Friends’ and that bloke from ‘300.’”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock.” You can never go wrong with Alec Baldwin, I guess. But I still wanted Steve Carell to win it, if only to hear what Gervais had to say about it.

9:36 PM: God love Zachary Levi and Amy Poehler, but…really? Those were the best jokes you could provide for the stars of two of NBC’s best shows? The network needs all the help it can get!

Best Television Series – Drama: “Mad Men.” This is a category where there were no losers, but with that said, I really couldn’t imagine any other series than this one taking home the win. Look at the beard on Jon Hamm..and the breasts on Christina Hendricks! I couldn’t believe the music kicked in so quickly on Matthew Weiner, but as someone here said, it’s a basic-cable network. That doesn’t buy you much time, no matter how much acclaim your show gets.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television: Chloe Sevigny, “Big Love.” The only thing more upsetting than her win is her dress. I kid. Well, about the win, anyway. (I love Rose Byrne, but after seeing her today at the TCA panel for “Damages,” I was beginning to wonder if she was even capable of smiling anymore.) Seriously, though, that dress is horrid.

9:48 PM: Gervais sips from what is almost certainly a glass of real lager, then struggles to get a laugh from his “Catwoman” joke…which is probably almost as much of a struggle as it took to get Halle Berry into that dress she’s wearing.

9:57 PM: Am I the only one who was just creeped out by DeNiro’s bit about Scorcese having sex with film?

10:00 PM: Great clipfest for Scorcese. Methinks it might be time to go order a copy of “The King of Comedy” from Amazon.

10:12 PM: The lager’s back, as Gervais admits, “I’ve had a couple, I’m not gonna lie to you.” He then blames the alcohol for anyone he might’ve offended, after which he quickly offers up the most incredible introduction of the night: “I like a drink as much as the next man…unless the next man is Mel Gibson.” And just like that, Ricky Gervais is officially the best host of the Golden Globes EVER.

10:16 PM: James Cameron wins for “Avatar,” and Dileep Rao’s Golden Globes party suddenly gets kicked up a notch. I only mention this because he went to that party instead of having dinner with me. You got lucky, Rao!

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy: “Glee.” That’s going to be one happy set when I go visit it tomorrow. Nice shout-out from Ryan Murphy to Miss Barbra Streisand and the show’s “fake sexy teen cast,” as well as the dedication to everyone who ever got a wedgie in high school. Aw, that’s so sweet of you to include me, Ryan…

Well, that’s it for the TV awards, but I have to hang in there to see if Ricky Gervais has anything else left to say…or anyone else does, for that matter. Like, say, the governor of California…

10:34 PM: Damn, even Schwarzenegger can’t resist getting in a jab at NBC!

10:35 PM: Gervais really must be scared of Mickey Rourke if the best he can offer up is, “I haven’t gotten a bad word to say about him, mostly because he’s got arms as big as my legs.”

10:42 PM: I hope the kazillion ads they’ve shown for “Parenthood’ actually earn the show some viewers. I really liked the pilot. I can’t say the same for “The Marriage Ref,” partially because they haven’t produced a screener for us yet, but mostly because of my feud with Jerry Seinfeld. But that’s a story for another time.

10:52 PM: Do you get the impression that, were it not for Chrysler, we might’ve been stuck listening to the Golden Globes on the radio?

10:55 PM: What? Straight into Julia Roberts and Best Motion Picture – Drama without a last appearance from Gervias? Gyp! Oh, well, at least “Avatar” won. Congrats again, Mr. Rao. I just hope that party was worth it…

10:59 PM: Ah, there we go. “If I had one wish, it would be for peace on earth. No, wait, can I change that? It would be for everyone to watch ‘The Ricky Gervais Show,’ on HBO on Feb. 19th.” Way to end on a plug, sir.

So there you go: my first-ever live blog. I hope it made for at least a semi-entertaining read, and stay tuned for Bob Westal’s movie portion of the proceedings, coming soon!

  

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TCA Tour: The Ricky Gervais Show

If you’ve never listened to the podcast that Ricky Gervais does with his writing partner, Stephen Merchant, then you’ve been missing out on one of the funniest things that’s available for download. Part of it comes, obviously, because of the well-established quick wits of the aforementioned two gentlemen, but the show’s X-factor, if you will, comes from the third man in the recording studio: Karl Pilkington. Although he’s still pretty much a non-entity in the States, you can count on him achieving – at the very least – full-fledged cult status when HBO debuts their new animated series, “The Ricky Gervais Show,” which, despite its title, easily features Pilkington as heavily as Gervais.

There’s no real way to make sense of the way Pilkington’s mind works; we can but marvel at the way he perceives the world and the comments that he makes about it. Here are five moments from the panel which demonstrate what I’m talking about:

1. When asked about Pilkington’s absence from the panel, Gervais explained, “He’s on his way to Rio, I think, to do a documentary called ‘Seven Wonders,’ which we have arranged. We send him around the world to see what he thinks of the seven wonders, and he’s not impressed so far. He thinks the pyramids are overrated. I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘It’s a bad design. It’s a bad design.’ He said, ‘The lounge is going to be huge, but the bedroom is going to be tiny.'”

2. “Some of the things that Karl has come up with are incredible,” said Gervais. “I mean, he thought Anne Frank was just avoiding paying rent.”

3. “His serious understanding of evolution,” said Merchant, “is that…he went, ‘Yeah, I know evolution. It starts germ, fish, mermaid, man.'” Said Gervais, “I was trying to get the rudimentaries of evolution to him, and I was explaining to him that we are closer to chimps than chimps are to the gorillas. He was going, ‘No, we are not.’ I go, ‘No. We are.’ I said, ‘We are 98.6 percent genetically identical to a chimpanzee.’ I said, ‘That’s 1.4 percent difference between us and a chimp.’ And he went, ‘That’s got to be the ass.’”

4. “I call him every day, three or four times a day, just to find out what he’s doing,” revealed Gervais. “I called him the other day, and I said, ‘What are you doing?’ And he went, ‘Just walking in the park.’ I went, ‘All right.’ We went, ‘Oh.’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘A worm just fell from the sky.’ And I went, ‘What do you mean?’ He went, ‘He just fell out of the sky.’ I said, ‘Well, a bird probably dropped it.’ And he went, ‘Oh, yeah, there is a bird.’”

5. “We did one podcast,” said Gervais, “I think it was in December 2006, and I said, ‘What was the highlight of the year? Looking back at this year, what will stand out for you?’” And he said, ‘Probably that time I saw a grub eating a biscuit.’ I go, ‘What do you mean?’ He went, ‘Well, I was eating a biscuit. I put the rest on the windowsill. I looked around, and there was a grub eating it.’ I went, ‘Why is that an event?’ He went, ‘I never thought I would see that that year. It made me think, ‘We couldn’t be more different, us and the grub, but we both like a biscuit.'”

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