Wednesday night trailer: “Cedar Rapids” is excitement central

A new guy-centric comedy that’ll be premiering at Sundance (!) directed by Miguel Arteta. Ed Helms and John C. Reilly head a very interesting cast that also includes Anne Heche and the eternally underrated Stephen Root. (Sigourney Weaver is actually supposed to be in this movie, but you’d never know it from the trailer.)

This one made me laugh but it was much funnier the first time I watched than the second, and that’s not always the case with me. Anyhow, John C. Reilly has pretty much a direct route to my funnybone, but what is it about Ed Helms and befriending hookers in these movies?

H/t Mike Fleming.

  

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“Rango” promo is not for the literal minded (updated 2x)

Tired of trailers that give everything away? Well, below is the teaser trailer — or whatever it’s supposed to be — that’s been mystifying bloggers like Drew McWeeney all day. The movie is called “Rango.” [UPDATE: The trailer has since been deleted.  I guess someone decided it was just too surreal.  ANOTHER UPDATE, MUCH LATER: And now it’s back.]

Reminds me of a joke:

Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: The fish.

Or, in this case, the mechanical fish, I guess.

As per McWeeney and YouTube, the movie is performance-capture heavy animated piece about a “chameleon with an identity crisis” and stars Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, and a truly impressive collection of venerable character actors including Bill Nighy, Stephen Root, Ray Winstone, Beth Grant, Ned Beatty, Harry Dean Stanton and Alfred Molina. It’s being directed by Gore Verbinski and co-written by the very busy scribe John Logan. I am anything but a fan of Verbinski’s “Pirates” movies, but the marketing has worked. They’ve got my attention.

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24 8.14: Our time is running out

And it’s official: this will be the last season of Premium Hollywood’s “24” blog.

Did you like how I made Fox’s decision to kill the show all about me?

Truth be told, I’m relieved. Ask anyone who blogs about a show and they will tell you that the single-best way to ruin a show for someone is to write about it. Even really good shows like “Lost” get exhausting after a while (biggest, mythology, ever), but “24,” frankly, has been spinning its wheels for years now, and I know that my frustration with the show reflected in my writing. I really did try to make this as entertaining as possible, but that can be difficult when all you want to do is say “Fuck this show,” and hit Publish.

Now that I know it’s over (ooh, another potential blog title), though, I plan to have as much fun watching this show as possible, even if Starbuck is the sorriest excuse for a mole in TV history. And fingers crossed that I get another interview with Annie “Crazy Jackie” Wersching before they call it a day.

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Insert your own gun joke here.


Read the rest after the jump...

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24 8.13: And if you don’t look now, then you’re gonna get Starbucked

Well, how about that: I get to use this title after all.

Some of you may recall that I wanted to use this title for an episode, any episode, and after Buffy iced Kevin and his psycho dirtbag friend in Hour 9, I figured that was my last chance, and Starbuck would go back to being the sniveling sissypants we’ve grown to loathe.

Fool.

I have to say, I did not see this coming. Of course, I feel like I should have, since her story line was beginning to run out of juice, but I never suspected that our small-time juvee felon would go so far over to the dark side. Let’s flash back to the moment where she’s tailed Kevin and dirtbag back to the lake. We thought she was unsure about what she wanted to do next. In retrospect, dirtbag is probably lucky that Buffy pulled the trigger.

What would be a neat touch is if we now caught a “Usual Suspects”-style glimpse of all of the strings she was pulling up to the moment where she strangled Jimmy James to death and stuffed him behind the paneling in Holding Room #2. (The stink will give her away eventually, yes?) Maybe there is security preventing people from entering the CTU tunnel, and Starbuck was the one that cleared Princess Jasmine’s entrance. Heck, maybe she remotely activated the EMP’s timer once the car came into range, since we’re still not sure of the weight-sensitive detonation theory espoused in last week’s comment section. Maybe she taught the snipers at the river how to jam the cell phone frequencies. But we’ll never see any of that, because of the show’s real-time format. Pity. We might learn all of those things – or none of them – but it won’t have that same punch as the ‘Verbal straightens out his foot’ shot. Damn it. (*takes drink, per “24” drinking game rules*)

I was about to say that CTU’s facial recognition software was going to play a part in identifying Starbuck as a terrorist sympathizer (if you can call them sympathetic), but something just hit me: ten bucks says she’s in that file of anti-IRK rebels that President Slumdog was supposed to hand over in the previous hour. We were led to believe CTU scanned through them all on the big screen, but perhaps not. We may not get our “Usual Suspects” moment, but there’s a good chance we’ll get our “No Way Out” moment, and soon. One thing’s for sure, and it is in stark contrast to my prediction of a noble death for poor Jenny: her story ends with Buffy pulling the trigger…but does she take out one of Bullz-Eye’s TV girlfriends (Chloe or Crazy Jackie) before she takes her last breath? You know my thoughts on Jackie’s life expectancy, so she’s the odds-on favorite. But there are times when I hate being right, and this is one of them.

24-Ep812_Sc1221_0202

“I’m sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear. When I said, ‘I’m really busy right now,’ I meant, ‘Bitch, I will cut you.'”

Lastly, I think we all owe Katee Sackhoff a formal apology for questioning her decision to take the role of Dana Walsh. She clearly knew something that we didn’t, and we should have given her the benefit of the doubt for making this her next role after “BSG.” In our defense, Ms. Sackhoff, you didn’t make it easy for us at first. Still, we said some things, and for that, we’re sorry.

Chloe, meanwhile, grows a pair so big she’ll need a wheelbarrow to carry them in, pulling a gun on an NSA engineer and telling him to step tha fuck off as she throws a Hail Mary in order to get coms up and save Jack. (Of course, Starbuck thought Chloe’s idea was a bad one, because she needed those servers down for as long as possible.) Bubba is now forever in her debt – her reply of “I’m not good with praise” would have produced a spit take, had I been drinking anything when she said it – which makes me wonder if Chloe is next in line to run CTU. She may still have that personality disorder, as Big Balls Bill Buchanan (RIP) once said, but she also has a good sense of right and wrong, and she knows that Jack is impervious to bullets…

…unless Fox cancels the show, a story that has been making the rounds lately due to the show’s increased budget and decreased ratings. Another rumor has the show relocating to NBC, and while they could use a show like “24,” I just don’t see a fit there. Maybe it’s a grudge fuck for Fox supposedly in talks to land Conan O’Brien. Either way, “24” will forever be a Fox show to me.

Speaking of Jack’s imperviousness, he and Buffy were in a shootout at the East River with a couple of red shirts that pulled a trick from Scott Smith’s book “The Ruins.” A character is on death’s door, but the vines leave him there to suffer, in order to force his girlfriend put him out of his misery. (Forget the movie – the book’s awesome. Brutal, but awesome.) Here, when one of the characters pulls what I call a Hudson (“Aliens” fans just nodded knowingly) and lies in the open, the snipers pull the brutally effective stunt of shooting Hudson repeatedly in order to flush their enemies out in an emotional rage. Both were exercises in mental torture, and both worked. Good thing that Jack and Buffy had a silent partner, one they didn’t even know about: Crazy Jackie, who comes out guns a-blazing in both the literal and euphemistic sense. Man, how did I not notice how, um, talented Jackie was last season? Damn things are just screaming at me now. And knowing that she will surely die before season’s end, I’m reminded of Cary Elwes’ great line in “The Princess Bride”: “‘Tis a shortage of perfect breasts in this world. It’d be a pity to damage yours.”

Can’t think of a better ‘out’ line than that. See you next week! Once again, I give you the song “Starbucked” by the UK band Bond. You want to know how forgotten this band is? Not even the last.fm page that’s hosting this track has the album title right. It’s Bang Out of Order, not Band Out of Order. And there are over 90 copies available for a mere penny on Amazon. Click here to buy!

Bond – Starbucked

  

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24 8.12: When the lights go out

CTU, apparently, is stationed on Arlington Road.

“24” pulls out an oldie but a goodie this week, as the IRK bad guys – who are remarkably well funded and well connected, even on foreign soil – set up Princess Jasmine to “escape” to CTU…and bring a massive EMP with her. Boom boom pow. Dark is the night for all. Can’t find my way home, etc.

Now, let’s put aside the probability, and even the predictability, of it all for just a second. The cutting back and forth between Jack trying to reach Chloe and the utter chaos at CTU was the most action-packed moment of the season. I mean, they are seriously fucked right now. The radiation sensors are down, and they have no way of getting in touch with, well, anyone. It’s a hell of an ending to the first half of the season.

But is anyone else just a little tired of seeing how easily compromised our nation’s counter-terrorist unit is? First bombs, then nerve gas, and now an EMP. (The previous EMP was set off at McLennan and Forster’s office, thus causing Go-Betweens fans around the world to giggle to themselves.) Honestly, CTU deserves to fail if they can’t come up with fail-safe measures to prevent this sort of thing from happening. Is there really unsecured access to directly below the building? You may as well leave a trail of gasoline, and supply the bad guys with a match.

Likewise, you have to just smile to yourself at the precision timing of Jasmine’s arrival in relation to the gigantic ticking clock in the back seat, that she wasn’t delayed by traffic (hey, even at four in the morning, it can happen in New York), or one of those mad squeegee guys, or simply got lost. That whole watch-your-daughter-die thing couldn’t have been cheap or easy to set up, especially when it is nothing but a smoke screen. Deep breath, Med, deep breath. It’s a TV show. It’s a TV show that asks us to believe that everything happens at the top of the hour. Let it go.

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“I used to own this town. I was Jimmy James, Macho Business Donkey Wrestler, damn it.”

Same with tracking cell phone signals. They use it only when it suits them. Of course, while I was wondering why they didn’t try tracking Jasmine using her cell as tonight’s stuff was going on, the truth is that Slumdog President doesn’t have that ability, and CTU didn’t know she was missing, so I guess they’re covered on that one.

And then there’s Starbuck, who’s doing a Katherine Heigl happy dance (see “The Ugly Truth” if you want to get that reference, or better yet, don’t) now that an EMP just granted her a stay of execution. My prediction for her is that she performs a couple selfless, game-changing acts…and dies protecting the ones she loves. I think we all know she’s not coming back for another season – assuming there is another season, and there is rampant speculation that this may indeed be “24’s” final hour, at least on the small screen – so why not let her go with grace? She gets the sendoff her past-life BSG character deserves, and Cole receives the comfort of knowing that while Dana had secrets, he wasn’t wrong about what kind of person she was.

Which brings us to Jimmy James, Capitalist Liontamer. Last week I was terrified that he was using the parole officer thing as a ruse to continue the con in the event that Kevin failed, but on the surface, it looks as though that he’s a legit good guy…or possibly the ballsiest con man in the history of the world. He said he had a friend on the force, but all of the evidence that he hit Starbuck with – the phone calls, the storage locker break-in, the mangled cop – could very easily have been provided by Kevin and his wacko friend before they were killed, and Jimmy is just bluffing that Starbuck won’t question the authenticity of whatever that paper he presented her with that demanded access to the security feeds. If he’s a con, then he’s the craziest con ever, because even the good ones stay the hell away from the authorities if they can help it. Doesn’t he know that they have facial recognition software…or at least that they did until Princess Jasmine blew the electronics sky-high? This character might turn out to be my litmus test for “24” going forward. If he turns out to be a con, then I will officially never believe a single thing I see on this show, unless it’s Jack doing it.

Twelve hours down, which means, to use another musical reference, twelve stops and home. (The Feeling. Twelve Stops and Home. All Anglophiles should head to iTunes at once.) New York has not been good to CTU so far, and that’s been while the city was sleeping. It will be very curious to see if the surly commuters are any more accomodating. Considering my brief experience with said people. the answer is a defiant ‘no,’ but who knows, maybe they’ve mellowed out since then. (*Stifles chuckle*)

Tonight’s blog title comes from Naked Eyes’ third Top 40 single – yes, they had more than two hits, and in fact had one more before all was said and done – and even more curiously, this song does not appear on any of the band’s hits compilations. This has always baffled me, as it’s easily one of their best songs, hence the decision to release it as a single. Maybe it was the midgets in the video that embarrass them to this day, who knows. All I know is that I like the song.

  

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