For months, musical fans have been praising the casting decisions (Hugh Jackman! Anne Hathaway! Oh, fine, Russell Crowe), devouring trailers, and nodding with approval over the awards praise showered upon the film version of “Les Misérables” by the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press.
So there’s no fear that the big-screen adaptation of “Les Mis” will appeal to them, those super-fans who can tell you that Colm Wilkinson was the original Jean Valjean in London and can recite every separate part of ensemble number “One Day More.” They’ll be turning out to the theater in droves to see their beloved story of a French revolution and the people who are affected by it and will hum along to the songs under their breath as they soak in the vocal performances.
But you know who else should give the movie a chance? People who hate musicals.
There is a (fairly large) group of people to whom simply the word “musical” is enough to conjure up shuddering. Singing, like people do on “Glee”? And over-emoting and wearing over-the-top costumes? Count them out. They’ll be watching TV (not “Glee”).
But I know of several people who view going to see a musical as on par with a tooth extraction who, through accident or being forced to go, saw the stage version of “Les Mis.” I, the eager fan, asked them how they liked it, and got positive responses from all of them. “It was… good” was the main reaction, almost all with a surprised tone.
And the reason that “Les Misérables” can win over musical-allergic theatergoers is that it’s not glitzy. It’s not glamorous. There are no kick lines, no spangly outfits, no drawn-out dance numbers. It is the story of various people struggling to survive in nineteenth century France that happens to have some musical numbers attached.
The story is powerful enough that the book by Victor Hugo was a classic long before the musical came along – some may complain that revolutionary student Marius and protagonist Jean Valjean’s adoptive daughter Cosette aren’t especially deep characters, and they’re right. But everyone remembers Jean Valjean himself, the escaped convict, and his moral struggles and the ruthless Inspector Javert who pursues him, certain that no criminal can be a good man and vice versa.
And the music’s just gorgeous – if you simply like music that sounds beautiful, it will win you over, whether or not you’re a musical fan. (It will also get stuck in your head, especially the anthemic “Do You Hear the People Sing?,” so beware.)
Anyone who’s read the novel will know this beforehand, but it’s pretty darn good at subverting the happy ending most people associate with musicals, also. Let’s just say the show has a pretty high body count.
It’s a serious story about people struggling with almost insurmountable problems – things like getting food and finding a job and when it’s right to stand up to your government. One character, Fantine, is forced to become a prostitute because she has no other options. Not exactly musical fun time, is it?
So yes, they sing. But give it a chance beyond that. There are no sequins – I promise.
While you're celebrating your holiday season, your favorite fictional characters on the small screen are usually doing the same, with the weeks before the major winter holidays flooded with episodes in which TV protagonists experience humorous or poignant – or both – events during the special time of year.
Some fade from the mind pretty quickly, but others become classics. Here are a few of the best holiday episodes that have aired on TV, and let us know if you have another favorite.
--"Dear Dad," 1972, "M*A*S*H"
In "Dad," Army doctor Hawkeye Pierce is penning a letter to his father at home during the holiday season and attempts to describe events that are happening at camp, such as a corporal, Radar, trying to send a Jeep home by mailing each piece separately. Hawkeye dresses up as Santa Claus to entertain the children in the area, but when a call comes in, he's forced to go tend to patients while still wearing the outfit.
--"The Strike," 1997, "Seinfeld"
Don't recognize the title? We'll clear it up for you: it's the one with Festivus. (It's called "The Strike" because in another of the episode's plots, Kramer has been on strike from a job he held at a bagel company for 12 years.) In the plotline everyone remembers it for, George remembers that his dad made up a holiday titled Festivus ("A Festivus for the rest of us"). Kramer is so interested by it that he asks George's dad for more information about it, and the group celebrates the new holiday at the end of the episode. To properly carry out Festivus, participants must obtain a metal Festivus pole, carry out events titled the Airing of Grievances (in which people do just that) and Feats of Strength, in which the head of the household must be defeated. Events that have very obvious explanations can also be declared Festivus Miracles.
--"In Excelsis Deo," 1999, "The West Wing"
While "Deo" also has dark moments, including a plot line about the murder of a man who was gay, another storyline which follows White House communications director Toby is more uplifting. Toby is notified that a homeless man who died was wearing a jacket with Toby's card inside it, which Toby had donated to Goodwill. The man was a Korean War veteran, and Toby arranges a full funeral in military style for him to honor his service to the country.
--"The One with the Holiday Armadillo," 2003, "Friends"
While not quite as famous as their Thanksgiving episode, "Friends" also created several holiday-themed episodes, but only one ever related an armadillo to a winter holiday. Ross is disappointed that his son Ben is excited about Christmas and completely uninterested in Ross's holiday of Hannukah. When Ross tries to push the Jewish holiday, Ben is crushed when he thinks Santa's not coming at all, so Ross tries to rent a Santa suit to make him happy again. Only problem? There aren't any Santa suits left at local costume shops, so Ross is forced to improvise and rent an armadillo costume, which he dubs the Holiday Armadillo, Santa's Southern helper who wants to explain Hanukkah to Ben. Things escalate when Chandler, who heard Ross needed help, arrives in a Santa suit and Joey, who also wanted to make Ben's Christmas better, arrives as Superman.
--"Christmas Party," 2005, "The Office"
"The Office" aired a holiday-themed episode in almost all of its seasons, but its first remains one of its best. In "Party," the staff participate in a Secret Santa and buy gifts for their assigned person, only for boss Michael to decide that it would be better if they all did a Yankee swap. Worker Jim is crushed that his thoughtful gift for the fellow staffer he secretly loves, Pam, is going to someone else, and the other workers battle for Michael's outrageously inappropriate gift of an iPod.
--"Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas," 2010, "Community"
"Community," which loves to reference movies and other TV shows, took on classic Rankin/Bass holiday specials (as in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "The Year Without a Santa Claus," etc.) in this episode. One member of the community college study group, Abed, starts seeing the other members as Rankin/Bass-style stop-motion animated characters, and the group visits a Christmas-themed planet in this form.
Merry Festivus to all and to all the Holiday Armadillos a good night.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a big fan of holiday magic.
Many classic stories feature otherworldly behavior and happenings, such as the title character flying through the air with the other reindeer in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" or an angel coming down to Earth to help George Bailey realize he wants to live in "It’s a Wonderful Life." The holiday season, it seems, is as much about blurring the line between our world and others as it is about a pine tree or a menorah.
But in my holiday movie viewing, I’m also a fan of movies where average, everyday people make something kind of special happen for others – and that’s why I love the movie "White Christmas."
Now, I think this movie is a pretty acknowledged classic, but I also come from a family that owns the 1938 movie "Bringing Up Baby" on both VHS and DVD, so I recognize that our film preferences may run a little older than most. In case younger generations aren’t familiar with the 1954 film, "White Christmas" follows Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby, he who you have heard singing the title song on the radio a million times) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye), buddies who served under the same general during World War II. At the end of the war, they begin performing together in nightclubs and get fairly famous. They meet two sisters who also work in entertainment, and the four head up to Vermont to a scenic inn. But – surprise! – the inn is run by Bob and Phil’s old general, who’s not doing too well financially and is feeling a bit left behind by life.
Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the movie…
Kindhearted Bob and Phil hatch a plan to get as much of their regiment up to the inn as possible on Christmas Eve to show the general he’s not forgotten. They manage to keep him in the dark, and – well, try not to get a tear in your eye when the general rounds the corner and encounters a room full of men who used to be under his command and have traveled miles to see him and show him how much he meant to them. His struggle not to cry is enough to get me and most of my female relatives blubbering.
It’s a 1950s musical and there’s a lot of songs – including the lilting lullaby "Count Your Blessings (Instead Of Sheep)" – which I find charming and fun, but then, I’m a musical fan. If you’re not as much into the song-and-dance, go get a snack or something while Danny’s tap-dancing, because the end is worth it.
I’m all for Christmas miracles and ghosts coming back to show misers how much they’re missing in life and nutcrackers turning into fairy princes. But sometimes human-made magic is the best kind of all.
It's bound to happen in Hollywood: Anything that we love as a culture is destined to end up on the movie screen sooner or later.
"Grimm's Fairy Tales" are no exception. Written by brothers Jacob and Wilhelm, many stories by the brothers were first published in a collection in 1812, and since then, the tales have become an inextricable part of our culture. While some adaptations of the stories have fallen flat (2011's "Red Riding Hood," starring Amanda Seyfried, comes to mind), others have taken on a life of their own as films, and some of the best were adapted by Disney into animated features. Here are a few of the studio's best efforts.
--"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937
Disney's first-ever animated movie is still hailed as a technical masterpiece today because of the sophisticated methods used to produce the story of the fairest one of all. While the emphasis on Snow White's beauty may be a bit much today, the movie is still beautiful to look at, and the dwarves are always fun, especially the surly Grumpy who's finally thawed by Snow White's friendship.
This adaptation, also by Disney, follows the little cinder girl who works for her stepmother and two stepsisters but finally gets to go to the ball when her fairy grandmother grants her wishes. The film also has some gorgeous music like the song "So This Is Love."
"Tangled" strays a little far afield from its traditional tale of "Rapunzel," but the twists all work. Rapunzel is kept captive in a tower by a witch as usual, but this time, a thief on the run named Flynn Rider strays into her tower when he's trying to escape some palace guards. Flynn helps Rapunzel get out of the tower and the mismatched pair encounter danger on the road and learn the truth of Rapunzel's parentage.
RECOMMENDED: 5 fairy tale movies coming to the multiplex
December is typically the time of the year that builds to a strong end - and in 2012, the latter part of the month will hit moviegoers with a wide array of films. While the obvious choice for most anticipated of the month goes to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, there are still several new films worth checking out before we turn the calendar to 2013 - including the highly-anticipated next features from two critically acclaimed directors.
And, of course, there are a few hit or miss titles, many of them comedies, that could make a sizeable splash thanks to this very family-friendly movie going season.
Here are the 7 films we are looking forward to in the month of December.
'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'
It's been a long time coming for the feature-film adaptation of The Hobbit, but it's finally in capable hands and set to debut in just a few short weeks. By no means do we intend to discredit Guillermo Del Toro's work on the project, or his selection as the film's first director, but we really can't imagine anyone but Peter Jackson directing The Hobbit.
And now that we know An Unexpected Journey is just one in a planned three-part film series there's the sense that Jackson is ready to deliver yet another epic tale. It could be argued that The Hobbit, unlike Lord of the Rings, could be succinctly summed up in one, maybe two films, but that's just not Jackson's style. Hopefully this second trip to Middle-earth is just as enchanting as the first.
'Monsters Inc.' (3D)
Like Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. is getting the Disney/Pixar 3D treatment in the hopes of reintroducing the feature to a whole new generation of children. And like Nemo (which has a sequel, Finding Nemo 2 on the way), Monsters will reacquaint audiences with characters they will be seeing again, in next summer's prequel film, Monsters University.
Disney and Pixar 3D re-releases thus far have enjoyed moderate success dependant on moviegoers' fondness for the property, so we will see how well Monsters Inc. matches up with the likes of Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King. Either way, we're intrigued by the prospect of seeing Sully's luscious purple and blue locks in 3D.
'The Guilt Trip'
A road trip comedy starring Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand has the potential to be a laugh riot or an absolute flop. And the presence of director Anne Fletcher -- who is mostly known for romantic comedies - and writer Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love) further tosses The Guilt Trip into uncertain territory.
Nevertheless, the movie, which sees Rogen's character, a desperate inventor, on a cross-country road trip with his mother (Streisand), still has us intrigued. It has the makings of an absolute disaster, sure, but we’re hoping to be surprised.
'This is 40'
Judd Apatow's 2007 film Knocked Up featured a "B-plot" that focused on a married couple, played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, whose line of communication had become rather complicated. Apatow's follow-up, This is 40, picks up with Rudd and Mann's characters 5 years down the road, as they continue to bicker their way through married life.
Apatow's films - from The 40-Year-Old Virgin to Funny People - have drawn from Apatow's own life experiences, but This is 40 appears to be the most personal of his features thus far. But rest assured there will be plenty of R-rated humor to even out the earnest story beats.
When it was first announced that Tom Cruise would be playing the title character in Jack Reacher - an adaptation of author Lee Child's "One Shot" - many scoffed at the idea. Jack Reacher, the star of many of Child's novels, is written as a 6'5'', 250-pound man that is equal parts brute strength and tactical fighter - an image that doesn't exactly scream "Tom Cruise."
While Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol proved Cruise still has the chops to pull off a demanding action role, even at the ripe age of 50, it's still unclear how his onscreen persona will compare with fans' vision of Reacher. Nevertheless, when he headlines an action film, moviegoers tend to take notice.
Though the term auteur was tossed around more often in the early days of filmmaking than it is now, there are still a few that live up to the term, with one of best examples being Quentin Tarantino. His latest film, Django Unchained, is positioned as an ode to the spaghetti westerns of the '60s, featuring Jamie Foxx as the title character.
Foxx, however, is only the tip of the iceberg in a cast that also includes Christoph Waltz (who won an Oscar last time he starred in a Tarantino film) and Leonardo DiCaprio (who was originally rumored to play the role that went to Waltz). A Tarantino film is a rare commodity, and they typically are meticulously crafted with pop-culture references, musical cues, and intense dialogue-driven scenes, so here's hoping that if it is indeed one of the last films he directs before retiring, that Django Unchained ranks up there with the best.
2011 Oscar-winner for Best Director, Tom Hooper (The King's Speech), is following up his critically-acclaimed biopic with Les Misérables, an adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical. Set in the aftermath of the French revolution, Les Misérables follows the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), but is also a sweeping epic about the characters Valjean encounters in his search for a new life.
The presence of Hooper alone would be enough to get the critics buzzing, but it is Anne Hathaway and her incredible singing voice that has people eagerly anticipating the film as well. Musicals of this caliber have fared quite well during the awards season, so we will see if Les Miz can keep the trend going.
Anthony Taormina blogs at Screen Rant.
Nirvana’s remaining members are set to reunite for a concert scheduled for tonight that will benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy and will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York. The surviving members of the band, current Foo Fighters singer and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and somewhat honorary member guitarist Pat Smear, who toured with the band in the six months before lead singer Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, will all take the stage.
According to the Guardian, the group will be playing a new song with McCartney, not a Nirvana classic. The Guardian reported that McCartney was the one to suggest doing something new.
“I didn’t really know who they were,” McCartney said, according to the Sun. “They are saying how good it is to be back together. I said ‘Whoa? You guys haven’t played together for all that time?’ And somebody whispered to me ‘That’s Nirvana. You’re Kurt.’ I couldn’t believe it.”
Grohl invited McCartney to participate, according to the Guardian.
Representatives for McCartney and for the 12.12.12 concert have not commented, with a representative for McCartney telling SPIN that they could "neither confirm nor deny" the rumor. The concert will also feature The Rolling Stones, Jon Bon Jovi, Kanye West, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Eric Clapton.
You’ll hear some people claim that we’ve seen the origin of Superman before, but the truth is, it’s only been in recent years that the iconic character’s origins have been re-examined on the comic book page, let alone on film. As such, there’s plenty of room for Zack Snyder’s reboot film, Man of Steel, to offer the world a modern and complex look at Superman like they’ve never seen before.
Judging from this Man of Steel trailer, what we’ll be getting is a mix of deep character exploration and the sort of big-budget blockbuster visuals you’d expect from a summer tentpole crafted by Snyder (300, Watchmen).
The story and script for the film come our way courtesy of Dark Knight Trilogy scribes Chris Nolan and David S. Goyer, who are seemingly drawing from some recent (and seminal) Superman comic book storylines like Mark Waid’s “Superman: Birthright” and Geoff Johns’ “Superman: Secret Origin” – both of which re-examined the Man of Steel’s formative years – and decision to become a worldly protector – within the context of the modern era.
Man of Steel will similarly delve into the period of time in which “Superman” wasn’t yet a persona adopted by Clark Kent/Kal-El (Henry Cavill), as the young man was still lost between his identity as a superpowered extraterrestrial and the all-too “human” son of Smallville, Kansas residents Ma and Pa Kent (Dian Lane and Kevin Costner). The arrival of Zod (Michael Shannon), a militant figure from Superman’s home planet, presumably pushes Clark/Kal-El to a decision about which planet his loyalties (and considerable powers) lie with.
After the disappointment of Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, a lot of moviegoers are still waiting on a film that can truly reconnect Superman with a wider cinematic audience; the question is: will Man of Steel be that movie?
What is seen here is certainly convincing that it can be.
Kofi Outlaw blogs at Screen Rant.
Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith is putting together a Beetlejuice 2 script, to tempt back Beetlejuice star Michael Keaton and director Tim Burton. Both of those gentlemen have expressed interest in resurrecting ‘The Ghost with the Most,’ as has costar Winona Ryder.
However, if Disney gets its way, Burton’s next film could be a different sequel – namely, a followup to Alice in Wonderland. That Oscar-winning hit was written by Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Mulan) and features a cast that includes Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, among others.
Woolverton’s Alice screenplay draws from Lewis Carroll’s classic novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and its followup “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.” However, it abandons the episodic madness of Caroll’s source material for a hero’s journey narrative where nineteen-year old Alice (Wasikowska) flees a prospective marriage in the real world – only to discover that Wonderland has been awaiting her return, to lead a revolution against the tyrannical Red Queen (Carter). In other words, it’s Alice in Wonderland meets Chronicles of Narnia.
Variety is reporting that Disney has Woolverton penning a sequel, which is also in the process of becoming a stage musical. There’s no mention of Burton’s possible involvement (yet), but he will be made an offer. The same goes for Depp, who is starring in the House of Mouse’s Lone Ranger next year – and (probably) is going to make Pirates of the Caribbean 5 sometime in the foreseeable future.
Longtime Screen Rant readers are aware that several members of our staff were disappointed with Alice, for reasons that run deeper than the distracting post-converted 3D and its recycling of Burton/Depp tropes; such as, how it trades in the discernible characters and satire of Carroll’s novels for an ambitious (but, sadly, non-compelling) fantasy allegory where many dark Underland inhabitants and CGI backgrounds blurr together.
However, such complaints didn’t prevent Alice from grossing $1 billion worldwide in theaters and snagging Academy Awards for its Art Direction and Costume Design (which is quite macabre and gorgeous). Moreover, it propelled production designer Robert Stromberg on to direct Disney’s Maleficent – which is to Sleeping Beauty what Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz, based on a script created by Woolverton; not to mention, the success of Alice seemingly influenced the approach on director Sam Raimi’s Oz prequel Oz The Great and Powerful (as illustrated by the trailer).
Burton’s film didn’t exactly leave the door open for an Alice sequel, as it brought its heroine’s arc to a satisfying conclusion; in addition, what ‘heart’ it has arises from the suggestion that Alice must leave Underland (re: her childhood) behind her and make her own way in life. A followup kind of seems to defeat the purpose of that, just on principle. Similarly, the universe doesn’t seem ripe for further exploration – unlike, say, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, which is also getting a sequel. Nonetheless, an Alice followup is happening, so expect to learn more over the forthcoming year.
Meanwhile, Burton’s currently got his eye on two scripts from screenwriter Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, The Woman in Black): the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children adaptation and Pinocchio, a project co-written by Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller (with Robert Downey Jr. starring as Geppetto).
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
Ghostbusters 3 is inching closer and closer to becoming more than a subject that people refuse to stop asking Dan Aykroyd about (and he keeps on championing). Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder, Men in Black III) penned the latest script draft this past summer. Meanwhile, Sony is taking steps that could allow production to begin next year; though, Fall 2013 seems more likely, rather than a Summer start date (as we previously reported).
Aykroyd says that Bill Murray has lost his rights to the property, which accounts for why the other Ghostbusters franchise gatekeepers (see what I did there?) are at last gearing up to move ahead without him. Indeed, Aykroyd is now confirming that the stage could soon be set for future installments after GB3… assuming the latter finally happens, that is.
Here is what Aykroyd told Esquire, on the rights issue:
Well, I have one-fifth of the voice, along with the partners and the other owner of the property, the picture company, and Ivan [Reitman], Billy [Murray], and myself, and Harold [Ramis]. We all have to sign off on it unanimously — uh, I’m not sure Billy does anymore, since he abrogated his rights by sort of, by saying, two years ago he said, “I don’t want to be involved,” and the picture company I think had some clause in there that if he actually passed on the third of fourth offer, he no longer has a view of the franchise. So, that’s for the lawyers to decide. Of course, I’d love to have Billy call me tomorrow and say, “Let’s go to work and start writing.”
There have been a handful of different setups and premises for Ghostbusters 3 over the years, including the ‘Ghostbusters in Hell’ concept that Aykroyd refers to as “Man-hell-ttan” – which might have resembled the plot for Ghostbusters: The Video Game, given what we’ve heard – and a passing-the-torch storyline that Cohen has carried over from the previous draft written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (Year One, Bad Teacher). Not surprisingly, Aykroyd has confirmed the most recent script for GB3 sets the stage for a fourth installment.
To quote Aykroyd directly:
Oh, yes, the one that Etan has written now — with Ivan strongly collaborating with him, and with me doing revisions as needed, and studio input — totally leads to a next one. It feeds into it very organically.
However, it now appears that there is, in fact, a limit to Aykroyd’s patience, when it comes to making a third Ghostbusters movie. He isn’t budging from the claim that Sony has a surefire box office success on its hands – and, to be fair, we can’t argue too much with that assertion – but the actor/writer/vodka connoisseur is now putting an expiration date on his commitment.
Here is what Aykroyd said:
… We can’t wait forever. And now’s the time to tell the picture company, and I’d say this quite publically, it’s time now to sit down and make this movie, or you will lose your main principals, and you won’t be able to make it without us, because we have rights, and now is time to make the movie… You don’t take advantage of that in the next three or four months, I’ll see you in Australia, where we’ll be selling Crystal Head.
Is this a genuine sign that Aykroyd is ready to either go big or go home, when it comes to Ghostbusters 3? He could easily have some under-wraps information on the project’s status, given his intimate involvement; then again, we might end up hearing the same thing from Aykroyd a year from now, so don’t start holding your breath just yet.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
'Anchorman' love interest: Which comedy actress may appear in the sequel as Steve Carell's girlfriend?
If you are a fan of Will Ferrell’s absurd, often-improvised, comedy approach, then chances are good you quote Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy whenever the opportunity presents itself (clearly, such people are trapped in a glass case of emotion). Fortunately, fans of Burgundy and his San Diego news team will have new material soon, as Anchorman: The Legend Continues (a.k.a. Anchorman 2) is arriving sometime in the foreseeable future.
Details on the sequel have been drip-dropping these past eight months, since Will Ferrell appeared in character as Ron Burgundy – where he showed off his mad jazz flute skills for Conan O’Brien – and confirmed that, yes, Paramount has green-lit the comedy sequel. That trend continues today, with an update about a possible new casting addition and the film’s expected release date.
The Wrap is reporting that Kristen Wiig has begun talks to sign on for Anchorman 2, with plans for her to play a new love interest to lamp-loving weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Furthermore, the site indicates the film is lined up to reach theaters around October 2013 – as production is on track to begin early next year, once Ferrell and his co-writer/director Adam McKay finish revising the script (which catches up with the Anchorman crew at the birth of the 24-hours news cycle).
Wiig is the Oscar-nominated co-writer/star of the raunch-com smash Bridemaids, a beloved veteran of Saturday Night Live and boasts multiple scene-stealing turns on her resume (in Knocked Up, Whip It, Friends with Kids, etc.). However, there is reason to wonder: will her Anchorman 2 character amount to ‘female Brick’ – see: Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) is ‘female Sheldon’ on The Big Bang Theory - or the opposite of Carell and his clueless cohorts, similar to Penny (Kaley Cuoco) on TBBT or pre-breakdown Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin) on The Office? Either option has its pros and cons; though, maybe Wiig will split the difference and play the Holly Flax (Amy Ryan) to Carell’s other famous dim-witted persona.
On that note: Anchorman 2 continues to look and sound like a prototypical comedy hit followup – where everything from the first film is carried over and made bigger, broader, and crazier (here, the list includes more celebrity cameos and full-blown musical numbers). That means there’s a risk that everything from the irreverent jokes to the satirical jabs at the period time setting could be strained and feel too eager-to-please, this second time around.
Nonetheless, we remain hopeful that the sequel will recapture the inspired mad fun of the original – regardless of whether or not it also includes witches.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.