September 27, 2013 |
Stephen Merchant, the tall fellow sometimes found near Ricky Gervais (he co-wrote and co-directed "The Office" and "Extras," and costarred in the latter), has put himself out front in his own HBO series. Created with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (writers for the American "The Office"), it is called "Hello Ladies," and it is funny and disturbing in exactly the manner and proportions one would expect from his earlier works. Merchant plays Stuart, a Web designer living in Los Angeles in circumstances that suggest this Web design is a career worth investigating.
September 20, 2013 |
If you're looking to take your acting work to the next level - or just cruising for a good time - try taking a violent punch to the face and falling down. Thankfully, there are myriad ways you can do this and many other stunts onstage without actually hurting yourself. And after back-to-back 12-hour days at SlapCon, an annual slapstick convention, I may have learned them all. The brainchild of Hollywood entertainer and pancake juggler Scot Nery, SlapCon is in its second year and has more than doubled in size since its inception.
April 16, 2012 |
"The Hunger Games"claimed the No. 1 spot at the box office for the fourth consecutive weekend, becoming the first film since 2009's"Avatar"to remain in the top position for that long. The fantasy epic starring Jennifer Lawrence collected an additional $21.5 million this past weekend, according to an estimate from Lionsgate. In the United States and Canada, the movie has raked in $337.1 million; overseas, it has sold $194-million worth of tickets in 60 foreign countries. Heading into the weekend, a new spin on "The Three Stooges"had the only viable shot at taking down the wildly popular Suzanne Collins adaptation.
January 12, 2012 |
A few days into 2012, ABC's cross-dressing disaster "Work It" managed to claim Worst Comedy of the Year, but surely CBS' "Rob," which debuts Thursday, comes in a close second. Created by comedian Rob Schneider and based, apparently and tragically, on his own life, "Rob" takes a classic "Bridget Loves Bernie" setup — Anglo man marries Mexican American woman after whirlwind romance and now must meet her family — and manages to make it weirdly offensive to just about everyone, especially comedy lovers.
October 21, 2011 |
Like any international spy movie worth its salt, "Johnny English Reborn" boasts helicopter stunts, exotic locations, choreographed fighting and nifty gadgets. But because this is a comedy starring gifted British comic actor Rowan Atkinson, what's more memorable (and hilariously so) is the simplest form of decorum-puncturing mayhem: an adjustable office chair that won't stop adjusting during a meeting with the prime minister. Atkinson's agent acts as if nothing untoward is happening in a sequence that's entirely reminiscent of his forebear Peter Sellers staring at that ever-unrolling toilet paper in "The Party.
September 22, 2011 |
Whitney Cummings, the stand-up comic, is having a big fall season as a creator of two new situation comedies — CBS' "2 Broke Girls" (a female odd-couple series co-created with Michael Patrick King, which premiered Monday) and her own "Whitney," which premieres Thursday on NBC. Both are multi-camera comedies, of the old-school "Seinfeld" sort — a form that, in a field lately dominated by single-camera comedies of the "30 Rock" sort, seems both familiar and new again, as younger voices make it their own. As if to underscore that point, Cummings announces over the opening title, "'Whitney' is taped in front of a live studio audience — you heard me. " Perhaps it's that as the real world falls apart, the sense of even a second-hand community that such shows afford becomes more attractive.