SURVIVOR SECOND CHANCE & MONKEE MOVIE REMAKE
THE GLORIOUS CORNER
Story By: G. H. HARDING
BLACK’S TRAIN --- We caught a screening of the new Jack Black/James Marsden film, The D Train, on Wednesday and really loved it. Black‘s character, Dan Landsman, tries to land former high school classmate Oliver Lawless, now a Hollywood-actor with a lead road in a major commercial, to go with him to their high-school class reunion. The rub is that they were never really that close, and yet they form a relationship that leads to unexpected results for them both.
Black, whose done this type of role before, is marvelous and Marsden renders a performance that’s off the charts. I first saw him as Cyclops in the first X Men movie, and he was great—but here he delivers a Oscar-worthy performance. Co-stars Kathryn Hahn and Jeffrey Tambor are exceptionally good, too. Tambor portrays Black’s boss, a character who goes through several major revelations himself.
Written and directed by Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel, the film’s a quirky little gem that's full of strong work.
Seen at the event were Mischa Barton , Micky Dolenz (with his wife Donna), host Andrew Saffir, writer/director Paul Haggis, Alan Thicke with wife Tanya; and PR- maverick David Salidor. The after-party took place at the club JIMMY housed at the James Hotel . Their rooftop was pretty spectacular—full moon and all.
|Survivor Second Chance|
SAVAGE SURVIVOR -- Survivor's next season is a contest people who have been on the show once but didn't win. It is called "Second Chances" You must remember Andrew Savage..don't you? He is one of the 15 male contestants. America has to vote from now until May 20 and the nine with the most votes will be on the show.
We want ANDREW SAVAGE to win. Here is the link to vote at.
ANOTHER HEAD DEAD AHEAD?--- Though it seemed at first a hoax statement, it turns out that boy-band of the moment, One Direction, are gearing up to star in a remake of The Monkees’ legendary 1968 film, Head.
One Direction (Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson now down a man from quintet to foursome after Zayn Malik left the group this past March) will star in the film, which will also feature their greatest hits along with covers of tunes from the original Monkees’ soundtrack. The film will be directed by Morgan Spurlock, who previously directed the group’s 2013 3-D documentary, This Is Us.
The original 1968 film was written by Jack Nicholson (though Monkees lore has the group feeding Nicholson various ideas over a weekend writing session, many of which found their way into the final script). The film was directed by Bob Rafelson, Monkees’ TV show co-creator along with the late Bert Schneider. The film starred all four Monkees (Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and the late “Daydream Believer” himself, Davy Jones) as a variation on their collective pop identity in what pop-culture aficionados have come to recognize as a caustically psychedelic deconstruction of their own Beatles-like “pre-Fab” fame.
Morgan Spurlock said: “The Monkees’ Head is one of the most subversive music films ever made. At the height of their fame, the Monkees not only bit the hand that fed them, they tore it off at the shoulder. The lads [One Direction] and I talked about doing a film again because we enjoyed the first one so much but we all agreed we didn’t want to do another documentary or concert movie and so this film came up in our discussions and we decided it would be a perfect fit.”
While it’s an idea worth its weight in gold, I don’t know if One D (or, as Spurlock calls them, “the lads“) will actually be able to pull it off. Personally, I always felt to me that The Monkees, along with show creators Rafelson and Schneider, more often than not had a nod-nod, wink-wink thing going on with their audience. Clearly, the TV show’s audience (initially comprised of as many adults as teenie-bopper kids) were in on the joke and made the show a ratings hit. But it’s important to remember here that Head was, in fact, a humongous box-office failure when it was first released back in 1968. “The film, with its shocking inclusion of black-and-white newsreel footage showing a Vietnamese man being shot in the head during the Tet Offensive and dark Absurdist elements, did not resonate at all with the mainstream audiences of its time,” says Anthony Pomes, front man for the popular NY-based Beatles tribute group, Mostly Moptop and research editor on the Buzztime trivia game book Micky Dolenz’ Rock ‘n Rollin’ Trivia (Square One). “Much of what Head had to say—about rock music, TV, war, sex, drugs, transvestism, and even this media-hatched image called ‘Monkees’—would only start to seep into the pop culture over years of time, as the picture began to be embraced gradually but fervently as a ‘cult film,’ so-called.”
As an actor in the 1968 film and Monkees band member, Peter Tork has even indicated as recently as 2013 that he had a problem with the overall message of the Head film. As quoted in The Hollywood Reporter at the time, Tork explained that he had “a very serious problem with the movie in that it seemed to indicate you can’t get out of the box. That was, I think, the message of the movie, which I think is a poor message.”
Dolenz, himself a director of film and TV and stage over the years both in the US and UK, said to The Guardian back in 2011 that Head was “using the Monkees to deconstruct the studio system . . . [it] was a metaphor for people being fed up.” Though it was a box-office and critical bomb when released, the creation of Head was what led Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper (who appears briefly in Head, by the way) to be able to make and release Easy Rider in 1969—a moment that gave birth to the second Golden Age in American film during the 1970s.
One D, to me, always takes themselves so, so seriously that it’s a bit off-putting. Micky Dolenz always said that the show was about a band . . . that never, ever actually made it. One D, to the regret of many, did make it—or has.
We'll see if this new Head touches off another golden age in cinema. I, for one, remain highly doubtful about the whole thing. Time will tell, however, since One Direction’s Head is provisionally set for a 2016 release.
NETWORK UP FRONTS --- With the network upfronts looming next week (this is where the networks present their choices for the next TV season, as well as announcing what’s not coming back), a flurry of cancellations came in early yesterday: ABC’s Forever, starring Ioan Gruffudd, along with the network’s shows Cristela and Resurrection, were removed from their schedules. It was also announced that the Agents of Shield spin-off will not be moving forward, and that new comedies from both John Stamos and Rob Lowe have been set.
This TV season has been one of the most disappointing ever . . . next week will undoubtedly be hell for those who work in TV land.
CLOSING NOTES – Mel Gibson showed up (with stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, who was there with her beau Sean Penn) at the L.A. premiere for the re-booted Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road. He looked great, too, by the way . . .
Brad Pitt returns with missus-Angelina Jolie (who wrote and directed) November 13 with their joint effort By The Sea …
CBS’ nightly news anchor, Kristine Johnson mispronounced Adam Levine’s name last night … saying, Adam Lavine … how’s that possible …
Am loving the NBC promos for their forthcoming David Duchovny mini-series Aquarius. Can’t wait for this one …
Richard Lewis at L. A.’s Book Soup, signing copies of his new book Reflections from Hell . . . I’d say it’s a good thing that Lewis isn’t in on next week’s upfronts, then.