Brigsby Bear Adventures is a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one, James (Kyle Mooney). When the show abruptly ends, James’ life changes forever and he sets out to finish the story himself.
Rake’s (Fox Thursdays, 9/8C) Keegan Deane is charming, intelligent, and a lousy gambler but he tends to get too involved in situations that cannot go well for him: he owes his bookie; his office manager/secretary/general assistant is about quit over back pay, and his latest client has paid him in tuna (well, with a tuna). His best friend has told him he can’t crash on the couch anymore.
Greg Kinnear – who is also charming, intelligent, and (and at least according to him) a lousy gambler, but otherwise not much Deane – talked with a group of journalists/bloggers yesterday about his new Fox series. He was excited about the show and his role as defense attorney Keegan Deane – a type of character he’s never played before.
The Last Song was written as a Miley Cyrus vehicle and then novelized by its co-writer, Nicholas Sparks – he of the cut & paste romantic dramas Nights in Rodanthe and Dear John. Although The Last Song follows the patterns of his previous novels/film adaptations, it is – somewhat surprisingly – better than expected.
While I was out Cruising the Bahamas, Disney announced Miley Cyrus’s next project is now in production. I really like Greg Kinnear so this should be interesting. “THE LAST SONG,” a coming-of-age drama starring multi-talented singer/songwriter/actress Miley Cyrus, Kelly Preston and Greg Kinnear, begins production in Savannah, Ga., this week. The film is based on best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks’ forthcoming novel. Hitting bookstores on September 8, 2009, Sparks’ “The Last Song” is the 15th book published by the novelist whose other books include “The Notebook,” “Message in a Bottle” and “Nights in Rodanthe.” Though several of his books have been adapted to film, “The Last Song” is the first to make it to the big screen within the first year of publication. “THE LAST SONG” is set in a small Southern beach town where an estranged father (KINNEAR) gets a chance to spend the summer with his reluctant teenaged daughter (CYRUS), who’d rather be home in New York. He tries to reconnect with her through the only thing they have in common—music—in a story of family, friendship, secrets and salvation, along with first loves and second chances.
Julie Anne Robinson makes her feature-film directorial debut with “THE LAST SONG.” Robinson has been twice nominated for a BAFTA (Best Single Drama, “Coming Down the Mountain” and Best Drama Serial, “Blackpool”) and received a Golden Globe® nomination (Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, “Blackpool”). Her credits include a variety of television series, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Weeds” and “Big Love.” Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot, the duo behind “17 Again,” “Hairspray” and “Step Up,” produce; Dara Weintraub (“Superbad,” “Pineapple Express,” “17 Again” is co-producer. Jeff Van Wie co-wrote the script with Sparks.
Bertram Pincus [Ricky Gervais] is a solitary man, rude and generally misanthropic, he lives alone and has a job [he’s a dentist] where he can make sure his patients don’t to him. He even has his office literally a few yards from he works so he can avoid as many people as possible – until he goes in for a routine colonoscopy. After the procedure, he finds himself being assailed by the ghosts of people who had unfinished business when they died – the most insistent of whom, Frank Herlihy [Greg Kinnear], believes that his unfinished business is to prevent his widow, Gwen [Tea Leoni], from marrying a “scumbag lawyer.” Problems arise when Pincus manages to weasel his way into her life via the manner in which an important mummified Egyptian died, and he gets the opportunity to meet Gwen’s finance´.
Ghost Town reminded of the superb Truly, Madly, Deeply, though it’s a good deal more superficial. David Koepp and John Kamps’ script works best when director Koepp allows the rhythms of the dialogue to dictate the pacing and when he leads Gervais into some genuinely poignant moments of revelation – regarding himself and how much he’s been missing while he wastes his life. There are moments where the film verges on maudlin, but Koepp manages to walk that line reasonably well throughout.
It’s not a surprise that Gervais made me laugh here. What is a surprise is the deftness with which he handles the poignant moments mentioned above. Both work because he has terrific chemistry with both Kinnear and Leoni. Kinnear plays Frank as a seeming good guy with a surface smarm but takes it to a level where it masks a smarmy guy who projects a superficial good guy over his smarm, but beneath an equally superficial level of smarm [please don’t ask me to say that again…]. Leoni, who has always had terrific comic chops, matched Gervais mood for mood – and she matches his banter equally well.
There’s a scene where Pincus goes off on politically incorrect riff on the Chinese that really isn’t funny, but because Gwen thinks he’s joking, and laughs, it becomes a far more disarming scene than it might have been. Gervais and Leoni work this potentially awkward scene in such a way that we believe because they’ve established their odd rapport from early on. In the end, it’s the chemistry between Gervais and Leoni – and the way they play off each other – that raises Ghost town above the average romantic dramedy – supernatural or otherwise.
Ghost Town is one of those rare romantic type comedies that doesn’t fall prey to the over use of clichés or sappy sweetness.It remains smart, funny and sometimes bitingly sarcastic.
The premise of Ghost Town falls somewhere between the elements of the recent ‘Over My Dead Body’ and the older ‘Heart and Souls’ and this movie manages to capture the comedy aspects that ‘Over My Dead Body’ failed to live up to and yet match the reaffirming warmth found in ‘Heart and Souls’. For this reviewer it made for a funny and winning combination. Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW – Ghost Town→