A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Universal decided not to finance and distribute the film adaptation of the board game "Clue" - which has been part of a seven movie deal they made with Hasbro in 2008. Well, here we go again! Universal has now decided to drop the "Ouija" movie, which already had a release date of November 9th, 2012 (when it would have gone up against going up against "Bond 23"). Hard to believe they could have completed an action/adventure film that quickly anyway.
According to Collider.com, "Universal has paid a $5 million penalty to Hasbro to back out of the development deal". Michael Bay (the producer) and director McG ("Terminator Salvation") will pitch the film to other studios next week. Some (including yours truly) think that because of the success of the "G.I. Joe" and "Transformers" movies, Paramount might be the one to pick it up.
Universal is probably thinking right about now "Why did we do this deal?" We I was on the Universal lot a few years ago a guide talked about the upcoming Hasbro films (including "Stretch Armstrong" and "Candy Land"). And there was a statue of King Kandy in front of the studio offices.
"Battleship" - which is opening May 18th - will determine if this deal will actually work out. If the Liam Neeson war/action film stinks (and sinks), don't be surprised if some of the other board game projects are cancelled.
This is the beginning of a new feature to the website where I recommend films that are now playing on HBO - the movie network chain with original TV programming. Here are some films playing on the variety of the HBO channels over the next few weeks that you may want to check out:
"Despicable Me" (PG) A delightful animated film with fun characters and a talented voice cast.
"Shrek Forever After" (PG) The fourth in the "Shrek" series is the best since the original.
"Knight and Day" (PG-13) Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in this exciting action comedy.
"Yogi Bear" (PG) Laugh-out-loud-funny live-action/animated adaptation of the 60's cartoon. Premieres Aug. 22
"Unstoppable" (PG-13) Great action scenes, a realistic look and starring Denzel Washington.
"Just Wright" (PG) Queen Latifah stars in this original rom-com with a little basketball setting.
"Monsters University" is the prequel to Disney/Pixar's 2001 Oscar-nominated hit "Monsters Inc." The film is about how Mike Wazowski and Sulley met in college and plan to work at Monsters, Inc. "MU" doesn't open until June 21, 2013, but according to star Billy Crystal (who voices the one-eyed, green, likeable monster Mike), he's already done four voice sessions with co-star John Goodman (Sulley).
In an article in the LA Times, the 63-year-old Crystal says "It's a really great script, it's really funny." He later goes on to say "The Pixar people are geniuses." He also said "This movie ends when the other one starts."
Here's my problem with that, I'm not a prequel guy because you know already what happens to the characters in the "original". But hopefully the script is as well-written and that the film is as funny as Crystal believes. The only main plot detail he gives is that "It's college pranks with monsters. And I wear a retainer. Mike wears a retainer."
You can also see Billy in "The Muppets" (probably a cameo) - his first role since his uncredited cameo in last year's "Tooth Fairy", which was his first role since voicing "Mike Car" in "Cars" (another cameo). Crystal's last major movie role was 2002's sequel, "Analyze That".
Crystal is also "itchy" to do something familiar again: host the Oscars for a ninth time. After his appearance at this year's awards, that is a possiblity. EW.com recently wrote that Crystal is available for the gig and..."They know where I am." Don't be surprised if "The Oscar Host Goes To...Billy Crystal" in February.
Eddie Murphy has had a successful career thanks partially to his voice work. Murphy is the voice of Mushu in Disney's Mulan, Thurgoode Orenthal Stubbs on the animated TV Series "The PJ's", and most notably as the voice of Donkey in all four "Shrek" movies. Soon you can add "Hong Kong Phooey" to the resume. Murphy will voice the title character in the live-action/animation version of the short-lived 1974 Hanna Barbera cartoon.
Phooey (a.ka. Penry) is a dog, who's also a police station janitor who gets the power to do kung fu. When he's needed, he puts on a costume and becomes a crime-fighting superhero. That sounds like a mix of "Kung Fu Panda" and "Underdog". Murphy is a good choice to take over the role originated by Scatman Crothers in the Saturday Morning cartoon.
"Hong Kong Phooey" is being distributed by Warner Brothers, the same studio that made "Yogi Bear" - another Hanna Barbera adaptation that made over $200M worldwide. No word yet on a release date.
A trailer for Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man" came-out about a month ago and the film doesn't open until July 3rd, 2012. But now Sony has announced the release date for "The Amazing Spider-Man #2". The sequel will kick off the 2014 summer movie season on May 2nd.
This is ridiculous! The studio doesn't even know if the first one is going to be a hit (and won't for almost a year). And another thing: If a script is written and there are leaks about #2 before next July it could spoil the suspense for the first film if we start to learn which characters survive and return for the sequel.
There'll already be enough hype for #2 if next summer's reboot turns out ot be "amazing". There's no reason for Sony to jump the gun. And it could lead to some embarrassment if the first tuns out to be less than the blockbuster they're expecting (think Spidey on Broadway).
Here's a "clue" about which studio will be developing the new "Clue" movie based on the classic board game: it's no longer Universal. The project is one of the seven movies that was in a deal Hasbro made with Universal back in 2008. But Universal has decided that they will no longer distribute the film directed by Gore Verbinski (the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies and "Rango").
But it looks like this second version of "Clue" will still come to the big screen (the first was in 1985). Hasbro has decided to produce the film itself along with Verbinski's company Blind Wink (which also produced "Rango"). Hasbro has been attached to the three "Transformers" movies, and 2009's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". However, starting next year Hasbro could become a HUGE force with "Battleship", "G.I. Joe: Retaliation", and "Ouija". "Stretch Armstrong" is also in the works for a 2012 release, and "Candyland" is set to open sometime in 2013. All of those except for "G.I. Joe 2" will be distributed by Universal (the "G.I. Joe" and "Transformers" movies are Paramount releases).
According to Cinema Blend, more of Hasbro's games will also be turned into movies over the next few years, including a Ridley Scott produced "Monopoly" movie in 2014, an adaptation of "Risk" for Sony due out in 2013, and "Magic: the Gathering". A "Micronauts" movie is also a possibility for next year. Some people thought J.J. Abrams would be involved but now he's directing "Star Trek 2", so I don't think that's going to work.
I'm not sure if Hasbro will end-up being able to produce "Clue" without a major studio behind it. Maybe Paramount should get involved since they've had much success with Hasbro already.
Blue Sky Studios (the animation company behind the "Ice Age" trilogy and most recently this year's "Rio") has announced a release date for their newest project. "Leafmen" will come to theaters on May 17th, 2013. This will mark the first time the studio has released a new movie three years in a row ("Ice Age: Continental Drift" opens July 13th, 2012). The animated adventure will be directed by Chris Wedge (the voice of Scrat and director of the original "Ice Age" and "Robots".
According to The Hollywood Reporter the film is based on the 1996 William Joyce book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, and is about "a colony of doodle bugs who summon the mythical Leaf Men to help them vanquish the evil Spider Queen and save an old woman's garden."
In 2009, it was reported that both Wedge and the project would go to Pixar, but Fox ended-up securing the rights.
Speaking of Pixar, back in 1998 both "A Bug's Life" and DreamWorks' "Antz" came-out less than two months apart. Now, the same "Insect Battle" will take place in the summer of 2013. Three weeks after "Leafmen" opens, DreamWorks' bug-themed "Turbo" will be released.
And don't forget Pixar's "Monsters University" - the prequel to "Monsters, Inc." - will come to theaters two weeks after that.
UPDATE: DreamWorks moves "Turbo" to July 19th, 2013.
This weekend, three new movies open in theaters that are geared toward three different groups of people. There's "Cowboys & Aliens" for the comic book sci-fi action fans; "Crazy Stupid Love" - a comedy for adults; and "The Smurfs" for the whole family. But which will bring in the most dough at the box office? Since 2005, all three of these genres have won the box office for this final weekend in July. and have also lost:
2005 - "Wedding Crashers" finally beats "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" in their third weekend. Disney's "Sky High" opens in third place.
2006 - "Miami Vice" wins against "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" and "The Ant Bully" - which was a bomb.
2007 - "The Simpsons Movie" is king with $74M, crushing "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" and "No Reservations."
2008 - "The Dark Knight" is #1 for a second week, beating the Will Ferrell adult comedy "Step Brothers".
2009 - The Disney action/comedy "G-Force" ($31.7) barely beats "Harry Potter 6" and the Katherine Heigl comedy "The Ugly Truth".
2010 - "Inception" and "Salt" finish 1-2 for the weekend, while "Ramona and Beezus" opens in 6th with only $7.8M.
If you're keeping score that's 2 for comedies, 3 for action films and 1 for the family. So who wins this weekend?
My money's on "Cowboys & Aliens" with around $45M. "Captain America" will come in second with $34M. "The Smurfs" will open with a strong $28M in third, and "Crazy Stupid Love" will come in fourth with $21M. "Harry Potter" will finish in 5th with disappointing $20M.
UPDATE: "The Smurfs" wins Friday with $13.3M. "C&A" comes in second with $12.9M. It'd be a major win for Sony if "The Smurfs" beats "C&A" for the weekend.
Seeing a preview screening of a movie before it's release date is one of the advantages to being a movie critic. But there can also be some disadvantages, as I experienced with the screening of "Captain America".
At the end of the film practically everyone in the theater stayed for what they thought was going to be some kind of "easter egg" involving "The Avengers". But...nothing. The general feeling was that the scene toward the end of the film involving Samual L. Jackson's character (I don't want to give anything away in case you haven't seen the movie yet) must have been enough for the studio. Over 200 of us moaned, booed and complained on our way out of the theater.
But it turned-out that we, and everyone else who attended early screenings of the film, were ripped-off because those who saw "Captain America" starting on Friday did get to experience a minute-long teaser for "The Avengers" when the credits were over. My guess is that Paramount didn't want anyone to start talking about "The Avengers" until "CA" actually opened nationwide.
I didn't write about the lack of an "easter egg" incident in my review of the film, but two other critics at the screening with did, and then regretted it when word got out that there actually was an "Avengers" preview, just that they didn't get to see it. I think we all learned a lesson and I'm sure other studios will probably start doing the same thing, which is really unfair to critics and fans who are lucky enough to get to attend previews.
The trailer should be on-line tomorrow (Monday). In the meantime there are bootleg copies, photos and a different teaser just featuring Samuel L. Jackson's voice online.
The Reelz Channel is a 24-hour TV network devoted to movies, with original programming featuring top movie critics and tv personalities such as Leonard Maltin, Richard Roeper and Sam Rubin. I've been watching the network since it first appeared on DirecTV in November, 2006. Recently, while I was in NYC covering the "Harry Potter 7.2" red carpet, I met two people who appear on the Reelz Channel: Jeremy Parsons - a reporter for the network's main news show "Hollywood Dailies", and Ashley Williams - co-host of "Mark at the Movies".
And that's led to this: I will finally be on the Reelz Channel myself, this weekend, when I make an appearance on "Mark at the Movies" (which airs Saturday morning @9:00am and again very early Sunday morning @2:30am). I did an interview with Mark and Ashley, via Skype. We talk about HP and a few other things. What a great time!
I make sure to catch "Hollywood Dailies" every weekday to get caught-up on the latest entertainment news. The channel as a whole is a great source to learn about everything that's going on in Hollywood.
And I'm the only one who enjoys this network. Celebrities such as Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg and others consistently tell the "Reelz" reporters how much they like the programming.
The miniseries "The Kennedys" really put "Reelz" on the map back in April, and it just grabbed 10 Emmy nominations.
The Reezl Channel is available on DirecTV channel 238, and is also on many regional cable networks. I hope you get it. And be sure to watch "Mark at the Movies.
Even though "Harry Potter" is kicking "Winnie the Pooh"'s hunny pot at the box office, Pooh and his friends aren't too upset about it. There are two ads online that spoof the competition between these two new releases:
The first one is called "The Final Battle".
And the second is "How do you Spell Adventure?"
This is part of a new trend for Disney, which you can also see in some of the current teasers for the upcoming "The Muppets".
The motto of this is: if you can't beat 'em, make 'em laugh.
Comedian, writer and voice actor extraordinaire Tom Kenny is best known as the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants. But recently Kenny achieved a career highlight, joining the cast of "Winnie the Pooh" for Disney's latest version of the classic story.
LCJ: You must be honored to be part of this new chapter in the "Winnie the Pooh" series
TK: Honored is the word, absolutely. This is my first time voicing Rabbit. There have been a few actors who have portrayed him since the cartoons began in the 60's. I just see myself as the next guy in line before I hand the role over to someone else, but hopefully not for awhile. I've actually worked with Jim Cummings, whose been the voice of Pooh and Tigger for some time. He and I were literally connected at the hip in the series, "Catdog", that was on Nickelodeon.
LCJ: So it must have been great to reunite with him.
TK: Yeah, it's really great working with him. All the voice-over guys look up to him. He's one of the grand old guys in the business. He's legendary.
LCJ: How did you land the role of Rabbit?
TK: Pretty much like any other voiceover job I had to audition. They told me a little about the character, showed me a picture and told me what they were looking for. They wanted Rabbit to be a little different for this movie - not as aggressively unpleasant as he's been in the past. But he's still very persnickety, very fussy and doesn't like his routine messed with. A bunch of actors in LA recorded auditions and I was lucky enough to be the one that got picked.
LCJ: Was it difficult learning to do Rabbit's voice?
TK: Not really, because unlike Jim, who has to match Tigger and Pooh's voice exactly to the originals, they told me they were reinventing Rabbit a little bit so attitude was more important than audio exactitude. Nobody was more surprised than me when I got the gig.
LCJ: So did you research the part anyway?
TK: Great question. I did. I knew they were going back to the original feel, recalibrating Pooh a bit, going back to the original shorts - the hand-drawn, 2D, trying to get the warm, fuzzy feeling of those two shorts: "Winnie the Pooh" and "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day". So I watched those and only those.
LCJ: Had you always been a fan of Pooh, Rabbit and everybody else?
TK: I definitely was a fan. Those books were on my family book shelf when I was a kid and I used to read them to my younger brothers and sisters - do all the voices of all the characters. Little did I know that would come in handy later in life. And now that I have kids of my own those books are on my bookshelf. And there's only four of them - two books of stories and two books of poems, some of which feature Pooh. So it's a pretty series to collect. I encourage people to go out and read the books and see where it all started.
LCJ: Do you consider being in this movie one of the highlights of your career?
TK: Absolutely. It's like, if you look at "Winnie the Pooh" as a sports team that's really popular, has been winning games and everybody loved this team for years and years and then you get to be the rookie who gets called-up from the minor leagues to be on this team. It's definitely a highlight and I couldn't be more thrilled. And it's a nice part, because Rabbit is around, but he's not one of the major, major characters so I get to see Jim do all the heavy lifting, having Pooh and Tigger talking to themselves. Every once in a while Rabbit pipes-up and says something cranky, and then goes away for awhile.
LCJ: With everything else you have going on how were you able to squeeze this job in?
TK: I'm busy, for sure, but it all comes down to scheduling. Luckily I have an agent, who is able to move all the chess pieces around the board and makes everything fit in. And the great thing about working on animation is, unlike working on a sitcom, which would take up your whole week, if you work on an animated show you just go in for one day. So I know that "Tuesday's is "Batman and "Adventure Time"; Wednesdays is "SpongeBob" and "Handy Manny", and then on this day you go in and do video games and on this day you do side job like "side effects may include diarrhea" - some straight announcer stuff. Talk about career highlights - being the "side effects may include diarrhea" guy - I'm never going to achieve that high again.
LCJ: I'm a huge SpongeBob fan and I loved the movie. Is there a chance that SpongeBob could be returning to the big screen?
TK: You know what - I'm just a dumb actor so nobody tells me anything - but I have to say that there's definitely rumblings. I hear discussions that it's being explored.
TK: Nothing definite to report, but I'm hearing it talked about in a way that I haven't before.
LCJ: Great information. Well, this Friday has to be "Tom Kenny Day". Not only does "Pooh" come out but "SpongeBob's Frozen Face-Off" debuts.
TK: There's this great convergence going on right now. I'm also in the current "Transformers" movie, and "Pooh" and the SpongeBob special come out on the same day. And I love it because most people aren't away that its the same guy doing all this stuff, so when they connect the dots it's kinda thrilling: "You're that guy, and that guy and you also do that? That's cool!"
The 12th annual Golden Trailer Award winners have been announced, and unlike the Oscars, "The Social Network" (or should I say "TSN: Trailer #2") was the big winner. That trailer alone picked up four awards: Most Original, Best Music, Best Drama, and the top prize, Best in Show.
In the Best Animation/Family category, the teaser trailer for "Rango" beat-out the regular-length trailers for "Cars 2", "Gnomeo & Juliet", and "Hop". Teasers don't give that much away about the plot, and sometimes are more clever and memorable than their longer versions.
The Don LaFontaine Award for Best Voice Over went to Morgan Freeman for the "Born to Be Wild 3D" trailer. Zachary Levi was also up for that award for narrating a "Tangled" trailer. In case you don't know, Don LaFontaine was the iconic voiceover artist featured in many coming attractions over the last several decades. He was known for his powerful voice, and passed away in 2008.
The Golden Trailer Awards also honor the worst trailer (a.k.a. the Golden Fleece). This year that award went to "Burlesque". And the Summer 2011 Blockbuster award surprisingly went to "Transformers: Dark of the Moon". I would've gone with "Cowboys & Aliens".
Here are some of my predictions for trailers that could get nominated for next year's show: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", one of the trailers for "The Muppets" - they are all original (at least so far) and "Moneyball" - a baseball drama starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.
The second half of 2011 is underway, so it's time to look back at the high highs and the really low lows that Hollywood put on the big screen over the past six months:
F: Superhero movies/Comic Book adaptations:
"Green Lantern", "The Green Hornet", "Thor" - all messes; "X-Men: First Class" not that much better. And they all lacked the topic of the next category - telling, pretty much, the same story every time...
The one movie that showed absolutely none is "Super 8" - it's simply "E.T." all over again, with some other S. Spielberg touches thrown in. For years now studios have been unable to come up with original ideas, which is why they keep making these...
C: Disappointing Live-Action sequels:
Even though "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is better than its predecessor, the film still doesn't live up to the original; the same goes for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides", which clearly isn't as fun or entertaining as the first three. It's the complete opposite of the next films in the next category...
C+: Exciting Action films:
"Unknown", "Battle: Los Angeles", and even parts of "The Adjustment Bureau" kept you on the edge of your seat guessing to the end about what was going to happen.
B-: Live Action Family films: "Prom", "Soul Surfer", "Mr. Popper's Penguins", (and for its target audience - "Judy Moody") are well-written and the whole family can enjoy them. "Hop" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2" were disappointments, but overall this is a pretty good group. The same goes for...
B: Documentaries: "African Cats", "Born to Be Wild 3D", "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop", and "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" were all very interesting. And although they weren't big money-makers (aside from "Bieber"), these docs are some of the year's better films. The same case for...
B+: Independent movies: "Midnight in Paris" is delightful, and Will Ferrell proves once again that he can play a more serious role in "Everything Must Go". But once again, the year's best so far are...
A-: Animated movies: With the exception of "Rio", this has been a great year in animation. "Gnomeo & Juliet" and "Cars 2" are the real highlights, but "Kung Fu Panda 2", and "Rango" are well above average. Even "Hoodwinked Too!" was worth the wait. There are a few more potentially successful animated offerring coming in the second half, but one or two will have to be very special for 2011 to pass 2010 and take-over the title of best year in animated movies of all-time.
HAPPY FOURTH of JULY EVERYBODY!
And like our friend from the Hundred Acre Wood, spend it with family and friends and keep it simple and full of fun!
And if you have a chance, in honor of our country's 235th birthday and the freedom we all enjoy ---
GO SEE AN INDEPENDENT MOVIE! (I use that joke every year and it never fails).
Have a SAFE and HAPPY Holiday!!!
It's official: "Thor 2" will open on July 26th, 2013. WHY???!!!
Well, it all has to do with money, and apparently $437 million worldwide is good enough for a sequel to this summer's 2nd worst superhero film. However, Kenneth Branagh (who directed "Thor") will not direct the sequel, which will make it three years in a row that Thor will appear on the big screen, with "The Avengers" opening next May.
The latest and worst summer superhero flick - "Green Lantern" - was supposed to get a sequel. However, a few days ago Warner Brothers backed-off the idea stating that they hadn't officially made a decision yet, but that a 2nd "Lantern" still could be an option. WB, please say NO, and invest your time and money in something new. The "Green Lantern" character and his story simply isn't strong enough to become a franchise.
But it'll all come down to box office. The good news is that the movie is fading fast, so I would not expect it to gross enough domestically or worldwide to convince WB to green light another "Lantern".
With the release of "Cars 2", I thought it was time to look back at the 25 years of Pixar. Here is the list of my favorite Pixar films in order; I couldn't do a Top 10 and exclude 2, so I'm including them all:
1. "Cars" (2006)
2. "Ratatouille" (2007)
3. "Toy Story 3" (2010)
4. "Cars 2" (2011)
5. "Toy Story 2" (1999)
6. "The Incredibles" (2004)
7. "Up" (2009)
8. "Finding Nemo" (2003)
9. "Toy Story" (1995)
10. "Monsters, Inc." (2001)
11. "A Bug's Life" (1998)
12. "Wall-E" (2008)
According to Rotten Tomatoes, "Cars 2" is by far the worst-reviewed Disney/Pixar movie to date, with between a 30% and 40% approval rating. Before "Cars 2", Pixar's film with the lowest score was the original "Cars", with a still modest 74%. For some reason critics just aren't comfortable with the idea of talking cars. There've been talking toys, monsters, bugs, fish, rats and a robot who sort of talked, and they're all o.k. So what's the problem with talking cars?
This is another example of why you can't always trust the percentage number you see on the Rotten Tomatoes home page. "Cars 2" is a great movie, and certainly deserves it's place with "The Incredibles" "Up", and "Toy Story 2" on my list of B+ rated Pixar films. Some critics are saying that any studio could've made "Cars 2". Of course that statement is ridiculous. No other studio could've come up with a clever story with so many inside jokes and references. No other studio would take as much time to work on a single film to make sure that it was as technically perfect as "Cars 2" is.
Many critics believe that this story isn't of the same quality as most of Pixar's previous movies, and that the film is confusing. A lot of these are the same people who were so proud to say they had no problem understanding "Inception" last summer, but yet they can't follow what's going on in "Cars 2"? And the biggest complaint I'm hearing is that Pixar shouldn't have made Mater the central character of the movie. Well guess what? - Mater was the break-out star of the first film, he's the funniest of all the "Cars" characters (and his humor is needed to balance-out the spy portion of the script) and Mater was the perfect choice to connect the past story with this new story. Lightning McQueen couldn't have been the accidental spy, and who else is there?
I feel that most other critics are taking "Cars 2" way too seriously, and should simply enjoy and praise the movie for what it is: a fun action-adventure with lots of laughs. Is it "Toy Story 3"? No. I think we can all agree on that. But I'm proud to be part of the minority of critics who agree that "Cars 2" is one of the highlights of Pixar's 25-years of moviemaking.
Last year I interviewed Larry the Cable Guy during a stop on his comedy tour with Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. Now, with "Cars 2" about to hit theaters, I chat again with the voice of Mater.
LCJ: You've been doing a lot of publicity for "Cars 2". I've seen you on a bunch of shows. What's the one question that no one has asked you yet that you'd like me to ask you?
Larry: How did you marry such a beautiful woman?
LCJ: O.K. How did you marry such a beautiful woman?
Larry: I've got class. Yes, I've got class, Jackson. And as Mater says in the first "Cars" movie: "She's loves me for my body".
LCJ: When we spoke last year you couldn't say a lot about "Cars 2", because the movie was still being made, except that Mater had a lot more lines and that he was in it a lot more than in the first "Cars". Now that the movie's about to come out, would you say that Mater is the emotional center of the film?
Larry: You know what - Mater is the heart and soul of "Cars 2" and the funniest part of "Cars 2". I loved the first one, I really did. But this one is double the fun.
LCJ: Was it as much fun this time in the recording studio doing your role?
Larry: It was great. I didn't wear a shirt, only these really cool "Cars 2" boxer shorts that John (Lassiter) ordered for everyone. No, really, it was pretty much the same, except I had about double the lines and Mater yells a little bit and does a few things out of character, so those lines were a little trickier.
LCJ: You've also got your TV show - "Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy" on the History Channel. I've seen several episodes - it's just so funny. You've been in a boxing ring, racing with moonshine. That show's got to be fun to do.
Larry: They let me do a lot of great things. It's a positive show about the country. I'm glad people like it. We've got a second season coming-up in November.
LCJ: Wow! Congratulations.
Larry: Thank you. It's been a lot of fun.
LCJ: So obviously you're very busy, but your comedy buddies Bill Engvall and Jeff Foxworthy have both gone into hosting a game show. Is that something you'd ever like to do down the line?
Larry: You know what - I'm going to stick to what I'm doin' and leave the game shows to the other guys.
LCJ: And your voice is so recognizable. People must come-up to you on the street all the time.
Larry: They do. In fact someone came up to me just the other day and said - "That's him, officer." Yes, I've been walking a lot lately around New York City and people just slow down, give me a look and say - "How ya' doin' Larry?" It's pretty cool.
LCJ: You're so connected with Mater. Have you been asked to do any other animated characters and if so, would you do them?
Larry: I don't think so. I think my calling is to do Mater. I'm hoping there's going to be a third "Cars", I think there will be. And my voice is so recognizable as Mater that I think I've done what all the characters on "Seinfeld" did. They were so good that they kinda hurt themselves trying to do anything else. It would be hard for me to do another character. People would say - "That's Mater doing a robot!".
LCJ: I'm a big fan of the "Mater's Tall Tales" on The Disney Channel. Now that your work on "Cars 2" is over are there any more of those in the works?
Larry: I think there may be...I've heard there could be...in fact I was in the studio a few weeks ago. So when "Cars 2" starts to settle down you'll see some more "Mater's Tall Tales".
LCJ: Excellent. Well, Larry the Cable Guy, thanks for the time and best of luck with "Cars 2" and your show.
Larry: Jackson, you're the man. Git-R-Done!
First it was 5. Then it became 10. And now, starting next year, the number of movies that can be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar will be somewhere between 5 and 10.
This interesting decision by the Academy of Art and Sciences is a reaction to the move to expand the field of nominees to 10 in 2009. Many critics and insiders felt that 10 was too many, and that films were included in the final group that didn't belong. However, it was also obvious that 5 spots was not enough, so this new plan should actually work.
The best thing about it is that it won't force academy voters to honor a film with a Best Picture nomination that truly doesn't deserve it. And, it's going to add a great deal of suspense to the weeks of Oscar Watch speculation and the morning that the nominations are announced.
But why stop with Best Picture? Why can't every Oscar category go this way? If there were 6 great Best Actress performances or 8 outstanding directors why not honor them all with nominations! And don't get me started with Animated Feature category.
Clearly, being the last of the awards shows, the Academy Awards needs new ways to keep movie fans excited and make itself different than all the other shows that come before it. Last year's "young, hip" experiment was a disaster. Tweaking the rules, as they've done here, is definitely a step in the right direction.
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