Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Free form rambling...

It’s the second week of January. TAKE DOWN YOUR CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS!!!

Gee, life goes on without Howard Stern. Who knew???

Queen Latifah was on INSIDE THE ACTORS ASSHOLE with James Lipton this week. Hardly one of the premiere thespians of American cinema. (“A hundred years from now your work in LIVING SINGLE will be delighting and inspiring audiences. And let me just say three words -- HOUSE PARTY 2.”)

Future guest on the show (and this is no joke): Barbara Walters.

Here’s a credit I don’t understand. For the new Queen Latifah movie LAST HOLIDAY the writing credit is…

Screenplay by Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman
Based on a SCREENPLAY by J.B. Priestley

Huh?? I understand based on a play or book or even earlier version of the film, but another script?

And then there’s the movie of THE PRODUCERS based on a musical that’s based on a movie. I saw it over the weekend. There were certainly laughs but whatever magic there was on the stage sure didn’t transfer to this film. Instead it just made you appreciate how much better the original was and how far superior Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder were to Lou Costello and Jerry Lewis…I mean Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

Nathan is a gifted performer. I had the pleasure of directing him several times. But when he finally passes on I’m sure the cause of death will be “choking on scenery”.

And to ensure that Matthew Broderick’s character was a complete cartoon they even gave him the Inspector Gadget trench coat.

If you haven’t already, see the 1968 version of THE PRODUCERS. It’s one of those very rare perfect films that never needs to be remade.

Same for the WIZARD OF OZ. Please Hollywood, don’t make a white version of THE WIZ.

Adapting movies into Broadway musicals seems to be the rage. A few years ago there was a musical based on SMILE, the hilarious1974 beauty pageant comedy by Jerry Belson. In the Playbill for the musical Jerry said this:

“SMILE fulfills a lifelong dream for Mr. Belson – to get paid twice for the same script”.


writebrother said...

“SMILE fulfills a lifelong dream for Mr. Belson – to get paid twice for the same script”.

That's classic.

The Producers was complete garbage. I laughed out lout at your mention of Broderick sporting the Inspector Gatget coat. So true.

Anonymous said...

Matthew Broderick has little screen charisma (hell, he's a boring actor) and Nathan Lane, albeit talented, screams every line in the film.
Mostel & Wilder and the original film are classics, right up there with the other perfect film comedy of all time..."Some Like It Hot"!

Frank Strovel III said...

The Barbara Walters episode on ITAS aired a couple weeks ago and I happened to catch it. They cover her TV news career and pre-Oscar interviews. If you're a news junkie, it's worth hearing what she says about Castro, Nixion, etc.

Next week on ITAS: the guy who does SpongeBob SquarePants' voice.

Lee Goldberg said...

I didn't understand the credit on the Queen Latifah movie either...until I read a review yesterday. Apparently, it's based on a very old Alec Guinness movie and they used the screenplay from that flick as the inspiration...so it's akin to "based on a book by."

By Ken Levine said...


I think that's the first time Queen Latifah and Sir. Alec Guinness were ever mentioned in the same post.

Anonymous said...

How 'bout a black Citizen Kane?
...just spit-balling here.
Or a gay Indian movie. Call it, "A Boy Named Sioux."
Can Jaws be a happy shark?

As for Miss Walters - They booked her on the show because they weren't gutsy enough to go after the remaining on-camera Talent - Reality Stars.