Routine Check 10/26/12

– Universal has posted the full screenplay for This is 40 a good two months before its release, which seemed like a really bold, interesting move until someone (I forget where I saw it) pointed out that not only does it happen all the time (it’s a handy way to attract screenwriting nominations), but even specifically with Judd Apatow’s own Knocked Up, not to mention that in both cases the free PDFs have read more like transcriptions of the final, edited films than the original, pre-improvisation shooting script, which means it doesn’t really have any real educational value unless you just want a bunch of spoilers for one of the year’s only major comedies. Which you may want exactly.

– I promise I’m not as obsessed with Genndy Tartakovsky as my constant writing about him here might imply — I’m probably not even going to bother getting around to Hotel Transylvania this life — but he sure has managed to parse out some neat little announcements the last few months, topping it off yesterday with the reveal of a new short he wrote, directed, and animated all by his lonesome over the past month. Goodnight, Mr. Foot, a sort of 2D companion piece to his CG feature still owning box offices, will start to play before that film in Regal theaters starting today. Though it’s sort of a promotional gesture for his big, squishy blockbuster, it’s also a nice way to subvert fan expectations that he might be moving away from more personal projects and his signature style, similar to how Joss Whedon is following up The Avengers with his bedroom Shakespeare movie.

– I am maybe a little obsessed with Hampton Fancher, the frustratingly non-prolific Blade Runner screenwriter who made his directorial debut with the misunderstood masterpiece The Minus Man in 1999 at the age of 61, and since then has mostly stayed silent beyond a tease here and there for various surrealistic indie features he wants to make. I was excited to see he has a book of short stories freshly out called The Shape of the Final Dog, and here’s an interview he did with, er, Interview to promote it. Of course, Fancher also made some recent headlines for being possibly attached to return in whatever the hell Ridley Scott is about to do with the Blade Runner universe.

– I’ve mentioned before that AV Club’s Random Roles interviews are probably my favorite thing about the Internet right now, and they’ve been dropping so many great ones lately I have to round them up. Robert Patrick made me laugh several times, and seems very charming in an old-school Republican kind of way, and has a few Roger Corman stories. He has an adorable “I just got lucky” approach to discussing his biggest roles, and he has a good sense of humor about the Double Dragon movie, which makes me happy. Kelly Lynch made for a good example of why I started reading every Random Roles even if I wasn’t previously fascinated by the interview subject. I quickly realized I was a bigger fan of hers than I thought, and she tells amazing stories about the Murray brothers (she’s married to Bill’s frequent collaborator Mitch Glazer), and her early days transitioning to acting from modeling on some notably seedy productions, plus drops some sincerely illuminating tales from behind the scenes of Road House and Cocktail. Also Brooke Shields, another one I wouldn’t have pegged to me a deeply interesting subject, comes off as delightful and honest, with an interesting angle on the teensploitation type work she cut her teeth on. I think writer Will Harris puts all of these together, and I hope he never stops.

– I don’t know how many people other than me would be interested in an interview with the forever-underrated pop duo Sparks, but you should be, because they’re the best. This is mostly discussion about their current Two Hands One Mouth European tour, which features the two Mael brothers playing without a backing band for the first time in their 41-year career, but there’s also an update on the film they’re developing with Guy Maddin based on their excellent radio musical The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman, and an unexpected diversion about Ron working as a driver for Lee Marvin’s children in his youth. I also either had no idea that they’ve been on and off working on an adaptation of Mai the Psychic Girl with Tim Burton or I somehow forgot. Those are too-good-to-be-real film projects, I hope they prove me wrong.

– Speaking of artfully poppy bands making unexpected excursions into visual media, Stereogum has some news about the delightful indie synth-jammers YACHT developing a comedy series with the new open-door Amazon Studios. As part of the Amazon model, they’ll be making every part of the development process available to the public, including the script co-written by all four band members. It would be sort of interesting to have a not-strictly-comedic band showcase its music through episodic television the way Tenacious D, Dethklok, and Flight of the Conchords have. Has that even happened since the Monkees?

– Also potentially getting a show: Craig Robinson. I didn’t watch a lot of the American Office because my loyalties lied with the original, but I think everyone on that show is generally talented so watching them all announce their plans beyond its last season is kind of exciting for me. Greg Daniels did a lot of great, original work before he made his fortune neutering British comedy for American audiences, so I’m completely open to what he and the ridiculously funny Mr. Robinson want to try for their NBC reunion series.

– Chris Hardwick’s new special Mandroid should be pretty hotly anticipated since it’s his first stand-up special since creating an unlikely empire out of his Nerdist podcast network, and I believe his first major stand-up outing outside of his excellent musical duo Hard ‘n’ Phirm with Mike Phirman. You can watch it early at Comedy Central’s “Screening Room” press site, a site which they are very clear about not linking to despite it being readily accessible from Google.

– I wouldn’t normally link to a greatest-hits list of YouTube embeds, but this collection of streaming Halloween cartoons from Flavorwire was fun and timely and has a couple interesting stories behind the shorts.

– Finally, here‘s what appears to be a just-unearthed double-side single meant to be included in copies of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier but repeatedly canned for unknown reasons. It’s a couple of fake hit singles by a fictional band from that universe called Eddie Enrico and His Hawaiian Hotshots, with vocals by Moore himself.

Today in streams and freebies: I have been digging hard on Black Moth Super Rainbow’s new Cobra Juicy, which is still streaming here. Likewise the sophomore Diamond Rings album here. I haven’t listened to all of Luke Lalonde’s debut Rhythymnals yet, but I like his band Born Ruffians and the samples I’ve heard from it. It’s streaming here.


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