Yes, Labor Day has only just come and gone, but it's already Holiday Special Season in the world of TV. And this year we've got some goodies coming up in the shape of holiday specials from the makers of 'Shrek' and 'Kung Fu Panda.' And rumor has it that the 'Panda' special will even air in 3D!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC has teamed up with DreamWorks Animation for the 30-minute, primetime holiday specials 'Scared Shrekless' and 'Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special.' The move continues a relationship between the companies that started with last year's specials, 'Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space' and 'Merry Madagascar.'
Angela Bromstad, president of primetime entertainment at NBC and Universal Media Studios, said that "NBC is proud to team with DreamWorks Animation to broadcast such quality holiday programming that includes some of their many popular film characters. ... These animated specials will provide top-flight family entertainment for fans of all ages."
Here's my deal: We need to have a Crystal/Casey finale, and Siobhan needs to go tonight. While the judges loved her, my ears told me that she sounded like a cat being mauled to death last night. I honestly do not understand the praise that is being heaped upon her. I'd be just as happy if Aaron the wedding singer left, but even I can admit that he hasn't had a bad performance in several weeks.
But no matter who actually goes tonight, one thing's for certain: there's going to be about 50 minutes of filler leading up to it. Tonight, we get Rascal Flatts, Shakira, vampires, emo violinists, and a whole lot of other things that only the evil geniuses behind 'Idol' can dream up in an effort to stretch 5 minutes of show into an hour.
That's because the busy elves over there have re-imagined classic Hollywood movie posters as inappropriate holiday movies. Hey, you looking at the Christmas-themed movie poster for 'Taxi Driver'? Then we have Christmas classics re-imagined as action flicks. Take a gander at Rambo as Scrooge.
Also on Inside Movies, Ivan Reitman confirms that there will be a Ghostbusters 3 and that Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver are on board -- but not in a way you'd might expect.
- There's a new website called Glyde that lets you buy and sell DVDs quite easily. Now you can get rid of all of those ill-advised Zac Efron purchases that you're hanging on to.
- Viggo Mortensen is getting ready to star in The Road, the adaptation of the Cormac McCarthey novel. He has some crazy eyes in that movie, which could either be a big plus or a big minus, depending on your stance on the hotness level of dudes with crazy eyes. In any case, Cinematical has an interview with him.
- I actually had no idea that there was going to be a fourth Shrek movie, but apparently it is, and it's titled Shrek Forever After. It's supposed to be the last film in the series... for now, at least.
- I was never going to see Old Dogs, but the fact that I was forced to sit through billions of trailers for it while watching ABC On Demand makes me want to find every print and make a giant bonfire. A brave soul at Cinematical reviews it.
- Fight Club is the film that finally made me love Brad Pitt. Cinematical rewatches it to see how it holds up after ten years.
This is why I love David Letterman.
Regis Philbin showed up on The Late Show last night, dressed as Shrek, part of a Broadway celebration he's doing on Live with Regis and Kelly. He says it took 2 1/2 hours to get into the makeup and then he had to wait while Letterman did other things. He looks a little like a green Joe Torre. More stunts like this and I think it could kill Reege.
So what's this mean to us as viewers? I'm having a hard time wrapping myself around this one. Sure, they mention some new-ish movies they will premiere, like The Bourne Ultimatum, Shrek the Third and The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. But to me, Cinemax is synonymous with B movies from a decade or so ago, one of those channels that you get for free in your cable TV movie package bbut never watch.
I know what you are thinking... your burning question that you are too embarrassed to ask...
Here are the weekly cable ratings, by number of viewers.
1. The Sopranos* (HBO)
2. WWE Monday Night RAW - 10pm (USA)
3. House of Payne (TBS)
4. Nextel Cup Racing (TNT)
5. WWE Monday Night RAW - 9pm (USA)
6. The Starter Wife (USA)
7. SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon)
8. Shrek (TBS)
9. SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon)
10. Ned's Declassified (Nickelodeon)
* After America's Got Talent, The Sopranos was the most watched show on TV last week, network or cable.
Every so often, MySpace will offer users the chance to gussy up their pages with special promotional images and backgrounds. Some, like myself, prefer doing it the old fashioned way and carrying large signs around the neighborhood telling everyone to see the new Transformers movie.
Comedians Tim and Eric (Tom Goes to the Mayor; Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), however, don't care about Transformers, they care about Shrek the Third. That's right, not only have they changed the look of their MySpace page to honor the lovable ogre, they've also created a few videos to let people know the movie is coming out.
DreamWorks Animation SKG will be producing an original half-hour holiday special for ABC. The special Shrek the Halls will feature the voices of the entire original cast - Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas.
We won't be seeing holiday-themed Shrek on the air until 2007. Why? Well, animation done right takes time, but so does building a lasting franchise. According to DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg, the events of Shrek the Halls will pick up after the events of the yet-to-be-released third Shrek film.
I'm sure the Shrek special will be great, but can anyone really top a dentist elf, unhappy Yeti and misfit reindeer? Shrek is so postmodern in its sensibility that I'm sure it will be incorporating references to all the classic holiday specials anyway. It's the dawning of a hyper-referential pop culture Christmas.
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