REVIEW- GODLESS – Scott Frank’s Netflix Western shows that a woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do.

Following a mining accident, the women of LaBelle have been left manless, which might have been an alternative title. They’re getting along okay, though the Sheriff is going blind and a local rancher Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery) is something of an outcast. Things take a perilous twist however with the arrival of  Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), a son-like protégé to bloody-minded gently spoken outlaw Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels). Moore has betrayed Griffin and now the outlaw and his band of thirty murderous psychopaths are scouring the Western frontier, promising to massacre any town that harbors Moore.

Okay. We’ve been waiting all this time for a Deadwood third season or TV movie or whatever. And here it is. Godless isn’t as muddy or profane as Deadwood. But it dusts off the western in a way bullshit like the Magnificent Seven remake notably failed to. The miniseries looks like cinema, widescreen and bad ass. The action is directed with a verve and invention which is continually rewarding. The acting is exceptional. Michelle Dockery breaks out of her Downton Abbey corset and Jeff Daniels breaks bad, in a way analogous (and name-checked) to Henry Fonda’s casting in Once Upon a Time in the West. He’s something between a Cormac McCarthy bad man – Blood Meridian – and a gentle paterfamilias. The script has the vim of a Larry McMurty novel – Lonesome Dove. And yet there’s also time for the sublime landscapes and beauty.

Much has been said of the feminism or otherwise of the piece. Is it a feminist western, or just a western that passes (or surpasses) the Bechdel test? To tell you the truth either one of those is a win-win. Especially when the show is such bloody fun.

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HOLLYWOOD – Long-awaited sequel All the President’s Men 2 will star Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey.

All the President’s Men chronicled the fall of the Nixon administration through the Bernstein and Woodward investigation. The new sequel is to be directed by the Farrelly Brothers and will star Dumb and Dumber stars Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey. We talked to a Farrelly.

The idea is that we’re going to have an impeachment fairly soon so we wanted to be ahead of the curve. It struck us that with JIm and Jeff we have a cast that are very adept at improvisation, so we’re essentially starting with an outline and letting the cable news shows write the script for us.

So is it a comedy?

I’d say a tragi-comedy really. We get the drama and the politics we deserve. In the 70s you had Robert Redford and the nervy charm of Dustin Hoffman. Now we have the guys from Dumb and Dumber.

How similar will this be to Dumb and Dumber?

I wouldn’t say this is a Dumb and Dumber 3 exactly, but there are unavoidable similarities. Continuities. One of the things we will keep is the gross out humor. To tell the truth, that is kinda unavoidable.

How else will it differ from the original?

We took the view point of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the original but no such figures exist today. So we’re actually going to be approaching it from the other side. Jeff will play Sean Spicer and Jim is going to be Kellyanne Conway.

All the President’s Men 2 will be released in 2018.


HOLLYWOOD – Jeff Daniels invents helicopter.

Newsroom and Dumb and Dumber star Jeff Daniels today announced that he has invented a new helicopter. The Whirly-Car is essentially a sedan fitted with rotor blades. Daniels spoke EXCLUSIVELY wit the Studio Exec about the invention:

When I was a kid, the idea was that we would all be driving by heli-car in the future but something went wrong. I was waiting for Elon Musk to come up with something but that asshole seems more intent on going to Mars. So I figured, if I really want this to happen, I’m going to have to do it myself.

The Whirly-Car will be available on the market, but only on a very exclusive basis.

I’m making each one individually in my garage. So I’ll try and hustle but you know…

Jeff Daniels is appearing in Airwolf in 2018.


HOLLYWOOD – Dumb and Dumber 3 is back on with new stars Donald Trump and Sarah Palin.

They haven’t yet won the White House but they’re already making inroads into Hollywood. News came in today that Sarah Palin and Presidential candidate for the Republican Party Donald Trump have signed up to star in Dumb and Dumber 3. The sequel will see the two ‘politicians’ take over from Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in the lead roles. Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin dropped by the Studio Exec Bungalow to talk about the film:

We’re going to play Harold and Lloyd’s out of town cousins. People are always saying that I’m stupid and Donald’s a buffoon and I thought why not take that and run with it. You remember when I went on Saturday Night Live with Tina Fey? Well, this is the same thing.

Aren’t you worried it will ruin your reputation?

Reputation? Ha! Listen they’ve been laughing at me ever since I said I wanted to run for office. Well, as Gandhi once said ‘First they laugh at you and then they get angry and then you win’ and he should know. After all he did invent the bicycle!

But what if you become Donald Trump’s running mate and then win. Will you still do the film?

Listen when I set my mind to it, I go all the way, unless I get bored. Or something better comes up. So definitely yes-ish.

Dumb and Dumber 3: in Da WHITE house will be released in 2018.

Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.


STEVE JOBS – SPOILER FREE REVIEW – Following the amazing Ashton Kutcher biopic, few could have considered the idea of doing another film about Steve Jobs, except perhaps the creative team of Aaron Sorkin, Danny Boyle and Michael Fassbender.

Did they do the iGenius credit? Or was this a hack job with little to interest those not taken in by the self-proclaiming hype of the Apple founder?

Find out in our SPOILER free review:

There’s this guy.

And some computers.

And he’s called Steve Jobs.

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HOLLYWOOD – Silent comedy star and bespectacled accident prone icon Harold Lloyd today began legal proceedings to sue Jim Carrey.

Jim Carrey, along with the Farrelly brothers and Jeff Daniels, are accused by Harold Lloyd of using his name in two movies which he deems ‘harmful to my reputation as a comedian’.

Star of The Freshman, Safety Last and Girl Shy, Lloyd spoke EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec:

When I first encountered the characters Lloyd Christmas and Harrold Dunne in Dumb and Dumber I took the names to be an affectionate tribute to my comedy even though the film itself was based on lewd humor in poor taste, rather than my death defying stunts. I didn’t really understand the reason they would name check me but it is nice to feel you are being recognised so I made no move. However, things changed when I saw the ineptly spelled Dumb and Dumber To. This was a genuinely awful film. About as funny as a child’s freshly dug grave. And I felt I ought to take action to disassociate myself from this dross before it irredeemably damaged my career.

But didn’t you die in 1971?

Yes, and the fact that I’m issuing this law action  from the beyond the veil that those who living call life speaks to how strongly I feel about the issue. Even kicking the bucket didn’t hurt my reputation as much as these nincompoops have. I’m sorry about the blue language, but Heavens to Betsy they have me worked up into a lather.

The case is due to be heard in the West Hollywood courthouse later this month and if it succeeds could as the first postmortem case of intellectual property rights lay a dangerous precedent. Steve Martin for one will be following the case closely as Phil Silvers, Spencer Tracy and Peter Sellers are thought to be considering a class action lawsuit against the famously white haired comedian.

Jim Carrey, Bob and Peter Farrelly and Jeff Daniels refused to comment.


HOLLYWOOD – Film makers Bobby and Pete Farrelly were left red faced yesterday when it was revealed they had misspelled the name of their own movie Dumb and Dumber To.

In a mishap worthy of their two moronic characters Harold and Lloyd, played by Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey, the title printed on all the promotional material and even the title sequence of the film itself was either missing a W or perhaps missing another O.

Jim Carrey, whose career has been plagued by mistakes of late such as Mr Popper’s Penguins, was relatively sanguine:

This kind of thing happens all the time. It’s a simple typo that wasn’t caught and the whole thing repeated itself. Yes, it’s a little embarrassing for a huge studio picture like this to make such a foolish error, but no one got hurt and if the film ends up losing money because of it, it’s still going to do better than The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.

Jeff Daniels, however, was less forgiving:

I beat Bryan Cranston to get an Emmy! For The Newsroom, of all things. I’m a serious actor and I expect the same level of professionalism from all those around me. Some people have even suggested that it is some kind of joke! That is arrant nonsense. We deal in sophisticated wordplay and political satire. How is misspelling a word funny? In what way? It’s just carelessness. Care. Less. Ness.

Meanwhile, Bobby and Pete Farrelly tried to brush the whole debacle off as some kind of misunderstanding:

The title Dumb and Dumber To is not a mistake. It is a joke. We misspelled the word deliberately because that’s a dumb thing to do and the film is called Dumb and Dumber. You see. It’s kind of… I mean, it IS funny, isn’t it?

Dumb and Dumber Two is currently in theaters.


HOLLYWOOD – Following the successful reuniting of Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey vehicle Dumb and Dumber To comes the news that work has already started on a third film, provisionally entitled Dumb and Dumber 5

We spoke to Dumb and Dumber star Jim Carrey about the new film:

While we were making the new film we were having so much fun me and Jeff and we said to the Farrelly brothers hell we’d love to do another. And they said they couldn’t because they wanted to do a sequel to their Three Stooges movie because it was such a huge hit and we said that wasn’t a huge hit, and they said no they’d been joking. That’s the kind of fun we were having!

So Dumb and Dumber 5 will be… 

The thing is people will say Dumb and Dumber 5, but surely this is the third film, and it is, but we’re using 5 because they’re so darned stupid that they can’t count! Do you get it? Yeah.

So how is it working with… 

No, I mean the thing is there’s the first film then this second one and then the next one should be called Dumb and Dumber 3 but it is actually Dumb and Dumber 5.

Are you at all worried about being typecast as… 

Of course, we were kicked around Dumb and Dumber 4 but then someone said, what about that shitty film that they tried to pass off Dumb and Dumber: When Harry Met Lloyd? And we all went yeah and so Pete and Bobby got together for about an hour and half and they came back with Dumb and Dumber 5 and the room burst into spontaneous applause. It was… genius.

Dumb and Dumber 5 will be released in 2015.  


Warning: SPOILERS for the HBO show Wedger, from pilot through to episode 2, follow:

Episode 2: ‘All Tomorrows Wedgies’ 

After the slow burn of the pilot, the latest episode took off at a fair clip with a brilliant set piece in which the Wedgier strikes at a high fashion catwalk show in downtown New York, killing a model in one of the most gruesome and elaborate murders ever committed to the screen.

Guest director Brian De Palma brought some of his cinematic verve to proceedings in a sequence – complete with split screen action – reminiscent of his early masterpiece Blow Out. The use of razor edged lingerie and a fishing pole will perhaps make you never look the same way again at a fly fisherman.

While mayhem is taking place downtown at the fashion show, Wedger’s day has begun as he drives his two blind children to school, but, being Wedger, he’s almost paralytically drunk. Captain Balaton (Jeff Daniels in perhaps a career best role) delivers a priceless  line – ‘You got here quick’ – when he discovers Wedger in a holding tank for running over the traffic monitor, having only just called him in to help with the serial killer. However, now with a DUI hanging over his head, Wedger has no choice but to help the hapless police force that seems helpless in the hopeless face of their own haplessness. 

Meanwhile, at home Mrs. Wedger (Mia Sara) is nursing Simon ‘Paint Bottle’ Wedger (a so-so Matthew Modine) back to health, after finding him beaten by his bookie on the doorstep. Having bathed him by candle light and rubbed his body with unguents, sister-in-law and brother-in-law have sex both tasteful and missionary before getting down to a more satisfactory doggy style, all the while giving vital background information. It is a tender moment which only later becomes sinister when we realize that they are unaware that Wedger is Skyping from the police station, the laptop is open and the webcam is on. That final shot of the webcam is chilling in the extreme and leaves us wondering is Wedger the only one with access to the wireless password, or perhaps the Wedgier is closer than we think…?

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NEW YORK – New HBO show Wedger starring Robert Downey Jr. premiered last night to some of the highest ratings in the prestigious station’s history. SPOILERS for the pilot of Wedger follow.

Pilots of important shows have almost become the stuff of legend. The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Deadwood all began with robust openings that set the ambitious standard for what was to come and what would have to come ever after in TV drama. Wedger, starring Robert Downey Jr as the eponymous troubled investigator, if anything, set the bar even higher. The first scene introduces us to an almost unrecognizable Downey Jr. Bearded and the worse for wear, Wedger is a sleazy and morally bankrupt presence, caught during his estranged daughter’s PTA meeting injecting heroin into his eyeball. The tired wit of his put down to the head teacher – ‘We all need an ax to break the ice’ – perfectly surmises both the character’s louche decadence as well as the offhand amorality of the show. The teacher in recognition of the dark loneliness at the heart of the American male gleefully submits to anal sex. Credits. Now how’s that for a cold opening?
The rest of the episode charts the slow development of a case in which a series of crimes are committed involving wedges, or significantly in one particularly gruesome decapitation the absence of wedges. Jeff Daniels is superb as the police captain Balaton who is Wedger’s last remaining friend in the police department, seeking him out for unofficial consultations. Matthew Modine is garrulous and hilarious, easily matching Downey Jr’s bravura, as Simon ‘Paint Bottle’ Wedger, Wedger’s asshole gambling addict brother, and his catchphrase ‘f*ck you, ass face’ looks likely to enter the cultural lexicon soon enough as the counterpart of ‘I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse’.

My one criticism would be that Mia Sara, as Wedger’s ex-wife Toni, could have been whinier, but I suppose AMC have spoiled me. Paul Verhoeven – directing the pilot – brought a high powered Hollywood sensibility and the scenes in the Tits n’ Asses Exposition Strip Club included some sly in jokes to the Showgirls debacle that almost sunk his career. Speculation on the internet is already rife about the identity of the mysterious Wedgey – the murderer – but for the moment Verhoeven and David Mamet (who scripted the episode) are keeping their cards close to their chests.

Wedger broadcasts Sundays on HBO at 9 pm EST.