Craig Ferguson

The Late Late Show

Recipe! Take one block of one network’s late night programming. Shake. Shake some more. (Pretend it’s a salad, or perhaps some good old-fashioned Shake N Bake.) Attractively arrange pieces on platter to serve. Remove pieces that don’t look tasty anymore. Now serve. Less than a month after David Letterman announced his plans to retire from The Late Show next year, Craig Ferguson has announced that he too will be vacating his CBS late show, The Late Show‘s following act, The Late Late Show. Ferguson announced the news to his studio audience earlier today, clearly take a cue from Letterman’s sign off (or, well, his announced sign off) in early April. Ferguson, who has never been a ratings grabber but has nabbed some accolades during his ten-year (including a Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination), will remain on the show until December, in order to give it a proper send-off. And, oh, maybe find it a new host?

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Pixar is a company that has developed a very focused vision. They put creators first, they put human drama over visual spectacle, and then they knock the visuals out of the park anyway. For a while I’d been following along with all their releases in a state of near delight, enjoying each film they put out more than the one before it, and I started to think that they were as close to infallible as a movie studio could get. But then they put out Cars 2, which was kind of an overlong mess of juvenile humor set in a pun driven, unrelatable world. This wasn’t the Pixar I loved, this was for kids! But with Brave they seem to be getting back to the basics of what makes them great; stories that can be appreciated by kids and adults alike. Here we have a young girl who is different than everybody else, who doesn’t want to be what the rest of the world tells her a young girl should be. She’s driving at something that everybody is telling her she can’t do. She’s in danger, must rely on herself, and she must rise up and become something she never thought she could if she’s going to survive a great adventure. That’s more like it. That sounds like a prototypical Pixar movie, to a tee. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dances with joy because it’s the only time you can dress up in flowing robes and head to the cineplex to see a movie based on an alleged children’s book and not get arrested. After cinching his wizarding cloak around his waist with his Gryffindor scarf, he sails off to check out Winnie the Pooh. Then, from the dysfunctional head cases in the Hundred Acre Wood, Kevin sneaks into the screening room next door to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II only to discover he doesn’t have his 3D glasses. Curses!

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A.A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood and the characters that inhabit it are among the most indelible literary creations, so it’d have been pretty hard for directors Stephen J. Anderson and John Hall to mess things up in their new Winnie the Pooh. And they haven’t. With its appealingly retro hand drawn animation, low-key aura and narrative reliant on gentle misunderstandings, the film offers a welcome return vehicle for Pooh, Christopher Robin and their motley band of Hundred Acre dwellers.

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Pixar’s great, wonderful, incredible, stellar, etc. That goes without saying but must be said in every post about Pixar ever, because them’s the rules. However, one of the things Pixar has been lacking is a sole female lead to go on an adventure and win the day while learning a lesson. They’ve definitely distanced themselves from the Disney princess aesthetic, and it’s time for them to come a little closer. Brave is the story of a young Scottish princess named Merida who is skilled with a bow and with defying mystical, sacrosanct acts that bring down terrible fates on her people. So, she sets out to make things right with a sage older character, a magical wish, and some comic relief. The cast here is fantastic. Kelly MacDonald will voice Merida. Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, and Robbie Coltrane are all on board as well. That’s a strong list right there. Plus, EW has some pictures that show off the view point and computerized beauty of their fictional Highlands (and what looks like painstaking concept art):

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How to Train Your Dragon

Here we take a one dimensional view on the latest 3D film from Dreamworks Animation of which we saw only in two dimensions. The major lesson learned is that you apparently don’t need polarized glasses to tame a reptile.

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Kevin Kelly brings us an epically funny conversation with Craig Ferguson, the man who shows no fear when standing toe-to-toe with the likes of David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien.

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