Ricky Gervais

Muppets Most Wanted

One problem facing Muppets Most Wanted is that it follows up 2011′s The Muppets, which saw everyone’s favorite gaggle of vaudevillian weirdos taking part in a giant reunion in order to save both their theater and the rights to their name. The Great Muppet Caper (which this film cribs more than a little from) was content to put the Muppets in a genre plot rather than try to top the origin story of The Muppet Movie. Most Wanted again tries to pluck the heartstrings, separating Kermit from the rest of the Muppets and putting him in a crisis as he thinks his family has abandoned him (when really they’ve only failed to notice that he’s been replaced by a doppelgänger… which isn’t much better). But it can’t match the emotional tug of seeing the Muppets getting back together. Escalating the stakes with each new sequel doesn’t really work for this franchise. At this rate, the next Muppet film might actually kill someone off (psst, if that does happen, please get rid of Walter).

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Muppets in MUPPETS MOST WANTED

Listen, I know that people are frustrated over the constant barrage of sequels, remakes and adaptations in popular film. And yes, Muppets Most Wanted does technically count as a sequel. But sometimes harsh criticisms can get a little too harsh, like the latest claim that the next Muppets film won’t be nearly as good as 2011′s The Muppets, that the Muppets have no real fans, and that Disney is just killing time with this one “while they wait for Tom Hanks to make Toy Story 4.” Ouch. You might be wondering who would level such a complaint against a near-universally beloved group of terrifying puppet creatures, and… ok, it’s the Muppets that have picked a fight with Muppets Most Wanted. It seems many a Muppet is upset at being drafted into another unnecessary sequel, and the group has decided to air its complaints with the public at large. But they’ve done so by breaking out into joyous song and dance (the way all sequel grief should be expressed from now on), and their list of grievances is also Muppets Most Wanted‘s opening number, which has just debuted online.

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diddy muppets most wanted

If you’ve ever wanted to see a Muppet sing “Moves Like Jagger,” here’s your chance. The teaser trailer for the sequel to The Muppets has arrived, and Muppets Most Wanted has some familiar faces and some very famous faces partying down while also entangled in an international crime spree. The world’s most conniving criminal is apparently Kermit’s doppelganger, who takes his sidekick (Ricky Gervais) around the world causing mayhem as they get chased down by the rest of the Muppets crew, along with an intrepid Interpol agent played by a mustachioed Ty Burell. Tina Fey also pops up as a no-nonsense Russian prison guard with a penchant for fantastic fur hats. Not much of the plot is revealed in the teaser, but it does show the broader aspects of what the movie will be about: big, flashy musical numbers, corny jokes and the triumph of the good guys over the bad guys. It’s a Muppet movie – it wouldn’t be complete without any of those things. I find it interesting, though, that Disney is marketing this as a sequel to The Muppets. Shouldn’t it be more of a standalone film, when there have already been so many Muppet ventures?

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Miss Piggy Wedding

Kermit and Miss Piggy famously got married in Muppets Take Manhattan (sing-along here), and according to /film, at least one of them will be walking down the aisle in The Muppets…Again. At this point, it’s pretty clear that the individual movies don’t bow down to any sort of consistent canon, although the Jason Segal-starring adventure that brought them back to movie life saw Kermit and Miss Piggy dealing with some relationship strife so the progression here makes modern sense. Maybe the joy they found will continue into the sequel, or maybe she’ll have found a new beau by then. You know, a suitor. Hopefully he’ll be bona fide. Word comes from production designer Eve Stewart (who’s been nominated for three Oscars, including this year for Les Miserables) that she’s crafting the ceremony to take place at the Tower of London. This sounds like a bit of fun, but I hope Disney is listening when I say this: I will pay good money if Ricky Gervais is the one officiating. Clerical collar and all.

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Tiny Fet Muppets

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tina Fey is close to securing a deal to play the female lead in The Muppets 2, which is speeding ahead to, you know, get made before its release later this year. If she joins, she’ll be playing a Russian gulag prison guard, which means Kermit and friends are probably going to make some mischief in Moscow. This is the best of all possible worlds. Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell are already signed on as the stars without hands up their backsides, and Fey would be the icing (aka the best part of the cake). In other words, this would be huge.

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Ricky Gervais Muppets

We’re lucky to live in a time where pop culture is happily blended millions of times a day. G.I. Joe plays with My Little Pony. An IKEA monkey becomes Bane. Everything gets mixed with Inception. These are the new rules of the internet, and we’re probably better for it. Probably. But there’s something special when it happens at the highest professional level. When a movie studio decides it’s totally a good idea to push two not-completely-compatible icons together. Like Michael Scott and Miss Piggy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ricky Gervais (the man who so offended the Golden Globes audience that they brought him back to host two more times) is in talks to star in The Muppets sequel that sees the crew headed Great Caper-style to Europe. His potential role isn’t known, but it would be similar in scope to Jason Segel’s — a human sidekick to the Jim Henson creations.  Also, there’s no word yet on whether he’d sing or not, but his signing a contract cannot happen soon enough. Please, please Disney, make this happen. Give him whatever he wants.

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Channel Guide - Large

Last Sunday, an important TV milestone was reached. The Simpsons, the longest running American series, aired its 500th episode, but that wasn’t the only major achievement. Last Sunday, erstwhile Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais appeared on two TV shows on the same night, voicing a dolphin on Fox’s Family Guy and portraying himself on the premiere of HBO’s Life’s Too Short. He certainly isn’t the first actor to star in two shows airing almost simultaneously but here in America, there was a time, not so incredibly long ago, when Gervais’s brand of cringe humor (or humour) was only celebrated by a niche group of anglophiles. I don’t want to call the sincerity of 2004 era Gervais fans into question (because I was one) but, at that time, it was kind of cool to like the UK version of The Office in the same way that it’s cool to like indie things–it was something that pseuds could get all pretentious about. But now Gervais is on our TV screens often. Twice-in-the-same-night often. Three-times-in-a-24-hour-period often, if you take The Science Channel’s Gervais-produced An Idiot Abroad into account. So, are we inching closer to the “all Gervais, all the time” programming utopia of our dreams? Or is Gervais becoming annoyingly ubiquitous? These are the questions that I struggle with, while watching Life’s Too Short.

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Noomi Rapace in Prometheus

What is Movie News After Dark? It is all about movie news, it happens nightly, and you should never, ever go to bed without it. Should you happen to do so, we’re most likely going to send someone out to teach you a lesson. And you don’t want to learn any hard lessons now, do you? We didn’t think so. We begin tonight with an image that is sweeping the internet. With a little lightening, this new image of Noomi Rapace in Prometheus reveals a pair of Space Jockeys in the background. It’s hard to tell from this angle, but they look rather large and intimidating. It goes along with a quote writer/producer Damon Lindelof gave to Hero Complex: “The movie is definitely epic in its scope. One of the filmmakers that we ended up talking about to a fair degree of redundancy was David Lean, who directed ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’ We wanted to make the movie feel big by having the characters be small in big spaces. That connected to the larger themes we were talking about — that we’re all just these little gnats crawling around on our little planet.”

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Culture Warrior

Usually I’m quite cynical about end-of-year lists, as they demand a forced encapsulation of an arbitrary block of time that is not yet over into something simplified. I typically find end-of-year lists fun, but rarely useful. But 2011 is different. As Scott Tobias pointed out, while “quiet,” this was a surprisingly strong year for interesting and risk-taking films. What’s most interesting has been the variety: barely anything has emerged as a leading contender that tops either critics’ lists or dominates awards buzz. Quite honestly, at the end of 2010 I struggled to find compelling topics, trends, and events to define the year in cinema. The final days of 2011 brought a quite opposite struggle, for this year’s surprising glut of interesting and disparate films spoke to one another in a way that makes it difficult to isolate any of the year’s significant works. Arguments in the critical community actually led to insightful points as they addressed essential questions of what it means to be a filmgoer and a cinephile. Mainstream Hollywood machine-work and limited release arthouse fare defied expectations in several directions. New stars arose. Tired Hollywood rituals and ostensibly reliable technologies both met new breaking points. “2011” hangs over this year in cinema, and the interaction between the films – and the events and conversations that surrounded them – makes this year’s offerings particular to their time and subject to their context. This is what I took away from this surprising year:

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After nearly a year of verbal back-and-forth, during which two-time Golden Globe host Ricky Gervais claimed that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association wanted him back to host for a third time, and the HFPA claimed that they didn’t want the foul-mouthed comedian back at all, reports started surfacing earlier in the month that Gervais was having lunch meetings with HFPA representatives about coming back again. This surprised no one. The “what will he say next” effect of giving Ricky Gervais a live mic has been a ratings winner for The Globes over the past two years, and money talks much louder than hurt feelings. It should also come as no surprise that Ricky and the HFPA’s mutual appreciation of dollar signs has now made it official that the comedian will be back, once again, to take pot shots at the nominees and the governing body of the awards. The official Golden Globes website confirmed the hiring saying, “After weeks of rumors it’s finally official—Ricky Gervais will be back to host the Golden Globes for a third year.” Not one to let a controversial moment go by without comment, Gervais took to his Twitter account after the announcement was made and said (with accompanying picture), “Just told Billy Crystal he’d better not use any of my holocaust or pedophile material at The Oscars. He agreed (true).”

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I know that, in this age of the Internet and the 24/7 news cycle, it’s sometimes hard to remember things that happened even a few days ago. But try to think back all the way to last year’s Golden Globes Awards. They were hosted by comedian Ricky Gervais, and a lot of people thought that he was too mean in the digs that he took at the celebrities in attendance. Then, after the ceremony, the Internet stirred up a bit of a controversy when quote from HFPA President Philip Berk got out that succinctly said, “He definitely crossed the line.” Before you knew it, false Internet drama led to a war of words between Gervais and Berk, or at least a public negotiation. Gervais claimed that, despite Berk’s comments, he had already been invited back for next year but, “I don’t think I should. I don’t know what I could do better. I certainly couldn’t get more press for them, that’s for sure. You know me. Two seasons is enough.” Berk then countered Gervais’s counter by saying that he had not invited Gervais back, or more specifically, “There is no truth to this rumor. We have not asked him to come back. Nice try, Ricky.” But now reports are coming out that Gervais has been breaking bread in Paris with Senior VP of Specials at NBC Douglas Vaughn and current HFPA President Aida Takla-O’Reilly about coming back and hosting again for this year. The Hollywood Reporter is saying that these […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr flexes his rippling muscles and sets out to live a warrior lifestyle, just like Jason Momoa in Conan the O’Barbarian. But before he can do that, he has to drive a stake through his neighbor’s heart, since he’s certain he lives next door to a vampire. What else could all those sparkles be about? Meanwhile, he sends his kids off to a dangerous 3D, Aroma-Vision mission, hoping they can make it as real spy kids so they can teach him to put on a fake British accent and woo a not-quite-British Anne Hathaway.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s waiting to watch the latest episode of Community because it promised its girlfriend it would. And that’s really hard to do, because that show’s really good. Also, Josh Holloway from Lost guest stars in the two-part season finale. How can that be resisted by the world’s most interesting nightly movie news linkdump? Must… hold… on… Must… do… the news… Quentin Tarantino went big when he cast Brad Pitt as his lead in Inglorious Basterds. So to see him considering Will Smith as the titular character, a freed slave trained by a German bounty hunter that sets out on a quest to save his wife from a head slave, is an act of pure bravado — he’ll just go get anyone he effing pleases to star in his movies, won’t he? And if that wasn’t enough to blow your mind, consider this: Christoph Waltz is said to be circling the role of the German trainer, with Samuel L. Jackson in consideration as the bad guy. That’s potentially a perfect storm of awesome, so we’ll see.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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If you think back to a time long, long ago here on the Internet, a couple of weeks ago; you’ll remember that there was uproar about whether or not Ricky Gervais had gone too far in slinging insults both at the nominees and at the Hollywood Foreign Press when hosting The Golden Globes. Whether or not this controversy actually ever existed or was just something that we all hoped existed is starting to become clear. It turns out the Internet might just be a bunch of gossipmongers.

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Boiling Point

Is that a provocative headline? I’m not sure. No more provocative than my first assignment from Neil Miller for FSR, “Why Blacks Don’t Deserve the Vote.” Just kidding, that wasn’t my first article, my first article was a review of The Pound Puppies on VHS. But really, that joke may be tasteless. Some people may be upset by it. You may run off and tell your friends not to read this article, or this site. By all means, go ahead and do that. Make sure to link them to the article too. So they can see it first hand. So that one article no one in your social group was going to read is now read by all of them. Do it. The more you send it around, the the more hits it gets and the more hits it gets the more Milk Duds I receive in compensation. There seems to be a bit of controversy over controversy these past weeks. Last week we had Ricky Gervais say some funny and mean things (the best kind of things) and people got upset. This week Judd Apatow stole that idea and said a lot of mean things that were barely funny (being just remakes of Ricky Gervais jokes) about the chubby Brit. We’ve also got some thick headed religious types protesting Red State because of its subject matter (I say only protest it if it sucks, or because Kevin Smith is a douche nozzle) and similar socially conservative people up in […]

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The Week That Was

Like sands through the hourglass, these are the weeks of our lives. Two points if you know what soap opera that’s from. Minus one point for knowing what soap opera that’s from. As if thematically appropriate, this week was a lot of high drama here at FSR. Big casting news was abound, big editorials were written and one of our biggest yearly events, the Sundance Film Festival, kicked off. If you’re a regular reader of this site, it was a great week to be visiting us. If you’re not a regular reader of this site, here’s a list of all the great stuff you missed.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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Culture Warrior

Quite a fuss has been made of Sunday night’s Golden Globes ceremony. Not the actual awards mind you – everything was safe and predictable in that arena. Not even the obvious drunkenness or awkward attempts at humor with varying degrees of success by the night’s celebrity award winners and presenters are the primary subject of the conversation (De Niro’s bizarre acceptance speech, Robert Downey Jr’s creepy framing of the Best Actress category). All discourse has been centered on the performance by the show’s host, Ricky Gervais. Gervais’s acerbic monologue was met with audible surprise and even aghast by his elite audience. His introductions to awards presenters ranged from tongue-in-cheek playfulness to blatant comic criticism. He later disappeared for more than an hour, prompting speculation on Twitter (the only place where aside observations can immediately morph into conspiracy theory) that he was taken off the show, only to emerge later, without his jacket and appearing vexed, to give quite the backhanded introduction to Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, which all-in-all does suggest at least a firm backstage talking-to. With strangely perfect timing, Gervais ended the show with the line, “And thank you to God for making me an atheist” before the generic end credits music surged. The Buñuelean echo of these final words was a rather appropriate summation of Gervais’s brilliant absurdity and anarchic irreverence peppered throughout this masturbatory rich-ual (get it?). It was, in short, hilarious and the best thing about the show. Here’s his monologue:

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Boiling Point

To get more hits on this article, I considered calling it “Ricky Gervais & The Golden Globes, Sandra Bullock nude, Ryan Reynolds break up, chicken fight.” But we’re above that sort of stuff here at FSR, or at least that’s what I’m told when all my work gets edited down. Anyway, some of you reading this may care about awards shows. If that’s you, then you probably watched the Golden Globes on Sunday and I feel bad for you because why do you care about awards shows? Did you win your office pool? Nice/Better luck next time. So if you watched the show, or just read about it later, you know that comedian Ricky Gervais is catching some heat over his presentation. Apparently a few celebrities and some Hollywood Foreign Press members (who put on the show) thought that his jokes and barbs crossed a line, proving they don’t know who Ricky Gervais is.

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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