‘Fargo’ Coming to FX as ‘Limited Series’

It’s a big day for FX, as this morning they announced a new sister channel, FXX (devoted to comedy, with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia being the programming anchor). They’ve also announced the greenlight for a "limited series" based on Joel and Ethan Coen’s Oscar-winning Fargo

"Limited series," of course, is fancy, high-tech talk for miniseries; perhaps the latter moniker brings about memories of trashy, campy projects like North and South. But FX is hoping that this will pay off, and they’re putting a lot of money into the concept, and not just with a TV adaptation of Fargo. According to Deadline:

Additionally, FX president John Landgraf announced several high-profile limited/miniseries projects in development as the genre will become a cornerstone for FX’s sibling FXM (Fox Movie Channel): Grand Hotel from Sam Mendes, about a fictional terrorist plot in Paris; Sutton, from Alexander Payne and Michael De Luca, about the infamous bank robber; Mad Dogs, from The Shield‘s Shawn Ryan, based on the British black comedy/psychological thriller miniseries; and The Story Of Mayflower, from producers Paul Giamatti and Gil Netter (Life Of Pi).

I was dubious at first about the prospect of a Fargo miniseries (what, exactly, would be the point?), but FX seems to have its shit together and is tossing money to smart people. Still, let us not forget the failed Fargo TV series from 1997, which starred Edie Falco in the role orginated by Frances McDormand. The pilot was even directed by Kathy Bates! Let’s get those two women involved in this one, eh?

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Helen Mirren Calls Out Sam Mendes and Hollywood’s Boys Club

Yesterday, Empire magazine held its annual Empire Awards in London, handing out honors for last year’s crop of movies. It was a typical British affair, with Skyfall winning Best Picture, Martin Freeman winning Best Actor for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (that’s a burn, Daniel Day-Lewis), and Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook The Hunger Games. (Ha ha, what? Alright, sure. Whatever.) And it seems that two winners sparked some controversy. First, Sam Mendes picked up Best Director for Skyfall, and in his acceptance speech he gave a short list of his cinematic inspirations. Helen Mirren, who received the Empire Legend award (code for: "You’re old"), blasted Mendes and his list, complaining that he forgot to mention any women.

According to The Guardian, Mendes name-dropped four big names: Paul Thomas Anderson, François Truffaut, Martin Scorsese, and Ingmar Bergman. Mirren wasn’t too pleased that those names all belong to men. 

"I don’t want to unduly pick on Sam Mendes, but when he spoke about his inspirations earlier this evening, I’m afraid not a single one of the people he mentioned was a woman," said Mirren, to cheers from the audience. "Hopefully in five or 10 years, when Sam’s successor is collecting their Inspiration award, the list will be slightly more balanced in terms of its sexual make-up. In the meantime, this one is for the girls."

OH YEAH, HELEN MIRREN? NAME SOME GIRLS, THEN! Just kidding: making lists of women who should be honored isn’t the right response, because, come on, there are plenty of female filmmakers who are responsible for great movies. Of course, they tend to be overlooked for several reasons, which is a shame, especially since one could argue that Kathryn Bigelow’s work on Zero Dark Thirty was probably better than Mendes’s direction in Skyfall. Having said that: good for Helen MIrren for making a statement. Calling out the rampant sexism in Hollywood is surely seen as, well, complaining, but it’s at the same time encouraging to the women who are working hard to make excellent films and not getting the recognition they deserve.

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The Movies That The New James Bond Movie Is Like

Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way first: The 39 Steps, because trains and chasing a MacGuffin piece of information and the moody moors of Scotland. Then there’s that straight-up Blade Runner sequence in the Shanghai skyscrapers and mirrors and oh man, the neon. Then a guy falls from the hundredth floor or whatever, so the new James Bond movie is also like Die Hard.

The new James Bond movie is mostly like a mix of Batman Begins andThe Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, actually, with one part where a subway train crashes like toward the end of Speed. Remember, when Speed had the train part at the end? Additionally, the end is like Apocalypse Now, pretty much.

You know what else this movie is like? Other James Bond movies. The similarities are endless: guy named Bond, komodo dragon pit, etc. There was the rogue former MI6 agent, just like in GoldenEye—and that was only six Bond movies ago! Man, if there’s one thing you can count on in a Bond movie, it’s that Bond you Bond Bond Bondily Bond, that’s for Bond. “The name’s Bond: Bond Bond.”

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Am I Really Going To Have To See ‘Skyfall’ Now?

I like James Bond. I really do. I don’t, however, cotton to this trend in modern cinema in which Very Serious Directors reboot classic movie franchises, strip away everything that makes then fun and endearing (read: the silliness and the camp and the sex), and then make them long, boring epics with Very Important Actors and scores usually provided by Hans Zimmer and a slew of vuvuzelas. Christopher Nolan made me excited for the prospect that there might never be another Batman movie, and that new Superman movie for which the trailer was too long and only featured Clark Kent, like, driving around a field? (Yeah, that seems FUN.) So I don’t really care that the guy who directed American Beauty (which, in retrospect, everyone should know is a piece of shit) is in charge of this new one. 

But apparently people are enjoying it! All of my friends are tweeting stuff like, "I don’t even like James Bond but I liked Skyfall." Which, you know, is a pretty good indication that I will not like it. Why make a genre film for people who are not fans of the genre? Because doesn’t that make it not a genre film, and just an action movie with a character whose name recognition can carry a lot of advertisers and convince people that making more bloggy lists called "The Best Bond Theme Songs" and "The Ugliest James Bond Girls" is a really good idea? Can’t we, like, either do something NEW or just make it the same as it was before? Is that too hard to ask?

Because, look. Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig’s James Bond is a dour figured compared the groovy (and, let’s face it, funny and personable) guy that Roger Moore and Sean Connery portrayed. Even Pierce Brosnan’s Bond was someone you’d want to hang out with! But nooo, we’ve got to go with the dark and gritty and, honestly? The boring. I can nap at home for free with Adele’s theme song playing on a loop on iTunes. That’s, I must admit, seems a lot more exciting to me.

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Javier Bardem Goes Blond in ‘Skyfall’

Based on the trailer for the new Sam Mendes-directed James Bond flick, things seem to be getting darker for the British secret agent played with increasingly brooding and dour Daniel Craig. He’s mistaken for dead, his world is continually turned upside-down, and he’s pit against a bottle-blond villain. Perhaps more importantly: there are a lot more explosions and not enough puns and bonin’. In this post-Christopher Nolan/Dark Knight Rises world in which our superheroes are so sad and our big-budget action franchises lack the fun of their predecessors, what else can we expect? Check out the trailer below. 

Afternoon Links: Javier Bardem Goes Blonde, Olivia Munn Leaks A Photo Of Her Own

● If these first photos are any indication, Javier Bardem’s bottle-blonde bad guy will surely haunt in Skyfall, the Sam Mendes-directed Bond film. [AtTheCinema]

● Rumor has it that Woody Allen is setting up to shoot his next film, Nero Fiddling, in Denmark. Have we really lost him to the great European yonder? [THR]

● Try as the media might, The Hunger Games‘s Jennifer Lawrence continues to insist that she has no beef with Twilight‘s Kristen Stewart. [Huff Post]

● Katy Perry’s father has "no hard feelings" towards Russell Brand, in case you were wondering. [Us]

● Olivia Munn has released her a very cheeky photo of her own in response to last week’s cell phone hacking. Two can play at that game, she says. [Huff Post]

● Rihanna thinks it’s "dope" that Snooki is pregnant because, "We need more Snookis in the world!" [Radar]

Morning Links: Lindsay Lohan Still Mostly Naked, Twee Auteur Wes Anderson Strikes Again

● “I didn’t have a childhood,” says Katy Perry in this month’s Vanity Fair. This might explain her candy fetish. [Vanity Fair] ● Someone taught Michelle Obama to dance the dougie and America’s all the better for it. [RapRadar] ● Lindsay Lohan was so eager to get to community service that she forgot to put on her bra! [Gawker]

● Sam Mendes’ James Bond will be indulged: A third of the films budget — $45 million — will come from product placement. [Australian] ● Wes Anderson is making his movie again! Bill Murray, Jason Scwartzman, Frances McDormand? Check. Retro New England town? Check. Two twelve year-olds in love? Check. Moonrise Kingdom sounds perfect. [HuffPost] ● A million seasons and one network change later, Lifetime has announced Project Runway All Stars. We insist that Aah-ndre be invited. [NYM]

Links: Lady Gaga’s Sister Is Next, Rielle Hunter Gets Sexy with Stuffed Animals

● Lady Gaga’s 17-year-old sister, Natalie Germanotta, has a cameo in the “Telephone” video playing a prison composite of Gaga, a chola and Mariah Carey. [Buzzfeed] ● Miley Cyrus’ wisdom on the internet and why she quit Twitter: it’s “like not cool, not safe, not fun and most likely not real.” [Movieline] ● There is only one proper spin on the impending divorce of Kate Winslet and director Sam Mendes, and it’s in this perfect headline: “Kate Winslet Gets One Step Closer to DiCaprio Destiny.” Never let go, k? [Best Week Ever]

● John Edwards’ mistress and baby mama, Rielle Hunter, sat down with GQ, said a lot of vaguely crazy shit and was the subject of a sexy photo shoot with a pile of stuffed animals, including Barney, Kermit the Frog and Dora the Explorer. [GQ] ● In other political sex scandal news, Eliot Spitzer’s old pal Ashley Dupre posed in Playboy for an eight-page spread, during which her hair caught on fire. [Page Six] ● It’s an oddly happy day for the world’s second shortest man, because he is now a champion. The world’s shortest, He Pingping, died yesterday. He was 29 inches tall. [Gawker]

Links: Sean Penn Is the First of ‘Three Stooges’; Performance Artists Andrew W.K. & James Franco

● Sean Penn is set to play Larry in the Farrelly Brothers’ Three Stooges adaptation, while Benicio Del Toro has shown interest in starring as Moe, despite the fact that neither man has ever smiled. [Boston Herald] ● Hipster-baiting lines of “ironic” products have hit their nadir: a prototype of Converse shoe-pants created by conceptual artist Sebastian Errazuriz. The final version should feature skinnier jeans. [The L Magazine] ● The creator of the Pez dispenser passed away at age 87. He is survived by thousands of plastic cartoon heads and a stellar Seinfeld episode. [New York Times] ● American Beauty and Revolutionary Road director Sam Mendes will direct the next James Bond flick, deliver Oscar quality scenes of Bond blowing shit up. LA Times

● The Andrew W.K. conspiracy theory proposes that the hard-partying rocker is actually more than one person, making “him” an elaborate performance art piece possibly masterminded by Dave Grohl. [Gawker] ● Meanwhile, James Franco will take part in a gallery show at Manhattan’s Deitch Projects as the grand finale to his own conceptual art piece, which includes a guest spot on General Hospital. [Daily Intel] ● A middle school teacher sold four students his book on how to “recognize those serving Satan and bring them to Jesus” for $5 a piece. Amen! [NY Daily News] ● The cutest video meme of the new year is a little Asian boy doing hip-hop dance moves. Send it to your mother before she sends it to you. [Buzzfeed]