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Christmas has come early! Sure, we have known for a while that Netflix swooped in (after a very long wait for fans who never gave up on the show) and revived Arrested Development for a 10 episode forth season. But now we have word that the season will be expanding by as many as five additional episodes.

Deadline Hollywood broke the news, saying that production has paused as writer/creator Mitch Hurwitz is working on the adapting the original season idea for the additional episodes. Originally, the plan was that each episode would focus on a different member of the Bluth family to catch audiences up with them in time for a big screen version of the show. By the time the series began shooting word was leaked that Hurwitz abandoned the idea of the episodes focusing on single characters and that the new season would match the format of the original series.

All of the episodes are expected to be released in the same day come Spring. All of the main players are back, including Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Will Arnett, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Michael Cera, and Ron Howard as the Narrator.  Announced guest stars include Mad Men’s John Slattery, along with other newcomers to the series Isla Fisher and Terry Crews, and returning guest stars Mae Whitman, Scott Baio, Henry Winkler, Judy Greer, and Liza Minnelli.

Do you have Netflix and are excited for the new season of Arrested Development? Will you be getting Netflix just for the new season?

The 4th, previously unknown, Mortal Kombat DLC character has been revealed and it is a pretty interesting choice, non other than horror icon Freddy Krueger. Yeah, I’m not kidding here, the master of nightmares is now a playable character in Mortal Kombat. He joins previously released DLC characters Rain, Kenshi, and Skarlet, all of which have appeared in past Mortal Kombat games in some form or another. Krueger has gotten ready for a kombat by adding a second glove with finger knives. I just hope he has the power to summon a giant snake demon to devour your opponents or a phone to lick them through. Freddy will set you back $4.99 when he is released on August 9th.

It looks like the long awaited Dumb & Dumber sequel (we don’t count the horrid prequel) might happen afterall. A few weeks ago it looked like it was dead in the water after Jim Carrey walked away from the project, but that might not be so according to Carrey’s co-star from the original, Jeff Daniels. Daniels spoke during the TCA panel for his HBO show, The Newsroom, saying “Jim wants to do it. I want to do it. The Farrelly’s want to do it… The Farrellys wanted more work done on it so they got working on it and I think last week they decided to push the shooting of it to next year, possibly because I wasn’t going to move [shooting for] The Newsroom.” The Farrelly brothers have been very hit of miss the past few years, so I’m totally cool with them taking the time to do this project right.

America’s Got “Drama”? Reality competition judge Sharon Osbourne has abruptly quit NBC’s America’s Got Talent and has accused NBC of discrimination against her son Jack and firing him from the upcoming reality series Stars Earn Stripes due to him revealing he has MS. The NBC chairman, Robert Greenblatt, has fired back, saying “Although we did not ask Jack to participate in the competition, we were able to offer him two substantial alternative roles on the show, both of which he declined. This network does not discriminate on any basis.” He also said that “Stars Earn Stripes that requires dangerous water stunts, strenuous physical activity and uses live ammunition- we required all potential participants to undergo medical vetting to ensure that they could safely participate.” That sounds pretty reasonable and I think Sharon might just be overreacting. Without America’s Got Talent, what reality series will she scurry off to next?

Today is the magic day. After years of rumors and a never fading hope from fans, Arrested Development is back in production today! The whole cast, including Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat and Tony Hale, are all expected to return along with the “voice” of the series, Ron Howard. Mitch Hurwitz will once again be providing the words for the Bluth family. All 10 new episodes will be released only on Netflix at some point in 2013 and I can not wait. A big screen Bluth adventure is expected to follow the new season.

scott-pilgrim

Not that long ago Hollywood realized that the young film-goers they desperately wanted to draw to their movies had grown up playing video games. The aesthetic and pace of video games began to influence film, much to the annoyance of older moviegoers who simply were not used to the pace. Now, some years later, we’ve reached the point where the movie makers themselves have grown up playing video games. And, with that, we now see movies that are designed to actually look like video games themselves.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World launched with midnight screenings last night. I attended a showing in downtown Toronto. The film itself is unabashedly set in Toronto so the affect was something like going to the Superbowl with the home team playing. Based on a seven part series of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley this film is a masterpiece of style but isn’t lacking in content as a result.

Michael Cera plays the title character. He’s a 22-year old slacker with no job who shares an apartment, and bed, with a gay roommate. He’s between jobs and trying to make it work as a bass player in a struggling band. Still reeling from a bad break-up his current girlfriend is a seventeen-year-old high school student, a point that draws him no end of ridicule from friends, his sister and his own bandmates. But all that changes when he meets Ramona Flowers, who may literally be the girl of his dreams. Pilgrim begins dating Ramona, without first breaking up with his girlfriend, only to learn that Ramona’s love life is governed by the League of Evil Exes, Ramona’s seven former romantic partners who engage any potential suitor in a series of duels to the death to prevent anyone from having her.

scottpilgrimMichael Cera is not exactly what you would expect from an action hero but there’s no realism to be expected in this movie. The fights, and there are plenty, are over-the-top style pieces where literally anything can happen. The League includes mystics, a movie star, a vegan musician (who happens to also be dating the ex that tore Pilgrim’s heart out), a kickboxing lesbian and a smarmy record executive. Cera fights with not just his body but also his brain. But, as each ex is dispatched and turns into a pile of coins, Ramona and Scott’s growing relationship is placed under ever growing stress. Can Scott overcome his own insecurities as well as the evil exes and have a hope of a happy ending? If you’ve read the comics you already know. If not, you’re in for a nice surprise.

And that describes the whole film, a nice surprise. With sound effects appearing as words like in the 60s Batman TV-series, and other video game touches like the “pee bar” this could have easily dissolved into the stinkiest cheese in the world. But director Edgar Wright maintains a laser precise vision for the entire 1h 53m of the film’s runtime. Completely internally consistent, but backed by an actually touching romance and a generous dose of laughs this is a film that is going to satisfy its target audience. For those who haven’t played a video game since Pong it will probably all seem silly and far too bust to appreciate.

Casting was perfect. Scott Pilgrim is firmly in Michael Cera’s comfort zone and he steps into the role like a skin-tight pair of jeans. Mary Elizabeth Winestead as Ramona manages to make her seem like a real character while maintaining an air of unobtainable mystery. Jason Swartztman, Chris Evans and Brandon Routh all take turns as exes and deliver solid performances in what could have been one-note characters.

So is this movie for you? The opening seconds of the film are the Universal logo rendered as an 8-bit video game image complete with low quality music. If you find this idea hilarious then you need to see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. If that image confuses you, or you consider it silly, then the multiplex is playing The Expendables and Eat, Pray, Love this week too. You might want to check them out instead. For myself, this was just as epic as advertised.

****

I have a feeling that this film might be one of those situations where you either like the book and not the movie, or vice versa. Or maybe it’s more what you saw or read first. Either way, I really enjoyed the book, but don’t have high hopes for the film. While Kat Dennings is an inspired choice for Norah, I just don’t see Michael Cera as Nick. To be honest, he’s just not cool enough.

There are certain parts of the trailer that are lifted right from the book, such as when Nick’s friends take Caroline off Nick and Norah’s hands, but mostly it looks like a lot of changes. For one, it’s Norah that asks Nick to be her “boyfriend for 5 minutes” rather than the other way around as in the book, and it leads me to wonder why. Also, the subplot with losing Caroline seems completely unnecessary.

The book has such a rushed, immediate, living-one-moment-to-the-next tone to it that it seems impossible to translate to film. If anything, though, it looks like it’ll at least have an awesome soundtrack.