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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.

I saw this film as a screener before Christmas. I was excited to see it again in AMC’s Best Picture Showcase last night to refresh my memory.

Frost Nixon by Ron Howard, Oscar Nominated

Based on the play, this film follows David Frost (Michael Sheen) during his infamous interviews with President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) following his resign from the presidency.

I didn’t expect to enjoy this film as much as I did. I knew nothing about the interviews, heck I wasn’t even alive when all of this went down. But this film totally sucked me in. Sheen is great but this film really belongs to Langella who just transforms into the former president. The intense late night phone call and explosive final session are so incredibly engaging. My only criticism is that the film is presented like a documentary- with it’s actors doing interviews as their characters. It really took me out of the film to see Sam Rockwell and Oliver Platt discussing the interviews as though they were the researchers on the project. I thought that device was unnecessary. While the idea of a bunch of interviews on screen for two hours sounds endlessly dull, Langella and Sheen’s amazing on screen chemistry make it work.

Nominations:

Best Picture
I know why this is here and it’s very deserving of the spot, but it just didn’t get enough critical attention to really make an impact here. It should be happy just to get the nomination.

Best Director – Ron Howard
Surprisingly, I don’t mind his nomination here. I generally tend to find Ron Howard to be very heavy handed with his directing and I’m usually not a fan, but this is my favorite of his by far. I don’t think that he stands a chance against Boyle, though.

Best Actor – Frank Langella
If Rourke wasn’t up for this award, I’d be rooting for Langella all the way. He transforms himself and deserves to be recognized for it.

Best Adapted Screenplay
I like this nomination as well- unlike Doubt which was obviously a play and came across dull with it’s one setting and small cast, this film really translates from the stage to the screen well. I’d love to say it will win, but I’m certain that Slumdog will take home nearly everything it’s up for.

Best Editing
I’m glad this was nominated here, but I do think that Slumdog will take this award home as well. Even still, a film about interviews could have been dull but the pacing of this film kept me fully engaged.

****

Best Picture

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • The Reader
  • Milk
  • Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director

  • David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
  • Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
  • Gus van Sant, Milk
  • Stephen Daldry, The Reader

Continue reading to check out the full list of 2009 Oscar Nominees! And keep checking back with the site as Phasekitty watches and takes a look at all of the nominees as we march towards the awards show.

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Earlier this week, Maxim’s Movie Blog sat down and spoke to Ron Howard about his upcoming film, Frost/Nixon. During the interview, the questions went from his upcoming drama to his canceled cult TV series, Arrested Development.

Will Arrested Development be made into a film? Would he return to produce? And narrate it? See what Howard had to say…