‘dads’: Does The Seth Macfarlane Backlash Touch His Movies?

Are origin story movies for Han Solo and other ‘Star Wars’ characters in the works?

Ever wonder why Yoda is green or speaks with such mixed-up syntax? Ever wonder what childhood trauma caused Han Solo to shoot first (or second) when confronted with a bounty hunter-shaped problem? Questions like these but hopefully much better ones could be answered in future “Star Wars” movies. Disney is reportedly looking to cash in on the $4.05 billion investment that saw it take control of Lucasfilm last October by releasing origin stories for some of the most popular characters in the Star Wars universe. After months of speculation to that effect, Disney CFO Jay Rasulo finally confirmed it during an investor conference Sept. 12, according to Variety. Calling the franchise an evergreen property, he said a new film would be released each year either a numbered sequel to Return of the Jedi or an origin story film. This news goes along with an earlier statement from Disney CEO Bob Iger. Speaking with CNBC in February, Iger revealed that screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class) are both working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga. So which characters deserve their own spinoff movies? If rumors are to be believed, some of the names being considered for the prequel treatment include the aforementioned Jedi Master Yoda and Han Solo as well as fan favorite Boba Fett. Keep in mind, of course, except for J.J. Abrams Episode VII, which is actively in development at the legendary Pinewood Studios in England (where the James Bond movies were filmed, among many others), other Star Wars films are most likely in the discussion stage right now. Another character supposedly being eyed for his own spinoff movie is Ewan McGregors Obi-Wan Kenobi.


Seth MacFarlane may have plenty of reasons to count his millions , but hes had a pretty rough year of it in the media. Last winter he was pummeled for his boob-happy Oscar-hosting turn, which many critics found misogynistic and unfunny. And this week hes been getting dragged through it all over again with the premiere Tuesday night of his live-action Fox sitcom Dads, which, in an unfortunate parallel to the Oscars , has been called racist and unfunny. Thats of considerable interest to moviedom. MacFarlane has two big films coming out over the next 20 months: the comedic western A Million Ways to Die In the West, out in May, and Ted 2, the sequel to the Mark Wahlberg blockbuster that shoots next year and will hit theaters in April 2015. West starring an ensemble cast of MacFarlane, Neil Patrick Harris , Sarah Silverman and Dads Giovanni Ribisi is about a sheep farmer, a duel, a criminal and other genre absurdities. Its a big test for MacFarlane, since it takes him deeper into a new territory and much further from the Family Guy-esque comedy hes known for on TV and was able to smuggle into Ted. Having a strike against you leading up to that film won’t help the cause. FALL TV 2013: Watch the trailers Indeed, the biggest problem for MacFarlane on Dads isnt the offensiveness its that, so far, its not bringing the laughs. Regardless of what you think of the so-called edginess the Hitler video-game jokes, the cancer jokes, the Asian-school-girl jokes that will matter a lot more than whether the show sets off taste alarm bells. As Mother Jones said , The real problem does not lie with any ethnic or racial stereotypes, but with the fact that it is unoriginal and often a painfully unfunny, lazy waste of production space.” Or as the Associated Press put it , “The truth is, viewers who celebrate MacFarlane as well as those who revile him should be equally dismayed by ‘Dads.’ It’s just a mediocre multicamera sitcom, complete with formula humor and unearned laughtrack. FULL COVERAGE: Fall TV preview 2013 The fact is, MacFarlanes yet to prove he can pull off true live-action without quippy computer-generated people or animals. As my colleague Scott Collins asked, “Is Seth MacFarlanes Dads the worst-reviewed show of the season?” But heres why the movies probably won’t take a hit. While TV types like to tout the open-ended advantages of the form compared to the constraints of film, in this case MacFarlane will have a lot more freedom working in cinema. Hes one of the rare commercial directors with heavy sway over the final cut. And the 22-minute multicamera sitcom is about as restrictive as it gets; compared to it, a 100-minute feature offers the malleability and creative freedom of a Tolstoy novel. Hes also directing the films, which usually means a more hands-on involvement than executive-producing a TV show.

Jay Stone’s Top 10 movies of 2011

Scenes from some of Melies’ 500 films pay loving and joyful homage to the magical early years of cinema. 3. The Descendants: Alexander Payne’s masterful control of tone is what makes this comic tragedy surprising: We may know where the plot is heading, but moments of sudden grief and surreal humour alternately surprise us and provide constant delight. George Clooney, showing the cracks in his smooth surface, has never been as good as he is in this tale of a Hawaiian lawyer who learns that his comatose wife had been cheating on him. 4. The Tree of Life: Reclusive director Terrence Malick emerges from hiding with this magisterial epic about a childhood in Texas under the control of an angry and disappointed father (a fine performance by Brad Pitt), and also – steady now – the very foundations of the universe itself. The poetic, visual storytelling relies on small moments (billowing curtains, a sudden butterfly) to build a slow but moving masterwork. 5. Margin Call: An A-list cast – including Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci and Jeremy Irons – anchor this smart examination of the American financial crisis. First-time filmmaker J.C. Chandor immerses us in a hermetic world of greed and amorality, as the first signs of economic collapse are detected at a New York investment bank and everyone must run for cover.

Fall Movie Sneaks 2013

BEST PICK OF THE WEEK ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE- This film hit my top list of must see horror films when it was released back in 2006. I was blown away by the throwback giallo style portrayed in the film and was hooked to the end. All The Boys Love Mandy Lane not only takes you back to the first american style slasher that caught your attention it also has flawless execution. Don’t be worried about the team of Amber Heard and Jonathan Levine if you disliked Warm Bodies Mandy Lane is the real deal. The story involves the best looking girl in high school hanging out with the popular kids but for some reason bodies start piling up. This film has intensity, gore and amazing death scenes. All The Boys Love Mandy Lane is available right now on VOD and it is worth the price. 5/5 *available on all VOD outlets THE REST OF THE FILMS SCENIC ROUTE – I had a feeling this movie would be good but not this good. Scenic Route is not a horror by any stretch of the imagination. It has some horror qualities but the performances by Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler are award worthy. Two long term friends are traveling through the desert when their truck breaks down. After finding out it was a ploy by Fogler to start a conversation with Duhamel the two erupt into a battle of life call outs and relationships with not only women but passions of the past.