These are dark days indeed for US Marshall Chris Monsanto (Chris Elliott). He’s devastated over the loss of his partner, Brett Mobley (Brett Gelman), in a tragic wood chipper incident, and forced to deal with the suspicions of his colleague, Susie Wagner (Maria Thayer), that he was responsible for the death (because he was). But duty calls, there are criminals and terrorists to catch (or more likely, just to shoot dead), and not even incriminating post-mortem memory scans, global warming, or the fact that headquarters seems to be transforming, Cronenberg-like, into some kind of giant organism intent on absorbing the older members of the force into its walls, can stay Monsanto from his crucial mission.
Adult Swim’s cop-show satire, EAGLEHEART: PARADISE RISING, has returned for its third season, complete with a dramatic, new subtitle and an ambitious, season-long narrative arc. Which doesn’t mean that the stars are any less trigger-happy, the crimes any less rococo (a counterfeiting operation relying on the regenerative abilities of starfish?) or that the producers have stinted on the surreal humor (they actually seem to have doubled-down). I got to sit down with director Jason Woliner and co-creator Andrew Weinberg to discuss tight shooting schedules, mistimed gore effects, and occasional tangents into classic stage drama. Click on the player to hear the show.
Continuing its mission of lowering the standards of higher education, Adult Swim’s CHINA, IL is presently offering up its second season every Sunday night. Now expanded to a full half hour, the larger canvas has allowed creator/producer/composer/voice talent Brad Neely and executive producer Daniel Weidenfeld room to expand the adventures of the faculty and student populace of possibly the worst college ever, which doesn’t mean that things have gotten any less weird: Already, desperate professor Frank Smith has discovered himself capable of HIGHLANDER-like transformations; his brother Steve has gotten himself immersed in the Furry Underground, feline division; and sweet-natured, perennial undergrad Baby Cakes has decided to start up his own line of oddly flavored power bars. Things are definitely getting odd on the quad.
I got to talk with Neely and Weidenfeld about the show’s genesis; the challenges presented in its new, 30 minute running time; and the complexities of meeting each episode’s musical demands. Click on the player to hear the show.
And you thought stop-motion figures taking swift kicks to the crotch defined the work of Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the people behind Adult Swim’s ROBOT CHICKEN and TITAN MAXIMUM. Not quite, Chuck-o — the studio is turning out an increasing variety of shows, including its most recent, FRIENDSHIP ALL-STARS OF FRIENDSHIP, a web series that tracks the genial relationships between such BFFs as John Lasseter and Luis Guzmán, and Batmen Michael Keaton and George Clooney.
The most high-profile face behind Stoopid Buddy is Seth Green, but joining him in piloting the company are Matthew Senreich, Eric Towner, and John Harvatine IV. I got to speak with Matt, Eric and Harv (as his friends call him) to discuss FRIENDSHIP’s sunny worldview, the pressures of Emmy season, and the Freudian implications of show titles.
Shooting a workplace comedy set in Hell may be challenging, tedious work, but at least you get to traumatize the hotel staff. That’s only one of the lessons to be gleaned from the cast of YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL, a new Adult Swim comedy that takes the white-collar satire of OFFICE SPACE and adds a piquant whiff of brimstone to the proceedings. Joining Cinefantastique Online’s Dan Persons for an interview that’s part INSIDE THE ACTOR’S STUDIO, part MMA cage match are comic actors Henry Zebrowski and Craig Rowin, and Satan himself, Matt Servitto. Pour yourself a nice, brimming mug of goat’s blood and click on the player to hear the show.
When the people involved in WONDER SHOWZEN and XAVIER: RENEGADE ANGEL decide to do Southern Gothic drama, you know what you’re going to get is… odd. And so it is with THE HEART, SHE HOLLER, the first mini-series produced by Adult Swim and the twisted brain trust that is PFFR.
Starring Patton Oswalt — in an atrocious pageboy — as the long-lost scion of the Heartshe dynasty locked in battle with sisters Hurshe (pronounced like the chocolate, and played by Kristen Schaal) and Hambrosia (Heather Lawless), the six-episode drama is dark, delirious stew filled with deceit, spectral visitations, and rampant psychokinetic powers. Tennessee Williams would have fits.
We recorded the evening roundtable session (which is probably why we all sound so punchy) with Oswalt and producers John Lee and Alyson Levy. Click on the player to hear the show.
Come 2012, Adult Swim is going to get bad-ass. In honor of the grand and sometimes delirious world of blaxploitation, they’ve latched onto the 2009 feature satire, BLACK DYNAMITE, and are bringing it to the video screen as half-hour, animated series.
With the film’s Michael Jai White and Byron Minns continuing their roles as producers, writers, and stars — White as ex-CIA agent Black Dynamite; Minns as compatriot Bull Horn — plus the feature’s director Scott Sanders helming the episodes and THE BOONDOCKS’ Carl Jones backing them up as exec producer, the show promises to carry forward with the movie’s vision of a world where the hair is big, the lapels are wide and the action is nonstop.
Adult Swim brought in White, Minns, Jones, and Sanders — plus Kim Whitley, who plays Honey Bee — for their roundtables, and we got to speak with all of them. Click on the player to hear the show.
Yes, Cinefantastique Online was at the just-wrapped New York Comic Con 2011, and we’re going to be bringing you tons o’ goodies — in both audio and video form — over the coming days (and weeks!). But we figured we should start you off the with the choice of the choice: the full press conference for Adult Swim’s hit series, THE VENTURE BROS, featuring creators Jackson Publick (a.k.a. Christopher McCulloch) and Eric “Doc” Hammer.
It’s close to a full hour of goodness, during which Publick and Hammer not only field questions about the show but — as has become legendary during their press conferences — also take the audience on a wild ride through their fertile imaginations, including expressing frustration for their lack of involvement in the DOCTOR STRANGE movie, confessing an unsettling fascination for a certain, esoteric sex act, and developing on-the-spot an entire action-thriller movie starring Liam Neeson as a man on a desperate quest to rescue his child bride.
Even if you’ve never seen THE VENTURE BROS. (and you should — it’s one of the best animated series going), you should check this out. It’s funny, it’s informative and, fair warning, it’s definitely NSFW. Plug them headphones in.
Yes, we’re deliberately misspelling SHARK KNIGHT. Why? Well, because it’s Labor Day weekend, and also because it amuses us to think of an insatiable predator of the deep leering in towards a nubile, young twenty-something, unleashing his awful, toothy grin, and saying, “Why sssso sssserioussss?”
As for SHARK NIGHT 3D itself, listen in as Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons discuss what merits and demerits they can locate in this latest entry in the body-count genre of horror film. Then Steve will give his take on APOLLO 18, the found footage thriller about a secret mission to the moon where two astronauts discover that They Are Not Alone.
Plus: What’s coming in theaters and home video.
Viz Media asks us to remind folks that Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim will be showing the two BLEACH feature length films on Saturday, August 14th at 1:00 am and 3:00 am.
Or wouldn’t that be actually be Sunday morning? Set your DVRs or stay up (or stagger in) to watch, if you’re a fan.
BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY begins as unidentified beings known as “Blanks” start popping up. They are soon followed by a Soul Reaper named Senna who makes them disappear. Puzzled by these unknown beings and the even more mysterious girl, Ichigo and Rukia set out to learn more, but uncover an evil plot when a menacing clan tries to kidnap Senna. Banished from the Soul Society long ago, the clan’s leader has sent sending the World of the Living and the Soul Society on a collision course, and Senna seems to be the key to his diabolical plot for revenge. Can Ichigo and his fellow Soul Reapers save the two worlds from annihilation?
BLEACH THE MOVIE 2: THE DIAMOND DUST REBELLION continues the action-packed adventures of Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki. After the treasured Ouin is stolen, Toshiro Hitsugaya disappears and becomes suspected of treason. When the Soul Society calls for his capture and execution, Substitute Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki vows to prove Hitsugaya’s innocence. Will the secret of the Ouin and Captain Hitsugaya’s motives be revealed before his honor, his life, and the Soul Society are destroyed?
The BLEACH manga and animated series follows the adventures of Ichigo, a 15-year old student with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow — a malevolent lost soul – Ichigo encounters Rukia, a Soul Reaper, and inadvertently absorbs her powers. Now, he’s dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping tortured souls find peace.
Is it THE VENTURE BROS. Season Five or 4.5 or Season Four Vol.2?
They’re not sure, themselves. Whatever it is, here it is.
THE VENTURE BROS. returns to Adult Swim on The Cartoon Network August 22nd.