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Miguel Arteta Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Miguel Arteta Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Jack Rico

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2011/02/10 at 12:00am

Michael Cera to act in a Spanish language movie

02.10.2011 | By |

Michael Cera to act in a Spanish language movie

New York (USA), February 10 (ShowBizCafe.com) – Michael Cera, one of the most popular young actors in Hollywood, will head to Chile to film a movie completely spoken in Spanish with Chilean director Sebastián Silva (The Maid) very soon.

The news has surprised more than one, including us. The revelation came at the hands of Puerto Rican filmmaker Miguel Arteta, who directed him in the very funny and intellectually stimulating ‘Youth in Revolt’.  According to the director, Cera is in intensive Spanish classes. “He’s spending six hours a day to learn Spanish. He follows his own heart,” says Arteta who was quoted by the website The Playlist.

The criticisms on Michael Cera, whose last film was ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,’ is that he always plays the same character over and over again. This high concept project would give him the opportunity to shock the industry and prove his versatility. However, asking an actor who has never spoken Spanish, to be fluent in a language that is not his for the duration of an entire film, is perhaps asking too much. The expectations are tremendous and the pressure to not ruin the language or puncture the ears of the Latino audience is enormous.

Cera is not the first comic talent to cross-over to the Hispanic world. Will Ferrell has already agreed to act in the soap opera parody ‘Casa de mi Padre’ with Mexican icons Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal. Let’s hope for the best that these projects are quality comedies worthy of attracting more attention to the US Hispanic landscape.

Jack Rico

By

2011/02/07 at 12:00am

Ed Helms: “Hosting SNL would be epic!”

02.7.2011 | By |

Ed Helms: “Hosting SNL would be epic!”

Comic actor Ed Helms, known mostly for his work in 2009’s super hit ‘The Hangover’ and NBC’s The Office, was in New York to promote his new, very funny comedy, ‘Cedar Rapids’, coming out this Friday, and I caught up with him to ask him about his days living in New York trying to make it on the sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live. Helms, who grew up in Atlanta, always dreamed of being discovered and landing a spot in the cast of SNL.

ShowBizCafe.com: Your dream has always been to be a part of SNL, but you are now achieving enough celebrity status to possibly host the show one of these days. Where would that moment rank amongst all your achievements?

Ed Helms: (Chuckle) Well, ah, I’d rather not, it’d be you know, that would just be epic. That would be really, really exciting and awesome. Hasn’t happened… yet and if it and when it does, I would be over the moon.

ShowBizCafe.com: If you had to pick a musical guest to accompany you on that special night, who would it be?

Ed Helms: (12 second pause) Hmmmm…. Paul Simon is inextricably linked with that show. He has such a history with Lorne Michaels, that would be… his music was such an important part of my adolescence. That might actually take the cake.

Here’s to you Ed. I hope your dreams come true very soon. Helms will next be seen on the sequel of The Hangover and The Muppets this year.

Jack Rico

By

2010/01/06 at 12:00am

Review: Miguel Arteta’s ‘Youth in Revolt’

01.6.2010 | By |

Review: Miguel Arteta's 'Youth in Revolt'

It’s only the second week of January, but already Puerto Rican director Miguel Arteta’s ‘Youth in Revolt’ is my favorite film of the year. The premise is simple – boy meets girl, girl meets boy and boy wrecks two cars and goes to jail for his love. But what is most appealing and absorbing is the sophisticated english dialogue written by Gustin Nash, based on C.D Payne’s – Youth in Revolt: The Journals of Nick Twisp. Michael Cera could not have been more perfectly casted as the intellectual, Frank Sinatra loving, sardonic virgin teen who comes from heavily dysfunctional parents.

The film revolves around the life of Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) – a unique, but affable teen with a taste for the finer things in life. He falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful, free-spirited Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) while on a family vacation.  But family, geography and jealous ex-lovers conspire to keep these two apart. With Sheeni’s encouragement, Nick abandons his dull, predictable life and develops a rebellious alter ego: Francois. With his ascot, his moustache and his cigarette, Francois will stop at nothing to be with Sheeni, and leads Nick on a path of destruction with unpredictable and uproarious consequences.

It is very rare nowadays to see films that dare to challenge young audiences with words through a high level rhetoric. We saw this template used originally by indie director/screenwriter Kevin Smith in ‘Clerks’. A total hit and a great way to pick up the dictionary and see how many ways you can say “let’s have sex” to a girl. This was also part of the success behind the creative strategy that screenwriter Kevin Richardson used for his television series Dawson’s Creek in the late 90’s. I personally love this take on a teen romantic film – ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,’ also with Cera, played with this notion to a degree as well.

The other layer that I thoroughly enjoyed is the worldly and sophisticated tastes that the two protagonists shared in music, film and poetry. Cera loves Sinatra (the first frame opens up with the 1960 album Nice ‘n’ Easy), and he invokes Fellini’s masterpiece ‘La Strada’ in a DVD store as he tries to explain it to a girl he is trying to pick up. Ms. Doubleday loves french standards from Serge Gainsbourg and has an infatuation with New Wave french actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, in particular his breakthrough film ‘Breathless’ from Jean-Luc Godard. It’s this and other highbrow idiosyncrasies that seduced me from the onset.

What didn’t seem to mix well was the roguish alter-ego of Cera’s character Francois, as well as some of the casts contributions. One highlight was that of South African actor Adhir Kalyan, who played Cera’s lascivious friend. Very funny scenes! Does today’s youth really think and act like this today? No, but one hopes it inculcates a desire to explore the arts and culture side of them.

From a Hispanic perspective, it is wonderful to know that a born talent from Puerto Rico directed this film. There is a scarcity of great movies coming from ‘La Isla del Encanto’ these days. Arteta is perhaps more of an American in culture than Puerto Rican, but nevertheless, it is gratifying to hear the sound of a Latino last name next to a good work such as this and his previous (The Good Girl, Star Maps). Actually the last good film I saw come out of Puerto Rico was ‘Maldeamores’ directed by Carlos Ruiz Ruiz. It’s a Woody Allenesque romantic tale with a caribbean twist. A definite DVD rental this weekend.

For those who like teen romantic comedies ‘Youth in Revolt’ is a very enjoyable film peppered with laugh out loud moments. It is rated R so be warned that the sexuality is a bit vulgar and strong.

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