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article imageSarah Jessica Parker goes into hiding for laughs in 'The Morgans' Special

By Earl Dittman     Mar 16, 2010 in Entertainment
In the romantic comedy 'Did You Hear About The Morgans?', now on DVD/BD, Parker and Hugh Grant find love and laughs in witness protection. Parker chats about the making of the film, working with Hugh, and if men are really from Mars.
Romantic comedy's top director, Marc Lawrence (Two Weeks Notice, Music & Lyrics) brought together two of the film genre's most hilarious and talented actors – Hugh Grant (Bridget Jones' Diary, Love Actually) and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City, Failure To Launch) – for the wild and wacky fish-out-of-water romantic comedy about a marriage-strained New York couple who witnesses a brutal murder and are placed in the witness protection program in a small Wyoming town. But Paul and Meryl Morgan, a couple of hardcore city-dwellers (who had been talking divorce before the incident because of possible marital infidelity) still feel in danger, even in their newly adopted home in the Wyoming “wilderness” – not just from the killers they fingered, but also from the culture shock they're experiencing by living in a part of the country devoid of designer boutiques and five-star restaurants.
Once at their wits end on how to solve their crumbling marriage, their chance at a new life and as different people may end up helping Paul and Meryl rekindle their love for each other in one of the most unexpected places on Earth. That is if they can survive the murderers and the overly kind and sweet townsfolk (that includes costars Mary Steenburgen, Sam Elliott and Elisabeth Moss) plus the weather, bears, fresh air and their forced time with one another..
This past December, near the end of principal shooting for the sequel, Sex and the City 2, in New York City (where she lives with her son and husband Matthew Broderick), “SJP,” as some of her pals like to call her, took time out of her crazy schedule to chat with a select group of entertainment journalists to discuss some of the challenges she faced filming Did You Hear About the Morgans?, how she can find a Zen moment even in the middle of a subway car, if she's a good horse woman, missing her family while she's away making a movie, why she won't talk about real-life cheating and her deep, almost obsessive attachment to her Blackberry.
What was most enjoyable about making this movie, and most challenging?“Hugh Grant was the most enjoyable thing. I had four blissful months and eighteen hours a day to spend with him. And the most difficult was being away from home.”
How so?“You know, no matter how curious you are about the world, you want to go home. You know, I miss my son, my family, my husband (Broderick). Pretty boring answer, isn't it?”
How did you feel about riding horses for this movie?“I do ride, but I'm not good. And it's not like it's a burning passion. But I really, really generally didn't like the guns. I don't like them. And I dreaded that day. I dreaded any day with guns. But I actually like being outside. And I just like that I can go inside, when I want to. You know, I don't need to be outside to find some Zen place. I can find it in the middle of a subway car. That's not important for me. But I can understand why people love it, I can understand why people are drawn to the outdoor life. And Santa Fe in particular, it's beautiful.”
Sarah Jessica Parker & Hugh Grant in  Did You Hear About The Morgans?
Sarah Jessica Parker & Hugh Grant in "Did You Hear About The Morgans?"
What turns you on about being in a romantic comedy with Hugh Grant? “I've wanted to be in one with him for so long. He's just so smart, witty, challenging, complicated and vicious! And kind. Pretty much the kind of person you want to be around. And I just love him, I love him.”
How hard did you work to make your character, Meryl, more like you?“I didn't want her to be like me. I've never played a character that feels like me. I have no interest in that. And I wouldn't know how to play me. What a self-conscious thing to do, I can imagine. I would prefer to do anything other than me. So it's not ever necessary that I feel like me. I just worry about the words. And I like to have conversations about the language and words, and the choice of words. And I just hope I wasn't disappointing.”
So do you think, as alluded to in ...The Morgans, that women are from Venus, and men are from Mars, and compatibility is hopeless?“I don't know, what do you think? I don't know, I think it's hard to make generalizations about men and women. I think there are men who a woman will never understand or communicate with, or understand a woman's point of view. And then there are men who work really hard to try to understand women. Or try to have relationships that are communicative. But I think some of the differences that exist are good, and right. And they're what draw men and women together. It's often the differences. So you just look for someone who is interesting. I can't imagine being married to myself! You know? I would much prefer being married to somebody else – who thinks differently than I do, and makes me think about things differently. Or who argues with me, and who isn't so enchanted by me all the time. You know? So I don't know if the twain shall ever meet. And they shouldn't. Totally. Right? That would be boring. Yeah.”
Would you ever forgive a significant other for cheating like you do in this movie?“Here's why I'm not going to answer that question. Because no matter what I say, it will be taken apart and deconstructed. And people will put these meanings in it.”
Well, why do you think Meryl forgave her husband for cheating?“I think that she wanted very much only to forgive him. I think she was working desperately hard to see if she could make the compromises that she thought were necessary to be in that marriage. But it's a romantic comedy, so you have to want them to be together. You know, that's the unthinkable brilliance of the way we were. And I wanted them to be together, because I like them together. On paper. I don't know if the American public will feel the same way! I don't know?”
Hugh Grant in  Did You Hear About The Morgans?
Hugh Grant in "Did You Hear About The Morgans?"
Your performances are so natural and come across as effortless. It seems like you never have to prepare for your roles.“Oh God, that's so upsetting. I worry! I'm very preoccupied with work. It's so filled with effort, it really is. It's hard. But you're very kind to say so! Hugh will tell you, we're both terrible worriers. Terrible.”
Why is that?“I think because we actually care. We actually want you to like it. I would love to get to a place in my career -- I think you have to wait till you're sixty or ninety, or something -- where you just don't care anymore. But it seems like the older you get, and the expectations, it just seems harder. You know more. And, theoretically, it should get easier. But I haven't found that it does. I really actually worry constantly about the work. Constantly. I just want it to be good. Don't you, don't you worry every time you write a sentence? And actually, I don't want to be a person that doesn't care. That's actually the truth. I don't know. But some of those scenes, I could have done them every day with very little oxygen or food. But it's those little scenes. Nothing is harder than a coffee shop scene in Sex And The City.”
Are you up to doing any Broadway?“If I could find a way to do that, and put my children to bed! Maybe if they had a four o-clock curtain!”
In Did You Hear About The Morgans?, it's really funny when your character, Meryl, kisses her cell phone goodbye. Was that in the script?“That was something I added, thank you very much! I improvised three things in this movie, and that was one of them.”
What are the other two?“When I'm packing to go into the witness protection program I say, 'Can I bring this, because it's pretty?' And then the thing about my horse. But now Marc (Lawrence) is claiming he wrote it. But it was never written on paper. Trust me, I know!”
Is there a gadget that's essential in your life -- that you could never part with?“Well I love my Blackberry, but I'm not embarrassed about it. Because I am a mother, and I travel. And without my Blackberry I couldn't speak to my own mother, who texts me all day long. Which is amazing. And I mean that in a good way. And I wouldn't get pictures of my children all the time, and be in touch with my home and my friends, and my family. So I really don't think of it as a shackle. To me, it's an endless list of virtues. But I don't bring it to bed with me, and check it in the middle of the night. When I go to bed, it goes to bed. I don't get up, I don't look at it. It charges, it replenishes itself. It gets ready for the new day. It wakes up, and we chat over a cup of coffee. So I love my Blackberry. But I am convinced I was one of the first people in America to have a Blackberry. Because I had one in 1999. The first Blackberry, the one that looked like a doctor's beeper. It'll be in MOMA some day. A perfect specimen.”
Did You Hear About the Morgans? Blu-ray Bonus Features: Commentary with director Marc Lawrence and stars Hugh Grant & Sarah Jessica Parker; five featurettes that showcase everything from the cast, locations, costumes, small towns versusbig city life and the bear; Deleted scenes and Outtakes. BD EXCLUSIVES: MovieIQ and BD-Live!
The Fourth Kind
Utilizing dramatic recreations of actual events and real-life vocal and videotaped sessions of victims recalling the terrifying events of possible alien abductions – often showing the reenactments side-by-side with the doctor''s actual recorded material, in an eerie split-screen documentary approach – easily makes The Fourth Kind one of the most truly shocking films you'll ever experience. You wont be able to flush it out of your own psyche for a while, so be prepared for several sleepless nights after viewing it for the first time. Starring Milla Jovovich as psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler, The Fourth Kind (directed and co-written by Olatunde Osunsanmi) recounts events that occurred in remote Alaska, where citizens have been mysteriously vanishing since the 1960s. Despite multiple FBI investigations, the truth behind the phenomena had never been discovered -- until now. While videotaping therapy sessions with traumatized patients, psychologist Tyler unwittingly exposes terrifying revelations of multiple victims whose claims of being visited by alien figures all share disturbingly identical details. Also starring Elias Koteas, Will Patton, Corey Johnson, Enzo Cilenti and Hakeem Kae-Kazim in “the names have been changed to protect the innocent ” roles, as mentioned earlier, The Fourth Kind uses Dr. Tyler's never-before-seen archival footage alongside dramatic reenactments to present the most disturbing evidence ever documented in this provocative thriller about alien abduction – this isn't The X-Files, my friend, it looks and sounds like the real deal (and not of the Blair Witch kind, either.) (Also on DVD) Blu-ray Bonus Features: Deleted scenes; DBox Motion Enabled; BD LIVE!; social BLU and pocket BLU.
Warner Bros
Ninja Assassin: Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack
The groundbreaking, ultra-visionary team of The Wachowski Brothers (Larry and Andy) -- the writing and directing masterminds behind The Matrix Trilogy, Speed Racer and V for Vendetta -- and uber-producer Joel Silver – the Hollywood maverick responsible for dozens of the most unforgettable films of the past quarter century, including Sherlock Holmes, The Matrix Trilogy and RocknRolla – have teamed together once again to bring audiences a new look, style and intensity to the martial arts film with the James McTiegue-directed Ninja Assassin. Ninja Assassin follows Japanese mega-pop star, Rain, in a heart-pounding, non-stop adventure to exact revenge for the death of a friend by eliminating one of the most notorious clans of ninjas – singlehandedly. Rain, one of Japan's most exciting exports since sushi, portrays Raizo in Ninja Assassin, one of the deadliest ninja assassins in the world. Taken from the streets as a child, he was transformed into a trained killer by the Ozunu Clan, a secret society whose very existence is considered a myth. But haunted by the merciless execution of his friend by the Clan, Raizo breaks free from them and vanishes. Now he waits, preparing his revenge. In Berlin, Europol agent Mika Coretti (Naomie Harris) is also on the Clan's trail, trying to bring down their financial empire. But her investigation makes her a target, and the Ozunu Clan sends a team of killers to silence her forever. Raizo saves Mika from her attackers, but he knows that the Clan will not rest until they are both eliminated. Now, entangled in a deadly game of cat and mouse through the streets of Berlin, Raizo and Mika must trust one another if they hope to survive and finally bring down the Ozunu Clan. (Also on single DVD). Bonus Features: Deleted scenes; Three featurettes; Clash of the Titans theatrical sneak peek Digital Copy on Disc and a Standard Definition DVD of the film.
There are no in-betweens when it comes to heist films – they are either nail-biting, blood-pressure raising thrillers or they are predictable, “saw it coming a mile away” waste of time and celluloid. Luckily, Armored fits perfectly in the first category – it's a no-holds-barred suspense actioner and an explosively entertaining heist thriller. Although it sadly received only a limited theatrical run, Armored is a definitive Must-See heist Blu-ray and DVD in the same class as The Italian Job and Inside Man as well as the Gene Hackman classic Heist. Boasting a fine, all-star cast led by CSI's new main man Laurence Fishburne, Armored also stars Matt Dillon (Crash), Columbus Short (Stomp the Yard), Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break), Jean Reno (The Da Vinci Code) and Skeet Ulrich (Jericho), the actors portray a team of down-on-their-luck armored vehicle guards whose seemingly fool-proof plan to rob one of their own trucks – planning on making off with a fortune without harming anyone. But, in this taut, action-packed thriller from up-and-coming director Nimród Antal, the plan goes terribly awry when an unexpected witness (Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia) interferes. Very quickly, the well-laid plans begin to unravel and all bets are off. After keeping audiences on the edge of their seats in theaters, the Blu-ray version of Armored comes equipped to thrill like never before – with stunningly clear picture and sound that puts viewers smack in the middle of the action. (Also on DVD). Bonus Features: Commentary with producer and cast; The featurettes “Planning the Heist: Making Of,” “Crash Course” and “Armed and Underground: Production Design.” BD ONLY Bonus Features: A Digital Copy of the film; BD-Live Enabled and movie IQ+sync.
Hawaii Five-O - The Complete Eighth Season
"Book 'em, Danno - Murder One." If all goes as planned, former Three Rivers and Moonlight leading man, Aussie actor Alex O'Loughlin, will be uttering those exact same words next television season to Ocean's 11-13 alumn Scott Caan in an updated, revved-up adaptation of the '60s crime procedural (years before they had even coined the term) for the 2010-2011 season – four decades after Hawaii Five-0 made its TV debut. Back in 1968, with its groundbreaking mix of crackling dialogue, suspenseful ploys, Hawaiian locales and irresistible theme music, Hawaii Five-O ushered in a thrilling new era of TV police action-drama -- an artistic leap in the 1960s. Starring Jack Lord as tough-as-nails, cool-as-ice Detective Steve McGarrett (the iconic role Alex plans to make his own) and James MacArthur as his second-in-command, Danny "Danno" Williams (Caan's planned TV alter-ego), this landmark TV series followed the Five-O team as they cracked down on crime while relentlessly pursuing McGarrett's nemesis -- sinister Red Chinese operative Wo Fat. Kidnappers, blackmailers, con men and killers -- with Steve McGarrett on the case, will all be brought to justice. Filmed entirely on location in Hawaii (almost unheard of in '60s TV), each week, viewers watched as McGarrett, head of the Five-0 elite state police unit, investigated organized crime, murder, assassination attempts, foreign agents, felonies of every type. Paradise was made hell for thieves, gangsters and murderers, because as far as McGarrett was concerned, they were on are going away -- for good. If you're looking for danger and excitement, Season Eight of Hawaii Five-O is considered one of the series' best years -- with all the explosive twists and turns of the legendary crime classic more exciting than ever. If saboteurs, revolutionaries and vigilantes are on Five-0's radar, then they are headed for the Honolulu's Big House. In the Aloha State, the action doesn't get any hotter than in this season -- the diabolical criminals never take a vacation, so it's crime time, 24/7. Luckily, McGarrett and the Five-O unit never go on holiday either, so It's action all the the time. Featuring powerful performances by a cadre of glittering guest stars, The Eighth Season is also packed with several Emmy-nominated performances that made Hawaii Five-O a worldwide sensation. Generations of TV fans know: if you're seeking action, adventure, beautiful scenery, and thrilling police drama, Hawaii Five-O is your destination. (Only on DVD). Bonus Feature: Episodic Promos
Breaking Bad - The Complete Second Season
If there is any one series that is as addictive as its subject matter, it's Breaking Bad. Like some form of artistic crystal meth, after on hit, you can't get enough of Breaking Bad. And its star, Bryan Cranston, who has gone up against some tough competition for the past two years at the Emmy's, has deservedly taken home the Best Actor statuette twice, back-to-back. He's phenomenal. Recently nominated for countless awards for his role as high school chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin Walter White, Bryan Cranston , the former Malcolm in the Middle star, rules Breaking Bad. The Second Season of the edgy thriller, which also features Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul. Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt and RJ Mitte, won a total of two Emmys (Lead Actor & Outstanding Single-camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series) for its enticing 13 episodes. In Season Two, Walt (Cranston) and Jesse (Paul) find themselves in even bigger trouble as their partnership reaches new heights and they begin to see the extremes of the drug trafficking business. Money starts rolling in, but it's getting more difficult than ever for Walt to conceal the truth from his wife (Gunn), his son (Mitte) and his DEA agent brother-in-law (Norris).Walt struggles to maintain control of his life as he contends with vicious drug dealers, an increasingly distant wife and son, the impending birth of his daughter, and a strung-out business partner -- all while battling terminal lung cancer. (Also on DVD). Bonus Features: Cast and crew commentaries; Deleted scenes; Inside Breaking Bad - 13 Featurettes about the making of each episodes; Season 1 Recap; “Negro y Azul: music video; "Better Call Saul” commercial; 11 Behind the Scenes featurettes; Cop Talk with Dean Norris; Gag reel' “Walt's Warning” featurette; 6 Breaking Bad Original Webisodes; Season 3 Sneak Peek; Vince Gilligan's Photo Gallery. BD ONLY: Writers' Lab - An Interactive Guide.”
Broken Embraces
Although Mo'Nique certainly deserved her Oscar win for Precious, director Pedro Almodóvar pulled the best performance out of Penelope Cruz from the great films they've done together – so it's just a shame that there could not have been two Oscars given out for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Academy Award this year. Sure, the award Cruz scored for Vicky Cristina Barcelona was well deserved, but Penelope gave every ounce of her being and acting talents for her role in Broken Embraces, the story of a man who takes on a new identity in an attempt to forget his tragic past. This should have been her year (along with Mo'Nique). You can see for yourself in this classic Almodóvar film. Broken Promises is the story of a man who writes, lives and loves in darkness. Fourteen years before, he was in a brutal car crash on the island of Lanzarote. In the accident, he not only lost his sight, he also lost Lena, the love of his life.The man uses two names: Harry Caine, a playful pseudonym with which he signs his literary works, stories and scripts; and Mateo Blanco, his real name, with which he lives and signs the films he directs. After the accident, Mateo Blanco reduces himself to his pseudonym, Harry Caine. If he can't direct films, he can only survive with the idea that Mateo Blanco died on Lanzarote with his beloved Lena. After an accident, 14 years later, Harry recalls the story of the event that changed his life. The story of Mateo, Lena, and others in his life is a tale of love, dominated by fatality, jealousy, the abuse of power, treachery, and a guilt complex. A moving and terribly heart-breaking story, the most expressive image of which is the photo of two lovers embracing, torn into a thousand pieces.(Also on DVD). Bonus Features: Deleted scenes; “Pedro Directs Penélope” featurette, “On the Red Carpet: The New York Film Festival Closing Night” featurette; Variety Q & A with Penélope Cruz; The Cannibalistic Councillor- (La Concejala Antropófaga) - an original short film by Pedro Almodóvar.
It’s a no-holds-barred fight to the death starring the world’s top mixed martial arts champions in Unrivaled. Rashad “Sugar” Evans (former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion), Nate “The Great” Marquardt, Forrest Griffin (former Light Heavyweight UFC Champion) and Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine (current UFC Light Heavyweight fighter) come together in this action-packed film set in the world of street fighting. On these streets, everyone is fighting for a way out, but after a lifetime of hard knocks, a down-on-his-luck cage fighter gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he is chosen to compete against the MMA world champion during a massive competition. The stakes are high and the reward great...But should he lose, it will cost him his life (Also on DVD.) Bonus Features: Commentary with director Warren P. Sonoda and producer Sean Buckley; “Behind the Scenes of Unrivaled” featurette;Interviews with fighters Keith Jardine, Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin and Nate Marquardt; “Directing a Chase Scene on the Set of Unrivaled” and “Fight Choreography of Unrivaled.”
Monk: Season Eight
Obsessive. Compulsive. Detective. It's hard to believe that three-time, Emmy-winning Tony Shaloub has solved his last case as eveyone's favorite phobia-laden detective, Adrian Monk. But of course, he saved the most important case of his career for last – the one that has haunted him for years – finding the killer of his wife. But it was one heck of an obsessively compulsive challenging and exciting time throughout the final season of the most quirky, original and irreverent detective show we had the chance to enjoy. And we loved Adrian Monk. Despite his overwhelming fear of germs, crowds, small places and almost everything else, Monk always proved why he was the only man for the case and why mystery lovers couldn't get enough of him. Monk never let his obsessive-compulsive disorder stop him from solving a crime in the most ingenious way imaginable. That was part of his charm and greatness. In the last season, Monk reunited with former colleagues from seasons past – as well as guest stars including Elizabeth Perlkins (Weeds), Anewale Akininnuoye-Abgbaje (Lost), Daniel Stern (The Wonder Years) and many more – for some of the most riveting cases yet. It's been an entertaining and hilarious eight seasons, and instead of creatively milking it dry, Shaloub/Monk left the series on a high note, while it was still a hit and on top. We are going to miss the wiity, smart and innovative writing that went into making Monk an intelligent laugh-fest. But, more importantly, how are we going to get through each week without Shaloub's top-notch performances to remind us how funny life can be, even under the worst of circumstances. Thank the Lord for DVDs and Blu-rays, because now we can relive the fun, suspense and excitement and enjoy the jokes and gags as many times as we want. In closing, we can't thank you enough, Tony Shaloub, for giving us the best eight years of your and our lives. (Only on DVD). Bonus Featires: Video commentary; Mr. Monk Says Goodbye; Cast and Crew interviews and Set tours.
Wonderful World
Matthew Broderick, who career has spanned several decades – from Ferris Bueller's Day Off to The Producers – delivers one of the most brilliantly multi-layered performances of his long and glorious screen and stage career. In Wonderful World, (written and directed by Josh Goldin), Broderick is Ben Singer. Struggling in all aspects of his life, Ben Singer is a failed children's folk singer, a newly unemployed proofreader and an every-other-weekend dad to his young daughter. He finds comfort in smoking marijuana alone and regular chess games with his smart and opinionated Senegalese roommate Ibou (Michael Kenneth Williams from The Wire). When Ibou suddenly falls ill and his condition worsens due to an insensitive municipal employee, Ben pours his energy into a lawsuit against the city for depraved indifference. Ben's life slowly begins to turn around with his newfound purpose and the arrival of Ibou's beautiful and engaging sister Khadi (Sanaa Lathan, A Family That Preys costar). As Ben suspects that it is his own cynicism corroding the beauty around him, he also realizes that it's all a matter of perspective Also featuring Jodelle Ferland (Good Luck Chuck), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Ally Walker (Sons Of Anarchy) and Philip Baker Hall (Zodiac), as well as a cameo performance by acclaimed musician Dan Zanes, the noted father of the modern independent kids' music movement, Wonderful World is a sweet, endearing and poignant film you'd be sorry you didn't buy or rent. You'll want to share it with the people most important to you and the closest to your heart. (Also on DVD). Bonus Features: “As Soon As Fish Fall Out Of The Sky: Character and story of Wonderful World; “Behind The Scenes: Working With Writer/Director Josh Goldin and Matthew Broderick; “Behind The Scenes Nontage” and HDNet: A Look at Wonderful World.
Princess And The Frog: Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack
Tiana, the ninth and latest enchanting addition to the legendary lineage of Disney Princesses, makes her Blu-ray and DVD debut in the rollicking Big Easy-style fairy tale,The Princess and the Frog, A timeless heroine in the tradition of Snow White, Ariel, Jasmine and the rest of the beloved royal sisterhood, Tiana comes to life with classic hand-drawn Disney animation from the revered team of John Musker and Ron Clements and a jazz-infused musical score from Academy Award-winning composer Randy Newman (Monsters, Inc.). Nominated for three Academy Awards, Best Animated Feature Film, Best Original Song “Almost There”, Best Original Song “Down in New Orleans , The Princess and the Frog transports audiences to glorious, glamorous New Orleans as Tiana, the first African American Disney princess meets her frog prince and gives him the fateful kiss that leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical, magical bayous of Louisiana. The Princess and the Frog’s colorful cast of one-of-a-kind new characters joyfully raises the animated roof, with voice performances from stars including Tony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change), Keith David (Crash), Bruno Campos (Nip/Tuck), Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow), Oprah Winfrey and John Goodman (Monsters, Inc.). Magic, music and romance are waiting around every corner of the legendary Big Easy as Disney’s newest princess sets out on an exciting adventure through a magical new world. (Also on single DVD). Combo Pack Bonus Features: Deleted scenes; six featurettes; music video by Ne-yo; The Princess Portraits Game, DVD of the theatrical version of the film and a Digital Copy of the film.
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