Log in

No account? Create an account
Apr 4th
09:18 am
Sydney 17 Again Photocall, Courier-Herald, a review  
Let's start with the pics of Zac Efron from the Sydney Photocall cause they are gorgeous even if they are tagged. Hopefully HQs will be out soon.

An article from the Courier-Herald (AUS):

If I could turn back time

FOR an actor trying to move on from the squeaky-clean Disney role that made him a teen heart-throb, Zac Efron's new movie might seem like a slightly unusual choice.

In the three High School Musical films, the most recent of which was released last December, Efron played Troy Bolton, the spunky star of the high school basketball team.

In his next movie, 17 Again, which opens in cinemas on Thursday, he plays Mike O'Donnell, the, er, spunky star of the high school basketball team.

But that's where the similarities end, says 21-year-old Efron.

He's right, too. Whereas High School Musical was a rather cheesy, all-singing, all-dancing spectacular made bigger each instalment by millions of screaming tweens around the world, 17 Again is a surprisingly solid entry into the well-worn genre of the body-swap comedy.

"Believe it or not, this is probably the least High School character around at the time considering the character is 37 playing a 17-year-old," Efron says.

"It's almost weird for him to go back to high school, and that was fun to play with as opposed to another high school romance."

That said, Efron acknowledges that he can't afford to burn the fans who made him one of the hottest actors on the planet.

Efron has big ambitions – including an action movie and a Judd Apatow comedy – but his approach to his career is much like his personal demeanour, careful and considered.

Efron is unfailingly polite and affable, even if personal questions about his life with girlfriend and HSM co-star Vanessa Hudgens are in no uncertain terms off the agenda.

"I am making an effort to choose carefully and I am taking my time because I really don't want to alienate anyone," he says of his new role.

"It didn't feel right to do a 180-turn at this moment – I have great fans and I would not want to disappoint them in any way. This is a movie for the entire family but hopefully a couple of older parents will appreciate this one."

In the film, the lead character Mike, a bitter and cynical father of two teenagers, is coasting into middle age and riddled with regrets. Then he's given the chance to go back to his 17-year-old self and put things right. Efron plays a younger Matthew Perry in the film and says he spent a lot of time observing and hanging with the Friends star to get his mannerisms down pat.

"I was already a fan of Friends, so I had seen quite a bit of Chandler, but it was really hanging out with Matt in person where I picked up a couple of small personality traits I was able to throw in," Efron says.

"Matthew smirks a lot where I have more of a smile. He also has a typical kind of delivery and sometimes if I wasn't getting it right I could just call him to ask him where one line came from or how he would feel if something happened to him.

"And he would put it in really easy terms. I remember asking him one time how he would feel if his daughter was hitting on him, and he said 'That's scarier than being mugged', and that was all I needed to hear."

But to really connect with the idea of fatherhood, Efron had to look no further than his own family. He describes his father David, an engineer at a power plant, as a "smart guy, but a dork" and embraced that for the role.

"There is a tendency to always want to play a cool character," Efron says, laughing.

"Troy was pretty cool, he was a nice guy, captain of the basketball team, a stud. That's fun to do because you want to be that character, but when you are playing a dad you have to make an effort to be cool and completely fail and look like a dork.

"That's inevitably the situation dads encounter with their teenagers – I certainly did. My dad would always try and use our lingo, saying 'Dude' or whatever, and it just comes off wrong."

Efron says that while his family was always supportive of his acting, it was always education that came first. He was accepted into film school at the University of Southern California and it was only comparatively late, once High School Musical had taken off, that he decided to pursue acting fulltime.

While he doesn't rule out further education in the future, having spent so much time on and around film sets he decided that going back to film school would be redundant.

"After I graduated from high school I decided to take my time to see if I could make a few good movies and see what I could learn there, as opposed to going to film school," he says.

"I found that on set I was learning so much more than what I could learn in a film program. Being on a working set is a very educational place – there are so many creative people who have to work towards one common goal, and inevitably they want to share what they do with you."

Next up on Efron's busy dance card was to be a remake of the 1980s teen classic Footloose – and as recently as a month ago he was still excited about the prospect and awaiting a final script. He recently pulled out of the project, telling a US website last week that after High School Musical and Hairspray, he wanted to move in a different direction.

"It doesn't mean no more musicals forever, but right now I had so much fun doing 17 Again that I think that's the direction I want to head in," he says.

Instead, and with High School Musical set to continue into a fourth film with him, he is planning a more serious role in the film The Death & Life of Charlie St Cloud, about a cemetery caretaker who communicates with his dead younger brother.

"It sounds very grim, but it's a fantastic story," he says. "It's a little bit more grown-up. It deals with some heavy material."

Also on the radar is a remake of the '60s animated series Jonny Quest, with Efron in the title role and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as his bodyguard mentor and companion. Efron says he would love to do it but it's a long way off if it happens – and he needs to work on his action skills first.

"There are so many action movies I would just not believe myself in, and I truly believe you have to earn the right to be in an action movie," he says.

"There are steps you have to take and respect you have to earn, and I have not necessarily done that yet. I don't want to be in an action role that is completely outlandish."

Former teen star and now respected actor Leonardo DiCaprio has become something of a mentor, and he recently had the following advice for Efron.

"He said, 'Oh, by the way, if you really want to mess this all up, try heroin'," Efron says. "I said, 'Thanks', and he said, 'No, seriously, that's pretty much the only way you're going to screw this up, and you shouldn't go down that road – it will mess you up without fail. Do not do drugs'."


Greg King's review, filmreview.net.au

Hunky teen idol Zac Efron (High School Musical, Hairspray, etc) returns to high school for this cliched role swapping comedy that will certainly appeal to its target audience. 17 Again covers territory that will be familiar to anyone who has seen the George Burns comedy 18 Again!, as well as Freaky Friday, Vice Versa, Jennifer Garner’s Suddenly 30, or the classic comedy Big, with Tom Hanks as the child suddenly grown up in an adult body. In all of these films, the hero is magically transformed into another incarnation of themselves, either as an adult or a child, and they get an opportunity to experience life from another perspective, learn some important life lessons about past mistakes or missed chances, and turn their lives around.

In this case, former Friends star Matthew Perry morphs into Zac Efron. Perry plays Mike O’Donnell, an underachieving adult who bemoans that his life has been wasted. At 17 he was the school’s champion basketball player, but he abandoned his chance at a basketball scholarship to support his pregnant girlfriend. Now his two teenage kids don’t talk to him and his wife (Leslie Mann) is in the process of divorcing him and transforming her own life. After a chance encounter with a mysterious school janitor, he is transformed into the 17-year-old version of himself.

Now named Mike Gold, he goes back to high school determined to relive his life and correct his past mistakes. He also gets closer to his two kids and learns many of those parental responsibilities he has shirked. He helps his son earn a spot on the school basketball team and cope with bullies. He also helps his daughter learn that the basketball captain and school jock is a jerk. He also gets closer to his ex-wife in a rather creepy way.

So far so formulaic… and there is little that is special about 17 Again, and the film holds no real surprises. Although the producers have cleverly used Efron’s popularity with teen audiences to deliver a message about abstinence.

This is a surprising mainstream comedy from director Burr Steers (a nephew of acclaimed author Gore Vidal), who previously made the edgy and nicely written coming of age comedy Igby Goes Down. The most interesting character here is actually Mike’s best friend Ned (played by comic actor Thomas Lennon, from Reno 911!, etc), a multi-millionaire computer geek who is basically an overgrown kid in an adult body – his bed is a large car and he collects fantasy figures, etc. He develops a relationship with the school’s frumpy principal in a subplot that adds an edgy, more adult overtone to an otherwise teen friendly comedy.


^That review is from some Australian dude who apparently didn't pay enough attention to get right the name Zac's character uses when he reenrolls at high school. I'm pretty sure he goes by Mark Freedman not Mike Gold. I could be wrong about the last name but he definitely goes by Mark. I won't argue that some of his points are probably true, but that mistake sort of undermines his credibility with me, lol.


Speaking of "17 Again," I just got back from the screening, and let me tell ya, sure, there are hints of "Big" and "Back to the Future," but I laughed out loud and the chemistry of the actors are commendable!

And yes folks, Efron can act, and can go from comedy to drama without missing a beat! Watch this film when it comes out April 17.


Some twitter results from last night's screening:

Some Videos

Best video of this bunch, Access Hollywood Interview @ Showest:

AP Overview of Awards:

Some dude posted his videos from the press room, but they won't embed so click for video 1, 2.

17 Again Bust a Move Music Video:

Tom Lennon on Jay Leno:

Mood: busybusy
22 22 comments Comment
s.: nice smile zacsurrounds on April 4th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
I'm so proud of him, and I love all the good reviews the movie is getting.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on April 4th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
He's handles all of it so well. It is amazing really.

And in terms of reviews I'm hoping for rotten tomatoes in the 60%s somewhere and positive reviews on Zac's performance. Basically I'm hoping for the same kind of response that 13 Going on 30 got. So far it seems like it will happen. It isn't going to be the most amazing comedy ever... like most films made during this time frame it was hurt probably by the writers' strike.

But if it is entertaining and sweet I think that is exactly what a lot of people are looking for right now and that will generate a lot of favorable buzz and grow his fanbase. I sound so serious, lol.

And blerg, I just found another review to add. That always happens after I finish a post.
Troll St. Trollglamour_addict on April 4th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)

He looks like a Japanese school boy, with that blue sky and metropolis background. Get rid of those watermarks!

I'm so glad Bust A Move is on the soundtrack.

Beckham. LOL!
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on April 4th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
i like his look here too. and the shots were set up beautifully. i kind of even like the hair despite knowing what a disaster it looked like in that interview that was either right before or after this. lol.

speaking of, we should be getting more australian media soon. :D
Troll St. Trollglamour_addict on April 4th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
long hair in wind, fine; long hair in face, not so much.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on April 4th, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
I did watch.

I was thoroughly disappointed in how the concert audience was not getting their move on. I mean, I'm not nearly as big a fan of Miley as you, but she's a pretty good entertainer and they should've been rocking out.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on April 4th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
oh and thanks for hanging around that one zefron post too. i don't know if that's why the troll stayed away until the third page (though she then deleted her comments again, lol) but it made things a lot more like normal.
Troll St. Trollglamour_addict on April 4th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
middle part?
Troll St. Trollglamour_addict on April 4th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
ohh hair. :) nm!
Troll St. Trollglamour_addict on April 4th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to own this on dvd.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on April 4th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
ugh. comment notifications are up and down :(

but yes it isn't even out yet and i am dying to have it on dvd.
Troll St. Trollglamour_addict on April 4th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
up and down? meaning, they are delayed? I hate when that happens.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on April 4th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
yeah, it didn't help that my lj inbox was full or something. it kept getting messages but stopped counting at 1969 so i couldn't see when new stuff popped in, lol. i've fixed that though.

butterflybee260butterflybee260 on April 4th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)

Oooh I love those pics! We need them untagged asap.

I'm so happy for him and so happy about all the positive reviews and stuff. This won't be like the most amazing thing in the world but I think it will be solid.
samwise gamgee.colfer on April 4th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)

i need this untagged immediately.
wild at heart: ( ze ) ` losing sleep `jukeboxblues on April 4th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
Shruti: Zef's The Hottie Superbombcalcified on April 4th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
HAHA I'M SORRY, Zac is such a non-model. That boy!
wild at heart: ( ze ) ` drama at disneyland `jukeboxblues on April 4th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
I would give my right arm for these pictures not tagged.

Edited at 2009-04-04 08:13 pm (UTC)
Beejeezbee on April 4th, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
Can I say how amused I am that AP used Zac's name on the title of the video although there were much bigger names being honored.

I'm really happy that "17 Again" seems to be getting mainly positive reactions although I'm not expecting too much from the official reviews. A "simple" comedy like that tends to get trashed. And as long as they don't trash Zac's performance and the movie does OK on the box office, I'm good.
It's Audrey not Aubrey: AiW 2audrey_za on April 5th, 2009 12:10 am (UTC)
That little part of his speech is so humble- you can't fake sincerity like that. And if on the offchance he is, well then, damnit he's a better actor than I thought. ;)

superstar5622superstar5622 on April 5th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
These reviews have been really good! I hope that translates well for the box office...
jessica3311: Interview Magazinejessica3311 on April 6th, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
Love the photocall pics, even with the hair!

Love the reviews 17 Again is getting!

And Im happy Zac seems still interested in HS2 *yay*. Nice to set the record straight a bit after all the talk since he dropped Footloose.

I loved the part of the speech they showed @ ShoWest!

I need to still watch Tom on Leno. Im sure its great!