Jailed The Sopranos star Lillo Brancato, Jr. is mourning the death of his former co-star James Gandolfini from behind bars. The actor was in shock when a fellow inmate in New York's Hudson Correctional Facility told him the sad news that Gandolfini had suffered a fatal heart attack in Italy on 19 June (13).
Brancato, Jr., who is serving time for his part in the murder of an off-duty cop in 2005, tells the New York Daily News, "I couldn't believe my ears. I thought it was a mistake."
The 37 year old, who was discovered by Robert De Niro, hails Gandolfini as an inspiring mentor, adding, "I admired him so much as an actor and so much as a person. I've been privileged to work with some of the most renowned people in Hollywood. He was right there with them."
A funeral for the acting legend is to be held in New York on Thursday morning (27Jun13) at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.
Jonathan Mostow is a man who brings his affinity for sci-fi action to the hungry masses – too bad he can’t seem to get it right! You would think that after the Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines fiasco studio heads would’ve learned to keep him working in more “practical” settings (though the events of his past works like Breakdown and U-571 are far from realistic). It’s ironic that the only thing that kind of works in Surrogates his first film since the underwhelming Terminator threequel are the practical effects which is of course a must when you’re dealing with cyborgs.
Adapted by his T3 writers John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris from the graphic novel of the same name by Robert Vendetti and Brett Weldele the movie is a 90 minute marathon of acting as artificial as the mechanical subjects that drive its story which is as predictable as its one-dimensional characters. It is set in a semingly utopian future where there is virtually no violent crime since 99% of the human population lives life almost entirely through the use of life-like (and swimsuit-model-like) robots controlled remotely from the comfort of your own home. The plot centers on the murder of a two of these robots known as Surrogates and the rabbit-hole of a conspiracy that unravels when two Federal agents are assigned to the case.
Those agents are played stiffly by Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell who lead a cast that looks okay on paper including James Cromwell (basically reprising his role from I Robot) Rosamund Pike (a Bond girl is a believable look in a world populated by perfect robots) and Ving Rhames (if it’s a Pulp Fiction reunion you were hoping for abandon hope all ye who venture here) but falls painfully short of its expectations. There are a few brief displays of emotion that the actors reveal at the most obvious points in the narrative namely when we see their characters reflect upon their own perverted lifestyles.
As previously stated what makes the film watchable in the slightest is its use of practical effects like genuine explosions & crashes and convincing make-up. The colorful photography snaps crackles and pops especially in this Blu-ray convert. Unfortunately every set piece in every contemporary action film requires a mix of these more traditional techniques and computer generated imagery which is noticeably sub par in Surrogates. The car-chase sequence at the climax of the movie is a perfect example of how terrible CG and bad film editing can ruin the experience.
The Blu-ray experience wasn’t enhanced at all by the discs Special Features which include a peek at the cutting edge scientific research and development that is bringing society closer to Surrogacy a music video (whatever) some meaningless deleted scenes a look at how the graphic novel informed the filmmakers and a commentary from director Mostow that is regretfully about as interesting as the film itself.
With stories like this who even needs the “Inspired by true events” shield? Primeval tells of the world’s most prolific killer Gustave. You see Gustave is a crocodile and he remains at large to this day. His thirst for human blood goes unpublicized until he chows down on a white woman at which point an American newsman Tim Manfrey (Dominic Purcell) his cameraman Steven (Orlando Jones) and TV personality Aviva (Brooke Langton) head down to Burundi Africa where they hope to document the capture of Gustave. They’re joined by a wildlife preservationist of sorts (Gideon Emery)—a rare breed in a post-Steve Irwin world—who doesn’t want to harm Gustave. The deep jungles of Africa become a veritable obstacle course when the locals embroiled in a long-standing civil war and unwilling to have some damn Yankees televising their homeland stand in the crew’s way not to mention Gustave proving an evasive 20-foot-long um little bugger! The names might not ring a bell but you’ve seen these three stooges before--all on TV in fact. Purcell is currently enjoying about half the 15 minutes of fame of Wentworth Miller on Fox’s slipping Prison Break. Purcell plays Tim with steel and virility as he hides his Aussie accent for the most part but he’s still got a ways to go to reach Clive Owen’s caliber of acting--and more importantly Owen’s caliber of roles. Langton of The Net (the TV show adapted from the Sandra Bullock movie of the same name) and Melrose Place fame shows off the beauty that will afford endless opportunities to prove herself as a “real” actress—which is ironically similar to her character’s plight—but will never get there with roles in movies like Primeval. And Jones still best known for and plagued by his 7-Up commercials is in true negligible-sidekick mode here--worthy of a snicker approximately once out of every dozen times he tries overzealously to get one. Jaws may come to mind based on the water creature-stalking-man plot but well it’s tough to even mention those two in the same sentence. Director Michael Katleman a TV fixture himself at least doesn’t even aim high enough to reach that level. No from the get-go he’s shooting more for an Anacondas feel—and yes that’s the horrific sequel to the so-terrible-it’s-fun J.Lo “original.” Katleman almost reaches Anacondas-ian highs but not quite. Among other notable problems the director cannot for one moment strike the right balance between the aforementioned level of guilty pleasure-dom and genuine horror. Instead he catches us off guard with what are supposed to be the thrills—and also with the comedy. Finally once Gustave is revealed which should essentially be the moviegoers’ reward the croc looks more a prop sitting in a theme-park lot. And the script from John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris (Terminator 3 co-writers)—well let’s just hope with the story being uber-derivative and cheesy enough as it is Orlando Jones ad-libbed all of his unlaughable comedy!
The Sopranos actors John Ventimiglia and Louis Gross have both been arrested on unrelated charges.
Ventimiglia--who plays chef Artie Bucco on the hit TV show--was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning on suspicion of drink driving and possessing cocaine.
The 37-year-old was pulled over after the Volkswagen car he was driving swerved without its headlights on. The arresting officer said the actor smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred.
Subsequent tests found a blood alcohol level of 0.12 per cent--the legal limit in the US is 0.08 per cent--and Ventimiglia was allegedly carrying a small plastic bag containing the residue of a white powder believed to be cocaine.
Ventimiglia protested his innocence and has been released while a court date is set.
His lawyer Benjamin Petrofsky says in a statement: "John feels terrible and embarrassed. Until we gather all the information we will have no further comment."
Louis Gross, who portrays bodyguard Perry Annunziata, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly breaking into a New York City property.
Gross was released on Monday without bail. He told reporters, "I don't know nothing. I'm innocent. I'm always innocent." Ventimiglia and Gross are not the first Sopranos to really fall foul of the law.
Big Pussy star Vincent Pastore pleaded guilty in November to attempting to assault his girlfriend, while Lillo Brancato Jr.--who played an up and coming mobster--faces murder charges after a police officer was shot dead following a bungled robbery.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Oscar-winner Halle Berry's flop Catwoman and US President George W. Bush's government were the big winners at Saturday's Golden Raspberry Awards.
Berry shocked film fans when she graciously arrived on stage, clutching her Academy Award, to collect her Worst Actress Razzie at the Los Angeles ceremony. Catwoman won four accolades, including Worst Director for Pitof, Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay.
Berry said, "Oh my gosh, oh my God. I never in my life thought that I would be here, winning a Razzie. It's not like I ever aspired to be here, but thank you.
"When I was a kid, my mother told me that if you could not be a good loser, then there's no way you could be a good winner. It was just what my career needed--I was at the top and now I'm at the bottom."
Meanwhile a host of top Republicans, including Bush, were honored for their 'performances' in Michael Moore's hit documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.
The anti-Bush film picked up four accolades including Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Worst Supporting Actress for Britney Spears' cameo and Worst Screen Couple for Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice or his pet goat.
(Story continues below...)
Bush's California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was also named Worst Razzie Loser of the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation's 25-year history, for actors who received the most nominations without ever winning a trophy.
The full list of winner is:
Worst Picture: Catwoman
Worst Actor in a Leading Role: George W. Bush in Fahrenheit 9/11
Worst Actress in a Leading Role: Halle Berry in Catwoman
Worst Supporting Actor: Donald Rumsfeld in Fahrenheit 9/11
Worst Supporting Actress: Britney Spears in Fahrenheit 9/11
Worst Screen Couple: George W. Bush and either Condoleeza Rice or His Pet Goat
in Fahrenheit 9/11
Worst Remake or Sequel: Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
Worst Director: Pitof for Catwoman
Worst Screenplay: Catwoman written by Theresa Rebeck and John Brancato &
Michael Ferris and John Rogers
Worst Musical of our First 25 Years: From Justin To Kelly (2003)
Worst Comedy of our First 25 Years: Gigli (2003)
Worst Drama of our First 25 Years: Battlefield Earth (2000)
Worst Razzie Loser of our First 25 Years: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
The third installment in the successful Terminator franchise Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines takes place about a decade after Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The story follows soon-to-be hero John Connor (Nick Stahl) who is now 25 and living "off the grid"--an untraceable existence designed to circumvent both his destiny and visitors from the future namely The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger). But Connor's path proves inescapable especially since Judgment Day was never stopped--it was just delayed. Unbeknownst to Connor Skynet is just hours away from being launched making computer software self aware and ready to initiate a nuclear war. Enter two visitors from the future: The Terminatrix (Kristanna Loken) a T-X that Skynet sent back to kill Connor and future members of the Resistance movement in order to make the human race easier to overpower in the future; and The Terminator who has been sent back by humans to protect Connor and his childhood friend Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) an important future player in the Resistance. But the outdated T-101 Terminator is hardly a match for the highly superior T-X cyborg making the struggle to abort a nuclear attack virtually impossible. The script by scribes John Brancato and Michael Ferris isn't foolproof but it isn't full of itself either. The writers have fun with the characters especially The Terminator who for example stops to pick out a cool pair of shades while robbing a convenience store.
It has been 12 years since Schwarzenegger was The Terminator but the 55-year-old action star has never looked better. Staying true to it predecessors T3 doesn't call for Schwarzenegger to string too many sentences together and there are several amusing variations on his classic line "I'll be back." But the sometimes corny dialogue is delivered with inside humor that make it easier to swallow. And although Schwarzenegger plays an emotionless robot his "programming" can sometimes almost be misconstrued as sentiment. In one scene Connor says The Terminator is the closest thing to a father he has ever had and in a way we almost wish he was. Connor meanwhile is played by Stahl (In the Bedroom) who is well cast as a hero-to-be who although reluctant about accepting his destiny realizes his role in mankind's future war with the machines is too important to deny. The remarkably talented and prolific Danes (The Hours) plays his friend Kate a compassionate and quick thinking young woman who proves she can take care of herself. (At one point Connor tells Kate she reminds him of his mother played in the last films by Linda Hamilton). Danes gives Kate a grounded and sensible dimension rather than the now-typical shoot-'em-up action heroine. Of course T3 would not be complete--or half as entertaining--if it weren't for Loken's performance as the "terminatrix" T-X. Not only is she beautifully charming and brutally lethal but she can run a mean mile in stylin' stilettos.
While making T3 seemed implausible without visionary filmmaker James Cameron who directed The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) in steps Jonathan Mostow to steal the show. Mostow the Ivy League director who helmed the submarine thriller U-571 stays true to the '80s popcorn actioner opus here both in storytelling and style yet his updated special effects add a subtly modern element to the pic. In fact Mostow seems to have stripped T3 back to basics: There are no slo-mo shots of The Terminator slicing through the air no excessively slick martial arts fighting sequences just straight-up metal-crunching action. Combined with Stan Winston's animatronics the CGI effects including the morphing of T-X from a fleshy human form to a metallic endoskeleton make the story more credible but unlike the latest rash of hi-tech actioners the F/X element is not the only star of the movie. More importantly Mostow delivers an intriguing storyline that despite some holes in the plot relating to time travel and causality builds and maintains suspense. There is never a dull moment in this man vs. machine tale and at 108 minutes the film also bucks the tiresome two-plus hour trend.