It was an afternoon of magic, mayhem, and mysteries as the cast of Once Upon a Time graced the PaleyFest panel on Sunday. The enchanting cast and creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis took the stage to dish bewitching details about what’s still to come in Season 2 of the ABC drama. From time-traveling storylines, to new realms and former flames, Hollywood.com was there to gather all the highlights. Read on for scoop on Henry’s fate, Rumbelle’s awkward love-triangle, Sheriff Graham’s return and much more!
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Journey to Neverland: Kitsis confirmed that later this season fans will be transported to a completely new and different realm that we’ve never seen before. Although he wouldn’t reveal where, fans instantly figured out the puzzle when Horowitz reveald the titles for the Season 2 finale. “The final two episodes of season two they kind of work as a two parter. Part one is “Second Star to the Right” and part two is entitled, “And Straight on Til Morning.” Grab some fairy dust and put on your jammies because we’re headed to Neverland! And let’s just say that Hook is not the only character who’s lived in this forever young land — Bae’s been there too.
Henry vs. The Dark One: As we learned in the final few seconds of “Manhattan,” the seer revealed to Rumplestilskin that one day a young boy will be his undoing, to which The Dark One sneered, “Well then I’ll just have to kill him.” Kitsis explains that Rumple will eventually have to face this fate-filled decision. “We saw when Rumple was last given a choice between love and power he let his own son go, so the question is has he learned anything and what chance does his grandson have?” After Lana Parilla pretended to punch Robert Carlyle in the face for threatening her TV son, Horowitz presented an interesting point, “An is undoing a bad thing?” Perhaps there’s hope that both Rumple and Henry can co-exist without any bloodshed.
Return to The Enchanted Forest: In many of the most recent episodes, Charming has expressed his strong desire to return to their fairytale-filled land. Kitsis confirms that this vision of home is something that our swashbuckling Prince is willing to fight for. “As much as David likes electricity, he misses his sword, and he misses his horse, and he misses his castle, he wants to kill some ogres and he wants to rebuild his land this is something that I think a lot of people could go on board for so we’ll see if that happens.” Kitsis says.
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Captain Swan Scoop: While many fans are dying for this electrifying duo to finally lock lips, there are two people who would be less than pleased with the pairing: The parents. “I’ll let you take this one daddy,” Ginnifer Goodwin says to her on-screen (and off-screen!) beau Josh Dallas. The actor channels his protective father side saying his character would “definitely’ have a problem with a Captain Hook/Emma Swan hookup. Dallas says, “They want to protect her and they love her. They want to make sure that she has a shot at her happy ending,” Goodwin chimed in adding, “I think it would be tricky for her being with someone who shared her baby’s daddy’s mothers bed.” Ooh snap!
Welcome Back Sherriff Graham! Fans across the interwebs have been aflutter ever since it was revealed that dearly departed Sherriff Graham (Jamie Dornan) would be returning to set. The fan-favorite will be returning in episode 17 entitled, “Welcome to Storybrooke.” Horowitz reveals “[This] is an episode that we’re very excited about and we’re going to see the early days of Storybrooke.” Kitsis continues, “It’s the first week of the curse… We are going to get more insight into what it was like that very first week in 1983 what was life like for the evil queen to live in and to figure out this modern clothing.” Parilla was quick to assure fans that Regina will not be rocking a perm in this episode, however we will get to see more about her desires to look into adoption.
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Tootles Belle, Hello Lacey: For those of you who are crossing your figners and toes for Belle to regain her memory, we’ve got some bad news for you. We’ll let Kitsis explain: “Remember when David Nolan was in a coma and he woke up and didn’t know who he was and then all of the sudden one day his cursed personality took over?” Be prepared Rumbelle fans because in episode 19, Belle is released from the hospital but she’s not the same innocent book-loving girl. Get ready to meet Lacey. “She is the opposite of Belle… things are going to get a lot more interesting for Mr. Gold,” Kistis says. Emilie de Ravin also offered her two-cents on the new character: “Racey Lacey.”
Always-Evolving Characters: You may think Snow White is the purest of pure, but be warned Once fans, the characters of Storybrooke always have a chance to change. “I think the interesting thing about our show is that we don’t write all of the good characters completely good, and we don’t write all of the bad characters completely bad.” Kitsis says, “And at the end of the day they’re all searching for their happy endings, it’s just that some of them have a harder path.” Especially our dear sweet Snow. (Hint-Hint!)
What do you think of all the Once Upon a Time goodies we’ve gathered? What storyline are you most eager to see more of? Intrigued to meet Lacey? Cast your spell in the comments below!
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[Photo Credit: Kevin Parry/Paley Center for Media]
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Alfred Hitchcock is noted as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and rightfully so — his body of work comprised of over 60 films is skillfully composed highly dramatic and eclectic from beginning to end. So pulling back the curtain on the legend in his own medium was only a matter of time a how'd-he-do-it biopic that could pay respects to the collected works while revealing the master's process. Hitchcock directed by Sacha Gervasi (Anvil: The Story of Anvil) pays its respects but also reveals another unexpected quality of the auteur's behind-the-scenes life: it wasn't all that dramatic.
Anthony Hopkins slides into the silhouette of the recognizable director and does a reasonable job nailing his cadence and posture. Side by side with his wife Alma (Helen Mirren) who as the movie reveals was the director's close collaborator Hitchcock strides confidently into the world of independent cinema for the first time balking at studio heads who demand something more audience-friendly than the gruesome Psycho. Investing his own money into the film Hitchcock risks everything to turn the story of murderer Ed Gein into a high art horror picture. He finds a leading lady in Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson) a script in a screenwriter with mommy problems and a closeted actor to portray the sexually exploratory Gein.
And that's about it. Hitchcock disguises the usual stresses of moviemaking as major hurdles even representing Gein as a specter who haunts Hitchcock's every decision. Aside from the brief suspicion that Alma abandons him mid-production for charming writer Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston) which feels stuffed in and meandering rather than intrinsic to the making of Psycho there's little explanation for Hitchcock's anxiety and downward spiral. The film even dabbles in Hitch's well-known infatuation with his leading ladies — explored to a terrifying degree in last month's The Girl — but places the director on too high a pedestal to ever dig deep.
The real star of the show — and perhaps one who would have made a better subject for feature film — is Alma a complex second fiddle overshadowed by the greatness of Hitchcock. Mirren once again delivers a lively performance as a woman desperate to live her own life; the scene when she lets loose on Hitchcock is easily the high point of the movie. But like the audience who unknowingly appreciated her work behind-the-camera Hitchcock is too obsessed with the man at the center of it all to open up and give the character or Mirren the spotlight.
Hitchcock's time period flourishes and camera work are presented simply (Gervasi keeps hat tipping to the auteur's oeuvre to a minimum) while Danny Elfman whips up a score that riffs appropriately on longtime Hitchcock collaborator Bernhard Hermann's works. But there's no hook to elevate the film from a puff piece and even the biggest Alfred Hitchcock fan will be grasping for something more.
The best way to go into Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is to think of it as the first film in a brand new franchise; a franchise in which mermaids love men zombies won’t eat you and a Fountain of Youth exists but all laws of logic reasoning and competent storytelling don’t. Although screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio were smart enough to sever the narrative ties to the first two sequels in their franchise’s fourth outing the latest swashbuckling adventure in the series shares most of the same faults its predecessors faced.
Director Rob Marshall (Chicago) steps in for Gore Verbinski in On Stranger Tides but you’ll be hard-pressed to find his contributions to the already-flashy film that finds our hero Capt. Jack Sparrow (the inimitable Johnny Depp) on the hunt for the fore mentioned fountain. Of course he’s not the only one looking for eternal life: also in tow are nameless stereotypical Spaniards the English crown headed by a reformed Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and Blackbeard a ruthless pirate who looks and sounds a lot like Ian McShane. Their paths cross on numerous occasions as the story scrambles across the map culminating in a splashy battle in a magical meadow where Ponce de Leon’s greatest discovery lies.
Less a cohesive story and more a collection of individual set pieces linked together by nonsensical dialogue and supernatural occurrences the film isn’t all that hard to follow if you don’t strain yourself doing so. The sequence of events collide so conveniently for the characters you can’t help but call the screenplay anything but the result of complacency while the film itself sails so swiftly from point to point it’s actually a waste of time to dwell on plot holes and motives. Disrupting its momentum (which is one of the few things the film has going for it) is an unwatchable romance between Sam Claflin’s missionary Philip and Syrena (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) one of a handful of murderous mermaids who do battle with Blackbeard’s crew. Their bland courtship will have you begging for Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley to return to the high seas and that’s saying something.
The all-female fish people are one of a few additions to the Pirates world but their effect on the film is negligible outside of being the impetus for the coolest action sequence in the picture and perhaps the most unnerving of the series. The others include Penelope Cruz as Blackbeard’s busty daughter Angelica and Stephen Graham as shipmate Scrum. The former feels out of place among the cartoony happenings but provides much needed sass while the latter fills in for Kevin McNally’s Gibbs for much of the film and is a pleasure to watch for some hammy comedic moments.
As always however this is Depp’s show and he continues to put a smile on my face with his charisma and theatrical presence. Even though he’s operating on autopilot throughout you can’t help but marvel at his energy and enthusiastic output as he literally fuels the fun in the film. The same can be said of Rush who’s given a meatier and more significant arc this time around. He trades quips with Depp as if they were a golden-age comedy duo and they remain the most appealing attraction in the franchise. Though he brings an undeniable sense of danger to the picture I was sadly underwhelmed by McShane’s Blackbeard a character with such a domineering reputation and imposing look he should’ve been stealing scenes left and right. Instead I felt he phoned his performance in though that could’ve been the result of Marshall’s indirection.
No better than the genre-bending original but a slight improvement over Dead Man’s Chest and At Worlds End On Stranger Tides suffers centrally from lack of a commanding captain. Marshall’s role is relegated to merely on-set facilitator or perhaps liaison between legions of talented craftspeople that make the movie look so good. Whatever vision he had for this venture if he had a unique take at all is chewed up and spit out by the engines of the Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster factory rendering the film as mechanical as the ride from which it is based.
As the real-life 1950's pin-up girl Bettie Page actress Gretchen Mol shakes her moneymaker in this true-American-story drama. Page a Tennessee-raised religious cutie moves to New York in 1949 for a new life when college dreams don't materialize. She's a trusting soul who loves to pose for strangers' cameras and naturally falls into modeling. In no time she's wearing suggestive lingerie and trading spankings with other models. To Bettie the bondage get-ups are silly not prurient. But despite efforts to expand herself and learn acting she remains a pin-up girl. In Bettie's most famous picture she's posing nude in a Santa hat in a 1955 Playboy magazine. After testifying at Congress amid the sexual Puritanism of the '50s Bettie realizes her "notorious" reputation. She quits the biz for her religious beliefs and disappears from the public eye for good. Mol's performance is described in press materials as "incandescent." It is brave to say the least. The actress’ movie career has needed a jolt since she was labeled the next “It” girl in the late ‘90s after starring with Matt Damon in the 1998 Rounders. Her last film was Neil LaBute’s 2003 The Shape of Things. But Mol finds her niche in Notorious. She plays Bettie as she was--a simple-minded and free-spirited character which can be a dangerous combination. The actress doesn't add impresario nuances to the pliable young woman beyond the Southern accents but it is an incandescent performance nonetheless. Lili Taylor (I Shot Andy Warhol) brings her rough features to Paula Klaw Bettie's tough-minded manager transitioning from the Emmy-nominated success of HBO’s Six Feet Under. Mol and Taylor play off each other very well. Recent Oscar-nominee David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) also sneaks in there as a Southern senator calling for pornography investigations. In the hands of director/writer Mary Harron and writer Guinevere Turner Notorious snaps along like an old crime noir quick like a paperback on the beach. It is ironic and biting smoldering with sexuality but the melodramatic intentions are obvious. The dialogue lapses into clunky spots occasionally but they seem deliberate. The script's potency should not be understated. It's a statement about government's role in bedroom matters and the side effects of an American society prudish about its sexuality. Harron seems a sharp-edged journalist a chronicler of 20th century America and recruited Oscar-nominated researcher Sam Green (The Weather Undergound) to strengthen the movie's veracity such as recreating '50s-era Times Square. Bygone technical methods such as Super 8 cameras are used to match the classy black-and-white photography. Notorious is a little rough but fairly successful in its mission.