20th Century Fox
There is an obvious standout scene in The Counselor, one you'll recognize as soon as you reach it: without giving too much away, it involves a wild-eyed Javier Bardem recounting, to his pal and fledgling criminal Michael Fassbender, a sexually-charged memory involving himself, his beloved and bewildering Cameron Diaz, and the windshield of his flashy yellow convertible. Flashing back between lines of Bardem's trembling narration to haunting snapshots of the event in question, we witness the film peak in electricity — we see the cast having a rare bit of fun on this slow crawl through the crevices of human desperation, and we see Ridley Scott's stronghold on the direction of the film loosen just a bit to give the script's weirdest material a venue worthy of its character.
It's a unique moment in the movie when it doesn't feel like the grisly, earthy realism of Scott's vision and the savory heightened reality pulsing through Cormac McCarthy's script are at odds. More often than not, the The Counselor's desert backdrop and dispirited denizens dry out the movie to the point where what we're watching, no matter how attractive, feels like it's forcing its way down. But it's the brief snippets into the otherworldly imagination of McCarthy, who writes this script as if it were a novel, that keeps us drinking up The Counselor.
We enjoy festive gulps of the characters who speak almost entirely in maxims, and the bizarre world that seems to operate in accordance with these bubbles of nihilistic wisdom. While Fassbender's male lead is scrubbed clean of any role beyond the courier of Scott's occasionally barren A-story thriller, and his fleeting accomplice Brad Pitt offers little more than a head of hair from which to shield your eyes, some of The Counselor's more inviting participants manage to really make McCarthy's poetry work. Bardem, as a criminal world fixture terrified and undone by his powerhouse lover — bouncing between our sympathies and alien fascination — lays claim to some of the movie's most engrossing scenes, the aforementioned topping the list. But the only performer who truly embodies the fantastical genus of McCarthy's writing is Diaz, offering not so much a character from a peculiar story but a creature from a bizarre planet.
As the sun around which McCarthy's solar system revolves, Diaz institutes herself as the beacon of the weird wilderness with which this script is filled. Covered in cheetah spots, sporting a gold tooth, and never wavering from her flawlessly delivered tenets of sociopathy, Diaz gives us the height of The Counselor's capabilities, the pinnacle of what would — in more generous hands — emancipate it entirely from the gritty crime thriller identity it winds up inhabiting.
Although Scott is a director with penache, he gets in the way of McCarthys' strengths on this outing. Having imbued so many science-fiction stories with the reality and humanity they needed, Scott seems to miss the point on this one: The Counselor is a real world thriller that needs more of the feel of McCarthy's fantasy.
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Eccentric rock legend Frank Zappa's son Dweezil is to mark the 40th anniversary of his late dad's fabled 1973 three-night Roxy & Elsewhere stint in Los Angeles by recreating the shows at the same venue. Dweezil Zappa will perform three Zappa Plays Zappa shows at the Roxy on 7-9 December (13) to commemorate the three dates (8-10 December) his father played there in 1973 with his Mothers of Invention band.
The gigs will launch a series of events marketed as The Year of Zappa by the bosses of the rocker's trust. Details of gigs and happenings that will take place throughout 2014 are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday night (23Oct13), the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra will mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of the city's Walt Disney Concert Hall with a presentation of the world premiere of Zappa's 200 Motels.
Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen will lead the city band, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale in the production, which will feature soloists and characters from Zappa's 200 Motels film and a band that includes Mothers of Invention star Ian Underwood and Zappa collaborator Scott Thunes.
Pearl Jam have scored their fifth number one album in the U.S. by dethroning Miley Cyrus and keeping Sir Paul McCartney off the top of the Billboard 200 chart. Lightning Bolt debuts at number one with 166,000 first-week sales, more than doubling second-placed Miley's Bangerz. McCartney's acclaimed new release New enters the countdown at three with 67,000 copies sold.
Pearl Jam previously topped the Billboard 200 with Backspacer, No Code, Vitalogy and Vs. Lightning Bolt is the group's 11th top 10 album.
Rounding out the new top five, Drake's Nothing Was the Same slips a spot to four, and The Avett Brothers debut Magpie and the Dandelion at five. Also new to this week's top 10: Scott McCreery's See You Tonight at six and Willie Nelson's To All the Girls, which debuts at nine, giving the grizzled country legend only his second top 10 album - the 80 year old last hit the top echelon of the countdown in 1982 with Always on My Mind, according to Billboard.com.
Meanwhile, on the singles chart, Lorde lands a fourth week at number one with Royals and Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus swap places at two and three with Roar and Wrecking Ball, respectively.
An unheard radio show featuring David Bowie in his 1970s heyday is to be broadcast for the first time. The recording, featuring the legendary musician performing five tracks from his 1973 covers album Pin Ups, was discovered by researcher Nigel Reeve.
The 15-minute tape was recorded in 1973 to promote the album but was not broadcast at the time.
Reeve tells the BBC, "It was in an old tape vault on quarter-inch tape with simply the words 'Radio Show' written on it. This is such a rare find. No one knew of its existence, apart from David and (producer) Ken (Scott). To play it for the first time was quite simply a jaw-dropping moment."
The recording will be broadcast on the BBC's Radio 6 Music on Wednesday (23Oct13).
Clint Eastwood's son Scott is reportedly one of five actors being considered to replace Charlie Hunnam in the upcoming 50 Shades Of Grey adaptation. The Sons of Anarchy actor decided to step away from the lead role earlier this month (Oct13).
Former child star Haley Joel Osment is set to make his return to the big screen with two indie dramas. The Sixth Sense actor took time off to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, but will star in Tusk and Me Him Her, according to Deadline.com.
In Tusk, Osment will play a man on the hunt for his podcast co-host in the Canadian wilderness. The film will be directed by Kevin Smith and is set to start filming North Carolina and Los Angeles in November (13).
The former child actor's role in Me Him Her is currently under wraps, but the film reportedly also features Scott Bakula, Alia Shawkat and Geena Davis.
Suddenly busy Osment is also set to appear on U.S. sitcom Alpha House and the miniseries Spoils Of Babylon, which will debut in January (14).
Rosie Perez is "disgusted" with her make-up free look in new drug trafficking thriller The Counselor after director Ridley Scott forced the actress to remove her cosmetics and mess up her hair to portray a prisoner. The Do The Right Thing star reveals she got all dolled up for her first day of filming in London, but she was immediately sent back to her trailer so she could be given a more stripped down look.
She says, "I look busted and disgusted (in the film)... When I went on the set... I'm Puerto Rican so my hair's important and so... I did my hair all nice and everything.
"(Scott) goes, 'No, you're in prison' and I go, 'What?' and he goes, 'And you gotta take off the make-up.' (He told the movie's make-up artists), 'Put some dark circles under her eyes and make her look ugly.' I go, 'Why? There's women who do their hair in prison!' (But) it was great for the character."
Parks and Recreation has settled back into its familiar groove, with Leslie's (Amy Poehler) struggle to keep her council seat serving as a nice framing device that informs the stories around the office. But no real forward momentum is achieved, primarily because the petty Councilman Jamm (Jon Glaser) ties her up in an obviously manufactured trial about an inappropriate tweet sent from the Parks Dept. Twitter.
For all the talk, we never get to see the offending picture... but it's not a full-on Anthony Weiner, just a racy snapshot of a pair of lips and an eggplant and the caption "See you tonight. Hope you like tongue baths, you big nasty fireman," which, as far as inappropriate tweets go, seems pretty tame. However, it didn't stop Leslie from being railroaded at every opportunity for her negligence by Jamm. Surprisingly, we get Donna (Retta) in a main plot this week, as she proved to be the offending tweet-er, and the trial uncovers some rude things she wrote about Leslie on her personal page. However, for some reason, the conflict between Leslie and Donna clears up through Chris (Rob Lowe), not via a confrontation between Leslie Donna. It would have been nice to see a little bit more of Leslie and Donna alone, since the season (and the show) has been a little Donna-starved, and Donna's frustration at Leslie being "annoying" was solved a bit too simply.
It also continues its parade of guest stars, with the appearance of Tatiana Maslany as Nadia, a doctor from Indianapolis looking to book a park with Tom (Aziz Ansari) and April (Aubrey Plaza). You'd think Tom would have more game after dating Jama Williamson, Natalie Morales, Rashida Jones, and even Jenny Slate as the crazy Mona-Lisa. But, instead, at the sight of Maslany he panics and immediately begins faking a British accent. Maslany is of course best known for her lingual flexibility on Orphan Black, so to see her baffled by Tom's attempt at being dapper (and then, of course, being forced to drop it) feels like a nice reference to that show while still grounding it in character. From there, Tom attempts bribery, stalling, and eventually, outright lying in hopes of charming Nadia, but in the end what wins her over is April's blunt assessment of why she should give him a chance: "You're way out of his league. There's literally no risk for you at all."
The ensemble feels a little light this week, but that may just be due to the lack of Ann and Andy, as almost every other character appears and had something to do. Ron (Nick Offerman) and Ben (Adam Scott) tackle the thrilling subject of estate planning, as we find out that Ron's will is a single sentance he wrote when he was eight (of course it is) and he now has an outrageous amount of money (of course he does). Eventually, Ben must convince Ron to file a real will in order to protect his children. While Ron's reluctant transformation into a family man is sweet, it's also becoming somewhat one-note already, and could be time to switch it up for the character. But if they keep adding great bits like the ongoing accountant/lawyer rivalry between Ben and his attorney, I'll still be laughing. Who knew lawyers hated puns so much?
Questions, Comments, and Concerns:-Ron, on making his first joke: "I don't care for it."-Tom's burgundy suit was pretty fly. Looks like now that Rent-A-Swag is defunct he's got all of those clothes to himself again. -The Anti-Leslie "Committee to Recall Leslie Knope" farting Knope dolls is kind of lame for a show that's this funny.-Leslie's idea to add question mark stickers to "Recall Knope" signs backfires when April gets ahold of them, making every sign around the town read like a hypothetical. Also great: she creates a question mark plastered fascinator in the shape of an exploding firework. -#BitchBoss is obviously an insult, while #BossBitch is a total compliment. #PsychoBoss probably most accurately describes Leslie.-Ron is confident that he will not die at the hand of an accountant, lawyer, or wild boar.-DJ Roomba lives!
Actors Amy Poehler and Adam Scott can add interviewers to their resumes after reuniting Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers to celebrate their classic TV series Hart To Hart. The veteran stars played Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, a wealthy couple moonlighting as amateur detectives, for five years from 1979, and they were brought back together recently for Entertainment Weekly's annual reunion issue.
Series superfans Poehler and Scott sat down with the pair for a filmed interview, which aired on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America on Thursday (17Oct13), during which Wagner revealed that he and Powers had to battle show producers to keep their characters in a state of loved-up bliss.
He explained, "You know, it's great to be married if it works. We never got into any domestic squabbles (onscreen). They (producers) constantly wanted to have conflict... between us and we fought very hard for that (not to have fights onscreen)."
Powers added, "(We wanted to be) two people who were adults, who were in love with each other and had chosen to be together and were there because of free will."
Poehler and Scott, who are co-stars on U.S. comedy Parks and Recreation, even reenacted the opening credits for Hart to Hart, donning Seventies' garb as they cruised down a highway in an open-top sports car.
British model/actress Kelly Brook is opening a Great Gatsby-themed nightclub. The Celebrity Juice star is teaming up with entrepreneur Nick House, who owns London hotspots Mahiki and Whisky Mist, for her first foray into hospitality with the Steam & Rye bar in the U.K. capital.
The new venue, which will have a Prohibition-style interior inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, will open in the former Bank Of New York building in the heart of the capital's financial district on 21 November (13).
Brook says, "I have always been inspired by the glamour and opulence of 1940s Americana. This is my first venture into hospitality and we've teamed up to deliver something extraordinary. There's nothing like it in London."