August 09, 2012 12:16pm EST
Do the Bourne movies make any sense? Enough. The first three films — The Bourne Identity Supremacy and Ultimatum — throw in just enough detail into the covert ops babble and high-speed action that by the end Jason Bourne comes out an emotional character with an evident mission. That's where Bourne Legacy drops the ball. A "sidequel" to the original trilogy Legacy follows super soldier Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) as he runs jumps and shoots his way out of the hands of his government captors. The film is identical to its predecessors; political intrigue chase scenes morally ambiguous CIA agents monitoring their man-on-the-run from a computer-filled HQ — a Bourne movie through and through. But Legacy has to dig deeper to find new ground to cover introducing elements of sci-fi into the equation. The result is surprisingly limp and even more incomprehensible.
Damon's Bourne spent three blockbusters uncovering his past erased by the assassin training program Treadstone. Renner's Alex Cross has a similar do-or-die mission: after Bourne's antics send Washington into a tizzy Cross' own training program Outcome is terminated. Unlike Bourne Cross is enhanced by "chems" (essentially steroid drugs) that keep him alive and kicking ass. When Outcome is ended Cross goes rogue to stay alive and find more pills.
Steeped heavily in the plot lines of the established mythology Bourne Legacy jumps back and forth between Cross and the clean up job of the movie's big bad (Edward Norton) and his elite squad of suits. The movie balances a lot of moving parts but the adventure never feels sprawling or all that exciting. Actress Rachel Weisz vibrant in nearly every role she takes on plays a chemist who is key to Cross' chemical woes. The two are forced into partnership Weisz limited to screaming cowering and sneaking past the occasional airport x-ray machine while her partner aggressively fistfights his way through any hurdle in his path. Renner is equally underserved. Cross is tailored to the actor's strengths — a darker more aggressive character than Damon's Bourne but with one out of every five of the character's lines being "CHEMS!" shouted at the top of his lungs Renner never has the time or the material to develop him.
Writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton Duplicity and the screenwriter of the previous three movies) is a master of dense language but his style choices can't breath life into the 21st century epic speak. In the film's necessary car chase Gilroy mimics the loose camera style of Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass without fully embracing it. The wishy washy approach sucks the life out of large-scale set pieces. The final 30 minutes of Bourne Legacy is a shaky cam naysayer's worst nightmare.
The Bourne Legacy demonstrates potential without ever kicking into high gear. One scene when Gilroy finally slows down and unleashes absolute terror on screen is striking. Unfortunately the moment doesn't involve our hero and its implications never explained. That sums up Legacy; by the film's conclusion it only feels like the first hour has played out. The movie crawls — which would be much more forgivable if the intense banter between its large ensemble carried weight. Instead Legacy packs the thrills of an airport thriller: sporadically entertaining and instantly forgettable.
July 25, 2012 9:51am EST
"You can make her do anything you want… For men everywhere tell me you're not going to let that go to waste."
It's a chilling turn of phrase that Chris Messina's character Henry utters when he meets the woman that his brother Calvin wrote into being. Calvin played by Paul Dano is a frustrated writer but more than that a writer who published to great acclaim at a young age who has yet to do anything since. He begins writing a character named Ruby Sparks and as he falls in love with his creation he can't stop writing. It's exhilarating and addictive. Played by Dano's real-life girlfriend Zoe Kazan Ruby Sparks is a one-dimensional male fantasy a cutesy young woman on roller skates… until she appears in his kitchen one morning. Calvin quickly learns that even though he can control her with a few taps on his typewriter Ruby has an ever-changing will of her own.
Ruby Sparks is written by Kazan with the sort of bite that a trailer can't be tied up with a neat little bow. There is gorgeous California sunshine an airy house in a hip part of Los Angeles the trendy Figaro café where Calvin finds out that other people can see Ruby and a delightful interlude with Calvin's hippie mother and stepfather played by Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas. As gorgeous and gleeful and wide-eyed as Ruby is and as much as Calvin adores her the relationship develops and changes even as he succumbs to the temptation to rewrite her. Calvin an essentially insecure man unravels and becomes more and more of a controlling jerk until he's faced with the truth of how far he's willing to go to keep Ruby from leaving him. It becomes sad and frankly disturbing with an admirably raw performance by Kazan that lingers.
While Ruby Sparks serves as an interesting commentary on wish fulfillment in fiction writing its juicy subtext is far more important. Under the surface the film delves into how we're culpable for the way we see our lovers and how we want to change them or make them something they're not. Eventually Calvin has to decide whether or not he wants to continue editing Ruby to fit his specifications; he has to face that that means about him as a person and as a man. It's Pygmalion with a feminist twist. We see plenty of dumb romantic comedies about women tricking men into changing but it seems like there's an endless parade of indie films written by men about loveably girly women whose only reason for being is to act as a catalyst for the man's emotional growth. While this is absolutely true in some ways for Ruby and Calvin there's a meat to the script and Kazan's performance that makes "Ruby" rise to the top. There are plenty of words (or that overused phrase) we can use to describe Ruby but in the end Calvin wrote those traits into her and these are details that Ruby shucks off as she grows. Similarly as women grow up we learn we can (and have to) stop performing tricks to become the person our significant other wants or sees in us.
Without revealing too much the end of Ruby Sparks could be read a number of ways. On one hand it is a bit of a misstep that undermines the general thrust of the story but it could also be seen as simply a happier more hopeful ending. Romantics will find it satisfying but those hoping for Ruby's full emancipation might find it lacking.
This is the first film for directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris since 2006's Little Miss Sunshine and although they have much in common — including Dano — Ruby is a darker unrulier movie. The idea of movie-goers being led in to see Ruby because of Faris and Dayton's names or because of the trailer is delightful because they're going to get a little bit of a different experience than they're prepared for.
[Full disclosure: I interviewed Zoe Kazan for a profile in the August/September issue of BUST magazine.]
June 22, 2012 7:16am EST
According to E! Online, James Marsden is getting ready to become a father for the third time — but the mother isn't his estranged wife.
Marsden and Lisa Linde separated in 2011 after 11 years together, and the X-Men actor reportedly began dating an as-yet-unidentified supermodel very soon after the split — and now she's expecting.
A source told E! News, "A girl he dated after he separated from his wife has told him she is four months pregnant. She is very excited to be a mom."
Marsden, who is already a father to son Jack Holden and daughter Mary James, recently appeared as a guest star on TV's 30 Rock and will next be seen in the Kirsten Dunst Bridesmaids-y comedy Bachelorette, out this September.
James Marsden Shows Off His 'Straw Dogs' Jazz Hands
Patrick Wilson and James Marsden Head to the 'Loft'
Casting Roundup: James Marsden Visits '30 Rock,' and More!
May 13, 2012 11:47am EST
If you aren't wearing your sunglasses, please put them on a dramatic fashion. CBS has revealed that CSI: Miami has been canceled after 10 seasons.
CSI: Miami was the first spinoff of CSI, and it was reportedly scrapped because it's more expensive to produce than the newer, lower-rated spinoff CSI: New York. The network released this statement: CSI: Miami leaves an amazing television legacy – a signature look and style, global popularity and as a key player in CBS’s rise to the top over the past decade. We thank all the producers – led by Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and Ann Donahue — and its talented cast, led by David Caruso, for 10 outstanding seasons. Viewers around the world will continue to enjoy rebroadcasts of CSI: Miami in syndication and on key digital platforms for many years to come.
You can also enjoy the best of CSI: Miami right now with this compilation of all of Caruso's most ridiculous one-liners:
CBS also revealed that it's canceled A Gifted Man after one season. Star Patrick Wilson lashed out at network executives for failing to inform him that the show wouldn't get a second season. “So... shocking to no one: #agiftedman is done,” he Tweeted. “Found out via email...and not from the network. Stay classy. Thanks to AGM fans! Great cast/crew!”
CBS Renews (Almost) Everything: 'The Good Wife,' '2 Broke Girls,' 'HIMYM' & More
Casting Roundup: 'CSI: NY', 'Body of Proof' and 'Cougar Town' Welcome New Guest Stars
Hollywood.com's Guide to Spring 2012's TV Finales
[Hollywood Reporter, Deadline]
May 11, 2012 5:00am EST
Dempsey has led the cast of the hit TV medical drama for eight seasons, but his contract expired this month (May12) and he recently admitted he was unsure about continuing his role as top neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd as he also wanted to pursue his passion for car racing and build on his film career.
He said, "The question is will I do a full season, a half season or come back at all? There are a lot of things I'd like to do: racing, films... so if I'm able to balance all those things and continue on with the show, why not?"
And producers appear to have bowed to his requests to accommodate his busy schedule - Dempsey has signed on until 2014.
Breaking the news to fans on his Twitter.com blog, he writes, "Looks like two more years on Grey's".
News of the contract renewal came on Thursday (10May12), as his fellow leading castmembers Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers and Chandra Wilson also followed suit.
Grey's Anatomy: Are Meredith and Derek Over?
Celine Dion Recovering After Vocal Trouble, Bogus Death Rumors
Justin Bieber Reveals His "Boyfriend" To The World
May 10, 2012 6:52am EST
Grey's Anatomy fans' hearts can start beating again because it's official: The six remaining original stars have all signed on for two more seasons. According to Deadline, Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers as well as James Pickens, Jr. and Chandra Wilson will all be returning to the medical drama next fall, keeping the main core of the series in tact. It's a (Mc)Dream come true!
Contract negotiations for these leading stars have been up in the air for almost a year now, causing fans to panic excessively over worry about the fates of their beloved Seattle Grace doctors. In fact, Grey's creator Shonda Rimes even went so far as to leave the eighth season finale open-ended in case some of the cast chose not to return.
Thankfully, it doesn't look like we'll be needing to stitch our hearts back together anytime soon since the rest of the ensemble remains signed on through next year as well. Hopefully this means we won't have to worry about any major deaths come time for the finale. Fingers crossed, anyway.
So get ready for more hardcore surgeries, on-call room hookups, and Miranda Bailey one-liners because this crew is here to stay. Commence the victory dances.
Grey’s Anatomy Finale Details Emerge, Get ‘Em While They’re McSteamy
Grey's Anatomy: Are Meredith and Derek Over?
Grey's Anatomy: When the Patients' Storylines Are Better Than the Doctors'
May 07, 2012 12:12pm EST
Ah, prom. The single most important thing to an 18 year-old American with an active libido and a pop culture saturation. Prom is built up to be one of the best memories a high school student will make. Unfortunately, like most of the best things in life, prom is far from free (take that, Luther Vandross). Of course, when it comes to movies, prom always seems a bit more feasible financially... mostly because movies have the convenience of "skipping over" the whole financial aspect of a story, in favor of the more exciting romantic aspects. Check out the list below of some of cinema's greatest prom movies, complete with calculations about just how much these nights would cost in real life terms, and whether or not the characters could truly afford them.
10 Things I Hate About You
Character: Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger)
Expenses: Tuxedo + a guitar to make up for the whole “I’ve deceived you from the start” thing = $600
Funds: Dirty money courtesy of Joey Donner
Payoff: He tamed the shrew, and fell in love
Character: Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles)
Expenses: Dress + pearl necklace = $500
Funds: A father who, while dead-set against the idea of either of his daughters having fun, is secretly generous enough to buy her whatever she wants
Payoff: A brand new guitar... oh, also love, and a new lease on life
Character: Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)
Expenses: Tuxedo + an ice pack for his punched nose (also courtesy of Joey Donner) = $108
Funds: Never revealed
Payoff: A whelming end to all the burning, pining and perishing
Character: Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs)
Expenses: Tuxedo = $100
Funds: Never revealed, although he does have some generous parents
Payoff: He fulfilled his pact, met his future wife, and began the next step
Character: Michelle Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan)
Expenses: Dress + band camp (which proved to be necessary preparation) = $650
Funds: A band camp counselor's salary
Payoff: Met her future husband, which started her on a path to gradually losing that bizarre speech habit
Character: Carrie White (Sissy Spacek)
Expenses: Dress + and a whole lot of funeral arrangements = tens of thousands of dollars
Payoff: The ability to start a fire
Character: Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon)
Expenses: Tuxedo + professional dance lessons (don't be fooled into believing that people can just dance like that) = $200
Funds: Never revealed, but he might have won a few bucks betting on tractor chicken
Payoff: Bringing joy back to the American Midwest
The Girl Next Door
Character: Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch)
Expenses: Tuxedo + limo, camera crew, pornographic actresses, various other film production materials = Well over $1000
Funds: Retroactive profits from his highly successful line of sex education films
Payoff: He fell in love, got to go to Georgetown, and, most importantly, had something to write in the “I Will Always Remember” section of his yearbook
Character: Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan)
Expenses: None; she didn't even wear a dress — that tiara really jazzed up her math-lete jacket, though
Funds: Did that math competition victory come with any prize money?
Payoff: Instituting a new regime of kindness, acceptance and honesty throughout her high school
Never Been Kissed
Character: Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore)
Expenses: All the era-appropriate clothing and age-concealing makeup to make a twenty-something reporter look like a high school student = $300
Funds: A reporter's salary... so there's probably some debt
Payoff: Spoilers: she gets kissed
Pretty in Pink
Character: Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald)
Expenses: None — she made her dress herself
Funds: Just the loving support of her father to overcome feelings of social inferiority
Payoff: The kind of unmistakable ending the world just doesn't get any more
She's All That
Character: Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.)
Expenses: Tuxedo + a soccer ball = $125
Funds: Never revealed.
Payoff: Indecent exposure that probably landed him behind bars
Character: Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cooke)
Expenses: Dress = $250
Funds: Art is a frugal career, right?
Payoff: The love of a boy who, even at the end of the movie, was kind of a jerk
Character: Louise Miller (Robyn Lively)
Expenses: Dress + amulet polish = $275
Funds: When you have witchcraft, do you really need money?
Payoff: The valuable lesson that all the magic you need is in your heart
The above prices for tuxes and dresses were gathered from Men's Wearhouse, Prom Girl, and the Hollywood.com staff's rampant high school nostalgia.
Glee Video: Guys Sing One Direction at Prom
Superman Spends What? The Price of Being a Superhero
Batman Spends What? The Price of Being a Superhero
February 24, 2012 11:12am EST
When celebrities use Twitter, it's a double-edged sword. On one hand, it provides them a great opportunity to create a nice rapport with their fans and institute some free publicity. On the other hand, they run the risk of looking like complete fools who shouldn't be allowed to tweet their own thoughts (please see: Ashton Kutcher and Chris Brown). Therefore it's important to tread the Twitter waters with caution and choose who to follow very carefully. So to help, here are some of the funniest jokesters we recommend you start following -- that is if you haven't already. Trust us, these guys put those 140 characters to good use.
Steve Carell (@SteveCarell)
Though he just joined the Twitter ranks Feb. 23, the former Office star already has a following of 110,438 people. That's pretty impressive for a day's work, especially since he's only posted one tweet, saying, "I am in." And while that alone doesn't make him seem all that worth following, it's important to remember that this is Steve Carell we're talking about. He's one of the funniest guys in the entertainment industry, so once he hits his Twitter stride (and he will) there will be no looking back.
Rainn Wilson (@rainnwilson)
It may be hard to believe, but sometimes Wilson is even funnier than his Office character Dwight Schute. His tweets are humorous and unique enough so you know it's really him. Checking out his posts periodically offers a nice little break from the world and are definitely worth a laugh or two. Not to mention, he also gives his input on current events, so it's always interesting to see his input.
Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling)
I know there seems to be an Office theme going on here, but it can't be helped since all these people are ridiculously hilarious. Anyone who's read her books knows that Kaling is an absolute genius when it comes to the written word, so anything she has to say is worth reading. Just recently she went to go see This Means War and tweeted about wanting to go back in time and take Chris Pine's virginity. Who doesn't want to read about that?
Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow)
If you love her show, you'll love her tweets. The TV host manages to bring a lot of her own personality into each and every message she posts. Whether you’re looking for relevant tweets, or just something to make you laugh, Ellen never disappoints. And she clearly states in her own Twitter bio: "My tweets are real, and they’re spectacular."
Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien)
All CoCo fans can back me up on this one. He started tweeting when he was let go by NBC and has since become a huge internet sensation. Everything and anything this guy says is funny. His comments range from actual new stories to flat out nonsense. Either way, Twitter world is definitely a better place with the likes of this guy around. We're cuckoo for Coco!
Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo)
Martin's Twitter comments are always loaded with a type of clever sarcasm that is usually rare to come by, especially on a social media site. For example, he just recently tweeted about this Sunday's Academy Awards, writing, "Practicing VERY humble speech for Oscar night since I am not nominated." You really just can't help but love him.
Joel McHale (@joelmchale)
Whether he's starring on Community or hosting The Soup, this guy is always going to make you laugh and his tweets are no different. From telling followers about his daily decisions (to shave or not to shave?) to making comical remarks about his fellow celebs, this guy is the cream of the tweeting crop. If I were you, I'd definitely start following him ASAP.
Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH)
When you think comedy, you automatically think NPH, so it's no surprise he's on this list. Though he can come across as a little pompous on his hit show How I Met Your Mother, this comedian's tweets prove he's anything but. Harris actually gets personal on his account, tweeting about parenthood, acting projects, and what life is like in the public eye. And of course there's always a hint of that self-deprecating wit we've grown to love. If that's not enough, Time magazine even named him as having one of the best Twitter feeds last year. The whole world can't help but love him.
Rico Rodriguez (@StarringRico)
Though his real life name might not mean much to you, his character name on Modern Family certainly will. Rodriguez plays the lovable Manny Delgado on the ABC show and don't let his youth fool you, he's absolutely hilarious. Why would you want to get a glimpse into this guy's mind and thoughts? His tweets are both innocent and adorable, much like himself. So whether you're a fan of the show or not, it definitely wouldn't hurt to follow this little comedic gem.
Charlie Sheen (@charliesheen)
This name needs no introduction. Though he's slightly calmed down from a year ago, his tweets are always worth checking out, if for nothing else just to experience a good eye-roll every once in a while. To his credit though, his tweets are never boring.
February 02, 2012 3:11pm EST
James Wan is in talks to direct a sequel to his 2010 horror hit Insidious, with scribe Leigh Whannell already set to write the screenplay for the follow-up, due next year.
The film, which cost just $1.5 to make and grossed almost $100 million at the (worldwide) box office, starred Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne as parents trying to ward off evil spirits.
Wan, who also directed the first Saw movie (and has produced the six subsequent installments), has another, as-yet-untitled horror flick penciled in for 2013.
January 24, 2012 5:09pm EST
Ron Livingston (pictured, right) and Lili Taylor are set to join the cast of the supernatural thriller formerly known as The Conjuring, THR reports. Now being developed under the far more appealing moniker of Untitled Warren Files Project, the film, which is based on a true story, concerns "a husband and wife team (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga) of demonologists and psychic investigators who enter the most horrifying case of their career, spirits in a Rhode Island farmhouse." Livingston and Taylor will play the inhabitants of said spooky farmhouse.
Untitled Warren Files Project was written by Chad and Carey Hayes. THR fails to mention a director; James Wan (Saw, Insidious) is credited on IMDB. The film is slated to begin shooting in March in North Carolina.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter