The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
David Lynch's Mulholland Drive was voted the best picture of 2001 by the New York Film Critics Circle. Robert Altman was named best director for his 1930s period piece Gosford Park, while Helen Mirren took the best supporting actress nod for her performance in the film. Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson were voted best actress and actor for their stunning work in Todd Field's In the Bedroom and Steve Buscemi won best supporting actor kudos for Ghost World. Rounding out the picks, the Chinese In the Mood for Love was chosen as best foreign-language film and Richard Linklater's Waking Life took top honors in the animation category.
Tom Hanks is DreamWorks' flavor of the month. Having already signed on to star in two new films for the studio, Terminal and The Road to Perdition, he is now in negotiations to star in DreamWorks' Comrade Rockstar based on the life of the late rocker Dean Reed.
"You talkin' to me?" Robert De Niro heads the list of the 100 greatest film actors of all time, at least according to a poll of 13,500 British movie channel FilmFour viewers. Al Pacino came in second, while Kevin Spacey and Jack Nicholson followed in the third and fourth spots. Jodie Foster was the highest ranking female star in 23rd place.
Supermodel Cindy Crawford is going to try her hand at acting once again. She'll be starring in the romantic drama The Simian Line with William Hurt, Lynn Redgrave, Eric Stoltz and Harry Connick Jr. Crawford's last movie, 1995's Fair Game, bombed at the box office.
The Wall Street Journal reports that NBC will be the first network to run advertisements for hard liquor in 50 years. In a deal with UK's Diageo, whose brands include Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray gin and Johnnie Walker whiskies, NBC will run the ads during primetime hours (9 p.m. to 11 p.m.), as well as during late-night television. The first commercial for Smirnoff will run this weekend during Saturday Night Live.
The six-million dollar man, Steve Austin, is coming back--to the big screen. The 1972 Martin Caidin novel Cyborg, on which the hit '70s TV series The Six Million Dollar Man was based, is being developed as a feature by Dimension Films and Universal Pictures. Kevin Smith is being rumored to direct.
Fox's hit show Malcolm in the Middle will air a special one-hour post-Super Bowl episode Feb. 3, with guest stars Susan Sarandon, Bradley Whitford, Christina Ricci, Patrick Warburton, Stephen Root, Tom Green and Fox Sports personalities Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw.
The never-shy Elton John will promote lipstick for cosmetic company MAC, in an effort to raise money for AIDS. He'll be joining Mary J. Blige and Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage, in the ad campaign.
Chevy Chase and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels will be developing a new NBC series targeted for the 2002 fall season. A twist on the popular 1960s series My Three Sons, Chase will play a modern-day Fred MacMurray who is a single dad to three teenage daughters.
The Walt Disney Co. has paid $902,778 to settle claims that a subcontractor of Disney, who made beaded tiaras and wands for Disney, were paying their workers less than a quarter of the mandated minimum wage. A spokeswoman for the studio said they were unaware that labor laws were being violated.
Eagles guitarist and solo artist Joe Walsh will receive an honorary doctorate in music from Kent State University during a commencement ceremony on Saturday. Walsh has stated that he regrets having not graduated.
Thousands of mourners gathered Friday in Manhattan for a funeral procession and memorial service for the late singer Aaliyah. Celebrities such as Sean "Puffy" Combs, Mike Tyson, Lil' Kim, Missy Elliot and Jay-Z attended. Aaliyah's casket was displayed in a horse-drawn carriage with glass sides, followed by five limousines draped in flower arrangements. Twenty-two white doves were released into the air following the service at St. Ignatius Loyola Church. Aaliyah died Aug. 25 in a plane crash in the Bahamas.
Walker, Texas Ranger star Chuck Norris and wife Gena welcomed twins on Thursday: a boy, Dakota Alan, and a girl, Danilee Kelley. Though the twins were born a month premature, there were no complications, according to The Associated Press.
Carson Daly's latest request: for Motorola to pay him $1 million. The MTV VJ, host of Total Request Live, Daly is suing the electronics company for allegedly backing out of an advertising deal for Daly to promote Motorola's line of cell phones. Motorola claims it could not pay Daly the sum due to economic woes within the company. A Motorola spokeswoman told AP that no contract between Daly and the company existed.
The five cast members of CBS' Becker who have disputed their contracts with the show's production company, Paramount Network Television, have settled their conflict out of court. According to Reuters, the fivesome--Terry Farrell, Alex Desert, Shawnee Smith, Saverio Guerra and Hattie Winston--filed suit against Paramount on Tuesday, but all parties have reached an undisclosed agreement. Paramount issued a statement on the matter, saying that the five actors simply suffered from "misunderstandings and miscommunication regarding Paramount policy."
Actress Anne Heche will speak about her long history of mental instability with Barbara Walters on Wednesday's installment of 20/20. According to ABC reports, Heche will reveal that she suffered traumatically from years of sexual abuse by her father and that she has an alter ego, named Celestia, who's from another planet and speaks to God. Heche also will reveal that she was insane during her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres.
Elizabeth Taylor, Nicole Kidman and model Claudia Schiffer scolded the world's young people Friday for turning their backs on the AIDS epidemic, according to Reuters. ``It is the most powerful thing in my life and I will fight until there is a cure,'' Taylor said at the Venice Film Festival. Speaking about today's youth, she said, "They don't like to use condoms because it doesn't feel so good. But death feels even worse." Kidman, however, soon let her thoughts turn to ex-hubby Tom Cruise. When reporters at the festival asked her what sort of man she's looking for now, the actress dissed Cruise by saying, "I'll take a tall man."
Singer Victoria Beckham, best known as Spice Girl "Posh," has told Reuters that she blames former Spice Girl Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell for instilling a weight-problem insecurity within her, going so far as to say: "Geri would say things such as don't put sauces on food, that low-fat things were just as good and that I could try not eating so much.'' Because of Halliwell's scrutiny, Beckham said she began to not eat altogether while the girl group was still together.
The article of clothing that embodied Sex Pistols lead singer Johnny Rotten's political philosophy--the famous "Anarchy" T-shirt--will go on the auction block Sept. 20 at Sotheby's. The white cotton shirt is expected to nab about $4,350. The shirt is part of a collection owned by Helen Wellington-Lloyd, who once lived with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, Reuters said.