Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Actor Jason Momoa has reportedly been cast to play Aquaman in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. The Conan the Barbarian star will join Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot as the king of Atlantis in the superhero film, which is set to hit theatres in May, 2016.
According to Hitfix.com, director Zack Snyder has finalised his designs for the character and shooting with the actor will take place soon. Momoa previously denied he would appear in the film, but his representatives are now refusing to comment on the new reports.
Last night's episode of Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 was absolutely perfect. That's not because it featured tranquilizer guns, moral depravity, and jokes about gay hookup app Grindr. (But then, really, when doesn't it?) No, it was because it finally took television and the entertainment press to task for it's unhealthy obsession with "reunions." Ugh, if I have to hear one more thing about "reunions" I'm going to reunite my feet with a bridge and then disunite them when I jump the hell off of it.
Last night James Van Der Beek, who plays a version of himself on the show, was talked into doing a Dawson's Creek reunion to disastrous results. The whole thing was a play on the disturbing trend that is taking over TV when it casts people from one of its stars' old shows to try to get a little boost in the ratings. If the old gang is back together, everyone will come flocking, right? Recently we heard about the Heroes reunion on Hawaii Five-0 because George Takei and Masi Oka will both be on (this is after the same show capitalized on Terry O'Quinn and Daniel Dae Kim's Lost reunion). Then there's the Will & Grace reunion on Smash because Sean Hayes will be stopping by to sing a few bars with Debra Messing. Oh, and let us not forget about the Franklin & Bash reunion that is happening because Mark-Paul Gosselaar is going to guest-star on a show produced by his current costar Breckin Meyer.
OK, we all need to calm down with this nonsense. First of all, Gosselaar and Meyer are currently starring on a show together which has only been on for two seasons! That's like having a reunion of the cast of New Girl when you can see them already united each Tuesday on Fox for free. That is ridiculous. As for the Will & Grace reunion, do you know what that is missing? Will! And Karen! The same thing goes for Heroes, especially considering that Takei (though excellent) was never even a series regular. Where are the rest of the damn heroes? These aren't reunions, these are just popular actors appearing on the show together once again. Do you know what that is called? Acting! It is called acting on a show with someone who you have acted with in the past. It is called the way that television has always worked since the dawn of time.
You don't see The Good Wife calling it a Birdcage reunion because Christine Baranski and Nathan Lane have been cast together. You don't see the same show calling it a "Fire Island Hot Tub Party" reunion because Alan Cumming and John Benjamin Hickey are back together. You don't see TBS calling the season one episode of Law & Order featuring Cynthia Nixon and Chris Noth a Sex and the City pre-union because it happened before the later show was cast. No, some people don't want the cheap publicity from having two actors that worked together sharing craft services once again.
But some shows (Cougar Town and their several Friends reunions) or certain groups of fans (there have been more phony Lost reunions than we care to count) just won't let it go. And neither can the press, which gets plenty of clicks on the internet from the nostalgia of people wanting to reengage with their favorite old shows. Red carpet interviewers are the worst, asking anyone who has ever been on a popular show when we can expect a reunion as they walk past the wall of flash bulbs. They all say they'd love to do it, but it never quite happens. Hmm. I sarcastically wonder why? Because it's an awful idea, that's why!
As far as I can tell, this recent "reunited and it feels so good" obsession started with Jimmy Fallon trying to reassemble the cast of Saved by the Bell, which got his fledgling show plenty of attention and wasn't a horrible idea. That was around the same time when Seinfeld did a real/fake reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Also a good idea. So is Entertainment Weekly's annual "reunions" issue because it actually delves into where the people have been, has them reminisce about the show/movie that made them famous, and puts them into interesting photos. Also, in all of these cases, the entire cast gets together (minus Screech, who is still reuniting with a porn movie). A reunion is not made of two people. You don't call dinner with your mom a family reunion. It's just life. It's just the way things are.
That is what was perfect about Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23. (We really need a shorter name for this show. Don't Trust? The B? Apt. 23?) It was a little bit of a reunion – Busy Phillipps stopped by as did Frankie Muniz and our old reunion friend Gosselaar all playing versions of themselves – but without falling into the old nostalgia trap of having them relive their old roles. It took our old favorites and made them into something new and interesting. It also poked fun at the ridiculousness of the proposition to begin with: the fans who can't move past the moment in time when they were obsessed with one particular program, actors not wanting to appear ungrateful about their success but not wanting to go back into a role they're trying to outshine, and our collective obsession with nostalgia. It ended with some good advice: to walk away from the past in slow motion as it explodes like in a John Woo movie. It's time we do that to the whole concept of reunions in general. There are more shows out there than any human being can watch, tune in to one of those and just hope two people from The Wire pop up on any given episode. It happens more often than you'd even know or most people care to make a big stink out of.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: ABC]
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There's an allure to imperfection. With his latest drama Lawless director John Hillcoat taps directly into the side of human nature that draws us to it. Hillcoat finds it in Prohibition history a time when the regulations of alcohol consumption were subverted by most of the population; He finds it in the rural landscapes of Virginia: dingy raw and mesmerizing. And most importantly he finds it in his main character Jack Bondurant (Shia LaBeouf) the scrappy third brother of a moonshining family who is desperate to prove his worth. Jack forcefully injects himself into the family business only to discover there's an underbelly to the underbelly. Lawless is a beautiful film that's violent as hell striking in a way only unfiltered Americana could be.
Acting as the driver for his two outlaw brothers Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) isn't enough for Jack. He's enticed by the power of the gangster figure and entranced by what moonshine money can buy. So like any fledgling entrepreneur Jack takes matters into his own hands. Recruiting crippled family friend/distillery mastermind Cricket (Dane DeHaan) the young whippersnapper sets out to brew his own batch sell it to top dog Floyd Banner and make the family rich. The plan works — but it puts the Bondurant boys in over their heads with a new threat: the corrupt law enforcers of Chicago.
Unlike many stories of crime life Lawless isn't about escalation. The movie drifts back and forth leisurely popping in moments like the beats of a great TV episode. One second the Bondurants could be talking shop with their female shopkeep Maggie Beauford (Jessica Chastain). The next Forrest is beating the bloody pulp out of a cop blackmailing their operation. The plot isn't thick; Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave preferring to bask in the landscapes the quiet moments the haunting terror that comes with a life on the other side of the tracks. A feature film doesn't offer enough time for Lawless to build — it recalls cinema-level TV currently playing on outlets like HBO and AMC that have truly spoiled us — but what the duo accomplish is engrossing.
Accompanying the glowing visuals and Cave's knockout workout on the music side (a toe-tapping mix of spirituals bluegrass and the writer/musician's spine-tingling violin) are muted performances from some of Hollywood's rising stars. Despite LaBeouf's off-screen antics he lights up Lawless and nails the in-deep whippersnapper. His playful relationship with a local religious girl (Mia Wasikowska) solidifies him as a leading man but like everything in the movie you want more. Tom Hardy is one of the few performers who can "uurrr" and "mmmnerm" his way through a scene and come out on top. His greatest sparring partner isn't a hulking thug but Chastain who brings out the heart of the impenetrable beast. The real gem of Lawless is Guy Pearce as the Bondurant trio's biggest threat. Shaved eyebrows pristine city clothes and a temper like a rabid wolverine Pearce's Charlie Rakes is the most frightening villain of 2012. He viciously chews up every moment he's on screen. That's even before he starts drawing blood.
Lawless is the perfect movie for the late August haze — not quite the Oscary prestige picture or the summertime shoot-'em-up. It's drama that has its moonshine and swigs it too. Just don't drink too much.