New Family Members: Get ready to meet the whole Miller clan on New Girl. Not only will we meet Nick’s mom, Bonnie (Margo Martindale), in an upcoming episode, more of Nick’s relatives will pop up too. The League and Kroll Show’s Nick Kroll will guest star as Nick’s dim yet passionate younger brother, an air conditioner repairman named Jamie. Stand-up comedian Bill Burr will play Bobby, Nick’s loudmouth cousin and a TSA agent at Boston’s Logan Airport who is always fighting with Jamie. The Miller-centric episode airs next month, and finds Nick (Jake Johnson) and his roommates traveling to his hometown of Chicago. His friends soon learn that Nick is somehow the most mature member of his family. [EW]
Star Goes Buckwild: MTV's newest reality show, Buckwild, features twentysomethings in rural West Virginia partying and doing reckless things. For star Salwa Amin, the self-proclaimed "Bengali in Boots," life may have just gotten a little too wild. The 24-year-old was arrested on Sunday in a drug raid outside of Charleston, West Virginia. Amin was taken into custody with two other men after an informant tipped off the drug task force that a shipment of narcotics would be delivered to a home. Officers found Amin and two other individuals hiding in a shed outside, and a search subsequently turned up a large quantity of Oxycodone in Amin's purse along with three bags of heroin in the shed. All three were arrested and arraigned on a charge of possession with intent to deliver. They remain in the county jail with bail set at $200,000. No word on how this will affect Amin’s slot in the just-announced second season of Buckwild. [E!]
RELATED: TV Tidbits: Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry Stage 'Friends' Reunion On 'Go On'
Bad Boys, Bad Boys: Andre Braugher will play a cop once again. The former Homicide: Life on the Street star has booked a new pilot. He'll star as a police captain in charge of a diverse group of detectives in an outer New York City precinct. This one's a comedy, though, and Andy Samberg will play one of his screwup subordinates. [Deadline]
House Star Gets Scandalous: Lisa Edelstein has just booked a guest stint on ABC's drama Scandal. The former House star will play a client of Olivia Pope and Associates. [TVLine]
Ray Donovan Books Frank Whaley: Showtime's upcoming drama Ray Donovan has just cast veteran actor Frank Whaley opposite star Liev Schreiber. The drama revolves around a professional "fixer" for the rich and famous in Los Angeles as he balances his work demands and complex family dynamics. Whaley will play Van Miller, an FBI agent investigating illegal activity in Hollywood. The series premieres Sunday, June 30 at 10 PM ET/PT. [THR]
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[Photo Credit: Ivan Nikolov/Wenn]
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After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
They say when the diagnosis sounds serious you should always get a second opinion, and Hollywood.com knows fans of House MD couldn’t be more serious about their insatiable desire to know the prognosis for Season Five of Fox’s medical drama and its fractious physician. So we took office visits with no less than EIGHT members of Princeton-Plainsboro’s elite diagnosticians – Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Jennifer Morrison, Kal Penn, Peter Jacobson, Jesse Spencer and Olivia Wilde – to get the prescription for what’s been ailing the audience: with no new episodes since May, take the season premiere on Sept. 16, stat!
Hugh Laurie (Dr. Gregory House)
On the dimensions of House he’s excited to explore: Laurie: There are places to go, there are layers to be revealed, situations to put him in that will reveal anxieties and desires that he has. In fact, those are things that we have actually done so far this season. In the first half dozen shows, we see House in some pretty unusual situations. We see him in ways that we haven't seen him before, dealing with his own loss, his loss of Wilson, potentially the loss of a parent and just dealing with his own grief, how grief shows itself in him. There are ways in which it surprises him as well as everyone else, but I feel just so lucky to be driving this beautifully constructed motor car. I'm just thankful that they remember to put gas in the tank, if that analogy makes any sense at all. But it is very much [the writers’] car. They designed it and I drive it where they tell me.
On the prospect that the House-Wilson “bro-mance” – now shattered – has been a surrogate for a real relationship for the doctor:
Laurie: There might be some truth to that, but: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, what is that? Is that really a marriage? Is that a love affair? It's part of what the film is, I suppose, an exploration of the nature of that relationship. There is a kind of intimacy, I suppose, between those two characters. There is a knowledge of each other, a sharing that has a sort of marital aspect to it. At the same time we're definitely not similar. We're complimentary. House wears t-shirts and sneakers and Wilson has a pocket protector for his pens, to put it at its most basic level. We're very different characters, but maybe there's an aspect to that.
On the possibility that, despite his harsh streak, House truly only wants to see his colleagues succeed:
Laurie: For all his enormous cruelty that he's shown in all sorts of situations, you're absolutely right, he's wanted to test people and wanted to put them in very difficult situations, but he's never actually wanted people to fail. I think that's true. Maybe he's a big old softy and wants nothing but the best for his children.
On his recent decision to re-up for several more seasons of the show:
Laurie: I certainly feel very, very blessed to be doing what I'm doing, playing this character which is a character that I still am fascinated by and love, I would say. Actually, I think that's part of an actor's job, to love the character that you play, in a way. I love the show, the people I'm working with – I'd be foolish not to go as far as the show goes, to go the distance with the show. If that's where it takes us then that's where it takes us. Then it may not. It might all end in a week's time, but that's partly me. I'm always thinking that way. I mean, I think this occurs in a woman’s life. It’s an enormous thing to happen, you know, your husband is cheating on you and what do you do and who are your allies and who comes to your aid? And all these things are, I think, relevant and equally true now, so it’s just a different observation, different observations on an age-old trouble.
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