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.
Forget about a union of unions.
By a slim margin, the Screen Actors Guild members voted down the proposed merger between SAG and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Variety reports.
Following a ballot-count that took all day, the results were announced late Tuesday at the Radisson Wilshire Plaza Hotel in Hollywood, Calif. and showed support from nearly 58 percent of SAG voters, just 2 percent shy of the 60 percent required to pass SAG legislation. AFTRA, on the other hand, approved the merger by a whopping 75 percent.
The acrimonious campaign has been a hotly debated topic for the members of SAG since it was first proposed. Proponents lead by SAG president Melissa Gilbert claimed that combining SAG and AFTRA would lead to greater bargaining clout with studios and operating efficiencies along with resolving jurisdictional disputes.
Opponents to the merger, lead by actors Valerie Harper, Ed Asner and Elliott Gould, were able to persuade voters that SAG would be a shell of itself under the new structure and that the new union would be less responsive to the unique needs of actors, and how their pension and health plans would be affected by the merger was unclear.
"I am shell-shocked," Gilbert said at the press conference, while AFTRA president John Connolly blamed the opposition's tactics for the defeat. "Fear is a powerful motivator in an election," he said. "They used everything they could to instill fear."
"I am so thrilled. The members really came through," Reuters reports board member Harper said at the news conference. "It was an ill-conceived, unwieldy conglomerate idea. It was hastily put together, foisted upon and then sold to the members in the form of slogans," continued Harper, who unsuccessfully ran twice for the SAG presidency against the more moderate Gilbert.
SAG has about 98,000 members--of whom about three-quarters are unemployed at any one time--and AFTRA 77,000 members, though some 44,000 performers maintain membership in both guilds. The two unions have been trying to merge for nearly 60 years and the last merger vote, in 1999, was defeated by 52 percent of SAG voters, Reuters reports.
Even though the "consolidation and affiliation" plan is now only a pipe dream, SAG and AFTRA must prepare for a new battle this fall, by starting up a round of high-stakes negotiations with the advertising industry on a commercials contract. According to Reuters, the last talks, in 2000, resulted in a bitter six-month strike.
Former Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert was elected the 23rd Screen Actors Guild President, defeating opponent Valerie Harper. A total of 91,054 ballots were mailed to eligible voters nationwide, and by the March 8 deadline, 37,742 ballots were returned. The 41 percent turnout represents one of the highest returns of election ballots in the guild's 69-year history. Gilbert won a SAG election held in November, but a revote was called after the union election committee threw out the results alleging balloting irregularities. Elliott Gould was elected as Recording Secretary and Kent McCord was named as Treasurer.
After a slew of films, including The Shipping News and Iris, Judi Dench says she is taking a long-needed break. The Oscar-nominated actress said that she has immersed herself in work since her husband of 29 years died of cancer in January 2001, and she needs time to face up to his death, reports the BBC.
A strange illness has affected at least 100 guests who attended a pre-Oscar ceremony at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills on Saturday. Everything on the menu is being examined, from the fish and beef to the desserts and wines, the Associated Press reports. Guests experienced symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and nausea, which lasted one to two days.
Tonight, viewers will finally be able to see the 2 1/2 minute trailer for Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, which showcases elaborate special effects and battle sequences. The commercial will air on Fox between new episodes of Malcolm in the Middle and The X-Files.
Robert Iger, the president of Walt Disney Co., said Friday that while he is not sorry for ABC's pursuit of David Letterman, he regrets letting comments denigrating the relevancy of Ted Koppel's Nightline fester for so long. "If there were mistakes, it was in allowing statements like that live in the public eye without addressing them immediately, and for that I take full responsibility," he told AP.
A source who recently spent some time with the boy band 'N Sync claims the group may be disbanding as early as this fall. MSNBC's gossip-guru Jeanette Walls reports that the boys are interested in pursuing solo careers, especially Justin Timberlake. "Britney's very supportive of him being solo, but I don't think she's a divisive factor. She's not Yoko Ono, " Walls reports the source as saying.
Meg Ryan's stalker has been found competent to stand trial for breaking into a home he thought belonged to the actress. John Michael Hughes broke into the Malibu home of Tomas and Andrea Ryan on Jan. 6, where police found him eating ham and green beans, AP reports. He also had a night vision scope and was dressed in black.
Movie props from a London film prop shop will be auctioned off at Sotheby's from March 13 through 15. According to Reuters, items include a century-old clock in a full-sized coffin (with its own skeleton) from 1975's The Rocky Horror Picture Show and a small gilded Buddha that appeared in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.
All 75,000 tickets for the first five shows in Paul McCartney's "Driving USA" tour sold out within 30 minutes of going on sale, Reuters reports. Fans bought the tickets for the shows, which include Toronto, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, via the telephone and the Internet. The tour kicks off on April 1 and will stop in 19 cities, ending in Florida on May 18. It's the former Beatle's first American tour in 10 years.
Mariah Carey is on the rebound. After the back-to-back flops of her debut film Glitter and its soundtrack, the sometimes troubled singer is negotiating for a new label. Among the companies that have made offers are Warner Music Group's Elektra and Warner Bros. Records, and Universal Music Group's label Island Def Jam.
Political scandal stories that went by the wayside after the events of Sept. 11 are suddenly resurfacing. First it was Monica Lewinsky's 90-minute interview feigning irritation at her lack of privacy. Now, according to columnist Michael Musto, wide-eyed U.S congressman Gary Condit is following up his stultifying interview with Connie Chung with a new tell-all book.