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.
The 92 year old and his wife, Anne, joined hundreds of other volunteers at the Los Angeles Mission to dish out turkey meals to the needy, a day before the official American holiday.
Other celebrities who took part in the event include High School Musical star Corbin Bleu and Star Trek's Zoe Saldana.
Douglas and his wife, who founded the mission's Anne Douglas Center, which helps train homeless women to get them back into employment, said in a statement, "My wife has been trying to help the women that have been forced onto the streets, and she is determined to give them a better life through the Anne Douglas Center where they have programs that improve and rebuild their lives. We gladly come to serve men and women at Thanksgiving time to give them a good meal and strengthen their desire for a brighter future."
The veteran actor was handed the Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment at the 2009 BAFTA/LA Britannia Awards in Los Angeles.
Douglas was touched to receive the honour from Schwarzenegger, as he has fond memories of working with the star on 1979 movie The Villain.
In a post on his personal MySpace page, Douglas writes, "Sometimes I think that if you live long enough you get all the awards. But last night was something special. I received the BAFTA/LA award for Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment. What was special about it was that Governor Schwarzenegger drove down from Sacramento to present it to me. That was very thoughtful.
"I worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first movie, The Villain. At that time, neither of us could imagine that he would become such an important movie star and then governor of California. He was a great guy back then, and he has never changed."
Firth claimed the night's Humanitarian Award, Blunt was named British Artist of the Year and Douglas took home the Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment.
De Niro picked up the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film.
Filmmaker Danny Boyle was honoured with the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence.
The event, held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, was hosted by comedian and author Stephen Fry.
Quentin Tarantino is a huge Jane Campion fan -- who’da thunk it?!
News broke a few weeks ago that Tarantino was, in fact, so taken with Campion’s new film, Bright Star, that he personally let her know how he felt -- by sending the Piano director a (very sloppy!) handwritten note. That note hadn't yet been seen until now. Totalfilm has the note, which you can read here.
In the very complimentary note, the Inglourious Basterds filmmaker notes that he doesn’t “like period pieces like that” but he “loved this!!!” before citing several specific elements he enjoyed about Star.
Bright Star, out now, centers on the tragic 19th-century romance between renowned English poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and his muse Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish).
Screen idol Lauren Bacall is among the recipients set to receive an honorary Oscar for their achievements in the movie industry.
Meanwhile, producer/director Roger Corman and cinematographer Gordon Willis will also pick up the famed golden statues.
Tarantino, Douglas and Huston will be on hand to present the awards at the inaugural Governors Awards gala event on 17 November (09).
Tarantino picked up an Oscar in 1995 for his Pulp Fiction screenplay, Huston won Best Supporting Actress for 1985's Prizzi's Honour and in 1996, Douglas was handed an honorary prize by the Academy.
The Wall Street star turns 65, while his wife will reach the landmark age of 40 later this week.
But instead of throwing a lavish showbiz bash, the pair is determined to keep it a family affair, and will toast the birthdays with a meal in New York - with just their family and close friends in attendance.
A source tells U.K. newspaper the Daily Record, "Catherine doesn't want to have a big bash, she'd rather just have an intimate gathering with her closest friends and family.
"The last thing on her mind is having a party that the good and great will come to. Catherine loves nothing more than to spend time with her family. She's not big into showbiz bashes, so it will be a quiet affair."
Kirk Douglas, 93, and Catherine's parents Dai and Pat will help the happy couple celebrate the big day with the meal in Manhattan.
The Hollywood veteran was assigned to a warship in the Pacific, with strict instructions to track down and explode subs lurking in the deep.
The ruthless nature of the mission set Douglas thinking about the true horrors of war - and the symbolic killing of a bird during a training exercise made it even more harrowing.
He writes on his official blog, "I enlisted in the Navy during World War II. In the Pacific, our assignment was looking for Japanese submarines. It bothered me to imagine young Japanese sailors deep in the ocean crowded on a submarine. They were looking to kill us, we were looking to kill them.
"I wondered if they felt any of the reluctance that I felt. My consolation was that I was better off than an army soldier having personal contact with the enemy. But it's a strange experience from the war that still haunts me.
"It was a sunny day in calm Pacific waters. Everything was quiet except for the constant ping, ping, ping of our underwater radar device searching for submarines. If an echo came back, bouncing off of a submarine, we would try to lower explosives and destroy the submarine and all the young Japanese sailors. That was not a pleasant thought for me.
"Our young captain decided to relieve the boredom of the day with gunnery practice. The command came to man the machine guns - the targets were the graceful swooping gulls circling our vessel. The shooting began and the graceful gulls alluded the bullets flying at them. But, suddenly, one gull, wings outstretched, was hit. All I saw were two lifeless wings slowly falling down into the sea. That terrible vision has never left me."
Douglas has agreed to present the honour to the Inglourious Basterds director at a gala dinner on 22 October (09).
Festival executive director Roger Durling says, "We are beyond excited to be able to honour a man who has turned filmmaking on its ear. He has forever changed the direction of American cinema."
The 25th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will run from 4-14 February, 2010.
Producer Rob Tapert reveals some of the more modest and less-endowed cast members of Spartacus: Blood & Sand asked to wear a prosthetic for the many full-frontal nude scenes in the TV mini-series - and the fake manhood was christened after the star of Stanley Kubrick's epic.
Tapert explains, "There is a great deal of nudity, both male and female, and some guys in the series are not as well-endowed as other guys, so we had to create the Kirk Douglas, as it was aptly named, so that certain actors would have a prosthetic that they could wear and feel comfortable.
"Someone lovingly called it the Kirk Douglas, and the name stuck.
Actress Lucy Lawless, who strips for the film, reveals, "That was Erin Cummings, who plays Spartacus' wife Sura. She thought she should have the right to name it (penis), so Kirk Douglas' agent, don't call us.
"That thing gets shared around. At the moment it's pinned to the wall next to all the merkins in the make-up truck.".