Actress Sarah-Jane Potts has been tapped to replace Georgina Rylance in the U.S. TV adaptation of hit British series Broadchurch. Rylance exited Gracepoint earlier this week (begs10Feb14) over creative differences, and producers have acted quickly to find her successor.
The Kinky Boots star play a hotel owner in the series, which also stars David Tennant, Anna Gunn, Jacki Weaver, Michael Pena and Nick Nolte.
It is set to air in the U.S. later this year (14).
Usually, in the home stretch before a movie's release, the team is concerned with churning out trailers and subway posters and scheduling Conan appearances. But with only two months to go before Darren Aronofsky's Noah hits theaters, the director has opted to do something rather... unsettling: add a major character in the form of Nick Nolte.
The mastermind behind Black Swan tweeted the news on Tuesday, instilling in fans the same emotional discord embodied in the rattled photograph of the 72-year-old acting legend. We've seen the first trailers for Noah, and were none too enthused by what Paramount was setting up for us then. Does Aronofsky's last minute casting shakeup indicate a lack of confidence in his established project? Does he think that bringing on the 48 Hrs. star as Samyaza, a "watcher," will finally make this a Biblical epic worth seeing?
Right now, we don't know what to think about Noah. While the name Aronofsky screams imagination and reinvention, what we've seen thus far is just big, loud, clunky, ugly, and dull. Everything we would expect from a Renny Harlin Noah. Not what any of us had in mind for Aronofsky's vision, and probably not what he had in mind either. From the looks of it all, the terrifically ambitious project has gotten away from him, and he's just now scrapping together to turn it into something that works.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
But just how much good can casting Nick Nolte do? At what point in the process did Aronofsky identify his character Samyaza, an angel consumed by lust, as a vital part of the story? And more importantly, will this mean that Noah's release will be pushed past March 28?
We've seen a lot of distribution date juggling in the past year: The Great Gatsby was booted from winter 2012 to summer 2013, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation from summer 2012 to spring 2013, earning mixed and negative reviews, respectively. The Monuments Men, which was supposed to release at the end of last year, will be hitting theaters in February to yet unseen results.
In short, we're worried. Since Aronofsky announced Noah, we've held out for the next breathtaking, psychologically dense epic. But all signs point to disaster. Could Nolte's inclusion actually save this picture?
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In many ways Bullet to the Head is as ludicrous as you would expect. A heavily tattooed Sylvester Stallone and Conan beefcake Jason Momoa arm themselves with axes for a fight. Christian Slater's sleazy lawyer character hosts a giant sexy party in his Garden District mansion complete with nude ladies doing the tango and Slater himself wearing a fox mask that's a little too on the nose. There's a corrupt real estate baron from Africa played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje who uses not one but two canes and plans to demolish the "ghetto housing projects" in New Orleans to build sweet new condos or whatever.
And all of the women that appear in the film — all of them that have any lines and plenty that don't say a word — show their breasts at one time or another evenSarah Shahi playing Stallone's daughter Lisa. Stallone's character is nicknamed Jimmy Bobo and he brings his own bottle of bourbon with him when he goes to bars — Bulleit of course.
However unlike more recent action films like Jack Reacher or Stallone's endless Expendables Bullet to the Head is a pleasing solid genre flick. Part of the appeal along with the impressive fight scenes and laughably elaborate set-ups is that the film knows when it's being silly. "What are we f**king Vikings?" Stallone bellows right before he and Momoa come to blows. Slater is a perfectly ratty little lawyer who when tied to a chair and being threatened with bodily harm sneers "There's nothing you can do to men that I haven't done to myself for fun!"
Stallone gets the best lines usually tossed-off phrases like suggesting someone's bullet wounds could be fixed up with "a band-aid and a blow pop " but he's also saddled with some of the worst. His interactions with his reluctant partner a handsome cop named Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) slow the movie down to a glacier's pace. One might imagine that director Walter Hill is trying to recall the dicey racial tension in the 48 Hrs. movies between Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte but it doesn't translate here at all. Jimmy Bobo's ribbing of Taylor isn't just unfunny it's boring. There's nothing particularly clever about any of the written jokes about tea leaves Confucius samurai and so forth; while Kang's character is supposed to be annoyed by this "banter " it looks like Kang himself isn't all that thrilled.
Bullet to the Head is no masterpiece let's be clear. Plunking down Stallone et al. in New Orleans creates a cognitive dissonance that's laughable at best. Momoa who plays a vicious mercenary looks hilariously out of place in the redneck bar we first see him in; he's really born to play characters like Khal Drago in Game of Thrones where he just has to ride a horse and look like a dangerous-but-sexy warrior. People seem impossible to kill; often it takes you know a bullet to the head to finally keep 'em down. And that daughter of Jimmy's Sarah? She is a tattoo artist with one year of medical school under her belt so she's pretty swell when it comes to basic medical procedures. Like bullet removal.
But let's go back to all those boobies. This is an R-rated movie with plenty of violence and drugs and nudity and that is fine by me. I do not mind looking at good-looking naked people not in the least. When the first character we meet is a prostitute who is merely referred to as a hooker for a good chunk of the movie and that's really one of the only female characters we meet that's a problem. When Lisa's mom is referred to as a dead hooker junky that's a trend.
And when Lisa is lounging in the bathtub and Taylor breaks into her house for well whatever reason he and Jimmy came up with and she runs into him in her living room when she's wearing nothing but a towel and we can see her butt and breasts it makes me scratch my head a little.
Look this is an action movie and one based on a comic book to boot so I'm not expecting Tennessee Williams here but give me a break.
There were probably some women at the Garden District party who were clothed but the great majority of women in the movie are naked and/or referred to as totally disposable which is a frankly sickening trend in an otherwise enjoyable movie. It would have been better to leave all of the female characters on the cutting room floor and be done with it than treat them with such matter-of-fact contempt.
Sadly this gross undercurrent knocks my original star rating down a half.
Bullet to the Head is not a summer blockbuster but it's better than the typical January dregs. Spring can't come soon enough.
It can’t just ALL be about a boy wizard named Harry Potter. There have to be other fantasy-driven stories grounded in reality that are just as exciting. And so there is: The Spiderwick Chronicles a series of short books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black which tells us about the magical creatures who live around us but who remain invisible so we humans won’t freak out. Probably a wise choice for most but there are a few who want to see the creatures. One such person is Arthur Spiderwick (David Strathairn) a turn-of-the-century naturalist who has witnessed the likes of sprites goblins hobgoblins ogres and trolls at work. He has documented their secrets and habits in his Field Guide--a book that if placed in the wrong hands could make some fantastical beast maliciously omnipotent. Jump ahead some 80 years when we meet Spiderwick’s descendents the Grace family who have moved into his dilapidated house in the woods. Newly divorced mom Helen (Mary-Louise Parker) has uprooted her kids--teenage Mallory (Sarah Bolger) and twins Jared and Simon (both Freddie Highmore)--to start a new life with Jared being the one protesting the loudest. That is until he finds Spiderwick’s field guide and quite literally opens Pandora’s box giving evil ogre Mulgarath (Nick Nolte) who has desperately wanted the book since its inception the window of opportunity he’s been waiting for. The Grace kids have to band together--with a few otherworldly allies of course--to protect the book at all costs. Although Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) struggles at times with the American accent the young British lad continues to prove his worthiness in the acting department--and joins the ranks of playing twins onscreen that dates back to Patty Duke on The Patty Duke Show (yes they were just cousins but they were identical cousins). Highmore does a nice job distinguishing between the two boys but he seems to have the most fun playing Jared. And rightly so since Jared is the true hero of the story. He is deeply wounded by his parents’ divorce blaming his mother for it all but in discovering this magical and dangerous world that goes way beyond his personal problems he quickly snaps to it. Bolger (In America) too takes her clichéd older-sister-who-knows-everything role and freshens it up adding a fierce determination to protect her family--with an expressive face that makes her very watchable. The adult cast isn’t nearly as important but they all fit in nicely especially Joan Plowright as Great Aunt Lucinda Spiderwick’s 80-something daughter who saw her father taken away by sylphs the keepers of the faeries’ secrets when she was 6 and has been trying to explain it ever since. Then there are the voices of some of the creatures the Graces meet including Martin Short as the ever-faithful house brownie Thimbletack; Seth Rogen as the hobgoblin Hogsqueal a piggish and friendly fellow whose spit in the eye gives you the Sight; and Nolte as the horrible villainous Mulgarath. OK all those who believe in faeries raise your hand! The Spiderwick Chronicles is just the kind of story that gets an imaginative kid to run out to the garden to start looking for sprites and director Mark Waters inherently understands this. Better known for his comedies such as Mean Girls and Freaky Friday Waters nonetheless grabs hold of the Spiderwick’s mythology and firmly plants it in reality with normal modern kids encountering a whole magical realm. Taking from the illustrations of co-author Tony DiTerlizzi Waters also gives us new versions of magical creatures we’ve read about for ages. Goblins for example look like giant frogs and act like attack dogs in this film as opposed to the more civilized view of them in the Harry Potter books--and goblins in Spiderwick can be killed by tomato sauce which melts them. Nice touch. Trolls too aren’t great big lumbering fellows but more dinosaur-like in Spiderwick. And let’s just say ogre Mulgarath looks nothing like Shrek but more so a devilish creature with yellow eyes and great big horns. Spiderwick is indeed scary at times maybe too scary for the younger kids but the action sequences and chase scenes are thrilling enough to keep everyone else’s attention.
The arraignment date for actor Nick Nolte, who is charged with driving under the influence and being under the influence of a controlled substance, was postponed by a judge Monday. The new court date, Dec. 5, will allow the defense enough time to test a blood sample from the actor. The 61-year-old Nolte was picked up by police on Sept. 11 after his car was seen swerving on a Malibu highway. According to The Associated Press, prosecutors said Nolte had taken the banned depressant gamma hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, otherwise known as the "date rape drug." "He was not under the influence of a 'date-rape drug.' That's ridiculous," defense attorney Mark Werksman told AP outside court. "Nick Nolte is not out there popping illicit or narcotic drugs."
Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker and husband Matthew Broderick welcomed their first child, a boy, Monday at Manhattan's Lenox Hill Hospital. Although details of the birth were kept under tight wraps, according to the New York Post, David Perkins Broderick was born around 3 a.m. and mother and baby are doing fine.
Teen-pop singer Jessica Simpson, 22, and 98 Degrees member Nick Lachey, 28, said their "I do"s Saturday in a ceremony in Austin, Texas. After a six-month separation last year, the two patched things up and got engaged shortly before Valentine's Day. Said Simpson on her Web site, "He had been patiently waiting for me to grow up a little (which I needed). And I did! Now my life feels so perfect."
More trouble for Hollywood exec Michael Ovitz. According to The Smoking Gun.com, a Los Angeles woman is suing the former super agent, claiming his dogs--a St. Bernard and a golden retriever--attacked her and her two small dogs outside Ovitz's Brentwood home where she was walking. She claims the dogs were roaming free, with no human supervision or leashes.
Johnny Knoxville, hot off his number one box office hit Jackass: The Movie, has found his next project. He'll star in the low-budget indie comedy Grand Theft Parsons, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, which will also star Christina Applegate and Marley Shelton, is based on a true story about Phil Kaufman (Knoxville), a road manager for musician Gram Parsons. After Parsons dies, Kaufman steals the body and takes it to Joshua Tree, Calif., a serene Southern Californian desert spot, where he tries to burn the body and fulfill a pact he made with the musician. (What we really want to know is, how does he lug the body around? An oversized shopping cart?)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Michelle Yeoh will be showing off her stuff once again as a female Robin Hood in The Masked Crusader. The story is based on the legendary Wong Ngung, a female hero who fought for justice for the underdog. Yeoh will also act as producer, while cinematographer-turned-director Jingle Ma will be directing.
CBS has given the full season go-ahead to four of its new shows, including the top-rated CSI: Miami, the qualified smash hit of the 2002-2003 season. The other three shows getting full-season orders include the dramas Without A Trace and Hack, and the comedy Still Standing.
Tom Dowd, a legendary record producer and engineer who worked with such musicians as Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton and others in a career spanning 50 years, died Sunday in Florida of a respiratory disease. He was 77.
President Clinton attended what would be his final holiday party as the nation's chief Sunday, Reuters reports.
The president attended the 19th annual “Christmas in Washington” concert at the National Building Museum with first lady and senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton and their daughter Chelsea Clinton.
``This is our last one here,” Clinton said. “Also, it's the first Christmas of the new millennium,'' he added. ''Tonight I am grateful that we can celebrate an America blessed with unprecedented peace and prosperity.''
Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar hosted the event, which featured performances by Brian McKnight, Marc Anthony, Chuck Berry and Jessica Simpson. The event will air Sunday on cable’s TNT.
PRESIDENT GERVASE: For someone still milking his sudden fame stemming from CBS' “Survivor,” the cow hasn’t run dry just yet for Gervase Peterson. The Associated Press reports that Peterson will take on the role of president of the United States on “There Goes the Nation,” a new cybershow on UrbanEntertainment.com.
Peterson will spoof himself with a “Survivor”-type character whose fame takes him all the way to the White House. The show will run Dec. 18 on the Internet. Peterson has already had guest roles on ``The Hughleys,'' ``Nash Bridges'' and MTV's ``Say What? Karaoke.''
HANNA-BARBERA COMPOSER DIES: Composer Hoyt Curtin, the man behind the music for hit cartoons such as “The Jetsons,” “The Flintstones” and “Scooby-Doo,” has died. He was 78.
AP reports that the composer died Dec. 3 after a lengthy, undisclosed illness. He started his career in 1957 writing advertising jingles before moving on to music director for Hanna-Barbera, where he wrote the theme songs for “Huckleberry Hound,” “Yogi Bear” and “Johnny Quest.”
Curtin is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and three grandchildren.
SAN FRANCISCO GOES HOLLYWOOD: For a city that loves to hate Hollywood, San Franciscans quickly snatched up tickets to Sam Shepard's new play featuring a cast of A-list Tinseltown actors. Sean Penn
“The Late Henry Moss,” featuring Sean Penn, Nick Nolte and Woody Harrelson, opens at San Francisco’s Magic Theatre this week with every ticket for its six-week run sold, Reuters reports.
The play covers familiar Shepard territory: brawling brothers, drunken rage and all-American angst.
Shepard is probably best-known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning work “Buried Child.” Although the buzz at the premiere was energetic as people filled the theater, critics weren’t catching the vibe, describing the play as “uneven,” moving from a “static first act to a final wrenching one.” Ouch!