With Girl Meets World cooking slowly over in the Disney Channel's creative kitchen (fully operated by a single ambitious rat), we have time to work on our own visualizations of what form we think (and hope) the highly anticipated program will take. Living up to its predecessor, '90s phenomenon Boy Meets World, will be a difficult task — but would the best course to satisfy fans new and old be to emulate the magic of Michael Jacobs' original wonder, or to brew up something altogether new?
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One element that Girl Meets World could adopt is music. Many recent Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows have used music as a key facet in their characters and story, capitalizing on the vocal or instrumental abilities of their young stars. Girl Meets World's central heroine, Rowan Blanchard, would provide her series with ample opportunity for this path. Below is a new video of Blanchard (who plays the middle school-aged daughter of Cory and Topanga Matthews, roles carried on by BMW stars Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel), exhibiting her skill for song (and general affability — the girl's a charmer) with Adele's "Someone Like You."
We don't imagine that GMW will go the route of Hannah Montana, planting its protagonist in the heat of a budding music career (in constant conflict with her wigless "normal life"). But Jacobs' spin-off could showcase Blanchard's singing in other ways: musical soliloquies about the qualms of suburban life, romantic ballads performed by Blanchard to the classmate who has stolen her heart, maybe even a wacky Hope/Crosby showstopper duet with guest star Uncle Eric.
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Some fans might be turned off by a "musical" Girl Meets World, but it wouldn't necessarily rob the show of the BMW spirit. If Jacobs does choose to employ Blanchard's talents (which he is likely to do, in some form), then we won't be losing anything, only gaining. Gaining the full momentum of a young star who clearly packs a lot of talent. If Jacobs opted to stifle a young Savage or Rider Strong back in the early '90s, imagine all of the ostensibly inane but certifiably fantastic moments we'd never have experienced.
[Photo Credit: ABC]
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Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.
A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.
Rasey's trumpet could also be heard in movies like An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain, Spartacus and Ben-Hur.
He died of complications from a heart condition last Monday (26Sep11).
A childhood polio sufferer, Rasey began his career with bandleaders like Sonny Dunham and Alvino Rey and he became a regular on U.S. radio shows throughout the 1940s, during which he featured on programmes hosted by Jack Benny and Bing Crosby.
He joined the MGM studio orchestra in 1949 and made his mark as a TV show musician behind the scenes of hits like Bonanza and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Trade magazine Variety reports he played on as many as 3,000 film and television shows in his career.
He is perhaps best known for his jazz trumpet in 1974's Chinatown score.
Rasey also performed with Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Doris Day and the Monkees.
The Pearl Harbor star has filmed a public service announcement (PSA) for the Paralyzed Veterans of America organisation, which provides support for members of the armed forces who suffer spinal cord injury or dysfunction.
Affleck appears alongside retired U.S. Marine James Crosby, who was paralysed after being struck by shrapnel during the war in Iraq.
The star says, "Many actors have played the part of a U.S. serviceman in the movies, but for veterans such as James Crosby... his service and his sacrifice for our country are real."
Top Story: Crosby Arrested on Gun and Drug Charges
Rock musician David Crosby was arrested early Saturday on marijuana and felony gun possession charges at a New York hotel, Reuters reports. According to the police report, a hotel manager at the Doubletree Guest Suites hotel called police after a maid searching for identification in a green canvas bag Crosby left after checking out of his room discovered a small quantity of marijuana, a .45-caliber gun, ammunition and knives. The 62-year-old musician, who rose to fame with the Byrds and later Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in the late 1960s and 1970s, was charged with the third-degree felony of criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful drug possession, Manhattan District Attorney spokeswoman Barbara Thompson told Reuters. Crosby, who spent a year in prison after a drug charge conviction in 1985, could serve up to seven years in jail if convicted of the gun charge. He was freed after appearing in court and posting bail of $3,500.
Return of the King DVD Bows in May
The Lord of the Rings enthusiasts can look forward to the DVD and VHS release of The Return of the King May 25, three months earlier in the year than its predecessors, The Associated Press reports. In recent years, New Line had held off until August to release The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers to generate anticipation for the trilogy's next theatrical release. Now, with the trilogy concluded--and riding high on the 11 Oscars the film won at the Academy Awards--New Line has decided to roll out the third and final installment earlier. AP reports the initial DVD release of The Return of the King will include a bevy of behind-the-scenes material--and, as with the other two installments, an extended version of King will be released sometime around the holidays. The three extended versions will push the saga's running time to more than 11 hours.
Schwarzenegger Heads Up Fitness Weekend
Arnold Schwarzenegger's got a busy schedule, what with running the nation's largest state and all, but still managed to take time out for his first love--bodybuilding. Reuters reports the Governator visited Columbus, Ohio, last weekend to officiate the Arnold Schwarzenegger Fitness Weekend and its centerpiece, the Arnold Classic bodybuilding contest. The three-day event--which dates back to 1989 and includes 600 exhibitors, 11,000 athletes and some 80,000 attendees--coincided with Schwarzenegger's appointment as executive editor of Muscle & Fitness and Flex magazines, two American Media-owned bodybuilding mags that have featured the former Mr. Universe on their covers some 50 times, Reuters reports.
Lost in Translation Feted at Comedy Fest
The Oscar-winning Lost in Translation was one of the big winners at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Sofia Coppola's film about two lost souls in Tokyo won the audience award, along with best performance (Bill Murray), first-time director and screenplay prizes at the festival's second annual Comedy Film Honors. Al Madrigal took the jury award for best standup performer, while Dave Gorman won for the second time in the best one-person show category.
Role Call, Part I: McConaughey Swings Hammer, Universal in 11th Hour
Matthew McConaughey is in negotiations to star in Hammer Down for DreamWorks, a story about a disgraced NASCAR driver who becomes a wheel man in a heist in hopes to get his life back on track, Variety reports… Universal Pictures has acquired the project The 11th Hour, by first-time director and Shattered Glass scribe Billy Ray. According to Variety, the biopic tells the story of Robert Hanssen, the traitorous FBI agent who sold government secrets to the Soviet Union and centers on Hanssen's assistant Eric O'Neil. No cast as been set as yet.
Role Call, Part II: Malick Postpones Che
The trades also report eccentric director Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line) has abruptly shelved his biopic project Che, about Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, and will instead direct The New World, a drama about Pocahontas and the cultural collision of European explorers and Native American tribes starring Colin Farrell. Che was due to start filming in July 2004 in Bolivia with Benicio Del Toro set as the title character and Franka Potente, Javier Bardem, Benjamin Bratt and Ryan Gosling as his lieutenants. Malick, who co-wrote the Che script with Del Toro and Ben Vanderveen, has told the film's producers, Laura Bickford and Steven Soderbergh (Traffic), and financiers that he still intends to direct the film in July 2005, Variety reports. Despite the delay, Del Toro plans to stick with it. He and Bickford came up with the project in 1997, and they and Soderbergh own it. According to Variety, Del Toro is already fielding acting offers to fill his sudden summer vacancy, and Che will apparently wait until Malick returns.
Rings Brings 'Em In at Midnight
"One Ring to rule them all…and in the darkness bind them." Followers of The Lord of the Rings came out in the dark for the 12:01 a.m. screenings of the third and final installment in the Rings trilogy, Return of the King,Associated Press reports. The special midnight screenings took place in 2,100 theaters, twice that of the previous film in the series, The Two Towers, and took in $8 million. Screenings the following day took in another $26.1 million, making it the biggest opening Wednesday as well as the highest one day take for a December release. The film centers on the fellowship of elves, dwarves, and men who rally round hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), as he attempts to destroy a ring with a terrible power. Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers took in $861 million and $921 million respectively, leading New Line (the studio behind the trilogy) to hope the film may break the $1 billion mark. "This thing is so gigantic, we really don't know where we're going," said David Tuckerman, New Line's head of domestic distribution. The only film to ever earn $1 billion was Titanic, which took $1.8 billion worldwide.
Affleck To Visit Troops for Holidays
Ben Affleck will entertain the troops sometime around the holidays as part of a United Services Organization (USO) tour of the Persian Gulf, Reuters reports. According to a release issued by the USO, Affleck will shake hands, sign autographs, and screen his latest film, Paycheck, for the men and women overseas. The visit will take place in the days surrounding Christmas and New Year's, though the exact dates will be kept under wraps for security reasons. Affleck's famously on-again off-again relationship with Jennifer Lopez after the last minute cancellation of their September wedding has garnered more interest than his film roles of late, but Paramount hopes to change all that this month with Paycheck. The USO has been recruiting celebrities and organizing performances for the troops since World War II.
Airport Gets Hope-ful
In more sort-of USO related news, the Glendale-Burbank-Pasadena Airport was officially changed to Bob Hope Airport at a christening ceremony Wednesday, Associated Press reports. The comedian had parked his private plane at the airfield since 1985 and embarked from there on many trips to entertain U.S. troops abroad. The comedy legend's widow Dolores spoke to the crowd gathered on the tarmac about bidding her husband farewell as he few off to his USO duties in the South Pacific during World War II. "Our son Zachary, who was 5, kept saying `goodbye, Daddy.' He didn't know whether his father was coming or going," she said. The comedian and star of numerous films (many with fellow USO performer Bing Crosby) passed away this year at age 100.
Aaron Carter Sues for Emancipation
Claiming he "feels betrayed" by the mishandling of his financial affairs, pop star Aaron Carter is seeking to become legally emancipated from his former co-manager mother, Billboard reports, and alleges she took over $100,000 from his bank account without his permission. The 16-year-old is still managed by his father, Bob Carter, who is currently embroiled in a custody battle with Aaron's mother, Jane Carter. Aaron is the younger brother of the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter.
Kutcher in the House
Ashton Kutcher and his Katalyst partner Jason Goldberg will executive produce The House for 20th Century Fox TV, Variety reports. Ashton, who recently reportedly shut down his successful hidden camera prank show, Punk'd, will star in the new show. The one-hour drama will center on the goings on at a college frat house. J. Mackeye Gruber and Eric Bress, the writer-directors of Kutcher's latest flick, The Butterfly Effect, will write the show.
"Lingerie Bowl" Too Hot for Chrysler
Chrysler has pulled its sponsorship of "Lingerie Bowl 2004" after critics charged the show was sexist, Reuters reports. The pay-per-view halftime game to air during the Super Bowl Feb. was to feature lingerie clad models with the Dodge ram's head logo prominently displayed on their bras. Proceeds from the game were to benefit the American Foundation for AIDS to fund AIDS research, but the charity also dropped out of the game. Horizon Productions, the company behind the game, said that though they are "disappointed" with the loss of Dodge as a sponsor, they will go ahead with the game as planned.
Studdard Tops Charts
American Idol winner Ruben Studdard is victorious once more. His first album, Soulful, came in at number one, selling 417,000 units during its debut the second week of December, Reuters reports. His tally exceeds that of the first series winner Kelly Clarkson, whose debut album, Thankful, sold 297,000 units during its first week of release. However, this year's first runner-up Clay Aiken bested them both by moving 613,000 units of his album, Measure of a Man, during its debut in April. Says Violet Brown, director of urban music Wherehouse Music stores, "If it's an American Idol record, you know that you have a built-in customer base. If it's an American Idol album that gets good radio play and is a good record, then you know you're going to go even beyond." But not every album is a winner. The most unfortunate of the American Idol offspring is Justin Guarini, last year's first runner up, whose self-titled album sold just 136,000 albums since its release in June.
P.Diddy New Raisin
Hot on the heels of such fading Hollywood stars as Melanie Griffith and John Stamos, newly minted actor Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is heading to the Great White Way to star in a revival of the Lorraine Hansbury classic, A Raisin in the Sun, Associated Press reports. Combs will take the role played by Sidney Poitier in both the stage and screen versions of Raisin's Walter Lee Younger, a young African-American man who moves his widowed mother and family into an all-white neighborhood. The play debuts in March of next year.Combs has previously had small roles in such films as