The Killing has been a veritable thorn in many a television fans’ sides since it first aired in April 2011. While it came out of the gate as a fast-paced, thoughtful, stylized thriller, it soon descended into a drawn out Law and Order episode, with its infamous red herrings thrown in to extend the mystery. It started to feel like we were on a mystery treadmill. Just a few more miles and then we’ll finally find the answer. Well, the workout is finally over. We’ve finally learned who killed Rosie Larsen.
It was the teen’s free-wheeling aunt, Terry Marek, who killed the young woman. But there’s a catch: She didn’t know the girl she’d killed was Rosie. Terry was wrapped up with property developer Michael Ames, who Rosie witnessed conspiring with Darren Richmond’s campaign manager Jamie Wright and Casino manager Nicole Jackson to help Richmond win his mayoral bid.
Wright’s been our main suspect for the past few episodes, and in truth, he did most of the brutal work. Wright noticed Rosie when she witnessed the elicit meeting and his confrontation bore a fight. Rosie hit her head, Wright threw her in the car, and took her into the woods where he chased her and beat her before finally placing her in the trunk that would send her to her doom. But Wright wasn’t the one who actually sealed the young girl’s fate.
While Wright and Ames were arguing and Wright lamented his inability to kill the teenager, Marek was waiting in her car for Ames. She hopped out and quickly drove the car, with an audibly screaming Rosie in the trunk, into the water, only to find out that she had just killed her niece.
So, after traipsing through a suspect list longer than the New York Knicks roster, are we satisfied with the horse the AMC series ultimately settled on? In truth, the murder lies on all three horses – Ames, Wright, and Marek. Terry was simply the one to actually pull the metaphorical trigger. All three were aiming to cut the young woman’s life short. With this conclusion, we feel justified for suspecting some political intrigue all season and for suspecting the realistic conclusion (as we’ve learned from watching an unhealthy amount of Law and Order) that the killer is usually someone close to the victim. It also served as the final emotional explosion for a family that’s spent two years grieving the loss of their young daughter. No matter how frustrated viewers might be with the plodding pace and erroneous leads throughout the series' two seasons, it’s impossible to deny the power of watching Michelle Forbes (who plays Mitch, Rosie’s mother) in the penultimate scene in which she finds out that her baby sister has committed this ultimate betrayal.
Were you satisfied with the outcome? Or was it frustrating to spend so many seasons on other suspects only to have a ringer thrown in at the end? Sound off in the comments!
Did The Killing Premiere Win Us Back?
The Killing Digs Deep in The Larsen Family's Dirt - EXCLUSIVE PIC
The Killing Star Mireille Enos Promises Answers in Season 2
Later this summer Chris Evans will become a legitimate leading man with a little movie called Captain America: The First Avenger. However before he goes all star-spangled he’s headlining a wonderful independent film called Puncture in which he plays a troubled but talented Texas personal injury lawyer fighting the good fight in a world gone greedy.
Directed by Mark (who co-stars as Paul Danziger) and Adam Kassen this dramatization of a true story follows Mike Weiss (Evans) a functioning drug addict and crusading do-gooder who stumbles upon a major case-within-a-case while checking in with Vicky (Vinessa Shaw) a client and former nurse who contracted HIV after being accidentally pricked by a dirty needle on the job. She tells him and his partner Paul about her family friend Jeffrey Dancourt who has developed and produced a “Safety Point” syringe that retracts and locks into place after being used so that it can’t be repurposed or reused. The product could save millions of lives across the country but the domineering Healthcare Group Purchasing Organizations consider it too costly for mass implementation. The fight to inform America’s healthcare workers of the existence of Safety Point and to get these secure syringes flowing through U.S. hospitals is what Puncture is all about.
Well that’s almost what it’s all about. Writer Chris Lopata balances the narrative by focusing much of his script on Weiss struggling with his inner demons which are plentiful. A good lawyer who’d go to the grave fighting for the right cause he’s also a hard-partying cocksure womanizer who’ll do any drug on the table (an oxymoronic set of vices considering his commitment to his career and clients.) Whether this behavior is meant to turn the audience on to or off of the character is neither here nor there; in a film as bleak as Puncture often is Evans is the comic relief beating heart and magnetic MVP. His signature witty delivery and nonchalant body language contrast the overabundance of rigid legal lingo to make the movie more enjoyable for everyone (as will his abs for the female viewers and the filmmakers show plenty of them.)
Of course in most cases it takes more than just a good-looking star to carry a movie and Puncture doesn’t solely rely on one man’s performance. Kudos to Mark Kassen who shines in front of and behind the camera as Mike’s straight-laced best friend and business partner Paul and his brother Adam for making a stinging statement about a corrupt institution in an entertaining fashion. The brothers don’t show off too much in their feature debut; instead they let their actors define the film while offering occasional technical assistance to heighten or visualize the drama. Sometimes they’re a bit conspicuous like when they splice scenes together using dialogue as a through line. Others instances like over exposing lights while playing with the cameras focus to put us in Mike’s trippy state of consciousness are more subtle.
Though the directors have made a touching and relatable film it’s as much a victim of formula as you’d expect a legal drama to be. From pacing to plot points you’ll feel as though you’re watching a cross between A Few Good Men The Insider and Philadelphia as it makes its way toward an inevitable conclusion. Further it delves into a few dead-end subplots (involving some shady figures who you’re led to believe will help turn the picture in an unexpected direction) that are frustratingly out of place much like the topic of the picture at this time. Still these cons aren’t enough to bury Puncture’s quality as a whole. It’s easily Evans’ best performance to date and a hearty freshman effort from the Kassen Bros.
There are two ways to watch a film like Just Go With It. The first is to look at the characters and situations as if they existed in the real world. Through this lens as with most Hollywood productions the story is far-fetched and trite the characters too stereotypical to stomach. However even if you leave practicality at home and well just go with it it’s hard to find anything to enjoy in Adam Sandler’s new movie about a playboy plastic surgeon that convinces his assistant to pose as his ex-wife in an attempt to woo a new lady friend.
Danny Maccabee is afraid of having his heart broken like it was when he was in medical school so he uses his would-be wedding ring from a disastrous engagement as a chick magnet because you know all single ladies love married men. However when he finally meets and beds the girl of his dreams the tactic backfires as she thinks she’s just wrecked a home. Enter Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) Danny’s ordinary (well ordinary when compared to bombshell Brooklyn Decker) office mule who is lured into an ever-expanding web of lies so that he can win his Ms. Right.
The film’s weakest link is its script from writers Timothy Dowling (Role Models) and Allan Loeb (The Switch). Their simple story relies heavily on Sandler’s tried-and-true formula of physical gags and broad family humor offering the audience nothing they haven’t seen before and virtually no organic comedy. While the premise and principle players are very predictable the supporting cast injects some life into the picture most notably young starlet-in-training Bailee Madison whose cutesiness is the only thing I didn’t get sick of throughout the film. Honorable mentions also go to Nick Swardson as Sandler’s crazy cousin and Nicole Kidman who ought to try her hand at comedy more often.
Unfortunately their charm doesn’t compensate for the film’s uneven pacing. I was incredibly bored throughout the second act which is hampered by scenes that play longer than they should but biggest conundrum is Sandler himself: the main draw in Just Go With It as well as its most unlikable element. His character’s arc not to mention his performance is about as artificial as the breasts he gives his clients. Not only is Maccabee a self-centered liar; his deceptions go unpunished as he coasts through the film’s climax into happily-ever-after territory. Some will accept even embrace the Hollywood ending but the conclusion is a loss for Aniston’s character who is otherwise pleasant to watch. A dignified single mother she’s at first reluctant to help Danny due to the immoral nature of his plan but falls for him because he eventually develops a relationship with the kids. I guess she didn’t see him throw them in the mud earlier in the movie.
Generally speaking the greatest strength a contemporary romantic comedy has is its funny factor but director Dennis Dugan unexpectedly creates a comfortable quixotic vibe in Just Go With It which is surprising considering his past endeavors with Sandler (among them I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Grown Ups). It doesn’t make up for the lack of natural laughs but will sate the target audiences’ appetite for a harmless and forgettable Valentine’s Day snack.
What no "giant sea pods" this time? Instead The Invasion skews the Body Snatchers scenario by making the alien invasion a virus rather than plant life. Said virus which comes to Earth via a mysterious crash of a space shuttle is transmitted by some form of bodily fluid-to-bodily fluid connection. For example throwing up into people's faces or coffee cups is a fun way to spread the disease. The end result however is the same: Once the infected person falls asleep they undergo a transformation and wake up looking the same but are unfeeling and inhuman—and ready to organize. As the infection spreads and more and more people are altered there are a few humans left fighting for their lives including psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman) and her doctor friend Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig). Carol’s only hope is to stay awake long enough to find her young son who may hold the key to stopping the devastating invasion. But we won’t tell you how. OK it has something to do with an immunity but that’s all we are going to say. Nicole Kidman has had a string of bad luck since winning that damn Oscar for The Hours. One wonders if maybe the golden statuette might actually be a curse (Cuba Gooding Jr. anyone?). Still regardless of the movie--be it Bewitched The Stepford Wives or Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus--Kidman manages to turn in a decent performance. The same goes for The Invasion. Her mother bear act is quite believable as she races to find her son (played with spunk by Jackson Bond) while trying to stay awake and pretending to be cold and unemotional among the pod people--oh excuse me the virally infected people. You root for her all the way. Craig doesn’t have as much to do but still delivers when it counts. In a supporting role Jeremy Northam does a nice job as Carol’s ex-husband a CDC doctor who is one of the first to get infected. As does the always good Jeffrey Wright as a very clever genetic scientist. Even Veronica Cartwright one of the survivors in the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers makes a cameo as one of Carol’s patients who tells her “My husband isn’t my husband!” Famous last words. Body snatching must be a popular water-cooler topic at the movie studios. Starting with the 1956 sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers in which Kevin McCarthy barely escapes his small town with his life running into highway traffic screaming “They're here already! You're next! You're next You're next...” there have been at least two other versions including the above-mentioned 1978 film and the 1993 film Body Snatchers. To its credit The Invasion switches things up a bit nixing the pods and making it more relevant to our current socio-political climate. It even begs the question: Could we be better off if we didn’t have emotions? But the movie is still mired by its derivativeness and too-pat ending—and it also apparently had problems getting off the shelf. Originally wrapped in early 2006 rumor has it the studio didn’t like German director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s original cut and brought in Matrix’s Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski for rewrites and James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) to direct the new scenes. Again to its credit The Invasion surprisingly feels cohesive despite all the different influences. Let’s just say whoever came up with the tense car chase in which Carol tries to throw off the pod people (it's just more effective calling them that) draped all over the car kudos to them.
Part Mean Girls part Heathers—hell there’s even a little bit of Hilary Duff’s ridiculously stupid The Perfect Man thrown in there—John Tucker Must Die fits the genre nicely. But the word “die” is a little harsh. Actually when three high school girls—wannabe journalist Carrie (Arielle Kebbel) head cheerleader Heather (Ashanti) and vegan activist Beth (Sophia Bush)—find out they are all dating the delectable John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe) the school’s basketball star they decide to get even. After several embarrassing tactics backfire the girls come up with the perfect idea. They’ll recruit pretty but anonymous new kid Kate (Brittany Snow) doll her up and get Tuck to fall in love with her so she can ceremoniously dump him. Wow I can’t see anything going wrong with that plan. Not at all. Talk about some pretty people John Tucker has got them in spades starting off with the insanely handsome Metcalfe who literally had women weak in the knees as the hot gardener who woos Desperate Housewives’ Eva Longoria. It’s not a big stretch to see him as the sexy Tuck the most popular er player in school. Then there’s the trio of revengeful hotties: tall lean and blonde Kebbel (Aquamarine) as the “smart” girl; curvy singer/actress Ashanti (Coach Carter) as the bring-it-on “cheerleader”; and luscious and exotic Bush (TV’s One Tree Hill) as the “experienced” one. But really its the perky Snow’s (The Pacifier) show effectively playing the “invisible” girl no one knows or even cares to know who moves around a lot whenever her mother (Jenny McCarthy in a nice bit part) breaks up with a “John Tucker” herself. What’s wrong with these single moms dragging their daughters all over the place after their hearts get broken? Betty Thomas best known for her turn as Sgt. Lucy Bates on Hill Street Blues doesn’t have the best track record in town as a director (I Spy is hers for example). But she’s helmed enough passable comedies (The Brady Bunch Movie Dr. Dolittle) to grant her admittance into the club. Problem here is Thomas isn’t teamed up with a sharp writer like Saturday Night Live alum Tina Fey whose Mean Girls script simply zings. John Tucker is pretty standard fare taking bits and pieces from the already established high-school formula. Still the coveted teen market will more than likely enjoy all the antics in the film—especially the whole “thong” bit in which Tuck caught wearing a thong in one of the girls’ schemes makes it cool for guys everywhere to wear thongs. Yeah you get the picture.
Top Story: Fuqua Accused of Threatening Former Girlfriend
Director Antoine Fuqua has been accused in a lawsuit of threatening the life of an ex-girlfriend and making false charges to authorities to hide their affair from his wife, actress Lela Rochon, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the suit, Tanya Evans ended the affair in March 2002 as Fuqua began shooting Tears of the Sun in Hawaii. Two months later, Fuqua had Evans arrested for stalking, but most of the charges against her were dropped for lack of evidence. In November, Evans stood trial on one count of making harassing phone calls, but was acquitted.
Nolte on the Wagon
Looking trim and tan, actor Nick Nolte, who was arrested in September for driving under the influence, says he has been careful about remaining sober. "There's no hiding there. I've always said I had a substance problem ever since. It's something you deal with, and you take care of it, and you can keep it under control," Nolte told The Associated Press. Nolte made the remarks during interviews to promote his upcoming drama The Good Thief, about a heroin-addicted gambler trying to organize a heist.
Cher's Wig Safe and Sound
Police in Richmond, Va., have recovered Cher's stolen black-and-teal wig. According to the AP, a woman walked into one of the city police precincts and turned in the hairpiece that was reported stolen from Cher's concert tour. The surrender came Tuesday night after a city police employee overheard a man bragging in nearby that he had the wig. The man later told a detective that he had given it to an unknown woman outside the Richmond Coliseum after the Feb. 25 concert. Police are holding the wig--valued at between $8,000 and $10,000--as evidence.
"Two Towers" Sweeps Saturn Award Noms
The 28th annual Saturn Awards nominations were announced Friday by Cinescape magazine and the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Scorpion King, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Reign of Fire, The Santa Clause 2 and Spider-Man are competing in the fantasy category while Minority Report squares off against Attack of the Clones, Men in Black II, Signs, Solaris and Star Trek: Nemesis in the sci-fi category. The nominees for best horror film include Blade II, Eight Legged Freaks, Frailty, Queen of the Damned, Resident Evil and The Ring.
Blair Talks with MTV Audience
Prime Minister Tony Blair took the debate on Iraq Thursday to a studio audience for MTV Europe. In the 60-minute forum, titled "Is War the Answer," Blair was grilled by young adults from around the world, including Iraq, the United States and England. The encounter won praise from some members of the audience, but most were not impressed. The discussion is due to air in Britain on Friday before it is broadcast in Europe, Australia, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and eventually the United States on Monday.
Role Call, Part I: John Cusack Cast in "Stepford Wives"
The Hollywood Reporter reports: John Cusack is in negotiations to star opposite Nicole Kidman in Paramount Pictures' The Stepford Wives for director Frank Oz. Cusack's sister Joan also stars in the project, a remake of the 1975 thriller about a woman who moves into a neighborhood where husbands have transformed their wives into robots. The project will begin shooting in June.
Role Call, Part II: Eddie Griffin Joins "Scary Movie 3," Zach Braff's "Large's Ark"
Variety reports: Eddie Griffin is the latest star to join Dimension's spoof sequel Scary Movie 3, with Charlie Sheen, Denise Richards, Jeremy Piven, Simon Rex, Anthony Anderson and Regina Hall. The film is scheduled to shoot later this month in Vancouver...Scrubs star Zach Braff will start shooting his feature directorial debut Large's Ark on April 23. Braff wrote the script and will star alongside Natalie Portman and Ian Holm. The film revolves around a young man who returns home for his mom's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade.