Katie Couric Will Return: Beware, all ye catfishers: Katie Couric's talk show, the aptly named Katie, has been renewed for a second season. The news isn't too surprising, given that Couric's chat-fest has ranked as the top freshman syndicated talk show in Households, total viewers and women 25-54 every week since its premiere. Try to get confused about that, Manti! [Deadline]
50 Shades of... 50?: If all goes according to Fox's plans, you may be seeing (and hearing) an animated series based on the wackadoodle childhood of rapper 50 Cent. The network is in negotiations for an animated comedy from the rapper-actor (born Curtis Jackson), which will be loosely based on Jackson’s childhood. It's expected to receive a pilot order, and will follow a "mischievous but well-meaning boy" who "often tangles with his eccentric family and neighborhood" — AKA, 50 Cent is playing Dennis the Menace. [Deadline]
Doctor Who To Go Back in Time: Well, he does that a lot. But BBC America will officially be chronicling the genesis of the beloved series for Cymru Wales’ 50th anniversary Doctor Who TV movie, An Adventure In Space And Time. David Bradley will play the first-ever Doctor, William Hartnell, Brian Cox will be BBC drama head Sydney Newman, who created the show, Jessica Raine will play producer Verity Lambert, and Sacha Dhawan is Waris Hussein, director of the first ever episode. TV movies are cool. [Deadline]
Once Upon a Time-r Back From the Dead: In flashbacks probably, but we'll take it! Season 1's dearly departed Sheriff Graham/the Huntsman (Jamie Dornan) will return to the show this year, after an early and much bemoaned demise. He's dead as a doornail, but was apparently spotted wearing his Storybrooke clothes... WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?! [TVLine]
Keep on Krolling: Comedy Central has just renewed Kroll Show for a second season of 10 episodes. The sketch comedy from creator Nick Kroll premiered just two weeks ago to 1.2 million viewers, which was enough for Comedy Central to grant the renewal. [THR]
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[PHOTO CREDIT: Disney-ABC]
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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.
Last week, The Baltimore Sun ran a story about Twitter and its effects on box-office, both positive and negative. On Sunday, the Risky Business blog posted a comment about how Twitter had for the first time positively affected a film’s debut (Inglourious Basterds), and today, AdAge takes a look at the Twitter buzz surrounding the five top-grossing movies of the summer.
A chart shows the number of Twitter posts per day for Transformers, The Hangover, Star Trek, Ice Age 3 and Harry Potter 6. Potter received the most attention but the Twitter peaks correlate with where each movie stands in regard to gross, notes AdAge.
Box-office watchers say recent dramatic swings (see Bruno, G.I. Joe) may be caused by Twitter and other social networking sites that can blast instant raves -- or pans -- to hundreds of people before the lights come up.
Studios trying to gauge the impact of tweets, and how they affect the longevity of a movie, are suddenly faced with the need for a new data stream and an algorithm with which to decipher the info.
Was the 39% box office drop of Bruno from Friday to Saturday a case of disappointed moviegoers tweeting? Or did a limited fan base for Bruno exhaust itself on that first day?
"I think Twitter can't be stopped," Stephen Bruno, the Weinstein Co.'s senior director of marketing, told the Sun last week.
"Now you have to see it as an addition to the campaign of any movie," he said. "People want real-time news and suddenly a studio can give it to them in a first-person way. The blogs have to go to our feeds for the latest trailers and reports."
Eamonn Bowles, president of Magnolia, told the paper that studios are worrying about a time when "people will be twittering during the opening credits -- and leaving when they don't like them." But he also warns, "the next step [for the Twitter Effect] is for studio marketing to manipulate it."
The Weinstein Co. did a good job of doing just that by packing the Basterds premiere with folks with big Twitter followings. Sarah Silverman, for example, tweeted: "just made me smile forever" and Tony Hawk added: "another Tarantino classic."
Movietickets.com recently ran a poll in which 88% of respondents said Twitter had no effect on them. Joel Cohen, the company's executive vice president and general manager, told the Sun that "we may be putting too much weight onto the Twitter Effect. But you can see Twitter's benefits as a communications tool that spreads the word about a film, and the negatives have yet to be proven."
Cohen theorized that Twitter may have a larger influence on the success of smaller films than it does on major studio releases.
Full story: http://power.networksolutions.com/index.html
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Brad Pitt is becoming a real Cannes regular. With Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds confirmed for a competition slot at this year’s festival, the actor will make it to the Riviera for the third year running.
Last year, Pitt accompanied his partner Angelina Jolie, who had starring roles in two films from the official selection while the previous year he was in town to support A Mighty Heart, which he produced (and Jolie starred in) and also to frolic with his Ocean's 13 cronies for its out-of-competition screening.
The official selection of 52 titles for the 62nd Cannes Film Festival was announced in Paris on Thursday morning, and while a vast number of the films hail from established art-house names, there should still be enough Hollywood-style celebrity to go around.
Also starring in Basterds are Diane Kruger, Samuel L. Jackson and Mike Myers. Myers has had his share of fun in past Cannes fests presenting Shrek to the masses while one of the Austin Powers films also made an indelible mark a few years back by decking the main drag with signs screaming, “It’s Cannes, baby!”(There was also an Austin Powers party one year, where the favors were patches of fake chest hair that could be applied at a whim...)
Outside the bunch of Basterds, it is likely everyone from Jude Law to Johnny Depp will swan up the famed Palais des Festival steps at some point during the 10-day extravaganza.
Depp and Law would be in town for Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, which has a special out-of-competition screening and also includes Heath Ledger’s final performance. Likely joining them will be Colin Farrell, as the trio stepped in to replace Ledger after he passed away last year.
Sam Raimi’s horror return, Drag Me to Hell, which will be shown at midnight, stars Alison Lohman and Justin Long.
Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, a competition film, boasts the star wattage of Liev Schreiber, Emile Hirsch, Demetri Martin and Watchmen star Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Cannes perennial Penelope Cruz will certainly be on hand in support of her favorite director, Pedro Almodovar, when his Broken Embraces screens in competition, while Jane Campion’s Bright Star may lend a sparkle or two with Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw.
There could also be a 007 villain face-off when Casino Royale’s Mads Mikkelsen and Quantum of Solace baddie Mathieu Amalric hit town in respect of the films they have screening.
Speaking of villains, Pitt could find himself face-to-face once again with the Night Fox from the Ocean's movies since Vincent Cassel will also take part in the festival this year. Now that Pitt is a confirmed “Basterd,” it’s anything goes.
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