Hemlock Grove hits Netflix April 19 and there's very little known about the brand new horror series, aside from the fact that the NSFW trailer scared (and grossed) the hell out of everyone in the Hollywood.com offices. Producer Eli Roth really does have a way with blood... and guts... and maggots... and bones protruding from skin. You get the idea.
But we generally know what the series is about (werewolves), who it's from (Roth), why it's a big deal (Netflix's original programming slate), but who are all of these sexy (but also kind of terrifying) people bringing the book-to-series adaptation to life?
Stars As: Olivia Godfrey, matriarch of the wealthy Godfrey family.Notable Qualities: Cold, disarming stare; Apparent insatiable lust, which probably makes her a bit of a MILF.I Know That Face...: Yes, you definitely do. She's the mutant who stole Wolverine's heart in the X-Men movies: Jean Grey.Crush Potential: She's a hot mom with a dark side. Do the math.
Stars As: Roman Godfrey, son of Olivia and Dr. Norman Godfrey.Notable Qualities: Good at smoldering; often found fighting with his lusty mother; not averse to teaming up with presumed werewolf gypsies to solve murders.I Know That Name... Right?: Sort of. Bill is brother to True Blood's Alexander Skarsgård and son to Stellan Skarsgård. He's also got four names (Bill Istvan Günther Skarsgård) and was in 2012's Anna Karenina with Kiera Knightley.Crush Potential: He's practically got a pedigree as the younger brother of Alexander, plus he's pretty damn handsome. Yeah, you'll be crushing.
Stars As: Peter Rumancek, a gypsy and quite possibly a werewolf.Notable Qualities: He's 17, considered "trailer trash" and a gypsy, and he teams up with the town's richest guy his age to solve a murder? You can bet his life is going to get all kinds of rough. It also means he's totally going to have sexual tension (and – we're guessing – then some) with Roman's sister.I Have No Idea Who This Guy Is: He's Canadian, so you guessed it! He was on Degrassi as Declan. American audiences may know him a little better at the son of Jason O'Mara's hero on the short-lived Fox Sci-Fi series Terra Nova. Crush Potential: Tortured werewolf? Duh.
Stars As: Letha Godfrey, another of the wealthy Godfrey brood.Notable Qualities: Pretty, blonde, likely to attract scruffy gypsy boys like Peter.I Have No Idea Who This Girl Is: The lovely Australian lady hasn't done much stateside, so this is a bit of a break for her. However, (fun fact) her cousin Radha Mitchell has had some success in the U.S. and is presently starring in ABC's Red Widow. Crush Potential: Look at that gorgeous face. Yes, dudes, there's crush potential.
Stars As: Dr. Norman Godfrey, husband of Olivia and father to Roman and Letha.Notable Qualities: Ruggedly handsome; he yells a lot in the trailer, so we're assuming as the patriarch of a wealthy family, he's seeking order in a world that's about to go completely nuts; owner of a biotech facility that could have something to do with the murder Roman and Peter are trying to solve.I Know His Face...: Do you like Drew Barrymore movies? Even the ones where she messes with history and fairy tales and murders a British accent while playing a French girl? Then you probably recognize this rascal from Ever After, Barrymore's strange twist on the classic Cinderella tale.Crush Potential: He seems a little sinister so far, but hey, whatever floats your boat.
Stars As: Lynda Rumancek, gypsy mom extraordinaire to Peter (could this casting be any better?).Notable Qualities: She's a gypsy and her son is telling people he's a werewolf. Prepare for sass. I Know Her Face...: You'd netter know her face, she was in such classic films as Mystic Pizza and Say Anything... plus she was a regular on Six Feet Under (if you didn't watch it, scurry over to Netflix right now, slacker). She also introduced the founding members of the band Veruca Salt to one another, so, you're welcome.Crush Potential: She's a pretty lady, but my guess is that's not what she's here for.
Stars As: Shelley Godfrey, youngest daughter of the wealthy, aloof Godfreys.Notable Qualities: She's apparently incredibly creepy, which is appropriate because you can bet the name "Shelley" (with an E) is an homage to Frankenstein author Mary Shelley. I Have No Idea Who This Girl Is: You wouldn't. This is her first acting gig.
Stars As: Peter's former friend Christina Wendall.Notable Qualities: She's a teenage girl who's mad at her best friend, who's a hot 17-year-old guy; the sparks will most certainly fly.I Have No Idea Who This Girl Is: This is her first project of note, through from the looks of the trailer, it may the start of many more.Crush Potential: She's pretty, she's young, why not?
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After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Well, here it is. Our first glance at the enigma that is Andrew Niccol’s untitled sci-fi thriller about a world in which no one lives past 25, except for those that can afford to pay for that precious extra time (and the film that inspired a serious bout of jealousy in one of my coworkers). Despite the lack of a title, filming has begun and ComingSoon.net nabbed a few photos of stars Amanda Seyfried (in a very red wig; hey there, Mary Jane Watson wannabe) and Justin Timberlake looking good as always in a finely tailored suit.
In the film, Timberlake plays kidnapper to Seyfried’s rich, spoiled brat (although, can she really complain? I'd let JustinTimberlake kidnap me any day). The untitled project boasts an ensemble of young, attractive people (as is appropriate for a world where everyone doesn’t age past 25) including Olivia Wilde, Johnny Galeki, Cillian Murphy, and Vincent Kartheiser. This movie’s going to have a whole lot of sexy going on. Take a look Seyfried and Timberlake on set below.