S2E2: AMC’s hit series keeps the drama going this week in an even higher stakes – though we didn’t think they could get higher – episode. After last week’s cliffhanger with Carl laying on the forest floor with a gunshot, we knew we’d be in for quite a ride with Episode 2, but true to Walking Dead form, the zombie show only further unraveled the issues of Sophia’s disappearance and Carl’s potentially fatal injuries and loaded us up with further problems: T Dogg’s life-threatening infected gash and Shane’s hopeless situation at the high school. And while the ever-increasing complications are exhausting, the presentation is pristine – every detail down to the timing of the school bell in the episode’s flashback scene is carefully considered. Sure, we come to The Walking Dead for the brain-crushing zombie kills, but we stay for the quality of story and production value.
“You’re in way over your head.” – Lori
“Ma’am, aren’t we all?” – Hershel First up, the greatest issue at hand (sorry Sophia, your parents are secondary characters so we’ve got to deal with Carl first). After a flashback scene creating a parallel between Carl’s gunshot wound and Rick’s similar injury just before the apocalyptic events from the pilot episode, we find Rick running towards Hershel’s farm with Carl in his arms. Otis, a farm hand, is the accidental gunman and he labors after Shane and Rick towards the farm. Once there, Hershel determines that Carl wasn’t bit and begins trying to clean his wounds. It’s here that Rick’s “do the right thing” wiring gets a little confused. In this case, the right thing for him to do is stay by Carl’s side in case the worst happens – the boy should have his father by his side in this potentially fatal situation. But at the same time, Rick has trouble staying put; he’s used to riding to the rescue and feels he should go find Lori and eventually head off to the nearby high school for medical supplies to save Carl.
The storylines for the other members of the group are a little more splintered and hard to follow, but that’s something to be expected from The Walking Dead because the series gives even secondary players such rich stories. First, the non-Rick portion of the search party starts to worry about the gunshot they heard – Lori knows Rick wouldn’t shoot a gun for a single walker and risk attracting more. They opt to head back to the RV to regroup for the night though Carol can’t conceive that they’ve had an unsuccessful mission, accidentally telling Andrea “I just keep praying [Sophia] doesn’t end up like Amy.” While this was a fleeting moment in the episode, I think it’s an important one; of course it’s what we were all thinking, but at the same there's really no sensitive way to put it.
When Maggie rides through on a horse, saving Andrea from a walker that had her hopelessly cornered, she takes Lori and tells the group to drive their vehicles down the road to Hershel’s. They all head back to meet Dale and T-Dog who are searching unsuccessfully for antibiotics for T-Dog’s deadly infected cut. While the group works its way back, T-Dog descends into discussing his theory that the group left Dale, the elderly guy, and himself, the black guy, as bait for walkers in hopes that they’d distract from the search. This is of course nuts, as Dale points out – Daryl just risked his own life to save T-Dog’s. While T-Dog is clearly wrong, it’s another concept that we’re surprised to hear actually discussed on the show, though it’s not inconceivable that T-Dog in his delirious, terrified state would have that idea.
When everyone’s back together, the group shares the directions back to Hershel’s but Carol doesn’t want to leave in case Sophia wanders back to where the RV was once parked and finds no sign of the group. It’s a valid concern, but unfortunately it means we see the group split again – something that doesn’t sit too well with everyone. They could all stay, but T-Dog needs medical attention so the infection doesn’t kill him. They have no choice – which is another sign his irrational fears are understandable but unwarranted.
So we’re left with our group scattered. Shane and Otis are facing certain death at the high school, Dale’s RV camp stays in place for Sophia, Rick and Lori are weeping restlessly at Carl’s bed side, and the rest of the group is making its way towards the surprisingly hospitable farm folks. The series, from minute one, put us off kilter and it’s barreling forward – even without too many gnarly zombies kills this round – keeping us from getting a foothold for even a second. It’s going to be a harrowing, unsettling season. I doubt we’ll have the opportunity to catch our breaths or get relief, but that’s the plight of our band of survivors and the mark of a great show is being able to place us firmly in the series’ version of reality. The Walking Dead has done that in just two episodes and if things continue the way they should, we’re headed for a fantastic – and very uncomfortable – season.
Casting has been rather slow on Columbia Pictures Total Recall remake, with Colin Farrell's involvement the first to be confirmed, followed by Bokeem Woodbine's, Bryan Cranston's and Ethan Hawke's. What was most puzzling was that there wasn't much info available as to who these actors would be playing, and though we're still unclear about a few of them, we now know of a few more who'll join the production - and who they will play.
First, Heat Vision has reported that Bill Nighy will reunite with his Underworld director Len Wiseman on the film, playing resistance leader Quatto. In the 1990 original, the character was named Kuato and played by Marshall Bell, but the real leader of the Martian rebels was a tiny mutant living inside of him. This version will likely see Nighy take on a meatier role than what Bell had to work with, and the accomplished British thespian is a welcome addition to any franchise (he's made appearances in the Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter series in addition to Underworld).
Meanwhile, Collider says that previously rumored actresses Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel have officially boarded the big-budget production as Lori and Melina, respectively. Beckinsale, who is married to director Wiseman, will take on the villainous role that Sharon Stone originated in '90 while Biel fills in for Rachel Ticotin. Both of these ladies look great on screen and are actually convincing as performers, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they can bring to the picture. Unlike Paul Verhoeven's film, this one won't be dominated by an imposing leading man so it should give the entire ensemble a good chance to shine.
Total Recall will hit theaters next August.
Source: Collider, Heat Vision
Rita Wilson, Kyle MacLachlan, James Denton and Lori Loughlin will also step up to the mic for the Playlist for the A-list show, which has been billed as a "night of live, outrageous, inspired celebrity karaoke".
The event will raise awareness and money for UNICEF's Schools for Africa campaign, which aims to provide education for poor children in impoverished countries including Malawi, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.
The benefit will take place at Los Angeles' El Rey Theatre on 17 May (11).
The Writers Guild of America has announced its nominations for outstanding achievement in screen in 2002.
Antwone Fisher, Bowling for Columbine, Far From Heaven, Gangs of New York and My Big Fat Greek Wedding have been nominated for the WGA's best original screenplay award.
About a Boy, About Schmidt, Adaptation, Chicago and
The Hours meanwhile will contend for best adapted screenplay.
Antwone Fisher, Written by Antwone Fisher; Fox Searchlight
Bowling for Columbine, Written by Michael Moore; United Artists/Alliance Atlantis/Salter Street Films/Dog Eat Dog Films
Far From Heaven, Written by Todd Haynes; Focus Features
Gangs of New York, Screenplay by Jay Cocks and Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan, story by Jay Cocks; Miramax Films
My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Written by Nia Vardalos; Gold Circle Films/HBO/MPH Entertainment/Playtone
About a Boy, Screenplay by Peter Hedges and Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz, based on the novel by Nick Hornby; Universal Pictures/Studio Canal/Working Title Films/Tribeca Productions
About Schmidt, Screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, based on the novel by Louis Begley; New Line Cinema
Adaptation, Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman, based on the book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean; Columbia Pictures
Chicago, Screenplay by Bill Condon, based on the musical play, book by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb and the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins; Miramax Films
The Hours, Screenplay by David Hare, based on the novel by Michael Cunningham; Paramount Pictures/Miramax Films
Animation--any length--one airing time (new category)
"The Bart Wants What It Wants" (The Simpsons), Written by John Frink & Don Payne; Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"Blame It on Lisa" (The Simpsons), Written by Bob Bendetson; Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"Godfellas" (Futurama), Written by Ken Keeler; 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"Jaws Wired Shut" (The Simpsons), Written by Matt Selman; Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"My Own Private Rodeo" (King of the Hill), Written by Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck; 20th Century Fox Television Productions in association with Deedle-Dee Productions, Judgmental Films and 3 Arts Entertainment; Fox
Santa Baby! Written by Peter Bakalian & Suzanne Collins; Rankin/Bass; Fox
Original Long Form--over one hour--one or two parts, one or two airing times
Dor to Door, Written by William H. Macy & Steven Schachter; Turner Pages, Inc.; TNT
The Gathering Storm, Teleplay by Hugh Whitemore, Story by Larry Ramin and Hugh Whitemore; a Scott Free Production in association with HBO Films; HBO
Sins of the Father Written by John Pielmeier, based on the magazine article that appeared in Texas Monthly by Pamela Colloff; Artisan; FX
Strange Relations, Written by Tim Kazurinsky; Showtime; Granada Entertainment; Showtime
Adapted Long Form--over one hour--one or two parts, one or two airing times
"Batogne" (Band of Brothers), Written by Bruce C. McKenna, based on the book by Stephen E. Ambrose; DreamWorks/Playtone/HBO; HBO
Hysterical Blindness, Teleplay by Laura Cahill, based on the play by Laura Cahill; Hysterical Films, Inc.; HBO
Last Call, Screenplay by Henry Bromell, based on the memoir Against the Current: As I Remember F. Scott Fitzgerald by Frances Kroll Ring; Room 520/Barnstorm Films; Showtime
Mark Twain's Roughing It, Teleplay by Steven H. Berman, based on the book Roughing It by Mark Twain; Larry Levinson Productions; Hallmark Channel
Episodic Drama--any length, one airing time
"Game On" (The West Wing), Written by Aaron Sorkin & Paul Redford; John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television; NBC
"In Place of Anger" (Six Feet Under), Written by Christian Taylor; Six Feet Productions; HBO
"Nino Del Polvo" (Resurrection Boulevard), Written by Robert Eisele; Showtime; Viacom Productions, Inc.; Patagonia House; Showtime
"On the Beach" (ER), Written by John Wells; Constant C Productions; Amblin Television; Warner Bros. Television; NBC
Pilot (The Education of Max Bickford), Written by Dawn Prestwich & Nicole Yorkin; 20th Century Fox Television; CBS
"Whoever Did This" (The Sopranos), Written by Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess; Soprano Productions, Inc.; HBO
Episodic Comedy--any length, one airing time
"Change of Address" (Sex and the City), Written by Julie Rottenberg & Elisa Zuritsky; Darren Star Productions in association with HBO Original Programming; HBO
"I Heart NY" (Sex and the City), Written by Michael Patrick King; Darren Star Productions in association with HBO Original Programming; HBO
Pilot (The Bernie Mac Show), Written by Larry Wilmore; Regency Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television; FOX
"My First Day", (pilot, Scrubs), Written by Bill Lawrence; Touchstone Television Productions; NBC
"Plus One is the Loneliest Number" (Sex and the City), Written by Cindy Chupack; Darren Star Productions in association with HBO Original Programming; HBO
"Rooms With a View" (Frasier), Written by Dan O' Shannon & Lori Kirkland & Bob Daily; Grub Street Productions in association with Paramount Pictures; NBC
"The Wedding" (Ed), Written by Rob Burnett & Jon Beckerman; Viacom Productions in association with Worldwide Pants, Inc. and NBC Studios; NBC
Comedy/Variety---Music, Awards, Tributes--Specials--any length
The Kennedy Center Honors Written by Don Baer and George Stevens, Jr., Film Sequences Written by Sara Lukinson; A George Stevens Jr. Presentation - Kennedy Center Television Productions, Inc.; CBS
NBC 75th Anniversary Special, Written by Doug Abeles, James Anderson, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Charlie Grandy, Steve Higgins, Lorne Michaels, Paula Pell, Herb Sargent, Michael Schur, Michael Shoemaker; Broadway Video in association with NBC Studios; NBC
Comedy/Variety--(including talk) Series
Dennis Miller Live, Written by Eddie Feldmann, Jose Arroyo, Richard Dahm, David Feldman, Jim Hanna, Rob Z. Kutner, Kirsten McFarland, Dennis Miller, Jacob Sager Weinstein; Happy Family Productions; HBO
Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Written by Mike Sweeney, Chris Albers, Andy Blitz, Kevin Dorff, Jonathan Glaser, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O'Brien, Andrew Secunda, Allison Silverman, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg; Broadway Video; NBC
Mad TV, Writing Supervised by Scott King, Written by Dick Blasucci, Garry Campbell, Lauren Dombrowski, Bryan Adams, Bruce McCoy, Michael Hitchcock, Steven Cragg, Chris Cluess, John Crane, Jennifer Joyce, Tami Sagher, Devon Shepard, Rich Talarico, Jim Wise, Kal Clarke, Sultan Pepper, Bill Kelley, Maiya Williams, Dino Stamatopoulos; QDE/Girl Group; FOX
Saturday Night Live, Written by Tina Fey, Doug Abeles, Leo Allen, James Anderson, Max Brooks, James Downey, James Eagan, Hugh Fink, Charlie Grandy, Jack Handey, Steve Higgins, Erik Kenward, Dennis McNicholas, Lorne Michaels, Corwin Moore, Matt Murray, Paula Pell, Matt Piedmont, Ken Scarborough, Michael Schur, Frank Sebastiano, T. Sean Shannon, Eric Slovin, Robert Smigel, Emily Spivey, Andrew Steele, Scott Wainio, Jerry Collins, Tom David; Broadway Video in association with SNL Studios; NBC
Guiding Light, Written by Millee Taggart, Lucky Gold, Christopher Dunn, Tita Bell, Jill Lorie Hurst, Penelope Koechl, David Kreizman, Eleanor Labine, Alan Madison, Danielle Paige, A.J. Pierce, Janet Reed Ahearn, Susan Rice, David Rupel, Melissa Salmons, Eddie Sanchez, Lisa Seidman, David Smilow; Procter & Gamble; CBS
The Young and the Restless, Written by Kay Alden, Trent Jones, John F. Smith, Jerry Birn, Jim Houghton, Natalie Minardi, Janice Ferri, Eric Freiwald, Joshua McCaffrey, Michael Minnis, Rex M. Best; Columbia TriStar; CBS
Elmo's World: Happy Holidays!, Written by Christine Ferraro; Sesame Workshop; PBS
Off Season, Written by Glenn Gers; Showtime Networks, Inc.; Showtime
Our America, Teleplay by Gordon Rayfield, Based on the book "Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago" by Lealan Jones, Lloyd Newman and David Isay; Joseph Stern Productions; All Media, Inc.; Showtime
The Red Sneakers, Teleplay by Mark Saltzman, Story by Jeffrey Rubin; Lynch Entertainment, Tom Lynch Company, RS Productions, Ltd., Showtime Networks, Inc.; Showtime
Bioterror (Nova), Written by Matthew Collins; A Nova Production by the New York Times/ Granada Factuals USA and Lone Wolf Pictures, Inc., for WGBH/ Boston in association with Channel 4 Television; PBS
The Man Who Knew (Frontline), Written by Michael J. Kirk, Kirk Documentary Group; PBS
9/11, Written by Tom Forman & Greg Kandra; Goldfish Pictures, Inc.; CBS
Rollover: The Hidden Story of the SUV (Frontline), Written by Marc Shaffer & Barak Goodman; 10/20 Productions; PBS
Documentary--Other Than Current Events
America's First River, Part One, Written by Tom Spain; WNET/Educational Broadcasting Corp.; Public Affairs Television; PBS
Empire State Building Ironworker (A Day in their Lives), Written by Peter Hankoff; Termite Art Productions; History Channel; History Channel
Evolution of a Revolution (Founding Brothers), Written by Kelly McPherson and Melissa Jo Peltier & Allison MacEwan; MPH Entertainment Inc.; History Channel; History Channel
Monkey Trial (American Experience), Written by Christine Lesiak; WGBH Educational Foundation; PBS
News--Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin or Breaking Report
Attack on America Written by Jerry Cipriano, Paul Fischer, Thomas Harris, Hugh Heckman, Bruce Meyer; CBS Evening News; CBS
September 11th Controllers, Written by Jonathan W. Kaplan; CBS
Bobby Garfield (David Morse) returns to his small hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend and remembers the fateful summer in 1960 when his whole world changed. The story flashes back to when 11-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his best friends Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully-John (Will Rothhaar) capture the pure joy of youthfulness. When a mysterious stranger named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moves upstairs and starts to pay attention to Bobby the boy suddenly realizes what's truly missing from his life--the love of a parent. Bobby's mother Liz (Hope Davis) is embittered by the death of Bobby's father and shows little compassion for her son's growing needs. Ted fills a void with the boy opening his eyes to the world around him and helps Bobby come to terms with his real feelings for Carol--and his mother. But Ted also has some deep dark secrets of his own and Bobby tries hard to stop danger from reaching the old man.
The performances make the film especially in the genuine camaraderie of the kids. Yelchin Boorem and Rothhaar never deliver a false move with an easiness that makes us believe we are simply watching three 11-year-old children grow up together. Yelchin in particular is able to get right to the heart of this young boy who misses his father and clings to the only adult who will listen. And his scenes with Boorem simply break your heart. (Davis) does an admirable job playing a part none too sympathetic. She manages to show a woman whose been beaten down but who does truly love her son in her own way. Morse too is one of those character actors you can plug in any movie and get a performance worth noting. In Hearts you want to see more of him. Of course the film shines brightest when Hopkins is on the screen. It may not be an Oscar-caliber performance but the actor is unparalleled in bringing a character to life--showing the subtleties of an old man looking for some peace in his life.
If you are expecting the Stephen King novel you may be disappointed. Screenwriter William Goldman and director Scott Hicks (Shine) deftly extracted the King formula of telling a story through a child's eye and explaining how the relationships formed as a child shaped the adult later. Hicks did an amazing job with his young actors especially Yelchin and Boorem. But where the novel continued into a supernatural theme explaining Brautigan's fear of being captured by "low men in yellow coats" (a reference to King's The Dark Tower series) the movie downplayed the mystical elements instead giving real explanations for Brautigan's man-on-the-run. That was the one problem with Hearts--we needed more danger. Introducing men from another dimension may not have been the way to go but had there been more tension the film would have resonated more especially when Bobby risked his own safety to save Ted.