The CW Gets Ready For Summer: The CW's summer programming officially kicks off on Tuesday, July 16 at 8 PM ET/PT with the rebooted hit improv comedy series Whose Line Is It Anyway?, hosted by comedian Aisha Tyler, and the new dating competition Perfect Score. On Monday, July 29 at 9 PM ET/PT, the ballet reality series Breaking Pointe returns for its second season. The Hunger Games-esque reality wilderness competition The Hunt will premiere on Wednesday, July 31 at 9 PM ET/PT. [via press release]
Lohan to Visit Letterman: Lindsay Lohan will appear on Late Show with David Letterman April 9 to promote her upcoming Anger Management role. It will be Lohan’s first Letterman appearance since 2007 and her first public interview since November, and since she will soon begin a court-ordered stint in rehab and has spent the last week partying in Brazil, there is no shortage of scandalous, controversial topics for Letterman to cover. What will he choose to discuss? [Vulture]
One Mother of a Documentary: To celebrate Mother’s Day, Lifetime will premiere the documentary Dear Mom, Love Cher, revealing the extraordinary life story and perseverance of Cher’s mother, Georgia Holt, on Monday, May 6, at 10 PM ET/PT. The hourlong special includes unprecedented access to the family and features a never-before-heard duet performance with Holt and Cher, along with the long-lost recordings Holt taped more than three decades ago that Cher has re-mastered for commercial release later this year, making her mother’s lifelong dream a reality. "This project started as a gift for my mom’s 86th birthday. Like most things in my family, it was initiated by my sister Georganne, who asked me if I could update mom’s album. So I went big (I’m known in the family for doing that)," Cher says. "My sister and I are proud of our mom and we want to share her with the world." [Via Press Release]
Killer Series Order: A&E's pilot Those Who Kill is nearing a deal to get a series order. Starring Chloë Sevigny and James D’Arcy, the show is an adaptation of a Danish format and revolves around police detective Catherine Jensen (Sevigny) and forensic profiler Thomas Schaffer (D’Arcy), who possess a deep understanding of the serial killers they hunt. Thomas is described as a handsome and intellectual college psychology teacher with a PhD who focuses on serial killer behavior. [Deadline]
CSI Puts a Face to a Name: You'll finally be able to put a face to Capt. Jim Brass' never-before-seen wife on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Annabella Sciorra will guest star as Nancy in a case that hits close to home for the Brass family, first appearing in the season finale and returning for the 14th season premiere. During the finale, titled "Skin in the Game," the team will investigate the disappearance of Ellie Brass (Teal Redmann), the captain's stepdaughter who was last seen in CSI's sixth season. The episode will explore Brass' troubled marriage and the couple's infidelities. [THR]
Global Journey Headed to HBO: HBO Films is developing original movie The Man Who Walked Around the World, based on the book of the same name by David Kunst and Clinton Trowbridge. It chronicles the real life adventures of the Kunst brothers. On June 20, 1970, David and his brother John walked East out of Waseca, Minnesota with a pack mule named Willie Makeit. On October 5, 1974, David walked back into Waseca, Minnesota, this time from the West, becoming the first person confirmed to have circled the land mass of the earth on foot. David started off the journey with his brother John, who was killed by bandits in Afghanistan in 1972, and was then joined by his other brother, Pete, in a show of support. The two completed the trip together. [Deadline]
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Cassie Wright/Getty Images]
You Might Also Like:Topanga's Revealing Lingerie Shoot: Hello '90s! 13 Most WTF Fan Tributes
As a bearded hysterical Matthew Fox once said “We have to go back.” A simple phrase that proved inexorably memorable. The wish to go back in time — to relive the better days to prevent the worse — is universal. It’s a wish fueled by nostalgia and regret that makes up such a sorrowfully large component of man’s core. And it’s a wish that is right at the center of Safety Not Guaranteed a movie that tries very hard to do justice to its powerful theme.
Colin Trevorrow’s feature debut attacks the idea from a few different angles. In fact quite literally. The story opens with the abrupt introduction of a so-called nutcase (mumblecore king Mark Duplass) who is planning a voyage back to the year 2001 via a time machine he has allegedly built. Of course no one believes him. Not the sour crass magazine journalist (New Girl's Jake M. Johnson) whose job it is to chronicle the missions of this lunatic. Not his timid lonely med-student tagalong (Karan Soni). And of course not the center of the whole expedition: Darius (Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza) the listless friendless post-grad magazine intern who is plagued by overt apathy and a bridled remorse over her mother’s untimely death several years earlier. Not at first anyway.
Darius agrees to the out-of-town excursion primarily to escape monotony. Arnau jumps on the bandwagon to bolster his résumé but also to stay close to Darius on whom he has a very obvious and very uncomfortable crush. And Jeff (Johnson) is actually on a quest to reunite with an old summer flame from his much happier teen years. All three characters embody the theme being driven home by Safety Not Guaranteed as does — most of all — aforementioned oddball Kenneth (Duplass) whose journey back in time revolves around his own attempt to recapture the lost love of a former girlfriend.
The pulp is there. The problem is the film never truly figures out how to showcase its internal. We never learn enough even subtextually about Darius to understand or appreciate her character entirely. The same goes for Kenneth — who yes is supposed to be mysterious but is also supposed to be sympathetic. Instead he remains at the same distance from the audience throughout the film; we never really figure out if he’s off his rocker or someone who just looks at the world differently.
The film is often a fun one: it serves as a playground for traditional ideas on the well-tread territory of time travel. Time travel tropes are tossed around with a quirky humor and an emotional investment in the genre the way real world friends might discuss the hypothetical. All starring parties and their supporting cast members are endearing and funny. But the emotionality never hits the stride it seems to be going for.
We know that the stories of Darius Kenneth Jeff and Arnau are supposed to be painful. Unfortunately not enough attention is paid to building these people’s heartbreaks. They come off as a bit superficial. As such their separate emotional storylines linked only in spirit come off as a bit disjointed.
At points the film’s stars’ performances seem like less gripping versions of their television characters. The most winning scene actually comes from the cast newcomer Soni whose grief-stricken Arnau could well hit a nerve for a few viewers. Admittedly some might fault Soni and his character for borrowing from the well of racial stereotypes — but that argument aside his personal climax makes his character the movie’s most memorable strength.
Safety Not Guaranteed has plenty of good in it and will most likely keep a willing participant entertained from beginning to end. It’s fun funny and conducive to the plight of the nerd slacker artist or whatever type of outcast group you might fall into. Unfortunately the film never climbs to the point of being as powerful a movie as its contents could justifiably make it. To put it in apropos time travel terms: you can muster up as many gigawatts of linoleum as you can find but without that flux capacitor at the center you’re not really going anywhere.
Disney's new movie Mars Needs Moms suffers from a classic mistake: focusing too much on one aspect of a production -- and in this case it's the visuals. The result is an unbalanced mess that looks terrific but doesn't have enough substance to leave the audience with anything more to "ooh" and "ah" at other than all the pretty colors. As we all know from that one really really hot girl/guy in high school who's now overweight and working a dead-end job looks can only go so far.
Adapted from the children's novel by Berkeley Breathed and directed by Simon Wells Mars Needs Moms follows Milo (acted by Seth Green voiced by Seth Robert Dusky) as he chases after his mother who's been stolen by Martians just a few hours after he told her he'd be better off without her. Once he arrives on Mars (by sneaking on the ship) he meets Gribble (Dan Fogler) who informs him of his problem: the Martians are ruled by a ruthless queen-like Supervisor (Mindy Sterling) who's decided that the hatchlings (babies who sprout from the ground like vegetables) must be divided: all males are thrown away into the dump and the females are raised by "nanny-bots" -- robots programmed by the "discipline" energy of good moms like Milo's from Earth. Milo and Gribble buddy-up and with the help of a rebel Martian named Ki (Elisabeth Harnois) the three of them venture to save Milo's mom before it's too late.
And venture on they do. Coming from producer Robert Zemeckis and utilizing the same motion-capture technology as The Polar Express A Christmas Carol and Beowulf Mars Needs Moms rushes forward embracing its visually stunning universe without taking a moment to stop and breathe. The characters never have a chance to do anything significant that would make the audience think they're substantial or important -- especially Gribble whom the filmmakers really really want us to care for. On top of that it relies on a plot line that we've all seen before and instead of diving into the parts that made it interesting (like the question of why men were thrown in the garbage and not women) it skims safely along the surface doing its best to avoid anything deeper than basic themes.
But that may be a little too picky. After all the movie is just supposed to be a fun little child's tale right? In that vein it succeeds. We feel like we're on an amusement park ride thanks to Ki's vibrant '60s flower-power paintings and the adventures on the Red Planet's surface. Even the moments that aren't super fast-paced present environments that are beautiful. Plus Fogler's performance as Gribble (as Jack Black-esque as it was) gives us some fun enjoyable moments and one-liners that kids will no doubt love.
Yet at the same time Mars Needs Moms' visuals aren't all glorious. In fact some hurt the plot because frankly the humans aren't animated very well. There's no life in their eyes. Simple movements like walking look awkward and too often characters facial expressions don't match the urgency found in their voices. Instead the animation just turns all the characters into weird cartoony versions of themselves that look so "almost human" they appear fake. And as always it's difficult to care for fake people.
Children will definitely enjoy Mars Needs Moms but from a filmmaking standpoint Wells really missed an opportunity to deliver something other than neat visuals and one-liners.