Liam Hemsworth's one-time fling Eiza Gonzalez has landed her big break by scoring a role in the upcoming TV adaptation of Robert Rodriguez's cult film From Dusk Till Dawn. The director announced plans to turn the 1996 movie, about two criminals who stumble across a nightclub filled with vampires, into a 10-episode series earlier this month (Nov13), with Miami Vice star Don Johnson taking on the lead as Sheriff Earl McGraw.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation actor D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz were both cast in the lead roles made famous by George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, and now Gonzalez has been added to the line-up as one of their hostages.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day star Robert Patrick and actors Madison Davenport and Brandon Soo Hoo have also been hired for the show, which is in production in Austin, Texas.
The programme is due to premiere on Rodriguez's own English-language El Rey Network next spring (14), shortly after the December (13) launch of the cable channel.
Actress/singer Gonzalez hit headlines in September (13) when she was photographed kissing Hemsworth a day after news of his broken engagement to Miley Cyrus was announced. She has only previously appeared in a handful of Spanish-language telenovelas.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
G.I. Joe is a top-secret multi-national special forces unit comprised of highly-trained physically attractive military personnel from around the world. Equipped with the latest in superawesome vehicles and weaponry and guided by the tough but fair General Hawk they take on the baddest of the bad guys the kind of terrorists that scoff at conventional organizations. As the General himself so aptly states “When all else fails we don’t.”
That credo is put to the test however when a shadowy terrorist group armed with even awesomer vehicles and weaponry like crazy-ass laser guns and computer-guided zombie troopers infiltrates the Joes’ compound and makes off with a cache of four WMDs each of which is capable of leveling an entire city. Do the men and women of G.I. Joe have what it takes to defeat these menacing new adversaries before they mount their next devastating attack?
WHO’S IN IT?
It takes an elite group of actors to play an elite group of soldiers and the cast of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is stocked with an abundance of Hollywood’s most talented performers all adorned in various types of leather fetish apparel. White Chicks star Marlon Wayans plays Ripcord a flight specialist who can pilot any type of airplane even enemy crafts that respond only to voice commands uttered in Celtic. Channing Tatum star of Step Up and Step Up 2: The Streets plays his best pal Duke a badass infantryman who knows no fear. Preeminent ginger chick Rachel Nichols showcases her fiery crimson locks as Scarlett a shrewd intel expert whose stoic exterior hides a growing attraction to Ripcord. Barking out the orders as General Hawk is Enemy Mine star Dennis Quaid.
On the side of the bad guys is the Baroness played by Factory Girl star Sienna Miller in a push-up bra dirty librarian glasses and a raven-colored dye job. She’s the point woman for McMullen a shady Scottish weapons magnate played by Christopher Eccleston. But McMullen is no ordinary shady Scottish weapons magnate; he’s covertly amassed a huge terrorist empire headquartered beneath the polar ice caps. It’s there that “The Doctor ” a horribly disfigured mad scientist played by (500) Days of Summer star Joseph Gordon-Levitt concocts all sorts of diabolical new weapons and gadgets to unleash on the innocent.
Oh and there are ninjas too. Good guy Snake Eyes played by Ray Park wears sleek black body armor while the evil Storm Shadow played by Byung-hun Lee runs around in a updated version of Elvis Presley’s classic all-white jumpsuit.
Loaded with scene after scene of high-tech action-movie eye candy G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra assaults the senses with such a relentless barrage of over-the-top stunts eye-popping visual effects and stylized fight sequences that only the most coldly cynical of viewers will be able to resist submitting to its visceral charms.
As with most sugary indulgences the sweet dizzying high is followed almost immediately by a painful crash. Feelings of guilt and shame start to simmer as you kick yourself for yielding to such soulless gluttony. The next morning you awake with a throbbing headache and a heart filled with regret. The following day a doctor informs you that you have adult-onset diabetes. So in a nutshell G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is the cinematic equivalent of adult-onset diabetes.
The scene where they have the big fight with all the advanced weapons and a whole bunch of stuff blows up. Oh wait that’s EVERY scene.
For the bulk of his performance Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s face is obscured by a bulky breathing apparatus and his voice is altered to sound like the computerized movie trailer's narrator. Which makes one wonder why they bothered to hire a name actor for the role in the first place.
Merging reality and fantasy in a movie within a movie co-writer/director/star Ben Stiller lampoons the movie industry in ways it hasn’t been skewered since The Player and S.O.B. In Tropic Thunder a film crew sets out to make the biggest (and most clichéd) war movie ever. But after huge budget overruns and a tantrum from the studio head (an unrecognizable Tom Cruise) the hapless English director (Steve Coogan) decides what the film needs is a lot more realism. So he plunks his all-male cast deep down into the jungles of Southeast Asia for some on-the-spot boot camp training. What starts out as an exercise turns disastrous when they encounter REAL enemy warriors trying to do them in. The motley crew of actors include: Tugg Speedman (Stiller) a fading action hero desperate for a hit; Australian five-time Oscar winner Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr. ) who is such a method actor he undergoes a unique skin pigmentation transformation to play his character as an African-American; and Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black) star of a successful farting comedy franchise called The Fatties. Also along for the shoot is intensely serious author John “Four Leaf” Tayback (Nick Nolte) whose book the movie is based on and who may have twisted the real facts for the sake of a movie sale. The bulk of the film finds them fighting for their lives without a script in sight. Stiller shoots and scores big time getting superb and hysterically funny performances from a great cast. Ben is back doing what he loves spoofing convention which in this case includes every jungle war movie from Platoon and Apocalypse Now to Rambo. Playing an actor whose series of action-hero flicks have had dwindling returns and whose last flop had him portraying a mentally impaired farm boy Stiller gets big laughs as his character tries to make a comeback. Robert Downey Jr doesn’t just deserve an award for his riotous and audacious acting he should get a medal for bravery. The star continues his great year with a hilarious turn as the ultimate method actor. He’s hilarious as he refuses to speak in anything but his ghetto accent even when the cameras aren’t rolling--exclaiming at one point “Man I don’t drop character until I’ve done the DVD commentary!” Black manages to go even further over the top than usual but his manic act is perfect for the loud and relentless tone set by Stiller. Nolte is perfect casting as a grizzled war vet and Coogan is very funny as the beleaguered director who takes things one step too far for his safety. Meanwhile newcomers Jay Baruchel Danny McBride (having a great year with this Pineapple Express and Foot Fist Way) and Brandon T. Jackson round out the gang who couldn’t shoot straight. The large cast also includes extended cameos from Matthew McConaughey as Speedman’s groveling agent Bill Hader as a film executive and a startling and terrifically funny performance by a balding hairy-chested Tom Cruise as the screaming foul mouthed studio head. Special mention also to 12 year-old Brandon Soo Hoo who is on target as the take-no-crap “leader” of the enemy camp. Ben Stiller hasn’t been behind the camera since his hilarious Zoolander but he hasn’t missed a beat in that department. He manages to make a balls-out action war film with more explosions than any movie in recent memory--obviously paying homage to such classics as Platoon--but doing it all in the service of a smart comic takeoff on the movie business he clearly knows well. Stiller’s comic canvas making fun of the whole “boot camp” mentality is impressively mounted with flawless CGI special effects evoking the kind of kick-ass war flick we need to believe this troupe is making. Multiple Oscar winner John Toll’s fine cinematography should also get well-deserved credit. With so much extreme mayhem going on keeping the comedy cooking at top levels is a daunting task Stiller pulls off with aplomb.