Walt Disney via Everett Collection
Last Vegas director Jon Turteltaub had a gargantuan task in front of him. One that was not for the faint of heart. He had to manage the likes of Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Michael Douglas, and Morgan Freeman in one single film, actors that are as close to royalty as hollywood gets. With such a huge task comes even bigger expectations. But even trickier that the star-filled waters he had to navigate, are the constant comparisons to The Hangover that his film will continually have to dodge in the small pool of Vegas comedies. John Turtletaub wants you to know about the joys and woes (mostly joys) in working with such a legendary cast, why he needs to makes movies for everyone, and why Last Vegas is definitely not "The Hangover for old people."
What first struck me about Last Vegas is that it looked like a ton of fun to film?You know what’s funny? As fun goes, movies aren't fun at all to make. But as work goes, they're fun to make, and it was really enjoyable to be in a room with all five of those actors, including Mary Steenburgen. Everyone was so good at their jobs. It was clear that the movie was going to be good. Usually you don’t know. In this case, we had a really good feeling just when we were filming. Just by how good these actors are and everyone was on their best behavior around these guys and everyone was nice and wonderful. It's funny, people always say when they do these interviews how fun it is or what a family everyone became and I always watch that stuff thinking 'Screw you, I want you to be miserable and work hard to entertain me. I don't want you to have fun.' But I'm sorry to say, in this case, we actually enjoyed ourselves.
It definitely came across on screen. There was this instant chemistry among the four leads. We're supposed to believe that they've been friends all their lives and it definitely feels that way.It's a combination of a few things, I think. One is that all these guys are faces that you've seen for 40 years and you just feel comfortable with them. It seems like they all must know each other anyway, even though no two of them have worked together before. That's one of the more surprising tidbits. It's a mixture of that, the ease they felt together onscreen, but also starting the movie with them as little kids really propels you into a sense that they really are a group that’s been together a long time.
Was it ever intimidating working with such huge actors?Terrifying! It was! I'm supposed to be a very cool director who doesn't get fazed by this stuff but I was really excited and nervous. You're not just nervous because you want them to love you, but you're aware also of the other directors they've worked with and how talented those men and women are. You know you're being compared to the greatest directors of all time. The key isn't to not be scared, the key is to not show it. That's what I told myself, at least.
The film did a great job of managing the huge personalities. Was it a challenge not letting one actor take over the whole film?That kind of balance is there in the script, but it's also something you work hard on in the editing room to make sure that it all feels like a movie about a group of guys, not two of them. And they couldn't have been easier to work with. They've earned the right to be sh**ty on set, and none of them were. I think they were all competing on who could be the nicest because they wanted to not only be the one to not make life difficult for me, but to not make life difficult for each other.
With a movie about a group of friends in Vegas, it's easy to make comparisons to The Hangover, but is it too simple to call this film The Hangover for old people?I think so. I hate the phrase that "It's The Hangover for older people." I hate less that it's "The Hangover with older people," but I still feel like, yeah, it is a bachelor party in Vegas and I totally get the comparisons to The Hangover and The Hangover 3. But it really is such a different movie. It has a different flavor to it, a different feel to it, and different intentions.
Last Vegas seems like a movie that a lot of people could enjoy, were you shooting for a wide audience?I always set out to make a movie for a general audience, that all people can enjoy. When I made National Treasure, the studio thought we were making an R-rated Jerry Bruckheimer action film, and I turned it into a PG-rated Disney adventure film. I can't help myself. I really believe that making a movie for the widest audience is a really difficult and really rewarding task. That's what I wanted to do with this. Humor should be universal and funny should be funny to everybody and emotions and heartbreak should feel tragic to everybody. If you're doing it right, then you're hitting these very universal ideas for a very broad audience.
Vampires often brood. And they can have mood swings, just like the rest of us.
But there are cases where a vamp is just bad news, and Niklaus Mikaelson is one of those. He's a Sociopath. Okay, that's not technically what we call it, but you still need to cross the street when you see him coming.
Antisocial Personality Disorder is no joking matter. Deception, irritability, a complete disregard for others and an utter lack of remorse are bad enough when spread out over a lifetime. But over an eternity? Better duck.
By century two complex dangerous sub-characteristics start crystallizing: like belligerence, and the obsession with one's own infallibility. And the vengefulness? Hell, how many times has he staked his poor sister?
To make matters worse, he's a werewolf hybrid. Add fearlessness, recklessness and zip impulse control to the mix.
The genesis of this disorder is believed to be trauma. You know, like when your mom turns all your siblings into vampires. There is no hope for poor Klaus, and less hope for any living thing he rubs up against.
Fortunately, he has the spin-off to keep him occupied. But if it's canceled, better to get out of Dodge.
Okay, so the title of this recap may prove to be divisive, and sure, Merle isn't exactly right about everything. Like, for instance, the racism and the sexism and I would say homophobia but there are no gays on this show, so. Regardless, I'm sure Merle is homophobic. Anyway — Merle isn't right about everything, but he knows an enemy when he sees one, and has survived this long by using his animalistic instincts to tear those enemies down. But now poor, brilliant Merle is stuck with the dumb dumb heads in the Grimes Gang led by King Dumb Dumb Head Rick Grimes, so no one will listen to him when he says they should just go in there, shoot the Governor, and be done with it. Sounds like a great plan, no? Quickly eliminate the terrorist who has already proven himself to be a brilliantly strategic sociopath who wants nothing more than to kill you and everyone you love?
Related: 'The Walking Dead' Recap: S**t Could Be Worse
But this isn't Zero Dark Thirty and Jessica Chastain was eaten long ago, so logic and reason did not prevail during tonight's installment of The Walking Dead. Even Michonne thinks they can bargain with the Governor now, which may just be because she's finally trying to fit in, but still. Despite what Andrea the sudden optimist thinks, you can't reason with a hellbent-on-revenge sociopath, and now the Governor has the upper hand, again. Rick thinks that by turning in Michonne he can save his people, but everyone with one tenth of a brain (Merle) should realize that the Governor would ruthlessly murder everyone except maybe Baby Asskicker (whom he would raise as his own to replace the child Michonne/Walkers killed) if he caught the Grimes Gang pants down. Fight the dead, fear the living, you guys. At least Glenn and Maggie got some hot sexy time in before the end of days.
Most of the episode took place in and around the random shack where the two fearless leaders decided to meet. We had Rick and the Governor in the shack, and a really engaging B-plot outside of it. Hershel drove them over in the Grimes Hyundai, and we got a nice shot of him examining the knife attached to his stump in the driver's seat before he left the car. You guys, how great is Hyundai? Even when the world burns, even when your leg is nothing but a horrid shell of its former self, you can still drive a beautiful looking Hyundai through the wreckage. And somehow, someway, everything will be okay. That's what Hyundai does.
Hyundai also set the stage for some serious commentary on the state of modern warfare. While Rick Grimes and the Governor tiptoed around their assured mutual destruction (or, well, the destruction of those around them), Daryl and Hershel were standing outside, bonding with that Martinez everyone is talking about and Milton, respectively. Because that's what war is all about — petty squabbles between two leaders that end up needlessly ruining the lives of everyone around them. It's kind of like that scene in every war movie where the American guy gets stuck in the trench with the German guy and realizes — hey, this guy is just like me! Why the f**k are we fighting, again? But then he blows his brains out because A, kill or be killed, and B, this is an American movie so the Germans can't win.
But just like most of the Germans in that movie (the non-Nazi ones), when it comes down to it, the citizens of Woodbury aren't all that bad. That Martinez guy everyone keeps talking about (overrated) once had a wife and a family. Milton is just a big ol' nerd, and had they not been on opposing teams, him and Hershel probably would have been good buds. It just shows, once again, the insanity of the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead — don't these people realize that strength comes in numbers? In a logical world, the Governor would realize that the capable fighters and young people with functioning reproductive organs could help turn Woodbury into a genuine second hope for society. Just like it was stupid for Rick to turn down Tyreese and his crew, it's stupid of the Governor to hate the Grimes Gang so much — but then again, Woodbury is more about his own ego than anything else.
Anyway, back to the show. Rick showed up to meeting HQ, and the Governor appeared from the darkness with his eyepatch and that s**t-eating grin he always sports because he knows that he's smarter than everyone else. So smart, in fact, that he knew Rick would disarm him, so he taped a gun to his side of the negotiation table. "We have a lot to talk about," he said. And talk they did. They talked about the weather, they talked about the Grimes Gang getting out of dodge before the Governor killed them, they talked about the Governor's past — heck, they even skimmed over what happened to Maggie! (Andrea, who was allowed in the room for approximately three minutes, did not enjoy this part. She will probably still have sex with him later.)
"We're here to move forward," the Governor proclaimed, with his signature southern charm and that stupid grin that somehow manages to feel like nails on a chalkboard sounds, if that makes sense. Rick proposed a relative truce with location boundaries, but the Gov then pissed off both Rick AND Andrea when he revealed (duh) that he was there for one thing and one thing only: Rick's surrender. He even brought whiskey, that's how confident he was in his mentally-torture-Rick-Grimes-skills — he could do it drunk. Burn!
Even though Rick is terrible at the art of war, he did come prepped with some of his best zingers. "You're the town drunk who knocked over my fence and ripped up my yard," Rick said. "Nothing more." But then the Governor hit below the belt, kind of literally, by bringing up Baby Asskicker's ambiguous parentage. So this round, again, goes to the Governor. The Governor continued to prove his brilliant, egotistical insanity when he gave his reasoning for wanting to slaughter the entire Grimes Gang: if he didn't, Woodbury would think he was weak, and everything would be destroyed. "This fight, it's a failure of leadership," said The Governor. Both men feel that they need the respect of their constituents to effectively "govern" (hah) their way to safety. I, for one, do not think that this is true. Maybe I'm being a little too Andrea right now, but I'm sure most of the folks at Woobury wouldn't mind a new friend or two, especially if one of those friends is Daryl.
But, I digress. The Governor got into some exposition, revealing — as we always suspected — that he was some low-level corporate schlub before the outbreak. What's worse, he was a low-level corporate schlub with a dead wife, because she died in a car crash on a day when he didn't return her call. The story was sad, but it was the Governor, so it's hard to care too much. While he was telling his epic sad tale Rick just sort of sat there silently, because what the f**k was he supposed to say? What do you say when your mortal enemy tells you a really sad story about his wife dying, when your wife just died too in an even more horrific fashion, and like, this is the apocalypse so everyone is dead? "Sorry, bro?" Rick said nothing, which was the wise move. I'm not sure why they included this scene.
Related: 'The Walking Dead' Recap: Who Will Kill Andrea?
So, anyway — threat threat threat, meaningful Grimes stare meaningful Grimes stare meaningful Grimes stare. In the end, the Governor revealed that he only wanted one thing (I think his fingers were crossed under the table): Michonne. If Rick would deliver Michonne, he'd let the others live. He even removed his eye patch for dramatic emphasis. "Is she worth it?" Gov asked. "One woman, worth all those lives at your prison?" Rick seemed a bit flabbergasted at this request: "You've obviously got big plans," he said. "You'd waste it all on a two-bit vendetta? You could have a statue of yourself in the town square. Killin' Michonne is sorta beneath you." Then Rick just threw out some more meaningful stares, but he was clearly considering the Governor's offer. Stupid Rick Grimes. Didn't Morgan tell you that you should always clear?
After that, negotiations were over. The Governor walked into the sunset with Martinez, Milton, and (gag) Andrea, and Rick drove back to the prison in that beautiful, wonderful Hyundai. The Governor said he'd be back in the same place in two days, at noon. If Rick would bring Michonne, there wouldn't be a battle. Riiighhht.
While all of this was going on, we were treated to several scenes of the B-Team first arguing, then semi-bonding over their shared interests. For Hershel and Milton that meant science, for Daryl and Martinez, killing things. When Milton first showed up, Daryl snickered: "Great, he brought his Butler." Zing! But Martinez fired back with an even better one, referring to Daryl as Rick's henchman. I mean, it's true...
Anyway, as the two gents in the shack sorted things out, Milton revealed that he'd been keeping tabs on everything that happened everywhere, ever, since the outbreak, since his words would eventually become the boring history texts that future children would read, skimming over to the parts with the highlighted vocabulary terms. Hershel though this was a real swell idea. Then some Walkers came around, and Daryl and Martinez had this cute, badass, totally sexy kill-off. It was a draw, and thus respect was earned. They even called each other "pu**y" and "douchebag" as signs of mutual admiration. Our enemies — they're just like us!
These bonding scenes were pretty sad, because all four men knew that they might kill or be killed by their new buds. It's like the early scenes in The Hunger Games, when they make the kids train together. When Milton, for morbid curiosity/scientific purposes asked to see Hershel's stump, he reacted with mock disgust. "I just met you — at least buy me a drink first," he laughed. It was sweet. It was refreshing. It would be short-lived, because the two psychos running this show were mere feet away, plotting their destruction.
Andrea was outside too after "Philip" kicked her out, and she asked Hershel what had happened to Maggie. "He's a sick man," Hersh said. She looked crushed. "What am I going to do now?" she cried. "I can't go back there." Hershel gave her a VIP pass to re-join the Grimes Gang, but added that (duh) that once she went back with them, she could never return to Woodbury. Needless to say, she went back to Woodbury. The Governor must be insanely good in bed.
Related: 'The Walking Dead' Star Norman Reedus Teases "Bouts of Rage"
Meanwhile, back at the prison...
Over in Cellblock C, Merle Dixon was having a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day. No one would listen to him! "What we should be doing is loading some of this firepower in a truck, and paying a visit to the Governor," Merle said. [Crickets.] "But we promised Rick we'd stay put!" exclaimed Michonne. "My Dad can take care of himself!" added Carl. Both of those statements were stupid. Merle tried to leave anyway, but Glenn version 2.0 stopped him. Glenn version 2.0 is super sexy, but still very wrong on this particular occasion. Him and Merle started scufflin', until Beth proved herself useful for once by shooting a single gunshot in the air. So dramatic, Beth! Now climb back into your cell and sit there silently for the rest of the episode. Thanks.
Merle tried to recruit Michonne for his mission, but she proved herself to be a tried and true member of the Grimes Gang by refusing. Then, hilariously, when asked why Merle had not succeeded in capturing her back when, Merle responded: "Must have been seduced by your sterling personality." Daryl is clearly the sexier of the Dixon brothers (by a long shot), but all of the humor in that family went straight to Merle.
At the end of the day, it was as suspected: The Governor told Martinez that, when Rick and co. would arrive in two days at noon, Martinez was to kill everyone but Michonne, so the Governor could enact his weird vengeance plot. "That's a slaughter!" Milton exclaimed in horror. The Governor pooh-poohed this immediately. "No way we can all live side-by-side," he said. Men (sigh). This was all very expected, but at least, hopefully, we'll get some traitorous deeds by Milton (or even Martinez?) over the whole thing. They didn't look too thrilled about the idea.
Rick, for his part, chose to put the fear of God in his batch of warriors: "I met this Governor. He wants the prison. He wants us gone, dead, for what we did to Woodbury. We're going to war." Alright, then. However, he then told Hershel a completely different story — one where he was considering trading Michonne for their supposed safety. Neither option is appetizing, but I could see why Rick would consider giving up the least friendly member of his tribe. Still — "I'm hoping you can talk me out of it," he said.
So, that's about it kids. Woodbury and the Grimes Gang are (still) at war, and Rick is considering killing Michonne. Something tells me that this is not going to happen. Oh, and Glenn and Maggie had sex. This wasn't very important to the overall theme of the episode, but it let us know that these two crazy kids are totally in love again. It was a sweet, steamy moment, but it raises some questions. Question 1 — are they using protection? You'd think, after knifing a baby out of Lori (and spending time with Carl), that Maggie would never want to have children, ever. Question 2 — since they're happy now, does that mean that one of them has to die in the finale?
Overall, another solid outing for The Walking Dead. I really hope new showrunner Scott Gimple takes some cues from his predecessor, because the second half of this season has been largely superb.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
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The remake of Total Recall never escapes the shadow of its Arnold Schwarzenegger-led predecessor — and strangely it feels like a choice. With a script that's nearly beat-for-beat the original film Total Recall plods along with enhanced special effects that bring to life an expansive sci-fi world and action scenes constructed to send eyes flipping backwards into skulls. Filling the cracks of the fractured film is a story that without knowledge of the Philip K. Dick adaptation's previous incarnation is barely decipherable. Those who haven't seen Paul Verhoeven's 1990 Total Recall? Time to get a few memory implants. 2012 Recall makes little sense with the cinematic foundation but it does zero favors to those out of the know.
Colin Farrell takes over duties from Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid a down-on-his-luck factory worker hoping to escape his stagnate existence with a boost from Rekall a company capable of engineering fake memories. Quaid calls the damp slums of "The Colony" home (one of two inhabitable parts of Earth) but he dreams of moving to the New Federation of Britain a pristine metropolis on the other side of the planet. When the futuristic treatment goes awry — caused by previously existing memories of our blue collar hero's supposed past life as a secret agent — Quaid emerges from Rekall with lethal power hidden under his mild-mannered persona. He quickly goes on the run escaping squads of soldiers robots and his assassin "wife " Lori (Kate Beckinsale) all hot on his tail. Total Recall turns into one long chase scene as Quaid unravels the mystery of his erased memories.
But when it comes to answers and heady sci-fi Total Recall falls short. Farrell isn't a hulking action star like Schwarzenegger but he's a performer that can sensitively explore any human crisis big or small. Director Len Wiseman (Underworld Live Free or Die Hard) never gives his leading man that opportunity. Farrell makes the best of the films occasional slow moment but the weight of Recall's mindf**k is suffocated in a series of fist fights hovercar pile-ups and foot chases pulled straight out of the latest platformer video game (a sequence that sends Quaid running across the geometric rooftop architecture of The Colony looks straight out of Super Mario Bros.). When Jessica Biel as Quaid's former romantic interest Melina and Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston as the power-hungry politico Cohaagen are finally woven into Farrell's feature length 50 yard dash it's too late — the movie isn't making sense and it's not about to regardless of the charm on screen.
The action is slick and the futuristic design is impeccable but without any time devoted to building the stakes Total Recall feels more like a HDTV demo than a thrilling blockbuster. The movie's greatest innovation is the central set piece "The Fall " an elevator that travels between the two cities at rapid speed. The towering keystone of mankind is a marvel but we never get to see it explore it or feel its implications on the world around it. Instead it's cemented as a CG background behind the craze of Farrell shooting his way through hoards of bad guys.
Science fiction more than any other dramatic genre twist demands attention to the details. New worlds aren't built on broad strokes. But Total Recall tries to get away with it in hopes that audiences will recall their own movie knowledge to support its faulty logic. The movie repeatedly prompts viewers to think back to the 1990 version with blatant fan service that's absolutely nonsensical in this restructured version (no longer does Quaid go to Mars but there's still a three-breasted alien?). The callbacks may have given Total Recall a "been there done that" feel but rarely is it coherent enough to get that far. By the closing credits you'll be struggling to remember what you spent the last two hours watching.
Hey guys!Guess who sold out two shows at Radio City Music hall in less time than it takes for Ticketmaster to load your tickets? This guy. No, not that guy. This guy. No, the guy over there. God you are so dense sometimes. Charlie Sheen you fuckwad. Try to be clever around here and you go and ruin it. You ruin everything. No wonder Mom started drinking after you were born. - People
Apparently Rebecca Black actually reads the comments on Friday’s Youtube page because some of the mean things you nasty people said really upset her and made her cry. You guys! How could you do that to her? She’s such a sweet little girl who just wants to hang out with her friends. Who cares if she has trouble deciding where to sit in a car? Good job people. Good. Job. Black also mentioned that she would LOVE to do duet with Justin Bieber. I never thought I would say this, but Bieber is way too talented to sing with that chick. Oh wow, I just cyber-bullied Rebecca Black. I’m part of the problem?! Existential crisis! - People
Further proof that karma exists: a writer for Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns had his car explode. That’s what you get for bringing into the world more of Tyler Perry. What’s that you say? That’s cyber bullying too? Have you seen Meet the Browns? Yeah, that’s what I thought. I’m doing the world a favor. - TMZ
Happy Hung-Over Day! These lovely animated Chang .gifs dispersed throughout (what do you mean you didn’t click any of them? AW HELL NAH BITCH) are courtesy of ScreenJunkies in celebration of Community’s renewal! Even more reason to celebrate because its Friday!