A shame that "What Are Your Former Occupations?" isn't a question on the Bernard Pivot Questionnaire, because James Lipton would certainly have a head-turning answer. In an interview in the new issue of Parade magazine, the Inside the Actors Studio host, 86, says that in the 1960s he worked as a pimp in Paris. And this would have been after he had already worked as an actor on TV soap Guiding Light in the 1950s. Regardless of the medium, it seems Lipton has always been conscious of craft.
Lipton said that at the time it was “perfectly respectable” to go into procuring flesh. “It was a different time,” he said, after indicating that he no longer believes paying for sex is a good thing. The news comes as a particular shock to Arrested Development fans who may no longer find Lipton's role as Warden Gentles of the Orange County Correctional Department to be casting against type. One thing is for sure, though. Our favorite word of the day is gross.
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Homeland has been relying on a lot of melodrama lately, and while I always appreciate some high-stakes emoting, there have been moments when things start to spill over to the silly side; most notable, from last week, the entire shootout ordeal and the extended car accident subplot. This week’s episode takes a lot of those borderline outrageous moments and centers everything once again, ending in some of the most sure-footed plotting I’ve seen on television lately. I think I gasped out loud at the weirdly easy complexity of it all.
The episode starts with Roya hanging out on along Brody’s running path; Roya is wearing a slouchy morning cardigan and looking super upset, which I guess is code that she’s ready for a meeting. Carrie is listening in on the whole thing, as Carrie will do, while Roya and Brody fight over the aftermath of the Gettysburg shootout, seeing as six agents are dead and the attack is all over the news. Scary. Roya is trying to keep Brody on her path towards higher power, but Brody is getting antsy. Duh.
Saul is visiting your good old local maximum security prison, where he finds Eileen – Saul drove from Mexico to DC with Eileen last season (Homeland flashed briefly to the episode during the “previously on” segment, which is always so nice of them), as she was an important piece of the whole terrorist puzzle that we’re always dealing with. The guard at the prison calls Eileen a “spitter, hitter, sh*tter,” which is just really funny. However, Eileen looks absolutely awful; Saul gets the poor woman released from her chains, and the two enter an interrogation room with some nice sunlight. Saul needs Eileen’s help with the mission at hand – he wants to know if she can identify the mysterious man that led the Gettysburg attack, but Eileen wants a cell with a window before she agrees to anything. The direction of this episode is absolutely gorgeous; there are some really beautiful shots, especially the angles used in the interrogation room and some upcoming caravan drama…
Quinn is alive and well in the hospital, because as I said last week, you cannot kill your most attractive season two recurring character after a three-episode arc. I think that’s a legitimate rule of television. Unless you’re Game of Thrones, where I’m afraid that the entire cast will just be killed every single episode. Carrie and Quinn gather the intel that there is no nuclear residue in the Tailor’s shop from Gettysburg, but that crate probably contained enough C4 to blow up a massive structure. Quinn, realizing he is the most attractive character on the show, hops out of his hospital bed and provides a side butt shot. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
That upcoming caravan drama! Finn and Dana are in the back of a limo en route to a nice white male fundraiser, where Dana comes clean that she went to the car accident woman’s funeral and that she wants to come all the way clean to the cops. Finn isn’t on board with this entire plan and just looks really bored in general, but Dana convinces the cute little bugger. I don’t think this relationship is going to work out, you know? In a different limo, Jessica and Brody and talking about Mike and the Tom Walker whispers; Jessica is wearing a fantastic dress, and Brody technically tells Jessica that he killed Tom. I say “technically” because Brody made up a lot of details and promised he was telling the entire truth to his skeptical/manic wife.
Some man named Rex owns the house that is holding the fundraiser, where Finn is clearly looking shifty from second one of arriving. Also, the Vice President’s wife, Cynthia, offers everyone lemonade; I would want some serious hard alcohol if I was about to walk into an entire epic day of fundraiser family weirdness. Brody steps out for a second to call Carrie – “How does my wife know about Tom Walker?” Carrie is going to deal with Mike, Estes is going to keep an eye on Brody during the fundraiser, and Quinn is going to continue taking a lot of prescription pain meds. Everything’s covered! For now!
Eileen has zero trust in any human beings, so Saul needs to show her that she has a windowed cell before she says a single word. That makes sense, as I would have the same bitchy attitude if I were in maximum-security prison. Saul meets with the warden in an attempt to speed up the whole window process, but the warden is a huge ass and basically questions Saul’s power/important. Bad move, bud. Saul will go around the fool, because Saul has all of the military clearance in the entire history of the world, but it will take more time.
Carrie meets up with Mike on a park bench thing, where Carrie tells Mike that he needs to “cease and f*cking desist” before he seriously screws with a matter of national security regarding Brody and Tom Walker. Or, actually, regarding Jessica. Carrie bonds with Mike because it is obvious that Mike is still madly in love with Jessica. Seeing as Carrie is still madly in love with Brody (I think? Can we confirm? Are we being played here?), the two have kind of maybe a lot in common. I don’t see them ever being friends however, so I won’t push Carrie & Mike filling the Paris & Nicole roles, respectively, to headline a reboot of The Simple Life.
Brody is being ogled by some awful woman in all pink at this fundraiser pool party (the fundraiser gets more confusing the longer the episode plays out); this woman looks like she is maybe related to Molly Shannon and was an extra in some direct-to-video Legally Blonde sequel. Leave Brody alone! He just survived life as a prison of war after he converted to Islam and become a sleeper cell! Elsewhere at the estate, the VP and Estes are screaming about “lunatics on the loose with their goddamned explosives,” and we all know that this is going to end poorly. Brody is suddenly in the middle of a horse barn with Rex – Rex confesses that he thinks Brody will be the President of the United States soon enough, and that is basically the only reason he is supporting the Walden/Brody ticket. Brody is all “I’m not the man you think I am, blah blah,” but no one is listening to him. I wish people would start listening.
Carrie is waiting in the trees behind the barn, and Brody comes to find her. I HATE THIS. Carrie and Brody and basically doing the dirty in the middle of the woods; however, we must remember that Quinn told Carrie to make sure Brody felt powerful and in control, as everyone is getting nervous of Brody’s crazy outbursts. The sexual encounter ends with a classic Brody moments – “I do feel used, and played, and lied to… but I also feel good. Two minutes with you and I feel good. How do you pull that off?” And it’s not fully a compliment to Carrie. Brody and Carrie have maybe the most terrifyingly exciting relationship on television right now.
Finn is wandering around the party chugging forgotten, which is what I would also be doing at this point in the evening because this party is horryfing. Dana is acting like a prissy little whore, screaming at Finn that they need to come clean. Hey, Dana – why don’t we wait till all of these rich political fundraiser fools leave before we start discussing your accidental murder? Thanks! Unfortunately, Cynthia and Jessica overhear the spat, and it all comes out in the open. Great work, Dana.
We must remember the poor folks that couldn’t make it to the fundraiser – Saul is still waiting around the prison, waiting to hear the okay from the Attorney General so Eileen gets her room; Saul brings a nice picnic of wine, cheese, and bread for Eileen. So sweet. Eileen mentions Saul’s wife, Mira, and we’re reminded that she is living in Mumbai and Saul’s heart is always bleeding. Saul finally gets the green light, Eileen reviews the documents about her room transfer with some nice glasses that Saul lends to her, and Eileen provides a name for the man – Mohammed Al-Gamdi (spelling is, umm, the best I could do – I’m sorry).
Quinn is in charge of the team to nab Mohammed, who lives near Newark; when the FBI raids the home of this shady characters, it turns out that Mohammed is a nobody musician that Eileen used to know from her family’s old security team. So…Eileen? Turns out the poor sad soul used the entire ploy so that she could kill herself, slitting her wrists with the shards of Saul’s glasses after finally getting her window. Saul let his emotions get the better of him, and the CIA team is floundering.
Brody goes for a midnight swim while Cynthia and Jessica get all of the murder details from the kids; Jessica is ready to take the information to Metro North, but Cynthia states she will take care of the drama. Obviously, Cynthia and the VP will make sure it looks like the thing never happened. Jessica is furious, and explains the situation to Brody; Brody decides to take Dana to Metro North himself. Finn and Dan maybe possibly break up forever, as Finn reveals the reason he liked Dana so much was because she didn’t understand the dark world of politics. Everything is politics.
Brody and Dana are walking up to the doors of Metro North, but Carrie is blocking their path. CARRIE. Estes made Carrie take over the scene, as Carrie had to make sure Brody realized the severity of the deed he was about to commit – if Brody called in the crime, he would break ties with Walden and therefore end his campaign for Vice President; if Brody lost his influence as potential leader of the United Statues, Abu Nazir would no longer need Brody and the entire CIA mission to find Nazir would fall apart. SURE-FOOTED PLOTTING! Homeland took some minor drama of a supporting character and wrapped it around the main arc of season two, woven so tightly that the politics surrounding Dana’s car melodrama is now crucial to the forward momentum of… everything. Oh, Homeland! I am so sorry that I ever doubted your greatness! POLITICS!
[Image Credit: Kent Smith/Showtime (2)]
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S2E12: Based on the previews for tonight's episode of Hawaii Five-0 -- what with its promise of Chin's oceanfront wedding and all -- you might think the show was going to take it a little easy on us. Not so!
The episode kicks off with a few young kids doing dumb, young-kid things -- in this case trespassing onto and into an old bunker, at the bottom of which they find what appears to be a dead body.
Enter Five-0 ...
McGarrett and Max rappel down the "lava tube," where the seemingly deceased man lies, murder weapon nearby. As they examine the apparent corpse and the license, which bears no resemblance to the man they're looking at, he springs back to life (only to soon be induced into a coma)! But what follows is an even weirder chain of events.
First the Five-0 go looking for the man whose wallet was found nearby, Rafe Tong. He has a rap sheet that makes him the immediate and obvious suspect, but as is usually the case early on in the episodes, he's more of a petty criminal, not a murderer. He does, however, offer the name of the victim: Dennis Archer.
Before long, it seems as though Archer might not have been a victim but rather that he was involved in some sordid trip to Hawaii; his wife, in Arizona, had no idea he was there, his savings account was suddenly drained, and he was looking for a girl.
Oddly enough, the girl Archer was looking for, Bridgett Turner, is the very same girl that Vince Fryer -- HPD detective and Five-0 rival -- is looking for; she's his Jane Doe. He and McGarrett literally bump into each other during the investigation, meeting in the middle, so to speak and decide to work together and let bygones be bygones.
BUT: Bridgett herself is dead, left in the trunk of a car tied to one Dennis Archer. Which further complicates potential motives and such.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, Archer's wife explains that their son, Sean, has been presumed dead for over two years but that Dennis held out hope that Sean was somehow still alive and that Dennis might've been in Hawaii pursuing a potential lead on that front. The cops further put the pieces together when they mentally replay footage of Dennis handing over a suitcase full of money (his aforementioned savings account) to Bridgett, leading them to believe that perhaps she'd promised him some info on their son's whereabouts.
They also know that "shady stuff" is going on at the luau where Bridgett worked as a waitress. Before long they're able to figure out definitively that Bridgett's boss, Mitch, was running a scam whereby he attempted to con Dennis Archer out of a lot of money in exchange for details about his long-missing son; Bridgett was, for all intents and purposes, a middleman.
The whole operation fell apart when Bridgett grew a guilty conscience and Dennis Archer went after Mitch for lying to him -- forcing Mitch (at least in his mind) to kill Bridgett, make it look Dennis' doing, and then kill Dennis, too. Most of which didn't work out too well for him.
When Five-0 apprehend Mitch for the murder, they get some more info from the sadistic lifelong criminal: He knows that Sean Archer is, in fact, dead, as bragged about by Mitch's onetime cellmate in Arizona. It doesn't take much (see No. 4, below!) for Vince to coax the gruesome details about the murder out of Mitch, and it gives the Archers (Dennis survives the terrible ordeal) a small sense of closure, at long last.
TOP FIVE MOMENTS FROM TONIGHT'S EPISODE
1. McGarrett opens the doors to Danny’s room at the Hilton – where he’s staying temporarily – to find his partner handcuffed (but fully clothed) to Lori. They walk away in embarrassment, although bound to one another. “It’s not what it looks like!”
2. When the Five-0 goes to investigate the scene in the bunker, where it is predictably dark, dank and altogether spooky, the always-ready-to-provide-comic-relief Max pops out in a costume that, although ultimately practical, resembles that of a superhero.
3. The inevitable chase scene, in which Kono blindsides Mitch, who’s running away from Chin and McGarrett, and scissor-kicks him to the ground. And gets a “Yeah, Kono” from McGarrett.
4. This line from Fryer to Mitch (although it doesn’t even do justice to the performance and delivery of recurring guest star Tom Sizemore): “He’s no snitch. He’s an honorable guy. I understand. But, ya know, the question you gotta ask yourself is: How are you gonna spend this life sentence? OK, because if you don’t cooperate with me right now, right here, I will call the warden and I will have him enroll your ass in the ‘Psycho of the Week’ program … Every week, you get to sample the prison’s finest psychopaths, gangbangers, sociopaths. And you can do for the rest of your life, until you leave there in a box.”
5. The wedding scene. The rare happy ending! That is, until Joe and Steve have a not-so-friendly chat to close out the show.
The British actor, who ironically played a bitter ape warden in 2011 movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is on location shooting new movie Labyrinth and he decided to make the most of a day off by taking a safari trip.
But he got a little too close to the local wildlife upon returning to his hotel suite, when a baboon decided to join him.
In a series of posts on Twitter.com, he writes, "went on safari today, had an amazing time observing the animals of africa... also nearly got ravaged to death by a baboon who jumped from my roof to the balcony whilst i was reading a script outside! (I) legged it (ran) inside."
We can understand the resurrections of Leatherface Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. But one-hit wonder the Miner? Yes pickaxe-wielding mad miner Harry Warden appears to be on the rampage again. The residents of Harmony believe police fatally shot Warden after he picked off kids partying in the mine. But his body was never found. If Warden really is dead who’s now driving his pickaxe through the heads of those connected with all the mine murders? Could it be Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles) the mine owner’s son responsible for the accident that turned Harry into a homicidal maniac? Or could it be Sheriff Axel Palmer (Kerr Smith)? Caught in the middle is Sarah (Jamie King) who married Axel after Tom dumped her and fled Harmony. Worse the killer set his sights on Sarah so he can finished what was started long ago down in Tunnel No. 5. Bearing in mind the damsel in distress must remain standing it’s more important that King can bust some moves than explore the emotional and psychological toll of being victimized by an unstoppable force of evil. Luckily King prevails over her initial jitters in order to swing a mean shovel when under attack. On the other hand wimps Ackles (Supernatural) wears nothing but a pained expression on his face while Smith (Dawson’s Creek) is all bark and no bite. Horror fans though will get a kick out of seeing ageless tough-guy Tom Atkins take on the Miner. Oh and as for that glasses-fogging moment that’s mandatory for a 3-D chiller it’s Betsy Rue’s unenviable task to strip down to her birthday suit as Palmer’s high school sweetheart and rub what she’s got right in our faces. Does it matter that this My Bloody Valentine redo fails miserably as a whodunit? Or that the only time you’re on the edge of your seat is during a tense supermarket confrontation between King and the Miner? This remake exists solely to gross you out by throwing anything and everything at you in 3-D. Eyeballs pop out body parts drop to the floor blood and pieces of bone cover the screen -- to that end director Patrick Lussier doesn’t disappoint. Props to him for not giving us a scene-by-scene carbon copy of one of the earliest holiday-themed Halloween knockoff but the director falls short whenever he attempts to recreate his source material’s most nail-biting moments. So if its gore you want you got it; but if you want to be scared out of your wits give My Bloody Valentine the kiss off.
“Story” is a pejorative term when applied to The Comebacks. The entire concept of the film is basically an excuse to string together and spoof famous scenes from a variety of sports movies including Field of Dreams Bend It Like Beckham Seabiscuit Remember the Titans Rudy Invincible Stick It Drumline et al. David Koechner stars as Lambeau Fields the worst coach in the history of sports who takes one more stab at gridiron glory when he agrees to coach Heartland State University’s luckless football squad. Needless to say this assemblage of losers misfits and malcontents is turned into a winning team under Coach’s somewhat unorthodox tutelage. Unlike most coaches Fields encourages his players to cut class take drugs drink to excess and behave as badly as he does. It all culminates in the championship game (“The Toilet Bowl”) between Coach Fields’ Comebacks and the mighty Invincibles coached by Fields’ one-time friend-turned-rival Freddie Wiseman (Carl Weathers). Despite being down 35-0 at halftime the Comebacks...well you can guess the rest. The collective enthusiasm of the cast goes a long way toward keeping The Comebacks watchable. Koechner enjoying his first big-screen lead has a likable lunk-headed quality that makes Coach Fields an endearing idiot. Melora Hardin scores too as his neglected wife and Brooke Nevin is a looker as their rebellious teenage daughter who also happens to be a gymnastics wiz (Stick It anyone?). Weathers a one-time pro-football player before stardom (in Rocky beckoned) has a good time playing the duplicitous Coach Wiseman and some of the more memorable members of the Comebacks include Matthew Lawrence Jackie Long Noureen DeWulf and Robert Ri’chard. A lot of familiar faces turn up in cameo roles: Will Arnett Dax Shepard Jonathan Gries Kerri Kenney Jillian Grace Eric Christian Olsen Stacy Kiebler Frank Caliendo (doing his impressions of John Madden and Al Michaels) and Andy Dick whose role as the referee during the climactic football game isn’t big enough for him to be as truly annoying as he can be. (That’s a good thing.) Not surprisingly a number of real-life sports personalities turn up in cameos as well: Dennis Rodman (as a prison warden no less!) Michael Irvin Eric Dickerson Lawrence Taylor John Salley Chris Rose and Bill Buckner (reprising his infamous error from the 1986 World Series). Director Tom Brady not to be mistaken for the New England Patriots quarterback previously directed the 2002 Rob Schneider vehicle The Hot Chick. This is unquestionably an improvement. The Comebacks may be dumb--intentionally so--but it’s never dull. There are a good number of groans along with laughs but the film never really runs out of steam. The football scenes are surprisingly well-rendered and are realistic enough that they could easily have come from a straightforward football movie--without the punch lines of course. There’s a pretty even ratio between the gags that work and the ones that don’t and the film’s formula seems to be: When all else fails hit below the belt with repeated crotch jokes. Those looking for a sophisticated highbrow comedy should look elsewhere.
A billionaire TV producer (Robert Mammone) has a great idea for a reality show that he wants to put on the Internet and his goal is to beat the 40 million Super Bowl audience. He has compiled a crack team of young hip and immoral tech geeks directed by Goldman (Rick Hoffman) and puts cameras throughout a remote island where former prisoners are going to kill each other while audiences watch after shelling out the pay-per-view fee. The location is done on a remote secret island and the death row prisoners are bought from prisons around the world with the promise that the survivor gets to walk free. Among the contestants are a rogue Aussie named McStarley (Vinnie Jones) a martial arts expert (Masa Yamaguchi) a husband-and-wife team (Manu Bennett and Dasi Ruz) a monstrous killer who doesn't do much more than grunt (Nathan Jones) and others known only as The Italian The German and other monikers quickly forgotten. Enter the sole American Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) who's in a South American prison for some obscure reason and is recognized on TV by his wife (Madeleine West) who tries to save him. However it looks like Conrad is pretty good at helping himself. Don't expect the acting to be much more evolved than what could be seen among the World Wrestling Entertainment superstars especially since many of them were plucked from the ring to star in this morality tale. But Austin (who had in a strong cameo in Adam Sandler's Longest Yard) proves he has a sense of humor as well as strength. Vinnie Jones is ridiculously over-the-top as the Aussie who's the hand-picked winner of this game shown setting up alliances Survivor style only to turn on them later. The supporting cast are refreshingly entertaining but one-note caricatures both in the contest and running the contest. It's obvious that they aren't going to be around long but the actors do milk their tiny roles for every bit of attention they can get. Rick Hoffman as the brilliant camera mastermind of the project is both whiny sniveling and mean-spirited so when he joins some of the rest of the crew and suddenly develops a backbone and a conscience he ends up stealing the movie with his acerbic humor. But it's the understated American hero Conrad who holds a mirror up to the people who like to watch this stuff. Director Scott Wiper who co-wrote this story has also acted in similar movies like this (A Better Way to Die). It’s obvious he knows what he’s doing with The Condemned and develops a sense of voyeuristic angst like those of us who can't keep our eyes off a train wreck. Like the darkly subversive Belgian film Man Bites Dog the camera crew remains safely distant and remote until the reality directly involves them. Then the crew wonders "What the hell are we doing?" while the audience might be thinking "What the hell are we watching?" Much like Series 7: The Contenders Rollerball and other movies which show a dark and bloody near future this kind of reality doesn't seem too far away and maybe proves that movies which provide this type of gladiator spectacle target a certain segment of the human population who need to blow off steam.