If you've already heard the latest good news about the upcoming season of Arrested Development bumping up its episode count from 10 to between 12 and 15, then you've probably already begun mustering up some ideas of how Mitchell Hurwitz might be inclined to fill these new installments in the next chapter of his story about the Newport Beach family. Word has been that each of the first nine episodes would focus individually on a member of the Bluth/Fünke clan, leaving the remainder of the series to bring the characters together and set them on their merry way toward the chaotic cinematic endeavor with which they are fated.
But there are new opportunities here. Now that Netflix, the venue where the new Arrested Development season will find a home, is granting us more time at the model home, up in the penthouse, and down by the big yellow joint, we might get to see what some other members of Hurwitz's strange universe have been up to. And maybe even pick up on some storylines the show didn't get a chance to conclude. We already know that a few supporting characters will be returning for Season 4 (including Henry Winkler as inept and ethically-blind attorney Barry Zuckerkorn, and Andy Richter as himself and his four brothers, Donnie, Chareth, Rocky, and Emmitt), but there are plenty others we're curious about. What ever happened to everyone else?
Whatever Happened to Ann?
Last we saw her, she had recently won third place in an inner beauty pageant and was shacking up with her ex-boyfriend's sleazy uncle, GOB. In one of the final shots of the series, Ann let out a hyper-dramatic scream when George Michael punched GOB for the ordeal; it seems as though she has given up on her didactic Christian upbringing, opting instead for a newly adventurous take on life. So where has this taken her — an extended romantic tryst with an amoral man more than twice her age? Or has the family severed ties with Ann altogether?
Whatever Happened to Kitty?
Last we saw Kitty, she was taking up with Blue Man Group member George Sr., who has since abandoned her and returned to his home in California. So where is Kitty these days? What sort of power does she continue to wield over the Bluth family? And does she still hold a candle for the clan's booming patriarch?
Whatever Happened to Lucille 2?
Last we saw Lucille 2, she was cutting off all ties to the Bluth family, selling her shares in their company to spite their dastardly deception. Plus, she was kindling a new romance with one Stan Sitwell, who is still very much in contact with the family. As such, we probably haven't seen the last of the poor vertigo-stricken widow. So how might she come into play in the new season — engaged in her usual battle of acerbity with Lucille 1? Gunning again for the love of Buster? And has she finally earned the ability to stand up without getting dizzy?
Whatever Happened to Carl Weathers?
Last we saw Carl Weathers, he was directing the televised account of the Bluth family's legal troubles, Scandalmakers (and portraying Ice the Bounty Hunter). Did the ill-conceived project launch Carl's directing career, or bring it to a crushing halt? Will he find himself in another Burger King-based conversation with Tobias anytime soon? It is a wonderful restaurant.
Whatever Happened to Rita?
Last we saw Rita, she and Michael had broken off their engagement when he had come to realize that she was mentally challenged. But since then, we've heard of her obtaining some degree of professional success running the "drama development" department at the production company Uniprod. So has Rita flourished in behind-the-scenes showbiz? And has she found the love she's been looking for?
Whatever Happened to Marta?
Last we saw Marta, she was angrily chastising Michael and GOB, both of whom she had been romantically involved with, for fighting with each other outside of a courthouse. Soap opera star Marta valued family above all else, and understood their to be no brotherly love between the Bluth boys. But where has she been ever since? Thriving as an actress? Looking for love in less toxic locale?
Whatever Happened to Gilligan?
Last we saw accountant Ira Gilligan, he was lounging happily about a tropical island after all his years taking abuse from George Sr. had finally paid off. But is he still living a life of luxury? Have Gilligan's fortunes run dry? Will he return to George's behest, or face his former boss' wrath for running off on the company?
Whatever Happened to STEVE HOLT?
Last we saw STEVE HOLT!, he was helping his lovable ol' dad GOB outdo Uncle Mike and Cousin George Michael in a banana stand battle. The high school super-super-super-senior is a gifted athlete and large in heart, so perhaps his talents and kindness have taken him far... or, perhaps, he's still running for Class President at age 30. Where are you, Steve Holt? Will we see you again?
Whatever Happened to Maggie?
This is a big one! Last we saw Maggie, she was revealed to be pregnant. With Michael's child. Well, that's the hint we're given anyway, but it's enough to make us wonder: WHAT THE HELL EVER HAPPENED TO HER? Has she had the baby (it's been a few years, so we'd think so), and does Michael have any idea that he's got a second kid out there? Are we going to get answers to any of these questions?!
Whatever Happened to Gene Parmesan?
[Photo Credit: Fox]
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David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
Pedro Almodovar's Volver and Agustin Diaz Yanes' Alatriste are the leading contenders for Spain's Goya Awards, taking 14 and 15 nominations respectively.
The two movies will go head-to-head at the end of January in the Best Film and Best Director categories.
Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth--which picked up 13 nominations--and Manuel Huerga's Salvador--with 11 nominations--are also up for Best Film and Best Director.
Volver and Pan's Labyrinth--Spain and Mexico's respective entries for next year's foreign-language Oscar--are both up for Best Script, alongside Daniel Sanchez Arevalo for Darkbluealmostblack and Jorge Sanchez-Cabezudo for The Night of the Sunflowers.
Penelope Cruz is nominated for Best Actress (Volver) alongside Maribel Verdu (Pan's Labyrinth), Marta Etura (Darkbluealmostblack) and Silvia Abascal (La Dama Boba).
Volver dominates the Best Supporting Actress nominations with Carmen Maura, Blanca Portillo and Lola Duenas all in the running, as well as Ariadna Gil (Alatriste).
American-born actor Viggo Mortensen and German Daniel Bruhl are named in the Best Actor category for Alatriste and Salvador respectively, alongside Sergi Lopez (Pan's Labyrinth) and Juan Diego (Leave Me).
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