Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Endless Love has awakened something in me. Not a long dormant passion for an introverted high school classmate, or a sudden desire to break into the zoo after dark. A question about movies — more accurately, about movie criticism. The same question you would ask yourself if you fell drowsy in the middle of Citizen Kane, or welled up during the emotional climax of Just Friends. The question I ask myself now, as I recount the 103 straight minutes of asphyxiating laughter that I endured during a screening of Shana Feste’s would-be romantic drama: What makes a good movie?
We assign deference to some films, disgust to others — a lucky few of us make a living this way. But what, precisely, are we reviewing? A film’s mission or its execution? The product onscreen or the experience of watching it? All factors come into play when considering whether or not a movie “works.” But on rare occasions you’ll get a film that offers no common ground in its meeting of these standards. You’ll get Endless Love, which strives for dramatic sincerity, winds up with underwritten idiocy, and provokes in its viewers an unrestrained, absurdist revelry — the kind of joy you’d otherwise be forced to seek in a third viewing of The Lego Movie. Laughter at the ill-conceived antics and befuddling dialectical patterns of our central teen couple — a Mars native Gabrielle Wilde and her gaping mouthed beau Alex Pettyfer. Elated bemusement at the younger generation’s propensity for chaotic disrobing and didactically organized dance parties. Unprecedented ecstasy at the Mafia movie intimidation tactics of an overprotective dad (Bruce Greenwood) and the brain-dead disregard of a supportive one (Robert Patrick). As a comedy, Endless Love is unstoppable.
I can only hypothesize that it was not Feste’s intention to roll us in the aisles. I have no cold proof that her resolution in paving every nook in her Georgia-set remake with another farcical stone — Wilde’s instantaneous evolution from wordless ingénue to sexually aggressive spirit walker, Patrick’s loving caution-to-the-wind attitude regarding any situation that has to do with a girl, Rhys Wakefield’s “black sheep” character forming an odd amalgamation of Pauly Shore and Charlie St. Cloud — was not one of Wolf of Wall Street-like satire, or reappropriation in the vein of Spring Breakers. Here are two movies that earned scorn from viewers who read them literally, and in turn vehement defense from those who peered through the exaltation of cocaine and firearms into the filmmakers’ ironic intentions.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
To the latter community, one to which I subscribe, I ask: if we’re readily willing to dive deeper for Martin Scorsese and Harmony Korine, shouldn’t we grant Feste this benefit? If we’d defend the authenticity of the splendor we recognized in their movies, why am I inclined to write off the very same when present in this year’s Valentine’s Day cannonball? Why do I eagerly laud the merit in Leonardo DiCaprio directing Quaalude-charged tribal chants and relinquishing subhuman treatment upon anyone short a Y-chromosome, while instinctively shafting the invaluable merriment in Pettyfer’s goofily deliberate declaration that he likes to read into the category of happy accident?
But an even more precise question (one I was challenged to entertain by a friend and film critic far wiser than I am), and this time to the former community: does it matter? Did it matter to all those offended by gunplay and intrusive nudity that Korine set out to demonize youth culture and its omnipresent hedonism? Did considering his intentions make the endgame any less a visceral nightmare? If not, does it matter if Feste poured her soul into the machination of a timeless love story, only to produce a riotous cinematic episode that treads genre parody as expertly as anything from the golden age of the Zucker brothers? Does it matter that she didn’t intend for Wilde and Pettyfer’s sex scene to come off as super-hoke, for every mention of cancer to feel like soap opera send-up, or for Robert Patrick’s vindication of his son’s passion for menagerie trespassing to elicit the biggest laugh of a movie yet in 2014?
So long as I consider the power of cinema, I’ll never be sure if it matters. I’ll never be sure of the answers to any of these questions. But no matter where I find myself standing on this issue down the line, I had far too much fun at Endless Love — and entertained far too many questions on the nature of cinema and the way we react to it — to call it a movie that people shouldn’t see.
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American Horror Story, the polarizing, exactly-what-it-sounds-like, fantasy horror series from Glee creator Ryan Murphy, has elongated its stay on FX with the announcement of a Season 3. The network confirms that AHS has been renewed for a third installment, consisting of 13 episodes, set to premiere in the fall of 2013.
Murphy's series takes an interesting form, introducing a new venue and set of characters each season for a self-contained, independent ghost story. Season 1 focused on a haunted house with a treacherous past, wreaking havoc on its new residents (married couple Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott and their daughter Taissa Farmiga), while the present second season places its eyes on the darkness lurking within a psychiatric asylum.
So the obvious question: where next?
Amusement Park: A Scooby-Doo mainstay, amusement parks have found their way into the horror genre time and time again. Roller coasters, Ferris wheels, the odd cotton candy machine — all perfect territory for macabre histories.
Elementary School: This one will ordain a large number of particularly young starring players, but so long as their acting capabilities are in order, the idea of a haunted grammar school could indeed be doubly frightening. It's always scarier when little kids are involved.
College Dormitory: Conversely, watching 19-year-olds fall victim to a vengeful dead coed might be easier to swallow, but there's the added benefit of some of the teen sexuality with which the Glee creator is so enamored.
Playhouse: Theater is riddled with curses and superstitions. You can't say Macbeth or "Good luck," and there's that whole shebang about warding off spirits with a center-stage ghost light. Rife for parody, and for some energetic (and even musical!) horrors.
Video Game: This one will involve a little more creativity. A multiplayer online game, an original World of Warcraft knockoff, that is infested by a ghostly player who somehow works his way past the onscreen adventures of his opponents and into their actual lives... making them substantially shorter.
Barbershop: Ol' Sal was cut short in his prime by a devastating pompadour accident. And now, he haunts the establishment he used to call home, combing his way into the souls of unsuspecting customers.
Zoo: Haunted animals. Always a winner.
The White House: A new first family takes shelter in the Oval Office, but unbeknownst to them, the Pennsylvania Avenue residence is riddled with ghosts of past presidents, all trying to live out their conflicting legacies in the most horrific of fashions. Ghost Van Buren, not a pleasant sight.
Ice Cream Truck: When you hear that music playing, stay far, far away...
Uncharted Island: They can have a bunch of people stranded there after a plane crash. Maybe the isle has some kind of ghost or monster lurking around, or a creepy society of zealots that has been there for generations. Beams of white light emanating from mysterious caves! Immortal gods! Time-travel! Actually, no. This would never work.
Bodega/Truck Stop: A remote 24-hour establishment that people only frequent during the late hours of the night, sometimes with sordid intentions or mysterious origins. Perfect for some good ol' ghostly encounters.
Snow Globe: This one actually doesn't pose too much of a problem. Just don't drop it.
Cruise Ship: The real horror story is that there's no free buffet!
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The first batch of Teen Choice Award nominations for 2012 have just been announced and it's no surprise that vampires are still the hottest topic in town. No one can resist The Smolder Holder, nor should they try. That's right, The CW hit The Vampire Diaries it already leading the pack, earning an impressive six nominations, surpassing the likes of American Idol and Justin Bieber who each received five nods, respectively.
Ryan Gosling, 21 Jump Street, and those wildly popular Avengers also get a few well deserved nods amid the slew of movie categories.
The Teen Choice Awards were established in 1999 for the purpose of honoring the year's biggest achievements in music, movies, sports, television, fashion and more. Teens between the ages of 13-19 are able to vote, so being a teen at heart (sadly) doesn't count. The show will air live on July 22 at 8 PM ET on Fox.
Check out the list of nominees below and click here to vote for your favorites online now, youngsters.
Choice TV Show: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Once Upon a Time
The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Actor: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Jensen Ackles, Supernatural
Joshua Jackson, Fringe
Jared Padalecki, Supernatural
Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries
Paul Wesley, The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries
Ginnifer Goodwin, Once Upon a Time
Kat Graham, The Vampire Diaries
Anna Paquin, True Blood
Anna Torv, Fringe
Choice TV Show: Comedy
2 Broke Girls
The Big Bang Theory
Choice TV Show: Drama
Pretty Little Liars
Choice Movie: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
The Hunger Games
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Wrath of the Titans
Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Robert Downey, Jr., The Avengers
Chris Hemsworth, The Avengers
Josh Hutcherson, The Hunger Games” and “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Taylor Lautner, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Robert Pattinson, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Choice Movie: Comedy
21 Jump Street
Crazy, Stupid, Love
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Choice Movie Actor: Comedy
Jason Biggs, American Reunion
Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love
Jonah Hill, 21 Jump Street
Chris Rock, What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Channing Tatum, 21 Jump Street
Choice Movie: Drama
The Lucky One
We Bought a Zoo
Choice Movie Actor: Drama
Matt Damon, We Bought a Zoo
Zac Efron, The Lucky One
Ryan Gosling, Drive
Channing Tatum, The Vow
Justin Timberlake, In Time
Next: More TV Nominations.Choice TV Actor: Drama
Penn Badgley, Gossip Girl
David Boreanaz, Bones
Ian Harding, Pretty Little Liars
Kiefer Sutherland, Touch
Ed Westwick, Gossip Girl
Choice TV Actress: Drama
Emily Deschanel, Bones
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ringer
Lucy Hale, Pretty Little Liars
Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl
Emily VanCamp, Revenge
Choice TV Show: Action
NCIS: Los Angeles
Choice TV Actor: Action
LL Cool J, NCIS: Los Angeles
Daniel Dae Kim, Hawaii Five-O
Zachary Levi, Chuck
Adam Rodriguez, CSI: Miami
Shane West, Nikita
Choice TV Actress: Action
Lyndsy Fonseca, Nikita
Linda Hunt, NCIS: Los Angeles
Grace Park, Hawaii Five-O
Maggie Q, Nikita
Yvonne Strahovski, Chuck
Choice TV Actor: Comedy
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Chris Colfer, Glee
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Ashton Kutcher, Two And a Half Men
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Choice TV Actress: Comedy
Miranda Cosgrove, iCarly
Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lea Michele, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Choice TV: Animated Show
Beavis and Butt-head
Next: Welcome To Reality.Choice TV: Reality Competition Show
America’s Next Top Model
Survivor: One World
The X Factor
Choice TV: Male Personality
Nick Cannon, America’s Got Talent
Simon Cowell, The X Factor
Cee Lo Green, The Voice
Gordon Ramsay, Hell's Kitchen
Steven Tyler, American Idol
Choice TV: Female Personality
Christina Aguilera, The Voice
Tyra Banks, America’s Next Top Model
Carrie Ann Inaba, Dancing With The Stars
Jennifer Lopez, American Idol
Jessica Simpson, Fashion Star
Choice TV: Reality Show
Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Tia & Tamera
Choice TV: Male Reality Star
Paul DJ "Pauly D” DelVecchio, Jersey Shore and The Pauly D Project
Rob Dyrdek, Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness
William Levy, Dancing With The Stars
Scotty McCreery, American Idol
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Jersey Shore
Choice TV: Female Reality Star
Lauren Alaina, American Idol
Melanie Amaro, The X Factor
The Kardashians, Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Tia & Tamera Mowry, Tia & Tamera
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Jersey Shore
Next: More Movie Nominations.Choice Movie: Action
Act of Valor
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Choice Movie Actor: Action
Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Robert Downey, Jr., Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Tom Hardy, Warrior
Taylor Lautner, Abduction
Logan Lerman, The Three Musketeers
Choice Movie Actress: Action
Salma Hayek, Puss in Boots
Milla Jovovich, The Three Musketeers
Paula Patton, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Noomi Rapace, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Zoe Saldana, Colombiana”
Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Lily Collins, Mirror Mirror
Vanessa Hudgens, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Scarlett Johansson, The Avengers
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games
Kristen Stewart, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Choice Movie Actress: Drama
Sandra Bullock, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Viola Davis, The Help
Scarlett Johansson, We Bought a Zoo
Rachel McAdams, The Vow
Emma Stone, The Help
Choice Movie Actress: Comedy
Cameron Diaz, What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Alyson Hannigan, American Reunion
Jennifer Lopez, What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Emma Stone, Crazy, Stupid, Love
Reese Witherspoon, This Means War
Next: Music Nominations.Choice Male Artist
Choice Female Artist
Choice Music Group
Selena Gomez & The Scene
Gym Class Heroes
Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Artist
Choice Rock Group
The Black Keys
Foster The People
Choice Rock Song
“Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys
“Pumped Up Kicks,” Foster The People
“We Are Young,” fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
“Somebody That I Used To Know,” Gotye featuring Kimbra
Choice Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Artist
Choice Single by a Group
“We Are Young,” fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
“Hit The Lights,” Selena Gomez & The Scene
“Ass Back Home,” Gym Class Heroes featuring Neon Hitch
“Party Rock Anthem,” LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
“Moves Like Jagger,” Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
Choice Single by a Female Artist
“Set Fire to the Rain,” Adele
“Stronger,” Kelly Clarkson
“Dance Again,” Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull
“Part of Me,” Katy Perry
“Eyes Open,” Taylor Swift
Choice Single by a Male Artist
“Boyfriend,” Justin Bieber
“Take Care,” Drake featuring Rihanna
“Good Feeling,” Flo Rida
“It Will Rain,” Bruno Mars
“Give Me Everything (Tonight),” Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, AfroJack & Nayer
Choice Male Country Artist
Choice Female Country Artist
Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Song
“Love on Top,” Beyonce
“Take Care,” Drake featuring Rihanna
“Wild Ones,” Flo Rida featuring Sia
“Without You,” David Guetta featuring Usher
“Starships,” Nicki Minaj
Choice Country Song
“Tattoos on This Town,” Jason Aldean
“Crazy Girl,” Eli Young Band
“Storm Warning,” Hunter Hayes
“God Gave Me You,” Blake Shelton
“Sparks Fly,” Taylor Swift
Choice Country Group
The Band Perry
Eli Young Band
Fashion, Sports & More!FASHION
Choice Fashion Icon: Female
Choice Fashion Icon: Male
Cee Lo Green
Choice Female Hottie
Choice Male Hottie
Choice Female Athlete
Kelly Clark (Snowboarding)
Maria Sharapova (Tennis)
Hope Solo (Soccer)
Lindsey Vonn (Skiing)
Serena Williams (Tennis)
Choice Male Athlete
David Beckham (Soccer)
Kobe Bryant (Basketball)
Albert Pujols (Baseball)
Tim Tebow (Football)
Shaun White (Snowboarding/Skateboarding/Surfing)
The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins
The Giver, Lois Lowry
The Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer
Divergent trilogy, Veronica Roth
The Lucky One, Nicholas Sparks
The Hollywood stars have relocated their family from Bermuda to New York while the actress performs in Broadway play A Little Night Music and Douglas shoots Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps in Manhattan.
But the move meant Zeta-Jones had to leave behind her beloved menagerie of pets - so Douglas decided to surprise the Chicago star with a new pooch on 25 September (09), the same day the actor celebrated his 65th birthday.
She says, "I've a bit of my own zoo, I left four of my Labradors there (in Bermuda). But my husband actually, for my birthday, I was desperate for a little Coton De Tulear dog. He's the sweetest little thing, he's only six months old."
Supermodel Claudia Schiffer is set to marry her film producer boyfriend Matthew Vaughn in England on May 25, Reuters reports. The story surfaced in a recent issue of the German society magazine Bunte, which did not provide a source for the report. The magazine said 300 guests have been invited to the ceremony, including Madonna and Elton John, and that the couple was viewing English churches as possible locations. Schiffer, 31, and Vaughn, also 31, have been together for 16 months.
The woman who accused Celine Dion's husband of raping her in Las Vegas in March 2000 has been arrested in Pasadena, Calif., for check forgery and is being held on $500,000 bail, The Associated Press reports. Lawyers for Dion's husband, Rene Angelil, are hoping Las Vegas police will consider Yun Kyeong Sung Kwon's arrest in evaluating her credibility and motivation in the case.
In the Biz
Ethan Hawke, who received an Oscar nomination for his role in the 2001 cop drama Training Day, recently made his directorial debut with the film Chelsea Walls. The movie is about New York's Chelsea Hotel, which over the years has housed punks, artists and authors.
Sony-based Revolution Studios had greenlighted a feature film version of the Dark Horse Comics' Hellboy, Variety reports. Guillermo del Toro (Blade 2) will direct the pic, with Ron Perlman being eyed to star as Hellboy, a red-skinned giant with a metallic left hand who happens to look like Satan.
Walt Disney Pictures is shooting a large-format prequel to the 1979 classic Black Stallion with director Simon Wincer (Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles) at the helm. Shooting on The Young Black Stallion in Namibia is expected to wrap this month, Variety reports.
Universal Pictures is hoping Harrison Ford will take the title role in Scott Frank's big-screen adaptation of the Lawrence Block novel A Walk Among the Tombstones. According to Variety, Ford gave Frank notes for reworking the screenplay and could possibly sign on to work on the project after he completes an untitled Ron Shelton film at Revolution Studios.
Nicolas Cage is in talks with Warner Bros. to star in the upcoming drama Matchstick Men directed by Ridley Scott. According to The Hollywood Reporter, production on the film, which is based on the yet-to-be-published novel by Eric Garcia, is scheduled to begin this summer.
The Robert Blake murder case seems to be doing wonders for CNN. The AP reports that the news network had its biggest primetime audiences of the year last Thursday when Blake was charged with the murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. That's good news for CNN, which has fallen to second place behind Fox News Channel in this year's cable news ratings.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the no-holds-barred martial arts franchise that combines karate, boxing and wrestling, will launch the sport on multiple broadcast platforms with weekly primetime slots. While the UFC is already an established pay-per-view and live gate draw, the lack of rules and safety guidelines had prevented it from becoming a full-fledged sport in the past.
Forget ultimate fighting. What about Ultimate Dodgeball? According to Variety, Zoo Prods. is shopping cable networks with the proposed 13-episode weekly reality series that would include pitting celebrities against a team of regular people in a game of dodgeball. Last month, Zoo organized the Celebrity Dodgeball Tournament fundraiser that featured Matthew Perry, David Spade, Courteney Cox Arquette and Jeff Probst.
The FX network has greenlighted the controversial cop series The Shield for a second cycle of 13 hour-long episodes, Variety reports. The show's future was recently called into question when at least 11 advertisers, including Burger King, Subaru and Office Depot, backed out because of the show's degree of violence and sexual content.
Parents of the members of the teen boy band Dream Street have filed a lawsuit against the group's creators, seeking back pay and the release of the singers from their current contracts. The suit alleges the boys were exposed to alcohol, women and pornography, but Louis Baldonieri and Brian Lukow claim the parents are the ones setting a bad example, saying the adults were "teaching kids you can sign anything, then lie, cheat and defame people for your benefit," the AP reports.
Bono's going on tour, but not as the frontman for his rock band U2. Starting May 20, Bono will be traveling to parts of Africa with U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, the AP reports. Bono is a longtime aid promoter for Third World countries.
Morgan Freeman will be the guest of honor at Brazil's first Afro-Brazilian/African-American film festival and will present his latest film High Crimes on opening night, Variety reports. AfroFest kicks off in Rio de Janeiro Thursday and runs through May 2. Other screenings include Spike Lee's Bamboozled and Carlos Diegues' Chica da Silva.