Enigmatic and deliberate Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy makes no reservations while unraveling its heady spy story for better or worse. The film based on the bestselling novel by John Le Carre is purposefully perplexing effectively mirroring the central character George Smiley's (Gary Oldman) own mind-bending investigation of the British MI6's mole problem. But the slow burn pacing clinical shooting style and air of intrigue only go so far—Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy sports an incredible cast that can't dramatically translate the movie's impenetrable narrative. Almost from the get go the movie collapses under its own weight.
After a botched mission in Hungary that saw his colleague Jim (Mark Strong) gunned down in the streets Smiley and his boss Control (John Hurt) are released from the "Circus" (codename for England's Secret Intelligence Service). But soon after Smiley is brought back on board as an impartial observer tasked to uncover the possible infiltration of the organization. The former agent already dealing with the crippling of his own marriage attempts to sift through the history and current goings on of the Circus narrowing his hunt down to four colleagues: Percy aka "Tinker" (Toby Jones) Bill aka "Tailor" (Colin Firth) Roy aka "Soldier" (Ciaran Hinds) and Toy aka "Poor Man" (David Dencik). Working with Peter (Benedict Cumberbatch) a conflicted younger member of the service and Ricki (Tom Hardy) a rogue agent who has information of his own Smiley slowly uncovers the muddled truth—occasionally breaking in to his own work place and crossing his own friends to do so.
Describing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as dense doesn't seem complicated enough. The first hour of the monster mystery moves at a sloth's pace trickling out information like the tedious drips of a leaky faucet. The talent on display is undeniable but the characters Smiley included are so cold that a connection can never be made. TTSS sporadically jumps around from past to present timelines without any indication: a tactic that proves especially confusing when scenes play out in reoccurring locations. It's not until halfway through that the movie decides to kick into high gear Smiley's search for a culprit finally becoming clear enough to thrill. A film that takes its time is one thing but Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy does so without any edge or hook.
What the movie lacks in coherency it makes up for in style and thespian gravitas. Director Tomas Alfredson has assembled some of the finest British performers working today and they turn the script's inaccessible spy jargon into poetry. Firth stands out as the group's suave slimeball a departure from his usual nice guy roles. Hardy assures us he's the next big thing once again as the agency's resident moppet a lover who breaks down after a romantic fling uncovers horrifying truth. Oldman is given the most difficult task of the bunch turning the reserved contemplative Smiley into a real human. He half succeeds—his observational slant in the beginning feels like an extension of the movie's bigger problems but once gets going in the second half of the film he's quite a bit of fun.
Alfredson constructs Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy like a cinematic architect each frame dripping with perfectly kitschy '70s production design and camera angles that make the spine tingle. He creates paranoia through framing similar to the Coppola's terrifying The Conversation but unlike that film TTSS doesn't have the characters or story to match. The movie strives to withhold information and succeeds—too much so. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy wants us to solve a mystery with George Smiley but it never clues us in to exactly why we should want to.
Charles Dickens has been attached to a great deal of controversy. He's been called a racist. An anti-Semite. An adulterer. At least that last one can be romanticized. And it will, thanks to Ralph Fiennes! In his directorial debut Coriolanus, Fiennes celebrated William Shakespeare. Now, The English Patient star is working on a tribute to another great British writer in Invisible Woman, a story about Dickens' extramarital affair with a much younger woman. It has been announced that Felicity Jones, who recently reminded us all just what it is to be in love in Like Crazy, will star as Dickens' mistress in Fiennes' film.
I'm not too certain what impact this woman had on Dickens' life, or his writing, but my initial reaction to this film isn't one of much eagerness. Sure, a great love story about the married, middle-aged novelist and an eighteen year-old girl could be interesting. But if you're going to explore a writer as brilliant as ol' Charlie D, then why focus on this aspect of his life specifically? Hopefully, the answer to this will be apparent in the film itself. This is just some premature skepticism.
On the bright side, Jones is the tops, and everybody seems to know it: Drake Doremus has cast her in his teacher-student romance film. Warren Beatty has cast her in his Howard Hughes film. And Fiennes has cast her here. Jones is no longer an invisible woman. Her career is heating up. Like crazy.
Paul Bettany has had a pretty substanital film career up until now. To some, he's best remembered as Russell Crowe's "prodigal roomate" Charles in A Beautiful Mind who, aside from being not particularly real, is a pretty good friend played to excellence by Bettany. Others align the actor more with his roles in the same year's A Knight's Tale and Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang). But Bettany's success has lasted long past 2001. Since, his placement in Wimbledon, The DaVinci Code, The Tourist and Priest. And now, Bettany is venturing to the small screen in a series provocatively titled Masters of Sex.
The hook-line-and-sinker project is based on the book Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love by Thomas Maier. The title and content refer to the research team of Masters and Johnson who, beginning in the late 1950s, pioneered research on human sexuality and treatment on sexual diseases and disorders.
Bettany will be playing gynecologist William Howell Masters. No word on who will take the role of his partner, sexologist/psychologist Virginia Eshelman Johnson. Michelle Ashford (21 Jump Street, Boomtown, John Adams) is writing the script, and Sony Pictures TV is developing the project.
Starting this Friday, Julianne Hough can be seen opposite Kenny Wormald in the Footloose remake. You can also find her on billboards, on iTunes, in commercials for ProActive, and on the arm of Ryan Seacrest. But the world hasn’t always been this full of Julianne Hough -- in fact, there was once a time (long before ago) when Hough was just another girl in a suburb of Salt Lake City who liked to dance.
Hough was born in July of 1988 to Mari Ann Heaton and Bruce Hough, the chairman of the Utah Republican Party (who, incidentally, met when they were both on their Idaho college’s ballroom dancing team). She was the fifth and final child of the family, and she officially began entering in dance competitions when she was 9. But then when she was 10, Hough's parents realized they wanted to divorce so they sent her and her older brother Derek (also a dancer from Dancing with the Stars) to London so they could continue studying with their coaches (Corky and Shirley Ballas) without witnessing the unpleasantries of their parents' separation. Once there, the Houghs (along with the Ballas’ son Mark, who also is a pro on Dancing with the Stars) enrolled in school at the Italia Conti Academy, where they learned about singing, theatre, gymnastics, and of course, dance. When she was 13, Julianne and Derek and Mark took the skills they’d acquired at school and formed the pop music group 2B1G (which adorably stood for “2 boys, 1 girl”) and went on to perform at several dance competitions in both the U.S. and the U.K. By the time she was 15, she was the youngest person ever to be named both the Junior Latin World Champion and the International Latin Youth Champion at the Blackpool Dance Festival (which is the world’s first and most famous ballroom dance competition that has been held in Blackpool, England since 1920). Upon returning to the states when she was 15 and after she finished high school in both Las Vegas and Utah, Hough then moved to Los Angeles to jumpstart her career in entertainment.
But she wasn’t immediately cast on Dancing with the Stars. It was only after starring in some television commercials that she was cast to be a dancer on Show Me The Money, which was a William Shatner-hosted game show featuring 13 dancers holding scrolls (it was not very much different than today’s Deal Or No Deal). And while Show Me The Money was a rather short-lived program, Julianne took the credential and used it to get a spot as a company dancer on the Dancing with the Stars tour. She was eventually promoted and joined the show’s main cast in time for its fourth season, which premiered on March 19th, 2007. She was partnered with Olympic Gold Medalist Apolo Anton Ohno and the two of them went on to beat Laila Ali and Joe Fatone and receive the famed Mirror Ball Trophy. In the premiere of the show’s fifth season on September 24th, 2007 Hough was partnered with Indy racecar driver Helio Castroneves, and together they earned Hough her second Mirror Ball Trophy of the year. After the show’s seventh season ended in November of 2008, Hough stated on Ryan Seacrest's radio show she was planning to leave Dancing with the Stars so she could pursue a career in country music, although she ultimately continued dancing through the show's eighth season. But Hough’s participation on DWTS led to much more than just some mantle decor – in 2008 and in 2009 she was nominated for Emmys in the Outstanding Choreography category.
Even though Hough was only known for her dancing for the majority of 2007, she was privately planning to switch into the music industry all along. In May of that year she recorded a song called “Will You Dance With Me” and released it on iTunes to help benefit the American Red Cross. After signing with Universal Music Group Nashville, Hough began collaborating with producer David Malloy to create a self-titled album, which went on to debut in the #1 spot on the Top Country Albums chart on May 28th, 2008. On October 12th, Hough released a Christmas themed EP through Target called Sounds of the Season: The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection, which sold around 250,000 copies. In April of 2009, she won the Top New Artist award at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards and she recently completed her second studio album with Mercury Nashville, and it is slated to hit stores next year.
Hough’s success both on television and in music meant she was the perfect addition to the cast of 2010’s Burlesque, which starred Christina Aguilera as Ali, the girl from Iowa who became a dancer at a Los Angeles burlesque club owned by a former entertainer named Tess (played by Cher). The movie threaded song and dance into the plot in ways we haven’t really seen since 2006’s Dreamgirls and even though the film failed to turn a profit, Hough’s performance as one of the club’s dancers proved to producers that making movies was not outside her realm of capabilities. Hough was rewarded for Burlesque when she was cast as the female lead in Craig Brewer’s remake of the 1984 hit, Footloose. And while the public remains torn on whether or not the original Footloose even deserved a remake, they all seem to agree that Hough’s interpretation of Ariel is endearing and even earned her comparisons to a younger Jennifer Aniston.
Next up for Hough is Adam Shankman’s highly anticipated film adaptation of the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages, which stars Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones. If successful, her participation in the flick has the capacity to launch her into whichever entertainment stratosphere she wishes to primarily inhabit (that is, of course, if she can ever decide).
Sources: Julianne Hough, Wikipedia, IMDB, CMT, ACM Country, THR
William Shatner is, in one way or another, one of the most iconic living actors. His distinct delivery, his infamous attitude, and his alternative career choices are all easy pickings for parody. And in his later years, Shatner has proven willing to laugh at himself. But he seems about ready to show us that he's more than a joke. And next season, through an episode of ABC's Rookie Blue, he will attempt to prove just that.
Shatner has been cast in the cop series' third season premiere. His character will be a drunk driver who is arrested by one of the central characters. Although the "bawdy drunk" is an inherently comical character, Shatner will not be playing entirely for laughs. The close of his character's story at the end of the Season 3 premiere will take a dramatic, presumably somber turn. The drama will likely come from a deeper look into the man's drinking problem.
The cast and crew has expressed excitement regarding this guest star spot and Shatner is no stranger to law enforcement television, as he immortalized T.J. Hooker.
Rookie Blue's second season finale debuts tomorrow (Thursday, September 8) at 10/9c on ABC.
Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet has a more serious project on his plate. The actor is working with HBO on an original movie about the life of silent-era comedian “Fatty” Arbuckle. Based on David A. Yallop’s book, The Day The Laughter Stopped, the film will follow Arbuckle’s life through the first major Hollywood scandal. Stonestreet will play Arbuckle, while HBO is bringing on Kirk Ellis (John Adams) to write the project and Barry Levinson (You Don’t Know Jack) to direct.
Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, a silent film and vaudeville actor, was one of the biggest stars of the early film industry. But after a holiday party, Arbuckle found himself accused of the rape and murder of young actress Virginia Rappe. What resulted was what Ellis describes as “the first trial by media of the 20th century," as newspaper mogul William Randolf Hearst led a “tabloid campaign” against the actor. After three trails Arbuckle was acquitted of the charges, but his career was destroyed and he was blacklisted in Hollywood.
Stonestreet told New York Magazine that he’s been interested in Arbuckle’s story for some time. "In addition to the fact that I'm from Kansas and he's from Kansas, I just always found it to be such a fascinating and tragic story," Said the Modern Family star. "He went from this jolly person who fell down and entertained people into a sexual deviant. It's a true story people don't know about, with a twist."
Stonestreet is currently filming season three of Modern Family, which premieres Sept. 21 on ABC.
Billy, you always were my favorite Baldwin. It's not simply because you're my fellow SUNY Bing alumnus; it's your understated gallantry, your cavalier sophistication. You're the working man's King Arthur, a vivacious Kafka, a post-modern Alexander Pope. And where better to relinquish your dynasty of bravado? Hawaii Five-0.
William (to those on more formal terms with him) Baldwin is donating his talents to the CBS drama for a multiple episode arc this coming season. Baldwin's character will be an ex-cop, ousted from the force after his corruption is uncovered, who now runs a crime ring with other malfeasant officers. Playing opposite Baldwin in the Hawaii Five-0 stint will be Tom Sizemore (he's great...not Billy Baldwin great, but great) as the Head of Internal Affairs, and formerly a partner to Baldwin's character.
Judging Amy's Richard T. Jones, LOST's Terry O'Quinn (woo!) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Lauren German will also be joining the series this season in guest roles.
The latest addition to the TV adaptation of John Grisham's The Firm is Molly Parker, familiar to fans of Deadwood, Shattered, Swingtown, Twitch City... okay, I don't know what most of those things are, but she actually has a decently impressive film career (Hollywoodland, The Road, The Good Shepherd).
In any event, Parker will be playing Abby, wife of the main character Mitch McDeere (Josh Lucas), as well as a schoolteacher eager to begin work after a tumultuous ten years. What happened in the past ten years? Well, the TV adaptation takes place ten years after the events of the book (and Tom Cruise movie). So, I suppose you can think about how that ended and make some educated guesses. I'm perfectly satisfied in assuming there was some time machinery involved, since Lucas is actually nine years younger than Cruise is.
Although, since the movie was made almost twenty years ago...that would mean Mitch's age would pick up just about perfectly. Wait a minute...that's brilliant. My investment in this project has just tripled.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
We know him best as Sam Malone. We love him as George Christopher. We furrowed our brows over Arthur Frobisher. And now we're about to play sleuth with whoever his character will be on CSI. With roles on a slew of iconic shows, television miniseries, and a whole mess of not-so-noteworthy TV projects, Ted Danson is probably one of the most consistently successful actors on television, and we like it that way.
Seeing as one of his former shows, Damages, hits the small screen tonight and he just announced yet another TV show he's adding his name to, it seems only fitting that we chronicle the items that make Danson a king of television.
Sam and Diane
You can't talk about television history without talking about Sam Malone and Diane Chambers. Before there was Ross and Rachel or Jim and Pam or Charlie and The Waitress, there was Sam and Diane. Sure, Shelley Long was great as Diane, but the real reason we couldn't resist this twosome was because of Danson. He was a man's man, a former major league pitcher, a grog slinging bar keep, a scoundrel, and a total hunk. Men wanted to learn his ways and women hoped they could be the victim of those practices. But who knew Danson had a few more iconic TV characters up his sleeve?
Dr. John Becker
Before Hugh Laurie's mean Dr. House took over the television waves, we found a more comedic mean doctor in Danson's Becker. Sure, he was basically a lonely, old, well-educated version of Sam Malone, but he was a funny, lonely, old, well-educated version of Sam Malone. Hell, he barely even speaks in this scene from the late 1990s sitcom and he's still hilarious.
Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-2009)
What's better than Sam Malone or Dr. Becker? How about Danson playing a fictionalized version of himself terrorizing the easily angered Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm? Yep, that'll do it.
When Danson became a recurring character on the critically acclaimed drama, television viewers saw a side of the actor we hadn't seen very often: a seriously good dramatic side. His character may be no match for Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), but he's great on that show.
Bored to Death (2009-Present)
Now, let's take Ted Danson, put him in a role as a media mogul and give him weed. Hilarious right? Now give him a sidekick -- Zach Galifianakis to be exact. Okay, this equation just became irresistible.
Little Danson Man
Tim and Eric Awesome Show (2010)
Alright, this probably didn't contribute to his small screen success, but this sketch from the Adult Swim show does make me love Danson just a wee bit more. Adult Swim doesn't think this video should be embeddable, so enjoy this screen shot and hop over here to watch the actual (magical) clip.
Denise Richards has adopted a baby girl domestically. Her name is Eloise Joni: Joni is in honor of Denise's mother and Eloise was chosen by Denise's daughters, Lola and Sami. Denise's representative said "Denise and Eloise's big sisters couldn't be happier and feel incredibly blessed." - People
Charlize Theron told Piers Morgan that she prefers long-term commitments over marriage, but she's been a fervent supporter of gay marriage. She said, "I really want for myself a long-term relationship, and I have been in long-term relationships. That's the kind of union I want. The actual ceremony is not something that is important to me, but I see the importance for other people." - People
Prince William and Kate Middleton will arrive in Canada on Thursday for a nine day trip and then on July 9th, they'll arrive in Santa Barbara, California, where they will attend a charity polo match that has already raised $4.4 million to benefit the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. Kate will reward the winning team with a trophy. - Radar Online