It seems that CBS has finally come to its senses. According to TV Line, the network just canceled the Twitter feed-inspired and critically loathed sitcom $#*! My Dad Says along with the How I Met Your Mother ripoff, Mad Love, and The Defenders. Sure, the few fans of those shows probably aren't stoked about this news, but for the rest of us, it just means there's more room for shows that could potentially be a million times better (and in the case of these shows, that's not really a lot to ask).
CSI: NY and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior are still on the bubble, but time is running out so word on their fates will likely hit soon.
Source: TV Line
Rob Marshall has officially signed on to direct a remake of the 1934 classic The Thin Man and his Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides star Johnny Depp is attached to top line the pic. For once, I’m actually on board with a remake. The original cast the duo of William Powell and Myrna Loy as a married couple that solved crimes together. With plenty of witty banter to spare the film earned four Oscar nominations. The revamp will have to include another witty female co-star for Depp as they go along solving crimes and though this isn’t really any different then, say, Sherlock Holmes, it’ll still be worth watching, if only for Depp.
So who will play his wise cracking wife? I’m going to suggest Isla Fisher or Anna Faris but only because it gives me the excuse to look at their pictures.
I guess Hollywood's fictional scientists learned nothing from A Clockwork Orange. Stanley Kubrick, essentially, sought to teach cinema's most brilliant minds that you cannot alter an individual's natural behavior. Yet that's exactly what director F. Gary Gray is planning to do with his new film, a high-concept futuristic heist thriller called The Last Days of American Crime. In it, America responds to a second major terrorist attack by developing technology that eliminates the impulse to commit crimes of any kind. The story centers on a man leading a heist team to pull off a final job five days before the signal rubs out the criminal instinct.
Let's make this clear. It's not Mr. Gray who is responsible for bringing this story to the screen. You can thank Radical Publishing's Barry Levine for that. The film is a project that he has been shepherding with Sam Worthington, who has a deal with Radical that also includes another adaptation-in-progress called Damaged. The Aussie will star as the team's point man and will also produce with Levine and his partner Michael Schwarz. Rick Remender wrote the script, though Deadline says that Karl Gajdusek, who penned Joel Schumacher's Trespass and will also rewrite William Monahan's Oblivion script for Joseph Kosinski, will work on the screenplay now that a director is on board.
I like Gray as a filmmaker. Sure, he's had a few misses like Be Cool and A Man Apart, but he's also the guy who made Friday, Set It Off, The Negotiator and The Italian Job. The latter release sounds most closely related to what The Last Days Of American Crime has in store for us, and it is a slick heist pic that holds up against the glitzier Oceans films among other genre contenders. My biggest concern is with the story. As previously stated, I just don't see how the hook of having the characters' criminal instincts eradicated will entice audiences to by a ticket. Will it make moviegoers "miss" their criminal behavior? Will everyone go out after the credits and embrace their inner crook? I guess it'll make the team work against a clock, which will increase the tension ten-fold. But if they don't succeed in their mission, I don't see what the big consequences will be.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Another actress is playing the Hunger Games. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Caprica star Paula Malcomson has joined as Katniss and Prim's grieving mother for the Hollywood adaptation, which features Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth in the cast. The film will be directed by Gary Ross and, also, Elizabeth Banks is rumored to be joining the film.
For those unaware, The Hunger Games is a story set in a post-apocalyptic world where people are selected to take place in "The Hunger Games," an event where groups of kids are placed in an arena and must fight to the death. In the film, Lawrence and Hutcherson will play children selected to fight.
Aside from the aforementioned Caprica, Malcomson also appeared in HBO's Deadwood as well as FX's Sons of Anarchy. Plus, she was in this little film called The Green Mile once upon a time, so you know, the girl's got a little bit of talent.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Coming as a surprise to absolutely no one, People magazine spoke to Chris Klein and confirmed that the actor will return to the franchise that gave him a (middling) career in Universal Pictures American Reunion. The fourth film in the series will surely contain boatloads of the crude sex comedy that made all of the original films $100 million hits and will hopefully bring its characters some closure, as I'm sure Sean William Scott is tired of being referred to exclusively as Stifler.
Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle) will write and direct the film, which should begin shooting in late May for a January 7th, 2012 release (that date inspired a whole lot of confidence). Most of the core cast, including Alyson Hannigan, Jason Biggs, Tara Reid and Scott will return. Nostalgia is the only thing this film has going for it, so Universal better pray that my high school classmates plan a get-together to go see it because I don't know who else will.
While studying film and media in college, I enrolled in a course called "New York in Film and Television." The curriculum focused on works of entertainment that are either set in or are about the Big Apple, and in most cases the movies we screened applied to both. We viewed films as wide ranging as MGM's classic musical On The Town and the Oscar winning staple West Wide Story as well as gangster pics like Robert De Niro's A Bronx Tale and crime thrillers like The French Connection, all of which depict The City That Never Sleeps in contrasting fashion.
There wasn't much required reading, but the one book that my professor assigned was called Street Smart and it described and analyzed the characteristics of the "New York" of the four major filmmakers most closely associated with the city: Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Woody Allen and the late, great Sidney Lumet. Each of these auteurs offered their own eclectic taste of New York City to their audiences, from the raw and racially-charged Brooklyn as seen in Lee's Do The Right Thing and Crooklyn to Allen's quirky and charming Manhattan from films like Annie Hall and...Manhattan. Off all of these directors, the one I was least familiar with was Lumet; ironic since he had been around way before the others had made their mark on the movie industry. As I dug deeper into his filmography, I realized that his films may have most realistically depicted the New York that I knew and the residents which I interacted with on a daily basis.
That makes Lumet an important figure in the history of cinema (as do his five Oscar nominations) and his passing, which occurred on Saturday afternoon, is a major loss for Hollywood and movie buffs alike. Since you, too, may not know just how incredible his work is, I present seven essential Lumet films that you ought to view this week in honor of one of Hollywood's true renegades.
12 Angry Men (1957)
Pre-dating the American Civil Right Movement by a few years, this unprecedented courtroom drama opened a national discussion about the state of society and the legal system in the USA. 12 Angry Men is about a jury charged with the seemingly simple task of finding a young Hispanic man guilty of murder; simple because there's an orgy of evidence validating that conclusion, but things only appear to be so cut and dry. Thanks to a sole juror (played by the great Henry Fonda), the case is deliberated for hours inside a stifling environment where the tension and temperature run high. Lumet brilliantly exposes the prejudices of the all white jury members while simultaneously developing each character, which makes the explosive climax that much more riveting. A timeless tale of tolerance, the movie will be shown in film school's for years to come as its message is as topical today as it was in '57 and the execution is a work of genius.
Films about police corruption are a dime-a-dozen these days, but it wasn't always that way. Cops were classically portrayed as stoic and righteous up until the 1970s, when a new class of filmmakers began to uncover the greed and immorality of public office through their art. In between shooting The Godfather and its sequel, Al Pacino teamed with the already established Lumet (he had made some 17 films in between 12 Angry Men and this) to tell the true-story of Frank Serpico, an undercover NYPD officer who attempted to expose the truth about the criminal activities that his colleagues were taking part in only to be almost-literally stabbed in the back by these crooked cops. Together, Lumet and Pacino created a conflicted character that struggled with the ramifications of his noble actions, but Lumet must solely be credited with helping create a sub-genre of thrillers that is incredibly prevalent and successful in 21st century cinema, from 16 Blocks to Pride and Glory to The Departed.
Murder On The Orient Express (1974)
Lumet directed Ingrid Bergman to her 3rd and final Academy Award in this taut thriller about an English detective investigating a murder aboard a transcontinental train. He assembled a magnificent cast, including Albert Finney, Bergman, Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York and Lauren Bacall to weave a web of intrigue that connects to the case at hand in almost unfathomable ways. The motion picture can almost be compared to a TV procedural, though its open-ended and slightly unsatisfying conclusion is far from a broadcast standard. Technical beauty aside, Lumet's greatest achievement in this film was, perhaps, resisting the Hollywood ending.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Once again teaming up with Al Pacino, Lumet took on another true story set in New York following his detour on the Orient Express. This unlikely crime story tells of Sonny and Sal, two dead-beats who turn to bank robbing when all other options in their lives seem to be exhausted. Unfortunately, this bumbling duo arrived too late as the majority of the bank's cash had been picked up for the day, but that doesn't stop New York's finest from acting accordingly. What follows is a tense 24 hour stand-off that doesn't end well for either of them. Lumet makes all the lost souls of the big city seem sympathetic to the audience, especially Sonny and Sal, which was no small feat considering this was a real situation that real people were put into. At its heart, Dog Day Afternoon is a message movie about the consequences of one's actions, but there's so much social subtext within it actually gets more personal each time you watch it.
A near-perfect dramatization of the lengths that a major media conglomerate will go to turn profit, Network is a boldly executed cautionary tale about the power of the gatekeepers of information in today's society. Marked by shocking performances from Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, Beatrice Straight and William Holden, the film is perhaps more relevant today than it was in '76, when the ratings race was really heating up at the various TV networks of the USA. The satire is as funny as it is frightening in retrospect and the film gave pop-culture one of its most recognizable quotes: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" This is required viewing for any and all who plan on making a career in television and media and also one of the greatest films of all time.
The Verdict (1982)
Just as he took on police corruption in earlier works, Lumet challenged the legal world in The Verdict. Paul Newman plays a down-on-his-luck lawyer who takes (what should be) an easy case, but is inspired to exact true justice on the institutions that left a young woman paralyzed in a vegetative state. The film is many things; a character piece, a David and Goliath good-versus-evil tale and an expose of the medical malpractice field, but Lumet transcends the tropes of them all by making a movie that entertains while infuriating its audience thanks to its authentic portrayal of lawyers and the lengths they'll go to uncover or hide the truth.
Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
Lumet had explored complex families in past productions (Family Business, Running On Empty, Night Falls On Manhattan), but none is quite as emotionally disturbing as his final film, which hit theaters fifty years after his first. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke play brothers who attempt to rob their family's jewelry store to help pay for debts and child-support, respectively, but things go horribly wrong and their mother ends up dead, which sends them on a downward spiral of guilt, shame and violence. It's a pulpy, tragic and harrowing tale that's well acted and executed by the director; very much a return to form for Lumet, whose last few films leading up to it failed to achieve the same level of prestige as his earlier works.
Sweet! Total bad-ass William Fichtner has joined the cast of Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium and this is totally awesome. The film already has Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley, Jodie Foster and Wagner Moura. And now Fichtner? Hell yeah! I mean, when has he not been a bad-ass? The Dark Knight? He took a shotgun to the Joker! Drive Angry 3D? He worked for the devil! He was even the voice of the marriage counselor in Mr. and Mrs. Smith!
As for Elysium, not much is known still. It’s set 100 years in the future and involves some social commentary (nothing more exciting and explosive than some social commentary!). Should be awesome.
Katie Holmes will appear on Ellen today, and she's going to clear up the whole "Suri Cruise LOVES chewing on penises!" controversy. Apparently, Holmes took Suri to an ice cream shop and while they were waiting to be seated, Suri grabbed some penis gummies. And even though it was reported that Holmes gave them to Suri to chew on, that's not true -- Suri took them herself. Why didn't she just tell her to put them back, you ask? Holmes explained, "because I thought if I said 'Put that back,' and then she's going to say, 'What is this?' And I really didn't want to have that conversation." OHHHH excellent! More shame over anatomy!! - US
Prince William will not be wearing a wedding band once he marries Kate Middleton. A spokeswoman for the palace told People that, "there is only going to be one ring, in accordance with the couple's wishes. Kate's band will be constructed from a tiny amount of gold from the Welsh mountains that belonged to Queen Elizabeth. - People
A dwarf couple in New Jersey is suing Joel McHale, Comcast, and E! for defamation and emotional distress. The sketch aired on E!'s The Soup in 2009, and the show used a photo of the couple and added babies covered in tattoos and wearing pageant sashes into the picture and used it to describe a fictitious reality show called, "Fertile Little Tattooed Pageant Parents Who Enjoy Baking." - Hollywood Reporter
This shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone. Walt Disney Pictures has decided not to move forward with producing an adaptation of Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski's upcoming illustrated novel Oblivion, says Variety. The studio made a deal with the filmmaker last August after the book bowed at the San Diego Comic-Con, when Tron was tracking big and looked like it was going to be the start of another huge franchise for the Mouse House.
Fast forward a few months. The film's $398 million haul was good enough to draw profit but was hardly the hit that Disney thought it had on its hands, and thus, Kosinski's stock at the company has cooled momentarily. He's still attached to helm a remake of its 1979 sci-fi family film The Black Hole, but it looks like he'll shop Oblivion (which was possibly retitled Horizons) around at other studios with producer Barry Levine of Radical Publishing (who helped develop the book) first. For those unaware of what this ambitious tent pole is about, the story is set in a future in which the Earth's surface has been irradiated beyond recognition and the human survivors live above the clouds, safe from the alien Scavengers that stalk the ruins. But when surface-drone repairman Jak discovers a mysterious woman in a crash-landed pod, it sets off a chain of events that forces him to question everything he believes.
William Monahan (The Departed) and Karl Gajdusek (upcoming Trespass) worked on the script, which means that it's probably pretty good. Given the visual flair of Kosinski's Tron, I've got no reason to believe that this original project won't be cool; it just needs a home. There's a huge market for big science fiction these days, so I can't imagine a studio not going for the property. Disney may regret letting this one go in the long term...