Warning: Alex Cross spoilers ahead!
He had to go back. He really did. If you weren't convinced when a bearded Jack Shephard made this proclamation to an ostensibly varnished Kate Austen (seriously, doesn't she look so odd in that scene?) on that fateful Season 3 finale of Lost, you will be soon. Just go see Alex Cross. It might not make a lot of sense to consider the 2012 cinematic adaptation of a James Patterson novel to be canon in a seemingly unrelated television series that ended in 2010, but rest assured: when you see Matthew Fox take the villainous role in the new Tyler Perry-starrer, you'll be remiss if you don't notice the obvious connection. Fox's nameless MMA-fighting, Picasso-painting, sociopathic mercenary is, undeniably, Sideways Jack. The Jack that, thanks to some fancy footwork from the space-time continuum, never made it to the island. This is a Jack with a much less tumultuous history of air travel, who married (and divorced) Juliet Burke and birthed a son named David. This is a Jack who would, eventually, were not for that spiritual awakening at the end of the Lost finale, transform into the bloodthirsty, heartless killer we see in Alex Cross. They're the same guy. But how could this be? His life seemed pleasant enough, didn't it? Maybe not enlightenment-levels of pleasant, but hardly anything that'd result in a plunge into the hit man business. But we've seen what mainland life does to Jack. Sure, he seemed happy right before that whole touching-Kate's-hand-and-flashing-over-to-a-church-where-everyone-he-knew-from-a-parallel-life-on-a-waterlocked-purgatory-was-escorted-to-Heaven-by-his-estranged-father thing (remember?). But despite all the details listed above, he is the same guy as main timeline Jack. We've seen this Jack in his extraislandic states of being. Before the crash of Flight 815, he was unhappy. He had a strained relationship with his disapproving, alcoholic father, and had endured an ill-fated marriage to Claire Dunphy. When the doc returned prematurely from the island as one of the Oceanic Six, he was one step away from holing up in a bomb shelter with a copy of the Warren Commission Report and a dozen bags of human blood. This dude wasn't made for Los Angeles life. He belonged on the island. And eventually, be his timeline sideways or straight down the middle, he'd get there. Fortunately, Jack found his way to a blissful final resting place beside faithful Vincent, right on that grass patch upon which he was first delivered to that strange, horrifying land that gave him the most important days of his life. Fortunately, that very same Jack would reunite with Kate, John Locke, James Ford, Boone Diedtooearlytorememberhislastname, and the rest of the castaways just before the strange, white glow that had the power to turn angry boys into smoke monsters and send polar bears to African deserts, beckoned him and his surrogate family to eternal bliss. Unfortunately, one incarnation of Jack seems to have escaped this fate. A Jack lived on performing stressful spinal surgeries in L.A., feigning a civil relationship with ex-wife Juliet, and fostering an increasingly distant relationship with his adolescent son. Eventually, this would tear him apart. Maybe the visions would come. Maybe they'd drive him mad. What is this enlightened life of which I keep earning momentary glimpses? Who are these strangers that I feel to be my family? Where is this home I have never known? Hard questions to battle. Enough to drive any well-adjusted man to lunacy. As we see in Alex Cross, Fox's villain isn't your average hit man desperate for a dirty dollar. He revels in pain, because it's the only feeling he understands. You might recall a bearded Jack embracing a similar mentality. He delved into alcoholism, into a variety of self-destructive behaviors, into taking frequent flights... just hoping that he'd crash back down to his island home, and never concerned with losing his own or his fellow flyers' lives in the process. We know a few things about Jack. We know that he's an expert surgeon. Someone who has made a career out of cutting people open and tending to their wounded bodies. In his own way, you might call Fox's Cross character a surgeon. He dismembers, burns, and otherwise maims his victims. He, too, has a fixation with "playing with" the human body. It's just a sick, dark, evil one. Both men have affinities for fitness, for tattoos, for positions of authority. They both have issues of control — they don't like people telling them what to do or how to think. And they both (at least according to Tyler Perry's character) have issues with their fathers. The only difference is, one never found peace. One never met the love of his life, the friends and family members he'd always longed for, the final resting place that he was meant to inhabit. One just went on living out the decadent shell of a life that fate dealt him, never coming to understand the mysteries of the universe through a heartfelt six-season journey. One veered off sideways. And became a madman. Now, some of you may find this farfetched. Maybe the character from Alex Cross isn't Jack Shephard. Maybe he's just Matthew Fox playing another character. Well, if this evidence hasn't swayed you, then I guess nothing will. But if you won't admit to the Lost connection, then you have to admit that he's at least the same kid from Party of Five. I mean, that's just plain sense. [Photo Credit: ABC; Summit Entertainment] More: Alex Cross Review Alex Cross: Tyler Perry Breaking Out of Tyler Perry Tyler Perry Returns for Alex Cross Sequel Double Cross
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We are at the dawn of America's political season. And like it or not, this country's politics manifests in the form of an uncompromising dichotomy between the right and the left. The republicans and the democrats. The conservatives and the liberals. The red and the blue. The elephants and the donkeys. And while most of those things are inherently boring and lame, that last one is funny to think about: elephants and donkeys. Fending off against one another in a heated political race. That's classic comedy.
And while some people might be more interested in taking a look at the "issues" each party seems so hell-bent on going on and on about, we'd prefer to devote focus to each party's mascot — thrusting the unassuming land mammals into an all-out battle — assigning some of the most celebrated representatives of each species to a slew of all-important issues in an effort to determine which is truly better suited for the White House. Or whatever equivalent of a White House might exist in a race between cinematic depictions of pachyderms and domesticated ungulates.
But enough horsing around. It would behoove us to saddle up for the most important political race of our time! Elephants Vs. Donkeys!
The Disney District: Dumbo Vs. Pinocchio
Representing the Elephants: Dumbo D. Eisenhower
Platform: "Together, we can make the economy fly!"
Representing the Donkeys: James K. Pinocchio
Platform: "I'm a man who nose how to get things done."
Sen. Pinocchio is a career politician; he knows how to spin a tale to convince anyone of anything. Gov. Dumbo, however, is an honest, hard-working man with humble beginnings. He's the man for the job.
The Thousand Acre Wood District: The Heffalump Vs. Eeyore
Representing the Elephants: Irving P. Heffalump
Platform: "I'm quick and slick and so sincere!"
Representing the Donkeys: Chester A. Eeyore
Platform: "It's not much of a policy, but I'm sort of attached to it."
Councilman Eeyore is your sure bet here; Irving Heffalump (and his running-mate J. Wellington Woozle) are all about flash, pizzazz, style over substance.
The CGD (Computer Generated District): Horton Vs. Donkey
Representing the Elephants: Horton Humphries
Platform: "An elephant's faithful: one hundred percent (with a two percent margin of error)."
Representing the Donkeys: Lyndonkey B. Johnson
Platform: "I'm making waffles... for America!"
This is the closest race so far — both candidates have exhibited integrity, ambition, and dedication. But when it comes down to it, Alderman Horton is the only one with the knowhow, determination, and good relationship with Whoville, to keep our country running smoothly.
The District of Sidekickery: Shep from George of the Jungle Vs. Baba Looey
Representing the Elephants: Jack "Shep" Shephard
Platform: "Speak softly, but carry a big milkbone."
Representing the Donkeys: Robert Louis II
Platform: "El Kabong!"
A clear winner, Deputy Louis has a background in law enforcement, favoring peace over force. Dr. Shepherd is more of the rough-'n'-ready, hotheaded type... no place for that in the Oval Office (nor is there actually physical room for him).
The Rare Disorders District: Elephant Man Vs. Julien Donkey-Boy
Representing the Elephants: John "Amerricka" Merrick
Platform: "I am not an animal! I am a president!"
Representing the Donkeys: Julien "The King" Donkeyson
Platform: "Who am I? ... Your next leader, that's who!"
A tough one, but Mayor John Merrick might inch out his counterpart by a few points. For one, he doesn't suffer from schizophrenia. Also, David Lynch is slightly less of a nut than Harmony Korine. Slightly.
The Simpson Districts: Stampy from The Simpsons Vs. Duffy, the Legendary Anzac Donkey Who Helped Soldier John Kirkpatrick Simpson Save a Bunch of People Back Around World War I
Representing the Elephants: Ulysses Stampson Grant
Platform: "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man... or the largest elephant."
Representing the Elephants: J. K. Duffingham
Platform: "I'm bringing the Anzac legend to life!"
Gen. Duffingham gets the win here for one simple, steady reason: he actually existed. Also, Stampy (much like some people) is just kind of a jerk.
The District of Miscellanium: The Giant Elephant from 300 Vs. Donkey Kong
Representing the Elephants: Spiro A. LeFant
Platform: "I'll stomp out rising taxes!"
Representing the Donkeys: Donald K. Kongsbury
Platform: "I've got a barrel of new ideas for this country."
Finally, Sen. Donkey Kong takes it. He's an American hero, defending the world against crocodiles, winning tirelessly in go-kart races, and associating diplomatically with both Maj. M. Mario and King Bowser of the Koopa Empire.
[Photo Credits: Disney, 20th Century Fox, Dreamworks, Hannah-Barbera, Paramount Pictures, Fine Line Features, Fox, AWM.gov, Warner Bros., Nintendo]
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Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.
Those anticipating the upcoming World War Z movie adaptation were probably pretty thrilled to hear that LOST's Matthew Fox and, even more awesomely, Ed Harris, were part of the cast. Well, here comes a downer: they’re not. We reported that Fox and Harris were in talks to play supporting characters, both actors have pulled out of their roles in the film.
The good news is, Brad Pitt will remain on in the film's lead role.
But it's a bummer for those of us who really wanted to see Jack Shephard talking down to zombies. Apparently, World War Z sparked conflict with Fox’s schedule for I, Alex Cross: a mystery-thriller he's starring in alongside Tyler Perry.
As for Ed Harris…who knows. It’s possible that the film would conflict with his role in a Beth Henley play this coming February. But nothing is conclusive. So we all wonder…why did Harris leave the project? Who will take over the recently abandoned roles? What is the fate of World War Z? How long until Fox’s new movie’s title changes to Tyler Perry’s I, Alex Cross?
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all...hell is about to break loose! It starts when a snowstorm grounds all planes at Chicago’s fictional Hoover International Airport. Nobody’s happy to be potentially spending Xmas at an airport but least of all are the Davenport siblings Spencer (Dyllan Christopher) and his little sis Katherine (Dominique Saldana) as well as airport security boss Oliver (Lewis Black). The two kids are escorted to the airport’s “Unaccompanied Minors Lounge ” where kids run wild and terrorize pushover Zach Van Bourke (Wilmer Valderrama) who acts as chief airport babysitter. One look at the madness is all it takes for Spencer and Katherine to bust out along with fellow kiddie anarchists Charlie (Tyler James Williams) Timothy (Brett Kelly) Donna (Quinn Shephard) and Grace (Gina Mantegna). They embark on a pratfall-heavy game of cat and mouse with Oliver who is the Grinch to their collective Santa Clause as they try and salvage Christmas--and their families. Unaccompanied Minors makes some odd but admirable choices when it comes to the cast with virtually every single actor attempting a “Frat Pack” mutiny--Daily Show mainstay Black is joined by “correspondent” Rob Corddry as the Davenports’ Hummer-hating dad not to mention parts from The Office’s B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling Arrested Development’s Tony Hale and Jessica Walter SNL’s Rob Riggle and Kristen Wiig Paget Brewster David Koechner and a rare Kids in the friggin’ Hall (Kevin McDonald Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney) sighting. But the “Who’s that?” cameos aside the screen time is hogged by Black Valderrama and the children. Black the notoriously vulgar curmudgeon of a comedian shows great range and skill by dulling his shtick down but not so much that the kids watching won’t crack up while Valderrama’s performance is the same as his role--that of a bumbling easily overmatched lackey. With all the proverbial child actors in the mix it can seem a little Star Search-y but Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) steals most scenes with his amazing overall talent while Mantegna (Joe’s daughter) fares well too. Kelly (the bullied kid in Bad Santa) is exploited for his physicality and Christopher will likely go on to be a great actor even if he seems too seasoned at such a young age. The reason for the off-the-beaten-path cast is simple: director Paul Feig. The occasional actor has in the past directed episodes of The Office and the late Arrested Development Undeclared and Freaks and Geeks. It also might explain why he fell for a script--by Jacob Meszaros and Mya Stark--that takes a few stabs at grown-up comedy (i.e. Corddry’s character has a car that runs on vegetable oil). Such jokes will be lost on the exclusively preadolescent audience but almost all else will reel them in. Feig also seems adept at making the oft-unfunny (physical pratfalls) somewhat funny and he does so with little mention of bodily functions. Of course he stays true to the formula but all kid flicks are the ultimate exercises in contrivance--Feig just chooses to treat the viewers like kids instead of idiots.