Happy Halloween! I’m here to bring you six spooktacular spoilers that will leave you spellbound by your favorite shows. After going house-to-house, I’ve now got the oh-so-sweet Glee scoop on McKinley High’s newest musical, discovered devilish secrets on a Pretty Little Liars’ return, and gathered all the gory details of what’s coming up next on The Vampire Diaries. Not to mention three horrifyingly fun teasers for American Horror Story: Asylum, Nikita, and Bones. Oh, and this week’s Spoiler List features a little bit of a twist. Each headline is either a treat or a trick. Either way, they’re more delicious than Reeses Pieces, so you know you’ll be full when you’re finished. Trick or treat TV lovers!
1.Glee: Old Faces and New Relationships!
Treat! With the Glee hiatus finally coming to a close (Damn it’s been a rough five weeks!), rumors are swirling all over the interwebs regarding our favorite New Directioners returning to Lima for the holidays. To help get things straight, I caught up with the beautiful Melissa Benoist, and she was kind enough to dish details about the vibe on set. “It’s been really exciting! There is a new energy around," she says. "It’s, like, buzzing and the writing has been awesome.” Benoist says that Marley will have the pleasure of interacting with all of the original Glee club members, but there is one actress in particular that was absolutely delightful. The 24-year-old says, “Meeting everyone has been great. I met Dianna Agron for the first time and she’s, like, the loveliest, most beautiful person inside and out.” Agreed. So fans can share in our distain to learn that Quinn will be dating a not-so-nice fells when we finally see her again. In a recent Twitter Q&A, Ryan Murphy revealed that the Yale student will have “[A] new boyfriend. And not a good one. Santana (Naya Rivera) is vey unhappy. #slapheardroundtheworld” Yikes! For me, this is just yet another reason why Quinn should transfer to NYU and be with Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt (Chris Colfer)! Please excuse me while I say a quick prayer to the TV Gods...
Let’s move on to a happier topic shall we? One word: Jarley. They’re more adorable than a basket full of kittens and now that Jake (Jacob Artist) is back on the market, many fans are dying to see these two newbies make it official. But Benoist warns that it won’t exactly be a smooth transition from friend to girlfriend. She explains, “They definitely have a road ahead of them in terms of their relationship. Maybe a bumpy one, maybe one with some obstacles, but there is no romance if there is no challenge.” Awww. And speaking of challenges, it seems that in a very Rachel Berry-esque move, Marley has decided that she wants to be the lead in the upcoming school musical Grease. “She’s stepping it up," she says. "She’s growing a pair and she definitely is really motivated to get Sandy. That’s the only part she wants and and she’s going to work as hard as she has to to get it.” But who else is ready to dig her claws into the part of Sandra Dee? Kitty (Becca Tobin), of course! Ooh I’m sensing a McKinley High cat-fight is in our future in addition to a “really fun” Marley/Kitty duet.
2. Bones: Booth Has Spider-Man Tighty-Whities!
Trick! They’re actually Captain American boxers. Oh yes, just go ahead and take a minute to picture our favorite FBI agent running around, solving crimes, and being a badass all while wearing a pair of red, white and blue underoos. Too cute right? Next week’s episode of Bones gives us this vital piece of information courtesy of Sweets (John Francis Daley) and his recent breakup from Daisy. Sweets has been feeling pretty lost — not to mention claustrophobic from sleeping in his office — so Booth (David Boreanaz) invites him to stay with Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and him for a few days. I now know that Sweets is an excellent laundry folder and he thoroughly enjoys taking baths. (Much to Booth’s disdain.)
Over in the lab, the Jeffersonian team will be investigating the death of a woman whose body was found mutilated and discarded in a garbage can. But the real crime is that when she was alive, this woman was selling jars of applesauce for nine dollars! Sheesh, how ‘bout them apples? (So sorry, I’m fully aware of how lame that sounded, but I just couldn’t resist.) Plus, make sure you watch the final two minutes of the episode to see a truly giggle-worthy moment between Brennan and Sweets. Hint: Although Brennan is a beyond amazing forensic anthropologist, her dancing skills are not quite as graceful as you would expect.
3. Nikita: The Mikita Engagement Ring is Still Gorgeous!
Treat! In this Friday’s episode “True Believer,” fans will get three glorious glimpses at the sparkler and every Mikita fan knows exactly what I’m talking about when I say, “Squeeee!” (I’m still ridiculously giddy when I think about the newly engaged couple!) In a moment of reflection and confusion, Nikita (Maggie Q) will calm her nerves by absentmindedly playing with her new pave-diamond encrusted rock. Although Nikita is beyond confident in her relationship with Michael (Shane West), we’ll see that she’s still not 100 percent sure about her new re-alliance with Division.
“I went there to kill this crazy bitch and I found myself looking in a mirror,” Nikita confesses to Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca). Our heroine is always so cool, calm and collected — not to mention a total badass — but when she is asked if she is willing to die for Division, fans see that her faith is a bit shaky at the moment. One thing that is still strong is Nikita’s friendship with Alex. The two women have been through so much together and it’s both sweet and scary to see Nikita’s reaction when her long-time friend gets hurt. Hell hath no fury like a bestie scorned!
4. Pretty Little Liars: Mona Will Stay Locked Up Forever!
Trick! We already know that this crazy little liar has perfected an escape route from the Radley Asylum, but be prepared to see Mona roaming the halls of Rosewood High again in January. When I caught up with the lovely Lucy Hale at the Halloween special, she told me that the liars are not exactly thrilled to see that “A” will be back in class everyday. Hale teases, “She’s playing this game of, has she truly changed? Has she really turned her life around or is she just playing that game again?” Hale explains, “So [the four friends] are struggling with having to see this person everyday and trying to figure out what is really going on.”
Janel Parrish is beyond thrilled to see that Mona will be out of the insane asylum — especially due to the fact that she’ll get to trade in her drab nightgowns for some of the killer PLL fashion. Parrish says, “I’m excited for fans to see Mona’s return. I want to see what they think about that because the vote is still out. The first episode [after the break], she comes back to school and she had no idea how people are going to react to her.” The person that is going to have the toughest time adjusting to Mona’s release is definitely going to be Hannah (Ashley Benson), her former BFF. “Mona may come to her and say, ‘I’m all better and I want to be friends, I want to fix this’ and the question is: What will Hannah do?” The actress reveals that Hannah will definitely have some hesitations about Mona’s return — and rightfully so! “It’s like, well, Mona you tried to kill me, how can I trust you and I to be best friends?” Parrish said when describing Hannah’s reluctance. While I’m not sure if Hannah will ever be able to forgive her former friend, I do know that I will never forgive Mona for ruining a beloved childhood song for me. Now every time I hear “The Teddy Bears Picnic” I start rocking back-and-forth from fear and panic.
5. The Vampire Diaries: Bonnie’s Back and She Brought Booze!
Treat! With Elena (Nina Dobrev) suffering through the changes of becoming a vampire, we’ve barely seen our favorite Bennett witch all season! Not to worry, magic-deprived fans (RIP The Secret Circle), this Thursday’s episode, “The Five," will give us some much-needed best friend, Bamon and Delena moments. Grab a red Solo cup and your favorite 6-pack because Bonnie, Damon (Ian Somerhalder), and Elena are crashing a Frat party! Damon is determined to help his lady learn how to feed like a proper vampire — “snatch, eat, erase” — so naturally the perfect place to choose a victim is on a college campus where there are plenty of douchebags just waiting for a little action.
But while Elena and Damon are bonding, I can’t help but wonder (this is my Carrie Bradshaw moment of the day): When will Bonnie get a fella? Luckily, I spoke with the so-pretty-it-hurts-your-eyes Kat Graham and she told me that romance will always be in the cards for Bonnie. “There will be a new love interest," she says. "I can’t say who but Bonnie always meets someone.” Graham continues, “But I will say that right now the focus is on Elena and figuring out the situation and then Bonnie dealing with her own mess. Trying to figure out what she is without the power of a thousand witches or without parents really being solidly there for her.” Don’t fret lady! Fans will be pleased to know that Bonnie’s dad is coming to Mystic Falls later this season (episode 10 to be exact) to reconnect with his daughter. Better late than never right?
6.American Horror Story: Asylum: All Is Calm at Briarcliff!
Trick! The storm of the century may be winding down on the east coast, but back at Briarcliff, the patients are about to experience a whole new Hurricane of crazy. A strong nor’easter is on its way and while the rains rages against the walls of the asylum, the charges will receive an unexpected treat: a movie night. Should be fun right? Wrong. As the lights flicker into darkness, Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) will shed some light on her past and viewers will be completely shocked to know why the blonde beauty decided to turn herself into the monastery. (By the way did you know that her favorite color is red?) After last week’s exorcism, it’s safe to say that Sister March Eunice (Lily Rabe) is just a couple beads short of a full rosary. Oh and I need to warns you that when one of the little birdies tries to fly the coupe, their wings get clipped.
What do you think about Quinn's new beau on Glee? Excited to watch Elena go hunting tomorrow night on The Vampire Diaries? Looking forward to Pretty Little Liars' return? Scream out your thoughts in the comments below!
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
[Photo Credit: FOX, The CW, ABC Family, FX]
Leanne's Spoiler List: Zachary Quinto Makes His 'Asylum' Debut, 'Glee' Goes Black Swan
Leanne’s Spoiler List: Thrills and Kills on ‘Pretty Little Liars’, ‘Glee’ Adds a New Twist
Leanne's Spoiler List: 'Smash' Will Shake Things Up, 'Vampire Diaries' Gets Intense
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While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
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.
Two of the most prestigious independent film communities have recently each given their stamp of approval on independent cinema both past and future. Nominees for the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards were announced as was the lineup for the independent feature film and world cinema competitions for next year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Although each organization acknowledge and reward independent filmmaking, the two fetes are quite different. The Spirit Awards are more of a conventional awards show, which will be handed out March 4 in Santa Monica, California [for full coverage on the Spirit Award nominations, click here].
The Sundance Awards are the culmination of the 10-day festival (Jan. 19-29 in Park City, Utah) that showcases the films in contention for awards. Next year’s Sundance Film Festival lineup marks a return of sorts to the fest’s roots, by giving way to more fresh faces. The total number of submissions increased, resulting in a different and exciting format--the expansion of the world competition to include more international films.
Below are the films to be shown in the four competition sections:
American Dramatic Competition A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (Director, screenwriter: Dito Montiel) Come Early Morning (Director, screenwriter: Joey Lauren Adams) Flannel Pajamas (Director, screenwriter: Jeff Lipsky) Forgiven (Director, screenwriter: Paul Fitzgerald) Half Nelson (Director: Ryan Fleck; screenwriters: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck) Hawk Is Dying (Director: Julian Goldberger; screenwriters: Harry Crews (novel), Julian Goldberger) In Between Days (Director: So Yong Kim; screenwriters: So Yong Kim, Bradley Rust Gray) Puccini for Beginners (Director, screenwriter: Maria Maggenti) Quinceanera (Director/screenwriters: Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland) Right at Your Door (Director, screenwriter: Chris Gorak) Sherrybaby (Director, screenwriter: Laurie Collyer) Somebodies (Director, screenwriter: Hadjii) Stay (Director, screenwriter: Bob Goldthwait) Steel City (Director, screenwriter: Brian Jun) Stephanie Daley (Director, screenwriter: Hilary Brougher) Wristcutters: A Love Story (Director: Goran Dukic; screenwriters: Goran Dukic, Etgar Kerett)
American Documentary Competition:
A Lion in the House (Directors: Steven Bogner, Julia Reichert) American Blackout (Director: Ian Inaba) An Unreasonable Man (Directors: Henriette Mantel, Stephen Skrovan) Crossing Arizona (Director: Joseph Mathew) God Grew Tired of Us (Director: Christopher Quinn) Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends (Director: Patricia Foulkrod) Iraq in Fragments (Director: James Longley) Small Town Gay Bar (Director: Malcom Ingram) So Much So Fast (Directors: Steven Ascher, Jeanne Jordan) Thin (Director: Lauren Greenfield) 'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris (Director: Raymond De Felitta) The Trials of Darryl Hunt (Directors: Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg) TV Junkie (Director: Michael Cain) Wide Awake (Director: Alan Berliner) Wordplay (Director: Patrick Creadon) The World According to Sesame Street (Directors: Linda Goldstein Knowlton, Linda Hawkins Costigan)
World Cinema Dramatic Competition 13 Tzameti (Director, screenwriter: Gela Babluani), France Allegro (Director: Christoffer Boe; screenwriters: Christoffer Boe, Mikael Wulff), Denmark The Aura (Director, screenwriter: Fabian Bielinsky), Argentina The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (Director: Auraeus Solito; screenwriter: Michiko Yamamoto), Philippines Eve & The Fire Horse (Director, screenwriter: Julia Kwan), Canada Grbavica (Director, screenwriter: Jasmila Zbanic), Bosnia-Herzegovina The House of Sand (Director: Andrucha Waddington; screenwriter: Elena Soarez), Brazil Kiss Me Not on the Eyes (Director, screenwriter: Jocelyne Saab), Lebanon Little Red Flowers (Director: Zhang Yuan; Screenwriters: Ning Dai, Zhang Yuan), China Madeinusa (Director, screenwriter: Claudia Llosa), Peru No. 2 (Director, screenwriter: Toa Fraser), New Zealand One Last Dance (Director, screenwriter: Max Makowski), Singapore The Peter Pan Formula (Director, screenwriter: Cho Chan-Ho), South Korea Princesas (Director, screenwriter: Fernando Leon de Aranoa), Spain Solo Dios Sabe (Director: Carlos Bolado; screenwriters: Carlos Bolado, Diane Weipert), Brazil/Mexico Son of Man (Director: Mark Dornford-May; screenwriters: Mark Dornford-May, Andiswa Kedama, Pauline Malefane), South Africa
World Cinema Documentary Competition 5 Days (Director: Yoav Shamir), Israel Angry Monk--Reflections on Tibet (Director: Luc Schaedler), Switzerland Black Gold (Director: Marc Francis, Nick Francis), U.K. By the Ways, a Journey with William Eggleston (Directors: Cedric Laty, Vincent Gerard), France Dear Pyongyang (Director: Yang Yonghi), Japan The Giant Buddhas (Director: Christian Frei), Switzerland Glastonbury (Director: Julien Temple), U.K. I is for India (Director: Sandhya Suri), England/Germany/Italy In the Pit (Director: Juan Carlos Rulfo), Mexico Into Great Silence (Director: Philip Groening), Germany Kz (Director: Rex Bloomstein), U.K. No One (Director: Tin Dirdamal), Mexico The Short Life of Jose Antonio Gutierrez (Director: Heidi Specogna), Germany Songbirds (Director: Brian Hill), U.K. Unfolding Florence: The Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst (Director: Gillian Armstrong), Australia Viva Zapatero (Director: Sabina Guzzanti), Italy