Today was another big day for TV, as The X Factor FINALLY announced that Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez would take over my beloved Steve Jones' role as hosts for the rapidly approaching live shows this season. X Factor's was certainly today's glitziest announcement, but there were plenty of other notable TV tidbits that took over this fine Tuesday:
Opie Lives On: After his tragic, untimely death on Sons of Anarchy, Ryan Hurst will be taking his talents to TNT's upcoming drama pilot, King & Maxwell. The show will follow private eyes Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, who are both former secret service agents. Hurst will take on the role of Edgar, a suspected serial killer-slash-autistic savant with "an extraordinary ability to see patterns and numerical sequences." He'll form a special relationship with King that leads to a breakthrough in their case. [Deadline]
Glee Nabs Another Starlet: Who needs sites like this when you have Ryan Murphy's Twitter? The multi-talented showrunner told Twitter today that during last night's God's Love We Deliver Golden Heart Awards, he had asked Hollywood legend Bette Midler to guest on Glee:
I just asked the incredible Bette Midler to be on Glee in front of 1,000 people. I hope she says yes!— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) October 16, 2012It would appear that Midler is a fan of the show, since she later replied with a role suggestion:
Ok, @rpmurphy, I have one vote for Rachel's grandmother...hmmmm.I'm thinking, I'm thinking!!— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) October 16, 2012Broadway crooner Idina Menzel has already appeared as Rachel's biological mother, so we think that Bette Midler as granny would be pretty believable.
More Burgers For All: Congrats (and milkshakes) are in order for the folks at Bob's Burgers, as Fox has officially granted the animated comedy a 22-episode fourth-season order. Sandwiched between Simpsons and Family Guy, Burgers has seen the greatest year-to-year growth of any returning broadcast series in the male demographic, according to Fox. [Deadline]
Gordon Ramsay Gets Another Show: He's everywhere! Reality chef megastar Gordon Ramsay will team up with Ted producer Scott Stuber for The Inferno, an NBC drama project set in a restaurant. In a situation you would see on Ramsay's Fox hit Hell's Kitchen, the show will focus on two restaurants that are on the brink of bankruptcy, until a mysterious Italian chef comes in and saves the day. The only problem is, anything that seems too good to be true probably is — the restaurants will become hits, but at a "terrible cost." Ramsay will contribute with stories from his own vast array of experiences. [Deadline]
Another Olympian Heads to the Small Screen: With McKayla Maroney on Hart of Dixie and Gabby Douglas on The Vampire Diaries, someone had to show some love to the swimmers. Today, Pretty Little Liars showed that love by nabbing Missy Franklin, who will play herself, for a guest spot. In the episode, Emily (Shay Mitchell), who is a swimmer, will have coffee with the gold medalist. Hopefully, it'll be a better conversation than the one she'd have with Ryan Lochte. [EW]
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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.
A Native American legend tells a story about humans named Skinwalkers who get supernatural powers once they feast on blood. The legend also says a 13 year-old boy will come someday when the moon is blood red and break the curse. Enter Timothy (Matthew Knight) a 13 year-old who lives in the town of Hugenot. His mother (Rhona Mitra) is concerned about her son's persistent nightmares and tells Uncle Jonas (Elias Koteas) she wants to leave town. Maybe it’s because a pack of Skinwalkers led by Varek (Jason Behr) have invaded the town. But Mom is in for a shock. It turns out Uncle Jonas his daughter (Sarah Carter) her fiancé (Shawn Roberts) the mailman (Lyriq Bent) and even Nana (Barbara Gordon) all turn into werewolves once a month and Timothy is the half-breed who may save them. Behr (Roswell) is practically unrecognizable but does a nice job as the long-haired well-built Skinwalker who sets out to kill the boy but soon discovers a secret that changes his mind. His sidekicks are both scary (Kim Coates) and sexy (Natassia Malthe) and they do well playing evil. Familiar character actor Koteas becomes the emotional soul of the film even when he transforms into a werewolf. But it's young Knight (The Grudge 2) who has the biggest challenge showing he can be scared fearless and smart—all at the same time. Not easy to do but the kid handles the chores with aplomb. Skinwalkers is really a rather tame werewolf film not unlike the Lon Chaney versions back in the 1940s. It's hard to make a compelling werewolf movie these days because they focus just on the gore. The classic exception is John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London which combined blood and guts with comedy but Skinwalkers actually comes close. It has action a good story and decent special effects without relying on the usual violence. Skinwalkers’ director James Isaac was responsible for one of the more creative Friday the 13ths Jason X and has a special effects background which is evident in Skinwalkers’ wolf transformations. The battles are nearly Matrix-esque and the scenes of the red moon and the morning sunrises are quite spectacular. The film may have suffered some bad buzz earlier on but it's far better than most of the other werewolf offerings.