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Can you believe The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's Diagon Alley will be open to the public today? When Harry Potter's stars (with a few notable exceptions, ahem, Dan, Rupert and Emma) made an appearance at the Diagon Alley Preview a few weeks ago, it felt like it would be forever — but now the day is nigh!
As you can see, we're having a bit of trouble containing our excitement... and here are a few reasons why:
10. Remember that awesome scene from the seventh book/eighth movie when Harry, Ron and Hermione (and Griphook) break into the infamously impregnable Gringotts? Well, now it's a ride!
9. Also, according to Evanna Lynch, the dragon at Gringotts "is even more true to life than the movie sets!"
8. There's a real-life Florean Fortescue's, and they serve butterbeer soft serve!
7. You can cast spells.
6. You can grab English-style pub grub at The Leaky Cauldron!
5. You can also visit Borgin and Burke's in Knockturn Alley, if you're so inclined.
4. Three words: Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.
3. Yeah, it exists, and apparently you can buy Pygmy Puffs there.
2. You can finally go to Ollivanders... and wait for the wand to choose you.
1. Also, Eyelop's Owl Emporium — you know you always wanted a Hedwig of your own.
Open Road Films via Everett Collection
David Ayer's Sabotage is just the latest stop in Arnold Schwarzenegger's comeback tour, though it probably won't do the actor too many favors. Schwarzenegger plays John "Breacher" Wharton, the leader of an elite DEA task force that specializes in taking down drug cartels. Each member of the team is a blunt instrument drunk off of their alpha male (and female) machismo, but to be fair, they are damn good at what they do. They're masters at going in hard, killing whoever needs killing, and heading to the strip club and drinking themselves into a stupor before the next round of street sweeping. Unfortunately, it turns out years of busting cartel bosses and being deeply unpleasant to everyone you come into contact with eventually catches up to you, and members of the squad start dying in ghastly and elaborate ways. And just like that, we have what basically amounts to an Agatha Christie novel with a gym membership and a pile of meth.
Unfortunately, and as expected, giving Agatha Christie a couple of reps at the gym and a pile of drugs turns her into a blithering idiot, because Sabotage is incredibly stupid. The central mystery somehow manages to be both preposterous and predictable at the same time. The film's one saving grace is its action. The action scenes are adrenal and exciting and unbelievably gory. Bloated corpses are poked and prodded, viscera hangs like ropes from a rafter. This film takes immense pleasure in being completely disgusting. It’s downright gleeful about it. Here's a full shot of a soiled toilet, just because. Here's a piece of skin hanging on some metal, why not. Isn't that cool?
While Sabotage does manage to thrill in spurts and stutters, there's absolutely nothing beating at the heart of the film. All of the main characters are completely and utterly repugnant, and you'll pity anyone who has to endure their company throughout the film. When characters do start to die, you won't feel all that broken up about it. In fact, you may even feel a twinge of joy, like the earth was suddenly unburdened from a pure source of rampant douchebaggery. Just imagine the most disgusting, and off-putting person you can, and then give them a gun, a badge, and a fierce sense of entitlement, and you have every single member of the film's DEA squad. They're all terrible.
And if that weren't bad enough, the acting ranges from mediocre to terrible. The usually wonderful Olivia Williams and the capable Sam Worthington continually forget which continent they're on, their accents dropping in an out like a bad radio connection; Schwarzenneger has a complete inability to emote anything apropos of the situation at hand. When looking upon a pile of ooze that was formerly in the shape of one of his best friends, his disappointment is more akin to seeing a temporarily occupied gym bench on chest day. All of the charm the actor showcased in something like the recent Escape Plan is washed out by Breacher's moping about his dark past, and when Schwarzenneger isn't allowed to be fun, then he's completely boring.
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Really, I should hate Sabotage. It’s a completely stupid and mean spirited film, but there’s a strange charm to the depravity of it all. There's an audaciousness to it. The film goes as far as it can to push limits, and succeeds at being appaling. It’s a film that knows how stupid and ugly it is and champions that fact. It’s playing in its own filth, and as gross as that is, at least it’s having fun. This is the kind of film that will be in heavy rotation at the local frat house. That’s doesn’t mean the film is good or even okay, but if you like watching horrific violence, awful mysteries, and awful people being awful, then boy do I have a film for you.
The Following is a very scary, creepy show about a serial killer and his cult full of acolytes murdering in his name. It is also the reason Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy kissed in front of a room full of journalists on a Tuesday morning.
The back story: The two men and their castmates gathered in a hotel ballroom in Pasadena to discuss their new FOX show at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, and a journalist commented on their explosive chemistry (Purefoy plays the serial killer, Bacon the grizzled FBI agent who put him in jail). While she watched one of their on-screen confrontations, she just wanted them to kiss, she told the men.
"Anything could happen," Bacon said slyly as he leaned over and planted one on his costar.
Purefoy played along. "Rule nothing in, rule nothing out," he smirked after the smooch.
Unfortunately for those watching at home, there are no on-screen kisses between the two leads during the first four episodes screened for critics, although there is a very interesting sexual storyline between some of the supporting characters.
Much of the Following panel focused on the show's violence, along with Bacon's decision to star in his very first television show. The actor said that his move to TV — after wife Kyra Sedgwick's successful seven-year run on The Closer — was actually years in the making.
Bacon told reporters that he had been looking for a suitable television project for a while. "I was looking for a long time, probably three or four years," he explained. "From the moment that I kind of made that decision, I started to read just one amazing pilot after another. What really struck me was all of a sudden the level of the scripts … I was reading all this amazing stuff."
But when The Following came across his plate, he knew it was the perfect match. "I initially had thought that it was going to be on cable. I could not put it down. It was just such a page-turner and I just thought it was such an interesting character. Given the fast-paced, heart-pounding nature of it, it still had a lot of great heart and a certain kind of sentimentality that I responded to."
The Following premieres Monday, Jan. 21 at 9 p.m. on FOX.
Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean
[PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Micelotta/FOX]
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There's a time and place where people from every corner of the Earth can come together to speak a universal language of unity. And sure, Twitter is great and all, but it's time for the Olympics! Both of these worlds will inevitably collide as not only everyone watching the 2012 Summer Olympics will have something to say about it on the social networking hub, but those actually competing in the games will, too.
Many of the U.S. athletes competing in this year's games have already been tweeting about their journey to London and keeping their followers and fans up to speed on their quest to the podium. Take, for instance, rising tennis star Lisa Raymond, who recently took to her Twitter to share, "On the plane to #london2012 , Carl Lewis sitting in front of me- gotta be a good sign right?!?!!! #Olympics."
From the prank-happy U.S. basketball team to Twitter/Olympic all-stars like Michael Phelps, there's plenty to keep you entertained during those commercial breaks while watching hour upon hour of Olympic greatness. Here now are Hollywood.com's staff's picks for the essential American athletes to follow during the 2012 Summer Olympics. #USA! #USA! #USA!:
Michael Phelps: Who has a better perspective on the thrill of the Olympics than a 14-time gold medalist? The Subway sandwich enthusiast always makes sure to keep his fans up to speed on his whereabouts, from the exciting ("Last workout in France today!! Then finally get to head to #LONDON2012 !!") to the mundane ("I hate hiccups," "Sitting at lunch now…"). Just like in 2008, all eyes will be on Phelps, and this time around, likely all of the tweets, too.
Ryan Lochte: You know that old saying: why follow one incredibly hot U.S. swimmer when you can follow two? Well, Ryan Lochte is now the answer to that question! Sure, not every tweet is as enthralling as watching him race ("Really enjoying this weather in London!") but he's just as loyal to his fan base as they are to him ("I love LOCHTE NATION!!! I'm looking at all the replies...WOW you guys are amazing support!!") Jeah, buddy!
Missy Franklin: Sorry fellas, you can't get all the swimmer glory on Twitter. Especially not when there's awesome female swimmers like Missy Franklin, who send out great, RT-friendly tweets like this: "I saw the Tower of London today! Wish I could spend more time there, but I guess I have to swim soon or something."
Venus Williams: Never mind the fact that you should already be following both Venus and her sister Serena Williams on Twitter (consider it your civic duty) but the tennis superstar shares everything from visiting a Jamba Juice (awesome) to getting passed the Olympic torch (super awesome) to representing our great nation in the games (super, incredibly awesome: see above.) There's a reason why she's 841,989 followers and counting.
Kevin Durant: While the entire U.S. Men's Basketball team is worth following on Twitter (if only for their hilarious ongoing sleeping picture pranks), the Oklahoma City Thunder forward, who will be making his Olympic debut this year, is already a champ at keeping us entertained at 140 characters or less. Durant's excitement about his experiences so far ("Headed to Manchester with my USA bball teammates!! So blessed I get this opportunity!! #PGCountyRepresenter!!") not to mention sharing some great photo ops (including this amazing one with his teammates below) has all the makings of a dream Twitter team.
Jordan Burroughs: With a Twitter handle like @alliseeisgold, how could you not follow wrestler Jordan Burroughs during the Olympics? Plus, the guy seems as tech savvy as they get: Burroughs bought a flip cam to document his time in London and got his dad an iPad. And you just can't argue with the fortune cookie of destiny!
Alex Morgan: Gooooooooaaaaaaal! Who says Americans don't care about soccer? With a fierce player like Alex Morgan representing the U.S. it's impossible not to get wrapped up in the other football. Giving insight from both on and off the soccer field (hey, she needs coffee just as much as we do!) she's one to watch during the Olympics and on Twitter.
Misty May-Treanor: A verified volleyball superstar and a verified tweeter, Misty May is a friend of both instagram and promotion (plenty of Nike and Visa shout-outs!) A serial tweeter, you can be sure she'll give us plenty of reading material during the games.
Alexandra Raisman: Every four years, we as a nation become engrossed with the women's gymnastics team and it looks like 2012 will be no different. We're already keeping up with the likes of Kyla Ross (whose Twitter background will make you dizzier than a series of backflips), McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, and Gabrielle Douglas, but our favorite so far has been Alexandra (Aly) Raisman. The 18-year-old not only gives insider perspective ("PODIUM TRAINING TODAY. Aaaaaah too excited. Can't believe it's already here, everything's going by so fast!") but she can rock a mean British accent, too. Or so say says. "My British accent is spot on. Well at least I think it is... ;)"
Tyson Gay: Tyson, as his Twitter profile explains, is "the American record holder at 100m, at 9.69 seconds. Trying to be the fastest man in history. Also is a world champion sprinter and Olympian." But even world class athletes like Gay fall victim to the dreaded pocket tweet, like he did on July 24. Still, his intentional tweets are even better. Case in point: "Happy to win today in London. Things are coming together for the big race here next month #London 2012. Thank to all for your support."
Allyson Felix: A breakout star at the 2008 Olympics, the gold and silver medalist seems poised to be a winner on the track again. And, yep, on Twitter. She's bringing some much-needed California girl flare flare to London, care of Twitter.
Steven Lopez: Like so many other U.S. athletes on this list, Lopez, a Tae Kwon Do gold medal champ, is returning to the games for (hopefully) more glory. A fan-friendly tweet, Lopez might give you a RT if you send him some Olympic-sized loved. Then again, why would you even attempt to say something mean about a guy who tweets about "Working on face kicks"?
Lolo Jones: The athlete with perhaps the single cutest Twitter profile pic (she's hurdling over her pup!) Lolo Jones is the one you'll want to follow if you're big on religion/inspirational-based tweets during the games.
Phil Dalhausser: The charming volleyball champ (he won gold at the 2008 games) is just as much fun to watch on Twitter as he is during a match. Sure, there would be nothing quite like actually being at the games, but Dalhausser certainly makes us feel like we're there, from stunning scenes from his hotel balcony to exciting insight about London's Olympic facilities
John Orozco: Speaking of great Twitter profile pics, male gymnast John Orozco gets a gold medal for his. The Bronx native, who gets Twitter love from the likes of Gym Class Hereos and Ricky Martin, is posing with First Lady Michelle Obama in his profile shot. Talk about a team USA good luck charm.
Who will you be following on Twitter during the 2012 Summer Olympics? Share with us on Twitter @Hollywood_com!
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Oh, Kevin Smith. Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. It’s not that I disagree with what you’re doing and saying, because I am totally behind you in that regard. The thing that bothers me though is the way you go about and say it. But then again, you are making quite the splash with your stunts, so who knows. You might have struck gold after all.
In the past few weeks, Smith has been promising a crazy show following the premier of his new movie Red State at Sundance. He promised an auction to the highest bidder for distribution rights to his latest (and wildly different) flick, a horror film sort-of but-not-really but-definitely-is based on Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. But after delivering a scathing 15 minute “sermon” himself to all the buyers in the room about how fucked up the system is and how hard it is to turn a profit on a film when marketing this $4 million film would require at least $20 million more, he sold the movie to himself. Going the self-distribution mode, he plans on taking the film across the country in a tour with a screening and a Q+A with himself and the star of the movie, Michael Parks. And then once that is said and done, he’ll release it to the various venues himself hoping to strike better deals than the studios.
And that's not even half of the news Smith brought to Sundance: Prior to the screening, members of the Westboro Baptist Church protested it. Smith called for a counter protest that produced hoards of his fans with hilarious signs of his own. He also announced his retirement from acting following the completion of his next film, Hit Somebody. Honestly, I'm more excited about Hit Somebody than I am Red State, if only because it seems more in line with Smith's strengths (comedy and hockey) than it does with Red State.
As Deadline points out, it was kind of dickish (at least to the people there doing their jobs). But Deadline suckles at the teat of the entertainment industry, so who knows. Vulture has a better summation of the whole thing. As for me, good for Kevin Smith taking his own life into his hands! I may think he talks too much and his constant whoring of his podcast might rub me the wrong way, but I enjoy his films (save for Cop Out - yeesh). I’m not quite sure if I want to pay “six, seven, or even ten times what you’d normally pay to see a movie,” especially a Kevin Smith film. But Red State has been getting good reviews and Smith is doing this whether we like it or not. If it succeeds, good for him. And if it doesn’t, oh well. Didn’t hurt anyone. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Source: Vulture, Deadline, and AV Club give you three different POVs for the whole thing
John Goodman has joined Kevin Smith to scare the crazy out of everyone.
Goodman was just cast in Red State, Smith's upcoming political horror film based on the life of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps. You know, that D-bag who pickets military funerals and holds up signs that say "God hates fags." A real charmer.
Anyway, Goodman joins a cast that features Quentin Tarantino vet Michael Parks as Phelps, among a few others less known actors (check out the list here). Smith said that he intends to fill most of the roles with "recognizable unknowns," which isn't too surprising considering the film only has about a $4 million budget. In fact, if you're liking the idea of Red State and really want to give a big middle finger to the religious right (or you just want to work/smoke a blunt with Silent Bob), you can sign up to work as an extra right now right here (if you're in the L.A. area).
Goodman's addition to the cast is exciting news. Anyone remember his politically-charged character in Treme? If not, check out this video. That dude is angry! Imagine him channeling all that hate and ripping Fred Phelps in half. Or better yet, imagine Goodman on Phelp's side being a total asshat. It'd make everyone hate Westboro even more. Yay for political divides!
Source: Coming Soon
Kevin Smith has found a terrifying topic for his new horror film. Dermot Mulroney, Kyle Gallner, Michael Angarano, Stephen Root and Melissa Leo are all in talks to join the political horror film Red State, which is based on the life of Westboro Baptist Church leader and all-around asshat Fred Phelps. Smith has had some problems securing funding for the film, which has been in and out of production for three years. (It’s not surprising, since he’s described the script as “so bleak it makes f***ing Dark Knight look like Strawberry Shortcake.”) After a planned start date this July fell through, Smith announced that, with the cast in place, he could begin filming this September.
Leading the cast is Quentin Tarantino veteran Michael Parks, as the Fred Phelps analogue. Smith has said that he intends to fill the cast with “recognizable unknowns”, and his cast so far seems suitable. The best known cast members are probably Melissa Leo, most recently seen being absolutely heartbreaking on Treme, and Stephen Root, who’s one of the ultimate “hey it’s that guy” actors (though I’ll always think of him as the stapler guy from Office Space). Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding) Kyle Gallner (Jennifer’s Body) and Michael Angarano (Almost Famous) also fit the bill.
The idea of a horror film about politics sounds so appealingly redundant that I’m surprised people haven’t done more of them. (Horror films with political metaphor, on the other hand, are a dime a dozen). In fact, the only recent one I can think of is Homecoming, where zombie soldiers return from Iraq to vote. The problem is that, usually, what’s horrifying to one political group isn’t to the other (“the public option is coming to murder our grandparents!” comes to mind), but I don’t think anyone outside of Phelps’ immediate family supports the Westboro Baptist Church. Smith will probably have to change the name of the film to avoid irritating half of his potential audience, but if there’s anyone the country can unite in hating, its the Phelpses. Well, them and Mel Gibson. Maybe he can get a cameo.
Sources: Cinematical, The Wrap
Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps has been offered a recurring role on hit TV show Entourage after impressing the cast and crew with a recent cameo appearance.
The eight-time gold medal winner landed a role on the series when he happened to walk by the New York City set and producers offered him a part, as himself, in a scene with actor Kevin Connolly.
And Connolly's co-stars are keen to get Phelps back in front of the camera.
Actor Jeremy Piven says, "I could see him coming back as one of the boys. I can see (my character) Ari being very aggressive in recruiting him to represent him and also stopping at nothing to poach him from another client. That's what Ari would do."
Show creator Doug Ellin doesn't seem opposed to the idea, admitting he was stunned by the mass hysteria that ensued when Phelps was spotted by fans on the street.
Ellin adds: "It was the coolest thing in the world. When he showed up--I'm not exaggerating--city buses stopped and people started yelling and within five minutes we couldn't even shoot."
Entourage premieres on Sept. 7.
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