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.
Remember that nice Matthew Fox? You know, the Salinger boy. He sure was a nice young man. What ever happened to him?
Oh, that's right. This.
Yes indeed. Matthew Fox, the man you might better know as Charlie Salinger, Jack Shephard, Red Dawson, or (probably not) Racer X, has gone through a bit of an image transformation for his new movie, Alex Cross. The LOST star has recently found himself in a bit of off-camera drama, as he was charged with a DUI. Perhaps the star has gone method, embracing the lunacy of his ultimate fighter/murderer character Picasso, depicted in these new images from the film. Check out the pictures, and try to reflect back on the man who once led an island.
The film also stars Tyler Perry as title character Alex Cross, the detective created by novelist James Patterson...
... and Edward Burns as a gun-toting, suit-wearing character named Tommy Kane.
Man, these guys are sure have come a long way...
Matthew Fox: Is He Just Alternate Universe Jack?
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I have a theory about Lost star Matthew Fox. Which is great, really, because all Lost fans want two years after the fact, is more theories.
But hang in here with me, Losties. What if the star — who was reportedly arrested for a DUI in Oregon over the weekend while en route to a fast food restaurant (Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack, perhaps?!) — is really just alternative universe Matthew Fox who keeps finding himself in a heap of trouble while "real" Matthew Fox is wondering how he's going to get back to undo this madness. Follow all that? Good. Me neither.
Bad boy Fox has such a history of bearded Jack-like behavior it's hard not to wonder if the clean-shaven Jack version of Fox is out there somewhere on an island... or purgatory... or something. Maybe alternate universe Matthew Fox was here for a while as a nice guy who played Jack on Lost and Charlie on Party of Five and got plenty of calcium in his diet, and then someone turned a wheel on an island... or purgatory... or something and he turned into the guy who gets DUIs and is accused of assault and gives Playboy interviews that would make John Mayer blush. Something tells me this is all Charles Widmore's doing.
Is Matthew Fox just some alternative universe version of himself and a more Jack-esque version is out there desperately trying to get back? (Lest you've forgotten, "We have to go back!" Oh, and "Waaaaaaaaaalt!") Does Fox's behavior ruin Jack, and Po5's Charlie for that matter, in your mind? Or do agree with Seth Rogen in Knocked Up and his theory: "You know what's interesting about him? ... Nothing!" Sound off in the comments section!
[Photo credit: ABC]
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Jessica Shephard (Ashley Judd) has just been promoted to police inspector with the San Francisco Police Department's Homicide Unit and her first case--a man found beaten to death on the beach--proves unsettling: She had a one-night stand with the victim a few months back. Shaken Jessica downs a bottle of red wine rummages through an old box containing gruesome black-and-white photos of a man with a bullet in the head and some dingy Raggedy Ann dolls. Turns out Jessica has some serious issues. Her father a police officer was a serial killer who ended up murdering his wife before turning the gun on himself making Jessica an orphan at the age of 6. This tough-as-nails cop appears composed on the surface but she indulges in self-destructive late-night activities including engaging in violent sex with strangers and drinking until she blacks out. Within a week two more of Jessica's former flames turn up dead and all three bodies bear the distinguished signature of a serial killer--a cigarette burn on the back of the left hand. Since she can't remember anything that happened during her blackouts Jessica starts to suspect she might be responsible for the murders. On the other hand she can't shake the feeling she's being followed and her new partner Mike (Andy Garcia) has been behaving strangely showing up on her doorstep in the wee hours of the night. A tormented Jessica seeks comfort from John (Samuel L Jackson) her mentor and an old friend of her father's who seems to think she needs protection--from herself. Could Jessica be the very killer she is tracking?
Judd tones down the Hollywood glam here and with her makeup-free complexion she actually looks like a real cop. But her physical transformation doesn't overcome the inherent flaws in the way the character is written. While we should feel sympathy for Jessica because of her childhood trauma we don't for all kinds of reasons. Her character doesn't think she has a problem for one and she never develops close relationships in the film except maybe with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and the stringy-haired strangers she has violent sexual liaisons with. Even Jessica's revelations to a staff psychiatrist are superficial. While it's almost impossible to warm up to Judd's character it's even more difficult to relate to her relationships with leading males. As Mike Jessica's partner Garcia constantly spews cop-thriller clichés about their unspoken loyalty and trust as colleagues but for all his talk we never actually see that kind of bond between them. How can these cops who only met a week before be expected to have instant loyalty? What's worse the sleazy pass he makes at a boozy Jessica one night squashes his character's potential to be the film's only good guy. Jessica's relationship with John who is supposed to be her mentor at the police department is equally hard to swallow. Jackson is great at making his character chillingly creepy but if the audience can sense his deviousness within 10 minutes why hasn't Jessica picked up on it after years of knowing him personally and professionally?
It's hard to believe that Twisted comes from Philip Kaufman the same director who brought us opuses The Right Stuff and The Unbearable Lightness of Being. While Kaufman uses his trademark visual style to capture the briny and foggy feel of the San Francisco Bay area Twisted suffers from the same sorry plot predicament his 1993 adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel Rising Sun did: It's utterly predictable. But rather than remedy the story Kaufman and co-writer Sarah Thorp toss one red herring after an another hoping to keep viewers off the scent. Case in point: Every time Jessica suspects someone is watching her we hear the distinctive sounds of someone repeatedly flipping a lighter cover so it's safe to assume the bad guy will be the one who carries a lighter and not the one who lights his cigarettes with matches right? The film adds distractions to conceal the obvious including Jessica waking up with unexplained blood on her hand and her jealous ex-boyfriend constantly breaking into her house. There are so many diversions at work here that the film becomes a joke one that culminates with a hokey punch line as the antagonist spills out an elaborate confession that partly patches up any holes in the outrageous plot.