Variety reports that James Franco has signed on to star in Spring Breakers, a thriller from writer-director Harmony Korine (Gummo). The Rise of the Planet of the Apes star will play “a rapping drug and arms dealer” who bails out a group of larcenous college kids and convinces them to kill his arch-rival. Emma Roberts (Scream 4, The Art of Getting By) is in talks to star alongside Franco as “a Southern brunette who feeds off danger.” According to Variety, shooting will take place during Spring Break in Florida, making it the first high-profile production to do so since Girls Gone Wild. Hopefully Spring Breakers will be just as dark and disturbing.
James Franco is currently in the final days of production on Oz: The Great and Powerful. Click below for more images of the actor:
Here’s the thing about Michael Scott: we know a lot about him. We’ve basically known him for six years now. There have been 128 episodes (or at least, 117 episodes, but with the double episodes it's like 128 regular episodes, thanks Wikipedia!) and with those lasting roughly 20 minutes, that’s over 42 hours worth of getting to know Michael Scott. Sure, he’s not the focus of every single hour of those 42, but he is the main character in this ensemble comedy and most of the stories revolve around him somewhat.
So basically, we’re pretty familiar with the guy. Sure, it’s difficult to really know someone after only 42 hours of knowing them, but we’ve seen him at his best (landing sales), his worst (too many to count), his highs (hooking up with Jan et al.), his lows (every moment involving Jan post hookup), and everything in between. We skipped over all the boring stuff that you have to go over while getting to know someone and have the super concentrated version of Michael Scott.
We know Michael is needy, emotionally underdeveloped, delusional, and has the most unhealthy need to be liked. But does he know this? In traditional narratives, the protagonist undergoes a fundamental shift in his state of being. Usually it takes some awareness of the protagonist’s part to make the change and up until this point, Michael hasn’t shown much awareness. But since this is Steve Carell’s last season, could this mean a change in Michael Scott? Could he eventually grow up on his way out? And considering Toby, the uber-ultimate-arch-nemesis to Michael, managed to get Michael to finally let up and confess to some of his faults, it could be a possibility. We shall see.
So what happened in this episode?
The cold opening had Dwight pitching his new day care center in his new office building to Jim and Pam. While a little too out there for me, there were definitely some great moments from this bit. I always love it when Jim and Pam suddenly understand each other and get on the same page quickly; it’s little moments like that that really make their relationship work for me. Then we also got Mose painting in the dark (brilliant) and “FUN” printed out on plain white paper in Times New Roman. So lovely. And of course, Jim locks Dwight and Mose in the daycare center. But, the biggest laugh came from Dwight when he delivers a perfect evil laugh after announcing his normal plans for the daycare center because “there’s no good laugh for a regular idea.” So perfect. So Dwight.
And as mentioned above, Michael undergoes counseling with Toby because he committed “corporate” punishment against his nephew. Michael was very stubborn against this and attempted to sit through the entire six hours in silence. Toby don’t play none of that shi- whoa, sorry, got a little hood there for a second. Toby doesn’t put up with any of that and uses some basic reverse psychology on Michael to get him to open up and of course Michael plays right into his hands. Considering Michael has seen Good Will Hunting (or more likely Harriet the Spy), you would think he would have seen this coming, but whatever. Michael opened up to us like he never has before.
Pam is having more difficulties with the transition into sales than she thought she would. She can’t land a sale and when a stray door-to-door salesman appears looking for the “office administrator” she jumps on to claim the position that doesn’t exist. Since the “office administrator” gets paid on salary and not on commission she undertakes the rather difficult challenge of hurdling the red tape to create the position for herself retroactively. Pam shows some serious smarts in handling all the department heads at Dunder Mifflin (which appears to be everyone) and getting their signatures, but Gabe is the final boss. Now, I would rather face a giant spider with nothing but a sling shot then try to wiggle around a smarmy corporate ass kisser, but Pam handles it well. She takes charge and creates the position despite Gabe knowing exactly what she is up to.
The final story line was a weird one, even by The Office standards. Dwight was slighted at the Steamtown Mall (which is real! Though it’s called Mall at Steamtown) and his course of dealing with it is to remove them as clients. Even if they weren’t his clients to begin with. They decide the best way to deal with it is to go all Julia Roberts and Pretty Woman their ass. This idea comes from Kelly who is showing a lot more gusto after her executive training even if she doesn’t remember what she said (“I talk a lot so I’ve learned to just tune myself out,” FTW). Personally, I was for Creed’s idea of starting their own mall.
This leads to everyone giving Dwight a make over and they take advantage of the opportunity to “teach” him manners. Really just an excuse for them to shout out everything they don’t like about him, but he soaks up the information in order to get the best revenge possible. Andy and Jim take him to the store in the mall where he was slighted and instead of appearance-ist employees they find normal workers. To Dwight, normal can be extremely unusual though. The employee tells Jim and Andy the reason they didn’t help Dwight was because he came in with blood on his hands. Dwight corrects him that it was beet juice after a hard days work in the field. Wakka wakka, that’s all folks.
A decent episode, to say the least. Perhaps a sign of the things to come with Michael or perhaps just an excuse to get Dwight to comb his hair. Either way, a fun episode.
“I don’t know if I can do this much longer ” groans an exhausted Milla Jovovich shortly after dispatching a horde of corporate paramilitary goons in the explode-tastic introductory sequence of Resident Evil: Afterlife. I feel her pain. But Jovovich in her fourth turn as Alice the genetically enhanced zombie-slaughtering heroine of the video game-inspired series isn’t the only one looking a bit tired. The entire film suffers from a severe case of franchise fatigue the hallmarks of which no amount of “big guns beautiful women [and] dogs with heads that explode ” as producer Jeremy Bolt so artfully boasts in the film’s official press notes can possibly hide.
This latest edition finds Alice stripped of her superpowers by her arch-nemesis the blond Matrix reject Albert Wesker (a cringe-worthy Shawn Roberts) whose evil Umbrella Corporation created the virus that inadvertently turned most of the planet’s population into flesh-devouring zombies. Though she can no longer pull off fancy tricks like triggering spontaneous earthquakes she’s still able to withstand powerful blasts without shielding and fire handguns the size of her head without any visible recoil. Both traits come in handy when she's charged with leading a small ethnically diverse group of human survivors through an army of undead many of whom are armed with face-sucking tentacles in lieu of tongues to a refugee camp located on a ship anchored off the coast of Los Angeles.
For all of its recycled plot elements predictable twists and cliched dialogue Resident Evil: Afterlife does feature one genuinely interesting new wrinkle (and no it's not the aforementioned dogs with heads that explode though they are quite nice): It’s the first film of the franchise to be shot and edited entirely in 3D — the real non-Clash of the Titans variety. Who knows perhaps writer-director (and Jovovich hubby) Paul W.S. Anderson returning to the helm after ceding directing duties on the prior two Resident Evil films was simply too drained from the work of adding an additional dimension to all of the film's flying limbs and bursts of blood to devote much creative energy to anything else. More likely there was never any creative energy there in the first place.
And still Anderson sees fit to end the film with a transparent pitch for yet another sequel. Might I suggest Resident Evil: Straight to Video?
Some time has passed since the dead rose up to feast on human flesh and what's left of mankind is making
the best of it. The people have cordoned themselves off from the zombies--or "stenches " as they are so
lovingly referred to--behind the walls of a fortified city where they try to maintain an illusion of life
as it once was. Supplies and food are still needed so a hardened group of mercenaries--headed by Riley
(Simon Baker) and Cholo (John Leguizamo)--run retrieval missions into the vast wasteland using little tricks of the trade to keep the zombies at bay. Back in the city however things aren't so hunky dory. The wealthy and powerful lead by the slimy Kaufman (Dennis Hopper) dwell in a swanky and exclusive high rise and rule over the working class while the disenfranchised peeps on the streets stew over their lot in life. But they aren't prepared for what happens next. Seems the army of the dead are evolving learning to organize and communicate with one another. And they don't take too kindly to getting shot in the head. The only thing the humans have going for them is the fact the zombies still don't move very fast--but that's not saying much.
It's tough for an actor to shine in a horror flick in which the gore and special effects make-up are pretty
much the main attraction--but the Land of the Dead cast do their best. You've got Baker (The Ring Two) as the kindhearted hero; character actor Robert Joy as Baker's mentally challenged sidekick but who's also a wicked sharpshooter; the lovely up-and-comer Asia Argento as a tough-as-nails street chick willing to help out; Leguizamo as the wisecracking mercenary with a major chip on his shoulder and firepower to back it up. And then there's Dennis Hopper. He's playing it pretty straight this time around as the evil and greedy rich guy who doesn't really consider himself the villain considering he was the one who built the fortified city. But a little of the weird Hopper pops through every once in awhile. Of course we've also got the hordes of evolving dead walkers lead by a particularly fearsome zombie. With a bloodcurdling zombie battle cry this badass teaches his comrades to take up arms beat down walls and walk under water. Resourceful fellow.
You can thank George Romero for giving us flesh-eating zombies. If not for his 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead we wouldn't have 28 Days Later or Evil Dead--and we'd be a much duller place without them. Now 20 years after he made the last Dead movie Day of the Dead Romero is ready to hurl body parts at us again. Maybe after he saw how well they remade his Dawn of the Dead last year he felt he could do it even better. Not quite. Sure Romero has definitely grown up and improved his writing. Land of the Dead does a nice job moving things along showing how the survivors have adapted to living with their "neighbors" but never really learning much from the experience. Romero also has brought a certain pathos to the zombie. They move around as if in a daze also trying to maintain a semblance of what they used to be--human. And frankly they are tired of being labeled mindless idiots who do nothing but wander about. Dammit. If you prick them do they not bleed? But with all the gratuitous violence and hardly any of the Dawn remake's humor or irony Land of the Dead doesn't really distinguish itself from any of Romero's other gore-filled zombie flicks.