Although fans of Happy Endings were sad to see the show cancelled by ABC this past spring, one of the stars, Adam Pally, has landed a new gig as Doctor Peter Prentice on Fox’s The Mindy Project. (Although unfortunately, now The Mindy Project itself is being put on hiatus until Brooklyn 9-9 finishes its freshman season in Mindy's former timeslot.) Peter was hired at Mindy’s practice to replace Paul Leotard (guest star James Franco) who was brought on to replace Mindy when she went to Haiti at the end of season one; whew, that was complicated. Now, Peter is a permanent fixture at the doctor’s office and we couldn’t be happier.
Since joining the cast early in the show’s second season, Pally has brought a new kind of raunchy, frat-boy humor to The Mindy Project, which the show was sorely lacking. Recently, Peter convinced Morgan, a nurse at the practice, to sext one of Mindy’s love interests on her behalf when they found her phone. Pally had one of the best lines of the whole episode — maybe the whole season — when he said, “If a girl doesn’t respond to me immediately, she’s either stuck-up, dead, or living in an elevator, all three of which are deal breakers.”
Even for those of us who were huge fans of The Mindy Project before Pally joined the cast, he has quickly become one of our favorite characters — surpassing Betsy and Beverly, who haven’t been around much this year. Dare we say it: he might even be funnier than Jeremy (and maybe even more charming since Jeremy has been going through some stuff recently.) Pally is certainly our favorite new character this season and we’re happy he’s going to stick around.
The most star-studded event this season isn't turning out to be the Golden Globes or the Oscars or even taking place in Hollywood, for that matter. Rather, it's President Barack Obama's Inauguration on January 21 in Washington, D.C. With Beyoncé already slated to sing the National Anthem (along with James Taylor, who will sing "American the Beautiful" and Kelly Clarkson, who will take on "My Country Tis of Thee") at President Obama's second swearing-in, the historic weekend has even more star power lined up.
The Presidential Inauguration Committee has announced that Katy Perry (who subtly showed her support earlier this year in a variety of ways, including the dress she's wearing at left), Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, fun., John Legend, Usher, Marc Anthony, Nick Cannon, Mindless Behavior, Far East Movement, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and the cast of Glee will all take part in the the Inaugural kids’ concert and balls.
The Kids’ Inaugural concert, which is hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 19. On Inauguration Day there will be two balls, the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball and The Inaugural Ball. All three of these events will held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Other celebrities, whose names have not been announced yet, are expected to attend. [Photo credit: Judy Eddy/Wenn] More:
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Could Krysten Ritter be going from Apartment 23 to the Red Room of Pain? That's the latest possibility swirling around the ever-evolving Fifty Shades of Grey casting speculation and rumor mill. This latest rumor is thanks largely in part to Cinemablend noticing that the 31-year-old actress has shown some interest in playing Anastasia Steele, the demure college girl turned object of Christian Grey's BDSM affections in the upcoming adaptation of E.L. James' wildly popular saga. (The role of Christian has not yet been filled either, but actors like Matt Bomer, Ian Somerhalder, and Ryan Gosling are just some of the names that have been thrown out there.)
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On January 1, Ritter retweeted an article from a Fifty Shades fan site that suggested she and fellow beautiful brunette Anne Hathaway (who wore her own hinting-at-Fifty Shades dress recently) are in contention for the role. When a fan tweeted in response that "between the two it should 100% be @Krystenritter", the Don't Trust the B star wrote back from her Twitter page, "Thanks! i would be down. ;)." Hollywood.com reached out to Ritter's rep for comment, but they were not immediately available for response.
Alright, so Ritter certainly doesn't seem to be shy about wanting to be in the hotly anticipated movie, but would she make sense for the role? Never mind the whole age gap thing (Ritter is 31, almost exactly a decade older than Anastasia), as Hollywood sidesteps around that constantly. Never mind that she looks awesome in bondage-like attire (see above), as the character spends most of her saying things like "Holy cow!" rather than donning leather dresses. Wouldn't Ritter's Don't Trust the B costar Dreama Walker make much more sense for the part as a sweet girl who winds up in a relationship where she's constantly being humiliated and pushed to the limit? It sounds awfully familiar, no?
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On paper, Walker seems like a much more obvious choice (and the actress more than proved herself in last year's disturbing drama Compliance), but Ritter would join a long lineage of TV stars who go against type for a big movie role. Heck, even her other Don't Trust the B costar James Van Der Beek did it when he bid Dawson adieu to play sexual devient and all-around terrible person Sean Bateman in The Rules of Attraction. Playing against TV type also boded well for Courteney Cox when she switched gears from neurotic Monica on Friends to play the conniving Gale Weathers in the Scream saga; Will Smith broke out from Fresh Prince and temporarily earned indie cred for his part as a con artist in Six Degrees of Seperation; and who could forget when Saved by the Bell star Elizabeth Berkley quite literally shed her image in Showgirls? (Okay, that last one probably isn't the best example.) Ritter is a talented actress, but whether she's right for the part will likely divide the eager-to-be-pleased Fifty Shades crowd. At the very least, let's hope this becomes the inspiration for a Don't Trust the B episode in which Van Der Beek, undeterred from his failed attempt at being Sexiest Man Alive, campaigns hard for the role of Christian Grey. [Photo credit: Judy Eddy/WENN] More: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Movie Finds a Writer in 'Terra Nova' Creator 'Fifty Shades of Grey': First Look at Anastasia Steele 'Fifty Shades of Grey': First Photo of Christian Grey Revealed You Might Also Like: ’Les Mis’: Who’s Who of the Cast — PICS 10 Pop Culture Moments That Would’ve Been Better Naked
The latest movie in the Step Up franchise aims for a politicized message behind all the flashy moves but it could do with a lot less plot and a lot more dancing. In Step Up Revolution the Miami dance group "The Mob" takes to the streets (and other random locations) to perform intricately choreographed routines with their own DJ a camera guy who uploads their videos to YouTube and a graffiti artist who leaves their signature behind. It takes at least that much effort just to get hipster New Yorkers to ride the subways without any pants on once a year; it's hard to believe that The Mob could pull off their elaborate schemes without getting caught but that's the magic of movies.
The Mob represents the more diverse working class side of Miami a young multiracial group of friends who create incredible works of art that disappear before they get shut down. One of the Mob's leaders Sean (Ryan Guzman) earnestly explains to newcomer Emily (Kathryn McCormick) that the group's reason is to give a voice to the voiceless or to be happy or to dance or something. It's not really clear but they have a lot of fun and look amazing doing it.
Once Sean and his friends find out that a greedy developer plans to raze their neighborhood to make way for another South Beach-style hotel monstrosity they have a reason to rally but until then they're just trying to win a cash prize by getting clicks on YouTube. The typical Step Up twist is that Emily is the developer's daughter. Mr. Anderson (Peter Gallagher) doesn't approve of Emily's love of dancing or other frippery and he certainly wouldn't approve of her hanging out with the people causing such mayhem in the streets of Miami.
Step Up Revolution biggest misstep is trying to give the movie more of a hook than the franchise's typical Romeo and Juliet-style love story and tap into "the Zeitgeist" (I swear that's from the studio-provided press notes) of flash mobs. The film could have cut out most of the plot and characters and still have a completely intact film insofar as the point of the film is its multimedia dance routines. The sort of productions The Mob pulls off are more akin to carefully planned art installations or music videos in terms of scope; it would have been better to at least make that somehow feasible in terms of the storyline. Yes we are here for a spectacle and we surely get a spectacle but it needs to have some roots in reality.
The dance scenes are fun sexy and occasionally a little sappy but overall quite enjoyable for people who enjoy "So You Think You Can Dance" type of shows. Kathryn McCormick and Stephen "tWitch" Boss both appeared on "SYTYCD" and their costar Misha Gabriel is a classically trained ballet dancer turned pro back-up dancer for folks like Beyoncé and Michael Jackson. Guzman doesn't have a dance background but he is an MMA fighter who obviously took his training very seriously. The entire outfit is pretty damn entertaining to be honest.
As far as the 3D goes it makes most of Miami look overcast and grey. The extra zings added in to make sure we get our money's worth like sand flicking out at us or a breakdancer whose foot seems to be aiming for our face only serves to distract from the real show at hand. There is also an awful lot of ramping and generally spazzy editing tricks that look cheap. The screenplay by Amanda Brody is definitely not its strong suit.
Step Up Revolution is the cinematic equivalent of a trashy beach novel. It's embarrassing to be caught actually enjoying it and you'll forget about it almost immediately but it's a decent way to spend a summer afternoon.
VICE Films Executive Director Eddy Moretti had an idea: team up with his longtime friend, director Harmony Korine (Gummo, Trash Humpers and the upcoming James Fraco/Selena Gomez movie Spring Breakers), draft a series of filmmaking rules ("This film must be the best film you have ever made," "The hero tells bad jokes. But they're good," "A stuffed animal needs to make an appearance") and hire international directors to help create an innovative cinematic experience. The result was The Fourth Dimension, a triptych of trippy short films helmed by Korine (Film #1: Lotus Community Workshop), Aleksei Fedorchenko (Film #2: Cronoeye), Jan Kwiecinski (Film #3: Fawns).
To headline the operation, Korine recruited Val Kilmer, who portrays a deranged version of himself in Lotus Community Workshop. Donning a Hawaiian shirt and ball cap, "Val Kilmer" heads to a skating rink to provide a group of small town folks with some insane motivational advice ("Tell me your awesome secrets! Tell me your awesome secrets!"). Portraying a version of himself in this fashion is a bold move, and one I was anxious to delve into after watching the film at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Your character in Lotus Community Workshop is named Val Kilmer. Is there any hesitation when someone comes to you and asks you to play a version of yourself? Was it always Harmony's intention to fictionalize your real self?
Val Kilmer: That he sort of finagled because the character's name was Hector. He said, 'You know, it might be interesting if we went in with all the energy, if we tell the audience that it's you coming to talk.' So I said, 'Sure.' And when it got closer, and he started saying my name more than the character's name, I said, 'So you don't want to shoot it both ways? I say some pretty awful things.' Hector does. I've had my share of misunderstood interviews, so I'd hate to see these in isolated clips.
He said, 'Don't worry.' And as soon as I really imagined not worrying, of course it's not me, it's a character. I think most of the world has some idea of who Tom Cruise is, even with all this meltdown and recovery and things. But… no. You spend your lifetime getting to know your spouse. Why do you think you know Tom Cruise? Because you've seen him in a bunch of interviews? He was acting.
We all do it all day long. You act for your boss. We all act to get what we want. Our dog acts. He acts sad if you don't let him out. We all act all day. It became something easy to embrace. And I had to trust Harmony. Trust your director. If you don't, you can usually feel reserve if you feel sensitive to how performances are put together. When I gave myself all the way to it… maybe the next incarnation might move into more of a collaboration, where I would be able to take greater risks with that one idea, but because it's so absurd — I'm preaching — I think it's clear it's not me.
Did playing yourself still have to be an extension of yourself?
Val Kilmer: I think any creation of an actor is supposed to be an extension. It is even if they're completely lying. Then you learn something about how they lie, how they cover their story. I won't name the actress, but an actress got a rather hideous face lift. But then she played a character who talked about getting a face lift. So she was talking about it.
I think in performance, you get a persona, and then you refine it, then you make projections of that. Like Clint Eastwood sold an idea about a character. We're all thinking the same thing when we say 'Clint Eastwood.' Singular, uncompromising, violent — they all involve those things.
I will admit that I haven't always understood Harmony's films on a plot level, but I always enjoy them on a tonal level. How does he explain his motivations and ideas to help bring you into the fold?
Val Kilmer: Poorly [laughs]. He's much more clever than he lets on. He doesn't like to talk about it — that's to his credit. It's a real talent of restraint in not being articulate about things that become an intellectual process. Like these rules. He didn't tell me about them. I'll turn around and he has a blindfold on. He's telling me to say this one particular sentence that isn't completely to do with the scene. It's a dubious honor.
Do you find that your process changes when you tackle material that's heightened realism like this film versus realistic roles? I know you're currently touring in a one man show based on the life of Mark Twain.
Val Kilmer: I wouldn't call this heightened realism. It doesn't feel like that.
What would you call it?
Val Kilmer: It's my name, but I obviously don't dress like that. I don't ride a BMX bike. I haven't changed my profession and I don't live in Nashville. I don't live with Harmony's wife, who plays my girlfriend. So, I wouldn't call it that. I don't have an alternative suggestion.
Perhaps Lotus Community Workshop is straight fantasy. Is it still the same process?
Val Kilmer: Everything is the same at the beginning, you're just trying to make a realistic application of what's written, and personalizing it. It's always realistic in that way. I fought a dragon once in a movie. I really cared about killing him, but I wasn't trying to convince you it was real. It was just real. It just matters if I believe it's real. Or if you're in love with a costar and she's a dragon. Imagine that she's not.
Angelina [Jolie] tells a story — and I'm happy she mentions is because it's so weird. [In Alexander] I'm raping her. And her breast fell out of her nightgown. And during the take, I kind of made sure my face blocked her breast and covered it up, all while grunting and sweating.
That is acting.
Val Kilmer: I was a bit out of the moment [laughs]. But, it always involves large and small paradoxes. Making people believe. Harmony is really good at that. The things that are just given in it, the hard cuts — I ride a bicycle, but I live in a mansion. What does that mean? It's fun to contemplate. I'm talking about myself, but it's clearly not me.
Are scenarios like that ever confusing for you as a performer?
Val Kilmer: No, I was never confused because the text is so singular. He's a motivational speaker, but he doesn't care about anything motivational speakers care about. He doesn't have a selfish bone in his body. He really wants people to get better — he just happens to be crazy. Or stupid. Probably stupid.
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In This Means War – a stylish action/rom-com hybrid from director McG – Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) and Chris Pine (Star Trek) star as CIA operatives whose close friendship is strained by the fires of romantic rivalry. Best pals FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) are equally accomplished at the spy game but their fortunes diverge dramatically in the dating realm: FDR (so nicknamed for his obvious resemblance to our 32nd president) is a smooth-talking player with an endless string of conquests while Tuck is a straight-laced introvert whose love life has stalled since his divorce. Enter Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) a pretty plucky consumer-products evaluator who piques both their interests in separate unrelated encounters. Tuck meets her via an online-dating site FDR at a video-rental store. (That Lauren is tech-savvy enough to date online but still rents movies in video stores is either a testament to her fascinating mix of contradictions or more likely an example of lazy screenwriting.)
When Tuck and FDR realize they’re pursuing the same girl it sparks their respective competitive natures and they decide to make a friendly game of it. But what begins as a good-natured rivalry swiftly devolves into romantic bloodsport with both men using the vast array of espionage tools at their disposal – from digital surveillance to poison darts – to gain an edge in the battle for Lauren’s affections. If her constitutional rights happen to be violated repeatedly in the process then so be it.
Lauren for her part remains oblivious to the clandestine machinations of her dueling suitors and happily basks in the sudden attention from two gorgeous men. Herein we find the Reese Witherspoon Dilemma: While certainly desirable Lauren is far from the irresistible Helen of Troy type that would inspire the likes of Tuck and FDR to risk their friendship their careers and potential incarceration for. At several points in This Means War I found myself wondering if there were no other peppy blondes in Los Angeles (where the film is primarily set) for these men to pursue. Then again this is a film that wishes us to believe that Tom Hardy would have trouble finding a date so perhaps plausibility is not its strong point.
When Lauren needs advice she looks to her boozy foul-mouthed best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler). Essentially an extension of Handler’s talk-show persona – an acquired taste if there ever was one – Trish’s dialogue consists almost exclusively of filthy one-liners delivered in rapid-fire succession. Handler does have some choice lines – indeed they’re practically the centerpiece of This Means War’s ad campaign – but the film derives the bulk of its humor from the outrageous lengths Tuck and FDR go to sabotage each others’ efforts a raucous game of spy-versus-spy that carries the film long after Handler’s shtick has grown stale.
Business occasionally intrudes upon matters in the guise of Heinrich (Til Schweiger) a Teutonic arms dealer bent on revenge for the death of his brother. The subplot is largely an afterthought existing primarily as a means to provide third-act fireworks – and to allow McGenius an outlet for his ADD-inspired aesthetic proclivities. The film’s action scenes are edited in such a manic quick-cut fashion that they become almost laughably incoherent. In fairness to McG he does stage a rather marvelous sequence in the middle of the film in which Tuck and FDR surreptitiously skulk about Lauren's apartment unaware of each other's presence carefully avoiding detection by Lauren who grooves absentmindedly to Montel Jordan's "This Is How We Do It." The whole scene unfolds in one continuous take – or is at least craftily constructed to appear as such – captured by one very agile steadicam operator.
Whatever his flaws as a director McG is at least smart enough to know how much a witty script and appealing leads can compensate for a film’s structural and logical deficiencies. He proved as much with Charlie’s Angels a film that enjoys a permanent spot on many a critic’s Guilty Pleasures list and does so again with This Means War. The film coasts on the chemistry of its three co-stars and only runs into trouble when the time comes to resolve its romantic competition which by the end has driven its male protagonists to engage in all manner of underhanded and duplicitous activities. This Means War being a commercial film – and likely an expensive one at that – Witherspoon's heroine is mandated to make a choice and McG all but sidesteps the whole thorny matter of Tuck and FDR’s unwavering dishonesty not to mention their craven disregard for her privacy. (They regularly eavesdrop on her activities.) For all their obvious charms the truth is that neither deserves Lauren – or anything other than a lengthy jail sentence for that matter.
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