It's ladies night at TV Tidbits again! The women of Hollywood are making moves, signing deals, and making cameos all over the place. Sure, Cee Lo Green's in there too, but something tells us he would approve of being surrounded by so many awesome ladies making big-time industry power plays. From Kaley Cuoco to comedy lady heroes like Megan Mullally, Rachael Harris, and Angela Kinsey, we say roll that beautiful bean footage television news cycle!
Kaley Cuoco to Host People's Choice Awards: CBS is letting their very own The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco return to her hosting duties at the upcoming People’s Choice Awards. The show will air on CBS live from the Nokia Theatre on January 9, 2013. This is Cuoco’s second time grabbing the hosting reigns after making her debut this year. [Deadline]
Cee Lo's Got the Christmas Spirit: When it comes to spreading holiday cheer, look no further than Cee Lo Green, who is bringing back some of The Voice's top Team Cee Lo competitors to sing red and green all over your TV screen this year. "I'm actually doing a Christmas special -- next week I'm filming," explained Green. "And so I've invited about, I think it's going to be 19 in total. All of my people are coming from Season 3 as we stand, and I'm going back to season 1, getting Nakia, Nicci, Vicci, Jamar, Cheesa." Sounds like the perfect way to ring in your new holiday album, Cee Lo. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Angela Kinsey, Rachael Harris to Front Comedy Pilot at FOX: It's a good day to be a funny lady! After an apparent, multi-network bidding war (sounds intense!), FOX nabbed the put pilot deal for Rachael Harris and The Office's Angela Kinsey's aptly-titled Dirty Blondes. The comedy is based on the real-life, long-time friendship of its two stars and focuses on their life experiences as friends, divorcees, and more. Harris and Kinsey will also be co-executive producing. [Deadline]
Tammy 2's Back with a Vengeance: That's right, Parks and Recreation fans, Megan Mullally, real-life wife of Ron Swanson Nick Offerman is making another scene this season. Mullally will reprise her role as the second ex-wife of Ron in the ninth episode this season, titled "Ron and Diane." Seems like Tammy 2 isn't comfortable with the idea of Ron's potential love interest, Diane (Lucy Lawless), getting all that comfortable. Here's hoping she leaves Ron's mustache alone. [TV Guide]
Adultling Goes from Blog to Book to Put Pilot at FOX: J.J. Abrams' company Bad Robot has landed itself a put pilot deal at FOX for its half-hour, single-camera comedy take on the blog/book Adulting. The quirkily-styled comedy will focus on all the easy(ish) ways young twentysomethings can learn to become true adults like how to change a flat tire, how to not be an anonymous a**hole, or learning how to pack. [Deadline]
[Photo Credit: DailyCeleb]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
TV Tidbits: Reese Witherspoon Has Great TV 'Expectations'
TV Tidbits: 'Pretty Little Liars' Gets Renewed, 'Homeland' Creators Sell, 'True Blood' and More
TV Tidbits: 'Once Upon A Time' Hooks a New Regular, Julia Roberts Tames a Shrew
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Bobby Garfield (David Morse) returns to his small hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend and remembers the fateful summer in 1960 when his whole world changed. The story flashes back to when 11-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his best friends Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully-John (Will Rothhaar) capture the pure joy of youthfulness. When a mysterious stranger named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moves upstairs and starts to pay attention to Bobby the boy suddenly realizes what's truly missing from his life--the love of a parent. Bobby's mother Liz (Hope Davis) is embittered by the death of Bobby's father and shows little compassion for her son's growing needs. Ted fills a void with the boy opening his eyes to the world around him and helps Bobby come to terms with his real feelings for Carol--and his mother. But Ted also has some deep dark secrets of his own and Bobby tries hard to stop danger from reaching the old man.
The performances make the film especially in the genuine camaraderie of the kids. Yelchin Boorem and Rothhaar never deliver a false move with an easiness that makes us believe we are simply watching three 11-year-old children grow up together. Yelchin in particular is able to get right to the heart of this young boy who misses his father and clings to the only adult who will listen. And his scenes with Boorem simply break your heart. (Davis) does an admirable job playing a part none too sympathetic. She manages to show a woman whose been beaten down but who does truly love her son in her own way. Morse too is one of those character actors you can plug in any movie and get a performance worth noting. In Hearts you want to see more of him. Of course the film shines brightest when Hopkins is on the screen. It may not be an Oscar-caliber performance but the actor is unparalleled in bringing a character to life--showing the subtleties of an old man looking for some peace in his life.
If you are expecting the Stephen King novel you may be disappointed. Screenwriter William Goldman and director Scott Hicks (Shine) deftly extracted the King formula of telling a story through a child's eye and explaining how the relationships formed as a child shaped the adult later. Hicks did an amazing job with his young actors especially Yelchin and Boorem. But where the novel continued into a supernatural theme explaining Brautigan's fear of being captured by "low men in yellow coats" (a reference to King's The Dark Tower series) the movie downplayed the mystical elements instead giving real explanations for Brautigan's man-on-the-run. That was the one problem with Hearts--we needed more danger. Introducing men from another dimension may not have been the way to go but had there been more tension the film would have resonated more especially when Bobby risked his own safety to save Ted.