I know, that headline is trouble. You're always treading dangerous ground when you insist on defining what makes a good this or the right kind of that, as if there is no room for change or improvement when it comes to classic properties. Of course there is — Jason Segel's 2011 Muppet film approached the concept from an entirely different direction. It didn't hit all of its marks, but it prevailed overall in its conceit: make a movie not about Muppets, but about Muppet fandom. But Muppets Most Wanted, in absence of a clear mission statement and fueled largely by the monetary glimmers of the sequel game (the film's opening number admits this outright), has fewer marks readily available to hit. Landing in the ambiguity between the classic Muppet adventure formula and Segel's post-modern Henson appreciation party, Most Wanted feels like a failure on both counts. It doesn't know which kind of movie it wants to, or should, be. So it doesn't really be anything.
On the one hand, there's the half-cocked "get-the-band-back-together" through line, mimicking but not quite accomplishing the spirit of the 2011 picture. None of the Muppets are particularly likable or charming in this turn, and even fewer of them actually given anything to do. Kermit loses his s**t in the first act after a spat with Piggy and a barrage of insubordination from his troupe (provoked by the nefarious Dominic Badguy, Ricky Gervais), storms off in a huff, and gets swept up in a case of mistaken identity when his criminal doppelganger Constantine pulls the old switcheroo, landing Kermit in a Russian gulag. You'd think this would be a good opportunity for the second tier of Muppet favorites — Piggy, Fozzy, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, et al — to go on a search and rescue... but save for a very brief sequence at the tail end of this achingly long film, none of the other Muppets are giving anything to do. They just hem and haw and perform the occasional "Indoor Running of the Bulls" while Dominic and Constantine scheme, rob banks, and bicker.
Meanwhile, Kermit has some fun in prison — a far more endearing plot that sees him befriending the merry convicts, organizing a penitentiary revue, and even winning the heart of the vicious warden Nadia (Tina Fey). If only we could spend more time with real Kermit and less time with fake Kermit and his second banana Gervais, an effectively boring pair.
On the other hand, though, there's the Muppet shtick that fans of The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island — and yes, The Muppet Show itself — will deem the movie's best material: CIA Agent Sam Eagle and Interpol Agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) hot on the trail of Constantine and Dominic. Here, we get a different type of Muppet movie entirely from what Segel and the A-plot in Most Wanted are opting: the old fashioned vaudeville act, with Sam standing as an independent entity from his googly-eyed brethren, on a goofy, musical prowl with Burrell that fuels the film with its best and most consistent chuckles. Their "Interrogation Song" number is outstanding, exemplifying the many talents of Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie, who wrote all the music for this and the previous film.
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Unfortunately, Muppets Most Wanted isn't sure that it wants to be The Great Muppet Caper, beheld so stubbornly to its Segelian roots. There's a palpable compulsion to stick with this agonizingly self-aware, nostalgia-crazy, brimming-beacons-of-the-past-in-a-callous-today theme that doesn't work a fraction as well as it did in the 2011 film. Without a legitimate celebration of any of our favorite characters, how could it? With so much going on in this movie, and such a lengthy runtime at just under two hours, it's a sure sign of failure that we walk away feeling like we spent barely any time with the Muppets.
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During this time of year, guys everywhere start putting on their thinking caps to come up with romantic ideas to impress a woman, whether it's someone that he's just met or the person he's been married to for 20 years.
While many men struggle with the intricacies of romance, the dudes of television have a whole team of writers helping them figure things out. Thanks to those scribes, a little television watching can provide a steady stream of lessons that will help even the most clueless guy navigate the wild waters that Nathan Fillion's Rick Castle and John Krasinski's Jim Halpert have already traversed.
Let Your Partners Be Themselves (and Make a Big Deal of Their Birthdays)When your significant other is the person that the term "adorkable" was coined for, a certain amount of quirkiness is to be expected… but even if you're not dating Jess from New Girl, you have to let your lover be her or himself. Jake Johnson's Nick has grown to love Zooey Deschanel's alter ego because of her individuality. Even when he doesn’t understand what's going on entirely, he tries. After learning that Jess has always been disappointed by her big birthday expectations, Nick didn't just plan a surprise party… he rented a theater and made a movie to honor his girl. Sometimes you have to go big or go home.
Be Patient and Maybe Eventually Your Partner Will Do SomethingAfter Castle bided his time for four seasons, it was finally Beckett (Stana Katic) that made the move after she had a near death experience. Television history is littered with similar examples. Most of our favorite TV fellows have difficulty reading romantic signals — when in doubt, stand there and look stupid long enough and sooner or later they'll tell you what to do (or just do it themselves).
Don't Let Your Partner's Intellectual Superiority Intimidate YouOn Bones, David Boreanaz's Special Agent Booth is a highly accomplished FBI operative. He's a man's man and quite good looking to boot. Even with all of that, however, there's no getting around the fact that he's in love with someone who is smarter than he is. Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel) is too brilliant for anyone to compete with… so Booth doesn't try. He appreciates the fact that Bones is intelligent. Instead of trying to match intellects or stressing out about it, he just tries to get her to like pie. Lesson? Pick battles you might have a chance to win.
Bring Your Partner Coffee (or Some Sort of Beverage)Castle always brings Beckett coffee in the morning. Sometimes he makes her coffee. They rarely show Beckett actually drinking the coffee. For all we know she prefers tea, but Castle brings her coffee every day because it makes her smile. If you find something that makes your partner smile every day, then you keep doing it.
"You Know Nothing" Can Still Mean "I Like You"Everyone knows that adolescents sometimes act poorly towards each other in order to mask other feelings. On Game of Thrones, Rose Leslie's Ygritte's catch phrase is "You know nothing, Jon Snow." Of course, then she saved his life and seduced him. So, even in adulthood, if someone is tormenting and mocking you, it doesn't mean that she or he doesn't dig you.
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Right now, Richard Castle and and Kate Beckett are engaged to be married on Castle. They are planning their wedding while also solving crimes and getting into precarious situations. The biggest unsolved mystery seems to be whether these two will actually make it to the altar. Will everyone's hopes be dashed once again? By this point, fans have had the football yanked away about 800 times. The show has teased, taunted, prodded, and practically kicked up with innuendo only to back up each time and now that they have finally united them. But sadly, I'm afraid we might see them split once more. Here's three possibilities:
1) Beckett Puts Up Her Walls Again
I know that she's sworn up and down that she's going to stop with the whole "secrets" thing with Castle, but the woman laid down more bricks than the Great Wall of China. There's going to be another time when she shuts her feelings down. I just hope that it's not the day of the wedding, or someday close to it. But there will undoubtedly be some drama up ahead.
2) Castle Does Something Really, Really Dumb
In the Castle universe, Beckett closes off her feelings and Castle acts too quickly on them, often doing impulsive things without bothering to check how it might impact others. That's trouble enough if you're single. If you're married or engaged, even worse. Let's just hope that several decades from now, he isn't hosting his own talk show and seeking wife No. 10. I could see him doing something so dumb that it goes way beyond the mere eye-rolling reaction and stern talking-to that it usually elicits. So yeah, it would stink if the wedding was called off because of that.
3) Something Bad Happens to Alexis or Martha
So far, the engagement has withstood Castle's daughter being kidnapped half a world away, but if there were something more... final to happen to either Alexis or Martha, it'd be hard for the wedding to move forward. Never mind the wedding! If either character were to exit permanently, the show itself would really suffer, since both of them serve to also ground Castle and give him perspective in any of his own troubles. Were this to happen, I think it would be fatal for the show itself.
Greendale Community College is getting a visit from a familiar browncoat. According to Deadline, Castle and Firefly star Nathan Fillion is slated to guest star in the upcoming season of Community. Fillion will play Bob Waite, a politically savvy head custodian who battles Annie (Alison Brie) and Professor Hickey (fellow guest star Jonathan Banks) for Greendale supremacy.
Community's brand of topsy turvy meta plots make for the perfect venue for Fillion's geeky IMDB profile. We never knew we wanted a Firefly-inspired paintball episode so completely until we heard that Mal Reynolds would be taking a couple extra-curriculars in his spare time.
Fillion is actually a huge fan of the show. The actor visited the set last year and spent time hanging out with the cast. Fillion's guest role follows the news that Jonathan Banks (star of the recently wrapped up Breaking Bad), will be appearing as a guest star as well. Hopefully, these two actors attract the attention of their previous show's fan bases and increase Community's paltry ratings.
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It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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Turning off the music, closing the curtains, hanging up the tutu... whichever metaphorical phrase for cancelation is most contextually appropriate, that's what ABC Family has done to Bunheads. The ballet-themed drama has been pulled from the Disney-owned network's lineup after only one season, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Bunheads concluded its first and only season, consisting of 18 episodes, in February. Despite meager ratings, the show garnered a great deal of positive critical attention, and a cult fan base in the dancing community. However, the Sutton Foster-led series was not given a chance to expand audiences in future seasons.
The program has earned a Gracie Award and a Critics Choice Television Award, as well as a handful of nominations.
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Nathan Fillion decided to take a sick day on Friday. Well, he wasn't actually sick...and he didn't tell anyone he wasn't coming in. So, he actually just flat-out skipped work... and in effect shut down production of Castle for the day.
Fillion, who portrays the crime novelist Richard Castle on the hit ABC show, is currently disputing his contract with ABC Studios. According to Deadline, the 42-year-old star of the show craves a shorter, four-day workweek on Castle. The actor sure made it clear that he's not okay with working a full week's worth when he failed to pop into work on Friday, July 21.
But Castle lovers, fear not! Production is back on track once more. Although he bailed on Friday, ABC reps say that the crime drama series has resumed to shoot this week, and Filion decided to show up this time. Phew! Follow Cori on Twitter @gimmegimmeCOR Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
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Do you ever feel like there just aren't enough movies about Greek demigods searching for the mythical Golden Fleece in the Bermuda Triangle? Never fear — Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is here!
The new trailer for the film, which opens August 7, hit the Internet today, and it appears to have everything. There's a giant mechanical bull bent on destruction, a taxi that materializes from smoke and can split itself in two, and, of course, a myriad of frightening creatures that pop up out of the ocean.
Oh, and did I mention Nathan Fillion is in it? He plays Hermes, the messenger god, and he wears a really nice suit. So even if nothing else in this trailer appeals to you, that should.
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Be honest: Throughout the entire Castle Season 5 finale, you thought your favorite TV couple, crime novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and his police detective girlfriend Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), were headed for an epic, messy, heart-wrenching breakup. When Beckett got a life-changing job offer in Washington, D.C., the New York-based couple couldn't possibly make it through. But the final two minutes of the episode changed everything — in a good way.
Castle had been mad that Beckett kept her good news a secret, causing him to completely reassess their relationship. Although it was a long time coming, once the pair got together in the Season 4 finale, it was pretty easy going. Keeping their relationship secret was their only major issue. We couldn't possibly go through an entire season of bliss, could we?
In the final moments of the episode, Beckett and Castle had their fateful conversation. He was upset she still kept so many secrets from him, but he'd accepted that personality quirk. "It's who you are. You don't let people in. They have to scratch and claw at every inch," he said. "We both deserve more."
But — fooled ya! It wasn't that he wanted to break up, it was that he wanted to commit forever. Castle got down on one knee and proposed, and the screen went black as he held up a shiny diamond ring. Castle and Beckett ENGAGED?!
Of course, we'll have to wait until Season 6 premieres in the fall to find out her answer, but there's no way she'll turn him down. As far as cliffhangers go, this one's thrilling but not the most suspenseful. She's got to say yes, right?
Were you shocked at Castle's proposal? Did you think Caskett were gonna break up? Do you think there's any way she'll say anything but yes?
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In the promo for Castle's Season 5 finale, our favorite quirky crime-solving writer Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) utters some potentially devastating words to his police detective girlfriend: "You take this job, that's the end of our relationship," he tells her. Could their four-seasons-in-the-making relationship be on the rocks?
Well, yes — if Det. Beckett (Stana Katic) takes the Department of Justice job that would force her to relocate from New York City to Washington, D.C. But that statement isn't a threat or an ultimatum, says Molly Quinn, who plays Rick's daughter Alexis.
"He’s not just saying 'You’re not allowed to get another job,'" Quinn tells Hollywood.com. "It's more like, 'If you take this job then how can we still be together? Because I’ll be here, you’ll be there, and you’ll be so busy.' It’s not an empty threat. It’s not even a threat — it’s just a fact."
Ultimately, Castle doesn't want to break up with the love of his life — he's just upset she's being so secretive around him. "Castle wants the best for Beckett, but he wants to be told about it," Quinn says. "He’s not a fan of secrecy, and he shouldn’t be. When you’re in a committed relationship with someone, you’re expected to share, for instance, an interview for a job out of state."
Looking at it from Beckett's point of view, the internal struggle makes sense. "She’s torn," Quinn says. "Should I further my career, or do I stay where I am where I’m still doing great work and also get to have this great relationship with this amazing man?"
While we don't know for sure what Castle or Beckett will choose, Quinn says that this job offer situation is the wrench thrown in the Caskett relationship, and "by the end of the episode, you will be biting your nails."
The Castle Season 5 finale, "Watershed," airs Monday, May 13 at 10 PM ET/PT on ABC.
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