In Hollywood, it’s not uncommon for the stars to meet on set and fall in love. Usually, it’s the leading man making the leading lady swoon. But actors and actresses aren’t the only ones who wind up together. Sometimes, it’s the director who gets the girl.
Kate Beckinsale and Len Wiseman
Getty Images/Kevin Mazur
Prior to her marriage, Beckinsale had been in a relationship with actor Michael Sheen for 8 years. But on the set of Underworld in 2003, she fell for her then-married director, Wiseman. The following year they were married. All parties involved, except Wiseman’s first wife, have said there was no infidelity. The couple have remained friends with Sheen, who starred alongside Beckinsale in Underworld. Aside from that franchise, Wiseman has also cast Beckinsale in his film, Total Recall.
Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann
Getty Images/Rich Polk
These two met on the set of the 1996 comedy film, The Cable Guy, which Apatow was producing. Since their 1997 marriage, Apatow has cast his wife in: The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Drillbit Taylor, Funny People, and This Is 40. Not only has his spouse appeared in his films, but their two daughters, Maude and Iris, have made it into a few films as Mann’s on-screen children.
Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson
Getty Images/Jun Sato
This couple met on the set of Jovovich’s most popular film, Resident Evil, in 2002 which Anderson was the director and producer for. The two dated first then had a child in 2007, before getting married in 2009, all while continuing to work on the franchise that brought them together. Anderson isn’t the first director Jovovich has wed. In 1997 she married her The Fifth Element director, Luc Besson, but divorced him two years later.
Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg
This Texas-born actress met Spielberg when she was cast as the female lead in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, in 1984. The two married in 1991, after Spielberg’s controversial and costly divorce from his first wife, Amy Irving.
Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton
WENN/Adriana M. Barraza
The pair first connected during filming Planet of the Apes in 2001. While they’ve never actually gotten married, they’ve been a couple for the last 13 years and have 2 children together. Burton is not shy from having his partner in his films; Carter has appeared in: Big Fish, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland, and Dark Shadows.
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.
Trekkies were faced with breaking off cold turkey from their Star Trek jones with Voyager's season finale (syndication of the four series notwithstanding) until UPN announced that it would carry this fall Enterprise, the fifth serial based on the 1960s original.
And everyone exhaled.
UPN announced May 17 that Enterprise would launch earlier than most other serials, sometime in mid-September, limiting fans' downtime to a mere 12 weeks or so.
Enterprise's debut episode will be a two-hour premiere, which UPN entertainment chief Tom Nunan said would be preceded with "one of the [network's] largest marketing campaigns ever."
To be clear, it's just called Enterprise, not Star Trek: Enterprise, though what the difference would be, no one is quite sure.
"Paramount felt it was no longer necessary. Enterprise is synonymous with Star Trek," UPN president Dean Valentine told reporters.
Eschewing comparisons to the three prior spin-offs, it has been confirmed that this is a prequel to the original series. The tagline for Enterprise is: "The Final Frontier Has A New Beginning."
Enterprise is set in the 22nd century, 150 years before the legendary Capt. James T. Kirk appears on the scene. Featuring Quantum Leap's Scott Bakula as Capt. Jonathan Archer, who commands one of Earth's first starships, it is a time when humanity isn't quite used to the new technology they've created or the new life forms they've encountered.
Rick Berman, who has become the keeper of the Star Trek flame since the 1991 death of series founder Gene Roddenberry, promised that Enterprise will return to Star Trek's fundamentals and Roddenberry's vision of a hopeful future.
With a multiethnic, international ensemble cast (to tap into the international enthusiasm), the Enterprise's crew is rounded out as follows: John Billingsley (Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles) as Dr. Phlox, the ship's medical officer; Jolene Blalock (TV's Jason and the Argonauts) as the vixen Vulcan first officer T'Pol; Dominic Keating (Jungle2Jungle) as weapons man Malcolm Reed; Anthony Montgomery as the navigator Travis Mayweather; Linda Park as communications officer Hoshi Sato; and Connor Trinneer (HBO's 61*) as the engineer Charlie Tucker.
"Appropriately, the crew of Enterprise exhibits a sense of wonder as well as a little trepidation about the strange things and beings they will encounter. Being among the first to explore deep space, they will have to prove they are ready for life among the stars," Nunan said.
The Vulcans are still a fresh new face to humans, and despite their help in advancing interstellar travel, are still not completely trusted by the Earthlings. The Vulcans, for their part, don't think the humans are quite ready to meet new races.
"What's important about Enterprise is ... interplanetary space travel is a fairly new thing in this era," said Marvin V. Rush, director of photography on the new show. "Warp drive has been around for a while, but not very long. Transporter technology is also fairly new, and while it's proven, not everybody in the world trusts it."
It's also a time of great upheaval in the galaxy, which leads to the formation of the Federation.
Cinescape reports on its Web site that the Enterprise pilot will be titled Broken Bow. A Klingon's ship crashes on Earth--the first contact between humans and Klingons--but something goes awry as Earth tries to get him home, resulting in the start of Klingon-human tensions.
The Web site also states that the Klingons will have bumpy foreheads, as they have since Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first spin-off, but contrary to the original series. Gene Roddenberry was quoted prior to his passing that Klingons "were always intended to look that way, we just didn't have the budget for it back in the '60s."
StarTrek.com, the official Enterprise Web site, posted what the new series will bring to fans.
"The combination of science fiction, action/adventure and compelling stories of collective bravery and individual heroism remains true to the spirit of one of television's formidable brands," according to the Web site.
"[The] saga continues to explore human and alien behavior as well as brand new worlds. As with each incarnation of the franchise, Enterprise pushes the edge of the visual envelope with the kind of state of the art special effects that have made Star Trek a global phenomenon."
William Shatner, who played Capt. Kirk in the original series, is quoted on Star Trek über-site Trek Today as saying: "There is something in the formula of the franchise that seems to work and it will work again [for] Scott Bakula and Enterprise."
Enterprise will inherit Voyager's 8 p.m. Wednesday slot on UPN's schedule.
"You all are witness to a show that guarantees instant attention, recognition, anticipation and most importantly, success," Nunan told a gathering of advertisers and affiliate representatives.
"Star Trek is the most popular science fiction franchise in the world."