Against our better judgment and emotional well-being, we became very attached to the characters on Game of Thrones. While no one is safe in the cast and characters get killed off without a second thought, it's reassuring to know these actors get to "live on" in other roles. With a cast made up of largely European and lesser-known actors, it's exciting to see the show take off and propel the careers of these talented and easy-on-the eyes thespians. So until season four returns next March or April, here's where you can find the past and present citizens of Westeros in the meantime.
When he's not strutting the Emmys red carpet, or entrancing children and adults alike on Sesame Street, Peter Dinklage a.k.a Tyrion Lannister will don armor once again in the Knights of Badassdom. The horror comedy film about LARPing (live action role play) was put on the backburner since 2010 but is slated for theatrical release this year. Dinklage will be joined by fellow LARP-enthusiasts Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) and the consistenly funny Steve Zahn. Dinklage will also make an appearance in the next X-Men installment, Days of Future Past, the dramedy The Angriest Man in Brooklyn starring Robin Williams and Mila Kunis and will reunite with his GOT onscreen sister, Lena Headey in the upcoming biopic, Low Down, about the famous jazz pianist Joe Albany.
It's been a rough year for Jon Snow, with half his family dead and his ginger girlfriend going postal on his ass and shooting him in the back with arrows. But for Kit Harrington, things are shaping up quite nicely with two new movies in the bag — one involves dragons and Julianne Moore (The Seventh Son) while the other features some rock hard abs and a loose interpretation of history (Pompeii) — a winning formula Hollywood can't resist.
While our favorite Skins star doesn't nab too much screen time on GOT, her character Gilly will have more a story arc next season now that she left the clutches of the incestuous commune of Craster's Keep. In the meantime, Murray can continue to play manic pixie dream girls in the upcoming musical film, God Help the Girl, written and directed by Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch about a group of kids making music in Glasgow. Here's a trailer of her other film, Lily & Kat, featuring Murray being the free-spirited wisp she's so good at.
As the dashing-boy prince Robb Stark, Richard Madden made his GOT exit in one of the most gruesome death scenes in television history. Poor Robb, we hardly knew ya. But lucky for us, Madden hasn't completely abandoned the world of period pieces and fantasy fiction. He skipped the Emmys red carpet to play Prince Charming in the upcoming Cinderella film directed by Kenneth Branagh. Before he charms the glass slipper off of Lily James, he’ll seduce a wealthy married woman in pre-World War I England, played by the impecable Rebecca Hall in the film A Promise.
After burning her enemies to death and taking names, the mother of dragons, played by Emilia Clarke can abandon the blond extensions and form fitting medieval wear for a more natural look. She'll appear in the much buzzed about comedic gangster film, Don Hemingway, starring Jude Law. While we would have pegged her as a love interest, she'll actually be playing the daughter who he tries to repair his relationship with. Let's hope Clarke acting isn't CGI-dependent.
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Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.
A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.
The spy games continue as yet more CIA operatives attempt to keep a nuclear bomb out of the hands of Uncle Sam-hating international terrorists.
Whereas last week's The Sum of All Fears depicted the threat of nuclear annihilation with grave solemnity, producer Jerry Bruckheimer's Bad Company plays it for laughs. Sort of.
Ticket scalper Chris Rock finds himself dodging bullets when his twin brother, a CIA agent, is killed in the line of duty. With Anthony Hopkins by his side, Rock assumes his twin brother's cover in order to retrieve a stolen nuclear bomb.
As with the satirical but equally unsatisfying Big Trouble, Bad Company was delayed last year in the wake of the tragic events of Sept. 11. Unlike Big Trouble, which bombed in April with a total $7.1 million, Bad Company should enjoy a strong debut on the strength of its unusual casting. Bruckheimer loves to launch his big, loud and vacuous action yarns in early June, with 1996's The Rock ($25.1 million opening, $134 million total), 1997's Con Air ($24.1 million opening; $101.1 million total) and 2000's Gone In 60 Seconds ($25.3 million opening, $101.6 million total) all becoming major summer draws.
Bad Company might open with $25 million, but it's unlikely reach the heights of The Rock, Con Air and Gone In 60 Seconds. Under Joel Schumacher's labored direction, Bad Company is neither exciting nor particularly witty. It's also a rather drab affair, which comes as a surprise considering Schumacher put the camp back into Batman. Hopkins looks bored and unenthusiastic about working with Rock. The comic throws out the occasional humorous remark, but he looks as uncomfortable holding a gun in Bad Company as he did in Lethal Weapon 4. Expect Bad Company to hit $60 million.
Accordingly, if bad word of mouth starts to spread, audiences might forsake Bad Company for the adrenaline rush of The Sum of All Fears or the out-and-out farce of Undercover Brother. It also doesn't help that next week sees the release of another spy-themed thriller, The Bourne Identity.
The Sum of All Fears should withstand Bad Company's arrival admirably. The Jack Ryan franchise clearly survived Ben Affleck replacing Harrison Ford as Tom Clancy's harried CIA analyst. The fourth Ryan film opened with a series-best $31.1 million. With $40.3 million through Wednesday, The Sum of All Fears will surpass the disappointing Patriot Games ($18.5 opening, $83.2 million total) with ease. It will likely fall short of Clear and Present Danger ($20.3 million opening, $122 million total) or The Hunt for Red October ($17.1 million opening, $120.7 million total) because of rivals Bad Company and The Bourne Identity.
Undercover Brother should continue to palate audiences eagerly awaiting Austin Powers in Goldmember. Eddie Griffin's spy spoof opened with a cool $12 million--better than Double Take ($11.7 million) and The New Guy ($9 million)--and has $15.2 million through Wednesday. Not even The Man can stop Undercover Brother from exceeding Double Take's $29.8 million total by at least $10 million.
To counterbalance the testosterone now overrunning movie theaters, Thelma & Louise screenwriter Callie Khouri unveils her directorial debut, the decidedly feminine Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
Based on the 1996 novel by Rebecca Wells, this tale of Southern belles stars Sandra Bullock as a playwright trying to cope with her eccentric mother (Ellen Burstyn), who is a key member of a circle of friends know as the Ya-Yas. Bullock's A Time to Kill co-star Ashley Judd plays the mother during flashbacks to the 1930s and 1940s.
Women apathetic to international espionage, superheroes and Jedi Knights should flock en masse to Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. So-called "chick flicks" tend to do well in the summer as an alternative to blockbusters bursting with shootouts, car chases and earthshaking explosions. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood should easily fall somewhere between the grosses of such similar summer offerings as Bullock's Hope Floats ($14.2 opening, $60.1 million total) and the Khouri-scripted Something to Talk About ($11.1 million opening, $50.8 million total).
Without the presence of a strong leading man to lure even so much as a marginal male audience, though, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood won't duplicate the success of other summer romances as Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer ($75.3 million) or Clint Eastwood's The Bridges of Madison County ($71.5 million).
Still, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood should see Judd and Bullock regain their box office luster following the recent disappointing performances of their respective thrillers, High Crimes ($40.9 million through Sunday) and Murder by Numbers ($31.2 million through Sunday).
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood also hits theaters at a time when Diane Lane's Unfaithful, Hugh Grant's About a Boy and Jennifer Lopez's Enough are falling out of favor.
Unfaithful was always destined to lose steam once it faced the likes of Insomnia and Enough. With $46.7 million through Wednesday, the sexually charged thriller does represent Richard Gere's biggest hit--minus his Runaway Bride reunion with Pretty Woman co-star Julia Roberts--since 1997's The Jackal ($54.9 million). Unfaithful also may finally establish Lane as a viable box office prospect after such howlers as Hardball and The Glass House.
With $29.3 million through Wednesday, About a Boy looks set to become the least seen of such Grant-headlined, British-set comedies as Notting Hill ($116 million), Bridget Jones's Diary ($71.5 million) and Four Weddings and a Funeral ($52.7 million). Perhaps it has something to with the lack of an American female co-star?
Enough's quick fade--$29.3 million through Wednesday--suggests that the novelty of watching women kick butt in the movies, especially ones that rip off Julia Roberts' Sleeping with the Enemy, is wearing off fast. Lopez should have better luck when she returns at Christmas with the romantic comedy The Chambermaid.
The Force isn't quite with Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.
The fifth in George Lucas' space epic earned slightly better reviews than the maligned The Phantom Menace, but it's lagging behind its predecessor at the box office. Attack of the Clones dropped a worrying 56 percent in its third weekend, from $47.8 million to $21 million, vs. The Phantom Menace 36 percent drop, from $51.3 million to $32.8 million. Indeed, The Phantom Menace made $25.6 million in its fourth weekend.
Through Wednesday, its 21st day in release, Attack of the Clones has $238.9 million. The Phantom Menace amassed $263.6 million during the same period.
Attack of the Clones' troubling descent can be contributed to, among other factors, Spider-Man. The superhero supplanted Jurassic Park ($357 million) on Wednesday as the fifth highest-grossing film domestically by grossing a total $358.5 million. No film has made more money since, ironically, The Phantom Menace earned $431 million in 1999.
The Phantom Menace did not face similar competition early into its run. The anticipation surrounding the first Star Wars film in 16 years also enabled The Phantom Menace to overcome its overwhelmingly negative reviews.
At this rate, Attack of the Clones should wind up with a total somewhere between Return of the Jedi's $309.2 million and The Empire Strikes Back's $290.2 million. But barely breaking $300 million--and not earning more than the first installments in the Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings sagas--must come as a disappointment for Lucas after The Phantom Menace's stellar showing.
Americanizing European thrillers rarely works. Something obviously got lost in the translation when it came to Point of No Return ($30 million), The Vanishing ($14.5 million) and Nightwatch ($1.1 million).
Not so with Insomnia, Memento director Christopher Nolan's chilling version of the clever Norwegian thriller of the same name. With $44.8 million through Wednesday, the Alaskan-set thriller is obviously benefiting from its intriguing cat-and-mouse game between fatigued cop Al Pacino and scheming killer Robin Williams. Pacino looks set to enjoy another moderate success on the scale of Devil's Advocate ($61 million). Williams could revive his flagging fortunes following such disappointments as Bicentennial Man ($58.2 million), Death to Smoochy ($8.3 million) and Jakob the Liar ($4.9 million).
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, which opened during the Memorial Day holiday, is further evidence that the days when traditional animation offerings ruled the box office are long gone. Spirit's $42.7 million total through Wednesday barely matches the opening weekend hauls of such CGI sensations as Ice Age ($46.3 million) and Shrek ($42.3 million). Spirit should gallop to about $60 million.
Indifferent reviews did not harm The Importance of Being Earnest. This star-studded adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play has made $1.4 million through Sunday at a maximum 147 theaters.
Also in limited release, My Big Fat Greek Wedding remains a well-attended affair. Now in its seventh week, the romantic comedy has $8.8 million. Y Tu Mama Tambien and Monsoon Wedding continue their extraordinary runs with, respectively, $11.5 million and $11.4 million through Sunday.
The code-breaking machinations of Enigma, though, isn't proving to be much of a thrill. The World War II drama starring Dougray Scott and Kate Winslet has a paltry $2 million after seven weeks. Coupled with the recent dismissal of Charlotte Gray, Enigma demonstrates that American audiences currently have little interest in World War II as seen through the eyes of the British.