It's hard to believe that this season series of American Horror Story is coming to an end, but alas, it's time to say goodbye to Sistah Jude, Kit Walker, Bloody Face 2.0, and, of course, Ms. Lana Banana. During last week's episode, 2 out of 3 of our protagonists were facing dire circumstances (again): Jude was left in a cell to rot, and Kit lost both (!) of his axe-loving wives. And while it may have seemed impossible during the beginning of the series to wrap up all of its insane plot lines (demons! Nazis! Aliens! Psycho Killers!), Hollywood.com has screened the appropriately titled episode, "Madness Ends," and can confirm that it does so, wonderfully. We won't ruin anything, but for those who are a fan of teases, here are six things to expect during tonight's finale: [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Four Major Characters Bite the Dust: However, don't assume that this is necessarily a bad thing. Some get beautiful endings, while others — well, you'll see. Just desserts, and all.
Lana Banana is Essentially Barbara Walters: You will see a modern-day Lana B., and she's one of the most influential interviewers in her field. One of these things is true: A. She knows Bono, B. She scored the first major interview with Lance Armstrong after his doping scandal.
You'll Get One More Horrific Sequence in Briarcliff: Everyone we know (minus Jude) has left the hellish nightmare that served as the setting (and, arguably, as a major character) of this series, but tonight you'll get a look at the final, shocking exposé that got the whole thing shut down. Somehow, the state of Massachusetts managed to make it worse than when it was run by a Nazi doctor and the Devil.
'The Tape' Will Return: Remember that confession from Bloody Face 1.0 that Lana took with her when she left Briarcliff, the second time? It's back, and deadlier than ever.
Many Deceased Major Characters Return: You'll see flashbacks from Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan-Tatum's ill-fated honeymoon, as well as glimpses of Chloë Sevigny and a few other unlucky folks who may or may not be avenged.
The Alien Plot is Not Really Settled: It's not a huge complaint since the episode was beautiful, but don't expect a tell-all on the little green men. We're still pretty confused as to why they wanted Kit to raise their babies. (The kids are really, really cute, though.)
Watch AHS tonight at 10PM ET/PT on FX, or face a lashing from Sistah Jude.
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[PHOTO CREDIT: Byron Cohen/FX ]
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Miss America Pageant Finds Its Hosts: The 2013 Miss America Pageant will once again be hosted by Bachelor great Chris Harrison and Dancing With The Stars goddess Brooke Burke-Charvet. ABC has announced via release that the show will air on Jan. 12, 2013, from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, as long as the world doesn't end first. Which would be awful, because then we wouldn't get to have another Miss America Pageant. [Zap2It]
Cinemax Original Programming Strikes Back: Original programming is so all the rage these days! Just ask Cinemax, who renewed their flagship original drama, Strike Back, for a third season today. This news comes two weeks before the debut of their second original primetime drama, Hunted, which will be followed by Banshee in 2013. Strike Back, which focuses on a special counterterrorism unit, will air ten new episodes in 2013. [Deadline]
Julia Roberts Turns Shrew for ABC: Legendary Hollywood starlet Julia Roberts will (kind of) bring Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew to ABC, via a sitcom of the same name that otherwise has nothing to do with the play. Roberts' Red Om Films has partnered with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas of 3 Arts and ABC Studios to produce the half-hour workplace comedy, which will focus on a horrible boss and her employees. [Hollywood Reporter]
Big Trouble in Little Parenthood: Californication star slash Louie producer (slash rumored Louis C.K. girlfriend) Pamela Adlon is about to seriously shake things up on Parenthood. Adlon will recur as Marlana, a wealthy and seriously pissed off neighbor to Adam and Crosby's Luncheonette recording studio. She'll eventually file a noise complaint with the city, but hopefully the Braverman feel-good love will eventually thaw her icy hard heart. [TVLine]
Falling Skies Gets a Glimpse of Heaven: Well, not really. The alien-invaded world of Falling Skies is still a hot dystopian mess, but at least the leader of the not-so-free world will make an appearance in Season 3. Seventh Heaven vet Stephen Collins will guest as Benjamin Hathaway, a now combat-ready leader who wants to meet Noah Wyle's Tom for some tips on how to beat the bad guys. [TVGuide.com]
The Captain Hooks a Full-Time Role: ABC's fairy tale smash Once Upon a Time is officially enchanted by Colin O’Donoghue. O'Donoghue was originally set to recur throughout the season, but now he'll be an official series regular for the season’s back nine episodes, despite the fact that his character's — Captain Hook — first appearance hasn't even aired yet. He'll make his grand debut on Oct. 21, in an episode appropriately titled "The Crocodile." He's pretty steamy, so this decision shouldn't be a huge surprise for fans of the show, who have already seen a plethora of pretty new faces via last week's premiere. [EW]
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[PHOTO CREDIT: ABC]
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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.