Relativity Media via Everett Collection
Friday night means date night and we've got the movie to watch. The Lazarus Effect is a movie about a group of medical students who discover a way to bring dead patients back to life. Freaky!
The Lazarus Effect follows a group of researchers led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe (Olivia Wilde,) who've achieved the unimaginable- bringing the dead back to life. After a successful, yet unsanctioned, trial on a newly deceased animal, the team is ready to unveil their breakthrough to the world. When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is unexpectedly shut down and their materials confiscated. Frank, Zoe and their team (Donald Glover, Sarah Bolger and Evan Peters) take matters into their own hands, launching a rogue attempt to recreate their experiment, during which things go terribly wrong and one of their own, Zoe, is horrifically killed. Fueled by terror and grief, Frank pushes them to do the unthinkable: attempt to resurrect their first human test subject. Initially, the procedure appears a success, but the team soon realizes something is wrong with Zoe. They are no longer faced with the question of whether they can bring someone back to life- but rather, the wrath of her return. #EvilWillRise
1. Olivia Wilde kills it as the newest horror movie babe:
2. The cast is a stellar group of actors who can all master being serious and funny (oh, and terrified out of their minds):
3. It's not an overused plot of demons/zombies/etc. It's something newer and exciting:
4. It will scare the pants right off of you:
5. And obviously, Evan Peters is the hunkiest date for a date night movie:
To add onto the perfect date night, we've got a giveaway to match - here's how to enter:
1. Follow @hollywood_com
RT & Follow us for a chance to win a gift card & movie merchandise for the #LazarusEffectGiveaway #EvilWillRise http://t.co/hhr2KYbxox
— HOLLYWOOD.COM (@Hollywood_com) February 26, 2015
This prize packs includes:
- $25 gift card- Hoodie- Flashlight- Syringe Pen- Mini Poster
The Lazarus Effect is in theaters Friday February 27, 2015. Only one winner will be chosen. You must be a U.S. resident to enter. This prize pack's approximate value is $50.00.
Hugh Jackman, Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kelly Osbourne were among the stars who mourned the death of legendary comedienne Joan Rivers at her funeral in New York on Sunday (07Sep14). Record mogul Clive Davis, actors Matthew Broderick, Rosie O'Donnell, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth and Bernadette Peters, funnywoman Kathy Griffin, fashion designers Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors, property mogul Donald Trump and newswomen Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer also turned out to pay their final respects to Rivers, who was remembered in a private ceremony at the Temple Emanu-El synagogue, where she was a member.
Hundreds of fans lined the streets outside the temple as inside, U.S. shockjock Howard Stern delivered a touching eulogy to the comedic icon, crediting her with fighting "the stereotype that women couldn't be funny".
He even managed to raise a few laughs from guests by quipping, "(Rivers was) the best friend in the world... a big sister... a crazy aunt at a bar mitzvah."
Broadway star Audra McDonald performed Nat King Cole classic Smile, before additional tributes from news anchor Deborah Norville, New York Post columnist Cindy Adams and Rivers' only child, daughter Melissa, who thanked everyone for their condolences, saying, "We are humbled."
X-Men star Hugh Jackman helped to bring the ceremony to a close, honouring Rivers' memory with a rendition of Peter Allen song, Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage, which features the repeated lyrics, "Put your hands together", while a band of bagpipe players performed as mourners filed out of the temple.
Rivers died on Thursday (04Sep14), a week after suffering a cardiac and respiratory arrest during a routine throat operation.
The exact cause of death is still under investigation after an initial autopsy proved inconclusive.
The 81 year old's body had been cremated on Saturday (06Sep14), ahead of Sunday's funeral service.
Reports suggest she will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, where fellow late icons Michael Jackson, Clark Gable and Walt Disney are also interred.
Rivers' publicist has asked for donations to be made to her favourite charities, meal delivery service God's Love, We Deliver, Guide Dogs for the Blind and California grief support centre Our House, in lieu of flowers.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Dominic Chan/ WENN
The multi-talented Donald Glover plays Troy Barnes on Community (though not for much longer), wrote for 30 Rock, and raps under the name Childish Gambino. He has recently released a short film on his Youtube channel, entitled Clapping For The Wrong Reasons.
Like his rap, it is occasionally difficult to tell whether Glover’s day-in-the-life film is tongue-in-cheek or a legitimate cry to be taken seriously. My guess is both. Some might at first find it hard to reconcile Glover’s brooding film presence with his naïve Community character. The film could easily be a Community joke, an ultra-serious flick created by film buffs Troy and Abed. But as Glover interacts with his surroundings, opening a fridge full off San Pellegrino, rapping, and crossing paths with Chance the Rapper and Boy Meets World’s Danielle Fishel, it is easy to become lost, just as Glover appears to be, in the understated beauty of the film. It’s clear that he’s not joking around.
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What do Greendale Community College and comic books have in common? The newest castmembers of Lionsgate's upcoming medical thriller, Reawakening.
Donald Glover, star of NBC's Community, and Evan Peters of Kick-Ass and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past have joined the cast of a team of student researchers in the horror thriller directed by David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi). The movie, written by Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four) and Luke Dawson (Slater) follows a team of students who discover how to bring their research subjects back from the dead, resulting in dire consequences.
Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde play the other members of the team in the movie produced by Jason Blum, producer of The Purge and the upcoming Insidious Chapter 2, Paranormal Activity 5, and Jessabelle.
Will the Reawakening cast have as much chemistry as their characters do in the lab? Let's hope so!
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I’m headed to the set of Glee and The New Normal today, (Tweet me your questions: @LeanneAguilera) so I’m keeping this intro short and sweet. The week’s edition of Leanne’s Spoiler List is filled with five fantastic shows! I chatted with the lovely Megan Hilty of Smash to find out what’s next for Ivy’s love life, and gathered scoop on what’s coming up for Hannah and the gang on Girls. I also hit up the FOX all-star party to find out what’s happening for the Raising Hope wedding bells and watched future episodes of Shameless and American Horror Story: Asylum to snag some crazy spoilers. Read on for all the TV fun below!
1. Girls: Cocaine-Induced Craziness
Oh em effing gee this season of Girls is amaze. I’ve only seen then first four episodes (subtle brag intended) and I’m already counting down the days til Lena Dunham wins her next Golden Globe. This Sunday’s episode, “I Get Ideas,” is truly fantastic. It has everything you could ever need: puppies, attempted restraining orders, high-waisted shorts and the return of Missy Elliot in the world of pop culture. Donald Glover is back as Hannah’s kinda, sorta, but oh-so hot boyfriend and spoiler alert: He’s a Republican. This of course is not a quality that Elijah deems admirable, but he really doesn’t get any say in this considering he had sex with Marnie for like “two and a half pumps.” And yes, that hilarious matter will be addressed soonish. But as great as the second episode is, the third (“Bad Friend”) is quite possibly the best thirty minutes of my entire life. And I’ve lived 23 phenomenal years so far.
If you thought Shoshanna on crack was incredible, just wait until you see Hannah and Elijah’s wild cocaine-induced adventure. Warning: You will see Hannah’s lady buttons, out and proud for the majority of the episode. And it’s both distracting and entertaining. Our leading lady is looking for some writing inspiration, so she does what any early-to-mid-twenties NYC girl would do: She asks her junkie neighbor if he could hook her up with some illegal drugs. (Writer's Note: I don’t actually live in New York so I have no idea if that last statement is entirely true. Editor's Note: Totally true.) The result is a laugh-out-loud, call your best friend and tell her you love her experience that only Girls could create.
2. American Horror Story: Asylum: Time Jumps Galore!
“What the eff was that?” Those were the exact words I though to myself after I finished this week’s all-new episode of American Horror Story: Asylum. We all know that this season has been absolutely one hundred percent batshit rocking back-and-forth in a corner crazy, and tonight’s episode, “Continuum,” is just as bizarre as the rest of them. The episode is divided into four chapters through a series of fast-paced time jumps: The Kit-centric storyline is set in 1967, Jude’s (or should I say Betty Drake’s) tale takes place in 1968, and Lana’s story in 1969. The final segment is a quick capper that fast-forwards the fans to an unknown year, starring Johnny Morgan (Dylan McDermott) completely scaring the crap out of an old woman.
While all four storylines are intriguing in their own psychotic way, Kit’s journey in “Continuum” is definitely the most horrific. Last week we saw that Alma is actually alive after Kit had already proposed to Grace. Ruh Roh! So, what’s a fella to do when he loves two women and has a child with each of them? Answer: Become one big dysfunctional family living under the same roof. Plus, attention ladies: Kit spends a few key scenes in his tighty-whities! True he’s splattered with blood while he’s wearing them, but come on — we’ve seen way worse on this series. Overall, Kit’s progression throughout the episode is heart breaking, and we’re starting to get the sense that Ryan Murphy does not want to end this season on a happy note. Sigh.
3. Shameless: The Baby Whisperer
Shameless is back, and I’m going to be totally honest when I say it’s better than ever. Last week we saw that after 137 days, Frank returned to his family and was welcomed with a less than enthusiactic reponse. Well, except for Debbie. This week we see that Debbie is still over the moon to have her dysfunctional dad back in her life, but of course, leave it to Frank to break a young girl’s heart in just a few short hours. The result is one of the most hilarious and satisfying scenes we’ve ever seen on Shameless. When I caught up with William H. Macy last week, he revealed that doing that scene was a challenge. “Emma, who plays Debbie, was pretty timid at first, but once she got going she really rattled my brain. I always take quite a beating on this show.”
Also in “The American Dream,” fans will see that Sheila and Jody are doing their best to quiet down the worlds most obnoxious baby. I love this show more than most of my shoes, but I swear if they don’t find a cure for this baby’s crying, then I seriously just might have to watch it on mute. Luckily it looks like Frank is also known as the baby whisperer and he’s able to quiet the little tyke down. I’m not sure if Frank's methods are considered legal, but at least the demon baby stops crying right?
4. Raising Hope: A Modern Wedding
Confession: I’ve recently rediscovered how much I love this show. Back when I was just a little baby journalist, (Ahem, that would be a year ago) my very first interviews were with the stars of Raising Hope. Luckily the cast was sweet and did not make me cry, so I continued on with my career choice. I was on set for last year’s Valentine’s Day episode, when Sabrina finally realized that she had feelings for Jimmy. It was oh-so adorable, and now the two crazy kids are getting married! Even though I wasn’t invited to the wedding, (Um, rude.) Shannon Woodward recently told me that it’s going to be an fantastic, spoof-filled episode. “Melanie Griffith’s character, who plays Sabrina’s mother, she decides not to come to the wedding… So instead of coming to the wedding she hires the film crew from Modern Family to document Jimmy and Sabrina’s wedding.” The actress continues, “Which is basically an amazing way of saying that this episode is exactly like Modern Family — we talk to the cameras, and for one episode it’s like a completely different show.” That. Sounds. Amazing.
Obviously this is going to be the TV wedding to watch this season, (airing Jan. 29 bee tee dubs) but according to Woodward the Natesville nuptials are not going to be the main focus of the episode. “It was really fun, but there is a huge surprise that I’m not allowed to say… but I can say that it is so big that the wedding is almost the B story. You will never guess it. There’s no way you’ll guess it, but it’s worth watching.” I pried and pleaded and even complemented her cute shoes, but she would not divulge the big secret. Grrr. However, she did tell me that there are plenty of other hilarious episodes coming up before and after the wedding. First up are the bachelor and bachelorette parties in an episode called "What Happens at Howdy's Doesn't Stay at Howdy's." Woodward explains, “Something crazy does happen, and it may involve Jimmy marrying a man by accident.” There is also a honeymoon two-parter in which Jimmy and Sabrina visit Los Angeles, end up on the set of a children’s TV show, and somehow involve monkeys. Sounds like a normal vaycay to me!
5. Twitter Question: @markisawimp: Saw 1st hour of Smash s2 & LOVED it, esp the opening Marilyn no. & Jimmy's song! Any good ep2 scoop?!
Why hello there fellow Smash lover! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the first hour of our beloved musical theater drama, and for those who are yet to witness the amazingness you can watch it here. But please don’t even get me started on Jimmy’s song, I swoon, pass out and then bump my head each and every time I watch it (So far I’m up to 9 concussions but it’s so good that I just can’t stop!). Funny you should ask about scoop, because I have tons from when I stalked chatted with the Smash stars last week at the NBC TCA Press Tour party. Megan Hilty — the sweetest girl you’ll ever meet — is just as excited as the fans for the new season to start. In the second episode you’ll witness one of the most gorgeous Ivy solos you’ve ever heard, but she steps on Karen’s toes as Marilyn to be able to sing it. Hilty says that Ivy has a difficult journey ahead of her this season. “She’s forced to really look at her life and ultimately realize that she needs to make some changes, both personally and professionally.”
If you’re hoping Ivy’s personal life will include a new fella, you might have a wait a bit. “For right now, she needs to figure things out for herself first before she can be good for anybody else. Maybe she needs a plant or a dog or something.” Another key aspect of Ivy’s past will be coming back this season: her mother. That’s right: Broadway legend Bernadette Peters will reprise her role as Leigh Conroy, the fabulously fierce musical theater star. Hilty explains that their strained mother/daughter relationship is something that will definitely be addressed. “They’re also trying to mend things between them, but its difficult. They’re two very different personalities and very strong women. It’s a little tumultuous but they’re working towards it.” Be on the look out for more Smash scoop from yours truly as we get closer and closer to the premiere.
Are you excited for the season premiere of Smash? What do you think the “huge surprise” is going to be on the Raising Hope wedding? Want to party with Lena Dunham on Girls? Tell me everything in the comments below!
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The basic premise of most crime revenge dramas is how much of our humanity we're willing to trade to get back what the other people — the ostensible baddies — have taken from us. Oliver Stone returns to this familiar stomping ground with Savages a splashy adaptation of Don Winslow's novel about a unique love affair a major marijuana-dealing business and an increasingly violent pissing match between two SoCal growers and the Baja Cartel.
Stone's frenetic visual style is in full swing but even this Oscar-winning auteur can't quite raise the film from mediocrity. It's hard to care whether or not Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) rescue their gorgeous mutual girlfriend O (Blake Lively) from the cartel if O isn't engaging enough to persuade us she's worth the bloodshed. O (short for Ophelia — an allusion to her earthshaking climaxes) is not a well-written character to begin with but she's even less engaging as played by Lively. Johnson is unconvincing as the bleeding heart Ben and the details his character is given — extra earrings a shoddy-looking tattoo on his neck even white boy dreads at one point — undercut his believability even more. Kitsch is given a few prominent scars and a mean squint but he doesn't quite bring the weird slightly empty vibe of Chon to life.
On the villain side Benicio Del Toro chews every inch of scenery from Laguna Beach to Tijuana as Lado. He's rocking an intense moustache that he strokes when he's lying or being a creep (which is most of the time) a vaguely mullet-like wig and a fondness for torture. Salma Hayek takes no prisoners as the head of the cartel nicknamed Elena la Reina who is both a frustrated mom whose college-age daughter is blowing her off (aw!) and a brutally tough woman in a man's world. John Travolta definitely enjoys a bit of Pulp Fiction ridiculousness as Dennis a DEA official who's in Ben and Chon's pocket. It's hard to tell just how funny Savages is aiming to be. Lado Elena and Dennis are cartoonish but Ben Chon and O are earnest — which is to say a little bit boring.
The double- and triple-crossing is practically moot as is the wacky technology that Ben and Chon employ; it's like The Social Network meets surfers. The real meat of the movie is the flash and violence but it's not the kind of thing that stays with you like Stone's Natural Born Killers. Savages doesn't have the same lingering aftertaste. It's not that a movie needs to have some sort of message with its pointed commentary on the media's bloodlust but the gist of Savages — that we're all savages at heart or that we can easily become a savage given the right circumstances — is not that interesting or unique.
Oddly enough Savages pulls a few punches when it comes to its source material (hard to believe when the movie kicks off with a glimpse of an abattoir-like enclosure and close-ups of men begging for their lives just as a chainsaw revs in the background). Winslow's book is a quick enjoyable read with an interesting on-page style that's hard to replicate verbally. It has a sort of ADD-addled feel that the movie tries to but doesn't quite capture. While it's not always fair to compare an adaptation to the book it's based on Winslow is both the author and one of the screenplay writers so some of the choices made behind the scenes don't quite add up. Cut are significant and menacing back story for Lado and all of the zestiness out of O. Why add in certain plot points and take out others unless it was to give one of its big name stars more screen time? The most interesting part of the story the love story is treated like a wink wink homoerotic thing than an actual relationship between three people who adore each other which is how it's portrayed in the book. It's hard not to be a little disappointed especially given Stone's no-f**ks-given attitude. (Or as O would say baditude.)
That said it is a somewhat entertaining diversion and a nice tour of lifestyles of the rich and criminal. Lively is all tangled tan limbs and luxurious hippie clothes and the homes they frequent whether on Laguna Beach or a desert compound are meticulously decorated with exquisite expensive taste. Santa Muerte imagery also figures heavily in the background of many scenes. The scenery is gorgeous — even the marijuana looks amazing. It's good for adults to have another R-rated choice in what's usually a season dominated by blockbusters but in years to come you'll more likely to reach for your old True Romance DVD than Savages.
As with seemingly every other tentpole release to hit the multiplex this summer the action thriller Cowboys & Aliens is based on a comic book – albeit a lesser-known one. It’s directed by Jon Favreau whose previous comic-book adaptations Iron Man and Iron Man 2 proved how much better those films can be when they’re grounded in character. Unfortunately his latest effort is grounded not in character but a hook an alt-history scenario best expressed in the language of the average twelve-year-old: “Like wouldn’t it be awesome if like a bunch of 1870s cowboys had to fight a bunch of crazy aliens with exoskeletons and spaceships and super-advanced weapons?”
Like perhaps. The hook was compelling enough to get someone to pony up a reported $160 million to find out and the result is a film in which the western and science-fiction genres don’t so much blend as violently collide. After the wreckage is cleared both emerge worse for wear.
Daniel Craig stars as Jake Lonergan a stranger who awakens in the New Mexico Territory with a case of amnesia a wound in his side and a strange contraption strapped to his wrist. After dispatching a trio of bandits with Bourne-like efficiency he rides to the nearby town of Absolution where he stumbles on what appears to be an elaborate Western Iconography exhibit presented by the local historical preservation society. There’s the well-meaning town Sheriff Taggart (Keith Carradine) struggling to enforce order amidst lawlessness; the greedy rancher Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) who really runs things; his debaucherous cowardly son Percy (Paul Dano); the timid saloonkeeper Doc (Sam Rockwell) who’s going to stand up for himself one of these days; the humble preacher Meacham (Clancy Brown) dispensing homespun spiritual advice; et al.
Jake of course has his own part to play – the fugitive train-robber – as we discover when his face shows up on a wanted poster and a sneering Dolarhyde fingers him for the theft of his gold. The only character who doesn’t quite conform to type is Ella (Olivia Wilde) who as neither a prostitute nor some man’s wife – the traditional female occupations in westerns – immediately arouses suspicion.
Jake is arrested and ordered to stand trial in Federal court but before he can be shipped off a squadron of alien planes appears in the sky besieging Absolution and making off with several of its terrified citizenry. In the course of the melee Jake’s wrist contraption wherever it came from reveals itself to be quite useful in defense against the alien invaders. Thrown by circumstances into an uneasy alliance with Dolarhyde he helps organize a posse to counter the otherworldly threat – and bring back the abductees if possible.
Cowboys & Aliens has many of the ingredients of a solid summer blockbuster but none in sufficient amounts to rate in a summer season crowded with bigger-budget (and better-crafted) spectacle. For a film with five credited screenwriters Cowboys & Aliens’ script is sorely lacking for verve or imagination. And what happened to the Favreau of Iron Man? The playful cheekiness that made those films so much fun is all but absent in this film which takes itself much more seriously than any film called Cowboys & Aliens has a right to. Dude you’ve got men on horses with six-shooters battling laser-powered alien crab people. Lighten up.
Craig certainly looks the part of the western anti-hero – his only rival in the area of rugged handsomeness is Viggo Mortensen – but his character is reduced to little more than an angry glare. And Wilde the poor girl is burdened with loads of clunky exposition. The two show promising glimpses of a romantic spark but their relationship remains woefully underdeveloped. Faring far better is Ford who gets not only the bulk of the film’s choicest lines but also its only touching subplot in which his character’s adopted Indian son played by Adam Beach quietly coaxes the humanity out of the grizzled old man.