It’s Wednesday! And come hell or high water, rain or shine, I’m here to bring you your weekly list of oh-so-fun spoilers. This week’s edition of Leanne's Spoiler List comes to you from the cloudy land of the Great North. That’s right, TV lovers, I’m currently in Canada searching for the real Robin Sparkles, and visiting the sets of some of my favorite shows. (More on that next week but here’s a teaser: Things on Once Upon a Time are about to get terrifyingly twisted y’all!) This week is packed with top-rated shows. I’ve got all the details on a rocky Grey’s Anatomy romance, chatted with Criminal Minds’ Joe Mantegna about tonight’s shocking new episode, and nabbed some Vampire Diaries scoop from its all-knowing creator, Julie Plec. Plus, I’ve got the goods on what’s coming up on Supernatural, How I Met Your Mother, and Arrow! Enjoy these steamy spoilers while I try not to freeze to death to get you more scoop!
1. Grey’s Anatomy: Cheer Up Callie!
There are two things in life that I’ll always love: 1. Actors who play doctors. (They’re always happy because they get to wear scrubs everyday!) 2. Sparkly things.(Duh.) So you can imagine my extreme delight last Saturday when I interviewed Sara Ramirez while wearing a pink tiara at Disney Junior’s Sofia the First premiere. (By the way, Ramirez plays Queen Miranda, an actually sweet stepmother.) After we "ooh-ed" and “aah-ed” about the fairies on the lavender carpet (No lie), Ramirez and I had some serious girl talk about what’s coming up for Callie after her particularly devastating life changes so far this season. The actress reveals, “Basically she’s just in survival mode in her personal life and in her professional life she has busied herself with Derek Shepherd’s hand/wrist, helping with all that nerve damage that he experienced from the plane crash. She’s keeping busy and trying to make herself useful at the hospital.“
Callie’s personal life with Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) has been rocky in these past few episodes (to say the least), and Ramirez explains that Callie will continue to be cautious with her behavior at home. “I think that given that her wife is just getting back up on her feet — or foot as it were — Callie is sort of just trying not to make anything worse.”
Though Calzona (I freakin’ love that shipper name, bee tee dubs) is experiencing yet another rough patch, Ramirez told me that she is actually excited for this one. “What I kind of love is that a couple seasons ago, Arizona was there for Callie when Callie was going through [a lot] — you know, she almost died and lost her baby. So what’s really great this season was seeing how, in a sense, the roles have been reversed and Arizona is now going through something medical and that is very, very scary and upsetting and Callie is now having to be strong and be the rock and very forgiving. So we’ll see how that plays out.”
Something tells me that this couple will definitely make it through this mess, but I do wish that Callie would start smiling a bit more. Ramirez says with a laugh, “Totally! I couldn’t agree more.” Looking ahead to this week’s episode, Ramirez says Seattle Grace fans can look forward to yet another amazing episode. “We’ve shot some pretty intense scenes," she says. "This next episode, which is Chandra Wilson’s, is really fantastic. She did a really great job, so I’m excited for that episode.“
2. Supernatural: Meet The New Ladies!
Grab your lassoes and hop on your horses, Supernatural fans, because later this season, the sexiest brothers on TV are ready to cowboy up and get down and dirty on a ranch. In episode 13, “Trial and Error,” fans will be introduced to three new ladies that Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) meet in Idaho. Yes, you read that correctly: Idaho. It sounds a little boring compared to some of our recent adventures, but let’s decide that after we meet the little hoes, shall we? First up is Ellie, a girl in her mid-20s that is being described as “cowgirl hot" — think girl next door, but with a county twist. Ellie manages a ranch and her personality weaves between straight-forward and spunky.
But the most important part about Ellie is that she’s got to be gorgeous. (Um hello! It is a CW show after all!) The casting breakdown says the show's hoping to nab a “younger Sandra Bullock to Emma Stone” type of girl. The brothers will also be chatting it up with two sisters — twins to be exact. Alice and Cindy Cassity are two thirtysomething girls, and are simply described as “pretty” — think Gwyneth Paltrow. They are the slightly pretentious daughters of Cyrus Cassidy, the owner of a ranch. Whether or not this is the same ranch that Ellie manages is TBD. All right I’ve got to be honest, these girls all seem great and all but the biggest question is this: Can they bake pie?
3. Criminal Minds: Rossi’s Reveal
Criminal Minds is freakin’ awesome. I used to be scarily obsessed with it, but when I saw the an episode guest-starring James Van Der Beek as a split personality, homicidal maniac, my Dawson’s Creek heart couldn’t take it and I had nightmares for weeks. Now that I’m a bit older, and have discovered that my cell phone can double as a nightlight, I’ve fully re-embraced Criminal Minds, adding it back onto my elite DVR list. Last week I had to pleasure of chatting with Joe Mantegna and he explained why he believes fans are so obsessed — and rightfully so — with this CBS hit. “We like to think we’re a thinking person’s show," he says. "We don’t speak down to our audience. We try to challenge them and let them explore this world with us." This week’s episode, titled “The Fallen," is going to be a huge treat for long-time viewers of the series. After all, we're finally going to get a more in-depth look into David Rossi’s past. “We’ve alluded to the fact that my character, David Rossi, had some background in the military," the actor says. "That’s going to really get explored [this week]. As a young man, he was in Vietnam with his commanding officer at that time and now David runs into him many, many years after and see that he is homeless on the streets of Los Angeles.”
Through flashbacks, we’re going to gain more knowledge of Rossi’s past as a soldier in Vietnam and Mantegna says he was delighted to meet Robert Dunne, the actor who plays young David. “We only got to meet at the read-through because, obviously, we can’t be at the same place at the same time, but he did a wonderful job and I bought it," he says. "And I figure if I bought it then everybody else would be able to buy it."
So prepare yourself, Criminal Minds fans, for a personal and provocative episode. “In this case, Veterans and homelessness are issues that are relevant and I think that we do it in a very interesting and entertaining way," Mantegna says. "I couldn’t be happier with the episode.”
4. Arrow: That’s So 2007
Tonight’s episode of Arrow once again starts off with a shirtless Oliver (Stephen Amell). I really hope that this becomes a weekly tradition, because, holy hell, that man is definitely bringing sexy back. And speaking of out-of-date pop culture references, it looks like Ollie needs to take a crash course on what’s hot and what’s not in 2012. For example (as Thea so painstaking points out on the series), “Oh snap” is no longer a socially acceptable comeback and Dr. Oz is in no way, shape, or form connected to Dorothy and her Ruby slippers. (It’s okay Oliver, I’ll still love you even if you really have no idea how to navigate a Facebook timeline.) Moving along to this week’s bad guys, Diggle is determined to stop a group of mask-wearing bank robbers, but Oliver says he wants nothing to do with these sub-par Starling evil doers: “I don’t fight street crime.” Of course it doesn’t take long for Diggle to convince his new partner to tweak his crime-fighting standards. Spoiler Alert: Even in the middle of a heated attack, the Starling City Police still call him a “vigilante.” Can someone please send them a post-it note explaining that his badass superhero name is Arrow?! In other more romantical news, Tommy is doing his best to woo Laurel and he turns to a somewhat unlikely friend for help. Thus, our show's love-triangle transforms into a kinda, sorta love-square. Oh The CW, you sure know how to toy with our emotions while all the hot people fall in love with one another, don’tcha?
5. How I Met Your Mother: Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
This season of HIMYM has been a tad stale, even for the most ardent of the show's fans. That includes myself — I love this show so much, it pains me to admit that six episodes have already aired and very little (of interest, at least) has happened. Barney and Quinn are caput, Robin and her newest beau on are the rocks, and Victoria left Ted without making a single cupcake! So basically, we’re back to square one and hoping praying that we will soon get some progress towards the infamous wedding/mother reveal.
Until then, I caught up with my favorite bro-ther, Wayne Brady, to see if James Stinson is going to make his way back to MacLaren’s Pub anytime soon. “I believe James is,” Brady confirms with a smile. “I don’t know when. I really can't say. They’re bros and he has to be there to back him up. Especially if his big day is going to happen.”
Yay! Barney is always at his best when his fellow suit-lover is around. So what has the other legendary Stinson been up to since we last saw him? Brady muses, “As far as I know, James and his husband, Jay — they hang out, they have the baby and they’re good. They go to fashion week in New York and they go to a couple Broadway shows and life is great.” Now only if he can convince Barney to start thinking about settling down — then we could finally get some progress!
6. The Vampire Diaries: Dark, Rock Bottom
Last week’s episode of TVD was flawless. Elena had her first kill, Jeremy is now a member of The Five, and Matt learned that he could compel a girl just by looking ridiculously hot. But now that so many game changers have come into play, I looked to Vampire Diaries boss lady Julie Plec to shed some light on what’s up next. First up, Stelena: In this week’s episode, Plec says Elena’s irritation over her boyfriend’s deceit will definitely linger. “She’s mad at him," Plec says. "And she definitely starts [this] week super mad at him. And so, forgiveness and understanding and learning the truth of what he was up to and is up to — all those things are up ahead and we’ll see how she handles it.” The showrunner also teased that mistrust is going to impact and possibly shift our love triangle beginning this week. You hear that Delena fans? Oh, you’re hyperventilating with excitement? Proceed.
Now let’s tackle the mythology details, y’all. We’ve met other vampire hunters in Mystic Falls before (RIP Alaric), but what distinguishes The Five from these wannabes? “This is the original story of the vampire hunter told to its end, as opposed to Alaric, who was really pissed off and had a good stake,” Plec reveals.
The quest for answers about the cure is going to be a large arc that we focus on this season, and there are some major challenges ahead. “Oh, everything's about to change in some way or another," Plec says. "Those changes will have a ripple effect through the entire season. I'm not saying it's all going to change next Thursday at 8 o'clock, but there are some pretty big moves next week as a result of this.”
Right now, everything is going to be dark and twisty as Elena deals with the repercussions of killing a hunter, but her life life will eventually improve. “Elena's certainly been in a pretty dark place," Plec says. "[This] week, we kind of hit dark, rock bottom, and then, the episode that follows is like this episode of light and pretty and sun.” We can all thank the Miss Mystic Falls event for our upcoming sunny disposition. Yay for tiaras! Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
–Additional reporting by Shaunna Murphy
[Photo Credit: ABC, CBS, The CW]
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David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
Do the Bourne movies make any sense? Enough. The first three films — The Bourne Identity Supremacy and Ultimatum — throw in just enough detail into the covert ops babble and high-speed action that by the end Jason Bourne comes out an emotional character with an evident mission. That's where Bourne Legacy drops the ball. A "sidequel" to the original trilogy Legacy follows super soldier Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) as he runs jumps and shoots his way out of the hands of his government captors. The film is identical to its predecessors; political intrigue chase scenes morally ambiguous CIA agents monitoring their man-on-the-run from a computer-filled HQ — a Bourne movie through and through. But Legacy has to dig deeper to find new ground to cover introducing elements of sci-fi into the equation. The result is surprisingly limp and even more incomprehensible.
Damon's Bourne spent three blockbusters uncovering his past erased by the assassin training program Treadstone. Renner's Alex Cross has a similar do-or-die mission: after Bourne's antics send Washington into a tizzy Cross' own training program Outcome is terminated. Unlike Bourne Cross is enhanced by "chems" (essentially steroid drugs) that keep him alive and kicking ass. When Outcome is ended Cross goes rogue to stay alive and find more pills.
Steeped heavily in the plot lines of the established mythology Bourne Legacy jumps back and forth between Cross and the clean up job of the movie's big bad (Edward Norton) and his elite squad of suits. The movie balances a lot of moving parts but the adventure never feels sprawling or all that exciting. Actress Rachel Weisz vibrant in nearly every role she takes on plays a chemist who is key to Cross' chemical woes. The two are forced into partnership Weisz limited to screaming cowering and sneaking past the occasional airport x-ray machine while her partner aggressively fistfights his way through any hurdle in his path. Renner is equally underserved. Cross is tailored to the actor's strengths — a darker more aggressive character than Damon's Bourne but with one out of every five of the character's lines being "CHEMS!" shouted at the top of his lungs Renner never has the time or the material to develop him.
Writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton Duplicity and the screenwriter of the previous three movies) is a master of dense language but his style choices can't breath life into the 21st century epic speak. In the film's necessary car chase Gilroy mimics the loose camera style of Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass without fully embracing it. The wishy washy approach sucks the life out of large-scale set pieces. The final 30 minutes of Bourne Legacy is a shaky cam naysayer's worst nightmare.
The Bourne Legacy demonstrates potential without ever kicking into high gear. One scene when Gilroy finally slows down and unleashes absolute terror on screen is striking. Unfortunately the moment doesn't involve our hero and its implications never explained. That sums up Legacy; by the film's conclusion it only feels like the first hour has played out. The movie crawls — which would be much more forgivable if the intense banter between its large ensemble carried weight. Instead Legacy packs the thrills of an airport thriller: sporadically entertaining and instantly forgettable.
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.