Actor Adrian Pasdar has signed on to play The Incredible Hulk's nemesis Glenn Talbot in superhero TV series Marvel's Agents Of S.h.i.e.l.d. The former Heroes star, who has become the voice of Iron Man in several Marvel animated series, will play the tough military man in an episode of the series set to air in America in April (14).
He tells Marvel.com, "The way that they filmed (my scene) was very interesting. It was a live feed... I come over a monitor.
"I was filming it in another room off of a camera, (and) it was a live feed to them (agents) in that room, so it was really happening. It was in-camera, it wasn't going to be superimposed, so my face would come on eight feet tall and six feet wide."
Of his new TV villain, Pasdar says, "Every show needs a jerk, (and) I guess I'm that guy."
Glenn Talbot was previously portrayed by Josh Lucas in the 2003 film Hulk.
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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The Fatal Attraction star and her businessman partner, who live in Portland, Maine were the guests of honour at the inaugural Maine Creative Industries Gala on Thursday (13Sep12) and they received the first-ever Maine Creative Industries Award.
Katherine Greenleaf, board president of the Maine Center for Creativity, said of the honour, "The Maine Creative Industries Award recognises the excellence in art, innovation and enterprise that is fuelling Maine's creative economy... We are celebrating Glenn and David's extraordinary ability to blend creativity in art and business."
During the event, Close and Shaw showed off their creative and technical achievements by screening a short film featuring interviews about creativity with famous faces including actor Robert Redford and movie mogul George Lucas.
The footage, which also featured Maine-based scientists and entrepreneurs, was shot using the couple's Apple iPhone cell phones.
Forbes has released their annual list of the highest-paid celebrities, and for the fourth year in a row, Oprah Winfrey has snagged the top slot; she raked in an estimated $165 million in 2011. Following behind her at a close second is Michael Bay ($160 million) and Steven Spielberg ($130 million). Then comes Jerry Bruckheimer, Dr. Dre, Tyler Perry, and man after man after man, until we reach Britney Spears, who barely sneaks into the top 20. While we applaud Winfrey, we are also left scratching our heads. Where are all the ladies?
Here's Forbes' list of the top 20 highest-paid celebrities:
1. Oprah Winfrey: $165 mill
2. Michael Bay: $160 mill
3. Steven Spielberg: $130 mill
4. Jerry Bruckheimer: $155 mill
5. Dr. Dre: $110 mill
6. Tyler Perry: $105 mill
7. Howard Stern: $95 mill
8. James Patterson: $94 mill
9. George Lucas: $90 mill
10. Simon Cowell: $90 mill
11. Glenn Beck: $80 mill
12. Elton John: $80 mill
13. Tom Cruise: $75 mill
14. Dick Wolf: $70 mill
15. Rush Limbaugh: $69 mill
16. Manny Pacquiao: $67 mill
17. Dr. Phil McGraw: $64 mill
18. Donald Trump: $63 mill
19. Ryan Seacrest: $59 mill
20. Britney Spears: $58 mill
There is a serious dearth of women on this list. Winfrey's spot at the head of the table is hard-earned and well-deserved; she's a media mogul with a magazine, cable network, Sirius radio deal, and a number of television shows to her name. But you have to scroll down to the very last spot on the list to see another woman's name. Britney Spears helps bookend the list due to her endorsement deals, fragrance for Elizabeth Arden, musical appearances, and album sales. In between you find men who, largely, have worked to build empires for themselves. Forbes' list this year is not filled with hot shot actors and musicians (although there are a few), but with figures who are at the helm of many lucrative projects.
This list points to a larger problem. Considering the professions on the list, the lack of women does not illustrate that women are being paid less for equal work (we'll get to that later), but rather that there is a serious deficit of women in creative leadership positions in film and TV. Where are the woman producers? The women directors and the women franchise stars?
The men at the top of Forbes' list — names like Bay, Spielberg, Bruckheimer, and Perry — are responsible for bringing us some of the highest-grossing films and film franchises of all time. Transformers (Bay), Pirates of the Caribbean (Bruckheimer) and Jurassic Park (Spielberg) all make it into the top 25. But only one prominent female producer behind a blockbuster hit in the past few years springs to mind: Nina Jacobson was a producer on The Hunger Games. Going back a little bit farther, we have Barbara Broccoli behind many films in the James Bond franchise, Gale Anne Hurd executive producing AMC's The Walking Dead and the Terminator films, Drew Barrymore with her Charlie's Angel's reboots and Kathleen Kennedy, whose resume is filled with box office hits (Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, and Schindler's List, to name a few). But these powerful, successful women are the exception, rather than the rule. Plus, their work on the franchises named above still does not make enough in residuals to gain them spots on Forbes' list this year.
In a similar vein, Tom Cruise is the only star on Forbes' list best known for his work as an actor, and his spot is due largely to the success of 2011's Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, on which he also has a producer credit. Racking our brains for female leads in huge franchises, we came up with Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games (which thus far only has one film out), Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil, Kate Beckinsale in Underworld, and Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. Unlike Cruise, not one of these women acted as a producer on her own franchise. And that, my friends, is the question. Why not? Why aren't these women taking their careers, and their potential fortunes, into their own hands? I wish I knew.
And this brings us to the next question: Why is it that the female counterparts to some of these celebrities didn't seem to earn as much as the men? Dr. Dre ranks fifth due almost completely to the success of his headphone line, Beats by Dre, but where are Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, and Katy Perry, who all similarly have successful product lines in addition to their music careers? This list only takes into account the money brought in in 2011, so could these divas just have had an off year? Even so, they seem conspicuously absent.
Also absent seems to be Barbara Walters, Harry Potter author JK Rowling (James Patterson made the list, after all), Madonna, Celine Dion (Elton John's up there, why not Dion?), and Lady Gaga. Only time will tell if their absences from the Forbes list is due to a single less lucrative year, or a greater discrepancy in earning between the sexes in Hollywood. Madonna and Gaga, with major tours and album releases in 2012 can hopefully crash the boys' club next year. 2012 was also big for the aforementioned Lopez (who landed a judging gig on American Idol) and Katy Perry (who released a concert documentary movie), so maybe 2012 will be the Year of the Ladies. One can always hope.
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: WENN.com]
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A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.
The film and television nominations for the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards have been released, recognizing achievements in both individual performances and the strengths of ensemble casts. This year's film award nominations are listed below, and many of us will be quite pleased with the tributes paid to 2011's greats, such as The Descendants, Bridsmaids, and Moneyball, which each garnered multiple nominations. Some others to make the list include The Help, The Artist, J. Edgar, My Week with Marilyn and Albert Nobbs.
The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Jan. 29, 2012 on TNT and TBS.
Click here to read the list of this year's television nominees.
18th ANNUAL SAG AWARDS NOMINATIONS: THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Demian Bichir - A Better Life
George Clooney - The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio - J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin - The Artist
Brad Pitt - Moneyball
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Glenn Close - Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis - The Help
Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton - We Need to Talk About Kevin
Michelle Williams - My Week with Marilyn
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh - My Week with Marilyn
Armie Hammer - J. Edgar
Jonah Hill - Moneyball
Nick Nolte - Warrior
Christopher Plummer - Beginners
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Berenice Bejo - The Artist
Jessica Chastain - The Help
Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer - Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer - The Help
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The Artist - Berenice Bejo, James Cromwell, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Penelope Ann Miller
Bridesmaids - Rose Byrne, Jill Clayburgh, Ellie Kemper, Matt Lucas, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Chris O'Dowd, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig
The Descendants - Beau Bridges, George Clooney, Robert Forster, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Shailene Woodley
The Help - Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Chris Lowell, Ahna O'Reilly, Sissy Spacek, Octavia Spencer, Mary Steenburgen, Emma Stone, Cicely Tyson, Mike Vogel
Midnight in Paris - Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Owen Wilson
The Sound of Music star received the Prince Rainier III Award at the New York event, and her The Princess Diaries co-star Anne Hathaway looked on as she accepted the accolade.
As part of her prize, Andrews was also given a $25,000 (£15,625) grant, which will benefit children's charities.
The 76 year old says, "I'm very honoured to be given an award this evening and it's a fabulous opportunity to speak about the importance of the arts and it being a big, big part of our culture because without it we'd be a very sorry place indeed."
Past recipients of the prize have included Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta, Glenn Close, and Star Wars creator George Lucas.
The Sound of Music star will receive the Prince Rainier III Award in New York on 1 November (11).
Past recipients have included Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta, Glenn Close and Star Wars creator George Lucas.
Director Jon M. Chu will also be honoured at the ceremony - he's set to be presented with the Princess Grace Statue Award for career achievement, following the huge box office success of his concert movie Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.
The man-child: a staple character for modern comedy and notoriously known for being played one-note. They get the laugh they get out.
But turning the lovable goofball or zoned-out knucklehead into something more is no easy task—which makes Paul Rudd's work in Our Idiot Brother that much more impressive. Rudd's Earth-friendly farmer Ned (the closest thing to a new Lebowski we've seen since the original) finds himself down on his luck after being entrapped by a police officer looking for pot. After a stint in jail he abandons his rural hippie commune for the big city to take shelter with his three sisters. Unfortunately for Ned his three siblings Liz (Emily Mortimer) Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) are as equally displaced and confused from the ebb and flow of life—albeit with severely different perspectives of the world.
Liz struggles to put her kid in private school and keep her marriage to documentary filmmaker/scumbag Dylan (Steve Coogan) intact. Miranda claws her way to the top of Vanity Fair's editorial staff and shuns her flirtatious neighbor (Adam Scott). Natalie stresses over her commitment issues with girlfriend Cindy (Rashida Jones) leaving little time or patience for Ned's bumbling antics. Sound like a lot of plot? While the manic lives of Ned's sisters click symbolically with his journey to get back on his feet it makes for one sporadic narrative.
Like a series of vignettes Our Idiot Brother never gels but when director Jesse Peretz finds a moment of unadulterated Nedisms to throw up on screen the movie hits big. Whether it's Ned teaching his nephew how to fight accidentally romancing his sister's interview subject or infiltrating his ex-girlfriend's house to steal his dog Willie Nelson the movie relies heavily on Ned's antics and its smart to do so. But thin throughlines for its supporting don't hold a candle to Rudd doing his thing.
And its a testament to Rudd's versatility—the man has done everything from Shakespeare and raunchy Judd Apatow comedies after all—that makes the movie watchable. Rudd gives dimensionality to his nincompoop character allowing darker emotions to creep in when necessary. There's a point in the film when Ned gives up fighting for his type-A sisters' affection and it's some of the best material Rudd's ever delivered. But like one of Ned's lit joints Our Idiot Brother can quickly fizzle out leading to plodding plot twists and sentimental conclusions. Mortimer Banks and Deschanel are great actresses—here they drift through their scenes and come out in the end changed. Because they have to.
Our Idiot Brother tries to take the Apatow model to the indie scene and comes through with so-so results. Only Rudd's able to find something to latch on to to build upon to warm up to. In an unexpected twist it's the man-child who seems the most grown up.
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.