Movie shushing — more heated a conflict than the vast majority of the political issues that divide our senate. On Thursday, a new skirmish hit the Internet when writer Anil Dash posted an article titled Shushers: Wrong About Movies. Wrong About The World, promoting the freedom to act, speak, text, and rally as you see fit in a public cinema... neglecting to consider the experience of your fellow movie-goer. In a response that speaks for shushers everywhere, Vulture's Matt Zoller Seitz released a well-articulated essay, expressing his vantage point on the errors found in Dash's piece, and celebrating the experience of truly devoting oneself to the big screen.
Check it out here and weigh in: are you pro- or anti-shushing?
More:Hollywood Marriages with Huge Age GapsAnimal Facts You Can't Un-KnowThe Egregious Pop Culture References of 'We're the Millers'
From Our PartnersBattle of the Bikini Bodies (Celebuzz)Complete Guide to Strippers in Movies and TV (Vh1)
On Monday, May 21, Hugh Laurie will make his final acerbic, marginally racist diagnosis: Fox's long running medical drama House is coming to an end. With the finale and the relationships and misadventures of the past eight seasons fast approaching, executive producer David Shore teases a "bittersweet" ending.
Unsurprisingly, he doesn't divulge much detail about the big finale. However, he assures fans that we're not in for an open-ended conclusion. "It’s definitely an ending," he tells Hollywood.com. "We never do happy endings, but we also try not to do simply miserable endings. Bittersweet is the most you can hope for from us."
But perhaps it's not about the destination, but the journey. Shore says he wants fans to walk away knowing "who [Dr. House] is and what he stands for." The way Shore sees it, "It’s really about the character and what the character stands for, which is, really, the pursuit of truth. Not just blindly following things.” Of course, Shore couldn't have accomplished that character without "Hugh Laurie’s eyes, the character’s sense of humor, and the fact that he’s a bit of a 15-year-old boy."
Speaking to some of the more controversial bits in House history, Shore is empathetic to fans' concerns, but maintains that he is generally proud of the creative choices he and his staff have made. While the House-Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) romance has been critiqued all over the Internet, Shore insists that doing something with this pair was unavoidable.
"I think it was going to be a lightning rod no matter what we did," Shore says. "I’m not saying we did everything perfect. I’m not saying we did things horrible either ... But fundamentally, we had to do it. You can’t have sexual tension go on and on and on and on. It was there from the beginning ... but at a certain point, we had to put them together," he added. As fans know, House's relationship with Cuddy came to a climactic end in the Season 7 finale, when the title character crashed his car through his ex's home — a move that Shore calls, "a logical and motivated irrational act, but it was still an irrational act" noting that the doctor "never meant to do [Cuddy] harm." House's destructive move got a lot of heat from fans and critics, but Shore is confident in the writers' big twist. "The saying within the writers room ... was, ‘The punishment doesn’t have to fit the crime, but there has to be a crime.’ As long as there was a motivation, as long as there was a House-like motivation ... pretty much anything went," he says. But although Shore can identify the mentality behind the act, he's not unsympathetic to fans' outcry. "We had to pay a price the next year," he says. "But that may have been why that act got more of a reaction than any of the other, shall we say, reprehensible things he did … He has come closer [to causing harm] in an effort to saving lives. There was no upside, I suppose, to driving that car, except for a satisfaction of lashing out." Finally, the creator speaks passionately about what he considers the life blood of the show: House's friendship with Dr. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). “I think one of the things that we’ve done very well on the show, if I do say so, is the House-Wilson relationship. There’s a lot of exploration on TV of romantic relationships ... there are very few explorations of male friendship — not just a wingman type friendship, not just an opportunity for humor." Of course, this friendship wouldn't work if Wilson weren't somewhat as mentally deranged as his starring partner. "I think there’s something clearly wrong with Wilson as well [as with House]," he says. "When we were casting Wilson, Robert Sean Leonard was reading for the network, and he came in and did a great job. The network wanted him to be a little kinder, a little nicer ... And Bryan Singer, when I was directing it, went off to give him a note outside the room." But Shore knew this wasn't the right move for the character: "I’m sitting there in the room, thinking about it, and going, ‘I think that’s a bad idea. He can’t be too soft. There has to be something about this guy, something that would make him be friends with House. There has to be a bit of an edge to him.'" Clearly, Shore got his way. After eight years of cracking medical mysteries, berating his friends and coworkers, and pill-popping himself into oblivion, Dr. Gregory House is saying goodbye to the spotlight. If Shore's comments are any indication, the show was handled with the same passion and dedication that fans gave to it throughout the years. What do you really need from the House series finale? [Image Credit: Fox] More: Fox to Cancel House After Eight Seasons Fox Renews Touch, Drops Alcatraz: Why Heroes Still Works & LOST Doesn't NBC's Series Pick-Ups: Bit o' Ryan Murphy, a Dash of J.J. Abrams, & an Old Friend
Last month we all heard the sad news that House's current season would be its last, but we now know that the final episode will feature the return of onetime series regular Olivia Wilde.
Wilde left the Fox drama series in October to focus more on her booming film career, but she'll be back to reprise her role as Thirteen for the series finale, which airs May 21.
No word yet on what to expect out of House's last episode (or what it'll be called), but we do know that it'll be co-written by series creator David Shore and that, alas, it won't feature the return of another big-name series regular, Lisa Edelstein, who departed last season.
After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
House fans, I know you're probably not happy that the prospect of Cuddy is done for (although after that season finale, I doubt anyone would suspect there's hope for a reunion), but it's time for Huddy (Lisa Edelstein) to move on. And she's moving right onto another show, the critically acclaimed drama, The Good Wife. That's gotta sting, House. It's like seeing your ex-girlfriend move on to a sultry hot guy in a band just mere weeks after your breakup. Life is rough.
But onto the really important things. Edelstein will board a multi-episode arc that finds her character as "a lawyer and born poker player whose sexiness is enhanced by her obvious intelligence." I would have reworded that myself, but that whole bit about the sexiness is too hilarious as-is. Apparently, her character will also be from Will's (Josh Charles) past.
Okay, hold the phone. She's sexy, plays poker, and knows Will? I smell an upset here. Come on, you knew that steamy rendevous between Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Will wasn't a recipe for happily ever after. This is television, folks! And on television, we don't get truly happy endings for high-profile couples until the show is on its way out or until the writers give up. So, let us go onward into the tumultuous, drama-filled future.
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.