From World War Z to This Is the End, there is certainly no shortage of apocalypse movies this summer. Now you can add Goodbye World to the mix. This dramatic film by Dennis Hennelly will premiere on Saturday at the Los Angeles Film Festival, but in the meantime, a trailer for the movie has just been released.
Starring Adrian Grenier and Argo's Kerry Bishé, Goodbye World tells the story of a wealthy couple who have moved out into the countryside to raise their family. After a mysterious cyber attack threatens modern society, their house becomes a retreat for all of their old college friends from Stanford University. It isn't exactly a blissful reunion, however, as the dire circumstances create tension and old conflicts reemerge.
The Goodbye World trailer, which is more accurately just a clip from the movie, shows the old college friends gathered around the dinner table discussing survival plans and what they will miss most about the old world. As you may have noticed, the movie also stars Kid Cudi in his first feature length film role, and Ryan Atwood himself (known in the real world as Ben McKenzie). And Gaby Hoffman? Is that you? We feel like we haven't seen you since Sleepless in Seattle!
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With each outing in his evolving filmmaking career actor-turned-director Ben Affleck has amped up the scope. Gone Baby Gone was a character drama woven into a hard-boiled mystery. The Town saw Affleck dabble in action pulling off bank heists many compared to the expertise of Heat. In Argo the director pulls off his most daring effort melding one part caper comedy and two parts edge-of-your-seat political thriller into an exhilarating theatrical experience.
At the height of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 anti-Shah militants stormed the U.S. embassy and captured 52 American hostages. Six managed to escape the raid finding refuge in the Canadian ambassador's home. Within hours the militants began a search for the missing Americans sifting through shredded paperwork for even the smallest bit of evidence. Under pressure by the ticking clock the CIA worked quickly to formulate a plan to covertly rescue the six embassy workers. Despite a lengthy list of possibilities only Tony Mendez (Affleck) had a plan just enticing enough to unsuspecting Iranian officials to work: the CIA would fake a Hollywood movie shoot.
There's nothing in Argo or Affleck's portrayal of Mendez that would tell you the technical operations officer has the imagination to conjure his master plan — Affleck perhaps to differentiate himself from the past plays his character with so much restraint he looks dead in the eyes — but when the Hollywood hijinks swing into full motion so does Argo. Mendez hooks up with Planet of the Apes makeup artist John Chambers (John Goodman) and producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) to convince all of Hollywood that their sci-fi blockbuster "Argo " is readying for production. With enough promotional material concept art and press coverage Mendez and his team can convince the Iranian government they're a legit operation. A location scout in Tehran will be their method of extracting the bunkered down escapees.
Without an interesting lead to draw us in Affleck lets his eclectic ensemble do the heavy lifting. For the most part it works. Argo is basically two movies — Goodman and Arkin lead the Ocean's 11-esque half and Affleck takes the reigns when its time to get the six — another who's who of character actors including Tate Donovan Clea Duvall Scoot McNairy and Rory Cochrane — through the terrifying security of the Iranian airport. Arkin steals the show as a fast talking Hollywood type complete with year-winning catchphrase ("ArGo f**k yourself!) while McNairy adds a little more humanity to the spy mission when his character butts heads with Mendez. The split lessens the impact of each section but the tension in the escape is so high so taut that there's never a moment to check out.
Reality is on Affleck's side his camera floating through crowds of protestors and the streets of Tehran — a warscape where anything can happen. Each angle he chooses heightens the terror which starts to close in on the covert escape as they drift further and further from their homebase. Argo is a complete package with the '70s production design knowing when to play goofy (the fake movie's wild sci-fi designs) and when to remind us that problems took eight more steps to fix then they do today. Alexandre Desplat's score finds balance in haunting melodies and energetic pulses.
Part of Argo's charm is just how unreal the entire operation really was. To see the men and women involved go through with a plan they know could result in death. It's a suspenseful adventure and while there's not much in the way of character to cling to the visceral experience tends to be enough.
The CW has picked up a pilot for a medical dramedy with the working title First Cut, from Jennie Snyder Urman (writer/producer of Gilmore Girls and 90210). The series will follow a young woman at the beginning of her career in medicine, whose traditional "nerdiness" made her teen years an unpleasant experience. Eager to thrust herself into her work, the heroine quickly discovers similarities in the world within her hospital walls to that which she experienced in high school.
The theme is not one that has gone untouched: Scrubs is a notable example of a series that, especially in its earliest episodes, painted the subculture of physicians and surgeons in the Sacred Heart Hospital setting as competitive and highly cliquey—thus, those of us who only have television to draw on as a window into the medical world might begin to put some merit into this depiction. Urman's work on Gilmore Girls proved that she can present a show that is clever and authentically funny, but also sincere and worthy of our emotional investment. Urman wrote and is executive producing First Cut. Dan Jinks (Pushing Daisies) is also on board as an executive producer.
Actor/director Edward Burns is bringing us a new, interesting look at family life with Newlyweds: the story of a young man, Buzzy, who, in the wake of his marriage, gets an unexpected visit from his estranged half-sister Linda. Naturally, as surprise visitors tend to do in movies, Linda brings with her a slew of problems, both her own and those she bequeaths unto her dear brother.
The below clip introduces us to the main characters in Burns' film. Speaking of the clip and the film in general, director Burns says, "Buzzy is seeing is younger sister (Kerry Bishé) for the first time in years. Buzzy had hoped that his sister crashing at his apartment would not be a big deal, but in this scene he is getting a sense that there may be trouble ahead..."
Enjoy the video below. Newlyweds debuted at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, is out on VOD today and will play select theaters in January 2012.