Miramax via Everett Collection
Ugh... Mondays, am I right? Every week kicks off with that trademark despair so expertly articulated in Mike Judge's Office Space: you've got a case of the Mondays. Luckily, Netflix has you covered, with plenty of pick-me-up comedies to make the worst day of the week a bit more jolly. To start off our Netflix Hand-Picked Flix recommendations, we suggest Amelie.
If the start-of-the-week doldrums are getting you down, why not take a quick jaunt to France with Amelie, an irresistible charmer of a movie staring Audrey Tautou. Amelie follows a young French woman who strives to improve the lives of those around her, and while doing so , changes her own life forever. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet gives his surreal vision of contemporary Paris a touch of whimsy with soft sepia tones, oddball characters, and enchanting French melodies. The film became a sensation in France, and even caught some attention stateside with it's five Academy Award nominations. It's bold, fresh, original, and just might make you forget there's still five more days till the weekend.
Check out Amelie on Netflix Instant, and head back here tomorrow for our recommendation for Hand-Picked Flix: Bluesdays!
Relativity Media via Everett Collection
At only 14 years old, Hailee Steinfeld was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in her big screen debut True Grit. Since then, she's proven it wasn't a fluke by showcasing her talents in a wide variety of films — most recently, she saw both the period romance Romeo and Juliet and the sci-fi thriller Ender's Game open within weeks of each other, earning her plenty of new accolades. Her latest film is 3 Days to Kill, in which she plays Zoey, the teenage daughter of retired Secret Service agent Ethan (Kevin Costner), who is forced back into his former profession after he is diagnosed with cancer in order to try and steal some more time with his daughter.
We spoke with Steinfeld about 3 Days to Kill to talk about filming on location in France, what she learned about playing an assassin, and why the costumes were one of the most exciting aspects of the job for her.
The film is a lot of fun, and very exciting, but there’s also this strong emotional thread running through it with Ethan and Zoey. Was the combination of those things what drew you to the film, or was it working with Kevin Costner, or even just the chance to shoot in France?Everything you just said. When I read the script, first of all, I couldn’t believe that I had my hands on something that Luc Besson had written. That was a really exciting thing for me. I really love him and his work, and reading it and getting that heart pounding, action-thriller vibe was a really exciting thing. And then on top of that, you have this incredible father-daughter relationship that you see evolve throughout the film, and I loved everything about that. It was so much fun diving into it, and since playing a teenage girl was something I was able to identify with fairly easily, I had a really great time with it.
What was your relationship on-set with Kevin Costner like? Did you keep your distance so your characters would feel more estranged, or was it a lot more relaxed and casual?When we started the first few weeks of filming, we filmed the first few scenes of the movie that you see Ethan and Zoey in, where they’re sort of estranged and don’t necessarily know each other. And then by the end of the film, Kevin and I were really able to bond and get to know each other, and we had a really great relationship that I think really came through onscreen. So it happened very organically and in sync with the film in a way.
You’re actually playing an assassin yourself in your upcoming film Barely Lethal. Did you pick up any tips from Kevin when you were filming, or did he give you any advice for when it was your turn?He didn’t! I didn’t know that I was doing Barely Lethal when I was shooting 3 Days to Kill, but it was so interesting because I was watching a couple of movies and I was thinking – it’s so funny you said that because I definitely thought about it – and I was like, “I have had a dad that was one!” I was able to sort of think of that. He’s really good at playing the secret agent thing. It’s really, really good.
You’ve done films of many genres – romance, indie, westerns – but so many of your films are very action-oriented. Is there something about this genre in particular that keeps drawing you back? I think all of the films that I’ve done that have an action element comes after what I see as very character-driven and very heartwarming. The action or thrilling part is a bonus, in other words. With 3 Days to Kill, it’s extremely thrilling and very action-oriented, but you have that father-daughter relationship that I was really drawn to. I remember [the director] McG was showing me some of the film when I saw him a couple months ago. He was showing me the first few minutes, and he was like, “I bet you didn’t have any idea you were a part of this movie, did you?” And I didn’t because, you know, it’s so big and on such a large scale, the action, and then you have these incredible moments between Zoey and her father. So, there’s a lot going on and I think there are so many different things along with the action that sort of draw me to these movies.
So, when you watched the movie back, were there any scenes that you wished you could have been involved in or a part of? Because your character, Zoey, is pretty removed from all of the big fight scenes. Yeah. I think, me personally, I always wish I was involved in the craziness. But it's really amazing how it's all balanced out and how it makes perfect sense in the film, and how Kevin's character, Ethan, how his world, how his job completely works its way out and around her life. I think it was really interesting the way that was done.
You filmed on location in France. Was there any location or experience in particular that stands out to you when you think back on it? What kind of effect do you think working on location has on the film?We shot a scene under an arch that leads to an entrance of the Louvre. And it was so surreal, because here you are in Paris, and it’s playing such a big character in your film, and you’re using it to every degree. I always find it interesting when you work on a stage, and they build something up and it’s as close as you can get it, it feels amazing. But there’s nothing like being in the actual place where your script takes place. It’s the most amazing thing, I think for me as an actor — and for anybody, really — to just spend time there, it was a really, really beautiful experience.
As we’ve sort of talked about, your character is sort of the emotional heart of the film, but you also have a lot of comedic moments as well. Is comedy something you’re interested in doing more of in the future?Yeah, it’s fun. This film I did, Barely Lethal, I’d say it falls more into the category of comedy than anything else that I’ve done, and it was a lot of fun being able to to explore different scenarios and kind of improvise a little bit and say what you wanna say without even knowing you’re saying it. Just having that freedom is something that was really, really fun and turned into something really great, and I really enjoyed that. But I think doing a full comedy could be really fun one day.
Which would you say that you find more challenging: drama or comedy?I’d say it’s all challenging. I think comedy, though, don’t they say, “You can’t try and make something funny funny”? I don’t know, something like that, but it’s so true. You read it and it makes you laugh, but then you have to say it to make other people laugh, and it’s not as easy as it seems, so it’s definitely a challenge for me.
On a slightly shallower note, your costumes in this film are fantastic, and I wanted to wear every single one of them. Coming off of filming Romeo and Juliet, which is a period piece, and Ender’s Game, which is set on a spaceship, was it a nice change of pace to wear more casual clothing onscreen for a change or did you miss those more structured costumes?It was so amazing. I’m not even kidding. I remember having my first fitting [and] everyone around me was like, “Why is she freaking out?” I was so excited because I was like “Oh my god, I saw this the other day when I was shopping and I’m so excited I get to wear it,” whereas I was not saying that about the Romeo and Juliet costumes, you know what I mean? As beautiful as those were – and my god, they were so amazing – it’s very nice to bring your own style to a character and wear the clothes as you would wear them every day, as opposed to having to get used to your body language when you’re wearing a corset. It’s a completely different thing. It was very nice, and it made things a bit easier, I’d say.
Did you have any influence on Zoey’s costumes, or were you able to inject any of your own personal style into her wardrobe?A little bit. I mean, the idea of this teenage girl living in Paris, taking the metro with her friends, going to school, going out to parties, she’s going to be dressed. She’s going to dress to look great. For me? I just kind of throw on whatever and it is what it is, but with the character, she definitely thinks it all through, from the hair to the makeup to the clothes to the shoes and puts it all together, so it was a fun thing to explore and have a say in and be a part of.
I know that often, actors who are in period pieces say that the costumes help them get into character, did you have a similar experience with Zoey’s costumes in this film, or was it already relatively easy, since you’re both modern teenage girls?Yeah, absolutely. The fact that there are details that you might not pick up on from the layering of the scarf and the jackets and all of that, and it’s a lot [of help]. It’s a wardrobe and you put that on, you’re definitely able to feel like someone else.
Was there anything you wore in the film that you fell in love with and were tempted to take home with you?Oh yeah. For sure. There was a jacket that she wears, it’s a Maje, that one. I loved it, it was so great. There were a lot of great sweaters and a lot of great things – there’s always something I feel like, after you spend a certain amount of time in, it becomes you and you want to wear it and you want to keep it. I feel that way with a lot of things I do - which might not necessarily be a good thing.
As long as you don’t actually steal them, you’ll probably be okay.Right, right. Of course.
3 Days to Kill is in theaters now.
If the success of The Social Network and Moneyball have proved anything, it's that the only thing Hollywood loves more than an underdog story is one that's based on a best-selling book and deals with an American pastime, like social media or baseball. Or video games, which is the new subject of the upcoming film Console Wars. The movie will tell the story of the battle for supremacy in the 1990s between Nintendo and Sega. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have been tapped to write and direct an adaptation of Blake J. Harris' book, which will follow Tom Kalinske, the man who helped transform Sega from a failing arcade company into a video game juggernaut, and helped the company take on Nintendo when it was at the peak of its success. Although the pair is mostly known for their comedy work, Rogen and Goldberg have enough geek cred to give them an edge on this story. Since they've already written a foreword for the book, it seems as if they know their subject pretty well. Plus, the Nintendo/Sega wars seem like the kind of story that would benefit from some irreverent goofiness. After all, most of these video games are pretty weird when you think about them.
Of course, Rogen and Goldberg's film won't be the first time in which Nintendo and Sega have faced off on screen. Over the years, both companies have seen their most successful franchises be adapted into movies, television series and Saturday morning cartoons, and sometimes even become a pop culture phenomenon. In honor of Console Wars, we've taken a look at the good, the bad, and the unnecessary in order to determine which company reigns supreme when it comes to big and small screen adaptations. Although, any time Nintendo wants to stop making Pokèmon movies is fine by us.
Games Turned Into Movies: Worldwide — Super Mario Bros., Pokémon: The First Movie, Pokémon: The Movie 2000, Pokémon 3: The Movie, Pokémon 4Ever, Pokémon Heroes, Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker, Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys, Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai, Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior, Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life, Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions, Pokémon the Movie: Black and White, Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice, Pokémon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened; Japan only — Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach! and Animal Crossing Games Turned Into TV Shows: The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Captain N: The Game Master, Donkey King Country, Kirby: Right Back At Ya!, The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Super Mario WorldHighest Grossing Movie: Pokémon: The First Movie, which made over $163 million worldwideFranchise with the Most Incarnations: Pokémon, with 16 theatrically released movies, three television movies, and one ever-expanding anime series. Best Adaptation: Pokémon. Hey, they made 20 of them for a reason!Worst Adaptation: Super Mario Bros., the 1993 live-action adaptation starring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi that nobody asked for. Adaptation That Was Better Than the Actual Game: Captain N: The Game Master, which combined all of the best characters from the Super Mario games with a wish-fulfillment plot that allowed the hero to get sucked into the video games he was playing.Game Character Who Never Got a Chance to Shine: Fox McCloud, star of StarFox. He leads a group of anthropomorphic animals who fly planes and protect their planet from evil aliens. It's practically tailor-made for Saturday morning cartoons!Saturday Morning Staple: Pokémon. Don't lie, you know you watched it every week. Movie Only Released in Japan That We Wished We Could See: Animal Crossing, if only to see how they managed to create a plot out of a game that has none. Something You Accepted as a Kid, But is Really Weird Looking Back: The live-action credits of The Super Mario Bros. Show, which featured a dancing WWE wrestler dressed as Mario.Most Memeable Adaptation: "Well, excuuuuuuuuuuse me, Princess!"
Games Turned Into Movies: Worldwide — Like A Dragon, House of the Dead, Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Sakura Wars: The Movie, Like a Dragon: Prologue; Japan only — Bayonetta: Bloody FateGames Turned Into TV Shows: The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Earthworm Jim, Sakura Wars, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Underground, Sonic X, Virtua FighterHighest Grossing Movie: Unfortunately, it appears to be House of the Dead, which grossed just under $14 million. Franchise with the Most Incarnations: Sonic the Hedgehog, with one movie and four television series. Best Adaptation: Sonic the Hedgehog, the 1993 series that ran on ABC on Saturday mornings. Well, okay, maybe not the best, but definitely the most iconic. Worst Adaptation: House of the Dead. It was directed by Uwe Boll, which should tell you all you need to know. Adaptation That Was Better Than the Actual Game: Earthworm Jim, a weird, surreal, hilarious television show that took all of the absurdity of the video games to the next level. Game Character Who Never Got a Chance to Shine: Bug from Bug!, a Hollywood star whose girlfriend is kidnapped just before he stars in the biggest film of his life. It might not have been the most exciting game, but between the action, the suspense and the Hollywood glamour, it would have made a great television show. Saturday Morning Staple: Earthworm Jim. The perfect accompaniment to a bowl of sugary cereal. Movie Only Released in Japan That We Wished We Could See: Bayonetta: Bloody Fate. It's the only Sega adaptation that hasn't been released in North America, and is said to be one of the best ones. Something You Accepted as a Kid, But Is Really Weird Looking Back: Pretty much everything about Earthworm Jim, if we're being honest.
Clearly, Nintendo wins the real world battle, but we'll see who takes the title in Rogen and Goldberg's film.
On Thursday, Feb 6, the Hollywood.com Photo Team went to a special event featuring B.J. Novak at WORD Cafe in Jersey City. It was his first reading on his book tour for One More Thing, the author’s debut book. One More Thing is a hilarious collection of short fiction stories, told from many different personas and characters. Novak is known best for his role as Ryan Howard on the award winning comedy The Office, and from his performances in Inglourious Basterds and Saving Mr. Banks. Novak also wrote 15 episodes for The Office, for which he has won an award from the Writers Guild of America. With such a strong comedic background, it’s not surprising that One More Thing had the audience last Thursday doubled over in laughter.
Novak read aloud a selection of stories from his book, such as “Julie and the Warlord,” a tale of a typically awkward first date in which the reader is slowly revealed the identity of the oblivious Julie’s partner: the African warlord Joseph Kony. Another, entitled “Kate Moss,” is told from the perspective of a young teenage girl who one day, while on a field trip to New York City, meets her idol Kate Moss. Moss tells her secret to becoming who she is, and well, you’ll just have to read to figure out what that secret is.
Hearing Novak read was a bit like watching him act — he gave each character in the story a different voice and personality. It was highly engaging and the audience loved it. At one point, he even got all of us to sing along with him for a story (“The Ambulance Driver”).
At the end of the reading, there was a brief Q&A session. Novak answered questions on who his writing inspirations were (Steve Martin and David Sedaris), his morning routine (he always thinks he’ll want pancakes in the morning, yet never does), and of course, Mindy Kaling (one of his best friends and biggest inspirations in life.) When asked about his work in Inglourious Basterds, Novak explained how mindblowing it was to work with Quentin Tarantino, one of his idols. He talked about seeing Pulp Fiction on its opening night when hew as 14, and how it inspired him to go into filmmaking. As such, being able to work and hang out with Tarantino years later was absolutely surreal.
Afterwards, he hung around and signed copies of his book and met with a few of his fans. It’s always refreshing to meet an actor who is as personable off screen as he is on screen. One More Thing is available in stores today. Check it out!
Red Hot Chili Peppers star Flea has confessed he and his bandmates were not performing live during the Super Bowl half-time show after fans noticed that neither he nor bandmate Josh Klinghoffer were "plugged in" for their set with Bruno Mars. Many fans were too caught up in the moment to notice the rockers were cordless when they took the stage in New Jersey on Sunday (02Feb14), but eagle-eyed Living Color star Vernon Reid couldn't pass up the moment to poke fun at the stars on Twitter.com after he realised the stars weren't amplified.
He wrote, "That guitar is plugged into NOTHING."
His comment, which was picked up by ABC News, prompted a little debate among rock fans over whether the Red Hot Chili Peppers' set was live or pre-recorded.
Flea responded with a cryptic tweet, writing, "No trickery. No choice, but no trickery."
And the bassist has since revealed the truth behind the performance.
In an open letter to fans on the band's website, he writes, "When we were asked by the NFL (National Football League) and Bruno to play our song Give It Away at the Super Bowl, it was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums, and guitar would be pre-recorded. I understand the NFL's stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there a zillion things that could go wrong and ruin the sound for the folks watching in the stadium and the t.v. viewers.
"There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period.
"The Red Hot Chili Peppers stance on any sort of miming has been that we will absolutely not do it. The last time we did it (or tried to) was in the late 80's, we were thrown off of 'The Top Of the Pops' television program in the U.K. during rehearsals because we refused to mime properly... and we basically had a wrestling match onstage, making a mockery of the idea that it was a real live performance.
"We mimed on one or two weird MTV shows before that and it always was a drag. We take our music playing seriously, it is a sacred thing for us...
"So, when this Super Bowl gig concept came up, there was a lot of confusion amongst us as whether or not we should do it, but we eventually decided, it was a surreal-like, once in a life time crazy thing to do and we would just have fun and do it... I spoke with many musician friends for whom I have the utmost respect, and they all said they would do it if asked, that it was a wild trippy thing to do, what the hell.
"We decided that, with Anthony singing live, that we could still bring the spirit and freedom of what we do into the performance, and of course we played every note in the recording specially for the gig. I met and spoke with Bruno, who was a beautiful dude, a real talented musician, and we worked out something that seemed like it would be fun.
"We recorded a track for the day, just banged one out from our hearts that was very like in spirit to the versions we have been playing live the last few years with our beloved Josh on guitar. For the actual performance, Josh, Chad, and I were playing along with the pre recorded track so there was no need to plug in our guitars, so we did not. Could we have plugged them in and avoided bumming people out who have expressed disappointment that the instrumental track was pre recorded? Of course easily we could have and this would be a non-issue. We thought it better to not pretend. It seemed like the realest thing to do in the circumstance."
He adds, "It was like making a music video in front of a gazillion people, except with live vocals, and only one chance to rock it. Our only thought was to bring the spirit of who we are to the people. I am grateful to the NFL for having us. And I am grateful to Bruno, who is a super talented young man for inviting us to be a part of his gig. I would do it all the same way again."
We've seen glimpses of it here and there, but in the Sherlock season 3 finale (sobs), we finally got a good, extended look at Sherlock's "mind palace" (his words, not ours).
And it didn't disappoint: it's always interesting to watch Sherlock retreat to his mind palace, but watching him take refuge there in the hopes of saving himself from a potentially fatal gunshot wound? Fascinating.
What a great window into Sherlock’s thought process – what takes us minutes to process passes through his mind in seconds. It's a visually striking (striking all around, actually) and surreal bit of TV that reminds us just what makes Sherlock special.
Molly, a scientist herself, walks us (and Sherlock) through most of it, starting off by slapping him silly (or is it slapping him un-silly?) as we see flashes of flashback mingled with possible flashforward (an even whiter version of Sherlock in the morgue with Molly). Even Sherlock's favorite idiot Anderson and Mycroft (spewing more epithets about Sherlock's inferior epithet, no less) show up to help him determine the best way to prevent himself from bleeding out. Then, once he's safely (?) on the ground, he has to keep from going into shock, and what he does to calm himself down is downright adorable (and slightly heartbreaking): he pictures his childhood dog. All this happens as warning sirens intermittently blare and a general oversaturation of light seems to take over everywhere.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is who Sherlock turns to to distract himself from the crippling pain of a bullet wound: Moriarty. Moriarty's locked up in a padded cell in the distant corner of Sherlock's mind palace, chained up, straight-jacketed, and more deranged than ever. Moriarty lulls Sherlock to sleep with a bastardization of a nursery rhyme, and Sherlock's heart stops. But as Moriarty taunts him, he happens to bring up John. And Johnlock shippers cheered with joy when it was the idea of John in danger that caused Sherlock to keep fighting for his life: Moriarty only has to mention John (who was very conspicuously absent during the whole mind palace excursion) and Sherlock's waning heartbeat returns.
The whole sequence was thrilling, dreamlike, and more than a bit frightening. Let's hope we get to explore Sherlock's mind palace even more in the ever-distant season 4!
Filmmaker Spike Jonze once helped the Beastie Boys write a movie script inspired by the hip-hop trio's music video for 1994 hit Sabotage. The Being John Malkovich director took charge of the rappers' hilarious promo for Sabotage, which served as an homage to, and parody of, hit 1970s crime dramas such as Hawaii Five-O and Starsky and Hutch, but once the video wrapped, they decided to expand the idea into a big screen project, too.
Jonze claims the unreleased script centred around one of the late Adam 'MCA' Yauch's wacky characters, his filmmaker alter ego Nathanial Hornblower, while he also planned to portray Sir Stewart Wallace, another figure from the Sabotage video, in the movie, reports Spin.com.
He says, "The four of us wrote a script together. It was called We Can Do This because... it was so surreal and out there... It just would've been ridiculous and fun... There were no 1970s cops in it, but it was definitely in the same spirit."
Yauch's bandmates also featured in the script, with Michael 'Mike D' Diamond set to bring his country singer persona, Country Mike, to life on the big screen.
And Jonze reveals the songs Diamond recorded for his album Country Mike's Greatest Hits, which he gifted to family and friends for Christmas in 2000, were actually intended for We Can Do This.
He adds, "It was about Hornblower. Mike played a country star - those songs we wrote for the movie, actually. Adam Horovitz played this kid, Nino Vincenzi, who lived on Roosevelt Island (in New York) with his dad who was a mechanic, and (he) was a little bit (like) John Travolta (in) Saturday Night Fever... He had all these dreams and aspirations, but he was awkward and couldn't dance. So he didn't even have that going for him.
"But yeah, I forget all the different characters but... it would have been funny."
Yauch died of cancer in May, 2012.
British actor Daniel Radcliffe was left stunned during a recent trip to Italy when he discovered thousands of fans waiting for him as he used the bathroom. The Harry Potter star attended the Venice Film Festival in September (13) to promote his movie Kill Your Darlings, and he has previously told how he was mobbed by teens at the event.
Now he has lifted the lid on the madness that awaited him and likened one moment to a scene from Monty Python comedy Life of Brian.
Radcliffe tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "Italy was crazy. We never did any press there for the (Harry Potter) films so there was 10 years (of) pent up energy and when I got there it just exploded.
"It was incredible. At one point I needed the loo (toilet) and had to make a 100-yard dash and was immediately followed by a flash mob. I had a Life of Brian moment when I opened the toilet door and there were thousands of people standing outside waiting. It was all very surreal and mad as always."
British singer Cheryl Cole has landed a cameo role in hit U.K. TV drama Coronation Street to raise money for charity. The former Girls Aloud star will play herself as she searches for her long-lost friend, Tina McIntyre, played by Michelle Keegan in the one-off Christmas special episode.
Cole tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "As a kid, I saw Corrie (Coronation Street) every night. It's surreal to be part of something I've watched my whole life."
Cole joined the cast as part of the Text Santa charity appeal organised by ITV, the British TV network behind the soap opera, which raises money for several U.K. based charities over the festive period. The episode is due to air in Britain on 20 December (13).
U.S. TV reporter Amy Robach stunned viewers on Monday (11Nov13) by announcing she is set to undergo a double mastectomy after a live examination on TV led to a breast cancer diagnosis. The ABC News anchor made the announcement on Good Morning America, revealing she was told the devastating news after she underwent an on-camera mammogram for the show last month (Oct13).
Speaking to Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, who is a cancer survivor, Robach said, "If I got the mammogram on air and it saved one life, then it's all worth it. It never occurred to me that that life would be mine.
"It's absolutely surreal to be sitting here. But as scary as it all is, I'm so so lucky - because you guys pushed me to that mammogram - thank God you did, I wasn't in any rush to have that done any time soon."
The 40 year old will undergo the operation and reconstructive surgery on 14 November (13).
Reality series in which a group of mostly well-known fringe celebrities are selected to live in a house together as a functioning household and have their daily lives taped, including the fun moments, the serious moments, and the all-out bickering that goes on between one another. The celebrities also take field trips together to meet their local neighbors, run errands, and go out on the town.