Paramount has certainly been on a box office roll of late and with the release of 'Megamind,' Dreamworks’ animated 3D film featuring the voices of Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt they have another winner with a “mega” debut of $47.65 million. The film opened in a massive 3,944 theatres and 195 IMAX screens which generated $3.2 million (or roughly 7%) of the weekend gross. Earlier this year Dreamworks’ 'How to Train Your Dragon' performed well in its non-Summer time-frame with an opening weekend gross of $43.7 million and also able to reap huge benefits from the 3D and IMAX components. “Megamind” with its good vs. evil premise, sci-fi feel and considerable star power was able to easily exceed 'Dragon’s' performance.
Check out our exclusive 'Megamind' themed comic strip from Francesco Marciuliano. Francesco writes the internationally-syndicated comic strip “Sally Forth” and the webcomic “Medium Large.” He was the head writer for the PBS series “SeeMore’s Playhouse,” for which one of his episodes won two 2007 Daytime Emmys. He currently writes for the Onion News Network.
Warner Bros.’ 'Due Date' capitalized on the unlikely comedic pairing of Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey, Jr. and thus created a match made in box office heaven with a $33.5 million debut. In this buddy road trip movie, “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips combines his twisted sense of humor with actual character development to great effect. “The Hangover’s” $45 million opening weekend surprised analysts and the film went on to become the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all-time. Here are some “Due Date” highlighted stats: It becomes the largest R-rated comedy for a November opening (prior: Borat, 11/3/06, $26m). 'Due Date' also posted the 8th largest R rated comedy opening of all time and Robert Downey Jr’s largest comedy opening ever (prior: Tropic Thunder, $25.8m). Cinemascore had an A- score with the under 18 crowd. Overall, 53% of the audience was male and 59% was under 35 years old.
The third newcomer to the weekend’s festivities is Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” from Lionsgate with $20.1 million. Perry is a true movie mogul having created an incredibly lucrative movie making empire in just a few short years. This is his tenth theatrical release in just five years and the stats tell the tale: Ten movies totaling just over $500 million in domestic box office, an average opening weekend gross of $23.5 million and an average total domestic gross per film of $53.5 million make Perry one of the most consistently successful filmmakers of all-time. Perry makes his way into dramatic territory in this latest film and with the R-rating a debut slightly under his average was to be expected. This one should be less front-loaded than other Perry films with the older target audience coming out over time to see the film.
Fourth place goes to the consistently performing word-of-mouth action movie 'RED' from Summit with another $8.85 million and a total approaching $75 million while fifth place is held by Halloween weekend’s number one film 'Saw 3D' from Lionsgate with $8.2 million and a total to date of $38.8 million.
Also opening in just four theatres with a massive per-theatre average of $66,481 is Fox Searchlight’s hotly anticipated critic’s favorite '127 hours' starring James Franco as real life mountain climber Aron Ralston and directed by 'Slumdog Millionaire’s' Danny Boyle. The film earned $265,925 in its limited debut and is expected to expand in the coming weeks as solid word-of-mouth builds and critic start spreading the good word.
Year-to-date box office nearing the $9 billion mark as revenues and attendance got a nice boost with this weekend outperforming last year’s comparable frame by nearly 30%.
Weekend Box Office
Top 10 Movies - Weekend of November 5, 2010 (Estimates)
Movie Weekend Total
1. Megamind (PG)$47.7 M$47.7 M
2. Due Date (R)$33.5 M$33.5 M
3. For Colored Girls (R)$20.1 M$20.1 M
4. Red (PG-13)$8.9 M$71.9 M
5. Saw 3D (R)$8.2 M$38.8 M
6. Paranormal Activity 2 (R)$7.3 M$77.2 M
7. Jackass 3D (R)$5.1 M$110.8 M
8. Hereafter (PG-13)$4.0 M$28.7 M
9. Secretariat (PG)$4.0 M$51.0 M
10. The Social Network (PG-13)$3.6 M$85.0 M
S2: E7 Usually, Community is one of the best shows on television. It’s tight, everything fits together like a little complicated puzzle, and it’s also terribly funny. Then there are times when it bites off a little more than it can chew. This episode, while still funny and entertaining, is one of those episodes. It played off of three wholly different film-related themes: Mean Girls, The Secret Garden, and RoboCop. (I can sense your brow wrinkling in confusion, and that’s because yes, they don’t go together.) It was still a good episode and if anyone is fit to try such a thing, it's Community; I’m just saying they could have done better. (But to be fair, it is the episode following an epic school-wide zombie fest from last week, so maybe the bar’s just a little too high right now.)
The cold open hit us with a little Mars versus Venus on the basketball courts. The ladies have signed up for a women’s studies course and as they sit idly by while the “men” play basketball, decide that they have it all figured out. After rattling off all the different butt-related threats that men yell at each other while playing sports, Britta concludes that men play sports to dull out their sensitive sides. (And you’re right, Annie; no one actually says “I’m gonna punch your butt.” That’s just weird.) The ladies are psyched to take a class with just girls, but no one’s more excited than Annie. (No one actually “brings it in for a boob bump” either, Annie. Sorry, sweetheart.) Pierce comes in with his “Dragonflier” complete with camera. He says he can’t control it, so Jeff throws the basketball at the ladies in an attempt to crash the flier, angering them and causing them to storm off to their women’s studies class. But Abed wants to join, and before they can deter him he rushes off to change out of his basketball clothes. Whoops.
When they get to class, Abed’s already saved the ladies a few seats next to him, but they’re still trying to do their own thing so they grab three seats in the front. And here we go Mean Girls. Guest star Hilary Duff plays a resident mean girl, Megan, with two equally awful sidekicks and the trio kicks the study group ladies out of their seats with a select number of one liners about Britta’s roots and Annie’s mustache. Ouch. Britta, Annie, and Shirley reluctantly take their places back by Abed who’s ready with surprisingly bitchy comments to sling at the mean girls, like “Megan’s the one with crooked ears and no ankles?” Damn Abed. Damn. Of course, the ladies realize they’ve tapped the hidden resource of Abed’s uber-bitchiness. They instantly love him, but already things are starting to get out of control. Abed approaches Megan and her minions, landing zinger after zinger and fielding her “nerd” insults like they’re nothing. Of course, this gives the study group trio far too much confidence and Britta jumps up on the table calling the cafeteria a bitch-free zone. Things can only get worse from here.
In a bout of anger after Troy beats him at basketball (and does victory song and dance) Jeff kicks the basketball over a few campus buildings, forcing Troy to go searching for it. But he finds more than just a basketball. Enter the Secret Garden segment of the episode. Troy comes upon a hidden grove, complete with soft lighting and covered in lush greenery and blooms, and in the middle stands a huge trampoline. Jeff and Troy discover the wonders of bouncing on the secret trampoline (it’s illegal to have them on school campuses); it makes them feel light, “like the baby on the knee of a goddess.” Yes, mysterious groundskeeper man, that’s exactly what it’s like. The mysterious groundskeeper insists that if they are to keep enjoying the trampoline’s tranquil benefits, they must promise to keep it secret and they must commit to no double bouncies. That’s some serious shit, man. I’ll give them this, the creators of this show are damn good at doing comic recreations of pretty much any movie they want. Kudos, Dan Harmon and friends.
Now that they know what Abed’s capable of, they teach Abed the ways on insults. It’s okay to insult girls if they are bitches. They also make the mistake of comparing him to RoboCop; where have you been ladies? Don’t you know Abed has that whole meshing reality with movies thing? Big mistake. Suddenly we see the hallway through bitchy-insult-RoboCop’s eyes as he takes down another target and sends her running down the hall in tears. Not good. Of course, Abed’s success goes to the ladies’ heads and they’re on their way to becoming the exact dreaded trio that they originally sought to defeat.
Jeff and Troy return from the secret trampoline at complete peace, completely missing Pierce’s attempts at smack talk. (No Pierce, they don’t want to throw “the rock” around and you aren’t going “to slit their butts’ throats.” Is anyone else getting tired of the whole "Pierce is so old and doesn’t know anything" shtick?) As Jeff puts his feet up on the table (in Ugg boots, UGG BOOTS I TELL YOU) he and Troy are annoyingly at peace and Pierce assumes their stoned, so of course he wants some. (And if it will tone down the crazy, I’m all for it.) The girls and Abed come in, still high on their insult parade and Annie’s ready to take down “all the bitches.” (God I love her character.) Abed determines that Jeff is, in fact, a bitch and thus takes him down, ragging on his Uggs. “2008 and called and said that even in 2008 those boots were tacky.” Snap. (And are you listening, women of America? Seriously. Knock it off with the Uggs.) Jeff reacts with a Zen solution, boring the ladies and sending Pierce into a rage over wanting to know how to be so Zen. Yeah, good luck with that rage, old man.
After sending Pierce packing, Jeff and Troy run off to the secret trampoline, but Pierce’s robot dragonflier follows them and records video of them entering the secret place. Pierce discovers the secret grove and demands to be part of the trampoline fun, but threatens to tell everyone about the trampoline if Troy doesn’t double bounce him. (Remember the rule? NO DOUBLE BOUNCIES.) Troy bows to Pierce’s threat to tweet about the secret trampoline and double bounces him, sending Pierce flying out of the grove and into a dumpster just outside. Well crap. Bye-bye secret garden. The garden is torn down and the groundskeeper is fired. When Troy and Jeff try to apologize, the groundskeeper says it’s okay, it’s his fault, and “I guess that’s what I get for trusting some black guy.” Wait, what? WHAT? (I can use capital letters all I want, but nothing can top the way Donald Glover expresses shock and surprise. The kid is a comic genius. Seriously.) What a racist twist. But hey, they learn a lesson, so it’s cool. They realize that paradise that’s exclusive isn’t really paradise. Pierce approaches in a wheel chair with double leg casts and says “Paradise is right here” putting his hand on his heart (even though it looks more like he’s cupping his manboob, and it turns out that he’s actually cupping the bottle of pain killers in his pocket).
Meanwhile, Abed finds that his study group ladies have become bitches too and when they tell him that they’re all bitches, Abed’s RoboCop brain goes into serious insult mode. Abed insults everyone, even his juicebox (which was a little lame), leaving him with a buffer of empty tables as he eats lunch in the cafeteria. He realizes he must be destroyed, so he gives Megan the destruct codes for his insult robot brain – a.k.a. flash cards with pointed insults. She calls out Abed in the cafeteria in front of everyone, enjoying the “aw snaps” from the one-man peanut gallery that Chang has been providing all episode. As the crowd gets on board and cheers on Megan’s insults, his RoboCop insult brain self destructs and the study group ladies apologize for being insecure and turning him into an insult monster. Of course, being the wonderful person he is, he’s already forgiven them. Awwww.
The tag gave us a return to “Troy and Abed in The Morning” and like the rest of the episode while it was entertaining and by no means awful, I was hoping for a little something more.
S2:E3 Last night’s episode of Community really took off with an element it’s been carrying throughout its 30 episodes, and things got really meta. Like, super meta.
The cold open starts with another edition of Professor Duncan’s anything-goes Anthropology 101 class, where the class is shouting out names of videos to watch on YouTube like a handful of bored coeds huddled in a dorm room on a weekday night. They treat us to a parody of the recently huge (we’re talking top 30 on iTunes) “Bed Intruder Song” which is an auto-tuned song created from an interview given by a spastic crime witness, a ski-lift ninja crotch-rip, and finally – thanks to a request from Shirley to search for “God” – a video called “The God of Farts.” Yes, we get it. Watch inane bullshit on YouTube. But hey, we all do it. Devout Christian, Shirley, is incensed by the blasphemous video and Professor Duncan matter-of-factly states that it has 17 million views. When Shirley remarks that only nine people go to her church, the room goes silent with temporary shame until Abed cuts the awkward silence with another video request: “Auto-tune God of Farts!” Amen, YouTube.
After that informative Anthropology lesson, Shirley gets an idea to help up the membership of her church (nine people is pretty sad) by making a viral video and she wants mega film nerd Abed’s help. She tries to tell him that the bible is the greatest story ever told, but he replies that that’s what Ben Lyons said about I Am Legend. Yeah, I don’t know about that. Still, Abed takes the time to read the entire New Testament and it turns out that Jesus is “like E.T., Edward Scissorhands, and Marty McFly combined.” Awesome. Abed agrees to make Shirley’s Christian viral video, but his concept isn’t exactly what she had in mind.
Abed comes up with a overtly meta concept for a film in which a filmmaker is making a film studying the life of Jesus, but he finds that he’s actually Jesus and that he’s being filmed by God’s camera, and that continues in one giant cycle of mirroring and the film will be called ABED. Oh boy. I love you Abed, but whoa. Shirley rejects Abed’s meta film, and sarcastically refers to him as Charlie Kaufman. (Good. Someone needed to say it.) She then storms off after telling Abed there is no movie, but uh-oh…he’s got that look in his eyes. He turns to the camera and says, “This is the movie.” And there’s the next layer – the fact that Abed’s filming of his meta film is also being filmed because he’s on camera on a television show.
Shirley writes her own skit for a viral video and enlists the help of Troy and Britta using her original idea of creating Jesus as a rapper. Britta and Troy blandly recite their lines like, “Jesus did you really die for our sins? That’s dope,” like kids in an elementary school play, before Troy starts to drop his “beatitudes” (or raps about Christianity and also, my new favorite word). Okay, Shirley, clearly your video idea wasn’t any better than Abed’s meta monstrosity.
The filming is interrupted by a commotion outside, and it turns out that Abed went ahead with filming ABED without Shirley’s help. He touts that there are no takes, there is no viewer, there is no film, “We are the film.” And in case we didn’t get it, Troy lets us know by noting that it’s “totally meta.” Already, his film is taking shape, and the entire school is getting into it; through his cinematic exploration of Jesus, he’s actually becoming a stand-in for Jesus on campus (even though I think he looks more like Yanni). Shirley’s not taking it, she calls him an “egotistical film-making loser.” Oh it’s so on.
In the meantime, Pierce has adopted a rebellious attitude and he falls in with the wrong crowd – a gang of elderly students who steal cookies in the cafeteria and refuse to conform or listen to authority. They’re called “hipsters” because they all have hip replacements. When Pierce shows up late to a study group boasting cigars and a new swagger, the study session turns into a dysfunctional quasi-family dinner. Annie whines to Britta that Pierce is smoking cigars, Troy calls Pierce out for hanging with Leonard and the hipsters and Jeff (clearly the papa figure of the group) tells Pierce he doesn’t like Leonard from behind the morning paper. But duh, that’s why he’s cool, Dad. Britta pipes in as mommy, telling Pierce his new friends aren’t good for him. Okay, that was pretty cute.
Shirley’s devised a plan to stop Abed’s blasphemous film – she makes a complaint to the dean, using the separation of church and state to shut down the film because it’s using school funds to promote a religious message. When the dean tries to shut it down, Abed rationalizes that all film is religious, which apparently taps into the dean’s Trekkie side. (But I mean, he’s right. How awesome was Wrath of Khan?) Shirley loses her battle, and the filming goes on.
Just outside, Pierce is still hanging with the hipsters on the steps drinking tallboys in paper bags (I half expected it to be PBR) and harassing passersby. When the dean leaves his keys in his car, they decide to take it for a joy ride. Despite Pierce’s concern that they’ve been drinking, they hop in the car and ride off, that is until the hipster in the driver’s seat starts losing his memory. He forgets the year, his age, and then how to drive. They all scream as the camera pans out and they’re going three miles per hour in the parking lot. Old people are funny. Hardy har.
Back on set, Abed is watching the footage of his film so far and he has an epiphany: it’s complete and total crap. He realizes that he’s stuck finishing what he started, but he’s afraid that the film will ruin his career before it ever starts and takes a moment to ask God for some sort of disaster to stop the filming. I don’t know if God hears his prayer, but Shirley sure does. As he sits down to film the final scene – a recreation of the last supper – Shirley bursts in with a baseball bat, pulls the power cord and destroys all the film’s footage. It’s simultaneously so sweet and completely badass.
Pierce and the hipsters are brought into the school’s office, and Jeff is called in as his emergency contact. Winger waltzes in, fully intending to remove himself from Pierce’s list, but when he realizes that the other oldies don’t have anyone who cares to come check on them, he has a change of heart. He takes Pierce home, telling him to get in the car as Pierce does his best bratty teen impression, “Wasn’t my fault!” Jeff doesn’t remove his name as an emergency contact, but makes sure to add “mommy” – Britta – as the other “parent.” Aw, guys! They are a family.
After Shirley destroys Abed’s film, the whole school thinks that it was actually made by God, making Abed a genius and Shirley a villain. To thank her for her social martyrdom, Abed finished her rapping Jesus video enlisting Troy as rapping Jesus (and giving Donald Glover a chance to cross-promote his hip hop career). As the class watches rapping Jesus, Shirley holds Abed’s hand and tells him she’d humbled by him; a sweet way to end an episode that spun wildly out of control, but that was the point, right? Because like Abed’s film was out of control, the actual episode was out of control, so…okay, I’m just going to stop before this recap spins out of control.
After all that craziness, the tag was a welcome sign off. So here it is. Enjoy.
S2: E4 After last season’s ambitious “Modern Warfare” episode, we’ve been itching for Community to dish out another epic episode and this week’s was our answer. Inspired in great part by Apollo 13 (and a handful of other space movies), the Greendale gang embarked on a (simulated) space mission, and I'm happy to say they did it without a single reference to "Houston, we have a problem."
The cold open got right into the theme, replicating a 1960’s meeting room, where the dean lays down the issue: City College is launching a space simulator and Greendale has to beat them to the punch. The dean’s handful of yes-men (dressed a lot more like Mad Men; seriously, one of them looks an awful lot like Paul Kinsey) nod and take unnecessary notes as he shows them the plan. He’s acquired the Greendale Museum’s old KFC sponsored “Eleven Herbs & Space Experience” which needs a little work, but he’s got just the crew to do it. Cut to the study group walking in slow motion through the parking lot in white janitor suits (but yeah, they look an awful lot like space suits) when Jeff asks if they can stop walking in slo-mo. “20 more yards.” Oh Abed, you’re going to get your movie reference-riddled episode after all.
The reason the dean is making the gang clean the old bucket o’ bolts (get it? Bucket, because it’s sponsored by KFC? Ha!) is because they submitted a design for the new Greendale flag and it won. The flag has a pink circle with black star at its center surrounded by the phrase “E Pluribus Anus” – yeah, that’s not a symbol for “the crossroads of ideas,” it’s an anus and it’s now the school flag. Bravo.
The dean forbids them from going inside the simulator – that’s reserved for the real fake astronauts in training (the old guy at Greendale in a cardboard box with a paper-plate steering wheel). Before the gang gets to scrubbing, Abed and Troy sneak inside the simulator to Annie’s dismay. (She’s got a really bad feeling about this.) Abed continues to act out his film fantasies and the whole gang jumps into the simulator as well. Pierce jumps in last and in a panic, accidentally starts the simulator causing the handle-less door to lock them all in. Whoops.
The Systemaitc Android Network Diode Energy Rocket System (or Sanders) begins the simulation (and this is only the beginning of the KFC references, folks). Everyone panics, but Jeff insists that they’re just in a Winnebago, until everything starts shaking – “I don’t think this is a simulation…I think we’re being towed.” Duh duh duh.
As the simulator is hauled away (did anyone catch the KFC bucket exhaust nozzles on the back?) Abed comes running out to the parking lot – he left to find an appropriate outfit for the occasion – in an orange spacesuit. Forever skirting the line between reality and his film-inspired imagination, Abed realizes they’re gone and instead of looking down the road, looks wistfully up into the sky.
Back in the simulator, no one can get a cell signal to call someone to stop the tow truck. Pierce can, but “it’s a black guy with the wrong number again.” (Nope, that’s an iPod and he’s listening to Wesley Snipes’ audio book. Oh, OldWhiteManSays.) Troy takes a “long shot” (essential in any space adventure movie) that his “crazy” idea to shake the gravy nozzle handles (KFC sponsored, people!) might save them, but it doesn’t and the dean’s voice starts to crackle through the simulator’s speakers. He says if they don’t get back in time the world will end – as far as Greendale is concerned. The only way they can find out where they are so that they can get back to Greendale in time for the three o’clock launch is if they finish the simulator which will trigger the porthole window to open and thus give them a view of their location. And here we go. Back in the study room the dean asks Abed to walk the crew through the simulator – this episode is really Abed’s dream. He gets to be both Ed Harris and Gary Sinise from the Apollo 13 control room. “I was supposed to be on that thing, I know how she works.”
Abed walks Captain Troy through the Kentucky Fried simulation (he’s got to raise his levels to “Delicious”) but the crew’s not so ready to cooperate. Jeff tries to break open the window before Troy “pulls rank” on him and Sanders is beginning to talk to Pierce but instead of “I can’t do that, Dave” the Colonel tells Pierce he’ll die alone. Clearly he’s got space (simulation) madness or “he’s just old or something” so they lock him up in the back. Annie starts freaking out and ends up admitting that she was the one who set up the tow truck because the dean at City College would guarantee her transfer if she sabotaged the launch. Completely skipping over all that psycho, conniving shit, the gang gets upset that Annie wants to transfer to the other community college. She explains that they hate the school so much and she doesn’t want to be at a school that’s a joke, with that Jeff is inspired to save the simulator mission and thus save Greendale. “Our school may be a toilet, but it’s our toilet. Nobody craps in it but us.” Slow claps…anyone? No? Okay.
Jeff pauses and looks at Troy, “Captain?” Cue dramatic music, and the gang is ready to man their stations and save Greendale. “Thrusters?” “Full.” “Thermals?” “On.” “Navigation?” “Three.” “Chicken?” “Yeah.” It’s “suppertime.” The gang furrows their brows as they jiggle their joysticks to get little yellow circles into a slightly larger center circle (the simulator’s basically a giant Atari). Suddenly they’ve done it and the single window begins to open. They tell Abed where they are, and he uses a map (that the dean has also used to mark and rate all the local truck stop bathrooms; do I have to spell it out for you?) to determine the bad news, “I’m sorry Jeff. You’re out of town.”
The study group sits around the ship like they’re stranded in space (I’m pretty sure they’ve been gone for like an hour, tops). Troy already misses Greendale, “What other school would let us make a butt flag and actually fly it?” They all apologize to Annie, but Jeff confesses that it was actually him who turned the gang in for the butt flag, and he told him it was a butt - the dean just wasn’t seeing it. “There is a time and a place for subtlety, and that time was before Scary Movie.” Yes, Troy, and what a wonderful time it was. Damn those Wayans Brothers.
They let Pierce out of his cage, but he’s still got space madness and he rips Sanders out of the wall revealing the driver’s seat for the space simulator. Jeff calls for the skinniest group member to weasel through the hole and drive the KFC mobile, so Annie takes the wheel. Jeff hops on the radio and tells Abed they’re coming home. Abed helps them navigate as Annie makes sharp turns, causing Britta and Troy to fall into an embrace (yup, the dancing duo’s sexual tension is back).
The gang arrives at the three o’clock ceremony just in time, being greeted and cheered by a crowd in slow motion and the music swells.
Troy’s giving interviews to the press, but waves them off to have a heart to heart with his space comrade, Jeff who puts aside their former differences to congratulate him on being a great captain (it’s a movie episode guys, these kinds of moments are kind of prerequisites). They ask Abed if he wants to sit in the captain’s chair, but he says it’s okay because nothing will be cooler than what he got to do all day – did he mean acting out a movie or saving his friends? We never know with that mega-meta kid anyway.
The ship’s cockpit suddenly explodes and the camera pans over to the dean who’s proudly flying the Greendale anus flag as the soundtrack draws to a close and the adventure ends…on a close up of the anus graphic. Typical Greendale… insert nostalgic sigh.
Before they leave us, Troy and Abed have put together a trailer for a new space movie: SPACE SHIPS. Totally epic. (Someone had to do something with those cardboard training cockpits.)
S1E4: One of the most interesting things about HBO's new prohibition-gangster drama Boardwalk Empire is that, well, it's not about crime. It's about love. Now that may seem like a stretch, considering there are dudes getting beat up or murdered every couple scenes, but with the young show's fourth episode "Anastasia," we learned that underneath all the booze and money lies a romantic tale with each of the show's central characters.
For example, take Atlantic City king Nucky Thompson and dress sales associate Margaret Schroeder. In the first few episodes, the two danced around their feelings for each other. Obviously, because of each of their situations, neither is going to act on it. But in this episode, we finally saw some advancement in each character beyond just sitting and thinking about the other.
The cornerstone of "Anastasia" was Nucky's "surprise" birthday party. (I put surprise in quotations because early in the episode, we see the alcohol-mogul practicing his speech -- "Oh, I had no idea," he says. Yeah right!). At this party, Margaret shows up to deliver Nucky's girl Lucy a special dress to put on after she pops out of the cake. In our eyes as viewers, Margaret and Lucy have developed a competitive relationship because they both clearly have feelings for Nucky. At this party, we get to see them compete head-to-head. Both are questioned about a woman's right to vote, and both give vastly different answers: Lucy doesn't know or understand the issues, and Margaret is very vocal about her thoughts and believes that all "civilized countries" have already passed the bill.
Then, Margaret and Nucky share a dance together. After they finish (to an applause from the crowd, by the way), Margaret says she must go. But before she leaves, she sees Lucy jump out of the cake -- nearly naked -- to surprise Nucky. Everyone in the room laughs and Nucky appears to be enjoying himself, until he catches the eye of Margaret before she leaves. So despite having an beautiful, only-in-underwear woman in front of his eyes, Nucky is still thinking about Margaret.
This development between the three characters was much needed. Yeah, the juxtaposition between the two women was laid on pretty thick (I could almost hear the writers yelling "Hey! There's sexual competition! Pay attention!"), but regardless, the advancement helped us viewers understand that the show isn't just about running booze across the country. It's about the characters and how they feel and how they're interacting with each other. And with the way the episode ends, with Margaret stealing a piece of lingerie from the dress shop after seeing Nucky and Lucy out on the boardwalk together, we understand that Margaret has gotten a taste of what love with Nucky would be like, and she may hope to steal her way into his life.
Meanwhile, while that love triangle happened in Atlantic City, Jimmy and Al Capone were trying to advance their mobster careers in Chicago. The two meet with Charlie Sheridan (Frank Shattuck) to try and get their cut of the crime in Chicago. Jimmy wants to take a more diplomatic and respectful stance, while Capone -- of course -- prefers muscle. After a discussion and a few threats from Capone, they strike a deal with Sheridan. But it's clear Sheridan is not happy about the situation.
It's pretty obvious that Capone is reckless, and Jimmy should not be working out with him. But if I was in Jimmy's situation -- you know, basically exiled from the East coast -- it's hard to say I wouldn't head to Chicago and team up with Capone too. But I don't know. I don't understand why Jimmy isn't more forceful with his ideas with Capone. Jimmy acts like he has something to prove, but whenever he has the opportunity, he succumbs to Capone. Their relationship is quickly becoming one-sided, which is underscored by the part in the episode when Capone buys the two suits -- an action that says "Yeah, we're in business together, but I'm providing." This isn't a good position for Jimmy.
Inside the Episode: Ep. 4 - Part 2
And by the end of the episode, we learn that Jimmy and Capone are not as high up as they think in the crime world. Pearl, Jimmy's prostitute girlfriend in Chicago who he's very fond of (there's the love theme again), gets knifed in her face by one of Sheridan's men, permanently leaving a scar, smearing her face forever. Suddenly, Jimmy's new life in Chicago is spinning out of control.
Back in Atlantic City, outside of a birthday celebration, Nucky is trying to figure out who is responsible for the lynching at the end of last week's episode. He sends his brother Eli to the local KKK meeting where he arrests the local Klan leader and brings him in for questioning. After no initial success, Eli brings in Chalky White (Michael K. Williams) for one of the best scenes in the series so far. Slowly, Williams delivers a heartbreaking monologue about his father, known as the best carpenter in the county, and how he was lynched. And the end, he pulls out his father's tools.
"What are you gonna do with them," the Klan leader asks, trembling.
"Well, I ain't building no bookcase."
We jump 10 minutes to Eli standing outside the room. Chalky comes out and says the man is telling the truth. He didn't do the lynching. We, of course, already know that it was the Italians who were responsible for the lynching. Not the Klan. But regardless, Eli asks how he knows, and Chalky slowly opens his hand, revealing the man's finger in his palm.
Through "Anastasia," we learned that the characters of Boardwalk Empire care more about their relationships versus money or wealth. And, although we don't know enough to tie each storyline together completely, the show is finally moving from development to action. This week set up numerous questions: How will Margaret respond to Lucy and Nucky? How will Jimmy respond to Pearl's knifing? How will Jimmy handle Capone? Or maybe most importantly, how will love handle booze?
S2: E2 Yes, of course, we all awaited Glee’s season premiere with bated breath, but what I think we were really waiting for was last night’s Britney Spears tribute. Now, before you write it off as nothing more than a bubblegum pop fangirl’s dream (okay, go ahead; it totally was) it was also featured a much needed triple dose of everyone’s favorite ditzy Cheerio, Brittany. (This is going to get confusing.)
Before the group gets into some serious Britney, Mr. Schue starts them off with a different (lame) idea, asking the gleeks if they know who Christopher Cross is. While he is actually a fairly successful artist known for easy listening (barf) I like Brittany’s explanation better: he discovered America. Though last season, the glee club followed Mr. Schue like a pack of little, blind puppies, they’ve got ideas of their own this year, and so does someone on Facebook. There’s a Facebook group (with 5 whole members!) begging the group to perform Britney Spears at the Homecoming pep rally. Kurt starts the group in on an over-the-top Britney-is-a-goddess-who-defined-our-generation discussion, but Schue shoots it down.
To make matters worse (or more hilarious) Brittany says she can’t do Britney songs because her name is actually Brittany S. Peirce – when mushed together Brittany SPeirce – and it’s caused her to live in the shadow of Britney Spears’ success. Schue takes the ammunition for his argument, albeit with a furrowed brow.
Slightly crazy and doe-eyed Emma is back, and this time her dentist boyfriend, Karl (John Stamos - Uncle Jesse’s still got it) is making on-campus visits. Schue encounters the two in Emma’s office as Karl describes how he’s using spontaneity to help Emma get over her fears and serious control issues. For some reason, Schue asks him to speak to the glee club about dental hygiene. Keep your enemies closer, I guess?
Karl gives the kids a plaque test which Artie, Rachel, and Brittany all fail – in Brittany’s defense, she washes her mouth out with soda because she’s pretty sure Dr. Pepper was a doctor. (I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the inane things she says.) Now that the writers have created an excuse for the kids to go to the dentist and go under anesthesia, Brittany starts them off. Right before she goes under, Karl gives her headphones to listen to Pandora and here comes the Britney. Suddenly, Brittany is busting out Britney moves and singing “Slave 4 U” in three of her iconic costumes, and damn she can really, I mean really, dance – why have they been keeping these skills under wraps for an entire season?
Meanwhile, Finn’s life has been hellish since he was kicked off the football team. He’s miserable but Rachel as the audacity (of course she does) to say she prefers that he’s not on the team because then a cheerleader won’t steal him away – pay attention folks, this is your brain on high school hormones. Thanks to her selfishness, we’re now going to watch the cutesy pair fight all episode. Great.
Back at the dentist’s office, Brittany is in for a follow-up appointment and she brings Santana who demands any procedure that requires anesthesia. They go under at the same time – because a dentist would totally do that – and their Britney fantasies merge plopping them both into their version of “Me Against the Music.” Brittany rocks it out again, but Santana is just plain creepy (I’m pretty sure her sexy face is also the face a python makes before it strikes at its prey).
The real Britney stops the song – yes, she’s actually in the episode – and tells Brittany she’s awesome but that this is a fantasy (cheesy, but I'll let it slide). Apparently, this dream visit is enough for Brittany to get her confidence back, and she makes a case for the glee club to do Britney the next day in class. Schue still says no, and Kurt finally bursts out with what we all wanted to say – Schue lighten up! He doesn’t, and Kurt is sent to the principal’s office.
Rachel’s next to see Dr. Karl, and of course she has a Britney fantasy too. She stars in a shot-for-shot (boring) remake of "Hit Me Baby One More Time" (with another brief Britney cameo) and Finn plays the “baby” in question. This is cute and all, but it turns out Rachel is just about the worst dancer ever and after the first 15 seconds, it’s just kind of painful to watch. Though she obviously didn’t learn any new dance moves, the dream did give her an idea to dress like a slutty school girl upon her return to the high school. Finn is instantly jealous, and chases her down the hall asking her to cover up – every guy is suddenly falling all over themselves to look at her. So of course, they fight. Surprise, surprise.
Finally, Sue makes an appearance, pulling Schue aside to tell him that she caught Rachel’s “admirer” Jacob in the library, naked and masturbating to the idea of Rachel dressed as Britney Spears. Wowza. These writers are getting ballsy, aren't they? She takes this opportunity to make fun of Schue for the stupid yellow sports car he bought to try to impress Emma (who ended up running away with a freaked out look on her face), and states her case that Britney Spears music is the gateway to depravity and that Glee had better not be doing her music. So of course, now they will be.
Cut to Britney on campus, dressed as a Cheerio and telling Tina she shouldn’t have broken up with Artie. Clearly, it’s his turn at the dentist.
He sings Stronger and imagines he’s a football player (weird, but at least he’s not rapping again). After having this vision, he asks Finn to help him get on the team again because Tina and Mike’s “Asian Fission” is growing stronger and he’s got to win her back. Coach Bieste witnessed a couple of football players torturing the pair in the hallway earlier and feels for them, so she lets them suit up. Rachel is not going to be pleased.
Back in the glee room, Puck asks why everyone is having Britney fantasies (thank you, it’s about time someone pointed out how nonsensical it is) and Artie explains it away – too much Britney talk and nitrous oxide makes you hallucinate. Oh, okay. With that, Schue says they can do Britney, but he’s going to perform with them. Womp, womp.
Before the pep rally, Rachel ambushes Finn in the locker room at first to say she wants him to be happy, then to say that unless they’re both losers he’s going to cheat on her. He responds incredibly sweetly, hugging her and saying he’ll make sure everyone knows she’s his girlfriend, but that’s not enough for her. She actually tells him he has to choose between her and football – seriously? Get a grip, honey.
The pep rally arrives and the gang performs "Toxic" dressed like a bunch of Bob Fosse rejects as Schue steals the spotlight and dances rather inappropriately with his students. (Grow up, man. Didn’t you learn anything after your attempt at being in a boy band last season?) The crowd goes insane, and Jacob continues his sexual deviance, humping the air and crying out “don’t stop!” (Seriously, like I said last week, what is going on at this school?) Sue declares the situation “A Britney Spears sex riot!” and pulls the fire alarm. Sue sues Schue for a sex riot neck sprain she sustained and Emma expresses her disappointment in Schue. He really screwed the pooch on this one.
Rachel uses the last song of the episode to apologize to Finn for being crazy - but only after she tests him by having Quinn ask him out. (He passes with flying colors.) She gives the cheesiest apology speech, saying she’s been strangling Finn like a little bird – to which Brittany replies, “Finn can fly?” (Sometimes I think the show would die without her.) Rachel serenades her man with Paramour’s “You Are the Only Exception,” as a montage of Schue crying over Emma and Rachel and Finn practically skipping through the halls holding hands plays. I guess we all needed a little sedation after an entire episode of sex rioting, but I had hoped for a little more of a bang. Come on, it’s the Britney episode, y’all!
Eight spectators were killed and another 10 left seriously injured at the weekend (14Aug10) when driver Brett Sloppy lost control of his truck and hurtled into the crowd at the California 200 off-road race meeting.
The tragedy has prompted TV mechanic James to record a public service announcement for Fast-Aid, a charity he co-founded which helps raise cash for the victims of race accidents.
In the PSA, he states, "Please give what you can, even if it's only a few bucks. It all adds up and it all can help make a difference in the lives of some great people."
The Chicago star was in New York City on Sunday night (13Jun10) for the annual prize-giving, which honours the best in Broadway theatre, and took the stage to accept an award for her starring role in A Little Night Music.
But Zeta-Jones stunned the crowd by including a racy tribute to her husband in her speech, telling the audience, "See that man over there? He's a movie star, and I get to sleep with him every night."
And the actress admits she regrets including the inappropriate statement.
She tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "It wasn't the most elegant thing to say, was it? I was so caught up in the moment I don't think I knew what I was saying. I had no control over what was coming out of my mouth. What I said about Michael was heartfelt... although I can't believe I said something like that. Just can't believe I said something as crass as that."
And Zeta-Jones is grateful her saucy comments were relatively tame, adding, "Boy, I could have said something worse and then I'd really be in trouble. Mind you, the problem with saying that I get to sleep with Michael every night is that it was done on television and it's on tape forever."
The journalist has been in the Caribbean to cover the citizens' attempts to rebuild the ravaged country following the massive 7.0 tremor which hit last week (12Jan10).
But after a fight broke out between local police and looters in one violent scene, Anderson threw down his handheld camera to carry a young boy to safety.
In an entry on his blog, Cooper writes, "We were covering (a) story when we heard shots being fired. We ran toward the sound and found a store being looted. Two Haitian police officers were occasionally firing into the air to try to keep order, but that only worked for a few moments, then the looting would begin again.
"They (the looters) were stealing boxes of candles... It quickly became a free-for-all. Young men began fighting one another for the stolen items. A number of young men had knives, and planks of wood, screwdrivers and rocks. They were using their improvised weapons to threaten and injure others who had stolen items from the store. The robbers were now being robbed. One group of looters whipped another man with a leather belt. They punched him as well, and they stole the sack of goods he'd just stolen.
"I was in the midst of the melee... As things got really out of control, I saw a looter on the roof of the store they'd broken into throw what I think was part of a concrete block into the crowd. It hit a small boy in the head.
"I saw him collapse. More chunks of concrete were being thrown at the looters on the roof. The injured boy couldn't get up. He'd try and then collapse again. Blood was pouring from his head. He was conscious but had no control over his body. I was afraid someone on the roof would see him lying there and throw another cinder block piece onto him. I was afraid he'd get killed. No one seemed to be helping him.
"I ran to where he was struggling, and picked him up off the ground. I brought him to a spot about a hundred feet away. I could feel his warm blood on my arms. I stood him up, but he was clearly unable to walk. He wiped his bloody face, and I tried to reassure him. He had no idea where he was, and he clearly couldn't walk, so I picked him up again and handed him over to someone behind that makeshift barricade... He was then taken away by someone else. We don't know what happened to him. I hope he's ok."
The British sports star returned to play for L.A. Galaxy earlier this month (Jul09) after a brief spell on loan to Italian side AC Milan.
But a section of the crowd were determined to make it clear they were unhappy at rumours Beckham is planning to quit the club for good and booed him throughout last Sunday's (19Jul09) game - ironically against AC Milan.
One man even evaded security to taunt Beckham from the side of the pitch - prompting the star to run up to the barrier and challenge him.
Beckham had to be restrained by L.A. Galaxy officials as the fan was removed from the grounds and the star later claimed he simply wanted to shake the man's hand to get him to calm down.
But MLS executives have failed to see the incident from Beckham's point of view and have slapped him with a hefty fine for losing control.