Author

Michael Arbeiter
Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.
  • Meryl Streep is a More Powerful Margaret Thatcher in New 'The Iron Lady' Trailer
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 07, 2011
    I've got to be honest. The last trailer for The Iron Lady was a little underwhelming. We've seen it all before: a controversial world leader, played by an actor synonymous with "distinguished," dealing with personal and political trials while on a journey to make a change in the world. I guess this new trailer is really more of the same...but somehow, it just makes The Iron Lady seem better that I previously thought. Meryl Streep's performance seems stronger, and the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and her husband Denis Thatcher (played in the film by Jim Broadbent) seems thicker, rockier and more compelling. Of course, the real story is the opposition Thatcher gets due to her policies, actions and gender from other nations, British citizens, and her own colleagues. None of it is "surprising." Anyone even marginally familiar with Margaret Thatcher will know right away what to expect from the film, more or less. But the delivery seems triumphant, and grand: qualities more than applicable to the subject in question. We recommend you check out the new trailer for The Iron lady, directed by Phyllidia Lloyd. It probably won't shock you...but stir you it just might. Click here to watch the new The Iron Lady trailer at Apple.com.
  • Watch Jonah Hill Play the Worst Role Model Ever in This 'The Sitter' Clip Collection
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 07, 2011
    This Friday, Jonah Hill will exceed all levels of foulness and manchildhood that any of his characters have embodied in the past in The Sitter, a fast-paced comedy directed by David Gordon Green about a twentysomething jerk who gets himself and the three nightmare children he's babysitting involved in a series of dangerous, inappropriate scenarios. The below series of clips for The Sitter invites us into the action and comedy of the sitter, proving there are very few lines the film isn't willing to cross. The first clip shows Noah (Hill's character) reluctant to take on the babysitting jump, but enticed by the physical allure of the mother of the three kids in question. The Sitter comes out this Friday, Dec. 9.
  • Troy and Abed Perform a Very Unmerry Christmas Rap in New 'Community' Sneak Peak
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 07, 2011
    Oh, Community. This is why you're so perfect and why you're so inaccessible. Fans of NBC's without-a-doubt best benched series of the midseason know that the study group does particuarly well when it comes to Christmas episodes. The first season's "Comparative Religion" introduced all of the characters' spiritual beliefs—most notably, Shirley's religious intolerance—and really got the ball rolling on the whole "these people are becoming a (toxic) family" theme. Season 2 kicked it into a higher gear with "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas," the stop-motion special that really dug into everyone's favorite TV addict's emotional turmoils. And this year, something magical is in store with "Regional Holiday Music." Community has been particularly unapologetic about its aversion to Fox's Glee. And in the spirit of slight disdain (and Christmas!), Community is focusing its brilliant takedown of television tropes on a musical episode. In NBC's sneak peak below of this Thursday's "Regional Holiday Music," we see the musically talented Abed and Troy give a very off-kilter rendition about their feelings on Christmas. Fans of Community will rejoice. Fans of Donald Glover's rap alter ego, Childish Gambino, will be ecstatic. And fans of Christmas...well, that group might be a little terrified. Watch Community's musical Christmas episode, "Regional Holiday Music," this Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
  • Is Michael Bay on the Brink of Making a Fourth 'Transformers' Movie?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 07, 2011
    These days, director Michael Bay's passions are invested heavily in Pain and Gain, a dark comedy about the true story of a group of body-building kidnappers that is seeking Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg to star. Bay has taken quite an interest in this somewhat offbeat project, which doesn't scream "epic Hollywood blockbuster" as much as the usual Bay movie does. But perhaps he's just been paying his dues since Armageddon, in hopes of earning enough clout with the studios to one day (a rapidly approaching day, at that) be able to create his artistic masterpiece with as large a budget and as permitting a contract as he'd need. But of course, studios aren't entirely on board with him riding out his dream without something else in it for them...Paramount is pushing for a fourth Transformers movie. Bay has declared no definitive stance on the Trans4mers project. On Bay's website, he stated, "Studio's are passing rumors but I'm not sure what I'm doing? I know I'm going to do Pain and Gain early spring but that's it for right now. I'm leaving all my options on the table. I've got several Studio meetings in the next two weeks." [sic] On the other side of things, however, Vulture is reporting that the director has begun negotiations with the studio about the prospective film. So what would it take to get Bay on board with another Transformers? Last we heard, Bay's muse Shia LaBeouf stated his intentions to avoid any further Transformer films. To be clear, it's not as though Bay won't be able to make Pain and Gain without also making Transformers 4, but the question is about maintaining a favorable partnership with the studio to whom he is so frugally attached. So, we might have another Transformers, and we will have a dark comedy about body builders, both at the hands of Michael Bay. The real question is: which will have more explosions? Source: Vulture, Shoot for the Edit
  • Matt Damon Gets Too Close to a Fan's Wife: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 07, 2011
    Last night, a very bald Matt Damon stopped by The Late Show to talk about accidentally crossing the line with a man's wife in the park one afternoon, and to take a Christmas picture with Letterman. Katherine Heigl showed up on The Tonight Show to discuss her new movie New Year's Eve, and the down-side to being married to a rock star: living on a bus, and frequenting truck stops. Sarah Jessica Parker visited Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to talk about Christmas in her household, and how, alongside all of her tireless work to make the holidays special, her husband Matthew Broderick has invented the most popular tradition of putting things in pots. Finally, also on Late Night, the great Patton Oswalt talked about one of the greatest moments in television history: a prank he played on King of Queens where he remained ENTIRELY STILL for an entire scene...and then some.
  • Mega Producer Luc Besson to Direct Angelina Jolie in Scientific Drama-Thriller
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 06, 2011
    Luc Besson is one of those filmmakers who may have a lot of weak projects on his resume, but will always be remembered for his stronger contributions. Maybe it's the name. You just don't want to believe a guy named "Luc Besson" can be uncool. So, the fact that he's developing a dramatic thriller with a scientific element? Exciting. The fact that Angelina Jolie is setting up to star in it? Even more so. And the fact that this is headed for production in the spring, which means a resultant delay in Jolie's developing projects like Cleopatra and Maleficent (a live-action retelling of Sleeping Beauty)? Kind of a bummer. But focus on the Besson, people. Little is known about the Besson/Jolie collaboration, other than it will be a return to form for the director, who majored movies with a steady, triumphant percussion. Some might recall his 1985 crime dramedy Subway with a sustained appreciation. Or maybe you've heard of The Fifth Element, The Professional or Taken? Might be better bet. As for Jolie, her praises need not be sung. She's got as big a fanbase as anyone else in Hollywood, and not for no reason. Jolie's feature directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey comes to theaters Dec. 23, 2012. Source: Deadline
  • Casting Roundup: Chewbacca Brings His Talent to 'Glee,' 'Once Upon a Time' Casts Gaston
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 06, 2011
    I've been working for quite a while to come up with a funny enough joke to lead into the particularly noteworthy guest casting on the upcoming Glee Christmas episode, but nothing I think of is nearly as good as the news itself: Chewbacca—Han Solo's Wookiee copilot in the Star Wars universe—will be coming to McKinley High. How can you trivialize the most wonderful casting in a musical dramedy with mere wordplay? Sure, I could play off a possible romance with Jane Lynch's character, dubbing the duo Suebacca. As it is a Christmas episode, I might allude to leaving Wookiees and milk out for Santa Claus. But let's put all that treachery aside in favor of discussing what role Chewbacca will play at McKinley High. Glee star Matthew Morrison revealed that Chewbacca will exist in a within-the-episode special that pays homage to the Star Wars Christmas special of 1978. Glee's Christmas episode will air next Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. Catch tonight's new Glee, "Hold on to Sixteen," which brings back good ol' Trouty Mouth (Chord Overstreet). -THR No one fights like Sage Brocklebank, douses lights like Sage Brockleback...in a wrestling match, nobody bites like—yeah, just doesn't have the same ring to it. But the ABC series Once Upon a Time will see Brocklebank take on the role of the man who once earned these accolades in a much more rhythmic way: Gaston, the brawny dufus antagonist from Beauty and the Beast. Once seems to be working on collecting a handful of Beauty and the Beast characters; they've already cast LOST's impeccable Emilie de Ravin as Belle, and now Psych's Brocklebank will play her nefarious suitor. Witness this tale as old as time on Once on Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. -EW Speaking of LOST, someone much darker than the glowing young Claire (I choose to remember her as she was in the first half of the series) will be making a cameo on another fairy tale-themed show: Titus Welliver, who terrorized the island as the Man in Black, will be bringing his supernatural abilities to the NBC series Grimm. Welliver did his share of shapeshifting back in his beachside days, and apparently, he's feeling a bit nostalgic: Welliver's Grimm character, Farley Holt, will have the power to transform into a golden eagle. At least he's sticking to solid states of matter this time around. Grimm airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. -Zap2it  TNT is making some serious plans for the final episode of its long-running series The Closer. In the most poetic fashion possible, Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) will find herself pit against her arch nemesis—the dishonest attorney and suspected rapist Philip Stroh, played by Billy Burke of The Twilight Saga films. Burke will find himself back on the series when a serial killer investigation involves both Brenda and Stroh, set opposed to each other in one final, epic, and likely super-cathartic battle. The Closer's series finale will air sometime in the summer of 2012. Watch the remaining three episodes of The Closer's "mini-season" on the next three consecutive Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on TNT. -TVLine
  • Exclusive: AMC's 'Hell on Wheels' Is On the Right Track in New Photos
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 06, 2011
    Hell on Wheels, the completion of AMC's superfecta of earthly horrors (slavery, zombies, the drug trade and advertising), has got a lot going for it. Its superior cast is led by Anson Mount, who tells the story of a post-Civil War era man on a desperate, hopeless quest for revenge against the men who murdered his wife, and Colm Meany, who plays the Machiavellian railroad investor who understands the necessities in villainy. On par with its terrific acting and intriguing writing is the visual style of Hell on Wheels. The setting is a gripping picture of the era; the characters' vibrance is as dense with literary value as the lines they deliver. Below, we have four exclusive pictures from Hell on Wheels. Among those depicted are Mount, and rapper/actor Common, who plays Elam, a railroad worker with a grudge against the white population, and Dominique McElligott, who plays Lily Bell.  Hell on Wheels airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMC. Chris Large/AMC Chris Large/AMC Chris Large/AMC Chris Large/AMC
  • Danny DeVito Greets Us with a New 'The Lorax' Trailer
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 06, 2011
    The below Yahoo trailer for the upcoming animated movie The Lorax, an adaptation of Dr. Seuss' classic environmentally-themed story of the same name, is a modern day miracle. It warrants such a superlative in that the trailer is introduced by star Danny DeVito, talk about the film while standing before a backdrop that emulates the magical woodland setting of the movie, exclaiming happily his promotion of the trailer. The miracle is: that's not even the best part. If it were any other trailer—if it were any other thing in the world, an excited Danny DeVito yelling clumsily about a subject he is passionate about would be the best imaginable aspect. But here, The Lorax trailer itself is a majesty. In the two minute film that it is, I laughed, I teared up, I considered recycling more...if The Lorax is half as powerful as this trailer, then it'll be a truly honest, wonderful tribute to the great author. The Lorax comes out Mar. 2, 2012, and also stars Zac Efron, Ed Helms and Taylor Swift. Source: Yahoo
  • Idris Elba to Play Nelson Mandela in New Biopic
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 06, 2011
    It should say something to us all that Idris Elba's last name spelled backwards is "Able." The man is the quintessence of ability. Every task he attempts is accomplished and then some. He is likely best known for his role on The Wire, but has really taken off in major film roles lately. And he's far more able than one might think, judging only from movies like Thor and Takers. Elba is destined for greater things, heavier roles, more dynamic and dense films. What sort of movies might best display his ability? Well, to narrow it down to a specific category would be unjust...but "Nelson Mandela biopic" sounds good. It sounds real good. Elba will indeed be portraying the lead in a developing film about the life of the South African president, following in the footsteps of greats like Morgan Freeman (who played Mandela in Invictus), Sydney Poitier (in Mandela and De Klerk), Terrence Howard (in Winnie) and Dennis Haysbert (in Goodbye Bafana), among others. One might be in the mindset that there is a slimmer range of interpretation when it comes to playing a real-life figure—especially a real-life figure with the prominence of Nelson Mandela. But remember: we're talking about Elba here. The man whose Stringer Bell made television history. The man who makes even the smallest roles the real victories of his films. A man who not only has the ability, but has the heart. Want proof? The man's first name spelled backwards is "Sirdi." That's Serbian for "Heart." Mind-blower.  Source: The Film Stage