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.
  • Woody Harrelson Is One Angry, Crooked Cop in 'Rampart' Poster
    By: Michael Arbeiter November 02, 2011 12:13pm EST
    The renegade cop story. There will always be movies about it, and there will always be people racing to see it. Nothing is more gripping than than corruption, and nothing is more corrupt than the idea of a figure that represents the law living in free contradiction to it. Thus, what is more interesting than the renegade cop story? Maybe the misunderstood alien story, but that's it. Woody Harrelson, a pitifully underappreciated actor, stars in Rampart as 1990s LAPD Officer Dave Brown, who will do anything he can to survive. The poster grabs right for the throat with your go-to renegade cop profile view: the sunglasses, the grimace, the stubble, the glare...this movie has got intrigue written all over it. In ink. The ink from one of those exploding bank bags that go off when you steal money. Which is a common practice of criminals. And crooked cops. Oh yeah. Intrigue. Rampart is written and directed by Oren Moverman (The Messenger) and also stars Steve Buscemi, Anne Heche, Ben Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Ice Cube, Robin Wright, Ned Beatty and Cynthia Nixon. The film opens Jan. 27, 2012.   
  • 'Jersey Shore' and 'The Bachelor' Premiere Dates Announced
    By: Michael Arbeiter November 02, 2011 11:30am EST
    January is a time for rebuilding yourself. New years mean new resolutions, new goals, new aspirations for self-fulfillment. In short, January is a time to become a better person. And who better to impart the values of personal improvement unto the American population than the cast of Jersey Shore? MTV has announced the premiere date for Jersey Shore's fifth season, during which we'll see the cast back in New Jersey after their season abroad in Italy. Now that they're back on their home turf, what can we expect from the newly-cultured Jerseyans we have come to know so very well over the past four seasons? Jersey Shore will return to television on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Another reality show making its way back to television early in 2012 is The Bachelor. This season will focus on Ben Flajnik, a former contestant on The Bachelorette, at the center of the romance competition. Flajnik underwent the disheartening experience of being turned down in a marriage proposal by The Bachelorette subject Ashley Herbert. Hopefully, his fortune will turn around in the upcoming Bachelor season, which begins Monday, Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, in a special two-hour premiere episode. Source: THR
  • Zachary Knighton and Adam Pally of 'Happy Endings' Discuss New Romances and Guest Stars
    By: Michael Arbeiter November 02, 2011 10:56am EST
    We got a chance to speak with two of the stars of ABC’s secret weapon sitcom Happy Endings: Zachary Knighton, who plays the listless, somewhat clueless, but good-natured Dave, and Adam Pally, who plays the sardonic underachiever Max, about their experiences on the show and what is in store for their characters and their fans. Knighton teased of a possible big development in his character Dave’s love life: “There’s a bit of a twist coming, but I don’t think I can talk about it…no spoilers for that one, but there’s some big stuff comin’ down the line for ol’ Dave,” further stating that, “I think fans will be supportive, for sure.” On the topic of romance, Knighton and Pally confirmed that former guest stars Megan Mullally, who played Penny’s (Casey Wilson) perpetually upbeat mother, and Damon Wayans, who played Brad’s (his real-life son Damon Wayans, Jr.) emotionally distant father, will be returning to the series and will be “involved with each other in some capacity,” further elaborating that it will be “something parental-themed, or something very sexual and weird.” Other guest stars we have yet to see include Fred Savage (who works on the show as a director) and Saturday Night Live star Bobby Moynihan. After joking (repeatedly) that his character Max would become romantically involved with a rake in the future, Pally touched seriously on Max’s developments in this area: “I think Max is starting to get a little lonely, and is looking to find that special someone. He may or may not be out there, because Max has very specific criteria.” The discussion of Max’s love life evolved into the character’s unique design as a gay character in comedy television. As fans know, Max is a far stride from the gay stereotypes regularly employed by sitcoms. Pally confirmed that Max’s uniqueness in this vein is part of what drew him to Happy Endings, stating, “I think Max is an interesting character that I hadn’t seen before. It’s really fun to play something that is against type.” The original music on Happy Endings has been a consistent highlight, from Dave’s “The Power of Love” rock ballad in the Season 2 premiere to his homemade commercials for his steak truck -- which we will be seeing on tonight’s episode or right now on When asked about what further musical exploits in which we’ll be seeing his or other characters get involved, Knighton proposed, “I think that Max and Dave should start a jug band.” Pally immediately got on board, proclaiming that “[Max will have] some ripped dude standing there, and he’s playing his abs with a spoon.” Both actors touched on the idea of developments with their characters, and how they have changed and will continue to change over the course of the series. Knighton in particular was happy with Dave's changes since the show’s inception: I wanted to move away from all the ‘left at the altar,’ relationship stuff, and really start to have storylines with everybody else, which I didn’t really get so much in the first season. That was definitely a goal of mine, and luckily it was the same with the writers. We’ve gotten to have a lot more fun with Dave this year. We’ve acknowledged [the Dave and Alex situation] like once so far this season. I think the same goes for Elisha [Cuthbert]’s character. Now that she doesn’t have to deal with trying to buy back the audience and let the audience know that she’s okay, she gets funny stuff to do. I’m sure she’s having fun with that. The topic of parents got the actors to talking about an idea that Knighton and his father came up with for the introduction of Dave’s as of yet unseen father: “My dad had a really funny pitch [in which] me and Pally are walking down the street one day, and my dad walks by. And we just stop and sort of stare at each other, examine each other up and down, and then just keep walking. Like Dave has never met his father.” Pally then put his own spin on Knighton’s idea: “You won’t know if that guy is your dad or some kind of Legend of Baggar Vance. He walks through a wall after giving you great golf advice.” Naturally, the conversation eventually turned to the fan-favorite zombie apocalypse episode of Happy Endings’ first season. When posed with the question of who among the cast would fare best in a real zombie apocalypse, both men suggested Knighton to be the ultimate survivor, and pinpointed Wayans, Jr., as an early victim. However, this brought Knighton and Pally to explore the idea that “in the next apocalypse, it’s not going to be zombies. People will be turning into Wayans. Everybody starts making dance flicks and White Chicks.” Finally, Pally expressed his desire to do a Happy Endings crossover with the AMC series Breaking Bad, wherein, as he puts it, “we all get hooked on meth.” Happy Endings airs Wednesday nights at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.
  • Denzel Washington Makes Us Question Our Safety in New 'Safe House' Poster
    By: Michael Arbeiter November 02, 2011 10:52am EST
    Denzel Washington is its own genre of movie. It's adrenal, but thoughtful. It's heavy, but fun. It's challenging, but approachable. Safe House looks to fall right into your neighborhood of Denzelia, and no one is complaining. The upcoming film will star Washington as a rogue CIA agent under house arrest—another classic Denzel juxtaposition: he's bad, but you still kind of root for him—with a rookie officer (Ryan Reynolds) acting as his guardian. However, when their residence becomes the target of an attack, Washington must utilize his special agent prowess to save his life and that of Reynolds' character.  A race against time? Crooked officers? High-level crime? Yeah, this is a Denzel movie all right. And again: no one is complaining. Safe House is directed by Swedish director Daniel Espinosa. reaches theaters Feb. 10, 2012. Source: Moviefone
  • '300: Battle of Artemesia' to Star Joel Edgerton?
    By: Michael Arbeiter November 02, 2011 6:59am EST
    Joel Edgerton has thrust himself into the breach more than his share of times. He played a warrior in Warrior. He was attacked by clones in Attack of the Clones. And though I can't really make a play on words with the title of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, you can bet that he was pretty stalwart as Metalbeak. His next seizing of the sword might very well take place in Ancient Greece: Edgerton is in talks to join the 300 sequel, Battle of Artemesia as its star player. Edgerton's character-to-be is Themosticles, leader of the Greek army against invading Persian forces. Like the first movie, this story takes blace in 480 B.C. Pretty big year for the groundwork of the whole Greek-Persian enmity of ancient days. Smart People director Noam Murro is trying his hand at action-adventure with this sequel, while 300 director Zack Snyder is working on the script. But, of course, the most exciting news about this project is still the potential casting of Gerard Butler. Source: Vulture
  • Hugh Jackman Rips Off His Shirt and Screams: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter November 02, 2011 6:50am EST
    Last night, the great Hugh Jackman gave an unforgettable performance on Conan. He also showed off his best impression of how George Clooney deals with excited fans,  shared a montage of his best shirtless screams, and sang a lively duet with Mandarin. Adam Sandler stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to talk about working with Al Pacino on Jack and Jill, and to tell a story about Pacino bursting into tears on set. Eddie Murphy appeared on The Tonight Show to determine with Jay whether or not he is a recluse or just somebody who likes to stay at home a lot, and to explain just how low of an alcohol tolerance he has.  Finally, Ben Stiller visited The Late Show to describe his Halloween, which involved being an undersized Darth Vader, and being hassled by a tech-savvy six-year-old Night at the Museum fan.
  • Nicole Kidman to Star in Phillip Noyce's 'My Wild Life' Daphne Sheldrick Biopic
    By: Michael Arbeiter November 02, 2011 6:42am EST
    Dame Daphne Sheldrick is a monumental figure in the world of animal conservationism. She spent decades of her life caring for orphaned wild animals and rehabilitating them for capable life in their natural habitats. Sheldrick has worked with rhinoceros, zebras, warthogs and various types of birds, among other species, but she is most renowned for her work with elephants. Sheldrick is recognized as a pioneer in the successful husbandry of elephants. A film project entitled My Wild Life, dedicated to exploring and highlighting the accomplishments of Sheldrick, has been in development for some time. Actress Nicole Kidman has recently begun expressing interest and is now signed on to play Sheldrick in the biopic. Along with Kidman, director Phillip Noyce is also attached. Noyce's filmmaking career dates back to the 1960s. He has directed films including Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, The Bone Collector and last year's Salt. Despite her accomplishments, Sheldrick has maintained a relatively low degree of notoriety. Sheldrick is responsible for the lives of countless animals, and doubtlessly in part for the perseverance of many species. The short documentary film Born to Be Wild 3D, which was released earlier this year, features Sheldrick alongside conservationist and orangutan specialist Dr. Birute M. Galdikas. Source: THR
  • Two New Terrence Malick Films to Star Bale, Blanchett, Gosling, Mara and More
    By: Michael Arbeiter November 01, 2011 1:35pm EST
    The Terrence Malick we all grew up with was known for making one heavy, introspective movie every eight years or so, and doing God knows what in the interim period. But those days are behind Malick. The Tree of Life was all anybody was talking about in the days between Black Swan and the OWS protests, which might be the prompt for the director to churn out two new films right away. Malick is currently working on Lawless (hopefully a Xena biopic...but, whatever it really is will probably also be good) and Knight of Cups (named presumably for the tarot card character). If the prospect of two upcoming Malick films is not enticing enough for you, listen to the casting: Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett are set to star in both movies. Lawless will also star Ryan Gosling, breakout heroine Rooney Mara, and Haley Bennett (Marley & Me). Knight of Cups' cast will include Isabel Lucas, who had a role in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and the upcoming Immortals. Bale and Blanchett aside, Malick is clearly interested in newcomers to Hollywood notoriety. Before this (very fruitful) year, Gosling was primarily known as "that guy from The Notebook;" the actor has barely begun a career that promises a good deal of adventurous surprises. Mara is in the same boat. Her name is becoming more and more house-held, and perhaps this immediate plunge into a cerebral Malick film will ensure that this great young actress does not become solely identifiable by her Dragon Tattoo role. As for Bennett and Lucas, we have yet to see the full range of their ability. Hopefully, and very likely, Lawless and Knight of Cups will give all involved a chance to expand their image and showcase their talent. Source: Variety
  • Casting Roundup: Michelle Trachtenberg Back on 'Gossip Girl,' Seinfeld Takes Regis' Chair
    By: Michael Arbeiter November 01, 2011 1:00pm EST
    Halloween has passed, but Gossip Girl has yet to experience its most horrifying moment this season: the return of Georgina Sparks, played to wicked perfection by Michelle Trachtenberg. The most recent Sparks developments saw her skipping town after leaving Dan (Penn Badgley) with the son that, at the time, he believed was his. The diabolical manipulator of the Upper East Side will return once more on the series' 100th episode, to air sometime in early 2012. Sparks' return to Gossip Girl will mark an expectedly heavy sum of trouble for all in her path. Gossip Girl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CW. -TVLine Back when Kathy Lee Gifford left Regis Philbin as the lone Live! host, a series of guest hosts were invited onto the show until the producers chose a permanent replacement. Now that Philbin is leaving his seat, producers are bringing back that practice. The first guest host to sit beside Kelly Ripa on Live! will be Jerry Seinfeld. Over the past twelve years, Seinfeld has only been marginally busy: starring in the animated Bee Movie, co-creating and co-hosting the short-lived The Marriage Ref, and making guest appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm, among a couple of other projects. Although Seinfeld is only slated for a guest hosting gig, he's certainly got the star power and the affability to take on a daytime talk show. Philbin's last episode will be Nov. 18. Seinfeld will guest host from Monday, Nov. 21 to Wednesday, Nov. 23. -AOLtv Person of Interest has been flourishing in terms of guest casting. First, we got Linda Cardellini. Then, Breaking Bad's David Costabile. And last week, character acting legend Dan Hedaya. The newest entree to this amazing lineup is Bridget Regan, star of Legend of the Seeker. Regan will play a Brooklynite hairdresser who finds her way into the lives of John Reese (Jim Caviezel), Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson), and their omnipotent machine. Person of Interest airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. -TVLine
  • The Spectacular Eddie Redmayne Joins Tom Hooper's Great Cast in 'Les Miserables'
    By: Michael Arbeiter November 01, 2011 11:26am EST
    Tom Hooper, when all this is over, we're going to throw you a party. By 'we,' I mean the viewing public. By 'party,' I mean Earth-shattering expression of gratitude for what is certain to become of Les Miserables. The latest master of screen and stage to join this mission of musical/narrative majesty is Eddie Redmayne, whom you might remember from his colorful performances in Black Death, Powder Blue, The Yellow Handkerchief and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. The torrentially fantastic cast that Les Miserables is building is something we'll be able to tell our kids about. With Hugh Jackman as the lead Jean Valjean, Anne Hathaway as his love Fantine, Russell Crowe as the merciless Inspector Javert, and Helena Bonham Carter as the wicked Madame Thenardier, we'd better bring our full attentions to this film. Missing even a moment will be unacceptable. Redmayne is set to play the student revolutionary Marius. Redmayne's next cinematic jaunt will be in the company of Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn, which opens Nov. 23. If you're not familiar with the show, get a taste for the part of Marius courtesy of a Jonas Brother. Source: Deadline