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.
  • Logan Lerman and Emma Watson Show Us 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' in New Pics
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 16, 2011
    If you have ever been sixteen, you have probably read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky's epistolary novel about a high school boy called "Charlie" who deals with the cataclysms of American teenhood (that's oversimplifying, but to sum up the book at all is to oversimplify). The novel is a pioneer in its sincerity, attacking youth from a very authentic, emotionally chaotic standpoint. It is a vivid story with which each of its many devoted readers have a very personal, unique relationship. Thus, the development of a film is a risky thing. It helps a whole lot that the author Chbosky is writing and directing the film version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. But we're still bound to draw flaws with the visual depictions of certain characters, scenes and ideas. That being said, Logan Lerman is a pretty spot-on manifestation of how I pictured Charlie. Just look at him, down there, gazing off into pensive, somber space...deliberating his value, wondering how he can sacrifice himself for his true love (Emma Watson), solidifying his own loneliness. So who knows? Maybe the film will be a fantastic adaptation of Chbosky's nearly holy novel. And what's more, maybe it'll spur a few spin-offs... The Perks of Being a Spacestarer The Perks of Being a Lunchstudyer The Perks of Being a Hallwayleerer Source: Indiewire
  • Snooki Teaches Leno and Howie Mandel Guidette Poses: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 16, 2011
    Last night, Snooki made a very Snooki appearance on The Tonight Show, talking about her fondness for tattoos and her fascination with Jay's other guest Howie Mandel. She eventually embraced the mission of teaching Jay and Howie "Guidette poses," which they all demonstrated. Like Crazy star Felicity Jones stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to discuss Cadbury's "chocolate monopoly" in England. Eventually, they segue from talking about chocolate into talking about alcohol. And to top it all off: there's juggling. So...you can't really go wrong here. Elijah Wood showed up on The Colbert Report to attempt to discuss Happy Feet Two—such as the extensive method training that went into preparing for his portrayal of Mumble the penguin—but was sidetracked by Stephen into having a conversation about Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit that eventually erupted into a swordfight. The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive Finally, Parks and Recreation star Adam Scott paid a visit to Conan to reminisce about the "low point" of his career (when the most devoted fan of a play he performed half-naked was a homeless man), his counterproductive method of acting like a jerk in auditions to get more parts, and his jealousy of his handsome/athletic/acting expert/chessmaster friend Jon Hamm.
  • CBS Orders 3 More Episodes of 'A Gifted Man' Starring Patrick Wilson
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 15, 2011
    This season of network television saw a few new CBS series. One of which is A Gifted Man, the well-received drama starring Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Ehle. It was announced recently that CBS has ordered three additional episodes for A Gifted Man's inaugural season, bringing the total count to sixteen. Although A Gifted Man is not a heavy hitter ratings-wise, it won steady approval from critics, and has clearly won the favor of its network. On the series, Wilson plays Dr. Michael Holt, a narcissitic, hypercompetitive surgeon whose deceased ex-wife Anna (Ehle) begins visiting him in spirit form. Once this pattern is set in place, Anna begins trying to impart life lessons onto Holt, attempting to veer him away from his narrow, cold lifestyle toward a more open, purposeful means of conducting himself.   A Gifted Man airs Friday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Source: Deadline
  • Charlize Theron Puts on a Happy Face in New 'Young Adult' Poster
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 15, 2011
    Go ahead, Charlize Theron. Rope us in with your tired grimace. Your cold, clueless eyes. Your overall exuberance of an ignorant, self-aggrandizing hate for everything in your half-mile radius. It all works. Young Adult is irresistible. Mavis Gary (Theron), a novelist, returns to her Minnesota hometown, bent on reigniting an old flame with a now happily married man (Patrick Wilson). I don't know what is so ferociously fresh about a plot that seems like it must have been done time and time again. In large, it's the combination of director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody: an inevitable power duo of offbeat wit, sophistication and stylized charm. There's also the magnetic cast to consider: Theron, Wilson, Patton Oswalt, J.K. Simmons, to name a few. Maybe it's the true sincerity emanated by this film about the phobia of aging, a pandemic that is attacking not only the characters in this movie, but the generation it represents. Whatever it is, as said above, it all works. Scowl all you want, Theron. You're not keeping anybody away. Source: Hitfix
  • 'Twilight''s Kristen Stewart Reached for Major Role in 'Akira' Remake?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 15, 2011
    If you're going to remake the classic anime Akira as a live-action Hollywood film, you might as well shoot for the stars. Kristen Stewart has been cemented as one of the biggest stars of today, thanks to her Twi-normous vampire series, Twilight, and its so-close-we-can-taste-the-glitter next chapter Breaking Dawn Part 1. Vying for some of her star power are the people behind the developing Akira remake (a team that includes director Jaume Collet-Saura and writer Steve Kloves). Stewart is being reached to play a romantic interest for the protagonist Kaneda and the story's primary heroine: Kei. Stewart is not the first teen twi-dol to be reached for an Akira role. Back in March, it was reported that Robert Pattinson was among a slew of young heartthrobs wanted to play the Kaneda character—a part that inevitable went to Garrett Hedlund. Others in talks for Akira roles include Ezra Miller and Alden Ehrenreich, both for the second lead male Tetsuo, Keira Knightley for an undisclosed role, Gary Oldman for the Colonel and Helena Bonham Carter for Lady Miyako. So, what will Akira fans think of Stewart's casting? Hard to say. On the one hand, anime aficionados might be averse to Twi-casting in this particularly cherished piece of the medium. On the other hand, it's unfair to discount Stewart's talent just because of the palpable schism between people who like Twilight and people who like anime. On a third hand, anime needs more vampires. Right? ... Right? Source: Indiewire
  • Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Garner and Olivia Wilde Will Stop Your Heart in New 'Butter' Pics
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 15, 2011
    Something about Butter seems very appealing to me. The upcoming movie from director Jim Field Smith (She's Out of My League) combines the two things that are necessary in any gripping comedy film: contemporary political allegory and dairy-related sculpture. Jennifer Garner plays a straight-laced housewife aching to get into the butter-sculpting game after her husband (Ty Burrell), a renowned name in the field, has retired. Garner's character will face off against a young butter prodigy (Yara Shahidi) and a brazen stripper (Olivia Wilde). Also in the cast, as you can see below, are Hugh Jackman as an adulterous car salesman, Rob Corddry and Alicia Silverstone. And though the plot is simple and silly, it all just gives off a vibe of dynamism. Maybe it's because everyone is smiling in the pictures below. Maybe it's the butter sculptures propagated by young Shahidi. Maybe it's my excitement to see Alicia Silverstone do something again. Whatever it is, I'm hooked.  Source: Indiewire
  • Tim Burton in Talks to Develop 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 15, 2011
    Tim Burton has recently announced his interest in adapting the macabre-sounding Random Riggs novel Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. In other news, Martin Scorsese wants to direct a mobster character piece, Quentin Tarantino is working on a bloody Spaghetti Western, and Charlie Kaufman is making a movie about making a movie about making a movie... The book surrounds a young man's memories of his grandfather's tales of the titular Home for Peculiar Children, wherein orphaned boys and girls with supernatural abilities, such as telepathy, telekinesis, controlling fire, etc, found hospice. As an adult, the young man takes it upon himself to investigate the ruins of the orphanage of which his grandfather spoke, learning that there might have been an element of danger to all of these children—an element that has not yet been put to rest. Dark, yet whimsical. Mysterious and haunting, but colorful and energetic. That's as Burtonian as you get. No word on the filmmaker's progress in obtaining the book for adaptation, but we expect this will be in the works sometime in the future...and that there'll be a Depp and a Bonham Carter involved. Source: Deadline
  • Does the Trailer for De Niro/Paul Dano Starrer 'Being Flynn' Tell the Same Old Story?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 15, 2011
    Writers are, in general, a narcissistic bunch. From your grand, esteemed novelist to your lowly movies blogger, you'd be hard-pressed to find a writer who isn't, to some degree, invigorated by the idea that his own story would make a great story. And though I say this with a tone, it's really not at all a bad thing. This is because everybody—writer or otherwise—has his own story to tell. Everyone's story is different. And when it comes to writers, the stories behind the stories are different as well. So, we can have tons of movies about writing: Finding Forrester, Shakespeare in Love, Adaptation., Barton Fink (to name only four of the dozens). All unique, all interesting in their way. So there is nothing at all a problem with a film about a writer trying to find his story. Unfortunately, in the case of what Being Flynn seems to be, there doesn't appear to be a great deal of originality in the story or the characters. Judging by the first trailer, which features Robert De Niro as a troubled, wayward author and estranged father to Paul Dano, himself an aspiring writer, Being Flynn is not too much we haven't seen before. Instead of striving to make an original, unique and specific story for this duo of adept performers to capture, it looks as though writer/director Paul Weitz opts for a sweeping, general, overtly sappy and traditional Hollywood tale that "plays it safe." This is even indicated by the retitling of the film from Another Bullsh*t Night in Suck City to Being Flynn, although it's highly understandable why such actions might have been necessary. Of course, this is all a judgment based on a single, fairly brief trailer. Weitz has delivered us some memorable class in the past, and both of his leading men, as well as some of his other major players (Julianne Moore and Olivia Thirlby) can pack powerful performances. See for yourself what you think of Being Flynn by watching the first trailer below. Source: Apple
  • CBS Benches 'Rules of Engagement' For Rob Schneider Comedy
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 15, 2011
    This is the time of the year when the slots for midseason replacements are solidified. Yesterday, we got a glance at NBC's midseason schedule, which contained some apocalyptic absences. Now we look to CBS, which has decided to put one of its sitcoms on the bench. Rules of Engagement will be on hold for the spring semester, leaving a space in the network's Thursday night lineup for a new comedy series: the Rob Schneider starrer ¡Rob!. Rules of Engagement, starring David Spade and Patrick Warburton, airs on CBS on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. Come the return of television's post-winter hiatus, ¡Rob! will assume this timeslot, allowing Schneider to take a stab at one of network television's most prized positions. Schneider's series, loosely based on his life, will follow the misadventures of an American man (Schneider) who marries into a very close, eccentric and overbearing Mexican family. Familial tensions, culture clashes, and "You can do it!"s? We're in for the works. This does not mean that Rules of Engagement is canceled. On the contrary: the sitcom will go back to airing in its Thursday time slot later in the season, albeit with fewer episodes (totaling 15 for the season as opposed to the original deal of 20). ¡Rob! will premiere Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. The status of other CBS shows are as follows: Undercover Boss' third season will premiere Sunday, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Amazing Race will pick up sometime in the spring season as well. Source: TVLine
  • Listen to Cameron Crowe's and Sigur Rós' Jónsi's Original Song for 'We Bought a Zoo'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 15, 2011
    Cameron Crowe has had his share of music experience. You might recall the semi-autobiographical adventures of a young Rolling Stone reporter in the Crowe's signature film, Almost Famous. Others might remember a very stereo-centric scene in Crowe's first feature, Say Anything.... And, of course, there were the music videos and the documentaries: Tom Petty, Alice in Chains, Elton John, Pearl Jam... it's fair to say that Crowe knows his way around a tune. So, it's both unsurprising and pretty darn groovy that he has come to collaborating with Sigur Rós' frontman Jónsi on some original music for the upcoming We Bought a Zoo. Crowe and Jónsi (Jón Þór Birgisson) co-wrote "Gathering Stories," the final song on We Bought a Zoo's soundtrack, and coming from a fan of Crowe, Jónsi, Sigur Rós, stories, gatherings, soundtracks, original music, zoos, financial transactions, and this symbol: Þ, I can objectively state that this song is pretty darn groovy. Unsurprisingly. The musical Crowe-laboration is available free thanks to NPR. You can listen to it on NPR's website by clicking here. We Bought a Zoo opens Dec. 23 and stars Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, and Almost Famous star Patrick Fugit. Via TheFilmStage