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.
  • The 'MythBusters' Will Host Steve Jobs Documentary on Discovery Channel
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 11, 2011 8:16am EST
    There will likely be many film and television projects in the near future with Steve Jobs as the subject matter. One in the works is a documentary hosted by the co-hosts of Discovery Channel's popular MythBusters series, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. The special, iGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World, will feature appearances by computer engineers Daniel Kottke and Lee Felsenstein, as well as journalist Tom Brokaw and musicians Stevie Wonder and Pete Wentz. Arranging this variety of voices to speak about Jobs is understandable, as he helped revolutionize the worlds of technology, broadcasting, entertainment, and music. Speaking to AOLTV, Adam Savage said of Jobs, "He defined entirely new ways of thinking about our lives in the digital space: productivity, creativity, music, communication, media and art." The documentary will explore the miraculous effect the innovator had on lives worldwide and it will examine each of the disciplines Jobs changed with his work. iGenius will air Sunday, Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery. Source: AOLTV
  • The Magnificently Terrifying Javier Bardem Confirmed for 'Bond 23'
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 11, 2011 7:39am EST
    Javier Bardem. The man has a presence so ominous, so demonic, so dastardly and dark, that you can't help but shudder when he looms into a scene. This tour de force of villainous acting drains the comfort from a well-lit set with just a momentary blinkless gaze. And now, the No Country for Old Men star's wicked talents have earned him entry into the most prominent league of cinematic antagonists: Bardem will play a Bond villain in the upcoming film Bond 23. Although this has been rumored for quite some time, there is still little known about which character Bardem will be playing...other than the fact that he'll be a hell-sent warlord of unparalleled horror...probably. As he is a Bond villain, Bardem's character may be ill-fated from the start. However, this could be the tide that turns the dynasty. Will James Bond (Daniel Craig) actually lose this time around? He might. Daniel Craig is no slouch, but I'd bet a pretty (money)penny on Bardem to take him down with sheer scowlitude any day of the week. Do you have it in you, Sam Mendes, to make this the film where James Bond doesn't get his man, and is, as a matter of fact, the man gotten? Ambitious, unruly, unprecedented! As awesome as Javier Bardem is, nobody's going to want to see him take down James Bond. Unless they pull some kind of Empire Strikes Back stuck-in-catatonia cliffhanger ordeal. Now that's a Bond movie I'd see! But of course, I'd see any Bond movie. We all would. On a serious note, Bardem is working on a documentary to publicize the travesties undergone by the inhabitants of a Western Sahara community. A war over territory has made refugees of many of the civilians. Bardem explains the severe situation in the video below and discusses his related film project.   video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player Source: ABC Nightline via Comingsoon
  • 'Footloose''s Julianne Hough Is 'Rescued' by Tom Cruise: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 11, 2011 6:32am EST
    Last night, Footloose star Julianne Hough appeared on The Tonight Show to talk about the heroic Tom Cruise coming to her rescue when she was injured, and how she accidentally let her dog run rampant on the set of Ellen DeGeneres' talk show.  Modern Family's Ty Burrell showed up on Conan to enjoy a catastrophic interview: cast members try to get in on the interview, the set falls apart... Once things start functioning, he talks about tricking his daughter into liking football, the experience of accidentally walking in on his parents sleeping together, his amazing mustache, and his very odd blinking habits.  Again on The Tonight Show, Aaron Eckhart stopped by to talk about his pretty interesting, and surprisingly weird life: he hunts Bigfoot with his parents, and flies cross-country for ten-minute blind dates (that he immediately cuts short if he doesn't feel the "kaboom").  Finally, Tracy Morgan paid a visit to The Late Show to issue one more apology and explanation about his much unappreciated comments this past summer. Watch how quickly he shifts from speaking like a cartoon character to a regular person.
  • 'Terra Nova' Recap: What Remains
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 10, 2011 8:19pm EST
    S01E03: Terra Nova has stakes in human drama and in science fiction—and while it doesn’t fail entirely in either, it has a long way to go to really nail either. Tonight’s episode covers a territory well-traversed in both of these genres: amnesia. Elisabeth Shannon and Nathaniel Taylor investigate a laboratory-gone-awry in the middle of the wetlands, and contract a pathogen that causes them both (as it did all of the lab workers) to gradually lose their memory. Meanwhile, the ol’ “rivals teaming up” storyline overtakes Jim and Malcolm, who need to use their unique abilities (Malcolm’s scientific genius and Jim’s apparent invulnerability to pathogens—way to go Jim) to save their joint love: Elisabeth. And Taylor too, I guess. “So you’re gunna tell her it’s twenty years later than she thinks it is, and shes gone back in time twenty-eight million years...but you think a husband and kids will confuse her?!” – Jim The episode opens with some palpable tension between Jim and Malcolm. Malcolm is still pretty infatuated with Jim's wife, and seems to think he is somewhat entitled to her, what with their mutual careers in medicine and their history together. However, they are capable of being civil: Malcolm gives Jim a medicinal root to chew on when he contracts a cold. The two also team up to go find Elisabeth and Taylor (out on their excavation of the wetlands lab) when they have not called back to base long past the allotted check-in time. Washington insists that everyone stay at camp, but the two men devoted to Liz pay no mind to her orders. The story here is Jim's journey to prove himself more worthy of Liz's love than Malcolm is. We all know that Jim is her true love: first and foremost, he's her husband., Secondly, Malcolm is conniving and underhanded, albeit not entirely a bad guy. But when the duo encounters an amnesiac Liz, only Malcolm knows how to handle the situation. Even worse, it's only Malcolm she remembers (since the last twenty years of her life are blocked out, and she met him in college). Malcolm eventually contracts the disease himself, and begins to put the moves on Liz, which naturally infuriates Jim to the point of violence. He is upset by the fact that Liz takes Malcolm's side, but persists in trying to help her in any way he can find the cure (for her own disease; she is, conveniently enough, the only one capable of figuring out the cure to this disease). Gradually, working in close quarters, Liz begins to ask questions about Jim's life. She infers that she and he know one another, and that they are friends. The slow but steady increase in her trust in him encourages Jim, and she eventually comes to figure out that they are married with children. Around this time, she figures out that Jim (the only one not afflicted by the memory loss) is immune due to his cold, and surmises that if she can transfer the cold to other people, they, too, will be cured. Climactic moment: he kisses her. It's the culmination of science (the transfer of particles for the purposes of combatting a brain disease) and love (no explanation necessary). If it wasn't a little melodramatic, it would have worked. But that's sort of the show's problem: it is light on the science aspect and a little too heavy-handed on the drama. We don't always need the highest possible degree of raw emotion or interpersonal conflict. People are usually more subtle and intricate than that. The Shannons are good characters, and they're all pretty believable, but they need to dial it back to more realistic levels, and maybe amp up the mythology a bit. "You promised Cara you'd try to get her here. What if I told you I might know a guy who could help you with that?" - Skye Josh is conflicted about his budding relationship with Skye, due to his commitment to his past/future girlfriend Cara. Skye, ever the noble young lady, tries to help Josh in getting Cara to Terra Nova. She brings him to a shady bartender who 'specializes in that sort of thing,' but he needs to know that Josh can be trusted: he wants Josh to work for him. Josh agrees. Anything for his girlfriend (except abstaining from kissing other girls every once in a while, apparently). The end of the episode reveals the underwhelming twist that this bartender is the Sixers' mole, and that he has manipulated Josh into working for him because he's "the sheriff's son," and that apparently has a lot of potential for whatever the Sixers are up to. This could develop into something interesting; let's not write it off immediately as a lame ransom plot. The episode does give us a little more insight into Taylor's character. When he goes crazy from the pathogen, he reverts back to a savage Apocalypse Now-esque figure of his past, looking for his wife and son. We find out that his wife is dead, and we already know that his son is out there, somewhere, not being too great a son. He does some damage, and we get a glimpse of his pain (he doesn't want to live in a world without his wife), but once he's back to the past/present, he's essentially back to normal. To reiterate the main plot: Jim struggles to gain his wife’s trust as she battles her inability to remember him. Through “re-meeting” Jim, she comes to build up a trust in him and to eventually realize (not remember, but realize) that he must be her husband. The message here: love is stronger than anything. While that’s a fine message and one that certainly can be conveyed adequately in sci-fi, the actual science fiction going on here is not substantial or detailed enough to hold up that aspect of the show—rather, it’s flimsy and vague, and nothing original. However, credit due: they are building up a thick bond between the Shannon couple. So long as they keep building on this, the family’s relationship could be enough to maintain interest in the not-as-big-a-sci-fi-as-it-should-be series.
  • The 'Two and a Half Men' Ashton Kutcher Scorecard: Week Four
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 10, 2011 7:20pm EST
    S9E3: Last week's Two and a Half Men, "Big Girls Don't Throw Food," was a bit of a fumble. Thus far, Ashton Kutcher's been doing a solid to above average job of turning the show into his own, departing from Sheen's style while finding a groove that is quintessential Men. But episode three didn't work—Walden's writing was shotgunned and ambiguous, the character doing whatever the scenes required. Was this week different? For that, we go to the scorecard. Here's the breakdown: One Charlie Sheen Head (1 - 10 Points): Ashton, you were in this episode. Two Charlie Sheen Heads (11 - 20 Points): Ashton, you landed a few jokes, but we can't stop thinking about good ol' Charlie. Three Charlie Sheen Heads (21 - 30 Points): Ashton, you earned tonight's laugh track. Solid. Four Charlie Sheen Heads (31 - 40 Points): Ashton, we're impressed. You've surpassed Sheen-level kookiness. Five Charlie Sheen Heads (41 - 50 Points): Ashton, you're scaring us with classic levels of comedy. Charlie who? That's that, now on with the fourth round of the Ashton Kutcher Two and a Half Men scorecard! "Nine Magic Fingers" 1. "Why are you wearing masks?" - Walden     "I'm at a charity event...for people without faces..." - Bridget Points:  2 Walden Schmidt's continuous dilemma is his inability to get over his soon-to-be ex-wife, Bridget. Naturally, Ashton would then play his character sad. But it seems as if he is having trouble differentiating from playing sad and not 'playing' at all. Ashton Kutcher delivers his lines flatly and without much enthusiasm. Just because Walden Schmidt is depressed and languid, it doesn't mean his performance needs to be lazy. 2. "Sometimes I lay down. Sometimes I curl up in a ball." - Walden Points:  4 One thing to Ashton's credit: he's managing pathetic reasonably well. It seems that Walden Schmidt has had almost no interaction with human beings. Whether this is a conscious choice or not by the creators and Ashton is ambiguous, but it makes it more believable that a handsome multi-billionaire would have trouble finding love. 3. "You need to get out there and find Ms. Right. And you need to do it immediately." - Alan     "Now? But I was gunna curl up in a ball." - Ashton Points: 3 It's hard to tell what the creators really want to do with Ashton and this character. Is he supposed to be parallel Alan's relationship with Charlie? Is the new relationship supposed to be a role-reversal, with Alan being the on-the-ball alpha male to Walden's whiny, morose loser? It seems, mostly, that neither the show nor Ashton has figured out just what Walden is, and what purpose he'll serve. It's early yet in the season, so this is forgivable. But hopefully they'll figure it out soon. 4. "Alan called and told me you were doing something stupid. I just met her." - Bridget Points:  3 Ashton faces a showdown between his ex-wife (Judy Greer) and new girlfriend (Jenny McCarthy; the woman who tried to con Charlie into a marriage previously). This sort of face-off could warrant something emotionally explosive from Ashton's extremely fragile character, but instead we get a predictable lewd joke and some more flat delivery. Get this man a coffee! 5. "Let this be a warning to you, Alan. There are women out there who will just be nice to you to get to your money." - Walden     "Thanks, but that's not very high on my list of priorities." - Alan Points: 2 And the tag that proves that, in the end, this show is not about love between a man and a woman, but the bond between two men (the other "half man" is featured strangely infrequently in this and recent episodes). As Ashton mumbles through a profession of his appreciation of Cryer's character, we take little of it as genuine, as the performance seems like the actor is half asleep. There was always something heated and alive on both ends of the Cryer-Sheen dynamic. And although Cryer is still as animated as ever, Ashton Kutcher doesn't really seem all too excited to be there at all. Total Points: 14 - TWO Charlie Sheen Heads! Ashton Kutcher is not a man without acting talent. In fact, he is known for playing lively, animated, and slightly kooky characters in film and television. This begs a lot of curiosity, as he is bringing none of this enthusiasm to Walden Schmidt. Perhaps he just hasn't figured the character out yet. Perhaps he's nervous in filling Charlie Sheen's shoes. Whatever it is, let's hope he rectifies it quickly.
  • Casting Roundup: An Old Friend Returns to 'Walking Dead,' Roseanne Brings a Sitcom to NBC
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 10, 2011 2:19pm EST
    The return of The Walking Dead is way more exciting than the rules of mental health dictates it should be. Fans are wondering what this new season will bring. What new characters will emerge? And just as importantly, which old ones will return? Apparently, we'll be seeing a familiar (but not quite friendly) face in Season 2. We will get to revisit Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), the bigoted, wily, unreasonable redneck-stereotype, and brother of the somewhat more down-to-earth Daryl (Norman Reedus). The last we saw of Merle, he was handcuffed to a roof courtesy of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) thanks to his violent tirade on T Dog (IronE Singleton). In order to escape the wrath of a mob of zombies, Merle cut off his own hand and fled the area. Reportedly, we will be seeing Merle again in Season 2, and will learn a little about his and his brother's backstories. Walking Dead's second season premieres Sunday, Oct. 15, at 9 p.m. ET?PT on AMC. -AOLTV The Roseanne Barr of today: a little off her rocker. These exclamations of a presidential campaign (and one for Israel's prime ministry), though they may just be grabs at the spotlight, make her seem a little bizarre. Plus, Roseanne's Nuts was one odd endeavor. But the Roseanne Barr of fifteen years ago, now that...well, she was kind of strange then, too. But there's no denying that Roseanne was a very important television show: it was unique in showcasing a lower middle-class, non-glamorous American family when most of television was intent on displaying the opposite. And now, she's at it again. Roseanne's new sitcom, Downwardly Mobile, has been picked up by NBC. It is about a small community of people living in a trailer park—an even less-glamorous venue than the Connor family's delapidated suburb. Roseanne and her boyfriend John Argent will serve as writers on the series, while Roseanne producer Eric Gilliland will play showrunner. -Deadline Two new reality series are heading to VH1. The first, headed by Randy Jackson, is called Aptitude Test. In every episode, a different celebrity will take a scholastic aptitude test to determine the profession for which he or she would have been best suited. House of Cosignment is the second show, which will premiere in January. The series covers the eBay bidding of various interesting items at McFadden’s Lincoln Park retain store eDrop-Off. -Deadline
  • Diego Boneta Will Meet His Fate by Playing Adam in 'Paradise Lost'
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 10, 2011 1:57pm EST
    Paradise Lost is really filling out. For a while now, Bradley Cooper has been attached to play Lucifer, the central character of John Milton's epic poem. Also cast: angels like Michael (Benjamin Walker), Gabriel (Casey Affleck), Abdiel (Djimon Honsou), Uriel (Callan McAuliffe) and Moloch (Dominic Purcell). And, of course, the role of Eve has been given to Camilla Belle—the best candidate for the heavenly role, as she has dated one third of the holy trinity that is the Jonas Brothers. But finally, Eve will have an Adam: Diego Boneta, as it has been rumored, will take the role of the first man in Alex Proyas' adaptation of the work. Now, Adam is no easy role to play. You've got to master pure, yet corruptable. Trusting, yet rebellious. A guy with removable ribs, and a guy not above taking advice from reptiles. Does Boneta have what it takes? So far, he has been primarily a television actor. Boneta's most significant roles have been in Pretty Little Liars and 90210. But here's the kicker. Boneta played the lead male in the TV movie Mean Girls 2 (The De-Meaning): a character whose surname was none other than Adams. Is it a stretch to say that this is fate? He played "Adams" in a movie dedicated to the essence of the femme fatale. And now, he'll play "Adam," in the original femme fatale story. Boneta will also be seen in Rock of Ages, which stars Julianne Hough as Sherrie Christian (see?). Source: Twitter, Variety
  • Steve Jobs Tried to Get Aaron Sorkin to Write a Pixar Movie
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 10, 2011 10:19am EST
    As usual, the fate of the world rests Aaron Sorkin's hands. He has a choice: carry out the wishes of a dear, departed visionary and produce what could become one of the finest pieces of film we might ever see...or not. Steve Jobs' death inspired Sorkin to write a small "In Memorium" piece about his relationship with the monumental thinker. You may know that Jobs was heavily involved with Pixar, one of the most celebrated production companies of our time. Apparently, the last conversation Jobs and Sorkin had concerned Jobs' desire to see Sorkin write a Pixar movie. Sorkin resisted. According to, Sorkin was apprehensive about "ruining" Pixar's golden streak with an unworthy script; his personal stake in the matter exists in that his young daughter is a huge Pixar fan (as are all young daughters...and all people), and he didn't want to ruin the company's legacy for her and her age group. But Jobs was persistent. He even invited Sorkin to use that very theme to fuel the story for a Pixar movie. However, Sorkin remained unwilling. His friend's passing, however, seems to have edged him closer to the possibility. JoBlo quotes Sorkin as stating, "I still keep thinking about that Pixar movie." Pixar's masterwork is daunting, so it's understandable that a screenwriter might not feel comfortable creating a film about the company. However, this is Aaron Sorkin, a guy whose writing is so stimulating and intelligent that just mentioning that you're a fan of his makes you feel smarter than anyone else in the room  --which they all pick up on, by the way. Sorkin wrote many celebrated films, among them: A Few Good Men, The Social Network and Moneyball. Additionally, he created the acclaimed television series The West Wing. Really, Sorkin, we all know you're good. And we all know you know you're good. So what's the holdup? Source:
  • CBS Cancels Kevin Dillon Sitcom 'How to Be a Gentleman,' 'Rules' Returns to Thursdays
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 10, 2011 8:28am EST
    CBS canceled its new series How to Be a Gentleman. The sitcom starred Entourage's Kevin Dillon and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's David Hornsby. Its brief lifespan featured the latter as an uptight nerd who hires his childhood bully to teach him how to be more of a man. The initial plan, in lieu of cancelation, was to move Gentleman to a none-too-coveted Saturday night timeslot. Taking the show's place at prized post-Big Bang Theory slot (Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT) will be the network's relationship sitcom Rules of Engagement (starring Patrick Waterburton and David Spade), which is in its sixth season. How to Be a Gentleman premiered to a decent sized audience, thanks presumably to its lead-in and to Dillon's Entourage pull. It has since lost viewers, however, leading to its schedule switch and almost immediate cancelation thereafter. This Thursday, a Big Bang Theory rerun will take Gentleman's spot, but starting Oct. 20, Engagement will assume the 8:30 p.m. ET/PT timeslot. Source: EW
  • Ben Stiller Brings Derek Zoolander to 'Saturday Night Live'
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 10, 2011 7:34am EST
    This weekend, Saturday Night Live welcomed Ben Stiller as host. Beyond his upcoming film Tower Heist and in-progress projects like Neighborhood Watch and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the biggest Stiller-related news is likely his development of a Zoolander sequel. In January, Stiller made promising remarks about the film, including the fact that Will Ferrell will return as Mugatu. More recently, Owen Wilson stated a few things that we should expect about the Hansel character. So it's no surprise that Stiller wanted to embrace his own character, Derek Zoolander, during his hosting gig. Seth Meyers' Weekend Update segment featured consistently hilarious recurring character Stefon (Bill Hader) delivering tips about enjoying the Halloween season in New York City. To help plug some of the area's more high profile events, Stefon welcomed Derek Zoolander to the segment. Stiller delivered all of the necessary components of a Zoolander monologue: misunderstanding of simple words, a clumsily named charitable organization, and, of course, a new look.