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.
  • Kim Kardashian Will Star in Tyler Perry's 'The Marriage Counselor'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 25, 2011
    Kim Kardashian is, among all else, a brand. You hear about a Kim Kardashian TV show/movie/wedding, you expect a very Kim Kardashian experience. Tyler Perry is, too, a brand. Your quintessential Tyler Perry movie is something with which we are all more or less familiar. So what happens when two brands come together within one medium? What might this collaboration produce? Will there be a happy melding, or a jagged contradiction? We'll just have to see. Perry's new film, The Marriage Counselor, has recently added Kardashian to its cast. The film centers around a marriage counselor (that's the twist) who undergoes her own relationship struggles and begins an extramarital affair (oh, that's the twist). Kardashian will reportedly play the titular character's coworker. So what might Kim Kardashian plus Tyler Perry equal? And for that matter, what will the socialite bring to the table as an actress? Her on camera roles not playing herself are few and far between. Those include her Disaster Movie appearance, her stints on Beyond the Break and CSI: NY, and a movie called Deep in the Valley, which makes me weep, "Why, Chris Pratt, why?" But who knows what this new concoction of Perry's melancholic working man struggles and Kardashian's volcanic notoriety will bring? Source: EW
  • Keith Olbermann Tells Letterman He's in Favor of Occupy Wall Street Protests
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 25, 2011
    Keith Olbermann paid a visit to The Late Show to discuss the Occupy Wall Street prostest with David Letterman. Both expressed a fondness for the idea of protest, and an appreciation for the sentiment being illustrated by the groups and individuals in New York's Zuccotti Park. Obviously, not everyone shares this opinion on the matter. Letterman quoted Rush Limbaugh as referring to the protestors as "human debris," while Olbermann listed all of the unfounded accusations with which the activists are being labeled, incluidng racism, anti-Semitism, and involvement in a radical Muslim fundamentalist movement.  In response to the criticism that the protestors are "unfocused" in their goals, Olbermann stated, "I like the idea that there isn't that set of demands, because I'd get very suspicious...the thing started thirty-eight days ago, in New York. If they had all the answers already, I'd be worried about where the answers came from." Olbermann also clarified what he believes the true message of the movement to be: "It's not an anti-money thing. It's not even an anti-capitalism thing. After you have capitalism, don't let the people who have money put their thumb on the scale and get all the benefits from it." Watch the full conversation from The Late Show:   
  • New 'The Pirates!' Trailer is Silly, Swashbuckling Fun
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 25, 2011
    The Aardman Animations studio is one of the unsung heroes of animation. Everything they create—from Wallace & Gromit shorts, to Chicken Run, to their Robbie the Reindeer Christmas specials that I still think about every holiday season—is a work of splendor. Their upcoming The Pirates! Band of Misfits looks to be a humorous, good-natured and hyperactive romp of silliness: the studio's milieu. As with the first trailer, this new international preview for the film (which sports a UK-only title) shows the comically egomaniacal Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) vie for the coveted Pirate of the Year Award. In order to earn this, he must pull off the greatest plunderance the seven seas have ever seen (the end of that sentence needs to be sung). Unfortunately, the Pirate Captain and his ragtag crew (consisting largely of fish in hats) are not exactly up to the task. So who do pirates turn to when they need help? SCIENTISTS. Also lending their voices are Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko from LOST). Enjoy the trailer. The Pirates! reaches theaters March 30, 2012.   Source: Empire via Indiewire
  • You Can Now Watch The Full 'Happy Endings' Halloween Episode
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 25, 2011
    Halloween in an ordinary year is a force to be reckoned with as is. But Halloween in the Year of Penny is bound to be no holds barred. On Wednesday night, Oct. 26, Happy Endings is airing its Halloween episode (will they bump things up to a triple Snooki this time?). However, if Wednesday is just too far away for you to subdue your Happy Endings cravings, then you're in luck: YahooTV is streaming the full Halloween episode, and you can watch it right here (and if your appetite is that big, you might even give the multi-dinnering Max a run for his money). This year's episode, "Spooky Endings," will see Jane (Eliza Coupe) and Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.) involved in the horror tale of house-sitting in the suburbs, while Dave (Zachary Knighton), Alex (Elisha Cuthbert), Penny (Casey Wilson) and Max (Adam Pally) all have their own misadventures at a costume party. As this is their first Halloween since the breakup, Dave and Alex are finally free from the bounds of joint costumes. As such, both embrace their own individual (and out of touch) flares: Dave wears an Austin Powers costume, while Alex dresses as Marilyn Monroe. Meanwhile, Penny and Max team up once more to form the joint costume of a mother and her baby...to likely uncomfortable results.      Happy Endings airs Wednesday nights at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Source: YahooTV via TVLine
  • Is Aaron Sorkin Writing a Steve Jobs Biopic?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 25, 2011
    After Steve Jobs' passing, the entrepreneur's friendship with writer Aaron Sorkin was made public. Apparently, Jobs was a fan of Sorkin's work, and wanted him to write a Pixar movie. Sorkin has been resistant about taking on a project like this, but what he is potentially working on might be all the more interesting: a Steve Jobs biopic film. Sony is already taking steps to adapt Steve Jobs: A Biography, written by Walter Isaacson, to film. Word has it that the network is pursuing Sorkin to write the script for this project. Although nothing is definite, there is really nobody whose wheelhouse is closer to this sort of project than Sorkin. In fact, so "Sorkin" is this project, that one might argue it a poor choice for the writer. His 2010 film, The Social Network, was about a young genius who revolutionized a facet of the electronic world, and as a result, human society as a whole. This is a description that would also aptly suit any Jobs biopic that would materialize about Jobs. But although Sorkin does have a style, and a loud one—you could spot one of his scripts within a few minutes of watching in performed—all of the things he has produced are unique from one another. Might it feel a bit repetitive for Sorkin to put the Social Network spin on Jobs? Possibly, yes. But could he very well do it with a flare and a style we haven't seen before? I'd imagine so. Source: LA Times
  • Zach Galifianakis Accidentally Burnt Down a Farm: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 25, 2011
    Last night, Zach Galifianakis appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to talk about his childhood tormentors, why he got into showbusiness, and an incident involving his North Carolina farm and a whole bunch of fire. Jonah Hill visited The Tonight Show to recall a shoving fight he had recently with a suited man in the parking lot of a sushi restaurant. Salma Hayek stopped by The Late Show to tell a story about snapping her ankle, but refusing to go to the hospital because the Spain-Holland soccer game was on. Finally, Chris Colfer showed up on Conan to talk about his sister's being constantly unimpressed with his career, his many dangerous teenage fans, and some of Jane Lynch's "over the line" insults to Kurt that they had to cut from Glee.
  • Casting Roundup: Katie Couric Nabs Regis' 'Live!' Exit Interview, Banderas Takes On Lifetime
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 24, 2011
    Regis Philbin will be bidding farewell to his Live! days on Nov. 18, just under a month from now. While it will be difficult and strange to see him go, we can at least be sure that his goodbye will be treated with the respect it deserves. The night before Philbin's final broadcast, he will sit down with Katie Couric to undergo his "exit interview," in a segment called Katie Couric with a Regis Philbin Biography. The interview will likely go into detail on Philbin's long and impressive career in show business, his personal life, and where he plans to go from here. As Philbin has stated, his exit from Live! does not indicate that he is retiring. He is seeking other venues. And we all wish him the best of luck. Couric's interview with the entertainer will air Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. -AOLTV Lifetime is expanding its big name appeal once more. First we got word of a Johnny Depp project venturing to the network, and now there is a deal surrounding American Housewive, starring Melanie Griffith, and produced by Griffith and her husband, Antonio Banderas. The pilot will confront a mother's difficulties in dealing with children growing up and leaving for college, and those that don't seem to have as promising prospects. Eclipse director David Slade is in talks to direct. -Deadline Dharma and Greg's leading woman Jenna Elfman will find herself in a rare dramatic role on the final season of Damages. Elfman will portray an investment banker who becomes discouraged by her company's illicit business practices, and brings them to the attention of a Julian Assange-type, potentially played by Ryan Philippe. Elfman's character will also have a daughter, reportedly played by Alexandra Socha (The Big C). Damages returns to DirecTV next summer for its fifth and final season. -TVLine
  • Josh Gad, 'Modern Family' Director and Obama Speechwriter Plan NBC Sitcom
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 24, 2011
    What do you get when you cross a White House speechwriter, a comedic star of film, stage, and television, and the director of a show about a dysfunctional family? A comedic show about a dysfunctional family that lives in the White House. Okay, that was an easy one. President Obama's speechwriter Jon Lovett, Book of Mormon star Josh Gad, and Modern Family director Jason Winer (seriously, where did these people meet?) plan to create and executive produce 1600 Penn, a sitcom about the United States' first family and the personal troubles they deal with on the day-to-day, for NBC. Although this sort of thing has been attempted before (to less than stellar results), the team behind 1600 Penn is an interesting and promising one. Gad is on the climb; in addition to this project, he's writing another series for NBC about a family on the road. He'll also be starring in the upcoming animated series Good Vibes, and the developing film Thanks for Sharing. The Modern Family director is a catch for any blossoming TV project. Winer has directed eighteen episodes of the Emmy-dominating series during its first and third seasons. And Lovett? Well, he's the most interesting aspect of this whole project. It's not unprecedented for White House speechwriters to go into showbusiness, but this will certainly be a project unlike any we've seen before. We all loved Aaron Sorkin's White House, but Lovett's might win the medal for authenticity. Source: THR
  • New Trailer for Scorsese's 'Hugo' Paints a Faithful, Magical Portrait
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 24, 2011
    Earlier this month, one of our editors, Matt Patches, got to watch a screening of the still-unfinished Hugo, adapted by Martin Scorsese from the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Unfinished though it was, Mr. Patches declared a pronounced adoration for the material he saw, which you can read about here. And the same sentiment is illicited from the trailer. It's not clear what exactly the movie as a whole will offer, but I can almost promise myself that it's going to be something that I will very much like. Hugo does seem like a very sentimental tale, but despite, or in light of, this (depending on who you are), the sweet approach looks to be a pro, rather than a con. The new trailer is a hypersensory, super-dramatic and fast-paced race through a train station, against time, toward dreams...it's very Disney. Friendships are formed, old passions are restored, and I can bet that the nasty old police officer (Sacha Baron Cohen) will find a song in his heart at the end. I recommend you check out the new trailer at Apple, because it does indeed look to be a very enjoyable film. Hugo stars Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, Christopher Lee, Michael Pitt, Emily Mortimer, Sacha Baron Cohen and a dog. Source: Apple
  • Ben Affleck to Direct Matt Damon in Gangster Biopic
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 24, 2011
    It is often the journalist's challenge to relay stories that are inherently personal, and as such unique in connotation to everyone who might read them, in a universally appropriate fashion. While I do not proclaim myself to be a journalist, I still understand the importance of this challenge. Beyond being an incredibly personal story, Good Will Hunting is an incredibly personal experience. Everyone has their own unique attachments to the movie. And although they vary in degree and in nature, their existence in regard to just about every one of us is a consistency. For thirteen years, we've been hunting for the cure of our Matt Damon/Ben Affleck withdrawal. And in the saga of Whitey Bulger, we shall find it. Affleck's increasing prominence behind the camera is slowly overwhelming his onscreen presence. Somewhere down the line, we might think of his as that director who started his career in acting, way back when. Still in the middling zone, Affleck is directing and costarring, beside Damon, in a film about Whitey Bulger, the Boston-area criminal/FBI informant. But the GWH reunion doesn't cap off with Will and Chuckie; we're also getting a visit from Morgan—Affleck's brother (as he seems destined to be known forever, despite being the most incredible man in the world) Casey Affleck will also have a role in this upcoming film. No one can really explain what Good Will Hunting means to them in a way that will translate effectively to someone else. Some might first watched it with their parents, and will always remember the familial warmth they all shared at the climactic "It's not your fault" scene. To others, perhaps, it's more of a love story—maybe one that reminds them of their own Skylars to whom they've had to say goodbye, for whatever painful reasons. I have my own reasons why the movie is significant to me. To anyone reading this, they are unimportant. What is important, and what is special, is that we will enjoy a reunion of three of the young men who brought our generation a special, unique film. Perhaps the Whitey Bulger saga will not be as personal, as meaningful, as whatever-adjective-applies-best-toyour-particular-case-esque. But I suspect it will stir up something when we see the fellas back on the screen, in the South of Boston, together again. Source: Deadline