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.
  • Justin Bieber Screams at Cars in the Rain: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 01, 2011
    Last night, Justin Bieber appeared on The Tonight Show to force Jay Leno to try sushi, to explain his "pedestrian road rage," and to describe his romantic date with Selena Gomez in the middle of the Staples Center. Jesse Eisenberg stopped by The Late Show to talk about how even though he's working with Woody Allen, his relationship with the director wasn't always so positive. He recalls, specifically, a cease and desist letter he got from Allen's lawyers when he was sixteen. Heidi Klum paid a visit to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to show pictures of and talk about all the amazing Halloween costumes she has worn, including this year's "Bodies" exhibit costume. Finally, The Office's Mindy Kaling showed up on The Daily Show to discuss with Jon Stewart the wonder that is Sanjay Gupta, and how Kaling's parents thinks Stewart is a troublemaker.  The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook
  • 'Terra Nova' Recap: Bylaw
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 31, 2011
    S1E5: This week’s theme is potentially the most important one that a show like Terra Nova could ever explore, and is one that I would imagine will be revisited consistently (or at least, it should be) as the show finds its identity: the idea that Terra Nova ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. The future Earthlings who have come back to Terra Nova have treated it as the utopian paradise that would be free from the human corruption that reigned supreme in the 2100s. However, this week’s episode “Bylaw” illustrates the flaws in mankind, and the flaws in the governing system that make Terra Nova just as inherently messed up as any time period that any of its citizens have come from. “Just because you have a lifetime supply of chicken doesn’t mean you’d turn up the opportunity at a rare bloody steak.” – Malcolm As did the second episode of the series, this episode opens with a fatal dinosaur attack on a Terra Nova soldier. This time, however, Jim determines that the attack was planned by a human. The dinosaur was lured into an isolated manmade building where it was held captive, set to attack the first person who would open the doors of the building: the young soldier. Thus, we’ve got a murder on our hands. As Jim investigates the murder, Liz, Malcolm and Zoe nurse the cracked egg of an injured prenatal ankylosaurus. Meanwhile, Josh pursues his quest to get his 2100s girlfriend Cara sent back to Terra Nova by doing ambiguous favors for the bartender, Boylan. Through investigation, Jim manages to find out that the deceased soldier had a girl on the side—a married woman named Rebecca Milner. Upon interrogating Rebecca, her husband Howard barges in and confesses vehemently to the murder. Jim is not satisfied, however. Howard is incredibly devoted to his wife and marriage, but Jim suspects that Rebecca only married Howard—a Terra Nova lotto winner—to get sent back to the paradise. "The only way is forward, for the good of the colony." - Taylor The confession is enough for Taylor, however, and he institutes banishment from Terra Nova society, into the wilderness, as penalty for Mr. Milner. This brings up an interesting point of discussion that we can hope will not be limited to a single scene in this episode. Liz finds error in a society ruled by a single man making decisions. Jim counters her argument with the underhanded, corruptible bureaucracy that reigned supreme in the 2100s. Whether Terra Nova is better than the future or not, there is a huge issue with the fact that Taylor is more than anything else an autocrat dictator. But Jim takes matters into his own hands and follows Milner into the woods. He wins the truth from Milner: he believes that his wife is the true murderer, and he only confessed in order to protect her. This Jim truly believes. He brings Milner back to his wife, who insists that she did not commit the crime—for some reason, this is also good enough for Jim. But Rebecca does enlighten Jim unto the illegal gambling that goes on among the soldiers at Boylan’s bar. With Boylan’s help, Jim and (a furious but willing-to-listen-to-reason) Taylor orchestrate a plan to get one of the other soldiers—one who owed the deceased money in gambling debts—out alone into the woods with them. There, the truth comes out: he is the real killer, and he faces the wrath of Taylor: a couple of kicks to the ribcage and a Terra Nova banishment. Back in the Josh storyline, Boylan sends the boy and his trusty sidekick Skye into the woods to meet with Mira, leader of the Sixers. Mira has the ability to communicate with the 2100s, and thus can get Cara sent back for Josh. However, she demands of Josh that he return the favor in whatever form she requests sometime in the future—he, of course, agrees. We can only assume this will involve some sort of treason. Or murder. Or dinosaurs. It is ambitious to take on a murder-mystery storyline, even if it isn’t an entirely gripping one—none of the suspects, nor the deceased, were characters we have ever met or heard of before (nor will we hear of again), so it is difficult to become truly ensconced in the story. That being said, it’s got all the ingredients of your Law & Order episode, so it must be doing something by the book. However, oftentimes on this show, things are wrapped up far too smoothly. Taylor was wrong about his first conviction, yet he is just as confident in doling out his second, even without hard evidence or a confession. I think the ending would have better served a struggle with doubt in his abilities as a leader and a judge, as Taylor is an interesting character who warrants this development. Plus, instead of focusing on an unhatched dinosaur (even though dinosaurs are rockin’), Liz could have spent her time better by representing (vocally) the flaws in the Taylor ruling system, and in Terra Nova in general. The show seems to have no problem sparking up good concepts, but it sort of tosses them aside as the hour comes to a close, without actually exploring or satisfying the parts that warrant it the most. Hopefully, something good will come of this Josh-Mira-Cara-Skye-Boylan-dinosaurs storyline, and we’ll see the characters deal with some real struggles that don’t just smooth out at the end of the episode.
  • Eddie Murphy Writing 'Jamal and Tyrell and Omar and Brick and Michael's Wack-Ass Weekend'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 31, 2011
    Eddie Murphy has decided to write a comedy called Jamal and Tyrell and Omar and Brick and Michael's Wack-Ass Weekend. So, here's what I think happened. Eddie Murphy, in preparation for his Oscar hosting gig, sat down and watched a wide variety of movies. Those included: Brick, Michael, The Wackness, Jackass (or Kick-Ass...we're still in the midst of the investigation of his Netflix account) and Weekend, and was equally inspired by each of these films. Further study is needed to determine where the first thirty percent of the title came from. In actuality, Murphy's idea stems from the early days of his upcoming movie Tower Heist, which was initially set to star Murphy alongside Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan and Chris Tucker. Muphy wants to emulate the mood of the comedy presented by this era of the script in his new project. This developing story, JATAOABAMW-AW (no, that doesn't work...), will follow a quintet of friends preparing for an average weekend when they are abducted by alien invaders. Murphy has really hit both extremes as a movie writer. He penned the stories for some of his classic films, including Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop II, as well as on Saturday Night Live. Focusing on this, we can invest some hope in a revival of old creative strengths. Tower Heist comes out this Friday, Nov. 4th. Source: Indiewire
  • Queen Latifah Will Host Her Own Talk Show
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 31, 2011
    So many of us have loved Queen Latifah since she entered our lives with her heartwarming appearance on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air—I am referring, of course, to her role as Will's smart and funny blind date, Dee Dee, the Season 2 episode "She Ain't Heavy," and not as Hillary's manipulative, controlling boss Marissa Redman in the Season 1 finale "Working It Out." But that should go without saying. Anyway, for twenty years now, we have adored Queen Latifah. She has made her mark on music, film, and award show hosting. And now, she'll have an even more regular role in our lives, as she is developing her own talk show. Working with Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment, Latifah plans to begin hosting the talk show in the fall of 2013. It's quite a ways off, which will allow its star to prepare the series adequately, infusing it with her trademark style and character. This also is a measure of avoiding the influx of blossoming talk shows prepping to air in the fall of 2012. Potential hosts of such include journalist Katie Couric, reality show personality Bethenny Frankel, and Survivor host Jeff Probst. Source: Vulture
  • A Special 'The Muppets' Halloween Poster Parodies 'The Bride of Frankenstein'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 31, 2011
    Just because The Muppets promised they were done with parody trailers, it doesn't mean they're done with parodies altogether. In celebration of Halloween, the people behind The Muppets have created the below poster: The Bride of Frog'n'Swine, an obvious sendup of The Bride of Frankeinstein. Playing the none-too-monstrous Frankeinstein role is Kermit the Frog, teamed with the far more frightening bride, Miss Piggy. And, hunched over as lab assistant Igor is Rizzo the Rat. We're sure there are other festive parodies in store before the theatrical realse of The Muppets. As the movie reaches theaters on November 23, it'll have time to sneak in a Thanksgiving poster and maybe hit up All Souls Day, National Adoption Day, and Poland's Independence Day along the way. The Muppets stars Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Rashida Jones, among its non-felt performers.
  • John Goodman Will Tie for Most Coeny Actor in Coen Bros' 'Inside Llewin Davis'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 31, 2011
    And John Goodman snags the tie! It has been announced that Goodman, repeat offender in the Coen Brothers' filmmaking family, will join the casting of Inside Llewyn Davis. This will be Goodman's sixth Coen appearance, earning him a tying position as the most recurring Coen actor in Hollywood. Joel and Ethan Coen are known for their casting of several actors in multiple films. John Torturro and Jon Polito can each be seen in five different Coen Brothers films—Torturro is known best in the Coeniverse as the lead character in Barton Fink, or perhaps the bizarre pederast (who can roll) Jesus Quintana in The Big Lebowski, whereas Polito's big Coen role was his opening monologue in Miller's Crossing. While five Coen films is an impressive resume, Steve Buscemi tops them with six (if you include their short segment of the compilation film Paris, Je T'Aime in the mix). But winning on that technicality as the only individual to star in six full Coen Brothers feature films is Frances McDormand, whose most memorable role is undoubtedly in Fargo. But McDormand won't be the sole record-holder for long. John Goodman currently has five Coen films under his belt, and his recent casting in the developing Inside Llewyn Davis will make six. Earlier today, it was announced that Justin Timberlake was being reached for a major role in the film. Oscar Isaac is set to star as the title role, with Carey Mulligan playing the wife of the character being offered to Timberlake. Source: Indiewire
  • Get a Look at Adam Sandler as Dracula in 'Hotel Transylvania'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 31, 2011
    Adam Sandler as Dracula? Now I've seen everything*! The great animator Genndy Tartakovsky, responsible for some of your favorite childhood memories (Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack) is bringing us Hotel Transylvania: an animated movie about the misadventures of some of horror fiction's greatest figures. Sandler will lead the cast as Dracula, who runs the Hotel Transylvania as a safe haven for monsters who wish to live free of human interference. Andy Samberg will play the human who inevitably comes across the resort, throwing the residents' lives into chaos. Other monstrous favorites (and their voice actors) included will be Frankenstein (Kevin James), the Bride of Frankenstein (Fran Drescher), Quasimodo (David Spade), a werewolf couple (Steve Buscemi and Molly Shannon) and a mummy (Cee Lo Green). Below is a storyboard illustration of Sandler's Dracula. Click the image to see more illustrations of the character over at Comingsoon.net.  *I have seen nothing. Source: Comingsoon
  • Celebrate Halloween with Our Modern Horror Movie Montage
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 31, 2011
    Many people don't get Halloween. Some think of it as a silly holiday. Just an excuse to indulge your hedonism without public disapproval. Some call it a demonic festivity. Others, just plain stupid. But all of those people know nothing of its true nature. Halloween is a holiday that celebrates the most base human sensibility there is: fear. In our normal lives, we try to avoid fear. It's Darwinian to do so. But once a year, it is healthy to embrace all of the things that terrify us—be it rational or not. Below is a montage of classic scenes from the horror genre. The clip has got every trademark of the theme: contorting faces, mirror appearances, after-hours forestation, blood, anthropomorphic reptiles, creatures emerging as if from nowhere, Freddy Kruger, backwards crawling, blades, sharks, pitchforks, cells (both prison and biological), the Devil, werewolves, ghost children, zombies, bugs, drowning and human centipedes. Enjoy! Or cower. Whatever your preference. 
  • 'Without a Trace' Star Anthony LaPaglia Joins Tarantino's 'Django Unchained'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 31, 2011
    Gather 'round for more Django Unchained casting news! Without a Trace star Anthony LaPaglia is joining the cast of Quentin Tarantino's slavery-era Western. LaPaglia will play a vicious Australian gangmember who will, according to the actor himself, be partnered with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (recently reported as a possible castmember) as the 50/50 star's brother, despite being twenty-two years older than Gordon-Levitt. It seems that this Civil War-era film set in the United States' Deep South is attracting a wide variety of international characters. In addition to LaPaglia and JGL playing Australians, Christoph Waltz will play a German bounty hunter who comes to the aid of the titular Django (Jamie Foxx), on a quest to rescue and avenge his wife, Broomhilda (the recently cast Kerry Washington). The character LaPaglia is set to play will be one of several Australian criminals who cross paths with Django and his German associate while trasnporting slaves to the property of evil plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). LaPaglia is right on the money for Tarantino casting. He's known for a niche television role: the sort of pop culture Tarantino celebrates in all of his films. The potential brotherly pairing with Gordon-Levitt would seem bizarre and curious in a film by any other director, but that sort of weird, not-quite-right quality is a Tarantino staple. Source: Deadline
  • BIFA Nominees Include 'Tinker, Tailor,' 'Shame' and 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 31, 2011
    The Moët British Independent Film Awards have announced this year's nominees—and most of them are very, very good. Among the films nominated are the espionage mystery/thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy, Steve McQueen's severe human drama Shame starring Michael Fassbender, the horrifyingly tragic We Need to Talk About Kevin, Richard Ayoade's artistic novel adaptation Submarine, and many others. Expect many of these to be Oscar possibilities. The 14th Annual Moët British Independent Film Awards will take place on Sunday, December 4th, 2011. BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM SENNA SHAME TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY TYRANNOSAUR WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN BEST DIRECTOR Ben Wheatley – KILL LIST Steve McQueen – SHAME Tomas Alfredson – TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY Paddy Considine – TYRANNOSAUR Lynne Ramsay – WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD [BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR] Joe Cornish – ATTACK THE BLOCK Ralph Fiennes – CORIOLANUS John Michael McDonagh – THE GUARD Richard Ayoade – SUBMARINE Paddy Considine – TYRANNOSAUR BEST SCREENPLAY John Michael McDonagh – THE GUARD Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump – KILL LIST Abi Morgan, Steve McQueen – SHAME Richard Ayoade – SUBMARINE Lynne Ramsay, Rory Kinnear – WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN BEST ACTRESS Rebecca Hall – THE AWAKENING Mia Wasikowska – JANE EYRE MyAnna Buring – KILL LIST Olivia Colman – TYRANNOSAUR Tilda Swinton – WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN BEST ACTOR Brendan Gleeson – THE GUARD Neil Maskell – KILL LIST Michael Fassbender – SHAME Gary Oldman – TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY Peter Mullan – TYRANNOSAUR BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Felicity Jones – ALBATROSS Vanessa Redgrave – CORIOLANUS Carey Mulligan – SHAME Sally Hawkins – SUBMARINE Kathy Burke – TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Michael Smiley – KILL LIST Tom Hardy – TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY Benedict Cumberbatch – TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY Eddie Marsan – TYRANNOSAUR Ezra Miller – WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER Jessica Brown Findlay – ALBATROSS John Boyega – ATTACK THE BLOCK Craig Roberts – SUBMARINE Yasmin Paige – SUBMARINE Tom Cullen – WEEKEND BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION KILL LIST TYRANNOSAUR WEEKEND WILD BILL YOU INSTEAD BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT Chris King, Gregers Sall – Editing – SENNA Sean Bobbitt – Cinematography – SHAME Joe Walker – Editing – SHAME Maria Djurkovic – Production Design – TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY Seamus McGarvey – Cinematography – WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN BEST DOCUMENTARY HELL AND BACK AGAIN LIFE IN A DAY PROJECT NIM SENNA TT3D: CLOSER TO THE EDGE BEST BRITISH SHORT 0507 CHALK LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT RITE ROUGH SKIN BEST FOREIGN INDEPENDENT FILM ANIMAL KINGDOM DRIVE PINA A SEPARATION THE SKIN I LIVE IN THE RAINDANCE AWARD ACTS OF GODFREY BLACK POND HOLLOW LEAVING BAGHDAD A THOUSAND KISSES DEEP Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy