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.
  • Netflix to Produce New 'Reno 911!' Episodes?
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 07, 2011 8:22am EST
    It seems that Netflix is trying to get back on everyone's good sides. Instead of leaning on all of our favorite existing material, they're getting on board with backing new stuff. Specifically, new episodes of our favorite canceled television shows. We already heard that the company was interested in producing the new Arrested Development season, and now they are looking at another sitcom: Reno 911!. This is hardly a sure thing. There are a good deal of copyright issues, and yet to get onboard are Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant and Kerri Kenney-Silver, all of whom starred in and co-created the series for Comedy Central. But just the fact that the idea is in discussion is promising. Producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher have expressed optimism that the project will be successful. Reno 911!'s audience may not have been massive, but it was extremely dedicated. Reno 911!'s cast also included Wendi McLendon-Covey (of Bridesmaids fame), comic actor and voiceover talents Niecy Nash, Carlos Alazraqui and Cedric Yarbrough. Source: Vulture
  • Leonardo DiCaprio is Mad with Power in New 'J. Edgar' Posters
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 07, 2011 7:15am EST
    In case a poster of all-American boy Leonardo DiCaprio, charged with a furious jingoism as the FBI's Babe Ruth J. Edgar Hoover isn't quite patriotic enough for you, there's also one of him doing so with the nation's flag as the background. Directed by Clint Eastwood (this just gets Americaner and Americaner), J. Edgar will inspect the private, internal life of one of our country's history's most influential, powerful, and infamous individuals. J. Edgar Hoover is quite the controversial figure. To some, he is seen as a criminal: a tyrant who represented Big Brother, and the man who was responsible for Martin Luther King's death. To others, he was just a guy who liked wearing dresses. ...I don't know if there were any other perspectives on J. Edgar Hoover. I wasn't around, so all I know is what they'd say about him in All in the Family. And those are pretty much the bases they covered there. Also starring are Naomi Watts, Judi Dench, Armie Hammer, Stephen Root and Josh Lucas. J. Edgar will reach theaters November 9. Source: Indiewire
  • Johnny Depp Putting Together, Possibly Starring in a Dr. Seuss Biopic
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 07, 2011 6:46am EST
    To a great deal of people, this man means a lot. He's a man who will certainly not be forgot. His name's Theodor Geisel, known well as Dr. Seuss. He's a man of great wisdom, not hardly obtuse. And he must mean a lot to ol' Johnny Depp: a dapper young scrap with a pep in his step. Many a film does this Johnny produce. And now he'll produce one of ol' Dr. Seuss. Ol' Johnny as' Geisel—a wonderful match! To play this dear writer, ol' Depp is a natch! The project is young still, not quite underway. But if Depp has his way, then we'll see it some day. And a film about Seuss? This is long overdue! The man who imbued us with many a Hoo. So celebrate, all, this splendiforous news. A movie, by Johnny, about Dr. Seuss. In case that wasn't clear, Johnny Depp is putting together (to possibly star in) a biopic about Dr. Seuss. Nothing is cemented yet, but Depp is apparently dedicated to the idea. In the past, Depp has starred in biopic films about writers including , J.M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan (in Finding Neverland), satirist John Wilmot (in The Libertine), and Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, based on the Gonzo journalist's book of the same name; Depp will also be starring in the upcoming Thompson adaptation The Rum Diary, in theaters October 28). Keep your ear out for news on this development; it could be a real winner. Source: Indiewire
  • Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin Play Musical Chairs: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 07, 2011 5:54am EST
    Last night, The Tonight Show welcomed Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin, talking about their new movie The Big Year. Jack Black discussed meeting President Obama, Wilson talked about scaring Woody Allen with his dog, and they all chimed in on how bird watching (or "birding") and ultimate frisbee are the only things in the world that work on the honor system. Hugh Jackman visited Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to talk about Real Steel, and to break out into a pretty much unprovoked musical number. Again on The Tonight Show, Aubrey Plaza from Parks and Recreation stopped by to exhibit some of her wizardry: she brought a few "magical" devices she wanted to share with Jay and the Big Year guys, and had an interesting moment involving Jay's water mug. Finally, Jason Sudeikis joined Jon Stewart on The Daily Show to explain the chain of command at Saturday Night Live, to discuss his favorite bands to have come on the show, and to pontificate on what different celebritites might smell like. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook
  • 'Person of Interest' Recap: Mission Creep
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 10:15pm EST
    S01E03: Call me a sucker for bank robberies and broken hearts, but tonight’s episode of Person of Interest is a step up from the last two weeks. And this conclusion is based entirely on two separate lines in the episode—one spoken by Finch, one by Reese. Tonight’s episode picks up the “Here’s this week’s case” theme less than two minutes in. Finch awakens in his apartment to see Reese standing over him, feeling guilty about blowing his cover at the company last week—or at least claiming to. We quickly move from any particle of continuity into the weekly mission: the machine has singled out Joey Durban (James Carpinello) a former soldier working as a doorman and involved in a long-term relationship. "If Joey’s bad choices mean he’s about to walk into a bullet, we have to find out who is firing it." - Finch Reese tails Joey for a while, noticing nothing of interest until the latter participates in a (successful, and nonviolent) bank robbery with a few other men. After the robbery, Reese follows Joey to a rendezvous with a young woman, to whom he sees him give an envelope of money. Finch and Reese surmise that Joey is likely cheating on his girlfriend with this woman. Through some high-level surveillance work and information gathering (there is nothing these two men cannot see/find out), Finch and Reese figure out that the other men with whom Joey robbed the bank also served with him in the war. One is a cabdriver—Finch plants some illegal weaponry in the man’s trunk and has him arrested. Reese goes “undercover” as a soldier looking for work and speaks with the head of the crime syndicate (syndiquette, really) who gets Joey & co. their heist jobs—for the benefit of the finder’s fee. Through some trickery, Reese convinces the man, Sam Latimer (Ruben Santiago) to link him up with Joey and the team. Of course, they don’t give him a warm welcome. They throw a bag over Reese’s head, drive him out to a back alley and point a gun in his face. Reese can tell that Joey does not intend to kill him—he’s not a murderer. This cements the idea that Joey must be the victim (as the machine chose him, so he’s either a potential murderer or a potential murderee). Reese also manages to convince the soldiers to let their guard down about him, at least to some degree. Reese decides to get close to Joey to better solve the case. He “bumps into him” at a bar, and the two discuss war. Joey goes off on a speech, questioning the purpose of the war and berating the big businesses that profit while men like him come back to squalor. This instigates a couple of blue collar jackasses, provoking them to put down soldiers in general. Reese responds by knocking one out, and Joey does the same to the other. The scene…well, I guess it helped to characterize Joey, a little. And it brought Reese and Joey a lot closer. But it seemed more intent on illustrating just how big a jackass the writers think every banker and big business employee is. Anyway, Reese begins following another member of the heist team: Straub (Keith Nobbs) who approaches Latimer for a job opportunity and seems to be considering killing his partners so that he could get a larger sum of money per job to pay his gambling debts/mother’s rent money. "You can't cure someone of guilt." - Reese Another heist takes place—of a casino, this time—and Reese is on board. He wears his direct-to-Finch headset, so he knows exactly when the cops are coming (and leading the cops is, of course Detective Carter, who caught a “glimpse” of Reese on the security camera in the bank robbed earlier). The gang escapes, but Straub is livid that they were unable to get the money. Finch and Reese find out (through investigation and conversation, respectively) that the woman Joey is supporting is not a lover, but the lover an old soldier friend for whose death Joey feels responsible. The two had a daughter together, and Joey is dedicated to putting her through college. Although Reese admires Joey for this, he tells him that he must be more present with his girlfriend. Here, Reese is channeling his own inner turmoil. We get a few flashbacks through the episode of Reese bumping into his ex, Jessica, who he finds out is engaged. But we’ll get to that. "I waited six years for him to come home and it's like he's still over there." - Joey's girlfriend Before the last heist, Reese pays a visit to Joey’s girlfriend, telling her just how much her boyfriend loves her, but also telling her that “there are other fish in the sea” if it doesn’t work out. Kind of a mixed message; I'm not too sure what he’s trying to drive home there. The group, Reese included, pulls one more heist. Finch manages to find out and inform Reese of the fact that Latimer is setting them all up and plans to kill all of them. Latimer does manage to kill Straub, but flees the scene when Carter and co show up. Reese gives Joey his share of the heist money and convinces him to leave town with his girlfriend, which he does. "The truth is, it was easier for you to be alone." - Jessica This channels the final flashback: Reese’s ex telling him that if he put himself out there and asked her to wait for him, that she would. She can’t take how protective of his feelings he is, and she needs him to be more open. He can’t bring himself to ask her, so she leaves. But once she’s gone, he mutters, “Wait for me. Please,” teary eyed. Sure, it’s not exactly never-been-done, but it’s powerful enough to make Reese’s character all the more valuable. That, by the way, is one of the two lines that made this episode an improvement. The other comes from Finch after Reese heads to Latimer’s apartment to take him out — finding that someone else already has. When Reese investigates this, he comes up with the name “Elias,” which Finch claims he knows nothing about, but he’ll “look into it.” This means one thing: a continuous arc. Continuity! A larger story! THAT is what this series needs, beyond episodic mysteries. This is promising.
  • New 'Tower Heist' Trailer Is an Age Old Tale of Righteous Warfare
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 1:55pm EST
    The revenge piece. The underdog tale. The motley crew epic. The poor-versus-rich debacle. The guy-from-my-past backstory. The get-what's-mine angle. The no-turning-back theme. The now-or-never mindset. The bringing-down-the-man ideology. The we-deserve-better maxim. The not-in-my-backyard mantra. The be-your-own-hero fable. The watch-what-we-can-do plot. The nobody-calls-me-chicken motif. The tower heist.  Tower Heist stars Ben Stiller as the leader of a gang of beyond-the-point-of-disgruntled employees at a high class hotel whose billionaire boss, Alan Alda, has just robbed all of them of their retirement funds. Stiller and his coworkers, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, Michael Pena and Gabourey Sidibe enlist the help of Stiller's childhood friend, Eddie Murphy, a lowlife conman, to steal back the money that is rightfully theirs. Tea Leoni is also in the movie, but I'm not really sure what she does. But that's okay! You can watch the trailer here at Apple. But will you? That's the question. Answer: yes. You should. Tower Heist. Source: Apple
  • Casting Roundup: Nick Jonas Joins 'Smash,' 'How I Met Your Mother' Ropes Guest Stars
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 1:46pm EST
    Oddly enough, people seem to really like music. Enough to allow it to pervade into something else they really like: TV. NBC is jumping on the music-themed series bandwagon this February with Smash, a drama about the pursuit to become a Broadway star. The latest news surrounding the series regards two guest stars to be featured: Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers and actor and Broadway legend Bernadette Peters (Ugly Betty). Jonas will take the role of a sitcom star who has roots in Broadway acting, and connections to two of the main characters (played by Christian Borle and Jack Davenport). Peters will play a has-been Broadway star and mother to another of Smash's central characers (played by Megan Hilty). Smash will premiere Monday, Feb. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. -Zap2it Yesterday, we reported that 30 Rock would be getting a guest star in James Marsden. Well, the superb NBC comedy will also be welcoming Denise Richards to the show for one episode. According to Richards' Twitter, the series is "one of her favorite shows." The sixth season of 30 Rock, returning to NBC as a midseason replacement, is already brimming. -Twitter How I Met Your Mother will be bringing in a whole bunch of guest stars for an upcoming episode. Enjoying some very promising guest roles on the series are actors Chris Elliott, Frances Conroy, Wayne Brady, and Bill Fagerbakke. They will all appear in the Oct. 24 episode "Noretta." In the theme of family reunions, Elliott will play Lily's (Alyson Hannigan) estranged father, while Conroy and Brady will return as Barney's (Neil Patrick Harris) mother and brother...respectively, of course. Fagerbakke is the only one whose role is yet to be revealed. How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. -EW  Rosie Perez. She's more of a force than a human. A dynamic power, something unstoppable. And she's bringing all that to Nurse Jackie. Perez will appear in one episode of the upcoming season, playing a patient with a mysterious illness. Nurse Jackie, starring Edie Falco, returns to Showtime next year for its fourth season. -THR
  • You Can Now Watch the Opening Scene of the 'Breaking Bad' Season 4 Finale
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 12:54pm EST
    Breaking Bad is a smidge more addictive than the exquisite crystal meth its main character so masterfully produces. That said, those of you out there who are hooked might be riddled with the shakes this week in anticipation of the fourth season finale. The events of the past three episodes have more than doubled our excitement about what might happen to Walt, his family, Jesse, and the remaining involved parties. If you've truly got the craving shooting up your spine, maybe this will tide you over until Sunday night: you can watch the opening scene of the season finale over at Hitfix. The episode picks up immediately after the events of last week's episode (spoilers) when Walt, on an adjacent roof, scoped out Gus and his henchmen heading to their car, on which he planted a bomb. At the last moment, Gus (for reasons yet to be explained) turned around and went back into the hospital, sending Walt into a state of panic. The clip from the next episode (more spoilers) shows us Walt rushing frantically to Gus' car, removing the bomb, and then meeting up with Jesse inside the hospital. Breaking Bad's season finale airs on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMC. The fifth season will be the final season for Vince Gilligan's ingenious drama starring the unstoppable Bryan Cranston (Walter White), Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman), Anna Gunn (Skyler White), RJ Mitte (Walter White, Jr.), Dean Norris (Hank Schrader), Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader), Giancarlo Esposito (Gustavo Fring), Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut) and Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman). Source: Hitfix
  • 'Twilight,' 'New Moon' and 'Eclipse' Returning to Theaters for One Night Each!
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 11:42am EST
    Before I worked at, I had a job in the Parks Department of a small Indiana town. Back then, I was hardly the Twilight fan I have come to be. In fact, I unfairly regarded Twilight as silly and unsubstantial. But one day, my perspective was turned around by a strange man who paid a visit to my office. In a misguided effort to earn back his estranged daughter's affections, the man made it his undying mission to have the first Twilight novel placed into a town time capsule that my fellow department officials and I were in the midst of comprising. When met with resistance, the man responded by handcuffing himself to the furniture of my office and pledging not to leave until we agreed to honor his Twilight-related request. Although his actions were a tad bizarre, his message hit home. In an effort to understand the man's motives a bit better, I sat down and read through the Twilight novels. I instantly embraced the man's appreciation for Twilight, and have since seen (and loved) each of the films. As you may know, the next film in the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I, will be coming to theaters November 18. As a celebration of the series, Summit Theaters and NCM Fathom are arranging a special event called Twilight Saga Tuesdays, which constitutes each of the three Twilight movies returning to theaters for one night only. Twilight will be shown in participating theaters* on Tuesday, November 1, starting at 7:30 local time. New Moon will be shown in participating theaters* on Tuesday, November 8, starting at 7:30 local time. Eclipse will be shown in participating theaters* on Tuesday, November 15, starting at 7:30 local time. In addition to the films, EW reports that there will be "Exclusive introductions from the cast members, compelling interviews with the stars answering the questions that Twilight Saga aficionados have always wanted answered and amazing clips from the many fan fests over the years." So celebrate your love for Twilight! See the films again! And then, see Breaking Dawn. It is a series to cherish. And you know what else is good? Parks and Recreation. *Participating theaters Source: EW
  • New 'Young Adult' Trailer Tells a Good Story of a Bad Charlize Theron
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 11:00am EST
    I understand that link-clicking is an arduous task, but I implore you: click this link. It will take you to the trailer for the upcoming film Young Adult on You won't be sorry. Recent years have offered audiences a fresh take on the film and television protagonist: the antihero. Although by no means is having a villainous character in the lead role a new phenomenon, we have definitely become more welcoming of movies about people who are primarily rotten. In Young Adult, Charlize Theron is this type of character. Mavis Gary (Theron), a former self-absorbed, malicious prom queen-type returns to her home town with the intentions of rekindling a love affair with her high school sweetheart Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson). The rub: Slade is married, with a child. Now, this isn't some passionate, succumbing-to-weakness, throwing-it-all-away-for-love story. Wilson's character actually seems happy in his marriage. And, in the trailer, he shows no interest in pursuing anything with Mavis. But she could not possibly care less: she has decided (in light of her failed adult life) that she wants him, and she is not concerned with being a homewrecker or a manipulator or a satanist, or anything. Gary also starts up a friendship with a former classmate played by the maestro of wit that is Patton Oswalt. Written by Diablo Cody. Directed by Jason Reitman. Narrated by J.K. Simmons. Adjectives are unneccessary. These people are superior to adjectivity. Their quality is beyond the bounds of language. They just ARE.  Young Adult comes out December 16. Source: Apple