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.
  • NBC Pushes 'Awake' Back to Develop the Series Further
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    NBC's newest "The More You Know" Public Service Announcement might as well be, "Good things are worth waiting for." At least, it is employing this maxim when it comes to Awake, the intriguing drama that was supposed to air on the network as a mid-season replacement. In order to further develop its high-concept plot, the series is being put on a temporary prenatal hiatus, and will air sometime later than previously expected—although, it is still aiming for the early side of 2012. Showrunner Howard Gordon actually asked for this delay in scheduling so that he and the crew could plan more episodes (six have been shot so far) and to ensure that the series will maintain its level of fascination on a longterm basis. The series revolves around Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs), a married father who gets into a car accident with his wife (Daniela Bobadilla) and son (Jay Seals). Afterwards, Britten is launched into two parallel realities: in one, his wife has died from the crash, but his son is still alive. In the other, his son has died and his wife is alive. Britten struggles with the conflicting realities (which also involve different jobs, friends and grief counselors), wanting to hold onto both as not to lose either his wife or son, but also constantly at odds with not knowing if he is awake or dreaming. The preview below exemplifies the plot in a very interesting way. Although we'll have to wait a bit longer for this great concept to materialize, it'll be worth it if the crew and network can figure out a way to keep it fresh and captivating as long as possible.   Source: Vulture
  • Watch the Coolest 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' Featurette Ever
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    Just how cool is the new Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol featurette?   Let me answer that question with a question. Just how cool is the tallest building in the world? Just how cool is a secret agent scaling the exterior of that building, jumping out its windows, repelling, flying, soaring miles over the city of Dubai (pop. 2,260,000) to the most adrenaline-surging theme song in Hollywood history? As a cucumber, my friends. As a cucumber. In this featurette, we get a quick glimpse into what we assumed was an impossibility: the making of a Mission: Impossible movie is even cooler than the actual stuff going on in the Mission: Impossible movie. Tom Cruise runs around in the skies of the United Arab Emirates, exemplifying everything that we ever loved about him, and director Brad Bird proves himself more than capable at expanding beyond his comfort zone of (awesome) Pixar movies. Watch the featurette. It'll inspire you to turn your life around.  Source: Yahoo
  • Deborah Ann Woll, Hailee Steinfeld and Dave Franco Tapped for 'Rosaline'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    Youth is wasted on the young. That is only marginally relevant to the story at hand, but it's worth pontificating. But I DARE you to pontificate this: it was announced a little while back that Fox was developing a film adaptation to Rebecca Serle's novel When You Were Mine, about the jilted lover of one of Shakespeare's* most iconic heroes, Romeo. The film will be called Rosaline (the name of the character in question). The most recent news revolving around this pic is that Fox is reaching for three young stars to play Rosaline, Juliet and Romeo: True Blood's Deborah Ann Woll, True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld, and Our True Lies' (that was an episode of Scrubs' med school season, on which this guy was one of the leads) Dave Franco. If these kids spend all their time out of school, making movies, someone's going to have to call the true-ant officer. If you'd kindly agree to gloss over that...it had recently been announced that either Kiera Knightley or Lily Collins would take the titular role in Rosaline. Well, they won't. You'll have to deal with that. But in all honesty, Woll will likely be able to bring a unique freshness to the lead role of Rosaline, from whose perspective this new, interesting take on Shakespeare's* Romeo and Juliet will be told. Steinfeld and Franco will play the star-crossed lovers. And since you're probably thinking, "Hailee Steinfeld will be an incredible Juliet," (seriously—she will), you can cheer the fact that she'll also be playing the role in the upcoming Carlo Carlei Romeo and Juliet adaptation. If she goes up against herself at the Academy Awards with nominations for both roles, I am going to throw the world's biggest Oscar party. Celebrating what, I'm not sure. Finally, Dave Franco as Romeo. The even Francoier of the two brothers has a certain panache, a certain chutzpah, a certain machismo...a certain omnilingual quality that is befitting of a Shakespearean* hero. The age difference between him and the very young Steinfeld might make things a little creepy, but just keep your mind set on that Oscar party. *? Source: Variety
  • Sneak Peek: Eight 'Tower Heist' Clips Set Up the Plan
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    On November 4, the working man will get his revenge in Tower Heist. Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy lead a cast that includes Téa Leoni, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Peña and Alan Alda, in a comical farce about a group of hotel employees stealing back the retirement funds that their miserly billionaire boss robbed from them. In celebration of towers, heists, and all things in between, we have compiled an assortment of clips from the upcoming film. Enjoy! In the first clip, indicted businessman Arthur Slew (Alda) shows off his prized possession, Steve McQueen's ferrari, to a very distrusting Detective Denham (Leoni).
  • Showtime's 'Homeland' Gets Picked Up for a Second Season
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    This fall season, a sneaky little show called Homeland found its way into our lives, and it's here to stay: Showtime has renewed the series for a second season. The drama, starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, centers around an all-too-passionate CIA agent investigating a rescused POW soldier whom she believes has been brainwashed and is involved in plotting a terrorist attack on America. No one expected Homeland to be nearly as smart, complex or intriguing as it actually is. As a matter of fact, the only thing working against the show (in terms of reaching aduiences, not in terms of quality) is just how complex and dense it is. Shows too jam-packed full of stuff you really have to pay attention to and actually figure out for yourself have fallen victim to low ratings in the past (Rubicon, for example). So, it's great news that Homeland is doing well enough to warrant a second season. This is due in no small part to its great performances. Danes has her share of naysayers, but she is really finding herself in this role. Homeland airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime. Production on Season 2 will begin in the spring of 2012. Source: TVLine
  • NBC Remaking '80s Cop Drama 'Wiseguy'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    1980s television was unique. The comedies were brighter and campier, the dramas were more succinct and black-and-white. So, a television series that worked in that decade might not have the same effect on audiences today. But experimentation is where genius is born. And as far as genres go: crime-drama is timeless. So, taking these matters into account, NBC is vying for a remake of the undercover cop series Wiseguy (1987-1990), starring Ken Wahl, Jim Byrnes and Jonathan Banks. Wahl, who has not acted since 1996, when he starred in the TV movie version of this series, played undercover police officer Vinnie Terranova—this could get confusing if they run the show on Mondays. In the original series, Vinnie disguises himself as a prisoner in a New Jersey penitentiary with the mission of taking down the local organized crime syndicates from the inside. The new series, however, will put a different spin on things. In the remake, the main character will actually play a disgraced cop who, while in jail, takes on the undercover work in exchange for a reduced sentence. No word on whether or not characters like "Lifeguard" Burroughs, or "Harry the Hunch" will be revived directly, or who will be attached to the cast. But if Banks, now a soaring eagle on Breaking Bad, has any plans to revisit old material, I think we're in for some glorious television. Source: Vulture
  • Kerry Washington Takes the Female Lead in 'Django Unchained'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    There's only so many times America can proclaim how excited it is about a developing movie before it just becomes redundant. With every casting addition to Django Unchained—when Jamie Foxx got on board, when Leonardo DiCaprio joined, when Samuel L. Jackson became attached, when Christoph Waltz jumped in, when Don Johnson found his way onset, when Gerald McRaney's name popped up in production, when still-potential rumors about Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kurt Russell materialized—we have celebrated wildly the promise of this Quentin Tarantino slavery-era Western. And now that Kerry Washington has been given the lead female role of Django's wife, Broomhilda, we must resist throwing yet another fiesta. This is not because Washington does not deserve it. She most certainly does. She has proven to be a superb actress, and more than capable at maintaining a palpable chemistry with Foxx (the two played masterfully a suffering ouple in Ray). It's simply a matter of self-respect. There are likely to be even more actors and actresses attached to this film; many of them are likely to be brilliant choices. But we can no longer make such a tiresome spectacle over what will most probably be an avalanche of cinematic pathos. I apologize, Ms. Washington. You truly do deserve the parade I am denying you. But if we get any more riled up about this movie, we won't have the energy left to actually see it when it comes out. So, regarding your arrival to the cast, I suggest nothing beyond a dignified, quiet rager. Three days, tops. I'm sorry, Ms. Washington. But it will have to do. Washington's character, Broomhilda, will be the drivign force of Django's (Foxx) expedition. Django sets out with a German bounty hunter (Waltz) to rescue his wife from the clutches of the despicable slaveowner Calvin Candie (DiCaprio), at his haunting, hedonistic ranch, Candieland. Source: Deadline
  • New 'ParaNorman' Poster Asks Where's Your Will to Be Weird?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    The message expressed by the new poster for the movie ParaNorman is (as you can read below), "You don't become a hero by being normal." Good. I am an enthusiastic proponent of instilling into kids who feel "different" a sense of great appreciation for their uniquity. And I know what you're thinking, readers. You're thinking that the only reason I so passionately endorse ParaNorman and the sentiment it conveys is because I have some monetary investment in the success of Focus Features. Well, joke's on you! It's because I was lonely and picked on as a kid. So HA! ParaNorman is the story of a young boy—a poetic outsider...aknight of the shadows, if you will—who can communicate with the dead. Ostracized for his oddities, Norman comes to use his powers to fend of supernatural forces in order to save his town from evil. Starring as Norman in this animated film by some of the people who worked on Coraline and Flushed Away is Kodi Smit-McPhee (who can brood with the best of 'em), Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Goodman, Leslie Mann and Vanessa Huxtable. Source: Yahoo
  • Snooki Says She Will Marry Jionni: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    Last night, Snooki stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to talk about her struggles as a "legal midget," her secret crush on Jimmy ("aside from looks" and "age"), and to her announce her plans to marry her boyfriend, Jionni. On The Late Show, Eddie Murphy discussed his plans for hosting the Academy Awards, and whether or not they'll involve a Dreamgirls song-and-dance number. Zach Galifianakis appeared on Conan (making one of the best talk show entrances I've seen in years) to talk about being a "gym rat," to recollect on the first joke he ever told, and to perform his newest character: the Wrong Gesturing Guy. He also touched upon his pastime of searching for women in subway tunnels.   Finally, also on Conan, Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and Conan talked about their frightening encounter in New York City...until the interview is interrupted by a very needy Zach Galifianakis. Afterwards, Paul spoke about being pranked about written out of the show by costar Bryan Cranston, and dressing up as different Breaking Bad characters at the show's wrap party, including Jane, who got a lot of interesting attention.  
  • President Obama Visits 'The Tonight Show'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    Last night, President Barack Obama paid a visit to The Tonight Show to talk with Jay Leno about everything from the state of the country to the Kardashians. Naturally, the show opened with the most recent international news: the death of Muammar Gaddafi.   In the second part of the interview, Obama discussed the removal of American forces from Iraq, the destruction of al Qaeda, Hillary Clinton's job as Secretary of State and the economic crisis and the Occupy Wall Street movement. In the final segment of the interview, the show lightened up a bit, allowing Obama to discussed the equally significant issues of one of his new favorite restaurants: Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles, as well as his Halloween fears, his thoughts on the NBA, and his aversion to the Kardashians.