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.
  • '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
  • NBC Cancels 'Free Agents' Starring Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 10:11am EST
    NBC is getting a real head start in the cancelations this season. On Tuesday, the network gave the axe to its controversial period drama The Playboy Club. Today, it has decided to cancel Free Agents, the workplace-romance sitcom starring Hank Azaria (The Simpsons' star player) and Kathryn Hahn (frequent supporting player to Will Ferrell and co). Azaria played Alex, a recent divorcee, and Hahn plays Helen, whose fiancee died a year prior to the events of the series—the two are co-executives at a PR firm. The pilot saw the fragile and romantically starved duo falling immediately into a sordid, comical sexual affair, which proved both a poor idea personally and professionally. The series was intended to explore the doomed-from-the-start romance as both partners try to balance the two conflicting aspects of their tumultuous lives. Azaria is more often than not, the best part of anything he is in. Hahn as well is usually a good source of laughter; she is memorable for roles in Anchorman, Step Brothers, The Goods and Our Idiot Brother. Despite the poor reception of their series, the two shouldn't have much trouble finding a new venue. Azaria's next project is Happy Feet Two, in which he plays "The Mighty Sven." Hahn will be seen in the upcoming Wanderlust, a David Wain comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston. No word on what will take Free Agents' Wednesday 8:30 p.m. ET/PT time slot. Source: TVLine
  • Even With Salary Cuts, 'The Simpsons' Might Not Go On Past One More Season
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 9:11am EST
    This is a bit of news I though I'd never be reporting...or even living to see. Two days ago, we all got word that Fox was threatening to pull the plug on The Simpsons after season 23 if the cast was unwilling to take drastic pay cuts. This was not the first time that The Simpsons has been involved in financial arguments with the network, so many of us wrote this off as an empty threat. However, the latest news coming from the network is that even if the voice actors (Dan Castanella, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith, Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria) do agree to the reduced salaries, the series will very likely not be continued beyond a 24th season (The Simpsons is currently in the middle of its 23rd season). So as it stands, it looks like we'll either finish out this year, or get one more. And then...that's it. Many Simpsons fans, the biggest in fact, agree that the animated series has been past its prime for quite a while now. There have been a variety of points attributed to the beginning of The Simpsons decline. Some say it was post Season 12. Others, post Season 9 (a good deal of fans cite this season's episode "The Principal and the Pauper" as the marked turn). The really harsh critics say that everything went downhill after Season 7. And though almost nobody is in the mindset that The Simpsons of today really lives up to the earlier years, it's still sad to see the series go out this way. Yes, the Springfield family is indeed past its prime. But I think we were all rooting for the iconic series to go out on its own terms. We imagined creator Matt Groening finally realizing that the world he created has lived up to its fullest potential, and then thrilling us all (and infusing us with nostalgia) with a heartfelt, in-joke-laden and almost-funny-enough-to-be-mistaken-for-an-old-episode finale. We all wondered just how Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie would say goodbye to American audiences. And we imagined that even though we might miss them (The Simpsons may not be outstanding anymore...but they're still always there; a set of loyal, comforting, familiar yellow faces on Sunday nights), we would feel fulfilled by and grateful for Groening's satisfaction with his mark on the world. So it's more than a shame to see The Simpsons forced off the air. Of course, we can hope that Fox does not follow through with its declaration. We can't be too sure just how dedicated the network is to its statement. But in the event that we will be saying goodbye to The Simpsons sooner than later, the best thing we can do is remember the best things it has brought us: Mr. Plow, Sideshow Bob's tireless pursuits of Bart Simpson, Apu's wedding, Troy McClure's extensive resume, the Nuclear Power Plant's baseball team, Flaming Moe's, the Treehouse of Horror Shining parody, the shooting of Mr. Burns, and, of course, the Monorail song. Source: AV Club
  • Which 'Ides of March' Star Sang Justin Bieber's 'Baby' (Really Well) on 'Late Night'?
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 8:41am EST
    Throughout history, there have been many films that have changed lives, and perhaps the world, but no movie has had as pronounced effect on planet Earth as Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. The film even turned former Justin Bieber snarkers into diehard fans—one example being The Ides of March's Evan Rachel Wood. The actress visited Jimmy Fallon on Late Night last night to discuss her role in the upcoming George Clooney and Ryan Gosling film. However, some more pressing matters came up: her love of the Biebs. ERW's adoration for the pop sensation was no secret: earlier this year, a video of her singing "Baby" leaked online. Last night, she gave a more formal performance. Backed up by The Roots, Wood offered a pretty stellar, and passionate, rendition of Bieber's "Baby," which you can watch below. Enjoy! But be warned: this video might turn you just like Never Say Never turned her.
  • New 'My Week with Marilyn' Trailer Promises a Dark, Romantic, Engaging Story of an Icon
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 8:11am EST
    We've seen a handful of images from the new movie My Week with Marilyn. We've seen images of Michelle Williams portraying the bright, glamorous Marilyn Monroe with whom we're all familiar, a more intimate Monroe as pictured below, and a photo of Kenneth Branagh emodying the valor that is Sir Laurence Olivier.  But now we actually get a real taste of what this movie will be with a new trailer. From the quick glimpse we get of the film, we can surmise that it will truly and powerfully depict sides of Monroe that we haven't seen before in cinema: the lonely side, the manipulative side, the darker side. And, of course, all at the expense of a lovestruck young writer, played by Eddie Redmayne. Also starring Judi Dench, Emma Watson, Dominic Cooper and Dougray Scott, this true story looks to be an enthralling new illustration of an undeniable icon. Click the photo to see more from My Week with Marilyn Source: Indiewire
  • New Photo from Relativity's 'Snow White' Reveals a Very Regal Julia Roberts
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 7:01am EST
    Julia Roberts—sometimes, she's disgruntled. Sometime's she's disinterested. Sometimes rough around the edges. But has she ever really been evil before? Truly, irrevocably, irredeemably evil? Well, for those in wanting of an evil Julia Roberts, we're about to see one in the still untitled Snow White movie from Relativity, starring Lily Collins (The Blind Side) as the titular heroine, Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as the Prince, Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones) as the King. What can we expect from an evil Julia Roberts? We've been so conditioned to love her ever since Mystic Pizza, that'll be hard going into a movie with the understanding that she's not who we're supposed to be rooting for. Unless this is a particularly interesting, innovative take on Show White. We're onto you, Mr. Singh... Click on the photo to see more pics at EW Source: EW
  • George Clooney Liked to Mess with Walter Cronkite: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 06, 2011 5:50am EST
    Last night, George Clooney stopped by The Late Show to talk about pranking a 90 year-old Walter Cronkite at his Italian villa to the point of getting him to (drunkenly) jump in his lake. Hugh Jackman appeared on The Daily Show to talk about getting punched in the stomach by Sugar Ray Leonard, and how all the non-dangerous movies he tries to get involved with always get canceled.   The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook Will Arnett showed up on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to reveal that his mother was clearly not a fan of Arrested Development, and to find out that he inadvertently insulted just about every member of the Jimmy Kimmel Live! crew through different scenes of his new sitcom, Up All Night. Finally, Evan Rachel Wood visited Late Night to talk about getting her tooth knocked out on her birthday, and the crowd of screaming girls perpetually following Ryan Gosling.
  • 'Modern Family' Recap: Door to Door
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 05, 2011 9:11pm EST
    S03E04: Let me start out by saying how much I love everything that happens with the Dunphy family in this week's episode of Modern Family. Even though Haley and Alex are not featured so prominently, their moments onscreen are good ones. Phil and Luke are an unstoppable comedy duo. And Claire does her Claire thing—she obsesses, and over the Clairest of things: a stop sign. The plotline is reminiscent of last season’s “Slow Down Your Neighbors,” wherein Claire went on a vigilant mission to put a stop to neighborhood reckless driving. But instead of feeling repetitive, this episode just feels real. Ordinarily, a show visits a plotline of this nature once, and then puts the issue to rest at the end of the episode. In real life though, safety hazards occur more than once. And in real life, someone like Claire would be involved every single time. What’s impressive about the show is that they manage to use two similar issues to tell two different stories. Modern Family at its finest. "Blind Side was the black kid who played tight end." - Phil "Offensive line." - Alex "Sorry. African American kid." - Phil While gossiping in the car to Haley and Alex about their classmates’ mother, Claire accidentally drives into Phil, who is power walking across the street and “caught up in his jam.” This inspires Claire to go on a crusade to get a stop sign placed at said intersection. In order to do so, she needs to collect fifty signatures from the neighborhood—of course, none of the other Dunphys are willing to help her. Alex is spending the time Skyping with the Newsies boy from the season premiere, Haley is doing something of presumably minimal scholastic value, and Phil and Luke (in all their glory) are trying to recreate the ricochet of a basketball off Phil’s head into the hoop to catch on video and earn millions of hits—says Phil, “This could be our double-rainbow.” When Claire comes back from a largely unsuccessful outing of signature collecting to realize that her family not only didn’t help her, but has also given her phony excuses to why they might not be able to help, she becomes livid and heads off to the traffic committee with her flimsy thirty-four signatures. Here’s a fun treat: David Cross plays the head of the traffic committee (and word has it he’ll be back in the same roll, developing an enmity with Claire over the course of the season—awesome). Although David Cross’ screen time is brief, his performance as a rude, unrelenting bureaucrat with a pretty mean craving for ice cream cake is sublime. At the last moment, Haley and Alex burst in with additional signatures, as do Phil and Luke with a video they comprised (Luke’s passion for video editing is a character trait that I really, really, really like, for whatever reason) explaining the severe need for a stop sign in the area. The video is possibly one of the best things to come out of Modern Family in a long, long time. Phil acting: priceless. A script clearly written by Luke: pricelesser. Although the scene doesn’t really give any closure to the stop sign plot itself, it does solidify this family’s dedication to one another. Despite the bickering and the insults, they all clearly very much love each other, and this was both a very funny and very moving illustration of that. "Hello, ma'am. Do you love Christmas?" - Manny "Actually, I'm Jewish." - Neighbor "...Well, then you must appreciate a good value!" - Manny It’s always nice to see a Jay-Manny storyline, especially when they’re on the same side as opposed to at odds. When Manny comes home with wrapping paper to sell to fund a school trip, Jay tries to teach Manny how to be a good salesman instead of just buying all the paper himself. Jay takes Manny door to door, giving him advice and urging him to be persistent. However, Manny proves to be a subpar salesman. Manny pouts at this as the two walk through the neighborhood, lamenting how he can never live up to the wildly successful Jay. Feeling badly about Manny’s low self-esteem, Jay offers to buy the paper so that Manny can go on his school trip. A talking head reveals that Manny was pulling one over on Jay so that he would buy the paper. It’s a predictable joke once Manny gets started on the “woe is me” speech, and not a funny enough one to warrant devaluing an actual meaningful storyline the two could have had. Kind of a letdown. “When I get back, I’m going to scrub this place like a crime scene…which it is, since you murdered joy.” - Cam But what bothers me more than that is the continuing misuse of Mitchell and Cam. Mitchell is possibly the best character on the show. He has more depth and inner turmoil than any of the other family members, yet his plotlines are far too often superficial fights with Cam. This week: Mitchell likes this clean, but Cam is messy. Now, this is not inherently without value. They could have explored Mitchell’s obsessive cleanliness. But instead, they just made it a competition. Seriously, it seems like these two are never not having a fight anymore. There are other ways to make a two-man-team funny than pitting them against one another. That’s not to say their storyline was not without its laughs. Cam, in an effort to further procrastinate cleaning up, goes out with Gloria to help her look for Stella, whom she accidentally set free. Cam’s joy over inadvertent transformation into Stanley Kowalski (wearing a t-shirt and jeans, he begins his shouting “Stella!”, only to be overcome with glee once he realizes what is going on) was laugh out funny. The storyline culminated when an adoption agent walked in on Mitch and Cam in the middle of an excessively dirty household. I feel bad for always taking issue with Mitchell and Cam. But they are two wonderful characters who deserve better, fuller stories than they have been getting. But I can’t be too displeased an episode that features Phil becoming (willingly) gradually concussed.
  • 'The Help' Now Available on Blu-ray/DVD on December 6
    By: Michael Arbeiter October 05, 2011 2:22pm EST
    Are you in the mood for a wacky, music-themed comedy about a band of nutty British rock stars on the run from a crazed cult? Well look no furth—what? This is THE Help? Oh... how inappropriate. The Help, a period drama about a young white aspiring journalist (Emma Stone) in the 1960s returning to her rural community to excavate the stories of the lives and livelihoods of the black servants who work for prosperous white families. Among her interviewees is Aibileen (Viola Davis), housekeeper to close friends of Skeeter's (Stone) family. Skeeter's project inspires a good deal of unrest in members of the white community who do not wish to disturb the status quo. The Help has been celebrated as a moving, inspirational tale, and is available on Blu-ray and DVD on December 6. The special features are listed below. Exclusive Blu-ray Bonus Features:  The Making of “The Help:” From Friendship To Film In Their Own Words: A Tribute To The Maids Of Mississippi Three deleted scenes with introductions by Director Tate Taylor, including ‘Humiliated,’ ‘A Book About Jackson’ and ‘Johnny’s Home’ (which is a Blu-ray exclusiveDVD Bonus Features: Two deleted scenes with introductions by Director Tate Taylor including ‘A Senator’s Son’ and ‘Keep On Walkin’  “The Living Proof” music video by Mary J. Blige  Exclusive Blu-ray Bonus Features: The Making of “The Help:” From Friendship To Film  In Their Own Words: A Tribute To The Maids Of Mississippi  Three deleted scenes with introductions by Director Tate Taylor including ‘Humiliated,’ ‘A Book About Jackson’ and ‘Johnny’s Home’ (which is a Blu-ray exclusive) DVD Bonus Features: Two deleted scenes with introductions by Director Tate Taylor, including ‘A Senator’s Son’ and ‘Keep On Walkin’ “The Living Proof” music video by Mary J. Blige