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.
  • A Very Muppetational New 'The Muppets' Trailer!
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    Muppetational (adj) [muh-peh-TAY-shuh-n?l] 1. Of or relating to Muppetation or Muppets 2. The combined phenomenon of sensation, inspiration and celebration 3. Describing a movie so supercharged with fun, comedy and messages like friendship, loyalty, believing in yourself and going for your dreams, that no matter how old you are, you can't help but rattle with excitement over its imminent release The Muppets will indeed be a Muppetational movie...at least if the below trailer is any indication. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Rolf, Skeeter, the Swedish Chef, Animal and quite a few more will be reuniting to save their old Muppet Show theater. But Muppets alone does not a theater save. They're getting help from an enthusiastic live cast that includes, among countless others, Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Rashida Jones and Jack Black. So what can stand in their way? The usual hijinks? A post-Muppet world? Perhaps the intimidating Moopet gang? Whatever it is, we can bet that they won't be daunted for long. Now get on board and Mup it up with the new Muppets trailer. Sensational it is. Inspirational, for sure. Celebrational? You bet. Muppetational? Don't you forget it. Source: Yahoo via Comingsoon
  • Johnny Depp and 'Rum Diary' Producer Take On Drama Series For Lifetime
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    Just to keep us guessing, Johnny Depp likes to take a little bit of mainstream and mix it with a little bit of the outskirts. As we know, period dramas are all the rage these days. Mad Men ignited the fad, sparking the great Boardwalk Empire, and newbies Pan Am and the recently-cancelled Playboy Club. So Depp's attachment as producer to a period piece about William Wilkerson, founder of The Hollywood Reporter and Las Vegas' Flamingo Hotel and the man responsible for discovering Lana Turner, is no big eyebrow-raiser. What is a bit bizarre is where this series will air: Lifetime. Lifetime is infamous for its melodramatic TV movies about tragic accidents, miracle births and women fighting oppression. A dramatic series about high society mogul Wilkerson is not exactly the network's wheelhouse. But perhaps Lifetime is trying to extend its appeal to larger audiences. Depp is certainly one way to go about that. Reportedly, he will have a cameo role in the series -- although if we know Depp, that part won't remain a cameo for very long. Graham King is producing the series with Depp. King also produced the Depp-starring films Rango and the upcoming Hunter S. Thompson adaptation, The Rum Diary. Source: Deadline
  • Menacing Poster for 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' 3D Release
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    [Editor's Note: Michael suffers from a condition where he continually believes it is the year 1999] Just when I thought this current year couldn't get any more BOSS, I get the news that George Lucas, age 54, is making a new Star Wars movie! That's right! He's finally doing the prequels! And better than that, he's releasing them in 3D, a phenomenon with which filmmakers have barely begun to experiment! But that's Lucas for you. His new Star Wars adage, The Phantom Menace, is sure to thrill. Just look at that menacing phantom center stage! Who is that guy?! He looks more badass than contemporary nu metal sensation Korn! I can't wait to see this film. I can only begin to imagine just how this film will change cinema from here on out. With Y2K just around the corner to end things for America once and for all, we can rest assured that Lucas won't leave us with a disappointment! And if you disagree, well...you must be crazy, like Robert Downey, Jr. Not sane, like Tom Cruise. The Phantom Menace 3D reaches theaters February 10, next year. Vote Perot!       Source: Collider
  • Exclusive: Kevin Spacey Begs Craig Robinson for Cash in New The Father of Invention' Clip
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    Going into this clip knowing little about the The Father of Invention, I was enamored by the visual of a chubby Kevin Spacey riding a bicycle down a dirt path, calling out both unnervedly and familiarly for Ranger Jerry. Spacey is the sort who, by appearance alone, conjures up the idea of classy Oscar bait, so my immediate thoughts on this film were as such: perhaps something a little stuffy and overly serious, even. And then, out of the woods, comes Craig Robinson, a man with a staunch reputation for outlandish comedies. I never expected to see these two men share a scene, but I'm glad I did—the payoff of their joint 'types' is perfection. We have some sincerity, some sophistication, and some genuine humor and fun. The Father of Invention tells the story of Robert Axle (Spacey), an infomercial guru who returns to society after almost a decade in prison, aiming to win back his family and reclaim his professional throne.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks Are Lost at Sea in the New 'Chipwrecked' Trailer
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    I suppose if I was a tiny, anthropomorphic (and musically inclined) chipmunk, I, too, would send asunder my adoptive father's cruise vacation. Who among you cannot say the same? But the degree to which Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), Theodore (Jesse McCartney) and their female counterparts (Christina Applegate, Anna Faris and Amy Poehler) perform this task is inequivocal. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked takes our tamian heroes and tosses them from a luxurious getaway onto an uncharted island filled with dangers, prompting Dave (Jason Lee) to set out to rescue them. Of course, Alvin seems to undergo a few personal changes along the way, realizing just how much trouble he causes his family, and perhaps turns over a new leaf. As with the last trailer, this one culminates with a Lady Gaga songsation that's...a little bit of a force to power through. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked will chip its way into our hearts on December 16. And check the videos below the trailer to experience the Alvin and the Chipmunks of generations past. Video: Alvin and The Chipmunks 3 - Chipwrecked Source: Comingsoon
  • Ellen Returning to Sitcoms With 'Weitz & Wong' for ABC
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    America doesn't have a royal family, but it has its equivalents: Queen Oprah, Prince Bono, and somewhere around the level of Dutchess, we have Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen is pretty much as beloved as a human being can be; thus, people are willing to invest some interest in almost anything she puts her name on. This is good news for ABC, as Ellen just signed on to produce a single-camera comedy called Weitz & Wong. The series will focus on an interracial married couple, their children, and their relatives; one side of the family is white and Jewish, the other is Chinese. The series will illustrate the family's comical struggle with their varying cultures and wildly differing families and customs, and will likely touch on the stigmas attached to interracial marriage. Alex Hershog, who wrote for DeGeneres' 90s sitcom Ellen, will also write for this new series. In addition, Ellen is also developing a sitcom for NBC, starring her wife Portia de Rossi. It's an exciting prospect considering di Rossi is an incredibly adept comic actress whose outstanding performances as ambitious lawyer Nelle Porter on Ally McBeal, self-absorbed socialite Lindsay Fünke on Arrested Development, and cold-hearted businesswoman Veronica Palmer on Better Off Ted were each laugh-a-minute. Source: THR
  • Alec Baldwin Speaks Out About His Imminent '30 Rock' Departure
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    When Jack Donaghy kicked in the door of his new office in the very first episode of 30 Rock, proudly proclaiming that his predecessor was dead and that he was now in charge of NBC and, by extension, Liz Lemon's life, we knew that the show had just begun. For five years, the hypercapitalist superhuman that is Jack Donaghy has been one of the best parts of the often spectacular sitcom 30 Rock, courtesy of the excellence that is Alec Baldwin. Since we met him, we've seen Jack warm up to Liz (Tina Fey), open his heart to love enough to take a wife (Elizabeth Banks) and father an infant child (unknown baby actress). But as we've heard time and again, Jack's time on 30 Rock coming to an end. Badlwin spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the imminent change, admitting that he's considering leaving 30 Rock after this season. Said Baldwin, "I wouldn’t want to prevent them from having another year, because they’re all my friends and they’ve been good to me. Maybe I would do a piece of the year. But I really do want to move on to other things." Baldwin's interests for the future are diverse. He wishes to pursue a larger sum of movies; he's starting a public radio interview show beginning Oct. 24; and, most interestingly, he's considering running for political office. But before he makes the shift to politics, he needs to put the comedic side of his life behind him. Baldwin stated, "The jokes have to stop, everything has to be on the record,” explaining that there's a "difference between going to Jon Stewart and Jim Lehrer." Despite his interest in moving on from the series that revived his fame, Baldwin did express a great deal of gratitude for the show and for his lifestyle in general. Personally, I wouldn't want to see a 30 Rock without Jack Donaghy. Perhaps this is a hint that Liz Lemon needs to either finally "have it all," or become content with only "having it somewhat." Source: EW
  • TV Checkup: How is 'Up All Night' Holding Up?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    I'll be honest: I was deterred by Up All Night's premise. We've seen young couples adjusting to parental life before, and it's the sort of thing that can sometimes pass for "cute" and "sweet." Maybe it's the sort of thing that new parents can watch and relate to, but rarely the sort of thing that is fuel for genuine laughter. And although it's got Lorne Michaels behind it, and Will Arnett center stage, I didn't get my hopes up. But Up All Night has proven that I've become way too cynical. NBC recently picked up the comedy starring Arnett and Christina Applegate for a full season order, and it is officially my favorite new show of the fall season. The series actually did itself a disservice with all the baby-centric promos. I imagine it was trying to rope in an audience of young parents with its relatable subject matter. But in doing so, the series painted itself as the kind of show where most of the humor is derived from the new baby spitting up on her parents -- don't say that's not something shows have relied on in the past. Instead, Up All Night has remarkably quick-witted dialogue from each of its three principal players (the third being Maya Rudolph, who plays Applegate's boss and best friend), and problems not limited in interest to those in the same walk of life as main characters Chris and Reagan. In fact, if one had to pinpoint what the show is really about, it's not dealing with the literal stresses of parenthood. It's a desperate fear of aging—and that is something that many of us can understand to some degree. Chris and Reagan are illustrated as two former partiers who took pride in their adventurous lifestyle; although they are not entirely capable of accepting this, their lives have changed. Reagan is a workaholic producer of a talk show, and Chris is a stay-at-home dad. And although both are incredibly devoted to one another and to their daughter Amy, they consistently show signs of nostalgia for their wilder days. It is this balance of their good intentions (and general success as parents) and inherent flaws that make the show terrific. “Perfect families” are more or less a thing of television past. “Corrupt” characters work well in many instances, but would be hard to watch and root for if a baby was involved. The creators of Up All Night found a great balance in Chris and Reagan, who are a little bit selfish and immature at times, but who are generally good people and good parents. And, in case they are too grounded for you, there is Rudolph’s Ava, who is the show’s lovable basketcase. Through her insecurities and her constant need to be loved, she makes Reagan’s life worlds more difficult than it has to be. Despite their yearning for youth, Chris and Reagan are also comically obsessed with being seen as good parents. Last night’s episode showcased all of the show’s main themes, and very humorously so. Chris strives desperately to be the “best parent” at a baby playgroup led by the insufferable, but sort of ingenious, Mr. Bob (Michael Hitchcock). Reagan resents her inability to stay out late with Ava for a Bangles cover band concert, just like old times. And Ava becomes bitter and irrational as a result of Reagan’s newfound maturity. The plotlines are not ones we’ve never seen before—they’re simple and familiar. But the talent on this show is the biggest sell. Anyone who has seen Arnett in anything knows he can steal a scene from the best of them. He softens up his ‘slimy jerk’ archetype just enough to be likeable as a dad, but still maintains some remnants of the flawed jackass he plays so well. Applegate is moreover the straight woman, but that doesn’t mean her deadpan reactions to the madness around her aren’t great for laughs. And Rudolph plays crazy like a legend. To sum up, the show has the rapid fire wit of 30 Rock with the authentic characters of earlier 30 Rock. Don’t let the “new parents” theme deter you—Up All Night's premise is a bonus for new parents, yes, but as a whole it’s so much more than that. It’s about growing up: balancing youth and maturity, work and family, yourself and those around you. It’s a sophisticated show, but is not above silly humor. All in all, it’s a big win.
  • What Do You Think About Jack Nicholson in the Jackie Robinson Biopic '42'?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    If Jack Nicholson was in a Jackie Robinson movie, would you see it? Well, figure the components. Jack Nicholson is one of the most celebrated actors of our time. And Jackie Robinson is a beloved figure of the civil rights movement. So, mathematically, the fact that Nicholson is being cast in 42, a biopic of the sports legend, should be great news. But how well do these two things go together? History has proven that just because two things are great, it doesn't mean the product of those two things will be great. For instance: Will Ferrell and basketball. Mitch Hurwitz and cartoons. Batman and Robin. So will "Jack Nicholson and Jackie Robinson" be an addition to this string of disappointments? Of course, this is mere speculation. We have no reason to believe that the film won't be an absolute hit. In fact, we'll make a run for theaters as soon as it comes out. Sure, the film may have an error or two, but it should be a ball to watch. Nicholson has excelled in his field (he can really steal a scene or two), so we're confident that he can really drive this film home. It should be inte-great. No word on who Nicholson will play, although considering his age, suspicions surround the character of Branch Rickley, Brooklyn Dodgers executive. Source: Vulture
  • New 'American Reunion' Red Band Teaser Shows Jim Up to His Old Habits
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    As you can see from the new red band American Reunion teaser, the characters haven't grown up that much. This NSFW clip gives us our first look at the upcoming film with reunites us with the group of Michiganians that defined "teen comedy" for our generation. Below, we get a quick glimpse at the married life of Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), now parents and nearing their thirties, but still, at the core, the same people we got to know twelve years back. What with the collection of American Reunion pictures we posted yesterday, it seems like we have no choice but to get excited about this new movie. Will it live up to its predecessors? Will it bring something entirely new to the table? Will it redefine the genre its original incarnation redefined? Hard to say. But the below teaser, reminiscent of the very first scene that started off the American Pie series, seems to promise something very relatable: the war between one's instincts to grow up and one's urge to remain the youthful, magic-in-the-eyes eighteen year old who wasn't above fornicating with a baked dessert. Maybe I'm reading too much into it; it could just be another funny, sex-charged comedy. But I'm willing to bet otherwise. American Reunion reaches theaters on April 6, 2012. Click the image below the trailer to see more pictures from American Reunion.  <a href='http://movies.msn.com/movies/movie-trailers/#/video/099bb2c4-ef9b-4f9e-9d7f-404f8e5d8b36?src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title=''American Reunion' movie trailer (mature)' >Video: &#39American Reunion&#39 movie trailer (mature)</a> Source: Latino Review