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.
  • New Poster for AMC's 'Hell on Wheels' Promises Bloodshed and Ruination
    By: Michael Arbeiter September 28, 2011 9:47am EST
    AMC, you've done us well. You're tackling worlds left and right, all to massive acclaim. The network has done the '60s, the drug circle, the apocalypse and now, Hell on Wheels will cover that interesting, often overlooked time period right after the Civil War. Channel your middle school American History knowledge, because a lot of terms like "transcontinental railroad" will be thrown around. Although that one's a pretty straightforward concept. Interestingly (and AMCishly) enough, our hero is actually a veteran of the Confederate Army. Anson Mount will play Cullen Bohannen, whose revenge quest is the central plot of the series. Mount will travel Westward on a quest to avenge the death of his wife at the hands of the terrible, evil Union. Also starring are rapper/actor Common, who will play a newly freed slave working for the corrupt conglomerate running the railroad operation, and Colm Meany as an ambitious businessman attempting to reap financial benefits from the railroad. Hell on Wheels will premiere Sunday, Nov. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMC. Check out the engrossing preview here. Source: TVGuide
  • Explore More Dangers With New 'Walking Dead' Season 2 Photos
    By: Michael Arbeiter September 28, 2011 8:58am EST
    Due to our immense anticipation, it seems like The Walking Dead is dragging back to television more slowly than the lifeless trudgery of the walkers/geeks/zombies/whatever they'll be called this season. But Oct. 16 isn't that far away anymore, so keep hanging on. Season 2 will bring the campers to a fresh setting: the farm of Hershel Greene, where they'll find new sanctuary...and new dangers. AMC released a handful of images of our favorite Walking Dead characters facing the grim truths that will come to them this season. Below, we can see a shot of the entire cast on the Greene family porch. There is also a shot of Sheriff Rick Grimes, de facto leader of the group (Andrew Lincoln) exploring the farm cautiously with wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and pre-outbreak best friend/post-outbreak romantic and judicial rival Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal). We can also see, staring stoned-facedly into the ominous glare of an apparently very sunny zombie apocalypse, group survivalist/antagonist Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), "wise old man" Dale Hovarth (Jeffrey DeMunn), the emotionally overwhelmed Andrea (Laurie Holden) and, best of all, the spirited, sterling pizza delivery boy Glen (Stephen Yeun). The Walking Dead's 90-minute Season 2 premiere will debut Sunday, Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC. Click here to check out our Walking Dead gallery, and click here to see more new photos at AMC. Source: AMC
  • Emma Roberts and AnnaSophia Robb Will Be Loud and Colorful in 'Anything but Ordinary'
    By: Michael Arbeiter September 28, 2011 8:21am EST
    Remember when you were younger, and someone would bring up Tuesday and you'd immediately think orange? Well, that's a disease. But don't worry—you're probably fine. It's called synesthesia. It's the automatic connection of one cognitive sense to another. And either Emma Roberts or AnnaSophia Robb is going to get it, after a four-year diving board-induced coma. The film Anything but Ordinary, to be directed by Sanaa Hamri (Just Wright, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, and a Prince video), follows the story of a seventeen year-old diving prodigy who incurs an injury during Olympic trials that lands her in a coma for four years. She wakes up when she is twenty-one, which, on its own, is pretty miraculous—and it's a much sweeter story than that of the last woman who woke up from a four-year coma. After her awakening, the girl notices that she has developed synesthesia. As the Hollywood Reporter puts it, she begins to process "words and numbers through color, the third dimension and sound." It's an abstract concept, so we shouldn't expect to be able to wrap our heads around it just yet. But it should be a very interesting film. Applicably, the movie will be very music-driven. It's possible that the girl will come to use music in order to function and understand her surroundings and ideas more properly. Everything so far about this film seems intriguing. The story is also in the process of being written as a book by author Lara Avary. Source: Hollywood Reporter
  • Andy Rooney Ends '60 Minutes' Segment After Thirty-Three Years
    By: Michael Arbeiter September 28, 2011 7:23am EST
    October 2 will mark a troubling day for America. A day when it will no longer know what it is supposed to hate. That's because for the past thirty-three years, Andy Rooney has been, through his end-of-show segment on 60 Minutes, telling us just what exactly is wrong with society. And on October 2, it'll all be over because Rooney just announced his retirement. Over the years, we've welcomed and related to Rooney's short gripes, which ranged from topics like cats, telephones, athletic mascots, Internet shopping, the economy and horse meat. We've also tried to forget a few, such as those concerning Native Americans, homosexual unions and Kurt Cobain's suicide. Nobody has a perfect record. But Rooney is and has always has been a fixture. He has been there, week after week, ready with a new subject rife for derision. He has inspired the lot of us with segments on the often overlooked hardships of poverty, and the inexplicabilty of music tastes being generational. And beyond this, Rooney is something unlike any other. Although his rants are sometimes political in nature, more often than not, they focus on life's mundanities. Where else can we turn in this politics-fueled news circuit, to learn why we really need to start appreciating scotch tape? So, it is important to celebrate the accomplished career of this one-of-a-kind journalist. A breed so rare is he that he even managed to find substantial flaws with Christmas. This is a talent that should not be unappreciated. Rooney has been an invaluable asset to the world, pointing out problems where none could otherwise be found, shining light on the bad and obscuring the good. It's a dangerous task, but an important one...probably. And who else has been brave enough to bare that burden? No one. And no one will likely ever be again. So we thank you, Andy Rooney, for showing us all the things we didn't realize were wrong.   Source: Hollywood Reporter
  • The Truth About Shakespeare Debated in 'Anonymous' Liveblog Tonight
    By: Michael Arbeiter September 28, 2011 7:09am EST
    A good deal of people have been asked the question, "If you were able to talk to one person from history, who would it be?" In response to this, an even better deal of people have answered, "Shakespeare." And the best deal of people of all are not, in fact, referring to this guy. Well, you still can't talk to Shakespeare. But heres's the next best thing (give or take): a Liveblog with Anonymous director Roland Emmerich and writer/producer John Orloff and historian Charles Beauclerk! Anonymous revisits one of the oldest conspiracies in history: did William Shakespeare actually write all, or any, of those plays and poems? People have suggested countless alternative theories, including the one proposed by Anonymous: Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans), wrote all of Shakespeare's works and attributed them to the would-be bard (Rafe Spall) because "in [the Earl's] world, people do not write plays." And also for the reasons of manipulating the public... and possibly covering up his incestuous love affair with the Queen. So, this guy clearly needed this. To learn more about the film, and to weigh in on the age-old debate, check back here at 11:15 pm EST/8:15 pm PST for an hour-long Liveblog. Until then, enjoy the trailer below, and get your theories ready. Personally, I think Jack Ruby was in on it. Click the below picture to see more of the Anonymous gallery.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt Sings Karaoke With Jimmy Fallon: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter September 28, 2011 6:11am EST
    Last night, Joseph Gordon-Levitt visited Late Night to perform karaoke with Jimmy Fallon. He may not be an expert singer...but he does a pretty good Axl Rose impression. Seth Rogen appeared on The Daily Show to tell the true story behind 50/50, and how Will Reiser, the writer of the movie who based it on his own experiences, was more upset about his unsuccessful sex life than about his cancer. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook Marisa Tomei showed up on Conan to complain about starring in "The Double-Fudging of Vanessa Del Rio" and attending George Clooney's pool party where lake-jumping is mandatory. Finally, Anna Faris talked to David Letterman about being hired for a frozen yogurt commercial because she was "chunky."
  • Kelsey Grammer's 'Boss' Gets a Second Season Before It Even Premieres
    By: Michael Arbeiter September 27, 2011 12:52pm EST
    The Starz series Boss must be really, really good. So good, in fact, that it doesn't have to air on television to be renewed. This sounds suspiciously like a joke, but keep reading. The original drama series Boss, starring Frasier's own Kelsey Grammer, already has a second season order on Starz. "Oh, I must have missed that show!" you say. No, you didn't. It hasn't premiered yet. So, it seems as though we can trust that the network is pretty dedicated to this one. Is this a good sign? Well, it can't be too much of a bad one. When a series merits this degree of investment, it is usually a sign of quality (see: HBO and Game of Thrones). The series revolves around Tom Kane (Grammer), a ruthless Chicago mayor who takes consistent, desperate efforts to keep covered a secret from his past that could cost him his political career. The premiere will also feature accomplished film director Gus Van Sant's (Good Will Hunting, Milk) first stab at television directing. Boss premieres on Friday, Oct. 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and by then, we're likely to see a six-season contract underway. Source: Starz
  • New Jersey's Governor Christie Vetoes Tax Credit for 'Jersey Shore'
    By: Michael Arbeiter September 27, 2011 10:37am EST
    Justice prevails. It's a rare opportunity to get to praise government officials for their good judgment, but New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie has won the right. Two weeks ago, we reported that the state of New Jersey would be offering a $420,000 tax credit to the MTV series Jersey Shore for its "services" to the state's economy. Even Seaside Heights Mayor P. Kenneth Hershey was adamantly behind this. However, in a favorable twist of events, Governor Christie vetoed this act, denying Jersey Shore its tax credits. Let the collective sigh of relief begin now.  Christie stated, "I have no interest in policing the content of such projects. However, as chief executive I am duty-bound to ensure that taxpayers are not footing a $420,000 bill for a project which does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the state and its citizens." Other members of New Jersey's government, including Monmouth's State Representative Declan O'Scanlon and Middlesex's State Senator Joe Vitale, as well as by a national coalition of Italian-Americans voiced their support for Christie's decision. Click here to read Governor Christie's letter to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority explaining his veto of the tax credits. Source: The Huffington Post, Scribd
  • Listen to Bruno Mars' 'It Will Rain' from 'Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn' Soundtrack
    By: Michael Arbeiter September 27, 2011 9:12am EST
    As The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn nears the horizon, many of us brim with vampirious excitement. We can rewatch Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse, burn through each of the novels, and spend inordinate amounts of time on the fan sites, but after a while, there's only so much of the old we can take in. So, we need something from the new film to get us in the Pattinsonian spirit. Luckily, we have just the thing. Bruno Mars composed "It Will Rain"—the lead single from the Breaking Dawn soundtrack—which is available to listen to (and to help launch yourself into a Twilight daydream) here. Mars told Billboard that he thinks of the Twilight films as "a dark love story," and wanted his song to convey "the darker side of love." The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn will reach theaters November 18. The Breaking Dawn soundtrack will be available November 8. Click the image to see more Breaking Dawn pictures. Source: Rap-Up, Billboard
  • The Feud Continues: 'Glee''s Matthew Morrison Responds to Jonah Hill's Threats on 'Late Night'
    By: Michael Arbeiter September 27, 2011 7:45am EST
    As you might have seen last week, a very flustered Jonah Hill visited Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to share some hilarious, but incredibly hostile, anecdotes about Glee's Matthew Morrison. While at a Fox network party, Hill overheard Morrison making a joke about the comic actor...something he found very unsettling. So, Hill went on Late Night to publicize his new feud with Morrison, and demand that the Glee star "bring his s**t." All this can be seen here. All this can be seen here (and is very much worth the watch -- there's nothing better than an overwhelmed Jonah Hill).  However, Hill probably wasn't expecting such a speedy, and well-choreographed, reaction. Last night on Late Night, we got Part Two of the Hill-Morrison feud: Matthew Morrison shared a very Gleeish video accepting Jonah's challenge, and showing off some of his own chops. Morrison was very insistent that he could, despite Hill's remarks, "sing his way out of" pretty much anything. Best of all, Morrison took things a step further and demanded Late Night face-off with Hill. Will the feud escalate to epic proportions? We can only hope. Hill vs. Morrison could be this generation's Ali vs. Liston.