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.
  • First Image of Gerard Butler as the 'Machine Gun Preacher'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 25, 2011
    The first image has been released of Gerard Butler in Marc Forster's Machine Gun Preacher, the upcoming biopic of Sam Childers. Childers is a former gang-biker, drug dealer, alcoholic and comprehensive ruffian who turned his life around after joining the Assembly of God church and became an active combatant of the kidnappings, murders and sex- and slave-trade of Sudanese children perpetrated by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. Portraying Childers, who also founded the Children's Village Angels of East Africa in Southern Sudan, is Butler, pictured below in character. Source: Collider
  • SDCC 2011: Snow White Goes Snow Knight in First 'Huntsman' Image
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 25, 2011
    Snow White and the Huntsman is pulling out all the stops to compete with fellow developing-Snow White film The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. Now that the rival fantasy flick has released its first Snow White image, Huntsman has countered with a baddass-ier character poster that solidify it as an entirely different film. Okay, I'm sure this whole situation is not nearly as cutthroat and malicious as I just made it seem... but the idea of a fairy tale princess pit against her doppelganger in a battle for viewers? That has the makings of history. For the reflections of stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron and director Rupert Sanders on the making of Snow White and the Huntsman, check out's coverage of the Comic-Con panel. Source: Slashfilm
  • Jennifer Lopez Back for Another 'Idol' Season? (Updated)
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 25, 2011
    UPDATE: J. Lo is set to sign her renewal deal later this week, according to The Hollywood Reporter. PREVIOUSLY: And she's back (almost). After that cataclysm of uncertainty regarding Jennifer Lopez's future with American Idol, it seems as though the judge will retake her seat for the upcoming season as she is nearing a new deal as we speak. This begs the question: was she really ever going to leave? If so, what happened to change her mind? And what will this mean for her reviving music career? These are the questions of our generation. Reportedly, American Idol execs were already sorting through a list of replacements for Lopez. If Lopez's consideration to split from the show was just a ruse for more money, as many speculated, perhaps their announcement was a combative ploy to rope her back in. Although, now, maybe this whole potential new deal is also a trick by both parties to win more viewers... and, perchance, this very article is a scheme to fool Lopez, Idol execs and the American public into reading this site more often. You really can't trust anyone. So, for those of us really excited over the prospect of Shania Twain on the Idol panel, let us grieve. But long live Lopez! And as long as Steven Tyler isn't going anywhere, the show goes on. Source: AOLTV
  • SDCC 2011: Stare Into Bradley Cooper's Devil Eyes In This Image From 'Paradise Lost'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 25, 2011
    Paradise Lost, one of the most monumental pieces of literature in world history, is being adapted to film. An eye-shot of the character Lucifer (Bradley Cooper) is now available. The story follows Lucifer's fall from the Heavens after refusing God's demand to play subservient to man, and his journey to regain a platform of greatness. It's a pretty dense read that has the potential to be a pretty unbelievable movie. Source: Comingsoon
  • Harrison Ford's Next Project: Cowboys Vs. Gangsters?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 25, 2011
    It is nearly impossible to maintain a sophisticated stance on a movie whose plot description sounds like it was written on Reddit: "So, you take Wyatt Earp. You know Wyatt Earp, right? He was a cowboy. Henry Fonda played him once. Not important. You know Al Capone? Take him, too. Let's have the two of them face off against one another. Cowboys vs. Gangsters. Isn't there another movie like that coming out soon? Who's in that? Harrison Ford? Sounds good! Let's get him!" So, that's pretty much what's going on right now. Ford will star as Wyatt Earp in Black Hats, a film based on Max Allan Collins'/Patrick Mulcane's (they're the same person) novel, Black Hats: A Novel of Wyatt Earp and Al Capone. "Let's keep going. Who should write the script? This has got to be badass. What's the most badass movie ever made? 300! Who wrote that? Google says it's Kurt Johnstad. He sounds pretty badass. He's in." Honestly, if done with the right amount of innovation, I could see this mismatched pairing of genres being an overwhelmingly entertaining and creative account and re-imagining of historical eras, like Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, or an odd, nonsensical mashup that doesn't seem to have any purpose at all, like Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Source; Indiewire
  • 'Breaking Bad' Recap: Thirty-Eight Snub
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 24, 2011
    S04E02: The episode opens with Walt purchasing a gun from a black market arms dealer ripped straight out of a Tarantino movie: he cites the "law of the West" to support a man's right to defend himself by any means necessary. The scene plays heavily on the show's central idea: the motivation (and justification thereof) of Walt's actions. Is he still acting from a place of defense, self-preservation, or interest in his family's well-being? Walt's storyline in this episode followed his attempts to eliminate Gus. Following the theme of last week's episode, Walt is rapidly figuring out how little control he has.   "You won, Walter. You got the job. Learn to take 'yes' for an answer." - Mike From his first appearance in the episode, Mike is shown, scraping blood (presumably Victor’s) off his shirtsleeve, to be uneasy with the events of the recent past. Most notably, Mike is newly hesitant to trust his boss, Gus.  Walt, feeling the same way, tries to use Mike’s intelligence to his own advantage. Walt approaches him in a bar that Mike does not leave throughout the episode (which—and I’m no filmmaker, but I feel that this needs to be said—was the most beautifully shot setting I’ve seen in TV lately) and tries to invoke a kinship. A thick “we’re not so different, you and I” motif is lain behind Walt’s rambling, unconvincing speech. As he goes on and on to a primarily silent Mike, it is clear just how far Walt has slipped from his pedestal. Furthermore, Mike immediately notices, without so much as a direct glance, the gun Walt put so much effort into keeping inconspicuous. When Walt does come right out and ask Mike to help him kill Gus, Mike reacts violently, leaving the bar for the first time with Walt injured on the floor. It’s curious as to exactly why he did react this way: as Walt cited loyalty to Jesse as the reason for some of his actions, perhaps Mike is feeling the same kind of loyalty to Gus. More likely, it’s a sense of denial overtaking him: the ever-stoic Mike doesn’t want to realize that his life and consistencies are in danger. And maybe there’s something to the fact that it was Mike’s unforgettable “no more half measures” speech to Walt last season that is exactly what made the man go off commit that insane series of actions that led directly to this very situation. Meanwhile, Jesse throws a three-day rager (featuring the extremely welcomed return of Badger and Skinny Pete), fueled by cocaine, a superfluously loud sound system, and unsliced pizzas. From his first appearance, glaring lifelessly at the glowing hi-fi, Jesse is obviously not in a good place. He obsessively demands the party (represented by an MTV like montage which admittedly went on a little long for my tastes) persist long past the point of his guests’ stamina; he even pushes his rehabilitating friends back on the wagon—although, this isn’t the first time the otherwise moralistic (relatively, at least—for this show, anyway) Jesse has taken advantage of recovering drug abusers. Eventually, Jesse is paid a visit by Andrea, who solidifies his uneasiness with the events in "Half Measures" and "Full Measure:" the murder of Tomas' killers and, especially, of Gale. The end of the episode, after all of party guests have gone, depicts an almost audible reverberation of Jesse's thoughts: "I killed someone." Aaron Paul, you had better win an Emmy immediately. A terrific callback was incited by a shot of a mountain of cigarettes on Jesse’s counter. If you recall, Jesse adopted a heavy smoking habit to remind him of the scent of deceased girlfriend Jane, who used to smoke in his car. Interestingly, both incidents of tragedy (Jesse’s murder of Gale and Jane’s drug-induced death) were largely, if not entirely, Walt’s fault.  A surprisingly interesting story comes out of Hank and Marie this week. When it comes to his wife, Hank is incurably irate ever since being shot. He refuses to show her the appreciation that he does his physical therapist, actually demands she "get out" while she's trying to show support, and commands her to inspect all of his minerals for damage. Finally, Skylar, now thick into the game, makes an offer to Walt's old boss at the car wash as a money laundering front, who, out of spite over Walt's hostile quitting, demands no less than twenty million dollars. The show seems to be using Walt and Skylar’s baby daughter as sort of a reminder of just how corrupt everything these people are doing really is: Skylar brings the infant along while she’s doing research to purchase the car wash that she will use to hide the fact that her estranged husband is a prominent Albuquerque meth distributor. This device is hardly unique: the first example to mind is from Dexter’s fifth season, but it works well as Skylar is new to the crime game and therefore the one most freshly “corrupted.” Meanwhile, Walt Jr. makes another two-second appearance this season, just to remind us that this once incredibly prominent character still exists. Let’s hope he’s launched back to the front of the action, as his role was incredibly important to the development of Walt’s character. Things to consider: what awesome storyline is being built up between Hank and Marie? And when, and in what way, will Mike finally take action?
  • SDCC 2011: 'Haywire' Trailer Will Make Your Mind Sizzle
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 22, 2011
    So, here's what I can tell so far about Haywire... American Gladiator/MMA fighter Gina Cararo is a walking lethal weapon who the government employs to carry out some covert opp, then tries to kill. Simple enough, right? NO WAY. Maybe it's the cinematography, the stunts, the music, the inclusion of Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor and Antonio Banderas...but something about this trailer makes this movie seem like it's going to be twisting and turning in every conceivable (and otherwise) direction, taking our brains, hearts and adrenal glands on a bumper-car dragrace through an avalanche-tornado. To hear more about the plot and production of this killer thriller, check out our report on the Comic-Con Post.
  • David Cronenberg's 'Scanners' to Become Series
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 22, 2011
    In light of the colossal spike in popularity of science fiction and horror on television -- look at The Walking Dead and Falling Skies -- Dimension Films is adapting the 1981 film Scanners into a drama series. The plot of the movie, written and directed by the sensation of a filmmaker David Cronenberg (The Fly, Spider, M. Butterfly, and a ton of awesome non-bug-related movies) is about a corporation that attempted to exploit, in some remarkably dastardly ways, people who had extrasensory perception, and other psychic powers. Originally, the remake was intended to be a film, but Dimension decided it more advantageous to develop it as a series. The Walking Dead especially proves that a quality horror fiction series is possible when done correctly. French horror film director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) is on board as executive producer and might direct the pilot, so perhaps this show has a shot after all. Source: Deadline
  • SDCC 2011: 'The Avengers' Black Widow and Hawkeye Art Revealed
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 22, 2011
    Yesterday, Comic-Con gave us a look at some artwork depicting Captain America and Iron Man. Today, two more Avengers are revealed: Hawkeye and Black Widow. Unlike the former mentioned pair, neither Hawkeye nor Black Widow have yet to release a movie dedicated to their back stories (in this generation of The Avengers, anyway). But Clint Barton and Clair Voyant will each be a venerable force in The Avengers. Source:Comingsoon, Comingsoon
  • Sean William Scott to Do a Reverse-'Happy Gilmore' in Red Band 'Goon' Trailer
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 22, 2011
    Just this morning, I was discussing the 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore with a fellow commuter. He went on about the glory of this movie, fifteen years old this past February, and lamented the comedy films of present day. Well, lament no further, my co-supporter of the LIRR. For anyone who loved Happy Gilmore, why don't you check out the reverse: Goon, starring Sean William Scott as a violent hired muscle channels his anger into the sport of hockey. SWS will be joined by Jay Baruchel and Scott's old American Pie colleague Eugene Levy. Check out a Red Band trailer below that highlights all of the violence, debauchery and foul language that this film promises. Source: Indiewire