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.
  • Images from 'The Raven' as Dark as Poe's Writing
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 21, 2011
    James McTeigue, former disciple of the Dojo Wachowski and director of V for Vendetta and Ninja Assassin, is bringing us The Raven: a period thriller following Edgar Allen Poe's (John Cusack) attempts to track down a murderer who borrows inspiration for his killings from the poet's work. The images below depict the film in the dark and brooding style reminiscent of Poe's writing itself. A great deal of the story is heavily fictionalized, but the appropriate mood is captured so precisely, that all moviegoers will say with satisfaction, "That's so Raven!" Source: Indiewire
  • FX Announces Season Premiere Dates for 'Sons of Anarchy,' 'It's Always Sunny' and More
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 20, 2011
    FX announced its schedule for the Fall 2011 television season. Despite being way up in the 40s, at least where I live,  FX has really made a name for itself with some terrific original series. Where the channel really shines is in its comedy. This fall will bring back the only show that pretty much everyone I know loves, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, with its raw brilliance, splattered onto jagged pavement a la Jackson Pollack. Also returning are the popular series The League and Sons of Anarchy. Sons of Anarchy —Tuesday, Sept. 6, 10 PM ET/PT (Special 90-Minute Premiere) It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia—Thursday, Sept. 15, 10 PM ET/PT Archer—Thursday, Sept. 15, 10:30 PM ET/PT for a three-week run (the third season will officially kick off in 2012) American Horror Story (New Drama Series)—Wednesday, Oct. 5, 10 PM ET/PT The League —Thursday, October 6, 10:30 PM ET/PT Source: Collider
  • Is the New 'Hunger Games Poster' Hotter Than the First?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 20, 2011
    Granted, this is pretty similar to the last Hunger Games poster we uploaded... except this one doesn't move. But don't let this static image cool you down—the crew behind The Hunger Games is still cooking up one hell of a barnburner. If the scorching new poster doesn't make you combust with excitement, then I'd say your brain is fried. This will surely be a film to rem-ember. See it, or you're toast. It'll be confla-great (new winner). The only thing that might top the heat in this poster? Star Jennifer Lawrence. The Hunger Games hits theaters March 23, 2012. Source: Filmonic
  • 'Enchanted' Director to Helm Animated 'Monkeys of Mumbai'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 20, 2011
    I knew nothing about Monkeys of Mumbai, but was hooked once I heard the title. The developing DreamWorks Animation film has signed on director Kevin Lima, whose past projects have included Tarzan, A Goofy Movie, 102 Dalmations and Enchanted. A man this dedicated to both animated and live-action whimsy is a perfect fit for the magical tale of a pair of simians defending their home against a supernatural demon. My guess: they win. The story is actually derivative of a Hindu poem titled "The Ramayana," wherein the reincarnated embodiment of the Hindu god Vishnu befriends and teams with a monkey soldier to battle the demon Ravana. It appears as if the DreamWorks film is straying away from some of the spirituality and focusing primarily on the power of monkeys. There really is just something about monkeys... Source: Comingsoon
  • 'South Park' Renewed Through 2013
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 20, 2011
    South Park will never die. Nothing can kill it. Existing long after a nuclear apocalypse prompts the downfall of humanity will be shockingly relevant episodes of the series, catering to an audience of the remaining populace of cockroaches. But for now, Comedy Central is asking for two new seasons to continue through 2013. Before the subsequent season kicks off, we'll see the second half of the currently on-hiatus fifteenth season this fall. Seven new episodes will broadcast starting October 5. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone may have suggested otherwise in the subtext of the most recent episode, wherein a fight between characters Randy and Sharon Marsh was an overt allegory for an argument that the cartoon was growing stale and repetitive. However, nothing is stopping the show in the near future. Perhaps, though, we might see a change-up in its formula. Source: AOLTV
  • Ben Stiller to Reimagine 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 20, 2011
    A remake of 1947's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is one of those grand Hollywood aspirations that never managed to materialize. The project was passed through the hands of some very accomplished directors: Spielberg, Howard, Verbinski. But none ever got this film off the ground. So who in this day and age, pray tell, is so capable, so ambitious, so artistically poignant as to not merely take this movie on as director, but also as its star performer? The same man who double-headed Zoolander: Ben Stiller. As an actor, Stiller has his techniques. He's got the timid shlub good-guy and the machismo-epitomized antagonist. Somewhere in between, he occasionally lands on the vapid, self-centered priss for whom we eventually decide to root. As a director—and I might not be in vast amounts of company here—I've always found him to be surprisingly adept. Reality Bites is the move I always wished I was old enough to appreciate when it was relevant. The Cable Guy is amazing (stop shaking your head; it's amazing). And Heat Vision and Jack is way too good for anyone to have ever heard of it (a little Google searching can uncover that one). So, this new project is not without its promise. The story visualizes the title character's imagination, in which he invests himself in order to escape, if only briefly at a time, his unhappy life. However (as is the glory of film), his daydreams begin to invade reality: so we're looking at something in the vein of either Bedtime Stories or Stranger than Fiction. Let's aim for the latter, Stiller. Souce: Indiewire
  • Shia LaBeouf Hunts Robert Redford in 'The Company You Keep'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 19, 2011
    I firmly believe that as long as Robert Redford keeps making movies, the apocalypse will hold off. The man-formerly-known-as-Sundance is set to direct and star in The Company You Keep alongside Shia LaBeouf. Adapted by Lem Dobbs from the Neil Gordon novel, the story is in the vein of the traditional man-on-the-run formula. Redford's hero will be a militant renegade wanted by the FBI, freshly above ground after three decades of avoiding the radar thanks to the tireless efforts of an up-and-coming reporter in the form of LaBeouf. The pairing of iconic stars of older and newer generations is always an interesting feat. Both Redford and LaBeouf have earned a lot of notoriety and praise. Their interesting and dissimilar styles, resultant both from individual learnings and generational differences in the approach to the craft, will likely contribute to an intriguing film. Source: Variety
  • Paul McCartney Stars in Documentary About 9/11 Aftermath
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 19, 2011
    The Love We Make, a feature-length documentary concerning the immediate aftermath of 9/11 in New York City, will debut on Showtime on September 10, one day before the ten-year anniversary of the attacks. Paul McCartney will play the focal role in the film. The events documented will include his personal experiences of being in New York City on September 11, as well as the benefit concert with which McCartney was involved in planning and performing. A list of big name celebrities will appear alongside McCartney in the documentary, including musicians David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crowe, Mick Jagger, Jay Z, Billy Joel, Elton John and Keith Richards, actors such as Steve Buscemi, Leonardo DiCaprio and Harrison Ford, and political figures such as Governor George Pataki and President Bill Clinton. Directing The Love We Make are Albert Maysles and Bradley Kaplan. Showtime will air the documentary at 9 p.m. on September 10. Source: Hollywood Reporter
  • 'Game of Thrones' Casts Two Major Roles
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 19, 2011
    Two of the most anticipated new characters for Game of Thrones' second season have been cast. Dutch actress Carice van Houten will take on the ambitious role of Melisandre: a powerful and seductive sorceress whose ultimate goal is to impart upon humanity her religion. Van Houten will play close to her fellow newcomer to the series, British actor Stephen Dillane, who will be taking on the character Stannis Baratheon. Stannis' character is the humorless younger brother to the late King Robert, and is determined to a fault to obtain the Iron Throne. Melisandre will act as an adviser to Stannis in his quest to obtain the throne. Most familiar to American audiences among Carice von Houten's past works are Valkyrie and Repo Men. Furthermore, you might recognize Dillane from his role as Thomas Jefferson in the HBO miniseries, John Adams. These roles that van Houten and Dillane are taking on are certainly not light ones. In addition to simply commanding a large sum of screen time, the duo will strive to live up to the strength and captivation of their literary counterparts. Source: InsideTV
  • New 'SVU' Episode Will Mimic Schwarzenegger Scandal
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 19, 2011
    It has long been Law & Order: SVU's M.O. to borrow story inspiration from international news. Naturally, a story as severe as the scandal surrounding Schwarzenegger's secret son (I'll spare you further alliteration) would be a treasure trove for a series focal on illicit sexual affairs. Of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger did not break any laws by cheating on his wife; that's where the writers come in. The true nature of what the sex crime will be in the episode surrounding the Raines family (comprised of Andrew Raines—a celebrated philanthropist, derivative of Schwarzenegger—his wife Kathleen, and an illegitimate son, Tripp) has not yet been revealed for the episode which will broadcast early in the program's 13th season. This kind of high-profile case is just what will draw in the viewers, what with the loss of the beloved Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and the gradual fade-out of Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). The season will premiere September 13. Source: TVLine