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.
  • That Funny Kid from 'Modern Family's' Joins Funny Movie 'The To Do List'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 07, 2011
    I think, what with the imminent apocalypse, whatever force it is that controls the universe has decided to allow the best comedy film ever to be made: The To Do List, which just keeps getting more and more impossibly awesome—trigger the inclusion of Nolan Gould, better known as Luke Dumphy from Modern Family. Two of my cowriters here at Hollywood.com have penned their own love-letters (one and the other) to the accumulating cast of this movie, which was previously titled The Hand Job. As the players in the film include Aubrey Plaza, Donald Glover, Andy Samberg, Alia Shawkat and Bill Hader, you’d have to be a comatose Satanist not to be as excited as we all are. There’s something about Nolan Gould’s (who, in contrast to his Modern Family character, is actually a member of Mensa) delivery as Luke that is at once extremely peculiar but incredibly effective as a comedic performance, which makes me just as excited to see the child actor take to the big screen in this supermovie as I am to see the love of my life, April Ludgate (now Dwyer…but I’ll find a way to change that), star in it. Gould’s character will be the head of a pre-teen gang of Pool Rats, who hang around by the public pool, inciting trouble and shadowing the older kids of the neighborhood. Writer-director Maggie Carey, I don't know how to thank you for doing this for humanity. We all really love you here. Source: Hollywood Reporter
  • Giovanni Ribisi Joins Overload of A-List Talent in 'Gangster Squad'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 07, 2011
    Every piece of news I hear about Gangster Squad further contributes to an already overzealous anticipation of this sure-to-be-awesome movie. Joining the assemblage of splendor that is the existing cast is Giovanni Ribisi, who I liked before it was cool. Ribisi will join living legends Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, and Bryan Cranston in the ‘elite cop squad’ hunting down the head of the “Jewish Mafia,” Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). Ribisi’s character will be an expert in electronics, which, as the film is set in the 1940s, means he owns two lamps. Giovanni Ribisi has never disappointed me—be it mining Unobtanium, stealing cars or fathering triplets fostered by his sister’s surrogate womb, he’s got a screen presence that will only augment this already unstoppable film. The former Cory Kupkus will also be joining Johnny Depp in the upcoming adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary and will play a major role in Seth MacFarlane’s Ted. Source: Deadline
  • Meryl Streep Delivers Her Own 'King's Speech' in 'The Iron Lady'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 07, 2011
    The Iron Lady stars Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, the only female Prime Minister the United Kingdom has had to date. The trailer is pretty exciting (especially if you don't know what the movie is about first...which, if you've read this far, you do... sorry), and gives hope for a genuine and compelling biopic. The Weinstein Company, the same folks who brought us last year's The King's Speech, appear to be working their British drama magic once again -- which we can only assume means Oscars are on the way... Source: Comingsoon
  • 'The Big Lebowski' Rolls on to Blu-Ray, Man
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 06, 2011
    No clever remark I could input here would really do this news justice, so I’ll cut to the chase: The Big Lebowski Limited Edition Blu-Ray will be available August 16. I can’t decide which wry reference to go with, so here’s everything I’ve got: it’ll really tie your Blu-Ray collection together; this Blu-Ray will stand, man; I’m not being fatuous, this Blue-Ray is legit—it’s not a ringer for a ringer (double whammy); this Blu-Ray is what happens when you meet a stranger in the alps (that one’s META); this Blu-Ray is the Walrus. Okay, it’s out of my system. Check out the special features: BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE BONUS FEATURES: • U-CONTROL: Universal’s exclusive feature that lets the viewer access bonus materials without leaving the movie! -Scene Companion: Watch cast and crew interviews, behind the scenes footage and more during key scenes with this picture-in-picture companion. -Mark it Dude: This onscreen counter really ties the film together. Keep track of all the “F-Bombs,” “Dudes,” and “Dude-isms” in the film with this ultimate fan guide. -The Music of The Big Lebowski: Instantly identify the songs heard while watching the film, create a custom playlist of your favorites and even purchase them from iTunes®! • WORTHY ADVERSARIES: WHAT’S MY LINE TRIVIA: Test your Lebowski knowledge by finishing lines of dialogue during the film. Play as Walter or The Dude or in two-player mode against friends. • BD-LIVETM: Access the BD-Live™ Center through your Internet-connected player to watch the latest trailers and more. • pocket BLU™: The groundbreaking pocket BLU™ app uses iPhone®, iPod® touch, Android™, PC and Macintosh to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray™ player. Also available on the iPad™, owners can enjoy a new, enhanced edition of pocket BLU™ made especially to take advantage of the tablet's larger screen and high resolution display. Consumers will be able to browse through a library of Blu-ray™ content and watch entertaining extras on-the-go in a way that's bigger and better than ever before. pocket BLU™ offers advanced features such as: -Advanced Remote Control: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease. -Video Timeline: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film. -Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray™ discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere. -Browse Titles: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU™-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray™ Hi-Def. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device. -Keyboard: Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard. • uHEAR™: Never miss another line of dialogue with this innovative feature that instantly skips back a few seconds on your Blu-ray™ disc and turns on the subtitles to highlight what you missed. ADDITIONAL BONUS FEATURES: • JEFF BRIDGES PHOTO BOOK: For more than 30 years, Jeff Bridges has been snapping pictures on movie sets. The accomplished photographer presents exclusive shots taken on the set of The Big Lebowski providing personal commentary on each photo. • THE DUDE’S LIFE: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi and John Turturro take a look back at their performances and their delivery of the Coen Brothers’ dialogue that became classic movie lines. • THE DUDE ABIDES: THE BIG LEBOWSKI TEN YEARS LATER: A freewheeling conversation with the cast about the film’s decade-long reign as a cult classic, including a discussion about what ever happened to the “little Lebowski” that the Dude and Maude made that fateful night! • THE LEBOWSKI FEST: AN ACHIEVER’S STORY: An in-depth look at the popular Lebowski Festival, formed by the legion of fans in honor of the film. • FLYING CARPETS & BOWLING PIN DREAMS: THE DREAM SEQUENCES OF THE DUDE: From aerial flights over Los Angeles with his bowling ball chasing Maude on a flying carpet, to the large scale “Busby Berkley” dance sequences as The Dude goes flying through the legs of all the bowling pin headed dancers, this piece examines how these “ahead of their time” scenes were constructed. • THE MAKING OF THE BIG LEBOWSKI: A behind the scenes look featuring interviews with the Coen Brothers. • PHOTO GALLERY: Slideshow of Jeff Bridges’ on-set photography. • INTERACTIVE MAP: Take a tour of the locations of The Big Lebowski, then and now. • AN INTRODUCTION: Featuring Mortimer Young, a practitioner of “non-uptight” film preservation. His restoration of the famous “toe scene” will blow your mind. (This Blu-Ray is throwin' rocks tonight!)
  • Check Out New 'Salvation Boulevard' Poster
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 06, 2011
    Salvation Boulevard, which played at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and opens in theaters on July 15, follows reformed Grateful Dead aficionado (Greg Kinnear), spiritually seduced by an evangelical preacher (Pierce Brosnan), raising a blossoming daughter (Isabelle Fuhrman) with his chronically faithful wife (Jennifer Connelly), and trying to avoid a former fellow hippie (Marissa Tomei) and recovering from the witness of a dastardly deed by the hands of the preacher and his henchman (Jim Gaffigan). Is that not enough awesome actors? Fine. ED HARRIS is in it too. Satisfied? Source: Comingsoon.net
  • Chris Hemsworth Makes a Scaredy Face in First 'Cabin in the Woods' Photo
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 06, 2011
    The most unappreciated genre in cinema is erupting with the upcoming, thought-to-have-been-doomed Cabin in the Woods. In the new photo from the film, we can see your standard horror cast of traditional young adults (including Chris Hemsworth, Kirsten Connolly, Anna Hutchinson and Jesse Williams) slung into the standard horror scene, doing their standard slow-walk-toward-the-subtly-threatening-noise. Or eerie light. Either way -- something terrifying this way comes. Source: Slashfilm
  • Paramount Follows 'Rango' with Entire Animation Division
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 06, 2011
    I could never not be on board with more cartoons. Paramount Studios, following the glory of Rango, is launching its own animation division. Rango was the debut feature from special effect staple Industrial Light & Magic, while Paramount’s previous animated films were all developed by Dreamworks. But the companies’ partnership seems to be coming to an end with the studio intending to launch a new in-house animation division and its first film in 2014. The project is called New Kid, and is an adaptation of Jerry Holkins’ and Mike Krahulik’s online comic on Penny Arcade. The script is being written by The Book of Eli’s Gary Whitta. What with the unstoppable giant Pixar, the animated film industry of recent years has swelled with ambition and competition. As Warner Bros. and Fox have contributed animated hits to the game over the past few years, the big name of Paramount, after the trail run of Rango, is finally taking an independent swing with this new division. Producing New Kid are Mary Parent and Cale Boyter through Disruption Entertainment. Source: The Wrap, Hollywood Reporter
  • Charlie Sheen Takes on 'Anger Management' Sitcom?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 06, 2011
    This news is only based on cryptic hints dropped by Charlie Sheen, so don’t be too surprised if things turn out differently. That being said, Sheen implied that his newest television project may be an adaptation of the comedy, Anger Management, starring Adam Sandler as a mild-mannered man with pent-up anger, and Jack Nicholson, as his boisterous, off-the-wall and plausibly insane psychologist who makes it his life mission to turn his patient’s life upside down. The Nicholson role sounds like just the type of character Sheen would want to play on television…while he’s taking a break from playing it in real life. More precisely, Sheen’s statement is reportedly that he’ll be working on a new sitcom based on a film with the initials “A.M.,” that Joe Roth produced a few years ago. Sheen's friend Roth has done nothing of the sort, but he was at one time attached to Revolution Studios, which did produce Anger Management in 2003. For Sheen logic, that’s not bad. Source: Vulture
  • Why Every 'Wizard of Oz' Movie Is in Jeopardy
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 06, 2011
    Five years ago, Warner Bros. sued AVELA for the distribution of merchandise bearing the likenesses of characters from the 1939 films The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, as well as the cartoon short series Tom and Jerry. Warner Bros. won the case on the grounds of copyright infringement, symbolizing the definitive controlling stake the studio has in these cinematic icons. While this particular episode might not hit very close to home with the public, the fact is that Warner Bros. degree of control could inevitably effect, or even destroy, currently in-production incarnations of these films, specifically The Wizard of Oz, which has nine derivative projects in the works. Two of these projects are being developed by Warner Bros. itself (or subsidiaries), Oz—about which little is known—and Oz: Return to Emerald City, which places Dorothy’s lawyer granddaughter into the magical world to defeat a new witch. Other companies’ projects which might face more legal peril include: Dorothy of Oz: Summertime Entertainment’s indie animation film featuring the voices of Glee’s Lea Michele as Dorothy and Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer and James Belushi as the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion respectively. Oz, the Great and Powerful: Disney’s 3D prequel to the 1939 film starring James Franco (of course) and directed by Sam Raimi. Wicked: Speculation has it that Universal might back the film-adaptation of the Broadway sensation, with possible stars including Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. The Witches of Oz: Already in post-filming stages, Leigh Scott adapts to film one of the original sequels, starring Paulie Rojas as an adult Dorothy recovering memories of the magical land (sounds familiar to another classic story destroyed in cinematic reimagination). Also starring are Sean Astin, Christopher Lloyd and Lance Henrikson. Dark Oz: An adaptation of the Caliber Comics steampunk series wherein Dorothy’s return to Oz finds that her former trio of comrades have become tyrannical dictators. To be directed by Perry Teo and to star The Fugees’ Pras Michael. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: John Boorman, director of 1974’s Oz-inspired Zardoz, oversees a CGI adaptation of the original novel. Surrender Dorothy: A film originally slated to star Drew Barrymore, but currently on production hiatus. So how many of these will escape legal damnation? Let’s pull, at the very least, for Wicked…and maybe Dorothy of Oz. Also, Oz, the Great and Powerful sounds pretty cool… Warner Bros., please be generous. Source: Hollywood Reporter, FilmBuffOnline
  • New Photo from 'Tintin' Turns Reading into an Adventure
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 06, 2011
    The much anticipated The Adventures of Tintin, a 3D, visually stimulating super-adventure that exceeds all bounds of humanity's capability of prediction, has released a new image of the fearless hero with an unquenchable thirst for danger... READING. The nerd in me is excited the films intention to propagate the glamorization of doing research...but the other kind of nerd in me wants to see more pirate ships. Embrace your inner nerd(s) and check out the brainy photo: Source: Comingsoon