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.
  • 'Captain America' Retitled in Some Countries
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 05, 2011
    Apparently, there are some countries that don’t like the U.S. very much. Paramount took this into consideration and renamed Captain America: The First Avenger simply The First Avenger for release in Russia, Ukraine and South Korea. Of course, other factors come into play, including marketing value due to culture and politics. This practice is by no means unique to this type of situation. Many movies released in other nations are renamed to better suit the culture, and because many things are Lost in Translation (which, in Poland, was retitled Between the Words). So, what’s more surprising than the three countries for which the title was changed is the slew of countries in which it was retained. Apparently, the brand value of the title “Captain America” maintains a virile strength overseas, or so Paramount suspects. What the heck, I’m feeling some leftover patriotism from yesterday. First Avenger comin' atcha, Planet Earth. Source: Comingsoon
  • 'The Big C' Recap: Musical Chairs
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 05, 2011
    SE02E02: It appears that last week’s speculation that this season would focus on the Anger stage of grieving was mostly wishful thinking. In yesterday’s episode, Cathy’s primary storyline involves her new doctor, Dr. Sherman (Alan Alda, who's basically doing Hawkeye Pierce after the consistent trauma of working as a Vietnam surgeon has begun to take its toll on him). Cathy’s B-story regards the hate-triangle between Sean, Rebecca and herself. "This is why Stage 4 people go so fast: they can't afford to stick around." -Cathy The real story here is Dr. Todd v. Dr. Sherman. Although Todd doesn’t appear in this episode, he is mentioned several times, with malice, by Dr. Sherman and Paul. Todd was young, inexperienced, and incredibly emotionally invested—Sherman is his polar opposite on all counts. At first, the former two characteristics are attractive to Cathy and Paul, but his lack of sensitivity and his viewpoint of Cathy as a “patient,” not a “person,” eventually begins to turn the Jamisons off. This is called to their attention when Sherman offers Cathy a coveted spot in an experimental but promising trial, only as a result of the death of one of his other patients, Nadine, a cheerful Stage 4 woman whom Cathy and Paul met in Sherman’s waiting room. Finally, we come to the debacle between Cathy and the nut jobs. After Rebecca revealed to Sean in last week’s episode that Cathy has cancer, none of them are on very good terms. Nevertheless, Cathy (compulsively playing the hero) insists on accompanying Rebecca to her sonogram; Sean is doing something in a tent at the time. Rebecca, in her voyage to make this cancer all about her, has already declared Cathy dead and decides to name the baby after her. Cathy takes extreme offense to this, but never really seems to lose her patience entirely with Rebecca—which is odd, as she has blown up at Paul, Adam, Sean, Todd and Andrea (who, thank God, is back—and might replace Marlene as Cathy’s primary “friend” character). After the baby shower where Rebecca revealed her "tribute," Cathy retreats to the company of her brother, winning him over by showing him the photograph of his unborn daughter, and bonding over their shared dark sense of humor, specifically regarding Rebecca’s choice in name. After last week’s clumsy double-mention (for the first time in the series) that Sean was bipolar, a story seems to be budding that Cathy (and everyone) thinks that he should begin taking medicine—and it seems to be getting through to him. So, Sean and Cathy: resolved. Sean himself: exploring new possibilities. Sherman: not so hot. Adam: who knows?
  • Fifty American Titles For The 4th
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 04, 2011
    In the spirit of the Fourth of July, has put together a list of fifty movies with the word "America" in the title. Movies that have truly exemplified what our country is about. Movies that have made us appreciate our history and freedom. Movies about love, passion, overcoming obstacles... and a talking can of vegetable soup AIR AMERICA Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. debate the morality of flying drugs to Laos during the Vietnam War AMERICA, AMERICA A Greek kid loses a lot of money and wants to come to the U.S. AMERICA’S SWEETHEARTS Julia Roberts and John Cusack like each other THE AMERICAN George Clooney is involved with assassinry AN AMERICAN AFFAIR A young kid works in the Kennedy era for a woman who has great semblance to Marilyn Monroe AMERICAN ANTHEM Some girl convinces a retired gymnast to do gymnastics again AMERICAN BEAUTY Kevin Spacey wants to sleep with a teenager; his neighbor films litter THE AMERICAN CAN Will Smith’s upcoming film on Hurricane Katrina AN AMERICAN CAROL Michael Moore and Charles Dickens are treated with contempt AMERICAN COWSLIP They actually misspelled “loser” in the trailer for this movie AN AMERICAN CRIME Catherine Keener holds Juno hostage for some reason AN AMERICAN DREAM Police and gangsters pursue a murderous talk show host AMERICAN DREAMER A writer goes to Paris and becomes delusional AMERICAN DREAMZ A misguided melding of terrorism and televised singing competitions AMERICAN FLYERS Kevin Costner and his crazy brother ride bikes in the mountains AMERICAN FUSION A Chinese immigrant with a crazy family falls for a Mexican doctor AMERICAN GANGSTER Denzel Washington gets rich doing bad things AMERICAN GIGOLO Richard Gere paves the way for Rob Schneider’s career AMERICAN GRAFFITI The 60s were better than other times AMERICAN HISTORY X Edward Norton is a pretty big racist for a while AMERICAN IDIOT They’re making the Green Day album into a movie now AMERICAN OUTLAWS Colin Farrell is a very modernized Jesse James AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Gene Kelly is involved in a love triangle, for a change AMERICAN PIE A bunch of kids try to lose their virginities AMERICAN PIE 2 Those same kids get a house on Lake Michigan AMERICAN PIE 3 / AMERICAN WEDDING The main kid gets married to the girl who started as a one-off joke AMERICAN PIE 4 / AMERICAN REUNION One of the kids is probably going to get caught in a compromising position THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT President Michael Douglas loves Lobbyist Annette Bening AMERICAN PSYCHO Christian Bale wears suits, likes Huey Lewis, and kills people AMERICAN SPLENDOR Paul Giamatti as Harvey Pekar in the cartoonist’s biopic… which also stars Harvey Pekar AMERICAN STRAYS Ten nut jobs drive through the Midwest; there’s a lot of killing AN AMERICAN SUMMER Modern reimagining of Tom Sawyer, sort of AMERICAN TABOO A photographer prefers to take pictures than to talk to people AN AMERICAN TAIL Fievel makes us all believe in hope AMERICAN VIOLET A black single mom is racially-profiled for dealing drugs in Texas  AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON There’s an American werewolf in London BIRDS OF AMERICA Matthew Perry’s siblings are out of their minds CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER Skinny Brooklynite will become the ultimate soldier and save the world COMING TO AMERICA Eddie Murphy in whiteface tells a joke about spoons IN AMERICA Family of Irish immigrants adjust to American life KIDS IN AMERICA Claire Dumphy is an unreasonable high school principal who incurs the wrath of her students KIT KITTREDGE: AN AMERICAN GIRL Abigail Breslin proves that all kids are smarter than all adults KNUTE ROCKNE, ALL AMERICAN Ronald Reagan makes the most parodied movie speech ever THE LAST AMERICAN HERO Jeff Bridges drives past and makes his own liquor THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN A group of friends fight, do drugs, have sex, and maybe learn a little something ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA Robert DeNiro plays against type as a conflicted gangster TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE Puppets fight al Qaeda, Kim Jong Il, and Matt Damon THE QUIET AMERICAN Michael Caine is a reporter in the adaptation of a book I was supposed to read in college THE UGLY AMERICAN Marlon Brando goes to Southeast Asia and takes offense to Communism WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER Christopher Meloni fondles is sweaters
  • Coppola to Hypnotize Comic-Con with "Twixt"
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 01, 2011
    Returning to Comic-Con for the first time since Bram Stoker’s Dracula: Francis Ford Coppola, presenting his film about a writer investigating a murder mystery, Twixt. A preview of the film will be presented on July 23rd at the festival, although the nature of the footage has not yet been announced. However, as the film was partially shot in 3D, we can hope that some of this footage might be availed to the public. Furthermore, none of the cast, which includes Val Kilmer, veteran actor Bruce Dern, Super 8’s Elle Fanning and The Thin Red Line’s Ben Chaplin, have yet been confirmed to be attending the event. One particularly interesting thing about the film—if Coppola doing a 3D murder mystery did not spike your pulse enough—is the music. Dan Deacon is creating the score, which has been described as “a non-traditional, interactive aspect of the film.” That is at once wondrous and horrifying. Do we, as an audience, control the music? Or does the music control us? Coppola is one of the most influential men in cinematic history—has he, this whole time, building up enough clout to eventually lure all of us into mind-slavery via the hypnosis of an “interactive” music element? Either way, I’ll gladly see this movie. After all, someone's going to enslave the minds of the human race sooner or later. Might as well be the guy who brought us Jack. Yep. That's my favorite Coppola film. Got a problem? Source: Slashfilm
  • Footage from 'The Dark Knight Rises' Leaks
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 01, 2011
    Footage from the set of The Dark Knight Rises, the movie so a desperately anticipated that I'm actually starting to have anxiety dreams (is that a real thing?), was captured by a fan and released for the world to enjoy. The clip shows Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway filming a doubtlessly intense, romance-laden, super-awesome scene. Although there is no question about this being awesome, plenty of other questions do arise: what are they saying? Why does she pull him away at the end of the scene? And that person holding the umbrella... could it be... The Penguin? Source: Hollywood Reporter
  • Shia LaBeouf is a Space Cadet: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jul 01, 2011
    Shia LaBeouf sat down on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night to promote the opening of Transformers: Dark of the Moon. LaBeouf and Jimmy discussed the zen of Justin Bieber, his admiration for Buzz Aldrin, and the new romance in his life. Also plugging Transformers, Patrick Dempsey appeared on Lopez Tonight, discussing his car racing exploits and his secret Hawaiian vacation island. David Letterman welcomed Julia Roberts to The Late Show, but the interview was interrupted by a very excited surprise guest.
  • 'World War Z' Loses Matthew Fox and Ed Harris
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 30, 2011
    Those anticipating the upcoming World War Z movie adaptation were probably pretty thrilled to hear that LOST's Matthew Fox and, even more awesomely, Ed Harris, were part of the cast. Well, here comes a downer: they’re not. We reported that Fox and Harris were in talks to play supporting characters, both actors have pulled out of their roles in the film. The good news is, Brad Pitt will remain on in the film's lead role. But it's a bummer for those of us who really wanted to see Jack Shephard talking down to zombies. Apparently, World War Z sparked conflict with Fox’s schedule for I, Alex Cross: a mystery-thriller he's starring in alongside Tyler Perry. As for Ed Harris…who knows. It’s possible that the film would conflict with his role in a Beth Henley play this coming February. But nothing is conclusive. So we all wonder…why did Harris leave the project? Who will take over the recently abandoned roles? What is the fate of World War Z? How long until Fox’s new movie’s title changes to Tyler Perry’s I, Alex Cross? Source: Vulture
  • New 'Captain America' Poster Borrows from Tradition
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 30, 2011
    If there's one thing Captain America: The First Avenger promises, it's your traditional underdog-turned-superhero story. And if there's one thing a traditional story calls for, it's a traditional poster design: hero out front, love interest or second(s)-in-command right behind him, maybe a comic relief on the third tier. And, of course, the eyes of a villain looming overhead. It's the exact style of poster that got me to watch every single adventure movie I loved as a kid. Here's to tradition. Source: Rope Of Silicon
  • 'The Voice' Announces Its First Season's Winner
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 30, 2011
    Last night, we experienced the long-awaited announcement of the winner of The Voice's first season: Javier Colon. Colon, in-show protégé of judge Adam Levine, beat out runner-up Dia Frampton by only a two-percent margin. The other finalists were Vincent Martinez and Beverly McClellan. Colon expressed a great deal of respect and admiration for all three of his competitors after winning the title. Colon, a native of Connecticut, went on to say that before receiving the opportunity to perform and compete on The Voice, he was nearly considering giving up on his dream of singing professionally in favor of a more fiscally reliable career. Colon’s victory comes with $100,000 cash as well as a position on The Voice's summer tour (to begin in July) and, best of all, a recording contract with Universal Republic. The Voice will return for a second season following the 2012 Super Bowl. Source: MTV
  • Bryan Cranston Attached To 'Gangster Squad'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 30, 2011
    Just yesterday, I had the good fortune to report that dramatic demigod Bryan Cranston might be joining the cast of the CIA hostage-rescue film Argo. But Cranston is not done thrilling me this week. Reportedly, he’s also attached to Gangster Squad: a film chronicling the true story of the investigation and capture of 1940s mobster Mickey Cohen by a secret police task force. Cranston will play a no-nonsense LAPD officer named Max Kennard. Others cast members include Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin (seriously…how GOOD is this movie going to be?), Anthony Mackie and Michael Peña. Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer is set to direct (THAT'S how good!). Cranston’s fourth season as an increasingly criminal drug dealer in Breaking Bad will premiere July 17. After four years on one side of the law, Cranston seems to be interested in exploring the intricacies of the “good guys,” both in Gangster Squad as a police officer and Argo as a CIA agent. Traditionally in film, the good guys are treated as lesser characters. But with the unstoppable force of Heisenberg behind these roles, I predict nothing short of intensity-induced brain-explosions. Just wait. Brain-explosions, people. Source: Comingsoon