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.
  • New 'John Carter' Teaser One Sheet
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 16, 2011
    As mysterious as the film itself is this new poster for John Carter: the tale of a former military captain who somehow ends up on Mars and faces off with Willem Defoe. Here we see Taylor Kitsch, Carter himself, as the backdrop for Martian scripture which, if looked at long enough, actually turns out to be the letters J, C and M. So, there's one mystery solved. But more to come on Barsoom (that’s what they call Mars in this movie). Source: Disney
  • Bethenny Frankel Gets A Talk Show
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 16, 2011
    Someone actually decided that we didn’t have enough Bethenny Frankel. The former member of the Real Housewives of New York City and even formerer Apprentice of Martha Stewart is getting another show, in addition to the Ever After... series (in production for a third season) in which she stars on Bravo. This latest deal, reportedly a talk show, is being developed in cooperation with Ellen DeGeneres and Telepictures. The company, which produced Ellen as well, offered DeGeneres control over new projects for Warner Brothers TV and Horizon. Frankel’s program will warrant a variety of segments. Although filming is underway, a location isn't yet finalized (although producers are looking at New York as a top choice), and they've yet to develop material. Frankel says she looks forward to communicating with fans and showcasing her eccentricities in this new format. Source: Hollywood Reporter
  • Hugh Jackman to Play Lead in 'Les Mis' Movie?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 16, 2011
    You have no idea how many incredibly, emasculatingly specific references to Les Misérables I am forcing myself to resist making right now. I spent a year of college surrounded by diehard New England hockey fans—really violently obsessive people. And their devotion does not come close to that of your average Broadway aficionado. Such is why, in the transition to film, followers of the original manifestation are often disappointed. To the point of maniacal outrage. But no one can take issue with Hugh Jackman playing Les Misérables hero Jean Valjean. Tom Hooper—who cranked out that little indy project you vaguely recall hearing about, The King’s Speech—is directing the musical adaptation, and offered the lead role to Jackman. The actor might me most commonly associated with his X-Men work, but his versatility is unequivocal. Jackman played the lead in a TV movie version of another famous musical, Oklahoma! In 1999. And did you see him on The Tonys? If you’re reading this article, then yes. You did. And it was piquant (still doing it). So, combining an actor so talented that a sitcom dedicated a multi-season running joke to how envious they were of him with one of the most successful and popular Broadway musicals of all time? Top it off with a director whose film swept this year’s Oscars? My life has granted the dream I dreamed. Source: NY Mag
  • 'Con Air' Director Takes on 'Expendables' Sequel
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 16, 2011
    Remember when you really liked The Expendables, but didn’t feel comfortable admitting that to any of your ‘intellectual’ friends? Well, get ready for a rehashing of that swallowed shame and inexplicable secret bliss. Not only are we promised a return of the upper tier of the first film’s cast, this time around, Simon West will direct The Expendables 2. You probably aren’t sure who West is simply by name—he hasn’t exactly branded himself with any major franchises. But he was responsible for the 1997 action-thriller Con Air. Con Air was the first time I ever understood what it is to be alive. West served up the first real surge of adrenaline I'd experience in my nine years of life. And now, he’s taking the two guys who ended the Cold War, the British super-con, the Wrestler and JET LI (no moniker necessary when your name is Jet), and delivering to America via Millenium Films and Lionsgate a movie that promises to be so impossibly exciting that geographical consistencies will be no more. So, this time around, cast away your sheath of humility. Buy the shirt. Shout the tagline. Embrace your base desire to watch things that are fast, loud, and flammable. The Expendables 2. It can't be stopped. Source: Deadline
  • Charlie Sheen Denied Trial Against Warner Bros.
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 15, 2011
    Even staunch libertarians are not too big on constitutional rights when it comes to Charlie Sheen. So when he was denied a trial in his case against Warner Bros., very few considered the matter an injustice. Sheen’s complaint, in the form of a one hundred million dollar lawsuit, was over what he considered to be wrongful termination of his contract with Two and a Half Men, by creator Chuck Lorre and the studio. The recipients of the lawsuit blamed Sheen’s offensive and outlandish behavior and statements, as opposed to a breach of contract on the actor’s part. Sure. I see what he’s going for. He didn’t do anything that was specifically prohibited by the contract, and they let him go anyway. So he thinks he’s entitled to some money. But, Mr. Sheen, you actually are a danger to yourself and others — and I’m not just talking about the people surrounding you — I’m talking about the entire American public, which is forever marred from witnessing your typhoon of a personality disorder. I’m talking about impressionable children, who made the connection between volcanoes of cocaine — volcocainoes? — and unbridled popularity and wealth. I’m talking about the tsunami of banter that otherwise talented talk show hosts (and Leno) were forced to babble on about for weeks upon weeks. And in case you haven’t noticed the pattern in my rhetoric, Mr. Sheen, what I’m trying to say is, you are a very unnatural disaster. Source: Inside TV
  • Sean Penn to Direct DeNiro in 'The Comedian'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 15, 2011
    I don’t know how comfortable I’d be taking creative orders from a man who once burned himself with a cigarette in order to prepare for a role that demanded little more than jokes about marijuana. But that very man, Sean Penn, is set to direct Robert DeNiro the upcoming film, The Comedian. Penn is more than adequate onscreen—due, I’m speculating, to his complete lunacy, which allows him total dedication to any role. The art and audiences benefit. But what happens when Penn’s job is telling other actors how to act? Does this degree of control over other human beings inspire fear in anyone else? Maybe I’m being too harsh. After all, Penn’s last directorial project was Into the Wild, and star Emile Hirsch was not deterred from working with Penn again, because he played opposite Penn in Milk. This time around, Penn’s working with someone far less fragile—or so I’d assume—than the kid from The Girl Next Door. This time, he’s got Bobby DeNiro. DeNiro is expected to star in The Comedian as a comedian late in his career and if anyone can handle a madman’s orders, it’s him. And perhaps it is a madman like Penn who can mold the DeNiro of today back into the one that we’re all trying to pretend is still in there, somewhere. Perhaps this script, penned by Fight Club producer Art Linson and comedian Jeffrey Ross, this sour story of a once-great, aging performer, is exactly what the actor needs. Perhaps it’s what the director needs, too, to prove that there is in fact a method to his madness. Perhaps it’s what we all need. To be able to believe, once more, in Hollywood. Source: The New York Post
  • 'African Cats' Available on October 4 on Blu-ray
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 15, 2011
    For anyone who appreciates fascinating movies, exotic animals, or the power of family, comes African Cats: a captivating, educational film that chronicles a pair of lion prides and a family of cheetah as they cherish and challenge one another, all the while enjoying the wonders and enduring the dangers of the African savanna, one of the most mesmerizing pieces of nature in the world. Coming October 4 as a Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Movie Download and On-Demand, this new release allows you to follow lions Mara and Fang and cheetah mother Sita through wild experiences you’d never imagine, and offers a slew of special features: On the DVD, Blu-ray and Movie Download: Disney & Nature - The Walt Disney Company showcases its worldwide nature conservation efforts in this feature. Save The Savanna - Named after Disney's program for the conservation of the region, this special showcases the program in detail. Also on the Blu-ray: Filmmaker Annotations - An in-movie viewing mode that offers behind-the-scenes footage of the filmmakers' experience putting together the project in Africa, and some more of the savanna's wonders. Jordan Sparks "The World I Knew" Video Also on the Movie Download: Three segments from the Blu-Ray's Filmmaker Annotation special, including Introduction to Masai Mara, Filming the Cats, and Sophie's Elephants. Source: Disney
  • James Cameron Developing 'Myth' With 'Avatar's' Sam Worthington
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 15, 2011
    “Alexander wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.” Though originally penned to describe the imperialist of ancient days, this solemn Hans Gruber (not Plutarch) quotation will someday be applicable in describing a modern rising titan. One who continues to take on marathon projects. One who distributes films to America that have greater impact than natural disasters. One who, as it seems, won’t be satisfied until he makes the world’s first trillion dollar movie. I am talking, of course, about James Cameron: who seems to be the most powerful man in the world. In addition to a Twentieth Century Fox deal for two Avatar sequels—which are meant to finish off the remainder of America who was not overcome by the outburst of depression over not being able to actually live on Pandora—Cameron is working on another doubtlessly epic film, titled Myth. Cameron’s details are as vague as the title, but considering those involved, including Avatar star Sam Worthington and Transformers series producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura as producers, there is no reason to doubt that this film will inspire the next major world religion. Also attached to the project is videogame writer Will Staples, responsible for Lair and Pursuit Force. So what do we know about this project? Very little, including whether or not Sam Worthington is part of the cast. But what can we be sure about? Total world domination. I'm onto you, Cameron. Source: MTV ="">
  • Jennifer Lopez May Not Return to 'American Idol'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 15, 2011
    Jennifer Lopez was brought in to give American Idol a boost in its tenth season—and she did just that. But now that the show has done the same for her, she might be done with it. Despite speaking favorably of her experience working with the contestants, Lopez seems to be seeking bigger and better things, including taking advantage of a resurgence of stardom thanks to her hit single, “On the Floor.” But how much will Lopez really be missed? She doesn’t have the bite of Idol’s trademark retiree Simon Cowell, the likable sincerity of Randy Jackson, the he-might-flip-at-any-second excitement factor of Steven Tyler, or whatever it is that makes everyone—everyone—love Ellen DeGeneres. Lopez spent her run on the show lobbing niceties at the singers, offering nothing of substance to the them or the viewers. So where could Lopez’s career go from here? Back to the block? Up off the floor? Fresh out the oven? All right, that's enough. Source: AOL TV
  • Two Men Arrested for Murder Plot Against Joss Stone
    By: Michael Arbeiter Jun 15, 2011
    On Monday night, two unidentified men were arrested in Devon, England, for a robbery and murder plot directed at singer Joss Stone. The initial apprehension of the men resulted from a the report of a Cullompton resident, describing a suspicious vehicle, and led to the police’s discovery of weaponry including swords, and items such as forensic coverall suits, plans of the singer’s house, and a body bag. Since the arrests, police have maintained patrol of the surrounding area, and have taken to questioning of Stone’s neighbors. The cooperation of the local residents, according to the police, was a big factor in the 24-year-old singer’s safety. It has not yet been made aware if Stone was home at the time of the two men’s arrest. She is being made aware of all of the details of the situation. Stone plans to release LP1, her newest album, in July, and will be performing multiple concerts across Europe. Source: MTV ="">