Miramax via Everett Collection
An FBI president, a stock market hooligan, a teenage con artist extraordinaire, and a troubled heroin addict, Leonardo DiCaprio has used his talents to step into a number of real life figures throughout his career, and the actor may soon take on his most controversial role yet. DiCaprio is in talks to portray Steve Jobs in an upcoming biopic based on a script penned by Aaron Sorkin. Danny Boyle is also in talks to direct. The late Steve Jobs is heralded by many as a tech geek visionary, introducing products like the Apple II, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad to the masses. But for every Apple obsessive that sings his praises, Jobs has the same number of fervent detractors. The former CEO and co-founder of Apple Inc. has been accused of being selfish, stingy, and having terrible business practices. Jobs presents a interesting and multi-faceted subject that's just ripe for a truly thoughtful biographical film (sorry, Ashton) Luckily, Leo seems to be the right man for the job. We've decided to rank all of Leonardo Dicaprio's biographic films from best to worst.
Catch Me If You CanCatch Me If You Can is unquestionably one of Spielberg's greatest films. It's a jaunty cat and mouse caper with a deep heart thanks to great performances from DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.Tomatometer: 96%Box Office: $352,114,312Golden Globe Nominations:1Golden Globe Wins: 0Oscar Nominations:2Oscar Wins: 0
The Wolf of Wall StreetThe Wolf of Wall Street is a raucous and rowdy three hours that has pure debauchery streaming from every orifice. It's bawdy and gleefully offensive, but it never forgets to ask the bigger questions surrounding it's study of greed, capitalism, and the American way.Tomatometer: 77%Box Office: $389,600,694Golden Globe Nominations:2Golden Globe Wins: 1Oscar Nominations:5Oscar Wins: 0
The AviatorThe Aviator is a glitzy and richly crafted study of a madness. It's a little messy and probably won't be remembered as one of Scorsese's best films, but it's an ambitious effort from both the director and DiCaprio.Tomatometer: 87%Box Office: $213,741,459Golden Globe Nominations: 6Golden Globe Wins: 3Oscar Nominations: 11Oscar Wins: 5
The Basketball DiariesThe Basketball Diaries is like a good yet forgotten older brother to Reqiuiem for a Dream. It focuses on the pitfalls of drug addiction, and includes an impressive turn from Leonardo DiCaprio. Here, the actor is still working out some kinks in his craft, but is well on his way to becoming one of Hollywood's greats.Tomatometer: 46%Box Office: $2,424,439Golden Globe Nominations: 0Golden Globe Wins: 0Oscar Nominations: 0Oscar Wins: 0
This Boy's LifeWhile it's not exactly memorable, This Boy's Life is one of the early indicators of Leonardo DiCaprio's star power. A young DiCaprio gives a great performance, especially when cast opposite Robert DeNiro. Tomatometer: 75%Box Office: $4,104,962Golden Globe Nominations: 0Golden Globe Wins: 0Oscar Nominations: 0Oscar Wins: 0
J. EdgarLong-winded, dull, and too self important for its own good, J.Edgar marks a low point in DiCaprio's career. The actor gives his best to prop up the film, but everything around him sinks it into a messy misfire. Tomatometer: 43%Box Office: $84,606,030Golden Globe Nominations: 1Golden Globe Wins: 0Oscar Nominations: 0Oscar Wins: 0
20th Century Fox Film
We're very lucky to live on a planet as beautiful, majestic, and WiFi-accessible as Earth. Still, there are some other groovy floating spheres out there in the universe. We recently heard that J.J. Abrams would be roping one such planet, the desert land of Tatooine, into the upcoming film Star Wars: Episode VII. The barren, dusty locale served as the humble beginnings of series protagonists Anakin and Luke Skywalker. The filmmakers are reportedly seeking a Morocco-like environment (you know, like Morocco) for the new sets.
But the sandy dunes of Tatooine isn’t the only location worth revisiting in the new crop of sequels. The original trilogy and even the lowly prequels have whole star systems full of diverse and interesting planets in need of second look. From the snowy ice caps of Hoth, to the humid swamps of Naboo, we’re taking the opportunity of this year's Earth Day to ranking the 20 planets (and moons... and giant weapon star things) that make an appearance across the six episodes of the Star Wars saga.
GALLERY: Ranking the Star Wars Planets
DreamWorks via Everett Collection
Steven Spielberg seems to be revisiting his old stomping grounds. The legendary filmmaker is once again teaming up with Tom Hanks for another period piece about the Cold War. This time, Hanks will play an attorney who needs to go behind enemy lines to negotiate the freedom of a captured spy. If you're getting a creeping feeling of deja vu, dont worry, you're not alone. Everything about this upcoming project feels like a combination of every single Steven Spielberg cliche we can think of. We've decided to look through Spielberg's dense filmography and pick out which one of his films that is most stereotypically Spielberg.
DuelIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? NoDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 1 Spielberg point
The Sugarland ExpressIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? No= 1 Spielberg point
JawsIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 2 Spielberg points
Close Encounters of the Third KindIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes, if you can forget the lasting impact the childhood traumas and martial strains will have on the characters.= 3 1/2 Spielberg points
1941Is it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 2 Spielberg points
Raiders of the Lost ArkIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 5 Spielberg points
E.T. the Extra-TerrestrialIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 4 Spielberg points
Indiana Jones and the Temple of DoomIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 5 Spielberg points
The Color PurpleIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? NoDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 2 Spielberg points
Empire of the SunIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? NoDoes it have a happy ending? No= 1 Spielberg point
AlwaysIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 4 Spielberg points
Indiana Jones and the Last CrusadeIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 5 Spielberg points
HookIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 4 Spielberg points
Jurassic ParkIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? Yes!Does it have a happy ending? Yes= 4 Spielberg points
Schindler's ListIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? No= 2 Spielberg points
The Lost World: Jurassic ParkIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 4 Spielberg points
AmistadIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? No= 2 Spielberg points
Saving Private RyanIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? YesDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? No= 3 Spielberg points
A.I. Artificial IntelligenceIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Sorta= 3 1/2 Spielberg points
Minority ReportIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 3 Spielberg points
Catch Me If You CanIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 3 Spielberg points
The TerminalIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? YesDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 4 Spielberg points
War of the WorldsIs it a period piece? NoIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 2 Spielberg points
MunichIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? No= 2 Spielberg points
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? YesIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 5 Spielberg points
The Adventures of TintinIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 4 Spielberg points
War HorseIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? YesDoes it have a John Williams score? YesDoes it have a happy ending? Yes= 4 Spielberg points
LincolnIs it a period piece? YesIs Tom Hanks in it? NoDoes it have magic or sci-fi? NoIs it whimsical? NoDoes it have a John Williams score? NoDoes it have a happy ending? No= 1 Spielberg point
Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino's violent and visceral post-Civil War western, was originally intended to be the director's follow up to 2011's Django Unchained, but the project was ostensibly nixed after someone in Tarantino's inner-circle of actors and producers leaked the script up and down the annals of Hollywood. The first draft of the script eventually ended up on Gawker for public consumption, which led to the filmmaker suing the outlet. Tarantino, just a few angry foot stomps away from having a genuine fit, declared that he would never produce a filmed version of the project and would perhaps instead release the script in the form of a book.
We thought this might be the end of The Hateful Eight saga, but in the ensuing months, it looks like cooler heads might have prevailed. On Saturday, Tarantino held a staged reading of the script, which he declared would be the only time this version of it would ever be performed. The reading included performances from some of Tarantino's most notable actors, including Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, James Parks, Michael Madsen, and James Remar. The story follows a group of bounty hunters and rogues that take shelter in a haberdashery during a blizzard. Tensions rise and blood predictably spills once characters start getting picked off one by one.
The live read provided a great glimpse into Tarantino's creative process, featuring the director lording over his actors and chiding them for taking even the smallest creative license with his script ("No co-writing"). Tarantino displayed a boundless and giddy enthusiasm for his latest work, enthusiasm that won't likely be contained by a single script reading in a sweltering LA theater. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tarantino stated during the performance, "I am working right now on a second draft. This is the first draft." This and several other statements made by the director over the course of the night are leading many to believe that he still has plans to eventually create a film based on some form of the The Hateful Eight script.
A number of journalists were in attendance for the reading, and the consensus is that while The Hateful Eight is a bit rough around the edges, it has the potential to be a great film. It's rough, edgy, sinful, and whip smart, just like Tarantino's finest. Here's what a few of them had to say:
"The Hateful Eight explores only two locations, denies a single protagonist in favor of eight unlikeable brutes, and winds a profane, bloody, and darkly humorous plot to an anticlimactic and upsetting finish." Charlie Schmidlin, The Playlist
"The Hateful Eight is raw, ragged, raucous, riveting." - Betsy Sharkey, The LA Times
"What we see tonight is more reminiscent of Reservoir Dogs than of Tarantino's more sprawling recent work: two locations, both claustrophobic and teeming with mutual suspicion and recrimination, with much occurring off-screen or in flashback." - John Patterson, The Guardian
"The script, with its slangy, smart-ass dialogue, surprising associations, extended digressions and tangy flavor, is recognizably Tarantino all the way." - Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
"...the total lack of air conditioning and the preposterously close rows combined to make the running time of over three-and-a-half hours almost impossible to bear. It is a testament, then, to the compelling nature of Tarantino's script and to the great cast he put together that no one seemed willing to leave before the end, no matter how hard it was to stay seated." - Drew McWeeny, Hitfix
"As you’d expect from Tarantino, the script is violent, bloody, laced with profanity and even vomit." - Janine Lew, Variety
"It’s Tarantino meets Agatha Christie. It played like a very good, but still a little rough, first draft. The introduction is incredibly tight and sound. The dialogue crackles, but while it’s a hardass hoot, the payoff is still missing." Brian Formo, Crave Online
Jersey Boys is a big glitzy musical full of show-stopping, finely tuned musical numbers, and that signature layered sound that originally shuttled Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to the top of the music charts in the '60s. Now, Clint Eastwood is looking to shrink the live theater experience into a film adaptation.
The first trailer for the Jersey Boys film has been released, and the upcoming flick looks to stick pretty closely to the source material. The original musical tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Season, a couple of rough and tumble kids from Jersey that defied the odds and became pop music sensations. John Lloyd Young, the original Tony winning star of the show, is reprising his role as Valli for the film. The Jersey Boys film looks to carry over stage show's beguiling narration where each member of the Four Seasons tells a different, skewed version of the group's collective story. Breaking the fourth wall is a device used by many television shows and films, and while it remains to be seen whether Jersey Boys uses the device well, some works have used it better than others.
Warner Bros. UK Trailers/YouTube
Wolf of Wall Street Does it work: Yes. Scorsese's ode to excess uses the fourth wall device sparingly, having the crass Jordan Belfort unload his unholy sermons on the almighty dollar in only a few doses. It only happens a handful of times throughout the film so the technique never overstays it's welcome.
House of CardsDoes it work: It's a mixed bag. While it's sometimes fun to hear Frank Underwood deliver a vicious tongue lashing in that deep-throated southern drawl, many of the fourth wall breaking asides in House of Cards only serve as the delivery mechanism for mind numbing exposition. It's almost as if the show doesn't trust us to follow along with its political punches without Frank directly telling us what is happening.
Fight ClubDoes it work: Yes. Fight Club is often a call to action as much as it is a riotously loopy thriller. Both Brad Pitt and Edward Norton speak right to the audience while denouncing the shackling nature of our consumerist, image-obsessed culture.
Malcolm in the MiddleDoes it work: Yes, the episodes near-constant shattering of the narrative/audience barrier is in deeply coded into the DNA of the show. Malcolm in the Middle simply wouldn't be Malcolm in the Middle without Frankie Muniz's exacerbated asides to the camera. If you had a family like that, you'd probably start talking to an imaginary audience as well.
Ferris Bueller's Day OffDoes it work: An emphatic yes. Ferris' one day sabbatical from high school isn't just a solo adventure. You and everyone else in the audience is along for the ride. Part of the reason Ferris Bueller has endured over the years is because of Bueller's ability to seemingly warp and shape reality around him and ensure that everyone is having a good time. It's the ultimate teenage power fantasy, and you have you're own personal demigod tour guide.
The X-Men series may be getting a new taste of New Orleans. At the MTV Movie Awards, Channing Tatum revealed that he's been in talks with X-Men producer Shuler Donner about taking up the role of Gambit in a future X-Men film. Gambit, the Cajun, card-slinging mutant has been a favorite among X-Men fans ever since the character's heyday in the early '90s, which is why it's almost criminal that he hasn't gotten his proper due in at least one of the seven X-Men films released so far. Sure, Gambit was featured in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but Taylor Kitsch is about as Cajun as a ham sandwich, so it's about time the character received a cinematic upgrade.
While talking with MTV, Tatum said: "I met with Lauren Shuler Donner. And I would love it. Gambit is really the only X-Man I’ve ever loved. I mean I’ve loved them all, they’re all great, but I guess from being down south – my dad’s from Louisiana, I’m from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida – I don’t know. I just related to him. He’s just kind of suave." Tatum's description of the character is ringing all the right bells, and we're thinking his rendition of the character would be an obvious upgrade from whatever trench coat wearing imposter was traipsing around in X-Men Origins. Gambit wouldn't be the first time an X-Men characters was recast. 2011's X-Men First-Class and the upcoming X-Men:Days of Future Past focus on younger versions of our favorite characters, but how well do they match up with their older counterparts from the original X-Men movies?
The old version: The original Mystique, as played by Rebecca Romijin, was slinky and deadly accomplice to Magneto. Her sparse dialogue made her seem even more dangerous, but she really wasn't a character so much as a shape-shifting cog in Magneto's human destroying machine.The new version: In First-Class, Mystique was a much more defined character. She had motivations and a backstory that helped give her some much needed dimension. Jennifer Lawrence's depiction might not have the same deadly presence as her counterpart, but she made Mystique an infinitely more interesting person.Final verdict: Upgrade. We really dug Romijn's take on the character, but there simply wasn't much substance rumbling under her blue scaly surface. First Class goes much further in characterizing the mutant, so this is a pretty easy choice to make.
The old version: Patrick Stewart commanded the screen with his fatherly portrayal of Professor X. He was patient, kind, and more than willing to help any wayward mutant that found his or her way to his doorstep. He was basically a surrogate father to every kid watching the X-Men films during the early 2000s.The new version: James McAvoy's Charles Xavier was a young, cocksure playboy that fancied himself as the smartest person in the room, and wanted everyone to know it. He's brilliant, sure, but hasn't yet developed the restraint or the nurturing qualities that one immediately thinks of when thinking about Professor X. Final verdict: Tie. Honestly, both versions of the character are fantastic depictions of the same man at two points in time. While Patrick Stewart's Professor X is certainly a more classic take on the character, James McAvoy gives a younger version of the character impresses for different reasons. We just can't pick a favorite
The old version: Kelsey Grammer perfectly nails the duality of the character, convincingly portraying the buttoned-up, Shakespeare-quoting scientific mastermind that is Hank McCoy, while also shedding the business suit and going feral and animalistic when necessary.The new version: Nicholas Hoult plays a much more diminutive beast: unsure, awkward, lacking in self-confidence. In many ways, the Hank McCoy from First Class represents all of the awkward growing pains that are associated with burgeoning adolescence and coming to terms with mutant powers. Unfortunately, First Class drops the ball with the Beast transformation. The blue and hairy version of Beast looks like a Muppet gone horribly wrong.Final verdict: Downgrade. The First Class version was a good origin for the character, but Kelsey Grammer's version is simply definitive. We'd be hard pressed to think of a better casting choice.
The old version: The old Magneto is simply cool. He's fine-tuned his malice into something way more cunning than abject fury. Gone is the rage and reactionary hate. What's left is a calm, directed, and efficient determination to extinguish humanity. He still burns with revenge, but understands that vengeance is a dish best served cold.The new version: Michael Fassbender's younger version of Magneto is a swell of rageing fury. The character is reckless, volatile, broken, and out for revenge, and Magneto has never been as enjoyable as when he's traveling the world and hunting down Nazis as a young adult. Final verdict: Upgrade. This was definitely the hardest one of the bunch, but we're going with the younger Magneto. As much as it feels like sacrilege to vote against Ian McKellen's original, Fassbender gave the character so much fire and bristle. Plus, we could watch several movies of Erik Lehnsherr: Nazi Hunter.
Mission BriefingS.H.I.E.L.D. is still in pieces after the recent attacks from embedded HYDRA agents, and the U.S. governement is threatening to blow up the organization into even smaller pieces when S.H.I.E.L.D. is labeled a terrorist organization. With a dwindling number of options, Coulson decides to take a risk when he recieves a mysterious set of coordinates by way of his S.H.I.E.L.D. badge. Does salvation lie at the end of the coordinates, or is Coulson leading his team right into a Hydra trap?
Mission FalloutThe ragged remains of S.H.I.E.L.D. are barely holding themselves together after the events of The Winter Soldier. Coulson and his team are lying low at the Hub, one of the few remaining S.H.I.E.L.D. bases still intact and under genuine S.H.I.E.L.D. control. Things get even worse when Coulson gets a call from a Colonel Glenn Talbot, who threatens to send peace keeping troops to the Hub. Coulson bets that there will be less peace keeping and more bunker busting from the hard-edged Colonel and decides to cut and run, even though the Bus is in no kind of shape for a long journey. The team takes off with limited food, fuel, and supplies (but good Internet), and decide to go completely off the grid.
Meanwhile, the double crossing Agent Ward frees Raina from a S.H.I.E.L.D. prison and introduces her to Garett, Whom she is disappointed to learn isn't really clairvoyant, but simply in possession of a high S.H.I.E.L.D. clearance. Ward and Garrett decide to raid the Fridge, the secret location where S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps its most dangerous acquisitions. Ward reveals to Raina that all of his actions since first meeting Coulson and joining his team were calculated moves to gain everyone's trust. He does reveal that he cares for Coulson, but not as much as he cares for Garrett. The duo infiltrates the Fridge and steals a load of S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry, but can't crack the encryption on Skye's hard drive, which is full of S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets. Garrett tells Ward to get the password from her and kill the rest of the team in the next 24 hours.
While flying away from the Hub, Coulson receives mysterious coordinates on his badge, which he believes to be a message from Agent Fury. The rest of the team doubts the coordinates, believing them to be a HYDRA trap. Coulson decides to head to the coordinates anyway, which leads them to a snowy wilderness. With the validity of the coordinates seeming less likely by the second, The team finally reaches the location of the coordinates, only to find nothing. Everyone except Fitz begins to doubt Coulson even more, especially after learning the he used the Bus' last bit of fuel flying to the coordinates. Coulson gives an impassioned speech about still believing in S.H.I.E.L.D. before inadvertently setting off a defense mechanism. It turns out that the coordinates belonged to a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base set up by Director Fury and manned by Agent Eric Koenig (Patton Oswalt). Koenig reveals to Coulson that Fury is alive, but prevents him from telling the rest of his team the good news. Skye informs Ward about the secret base, and the agent arrives, ready to do whatever it takes to get the password for the hard drive.
Most Valuable Agent AwardThis weeks honor might go to Coulson if he weren't being so irrational the entire episode. Of course he ended up being right, this being his show and all, but shouldn't he be just a little more wary about following mysterious coordinates? Especially after HYDRA has eaten its way through his entire organization? No, this week's award goes to new recruit Agent Koenig for fitting in some primo Call of Duty hours while being locked away in the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base.
Mission Highlights and Other Observations - Looks like Coulson and his team should be expecting a visit from the supervillain Graviton pretty soon, now that Garrett has gotten his hands on the gravitonium from episode 3. - Agent Grant Ward has become infinitely more interesting after revealing his true colors. All of a sudden he's all rugged and roguish. Why couldn't he be this cool before?- It looks like the show is positioning Triplett to be a Ward's replacement on the team. No complaints here.
For character actors, the wall between “Hey it’s that guy from that thing!” and actual public awareness is a tough one to scramble over. It has halted many a talented performer from reaching his or her true potential. Fortunately, one-time SNL cast member Jenny Slate might have just found her ticket to reaching true Hollywood recognition with her movie Obvious Child.
The film, which rocketed out of Sundance as a favorite of festival goers, follows the story of Donna Stern, a plucky, Brooklyn-based comedian whose deeply personal stage antics gives her comedy a certain relatability. Unfortunately for Donna, life comes crashing around her ears when she learns that she's pregnant.
The aesthetic and mood of the trailer will feel familiar to the likes of Lena Dunam's Girls and Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha (the exploration of twenty-something self-worth in New York), but Obvious Child looks to chart its own unique course. The trailer works wonders, and much of that credit goes to Slate, who is charming, weird, goofy, and just a little unsufferable: all the facets of the great indie dramedy lead, and the ones that will hopefully get her talents noticed.
This wouldn’t be a case of overnight success. Slate has definitely put in the legwork toward being a mega success in the comedy world. Her young career has been filled with great character work, including a long list of recurring television roles. She’s played the zany and self-obsessed Tammy on the animated Bob’s Burgers, the obnoxious and grating Mona-Lisa on Parks and Recreation, and a neurotic little shell in the short Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. She’s delighted fans across the TV viewing landscape, but she’s still very much a character actor. Nearly all of her roles have been kooky, unhinged, and self-absorbed caricatures of real people. Fun, but not exactly star-turning material. This role, however, looks to change all of that. Slate certainly wouldn't be the first or last performer to break out of Sundance. The snowy Colorado film festival has launched the careers of plenty of actors. Jennifer Lawrence received Oscar recognition on the back of her heartbreaking performance in Winters Bone, and soon conquered Hollywood in the Hunger Games. Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller both received huge boosts in career status after co-starring in The Spectacular Now as high school lovers. Her performance in Obvious Child looks like it lies in that same vein of star-boosting potential.
For one thing, the film is Donna's story alone. Other characters are dotted around the trailer — a concerned mother, a doting father, a snarky best friend — but they all are in service of Slate's character, who is clearly the star of the show. She's in nearly every shot of the trailer. That's a tall order for a actor who spent most of her career playing characters in sketches, or characters who were little more than one note gags. It also looks life a film with actual drama woven into its story. As entertaining as it is seeing Slate play characters like Tammy or Mona-Lisa, it's nice to see the actor really stretch out her acting muscles for real, and live up to the potential we've been seeing for years. Hopefully everyone else gets a full view of that potential as well.
Although we finally get a look at NBC's new miniseries Rosemary's Baby in its first trailer, we actually have more questions than we did before. The show stars Zoe Saldana as Rosemary, a woman who becomes pregnant, but fears that her progeny may or may not be the Antichrist. It's quite the maternal dilemma. The four-hour mini-series event is airing over two nights, and also features the devilish Jason Isaacs, being as conniving as ever. Most of you probably know the story of Rosemary's Baby, but for those whose memories are a little fuzzy, or those who may simply find themselves baffled by the teaser, we've answered any and all questions you might have.
First off, what is Rosemary's Baby?Good question! Rosemary's Baby is a psychological horror film released in 1968 and directed by Roman Polanski. The original film was based off a novel written by Ira Levin, and has become a seminal horror classic over the years. Polanski's film takes place in New York, but this modern retelling shifts its setting to Paris. We're betting other liberties with the source material will be taken as well.
Do we really need a remake?Probably not, but at this point, NBC is so desperate for ratings, they are willing to give birth to the Antichrist and bring forth the apocalypse if it means people will watch something on their channel that's not the Olympics.
Why is Zoe Saldana in this? Isn't she a movie star?Well, see, everyone wants a cool mini-series, but not everyone can be on True Detective.
This is about the birth of the Antichrist right? Why is everything so... bright looking?In all but a scant few instances (like the terrifically dour Hannibal), network television usually fails to set the right mood, shooting and lighting everything like an episode of Friends, so in a way it's not terribly surprising that Rosemary's Baby looks like a mid-season episode of a sitcom. On the other hand, the series is being directed by Angiezka Holland, a small screen vet who has lent her directorial know-how on projects like The Wire and The Killing, shows that excelled at crafting chilling, moody settings.
So is Jason Isaacs is totally the Devil, right?What! How'd you figure THAT out... Well I guess we're done here. But seriously, he's more likely to be some sort of devil worshipper or evil minion than the genuine D-man himself. Though, if he were the devil, he'd probably be named Lou C. Pherr or something totally subtle like that. Gotta keep the viewers guessing.
And he's a fertility doctor?We certainly hope so. One has to hope that the really creepy dude at least flashed the couple some sort of credentials before getting free rein to mess around with Saldana's womb.
So how exactly do you make your own devil baby?Making a devil baby is super easy. All you have to do is chew on few goat hooves, drink a bit of sparrow's blood, say some easy to remember incantations and you'll be showing in no time. It's that simple. All the celebrities are doing it, so you know it's safe.
Why is Jason Isaacs stroking a cat at the end of the trailer?How else are you supposed to know he's the bad guy? In the year 2014, television viewers can only understand that someone is evil if they are actively stroking a cat. Otherwise, they can just be anybody, really.
Does that mean my grandma is evil?She send you sweaters for Christmas, doesn't she?
Rosemary's Baby premieres May 11 on NBC.
Paramount via Everett Collection
In what is likely revenge on the public for not buying enough comic books in the last 20 years, Marvel is continuing its hostile takeover of popular culture with yet another television spin-0ff of its cinematic universe. According to Deadline, a television show based on Captain America's own Agent Peggy Carter will possibly go straight to series. The proposed show would star Haley Atwell as Peggy Carter, the no-nonsense army officer and one-time love interest of Steve Rogers A.K.A. Captain America. The show will likely detail the genesis of our favorite multi-national clandestine organization, S.H.I.E.L.D., as well. The character was first featured in Captain America: The First Avenger, and later on in her own one shot film called simply Agent Carter.
While the news is exciting to hear for Marvel fans, the company clearly has a lot to learn about the TV game. Its first live-action television outing, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has exhibited flat storytelling, two-dimensional characters, and dull mysteries that have taken too long to unfold. While the show has enjoyed a recent upswing in quality thanks to a Captain America: The Winter Soldier tie-in plotline, this first season has been far from great. Here are a few things the Agent Carter series can do to avoid the mistakes made by its sister program.
Create better stand-alone episodesThe bane of many a TV watcher, standalone episodes are a necessary evil of adeventure-themed television shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. A show like this needs to build an overarching plot while padding out the season, so the dreaded villain of the week plotline is oftentimes a must. But one-off episodes don't have to be a slog. Shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, and Fringe excelled at creating fantastic stand-alone episodes that were engaging, and still taught us about the characters.
Don't waste so much timeS.H.I.E.L.D. took the better part of a season to become truly competent hour of television, and that was only because The Winter Soldier forced it's hand due to the game changing affects of that film. If Agent Carter wants to have a better start, it needs to come out swinging with a good overarching plot that hooks the viewer in. Nobody likes to play the waiting game.
Don't be afraid to get weirdThe Marvel universe is filled with C and D grade heroes to plum stories out of. Since the show will ostensibly occupy the same world as Captain America: The First Avenger, a film that wore it's Spielbergian camp on its sleeve, this show should readily embrace the comic book silliness of that film and take it a step further. The show should crack open the comic book anthology and embrace the antiquated, campy, and just plain weird heroes and villains that Marvel wouldn't dream of putting anywhere near one of their multi-million dollar productions.
Feel free to change the Marvel canonOne of the reasons why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has never felt like a true part of Marvel's cinematic universe is that it has been too afraid to make any actual changes in its own story. The show has never been able to veer away from the finally calibrated status-quo set up by the films, and the adventures have always felt like they carry much less weight than say an average Iron Man adventure. Simply put, S.H.I.E.L.D can't make any changes to the Marvel universe without affecting the films, and because of that, the show has felt largely inert. Since Agent Carter would take place in the '40s, long outside of the current scope of Marvel's films, the show should feel free to craft a more personal mythos and chronology that the writers can play and morph into something unique and special to the show.