Thursday, April 30, 2015

Time for Biebs Steel?

Like, duh.

Of course Justin Bieber would get into the Zoolander 2 action while the going is good.

Cameos for everyone!


No More Revengenda

Emily Thorne is done.

And not just because she finally came out as Amanda Clarke on TV’s Revenge but because her Count of Monte Cristo-esque Hamptons-set story is coming to an end this season after four years on the air.

Mmm. I wonder who will win the ridikolous game Emily (Emily VanCamp) and Victoria Grayson (Golden Globe nominee Madeline Stowe) have been playing, for our enjoyment, in the end.... Right now, Victoria has the upper hand, as she – Spoiler Alert! – may have explosively faked her death to frame Emily for murder. She has proven herself a worthy adversary for Emily.

But we all know Emily does not and probably will not go down easy, so....

Oh well. We shall find out on May 10 when the finale airs on ABC.


Darker Is Better (But Will It Be?)

Here. Keep getting excited about Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson’s Fifty Shades Darker:

Alrighty then.

Fifty Shades Darker will be in theaters on Feb. 10, 2017.

Not Without Her Kids!

Get ready to delight in the sound of Nicole Kidman’s native Aussie accent on the big screen.

See, the Academy Award winner will soon be seen headlining Strangerland with Guy Pearce Joseph Fiennes. And since the film is set Down Under, get what I mean.

Strangerland chronicles the anguish a couple of parents in a new town go through after their two teenaged kids disappear into the vastness of the Australian desert on the eve of a massive dust storm, especially given the many questions the vanishing raises. Check out its trailer now and, maybe, mark July 10 in your calendars?

That’s when the film is meant to open stateside (and become available On Demand).


Glover Off

Jada Pinkett Smith will not be the only dose of new blood that’s being injected into Magic Mike XXL this summer.

Community alumnus Donald Glover is also going to take part in the July 1 first blockbuster sequel.

Yeah, a sexy part.

Imma guess he plays the MC at the stripper convention Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello et al. are driving to, you know...for the plot of the movie.

Photo: The Karpel Group.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Faction Fan No. 1

The follow-ups to the Divergent Series’ Insurgent, Allegiant Part 1 and Allegiant Part 2 (whatev!) will have themselves a little Jeff Daniels.

The Dumb-y is circling the part of David, the leader of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, the agency that devised the societal faction system that Tris (Shailene Woodley) & Co. have been living under all this time.

Guess we shall finally learn why the factions were created in the first place, huh.

Production on the first part of Allegiant will commence next month for a March 18 release.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Infinity Girl

Before she takes Vegas this summer (wait, for real?!), Mariah Carey is taking (back) the charts.

Or at least she is trying to.

MC has gone and dropped a ’90slicious new single titled Infinity,” to drum up a fresh interest in her upcoming greatest hits album, #1 to Infinity. A Brett Ratner-helmed video for the song is due any minute now.

She sounds a little rough there at the end, which is entirely surprisingly given that she is Mariah friggin’ Carey – and that this is like, a professionally produced and released track, no?


The Abolitionist

Likely Emmy Nom Alert!

Viola Davis is taking a little break from network.

The star of TV’s How to Get Away with Murder has signed on to play Harriet Tubman, the Civil War-era abolitionist and prominent Underground Railroad worker, for HBO.

Kirk Ellis, the screenwriter of the premium cabler’s John Adams mini, is handling the script.


A Baron by Any Other Name

We already knew that Woman in Gold actor Daniel Brühl was all set to antagonize Captain America (and Iron Man) in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, but now we know in exactly what capacity.

Brühl will be playing...Baron Helmut Zemo, a Hydra-affiliated, purple-masked baddie with...uh...different ideas about things like population control and whatnot.

Due out next spring, Captain America: Civil War will, of course, star Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. and feature their feuding characters, as well as Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch (who’s about to be introduced to the world in Avengers: Age of Ultron); Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther; and, quite possibly, a new Spider-Man.


Kristin and Alan to Do the Tonys!

So this is why – to the chagrin of many – neither Kristin Chenoweth nor Alan Cumming was on hand for the 2015 Tony Award nominations this morning....

They’re hosting the big show!

Indeed, it was Bruce Willis and Mary Louise Parker who announced who is up for what this June, and who confirmed that the stars of Broadway’s On the Twentieth Century and Cabaret will lord over theater’s biggest night.

So there you have it.

Now, as to which plays and musicals and talent were singled out.... An American in Paris and Fun Home are, apparently, the ones to beat, with 12 nods apiece. They’ll face off against Something Rotten! and The Visit in the Best Musical category. Meanwhile, for Best Play, the nominees are The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Disgraced, Hand to God, and Wolf Hall Parts One & Two.

On the acting front, the cast of The Elephant Man (itself up for Best Revival of a Play) – Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola, and Patricia Clarkson – is up for Tonys in their respective leading and featured categories. Helen Mirren earned a nod for her work as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience, and both Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan were singled out for Skylight, as were Ken Watanabe and Kelli O’Hara for The King and I.

Click here for a complete list of nominees, and be sure to tune in and watch the Tonys on June 7, on CBS.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Real Girl

Artificial intelligence is having a moment at the multiplex, so before we meet Ultron at the dawn of the 2015 summer movie season later this week, or before everything we think we know about the Terminator story gets rebooted in July, meet Ava.

Ava is the A.I. at the center of Ex Machina, the feature-film directorial debut of screenwriter Alex Garland (Never Let Me Go, 28 Days Later).

Mesmerizingly portrayed by Swedish up-and-comer Alicia Vikander (the upcoming Man from U.N.C.L.E., Anna Karenina), Ava is the opus magnus of Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac, another It Star du jour), the brilliant and reclusive mastermind behind Bluebook (ha!), the world’s leading search engine. No doubt about it, Nathan’s creation is quite advanced and easy on the eyes: Ava is all sinewy and perky lines, and except for the fact that her body’s manufactured entirely of see-through fiber glass (or whatever it is – the point is you can literally, totally see how she is wired) and an armor-like grafting sitch for pieces of synthetic skin akin to that of her hands and face, she is all woman.

The question, of course, is whether Ava is, actually, sentient. And that is the point of Ex Machina.

Enter Caleb Smith (Vikander’s Anna Karenina co-star, Unbroken’s Domhnall Gleeson), a coder at Bluebook who’s won a contest to go spend a week with Nathan in his compound, which is as vast and remote as it is hella stoopid-modern and minimalist. Caleb soon learns that he isn’t at Camp Nathan to get mentored or such, although he does get clued into just what sort of odd bird founds a global phenom. Much to his surprise, he has been summoned to conduct a Turing test on Ava, to assess her ability to pass for, if not be human.

Ah, but all is not what is seems within the walls of Nathan’s home/research facility, and Caleb realizes that there is more to the experiment than is being led on – that there is more to Nathan and to Ava than anyone knows.

To put is simply, Garland has like, delivered an oversized episode of the British anthology series Black Mirror in Ex Machina. It’s a s--- thing to say, but it’s sorta true, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing (Black Mirror is a scary take on how technology is ruining us as a people).

Theres a scene in the film in which Caleb and Nathan discuss how Ava could be the Technological Singularity, and how, in the future, the A.I. will look back on man and pity us...have a laugh at our expense. While Ava hasn’t exhibited a hostile manner, the moment plays awfully prescient for the production is, too, an ode to Frankenstein, and our gentle robot shall do anything she can to ensure her survival.

The thrill of this one is watching her do so, even if you know she’s going to. That is what makes her and the story so captivating in the end.

My Rating ***


The Big Return of Big...Dick...Richie!

If ya think that you can have a Magic Mike XXL without a Big Dick Richie, then you are out of your mind.

So behold the character poster for Joe Manganiello’s eye-catching stripper, and get ready for the blockbuster sequel opening on July 1.

It is gonna be all kinds of fun.

Photo: The Karpel Group.

Ian and Nikki, Sitting on a Tree...

Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed have made it official, kids.

The couple – together since last summer – was married in Santa Monica, Calif., yesterday.

This is the first marriage for the Vampire Diaries star and the second for Reed, who was married to American Idol alumnus Paul McDonald from 2011 to 2015.

Photo: E! Online.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Callin’ ’Em Shots

The Other Woman’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s becoming the Shot Caller.

The Game of Thrones player has landed the lead in a thriller by that name in which he’ll portray a newly released inmate forced by the leader of his prison gang to carry out a major hit on a rival gang out on the streets of sunny Southern California.

Cameras will roll at the end of next month in New Mexico.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Y’all Ready for Some Brown Sugar?

To speak in simple Hollywood terms, if the stripping world should have a racial divide, then, obviously, the whites would their Magic Mike and the blacks, well...they will have their Sexy Chocolate.

Hell yeah, people (all of you) – get ready to have Robert Ri’chard (Coach Carter) take ya to Chocolate City, a real-cheesy-looking rip-off of the Channing Tatum moneymaker.

Ri’chard plays a nice (and ripped) college student who turns to shakin what his mama gave him in order to, get this, help her pay the bills.

Aww, what a nice boy.

Viviva A. Fox, Tyson Beckford, Ginuwine, and Michael Jai White co-star in the May 22 release.


Potential Rogue

Felicity Jones (and maybe Ben Bendelsohn) may keep the company of Sam Claflin in the forthcoming Star Wars: Rogue One spin-off movie.

Nightcrawler’s Riz Ahmed is supposedly also in talks about joining the blockbuster.

Of course, no details about either part are known at this time. And there you go.


Behold the New Joker

Check him out.

We finally have us an official look at Jared Leto in character as the Joker for the upcoming David Ayer-directed Suicide Squad.

Quite the look, huh.

The star-studded Suicide Squad – Will Smith! Margot Robbie! Viola Davis! – is due out in August of next year.


Update 1: Looks like Leto is going to look particularly lean and ripped in the movie....

Update 2: And like Ben Affleck may be making an appearance in Suicide Squad, if not as Batman then as Bruce Wayne, at the very least.

Paging Ajax

Did you know that the original Daario Naharis of HBO’s Game of Thrones is the new cinematic Transporter?

Indeed, British-born actor Ed Skrein is starring in such a reboot. And he’s also going to be in Ryan ReynoldsDeadpool.

Skrein will play Ajax, the man responsible for Wade Wilson becoming Deadpool and a key figure of the Weapon X program, which transformed him into a super-strong and super-fast villain who cannot feel pain.

Shirtlessness is surely required. And definitely appreciated.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Bruce Jenner Comes Clean

And then, after weeks, if not months and/or even years of speculation and anticipation (which must have been supremely weird to experience), 65-year-old Bruce Jenner finally came out tonight.

Not to bury the lead, but right off the top I/we must commend the Olympian for doing so in his own time and with such dignity – a grace he and his afforded him, not the media at all. It cannot have been easy to navigate these waters of transition, and it certainly cannot have been easy to do so under the constant glare of his newfound brand of celebrity thanks to his ties to the Kardashian phenomenon.

So bravo, Bruce.

Or shall I say...brava.

Jenner, you see, is, indeed, a transgender American, as he confirmed during a highly anticipated interview with Diane Sawyer for ABC’s 20/20, declaring to the world, “I am a woman.

Definitely not a publicity stunt (this in spite of the fact that she – Jenner – he will chronicle her his transition on a new E! show and “will change the world” by telling her his story), the admission of this worst kept of the world’s secrets comes at a time in which great strides have been made on the march toward equality, and, especially, at a time in which the transgender movement in enjoying an all-time high of momentum. More than model Andreja Pejic or even actress Laverne Cox, Jenner is enjoying the shine of the the double-edged sword of reality-TV fame (the currency of the now, by all accounts), and, thus, her his platform is immeasurably of the now.

Her His contribution was dissected before it was even official, and you best believe it will continue to be until, well...until it is not.

I hope and I trust that she he will not squander this privilege, and that her his family will rally around her him and truly give the world something worth keeping up with moving forward (divorce, schmivorse, Kris Jenner & Co.!). They have earned that responsibility by now.


Update 1: Following the interview, Bruce Jenner’s estranged wife of 25 years, Kris Jenner, broke her perceived silence on the matter and tweeted that she considers the father her children, my hero.

Update 2: Jenner would prefer it, for now, we still use all the appropriate male pronouns when referring to him.

Tarzan’s Ready to Shake It

The Magic Mike XXL powers that be already have been happy to tease us with first look-sees at everyone from star Channing Tatum down to Jada Pinkett Smith – but they really are keeping the Joe Manganiello character poster close to the vest until the last possible moment, alright....

In the meantime, here is Kevin Nash, though.

The wrestler-cum-actor plays Tarzan in the upcoming sequel, and he is in a league all his own. And he is som’in to be liked if ya like it like that, no?

Magic Mike XXL is due out on July 1.

Photo: The Karpel Group.

The Prince Is Coming

Sooo excited!

They have finally gone and made a film based on Antoine de Saint-Exupérys The Little Prince, and it. Looks. Fantastic.

Check out the international trailer for the production, which is debuting at the Cannes Film Festival next month and opening in France later in the summer (an release date stateside is yet to be confirmed).

Directed by the maker of Kung Fu Panda and featuring an all-star voice cast that includes James Franco as The Fox, Marion Cotillard as The Rose, and Ricky Gervais as The Conceited Man, The Little Prince will focus on a curious and smart young girl (Interstellar’s Mackenzie Foy) who, in spite of her overachieving mother’s (Rachel McAdams) objections, befriends the neighbor next door, an old and eccentric aviator – ;) – voiced by Jeff Bridges. Soon, he is telling her stories, and the rest, as you can imagine is quite a story.


Photo: Paramount Pictures.


Well. If you hadn’t figured something like this was bound to happen then you probably don’t read about the comings and goings (and lives) of TV players the way I do.

And that is not a brag.

For months now, Patrick Dempsey’s participation on TV’s Grey’s Anatomy had been diminishing steadily, this in spite of his being the show’s leading man – hello, he was McDreamy! His Dr. Derek Shepherd was shipped off to D.C. to work for the friggin president at the top of the season, a plot point that caused a huge rift at home between the woman he picked, the woman he chose, the woman he loved, Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). Of course once they got over the bump, Shonda Rhimes and her team of writers would take a page from the Kings of The Good Wife and – Spoiler Alert! – bump him off.

And thus Derek died last night after saving four lives following a real bad car accident from which he surprisingly came out unscathed at first.

He was heroic. His death was tragic (he just couldn’t cheat twice in one day). And now I’m crying.

Was the move precipitated by the Demps and could it have had something do with his bit of off-screen drama?


After 11 years with the hit show, the actor had become restless with playing the same character (again, anyone who reads about TV knows this), and he is going through some marital problems of his own (his wife filed for divorce .... Wanting or needing off the show may have grown into too much of an inevitability, which is why only the inevitable and permanent could happen in the end, as it has usually been the case for other characters on Grey’s Anatomy. Derek and Meredith are...were...the real deal, after all. The show would have had the shadow of a possible return had the couple simply separated or divorced.

So farewell, Derek Shepherd. I shall miss your nobility, your irresistibility, and, not least of all, your perfect hair.


Update: Patrick Dempsey took to Twitter today to thank the fans“for an incredible 11 yrs.

Ya welcome and backatcha, dude.