Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spooktacular Fam

Happy Halloween, from the Burtka-Harris family!


A Scot the Way of Broadway Goes

Now that Big Fish has made it to Broadway, it is only fitting that the star of the Tim Burton movie, Ewan McGregor (who has no involvement with the based-on Great White Way musical) should follow suit.

The Scot is gonna make his Broadway debut in 2014, in a new production of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing.

McGregor will play Henry, the unhappy-in-love playwright whose real-life romantic woes mirror the ones in his play about a marriage on the brink of collapse. That the production within the production stars his wife only adds another layer of complication to matters.

Previews for The Real Thing will begin on Oct. 2 – so plan ahead! – and the play will open its limited engagement on Oct. 30, running through Jan. 4, 2015.


Determined DILF

Do not mess with Ryan Phillippe.

That could be the takeaway from the in-production based-on-true-events Reclaim, a suspenseful thriller about a child’s abduction.

Phillippe will play one half of an American couple (Rachelle Lefrevre, from TV’s Under the Domewill portray his wife) that heads to Puerto Rico to finalize the adoption of a 7-year-old Haitian girl only to somehow fall under the bad graces of an intimidating local (John Cusack). 

Guessing the actor then goes all Liam Neeson on the bad guy(s).


The Blue Gals Heart Miu Miu

Blue Is the Warmest Color stars Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux are doing their pouty, striking-a-pose thing for Miu Miu, kids.

And you know what? Fashionistas and indie-loving hipsters must be having a moment everywhere right about now.

Yeah, that kind of moment.

For, indeed, the actresses are the stars of the label’s 2014 resort ad campaign.


The Dane Does It Again

A couple of Danish talents are about to meet up on the set of the the forthcoming A Second Chance.

Director Susanne Bier has cast Game of Thrones stud Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in her Denmark-set follow-up to the Jennifer Lawrence-fronted Serena.

Bier’s new project will revolve around the answer to the question of just how far decent human beings are willing to go when tragedy blurs the line between the just and the unjust.

I presume Coster-Waldau – in his first Danish-speaking role in more than a decade – will be providing said answer.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ready to Fall Again

Last spring, Olympus – a.k.a. the White House – fell, to pretty good commercial success, with Gerard Butler picking up the pieces.

Pretty soon, something else might fall, with Butler right there to, y know it, pick up the pieces once again.

’Cause why not, right.

Indeed, a sequel to Olympus Has Fallen is in the works, and in the great tradition of part deux movies, this one, too, has Europe on its mind.

London Has Fallen is very much in the works, with the Scot, as well as Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman and Angela Bassett and Radha Mitchell, on board and set to reprise their roles in the surrounding-the-funeral-of-a-British-PM follow-up, which will not be directed by original helmer Antoine Fuqua.

Production is expected to get underway early next summer.

Alrighty then.



Daniel Radcliffe, you.



Now that sports rivalry stories are all the rage thanks to Rush, the actor is set to reunite with his Woman in Black director James Watkins to work on Gold, the based-on-the-true-at-odds-story that unfolded between British track & field athlete-turned-politician Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett back in the ’70s and ’80s.

Radcliffe is set to portray Coe in the project, which itself is based on the book The Perfect Distance.

Up next for the guy is Kill Your Darlings, which is opening in Miami on Nov. 15.


Blake’s Worth It

In case you didn’t know – like me! – Blake Lively is the new face of L’Oréal Paris.

The Age of Adaline star made her grand debut as the brand’s latest global ambassador – in head-to-toe Balmain – in Paris earlier today.

Click here to get a preview of what her campaign will look like.

Definitely worth it, huh.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Warcraft Hunk

Warcraft, the movie version of World of Warcraft, is shaping up to be a very good-looking proposition.

Gorgeous Paula Patton and (maybe) Colin Farrell are already on board, and now so is Travis Fimmel.

The Calvin Klein model-cum-Vikings star is set to play one of the four leads in the Duncan (Source Code) Jones-directed project.

I really should Wikipedia this thing so I can sort of have an idea what this is all about, shouldnt I.


Company Woman

Reese Witherspoon’s loss is Rachel McAdams’ win.

The Notebook star is negotiating the co-starring part opposite Keanu Reeves in the forthcoming sci-fi offering Passengers, the story of a group of humans traveling to resettle a colony planet somewhere out there in the deep black.

Imma guess som’in’ goes terribly wrong en route or upon arrival.

Actually, strike that. What happens is Reeves’ character wakes up like, 90 years way too early, and, since he’s bored, he decides to wake up another passenger – a lady passenger, natch – to keep him company.

Witherspoon reportedly had to walk away from the project due to scheduling conflicts and some travel issues.


In the Sisterhood

Noomi Rapace is pulling an Orphan Black.

I think – I have yet to catch that fan/cult favorite.

The point is the Prometheus star is going to play seven different roles – all sisters – in the dysto-pic What Happened to Monday?, a 2010 Black List script.

The story centers on a set of septuplets born into a strictly enforced one-child-per-household society.

Those parents missed it by that much, huh.

Fun Fact Alert! Rapace’s “ideal” acting ability is credited for the fact that the parts were changed from male to female.


Ben Affleck Knows You Like It When He Helms, So...

Getting cast as Batman in the forthcoming Man of Steel sequel (and therefore showing off Henry Cavill) and Runner Runner didnt do him any too many favors – so Ben Affleck is fixing to step behind the camera soon.

From where he will direct himself, though.

I keed, I keed – and, indeed, Affleck is gearing to helm an Africa-set geopolitical thriller about a group of mercenaries hired to kill a warlord.

Don’t you hate it when that happens (if you’re a warlord, that is)?

The Oscar winner – who is currently starring in the adaptation of Gone Girl – is also scheduled to pull double duty on Live By Night, the adaptation of another Dennis Lehane novel.


In Over His Head

Ridley Scotts The Counselor was meant to be Michael Fassbender’s big 2013 film.

Instead, the Cormac McCarthy-written story (based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s first and – once upon a time – unsold script) about a lawyer (the Fass) who decides to take a walk on the wild side, by getting involved in a cartel drug deal that just doesn’t end well for most of the film’s cast, generously and puzzlingly gives his co-stars – Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, and Brad Pitt – enough to do to make us think the film is theirs.

But, then again, not enough, otherwise the powers that be woulda called this one something else like The Innocent or The Conniver or The Eccentric or The Cowboy.

And I kinda love it. I think.

I expected this one to be a pretty straightforward proposition, you know...full of McCarthy-esque flights of writerly fancy, alright, but not that big a departure.

Which, again, I think I am OK with. That is, when I make sense of it all for a moment.

There is so much going on in The Counselor. For starters there are the characters played by the aforementioned talent.

Fassbender’s never-named titular El Paso anti-hero is a cool, ambitious cat who, when the films starts, is joining the big leagues by going in on a drug deal through Reiner (Bardem, rockin yet another eccentric hairdo), a playboy-ish associate of his. How these two know each other is never quite fully, or clearly, explained in any of the rambling monologues McCarthy has his characters recite, but this much is clear: F----ups will not be tolerated.

Reiner explains this to the Counselor patiently and ominously, which makes for a really intense scene. The point is further reinforced by Pitt’s Westray, a cypher of a smooth-cowboy middleman. But then, perhaps in an effort to reminds us of the stakes at hand, the action seemingly shifts to the relationship between the Counselor and his new fiancé, sweetly naughty, yet innocent Laura (Cruz).

At which point Diaz’s cold and conniving Malkina gets involved, dispensing with her bitchin’ bon mots at every other turn (and doing things to Ferraris that are neither here nor there, plot-wise).

Is around that point, curiously enough, that the slow simmer that is The Counselor begins to boil. And that more and more characters begin to pop up on screen for a story-pseudo-advancing moment or a full-of-meaning-but-say-wha?! monologue (yo, Rosie Perez, and Édgar Ramírez, and Rubén Blades!), never to be seen again.

The action, already of the globe-trotting variety, moves to London, and then one of the main five players downloads his or her (telegraphed) motivation, shining a light on what came to be for the other four. And then the film ends.

It is all rather unsatisfactory and intriguing, but deserving of a watch, for it makes for a fascinating crash and burn (Scott directs with such vital style, and McCarthy knows how to get us to hang onto his every word, even not much comes from them). So do give this one a chance, in the comfort of your own home so that you can, should you want to, pause, sit, ponder (hard; and not just that Diaz-car scene), and keep going, which is something that the Counselor obvs did not do as he got into this game (which, like this nugget, ain’t for everyone).

My Rating **

Photo: 20th Century Fox.

Mutant Time Warp

The most ambitious crowd-pleaser of 2014 now has a preview, kids.

So behold the first trailer for the star-studded mutant bonanza X-Men: Days of Future Past starring James McAvoy and Hugh Jackman and Michael Fassbender and Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen and Halle Berry and Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult and Ellen Page and…well, you get my drift.

The blockbuster looks. Like it going to be. Pretty gosh darn epic:

X-Men: Days of Future Past is due out on May 23.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I Mean, If Ya Must, Lance

Lance Bass wants us to be part of his gwedding.

The former N’SYNCer – who got engaged to his bf of almost two years, actor-model Michael Turchin, earlier this season – has revealed that he isn’t above making his nuptials a public matter. For the betterment of society.

I’ve always dreamt of having an outside wedding,” he said earlier last week. I love a party. [A] network offered us a big wedding special. I would love to have seen something on TV [like this when I was growing up in the ’80s].



A TV Star, She Will Be

Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is ready to take on TV superstardom.

Indeed, the Peacock has ordered a pilot based on the CBS hit of yore-ish starring Angela Lansbury (the show ran 12 seasons beginning in the ’80s, if memory serves).

Spencer will play a hospital administrator who self-publishes her first mystery all on her own and, y know…investigates a case here and there on the side.


So Does This Make Her Our Lover?

Britney Spears’ new album’s titled Britney Jean, y’all.

You excited about the pop tarts upcoming eighth album.

Then you better keep working, bitch.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Grey Bro

Charlie Hunnam Jamie Dornan, behold your on-screen brother

True Blood player Luke Grimes has landed the plum part of Christian Grey’s brother in the director Sam Taylor-Johnson-directed adaptation of E L James novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

Does this mean dude will be giving us some good shirtlessness?

Fifty Shades of Grey is due out next summer.


Rocketman Found

As expected, Tom Hardy will play Elton John in Rocketman.

The actor finally said yes to the the long-gestating Elton John biopic to which John himself once had attached Justin Timberlake.

Guess the President of Pop was just much too busy for the project....

Click here for further detail on the film.


Surviving the Black

Wow, yo. Wow.

That’s just about all I could say to myself while watching director Alfonso Cuarón’s stunningly accomplished Gravity starring American Sweethearts Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

Bullock and Clooney play opposite each other and the ominous vastness of the black in this lost-in-space thriller written by the Children of Men helmer and his son, Jonás. They are mission specialist Dr. Ryan Stone, a rookie to his kind of experience, and Lt. Matt Kowalski, the charismastic veteran astronaut in charge of their ship, the Explorer.

The pair is out there on a space walk, safely floating near a structure in need of a fix of some sort, when a rain of debris from a destroyed Russian satellite falls upon em with exponentially deadly consequence.

Cut off from their only link to Earth, a mostly soothing, unseen and unnamed voice down at Mission Control known only as “Houston” and, uh, voiced by Ed Harris, Stone and Kowalski must rely on each other to survive, which is obviously difficult. They are in a zero-gravity environment with virtually no option of imminent rescue. They can’t even phone home!

Thats where the soul of Gravity lies, in how like, these two essential strangers to each other – it’s not like theyre BFF…I got the sense theyre strict colleagues by circumstance – work through the fear that envelops their situation to make it. Kowalski, being the more experienced of the two (and the one winkingly played by cool-cat Clooney), is, clearly, the more collected one. Which works to their advantage. But it is Bullock who carries the film and gives it its heart (just don’t say that to the actress; I remember hearing her tell a reporter on the telly that this is Cuarón’s film and that the story and its technological spectacle carry it, not her, and she’s rather partially right).

Gravity is an outstanding film, and exactly the film Cuarón wanted to make. And quite accomplished, too, as a I said up top.

Given that the film is primarily set in a singular, intriguing location – space – and the rules up there differ from the rules down here on Earth, Cuarón and his team had to wear the s--- outta their thinking caps, and then some, to deliver images that are quite grand in scope, yet intimate, and sounds that are chillingly immersive.

Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and composer Steven Price proved invaluable to their tasks. Especially because, as a collective, all these beyond-incredible feats of acting, direction, and tech come together to smooth the one problem area of the film: the words.

Some of the things Clooney and Bullock, particularly, have to say border on the cheeseball-y (Stone has a compelling reason for having taken on the mission in the first place, but it all plays out a little Lifetime-ly for my taste).

No matter, this is a space walk to remember.

My Rating ****


Friday, October 25, 2013

And Then the Prince Was Christened

Prince George Alexander Louis officially owns his name.

The firstborn son of Prince William and Princess Kate of England was christened on Oct. 23 in London, and, boy, was that baby stylin’.

In a relatively new gown.
See, the little prince wore a replica of the traditional christening robe that had been in use ever since it was made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Victoria, Princess Royal, in 1841. His grandma, Queen Elizabeth II, commissioned the gown five years ago in order to preserve the original.

Long live the (cute) Prince!


Biz Chick

Sienna Miller is up for a Business Trip.

The British actress is joining Vince Vaughn and Tom Wilkinson in a comedy by that title, about a Midwestern businessman who takes his team on an cross-country trip full of fun eventualities in an effort to score a big contract.

Miller and Wilkinson will portray associates of the biz dude to be played, of course, by Vaughn.