Thursday, May 21, 2015

Almost Famous

So the upcoming Zac Efron vehicle We Are Your Friends was clearly designed to showcase the actor and his leading lady, Emily Ratajkowski (Gone Girl), in the best, most impossibly sexy, cool light, huh.

Efron plays a party promoter/DJ on the brink of getting the heck out of the Valley – you know...the Valley – and into the big leagues by making it in the L.A. EDM scene after meeting and older DJ (Wes Bentley) who becomes his mentor.

The drama comes from the fact that Ratajkowski is playing the latter’s gf, and she and Efron clearly hit it off som’in’ special.

Check out the movie’s trailer now.

We Are Your Friends opens on Aug. 28.


Part of the Treatment Group

And now, the president will take on The Belko Experiment during his summer break.

No, not Barack Obama. Fitz!

Tony Goldwyn (TV’s most Scandalous POTUS) is going to star in James Gunn’s intriguing screenwriting follow-up to Guardians of the Galaxy (Wolf Creeks Greg McLean), a thriller centering on what happens after an American company gets mysteriously sealed off in São Paolo...and its employees are ordered to kill one another lest they want to be taken off one by one by an unseen force.

Goldwyn, of course, will play a man who refuses to comply with such an arbitrary order.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

True Crime Man

Fingers crossed this will be the one that gives us Jim Carrey back.

The Dumb-y is fixin’ to star in True Crimes, a Brett Ratner-produced indie thriller based on a 2008 New Yorker article by one David Grann about a murder investigation that looks to clues found in an author’s book about a quite-similar crime for helping in solving the whole enchilada.

OK. This sounds a bit (too much) like TV’s Castle...but whaddya gonna do.


Looking for Forgiveness

Yes! Yes, yes.

St. Vincent’s Chris O’Dowd is circling writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s follow-up to Enough Said, a new film titled Can You Ever Forgive Me.

The project is based on the 2008 Lee Israel memoir. She will be played by Julianne Moore, and she was a respected biographer who fell on some hard times, which led her to counterfeit letters of dead writers and celebs so she could pay her rent (too bad her forgeries drew the attention of the FBI, which in turn led her to stealing the actual archived letters to sell through an ex-con fence she met at some bar...).

Imma guess O’Dowd will play said outlaw.


The Good Writer

Julianna Margulies is writing a book.

Alas, the Emmy winner shall not be explaining Kalindagate within its pages....

No, Margulies is actually coming out with Three Magic Balloons, a children’s tome based on the one her ad exec-father, Paul Margulies, wrote for his three daughters. The actress and her sisters found his original manuscript after he died last October.

Three Magic Balloons will center on three girls who take weekly trips to the zoo with their dad. On account of their kindness to the animals, a nice vendor gives the girls these balloons that carry them off to magical adventure at night. The book is due out next May.


Mama Meester Alert!

Well this is news that probably went happy coast to coast earlier this week.

The ultimate Upper East Side girl and her cool-O.C.-guy husband are expecting a baby.

Yes, congratulations are in order for Leighton Meester and Adam Brody now that they are set to become parents...some time later this yearThis much was beyond-evident after some paparazzi caught up with the erstwhile Gossip Girl looking preggers while out and about last weekend.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Scorch Time

So The Maze Runner last year was a most pleasant surprise, in that it was really good and entertaining and quite capturing....

Obviously, it would get a sequel.

So here comes the Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.

Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster & Co. – and Patricia Clarkson – will be back for more post-apocalyptic adventure in the follow-up opening on Sept. 18, with Aidan Gillen (HBOs Game of Thrones) joining in on the fun, as WCKDs Janson, the sequel’s primary bad guy.

Check out the trailer now.


Those Kids Are All Men!


So the New Kids on the Block are all grown up, we all know that. But did we know that they were rocking such hard, abstastic bods?

Behold this pic of Danny Wood, Donnie Wahlberg, and Joey McIntyre for proof.


They go it, alright. The right stuff.

Photo: E! Online.

She Will Shop

Gunning for another César, K. Stew?

Kristen Stewart is set to reunite with her Clouds of Sils Maria director, Olivier Assayas, for Personal Shopper, a new ghost story.

OK, let’s keep an open mind.

The film will be set in the Parisian fashion underworld and reportedly will feature a genre/fantasy component.

So kinda totally what it sounds like.

Cool beans.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Hot Might Be a Stretch (Mmm...Maybe Not)

Really, Maxim?

Oh, ya don’t mean it like that? Cool then.

Taylor Swift is at the top of the magazine’s Hot 100 List, which is less about being f---able and more about being like, the world’s most relevant and intriguing woman.

For the record, I think the Bad Blood” singer is hella cute and pretty. I just don’t think she’s, you know, the one artist out there these days that everyone wants to bang. Hang out with, for sure. Bang? Nah....

Anyway, this isn’t about that, and Swift’s chat with Maxim reveals as much, for it touches on her notion and definition of feminism. “To me, [it[ is probably the most important movement that you could embrace, because it’s just basically another word for equality.


And #HeForShe, y’all.


Hero of the Day

Check it. It’s your first look at Mark Wahlberg in character as the lead in the upcoming Deepwater Horizon.

This, of course, will be a (star-studded) telling of the oil rig disaster of April 2010.

Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Friday Night Lights) is directing, for a Sept. 30, 2016, release. Wahlberg is headlining the production, as the heroic No. 2 manager on site that spring day.

Photo: Enrique Chediak.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

It’s Spillin’ Now

Did you catch the premiere of the video for Taylor SwiftBad Blood” during tonights Billboard Music Awards 2015?

No? Well, ya probably were the only one(s), ’cause as we were told right before it, the star-studded, Joseph Kahn-directed short film was gonna be seen by like, all of Earth, OKRRR.

Either way, here it is. Enjoy!


I love me some Taylor Swift, but right....

The Fass Is Jobs

We all know that Michael Fassbender is going to be seen playing Steve Jobs this fall.

Atta Fass....

And now we can all have us a taste of the Oscar nominee’s performance as the Apple wonderman, in Danny Boyle’s Aaron Sorkin-scripted Steve Jobs.

Awards Season Bait Alert! Check out the teaser for the film now.

Steve Jobs – co-starring Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, and Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice) – opens on Oct. 9.


The Longest, Wildest, Raddest Ride

Well that was worth the wait.

Almost six long years after I first learned it was getting made, Mad Max: Fury Road finally rolled into theaters this weekend, and I. Loved. It.

A reboot that comes directly from George Miller, the Australian mastermind behind the original Mel Gibson-starring Mad Max franchise, this vastly dialogueless opus magnus stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron – or, ahem, Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy, depending on your POV – and is a genius, bonkers thrill ride. I will admit that after watching the first trailer for it last summer I got to wondering whether the blockbuster was planning on just being a fast and furious set piece about post-apocalyptic folk getting into post-apocalyptic fights while largely on a punishing post-apocalyptic road to some sort of salvation.

Turns out, that is exactly what Mad Max: Fury Road is, at first glance. The film is relentless in its storytelling, and Miller, working off a script he co-wrote, wastes not a second dillydallying with a set-up. Any sort of an explanation for such a bleak future isn’t given. It isn’t needed, either. It just is what it is.

No time for one, anyway, for here they come.

Miller thrusts us onto the midst of Hardy’s Max Rockatansky, a man so weary – of the road he’s on...of life – he is practically made of it. Max is just a conduit, though, a means for us to meet Imperator Furiosa, the character that Theron plays. Furiosa is one of Immortan Joe’s (Hugh Keays-Byrne) tanker truck drivers. Meaning she is one of the despot’s marauders (he lords over a citadel of dystopian survivors thirsty for the water he controls), and the rare woman with (some) that gets to stand near him. She is hellbent on revenge, though, on hurting Immortan Joe for his many, many sins. Furiosa’s list begins with the life he stole from her after he plucked from her home as a young girl so he could use her as a breeding machine.

When it turned out she was barren, she was discarded.

Some time along the way, she lost an arm. And she became a badass.

On the day we meet Max, who is shortly thereafter captured by our villain’s War Boys and sentenced to a life as a literal blood bag strapped on the hood of Nux’s car (Nux is an approval-craving War Boy portrayed by Nicholas Hoult), Furiosa stages a getaway like, while on a run for gasoline just a few short miles from the Citadel. She is turning on her captor, and she’s taking his impossibly gorgeous and treasured Five Wives (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, and Zoë Kravitz among ’em) with her when she does.

It is a bold move and a huge middle finger that Immortan Joe will not take to kindly. So he gives chase. All of Mad Max: Fury Road is like, this crazy chase, nearly two hours of amazingness that, I understand, harkens to, if not recaptures all of the qualities that made 1979’s Mad Max the cinematic watershed moment that it was, from the atmosphere the film’s main location (the Namibian desert) lends to the production to the engrossing vibe of the Junkie XL-orchestrated soundtrack.

Even better, it is a celebration of women as action stars. Yes, Hardy may be Max, but this is the Furiosa show, and with the character Theron has gone and delivered the fully realized version of the modern-day heroine the movies, nay, the world needs now (sorry, Black Widow).

She doesn’t need no Max, no man, to save the day ’cause she can manage on her own – she has been managing, thankyouverymuch – but she will take his assist because she is that smart.

Can Miller share this terrific recipe with his peers, please? Ambitious action combined with well-developed rebel heart-type characters, with not only a cause but som’in’ to lose who aren’t actually infallible, are just as fun as any Avengers and whatnot...but they are also that much more compelling.

My Rating ****

Photo: Warner Bros.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Venturing Into the Underworld Again

She simply couldn’t keep away/something’s gotta pay the bills.

Kate Beckinsale will play the death-dealing vamp Selene in a fifth Underworld movie, which will be directed by a woman, Anna Foerster (Starz’s Outlander) for the very first time in the franchise’s 12-year history. Beckinsale is returning to the fold after skipping 2009’s Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.

Divergent Series star Theo James will reprise his role as David from Underworld: Awakening, since he’s a big deal now – duh.

Production is set to begin this October in Prague...and Imma gonna guess the movie will come out some time late summer/early fall next year.


Crying Wolves

Kicking butt on The CW’s Arrow must be tiring for a girl – which is why Katie Cassidy’s gonna take a quick break from it.

Well, OK. She would, anyway, because the show is hiatus for the summer, but you know what I mean.

The actress is going period for a new thriller titled The Wolves at the Door from the director of last year’s Annabelle, John Leonetti.

The 1969-set movie will see four friends endure a terrifying home invasion (is there any other kind?) in the Hollywood Hills.

Elizabeth Henstridge (TV’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) is also on board.


Janet’s Back!

It is the comeback a heckuva lot of people were waiting for with breath that is bated.

Janet Jackson’s back, kids.

Indeed, the erstwhile Damita Jo and general of the Rhythm Nation is dropping a new album this year and – and for this you should get real excited now – she is mounting a new world tour.

“I’ve been listening,” J2 said in her announcement, referencing her fans’ constant speculation and desire for new material. 

Jackson’s last album (her tenth), Discipline, came out in 2008. So this better be all-for-us-style amazing.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Magnificent Bomer

Matt Bomer is magnificent, we know that.

But now, the man is Magnificent. As in one of The Magnificent Seven.

The Golden Globe winner has signed on to join Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in the Antoine Fuqua-directed remake of the 1960 film centering on a group of gunmen who defend a Mexican town from a bunch o’ outlaws-and-comer.

Bomer joins a cast that also includes Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio (Netflix’s Daredevil), Jason Momoa, and Haley Bennett (the Magic Mike XXL star will play her husband).


The Pitch Is On Again

Hey, Hollywood! Wanna know how to rock the s--- outta a follow-up movie?

Ask Elizabeth Banks.

The actress-cum-helmer has popped her cherry as a director with the just-as-good-as-the-original-if-not-better Pitch Perfect 2, a, trust, more than serviceable – and completely welcome – sequel that will surely leave ya wanting more (which we might...eventually).

This second part in the world’s most surprising franchise centers once again on the Barden Bellas, a ragtag group of college a capella singers led by the extraordinary Anna Kendrick’s wildly talented Beca. (Pitch Perfect, the Banks-produced-and-co-starring affair that started it all, came out somewhat rather quietly back in the fall of 2012, finding critical acclaim and sleeper success at the box office and going on to become a worldwide cult hit.) The Bellas are three years deep into an unprecedented winning streak: Everything they touch turns to gold; and theyre so hot and It, indeed, that they like, receive and invitation to sing for the freakin’ president (of the country, not their university).

You know what they say, though, right? They higher you climb, the longer you fall, or som’in’ like that?

Of course something would derail ’em, and that something is an unfortunate incident involving Rebel Wilson’s stunningly confident Fat Amy, an air-acrobatics stunt at Lincoln Center gone awry, and the rip of a bodysuit seen ’round the world.

Oh the aca-horror!

Disgraced on a planetary level, the Bellas are banned from recruiting new members and making official appearances as punishment for embarrassing their community. In other words, it’s dead Bellas walkin’.

Leave it to Brittany Snow’s Chloe (she of the most glorious red hair committed to the screen in recent memory and the group’s new commanding officer) to find a loophole. Given that the Bellas are America’s reigning champs, they automatically enter this massive international competition in Denmark were they’ll face a great many teams, chief among them Das Sound Machine, an undisputed juggernaut from Germany led by Birgitte Hjort Sørensen and the incredibly named YouTube star Flula Borg. If they win (and that’s a big if, since Das Sound Machine are das best), their privileges will be reinstated. Pitch Perfect 2, in all of its earned important-ness, explores whether the Bellas can pick themselves outta the profound hole they’ve fallen into and reclaim their rightful place in the spotlight...whether they can find their sound again.

More importantly, in all of its accomplished fun, the movie brings Beca & Co. full circle. We see Beca, for one, worry about what’s next post-college and post-Bellas. And I do mean worry. She reluctantly joined the group in the first offering and discovered that it was a worthwhile proposition. Now, with the real world looming, she is concerned that she has peaked and is feeling the pressure to make sure that’s not the case. Banks, working from a script by returning scribe Kay Cannon, nurtures this inescapable growing pain – and the other girls, all of whom see a further development of their characters this time out – as expertly as she handles the movie’s showiest moments.

While Pitch Perfect 2 leans in closely on the story-and-highlight structure of its predecessor, it doesn’t rest lazily on its laurels, Hangover Part II-style. Definitely, we kinda know what to expect now, but the powers that be expand on things by introducing new chicks into the mix, such as Hailee Steinfeld’s freshman-character, a Bella legacy that surely will play a role in the franchise’s own; court Oscar with the inclusion of Flashlight, a “Titanium”-esque original song meant to crowd-please that was co-written by none other than Sia and Sam Smith; and re-invent the riff-off and try to outdo the first movie’s Cups” moment in yet another instance of why these girls really do rule the world (and I don’t mean just the world of a capella productions).

It is all pretty pitchin’ perfect, if you ask me. Even with its once-edgy jokes that sound tired (i.e., repetitive or, worse, not as sharp) the second time out. (Yo, guys...maybe, don’t rely on racial humor all that much in the inevitable Pitch Perfect 3? Because the room’s not feelin’ that all that much these days....)

My Rating ***1/2


A Bordertown Story

This fall, Emily Blunt is joining the bureau.

Meaning the FBI. For a movie.


See, the actress is starring in Denis Villeneuve’s follow-up to Enemy, Sicario, which shall revolve around Blunt’s Kate, an FBI agent who joins an elite task force stationed on the U.S.-Mexico border, where she and her team battle against drug lords, an experience that makes her question everything she believes in as her morals are pushed to their edge.

Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro co-star in the film, which opens on Sept. 25.