Monday, July 28, 2014

SoMething New/Old

Quick, kids...before the powers that be catch wise and take away all the fun: Listen to these two lost (i.e., unreleased) tracks by Madonna circa Erotica“Shame” and “You are the One”:

I am feeling “Shame”!

To whomever leaked these: Keep it up. It’s always nice to hear a little bit of what M was thinking once upon a time but ended up not giving us.

Such is the wont of the Queen.

Taking a Ride

Operation After-Glee is in full swing for one Ms. Lea Michele.

The actress tweeted early this morning that today was her first day on the set of...FX’s Sons of Anarchy?


Michele is just guesting on the show, natch, playing a truck stop waitress/single mom with whom Katey Sagal’s Gemma forms a bit of a bond on an episode set to air in October.

Between this and getting ready for the final season of TV’s Glee Imma guess girlfriend will not be touring her album, after all? (Shame, because it was believed that she would be coming down to Peru.)


The Abs of Comic-Con

How do you keep the flame burning for your show as it inches closer and closer to a third season?

Well. If you are Stephen Amell and you’re promoting The CW’s Arrow at Comic-Con, as he was over the weekend, and a fan asks for a look-see at your abstastic goods, you totally oblige.

Now that is some good PR work.


Katniss Will Fight

We have known for weeks that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is coming.

Donald Sutherland’s President Snow has been on a definite offense with message after message that sought to remind us that the Panem way is the right way.

The rebellion, for its part, has let us that the Mockingjay (Jennifer Lawrence) lives.

Here now is your first teaser for the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, complete with a first look at Julianne Moores grey-haired President Coin, Natalie Dormer’s Cressida, a pinch of Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne, a healthy dose of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s renegade game.maker Plutarch Heavensbee, and a promise that Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant face of the rebellion against Panem will fight.

Can it be Thanksgiving now? (That’s when the movie will finally be in theaters.)


Get. Maxd!

If ye ask, Comic-Con shall provide.

That was the lesson of the weekend since, after years of waiting, the first trailer for George Millers upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoë Kravitz, and Riley Keough, saw the light of day.

So, without further ado, here is the long-awaited first preview for Mad Max: Fury Road, which is opening next May:

So well worth the wait!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Of Apes and Men


It is not what separates ape from man in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the outstanding sequel to the James Franco-led 2011 hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

It’s actually what likens ape to man.


Because it – especially in long-simmering, misguided form – leads to tension, to treason, which is at the center of the film, helmed by Rupert Wyatt Matt Reeves, whose résumé includes TV’s Felicity and directing Cloverfield and Let Me In.

Set a long decade following the events of the first prequel, this prequel-sequel is a mostly simian affair. It revolves around the hard-fought-for-and-earned community that chief ape Caesar – the raised-by-Franco’s-now-dead character that Andy Serkis embodies and ensouls through motion-capture technology – has worked hard to build for himself and his shrewdness of bio-enhanced apes just outside San Francisco.

For 10 years there’s been a sort of peace brokered between man and ape.

The former has endured the effects of a world-population-ravaging simian flu that came after the first salvo of the ape revolution on the Golden Gate that concluded the first blockbuster (the immune few who survived have remained confined to the city, while Caesar and his have thrived in their woodland settlement), as well as those of their infighting. No contact for years has led the latter to start wondering if, perhaps, conflict-loving man has finally driven himself extinct.

Alas, he hasn’t, and soon, man and ape are at odds again.

At first because, indeed, man would think he still is the dominant species on Earth (two millennia are on his historical side, after all), although he would be wrong, natch. But then because some within the ape camp are itching for a change. For revenge.

You may remember that one of Caesar’s strongest allies is Koba (Toby Kebbell), a bonobo that also once was the subject of many a man-led genetic experiment. However, unlike Caesar’s experience, Koba’s was invasive and much more painful, and left him with some obvious and, more importantly to the plot, some deep scars that he’s not overcome. Which leads to his questioning and then, in a great betrayal, to his going violently against noble-yet-fair-and-firm Caesar’s decision to assist a group of hopeful survivors, led by Jason Clarke’s Malcolm (pictured here with his new pal), in their mission to ensure their continued well-being.

Wanna know what’s so good about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? It’s the fact that it’s history, albeit history told as big-screen summer entertainment (with apes as a stand-in for the best and the most basic in man).

But it’s also like, this throwback to engagingly gripping storytelling. I mean, here you have a film that, although it has Gary Oldman and Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee playing Malcolm’s people, it is so not about them, really, but about these apes, right. How they they relate to one another and their they deal.

As you can very well imagine, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ends on the brink of a will-change-everything-definitely war, but it leaves us with a tremendous promise: More is coming, and, with the awards-worthy Serkis & Co. at the forefront it will be som’in’ to behold. 

My Rating ****



Space Station 76, the offbeat retro-futuristic movie that at long last puts Matt Bomer and Patrick Wilson on screen together (alas, not together – wink, wink) is finally ready to be seen.

Directed by Jack Plotnick (he played the evil mayor’s gofer during the third season of TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer), the movie is a decidedly independent comedic drama about the denizens of Omega 76, an oh-so-groovy space station.

Wilson – who has to drop out of the long-gestating Ant-Man because of a scheduling conflict – plays the station’s captain, a man’s man who likes to drink...and can’t quite get a handle on his new second-in-command being a woman (Liv Tyler), while Bomer plays an obviously handsome man with a mechanical ( about retro!) hand who becomes a third of a love triangle involving the station’s bustiest of blondes and the new raven-haired arrival.

Check out the trailer now. And keep an eye out for Space Station 76 later this summer/this fall. It’s supposed to get a multi-platform release...soon.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wonder Woman In the Flesh!

There she is. She is really coming.

This is happening.

Zack Snyder took the Con today (that would be Comic-Con), and the director reportedly wowed everyone with the teaser for the upcoming Henry Cavill-and-Ben-Affleck-led sequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – and with a first look-see at one Wonder Woman as played by Gal Gadot. (All three stars made economical appearances on stage at the convention’s famed Hall H. Meaning they did not say a single word. At all.)

Anyway. Someone looks every bit the part of an Amazon warrior alright.


The Code Craker

Here’s a story not a whole lot of people know.

Once upon a time, there was a boy who was really good at math.

That boy was not me. It was Alan Turing.

If you know know your history then will know that Turing was the brilliant British mathematician and logician who, quite seemingly against all odds, cracked the freakin’ unbreakable Nazi “Enigma Code,” an achievement that, you know, only served the pivotal task of helping the Allies win World War II.

Alas, it was a thankless job for Turing, for he later was prosecuted in his country for being gay (oh, the ’50s...).

Playing him in The Imitation Game this fall will be the Cumber-stud himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, who, from the looks of the trailer, will be gunning for a nomination.

Keira Knightley co-stars in the film, as a young lady Turing didn’t fancy in that way, while Mark Strong, Charles Dance (HBO’s Game of Thrones), and Matthew Goode (TV’s The Good Wife) are also featured.


Saving the Investment Banker

Jake Gyllenhaal’s next joint, the Jean-Marc Vallée film Demolition, just got extra must-y.

And sexy.

Naomi Watts is circling the story of an investment banker (Jakey-bear) coping with his emotional disconnection to his life after the tragic death of his wife. The Impossible Oscar nominee would play the woman he meets by chance who saves him.

Love it. These two character actors are sure to work beautifully together.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Joaquin Phoenix Might Get Strange

Well, well.

The DC Comics brain trust ended up not going with him to play Lex Luthor in the forthcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but that don’t mean that Joaquin Phoenix has to go without getting his superhero on.

Marvel reportedly is considering him for the starring role in Doctor Strange.

Someone has to play the alter ego of one Stephen Strange, especially since Benedict Cumberbatch is too busy for the job, and not much excitement came of the possibility of Jared Leto taking the part.

Aww, Patrick Dempsey.... Shoulda lobbied harder for it.


The Accused Agent

Gunning for Oscar No. 2 much?

Matthew McConaughey has lined up his next prestige part in a new film titled The Company Man.

The Black List project will tell the real-life story of former CIA agent Edwin Wilson, a man who was convicted in ’83 of selling illegal arms to Libya, only to see all charges overturned 20 years later.

Alright, alright, alright.


Miss Julie Will Play with You Now

She may have taken a break from, y’ know, getting nominated for Academy Awards this year – but come next winter, Jessica Chastain may be back in the mix thanks to Miss Julie.

Or, perhaps...more likely, because of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (that one I know for sure already has a backer in the form of God Harvey Weinstein and the blueprint of a release plan).

Either way, to speak of the former (a new adaptation of the 1888 eponymous Swedish play by August Strindberg directed by Liv Ulmann), though, it has the most It of Hollywood dynamos starring as the daughter of an Anglo-Irish count with a midsummer fetish, of sorts, for her daddy’s randy valet (Colin Farrell).

Samantha Morton co-stars as a disapproving-of-any-such-dalliance downstairs-type.

Miss Julie and her big bag of issues related to class and power and, of course, forbidden sex, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.


The List, Pt. 51

In: Bagging on Blake Lively’s Preserve.

So Five Minutes Ago: Mocking GOOP.

O-V-E-R: Not having your own lifestyle website. Hello!


Ready for Fifths

Wanna know what else other than the underwhelming Maps will be featured on Maroon 5’s upcoming V album?

Well, here and find out.

Here’s one thing I will say, though: Gwen Stefani will be featured on one track from the album...on a song called “My Heart Is Open.

Which has got to be on the table to be a single, right? Especially now that she will be a judge alongside newlywed Adam Levine on the new season of TV’s The Voice this fall.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Badonkadonk Alert!


Real subtle.

That most definitely was not what Nicki Minaj was going for when she posed like this for the cover art of her new single, Anaconda,” off her upcoming Pink Print album.

Your move, American Family Association.

Or like, do you care to get all up in arms and mobilize in the most vocal of ways only when any anally related acts of perceived offense concern the gays?

Now, is it me...or could that Parental Advisory could have been just a little more to the left, to the left?


Meet Louis Bloom

Remember how last year Jake Gyllenhaal got all skinny (and greasy!) for his art?

It was all in the name of his part in Nightcrawlerthis Dan Gilroy-directed indie thriller about an L.A. man (possibly a small-time criminal – I’m no longer entirely sure that is correct) who gets swept up in the city’s night-dwelling crime journalism community.

Check out this meta promo for the film, featuring the Gyllen-yum (who favored this project over the Into the Woods adaptation that is coming out this December) in character as said man, the oh-so-eager – and intense – Louis Bloom:

Nightcrawler, co-starring Bill Paxton and Rene Russo, is due out on Oct. 17.

Preserve with Blake

As expected, Blake Lively has pulled a Gwyneth.

It happened this week: The former Gossip Girl star launched Preserve, her much-anticipated lifestyle website.

If memory serves, Lively told the new issue of Vogue (girlfriend is on the cover) that her site will be less haughty-aspirational – neither her words nor mine but rather, the general consensus – than G.P.s GOOP and more of a celebration of the artisans living across America. (Whatever that actually ends up meaning.)

So why is the actress launching such an endeavor? Because she is, hungry [and] not just for enchiladas [but] for experience.

Alrighty then.

Check out what Preserve is all about by clicking here. (You know you want to.)


All Kinds of...

And so a book-to-film fascination truly begins.

It’s finally here, yo: The first trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey has arrived.

Focusing on the instant connection between the sexually confident billionaire businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), who exercises control in all things, OKRRR, and the innocent/out-of-her-element-with-him newspaper reporter Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), who thinks she’s not much to look at, the preview is set to an exclusive remix of Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” (that explains it!), and is all kinds of...y’ know.

Check it:

Fifty Shades of Grey – the story of a (shirtlessness-happy) boy who meets a girl...and eventually enlightens her to a life she never imagine (via...uh...research performed in a sex-playroomapartment) – opens next Valentine’s Day weekend.

Update: Very well. You had your fun.

Now check out the trailer for second season series of the Jamie Dornan-starring BBC Two drama The Fall.

Can’t wait for that!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fighting On

There was nothing about sequels in the rulebook – so Fight Club is getting a follow-up.

But, it’ll be a while before Brad Pitt flexes his world-famous six-pack as Tyler Durden on screen again (if he ever does): The upcoming Fight Club sequel is coming out in comic-book form first.

Author Chuck Palahniuk has announced that Fight Club 2 is, indeed, very much in the pipeline, and that it will debut as a 10-issue Dark Horse title early next summer.

The sequel will center on the unnamed Narrator we met as embodied by Edward Norton’s in David Fincher’s 1999 cult classic, and he will be 10 years older, and the husband to Marla Singer and the father to a 9-year-old named Junior.

And, yes...Durden definitely will be part of the story. So, perhaps, Fincher, Pitt, Norton & Co. can stage a reunion for, say, 2017?


The New Girl’s New Rival

So. The New Girl Zooey Deschanel goes to wedding.

She takes on a group bet (som’in’ about who in her main group of friends can get with someone at the party).

And she ends up getting into it – a fight! – with...a guesting Jessica Biel?

Yep, that’s what’s gonna happen on Deschanel’s New Girl when the show comes back on the air for its fourth season in September.

Mmm...Meow Alert! Someone’s movie career ain’t happening quite the way she was hoping it would....


Monday, July 21, 2014

Travis McGee Just Got Baled

Christian Bale is going where Leonardo DiCaprio will not: the Florida of John D. MacDonalds The Deep Blue Good-by.

The Fighter Oscar winner is looking to star as Fort Lauderdale salvage consultant Travis McGee, a sort of bounty-hunting man who reclaims stuff (and sometimes people as well) for all kinds of undesirables.

Bales 3:10 to Yuma director James Mangold is on board to direct the project – which could be the first of a long and, fingers crossed, healthy franchise (The Deep Blue Good-by is the first of 21 books!).