Once you get past the title and the simplistic premise touted in the dramatic promos — a man slaps another man’s child — everything about NBC’s The Slap screams “prestige television event!” The eight-episode miniseries, which premieres tonight, follows the chaotic aftermath of a single event. Like most recent prestige dramas, The Slap harps on the darkness that envelops unhappy (and well-off) middle-aged adults with pent-up anger or wandering eyes, as shown through multiple relationships all in different stages. The characters discuss everything from cultural politics to ethical dilemmas. The show boasts an impressive roster of talented actors: Peter Sarsgaard, Uma Thurman, Thandie Newton. The pilot will be a conversation starter, especially for parents, who will no doubt debate the moral issues behind the titular slap. It sounds intriguing on paper, but in execution The Slap is a messy, condescending, and misguided drama that will do little to help NBC compete with prestige cable offerings. … Read More
John Steinbeck was a pretty serious fellow — all that dust and death and hard labor and family conflict — so we’re not sure how he might have felt about this hilarious short film adaptation of East of Eden. We know how we feel about it though, and we think it’s pretty great — produced by Zachary Quinto and starring Gossip Girl‘s Penn Badgley, it’s the best kind of just-for-fun side project: Badgley’s acting and comedic timing are spot on, and the whole thing, full of dick jokes as it may be, is just the right amount of cheeky. Click through to watch, and let us know how you think the short holds up to the book (or if it finally makes you want to read it) in the comments. … Read More
Men in Black III will roll into your local cineplex tomorrow (or tonight, probably), and while it is a film with some problems, there’s one element of it we can wholeheartedly endorse: Josh Brolin’s performance as young “Agent K,” the character played by Tommy Lee Jones in the first two MIB pictures (and part of this one). Brolin, who co-starred with Jones in No Country for Old Men and In the Valley of Elah (though they shared no scenes), not only has the older actor’s vocal inflections down cold — he also nails TLJ’s no-nonsense attitude and dry comic timing. But even more impressively, it’s not just a great impersonation; he transcends the limitations of mere impression and creates a wonderful performance, making room within the established character for his own touches. That’s a tough job to do, and not one that has been done successfully all that often. After the jump, we’ll take a look at a few other actors that pulled it off. … Read More
1. Based on “public safety and quality of life concerns,” Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer has rejected a permit request from MTV to shoot upcoming episodes of a Jersey Shore spinoff featuring J-Woww and Snooki in her town. Smart lady. [via Fox News]
2. In other MTV-related news, the network is teaming up with… Read More
Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment of the venerable action franchise, is in theaters now (well, sort of; they did this tiered release where it went to IMAX screens last Friday, but everywhere else on Wednesday, so if you’ve got an IMAX screen in your city, you can go see it there, but if not, later, and… yeah). When it was in pre-production last year, much ink was spilled over the casting of Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner in one of the supporting roles, with speculation running rampant that the young actor was being groomed to take over the series’ leading role from producer/star Tom Cruise, who is, at 49, perhaps getting a touch long-in-the-tooth for all this running/fighting/climbing 100+ story building nonsense.
There does seem to be something of a dearth of young actors equipped to take over the action-hero mantle from folks like Cruise, Will Smith (43), Jackie Chan (57), and the stars of The Expendables. So we got to thinking about some of the twentysomething actors who we’d like to see take a shot at action stardom. Check out our picks after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More
For all the remakes and reboots and 3-D blockbusters, 2011 was a great year for film actors, with a wealth of terrific performances for us to choose from. What’s more, in sharp contrast to most years in recent memory, there was a bumper crop of terrific roles for great actresses — a trend that we’d like to see stick around for a while. After the jump, we’ll tell you about some of the best performances we saw this year, and why we’re still talking about them. … Read More
Back in September we told you that the talented Bryan Fuller (the creative mind behind such cult TV favorites as Dead Like Me, Wonder Falls, and Pushing Daisies) was working on a new series based on the character of Hannibal Lecter. Today brings the exciting news that NBC is interested in the project, and will… Read More
In an interview with New York Magazine published this morning, the much speculated-about Zachary Quinto publicly identified himself as gay for the first time. In the past, the actor, most famous for his portrayal of Spock in 2009’s blockbuster Star Trek and for his role as the evil Sylar on Heroes,… Read More
Ah, fall. The fall movie season is when we film lovers do our very best to shake off a summer’s supply of Transformers, ‘80s remakes, and wilted comic book heroes, and open our arms to the “prestige pictures”: the smart movies for grown-ups that studios trot out as close to Oscar time as possible, so that they can pretend like these are the kind of movies they make all year long.
Of course, those studios still have bills to pay, so it would be a mistake to presume that quality and intellect will be the sole flavor of the season. Too often, your fall movie previews tend to focus on the most promising releases, as though Oscar bait is all we’re going to see this autumn. Make no mistake: there will still be plenty of dumb comedies, mindless action, and copious amounts of 3-D. So in order to present the most complete picture of fall 2011 at the cinemas, we’ve assembled a comprehensive list of the major fall releases, good and bad alike. Of course, that’s quite a big list of movies, so we’ve boiled our comments down to the basics: who’s in it, what it is, who it’s for, and if we’re in or out. Break out your calendars and join us after the jump. … Read More