Sunday, November 30, 2014

Revenge Season 4 Episode 9 Recap: Malcolm In The Middle

Thanksgiving is officially over, which means "Revenge" has finally returned from its Turkey-day hiatus and is serving up a giant plate of vigilante goodness -- a dish that is obviously best served cold. Last week, Emily saved her dad from being kidnapped by some random bad-guys (The Hamptons are literally the least safe place ever) and this week she decided to try her hand at torturing people. Good to know that her sense of right and wrong is so on point! Now, time for our recap.

Emily Dabbles In Torture, Enjoys It Way Too Much

As previously mentioned, Emily decides to hold one of David's would-be kidnappers hostage in her basement until he reveals that he was hired by a mystery man with "cops in his pocket," but fear not -- it isn't long before Nolan discovers what she's up to and frees her hostage. And speaking of Nolan, he and Margaux are still in cahoots to bring down Louise Ellis, but their plan epically fails when Louise realizes that Nolan's digging up dirt on her family. This mega-nerd quickly remedies the situation by joining Team Louise, but enough about this ginger bombshell and her lovable multiple personalities. There are far more important things to discuss, like Jack's love life.

PoPo Porter is still dating his FBI partner Kate Taylor, and yes, to answer your question, he's super-angsty about it. Not only is Jack conflicted about whether or not to make out with Kate, he's right in the thick of Emily and David's web of lies. You see, after Jack learns of David's attack at the hospital, he heads to the station to interview one of the assailants only to find that he's committed suicide. Naturally, Emily thinks said suicide is a murder, and first on her list of suspects? Chief Alvarez.

In an effort to get more information on Alvarez, Emily agrees to go out with Officer Ben Hunter, who's suffering from unreasonably hurt feelings because everyone likes Jack better than him. This unlikely duo head to bar to mingle with the mere mortals, and Emily wastes no time grilling Ben about his boss. Unfortunately, Emily gets all mortal kombat when Ben tries to tenderly brush her face, and the date comes to an end before Em can gather any real intel. Also, laughing forever at the thought of Ben thinking he could date Emily. Bless his heart.

Oh, and Office Hunter might not be the only eligible bachelor falling for Emily. Despite proclaiming his love for Margaux who is (surprise!) pregnant, Daniel "I'm a Poet and I Didn't Know It" Grayson seems to have the hots for his ex-wife. As in he literally tells her she looks hot for no apparent reason. Good times!

David Shaves His Beard, Victoria Perfects The Art of Sleuthing

Breaking news: David Clarke finally remembered what a razor is, and he's newly shaven. Thank the Revenge Lords. In completely unrelated news, this fresh-faced former terrorist finally gives Nolan a much-deserved apology, and then spends the rest of the episode snarking at Victoria. You see, despite being electrocuted by an evil power line, Victoria is back to doing what she does best: being a terrible mother to her drug addicted / prostitute procuring children and obsessing over David's past.

Victoria meets with Chief Alvarez (apparently they're buddies?) who wastes no time breaking every policeman code ever and telling Victoria that Vince Walsh (the moon-tatted man who was pinned for Conrad's murder) tried to run down David. Victoria confronts David, and after a tense conversation about love, trust, and facial hair (OK, not that), she tries to convince him to run away with her -- only to have him storm out to hide a flash-drive in some gross, dirty old safe stuffed full of money. Sigh, kids these days!

David Reveals The Truth About His Past, Remains Beardless

Apparently David just can't get enough of Nolan, because he pays him yet another visit, this time spilling all the details about his mysterious past. Turns out David was smuggled out of prison by a man named Malcolm Black who runs an illegal arms operation out of Canada. Naturally, David decides he should probably flit off to confront Malcolm, and asks Nolan to give his hidden flash-drive to the media if he dies in the process. How, uhm, final.... Nolan points out that this is the worst plan in the history of plans, and reveals that he's been keeping tabs on Emily's hostage using some hilarious tracking powder (because that's a thing), which then gives David the opportunity to give the hostage a message for Malcolm. Phew!

Unfortunately, Victoria's cronies also suss out Malcolm and David's connection, and inform her that David owes Malcolm a huge sum of money. Her solution? Giving them a photo of Emily Thorne. Looks like someone's about to be held for ransom!

Oh, and if you're wondering about how poor Ben is after being rejected by Emily, don't stress. Em meets up with him to apologize / unload her suspicions about Alvarez, and after Ben reveals that the Chief had an alibi for the kidnapper's murder, she comes to the realization that he isn't working for Malcolm. However Jack's new girlfriend is. This guy sure can pick 'em!

And now, for some burning questions:

1. Is Margaux really pregnant, or is she pulling an Emily Thorne?

2. Will Emily reveal Kate's true colors to Jack, or let him get his heart broken again?

3. According to "Revenge's" promo, someone might die next week. Let the theorizing begin!

4. Will Emily be abducted by Malcolm and held for ransom?

5. Will Louise join Team Revenge and put her crazy to good use?

from The Moviefone Blog


Weekend Box Office: 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay' Devours the Competition, Repeats at No. 1

weekend box office hunger games mockingjay part 1DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Moviegoers wanted another helping of "The Hunger Games."

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" ruled the Thanksgiving box office for a second weekend in a row with $56.9 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The total haul for the latest installment of the Lionsgate dystopian series starring Jennifer Lawrence stands at $225.7 million.

DreamWorks Animation's "Penguins of Madagascar" opened in second place with $25.8 million. The animated spin-off focuses on the penguins from DreamWorks' "Madagascar" franchise.

Disney's "Big Hero 6" and Paramount's "Interstellar" respectively held onto the third and fourth positions with $18.7 million and $15.8 million in their fourth weekend at the box office.

The Warner Bros. comedy sequel "Horrible Bosses 2" featuring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day debuted in fifth place with $15.7 million.

from The Moviefone Blog


Saturday, November 29, 2014

'The Walking Dead' Season 5: What to Expect From Sunday's Midseason Finale

The Walking Dead, Walking Dead Season 5

As the midseason finale of "The Walking Dead"'s fifth season approaches, fans are left wondering just how things will shake out for our band of survivors. Last week's penultimate episode before the hiatus left the gang splintered into several different groups, all in various states of disarray.

The death toll so far this season among major characters has been small, with only Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) biting the big one (after getting bitten by both zombies and cannibals). As longtime fans of "The Walking Dead" know, a lack of loss is never a good sign, since lives are fairly expendable on this show; the longer someone sticks around just seems to prolong the inevitable.

With that grim thought in mind, here's a breakdown of where each character stands heading into the last episode of 2014. Who's safe, who's on the bubble, and who's definitely going to die? Read on for our predictions.

Rick (Andrew Lincoln)

Sheriff Grimes seems the least likely of the group to be a goner, solely because he's been the main character since day one. And while Rick has undergone several different personality changes throughout the series, this current iteration - out for blood, and out for the core group of survivors, no matter what - seems to be the most logical. After all, you'd be pretty warped, too, after going through what he has, and you'd want to protect yourself and your friends at all costs. He's been undermined by Tyreese and Daryl in the plan to spring Carol and Beth from Grady Memorial Hospital, a plot that's quickly unraveling thanks to that latter pair's last-minute switcheroo. We're thinking the good sheriff is going to take charge right quick, and carry out his uber-bloody (but ultimately effective) original gameplan.

Daryl (Norman Reedus)

Daryl didn't exactly do the group any favors by changing Rick's strategy, and now, it seems like rescuing Carol and Beth - the two most important people in his life - may be a lot harder than he originally planned. Reedus has gone on record recently saying that this episode made him cry, and that can only mean one thing: either Carol, Beth, or both are going to die. None of those options will leave Daryl in a very good frame of mind; just how much his mistake of backing Tyreese's half-assed plot will affect those women's fates is yet to be determined. We expect Daryl to survive the showdown at Grady; his psyche, on the other hand, may never recover.

Carol (Melissa McBride)

Carol has also been through a lot this season, grappling with her place in the group, and in the world, ever since she rejoined Rick and co. Her conversation with Daryl while scouting out Beth in Atlanta was telling: she's not sure who she's supposed to be, only that she keeps changing, and doesn't know whether it's for the better. That type of existential crisis seems to make Carol a marked woman, especially now that she's in bad physical shape at Grady, and at the mercy of Dawn (by way of Beth's attempts at medical care). Her death isn't a certainty, though it's a strong possibility.

Beth (Emily Kinney)

In the same boat is Beth, who's been separated from everyone since the end of season four, when she was snatched by some cops from Grady. She's come into her own as a character over the past season and a half, and that could be the precise reason why her days are numbered. Will she sacrifice herself in order to ensure Carol's escape? Will someone other than Dawn or Dr. Edwards catch her administering medicine to Carol? The odds of the show offing her are strong, though the writers may want to trade Carol for her to show that the older woman has already accepted her fate in life, while the younger woman is just beginning to understand her own.

Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman)

Tyreese made a bad move in changing Rick's plan, and with Sasha unconscious after getting tricked by one of their captives, he may be too overcome with guilt for that mistake - making him an easy target for someone to pick off at Grady. Tyreese has been through plenty of strife already with the loss of Karen at the prison in season four, and then dealing with the maniacal Lizzie. It would seem awfully cruel to off him now, too - but we can't imagine he'd cope too well with the loss of his sister, either. It may be more humane to put him out of his misery should Sasha meet her demise.

Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green)

Speaking of Sasha, she was knocked out cold by Bob 2.0 at the end of last week's episode. We're betting she survives that scuffle, but in her haste to make up for her foolishness, she may just commit even more errors. Her character could really go either way, though if she's anything like her late boyfriend, her suddenly adopting an optimistic attitude doesn't bode well for her.

Michonne (Danai Gurira)

Sadly, Michonne hasn't had much to do this season, though taking a backseat to characters like Carol or the more-recently-introduced Abraham and Eugene isn't such a bad thing. She's back at the church with Carl and baby Judith, though they've just been ditched by Father Gabriel. Whether the trail of blood he left behind from a foot injury leads zombies to swarm the place remains to be seen, but we think this sword-wielding badass will live to chop off heads another day.

Carl (Chandler Riggs)

Another character that hasn't really done too much this season, Carl also seems like a safe bet for survival. Rick has been through a lot since losing Lori; killing off his kid may send him off the psychotic deep end again, something the viewers definitely don't want to see (and a stupid character flaw that the writers no doubt want to try to avoid repeating if possible). He'll keep wearing his dad's hat, and keep watching over his sister, for the foreseeable future.

Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan)

These two have been linked since their first meeting in season two, and their fates on this show are as well. The happy couple spent so long searching for each other last season that it wouldn't seem fair to just off one and leave the other to mourn; either they both die, or neither of them does. Maggie was last seen rushing to the aid of Eugene, who was heard gasping for breath off-screen. Since we don't know definitively yet whether or not he's alive or undead, Maggie's future depends on whether she becomes zombie Eugene's first meal. We're hoping she and her husband live happily ever after (or as happy as they can be in the zombie apocalypse), but we wouldn't be surprised if something bad befell them, either.

Abraham (Michael Cudlitz)

He was in a pretty fragile state of mind following the revelation that Eugene was a fraud. He's been almost catatonic since, though his acceptance of water from Maggie toward the end of the last episode indicates that he still has some fight left in him. But will that fight cost him his life? It's hard to say now, since the D.C.-bound crew is still stuck in limbo trying to decide its next move. If Abraham can keep his head, he'll be an asset to the group for years to come; if not, he'll be one of its next casualties.

Eugene (Josh McDermitt)

As mentioned above, we don't really know what's happening with Eugene, since he was knocked out cold by Abraham after spilling his big secret. He spent all of last episode lying on the ground, and only began to stir off-screen toward the end. It wouldn't be the first time "The Walking Dead" faked us out if that zombie-esque grunt turned out to be nothing more than a man gasping for air, but we wouldn't be surprised if the worst came true, either. But Eugene is too much fun to toss aside just yet, we think; he may live to quip about his Tennessee Top Hat another day.

Rosita (Christian Serratos)

Finally, Rosita gets a bit of a personality. After basically being the living embodiment of Zombie Apocalypse Barbie, this belly shirt-clad babe stepped up in the last couple episodes, squaring off with Abraham and showing off her survivalist skills. Before last week, we would have said she'd be easily expendable. Now, we kind of hope the spunky chick sticks around. But that all depends on what the group decides to do now that its mission to D.C. has ended prematurely - and if Abraham still has her back.

Tara (Alanna Masterson)

I've been kind of hard on Tara this season, and not without good reason: the writers just don't seem to know what to do with this character, and that makes her non sequiturs and overly-jokey one-liners fairly grating. She's extremely childish but also thinks she's extremely tough; she wants to fist bump everyone she meets and come up with mnemonic names for the group while the others are off catching fish and filtering water. In short, Tara just doesn't seem like a character worth saving, and that's why she's first on my list to go. Whether the writers care enough to script her a fitting ending remains to be seen.

Gabriel (Seth Gilliam)

Father Gabriel started out more promising than he's become, and I'm still waiting for him to do more than just freak out at every opportunity. His lack of ability to kill walkers will hurt him in the long run, and leaving a trail of blood that leads straight to the church may also hurt those inside it. He seems like an easy, obvious mark for death - almost too obvious. I'd say the writers will almost certainly off him, if I didn't have a sneaking suspicion that they're saving him for another twist down the road.

The midseason finale of "The Walking Dead" airs Sunday, November 30 at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC

from The Moviefone Blog


Friday, November 28, 2014

The 35 Greatest Murder Mystery Movies Ever Made

murder mystery moviesMurder mysteries are so commonplace on TV that each week offers seemingly dozens of them on police procedural series and detective shows. But in the movies, whodunits are surprisingly rare, and really good ones rarer still. There's really only a handful of movies that excel in offering the viewer the pleasure of solving the crime along with a charismatic sleuth, often with an all-star cast of suspects hamming it up as they try not to appear guilty.

One of the best was "Murder on the Orient Express," released 40 years ago this week, on November 24, 1974. Like many films adapted from Agatha Christie novels, this one featured an eccentric but meticulous investigator (in this case, Albert Finney as Belgian epicure Hercule Poirot), a glamorous and claustrophobic setting (here, the famous luxury train from Istanbul to Paris), and a tricky murder plot with an outrageous solution. The film won an Oscar for passenger Ingrid Bergman (her third) and launched a 14-year vogue for all-star Christie adaptations, most of them featuring Peter Ustinov as Poirot.

Of course, the Christie drawing-room-style whodunit is such a well-established formula that it's invited numerous parodies, some of which are oddly effective whodunits themselves. And then there are the darker, grittier, film noir-type whodunits, featuring cynical loner detectives pursuing murder suspects through bleak urban landscapes. And then there are the Hitchcockian whodunits, where ordinary Joes and Janes often find themselves fighting to solve murders, lest they themselves be incriminated, movies where the emphasis is not on atmosphere or character but simply the ticking clock of suspense.

All of these have their charms, and all have led to memorable whodunits on the big screen. Gathered here, like suspects at the end of a Christie novel, are some of the best.

'And Then There Were None' (1945)

Here's the first and most well-regarded film version of Agatha Christie's most popular tale, "Ten Little Indians," with guests at a mansion on a remote island knocked off one by one by their unknown host for their alleged crimes. Among them are Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Roland Young, and Judith Anderson.

'Basic Instinct' (1992)

basic instinctScreenwriter Joe Eszterhas (who went on to pull the same trick in "Jade") came up with a so-stupid-it's-brilliant notion: the killer who's so blatantly obvious that it can't possibly be that person - could it? Sharon Stone does the honors this time, in the performance that made her a star. Poor Michael Douglas, as the hapless cop, never stands a chance.

'The Big Sleep' (1946)

The plot of this Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) mystery is so convoluted that even Raymond Chandler couldn't figure out who killed one of the victims - and he wrote the story. What's important is that the movie features Bogart as the cynical Marlowe, his wife Lauren Bacall as his heiress client, and chemistry and atmosphere to burn.

'Chinatown' (1974)

Director Roman Polanski and screenwriter Robert Towne invented the modern film noir with this unusually sun-drenched drama of a 1930s Los Angeles private eye (Jack Nicholson) whose investigation of a murder mystery leads him to a haunted femme fatale (Faye Dunaway), a vast conspiracy, and a confrontation with evil (in the form of John Huston) almost beyond his imagination. The movie's stylish gloom and bleak ending make this film a trendsetting landmark.

'Clue' (1985)

clueThis drawing-room mystery, based on the beloved board game, brings together the six colorful suspects (played by the likes of Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, and Michael McKean), along with a sneaky butler played by Tim Curry. The film was famous for having three alternate endings, a gimmick that was supposed to triple the box office but backfired. Still, cultists swear that Jonathan Lynn's whodunit parody is an underrated gem.

'Death on the Nile' (1978)

Peter Ustinov's first go as Hercule Poirot takes place aboard an Egyptian river cruise. Those trapped on the steamer while Poirot solves an onboard murder include Bette Davis, Maggie Smith, Angela Lansbury, Mia Farrow, Jane Birkin, Olivia Hussey, George Kennedy, Jack Warden, and David Niven. Boatloads of fun. Anthony Powell won an Oscar for the film's ornate costumes.

'DOA' (1950)

In this clever twist on the genre, poor Edmond O'Brien has to solve his own murder. He's dying from a slow acting poison, and he has about two days left to figure out who slipped him the lethal Mickey and why. Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan starred in a not-bad remake, but stick with the bleak original.

'Evil Under the Sun' (1982)

Peter Ustinov is back as Hercule Poirot in a whodunit set at a remote Mediterranean resort. Maggie Smith, Roddy McDowall, Sylvia Miles, James Mason, and TK are among the suspects, but the chief pleasure, of course, is Ustinov as the finicky sleuth. It's worth the price of admission just to see him squeeze his hefty frame into a period swimsuit and dip a toe into the water, more out of obligation than leisure. After all, there is a murder to solve.

'From Hell' (2001)

from hellThe Hughes brothers' adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel about the Jack the Ripper case is suitably bloody and apocalyptic. Johnny Depp is the opium- and absinthe-addled Scotland Yard man assigned to the case, with Robbie Coltrane his stalwart partner and Ian Holm the creepy royal surgeon who offers his advice. When the search leads Depp to the royal family, paranoia sets in, vast conspiracies are hinted at, and a "Chinatown"-like despair sets in. Underrated and not for everyone, but thoroughly chilling.

'Gattaca' (1997)

Andrew Niccol's elegant, austere sci-fi tale of a future where DNA determinism runs rampant is also, at heart, a murder mystery. Ethan Hawke borrows DNA traces from genetically superior Jude Law in order to join an astronaut training program, but when a killer strikes, Hawke knows his impostor status will make him the prime suspect. (Worse, the lead detective is his own genetically-engineered brother.) The unraveling mystery, along with Hawke's own perseverance, is meant to put the lie to the notion that we can only be as good as our genes.

'The Gift' (2000)

It's more like a curse to Cate Blanchett, playing a Southern widow who's haunted by clairvoyant visions. In this swampy gothic drama (written by Billy Bob Thornton and directed by Sam Raimi), she tries to use her powers to solve the disappearance (and, not a big spoiler, the murder) of local rich girl Katie Holmes, only to open herself up to a host of violent horrors at the hands of various disturbed locals. There's able support from Greg Kinnear (as Holmes' distraught fiancé) Hilary Swank (as an abused wife), Keanu Reeves (a surprisingly scary good ol' boy with a violent temper), and especially Giovanni Ribisi (a haunted young man), but the movie belongs to the versatile Blanchett.

'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' (2009)

girl with the dragon tattooDavid Fincher did a fine job with the English language version of Steig Larsson's novel, the first of the author's celebrated Millennium trilogy, and Rooney Mara was a revelation as hacker heroine Lisbeth Salander. Nonetheless, the original Swedish version, starring Noomi Rapace, is superior. She's on fire as the vengeful sleuth who, along with journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), investigates the apparent murder of a missing heiress. The two sequels are similarly gripping and horrific.

'Gosford Park' (2001)

Julian Fellowes, future creator of "Downton Abbey," is more interested in the intrigues of upstairs/downstairs life than in the murder mystery set at a typical hunting weekend at an English country manor. In Robert Altman's hands, the mystery is the jumping-off point for a perceptive social satire, and the joke is that no one on screen is all that interested in the murder mystery either. No one seems to mourn the dead man, and the fatuous detective (a hilarious Stephen Fry) sent to solve the case seems resigned to the notion that the murder will go unsolved. The only one who figures out what happened is wide-eyed maid Kelly Macdonald, and when she confronts the killers, they freely confess, knowing that she's in no position to blab to anyone. The movie owes a debt to Jean Renoir's classic "The Rules of the Game," whose stated theme was "Everyone has his reasons," but here, the theme seems to be that everyone has his dirty secrets.

'In the Heat of the Night' (1967)

This Best Picture Oscar-winner was seen as a pioneering civil rights parable at the time, but it's also a crackling murder mystery. When a factory owner is killed in a sweltering Mississippi town, the local sheriff (Rod Steiger) immediately suspects black visitor Sidney Poitier, but he turns out to be a visiting big-city detective who helps Steiger track down the real killer. It's no buddy movie, though each cop develops a grudging admiration for the other.

'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' (2005)

kiss kiss bang bangThe title of Shane Black's shaggy-dog crime tale is taken from an anthology of Pauline Kael's film reviews, a description of the visceral thrills she treasured in movies. Not sure what she would have thought of Black's film, which offers a little kiss kiss, a lot of bang bang, and a heaping helping of WTF? Robert Downey Jr. plays a thief turned sleuth who gets caught up with an eccentric private eye (Val Kilmer) and a dizzy dame (Michelle Monaghan) in a bizarre Hollywood murder mystery. The film wasn't a hit, but it remains a cult favorite for a devoted few.

'L.A. Confidential' (1997)

Curtis Hanson's majestic adaptation of James Ellroy's novel owes a debt to "Chinatown," a movie it equals in sheer paranoid dread. When the denizens of a late-night diner are massacred, three mid-century Los Angeles detectives (Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, and Kevin Spacey) follow different leads but all stumble upon the same vast conspiracy. The best film of 1997 (sorry, "Titanic" fans), it won an Oscar only for Kim Basinger's performance as a reformed femme fatale.

'The Last of Sheila' (1973)

Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim, who used to host elaborate scavenger-hunt parties for their famous friends, turned the idea into a whodunit set on a yacht during a Mediterranean cruise. Movie producer James Coburn is the host; his guests include industry folk played by the likes of Dyan Cannon, James Mason, Ian McShane, and Raquel Welch. The parlor game on board involves the revelation of embarrassing secrets, finger-pointing over the mysterious death of Coburn's wife (the Sheila of the title) the year before, and fresh murders. Perkins and Sondheim won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for their script.

'Laura' (1944)

lauraEverything about Laura is haunting, from her bewitching beauty (she's played by Gene Tierney) to her theme music on the soundtrack (composed by David Raksin). In Otto Preminger's thriller, when news breaks of Laura's murder, she continues to haunt her fiancé (Vincent Price), her persnickety mentor (Clifton Webb), and even the hard-boiled detective who's never met her (Dana Andrews). The movie's swoony style smooths over an improbable plot; indeed, Joseph LaShelle won an Oscar for his lush black-and-white cinematography.

'M' (1931)

In Fritz Lang's haunting, German-language crime drama, the Berlin police are hunting a whistling killer of children; so is the underworld, since the police manhunt has put a damper on criminal activity. Peter Lorre became an international star as the creepy killer, making him surprisingly human and almost sympathetic in the famous confession speech where he describes with anguish his horrible compulsion.

'The Maltese Falcon' (1941)

Dashiell Hammett's mystery had been filmed before, but John Huston's version was the one that stuck. Humphrey Bogart is Sam Spade, a hard-boiled private eye investigating the murder of his partner. At the same time, his life is complicated by the arrival of a group of backstabbing fortune hunters (including femme fatale Mary Astor, weaselly Peter Lorre, and menacing Sydney Greenstreet), all of them in pursuit of the title artifact. The mystery turns out to be secondary to the colorful assortment of low-lifes (Bogart seems to find them more amusing than threatening, but that could be a tough-guy pose) and the fatalistic atmosphere, a blueprint for the entire film noir genre that would soon come to fruition.

'Memento' (2001)

mementoChristopher Nolan's innovative whodunit unspools in reverse chronological order, since protagonist Leonard (Guy Pearce, never better) has no short-term memory and forgets things that happened just a few minutes ago. He remembers, though, that he's hunting the man who raped and killed his wife, thanks to clues he's tattooed all over his body. He can't trust anyone - not seemingly sympathetic gal pal Carrie-Anne Moss, not shifty friend Joe Pantoliano, and certainly not himself.

'Minority Report' (2002)

minority reportIn Steven Spielberg's adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story, Tom Cruise is a cop in a future where psychics predict murders and Cruise routinely arrests the would-be killers before they strike. But when he is fingered himself as a future killer, he goes on the lam from his colleagues and tries to solve the mystery of a crime that hasn't happened yet. As usual with Dick, there are lots of ethical and existential questions to ponder, as well as an atmosphere of paranoia over the slippery nature of identity.

'The Mirror Crack'd' (1980)

In what now looks like a dress rehearsal for the entire run of "Murder, She Wrote," Angela Lansbury plays Christie's Miss Marple, sent to investigate a poisoning on a movie set involving two squabbling Hollywood divas (Elizabeth Taylor and Kim Novak). Along for the ride are Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson, Edward Fox, and a young, then-unknown Pierce Brosnan. Along with the typically unflappable Lansbury, the fun here comes from watching Taylor, in one of her last film roles, parodying her own legend.

'Murder By Death' (1976)

Neil Simon's spoof of drawing-room whodunits brings together a variety of characters loosely parodying famous fictional sleuths, including Nick and Nora Charles (David Niven and Maggie Smith), Charlie Chan (Peter Sellers), Sam Spade (Peter Falk), Hercule Poirot (James Coco), and Miss Marple (Elsa Lanchester). Everything in the movie is politically incorrect and bizarre (like Alec Guinness' performance as a blind butler), but nothing moreso than Truman Capote's turn as the manipulative host of the lethal dinner party. The film's not for everyone, clearly, but for some, it's a hilarious cult favorite.

'Murder on the Orient Express' (1974)

murder on the orient expressA glossy period travelogue set in Europe is not the sort of movie you'd expect from Sidney Lumet, known for his gritty, contemporary, New York City crime thrillers ("Serpico," "Dog Day Afternoon," et al). But he does a splendid job with an all-star cast (besides Albert Finney's Poirot and Ingrid Bergman's Oscar-winning Swedish missionary, there's also Lauren Bacall, John Gielgud, and Sean Connery) and a typically twisty Christie plot with a jaw-dropping solution.

'Mystic River' (2003)

In Clint Eastwood's adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel, neighborhood big-shot Sean Penn finds his grown daughter murdered, and when suspicion falls upon his haunted childhood pal Tim Robbins, he takes matters into his own hands. The result is a whodunit steeped in tragedy, from the scars of crimes long past to the violent tribalism of present-day Boston. Penn and Robbins both earned Oscars as age-old friends torn apart by childhood trauma and lifelong guilt.

'The Name of the Rose' (1986)

Umberto Eco's novel, a medieval murder mystery set in a monastery, gets a decent adaptation here. Sean Connery is an English monk who is also a Sherlock-like sleuth (his name is William of Baskerville), while Christian Slater is a wide-eyed puppy as his Watson-like novice. F. Murray Abraham overplays it a bit as a ruthless inquisitor, and the movie isn't as lofty-minded as Eco's book, but for a thought-provoking mystery in an unusual setting, you could do worse.

'Presumed Innocent' (1990)

In Alan J. Pakula's somber adaptation of Scott Turow's legal thriller, prosecutor Harrison Ford finds himself on the other side of the courtroom when he's tried for the murder of a colleague with whom he had an adulterous affair. It's up to him to find out who's framing him before he's convicted himself. There are red herrings here the size of Moby-Dick, but Ford does finally bring the mystery to a shocking and satisfying resolution.

'Seven' (1995)

sevenDavid Fincher's first serial killer thriller is an odd whodunit, since the serial killer behind a series of gruesome tableaux inspired by the seven deadly sins confesses his crimes halfway through the film (though he still has more horrific stunts in the works). The movie gets its gravitas from world-weary, haunted-eyed sleuth Morgan Freeman, but its grimy, squirmy, gritty style - an influence on thrillers ever since - is pure Fincher.

'The Silence of the Lambs' (1991)

silence of the lambsThe innovation of Thomas Harris' novel was to have an FBI agent find a serial killer by calling upon the aid of an even more ruthless killer. Translated to film, that meant Anthony Hopkins' unforgettable Hannibal Lector, whose antics upstage stalwart Jodie Foster's search for the already plenty horrific killer known only as Buffalo Bill. Jonathan Demme's exercise in terror won Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, and Actress, and forced all other crime dramas to up their game.

'Suspect' (1987)

Back when Cher set out to prove she was a real dramatic actress by playing a series of unglamorous parts, one of them was a weary public defender who sets out to prove that her client, a disturbed and mute homeless Vietnam vet (Liam Neeson) didn't kill a Washington, D.C. secretary. In an illicit collusion, lobbyist Dennis Quaid, who's a juror on the case, does his own investigation to help Cher. Nothing special or unusual here, just an effective, taut thriller, whose down-to-earth performance by Cher is indeed a highlight.

'The Thin Man' (1934)

the thin manThis version of Dashiell Hammett's novel introduces beloved screen sleuths Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy), a high society couple who would sip cocktails and drip wisecracks while solving crimes throughout a series of six films. Naturally, the initial installment, which ends with all the suspects gathered at a dinner party, is the best, but all of them are frothy exercises in style and light comedy.

'The Woman in Green' (1945)

One of the best of the series of 14 Sherlock Holmes movies that starred Basil Rathbone as the prickly detective and Nigel Bruce as a buffoonish Dr. Watson. Here, they search for a serial killer who murders women and severs their forefingers, and hypnotizes their boyfriends into believing they are responsible for the killings.

'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' (1988)

Lest we forget, this clever live-action/cartoon hybrid is also a textbook film noir murder mystery, one that owes a large debt to "Chinatown." Here, grouchy gumshoe Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) harbors a prejudice against Hollywood's animated actors, since a toon killed his brother, but he's forced to defend one of them, hyperactive Roger (Charles Fleischer), who's been set up for the murder of novelty mogul Marvin Acme. Director Robert Zemeckis, who excels in films about puzzle-solving (from "Romancing the Stone" to "Cast Away"), manages to blend a manic comic tone with a serious crime drama.

'Zodiac' (2007)

zodiacThe best of David Fincher's serial killer movies, this one tackles the real-life case of the Zodiac killer, who terrorized San Francisco in the late 1960s and early '70s. Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. play the real-life reporters who doggedly followed the story, while Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards are the police detectives who spent years on the case. Fincher's docudrama is jam-packed with raw data, enough to explain the obsessiveness of these four men as they chased leads, often fruitlessly, for so long.

from The Moviefone Blog


'Foxcatcher' Review: You May Wrestle With It, But It's Definitely Worth Seeing

"Foxcatcher" isn't a film about trapping animals, but it is captivating, and in its own way extremely wild. Based on a true story involving Olympic wrestlers, an heir to a great fortune, and a smouldering conflict that soon caught fire, this is a challenging-yet-rewarding film with some impeccable performances.

This is the one with Steve Carell wearing a funny nose, right?

Yeah, that's the one. It also stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. In fact, if there's three things to recommend about the film, it's these actors. Performance-wise the film is incredible, with each actor stretching in ways that put them all at the top of their game.

Carell's quiet sociopathy is riveting, and he portrays John du Pont with an unsettling air that's intoxicating. That snout he wears may be costume affectation, but it gives his face just the right amount of arrogant aloofness to give the film its core tonality.

Tatum and Ruffalo play brothers, and their first scene together is them physically grappling in an empty training room. The sound of slaps and sheer physicality of their movements immediately presents their shared passions and relative strengths. Tatum has been terrific in many films, but he's just aces here, bringing to Mark Schultz a mix of bewilderment and fierceness required for his arc. Then there's Ruffalo, an actor that has been in plenty of extraordinary works, and plenty that are unfortunately forgettable. In a film where it's all about subtlety and proficiency of performance, Ruffalo rises above by doing in some ways even less. It's brilliant stuff from all three, but if push comes to shove (as it does many times throughout the film), then he may well be the most impressive turn from this great cast.

So, awards bait then?

Well, no, not simply that. But as implausibly as it may be at this stage, I'll predict Oscar nominations for all three, and they're all very well-deserved. After all, it took another Bennett Miller film to give another fine character actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, his Best Acting trophy.

Bennett who?

It's probably not a surprise that Miller's name doesn't jump to mind quickly, but he's quietly built up quite the filmography. After an experimental debut doc called "The Cruise," Miller came out with "Capote" in 2005, which garnered PSH his golden naked man statue. Bennett himself was also nominated but lost to Ang Lee, and the film (and several other reasonable contenders) lost to Paul Haggis' "Crash," a fact which many consider one of the worst Academy decisions in its history.

In 2011, Miller directed "Moneyball," which also showcased some stellar turns by a great cast.

"Foxcatcher" shows us more of the same -- deliberate pacing, quiet but confident performances, a stark palate and a richly textured storyline. "Moneyball" also got nominations for its cast, and scored a Best Picture nod, even if Miller himself didn't take up one of the nomination slots himself.

After a solid debut at Cannes and a warm reception on the festival circuit (including a bow at the Toronto International Film Festival last September) it's fair to say that "Foxcatcher" may be the third Best Pic contender for Miller.

So, what's it about?

Well, there's the rub. This is a true story (I'll even give you that it's a true crime story), but really it's about character, class, and quiet moments of intimate drama. I think it's actually to the film's benefit that you don't know too much of it going in, and even the trailers should ideally be avoided.

You're not making me want to see it.

Yeah, I get that. Still, this film feels kind of fragile in a weird way, and it's one of those "trust me, go see it" times I try not to overuse. It's a super laconic tale, told with incredible artistry but using a pace that some may feel dull, and a conclusion that is deliberately anti-cathartic. The film does some remarkable things in terms of how it showcases certain events, keeping even from the audience motivations (or entire conversations) away from us. It's a film that makes you feel like you're reluctantly invited, and it's a decidedly off-putting feeling.

For those that want everything spelled out for you, this film certainly isn't for you. But for those looking for a bit more of a challenge, delving a bit deeper into character rather than plot, and if you're interested in seeing some supreme performances by an ace cast, then "Foxcatcher" may well be something you should check out.

"Foxcatcher" is now playing in theatres.

{C} 'Foxcatcher' Trailer

from The Moviefone Blog


Netflix Is Dropping These Movies From Streaming on December 1st

netflix streamingNetflix giveth and Netflix taketh away.

While everyone's favorite subscription streaming service is adding a ton of awesome movies and TV shows in December, it's also yanking a huge list of popular titles from its library. Below is said list. I'm especially sad to see "Dirty Dancing" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley" go. Those movies are the sh...

Watch them while you can!

Movies Being Dropped by Netflix on December 1st

"1941" (1979)

"The Apostle" (1997)

"Audrey Rose" (1977)

"The Believers" (1987)

"Better than Chocolate" (1999)

"Blood & Chocolate" (2007)

"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" (2008)

"Chaplin" (1992)

"The Choirboys" (1977)

"The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County" (1970)

"Coffee and Cigarettes" (2003)

"The Cold Light of Day" (1996)

"The Constant Gardener" (2005)

"Count Yorga, Vampire" (1970)

"Cry-Baby" (1990)

"Dirty Dancing" (1987)

"Double Indemnity" (1944)

"En la Cama" (2005)

"Event Horizon" (1997)

"Eye for an Eye" (1996)

"Fairy Tale: A True Story" (1997)

"First Knight" (1995)

"Five Easy Pieces" (1970)

"Foreign Student" (1994)

"Free Men" (2011)

"Funny Lady" (1975)

"The Ghost and Mrs Muir" (1947)

"The Girl from Petrovka" (1974)

"Going Berserk" (1983)

"The Great Waldo Pepper" (1975)

"House of Voices" (2004)

"How to Frame a Figg" (1971)

"I'm Not Rappaport" (1996)

"Imagining Argentina" (2003)

"Invaders from Mars" (1986)

"Ishtar" (1987)

"Joe Gould's Secret" (2000)

"Joe Kidd" (1972)

"Johnny Mnemonic" (1995)

"Killer at Large" (2008)

"King of the Hill" (1993)

"Lonely Hearts" (2006)

"Magic Trip" (2011)

"Magicians" (2007)

"Mission: Impossible III" (2006)

"Minnie and Moskowitz" (1971)

"Monkey Shines" (1988)

"Mr. Mom" (1983)

"'night Mother" (1986)

"Night of the Creeps" (1986)

"An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982)

"Opal Dream" (2006)

"The Other Side of the Mountain" (1975)

"The Other Side of the Mountain, Part 2" (1978)

"Our City Dreams" (2008)

"The Paper Chase" (1973)

"Paradise Alley" (1978)

"The Parole Officer" (2001)

"The Pirates of Penzance" (1983)

"Prairie Love" (2011)

"The Presidio" (1988)

"The Promise" (1979)

"The Proposition" (1998)

"Reds" (1981)

"The Return of Count Yorga" (1971)

"RoboCop 2" (1990)

"School Ties" (1992)

"The Sci-Fi Boys" (2006)

"The Serpent and the Rainbow" (1988)

"Spice World" (1998)

"Star Trek: Generations" (1994)

"Swashbuckler" (1976)

"The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999)

"They Might Be Giants" (1971)

"The Untouchables" (1987)

"The Vampire Lovers" (1970)

"Walker" (1987)

"Year of the Horse: Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live" (1997)

"Young Sherlock Holmes" (1985)

Here are the titles being added to Netflix in December.

from The Moviefone Blog


The 'Star Wars: Force Awakens' Trailer Is Here - And It Is Amazing!

Well, after some false starts and somewhat convincing fakes, the trailer for J.J. Abrams astronomically anticipated "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" trailer is here. And it's totally amazing.

The trailer is only 88 seconds long, but it's packed full of "Star Wars"-y goodness: John Boyega as a storm-trooper, rebel X-wings delicately skimming some unknown body of water, new "chrome troopers," a Sith lord whose red lightsaber emits little red flames on either side of the blade, a rolling droid, Daisy Ridley on some kind of floating skiff not unlike the speeders in "Return of the Jedi." Oh, and an appearance from a little spaceship called the Millennium Falcon.

Quite frankly if this was the only footage of the film that we got to see before next Christmas (something of a systematic improbability given Disney's marketing engine and our own curiosity), we'd be happy.

"Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" opens on December 18th, 2015.

from The Moviefone Blog


'Foxcatcher' Cast Comes Clean About Process, Character and Dealing With Darkness

"Foxcatcher" is at its most captivating when you look at the individual performances by a remarkable ensemble of actors. The interplay between the leads is both the core of the story and the real heart of the film's success.

With a breakthrough lead performance of sorts by Steve Carell as John du Pont, there's also room to praise another terrific turn by Channing Tatum as Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz and a subtle, easily underappreciated performance by Mark Ruffalo as his brother David.

In a slightly subdued mood in keeping with the film's tone, the three spoke to us at the Toronto Film Festival to discuss their participation in this remarkable film.

Moviefone Canada: Much of the actual motivation for what happens in the film takes takes place behind closed doors. Could you talk about the challenges of bringing these roles to the screen when so much that is truly going on is left unsaid?

Steve Carell: I think it's anybody's best guess. All we could do was learn as much as we could about the participants and story and the relationships, and then it's our best estimation as to what happened and what was going on. It's a fictionalized account of a true story, so you do your best in finding the truth within it, or something that feels truthful.

And you're right, there's no way to eavesdrop on these closed door interactions between people, but again, it's just our best estimation.

Channing, there's a scene where you're eavesdropping as they have a confrontation behind a window. It's one of the most remarkable scenes in the film. What are you guys as performers doing behind that window, and what are you as a performer recognizing in that scene?

Channing Tatum: Mark [Schultz] is just a wildly emotional person. His exact words to me were: "[He] wanted to hurt everyone in such a way that he would never be beaten."

I think that's probably his biggest fear, to be hurt, so he put up walls. When he let someone in, that's just a very fragile thing. Bringing Dave there [to du Pont's Foxcatcher compound] was one of the biggest slaps in the face he could probably ever have done to Mark. To try to put words on it, though, it's way more complicated than that, so it's hard to really explain all the nuances of it, because it's really what's going on underneath everything. It's not actually what's sitting on top.

Mark Ruffalo: That scene was a long time coming. It's a complication, obviously. [Turning to the other actors] Did we even shoot it on the other side of the door?

SC: I don't think so.

MR: [Director] Bennett [Miller] always knew he wanted to play it the way it played. Basically, it's saying that we'll play along with the coach and all of that stuff, but there's a point where you don't go and this is that place.

Was the argument scripted?

MR: No, but we improvised it and there was a lot of talk about what that moment was, and whether we should hear it or if it should just be implied. From everyone's account, there was that moment where Dave held wrestling in a very sacred place and he'd go along with this pretense to a degree. When it came to Mark, that was it, and that was the moment.

So when he went to apologize, when John du Pont doesn't show up at the finals and he goes to talk and he says, hey, I had a hard moment there, Dave knows that it was a hard moment between the two of them and it had crossed over to a place they'd never really gone to.

What was the worrisome about playing this character?

CT: Bennett keeps such a tension or a quietness. There's no laughing on set. The grips, the camera crew, everyone takes it very seriously, and he holds that energy. To be there for that long a time is hard to do, it's almost like a meditation if you will. I think that Mark Schultz, Bennett, and du Pont are just these black holes of energy in a way, they're just constantly inside, in pain and struggle.

Dave Schultz, the character played by Mark, is just trying to bring everyone up and out of that. I talked to Mark, explaining I didn't really realize that until we were at Telluride and we didn't have Mark [Ruffalo] there, he didn't get to come, and I just realized how much we missed him.

SC: He's a bright light.

CT: Yeah, truly. Seriously, I know it sounds corny but...

MR: It just looks bright because the rest is really dark. Everywhere else is really dark.

CT: Yeah, but seven months of wrestling practice and just going into that gym every single day, and I don't think there's that many people I would have kept doing that with. The literal beating of your head into the wall, it just makes you insane. He made it tolerable, and everybody showed up.

If it feels serious, it was. We had to look these people in the face that were really there on the farm and that really knew Dave and du Pont. I actually got to look my character right in the eyes and have to know that his life is going to go on after this film and I have to stand by it. I have to stand by him and everything that he's told me and shared with me in confidence and it matters.

How much did this role resonate with you on a personal level, considering that you wrestled when you were young?

MR: I was a wrestler in high school and it was a big part of my life, and I think I learned a lot about life, adversity, overcoming adversity and being alone. It was hard as a kid, but I learned a lot and got a lot of discipline from it. I also understood what the life of a wrestler was like, and how lonely it was and constant. The season never stops. It's all year long. I remember never really being able to eat turkey at Thanksgiving because there was a match a couple of days later.

So from 13 to 17, to live like that, it was heavy. It was intense, as a kid. And those guys lived like that their whole lives, so I understood what it was to be a wrestler and that helped me and I also felt like. I'd never seen a wrestling movie that had caught the real nature of it and so the wrestling was very appealing to me. And I knew, theoretically speaking, that I could do it, until I actually got in a room and started doing it, and the fantasy of myself quickly got beaten back by the reality of myself.

CT: I also have to say that he had to relearn everything because Dave was switch-handed from Mark, so he had to literally do everything backwards.

MR: Yeah, I was a righty and he was a lefty, so that was frustrating.

I take it the training was pretty hard then?

MR: Oh, it was so hard.

CT: I never want to do it again. Ever. I've done a lot of sports movies, I've done a lot of martial arts as well, and this was...

MR: He's a very quick study. First of all, he's an amazing athlete and a very quick study, and so I was following him the whole time.

There are reports that you'd lose a ton of weight super quickly.

CT: After lunch, we were just like, let's see how much we can lose and I think ... how much did you lose?

MR: I lost 10 pounds.

CT: Yeah, I think I was around 9 - 10 pounds in two hours.

SC: I gained 10.

Did you sit in a lawn chair and eat burgers in front of them?

SC: No, I was just off in a corner somewhere.

MR: Being ignored. He would come and no one would talk to him. It was strange. Well, first of all, you'd say, "Hi, Steve!" and then you knew, OK, I'm going to run away now, I don't know what to say to that person.

There's an amazingly animalistic way you carry yourselves physically in this film.

CT: I was thinking of Mark. I got to really study him, the actual him. Literally, that's how he actually grabs his fork [mimes an ape-like grip]. It doesn't look refined or taught or proper or anything. He just gets it done, so I got to really just study Mark. I wish I could say I'd created any of that, but it was just more me mimicking him.

MR: Yeah, me too. I just mimicked Dave as much as I could. They called him Tyrannosaurus Rex because of the way he held his hands. You just don't imagine one of the great wrestlers standing like that, but that's who he was.

Steve, do you play a villainous role differently than you do a comedic one?

SC: I [think] of them as flawed human beings, which is interesting. I thought it was a great script and working with these guys and Bennett was a draw.

You have described the experience as painful and masochistic.

SC: I'll be honest. The whole thing is almost a blur to me, from beginning to end. Once we got to Pittsburgh, the experience is a blur. I don't remember very much specifically about what the process was and what we were doing and what we talked about, or even how painful it was.

I felt like we were all immersed in something and then after a few months, we all came out, and I got to hang out with these guys when we started doing press. Until then, there was a tone, there was definitely a weight that was hanging over the entire experience. It's really hard for me to recall.

Is that feeling of heaviness and blurriness unique to this project?

SC: It is. For me, I don't remember having that experience before. It was exhilarating too.

You all were working with real human stories. How much room does it leave for creation and what's the balance between creation and recreation?

MR: I think there's a lot of room for creation still. Oddly enough, real life is so much more nuanced and surprising than what I can imagine. And I'm always surprised by playing a real person. It's kind of like having a framework.

It's like jazz or something. A jazz piece will start with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and go all the way to all different areas and still be highly creative, but you're working within a structure that gives you an ability to riff all over the place. I think that's what it was like working on this. Steve calls it a Greek tragedy, and Shakespeare does a great job of taking 5000-year-old stories and turning them into modern pieces that are true to their original essence but completely remade. That's how this feels. There's a true story, but it's lifted up into the eternal, the universal.

SC: That's a fantastic answer.

CT: Yeah, I was going to jump in and then I was like ... I'm not jumping in there.

"Foxcatcher" opens in theatres on November 28.

'Foxcatcher' Trailer

from The Moviefone Blog


Thursday, November 27, 2014

33 Things on TV to Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving

At this time of year, it's good to be reminded that contemporary TV offers such a cornucopia of riches. This past year, in particular, has offered plenty to give thanks for -- in terms of both what's on the air and what is not. Among the things I'm thankful for:

That "The Flash" is actually good.

That recent, pricelessly funny Billy Bob Thornton guest spot as a lovelorn urologist-to-the-stars on "The Big Bang Theory."

That I don't work at the "Today" show.

That David E. Kelley is writing a TV show for Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman to star in.

That this is the last season for "Two and a Half Men."

That "Seinfeld" reruns still hold up pretty well.

That Casper Kelly made '80s sitcom parody "Too Many Cooks." Whether or not you like the finished product -- and it's often pretty disgusting -- I'm glad someone had the impulse to make it.

That Norman Lear squelched a proposed reboot of "All in the Family." Let Lear's original classic show stand untarnished.

That no one is writing mean tweets about me for me to read aloud on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

That we still have a few more months of David Letterman, and one more month of "The Colbert Report."

That Jon Stewart hasn't quit his day job to become a film director for good yet.

That MTV2 still airs reruns of "The PJs." (And that "PJs" scribe Larry Wilmore is the one taking over Stephen Colbert's slot on Comedy Central.)

That the upcoming "Osbournes" reboot is just a limited series.

That Ioan Gruffudd finally got something interesting to do on TV, on "Forever."

That my remote has a working fast-forward button.

That AMC still shows the occasional "Breaking Bad" marathon.

That the daytime news and chat shows can turn on a dime from the Ferguson outrage to holiday pie recipes. There's something oddly comforting in the notion that, not only are the news shows no longer able to distinguish the serious from the trivial, but they no longer even try.

That Frances McDormand and RIchard Jenkins were so terrific in "Olive Kitteridge." (And that HBO made it in the first place.)

That Laurie Metcalf ("The McCarthys"), Scott Bakula ("NCIS: New Orleans"), and Judd Hirsch ("Forever") are back on primetime.

That "The Mindy Project" hasn't been canceled yet.

That the window between a movie's theatrical release and the time it appears on premium cable is down to about eight months.

That Steven Soderbergh came out of quasi-retirement long enough to shoot a whole season of "The Knick." (And that Clive Owen starred in it.)

That I got to enjoy five seasons of Steve Buscemi and Michael Kenneth Williams, as Nucky and Chalky, on "Boardwalk Empire."

That "South Park," now in its 127th season, has yet to jump the shark.

That Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, and Allison Tolman were so perfect on "Fargo." (And that the series wasn't even more gruesome than it was.)

That Benedict Cumberbatch still does TV.

That HBO Go lets me watch entire runs of defunct series like "The Wire." Someday, I'll actually take advantage of that opportunity, I promise.

That Netflix picked up the ball NBC dropped and will make Tina Fey's new series, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," starring Ellie Kemper.

That Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter are still on TV. Not that I always watch them; it's just a comfort to know that they're there, making mischief.

That there are still a few episodes of "Newsroom" left to air before Aaron Sorkin quits writing for TV.

That, in a world of crime and terrorism and chaos,Tom Selleck's mustache and Mandy Patinkin's beard remain islands of stability and reassurance.

That they keep bringing back that commercial with the Hershey Kisses as musical holiday bells, every year.

That we still have upcoming seasons of "Game of Thrones," "House of Cards," "Downton Abbey," and "Archer," among others, to look forward to.

from The Moviefone Blog