Friday, February 27, 2015

Check Out Two New Clips From 'Game of Thrones' (VIDEO)

Game of Thrones

Winter is already here for plenty of us - in fact, it feels like it won't be over by the time "Game of Thrones" returns on April 12. In any case, it's almost time to return to the Seven Kingdoms!

HBO has released two more tiny tastes of the fifth season for fans and armchair experts to pore over. Both clips have the eerie look of Bran's Sight, which makes sense since that's the theme of HBO's whole ad campaign for the fifth season. The first clip shows Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) telling Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman) to stop following her around like a little puppy. "The good lords are dead, and the rest are monsters," she tells him, not without good reason.

The second is a scene between Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds). Mance doesn't mince words, which means if you're at work or around wee ones, you might want to put on your headphones to listen.

Check 'em out.

from The Moviefone Blog


'Boardwalk Empire's Jack Huston Could Be Our New 'Crow'

Jack Huston at the 86th Annual Academy Awards - Red Carpet

Much like Eric Draven himself, the remake of "The Crow" just won't die. The movie has been in limbo for years, with seemingly countless directors and stars attached, but with a director and script in place, it's time to find their leading man.

Deadline is reporting that Jack Huston, who played war vet Richard Harrow in "Boardwalk Empire," is in early talks with Relativity to star as the comic book protagonist. In James O'Barr's beloved graphic novel, Draven returns from the dead to get revenge on the guys who murdered him and his beloved fiancé Shelly on Devil's Night. The two were to be married the next day - on Halloween, natch. The role was made famous by Brandon Lee, who was accidentally killed during filming. Sequels to "The Crow" were dismal, but the original is a spooky '90s classic.

Huston has a ton of high-profile projects coming up, such as "The Longest Ride," "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," and "Ben-Hur," which he's currently filming. Whether or not this bird will fly remains to be seen.

The film will begin filming this spring, with a script by Cliff Dorfman ("Warrior") and Corin Hardy ("The Hallow") in the director's chair. [Deadline]

from The Moviefone Blog


Chris Hemsworth Is Excited to Make Thor Funny Again in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

The first thing that you need to know about actually meeting Chris Hemsworth is that he's huge. Like the kind of huge that you imagine him having to turn sideways to fit through doorframes. He is every bit the god that he plays in the Marvel movies and on the day we were visiting the set, he stood side-by-side his stunt double and for size and height and muscle mass, easily dwarfed him. Chris Hemsworth does not mess around. And in "Avengers: Age of Ultron," he really means business.

For most of the day we got to watch a scene where Hemsworth, as mighty Norse warrior Thor, was battling The Vision, a new character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (portrayed by Paul Bettany, who up until this point had been heard but not seen in the MCU as the voice of Tony Stark's electronic butler Jarvis). Bettany looked amazing, with purple skin and a really cool costume (augmented, by the looks of the visual effects technicians that scrambled around behind him, with a computer-generated cape). And since they were fighting it seemed that Vision, a creation of this movie's titular villain, had yet to embrace his inner heroism and was, at present, still very bad. Still, if it's anybody who can put a super-powered robot in his place, it's probably Thor. Hemsworth described what they were filming as "a big fight scene" and you could tell just by looking at the set.

When he was asked about his first reaction to the script, Hemsworth was just excited. "It was awesome," Hemsworth said. "I mean you know, coming off of 'Thor 2' and 'Avengers,' I couldn't wait to read this. And I just loved how it upped it in a way that wasn't just bigger and flashier." Hemsworth then clarified: "I mean everything had been amplified but in an intelligent way. All the stories are relevant to what's going on in the world as far as the exponential growth of technology and artificial intelligence and then the questions of you know good versus bad in the AI world." Of course, as always, Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed both "Avengers" movies and has largely overseen the goings-on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is to thank. "He's managed to bring all of the Avengers back in and give them a relevant reason to be there and justified sort of conflict. I mean it's a tricky balance. I'm glad I'm not the one writing the thing and having to pull that off."

Since so much of the first "Avengers" dealt with Thor battling his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the question was raised as to how Thor fits into the larger Avengers universe in this film. "I mean we put up with Thor having stayed on Earth from 'Thor 2.' So he's here. He's part of the team. This is his home for the moment," Hemsworth explained. "The initial attack from Ultron is personal because it's at all the Avengers and Thor then begins to see a bigger picture here about what this threat could be potentially." That's right folks: Ultron could be endangering Asgard too (later Hemsworth said that the "third act" points him back towards Asgard and that - gasp! - Loki might be involved since it's "all too convenient").

One of the great joys about watching Thor on the big screen is seeing how out-of-place he is amongst the modern world, considering he comes from a far away, nearly fairly tale land. When someone asked him about what Thor will get to do in this film that he hasn't gotten to do before, Hemsworth explained that he's not quite as uptight as he used to be. "He's loosened up a bit," Hemsworth said... but then he doubled-down on what he liked about the character in the first place. "I think we lost some of the humor and the naïveté and the fish out of water quality of Thor from the first film into the second one. Joss I think felt the same way. So there's more humor in Thor or he at least because he's been on earth, he's a little more humor, a little more accessible now. He's off Asgard now so he doesn't have to be as regal and kingly as he is in that world, which is nice." Although not too accessible. When someone pitched a scene showing Thor and Natalie Portman's character going to the movies, Hemsworth lit up. "Yes, I pitched that!" he exclaimed. Then, somewhat sullenly: "But no." (Later Hemsworth said the character was "not dressed in his own guardian attire" and is "more human.")

Considering this was at least a few months before anybody had seen anything from the movie (and the production was quite coy about actually showing us anything even while we were on the set), the question about Thor's costume came up. To which Hemsworth explained that the costume had only been "tweaked" and that, unlike some of the other Avengers, Tony Stark hasn't gifted Thor with any upgrades. Still he admitted that Iron Man is his favorite Avenger. "I love watching Robert work in this setting," Hemsworth said.

Of course, some of the funniest and most memorable moments from the first film were the scenes in which Hemsworth's Thor faced off against Mark Ruffalo's Hulk. Sadly, Hemsworth informed us that they're "not as conflicted as we were before." Still, he pointed to the "lengthy" fight scene between Hulk and Iron Man that will satisfy fans of the Thor/Hulk dynamic from the first one.

One new addition to the team that Hemsworth really seemed to savor was James Spader as Ultron. "It's awesome," Hemsworth said. "It shakes things up because you get comfortable. You get into a rhythm or a routine and you think you know it." Still, the introduction of someone like Spader shakes that all up. "Until that's challenged you kind of go oh, yeah, that's right there is another option here and you know we keep changing it. And this new cast breaks the familiar rhythm that we may have and makes it a bit more unpredictable."

The question came up of how things are going to close out for Thor, since Hemsworth's contract is nearing its conclusion (he's got one more stand-alone "Thor" movie and one more "Avengers" outing). Turns out Hemsworth is just as curious as we were. "I have asked the question but the truth is no one has the answer yet. We don't know how it's going to end and the biggest concern is this one here, more so than two or three films in time. I know that I'm sure they are coming up with ideas and attempting to kind of have some kind of arrangement that five or six years down the track they go okay, this is where we're heading but they don't tell us until the day before usually." Oh and if you think this is an exaggeration, it's not. Even on a film as complicated and laborious as "Avengers: Age of Ultron," things are just sprung on him. "Like this fight scene we learned this morning," Hemsworth said. And we all laughed nervously.

Even before the infamous Comic Con footage that showed our heroes bruised up, bloodied, and beaten to a pulp, there was discussion about how the new character Scarlett Witch (played by Elizabeth Olsen) would be able to tap into the deepest, darkest fears of each Avenger and bring those fears to terrifying life. Hemsworth confirmed that Thor would be a victim of her magical mind games as well. "It certainly creates a conflict," Hemsworth said. "It's more in their individual selves rather than the team so much. I think they'll begin to have their fears held up in front of them and, and for Thor I think it's a corruption of power." The psychic stuff sounds like it's the escalation of the physical combat, too. With all of them having so much power and having the understanding that we're in this endless battle here. Even though the scene was being rewritten at the moment, so he didn't know what exactly it would look like in the final film (and he even suggested we ask Joss about it instead of him), Hemsworth admitted its significance. "It kicks in motion his movement. That's where he really starts to move through the story. Once that dream occurs he goes, I can see what's coming and my fear could be true. So yea it's a ticking clock."

And right now the only ticking clock is the clock until "Avengers: Age of Ultron" is released on May 1st - on Earth and on Asgard.

from The Moviefone Blog


Leonard Nimoy Dead at Age 83

There are few characters, in any cultural medium, as immediately identifiable as Spock from the original "Star Trek," with his bowl cut, sharp elfish ears, and laser-like eyebrows, his signature greeting ("Live long and prosper"), complete with hand gesture as recognizable as anything a boy scout would offer, and his emotionally detached, coolly logical way of gauging any situation, no matter how fearsome. Spock was an immortal character, authored by Gene Roddenberry, but it was the actor who brought him to life, Leonard Nimoy, that made that character a staple of the pop cultural landscape for decades. Today Mr. Nimoy passed away at the age of 83. He will be missed on this and many other planets.

Nimoy will always be remembered as Spock, both on the original "Star Trek" TV series and in a number of feature films, including the two most recent "Star Trek" outings directed by J.J. Abrams, where he coyly interacted with the younger version of the character now played by Zachary Quinto. (In recent years Nimoy also appeared on Abrams' outré sci-fi series "Fringe.") He was a poet, an author, and appeared on stage frequently. He directed the "Body Wars" attraction at the now defuct Wonders of Life pavilion in EPCOT. He appeared as himself on "The Simpsons," reenacting his role as host of the pseudo-documentary series "In Search Of." He was on "Mission: Impossible" for two seasons. He pretty much did it all.

What's so fascinating about Nimoy and his characterization of Spock is that Spock was supposed to be the logical, uninvolved voice of reason for the series, as opposed to Captain Kirk's more full-hearted (but oftentimes misguided) pursuits. But it was really Nimoy's performance as Spock that gave the series its heart. Roddenberry called Nimoy the "conscious of the show." But that's not right, exactly. Because somehow, with Nimoy's performance, the character with the least amount of emotion became the one you loved the most. There's a reason that Abrams went to Nimoy when rebooting the popular series; he knew that without Nimoy, there was no "Star Trek."

from The Moviefone Blog


'Two and a Half Men,' 'Parks and Recreation,' and How to End a Series

I don't envy any showrunner who has to write a series finale, especially after observing the very different reactions over the past few days to the final episodes of "Two and a Half Men" and "Parks and Recreation."

Consensus on the former seems to be outrage mixed with bafflement, while response to the latter seems to have been copious tears mixed with warm fuzzies.

Looking at both finales, however, it appears each long-running sitcom ended with an episode that was true to what the series was about. The literally cartoonish "Two and a Half Men" finale, which (spoiler alert) wrapped with pianos being dropped on both the characters and on creator Chuck Lorre, was a fittingly nihilistic send-off for a show that seemed to find all its characters loathsome and had little regard for the humanity of any of them, except insofar as Lorre could use them for punching bags and punchlines. Meanwhile, the "Parks" ending, which borrowed a page from the "Six Feet Under" finale and showed flash-forwards of the characters' distant futures, stayed true to the show's earnest message: when you work together as a team, everyone benefits.

Sure, critics complained that the "Men" finale spent too much time rehashing Lorre's behind-the-scenes clashes with Charlie Sheen, who's been off the show for four years already, and who declined to return for a farewell episode so relentlessly devoted to degrading his character. But then, this was a series where everyone was degraded. "Men" spent 12 years pushing the envelope on acceptable topics for family-hour comedy (yeah, it pushed the envelope downward, but it did push it). And in the finale, which was full of characters breaking the fourth wall to comment on the show's admitted crassness, and which contained an animated flashback sequence, the show pushed the envelope in form as well as content. With Lorre having spent 12 years lampooning these characters as crudely as possible, did critics really expect him to start pretending now that he cared (or that viewers should care) how their narrative journey wrapped?

Even "Parks" earned some critical grumbles as it hit the home stretch. Critics complained that the final season has been one long flash-forward (taking place in 2017) and extended farewell, with each character getting an episode to wrap his or her storyline. Elements of the season felt contrived (like the last-minute conflict between Leslie and Ron). The whole season seemed like a drawn-out funeral for someone not quite dead yet, heavy on the tears and light on the laughs, playing out like the last hour of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KIng," with one climactic goodbye after another. And yet, how else would you expect the show to go out? The series created an elaborate fictional universe in Pawnee, Indiana, a small-town community populated with vivid eccentrics who were also recognizably human in their desires, fears, and dreams. It took some time and preparation to give everyone their due; the series' heart-on-its-sleeve sincerity all but demanded that.

The complaints about both shows' finales stem from more than just the flaws in those last episodes. They're a natural by-product of the problematic nature of any TV finale. As longtime viewers of a series, we ultimately want to feel like we haven't wasted our years-long investments of time and emotional energy. We remember how we felt at the end of, say, "Seinfeld" (where the finale suggested that we were chumps for liking these moral monsters for so long), or "Dexter" (he becomes a lumberjack? Really?), or "How I Met Your Mother" (who conveniently died shortly after viewers met her, just so Ted could go back to Robin after all these years?), and we bristle at the notion that another series ending might make us feel the same sense of frustration and outrage.

But it's no easier for the writers. They're working in a medium built on open-ended narrative, one that's not designed for closure, Over the years, showrunners have tried to confront this inherent difficulty. David Chase simply refused to provide closure in "The Sopranos" (though you could read the infamous blackout ending as an acknowledgement that Tony would never feel secure, that he'd always be looking over his shoulder at the likely possibilities of arrest or assassination, and that this was how he'd have to live the rest of his life, which might just end in one more moment). Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse explained many of the mysteries of "Lost" in the final episode, though not all of them, and (as they surely knew) not enough to satisfy everyone.

Still, the notion that every show has to wrap in a tidy package that ties up all loose ends and offers viewers a cathartic sense of closure persists. Which is curious. Not just because such a finale is nearly impossible to write, but also because of the vogue over the past-decade for innovative, antihero-centered shows that offer no promise of moral uplift or just desserts. That other HBO saga of Jersey mobsters, "Boardwalk Empire," ended last fall with the murder of protagonist Nucky Thompson, and that definite sense of closure was far less satisfying than the ambiguity of "The Sopranos." True, "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan did figure out a way to satisfy viewers' contradictory impulses to see Walter White both punished and redeemed, but that finale seems more the exception than the rule.

There are precedents, though, for crafting a finale that is both open-ended and climactically final, and both "Two and a Half Men" and "Parks and Recreation" drew upon these precedents. "Men" seemed to take its cue from the "Seinfeld" finale, whose point was, in part, that the show's characters had neither learned nor grown in nine years and were left stuck in the same pointless conversation that they were having in the pilot episode. "Parks" borrowed not just from "Six Feet Under"'s flash-forward finale (which implied that the characters had full lives yet to lead, even while showing us how each of them would die, which made sense in a series about death), but also from the last episode of "M*A*S*H." That, too, offered a seemingly endless series of individual adieus (the episode ran two and a half hours and was titled, "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"), which seemed fitting after 11 seasons spent with many of them, while hinting at the future each character would face as veterans of the Korean War. The "M*A*S*H" finale was the most-watched episode of scripted television in American history, so it must have done something right.

To the extent that the finales of "Two and a Half Men" and "Parks and Recreation" built on those precedents to wrap the series in a way that was true to each show's world view (cynicism and optimism), that reflected the way each show insisted on operating by its own rules, and that offered a sense of finality without filling in all the blanks, both endings have to be considered successes. And if we wanted more from these finales, maybe we should ask ourselves why we watched these shows for so many years, and what emotional needs they fulfilled for us.

from The Moviefone Blog


Harrison Ford Officially Returns to 'Blade Runner,' New Director Named

It's a good day to be a replicant: "Blade Runner," one of the most beloved and highly influential science fiction films of all time, will finally be getting its long-discussed sequel, set to shoot in the summer of 2016. And what's more - Harrison Ford will be back as futuristic private eye Rick Deckard in a story set "several decades" after the original film.

And, to add icing onto the cake, the producers have picked out probably the best filmmaker for this material not named Ridley Scott (and depending on your thoughts on Scott's return to the "Alien" franchise, "Prometheus," this could be a better choice) - "Prisoners" filmmaker Denis Villeneuve. In short: this movie is going to be awesome.

The press release laid out several more details, including that the screenplay for the new film was written by Michael Green and Hampton Fancher (who co-wrote the original film), from a story by Fancher and Ridley Scott (who will stay on to executive produce) and that, according to producer Andrew Kosgrove, the new film is a "uniquely potent and faithful sequel to one of the most universally celebrated films of all time." We'll take it!

Villeneuve is, if you are behind in the times, one of the great filmmakers working today, having crafted, in addition to the crackerjack "Prisoners," the wonderfully bizarre Jake Gyllenhaal thriller "Enemy," the Acadmy Award-nominated "Incendies," and the upcoming "Sicario," starring Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, set to be released this fall. His eye for detail and dark vision should perfectly align with the meticulous world that Ridley Scott created in 1982. Get ready for the future, people.

from The Moviefone Blog


Olivia Wilde Facts: 10 Things You (Probably) Don't Know About the Actress

Olivia Wilde has gone from 19-year-old bride to "O.C." bombshell to "House" doctor, and she's just hit her thirties. Now the young actress adds something new to the list: returning from the dead. In her new horror movie, "The Lazarus Effect," she plays a medical researcher brought back to life.

From her rockstar encounter as a toddler to her big-name ancestor, here are 10 things you probably don't know about Olivia Wilde.

[Sources: IMDb, Wikipedia]

Olivia Wilde Facts

from The Moviefone Blog


Mark Duplass on 'Lazarus Effect' and Turning Down 'Huge Movies' (EXCLUSIVE)

Mark Duplass Lazarus Effect InterviewQuite frankly, it's shocking that Mark Duplass had time to film a lead role in this weekend's supernatural shocker "The Lazarus Effect." After all, he stars in a well-regarded cable show ("The League") and writes, directs, and stars in his own series for HBO ("Togetherness"), while appearing in or co-directing or producing one out of every three movies that debuts at Sundance or South by Southwest (things like "Safety Not Guaranteed," "The One I Love," "Creep," etc.) and filming bits in high profile studio movies (everything from "Zero Dark Thirty" to "Tammy"). Homeboy is busy.

In "The Lazarus Effect," though, he plays a character who might have even more on his mind than Duplass himself, as a grad school scientist working on a new serum that can bring people back from the dead. When his wife and fellow scientist (played by Olivia Wilde) is killed during an experiment, he makes the decision to use the serum on her... and things go horribly, horribly wrong.

We got to chat with Duplass on the phone about why he likes horror movies so much, where his acoustic version of the old HBO theme song came from, how he decides what projects to tackle, and why he won't admit that he had to turn down "Jurassic World" even though we all know that he totally did (it was directed by his "Safety Not Guaranteed" collaborator Colin Trevorrow).

Moviefone: You certainly have an affinity for these types of movies. Where does that come from and do you want to do direct one of these movies?

Mark Duplass: Well, you know, we've flirted with the horror genre a little bit. There's a movie called "Baghead" that I directed in 2008 that's kind of touching on that genre a little bit. I grew up watching cheesy horror movies in the late '80s after going to the mall with my friends. So there was always a deep love and appreciation for it. As a director, I've gravitated to more emotionally sensitive dramedies but there's always been this interest in me to explore all types of genres, not just horror movies. I'm lucky to be at a point in my career where I'm asked to be in a movie like "Lazarus Effect." Part of the reason I haven't done a lot of this stuff before isn't me not wanting to be in them but not having the profile to get those cool jobs.

What was the appeal of "Lazarus Effect" specifically? It seems indebted to some of those '80s horror movies you mention, particularly "Flatliners."

Oh for sure. I saw "Flatliners" in the theater. But mostly it was a desire to be a lead in a movie for Jason Blum and to work with David Gelb. When I met with him I was a huge fan of "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" but what's to say -- a guy who directs a really slow-paced food documentary can make a slick horror movie. But then I realized that he's one of our country's premiere trailer cutters and directs a bunch of commercials so I thought, This is good - this guy can do slick and he can do heart. And if I'm going to take a chance on a horror movie, Blumhouse + David Gelb is the train I want to hitch myself to.

The movie is currently PG-13. Was there ever a version of the movie that was harsher?

All of these movies are built to go one way or the other. But when we were making this movie, we all felt that because of the DNA of the film, because the script really obeys the horror genre really well and has all the elements that would allow for it to be a 3,000-screen movie, it would be smart of us to make a PG-13 movie. I'm a big fan of reverse engineering your art to something that can be successful. To me that's less selling out and more buying in and being intelligent about what is going to get the most eyeballs on your stuff. I do the same thing with my independent films. I think it's smart to have a little business sense about you. That's part of what I love about Blumhouse. But we all had our eyes on this thing be a bigger play and PG-13 was a big part of that.

And I'm sure there'll be a slightly scarier version on Blu-ray.

I bet there will! I can't be sure but there could be something!

Can you talk about working with this ensemble?

Yeah, the goal was really simple: when you're normally dealing with a high concept, like, say, bringing people back from the dead, it's usually set in the future where people are wearing all shiny black leather and they talk strange and they don't feel human. So we were like, if we have any take on this at all, it's that these people should feel normal and kind of dorky, like a group of researchers and in an ideal world it will connect people more closely to what they're going through.

Not to give too much away but the ending of the movie certainly leaves the possibility open for a sequel. Would you come back?

That's a really great question. To be honest with you, I haven't even thought about it. But anytime there'd be a team like David and these actors and Jason doing anything together, I'd definitely have to think about it.

You did another Blumhouse horror movie before this called "Mercy." It's finally on Netflix but was very much shelved. What was that experience like and did that experience color your interaction with Blumhouse?

I see what you're saying. But no. Jason called me up and said, "I've lost an actor, want to come do this thing for three days and it starts shooting in 20 minutes." And I was like, "F*ck yeah I'll do it." So I had no emotional attachment to that movie whatsoever. I have a long history with Jason Blum and we're good friends and we see the industry in similar ways. We both believe that movies should be made cheaply and being aggressive and taking chances. I'm very much ideologically aligned with Blumhouse. As much as our content looks extremely different, from a philosophical standpoint we could be twins.

There was another horror movie you did last year called "Creep," which I saw at South by Southwest and loved. When the Weinstein Company picked it up there was talk that it was going to be the beginning of a trilogy. Do you know what's going on with that?

We're figuring it all out right now. There's still a desire from all of us to do this thing as a trilogy but since then my life has kind of exploded, and Patrick Brice, who directed that movie, has kind of exploded as well. So we're all trying to figure out the timing of when we can get that thing done. The love is still there. The schedule is starting to be a bit of a problem. But we're in the middle of it.

You're always working. How do you decide what to do? And how do you delegate your time between projects?

It's changing on a year-by-year basis. It used to be what can I get. Like, "What can I get? Yeah I'll do it." But now I'm getting to this point in my career, just to be candid, where I have to turn down things because I don't have enough time for them. And that's crazy. The things I've had to say no to in the past year have, quite honestly, been heartbreaking, just because I'm on "The League," I have "Togetherness" to do, I have four Netflix movies that I'm producing, I have all my Sundance movies. I have a full slate. So it's changing for me right now and I'm looking at carving out a little more time for those cool acting projects. Like spending a week doing "Zero Dark Thirty" was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I'm actively looking to do more things like that.

Can you talk about some of the things you turned down? Did you turn down "Jurassic World"?

I can't really talk about it because I feel weird for the actors who ended up taking them because most directors say, "You're my first choice." And that would be really weird. But I will definitely say that there have been some huge movies that I've had to say no to that if I knew that five years ago I would think, What the f*ck are you doing? And that is a growing pain of where I'm at right now. That said, I get to do so much amazing stuff. Being able to make "Togetherness" with my brother and some of my best friends and to be on "The League" with some of the funniest people on the planet who are also some of my best friends and to get to produce movies for people like Patrick and foster their careers, like I am so lucky. And you don't get to do everything.

Didn't you shoot all of "Togetherness" before even turning it into HBO?

Yes we did. My brother and I write and direct all of the episodes of the show and we make it like an independent film where we shoot and edit it all ourselves. And they're incredibly supportive. We're ramping up Season 2 right now and we're going to do it the same way.

One of the great joys of "Togetherness" coming out was that great HBO theme song you guys did. Where did that come from?

You're talking about the dumbest thing we've ever done that was actually kind of fun. Well, Jay and I played in bands growing up, always, and one of our joke things we used to do when we were the Indigo Boys, basically two dudes playing acoustic guitars in coffee shops, in the middle of a set we would break out the HBO theme song and slowly people would realize it was happening and every time we did it we would blow the place up. So we were trying to think of something special to honor our 30 year love and commitment and marriage to HBO and it seemed like the right thing.

"The Lazarus Effect" is in theaters now.

from The Moviefone Blog


13 Reasons Why Elizabeth Taylor Is Still the Queen of Hollywood

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Arrive in New York CityIt's time to raise your glass and rattle your jewelry for a birthday toast to Elizabeth Taylor, who'd have turned 83 on Feb. 27. Though memories of her begin to fade, the legacy of the woman who was perhaps the most beautiful, most popular, most everything movie star of all time remains as vivid as ever.

Younger moviegoers may wonder what all the fuss was about. Here, then, are 13 reasons why Taylor remains, decades after her prime and four years after her death, the queen of Hollywood.

1. In a way, she never left.

Even though she died in 2011, they're still showing her in commercials for her perfume, White Diamonds.

2. She's the original diva.

Long before Beyonce, the Kardashians, Jennifer Lopez, and other current divas, Taylor pretty much invented the concept that a celebrity's offscreen life was just as much a performance as onscreen, and just as much part of the job description. The eight marriages, the health scares, the world-class collection of jewels given to her by various suitors, the money, the philanthropy, the scandals, and the seven decades' worth of paparazzi photos -- all informed her day job of creating larger-than-life characters on stage and screen, but they also burnished her legend. In the end, it became impossible to separate her drama on-screen from her drama off-screen. But separating them would have been beside the point. Over the last three decades of her life, she hardly acted at all, and yet she never stopped entertaining fans and endearing herself to them with the outsized performance that was her life.

3. She had the talent to back it up.

The phrase "famous for being famous" may describe some of the personalities mentioned above, maybe even Taylor herself in her later years. But the reason people were fascinated by her in the first place was that she had the talent to back up her lifelong fame. She was delivering acclaimed performances from the time she was 12, and she eventually had two Oscars to prove she was more than just a pretty face

4. She was an original beauty.

But oh, what a face! Taylor was considered one of the most beautiful women who ever lived, from her adolescent years to her cougarhood 50 years later (she was in her sixties during her marriage to Husband No 8, Larry Fortensky, 20 years her junior). Even in her later years, as time finally began to take its toll, she still had those fiery violet eyes.

5. Her work is iconic.

Taylor's earliest great performance was in "National Velvet," made when she was 11. Released 71 years ago, it remains the definitive girl-and-her-horse movie.

6. She and Eddie Fisher were the original Brangelina...

Sixty years ago, "Singin' in the Rain" star Reynolds was America's sweetheart, and heartthrob crooner Fisher was her husband. They were best friends with the Todds -- that is producer Mike Todd and Taylor (Todd was her third husband). When Todd died in a plane crash, Liz found consolation in the arms of Fisher; soon he was leaving Reynolds to become Taylor's fourth husband. As you can imagine, in the 1950s, this was an especially lurid scandal, but one that only added to the star power of all three principals.

7. She had no shortage of scandals.

And yet, that scandal paled next to the one that arose when Taylor left Fisher for Richard Burton. They met on the set of "Cleopatra," when he was playing Mark Antony to her Egyptian queen. Over the course of the film's months-long shoot, while both stars were staying in Rome with their spouses, Taylor and Burton fell in love. Their affair was the worst-kept secret in show business, openly carried out in front of Europe's paparazzi. Even the Vatican felt compelled to weigh in, condemning the Taylor for what it deemed her "erotic vagrancy." (Burton apparently got a Papal pass for his erotic vagrancy.) Over the next 23 years (until Burton's death in 1984), Liz and Dick would marry and divorce twice and capitalize on their notoriety in a dozen joint film appearances and (long after their second divorce) a Broadway play. More than half a century later, the "Cleopatra" coupling remains the most scandalous on-set romance of all-time;

8. She commanded the screen -- and demanded a big paycheck.

By the way, "Cleopatra" is often remembered as the costliest flop of all time, which isn't entirely fair. Yes, the cost of the 1963 epic spiraled out of control; budgeted at $2 million -- half of which went to Taylor, who became the first actress to command a seven-figure salary -- the film ultimately cost $33 million to shoot. It became the top grossing movie of 1963, but even that wasn't enough to recoup the movie's enormous production and marketing costs. Twentieth Century Fox nearly went bankrupt and sold off much of its Hollywood backlot to developers (today, it's the Century City neighborhood). Still, all that glorious excess is visible in every grandiose frame of the film. Of course, no spectacle in the movie is as over-the-top as Taylor herself, her voluptuous frame nearly spilling out of each of her 65 costumes (a record for costume changes that stood until Madonna played Eva Peron in "Evita" 33 years later). Her Cleopatra was a regal femme fatale who manipulated the most powerful men in the world and demanded to be adored. No wonder Angelina Jolie wants to remake it.

9. She had a hand in a Hollywood revolution.

Taylor helped end 35 years of Hollywood censorship with her Oscar-winning "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" performance. The 1966 adaptation of Edward Albee's play, starring the Burtons as a boozy, brawling couple (typecasting?), broke new ground in exploration of adult themes and in risqué language. The decision to release the film with those elements intact -- and the commercial success and Oscars that resulted -- effectively destroyed the Production Code that had sanitized Hollywood films since the early 1930s, leading to the adoption in 1968 of the ratings system we have now. The film also launched the movie career of Mike Nichols as an A-list director, a career that would include such landmarks over the next 40 years as "The Graduate," "Silkwood," "Working Girl," and "The Birdcage." Even today, "Woolf" retains its shocking power and remains Taylor's finest performance.

10. She was fearless.

Back when no one else dared, she was the first person in Hollywood to start raising money to fight AIDS. Inspired by the predicament of her ailing friend and "Giant" co-star Rock Hudson, Taylor co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFar) and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Today, AIDS activism is no big deal, but back in 1985, when AIDS and its patients were subject to routine homophobia and paranoid fear, Liz was out there on the line by her lonesome.

11. We're still fascinated by her.

Proof that her life story was as compelling as her screen performances has come in a number of made-for-TV movies about her. Most recent is 2013's "Burton and Taylor," starring Helena Bonham Carter as Liz and Dominic West as Dick. No doubt there will be more; the fascination won't end anytime soon.

12. She has a lasting movie legacy.

If it ever does, though, there will still be the movies. People will always be able to go back to "National Velvet," "Father of the Bride," "A Place in the Sun," "Giant," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Cleopatra," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," and many others, and they'll be reminded of just how striking she was, as a woman, as an actress, as a camera subject.

13. We'll never stop talking about her.

Through those performances as strong women yearning for affection and appreciation, through her tabloid life, and through her charitable efforts to de-stigmatize some of the most shunned people in the world, Taylor essentially sparked a worldwide conversation that's gone on for decades, on the topic of what it means to love. Who today can unite people around the world and get them to ponder that question? There's no one who can do that like she could, and that's why Taylor will continue to loom large in our imaginations and Hollywood fantasies for years to come.

from The Moviefone Blog


Best of Late Night TV: Margot Robbie's Game of Flip Cup and Richard Madden's 'Cinderella' Genitalia (VIDEO)

If you're like us and value your sleep, you probably nodded off into your Ambien dreamland before the party started on post-prime time TV. Don't worry; we've got you covered. Here's the best of what happened last night on late night.

Time for a game of Flip Cup with Margot Robbie on "The Tonight Show!" First to chug their beer and flip their cups wins, and obviously Margot killed it. Her prize? Some toilet paper. Only the best from Jimmy Fallon!

Richard Madden showed up on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to talk about being Prince Charming in "Cinderella," and apparently with great power comes great responsibility. And tight leggings. And zero genitalia because this is Disney, which means that Richard had to spend hours trying on jock straps. Ken dolls feel your pain, buddy.

Viola Davis video-chatted with Jimmy Kimmel to discuss the "How To Get Away with Murder" finale, and he even whipped up a handy plot chart -- which is actually pretty helpful for those of you who are confused about how everyone's getting away with murder on that show.

Of course the best part of "Kimmel" was when Jimmy weighed in on the vaccine debate. All of his musings are worth-watching, but some highlights include "parents here are more scared of gluten then they are of small pox" and "Jenny McCarthy popped up and she had clothes on so they listened to what she had to say."

Finally, Ellie Kemper hit up "Late Night" to chat about how she was Jon Hamm's theater student in high school (some people have all the luck), and revealed that everyone in St. Louis basically spends their time Hamm fan-girling all over the place.

from The Moviefone Blog


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Recap of 'The Blacklist' Season 2 Episode 13: The Deer Hunter


Remember when Elizabeth Keen ripped open her adorable stuffed bunny and unearthed The Fulcrum, a tiny and super-80s box full of secrets? And then she hid it from Raymond Reddington even though he's been obsessed with finding The Fulcrum for years? Well, two important things are happening with that whole situation this week: 1) Elizabeth finally tells Red she has The Fulcrum, and 2) She flat out refuses to give it to him.

Oh, and also Elizabeth might be arrested for killing that friendly old man in her boat even though it was all Tom's fault. In other words, there's a lot to be worried about, including Raymond's co-dependent relationship with fedoras.

Liz Educates Us About The Deer Hunter, We Learn A Valuable Lesson About Serial Killer Sexism

First up, let's talk about this week's blacklister (who isn't actually on Red's Blacklist). This creeper is an FBI-wanted criminal, and Liz happens to be teaching a graduate seminar about him. Or should we say her. Turns out The Deer Hunter is a lady (that's right, women can be serial killers too!) who hunts her victims down with a crossbow before taking a delicious bite out of their liver. Sounds pretty insane, but honestly the most concerning thing about this lady is the fact that she spends her free-time lurking around her apartment talking to birds. So worried.

Anyway, Liz is determined to find The Deer Hunter as part of her ongoing desire to get some space from Red, and after getting intel from one of her students, she learns that the killer's last six targets were done by a copy-cat. The copy-cat's latest victim? An abusive husband who ends up getting gutted after his wife brokers a deal with the Deer Hunter. Lovely!

Red Saves Liz From Serving Jail Time, Fails To Save Her From Being Kidnapped

Liz is still the prime suspect in the death of Eugene the Friendly Fisherman, and a well-meaning detective is on a mission to make her pay. Hah, please. Don't you know who you're dealing with? It goes without saying that Red has Lizzy's back, and he visits the only witness to Eugene's death before he testifies. All Red does is offer up a heart transplant for the witness' brother, and before you know it Liz is off the hook. Sweetest father-figure / mass murderer / criminal mastermind ever!

Over in Deer Hunterville, Liz realizes that the copycat killer is targeting men who abused their wives or girlfriends -- all of whom visited the same victims association to cope with the abuse. Unfortunately, the Deer Hunter realizes what the FBI are up to and kills her latest victim's wife to tie up loose ends. Even more unfortunately, she smacks Liz in the face with a shovel, drags her to a basement, and hangs her in a harness from the ceiling. Someone remind us why she works for the FBI, again?

Liz's Killer Instincts Kick In, Red Learns About The Fulcrum

In case you're wondering, Red is still obsessed with The Fulcrum, and this week he calls the number he procured from Alan Finch's safe in the hopes that it will give him a lead. Red makes a phone date with the shadowy fellow on the other end of the line, however he misses the call due to meeting Liz's witness and ends up having to track down his contact in person. Sounds simple enough, but Red's mystery man has disappeared by the time he arrives, and there's blood all over the floor. In other words, Red's reached a dead end in the most literal way possible.

Meanwhile in Liz's dramatic life of non-stop near death experiences, the Deer Hunter reveals that her husband was the original killer, and that she's been murdering abusive men ever since she offed him with his own crossbow. In other words, she's crazy. Liz manages to get this batty widow in a vice between her legs as she's suspended from the ceiling, but fear not -- Ressler swoops in before she can make the kill.

Obviously, Elizabeth is riddled with guilt over almost killing the Deer Hunter and being semi-responsible for Eugene's death, so she meets up with Red, reveals that she has The Fulcrum, and then peaces out when Red refuses to tell her what it is. Fair enough, to be honest.

All in all a great and informative episode, but yes -- we have burning questions. Lots of them.

1. No really, what is The Fulcrum? Because there's only so much waiting we can take.

2. Was Red's new contact murdered, or did he stage the disappearance? Either way, tough luck.

3. Tom is back next week and we're dying to know what he wants with Liz. Other than getting her back, of course. They're clearly a match made in murderous heaven.

4. Once Red finds out about The Fulcrum, will he reject Liz, or is she more than just a disposable source of information to him?

from The Moviefone Blog


#TBT: Kevin Spacey's Road to 'House of Cards'

Kevin Spacey currently plays "House of Cards" protagonist Frank Underwood, who is arguably one of the greatest villains ever to grace TV. Season 3 of the Netflix hit returns tonight at midnight, so we thought we would throw it back to some great photos from earlier in his accomplished career for this week's edition of #TBT. Before he became scheming politico, the Academy Award winner played iconic characters in beloved films like "The Usual Suspects," "American Beauty," and "Glengarry Glen Ross." Here are some snapshots from his Hollywood history.

from The Moviefone Blog


7 Things to Know Before Watching 'House of Cards' Season 3

We're just a few hours away from the midnight release of the highly-anticipated third season of political drama, "House of Cards." We can't wait to see what deceitful dealings Frank and Claire Underwood have up their sleeves now that they're in the ultimate positions of power. And if you're anything like us, you'll be spending at least some of your weekend with your beloved Netflix. But before you do, you may need a refresher in what went down last season. Here are 7 things you should definitely be aware of before diving into "House of Cards" Season 3. Spoilers ahead.

from The Moviefone Blog


Chyler Leigh and David Harewood Suit Up for 'Supergirl'

The Thirst Project 3rd Annual Gala

The CBS "Supergirl" pilot continues to build up its star-studded roster, with the addition of Chyler Leigh and David Harewood to the ensemble.

Leigh and Harewood will be featured as series regulars. Here's a breakdown of their characters, per TheWrap:

Harewood ("Homeland," "Selfie") will play Hank Henshaw, a former CIA agent who heads up the Department of Extra-Normal Operations and tracks extraterrestrial threats. In DC Comics lore, he eventually becomes Cyborg Superman. Leigh, meanwhile, ("Grey's Anatomy," "That '80s Show") plays Kara's/Supergirl's (Melissa Benoist) foster sister Alexandra "Alex" Danvers, described as a confident doctor who became fascinated by her sibling's powers at a young age.

Those two are just the latest to sign up for "Supergirl," with Calista Flockhart also joining the cast this week. Laura Benanti and Mehcad Brooks also star.

TheWrap also reports that Andrew Kreisberg, who worked on fellow DC Comics properties "Arrow" and "The Flash" for The CW, has joined the show as a writer and executive producer.

[via: TheWrap]

Photo credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

from The Moviefone Blog


Lupita Nyong'o's Pearl Oscars Dress Has Been Stolen (PHOTO)

87th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsAcademy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o turned heads on the Oscars red carpet last Sunday when she stepped out in a stunning, pearl-encrusted gown. But now, the custom-made dress has been stolen.

TMZ reports that the gown was taken from Nyong'o's hotel room at The London West Hollywood sometime between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Tuesday. The Calvin Klein ensemble, which is covered in 6,000 pearls, is reportedly worth $150,000.

According to TMZ's report, Nyong'o informed local police that the dress was stolen while she was gone for the day. Law enforcement officials have visited the hotel and obtained security footage to determine just who made off with the precious garment.

Check out a full picture of Nyong'o in the stunning gown below.

US-OSCARS-ARRIVALS-NYONG'OPhoto credit: Getty Images, AFP/Getty Images

from The Moviefone Blog


'The Walking Dead' Season 5 Finale Will Be 90 Minutes

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

"The Walking Dead" is getting a supersized episode, with AMC announcing that the zombie drama will air a 90-minute installment to cap its fifth season.

The season five finale, set to air in March, will be an extended episode focusing on the group's struggles to fit in in Alexandria, the new settlement in which they hope to make a home. According to the official synopsis, "Daryl finds himself in trouble while out on the run. Meanwhile, in Alexandria, Rick and his group continue to feel like outsiders as danger lurks near the gates."

In episode 11, the last installment to air so far, the group had just arrived at Alexandria, after being led there by mysterious newcomer Aaron. Rick, who initially resisted joining the community, reluctantly agreed to try out the change of scenery, though if past interactions with strangers are any indication, the group is probably in for a nasty surprise soon.

Season five of "The Walking Dead" wraps up on March 29 at 9 p.m. It will be directly followed by "Talking Dead" at 10:30 p.m.

[via: Entertainment Weekly]

Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC

from The Moviefone Blog


'Mary Poppins' Goes Death Metal in 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' Spoof (VIDEO)

Mary Poppins, death metal

Have you ever wondered what the classic "Mary Poppins" tune "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" would sound like as sung by a death metal band? (And really, why wouldn't you?) Well, wonder no more.

YouTube user Andy Rehfeldt uploaded a decidedly un-Disney version of the track featuring vocalists Sera Hatchett and Thomas Hinds standing in for Mary (Julie Andrews) and Bert (Dick Van Dyke), respectively, and the results are...interesting. It's really hard to do it justice without watching/hearing it for yourself, so take a look below:

That's one way to forever change the way you perceive a childhood favorite song. Though we have to say, the death metal music really meshes well with the little jig that Mary and Bert perform at the end.

Fingers crossed that Rehfeldt, Hatchett, and Hinds tackle more Disney songbook tracks soon. We think "A Spoonful of Sugar" is ripe for a new rendition.

[via: Andy Rehfeldt]

Photo credit: YouTube

from The Moviefone Blog


Here's Your First Look at 'Jem and the Holograms' (PHOTO)

The flick isn't due out until later this year, but fans finally have their first look at the live-action reboot of '80s cartoon "Jem and the Holograms."

The image, featured in a spread in the March 2015 issue of Elle magazine (and helpfully scanned and uploaded by io9), showcases three members of the Holograms: Jem (Aubrey Peeples), Aja (Hayley Kiyoko), and Kimber (Stefanie Scott). We assume drummer Shana (Aurora Perrineau) is just out of the frame.From this photo alone, it's hard to gauge just how well "Jem" will capture the spirit of the animated series. Sure, the girls sport wild hair colors and over-the-top instruments (especially Jem's giant guitar and Kimber's keytar), but without hearing the music, it's hard to tell just how truly outrageous the action will be.

Still, the image gives us hope that filmmakers did the series justice. After all, nothing screams '80s more than a cheesy laser light show.

"Jem and the Holograms" also stars Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis, and is directed by John M. Chu. It's set to rock theaters on October 23.

[via: Elle b/w io9]

Photo credit: Elle/io9

from The Moviefone Blog


An 'Empire' Concert Series May Be in the Works


As "Empire" continues its jaw-dropping ratings dominance, Fox is considering taking the show on the road.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the network behind the music business drama is mulling a plan to launch a series of shows featuring the "Empire"'s stable of performers and original songs, similar to what it did with the "Glee" concert tour. According to Dana Walden, co-chair and co-CEO of Fox Television Group, executives are eager to cash in on "Empire"'s ratings success while keeping the show's integrity intact.

"We are thinking about what the future is of the brand," Walden told EW. "What we learned on 'Glee' and what we tried to do on 'Glee' is be very cognizant that the music business is the tail of this dog-the show is the thing. But we are certainly looking down the line. There's no reason not to think of having all sorts of ancillary opportunities with this show. We're certainly thinking about idea of doing a live concert series."

That's good news for fans who can't get enough of the drama, which stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. And it seems that viewers truly can't get enough: Its audience has grown in each of its seven weeks on the air, an unheard of phenomenon in today's withering ratings landscape. (EW also reports that the show's most recent episode -- which notched 13.8 million viewers and a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49 -- was the highest-rated drama on a broadcast network since an episode of "Grey's Anatomy" in 2010.)

This plan isn't definitive just yet, but it makes sense in terms of branding, and connecting with potentially even more fans. We'd tell you to stay tuned, but judging by the above numbers, it seems like you probably already are.

[via: Entertainment Weekly]

Photo credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

from The Moviefone Blog


Evan Peters on 'Lazarus Effect,' 'Age of Ultron,' and What He Won't Do in His Next Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

Vanity Fair Campaign Hollywood - FIAT Young Hollywood CelebrationEvan Peters knows a thing or two about scaring you silly.

Peters has been a regular cast member of "American Horror Story" since it's groundbreaking first season, playing (in short order) a high school psychopath, an insane asylum inmate (who had a close encounter with extraterrestrials, mutants, and a serial killer), a frat-boy Frankenstein monster, and, most recently, a freak-show performer with lobster claws for hands. Scary right?

Well in this week's "The Lazarus Effect," the latest production by "Paranormal Activity" and "Insidious" mastermind Jason Blum, Peters is back in the oogey-boogey business, this time playing a grad student who is working, along with Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, and Donald Glover, on a top secret project that could bring people back from the dead. What could go wrong, right? Riiiiiight.

We recently spoke to Peters about what he finds so appealing about the horror genre, whether or not he'll be back for the next season of "American Horror Story" (which, in between the time of our interview and its publication, was revealed to be about a haunted hotel), his scene-stealing role in "X-Men: Days of Future Past," and why running really fast is now his forte.

Moviefone: Between this and "American Horror Story," you have certainly made your mark in the horror genre. What is it that specifically appeals to you?

Evan Peters: I just think it's fun to scare people. And I think that this was a particularly cool story because it dealt with the scientific aspect of horror, which I'm a big fan of -- and that was bringing people back from the dead. I love "Frankenstein." And I just love the idea of that actually happening and then sort of dealing with what happens and what the consequences are.

What was it like going from the over-the-top horror world of "American Horror Story" to the more grounded scientific realm of "The Lazarus Effect"?

It was cool. In horror films, things go wrong. There's always something that goes horribly wrong and bad. So there was that aspect that I was sort of used to doing but it was really cool to have it more contained and to have these five characters all together dealing with this situation in such a small space. I love that idea and it was fun to get to play around with this crazy idea.

Obviously, Jason Blum and his team at Blumhouse know how to do this kind of thing better than anybody.


What was it like working for that team?

It was cool. It's amazing what they can do with such a little amount of money and they make it all work and seem very professional and put-together. They do it all. It's quite an unbelievable thing to see.

And you get to work with a really great group of actors. What was that like?

Everybody was very nice and very funny. I believe Donald said it, he said, "Comedy and horror are intertwined -- with a comedy movie, you're looking to see if you're getting laughs and with horror you're looking to see if you're getting screams." They go hand-in-hand, I think, in some odd way. It was cool to work with people who work a lot in comedy but are also very good dramatic actors as well and to push it to the limit and see what we could to in this small area.

The movie definitely seems to owe a debt to both "Flatliners" and "Pet Semetary." Were those movies that you were aware of and paid homage to?

Oh definitely. I love those movies.

The movie, not to give too much away, certainly leaves things open for sequels -- and if anybody knows how to make a horror franchise it's Blumhouse. Would you be game to come back?

Yeah, of course. It would have to be some different version of Clay. It could be fun, definitely.

This season of "American Horror Story" was terrific. I know that people are sort of scattered to the wind for different Ryan Murphy projects, between "Scream Queens" and the "American Crime Story" spinoff. Are you going to one of these spinoffs or are you sticking around?

I'm always down to come back to "American Horror Story." I would love to come back. Yeah, I'm not on any of the other shows, I don't think. I'm very happy for everybody who is -- I think they're great shows and I want to check them out. But yeah...

Do you know where it's headed?

I have no idea. I wish I did. I'll let you know when I know.

Has Emma started on "Scream Queens" yet?

No, I think she starts in March. It's definitely going to be fun. I'm going to come and hang out and watch her film. I think it'll be great.

Another thing that you did recently was the "X-Men" movie and you stole the show, totally.

Aw, thank you for that.

What was it like shooting your big slow-motion sequence?

It was awesome. It was a lot of technical work. But it was really fun to do and in the end I was really blown away by the end result. It was like, "Is that me?" It was so weird and very, very cool. I think the directing and the editing and the special effects guys are just mind-blowing in that movie, and I owe a lot of it to them. I did very little. They were the real orchestrators and I thought it was very cool. And I hope in the next one I get to do some cool stuff as well.

So you will be back?

Yeah, I hope so. Knock on wood.

What was more fun -- shooting your big scene or shooting that Carl's Jr. commercial?

[Laughs] The Carl's Jr. commercial was great! I had fun doing that, too. It was a lot of similar stuff -- people being frozen and me running around. It's a fun thing to do.

They say nobody does it better!

[Laughs] Freeze people and have him run around -- the Evan Peters Special!

Are you excited to see what Aaron Taylor-Johnson does with the character?

I am! I can't wait to see that movie! I'm a big fan of those movies and a big fan of Aaron's so I'm excited to see it!

Is there another hero you'd be excited to play?

I always wanted to play someone with a superpower, specifically an X-Man because I loved the movies so much as a kid. And I think it's really cool to play one of the fastest people in the world. It's a really cool superpower to have. So I'm pretty happy to have it.

You were in "Kick-Ass," but you didn't have a superpower.

Yeah, I was just drinking coffee and reading comic books. If that's a superpower, I'm damn good at that, too.

What's the next big mountain you want to climb, career-wise?

I want to do a movie like a Joaquin Phoenix movie or a Paul Thomas Anderson movie or a Clint Eastwood movie. Something that, on it's own, is really much more serious and dramatic and slow-paced. I think that would be something cool to do.

A movie where you have to do very little running?

[Laughs] Yes. No running. My character is very slow in the next one.

"The Lazarus Effect" is in theaters February 27.

from The Moviefone Blog


These Horror Movie Mistakes Will Keep You Up at Night

Part of the appeal of horror movies is that scares are the top priority. But that can mean quality comes second.

Horror movies are sometimes filled with cheesy sub-plots, low production value, and, at times, some seriously questionable acting, but as long as the movie delivers that thrill or shock you came to see, all is forgiven. Right? We've assembled a few on-screen errors -- from movies such as "The Shining" and "Scream" -- to see if that holds true.

As usual, all photos are courtesy of Movie MIstakes

from The Moviefone Blog


Best of Late Night TV: Will Smith's 'Summertime' Rap and Christina Aguilera's 'Sex and the City' Impression (VIDEO)

If you're like us and value your sleep, you probably nodded off into your Ambien dreamland before the party started on post-prime time TV. Don't worry; we've got you covered. Here's the best of what happened last night on late night.

Will Smith has been breaking out his vintage rapping skills on the talk show circuit, and he busted out his classic hit "Summertime" on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." It was, in a word, super 90s. By which we mean super awesome, partially because Will was wearing a white turtleneck for the entire performance.

Ice T swung by "The Tonight Show" to get some things off his chest in a game called Sound Off, and apparently he has a lot of feelings about "50 Shades of Grey." We believe his exact words were "boring, it could have been on Nickelodeon" and "how about Shade of Black, that's all you need."

Christina Aguilera is best known for being a songstresses, but turns out she also does an amazing Samantha Jones circa 'Sex and the City' impression. Check out Xtina slaying on "Late Night" below!

Ever wonder what Melissa Rauch got up to before "The Big Bang Theory?" Apparently she spent her time chillin' in the basement recreating musicals as an eight-year-old, including the song "Tits and A**." And yes, she brought a video of her performance to "Conan."

from The Moviefone Blog


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

'Focus' Movie Review: A Pretty-as-a-Picture Crime Caper

Will Smith and Margot Robbie in "Wait, what is 'Focus' again?" This is a question that is usually fired back at me, over the past few weeks, when people ask me what I've seen recently and really liked.

Lately, when I run down the movies I've seen recently, "Focus" is always one of those movies I mention, because I really, really liked it. But then, without fail, the person I am talking to asks what "Focus" is. And then I have to explain it to them. This probably has to do with the film's nebulous title and equally nebulous ad campaign, which isn't exactly explanatory (or particularly evocative or moody). So let me tell you just what "Focus" is, exactly. And when I explain what it is, you'll probably be shocked you haven't heard more about it.

So "Focus" is a romantic crime caper starring Will Smith, who until very recently was largely considered one of the biggest movie stars in the world, and Margot Robbie, who, with primo roles in upcoming movies like "Tarzan" and the DC Comics adaptation "Suicide Squad" (where she'll play the villainous Harley Quinn), is poised to become one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Smith is the wary architect of large scale heists, Robbie is his fiery apprentice. Together, sparks fly.

If you think that, based on the aforementioned premise, it sounds like a movie that would have probably gotten a green light in the '90s, you're probably right. It would sit comfortably in a double feature alongside John McTiernan's brilliant "Thomas Crown Affair" remake or Steven Soderbergh's equally brilliant Elmore Leonard adaptation "Out of Sight." It shares the same jazzy DNA as those movies (not to mention a half-dozen David Mamet movies), as well as their restrictive R-rating (yes there's cursing and sex and it's a delight). There are double-crosses and twists galore and you'll find yourself smiling wildly while clutching your armrests because of all the suspense.

It's great to see Smith having fun again, although his exacting performance sometimes borders on brittle. Robbie, on the other hand, is in superstar mode. She's so charming and loose and luminous that you almost have to put on sunglasses while you watch her. As the novice criminal, she's eager and as hilarious as she was in Scorsese's "Wolf of Wall Street." She is the real deal. And she always does a great job to lighten up the material when Smith threatens to bog it down. (It's weird writing about Smith in this way, considering he used to be emblematic of unflappably buoyant cool.) The movie is sexy and fun and a lot of that rests on Robbie's shoulders and she handles it gamely.

The movie, too, is pretty incredible for a couple of stylistic tics. The first is that, instead of a typical three-act structure, it's built around two acts (and two giant heists that take place three years apart). The only other movie that has successfully been structured like this (to my understanding) was Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket," and, quite surprisingly, it works wonderfully here. Even if you aren't familiar with the three-act structure, the movie feels decidedly different. And it looks decidedly different, too. This is the other really cool flourish of the movie -- it was shot with spherical anamorphic lenses but instead of the typical 2.35:1 aspect ratio (the one that looks like a thinner band), it's been opened up to a boxier 1.77:1. So it's literally a round image in a square frame. And it looks absolutely stunning. Even on these technical and narrative levels, "Focus" is something of a must-see.

"Focus" was written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who wrote "Bad Santa" and directed "Crazy Stupid Love" (one of the better romantic comedies in recent memory), and these guys know how to make a big, slick movie that actually moves. "Focus" never gets bogged down in the mechanics of crime or feels like it lets expositional dialogue get in the way of character development or the chemistry between the two characters. It's snappy and vivid and gorgeously shot, a pretty-as-a-picture crime caper comedy that feels very much like a throwback but never dusty or out of sync with contemporary styles or concerns. It's very sexy and occasionally quite rude and violent and like something you'd probably watch again, to catch all the things you missed the first time. The ad materials weren't very clear, but really this is what "Focus" is. Any more questions?

from The Moviefone Blog


Instagram on Location: Oscar Party Pics From the Stars

The Oscars are over, and all the after-parties have long since winded down, but that doesn't mean we can't relive some of the greatest behind-the-scenes moments from the big night. In the latest edition of Instagram on Location, we celebrate the stars living it up with a collection of their best personal snaps.

Get down with 16 of the most celebrity-filled, spontaneous Instagram photos at the 2015 Oscars after-parties.

Instagram on Location Oscars Party

from The Moviefone Blog


Nostalgia Alert! 'Ducktales' and 'Inspector Gadget' Getting Reboots

Everyone's favorite bumbling bionic detective, Inspector Gadget, is back with an all new series premiering on Netflix. Photo Credit: DHX Media (PRNewsFoto/Netflix, Inc.)Ready for a blast from the past? Classic '80s cartoon series "Ducktales" and "Inspector Gadget" are getting rebooted for a new generation of kids.

Disney XD is reviving "Ducktales," which follows the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his mischievous grandnephews Huey, Dewy, and Louie. And Netflix has acquired a new version of "Inspector Gadget," which has already aired in Europe. In the original cartoon, the titular, dim-witted detective solved cases with a big helping hand (and paw) from his clever niece, Penny, and their super-smart dog, Brain.

"We think that kids are going to love the show," said Erik Barmack, Netflix's vice president of global independent content, "but it's also going to get some co-viewing because there is a generation of parents who grew up on the original."

"Inspector Gadget" will available to stream in March; the new "Ducktales" will air on Disney XD at an unknown date.

from The Moviefone Blog


19 Times Benedict Cumberbatch Charmed the Pants Off of Everyone

Benedict Cumberbatch is nothing short of a phenomenon. The Internet is obsessed with him, women (and men) go gaga every time they see him, and BBC series "Sherlock" has birthed more fangirls and fanboys than any series in recent memory.

So why is the world so enamored by Benedict Cumberbatch? In a word: charm. The Brit sports charisma, a self-deprecating style, and a wit unmatched by anyone... except for maybe Tom Hiddleston. Or Robert Downey Jr. Or... I digress.

Here, then, are 19 times Cumberbatch cast his spell on everyone.Benedict Cumberbatch photobombs U2 at the 2014 Academy Awards

from The Moviefone Blog


Lady Gaga Signs On to Star in 'American Horror Story: Hotel'

2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Arrivals

The shape-shifting pop star Lady Gaga has snagged a major role in the next season of "American Horror Story." The Mother Monster's role hasn't been revealed, but it's sure to be even weirder than the meat dress she donned for the 2010 MTV VMAs. Gaga dropped the news via Twitter, of course, with a delightfully creepy video.

According to The Wrap, creator Ryan Murphy dropped a few clues about the next season in the first two episodes of "Freak Show." Given all the clever theories about how the different seasons are related, this makes perfect sense. (For a quick refresher on those two episodes, check out our recaps here and here.) Plus, there have been plenty of hotel rooms featured in the show over the years, like the one that the Axeman (Danny Huston) rented in "Coven."

The series is slated to start filming in July, so perhaps we'll hear a few more details once production begins. We're waiting on tenterhooks to find out whether or not Jessica Lange will return for another season, and this just adds fuel to our fan fire.

"American Horror Story: Hotel" will air on FX in October, naturally.

[Via The Wrap]

from The Moviefone Blog


Shailene Woodley Is on the Run in Final 'Insurgent' Trailer (VIDEO)


Things are heating up for Tris and her fellow outsiders in the latest and final trailer for "Insurgent."

In this sequel to "Divergent," Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her loverman Four (Theo James) are on the run from Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), the head of the Erudite faction who's willing to kill Tris, Four, and anyone else who threatens the status quo. In between all the running and jumping and shooting, Tris takes a sec to cut off her long locks. "I wanted something different," she tells Four, and hey, who hasn't felt that way once in a while?

In addition to Woodley, James, and Winslet, we also get a peek at Octavia Spencer as Johanna, Miles Teller as Peter, and Naomi Watts as Evelyn.

"Insurgent" opens March 20.

[Via EW]

from The Moviefone Blog


Get 'Frozen Fever' With This New Trailer (VIDEO)

Frozen Fever

Good news for every parent or caretaker tired of hearing little voices sing "Let It Go"! From what we can glean from this first look at "Frozen Fever," there will soon be a new song for young fans to obsess over. The catch is that you have to go see Disney's "Cinderella" in theaters to see the entire animated short, which will run before each showing of the fairy tale retelling.

"Frozen Fever" chronicles the mishaps of Kristoff, Olaf, and Elsa as they try to organize a birthday party for Anna. The short reunites the entire team behind "Frozen," from Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel to directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck.

Take a peek.

World News Videos | US News Videos


from The Moviefone Blog


Viola Davis Confirms Role in 'Suicide Squad'

Viola Davis at the 87th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Finally, the Oscars red carpet was good for more than finding out what everyone's wearing. One enterprising red carpet reporter for eTalk asked Viola Davis about the rumors she's joining "Suicide Squad" as Amanda Waller, and the "How to Get Away with Murder" star confirmed it. (For the record, she also looked absolutely stunning in her Oscar frock.)

Davis will be joining Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, and Jai Courtney as Boomerang. WB is still looking to cast Rick Flagg after Tom Hardy dropped out of the role in January. WB hasn't confirmed Davis's statement, but we trust "The Wall," don't you?

"Suicide Squad" is slated for release on August 5, 2016. David Ayer ("Fury," "End of Watch") is directing.

[Via EW]

from The Moviefone Blog


'The Huntsman' Adds Jessica Chastain

87th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Oscar nom Jessica Chastain is the latest high-profile star to join "The Huntsman," Universal's spin-off of the 2012 blockbuster "Snow White and the Huntsman." It's taken a while for this big budget fantasy flick to get off the ground, but with the recent hire of Emily Blunt and now Chastain, it seems this team is just about ready to go back into the woods.

Chris Hemsworth is returning as the eponymous huntsman, alongside Charlize Theron as Ravenna, the best and meanest screen queen. The project was originally intended as a sequel, but after considerable behind-the-scenes drama, Kristen Stewart's Snow White and director Rupert Sanders were banished from the land. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who was the second unit director on "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Maleficent," will be making his feature-length directorial debut, with a script most recently polished by Frank Darabont. Darabont was also attached to direct but left due to "creative differences."

"The Huntsman" is currently aiming for release on April 22, 2016. Meanwhile, you can catch Chastain in Guillermo del Toro's creepy "Crimson Peak" next October.

[Via The Hollywood Reporter]

from The Moviefone Blog


Watch Our Interview With Baymax, Star of the Oscar-Winning 'Big Hero 6' (EXCLUSIVE)

'Big Hero 6': A Conversation With Baymax

On Sunday night, Disney's "Big Hero 6" took home the prize for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, a deserved triumph and cap to an amazing run that included critical accolades and a global box office of almost $600 million. And what's more, the movie just came out on home video, so you can watch the exploits of Hiro and his super-heroic friends anytime you want. (The Blu-ray is the way to go, by the way, thanks to a flawless transfer and host of special features, including the Oscar-winning short "Feast.") A couple of weeks ago, though, I was granted a unique opportunity -- to actually interview the robotic star of "Big Hero 6," Baymax!

I had to travel to San Franskoyo to do the interview, but it was worth it -- getting to talk to Baymax about his exploits since the first movie, including whether or not he's recognized in the street and what kind of good deeds he's been doing, was definitely a highlight of my journalistic career. (You can tell by the dopey grin I wear for the duration of the interview.) Watch below and see what Baymax had to say about flying, his friendship with Hiro, and what it takes to maintain a secret identity.

from The Moviefone Blog