Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Theron on "Arrested"!!!!!

Some news is just too exciting to contain. From yahoo!...

Theron from the upcoming Aeon Flux

"LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Oscar winner Charlize Theron is set to add some star power to Fox's "Arrested Development" when its third season debuts next month.

Theron has signed on to guest-star in five episodes of the critically acclaimed black comedy, playing a British woman who becomes the love interest of "Development" star Jason Bateman. Theron will debut in the second "Development" episode of the season, after its September 19 premiere. "

I'll update later when I take on Rome, Entourage, and Prison Break.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Every City Has It’s Secrets…And so do I

Grab your toga, my friends and countrymen. It’s time to trade in your desperation for debauchery Sunday night at 9 p.m. when HBO unleashes Rome.

I haven’t been this excited about watching a pilot since, well honestly, since Lost premiered. So, it wasn’t that long ago. Speaking of Lost, we’ll get to that. But first, the hot, wild city…

I will admit, if this was a series about, say, the Incas called Machu Picchu, I probably wouldn’t be nearly as interested. Yes, I’m fanatical about the ancient (western) world. I find it mind boggling the things that the Greeks, Roman, Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, and Jews were able to accomplish culturally, philosophically, and militaristically. This was an era where men’s lives became legend; when men became Gods. Suddenly, with the birth of Christianity, it all fell apart. There are lessons to be learned here, but I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about that.

Politically speaking, I’ve always found America to be a modern age Rome. Now more than ever, I think many could draw parallels between the age of Julius Caeser and our current senators. So, it would make sense to set Rome, the series, in 52 B.C. when the country was still a Republic – not yet an empire. Let the drama unfold.

Here’s what the website has to say about the world we’re stepping into:

"You rarely see onscreen the complexity and color that was ancient Rome," says co-creator, executive producer and writer Bruno Heller. "It has more in common with places like Mexico City and Calcutta than quiet white marble. Rome was brightly colored, a place of vibrant cruelty, full of energy, dynamism and chaotic filth. It was a merciless existence, dog-eat-dog, with a very small elite, and masses of poverty. We see the same problems today - crime, unemployment, disease, and pressure to preserve your place in a precarious society. There's the potential for social mobility, if you're smart. "Human nature never changes," continues Heller, "and the great thing about the Romans, from a dramatic perspective, is that they're a people with the fetters taken completely off. They had no prosaic God telling them right from wrong and how to behave. It was a strictly personal morality, and whether or not an action is wrong would depend on whether people more powerful than you would approve. You were allowed to murder your neighbor or covet his wife if it didn't piss off the wrong person. Mercy was a weakness, cruelty a virtue, and all that mattered was personal honor, loyalty to yourself and your family."

Rome is a joint venture between HBO and BBC, the same creative team behind the wildly successful mini, Band of Brothers. HBO has assembled the best of the best to bring Rome into our homes. The creative force behind this project is phenomenal. The first season features directors from The Sopranos, Entourage, Carnivale, Six Feet Under, Band of Brothers, The Wire, Deadwood and Sex and the City. The first three episodes were helmed by Michael Apted, director of the Academy Award winning Coal Miner's Daughter and producer of Dracula (FFC’s 1992).

Episode teasers are available as well as downloads (including Firefox Skins) and other behind the scenes video at Rome’s official site, here.

Elsewhere in the land of television…

For those of you other castaways dying to know what the PTB have in store for our island buddies this upcoming season including what happen in the tail of the plane, gobble down this tidbit from Damon Lindelof:

"We know she [Michelle Rodriguez’s character] was sitting in the tail section of the plane, so we know that there was at least one other survivor of the crash who's been out there leading this sort of Tom Hanks-ian castaway existence by herself.”

“…I think people are really compelled to see what's been going on with her for the last 45 days. She's had her whole own second show going on, we just weren't watching it. So, when she joins the cast, she has two backstories: (1) everything that happened pre-crash, and (2) everything that happened between the crash and when we meet her. We're gonna tell that story in one awesome concept episode.”

Thank you to my hero, Kristin Veitch for the info. Kristin promises a Lost-apaloozaa update pre season two. I can’t wait!

Now, how shocked was I to log onto Kristin’s column this week where I learned about James Marsters! I felt like Brody upon learning Stan Lee was in the mall! (That’s right, I’m a Mallrats fan too.) I mean really, James Marsters! How does something like this get past me?

So, here’s the deal. Marsters has been tapped at the Big Bad or “nemisis” to one Clark Kent on the upcoming season of Smallville playing Brainiac/Dr. Fine in six to ten episodes including the premier. Mmmm… James….

Lest any of you be confusing James for his alter ego Spike (a.k.a. William the Bloody), he will be sporting his natural brown locks and also natural American accent on Smallville.

Here’s a tidbit from the Kristin’s interview.

KV: Smallville's now on Thursdays at 8 p.m., up against Joey, Survivor and Alias. They need you.
JM: Wow. It is? That's gonna be interesting. Oh, we will smash them, Survivor with their weak story plot points. We will smash them with fiction. We will cream them with metaphor. Verisimilitude, my junky bottom. We're creating an immaculate reality that beats reality any day.

To which I say, wow – that’s hot. I might actually watch an episode.

Now for my final thought of the day, maybe some of you could answer. Why is it that I often fall in love with fictional characters? I mean, I fell in love with Holden Caulfield long before a “real boy.” The ironic thing is that when the real boy came along, he was definitively Holdenesque. And so the pattern continues my whole life thus far:

overly intelligent, depressed, sarcastic and creative boys
(five o’clock shadow is a bonus)
Minus the real life flesh and bone boys I’ve known, there was Holden, Gary Oldman as Beethoven in Immortal Beloved, Josh Jackson as Pacey on Dawson's Creek, Joquin Phoenix in Quills, Marster’s as Spike, and my newest fictional crush… Dr. Greg House. I find Hugh Laurie absolutely mesmerizing as House, so much so that I really don’t care that the rest of the show is somewhat lame. I just sit and stare at him, like a drunken schoolgirl at a college party who's not drunk enough yet to blurt out her feelings in an embarrassing soliloquy - but will by the end of the night. Which is why I don’t understand Laurie’s nick name… he was once nicknamed Boris because his features are vaguely reminiscent of “Frankenstein” star Boris Karloff.

I guess when it comes to wanting what you can’t have; I take it to the next level. Well, actually I do have what I want. If you’ve ever met Ben, you know what I mean. :0) Is this a usual psychological Nurse Betty condition I have, or does everyone crush on fiction?
Now, I’m getting all giddy.
If you’re overloaded on my TV posts, sit tight as I have some indie movie reviews to get posted.
Until next time my friends.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Getting Lost Across the Pond

Those Brit's really do appreciate good TV.
(24 and Buffy fans of the world unite!)

Anyway, I just came across the ad campaign channel 4 is using to launch the show. Photographically, these are much better than the cast shots we're oh so familiar with. Enjoy.

et tu brute

Why is it so hard keeping good news in? So, since I’m busting at the seams, it’s time to make it official. No longer is my film career lost in four-year “wannabe” hiatus as I have officially been commissioned to write a screenplay. Don't worry, it's not a comedy. The script is for an independent production, so I’m NOT writing Spidey 3 here nor am I quiting my day job. This does have potential as the project is lacking the Direct-to-Video-ness of a possible Wild Rabbit Psycho Killers 3 or Dark and Dirty Nights or a cast featuring Eric Roberts.

Anyway, this will be the producer’s fifth feature and the director’s second. Their previous work has garnered good reviews from the trades and played at Sundance. I was so excited to be part of a project again, I wrote the script in three days which impresses even myself. Since no one has given me any feedback yet, I have no idea if it sucks or not.

After a summer of total disappoint and utter stress, this news was obviously a welcome change.

Now from what could be, to what is…

The Comeback
has grown on me. If you tuned in for the pilot and were annoyed and disappointed, believe me, I get it. In fact, if you can get past the first three episodes, the series is shaping quite nicely. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Curb Your Enthusiasm. But, like with CYE, Seinfeld, and Arrested Development, there is something about sadistic comedy that appeals to my psyche.

Lisa Kudrow delivers a powerfully sad, pathetic, and miserable character in the has-been Valerie Cherish. The sit-com show within a pseudo-reality show concept does well at showing how obsessive, unnatural, and contrived some people can be with a camera in the room. While the Cherish character is annoying and fun to look down upon, the show’s supporting cast is where the real laughes come from. I’m a fan of Juna “baby-girl” Milken played by the adorable Malin Akerman who is a the perfect fusion of Kate Bosworth and Anna Ferris. Damien Young, who portrays “Marky Mark”, Valerie’s husband has come to steal every scene he’s in by constantly ignoring the camera’s presence and embarrassing his wife. So, if you were turned off by the first couple of episodes or never tuned in in the first place, give it a try.

On the topic of HBO, Bill Maher is back this Friday with the season opening of Real Time. The independent topical show isn’t afraid to tell any and everyone how it is. No one is safe and least of all Bill. Check out the transcripts from last season’s infamous Alan Simpson episode. Oh that HBO.

Rome is coming. While the premier is still two and half weeks away, here’s your first look.

Outside the world of HBO, the yummy Paul Rudd has joined the cast of clueless Amy Heckerling's "I Could Never Be Your Woman." Rudd will star opposite the divine catwoman herself, Michelle Pfeiffer. The cast is rounded out with Tracey Ullman, Fred Willard, and Clueless alum Stacey Dash. In a bizarre side note, Ullman plays Mother Nature.

What’s with Irish, Australian, and Brit’s getting all the good Civil War roles? The New York Daily News reports that Steven Spielberg has picked Liam Neeson as Abraham Lincoln for the bio-pic set to start filming next spring. That’s right, no Tom Hanks.

Those of you dying to see what Ebert noted as the “worst film ever made” or just struck with an obscene curiosity to check out Chloe Sevigny getting (and going) down on Vincent Gallo, Brown Bunny is now available.

Finally, if you miss the sultry voice of Fiona Apple and have trying to be compensating with Joss Stone, mark your calendar for October 4th. That’s right the controversial next album, Extraordinary Machine, has a release date, though some of you .mp3 bloggers might already have some of the tracks that were originally set for the album, it won’t be the same. For the full juicy-juice story, check here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Return to Summer (Isle)

Nicholas Cage is attempting to put an end to the antics of Lord Summerisle and he’s getting some help, sorta. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Leelee (no relation to Helen Hunt) Sobieski and Ellen Burstyn are joining the cast of Neil LaBute's indie reworking of the 1970’s occult cult classic "The Wicker Man." Burstyn reportedly plays the head of the cult.

Since we’re talking 1970’s non-gore horror…

Variety is reporting that Darren’s dream boy, Liev Schreiber, and Julia Stiles are in the works of reviving the roles made famous by Gregory Peck and Lee Remick in Fox's remake of, The Omen. Ugh, Julia Stiles? Come one. She way too young and bland. Perfect for the role would be rarely working now Gwyneth Paltrow or why not use Liev's better half, Naomi Watts. Kate Becksale would be much better too. Like with the Exoricist, the sequals to The Omen faltered terribly, but the original was quite a good film. The ending is right on key, the only thing that would make it better was if Peck’s character wasn’t interrupted… If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean.

This weekend I watched Amores Perros as part of my research for the unofficial new job I have. If you’ve ever internally tormented yourself over the issues of sleeping with your brother’s wife, leaving your family for a supermodel, or abandoning your family for political radicalism/activism… This is the film to watch. Take my advice in each of these situations and just don’t.

The film establishes the structure that director, Alejandro González Iñárritu has made his signature in the follow-up English language pick-me-upper 21 Grams (Naomi Watts) and the currently filming Babel staring Cate Blanchet. There are three stories that intertwine over one fate altering/affirming incident. More so than in the beautiful 21 Grams, Amores Perros stays liner in time for a majority of the film and breaks the stories into vignette forms.

The film was indeed good, incredible acting, directing, editing, and cinematography. The main problem lies in the story structure itself. The film is 2.5 hours. The first story clocks in at about 50 minutes, the second at 35, and the third fills up the remainder. In fact, the first story was the strongest which distracted me from caring about the rest. I kept watching the clock thinking, “this has got to be over soon.” While that may sound negative, this film is truly superior and original deserving all the accolades which has been bestowed upon it.

And from the Brain Drain Box…

In slightly good news, depending on your perspective, one week after its CBS push, Veronica Mars' UPN ratings blossomed by 30 percent to a mind blowing 101st place, or 1.9 million.

Also in Veronica news, can you guess which one of these bombshells will be joining the cast for it’s second season?

(Can you believe this was only five years ago? Talk about dated.)

Charisma Carpenter is more than a nice rack with a sci-fi cult following. The former Chargers Cheerleaders, turned teen bitch, turned warrior princess, turned goddess, turned match-maker, is moving into the the seaside community of Neptune. She is, despite what you might think, a phenomenal actress whose career I feared maybe trapped in the world of ComicCon and Playboy.

Here’s the official scoop from UPN’s website:

Carpenter will play Kendall Casablancas, a sexy trophy wife and stepmother to brothers Dick (Ryan Hansen) and Cassidy "Beaver" (Kyle Gallner) Casablancas, two of Veronica's (Kristen Bell) rival, affluent schoolmates. She will appear in at least six episodes. Meanwhile, Guttenberg will star as Woody Goodman, a charismatic major league baseball team owner and leading candidate in the local race for mayor of Neptune, Calif. To show his support for the community, his daughter will be transferring from her private school to Neptune High. He will appear in at least seven episodes.

If you’re wondering, yes, it is that Guttenberg… Move over Harry Hamlin, Steve’s gonna give you a run for your money.

The first season of Veronica Mars will be available on DVD October 11th.

While we’re talking returning television, you might want to make a note of the following premiers:

Reunion (Fox) Sept. 8
Simpsons (Fox) Sept. 11
Family Guy (Fox) Sept. 11
Gilmore Girls (WB) Sept. 13
House (Fox) Sept. 13
Kitchen Confidential (Fox) Sept. 19
Arrested Development (Fox) Sept. 19
My Name Is Earl (NBC) Sept. 20
Veronica Mars (UPN) Sept. 21
Lost (ABC) Sept. 21
Invasion (ABC) Sept. 21
Everybody Hates Chris (UPN) Sept. 22
Desperate Housewives (ABC) Sept. 25
Boston Legal (ABC) Sept. 27
Alias (ABC) Sept. 29

Friday, August 05, 2005

You Got Gold

I’m glad to report that things are looking up since I last posted and starting next week, the Brain Drain will be back in action. Where, oh where, did this summer go? I’ve spent most the time helping my mother move her things from her home and put it on the market. Her place sold in less than a day, to the first people who toured the home actually. So now that that’s all taken care of…

I took the time back in July to turn twenty-six celebrating with a round of shit talkin’ mini golf after a gourmet brunch. My wonderful Ben surprised me with Wonderfalls and my very own iPod. We’re now a two pod household. When the cat needs a shuffle, we got problems. I also spent a much-needed day wandering the streets of NYC, roaming through the Met, and reminding myself of what I’m fully capable. Thank god, because little did I know how much I would need that trip.

The wedding plans are coming along as I ordered 20 bottles of champagne and 130+ red roses this week. I’m so control-freaky, I (with Ben’s help) took the time to write our own ceremony instead of letting that in the hands of the church. My god, I’m going to be someone’s wife in eight weeks.

I, as I’m ashamed to admit, haven’t been to the movies once all summer. When I get sleep, I’m happy at this point and there doesn’t seem much time for anything else. I know I’ve rented and watched films, but for the life of me I can’t remember what they were at this point. I remember I watched Exotica the other day thanks to the newest edition to my household… THE DVR!

Oh baby, where have you been all my life? Yes, I am a total geek/loser and am not ashamed to admit it. I now have the ability to experience the magic of Ari Gold by just touching a button. Let’s get down to business…

While the first season of Entourage was adequate, and only made so by Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold, the second season has developed into my favorite non Arrested Development comedy. Having worked in an agency and having lived with an agent wanna be back in my LA days, I can truly appreciate how spot on Piven’s performance is. The characters of Johnny Drama and Turtle have evolved from the annoying “other guys” into the full blown stars of the show – after Ari of course. The last two episodes are easily my favorite of the series as Drama goes Jack Nicholson with a golf club on the PCH and we are drawn into the world of ComicCon and Vikings. The entire Aquaman arch of the season serves only to connect the antics from one episode to another and reminds us what the show is supposed to be about, some up and comer I guess. That being said, let’s hug it out bitch.

For other TV, back in June it was reported that Michelle Rodriguez has joined the cast of “Lost” full time. During her brief plot point last season, she mentioned she was in sitting in the tail of the plane. What’s it all mean, I guess there’s more to the island than we thought – duh!

The Inside, which was like Seven on the tube, came and went while the rest of you were watching D-listers dancing. Anyway, while the genius that is Tim Minear has once again been violated by the programming peeps at Fox, Rachel Nichols has signed on to Alias for next season. That’s right, from FBI to CIA without breaking a nail.

Besides watching Jonathan cry at everything and Gordon yell at everyone, summer television has been pretty bleak. Oh, but fall is coming.

I mentioned the best show on television earlier, Arrested Development. If you haven’t noticed, Fox is airing two hour blocks each Friday in August so you can catch the entire second season again. Now, I can also enjoy Buster at will too. It’s like a belated birthday present.

On a sidenote, I have also been watching The Comeback on HBO. Like with Napoleon Dynamite, I haven’t decided yet whether or not whether I love or hate the show.

On the professional front, one of my projects was officially not accepted into Sundance’s Feature Film Lab for next year. I must admit, it was the nicest rejection letter I’ve ever read. Maybe I’ll post it later. The good news is that I don’t really care because I have been “unofficially” been made an offer that could launch my role in the entertainment out of this blog and into the real world. So fingers crossed, and when it is official, I’ll share the stellar news.
Much love.