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Reader Jules is from Ireland. He's cosplaying here as Old Republic's enormous Darth Malgus, which might seem ambitious, but when you consider Jules stands 6' 6" himself - 6' 8" in the costume - you start to realise how perfect this is.
It was 17 years ago this week that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air aired its final episode. Earlier this evening on the UK’s Graham Norton Show, Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro (AKA Carlton) reunited on-air and took us on a stroll down memory lane. With DJ Jazzy Jeff behind the deck, watch as Smith raps The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song before he and Ribeiro dance along to “It’s Not Unusual” and “Jump On It”.
On a side note: Will Smith looks almost as young as his son.
Nothing made me happier today than to hear enthusiastic responses to Jim Jarmusch‘s rock and roll vampire film, Only Lovers Left Alive. The film stars Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as vampires who have spent centuries together. We’ve got some clips, images and more info here, but frankly I want to know as little about further details as possible, at least until there’s a chance to see the film in the US.
That chance might not be far off, as the reception at Cannes was capped off by Sony Pictures Classics’ purchase of the US distribution rights. The company didn’t offer precise release info, but knowing it has a home is a good start. After the break, you can check out the SPC press release, and some reviewer reactions to the movie.
Jarmusch movies are often quite funny, if not in the style of a typical comedy. That humor seems to be key to the success of Lovers, as The Playlist notes “it’s the deadpan jokes and references that really lift proceedings, especially as delivered, often drily, by Tilda Swinton, who’s probably as good at being funny as she is at everything else, but is so rarely given the chance.”
Other reactions, even among the enthusiastic, peg the movie as something for the midnight crowd. Variety calls it “sweet but slight,” “essentially a light comedy of social mores set among a bunch of bohemians whose drug of choice just happens to be human blood, rather than cocaine or heroin.” The most telling bit from the trade may be that “it still feels like an in-joke intended only for select acolytes, who will probably love it with an undying passion.”
Film.com was far more enthusiastic, proclaiming it “an exhibit A example of how to use style to enhance substance, not overwhelm it,” and “the next great midnight classic…hazy and dreamy.”
Twitter offered more quick reactions:
Jim Jarmusch’s vampire comedy (!) Only Lovers Left Alive is lean & literate deadpan fun. Hiddleston/Swinton are a dream team. #Cannes2013
— Robbie Collin (@robbiereviews) May 24, 2013
ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE is Jarmusch at his most deadpan & shaggy. Midnight classic. Loved it to pieces. #cannes2013
— Jordan Hoffman (@JHoffman6) May 24, 2013
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jarmusch): 77. For close to an hour this was shaping up to be one of my favorite films ever. A bit heartbreaking.
— Mike D’Angelo (@gemko) May 24, 2013
After Mia W. shows up it just becomes a fun series of riffs. But long 1st movement is Woody’s list of reasons to live as a vampire movie.
— Mike D’Angelo (@gemko) May 24, 2013
Surprised to find Jarmusch’s ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE is a charming deadpan comedy that resurrects the spirit of his ’80s movies. #cannes2013
— erickohn (@erickohn) May 24, 2013
Only Lovers Left Alive – Dysfunctional vampires with long hair & iPhones go from Detroit to Tangier. Awkward laughs, history lessons abound.
— Alex Billington (@firstshowing) May 24, 2013
Here’s the press release:
NEW YORK (May 24, 2013) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to Jim Jarmusch’s ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, which will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival tomorrow in the In Competition section. The film was produced by Jeremy Thomas of Recorded Picture Company and Reinhard Brundig of Pandora Film. Christos Konstantakopoulos of Fairilo House served as executive producer.
Starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin and Jeffrey Wright, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE takes place against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier and follows an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, who reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister.
“It would take a stake through the heart to keep Barker, Bernard and Leiner away from a good movie,” stated Producer JeremyThomas.
“Tangier, Detroit, vampires, guitars – and now Sony Classics – what else is there to say!” added Thorsten Schumacher, Managing Director of Hanway Films.
“ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE is one of the great Jarmusch pictures and American audiences will love it. We are excited to be back with Jim and our great friends Jeremy Thomas and Tilda Swinton, whose performance along with the rest of the cast is fantastic,” said Sony Pictures Classics.
The Xbox One has awesome new rumbling triggers, which can offer feedback. Nick Robinson over at Unwinnable has some issues with this: it's now possible for the triggers to resemble, you know, real triggers. It's a resemblance that makes him feel uncomfortable, but beyond that: what happens when we can't say pulling a trigger on a game is nothing like pulling a trigger in real life anymore?
Cast your mind back to the release of 2 Fast 2 Furious, a film that was derided from nearly all corners, and then look at this week’s release of Fast & Furious 6. It took a decade, but Universal’s car-racing franchise has evolved into “event” status. Whether you like the films or not, there’s no arguing that under the stewardship of Justin Lin, who took over as director with the third movie, this series of films has exploded as a fan favorite. Lin knows how to manage action, and he’s had a long-term plan to consistently up the ante on that front.
Much more importantly, Lin realized that consistent characters are what bring people back to the films. He talked Vin Diesel back into the fold and then developed a suite of characters to fill out four individual films that ultimately work as one interlocked narrative. It’s an action-movie soap opera, sure, but one featuring precisely the sort of reliance on character that very few other action series get right.
The sixth film pushes outward in every direction: there are more characters and amped-up drama, and the action setpieces are more improbable and ridiculous than ever. Fast & Furious 6 won’t ever be held up as a major moral statement, but there’s a lot to be said for the series’ general tendency to trumpet values in friendship and family. There’s a sense of values here that could also be present in, say, the Die Hard movies, if the last couple McClane sequels weren’t such botch jobs.
With Fast & Furious 6 in theaters now, we’re curious to know how you feel about the film. Does the action work, and do the interlinked stories and characters provide enough meat to flesh out all the time between setpieces? Let us know in the comments below, where spoilers are allowed and encouraged.
I’m still outside this series. On paper, I understand the affection for these movies, but they don’t move me at all. I don’t like the characters, and I’m bored by most of their interaction. I’m glad for the return of The Rock, and I applaud fight scenes featuring Gina Carano (Haywire) and Joe Taslim (The Raid). Tyrese Gibson gets a couple good lines in, and I like the idea of Luke Evans as the villain who really needs a bigger mustache to twirl, even if there’s not much room for him to do more than glower and glare. If only Lin and screenwriter Chris Morgan could convince me to care about their ensemble. That would raise the stakes for the action, and make the family-building far more effective.
In the end I like the idea of the interlinked storylines and the emphasis on family far more than I respond to the way they’re put on screen. I can appreciate this series as the template for what a set of action movies can be — realistically, the only other entity pulling off this attempt at engagement is Marvel. I also can’t deny some of the action — the ramp car sequence is thrilling, and a highway chase featuring a tank pushes into the absurd in a way I really appreciate. Not much of the action in this movie is even physically possible, but Lin uses bravado and pure confidence to bring it to the screen.
So what did you think about Fast & Furious 6? Let us know, and go for it with the spoilers.
Check out Anamanaguchi's newest video from their album Endless Fantasy. Go ahead, jean-jacket pizza-delivery science girl. You can help them expand the album beyond mere music by supporting them on Kickstarter.
Can a band ever be too old to rock? Do musicians ever reach a point where they have to hang up their guitar and walk away? That’s the focus of today’s Rock it Out! Blog, as Sami ponders at what point an artist should call it quits. Is there a specific age all bands/singers should give up the limelight, or can they rock out into their twilight years as long as they’ve still got “it”? And does their motivation (e.g. paycheck vs. passion) ever play a deciding factor? Leave your comments down below.
The Hangover Part III isn’t much of a comedy. It wants to be funny (I think) but there are stretches without even an attempt at a joke. It’s closer to a hallucinogenic drama, decorated occasionally with an bloom of laughter. There are wild moments, but compared to the first two movies this one pushes the needle towards a different form of “outrageous.” (The most conventionally extreme jokes come when a mid-credits stinger scene goes straight for what viewers of the second film jeered: a flat-out reprise of the scenario from the original film.)
The focus this time is Zach Galifianakis as the damaged, nearly deranged Alan. Entitled and abusive, Alan is domineering at home and ever more reckless in the wild. His grossly disastrous attempt to domesticate a giraffe leads to horror at home; soon his wolf pack “friends” from the previous two films unite to stage an intervention. The Hangover Part III doesn’t go very far with the intervention idea, because further trouble takes precedence. A gangster once robbed by Lesley Chow (Ken Jeong) coerces the guys into tracking Chow, and life goes off the rails once more.
Director Todd Phillips, who co-wrote with Craig Mazin, seems stuck halfway between two extremes. On one side there’s a super-dark movie about mental illness; on the other there’s an Id-indulging comedy. In a way that is almost perversely appropriate for a film series about hijacked plans, The Hangover Part III never gets close to either point.
The previous two Hangover films featured many instances where characters played by Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms attempted, with varying success, to corral Alan’s explosive psyche. Here’ they’re totally outmatched. Alan is bad enough, but Chow has become a creature of pure madness. As John Goodman’s gangster says of Chow, you can’t deal with such a thing, but “if you’re lucky, you trap it and kill it.” Goodman’s vicious, snarling turn provides one of the film’s high points, but ultimately not even he is the equal of undiluted crazy.
Todd Phillips’ early documentary Hated suggested an empathy for the wild and the damaged, and The Hangover succeeded thanks in part to a similar spirit. This swings the other way. After establishing Alan’s sickness as a very real, very troubling condition, further attempts to play it for laughs fall flat. There are glimmers of empathy, as Alan falls for a woman (Melissa McCarthy) who may be just as messed up as he is. It’s not like love is a grand redeeming factor, however. Eventually the idea of helping Alan just vaporizes, as if he was a lost cause all along.
Alan is an irritating, grating presence. The success of the film is that Galifianakis captures that character perfectly, in a way that is deeper and more scary than seen in either of the previous films. The downside is that watching Alan is also irritating, off-putting, and tedious. He’s rendered so well that we have the same experience with him that the rest of the wolf pack does. When Cooper and Helms are given some action, as in a weird doggy-style home invasion or an ill-conceived assault on Caesar’s Palace, some of the original Hangover verve returns. Most of the time, it doesn’t seem like channeling that energy is even Phillips’ goal.
This is almost a provocation, a bitter explosion of the very concept of the sequel. Maybe the “sequel” is the concept Goodman’s character is really addressing when he talks about backing madness into a corner and killing it. Rendering this series in terms of an aphorism, The Hangover Part II was “fool me once, shame on you.” In falling for the sales pitch again, we’re all to blame.
4 out of 10
The Onion is ready for the next generation of video game consoles. Here's their report on Xbox One. It's surprisingly accurate.
“All roads lead to this.” That’s the tagline for Fast and Furious 6 and it’s appropriate on several different levels. The film is the final series entry from director Justin Lin, who picked up a fledgling franchise and carried it into the blockbuster realm. It also marks the culmination of a story that began at the end of Tokyo Drift, when a cameo from Vin Diesel signaled the shift from a set of loosely connected films to a tightly intertwined set of stories and characters.
Finally, Fast and Furious 6 marks the total obliteration of any semblance of reality or logic in the franchise.
Speeding through a city with a huge safe in tow seemed crazy in Fast Five. In Fast and Furious 6 Lin expands the action to absurd proportions, creating set pieces and action beats that defy physics and coherence. Yet it all works to purring perfection. After five movies, all roads indeed lead to this madness.
Picking up almost immediately where Fast Five left off, we’re once again with Brian (Paul Walker) and Dom (Vin Diesel), who are enjoying living life as retired multi-millionaires. Government agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) comes knocking in search of their unique skill set for high-stakes crime, as he needs help with the apprehension of international criminal Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). From there, the Fast Five team – including characters played by Ludacris, Tyrese, Sung Kang and Gal Gadot – is reassembled. This happens fairly quickly, allowing Lin to dive into first of many action set pieces, many of which are almost too unbelievable.
Lin has two really great things going on in Fast and Furious 6. First, the story uses characters and situations from the previous films to drive the action forward, linking the movies together with very satisfying emotional bonds. This gives this film a deep grounding, and raises stakes that are totally new to the franchise.
Second, he’s paced the film at an almost frightening speed. The down times are short, creating an onslaught of relentless action. Most of the action scenes are longer and more intense than anything in the previous films, and conceived on grander scale. For example, the first major scene, involving a so-called a flip car (which is like a combination street racer, skate ramp, and Batmobile), could have easily been the finale of any other film in the series. But here, there’s a tank sequence followed by a plane sequence, followed by your jaw hitting the floor. The action never feels too repetitive because each set piece is broken up by another that’s different from the ones surrounding it.
By escalating the action to such an degree, all logic goes out the window. In the first Fast and Furious films, the characters were human, and driving cars was their main skill. Now, not only has their driving prowess expanded tremendously, they’re incredibly accurate with massive guns, can fly through the air, and exhibit super-human strength. The action is totally ridiculous and sure to induce many eye-rolls and laughs from the audience. But isn’t that exactly what the franchise has always aimed to do?
With Fast and Furious 6, Justin Lin has created the Fast and Furious movie fans never imagined was possible. It’s bigger and more exciting than Fast Five, but dumber than all the previous films combined. It is insane, huge, ridiculous fun. Its not-so-tragic flaw, as expressed in the overboard action and frequent references to the previous five films, is assuming everyone in the audience is a fan of the franchise. At this point, sitting down to watch the sixth film, you’re either with it or you’re not. I’m totally with it.
/Film Rating: 8 out of 10
TV Bits: ‘Arrested Development’, ’24′, ‘Sons of Anarchy’, ‘Bad Teacher’, ‘The Killing’, ‘The Bridge’
Get ready for Arrested Development‘s triumphant return this weekend with these four more clips from the new season. Also after the jump:
- David Fury will return for 24: Live Another Day
- David Slade will direct Ronald Moore’s Helix
- DirecTV’s Full Circle adds Buffy and FNL alums
- CCH Pounder joins Sons of Anarchy
- FX’s The Bridge sets a premiere date
- See new pics from The Killing Season 3
- CBS picks up Bad Teacher for midseason
- Check out trailers for their other new shows
- Netflix “would love” more Arrested Development
- See four more clips from Season 4
24: Live Another Day has hired its first writer. David Fury, who has been with 24 since Season 5, has signed for the Fox limited series, which already has former showrunner Howard Gordon attached.
“Howard Gordon has a shortlist of writers whom he relies on enormously, and David is one of them,” said Fox chairman Dana Walden. “He was hugely important to 24 over the course of its run, and bringing him back for Live Another Day was quite frankly a no-brainer.” The limited event will air in 2014. [Deadline]
Fresh off of three episodes (including the pilot) of NBC’s Hannibal, David Slade is venturing once more into dark genre territory with Helix. The Syfy series, from Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore, has just set Slade to direct the first episode. The show follows a team of scientists investigating an alarming disease outbreak. Production will begin this summer in Montreal. [Deadline]
Neil LaBute is bringing on some notable talent for his first TV effort. Full Circle, his 10-episode DirecTV series, has added a slew of familiar faces including Tom Felton, Minka Kelly, Julian McMahon, David Boreanaz, Keke Palmer, Devon Gearhart, Billy Campbell, Kate Walsh, Noah Silver, Ally Sheedy, Cheyenne Jackson, and Robin Weigtert.
The show “examines the human condition and relationships through a series of conversations between 11 people whose lives, unbeknownst to them, are intertwined,” which kinda sounds to me like that failed ABC drama Six Degrees. Hopefully LaBute will have better luck with that concept. [Deadline]
Kurt Sutter is bringing yet another star from his The Shield days to FX’s Sons of Anarchy. CCH Pounder has signed on for a multi-episode arc on the upcoming season of the biker drama, as San Joaquin County DA Tyne Patterson. Her first appearance will be in the second episode. [EW]
In other FX news, buzzy freshman drama The Bridge has finally set a premiere date and time: Wednesday, July 10 at 10 PM. Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir play cops from opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico border who join forces to catch a serial killer. [Deadline]
That seems as good a segue as any into this next item, which also concerns a serial killer murder mystery. AMC has revealed a ton of pics from the Season 3 premiere of The Killing, featuring returning leads Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman, newcomers Aaron Douglas and Peter Sarsgaard, and more.
The Killing comes back June 2. [via Screen Crush]
CBS announced most of its new series earlier this month, but at the last minute it’s decided to add one more. The network has picked up the single-camera comedy Bad Teacher for a midseason premiere. As you might’ve guessed from the title, it’s based on the 2011 movie of the same title, with Ari Graynor in the Cameron Diaz role.
Meanwhile, CBS’ other high-profile adaptation, Beverly Hills Cop, will not be moving forward at the network. There’s still a chance it could find a home elsewhere, however. [Deadline]
We’ve already taken a peek behind the scenes, but now CBS is ready to show you proper promos for its 2013-2014 batch of shows. That includes comedies The Crazy Ones, The Millers, Mom, and We Are Men, plus dramas Hostages and Intelligence. See them all below.
To quote Gob’s favorite song, “it’s the final countdown.” We’re just a day and a half away from the long-awaited return of Arrested Development, thanks to Netflix. But if you really can’t wait to dive in, here are a few clips to nibble on while we wait.
The fact that the new episodes haven’t even hit yet means it’s still early to start speculating on the future of Arrested Development beyond Season 4. But that hasn’t stopped us or anyone else from wondering about it. In an interview, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos floated the possibility of a Season 5 on the streaming service, though he admits it could be a challenge to pull together.
We would love to do more, and we have a deal in place that says that there could be. The problem is logistics. They were all working full-time and doing this show in between, and they did it for the love of the show and for Mitch Hurwitz. If we can muster up that love again, we’d love to do it again. And we have talked openly about a movie scenario, too.
Fifteen new episodes of Arrested Development hit Netflix this Sunday, May 26, at 12 AM Pacific time (so, basically Saturday night for West Coasters). Assuming they’re any good, how would you rather see this saga continue — with another season or a movie?
The reveal of the Xbox One might have overshadowed content on the Internet this week, but that certainly wasn't the case for the craftiest of internet denizens who convert anything worthy into an animated GIF. Whether it's some sort of a video game glitch, like giant Spock's terrifying stare above, or a nice form of art, we sifted and sorted to grab the most popular ones for you.
T-shirt purveyor Meatbun is having a Memorial Day sale, in which objects of art like these two Kotak
T-shirt purveyor Meatbun is having a Memorial Day sale, in which objects of art like these two Kotaku t-shirts are on sale for $5 each. You should buy them all. All of them.
A sequel to The Big Lebowski never seemed all that likely to happen, but if you were still holding out hope somehow you might as well stop now. Joel and Ethan Coen have expressed their total lack of desire to make any more Lebowski-related films, including the long-rumored spinoff about Jesus Quintana. For that matter, it doesn’t sound like they have plans to revisit any of their older projects — apparently, they’re just not interested in follow-ups. Hit the jump to read their comments.
The Toronto Star (via The Playlist) brought up the subject of a possible Big Lebowski 2 when they caught up with the brothers at Cannes. The response was unequivocal. “I don’t think it’s going to happen,” said Joel Coen. “I just don’t like sequels.”
The pair are aware that there are some who’d love to see the Dude, or at least some of his bowling buddies, back in action again. That includes John Turturro, who’s mentioned his hopes of a Jesus spinoff several times over the years. But they’re still not into it.
“John Turturro, who wants it, talks to us incessantly about doing a sequel about his (bowler) character Jesus,” Ethan Coen said. “He even has the story worked out, which he’s pitched to us a few times, but I can’t really remember it. [...] No, I don’t see it in our future.”
The filmmakers have fielded questions about a potential follow-up numerous times in the past. Despite their apparent and consistent disinterest, though, the rumors keep coming. Last year, one outlet erroneously reported that a sequel was in the works; in 2011, Tara Reid told press she would reunite with the original cast for The Big Lebowski 2 later that year.
The Coens’ stance on sequels shouldn’t come as a big surprise, seeing as they’ve never made a follow-up to any of their films. The closest they’ve come is floating the idea of a Barton Fink sequel called Old Fink, which would take place in the ’60s and see Fink teaching at Berkeley. However, that project was first mentioned several years ago and hasn’t seemed to make much progress since then.
But hey, at least we got Reid’s version of The Big Lebowski 2, which you can (re)watch below.
Discuss: Are you more relieved or disappointed? I fall firmly into the former camp.
Ever wonder why Metal Gear Solid comes with the tagline “Tactical Espionage Action” printed right on the box? Well that’s simple. While it may be a tagline in the West, it’s actually the game’s official genre in Japan.
The first lyrics on Cold War Kids' newest album, "Dear Miss Lonelyhearts," sum up the band's predicament right now. "I was supposed to do great things," Nathan Willett howls over a speedy piano plink. "I wasn't raised to shoot for fame, I had the safety on."
Maybe you've heard the entirety of Daft Punk's latest, Random Access Memories. But I'm guessing you haven't heard the album in an 8-bit style, as a single song. Thankfully, Joe Jeremiah can indulge you there, with this here video.
Superhero Bits: Avengers 2, Batman vs. Superman, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Wolverine, Man of Steel
Want to see more of that unused 1989 Batman poster? Would Saoirse Ronan like to appear in The Avengers 2? What’s going on with Nick Fury on the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Did you see a digital Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3? Are superhero movies good date movies? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits.
I have heard about it and yes, I would. Yeah, of course I would. I love Joss and I love those films, and I love his handle on them and how he portrayed these kinds of superheroes. I think it’s very different from what anyone else has done. So yeah, I’d love to be in it.
A ton of Man of Steel images have been released in high resolution.
USA Today has an exclusive clip from the animated Avengers Assemble cartoon.
The Wolverine is on the cover of the latest Entertainment Weekly.
CBM posted images of a work in progress Wolverine statue.
The Daily Mail (via Comic Book Movie) has a huge set of images from the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, all of which should be considered pretty spoilery. They involve a full action scene with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Click on the links to see them.Continue Reading Superhero Bits >>
Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over TWO pages. Click the link above to continue to the second page of Superhero Bits.
The mobile collectible card genre has exploded over the past year, with players shelling out big bucks for virtual cards with statistics assigned to them. Players for teams of heroes, demons, pirates or robots and take them into battle, which is generally nothing more than a quick stats comparison. What if a game in the genre had actual arcade gameplay? Why, then it would be Battlestone.
Blake Shelton’s benefit concert for Oklahoma is set for May 29.