A hundred and eight years after the boy who wouldn’t grow up first appeared onstage, the play “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the story of how Peter Pan came to be the figure we know today, earned 9 Tony nominations yesterday – and no one was more excited than me.
By a quirk of timing, I’d gone this past weekend to New York to do a mini-Broadway tour, part of which included heading to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre to check out the “Peter” production. I was excited, having read the books by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson on which the play is based. (The first book, titled “Peter and the Starcatchers,” was the source of most of the play’s story.) The books, by the way, are great – there are currently four, a trilogy that takes place before the events of “Peter Pan” and then a book afterwards that involves a girl named Wendy. Barry and Pearson’s series is written for kids but could be enjoyed by anyone, and their increasingly inventive explanations for why Peter can fly, how he met his famous pirate nemesis, and how Tinkerbell came to be at his side, among others, keep you glued to the page.
So I had an idea of what I was about to see when I went to see the play, but even if you don’t, the story has an accessible hook. It’s Peter Pan before “Peter Pan.” For a Broadway where “Wicked” is still running, this is pretty easy to grasp.
In the show, a ship is about to leave from London for the mysterious land of Rundoon. Aboard is a girl named Molly (Celia Keenan-Bolger), who has been trusted by her father with a very special mission, and three orphan boys (Adam Chanler-Berat, Carson Elrod, and David Rossmer), who are to be sold as slaves to Rundoon’s king. However, a ship commanded by the villainous pirate Black Stache (Christian Borle) is in hot pursuit, because Black Stache believes there’s treasure aboard the other ship.
Learn that a naval battle is involved in the play, and you may be thinking the show’s budget went prohibitively high. But the show’s set is deceptively spare. Enough ropes and rigging hang down to give the appearance of being on a ship, and there are a few trunks, chairs and other small props, but other than that, the stage is practically empty, and changes in scenery are accomplished by the entire 12-person ensemble. When a nanny and a sailor are crouched in a tiny cabin, the room is represented by two other cast members holding a length of rope in the shape of a square around them.
My personal favorite: when Molly the intrepid young girl is exploring a hallway lined with doors, her fellow cast members stood with their backs to her. When she “opened” a door, she’d take hold of one of them and swing them out, and suddenly every other cast member would leap in front of her to act out what was happening in the room. When she “closed” the door, everyone would jump, with split-second timing, back into their spots as “doors,” suddenly eerily silent.
Every show probably bills itself as fun for all ages, but this one really was. There are enough goofy moments to keep kids giggling, but the pop culture references will get chuckles from the adults, as well as a few fourth-wall-breaking moments, as when the pirate Black Stache is interrogating a stubborn prisoner. “People are paying for nannies and parking!” Black Stache chastised when the prisoner continued to delay.
The entire cast was fantastic – and no player had too big a part to hold move scenery during the show – but special mentions have to go to a few cast members, including Chanler-Berat, who portrayed the mysterious Boy and was by turns petulant and endearing at the beginning of the show before completely winning you over. Keenan-Bolger as the headstrong Molly excelled at portraying a stiff British young girl who had to be melted by degrees. And Borle as Black Stache, who’s currently starring on the NBC show “Smash,” made my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. Rattling off a mile-a-minute patter, he chews on the scenery like he hasn’t eaten for days and, especially in his early scenes, flings himself off trunks and into other cast members in deliriously silly slapstick routines.
Oh, and there’s a great musical number at the beginning of act 2 that comes with a surprise – but I won’t spoil it.
Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.
The Dark Knight Rises trailer 3 is here! The Avengers is the belle of the ball in theaters right now, but Chris Nolan’s finale to the Batman trilogy is far from forgotten – and will surely be in the forefront again (for better or worse) after people get a look at the new footage.
After three trailers we have some of the answers that fans have been wondering and/or worrying about – plus new questions to wonder and/or worry about. Scroll down to the comments for the discussion.
The best word to describe this third Dark Knight Rises trailer would probably be “crescendo.” Starting from Selina Kyle’s (Anne Hathaway) ominous whispered threat to Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) about coming storms – to the final shot of The Bat hovercraft soaring and barrel-rolling across the skies of Gotham, this trailer attempts to showcase just how epic this third and final film is going to be.
Admittedly, however, this is clearly a trailer that is meant for a big screen – the final scene of The Bat hovercraft seemingly taking advantage of the film’s impressive IMAX format (along with many other scenes glimpsed in the trailer).
Here are a couple of things of note, in terms of questions that have been answered:
- Catwoman seems like a cynical crook-for-hire, but one who eventually takes up Batman’s cause. I have a feeling the new footage will assuage a lot of doubt about Anne Hathaway getting the role.
- The audio on Bane’s (Tom Hardy) vocals has definitely been cleaned up and clarified. While it’ll be easier to understand, there is something lost in the effect the ravaged, scratchy version had.
- The movie seems to be a combination of the Batman comic book storylines “Knightfall“, “Knightquest“, and “No Man’s Land“. Click any of those titles to learn more about the respective stories.
As for new questions and worries:
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard’s characters – for the moment – seem to be no more than what they are: a local Gotham cop and Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend, respectively. Rumors have long been flying about one or both of them having secret identities of their own – but Nolan is playing that close to the vest for now (or, scary thought, not playing that game at all).
- Looking at the story structure, it seems like there will be a significant portion of this film in which there is no Batman, just Bruce Wayne. Don’t know how fans will feel about that.
- Side characters like Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s cop character and other supporting players like Commissioner Gordon, Miranda Tate and Catwoman may not serve as suitable substitutions for Batman in a “Batman movie.”
As we discuss on this week’s Screen Rant Podcast, Dark Knight Rises in some ways has it harder than, say, The Amazing Spider-Man. Nolan and Co. have HUGE expectations to live up to – critically, financially, publicly – and even if he does a really good job, anything short of goosebump-inducing awe will be considered a disappointment. By contrast, if Spider-Man is even marginally entertaining, it’ll be deemed a pleasant surprise.
Kofi Outlaw blogs at Screen Rant.
The nominations were announced by “Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons, who will headline a Broadway production of “Harvey” in June, and “GCB” actress Kristin Chenoweth, who rose to Broadway fame when she originated the role of Galinda in the musical “Wicked” and most recently starred in another musical, “Promises, Promises.”
“The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess,” a revival of the classic musical that also drew controversy for changing some aspects of the show, received 10 nominations, second only to "Once," which received 11. The Peter Pan origin story “Peter and the Starcatcher,” based on the children’s book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, earned the most nominations for a play, with 9.
Four shows are each nominated for the biggest awards for the Tonys, Best Play and Best Musical. In addition to “Peter,” the plays “Clybourne Park,” “Other Desert Cities,” and “Venus in Fur” received nods for Best Play, while “Leap of Faith,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “Newsies,” and “Once” made the cut for Best Musical.
The two nominations for the famously troubled musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark,” for costume design and set design, were viewed as a disappointing awards haul by some. “Spider-Man” didn’t garner a nomination for Best Musical or one for its original score.
The Tonys separately recognize plays and musicals that were produced as revivals, and four of each made the cut this year. Best Revival of a Play nominees are “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman,” “Master Class,” “Wit,” and “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man,” while “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Follies,” and “Evita” earned nods for Best Revival of a Musical.
Those nominated for their acting work in a play include actor James Corden for “One Man, Two Guvnors” as well as James Earl Jones for “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man,” John Lithgow for “The Columnist,” Frank Langella for “Man and Boy,” and Philip Seymour Hoffman for “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.”
Actress Linda Lavin earned the only nod for the play “The Lyons” through her nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, along with Cynthia Nixon for “Wit,” Nina Arianda for “Venus in Fur,” Stockard Channing for “Other Desert Cities,” and Tracie Bennett for “End of the Rainbow.”
For the Tony Awards, the categories of best “featured” actors and actresses are roughly the equivalent of the Oscars’ best supporting actor and actress categories. For plays, “Spider-Man” star Andrew Garfield earned a nod for his work in “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman,” joining fellow nominees Michael Cumpsty for “End of the Rainbow,” Christian Borle for “Peter and the Starcatcher,” Jeremy Shamos for “Clybourne Park,” and Tom Edden for “One Man, Two Guvnors.”
“Death of a Salesman” earned another nod with actress Linda Emond’s nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play. Also nominated were Judith Light for “Other Desert Cities,” Celia Keenan-Bolger for “Peter and the Starcatcher,” Condola Rashad for “Stick Fly,” and Spencer Kayden for “Don’t Dress for Dinner.”
For musicals, acting nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical were Jeremy Jordan for “Newsies,” Danny Burstein for “Follies,” Norm Lewis for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” Ron Raines for “Follies” and Steve Kazee for “Once.” Actresses who earned a nod for their leading performance in a musical were Cristin Milioti for “Once,” Kelli O’Hara for “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” Laura Osnes for “Bonnie & Clyde,” Audra McDonald for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” and Jan Maxwell for “Follies.”
The actors in a musical who were nominated in the featured category were Michael Cerveris for “Evita,” David Alan Grier for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” Michael McGrath in “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” Josh Young in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and Phillip Boykin for his show “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.” Actresses who received a featured nod for a musical were Jayne Houdyshell for “Follies,” Judy Kaye for “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” Jessie Mueller for “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever,” Da’Vine Joy Randolph in “Ghost: The Musical,” and Elizabeth A. Davis for “Once.”
Four musicals were nominated for the category of Best Book of a Musical, which recognizes the portions of a musical that are not sung. “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “Lysistrata Jones,” “Newsies,” and “Once” received nods this year.
The shows honored in the Best Original Score (Music And/Or Lyrics) category were two plays which included music and two musicals – “Bonnie & Clyde,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “One Man, Two Guvnors,” and “Newsies” took the four slots.
Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.
One of the few positives to knowing well in advance that a show such as DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES is coming to a close is that it affords a creator like Marc Cherry ample time to check off his bucket list. Case in point, the recent addition of Scott Bakula to Wisteria Lane as Bree’s defence attorney Trip Weston is a guest spot eight seasons in the making. At least according to Bakula, the affable actor who was only too happy to take some time during the show’s final week of shooting to tease what’s in store for his character’s relationship with Bree both in and outside the courtroom, what it’s like to be a part of such an iconic show’s closing chapter and what fans can expect from the upcoming series finale. See for yourself, after the jump.
Is an offer to guest star on the final five episodes of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES an automatic yes for an actor, or is it something you had to think about?
Scott Bakula: In this case it was easy because I’m a fan of the show. My wife and I got hooked from the beginning and have pretty much watched for eight years. I’ve bumped into Marc Cherry periodically over the years and he would say, “We gotta get you on the show,” and I would say, “You’re right!” yet it just never happened. And basically I had written off that it would ever happen so when they called and asked if I wanted to do the last five, it just sounded perfect. Plus, it was working with Marcia, who I had worked with when she was a baby, twenty years ago on QUANTUM LEAP, so it all seemed like it was meant to be.
If there is one thing we’ve learned having spent the better part of eight seasons watching DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES is that everyone who comes to the show brings with them a secret or two!
I think what’s fun about him [Bakula referring to his character of Trip] is that we don’t really know what his motives are and we’re not sure what he’s up to, so I kind of played that a little closer to the vest and hopefully some secrets will be revealed as we go along. I can tease that there’s going to be a relationship with Bree, but I don’t want to talk about what form it’s going to take. Rest assured, things get interesting there.
It has been said that guest starring on any show is the hardest job in Hollywood, very much akin to being the new kid at a new school. What was it like on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES?
It can be a challenge and it really depends on what the set is like and who you’re working with. I’ve had good experiences and not so good experiences and this one was just a joy because the set is a great set to work on. They’ve got a great crew there, there’s a great energy on the set and Marcia [Cross] was completely wide open and available to working with me. Either she was happy that I was there or she’s a good liar because we hit it off right from the beginning and that just makes all the difference in the world.
Was the tone on the set that much more special knowing that this was the end of the series?
The longest show I’ve ever done was four and a half years so I can only imagine what ending an eight year show is like. That family there, that group that they’ve lived with for almost more time than their real family for 8 years, there’s a huge history. Just with Marcia alone, what she has gone through, the explosion of her career, the fame of the show, her marriage, twins, just in her own private world… then multiply that by a couple of 100 people and it’s a huge deal. It’s just special to be a part of and to be around. It’s very emotional, and in this instance it’s in a good way. I’ve been around shows at the end where people are dying to get out of there and this isn’t that case.
Having been involved in quite a few series finales yourself, what do you think makes a good one and do you think DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES fans will be happy with how this one ends?
The end of shows are a nightmare for everybody because there is so much pressure to satisfy everyone which of course you can’t do. So I think what Marc has done, and I believe successfully, is that he has kind of gone back to his own inner muse and he’s writing what I think is going to be delightful to him. And since it’s his show and people loved it from the beginning, hopefully it will be delightful to a lot of people. Look, they’ve got five big storylines that they’re trying to wrap up, and five big storylines that they carry every week and that in and of itself is a huge challenge, but they’ve been up to the task or they would have been gone a long time ago.
The TV Addict staff blogs at The TV Addict.
The titling of director James McTeigue’s Edgar Allan Poe thriller, The Raven, has no doubt confused plenty of would-be moviegoers ever since the film was first announced back in 2009. Instead of a retelling of Poe’s most famous poem, The Raven is actually a fictionalized narrative centered around the final days of the writer’s life – recasting Poe as a reluctant but brave hero that, along with a determined Baltimore detective, attempts to solve a string of grisly murders.
The re-imagined historical figures genre has become a new testing ground for Hollywood, most notably with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on the horizon (FYI: Edgar Allan Poe makes a guest appearance in the novel), where writers can take household names – and put a new, and in theory more exciting, twist on what would otherwise result in stuffier true-life drama (i.e. Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic). As a result, does McTeigue’s The Raven offer both a fun spin on the last days of Edgar Allan Poe – while also delivering an exciting mystery story?
Unfortunately, the misleading confusing titling of The Raven is hardly the project’s biggest problem – as, despite a mostly competent (albeit sometimes campy) effort from both John Cusack (Poe) and Luke Evans (Detective Fields), the mystery narrative elements, as well as the respective kills, are surprisingly underwhelming. Many expectant moviegoers had been describing McTeigue’s Poe film as Se7en in 19th Century Baltimore but, sadly, The Raven lacks nearly all the aspects that made David Fincher’s serial killer film so captivating – i.e. jaw-dropping reveals, smart twists, and – despite loads of Poe stories to pull from – intriguing murder scenes are all in short supply.
As mentioned, The Raven follows the final days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life – presenting the tortured author as a self-absorbed and desperate social outcast whose work was still, at the time, mostly under-appreciated. The only glimmer of light in Poe’s impertinent existence is his furtive lover Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve), the daughter of a retired Colonel and rich Baltimore socialite. However, when a brutal serial killer begins to dispatch victims, by recreating famous murders from Poe’s published stories, including “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” as well as “The Pit and the Pendulum,” the author is thrown into a malicious battle of wits – with life and death hanging in the balance.
Given how many of Poe’s “horror” mysteries have remained iconic staples of literary history, it’s shocking how quickly the film glosses over the few kill sequences that are included in The Raven. Only “The Pit and the Pendulum” delivers truly impactful, and grisly, on-screen action – with the rest of the murders rattling off one after another with hardly any build-up and uninspired on-site drama. However, even the “Pendulum” murder is void of compelling aftermath – since Poe (and the audience) is merely given the next “clue” as if it was an afterthought not an integral part of the current scene. Instead of presenting Poe and Fields as actual investigators on the trail of a serial killer (who walk into a room and actually deconstruct the scene) The Raven quickly devolves into watching the two chase after a shadowy murderer without stopping to let the audience enjoy the mystery as it unfolds piece by piece.
While moviegoers were initially skeptical of Cusack in the role of Poe – especially after Jeremy Renner, Ewan McGregor, and Joaquin Phoenix, had all been in talks at one point during pre-production – the Being John Malkovich (and 2012) star isn’t ultimately at fault for the film’s shortcomings. At first, Cusack over-does the tortured genius angle and actually makes the Poe “character” pretty unlikable (especially compared to a similar schtick from Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes); however, as the film’s murder plot takes hold, the actor backs-off from showcasing his practiced version of Poe and locks into a less ambitious, but more likable, approach – simply reacting to the various in-moment happenings. As a result, while the portrayal is campy and, at times, melodramatic, most audience members will likely be rooting for Poe as the film stumbles into the closing act.
Performances from the supporting cast is, similarly, a mixed bag – Eve as well as familiar faces that include Brendan Gleeson and Kevin McNally are competent enough and don’t distract from the core storyline. That said, none of their characters are nuanced or particularly interesting to watch – and only serve as mouths for exposition or goals/obstacles that Poe and Fields are expected to navigate. Only Evans manages to pull any above surface level emotion out of his character (which should be familiar territory for the actor given his solid work in The Immortals – which also featured a cast full of one-note characters). While Fields is still held hostage by the underwhelming story progression and boring scene work in The Raven, Evans emits just enough charisma in the role to successfully keep things going during a number of dialogue heavy scenes that would have otherwise been cause for eye rolling.
Ultimately, The Raven is just about what most pre-release cynics had been anticipating – a bizarre mishmash of historical elements and subpar on-screen drama capped off with an underwhelming but serviceable performance from John Cusack in the leading role. The project fails to impress at nearly every turn and, for a film with such a rich source material, offers very few surprises, intriguing twists, or interesting murder mayhem. While it’s easy to imagine some movie-lovers could enjoy the film when it hits cable, The Raven is never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting, And my soul from out that shadow that lies bored on the floor, Shall be interested – nevermore!
Ben Kendrick blogs at Screen Rant.
With the Network’s traditional May UpFronts just around the corner, theTVaddict.com thought now might be as good a time as any to take a closer look at the potential fates of your favorite shows.
You Take the Good: Tina Fey is America’s Sweetheart.
You Take the Bad: “America’s Sweetheart” isn’t what it used to be. Hence, 30 ROCK’s measly 3 million viewers per week.
You Take Them Both and There You Have… Our Prediction: A thirteen episode seventh and final season to placate the New York Times.
ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA?
You Take the Good: Ummm…
You Take the Bad: Writing… ratings… a semi-autobiographic show about Chelsea Handler that stars Laura Prepon… need we go on?
You Take Them Both and There You Have… Our Prediction: Come September, CHELSEA’s 3 million remaining fans will be the ones asking “Are you there, Chelsea?”
You Take the Good: Thanks to some incredibly sharp storytelling and ridiculously stellar acting, AWAKE gets serious credit for reinvigorating our interest in the run-of-the-mill police procedural.
You Take the Bad: Judging by the twenty million or so viewers that tune into the likes of NCIS on any given Tuesday, reinventing the wheel does not a hit show make.
You Take Them Both and There You Have… Our Prediction: For his next project, can Kyle Killen’s agent puh-lease point him towards a cable network?
You Take the Good: The recent feud between creator Dan Harmon and star Chevy Chase has generated more headlines for this show than three seasons worth of creatively ambitious genre-busting storytelling.
You Take the Bad: Much to our chagrin, our Twitter feed’s infatuation with this series does not translate into real-life ratings.
You Take Them Both and There You Have… Our Prediction: Thanks to producing partner Sony Pictures Television powers of persuasion (See: 6 seasons and counting for RULES OF ENGAGEMENT), we’re fairly confident in saying that the Greendale gang will live to study another day.
You Take the Good: With an average viewership of 7-8 million viewers per week, it may surprise you to discover that the Kathy Bates’ vehicle ranks as NBC’s most popular hour long drama.
You Take the Bad: Only 1 of those 7-8 million viewers fall within the much sought after 18-49 demographic.
You Take Them Both and There You Have… Our Prediction: NBC will bring HARRY’S LAW off the bench following football season in an effort to fill the inevitable holes left by whatever new drama doesn’t find an audience come Fall (See: THE PLAYBOY CLUB)
You Take the Good: Beautifully written and acted, PARENTHOOD continues to rank as one of the best shows you’re not watching.
You Take the Bad: We also have a feeling that PARENTHOOD continues to be one of the Networks’ priciest shows you’re not watching thanks to an ensemble top-lined by the likes of Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Monica Potter and Erika Christensen.
You Take Them Both and There You Have… Our Prediction: Based solely on the fact that no Network can afford to both launch and promote and entirely fresh slate of multi-million dollar shows, PARENTHOOD will get a pick-up with a possible move to Friday nights.
You Take the Good: After a shaky start WHITNEY found its creative footing and delivered a genuinely funny latter half of the season punctuated with a super sweet finale that most definitely warrants a second season.
You Take the Bad: Currently in NBC’s very crowded development pipeline are pilots featuring big name female comedians such as Sarah Silverman, Roseanne Barr, Rachel Dratch, among others.
You Take Them Both and There You Have… Our Prediction: Expect NBC to renew WHITNEY so that it has a launch pad from which to build a solid hour of traditional multi-camera comedy from come Fall.
UP ALL NIGHT
You Take the Good: We love stars Maya Rudolph, Will Arnett and Christina Applegate.
You Take the Bad: Just not in this poorly contrived series that had the writers awkwardly juggling Rudolph and Applegate’s work life with Arnett’s home life as stay-at-home father.
You Take Them Both and There You Have… Our Prediction: Netflix will very soon be able to thank NBC for making ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT’s shooting schedule that much less complicated.
The TV Addict staff blogs at The TV Addict.
Despite the influx of G.I. Joe: Retaliation posters and images over the past few weeks, fans have grown increasingly (and audibly) restless about the wait for a new trailer. Just in the nick of time, another theatrical promo has been released for the second Joe live-action movie (see above), offering a succinct outline of the story featured in the (semi-)rebooting sequel, an extended look at the film’s renovated cast in motion – and a better idea of what director Jon M. Chu meant when he said that Retaliation does not “discount” the events in Rise of Cobra.
Here’s the million dollar question, though: will seeing this additional footage from Retaliation ultimately get the fanbase more excited – or diminish anticipation for the film?
As you’ve undoubtedly picked up on by now, Retaliation “wipes the slate clean” by having most of the G.I. Joe squad slaughtered during a surprise attack ordered by Cobra spy Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), impersonating the U.S. president. Judging by the latest trailer, Channing Tatum as Duke – who was essentially “the lead” in Rise of Cobra, could even be among the casualties.
However, the few survivors (including, Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock) band together in order to stop the diabolical Cobra Commander and his forces from reigning destruction down upon the world. Joining the Joe crew on their new dangerous, globe-spanning mission is organization “founder,” Joe Colton (Bruce Willis).
The latest footage seems to indicate that Chu hasn’t completely abandoned the cartoony sci-fi elements (see: insect nanobots) or over-the-top CGI sequences (see: the destruction of London) that director Stephen Sommers favored in Rise of Cobra. Similarly, the Retaliation screenplay penned by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland) isn’t above saddling its heroes and villains alike with some noticeably (but intentional) cheesy dialogue.
Working in Retaliation‘s favor is that the sillier elements carried over from Rise of Cobra appear to be played down, enough so that they help keep the proceedings light-weight and fun, while also not clashing too much with the film’s overall grittier tone and feel. It also helps that charismatic action heavyweights like Willis and Johnson are the ones running the show – and delivering most of the tongue-in-cheek one-liners.
So, all in all, G.I. Joe: Retaliation looks like an enjoyable helping of summer popcorn entertainment. Heck, if nothing else, the movie seems worth checking out just for that massive ninja brawl on the mountains alone.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
Even though his hands are plenty busy working on the Munsters reboot titled Mockingbird Lane, and now that his plans for the Hannibal television series have revealed an ambitious seven-year storyline, one would think Bryan Fuller would have little time to ponder a new Star Trek television series.
Apparently, that’s not the case.
While speaking with Entertainment Weekly regarding the upcoming NBC series Hannibal, Fuller was asked about his thoughts on a new Star Trek television series and what he had discussed with filmmaker Bryan Singer prior to J.J. Abrams rebooting the franchise with his successful 2009 feature film release.
It seems that since Abrams and Paramount are the current gatekeepers to the Star Trek franchise, any such television series would likely have to be met with their approval, and coincide with the release schedule of any further installments beyond next year’s tentatively titled Star Trek 2.
In his statement, Fuller said:
“Bryan and I are big fans of Trek and have discussed a take on what we would do, and we would love to do it. I don’t think anything is going to happen in any official capacity until after the next movie comes out. And I’m sure it would be wisely under J.J. Abrams’ purview of what happens. He’s the guardian of Trek right now.”
While that may be somewhat disheartening news for fans eager to have Trek back on the small screen, despite Fuller’s hesitance, common sense suggests that Paramount and Abrams certainly see the potential in a new series – provided it’s done right, of course. Given Abrams’ penchant for producing hit television – especially within the sci-fi realm - and Fuller’s past credits on Star Trek: Voyager, along with Pushing Daisies and Heroes, the idea of a Fuller/Singer collaboration with the support of J.J. Abrams sounds like a sure-fire hit.
The question remains, however, whether this proposed Star Trek series would be based directly on the lore established in Abrams’ films, or if it will take its cue from Bryan Singer’s unproduced Star Trek: Federation series?
According to details that emerged last year, Star Trek: Federation would take place in the same continuity as the original shows and films, but in the year 3000. Additional aspects saw the series serve as something of a metaphor for the decline of the Roman Empire, with Starfleet having fallen from scientific prominence seemingly waiting for another Kirk to lead the charge in restoring Starfleet to former glory.
An excerpt from the proposal says it best:
“The Federation hasn’t had a flagship in over two hundred years. They haven’t done anything either scientifically or in terms of exploration that comes near the deeds done in the long ago Age of Expansion.
There is no sense of true unity in the Federation and unity will be required if these new aliens return in force. The people need a symbol to remind them who they are, what they mean to each other and that there are prices to be paid for living in paradise.
They need, in short, a sense of Enterprise…”
That proposal varies a great deal from Abrams’ new, alternate timeline, and seeing as how mainstream audiences and (many) Trek fans took a shine to the reboot, it would seem a trip back to the original timeline might be counterintuitive in terms of the audience’s preference, and certainly, cross-promotion.
Whatever the case, it seems any Star Trek series will be years away from production, so there will be plenty of time to get the storyline straight.
Kevin Yeoman blogs at Screen Rant.
Think Like A Man surpassed expectations at the box office over the weekend and banked a powerful $33 million. The ensemble film was directed by Tim Story, the man behind such hits as The Fantastic Four and Barbershop. The film was marketed mainly at an African-American audience, and therefore the best comparison for the film would be Tyler Perry’s efforts, although Think Like A Man (read our review) has bested all of Perry’s recent movies, with its opening weekend coming close to the lifetime gross of Good Deeds. What’s even more interesting is that the film covered its production budget on its opening day.
Zac Efron grabbed second place with The Lucky One. The weekend take for the drama was a surprisingly good $22.8 million. The success of the adaptation again shows that audiences flock to see film versions of Nicholas Sparks’ novels. Although the debut of The Lucky One is below 2010’s Dear John’s $30 million debut. That film went on to gross a great $80 million by the end of its run.
The Hunger Games dropped to third place, grossing an additional $14.5 million, a number which ups its gross to a fantastic $356 million. The film’s worldwide take is now closing in on $600 million.
Disney Nature’s Chimpanzee banked $10.2 million over the Earth Day weekend, a decent number considering that the documentary is playing in just over 1,500 theaters.
The Three Stooges dipped round 45% from last weekend’s launch, laughing up another $9.2 million and raising its cume to $29 million.
The Cabin In The Woods scared $7.7 million away from moviegoers and brought its total to just under $27 million.
American Reunion brought its cume to $48.3 million after grossing a further $5.2 million. It’s a decent gross, but a far cry from the $100 million+ grosses of the previous franchise entries. Although the $50 million comedy is closing in on the century mark globally.
Titanic 3D saw its gross steam away to $52.8 million after it brought in another $5 million. The James Cameron epic has now grossed over $650 million at the US box office and more than $2 billion globally.
21 Jump Street continues to linger in the top ten. The cop show adaptation saw its cume swell to over $127 million and bank another $4.6 million.
The top ten was rounded out by Julia Roberts’ Mirror Mirror. Another $4.1 million saw the fairy tale raise its domestic gross to over $55 million. Globally, the Lily Collins film has grossed more than $120 million, a solid number – but it does carry a $85 million budget.
That’s it for now. See you at the movies.
Niall Browne blogs at Screen Rant.
In March, the highly-anticipated blockbuster The Hunger Games hit theaters, breaking box office records and making mega-stars of its young cast. As both a box office triumph and a critically-acclaimed movie, excitement began to build for its sequel, Catching Fire. But fans were caught off guard last week when Gary Ross, the The Hunger Games director officially declared that he would not helm the sequel.
Since then, speculation and rumors have grown about possible replacements. At the time, we here at Screen Rant compiled our own list of five possible Catching Fire directors. In recent days, a short list of potential directors was released showing that acclaimed directors like David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises) and Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) were top contenders for the position.
The ultimate decision reportedly came down to a major scheduling conflict. According to Deadline.com (who broke the story) Lionsgate wanted to start production of the new film late in August, and Bennett Miller – the Moneyball director who was the other major contender for the position - wanted them to push it back. That put Lawrence in the driver’s seat and at the helm of what seems will be a huge film franchise.
The choice of Lawrence is definitely a major change from what many industry experts have been speculating. He certainly has experience working with big stars like Keanua Reeves, Will Smith and Reese Witherspoon – but none of his films has been of the same magnitude and scope as directing the second chapter in a (newly) beloved franchise. But it should be noted that Lawrence has more experience behind the camera than just those three films. He previously made a name for himself as a director of music videos, where he worked alongside several prominent, high-profile singers. If you can say nothing else about his films, they definitely have a sharp and crisp visual composition – which could bode well for Catching Fire.
One of the major differences between Lawrence and Ross will likely be the focus on the screenplay. Before he was chosen to helm The Hunger Games, Ross was an Oscar-nominated screenwriter who had worked on the scripts of Seabiscuit, Dave and Big. And when it came time to do The Hunger Games he worked closely with author Suzanne Collins in adapting her bestseller for the big screen. It remains to be seen if Lawrence will be that involved, or leave writing duties solely to Slumdog Millionaire screenwriter Simon Beaufoy.