Friday, September 30, 2011
As a longtime Harveyologist, few prospects on the movie beat seem more appealing to me than an unauthorized documentary about Harvey Weinstein. I mean, Harvey Weinstein! Just saying the name conjures both quivering fanboy chills and the faint, foggy effluvia of sweat and Diet Coke wafting over a freshly vacuumed and Febrezed red carpet. Harvey. Weinstein. Stirring, no? So why, why does the first trailer for Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project leave me so cold? Maybe because it’s a succession of platitudes from the likes of Martin Scorsese, John Irving and Peter Bart followed by platitudes from the filmmaker about how foolhardy a Weinstein doc is? Huh? Filmmaker Barry Avrich got an audience with Scorsese but oh, the folly of it all? This doesn’t even look like fragments from a real doc as much as a test coat of new gloss for the Weinstein legend, as though Harvey dreamed the whole thing up as some reinforcement of his own pedigree and utter unknowability. Not to allege a conspiracy or anything. I’m just saying: Harvey! Focus! W.E. needs your full attention! I’m a Harvey obsessive, and honestly, this just makes me want to switch to Scott Rudin. Nice Statue of Liberty, though. VERDICT: Pass. [via Cinema Blend]
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011
A TLA discharge of a Fox Field Films production. Created by Michael Billy, Aimee Denaro, Caytha Jentis. Executive producer, Nancie Ellis. Co-producer, Verne Mattson. Directed, compiled by Caytha Jentis.With: Jon Prescott, Ian Novick, Margaret Anne Florence, Natalya Rudakova, Kelly Coffield Park, Christopher Cass, Pierce Forsythe, Michael Emery, Michael Billy.The path of real love is not smooth -- a lot more like unconvincing, erratic and conflicting -- in "The Main One.Inch Tracing a smitten gay man's quest for a straight(-laced) crush object, pic makes that mission appear more creepy than charming another curious elements likewise play as under fully intentional, regardless of the bland overall tenor. Following gay fest travel, Caytha Jentis' indie romance is debuting theatrically March. 7 at Gotham's Quad Cinema. Disc and VOD release March. 18 will achieve the typical niche audiences while telling them this too many gay-interest game titles within their rental queue finish up being disappointing time-murders. Improbable ambitious corporate lawyer Tommy (Ian Novick) is introduced boasting towards the requisite queeny closest friend (producer Michael Billy) about last night's conquest of the hunky heterosexual who had been a "gay virgin." Despite all signs and symptoms of this being yet another notch in the belt, Tommy vows that this time around, it is love. However, since his subsequent tries to woo Daniel (Jon Prescott) depend heavily on lies and manipulation, it's questionable precisely how deep Tommy's feelings run, not to mention whether you should be rooting for him. Discomfited by that one-evening stand, and protesting that he'd never do anything whatsoever to risk the existence he's planned with girlfriend Jen (Margaret Anne Florence), Daniel distances themself from Tommy. Tommy responds by joining his target's gym, befriending Jen, coercing Daniel into an ersatz "college reunion" weekend and otherwise acting just like a stalker. It does not appear to happen to author-helmer Jentis that within the real life, such tactics would include a large warning sign, departing thesp Novick pushing to become pleasant like a character whose shallowness and deceit the film shrugs off as amusing eccentricities. Meanwhile, Daniel is colored being an serious yuppie dreamboat having a stereotypical background in country-club courses, polo-shirted close friends cracking gay jokes at his bachelor party, etc. Eventually, he confesses to loving Tommy in exchange, but that appears a purpose of formula instead of emotional logic. "The Main OneInch later defies both formula and logic by establishing the expected fadeout, then withholding it randomly, necessitating a make-do close that does not work on all. (Contributing to the mystery, a dent-credits montage provides glimpses of the bride and groom at odds using the subsequent narrative.) In another strange decision, the pic begins by helping cover their Tommy as narrator (a tool soon dropped), though through the finish, he's barely present and Daniel is becoming our p.o.v. Elsewhere, awkward transitions, some far-fetched behavior and periodic moments that peter out pointlessly suggest elements possibly lost or abandoned between conception and final edit. Regrettably, the uninspired, frequently flat dialogue sounds as if it made it intact. Outcome is romantic-dramedy Swiss cheese -- mildly palatable, yet full of holes. Perfs and packaging are sufficient.Camera (color, HD), Ben Wolf editor, Verne Mattson music, Kenneth Lampl production designer, Katherine Whitehead seem, Ivanhoe Gadpaille seem designer, Louis Milgrom assistant director, Darien Sills-Evans casting, Adrienne Stern. Examined on DVD, Bay Area, Sept. 25, 2011. Running time: 90 MIN. Contact the range newsroom at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelsey Grammer Starz has great belief in Kelsey Grammer's new series Boss: The network has restored the drama just before the very first season has opened up. The eight-episode first season stars Grammer as Tom Kane, the mayor of Chicago who finds out he's battling having a degenerative brain disorder and merely has years to reside in during the time of his gubernatorial campaign. Fall TV: Have the lowdown relating to this season's must-see new shows "The first time we read Farhad [Safinia's] script, we understood we required to make Boss," Starz Leader Chris Albrecht mentioned in the statement. "With each episode, the story elevated stronger, as well as the cast ongoing to exhibit in breakthrough performances... For that audiences, we felt it crucial that you start concentrating on the next season as rapidly as you possibly can.Inch Production round the second season will begin noisy . 2012. Boss premieres Friday, March. 21.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for LMVHSuge Dark night Just days after Showtime bowed its Paul McCartney documentary, the premium cable network is diving into another music-designed effort with Suge Dark night. Training Day's Antoine Fuqua will direct and convey the tentatively entitled project in line with the existence and exploits from the Dying Row Records co-founder. Black Swan's Bradley J. Fischer will produce alongside Fuqua. The Dark night doc may be the first in a number of new documentaries created by Showtime which will spotlight legendary and questionable figures to become overseen by filmmakers. "Suge Knight's status and rise to energy within the music business is just about the stuff of legend, and that he remains among the entertainment industry's most provocative and long lasting misconceptions," Fischer stated inside a statement announcing this news Tuesday. "But while his title brings about an instantaneous and effective reaction from people all over the world, very couple of can legitimately claim that they can be aware of guy. Antoine Fuqua and that i are thrilled to become joining up with Showtime to inform this amazing story and take audiences behind a curtain that many happen to be afraid to even approach." Dark night will take part in the doc and can discuss his rise to fame, why it fell apart and what's next. The first kind Boss of Dying Row Records is credited with starting the careers of Snoop Dogg and P Diddy, amongst others. David Prior, Laeta Kalogridis, James Vanderbilt, Lisa Remington and Edward McGurn will executive produce, with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chuck Philips co-creating. Your time and effort also doubles as Knight's go back to the background music business: producer set to supervise the film's soundtrack, that will feature original tracks from new and established entertainers, through his new company Black Kapital. Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com Twitter: @Snoodit Showtime
Danny Feld/CBS/Warner Bros. In the second week with Ashton Kutcher as Charlie Sheen's alternative, CBS' 2 . 5 Males drawn in 20.3 million audiences having a 7.2 rating within the 18-49 demographic. Which was lower about 30 % in comparison to a week ago's record breaking premiere, which averaged a ten.7 rating within the demo and 28.7 million audiences. Some fall-off was expected as audiences interested in Sheen's exit and Kutcher's entrance might not have tied to the show in the second week. But considerably, last evening's episode marked a 50 % gain in comparison towards the second episode of Menlast season. PHOTOS: Charlie Sheen's Colorful Career It had been ample to create Males the very best-ranked show around the second Monday from the year. Also it lifted Mike & Molly to series levels within the demo (4.9 rating) and total audiences (13.9 million), because of its second season premiere. New comedy Two Broke Women was lower substantially from the monster premiere behindMenlast week. However it sill drawn in an exceedingly healthy 4.5 rating within the demo and 11.5 million audiences in the regular 8:30 p.m. time slot. RELATED: VIDEOS: Charlie Sheen's Craziest TV Interviews Charlie Sheen Files $100 Million Suit Against Warner Bros., Chuck Lorre on 'Two . 5 Males': Audiences Weigh in on His Second Episode Charlie Sheen Responds to 'Two . 5 Males' Funeral TV Rankings Charlie Sheen
Monday, September 26, 2011
CBS assigned what is the news and documentary Emmys, given out in the ceremony tonight within the Ernest P. Rose Hall in NY. The network needed home 10 honours, 7 that have been to have an hour. National Geographic Funnel adopted with 7 total, and PBS won 6, with2 of the Emmys going to the documentaryFood Corporation. All of the individuals who win follows: OUTSTANDING COVERAGE From The BREAKING Report In The REGULARLY SCHEDULED NEWSCAST: Assault Gets worse 360 (CNN),Haiti in Ruins OUTSTANDING Ongoing COVERAGE From The Report In The REGULARLYSCHEDULED NEWSCAST: CBS Evening News with Katie Couric (CBS),Afghan Blast Squad OUTSTANDING FEATURE STORY In The REGULARLY SCHEDULED NEWSCAST BBC World News America (BBC America),Inside the North Korean Bubble OUTSTANDING INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM In The REGULARLY SCHEDULED NEWSCAST: CBS Evening News with Katie Couric (CBS),Photocopiers Hidden Dangers OUTSTANDING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC Verifying In The REGULARY SCHEDULED NEWSCAST: Sunday Morning (CBS) OUTSTANDING COVERAGE From The BREAKING Report In The NEWS MAGAZINE: an hour or so (CBS),The Blowout OUTSTANDING Ongoing COVERAGE From The Report In The NEWS MAGAZINE: Dateline (NBC),America Now: Pals and Neighbors OUTSTANDING FEATURE STORY In The NEWS MAGAZINE: an hour or so (CBS),Football Island OUTSTANDING INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM In The NEWS MAGAZINE: an hour or so (CBS),twenty-first century Lizard Oil OUTSTANDING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC Verifying In The NEWS MAGAZINE: Serta Rather Reviews (HDNet),The Mysterious Situation of Kevin Xu OUTSTANDING NEWS DISCUSSION & ANALYSIS: The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC),Hello, Landlocked Central Asia OUTSTANDING LIVE COVERAGE From The CURRENT Report Extended FORM: Assault Gets worse 360 (CNN),Crisis in Haiti OUTSTANDING Ongoing COVERAGE From The Report Extended FORM: Restrepo: Afghan Outpost (National Geographic Funnel) OUTSTANDING INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM Extended FORM: POV (PBS),Presumed Guilty OUTSTANDING Educational PROGRAMMING Extended FORM: POV (PBS),Food Corporation OUTSTANDING Historic PROGRAMMING Extended FORM: Witness: Katrina (National Geographic Funnel) OUTSTANDING BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC Verifying Extended FORM: POV (PBS),Fortune OUTSTANDING INTERVIEW: an hour or so (CBS),Medal of Recognition OUTSTANDING ARTS & CULTURE PROGRAMMING: Independent Lens (PBS),Art & Copy OUTSTANDING Science PROGRAMMING: Cinemax Documentary Films (Cinemax),Google Baby OUTSTANDING Character PROGRAMMING: First Existence With David Attenborough (Discovery Funnel) BEST STORY In The REGULARLY SCHEDULED NEWSCAST: NBC Nightly News with John Williams (NBC),Mexico: The War Nearby BEST REPORT In The NEWS MAGAZINE: an hour or so (CBS),The Blowout BEST DOCUMENTARY: POV (PBS),Food Inc
He's frequently at his best playing strangely sinister roles, but Casey Affleck is within discussions to star among the ultimate good men within the new movie undertake John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost.Affleck is within line to experience Gabriel, an angel who joins forces with Michael (Benjamin Master) within the ultimate fight with Lucifer (Bradley Cooper), following the fallen one launches a complete-scale assault on God.You are able to banish any reminiscences of interminable British literature training though, because this will probably be a three dimensional action epic instead of a dull sermon.Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City, Knowing) is pointing and also the shoot is anticipated to start in The month of january 2012 in Sydney.Deadline will also be confirming that Camilla Belle (The Ballad Of Jack And Rose, 10,000 BC) has signed onto play Eve, of 'Adam and...' fame, inside a story that runs parallel towards the angelic warfare.It's interesting that Proyas appears to become largely casting against type (it could have been more apparent were Cooper and Affleck's roles switched) so it will be interesting to determine the outcomes.Heaven Lost is anticipated to spread out at the end of 2013. Casey Affleck will next be observed in Brett Ratner's Tower Heist.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Galleries is approaching naming a director for Thor 2, and that i’m hearing they may opt for an unexpected: Patty Jenkins, most widely known for pointing Charlize Theron for an Oscar in Monster, and for pointing the wonderful pilot for AMC’s The Killing. This is a genuine surprise, because women company directors aren’t usually high in list for super hero movies. Let’s observe how this plays out, however it looks pretty serious. Kenneth Branagh directed the initial. This really is all likely to happen soon. Marvel and Disney have set a This summer 26, 2013 release date for that follow up, which returns Chris Hemsworth because the hammer-carrying super hero, and Thor co-author Don Payne is writing the script. The initial made $448 million worldwide and released the star of Hemsworth, who's presently playing the second title role opposite Billy Burke and Charlize Theron in Snow Whitened and also the Huntsman for Universal.
Victor Garber When ABC premieres its new Charlie's Angels tomorrow evening, the voice of Charlie will seem awfully familiar to fans of some other female-driven ABC adventure series. Victor Garber, who starred opposite Jennifer Garner as Alias' Jack Bristow from 2001-2006, will require within the off-camera large boss role formerly performed by John Forsythe around the original 1976- 1981 series and it is giant screen reboots in 2000 and 2003. It had formerly been introduced that Hart to Hart veteran Robert Wagner - who is the owner of a stake within the Angels franchise with an early partnership with veteran producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg - could be presuming the role, but his deal fell through. By press time, Garber's deal used to be discussed and ABC declined to comment. Producers have stated you will see a back story mythology unfolding including the mysterious Charlie, with speculation brewing he might have fathered an old angel wiped out within the type of duty who'd were built with a romance using the Bosley character now performed by Ramon Rodriguez. But we'll need to stay tuned and find out in the event that early story suggestion will indeed engage in. Sign up for TV Guide Magazine now!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
"The Raid" The Raid, the Indonesian action movie that's fresh off winning the Evening time Madness sidebar's audience award at TIFF, will get the Hollywood remake treatment. Screen Gems is at discussions around the remake, a move allowed for your label since sister arm The brand new the new sony Pictures Worldwide Purchases acquired U . s . States distribution rights for the film through the Cannes Film Festival. The very first deal known for The brand new the new sony by having an exclusive settling period and right of refusal around the remake within the deal with Abc Films, the producers in the original. PHOTOS: Toronto Film Festival: 13 Movies to know The film was really the only Evening time Madness flick that already stood a distributor if the opened up at TIFF's Evening time Madness, the late-evening screening series that showcases genre movies. The film started the series and will be a sensation within the get-go, becoming one of the talks in the festival. The film notifies the story from the SWAT team that becomes in a tenement run having a callous mobster, outfitted with two highly violent fighting styles killings plus an military of machete-swinging, machine gun-transporting retailers and thugs. STORY: Hot Indonesian Action Movie 'The Raid' Sells The Planet One of the buzz-creating area of the movie might be the Indonesian fighting form referred to as silat that have been place in it by author-director Gareth Evans, who just signed with Management 360. How this phenomenal aspect might be handled having a remake is not apparent although Screen Gems knows the first fighting style is probably the movie's talents. The business is wanting to tie lower a filmmaker shortly although it will not be Evans, who chosen from repeating themselves and may focus on developing a follow-up he hopes to shoot in February Screen Gems has handled remakes of foreign films formerly, most effectively with Quarantine, a horror movie starring Jennifer Contractor which was a remake in the The the spanish language language frightening movie Rec. Toronto Worldwide Film Festival Worldwide Asia
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
TORONTO -- In the third fall festival pickup, IFC Films has acquired United States and Latin American privileges to director Lynn Shelton's touching Emily Blunt comedy Your Sister's Sister.our editor recommendsToronto 2011: IFC Films Accumulates '4:44 Last Day on Earth'Your Sister's Sister: Toronto ReviewRelated Subjects•Toronto Worldwide Fil... Shelton's film, also starring Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass and created by Steven Schardt, sparked keen interest among U.S. purchasers following its premiere in the Toronto Film Festival. IFC Films will release the film within the summer time of 2012. PHOTOS: 13 Movies to understand in the Toronto Film Festival Additionally, the film has offered within the U.K. to Studio Canal as well as in New zealand and australia to Madman. All in all, the U.S. as well as other areas came to some $1.5 million cost. UTA's Independent Film Group symbolized privileges towards the film with Josh Braun's Submarine "We fell deeply in love with Your Sister's Sister, Lynn Shelton's incredibly funny, moving and smart film featuring terrific performances by Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass. This is a conventional release for all of us, and that we anticipate setting it up to the biggest possible audience next summer time," stated Jonathan Sehring, leader of Sundance Chooses/IFC Films. Shelton's films provides a different undertake love triangles, and informs the storyline of the troubled guy who's still grieving losing his brother last year. PHOTOS: Toronto's ten best Outfitted With Emily Blunt, Julia Roberts He's encouraged by his brother's girlfriend, who transmits him to her father's cabin with an island within the Puget Seem to manage his devils. There, he meets track of the lady's half sister, who is also nursing a wounded heart. However their encounter takes an unpredicted turn that first evening, simply to have Blunt's character appear the following morning. The offer for that film was discussed by Arianna Bocco, senior v . p . of purchases & productions for Sundance Chooses/IFC Films, with Submarine and UTA Independent Film Group with respect to the filmmakers. Shelton is symbolized by UTA and Anonymous Content. Also on Wednesday, IFC Films introduced it's acquired Toronto Night time Madness title Incident, and United States privileges to 4:44 Last Day on the planet, the most recent pic from Abel Ferrara which opened at Venice. IFC Films is really a sister division to Sundance Chooses and IFC Night time. Related Subjects Toronto Worldwide Film Festival Emily Blunt Mark Duplass Rosemarie DeWitt Your Sister's Sister
Today was largely devoted to writing, as opposed to galavanting. I did, however, get out for the early afternoon press screening of Moneyball, which certainly lived up to the hype that I've been hearing around town all week, and the star of which -- namely, Brad Pitt -- I wrote about later in the day. This evening, I ventured out to the rooftop of The Spoke Club for Paramount's party celebrating its Sundance acquisition/TIFF film Like Crazy (pictured). I chatted for a bit with Jonathan Schwartz, the lawyer-turned-producer who helped to guide this film to fruition, and its male lead, Anton Yelchin; his co-star Felicity Jones, meanwhile, huddled with some friends by a heat lamp on the other side of the windy deck. Studio folks couldn't be happier with the response that Like Crazy has generated in Toronto, and have also enjoyed seeing the recently released poster for Young Adult (which we premiered on this blog), their other big awards contender, hanging in a main hallway of the packed TIFF Bell Lightbox for all festivalgoers and journalists to see. Finally, I made my way over to Roy Thomson Hall for the gala screening of Butter, a film that premiered at Telluride two weeks ago when I was there, but that I was unable to catch at the time. The film is quite funny, at times, and deserves to be seen -- but by no means will it be a Little Miss Sunshine (2006) type of awards contender, as some had insinuated it might be when it was first seen. (To be honest, the funniest part of the night was the statement issued by distributor Harvey Weinstein and read to the audience by actress Olivia Wilde right before the lights went down.) Speaking of Wilde, I'll be sitting down with the actress tomorrow morning for an interview, so I better run now and prepare! 'Til next time... Toronto International Film Festival Brad Pitt Harvey Weinstein Olivia Wilde Moneyball Butter
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Monday, September 12, 2011
Sean Lee from the Dallas Cowboys NBC is ecstatic that football has returned. Sunday Evening Football's season opener set an archive because the series' greatest-ranked game ever, and obtained the very best rankings for any Week 1 tilt on the Sunday or Monday evening in fifteen years, preliminary Nielsen data demonstrated. Fall Preview: Get scoop on all of your favorite coming back shows The overall game published a 16.9 overnight rating and 27 share - the greatest overnight amounts for any equally scheduled game since Sept. 2, 1996. The record rating for that NFL's premier prime-time package - which grew to become NBC's Sunday evening game in 2006 - was up 3 % in comparison with this past year, 26 % versus. 2009, and gave the network the 2010 greatest Sunday evening since ABC broadcast the Academy awards February. 27. ESPN, National football league extend Monday Evening Football pact through 2021 As the Dallas Cowboys coughed up the overall game towards the New You are able to Jets, 27-24, the overall game went lower towards the final minute and averaged some 22.57 million audiences. Additionally, it gained a 9.5 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds. Meet up with more TV/entertainment news The following greatest audience-getter about the broadcast systems: CBS' 9/11: ten years Later, which received 12.23 million from eight to ten p.m. Watching the Monday evening National football league doubleheader? Inform us now The boffo amounts for that Sunday evening contest came about the heels of Thursday night's kickoff that attracted 27.two million fans - overall, an augury devoutly to become wanted by NBC. SNF wasn't any. one in the very first 1 / 2 of this years-11 season and likely is going to be this year. As well, the Super Bowl on February. 5 is going to be included in NBC - which just could assist the network climb from 4th place.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
A 2 Tall Boots, Greyshack Films production. (Worldwide sales: Submarine Films, New You are able to.) Created by Mike S. Ryan, Blythe Robertson, Lauren Ambrose. Executive producers, Peter C. Selig, Brent Stiefel. Co-producer, Alicia Van Couvering. Directed, compiled by Bryan Wizemann.With: Lauren Ambrose, Audrey Scott, Dylan Baker, Penelope Ann Burns, David Conrad, Adina Porter, Craig Grey.Money worries tempt a feckless single mom in the finish of her tether to create another bad decision in downbeat, Vegas-set indie drama "Think about Me" from helmer-author Bryan Wizemann. A flashy vehicle for producer-star Lauren Ambrose, whose psychologically volatile character comes off as unsympathetic and practically bipolar, the excessively contrived, hard-to-swallow script undermines viewer empathy. Further fest exposure will probably segue by-viewing formats. Although her money is precarious, thirtysomething divorcee Angela (Ambrose) frequently ignores a realistic look at her situation, ordering taxis, purchasing costly mixed drinks, and impulsively going for a minimum wage cleaning job during the night although she barely handles her call-center day work. Her 8-year-old daughter Sunny (Audrey Scott) is affected with Angela's chaotic existence, sometimes neglected to the stage of endangerment. The particularly forced final reel finds Angela thinking about a cash offer in the sister (Penelope Ann Burns) of office friend Max (Dylan Baker, creepy) to consider Sunny off her hands. Most credible elements would be the moody pictures -- which entirely avoid sunlight -- nailing the claustrophobic, artificial atmosphere from the neon-by-evening, fluorescent-by-day desert city, and also the silently natural thesping of child-star-in-the making Scott.Camera (color, HD), Mark Schwartzbard editor, Michael Taylor music, Shaun Sophistication production designer, Brandon Tonner-Connelly costume designer, Deborah Newhall. Examined at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 10, 2011. Running time: 103 MIN. Contact the range newsroom at email@example.com
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
La, Calif. -- Kate Gosselin continues to be visiting grips that her TLC series, Kate Plus 8 was canceled recently. Im losing it, she told People. In a major way. Mom of eight states her children twins Cara and Mady, and sextuplets Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Collin, Leah and Joel werent ready for that series to finish. Nobody was. Ive never quit employment during my existence without getting another thing arranged, she ongoing. I have no idea what is next. Despite her career uncertainty, the Gosselin matriarch has vowed to complete her better to keep her kids within the lifestyle theyve become familiar with. I said excitedly I'll work my fingers towards the bone to make certain that they'll stay here and visit their school, Kate told the mag. You will find no guarantees in existence for anybody, but they already know Im passing on my best shot. Recently, TLC introduced the series was ending, telling Access Hollywood inside a statement, TLC has made the decision to not renew another season of Kate Plus 8. Kate Plus 8 may have hit the 150 episode mark (including Jon & Kate Plus 8) a great milestone. TLC hopes to sign in with Kate and also the family periodically with special offers later on. The series finale will air on September 12. Copyright 2011 by NBC Universal, Corporation. All privileges reserved.These components might not be released, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Postcard from Venice: Soderbergh's Contagion - Catch the Fever! But Try Chicken with Plums at Your Own Risk
After the freshness and deceptive simplicity of their debut, the 2007 animated feature Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s Poulet aux Prunes — or Chicken with Plums — showing in competition here, is something of a disappointment. The cast isn’t the problem: The movie stars Mathieu Amalric as an embittered musician living in late-1950s Tehran, and Maria de Medeiros as his beleaguered but adoring wife; Chiara Mastroianni has a tiny part, and the fine Moroccan-born actor Jamel Debbouze appears in small dual roles. But the material just doesn’t resonate, as Persepolis did. Persepolis was based on Satrapi’s marvelous graphic memoir of growing up in Iran at the time of the Islamic Revolution, a straightforward, bracing and funny piece of work that lent itself beautifully to the elegance of black-and-white animation. Chicken with Plums is a live-action film (based on another of Satrapi’s graphic novels from 2004), and Satrapi and Paronnaud aren’t as surefooted with this medium. But more significantly, neither the story nor the characters give us enough to hold onto. They’re storybook figures rather than people we can really come to care about, and in some cases, their behavior is so bad that it’s hard to feel much sympathy for them at all. Amalric plays Nasser-Ali, a formerly great violinist who no longer has the will to play, partly because he can’t find the right instrument. But the greater issue, we learn, is that years ago he lost the love of his life, a woman named, quite symbolically, Irne. Now he’s married to Medeiros’s Faranguisse, who has borne him two children and who cares for him deeply. But after suffering years of verbal abuse and neglect, even she has reached the end of her rope. Chicken with Plums takes place in the eight days before Nasser-Ali’s death, and tells the story of his rather miserable life. Some of his suffering you can buy — this is Mathieu Amalric we’re talking about, an actor who, particularly in the movies made by Arnaud Desplechin, has shown a knack for playing flawed, troubled, jittery characters that are nevertheless easy to connect with. But Nassir-Ali comes off mostly as a spoiled, bitter complainer — and, as his wife reminds him, he does moon around the house all day while she has to go out to work and take care of the family. Lost love or no, Nassir-Ali has simply never made a go at life. What’s more, the filmmaking here is stylized and aggressively whimsical, reminiscent of the filmmaking of Jean-Pierre Jeunet (director of the wonderful A Very Long Engagement and the far less wonderful Amelie). There’s some too-cute magic realism going on here, as when Nassir-Ali dreams of Sophia Loren and we see a giant pair of brassiere-clad breasts moving toward him, just inviting him to bury his face in there. There’s a faint air of melancholy hovering over Chicken with Plums, and while that aura shouldn’t be heavier, it could be better defined. The metaphor embedded in the story — the idea of one’s home country as a lost lady love — is a basic and potentially potent one. Does it really need to be cutesified? Stephen Soderbergh’s epidemic thriller Contagion, showing out of competition here at the festival, is a forthright, effective piece of filmmaking, even if it’s front-loaded so that most of its power (and its horror) is clustered in the first third. I won’t go into too much detail here, as my colleague Alison Wilmore will be here with a full review when the movie opens next week. But I will say that I was surprised by how eerily suspenseful the picture is, beginning with its image of a sniffly, sickly-looking Gwyneth Paltrow, en route to her home in Minneapolis after a business trip to Hong Kong — she looks like she’s got something that she won’t be able to kick with a few doses of DayQuil, and boy, does that turn out to be the case. Soderbergh has assembled a cast of biggies here, including Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Matt Damon (who has a moment early in the picture that’s off the charts, an expression of grief so elemental that it nearly derails the movie). But Soderbergh also does well by some other terrific actors who haven’t had any major roles of late, including Jennifer Ehle as a take-charge researcher and Elliott Gould in a small but heroic turn. Gould got the biggest laugh I’ve heard at the festival this year, when he shoos away a semi-crackpot blogger played by Law: “Blogging isn’t writing,” he says. “It’s graffiti with punctuation.” That line was tailor-made for an audience of old-school professional journalists and critics — many of whom, out of necessity, blog for their outlets as well. We’re wrestling with our own epidemic, but at least we can laugh about it. Read more of Stephanie Zacharek’s 2011 Venice Film Festival coverage here.
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