If I read one more Sucker Punch pun, I'm gonna...

insert obvious joke here.

Well it's official, if Zack Snyder was endeavoring to have as much press cover his new film Sucker Punch as covered Watchmen, he's well on his way. Here's just a sampling at people's attempts to cover the casting stories with wit:

So yeah, like I said, one more pun, and some bitches gonna pay.

But in any event, it was announced today that Emily Browning, better known as "Violet, you better tie your hair up" from Lemony Snicket, will be taking over the lead role of "Baby Doll" from Amanda Seyfried. I'm pretty excited for this casting call. I think it was obvious to everyone who saw Snicket, that Browning was destined for bigger things. She's got an unusual look, decent talent, and hails from Australia, so her and Hollywood were pretty much fated. I don't know much about Sucker Punch, except that it's slated to feature a lot of young ladies... I just hope that doesn't include currently listed Vanessa Hudgens. Is it mean if I say that girl needs to stick to High School Musical where she belongs?


Toys for you inner cinematic delinquent
Speaking of Sucker Punch, I recently discovered an awesome blog called, Super Punch, which features fun toys, awesome posters and other general insanity. In just the last few days they've posted two things I must absolutely get my hands on...


and this...

Super Punch is super awesome, so check it out.


The Green Goblin Bares All
In honor of the racy new Antichrist photo released, you know the one I'm talking about... Nathaniel at The Film Experience has posted a lovely summary of all the places Mr. Dafoe's derriere has been. It's more than you think.

I have to agree with a lot of the talk going around and say that from this picture alone, the film looks stylistically very similar to Aronofsky's The Fountain. Except that film had one entirely awesome bathtub scene, and this just has sex in the woods... on what looks like a very uncomfortable tree. Poor Charlotte.


Danny Deckchair flies with the best of them...

Can you believe this crazy mofo has joined up with the cast of HP? I can. To mend his broken heart (courtesy of Sienna Miller), Rhys Ifans has come aboard British supercomputer, Harry Potter, as what fans can only assume will be Xenophilius Lovegood, father to Looney, excuse me, "Luna" Lovegood.
They do have that look of insanity in common, so I'm sure they would make for a lovely father/daughter combo.

Ifans is a great, truly underrated actor, who's been making us laugh since Notting Hill (the only thing funny/entertaining about that film). You'll also be seeing him in The Boat The Rocked, scheduled to release ever so soon (August 28).


Meeting The Man Himself
Soon I will be able to add the great Michael Caine to the list of my celebrity meet and greets. Caine will be coming to the Burns, this coming Sunday with his new film, Is Anybody There?, along with director John Crowley. The film follows 10 year old Edward, who befriends an aging magician in the retirement home his parents run. Edward will be played by Bill Milner, who gained some notice for the small indie film, Son of Rambow.

I get to meet the original Alfie/the new Alfred! I might just faint.


Andy Hallett and Maurice Jarre


Actor Andy Hallett, best known as Lorne on Angel, died at age 33 of heart failure. He'll always be remembered as the mean, green, singing machine, and he'll be missed by the Whedon-verse.   


Legendary composer Maurice Jarre lost his battle with cancer at age 84. He's written music for 150 films, and for some of the most well known directors of our time, including Hitchcock. He won three oscars for Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, and Passage to India. Below is a compilation of some of his greatest hits.   

FNL Renewed for 2 Seasons!

Well Friday Night Lights fans, our prayers have been answered! Today Variety announced that FNL will be returning as it did this season with a DirecTV deal to air the seasons first commercial free and then air them again on NBC. Each season will be 13 eps each, making for a total of 26 brand new episodes to drool over in the coming years. 

Seems like all our begging and pleading finally paid off! Now to figure out a way to keep Kitsch on the show... start your scheming ASAP.

"Margot, Margot, Margot. That's all I ever hear: how good Margot is."

This Week's Break Out!

This week's Break Out is, Zeljko Ivanek.

There's a lot about this man that is mysterious, and complicated apart from his name. Ivanek, who hails from Yugoslavia, like last week's Break Out, is everywhere. It seems I can't turn around without seeing this man in some television or film cameo. In the last year alone the man's made notable appearances in Numb3rs, In Bruges, John Adams, The Mentalist, True Blood, House M.D., Damages, Big Love and Heroes. But while the his resume is a mile long, he does have this gnawing habit of playing the same character. It seems he's always the crafty businessman, or lawyer with a shady past. Occasionally he's even the closeted millionaire, they're all along the same lines. But hey, if you're really damn good at something, why not repeat it. From his close cropped silver head, to his impeccable suits, he's a character actor, meant for the stage, but who can leap into action in any medium. He was gifted with a creepy face, and the ability to deliver a good speech, and with that he's managed to make a living. I'd pat him on the back if I wasn't so scared. So now the question is, will he ever "break out" of his pattern, and play the forlorn romantic hero? Or how about the comedic relief? Maybe an animated woodland creature?

Naw, I'm thinkin' he'll stick to what he knows best.

So check out Zeljko Ivanek, this week's Break Out. You can't miss him. 

Today I feel like this...


Theater Review: Maria and Ton...no no no.

I'm going to do this review a little differently, just because I think it warrants it. But before I begin, let me disclose a few things.
  1. I have never seen West Side Story live prior to this
  2. I have seen the film at least 10 times
  3. Richard Beymer will always be the best Tony/Peter (if you've ever seen The Diary of Anne Frank... I know, I'm the only one who liked that movie)
  4. I was crushed when I found out that wasn't really Natalie Wood singing
With all that on the table, here we go.

The Re-vamped Direction - Prior to its opening, there was a lot of speculation as to the changes Arthur Laurents made from the original show to fit more for today. For starters, he's included a lot more spanish dialogue to make the communication problems between the gangs feel more realistic. For this task he brought Tony winning creator of In The Heights, Lin Manuel Miranda, on board to do the translations. Two of the songs, "I Feel Pretty" and "A Boy Like That," are now entirely in Spanish. I think this was an important and well executed change. For a musical that is so well known and memorized by audiences, a spanish translation doesn't take away anything, if anything it enhances the reality of those situations. Laurents also wanted the gangs to seem more thuggish, and for Anita's near rape scene to feel intensified. Unfortunately in these arena's I think the play stays too close to the original, timid and Broadway-ized. The Jets and the Sharks still feel like suburbanites who've been flown in to play gang members. But for true blue lovers of the original, you won't be disappointed, it's the same.

The Sets - The set's were beautiful, very sparse, but exactly what you would picture. One of the most impressive designs was for the rumble under the bridge, where different pieces come down from the ceiling as well as a giant link fence.
Short and Sweet - Simplistic and impressive

The Choreography - I've never seen a group of boys jump so high! One scene I felt was too over-the-top and entirely too cheesy for the material, was the heaven-esque scene when a little red haired boy enters the stage and sings "Somewhere," while the dancers perform a short ballet. I don't know if this was an update or the same as before, but I just laughed through the whole thing. For such a beautiful song and a pivotal scene, I can't believe that went in such a cliche direction. I prefer the simplified film version where Maria and Tony sing together in her room. But in the little red headed boy's defense, he had a good voice.

The Acting

- In 21 year old classically trained opera singer Josefina Scaglione, Maria becomes perfectly embodied. Both in looks and voice, Josefina was undoubtedly the right choice for this part and this revival. She is not well known in America yet, but in her home of Argentina, she has appeared in several productions opposite some of their biggest stars. From the moment she stepped on stage I was impressed with her poise, ability to hit all the fleeting moments of humor, and her underlying strength that Maria needs. The casting director receives an A++ on this.
Short and Sweet - She was lovely, but full of power.

Riff - Riff always was and remains my favorite character in West Side. Though he looks like he came straight out of a high school production, I loved Cody Green. Green is actually best known to television audiences at the winner of Bravo's Step It Up and Dance competition. He has a good voice, but more importantly he can dance (obviously), and do both with extreme likability. Had I had it my way, he would have played Tony... but more on that later. Russ Tamblyn's Riff is a hard act to follow, but I think Green was a smart choice for the role. Though I am sure that a few other boys in the cast might make a good leader as well, most notably Action.
Short and Sweet - He stepped it up and danced his ass off.

Action - I was pretty upset to have missed Xanadu on Broadway, but luckily I got a chance to see both of the Sonnys in other shows, Cheyenne Jackson, who was the only bright spot in the otherwise horrible revival of Damn' Yankees, and Curtis Holbrook as Action in West Side. Holbrook is phenomenal, and it only makes me all the more sad that I missed him as a lead. But he gets plenty of stage time, including singing one of the best numbers in this production, "Officer Krupke." He brings so much charisma, animation and life to his character and raises the bar for anyone else on stage. In an interview Holbrook said it's been his dream since he was 9 to be in West Side Story on Broadway, and that really comes across on stage.
Short and Sweet - Action was awesome (a highlight of the show).

Anita - Though Karen Olivo, now well known as Vanessa in the Tony winning In The Heights, typically plays Anita, our performance had her understudy, Yanira Marin. She did a great job with the attitude and comedy that Anita must have and she got the most laughs by far (as she should). The the girl could dance, but when it came to her voice, it became clear why Marin was the standby. She just couldn't hit the notes, most noticeably when singing solo. During "A Boy Like That/I Have A Love," it was almost laughable because as it was a duet with Josefina, whose voice is outstanding. But I give Marin props for stepping into a role like that and handling it to the best of her ability. I would still love to see Olivo in the role though.
Short and Sweet - The girl's got everything but the voice.

Bernardo - The role made famous by the dashing George Chakiris has now been taken over by the handsome George Akram. Akram, a native Venezuelan, was raised by two professional dancers, so it's no surprise that he has ended up here. He can dance, sing (though he sings very little), and sweep Anita off her feet, but most importantly the man can pull off purple. His role isn't as big as I wished it was, and of course, he's gone by the beginning of the second act.
Short and Sweet - Pretty gorgeous, and isn't that what's important?

and finally... (Darth Vader theme plays)

Tony - From the moment Matt Cavenaugh opened his mouth I knew I was going to hate him, but it wasn't just me. 15 minutes into the show my mother whispered in my ear "I want to shoot him." It's difficult to explain in writing all the things wrong with Cavenaugh's performance as Tony, but imagine if he spoke like a Jewish grandmother, and then you'll have a jumping off point. While his singing voice wasn't horrible, his speaking voice was nails on a chalkboard-worthy. Every word felt so incredibly forced and just, AHHHH terrible! and not to be crass, but I wasn't into his look either, he just didn't feel or act at all like Tony. This is such a pivotal role, that it amazes me even with his ineptitude that I enjoyed the musical as much as I did. I hope this speaks very highly to rest of the cast, especially Josefina who could play opposite a sponge and make it compelling. I find it impossible to imagine anyone seeing his audition and thinking, "This guy's our Tony." That person should be fired point blank. So don't let my Tony rant prevent you from seeing the show, just grit your teeth whenever he's on stage and focus on all the other lovely people.
Short and Sweet - If Chino hadn't shot him, I would have.

Overall, I'm ecstatic I got a chance to see the show live, and even Tony, no matter how hard he tried, couldn't ruin that for me.

Celebrity Sitings 
Bernadette Peters
Renee Zellweger
Jennifer Tilly

The way they were... ohh Beymer.


Breeze it, Buzz it, Easy does it

Seeing West Side Story on the way of Broad tonight. Expect a full report. 


A Moment of Honesty

When I first saw Blade Runner not too long ago, I hated it. I mean, I realllly hated it. I finished it up, looked over at my friend, and we were both completely shocked. This was a classic? This was what people had been yelling at me to see for years? I honestly thought this was going to be a movie I would love for the rest of my life, one that I would instantly run out and buy at my nearest Borders (Borders shout out!). But there I sat on the couch, entirely unsure of how to proceed. How could I tell people I hated Blade Runner and not get assassinated by the movie police?

But now, over the past few months, I haven't been able to get this film out of my head. I think about it frequently, considering my initial disappointment. I think about the cinematography, the actors, the plot, the ambiguous (but not so ambiguous) ending. So here I am, hat in hand, ready to admit that I think I liked Blade Runner. I am not sure if I can explain how I came to this conclusion, or what happened to make my hatred turn to love, but I'm a changed film reviewer. Movies are mysterious things, just when you think you've got them nailed down, they shift on you.

So to Borders I go.