Archive for August, 2012

According to a Deadline report ABC has greenlit Marvel’s Joss Whedon live-action television project, ordering a pilot for the S.H.I.E.L.D. titled show.  S.H.I,E.L.D. stands for “Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division”.   The S.H.E.I.L.D. organization is most well known for recruiting The Avengers to take on an alien force threatening Earth.

The show will be written by Whedon along with his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen.  Joss Whedon will also direct the pilot if his schedule permits.

Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot will mark his return to network television in which he’s seen familiar territory with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dollhouse, and Angel.   Production on the pilot will begin immediately but there is no timetable for the show’s premiere.

We’ll keep you updated.


The Newsroom – Season Review

Posted: August 27, 2012 in Television



Alright, still here?  Good.

Why does the one aspect of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom that drives me crazy also get the most well written dialogue that we’ve seen on the show to date?  Of course I’m talking about Jim and Maggie’s conversation’s, oh yea – I’m also talking about Don and Sloan’s convo’s.  Oh and then there’s Will and MacKenzie’s little bits of wordsmithing to add on top too.  The one area of this brilliant show that also makes it its weakest is that Sorkin doesn’t know when to wrap relationship drama up.  We’ve been through an entire 10 episode season where we’ve made minimal progress in the personal lives of all the aforementioned characters.  Frankly, it’s quite depressing and I can see why Will was hospitalized taking all those anti-depressants.  Shit is depressing.  Why couldn’t have Sorkin allowed Maggie to get with Jim, Sloan with Don, and Mac with Will?  If he’s saving their relationship rebounds for the second season I’ll groan and watch with gritted teeth.  Why couldn’t we have learned who Will’s online-stalker is?  I want to see more of Terry Crews, give him more lines!  More of the psych doctor and his convo’s with Will.  I know the show is called The Newsroom – and Sorkin does a tremendous job with making the viewer care again about past events – we’ve gotten enough of that.  For season 2 let’s move on and make the newscast scenes a bit of background noise.  I want to see more investigative journalism that goes on.  You really can’t convince me that all of these ACN News Night employees get these great scoops by talking on phones at their desks 30 minutes before show time.  Give me more human!

HOWEVER!  Sorkin does a masterful job with blending the personal moments and the newsroom moments in a way that makes you care about what is going on in these people’s lives outside of the office.  Even though you don’t really want to care and you think Don is a jerk and that Maggie is a flake…Sorkin makes you care that Maggie is a flake.  It’s just what he does.  Get over it.  I have.  I’ve struggled mightily at times with how good this show actually is and how good it can be.  You see, I grew up with The West Wing but at the time I didn’t give two shits.  It was political garbage to me and my parents loved it, so naturally I hated it.  I’ll admit that I have not watched one minute of The West Wing but I hear it’s rather good, I’ve also heard that the show’s weakest moments were some of the same tribulations Sorkin is running into with The Newsroom – how to blend personal and professional while also conveying a message (no matter how far left…way left…that message may be).

The season finale that aired last night did a wonderful job of wrapping up some loose ends and creating all new dilemma’s for Sorkin to introduce in season 2.  Will’s crusade to be King Arthur in the newsroom’s Camelot came to a head last night as he was finally able to confront his demons and move past his past.  Cliche as that might sound that’s exactly what it is.  While I would have liked to have seen more human conversations between MacKenzie and Will, I’ll settle for their brief moment of clarity in Will’s office where you think they’re going to kiss but Will yells “FUCK” instead.

All in all, HBO gives Sorkin more of a platform he can use to get his political agenda across while creating some of the best television we’ve seen since his West Wing days.  He can only go up for season 2 and that’s just fine by me.

This was a particularly weak weekend at the box office as the summer blockbuster craze dies down and we get into the fall swing of awards season.

The Expendables 2 managed to stay atop of the box office rankings this weekend, bringing in only $13.5M topping its two day total at $53M.  While the movie is all sorts of fun for viewers and allows you a bit of nostalgia from the action genre’s glory days, it still is safe to say that the movie is a flop.  The sequel cost $100M to make and has only made back half of that.  Granted, the movie will eventually make its money back from overseas viewings and the eventual DVD/Blu-ray holiday sales, but let’s be real.  A flop is a flop.

Holding down the number two spot this weekend was another disappointment in The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner.  This particular flop cost $125M to make and in three weeks has only made $85M.

ParaNorman, the lively claymation animated film, continues its strong showing for the second consecutive week making $8.5M.  It’s likely to drop out of the top by next weekend but it’s still a good sign that a small budget film from a small animated studio can be so well received.

Rounding out the top five at the box office this weekend were the Will Ferrell political comedy The Campaign and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, bringing in $7.4M and $7.1M respectively.
Here is the full chart:

*Numbers in millions* (TOTAL)

1) The Expendables 2 – $13.5 ($53.3)

2) The Bourne Legacy – $9.3 ($85.5)

3) ParaNorman – $8.5 ($28.2)

4) The Campaign – $7.4 ($64.5)

5) The Dark Knight Rises – $7.1 ($422.1)

6) The Odd Life of Timothy Green – $7.1 ($27)

7) Premium Rush – $6.3 (NEW)

8) 2016 Obama’s America – $6.2 ($9)

9) Hope Springs – $6 ($45)

10) Hit and Run – $4.6 (NEW)


Via Box Office Mojo

This week’s trailers feature the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a leading man, a tsunami, and Nicolas Cage being Nicolas Cage.

Let’s get to it:


The Impossible

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Tom Holland


The Last Stand

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Alexander, Forest Whitaker



Cast: Nicolas Cage, Josh Lucas, Malin Akerman


The Tall Man

Cast: Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, Stephen McHattie


Red Dawn (2012)

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Isabel Lucas


The Office season 9 will be its last, according to a TV Line.  It comes at no surprise either as The Office has been running on fumes for the past several seasons.  If you’re a fan of The Office you have to realize that the time is now for the show to end and you have to embrace it.  The show’s main actors have embraced the show ending for quite some time.  Hell, Steve Carell embraced it a long time ago by leaving the show to focus on his movie career.  Mindy Kaling, who plays Kelly on the show, is leaving to focus on her own show on FOX; B.J. Novak has toned down his involvement in the show as a writer and actor; and Riann Wilson will be getting his own spin-off show on NBC next fall.  The show is ending folks, get over it!

Apparently season 9 of the show – its last – will focus heavily on Jim and Pam (again!) and will finally reveal who is behind the whole documentary.  We’ll finally get an end to everyone’s story and hopefully lose ends will be tied up and we’ll get satisfactory ending.

Season 9 of the show airs on September 20 on NBC.

August 20, 2012 is a sad day for me and its a sad day for everyone in the movie community as acclaimed Hollywood director Tony Scott committed suicide yesterday afternoon by jumping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles, California.

As TMZ reports it, Scott parked his Toyota Prius at the top of the bridge, stowed a suicide note, and jumped from the bridge’s highest point at 12:30pm.  Scott’s body was not retrieved from the Los Angeles Harbor until 4:30pm due to the water’s depth and murky waters.  The United States Coast Guard had to use sonar capabilities to locate Scott’s body.   The Vincent Thomas Bridge stands 365 feet from the water and is one of the highest bridges on the west coast.

Tony Scott is responsible for bringing audiences some of the most memorable films in cinematic history.  Films such as Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, Days of Thunder, and True Romance were all beloved during their respective times.  Scott also directed recent successful films such as Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelham 123, and Man on Fire.

He will be missed.

What do you get when you gather the greatest action movie heroes of the past 30 years and put them in the same film?  Well, you’d get The Expendables 2, of course!  You might be saying, “but Mark, this isn’t the first Expendables movie,” and you’d be correct.  However, The Expendables 2 brings so many former action stars together and gives them each their own screen time, where as the first title featured mere cameos from certain stars.  The Sly Stallone written action romp made only $28M, which isn’t as good as was expected.   To put that in to perspective, The Expendables made nearly $7M more released back in 2010 in roughly the same weekend.

The second spot at the box office this weekend belongs to Jeremy Renner’s The Bourne Legacy, which made $17M bringing its disappointing total to only $69M.  Make no mistake though, Legacy will make over $100M eventually and in turn make a profit.

The third highest grossing film this weekend belonged to the the fantastic zombie adventure animated title, ParaNorman, which made $14M.  Quick fact, ParaNorman debuted in more theaters than The Expendables 2.

Rounding out the top 5 at the weekend box office is The Campaign and Sparkle – singer Jordin Sparks stars – made $13M and $12M respectively.

Here is the full top 10 from this weekend:

*numbers in millions* (TOTAL)

1) The Expendables 2 – $28.7 (NEW)

2) The Bourne Legacy – $17 ($69.5)

3) ParaNorman – $14 (NEW)

4) The Campaign – $13.3 ($51.6)

5) Sparkle – $12 (NEW)

6) The Dark Knight Rises – $11.1 ($409.9)

7) The Odd Life of Timothy Green – $10.9 (NEW)

8) Hope Springs – $9.1 ($38.7)

9) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days – $3.8 ($38.7)

10) Total Recall – $3.5 ($51.7)


Via Box Office Mojo