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‘American Made’ Review: Tom Cruise Finally Lands a Role Worthy of His Talents

‘American Made’ Review: Tom Cruise Finally Lands a Role Worthy of His Talents
There’s a case to be made that Tom Cruise is a compelling screen presence when he looks desperate. Much evidence for this claim was gathered in his millennial run – 1999’s “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Magnolia,” 2001’s “Vanilla Sky” – in which varyingly forceful writer-directors did their level best to chip away at their star’s glib toothpaste-salesman confidence and expose the very human doubts and frailties behind it. After those box-office failures, Cruise retreated to the surety of known properties and franchises; though we got glimpses of other Cruises – notably the Comic Cruise of “Tropic Thunder” – this was his fall-back position up until the disastrous “The Mummy.” It’s possible that audiences had grown tired of watching a performer playing it so consistently safe: as Kubrick and Paul Thomas Anderson had twigged, it’s always more revealing watching a control freak losing control.

American Made” isn’t a major breakthrough,
See full article at Indiewire »

Promo for Lucifer Season 2 Episode 12 – ‘Love Handles’

Lucifer returned from its midseason break last night, and now Fox has given us a peek at next Monday’s twelfth episode of season two, entitled ‘Love Handles’; check it out here…

See Also: Promo images for Lucifer Season 2 Episode 12 – ‘Love Handles’

A Masked Killer Is Poisoning Victims On An All-new “Lucifer” Monday, January 23, On Fox

Lucifer and Chloe investigate a mysterious masked killer who is poisoning college students. They also try to make sense of their new relationship, after a long-awaited kiss. Meanwhile, Charlotte visits Linda for advice on a touchy subject in the all-new “Love Handles” episode of Lucifer airing Monday, Jan. 23 (9:01-10:00 Pm Et/Pt) on Fox. (L-212) (TV-14 D, L, S, V)

Guest Cast: Scott Patey as Matthew, Alex Pangburn as Timmy, Mike Doyle as Bradley, April Grace as Dr. Scott, Merren McMahaon as Amber, Max Chadburn as Ashely and Tim DeKay as Professor
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

April Grace Spies Role In ‘Berlin Station’; Andy Favreau Grooves With ‘Aquarius’

April Grace has joined the ensemble cast of Epix’s Berlin Station, the 10-episode contemporary spy tale that is premium service's first drama series. It centers on a newly anointed case officer (Richard Armitage) who has arrived at the CIA foreign station in Berlin. He has a clandestine mission: to uncover the source of a leak who has supplied information to a now-famous whistleblower named "Thomas Shaw." Grace will play Jemma Moore, the sharp-elbowed Deputy Director of…
See full article at Deadline TV »

I Am Legend 2 Will Never Happen; Story Details Revealed

Even though (Spoiler Alert) both Will Smith and his dog died during the epic climax of I Am Legend, Warner Bros. was desperate to get a sequel off the ground due to the movie's overwhelming success. And they went to some pretty insane lengths to justify a story. Sadly, I Am Legend 2 never got off the ground and languished in development Hell for a long period before all involved walked away empty handed. Now, writer/producer Akiva Goldsman has revealed what some of those crazy ideas were.

Akiva Goldsman is out promoting his directorial feature Winter's Tale, which is in theaters this week just in time for Valentine's Day, and he was happy to share some of his failed script ideas for I Am Legend 2 with io9.

Here, he explains how they wrote both a prequel, which involves the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and a sequel. He also mentions a Dark Seeker Elephant,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Episode Recap: Lie To Me - 2.08: "Secret Santa"

  • PopStar
Us soldiers ambush some enemy fighters in Afghanistan and one surrenders claiming to be American. Emily (Hayley McFarland) buys a Christmas tree for the Christmas party Cal (Tim Roth) will throw his staff and Gillian (Kelli Williams) agrees. Emily then introduces Cal to Rick (Carter Jenkins). Cal and Gillian meet with Lennox (April Grace) who works for the President regarding the detainee. Cal via satellite link asks the prisoner, Franco, (Michael Goorjian) some questions. He claims to know the location of two missing marines. He was an aid worker and his life was saved by the Taliban so he became one too. Cal can't have Franco brought here - he's needed to ensure the rescue of the missing two but Cal must go to him, which appeared to be his worst nightmare. Emily gets him to pick his Secret Santa and the expression on his face shows it's Eli (Brendan Hines
See full article at PopStar »

Columbia Pictures Expands Deal with Producer Neal H. Moritz

Columbia Pictures Expands Deal with Producer Neal H. Moritz
Neal H. Moritz, founder of Original Film and producer of such high-profile forthcoming motion pictures as Battle: Los Angeles and Fast Five, has extended his first-look development and production pact with Columbia Pictures for three more years, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures. The extension of Neal H. Moritz's deal comes 18 months before his current deal was set to expire and continues a successful partnership and collaboration with Sony, the studio that has been his home since he produced I Know What You Did Last Summer in 1997.

"We have been working together with Neal H. Moritz for nearly 15 years and over that time, we have partnered with him and his team on more than 20 films, most recently with The Green Hornet and Battle: Los Angeles," Doug Belgrad said. "He is simply one of the best and most prolific producers in the business. He knows
See full article at MovieWeb »

[DVD Review] Magnolia

Paul Thomas Anderson created a thing of beauty with Magnolia. Stringing together the lives of many individuals into a portrait of loneliness, Magnolia uses multiple narratives to expose that empty space inside each and every one of us. It doesn’t matter if you’re speaking to an auditorium filled with chauvinistic men eager to learn secrets to scoring more sex or working a solitary beat as a California police officer, you can still feel alone. Having both written and directed this requiem for the human condition, Anderson takes aim at different personalities and how they intentionally or accidentally alienate themselves to nights spent alone. Whatever the angle of a unique character, chances are they mirror at least one or two others in the film. Chances are. With loneliness, chance is perhaps the greatest theme to be found in Magnolia.

Frank Mackey (Tom Cruise) teaches men to dominate women. Phil
See full article at JustPressPlay »

Film review: 'Magnolia'

Film review: 'Magnolia'
A masterful work of the cinematic arts or a self-indulgent day-in-our-lives concept movie?

Sharply dividing critics, Oscar hopeful "Magnolia" starts promisingly and continues to surprise throughout an inexcusably long running time, but it's a noble endeavor undone by the glaring shortcomings in filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson's ambitious vision of the here and now.

The New Line release has a strong Tom Cruise performance to fuel interest, along with the freaky climactic storm sequence, but too many other factors indicate a tepid boxoffice performance. Draining, but not in the unforgettably relevant and moving way intended, "Magnolia" asks a lot of an audience -- to witness the pain and frustration of dying parents, shattered children and other universally recognizable unfortunates.

For three hours, Anderson ("Boogie Nights") and an elephantine cast furiously -- almost belligerently -- tear apart a dozen major characters during one odd day and night in the baleful San Fernando Valley. Anderson's often potent skills as a filmmaker -- how he composes sequences and always seems firmly in control of the roving camera -- are undermined by his uneven accomplishments as a dramatist.

The film is strongest in the first half, before the various story lines all reach the crisis point seemingly at the same time, with Anderson unleashing the performers in an admittedly unique crescendo of communal misery and climatic redemption. The ending's a heck of a thing to behold, for sure. Similarly, "Magnolia"'s memorable prologue sets up the theme of weird coincidence in everyday life that helps explain the one-of-a-kind climax with its incredible deluge of frogs.

But before the bittersweetly upbeat closing song -- the film's most daring moment, with the diverse characters all joining in -- there is much drama to work through, starting with dying Earl Partridge (Jason Robards), his devastated young wife, Linda (Julianne Moore) and sloppy male nurse Phil Philip Seymour Hoffman). Earl's fervent wish is to see his estranged son one last time. Frank Mackey (Cruise), a burningly macho giver of seminars on how to seduce women, is that son. It becomes Phil's self-appointed mission to track him down, while Linda suffers a self-imposed living damnation when she realizes she truly loves Earl.

Successful game show producer and host Jimmy Gator Philip Baker Hall) is another bad father whose days are numbered, and his past misdeeds come back to almost destroy him. His wife, Rose (Melinda Dillon), is committed to standing by him, but their daughter Claudia (Melora Walters) is a wispy coke addict who screams at Jimmy when he confronts her with the news of his terminal illness. A lost soul if there ever was one, Rose is later gently approached romantically by upright policeman Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly) when he's summoned by neighbors because her stereo is playing too loud.

Jimmy Gator's long-running hit show is called "What Do Kids Know?" and another major plot line follows the taping of what could be his last appearance. Pitting brainy kids against adults in teams, the star performer this day is young Stanley Spector (Jeremy Blackman), whose actor father Rick (Michael Bowen) has pushed him hard. Headed for an unusually cruel form of public humiliation, which not even his father comforts him over, Stanley is in danger of becoming another Donnie Smith (William H. Macy), a former quiz show star who steadily unravels over the course of the movie.

Using several original songs by Aimee Mann, Anderson weaves a complex group portrait that becomes so singularly downbeat that only a magical-but-real plot device like the earthquake in "Short Cuts" can jar things back into place, emotionally as well as intellectually. Meanwhile, practically every character is carried to the edge of the proverbial waterfall and then goes over, resulting in a mosaic of actors trying to bare their souls in confessional monologues and hair-raising epiphanies of many varieties.

Not all the characters or situations are believable, but Anderson's biggest misstep is the redundant approach of the material. Just The Partridge Family story would have made a dandy movie. Viewers who get into the film's groove do have many showstopping scenes by Cruise, Robards, newcomer Blackman and Moore to savor. April Grace, as a polite but persistent news reporter, is an excellent foil for Cruise in their many charged scenes together.

MAGNOLIA

New Line Cinema

A Joanne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Co. production

Writer-director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Producer: Joanne Sellar

Executive producers: Michael De Luca, Lynn Harris

Director of photography: Robert Elswit

Production designers: William Arnold, Mark Bridges

Editor: Dylan Tichenor

Costume designer: Mark Bridges

Music: Jon Brion

Casting: Cassandra Kulukundis

Color/stereo

Cast:

Earl Partridge: Jason Robards

Linda Partridge: Julianne Moore

Frank Mackey: Tom Cruise

Stanley Spector: Jeremy Blackman

Rick Spector: Michael Bowen

Donnie Smith: William.H. Macy

Jimmy Gator: Philip Baker Hall

Rose Gator: Melinda Dillon

Claudia Wilson Gator: Melora Walters

Officer Jim Kurring: John C. Reilly

Phil Parma: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Gwenovier: April Grace

Running time -- 188 minutes

MPAA rating: R

See also

Credited With | External Sites