ITV ran the trailer for season five of Downton Abbey before the premiere of X-Factor (which brought back Simon Cowell), and it's a much longer glimpse than the teaser we got a couple of months back. The trailer confirms a lot of what we already knew, like the entrance of guest stars Richard Grant and Anna Chancellor, but also piques our curiosity about a whole lot else. We'll let the trailer speak for itself, but we will tell you that there is much more Dame Maggie Smith this go-around. For Brits, the series returns Sunday, September 21, whereas us Americans will have to either patiently wait until its PBS premiere January 4, 2015, or get our search engines ready to go.
It's been a whole ten years since Pixar released The Incredibles (makes you feel old now, doesn't it?), so it's an appropriate time for the original trailer to get a makeover. Here's a YouTube clip of the trailer of the movie as though it went through a Christopher Nolan à la Dark Knight transformation. It's darker, broodier, and means that Syndrome takes center stage. (For obvious reasons, Edna becomes an unfortunate casualty in this edit.) So until we finally get Incredibles 2, you can sate yourself with this.
Roald Dahl originally had 15 children getting the golden ticket to tour Willy Wonka's super-secret chocolate factory before settling on the now familiar five in his children's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This means that, in earlier drafts, there were a lot more rooms and a lot more temptation: As you'll remember, each room was a test of a child's self-control, and each time, some hapless child would succumb to their candy-obsessed (or squirrel-obsessed) selves and get lost. In this previously unseen chapter published by the Guardian, the factory tour, now down to eight kids, makes a stop at the Vanilla Fudge Room. The Guardian says the text was "deemed too wild, subversive and insufficiently moral for the tender minds of British children almost 50 years ago."
Champion of nerds Wil Wheaton announced on his blog yesterday that his Syfy talk show, The Wil Wheaton Project, has been canceled. He got the call while he was hanging out on the beach with his wife, and says that he immediately knew it was bad news. He writes that the New York executives never seemed "to really understand what kind of show we were doing, who I was and why I was hosting it, and how to engage with and promote to the audience who would like it," which led to the show's demise. Generally, though, he's pretty zen about it, and also writes an post-script asking to let the cancellation be what it is.
Snubbed for an Emmy for her work on Fargo, Allison Tolman will guest-star on The Mindy Project for two episodes as romance novelist Abby Berman. She'll be going on a blind date with manic man-child gynecologist Peter Prentice (Happy Endings alum Adam Pally), who promises to be a terrible companion. In addition to Tolman, the third season's packed guest list includes Shonda Rhimes (as herself, naturally) and Cheers' Rhea Perlman as Danny Castellano's mom. The season premieres on Tuesday, September 16.
It’s a quiet Friday and you’ve got the whole holiday weekend ahead of you, so why not start the proceedings on a light and airy musical note? We’ve got just the thing for that: an exclusive three-minute musical sequence from the new movie God Help the Girl (out September 5), written and directed by Belle and Sebastian front man Stuart Murdoch and spun through with songs from his 2009 album of the same name.
With a couple of major (major) exceptions, film adaptations of Elmore Leonard novels rarely succeed. The breezy menace of his stories, the carefree, sneaky suspense of his plotting, the dim-bulb charm of his characters … it’s all booby-trapped for film. Go in one direction and it’s too bubbly, go in another and it’s all too generic, shorn of what made it special in the first place. If Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight work so well, it’s partly because those filmmakers themselves share the perverse, wildly varying tonal impulses at play in Leonard’s work. Their movies are like beautiful toy guns that somehow manage to go off.
There were many questions raised when Miley Cyrus sent Jesse Helt onstage for her at the VMAs to talk about youth homelessness. Not all of them good, especially for Helt himself. Tuesday the word came out that Helt was wanted by the Oregon police for violating his probation in 2011, stemming from criminal mischief and criminal trespass charges. Last night, Helt turned himself into the Polk County Jail and proceeded to post the $2,500 bail. Cyrus had given Helt money to return to Oregon and Helt's mother says Cyrus offered to pay for his legal fees. She also offered to bust him out, as she still has that wrecking ball lying around.
Kevin Kline is almost too good a fit for the aging Errol Flynn in the story of Flynn’s final affair — with a 15-year-old girl — in The Last of Robin Hood. Kline became a star onstage as the swashbuckling pirate king in The Pirates of Penzance and played Douglas Fairbanks in Chaplin, and here he seems ready to hang once more from the mizzenmast and declare his dominion over the high seas. Kline has the right faux Brit accent (Flynn was born in Australia) and debonair quiver of the head, and his lies fall so charmingly from his mouth that they scarcely seem like lies: The seduction is all. But if Flynn had much of an inner life, the movie doesn’t show it: This is a man for whom the mask has supplanted the face. It’s certainly understandable that he could lust after the dewy blonde Beverly Aadland (Dakota Fanning). But why he falls in love — true love — seems outside the film’s purview.
This year's summer movie season can be summed up with one long, worryingly elongated word: Yiiiiiiiiikes. Not a whole lot worked this summer, and even the films that were meant to be big mostly came in well under studio expectations. It was the kind of season that could prompt some soul-searching from Hollywood executives, though we're not likely to see the results of that course correction for quite a while, since summer movies can take so many years to make (and these days, studios have their schedules plotted out until the year 2020). Still, if they're willing to listen, here are four things we learned this summer that Hollywood executives would be wise to take heed of.
On Wednesday, we asked our readers to craft haikus about The Wonder Years for a chance to win a tricked-out DVD set of the 1988-93 TV show, due to be released in October. We received nearly 100 submissions, both in the comments section and on Facebook, many of which played off the hoary, Josh Saviano–denying rumor that the actor who played Paul went on to become Marilyn Manson. Others involved turns of phrase like “sweet Winnie smooches” and “boner,” while a few entries were used to scoff at the very notion of DVDs in this day and age. (Does your newfangled illegal torrent download itself into a metal locker and come with a replica yearbook and Wonder Years magnets, smart guy?) But there could be only one winner.
At the beginning of (and throughout) every month, Netflix Streaming adds new movies and TV shows to its library. Here is a list of some that you might be interested in. Some of these may have been added halfway through or near the end of August, but we're going to include them in this roundup anyway since you might have missed them. Some of these may also have previously been on Netflix, only to have been removed and then added back. Feel free to note anything we've left out in the comments below.
If someone poops in a shoe during a hurricane, does it make a sound?
Aside from an Inception-style dream sequence at the beginning (Jeremy dreaming of Abbi dreaming of Ilana dreaming it all, at work, at 5 p.m.), this is our bottle episode, taking place entirely in Abbi’s apartment during a Category 4 hurricane. The whole gang is there, and while the central conflict is, in fact, a double-arc about feces, there’s a world of relationship struggles happening in the tiny space.
It’s been six long years since we’ve seen Dominic West’s cocksure cop McNulty patrolling the mean streets of Baltimore. The British actor returns Stateside in Showtime’s The Affair, an intimate relationship drama told from his-and-hers perspectives. West talked to us about his new show’s connection to The Wire and how he got into disco.
It’s time to put another summer movie season behind us, and for many in Hollywood, September is arriving none too soon: Several big-budget spectaculars underperformed this summer, and the box office was the weakest it’s been in years. Still, if you looked beyond those would-be blockbusters, there were plenty of gems to go see, and they deserve their end-of-summer due, too. Here, then, are the moments and movies that Vulture considered the summer season’s finest … and the lowlights we had to muddle through to get to them.
Just when you thought the found-footage horror subgenre was starting to die, As Above, So Below doubles down on it. In so doing, it also demonstrates some of the fundamental limitations of the subgenre. It may even remind you, by way of counterexample, why such films took hold in the first place. Afterwards, I thought fondly back to The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and [Rec], wondering what they did so right that As Above, So Below so, so doesn’t.
Are we having fun yet? Absolutely, because we just watched our favorite cater-waiters engage in some off-script shenanigans in this blooper reel from season two of Party Down, released today to coincide with the Hulu arrival of the funniest comedy series of all time involving characters wearing pink bow-ties. As you prepare to get excited for another excuse to binge all 20 episodes again, ponder this: Soup R’ Crackers still doesn’t exist in the real world. How is that possible?
Bill Murray, among many things, is a minor-league baseball-team impresario, with an ownership stake in a handful of teams. With one of his teams, the St. Paul Saints, playing their last game at their old field, Murray was there to be particularly hands-on. As you can see below, Murray took tickets and caught the first pitch (to hilarious results). He also made a few people see the world as a more wonderful place, where anything can happen, even on a midwestern weeknight.
As Eric Love, a violent teenager transferred earlier than normal — “starred up,” in the local argot — to a maximum-security adult British prison, the young actor Jack O’Connell lopes down the main corridor of cells radiating insolence, ready to strike back before anyone thinks to strike first. It’s a remarkable performance, both huge and subtle, not just for the ways in which O’Connell suggests Eric’s volatility in repose, but also for how he evokes the teen’s bitter wit. O’Connell wrinkles his forehead in mock bemusement the way Sean Connery used to, as if Eric is puzzling out a question to which he knows — and has always known, since before he could talk, probably — the answer. That answer is, of course, that he can depend on no one, and that everyone on earth is inclined to hurt him. He has barely arrived in the prison before he makes a run at the guards, latching onto one’s testicles with his teeth, practically inviting them to beat him down so that he can rise back up, bloody but in control. His hair-trigger hostility to authority figures makes things very confusing when, in the course of Starred Up, he’s confronted by two father figures, one an earnest group therapist named Oliver Baumer (Rupert Friend), the other his actual father, Neville (Ben Mendelsohn), a dominating inmate whom Eric barely knows. The psychodrama is so thick, you can cut it with a straight razor.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Bruce Springsteen is writing a kids' book called Outlaw Pete, based on his 2009 song of the same name. The book, about a bank-robbing baby, will consist of Bruce's lyrics paired with illustrator Frank Caruso's drawings. And Bruce isn't the only boomer icon branching out into kiddie lit as of late — Keith Richards announced he is penning a book called Gus & Me back in March. Dad rock: Now also for kids!