Welp, Michael Bay's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finally got its flashy end credits song, and ... I don't know. "Shell Shocked" is a wall of noise, with Juicy J hogging all the cringey TMNT references ("All my brothers tryna get some cheddar / We all want our cut like the Shredder"). Although it must be said that Ty Dolla $ign does mention pizza.
Syfy's competitive prosthetic makeup series Face Off returns for a seventh season tonight, as glorious and tenderhearted as ever. The show is one of my favorites, but despite actual years of insisting that everyone I know at least give the series a try, it appears some have not yet been persuaded by my persistence. I am at a loss — the show is everything there is to love about a reality contest show, without any of the bloating and awkwardness of other series. Perhaps there are other reasons keeping you away? Allow me to dismantle them.
Over the last several years, Scarlett Johansson's output has been impressive in its variety: The Avengers, Hitchcock, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway, Don Jon, Her, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Under the Skin. This weekend, she stars in the Luc Besson–directed action movie Lucy as a drug mule who finds herself able to access increasingly large portions of her brain's capacity. Vulture spoke with Johansson about playing hyperintelligent beings, avoiding her own acting tics, and her favorite sandwich.
The morning starts out stressfully, with Rebecca dropping into Big Jim's office to push a mass-murder/save-the-town agenda. The food will be gone in seven days, according to Mrs. Science's science facts, and from there it'll be cannibalism and/or starvation. Big Jim uses his fluency in politicianese to translate Rebecca's "extermination plan" into a "reduction option." Just to render the decision-making process as brutal as possible, Chester's Mill's new mom and her baby — the one named after Norrie's dead mother, Alice — pop up for a doe-eyed hello at Sweetbriar Rose.
Twenty years ago, André Gregory gathered a group of great actors to rehearse Uncle Vanya; Louis Malle came in to film their work, almost as if he were shooting a documentary; and the result, Vanya on 42nd Street, was an astonishing fusion of theater and film—superb Chekhov, superb moviemaking. Gregory, Wallace Shawn, and Larry Pine have reunited for Henrik Ibsen’s A Master Builder, and, Malle being dead, Jonathan Demme has stepped into the breach. (The film is dedicated to Malle.) Demme doesn’t take a documentary approach, which I don’t think would work for this strange masterpiece—a play that marked the moment that Ibsen began to turn away from the naturalism of A Doll’s House and Ghosts and head back to the mythic, poetic realm of earlier epics like Brand and Peer Gynt. Gregory and Demme have turned A Master Builder into (pardon my invoking the name of a Strindberg work) a dream play, and have made it once more madly, bitingly, chillingly alive.
We now have a first look at Punk's Dead: SLC Punk 2, James Merendino's follow-up to his 1998 cult classic about two young anarchist punks navigating life in Salt Lake City in the mid-80s. Of the follow-up, Merendino told the Wrap: “In this teaser, you will get a glimpse at familiar faces and I briefly introduce Bob's son, Ross. I am not revealing all of the characters or even much of the story. There's more, much more. Enjoy.” So, what else do we know so far? Well, the original gang is all back (minus Matthew Lillard), Heroin Bob has risen from the grave, and there will be plenty of moshing, because of course.
After covering Kanye West's "Black Skinhead" in Dublin earlier this month, Jack White is showing some love to the other half of the Watch the Throne duo, teasing Jay Z's "99 Problems" during a performance of "Icky Thump" at Louisville's Forecastle Festival (starting at around 3:00). Is it too much to ask for a "Pretty Hurts" rendition next?
Looks like Game of Thrones book purists may soon have another group of angry fans to commiserate with: At a recent Television Critics association panel, The Strain trilogy co-writer and show co-creator Guillermo del Toro and showrunner Carlton Cuse explained that the series will detour widely from the narrative laid out in the books, both changing the order of events and omitting some others. “[W]e will get there in a much more baroque way [than the books do],” said del Toro, with Cuse adding: “If you read the books and think that's the way its going to happen on the show, then you're wrong." Start sharpening your pitchforks, Strain trilogy fans.
Here's a first look at Dan Gilroy's new movie Nightcrawler, starring a gaunt, nervy Jake Gyllenhaal as a freelance crime journalist named Louis Boom who gets caught up in L.A.'s criminal underbelly. The clip, originally posted as a fake Craigslist ad by Gyllenhaal's character, shows Bloom giving a series of intense elevator pitches as he attempts to land himself a job. We're assuming the rest of the movie is more than just Gyllenhaal delivering creepy monologues while staring straight into the camera, although we would totally watch it if it were.
Along with renewing Fargo for a second season — to be set during the Carter years — FX announced Monday that Louie will also be returning for a truncated fifth season in spring 2015, consisting of only seven episodes instead of the usual fourteen. “Louie’s fourth season was once again groundbreaking. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking — always thought provoking,” said FX CEO John Landgraf. “The show went to narrative and cinematic places no comedy has gone before and we look forward to seeing what Louis comes up with next.” No word on whether C.K. has any plans to relocate the new season to the Carter years, but we wouldn't put it past the guy.
Jersey Boys, which should have been a cautionary tale, has become instead a how-to guide. (Half a billion in Broadway receipts will do that.) It has not only spawned an infestation of jukebox biomusicals but also codified the key elements of the genre. First among these is that there should be a baldly narrated framing device (a Carnegie Hall concert, a death, a reunion) from which the plot flashes back to the difficulties of the songwriter’s early life (an overprotective mother, the Holocaust). The intervening years should be précised as quickly and hysterically as possible — crises only — leaving plenty of room for songs whose necks have been twisted so their unlikely emergence in the narrative will elicit a gasp of surprise. (Optional: These songs should be plunked out on a piano by a Jewish shlemiel before a trio of bespangled black singers magically materializes to apply the shamalamadingdong.) Throughout, characters should use dialogue not to advance the plot but to provide information everyone onstage would already know. And all this must lead to a curtain-call sing-along of the musician’s catchiest hit.
As reported earlier today at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, FX ordered a second season of Fargo for fall 2015. And as many of you had speculated, the next edition will be set in Sioux Falls circa 1979. To jog your memory about the season finale: Molly’s dad, diner owner Lou Solverson, tells Lorne Malvo that he’d left behind his state trooper job decades ago because of a ghastly incident that took place in Sioux Falls, involving bodies “stacked so high, you could’ve climbed to the second floor.” “I’d call it animal except animals only kill for food,” he said. Season two will follow the events leading up to that incident, picking up with Lou as a 33-year-old man recently back from Vietnam, along with his 4-year-old daughter, Molly. (Alas, that means neither Keith Carradine nor Emmy nominee Allison Tolman will be returning.)
Although Jack Antonoff is more known for his work in the band fun., his new project, Bleachers, released its debut album last week. Though Antonoff does not love it when Bleachers is called a side project, the arrangement shares many attributes of a side project — and so Vulture decided to rank other noteworthy solo or side projects against their better-known bands. Note: This list is restricted to the past decade, otherwise it could've stretched far longer.
Though Cameron Diaz almost seems to be picking projects at random these days, there is at least one consistent through line: Whether the movies do well (like her spring sleeper The Other Woman) or arrive at the box office dead on arrival (like this weekend's flop Sex Tape), you can always, always count on them to earn bad reviews. When it comes to consecutive critical duds, in fact, Diaz may be doing worse than any other A-lister. Just check out her recent Rotten Tomatoes résumé, encompassing almost a full decade of work:
In Boyhood, Richard Linklater's opus to male adolescence and Texas, Ethan Hawke's character gives his son a homemade mix CD — "The Black Album," a compilation of the best work of John, Paul, George, and Ringo post-Beatles — as a graduation gift. Turns out Hawke gave his real-life daughter Maya the very same gift. As Hawke writes in the real liner notes (posted on BuzzFeed) and pretty much says this in the film: "When you mix up their work, though, when you put them side by side and let them flow — they elevate each other, and you start to hear it: T H E B E A T L E S."
Read the rest of the very sweet, very thoughtful liner notes on BuzzFeed. (And get that tracklist!)
We knew a whole bunch of Simpsons was coming when the show signed a syndication deal with FXX, but we're not sure if we could've expected this. It was announced today that the 12-day marathon we were promised will feature every single episode of the show played in chronological order (with the movie airing after episode 400). The marathon, which is the longest in TV history, will begin on FXX on August 21 at 10 a.m. and will end on September 1 at 12 a.m. But wait: There's more.
For the height difference alone, you're going to want to watch Daniel Radcliffe arguing with Adam Driver in this exclusive clip from their new movie, What If. But there's more that separates Radcliffe from Driver than just a head's height: The two best friends have a difference of opinion on how to talk to women, and it's an issue that needs to be resolved if Radcliffe has any hope of navigating his tricky romantic life, where he's fallen for a friend (Zoe Kazan) who's already coupled up with another man. So how do Radcliffe and Driver feel about coming totally clean to the women they have feelings for, and how does Bruce Willis enter into the debate? Press play to find out; What If will be released in theaters August 8.
Nothing says summer like Scandinavia, which is why Robyn and Röyksopp's Do It Again EP's May release was perfectly timed. Today double-R released the sprawling, dynamic video for the title track. Shot around Mexico, it shows partying going so right and so wrong, all at the same time and all in black and white. Robyn herself isn't in the video much — she periodically flashes onscreen in a fury of dance moves. Still, we'll take it!
In this morning's GQ Q&A with Kanye West, we learned so many things about dinosaurs and blowfish — but we also learned just how much Kanye adores his new bride. Is it her beauty? Sure. Her fame? Clearly. But what Kanye feels most strongly about are her skills: "In order to win at life, you need some Kim K skills, period." And where else would you be able to learn some Kim K skills (without having to marry her): Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. So we added some of Kanye's greatest Kim musings right into the game; they are easily digestible and way less expensive than adopting a pet.
Alan Turing was a brilliant British mathematician who helped crack the Nazi's Enigma code, significantly helping the Allies win World War II, only to be prosecuted for homosexuality after the war. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Turing in The Imitation Game. The film co-stars Keira Knightley and lots of other recognizable British actors (like an expectedly dickish Twyin Lannister). It opens on November 21. We're not Sherlock Holmes, but we can deduce someone's looking for an Oscar nomination.