Great dancer Chris Messina is in negotiations to star opposite Ben Affleck in Live by Night, a Prohibition-era crime drama written and directed by the future Batting Gentleman. Messina will play Affleck’s best friend Dion Bartolo, which you could totally see. (Can’t you imagine Messina and Affleck roughhousing – Messina under Affleck’s arm, getting noogied real good?) Based on Dennis Lehane’s novel The Given Day, Live by Night’s cast also includes Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller, and Zoe Saldana. All the actors have been considered for their parts for awhile now, but production was delayed while Affleck was being a movie star/superhero. Of course, Messina previously worked with Affleck on Argo, where he showed the director/actor he could pull off period-specific facial hair.
Hot off a remix from Fetty Wap, New York City club-pop duo the Knocks keep the momentum going with a video for their disco gem (and previous Song of the Week pick) "Collect My Love." The song and video are anchored by the charisma of Alex Newell, best remembered for playing Glee's first transgender character, Unique. With its setting at famed party spot China Chalet and its cameos from rising drag stars Aquaria and Daphne Sumtimez, the Austin Peters–directed video gives a rapturous glimpse into Downtown Manhattan's underground club culture.
"He did a great job capturing the energy of Alex's performance and the energy of our favorite part of New York City," DJ B-Roc says of Peters. Newell especially delivers a showstopping turn as the Chalet's dance queen, putting his sky-high vocal range center stage — while wearing a flower crown and sequins, natch. Consider this your Friday night slay-spiration.
Justin Bieber Will Be on The Tonight Show for a Whole Week (Because He Knows You Need Him After a Hard Day, Baby)By Greg Cwik
Get ready for a week of Biebs: After making an appearance on The Tonight Show next Wednesday, September 2, Justin Bieber will begin a one-week residency on the show, from September 7–11, Rolling Stone reports. Bieber, a Tonight Show veteran, is promoting his new album, and will perform live Thursday and Friday. Bieber previously competed against Jimmy Fallon in a series of events three years ago, promoting his album Believe (Fallon whipped out his album, Blow Your Pants Off). You can watch them go head-to-haircut below.
The zombie universe continues to expand on AMC. After premiering Fear the Walking Dead to record-setting ratings, the network is planning a stand-alone episode of a zombie attack that takes place on a passenger plane, EW reports. As their prize, the lucky survivor of that episode will get to join the cast of Fear the Walking Dead on the second season. The stand-alone episode will debut online and unfold in small bits that will air on television during commercial breaks of The Walking Dead. It sounds similar to how the Razor movie functioned in the Battlestar Galactica universe — as an interesting stand-alone narrative that included some of the same characters but wasn't required viewing. In any case, we can help brainstorm titles for the new show. We are partial to The Flying Dead, Air Force Zom, Brains on a Plane, and Zombie Airplane!
Netflix's new series Narcos is a meaty dramatization of the rise of infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, as narrated by one of the American DEA agents trying to take him down. The voice-over lends the show the almost dreamy air of a legend or fable, a gather round, children, for the story of the most notorious drug kingpin in living memory, and the show itself acknowledges in its awkward opening moments that this saga is in some ways part of the Colombian tradition of magical realism, that the story of Pablo Escobar is both true and surreal at the same time. It's an accurate assessment, and one Narcos additionally plays with by including real footage and photographs woven into its fictionalization. Actual but fantastical, a man and a myth, a business and a scourge, plus several governments waging a futile, grotesque war. Cocaine: It's a hell of a drug.
God help me, I liked The Zac Efron DJ Movie. A kind of variation on Saturday Night Fever set in the world of electronica, the film follows a young disc jockey torn between two worlds — with ambition and romance on the one side, and his loyal, scrappy friends on the other. It’s all big, dumb, broad strokes, with plot points visible from miles away. But it works where it matters: The music is fantastic, and the film invests you in its central relationship.
For all the obsessing over what the hell is happening in Mr. Robot’s breakout first season, at the center of it all is Rami Malek. It’s been said and re-said: The actor is riveting in his portrayal of Elliot Alderson, and the show’s success leans on him giving one of the most interesting performances on television. But Malek isn’t just a great actor: He’s an honest-to-goodness, bedroom-poster-worthy crush.
Rami has pools for eyes, and when he speaks, it's with a melodious lilt; he has delightful, elfin ears that sit atop his lithe, five-seven frame. His appeal is unusual: Rami exudes mystery, but he somehow pulls off cute, too. What makes this all beautifully incongruous is that he's on a show like Mr. Robot. There’s Rami, playing a deeply depressed hacker on a dense prestige-drama show known for its well-executed twists and cinematic finesse. And yet, even as Rami's buggy eyes radiate with Elliot's crippling loneliness and anxiety, he can make a grown woman feel 16 again. Many fans saw crush potential early on: Rami Malek Online has been following the 34-year-old actor since 2011, and there are countless Instagram and Tumblr accounts documenting his every move. Twitter is buzzing with fans declaring their crushes on Rami, and as crushes go, no one is quite sure how to handle it.
Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker’s filmmaker and a cinephile’s cinephile — a pop-culture junkie who packs his movies with moments both familiar and unforgettable. Rife with minute details and pop-culture allusions that may initially elude moviegoers, Tarantino's films reward repeated viewings. Which raises the question: Have you seen them enough times? And have you adequately studied up on the man himself? Test your knowledge of the Tarantino-verse with this quiz — and don't hold your breath for “What do they call a Quarter-Pounder With Cheese in France?”
Quentin Tarantino is undoubtedly one of the (if not the) most influential American film directors of the last quarter-century. His gritty, ultraviolent, fast-paced, and impeccably hip writing style and visual eye have made a mark on both underground and mainstream film like no other. Following the one-two punch of 1992's Reservoir Dogs and 1994's Pulp Fiction, Hollywood was (and arguably still is) flooded with style-aping films that could be referred to as Tarantino-esque. Indie filmmakers of all stripes have surely benefited from the increased exposure that his quick ascension gave to subterranean cinema.
Olivier Award–winning British actor Mark Strong — square of jaw, piercing of gaze — is known Stateside for playing elegant, slightly sinister supporting characters, but he’ll be center stage in his Broadway debut this November, as Red Hook longshoreman Eddie Carbone in the Young Vic’s production of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge. He spoke about finding Eddie, working with suddenly-everywhere director Ivo van Hove, and the British tradition of being a bad guy.
Tom Hardy is a man of many secrets, just a couple being his treasure trove of MySpace selfies and dog obsession. And now we know he's got a thing for lip-syncing, too. Thanks to his slightly less-bearded Mad Max stunt double, Jake Tomuri, Hardy's been outed as a Dubsmash fiend. He's downright addicted to the app (perhaps inspired by Hayley Atwell?), and has covered everything from Wu-Tang to the Bee Gees to Whitney Houston. Of course, Tom hasn't actually revealed his secret hobby himself — all these videos have been posted so far by Tomuri and, surprisingly, 50 Cent, whose "9 Shots" and "P.I.M.P." Hardy has delightfully taken on. Feast your eyes on Tom's glorious Dubsmash collection, and start crossing your fingers that he shows up on Lip Sync Battle next season.
As a New The Girl With … Book Hits Shelves, Stieg Larsson’s Partner Continues to Fight for His LegacyBy Boris Kachka
The tiny islet of Riddarholmen, home to a 13th-century church full of entombed Swedish royalty, is an oasis of dead calm in cosmopolitan Stockholm, an odd place to witness the relaunch of an international phenomenon. But it happens to host the headquarters of Norstedts, the publisher of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy (80 million copies strong) and its new sequel, known Stateside as The Girl in the Spider’s Web, written posthumously by a different writer, David Lagercrantz.
“We have had journalists all over the world to come and hear the story about Stieg Larsson and his books,” editor-in-chief Eva Gedin said at the start of Wednesday morning’s press conference. “Tourists have made pilgrimages to some of those places in which his books take place … It has been eleven years since we published the first book in Sweden, and we felt that the time was right for a continuation.”
It’s also been ten years since Larsson died of a heart attack at age 50, soon after signing his book contract, leaving his estate by default to his distant father and brother, and excluding — by law — his partner of 32 years, Eva Gabrielsson, who has fought the family ever since. It seems on the surface an all-too-familiar conflict — a fight for the right to print money off the name of the deceased — but the real quarry is capital of the intellectual kind. It’s a public argument over who has the knowledge, acumen, and integrity to manage a famous author’s estate — not to mention the characters, plotlines, and political messages that run through Larsson’s darkly moralistic books.
At once a grand adventure story and a self-reflexive mystery, The Marvels, the upcoming, lusciously designed book from The Invention of Hugo Cabret author Brian Selznick, is made up of two tales. The first is told solely through Selznick’s illustrations and focuses on the survivor of a 1766 shipwreck, Billy Marvel, and the five generations of legendary thespians descended from him. The second, told in prose and set 90 years after the final events of the first, presents the story of Joseph, a London runaway. If Selznick’s prior work is any indication, the sum total promises to be a feat of both narrative and bookmaking design, gorgeously rendered in gilded pages and a stunning gold-foil cover.
Matt Damon, who will soon appear onscreen as a badass botanist in Ridley Scott's The Martian, has revealed new details regarding his return to the Bourne universe. Damon hasn't played Bourne since 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum, and is coming back to the character after Jeremy Renner and Tony Gilroy's moderately successful Bourne Legacy. Speaking to BuzzFeed, Damon explained that part of the reason he stayed away was he was waiting for a geopolitical paradigm shift. "We always looked at those movies as really about the Bush presidency, and so we kind of had to wait for the world to change." He went on, "Without giving too much of it away, it’s Bourne through an austerity-riddled Europe and in a post-Snowden world. It seems like enough has changed, you know? There are all these kinds of arguments about spying and civil liberties and the nature of democracy." The film, which will also bring back director Paul Greengrass and Julia Stiles (and add Alicia Vikander and Tommy Lee Jones), starts shooting in Greece soon. “We’re starting in Greece, you know, the beginning of democracy,” Damon told BuzzFeed. “And the movie ends in Las Vegas, the most grotesque incarnation of …" The film is slated to open in 2016.
Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer Dance Onstage With Billy Joel, Slide Into the Top Spot of Your Celebrity BFFs ListBy Jesse David Fox
Sometimes new friendship can be an intoxicating whirlwind more intense than any romance. You feel like you've known each other forever, having inside jokes instantly. After a few weeks of laughing, you say in unison the only thing that makes sense at the time: "We should definitely write a movie together." And if you're famous, you say, "Let's go onstage at this Billy Joel concert." Warning: Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer don't come onstage until about two minutes in, so fast-forward, or else you'll definitely have "Uptown Girl" stuck in your head all weekend. And this is the last weekend before Labor Day! It's too risky. Warning over. Enjoy!
Ramona Singer fell asleep on television. Right there, in her prized seat at Andrew R. Cohen Jr.’s left hand, she fell asleep, the spirit gum of her fake eyelashes catching on her lids and sticking as they slowly opened up, like two automatic garage doors painted gray and sparkly. I believe it was the correct reaction.
Comedian Rachel Bloom’s new CW rom-com musical, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, promises to take the wacky spirit of her popular online videos to its logical conclusion. Bloom plays a Manhattan lawyer, Rebecca Bunch, who drops everything to follow her high-school ex to dreary West Covina, California. As one does, Rebecca pierces the suburban boredom — and signals some disturbing emotional undercurrents — by breaking into song, occasionally while atop a giant pretzel.
Michelle Pfeiffer has signed up to join Robert De Niro for HBO Films' long-awaited Bernie Madoff movie, Wizard of Lies, the network announced Thursday. The project, which saw some initial buzz in 2011, has been moving at a glacial pace, but the addition of Pfeiffer is a welcome sign things are finally picking up. Pfeiffer will play De Niro's onscreen wife, Ruth Madoff, and they'll be joined by Alessandro Nivola, who will take a turn as Madoff's older son, Mark. (That is what you call picture-perfect casting — even before all the makeup!) The story follows Madoff's infamous Ponzi scheme; Barry Levinson will direct, based on Diana Henriques's book of the same name, as well as Laurie Sandell's Truth and Consequences. Sam Baum, Sam Levinson, and John Burnham Schwartz are attached as writers for the script. Other production details, most notably with regard to timeline, are unavailable at the moment. Like everyone, De Niro & Co. are probably just hoping this thing gets made before Madoff gets out of jail — which, I guess, would be sometime in 2159. Fingers crossed.
Let's hope Conan is working on a "Texts From Sandler" Tumblr. (Or getting ready to pitch a Conan-Sandler movie; that would be a welcome 106 minutes.)
The music video for Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean" surfaced earlier than planned Thursday night — and what a treat it is. The song sounds like what would happen if you took Steve Aoki's alarm clock to a tropical beach resort. (In other words, electro-catchy as hell.) And although the accompanying video doesn't really go with the lyrics, it's fun to watch — like the visual artists who do Disclosure's stuff had at a Tony Hawk video game featuring Ryan Sheckler, Chelsea Castro, and the Biebs as the only playable characters. Sorry, no Bam Margera, but how badly have you wanted to see Justin Bieber do a nollie flip? Doesn't matter! He does one here, with 50 percent clothes and 100 percent bad-itude. Enjoy:
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