While he’s obviously more of a household name for creating and running 3 years of Fox’s hit high school musical series Glee, before that Ryan Murphy was known as the man who created Nip/Tuck. That series, obviously very different than Glee, was his real masterpiece, bringing 100 episodes of drama, horror, and intrigue.
Now that things look to be settling down for his series on Fox, their raunchier network sister station, FX, has picked up 13 episodes of Murphy and his co-creator Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story. THR has the scoop on the premise and who we can expect to see on the show:
From 20th Television, the mysterious drama revolves around Ben and Vivien Harmon (The Practice’s Dylan McDermott, Friday Night Lights’ Connie Britton) who move their family from Boston to a haunted San Francisco home in an attempt to rebuild their family after a miscarriage and affair.
Murphy is said to be revising the initial script to increase the role of the nosy neighbor once Jessica Lange (Grey Gardens) signed on to the project in April. Denis O’Hare (True Blood) co-stars as Larry the Burn Guy, a former resident of the haunted estate; with Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under) and Alexandra Breckenridge (Life Unexpected) both playing Moira O’Hara, a housekeeper who has worked at the home for years and appears as a young woman to Ben and an older woman to Vivien.
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True crime fans are in for a treat tonight, because Investigation Discovery has a lineup of shows catering to the macabre and and truly terrifying. Forget Jason Voorhees, there is nothing more frightening than a real life monster.
Tonight’s special scheduling begins with Pig Farm (9pm), a film about Robert Pickton, Canada’s most notorious serial killer. Next up is American Occult: Blood Lust (11pm) which takes you inside the underground world of Satan worshippers and vampire culture. Finally, Lore: Deadly Obsession will show at midnight.
We got a sneak peek at Lore: Deadly Obsession, which tells the very disturbing story of Richard Trenton Case. Even as a young child, Case exhibited signs of zoosadism, bedwetting, and pyromania; all behaviors that indicate sociopath tendencies.
Throw an abusive mom and problems with women in the mix, and it was a recipe for disaster. Case was obsessed with drinking blood, and once his desire could not be met with small rodents and animals he graduated to other means, culminating in a gruesome blood bath one night in 1978.
Case killed over six people over the course of one month, and was nicknamed the “Vampire of Sacramento”. He died of an apparent suicide by overdose while in prison.
Part of the reason this particular film is so effective and chilling is due to the performance of Dylan John Seaton. He is simply scary as hell as the unhinged serial killer. Although most of the violence takes place off camera, the film is wholly unsettling, particularly since you know the events really took place.
Check local listings for more details.
If you dismiss Bridesmaids as an estrogen laden raunch fest, you’d be selling it short. Not only is the film wickedly funny, but it has a surprising amount of heart to boot. How refreshing to see a talented ensemble of women deliver the goods on every level.
Kristen Wiig really gets to strut her stuff as Annie, an adorable underachiever who just can’t catch a break since she lost her bakery during the recession. She occasionally beds down with a handsome prick (John Hamm) who kicks her out of the sack the minute he has done the dirty deed. A real charmer, there. Adding to her misery is her boring job selling jewelry.
When Annie’s best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) becomes engaged, she asks Annie to be her maid of honor. However, their friendship is tested when Lillian’s new (and obscenely wealthy) friend Helen (Rose Byrne) starts honing in on the wedding planning.
A jealous rivalry begins escalating between the two as the events leading up to the wedding unfold. Poor Annie is roped into buying an expensive designer bridesmaid dress she can’t afford and is subjected to the most over-the-top bridal shower ever.
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Thor had a mighty weekend, but not quite as spectacular as some of the other Marvel properties. It nabbed the number one spot at the box office with $66M. Audiences were fairly pleased with the film, and bestowed a “B+” upon it, according to CinemaScore. The film earned about 60% of its total from 3D screens and had an impressive per screen average of $16, 688.
Fast and Furious was a bit of a surprise. It dropped 62%, despite very positive reviews and word of mouth. That’s a drop we typically see in horror movies and other front loaded films. It still managed to make $32.5M, and has made over $139M in just two weeks.
Jumping the Broom came in at number three, an impressive task considering the fact that there was minimal advertising and promotion for the movie. There were also no big name stars, yet the film made $13.7M on fewer screens than the number four film, Something Borrowed.
Something Borrowed pulled in about $13.1M. Okay, but not great, especially since it should have had a built in audience from Emily Giffin’s book. Rio took the five spot, making $8.2M. In four weeks, the film has taken in $114.9M.
The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster and starring Mel Gibson, played on limited screens (22) and made about $4,700 per screen. That is roughly on par with what Something Borrowed pulled in per screen.
Guess who just passed the $50M mark? A little horror film called Insidious, which only had a budget of about $1.5M. Source Code also joined the $50M club this week.
Next week Bridesmaids will square off against Priest.
Buyer beware: if you haven’t read Emily Giffin’s book, it is likely that this film adaptation will fall flat. Those who have read the novel will be pleasantly surprised to see the world of Rachel, Darcy, and Dex wonderfully brought to life. This is the rare book adaptation that was perfectly cast, and should please the fans.
However, without the back story of the novel, you are likely to be confused or even annoyed by the love/hate relationship of the title characters. For the uninitiated, Something Borrowed is the tale of Rachel, an attorney who is not particularly happy with her job, and is perpetually single. She has lived in the shadow of her best friend Darcy, a beautiful party girl who lives a charmed existence, for most of her life.
Rachel became pals with Dex during law school, and has nursed a crush on him since day one. Lacking the confidence to divulge her true feelings to Dex, Rachel steps aside and lets a romance brew between Darcy and Dex. It’s a decision that will come back to haunt her.
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Truth be known, this isn’t the review I wanted to write. Trust me, it would be a lot easier to heap glowing praise on this over-hyped tale of a Norse God who is banished to earth, but the movie just wasn’t my cup of mead.
I’m convinced someone must have messed with my 3D glasses. Based on ecstatic word of mouth, I should have seen a thrilling, well executed, well acted, and good looking film. Instead, I saw a dull, erratically paced film with gaudy set pieces, tacky costumes, and inconsistent writing.
Admittedly, I am no master of the Marvel universe, so take that with a grain of salt. However, I am game, and have enjoyed several of the movies culled from their stable of superheroes in recent years. Throw director Kenneth Branagh into the mix, and I am not only intrigued, but a little giddy. I guess that might be part of the reason I was so disappointed in the film; I expected better with Branaugh at the helm.
The film tells the story of Thor, a Norse God who wields a mighty wicked hammer as his weapon of choice against the bad guys. Thor resides in the realm of Asgard, and he is a sure shot to take over the throne from his aging father Odin (Anthony Hopkins).
Odin has maintained peace between his kingdom and the Frost Giants, a rival population, for years. When they threaten to infiltrate Asgard, Thor makes a hasty decision to attack the Frost Giants. This infuriates his father, who banishes Thor to Earth, and strips Thor’s hammer of any real power.
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Fast Five shot out of the gate with a weekend total of $83.6M. Obviously, we haven’t seen these type of totals all year, so it comes as no surprise that the film has broken all sorts of records. This is the best opening for the Fast and Furious franchise. It is also the largest opening of 2011, the largest opening in April, and the biggest opening that Universal has ever had.
The film played at over 3,600 locations in the United States, including a handful (243) of IMAX screens. It was well received by audiences, earning a CinemaScore of “A”, which should ensure continued brisk business in upcoming weeks.
Coming in far behind Fast Five was Rio, now in its third week in release. It made $14.4M, which was a decline of about 45%. Madea’s Big Happy Family took the third spot this weekend with $10.1M.
So what about the weekend’s other two new films? They were left in the dust, coming in 5th and 6th. Teenagers didn’t show up for Disney’s Prom. The film made about $5M, and had a paltry per screen average of $1832. Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil fared even worse with $4.1M. That’s well below the $12M its predecessor made on its opening weekend.
Water for Elephants was number four, earning $9.4M. The film has made about $32M in two weeks. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night rolled out on 875 screens, but fell short of making one million dollars. Its take was $885,000
In limited release, Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams had an impressive per screen average of $25,400.
Many thought this Easter weekend was going to be a slam dunk for Tyler Perry and his third film to be based on the popular “Madea” character. However, it was a blue macaw and his feathered friends who fended off the competition. Rio came in at the number one spot for the second weekend in a row. The film made $26.8M, bringing its two week total to $81M.
Madea was a close second, with Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family making $25.8. That is a very solid opening weekend total, but it is only the fourth largest debut from Tyler Perry, and it is lower than the two previous Madea movies.
The audience skewed heavily toward African American women over the age of 25, which is very typical for one of Perry’s films. The film got a coveted “A” grade from audience members polled by CinemaScore. It should also be noted that Madea’s Big Happy Family had the highest per/screen average of the weekend ($11,254).
After critic reviews started coming in as less than stellar, there was some fear that Water for Elephants would under-perform, but it came in about where expected. The romance starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon made about $17.5M and got an “A-” grade from viewers.
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The greatest show on earth? Nah, but I found Water for Elephants to be an immensely enjoyable period film filled with decadent set pieces, gorgeous costumes, and a fascinating look at Depression-era Americana. The romance might be a tad tepid, but there is plenty to keep you entertained in this film adaptation of the popular novel by Sara Gruen.
If you haven’t read the book (I haven’t) don’t let the clunky title be a turnoff. Water for Elephants takes place in 1931, and tells the tale of Jacob Jakowski (Robert Pattinson), who has just completed his final year of Veterinary Science at the prestigious Cornell University. On the day of his final exams, Jacob learns that both of his parents died in a tragic car crash, and that they had mortgaged their house and belongings to pay his tuition.
He takes off with the shoes on his feet, the shirt on his back, and little else. Due to divine intervention or blind good luck, Jacob jumps onto a train that just happens to be housing an entire traveling circus.
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Tim Harrison is an animal advocate and police officer in Ohio who spends his days responding to calls about exotic animals that have escaped or have become unmanageable. We’ve all heard the stories about escaped chimpanzees, snakes, alligators, and other pets, and rarely do they end well. As Harrison says, “There are no happy endings.”
The mere fact that Harrison stays busy in Ohio, of all places, is alarming. However, exotic pet ownership and trade is largely unregulated, and many states don’t require any type of license to own a potentially lethal pet.
Director Michael Webber tackles the emotionally charged issue of exotic pet ownership in the United States. He takes us undercover at an exotic pet auction where monkeys, cubs, poisonous snakes and other exotics are casually obtained by anyone who has the money to purchase the animals. Plenty of children were in attendance.
Many people don’t think about the consequences of buying a cute lion cub that will eventually weigh close to 600 pounds when fully grown. Often the owner simply lets the pet go in the wild. There have been so many pythons let loose in Florida that entire ecosystems are changing due to unfettered breeding and overpopulation.
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