Netflix has finally announced the premiere date for the long-awaited return of “Arrested Development” and it is coming soon! Season 4 of the Jason Bateman show will air May 26. That’s just a little over a month away, though for fans of the show, they’ve been waiting for new content since Fox cancelled the show after its third season back in 2006.
Last year it was announced that creator Mitch Hurwitz was pushing forward with an “Arrested Development” movie that quickly turned into a movie and a new season and then to just new episodes with a movie maybe possible somewhere down the line but not now. The season was to include ten episodes that would each focus on one character, showing what they’ve been up to over the past seven years. The 10-episode plan was bumped up to thirteen episodes ordered by Netflix and this week the “Arrested Development” Facebook page announced that there would actually be fifteen episodes being released in May. They also released a teaser poster that shows a locked shipping crate and the words “The Final Countdown Begins,” an homage to Gob’s magician theme song from the show.
Fans of the new “Fast and Furious” films are finding out some unfortunate news today. THR has learned that “Fast Five” and “Fast and Furious 6” director Justin Lin will not be returning to helm the seventh film. It is said that the studio is rushing for a 2014 release, and he doesn’t wish to be pressured into making something that wouldn’t be his best work (who can blame him?); fatigue is also said to be a factor. I think the studio should wait another year and give him all the time and money he wants to make this thing right, because now they are scrambling for a new director to take over the reins, and it just will not be the same without him.
There are two films based on the Greek legend Hercules set to come out next year, and both now have leads. Collider is reporting that director Brett Ratner’s film “Hercules” is already set to star Dwayne Johnson as the blood-thirsty hulkish warrior, and now Renny Harlin’s (“Deep Blue Sea”) “Hercules 3D” has found a lead in the terrible Kellan Lutz (“Twilight” films). The terrible director has stated that his version will be more in the vein of “Gladiator,” and of course have a central story revolving around a love affair between Hercules and the mortal princess of Crete who was promised to Hercules older brother. This movie sounds extremely lame and tame by comparison to Ratner’s, and Nu Image has given it a $70 million budget and a release date of next March, five months before Ratner’s (most likely) better film hits theaters. It looks like young-adult themes are sticking around for a while longer.
To say my writing and taste in movies was shaped by Roger Ebert would be a profound understatement. More than any other modern critic he revolutionized how "professional" critics could interpret a movie, and in doing so he (and Gene Siskel) founded and popularized modern film criticism.
Is it worth $10? No
Not like it is really a surprise, but Variety has learned that Paramount has greenlit a “G.I. Joe 3.” Thanks to Dwayne Johnson G.I. Joe: Retaliation opened with the second highest Easter box office ever, and has already recouped its production budget worldwide. If the studio is smart they had Johnson sign a multi-picture deal, or they will have to offer him a huge chunk of change to return. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura recently spoke about what he wants in a sequel: “We haven’t spent any time considering what the next movie is. There are elements we’re really excited about. I’d like to do more ninja story. That’s really fun, and I think the mythology will support some really cool things.” He also commented on the intimacy of the characters, “surprising isn’t the right word, but ‘gratifying’ how Dwayne and Channing’s ‘home scenes,’ if you would, they’re not buddy scenes but they translated that way somehow. So they’re basic character scenes, and they’re domesticated scenes. How well that played in the scale of what we’re trying to do. I’d like to see more of that.” Hopefully they don’t rely too much on that and forget what these movies are meant to be: mindless popcorn fun.Deadline reports the incredible up-and-coming actress Chloe Moretz (“Kick-Ass”) is in negotiations to star in “Dark Places.” The film is an adaptation of a novel with the same name by Gillian Flynn, and the dark drama centers on a woman who survived the brutal murder of her family when she was seven. Twenty-five years after testifying against her brother as the murderer, a group obsessed with investigating notorious crimes draws her out for more information. She will star opposite the incredible Charlize Theron (“Aeon Flux”), and based on her adaptability to any role I think this is pretty great casting. Chloe is on track to be an incredible actress, and who better to learn from than Charlize?
The History Channel took a gamble and won with their epic miniseries, “The Bible.” This makes them 2 for 2 on the epic miniseries front, as last year’s “Hatfields and McCoys” was also a huge ratings booster for the cable network. This year’s “The Bible” brings to life some of the greatest stories ever told, from Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt to the story and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. “The Bible” is directed toward Christians, but people of all faiths—or none at all—can still sit back and be entertained and inspired by these stories. Ten parts is a lot to watch, so it will take some time, but is well worth it. Rent It.
Speaking of epics, this week also brings us “Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One - Avengers Assembled.” This is a 10 disc, six movie set, which includes “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and last but not least, “Marvel’s The Avengers.” Some of these films are better than others, and I’ll leave it to you to decide which ones are which. For the most part, this is a pretty solid collection, and it comes with collectible packaging with exclusive memorabilia (prop reproductions and artifacts) from the movies, if you’re into that sort of thing. While not cheap at $150, it’s well worth it for any die hard fan, especially if you don’t own these already. Buy It.
It looks like people are ready for summer movies, and Box Office Mojo knows why. “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” was number one at the box office with $40.5 million (it crossed over $100 million worldwide). Thanks to a shift from mid-summer to March the studio was able to avoid conflict with much bigger movies and able to land in a non-crowded weekend. Second went to “The Croods” with another $26.7 million, and it has grossed $88.9 million domestically. In third was “Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor” with 21.6 million, and proving once again that some people will see anything. Falling to fourth was “Olympus Has Fallen,” which took in another $14.1 million and has a domestic gross of $54.9 million. It really didn’t stand a chance against an action heavyweight like “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.” “Oz the Great and Powerful” magically stayed in the top five in fifth, and took in another $11.7 million. The overrated movie is soon to be the first film to cross $200 million domestically in 2013.
Given the recent success of various period pieces like “Mad Men,” “The Americans,” and more similarly “Boardwalk Empire,” it is unsurprising that Martin Scorsese, producer of “Boardwalk Empire,” is working on developing a TV series based on his 2002 movie “Gangs of New York.” The series, at first, might seem like it would be similar to the prohibition era HBO series starring Steve Buscemi but set decades earlier, and focus on the birth of organized crime throughout the nation in cities like New York, Chicago, and New Orleans.
Scorsese explained the desire to return to a film that is over a decade old and not as well-known as some of his other flicks (like “Goodfellas,” which was also reportedly getting the TV treatment as of last year but has since stalled) to Deadline: “This time and era of America’s history and heritage is rich with characters and stories that we could not fully explore in a two-hour film. A television series allows us the time and creative freedom to bring this colorful world, and all the implications it had and still does on our society, to life.”