Cranston and Paul. Sudeikis and Wilde. Will and Jada and Willow and Jaden.
These were some of the groupings that got their lives rocked by magician spirit David Blaine during his 90-minute ABC special, David Blaine: Real or Magic, which aired last night.
In any Blaine special, you know you're going to get a few things, always playing to his strengths. Some card tricks, a lot of calm talking, a hefty amount of glass eating, doing things with money, and magic done in the streets for groups of black people.
This is Blaine at his best: walking into a neighborhood and being a verifiable economic stimulus package, turning four teenage boys' 10 dollars into 100 dollars.
And then, because they are black, and he is David Blaine, and this is magic, you get this reaction:
The director of the Olivia Wilde–Jake Johnson rom-dramedy Drinking Buddies, and co-star of director Adam Wingard’s twisty, droll home-invasion thriller You’re Next, Joe Swanberg is sort of the new Kevin Bacon. With several dozen acting and directing credits in the last eight years, you could make a game out of connecting recent American indie-film luminaries back to Swanberg in even less than six degrees. Between directing and acting, in web series, shorts, and features, over the last eight years Swanberg has worked with Lena Dunham, Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Mark Duplass, indie horror legend Larry Fessenden, and more. With both Drinking Buddies and You’re Next opening theatrically on Friday, you may have questions. Here are some answers.
On the 10th anniversary of The O.C., I didn't have anything new to say because I had already written far too much about this show. Welcome to the SG archives, bitch.
• In 2004, I wrote about the end of Friends and the end of Season 1 of The O.C. You might enjoy the reread if only for this section: "The key to everything was the guy who plays Seth — Adam Brody — probably the best young actor on TV and someone who reminds many people of a young Tom Hanks (not Serious Tom Hanks, but the guy from Splash, Bachelor Party and Turner & Hooch). Whether The O.C. becomes Brody's Bosom Buddies remains to be seen, but he's the franchise here." Whoops.
Once someone has not only won a Best Director Oscar but seen that movie go on to win Best Picture, it must be tempting to spend the rest of your career repeating the formula that resulted in such success and acclaim. Fortunately for moviegoers, Danny Boyle is making like the Coen brothers: Each project he's helmed since the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire (127 Hours, the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics, and now Trance) has been a total departure from the one before.
Trance looks like Boyle's take on an Inception-esque thriller, in which the characters and the audience can't be entirely certain from scene to scene what's real and what's a dream, or a hypnotic suggestion, or a fantasy, or … you get the idea. James McAvoy is an art auctioneer who has no memory (or does he?!) of where he's hidden a painting to protect it from thieves; Rosario Dawson is a hypnotherapist who might be able to help him with his amnesia (or is it?!); and Vincent Cassel is a skeevy French criminal, in what will probably not turn out to have been the biggest stretch of his career.
Legend tells of a certain movie role long plagued by a Hollywood curse. It’s the lead part in either of the two planned biopics on Deep Throat actress Linda Lovelace, to which actresses such as Anna Faris, Lindsay Lohan, Malin Akerman, Olivia Wilde, and Kate Hudson have all been attached. And usually with interesting timing! This week, one of the films cast a new star: Amanda Seyfried is purportedly in talks to play Lovelace, curiously, just after her latest movie, In Time, tanked at the box office. Below, we look back on the other actresses who have almost played the porn actress at low points in their careers.
Steve Buscemi and Olivia Wilde are in talks to join Steve Carrell's Vegas magician movie Burt Wonderstone. Carrell plays an illusionist who breaks off with his old partner to go solo, only to be upstaged by Jim Carrey's hipper street magician; Buscemi would play the old partner, and Wilde would play Carrell's love interest, who works as Carrey's assistant. As this movie continues to land big names, it's clear it'll be a great thing for the general practice of magic: This is going to be the most high-profile screen time magic has gotten since that super sad Jawdroppers infomercial. Grade: B+
Joel and Ethan Coen are teaming up with Cedar Rapids' writer Phil Johnson on their first TV project. It's called Harve Karbo, it's an hour-long single-camera comedy about a private detective in L.A. who frequently encounters big Hollywood names while on the job, and it's got a script plus penalty commitment from Fox. The Coen Brother's famed dark humor and subtle sensibilities are going to fit in great with American Dad. Grade: A [HR]
Jeremy Renner is attached to King of Heists, an adaptation of J. North Conway's nonfiction book about an 1878 New York City bank robbery in which a man named George Leslie came to town pretending to be an upscale gentleman while assembling a crew that eventually pulled $3 million from the Manhattan Savings Institution. This all sounds totally great, and that’s before considering the project’s potential for old-timey moustaches. Grade: A [Deadline]
Simon Cowell is actively trying to sell Red or Black?, a game show produced by his company Syco that premiered in the UK earlier this month, to US networks, and a sale might happen in the next few weeks. While there are other contrivances built in, the show is apparently more or less televised roulette. So good news for our very own game-show pitch, a televised version of "Guess which number I'm thinking of." Grade: D [Vulture]
Worst Actress is traditionally the most difficult Razzie category to predict, because the performances are the most widely varied. Will nominations go to Oscar nominees slumming it (as when Diane Keaton was nominated for 2007’s Because I Said So)? Or will it go to the forgettable female “lead” in an action movie (as in Megan Fox’s nominations the past two years, for Jonah Hex and Transformers 2)? Or will a single nomination go to a whole group of ladies (the casts of Sex and the City 2, The Women, and Bratz: The Movie) in a manner that doesn’t at all suggest that the Razzies find all women and movies about women interchangeable and icky?
Despite a premise that fused two once-reliable genres and a cast featuring both Indiana Jones and James Bond, Jon Favreau’s $163 million Cowboys & Aliens got smurfing smurfed at the box office over the weekend, opening to a measly $36.2 million — well below even the modest $45 million its makers had predicted. As Harrison Ford scrambles into the nearest refrigerator, we at Grantland are left to wonder just what happened. We asked an agent, a producer, and a publicist for insight on why C&A bombed so badly — and what the fallout might be for its makers and Hollywood at large.