With his good looks, Liev Schreiber (TV's Ray Donovan) seems born to play an astronaut. In Magnet Releasing's The Last Days on Mars, he finally gets the chance. As chief systems officer Vincent Campbell, he's part of Aurora's six-month mission on the red planet with only 19 hours left to go before heading home. What could go wrong?
According to The Slumber Party Massacre, young women love to have group sleepovers so fun that the girls don't have the good sense to leave the house when their party is crashed by the arrival of a drill-wielding serial killer.
We vilify people for bad behavior in real life, yet celebrate it in our entertainment, particularly on the small screen. When the results are as strong as the current crop, all new (or new-ish) to DVD and/or Blu-ray, why question the disconnect?
Prior to his Spider-Man trilogy, director Sam Raimi cut his superhero-movie teeth on 1990's Darkman, a character of his own creation. Although it's clearly not the most polished of his works, the summer sleeper plays even better as the years tick by. Look no further than Shout! Factory's colorful re-release on Blu-ray.
Someday, celebrity cyclist Lance Armstrong may regret hiring Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney to document his 2009 "comeback," but I doubt it. As The Armstrong Lie demonstrates time and again for two mostly gripping hours, the athlete is still unable to tell the whole truth and nothing but.
I’m guessing not many saw 2010’s Tiny Furniture,
an imperfect but smart and charming comedy that burst Lena Dunham, its
star/writer/director, onto the indie-feature scene. On its strength and
reception, Dunham scored a series deal at HBO with none other than Judd
Apatow (Bridesmaids) producing.
The result, Girls, debuts at 9:30 p.m. Sunday on HBO. It may deal with the lives of four unmarried, 20-something women in New York City, but this is no Sex and the City, and thank the stars above for that. One of its characters, the shy virgin played by Zosia Mamet (daughter of David, and a recurring player on Mad Men), references that once-zeitgeist hit of female wish-fulfillment fantasy with a fawning voice and goo-goo eyes, but the knock at it is unmistakable, and appreciated.
Dunham, writing wise beyond her years and directing just fine, is front and center as Hannah, who, in the pilot, learns her parents (including Bosom Buddies’ Peter Scolari as her noncombative dad) are cutting the cord of financial support. She’s hopeful her publishing internship will turn into a “real” job, but it doesn’t, and her love life fares no more success. Oh, she’s getting laid on a constant basis — it’s just with the most repulsive, uncaring beast a single gal should never get near.
From the first three half-hour episodes I previewed, it’s clear that the politically incorrect comedy already stands on firm footing, confident in its resolute archness. Example: Episode two, titled “Vagina Panic,” finds a plot in throwing a quasi-party for an abortion to be had by Jessa (Tiny Furniture vet Jemima Kirke, the show’s weakest link), so indeed, Girls isn’t for everyone. A skewed sense of humor is a must.
Dunham is in danger of having the entire show stole from under her by Hannah’s bitchy roommate, Marnie (Allison Williams, daughter of NBC News anchor Brian Williams), but hey, isn’t that just like real life? Here’s hoping the remainder of its freshman season are as diabolically winning. —Rod Lott