Bryan Cranston

Many things have been said about Disney’s John Carter. From bloggers who say it’s “full of action” to a marketing department at a major studio that’s having trouble explaining what, exactly, the hell John Carter is to the general public. Nerds know. Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ century-old story Princess of Mars know. Those of us who have seen it know that there’s plenty within it to love. So what else can be done to give you a reason to see it when it hits theaters this Friday, March 9? How about a 10-minute clip featuring the back story of our title character (played by Taylor Kitsch), an appearance by Bryan Cranston and almost some ‘of Mars’ kind of action. It’s not the high-flying, impressively scaled scenes from the movie, but this 10-minute clip should give you a good idea of what’s going on. If you’re still needing more, well, we’ve got more coming.

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Who is the Nielson Family?

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is celebrating Monday Funday with what amounts to a bunch of shenanigans. Don’t worry though, we’ve slipped in at least one legitimate piece of news. We’ll get to that shortly. We begin tonight with something found a few weeks ago via Warming Glow, where an image from the Twitter account of Charley Koontz, best known as Fat Neil on Community, shows that Executive Producer Dan Harmon is just as bitter about Community‘s ratings as the rest of us. Seriously, who is the Nielsen Family? In other news, I hope Dan Harmon never changes.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in his favorite Jedi robe, grabs his lightsaber and heads out to see the latest George Lucas movie…and boy does he look stupid. After realizing that Red Tails has nothing to do with the color of creatures’ backsides in the Tattooine cantina, he then dresses in his favorite “Team Jacob” tee shirt to see the latest vampire/werewolf movie. Again, he looks ridiculous. Finally, he sulks into a movie theater showing the new Steven Soderbergh film, falls in love with new action star Gina Carano and is happy.

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Hunger Games Track Suits

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the King of all nightly movie-related link dumps. You get twice the intelligence, half the idiocy, one quarter the amount of snark and exactly the same amount of actual news as other sites will give you. Plus, we always end with something fun. So stick around and read a while. We begin this evening with a shot from The Hunger Games featuring Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. Wait. Is there a reason why these characters have such stupid names? Or is it just to do with the future? I need to get around to reading these books, but I don’t know if I can deal with these names. Anyway, I like their tracksuits. I didn’t know this story was set in communist Russia.

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UPDATED: Hello, musical theatrics! Director Adam Shankman‘s take on Broadway hit Rock of Ages will undoubtedly be slick, highly produced, loud, melodramatic, and positively crammed with toe-tapping song-and-dance numbers (did you see Hairspray?) – essentially, it’s a film that will likely upset fans of the stage musical while also becoming a big commercial hit with a bizarre kitsch sensibility. That’s not just me guessing – that’s information hardily reinforced by the film’s first trailer. The film stars Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Ackerman, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston (really?!), Alec Baldwin, and Tom Cruise as (very different) people who populate and influence Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip music scene in the 1980’s. Hough and Boneta are trying to make it, Cruise already has, Zeta-Jones scream-sings a lot, that old story. The film is set to a cadre of ’80s classic jams, including Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, and Whitesnake. If you’ve yet to grow out of your big-haired, leather-clad rocker glory days, this is the film for you. Weirdly enough, despite Cruise (and his hair and his hips) being the marquee name on this film, we don’t get a whole lot of him until the last half of the trailer. And then we don’t get so much of him and his character, Stacee Jaxx, as we get some random groupie and her boobs. Bravo to everyone. Get your hairspray ready and check out […]

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*The following contains Breaking Bad spoilers in general and a major spoiler for the season four finale in particular. The Breaking Bad bandwagon is one that I avoided  getting on for a long time. After watching seasons one through three in a summer marathon, I found a lot to enjoy in the show, but there certainly wasn’t any drinking of the Kool-Aid being done. And while there still isn’t, I’ll be damned if the ending of season four didn’t at least tempt me to take a sip or two. This season started off rather lackluster compared to the high of the previous season. Sure, Gus slitting Victor’s throat and the cartel shoot-out were among some of the greatest moments of the show’s history, but they were scattered in a field with the likes of Hank’s self-loathing and distractingly annoying advertisements for Denny’s. But the final two episodes of this season made up for the majority of all that lackluster crap. What made the Breaking Bad season four finale special is that the immediate storyline involved is played out over two episodes instead of one. “End Times” is mostly set up for what we saw in “Face Off,” and that’s why “Face Off” is so fucking good. Imagine if the spinning gun scene in “End Times” had instead aired in the same episode as the final shot of the season. It wouldn’t have worked, simply because the final shot was one what required a moment of processing by the audience. Had everything been in […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s sorry that it didn’t send flowers. How was it supposed to know that it was your birthday? It’s only a nightly movie news column.. We being this evening with an image of Joss Whedon directing the shit out of The Avengers alongside Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson. It’s part of a group of images that hit the web this week. In moving images news, reports are now saying that a trailer for The Avengers will drop on Tuesday, October 11. They just had to beat the new iPhone to the punch, didn’t they?!

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Culture Warrior

Masculinity has always been the major topic of concern in the work of Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn. Just look at the series he made his name with, the Pusher trilogy, which in three installments provide three very different but equally compelling stories of occasionally brazen, often buffoonish masculinity within various facets of the Copenhagen illegal drug trade. So it is no surprise that the directors latest work (his ‘breakthrough’ years, if you will) are continuously concerned with the turbulent lives of men, culminating this weekend with his most ‘mainstream’ entry, Drive (in purely box-office terms, as Drive in its opening weekend made more than 84x what his previous two films made together, yet the film is still ripe with Refn’s eccentric signature). Refn’s thematic and narrative preoccupation with masculinity has produced three fascinating portraits in as many years. The temporal and social contexts of Bronson, Valhalla Rising, and Drive couldn’t be more disparate, but between them he’s produced an unofficial trilogy of sorts connected not only through his deliberate pacing and striking, almost invasive visual style, but more importantly through their shared concerns as portrayals of three aggressive men who wander their respective environments in solitude.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr feels the weight of the fall movie season. It’s September, and while the kids are heading back to school, he’s playing hooky with Sarah Jessica Parker chick flicks and yet another not-quite-70s-video-nasty remake. Kevin is consoled by the release of Drive, however, because Albert Brooks as a crime boss makes him chuckle. And his love for 3D and Disney meet head-on in a collision of awesomeness.

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A getaway driver (Ryan Gosling) waits as his temporary partners in crime pile in with their unspecified haul, and as the police close in behind them the driver does what he does best. Straight-faced, calm, and in control, he eludes capture through precision and restraint, and when the job’s over he walks away. But what happens when walking away is no longer an option? Driver (as he’s listed in the credits) meets, befriends, and falls for a young woman (Carey Mulligan) and her son who may just be the only real innocents left in Los Angeles. When her husband is released from jail and forcibly tasked to commit one last robbery to pay off a debt, Driver steps in to assist and spare mother and son any further anguish. Things do not go as planned. If the bare mechanics of Drive‘s plot seem overly familiar it’s because they are. The character of Driver could easily be imagined in any number of westerns, samurai epics, or Clint Eastwood films as the nameless stranger who appears to skirt both sides of the law but who shows his true colors when it comes to protecting or avenging the innocent. His past is unclear but we know those gaps are most likely filled with violence, loss and more violence. And the idea of “one last job that goes wrong” has become so ubiquitous that it’s a wonder Friedberg & Seltzer haven’t spoofed it by now (in a film destined to be creatively titled One […]

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Director Nicolas Winding Refn‘s first Hollywood outing, Drive, is a successful and propulsive dive into the world of commercialism. Instead of tackling a work-for-hire type of gig, the semi-auteur has stuck to his unrelenting, darkly comedic, and playful style. The director took a simple premise and storyline, and made an 80s-inspired, pop music-fueled western about a lone samurai. Does that sound like the atypical Hollywood picture? It delivers the unexpected, similar to how Refn does in person. This is the second time I’ve interviewed the on-the-rise filmmaker, and he’s the type of interviewee that keeps you on your feet. Most of the time his responses are brief, to the point, and often odd. Sometimes that’s for the better, especially since the Danish filmmaker is never at a loss for something interesting to say. Here’s what the self-described fetish filmmaker had to say about Pretty Woman, treating actors as human beings, embracing his feminine side, and the ending of Drive:

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A few weeks ago I interviewed Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad, and at the time, he told me something I thought had already been reported: that he won’t be appearing in Marc Forster’s zombie epic, World War Z. IMBD had him listed and it was reported virtually everywhere that Cranston would have a small role in the film. Sadly, those reports are wrong. I talked to the Breaking Bad star a few days before speaking with Forster, so naturally, I asked how that collaborating was going. As Cranston pointed out, it’s not going, and for understandable reasons: “I didn’t work with Marc Forster. I was supposed to, but scheduling got in the way, so I’m not able to. I regretted the omission. I sent him an email, wished him well, and said I was sad it didn’t workout. You know, on some other project we’ll hopefully — will you please tell him I said hello? And tell him the zombies are coming to get him.” Of course I told Marc Foster that the zombies were going to get him — and like Cranston — he was disappointed the actor won’t be a part of the film. It’s a real shame Cranston isn’t in WWZ, because it would have been cool to see him fighting off some brutal, fast-moving zombies.

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I’ve already written a couple of different stories about the casting process of Ben Affleck’s next film as a director, Argo. His CIA drama includes an impressive list of names like Alan Alda, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Kyle Chandler, and Affleck himself; and it tells a globe-hopping story that should push the limits of what Affleck can do as a director like nothing else he’s made up to this point. I’m really looking forward to it. So I’m pleased as punch that Warner Bros. has sent out a press release which not only states that filming is set to begin, but also confirms a few more interesting last minute names to fill out the cast. Joining that bevy of powerful presences up top will be veteran character actor Michael Parks, who recently has been used by directors like Kevin Smith in Red State and Quentin Tarantino in the Grindhouse movies, Clea Duvall, who’s been in movies like Zodiac and 21 Grams, Richard Kind, who you’ll recognize from things like Curb Your Enthusiasm and the Coens’ A Serious Man, and Tate Donovan who has done, well…uh, not much that I’ve liked. Still, add them all together and that’s a seriously awesome group of actors. I’ve done the plot synopsis thing on this movie before, but for the sake of posterity, let’s take a look at Warner’s official word on what this movie is about after the break:

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The evolution of Walter White is, without a doubt, one of the most engaging character arcs ever to grace the small screen. Once the unassuming school teacher turned meth dealer, very few characters transform that heavily. Per usual on Breaking Bad, that transformation has been done with patience and care. Walter White is a character that has garnered many fans over the years, and star Bryan Cranston is on that fan list as well. The Emmy-winning actor was kind enough to make time for a phone interview, and early on in our chat, Cranston’s passion and love for the character was clear. And for good reason. Walter White travels to new and interesting places that most actors never get the chance to explore. Thankfully, we’ll be going along with Cranston on White’s journey for another 16 episodes. Cranston and I started off discussing the collaborative process on the well-deserved critical darling, Drive, then soon moved on to discussing how Walter has changed over the course of the show, and if there’s any chance of hope for our favorite meth maker.

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If you haven’t been reading along, I’ve been gushing about Ruben Fleischer’s upcoming crime drama The Gangster Squad for quite a while. Story details about the cops and gangsters flick about real life gangster Mickey Cohen can be found in my first article about the movie, where it was announced that Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, and Ryan Gosling had all been cast in key roles. Penn is in the starring role as Cohen, and Brolin and Gosling are two of the members of the titular gangster squad that is put together to take him down. After hearing that, I didn’t think that life could get much better, but then it did. The second Gangster Squad related bomb that Fleischer dropped on me was that man about town Bryan Cranston would also be joining the cast as a rough and tumble member of the LAPD by way of Texas. Suddenly the original Triumvirate of Awesome that was the Gangster Squad cast became the Cornerstones of Awesome instead. And now that the film has such a solid foundation to build a metaphorical house on, it’s time to start picking out pretty curtains and stuff by filling out the cast further. The big news of the day from Deadline Monowi is that grizzled, crazy actor Nick Nolte has also been cast. He will play Bill Parker, the incorruptible chief of police who takes it upon himself to form this so-called gangster squad. That sounds like a big role. Seeing as Nolte’s upcoming movie […]

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I’ve recently been using the magic of streaming video services to catch up with Peter Berg’s high school football melodrama Friday Night Lights. The show isn’t great, it’s got its good points and bad points, but easily the strongest aspect of the whole thing is not the teenagers or the football, it’s the marriage between main character Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and his wife Tami (Connie Britton). A lot of why it works is that their relationship is written more real, and with less forced crisis than any other marriage I’ve seen on a prime time drama, but the other part of why it works is because Kyle Chandler is just such a warm, engaging presence on the screen. And now that the show is over he’s going to need to find some more work. I’m rooting for the guy. He landed a pretty big role in J.J. Abrams Super 8 earlier this summer, and that’s got to help some with his visibility. And in a current piece focusing on the actor in USA Today, they’ve revealed that he has a small role in Ben Affleck’s upcoming hostage thriller Argo. I hadn’t heard his name attached to that film yet, and a quick look at the IMDB page reveals that it hasn’t been added there, so let’s treat this as news. And also I’ll treat it as an excuse to talk a bit more about the cast that Affleck has assembled. I already reported on the story that John Goodman […]

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It might have taken a TV show to get everyone to pay attention to what an amazing actor Bryan Cranston is, but ever since Breaking Bad became a sensation, Cranston has taken up the ball of new acclaim he was handed and sprinted with it. It seems like every week we’re reporting on a new film project that the man is being attached to as an actor. Just look at his upcoming slate of releases and it’s filled with nothing but high profile goodness. He’s got parts in Total Recall, John Carter, World War Z, Contagion, Drive, and probably a handful of other things that I’m missing. So what’s a guy to do once he’s hit the tippy top of the acting mountain? The common course of action seems to be to tip your toe into directing, so that’s where Cranston is going. In an interview with Hollywood.com, Cranston reveals that he himself has penned an adaptation of the David Wiltse novel “Home Again,” which he plans on directing himself. I guess he will somehow fit this in between his bajillion acting commitments. This won’t quite be Cranston’s first shot at directing something, he’s done episodes of his TV shows Breaking Bad and Malcolm in the Middle before, and he even wrote and directed his own feature called Last Chance back in ’99; but this will be the first time he makes something of his own after achieving a high level of fame. All eyes are going to be on […]

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As anyone who reads my Movie News After Dark column knows, I’m a huge fan of Max Brooks’ book World War Z, and a subsequent propagandaist for the upcoming Marc Forster directed film. I am also, without a doubt, a massive (both physically and emotionally) fan of Breaking Bad and Bryan Cranston, so this particular news is being reported with much adulation. Cranston is currently in negotiations to join Brad Pitt in the story of a UN Postwar committee agent (Pitt) who travels the world gathering the oral history of the great zombie war. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the role Cranston is considering is described as “small but flashy.” Anyone who’s read the book knows that it is filled with vignette stories, each of which has a number of memorable characters. No matter the role, Cranston makes a great addition to this potentially major film event. Consider the fires burning deep within me stoked once again by this project. The only question that remains is whether Cranston will have enough time. He’s currently promoting Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, and will soon be seen in Disney’s John Carter, Len Wiseman’s Total Recall remake, Ben Affleck’s Argo, Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, George Lucas’ Red Tails, along with the currently filming fourth season of Breaking Bad. He’s a busy guy, Malcolm’s dad.

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Howard Hughes just pissed himself. Or maybe he pissed in a few hundred bottles and then poured them all over himself, because the trailer for Red Tails is out and the aerial work in it is phenomenal. The George Lucas-produced movie, directed by Treme producer/director Anthony Hemingway tells the story of the Tuskegee Airman (or the 322nd Fighter Group if you want to get technical) as they broke racial boundaries in WWII. It stars Terrance Howard, Bryan Cranston and Cuba Gooding Jr in a role that might launch his career back on track. Regardless, the trailer leads off with its strongest suit and follows it up with a few snippets of dramatic acting:

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Driving is boring. It’s so damn boring. Watching characters drive is often one of the most boring and cinematically flat things in movies. It’s rarely exciting. Directors constantly complain about the difficulty of finding energy or something of interest when characters stare off onto a road. Who could actually make such a dull-seeming activity cool, cinematic, and energetic? Nicolas Winding Refn, that’s who. Refn’s a director with a voice of his own, something that’s a bit of rarity nowadays. He’s got a specific personality that’s reflected perfectly on-screen. With Valhalla Rising, Bronson, and the Pusher trilogy, the guy has shown a great love for his violent characters. The auteur revels in exploring men of violence, what makes them tick, and their relationship with their surroundings. The lead in Drive, suitably credited only as Driver, is a lot like Bronson and One-Eye. He’s a man with his own presence, most of his intentions and thought processes are expressed internally, and he isn’t afraid to kick some ass if push comes to shove. Unlike Bronson, though, Driver doesn’t at all represent some form of madness. In this story that’s filled mostly with bastards, Driver is the most moralistic man among them.

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