Jared Harris

The Quiet Ones review

Perhaps the most terrifying thing about The Quiet Ones is how blatantly the Hammer horror film rips off other, better features – in fact, for long stretches during its muddled and flat middle act, it’s nearly impossible to not wish that you were watching The Conjuring, a recent outing that does everything that The Quiet Ones wants to do with all the style and flair lacking from the latter production – with little regard for possible repercussions. That kind of recklessness is chilling on its own, that lack of care and originality, the kind that will likely be ripped to shreds by plenty of audience members and critics alike. The Quiet Ones just isn’t original, at least, it’s not original until it tries to be (really tries!) far too late in the feature, when it suddenly slaps on a series of revelations that sound cool and weird and scary in theory, but make zero sense in practice. The John Pogue feature actually does have a creepy and interesting premise to drive it – as long as you don’t immediately exit the theater once you see the words “inspired by actual events” pop up on the big screen – but that material is ultimately abandoned in service to a story that attempts to scan as chilling and twisted and shocking, but only comes across as derivative and dumb.

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The Quiet Ones

The worst part about any horror film is the caveat “based on true events.” Because…how much is based on true events? Are there spooky, spooky ghosts everywhere that we need to be worried about? Or in the case of The Quiet Ones, is this a terrible campus legend that has been passed down since the 1970’s and has gotten out of control for our viewing pleasure? Regardless, John Pogue‘s film is based on the story of the world’s worst professor (Jared Harris, Mad Men), a man who decides to use his brightest pupils in an experiment to conjur up spirits. Has he ever cracked open a book about the paranormal or you know, lived in the world? Rule number one for being a smart person: don’t mess with the dead because you’ll get Paranormal Activity‘d. Obviously, when the experiment works and the whole class is being followed around by homicidal poltergeists, they realize they’re in over their heads and (I’m guessing here) must figure out a way to contain the madness before it consumes them. The trailer is full of the usual haunted house and poltergeist-type tropes: beautiful, dark buildings with heavy creaking doors (that open themselves), grainy slide footage of old-timey children (they’re dead now), a grown woman holding a baby doll and shadowy figures that pass in front of the camera. They did it! They made a spirit! Check out the trailer here:

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Jared Harris

Guy Ritchie‘s adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. begins shooting in less than a week – specifically, on September 9 – so this latest casting announcement comes just in the nick of time. Jared Harris, best known for his roles in Mad Men and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, has been cast in the upcoming spy-thriller-action-comedy-TV adaptation. What we don’t know, however, is what role Harris will be playing. The film doesn’t have its villain yet, and Harris has a certain high-class charm that would lend itself perfectly to a sneering spy villain role. Plus, Harris was the villain in Ritchie’s last directorial outing (the aforementioned Sherlock Holmes sequel) and the rest of the cast has already been filled in. Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer will be playing lead spies Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, with Alicia Vikander as a fellow agent, Elizabeth Debicki as some kind of femme fatale, and Hugh Grant as the head of British Naval Intelligence. I can only assume we’ll see them all on some world-saving spy mission at the behest of U.N.C.L.E., the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup with the stiff upper lip, committed to carry on even as we lose Google Reader. Click through for news about what gentlemen like Robert Duvall, Jared Harris, and Charlie Day are doing next.

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Casting is currently at a fever pitch regarding the next great hope in the Young Adult film franchise arms race, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. The most recent news we had about director Harald Zwart’s series-launcher is that Game of Thrones and Mad Men vets Lena Headey and Jared Harris had landed roles as two of the adult characters, and today comes news that two of the teenage roles that make up most of the primary cast have also been filled. The thrust of the City of Bones story, again, is that a girl named Clary Fray (Lily Collins) becomes suddenly involved in the hidden world of Shadowhunters (powerful beings who hunt demons right under our noses). The first Shadowhunter that she comes across is dreamboat Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower), a troubled orphan who comes complete with a foster family. Said family is most importantly made up of two siblings who Jace lives and hunts demons with, Isabelle and Alec Lightwood. These are the oh-so-important roles that have now been filled.

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Mortal Instruments Casting

Recently, a round of bad guy casting pointed to the fact that the next big YA novel-to-movie franchise, The Mortal Instruments, might be getting ready to move forward in earnest, and another chunk of casting announcements that came out today seems to serve as confirmation. Joining names like Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower – who are cast as the young, attractive leads – come a couple of more experienced actors who have been tapped to take on some of the adult roles, and one more (relatively) young actor, who is set to play a hip side-character. First up, Game of Thrones’ Cersei Lannister, Lena Headey, has been tapped to play Jocelyn Fray, the mother of the film’s protagonist, Clary. Seeing as much of the first film involves her disappearance, she probably won’t have much to do here, but one can only imagine she’s also been locked in for potential future installments. Next on the list is Mad Men’s Lane Pryce, Jared Harris, who has signed on to play a character named Hodge Starkweather. Starkweather serves as a live-in tutor to many of the young demon hunters who make up the main cast, so Harris’ extreme Britishness should serve him well there. Finally, All About Women actor Godfrey Gao is taking on the role of Magnus Bane, a flamboyant hipster who also happens to be the most powerful Warlock in Brooklyn. Glamour shots of the actor on the Internet confirm that he should be pretty enough for the part.

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The Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows junket included a massive press conference that featured so much talent from the sequel to Guy Ritchie‘s 2009 film that they needed to be arranged in stadium seating, including stars Robert Downey Jr., Noomi Rapace, and Jared Harris, director Ritchie, producers Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, and Susan Downey, screenwriters Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney, and composer Hans Zimmer. Jude Law couldn’t make it because, as RDJ put it, “his son had a soccer game.” For forty-five minutes, the group fielded questions from the Los Angeles press (let’s be honest, Downey fielded questions from the press, frequently begging for someone to toss a query at one of the nine other people sitting around and behind him), and all the microphone-grabbing and cracks at banter did yield some interesting tidbits. Mainly, a story about Hans Zimmer essentially kidnapping thirteen gypsies, but that’s for later. After the break, break out your steampunk-inspired magnifying glasses and try to follow along, Watson, as we investigate the case of the eleven things we learned at the Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows press conference.

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Steven Spielberg seems hellbent on casting just about every talented actor he can in his long talked-about and finally-upcoming Abraham Lincoln biopic, Lincoln. Beyond Daniel Day-Lewis as the brilliant and ill-fated American president, the rest of the cast listing for Lincoln gives new meaning to the term “star-packed,” as it currently includes Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill, Joseph Cross, David Strathairn, Walton Goggins, Lee Pace, Jackie Earle Haley, and David Oyelowo. At this rate, I’m not entirely unconvinced that I haven’t been cast in this project. But Spielberg has now added another British actor to this most American of stories, casting Jared Harris as Ulysses S. Grant. As Spielberg’s film will focus on “the road to abolition,” the inclusion of Grant is a no-brainer, as the general was an essential part of the Civil War, and he is regarded as the war’s most successful general for the Union side, thanks to his big wins at battles such as Shiloh and Vicksburg. Grant, of course, later became president himself, following Lincoln’s vice-president, Andrew Johnson, who assumed Lincoln’s position after his assassination.

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Enjoy playing Count The Explosions in the next trailer for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. While there’s still a subdued kind of excitement to the proceedings, it’s not short on very quick chemical reactions. Hopefully the film will be an improvement on the first. At any rate, Guy Ritchie is raising the stakes by including Moriarty, Holmes’s greatest foe, played by Jared Harris. Of course Robert Downey, Jr. is back alongside Jude Law, and while they’ll be joined by Noomi Rapace, we’ll also apparently see the return of Rachel McAdams to the series. Check it out for yourself:

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I like these twitter Q and A’s. The best one so far to speak of is the video Q and A with Werner Herzog, a man that could probably still give existential and out there answers to the dumbest of questions. He’s a guy I could listen to all day. Another guy I could listen to all day? The very friendly John Carpenter. From 2:00-3:30 p.m. (PST), the director behind too many to count classics will be participating in a twitter Q and A. Sadly, this not a video one like the Herzog’s. But considering it’s been quite some time since the horror icon’s Ghost of Mars(…) and the fact that it may be a few more years until we get a followup to The Ward, it’s still a rare treat. Here’s all you have to do to throw a question to Carpenter: Send your questions to @ARC_Entertain and make sure to include #theward in your tweet. And for those of you who didn’t know, Carpenter is already an active participant on twitter: @TheHorrorMaster The Ward is now in limited release and on VOD.

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Jared Harris must be one of the few lucky actors to play a non-evil doctor in a horror movie. The biggest convention John Carpenter avoids in his return to the screen is taking the possible role of a villain, and making a doctor that is actually interested in helping his patients. Harris doesn’t chew up any scenery and, as the actor points out, isn’t playing ‘Dracula’. Speaking of Dracula, Harris revealed he’s a big admirer of Francis Ford Coppola‘s version. Yes, not a very good transition, but how many people actually love that film? Not many, unfortunately. And, of course, we did discus Mad Men. Last season was arguably the show’s finest hour. Matthew Weiner showed nearly the whole ensemble at their lowest and most vulnerable. There was no real reason to ask Harris about the next season — considering it’s a bit far off from actually shooting — but Harris and I did talk about Lane Pryce’s place in the “boy’s club” as well as the revealing drama of last season. Here’s what actor Jared Harris had to say about not hamming things up, Carpenter’s professionalism, and great scripts making bad movies… and fair warning, our talk features spoilers for The Ward.

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Consider this a rumor until either Warner Bros. officially confirms it or Edward Norton lays claim to the role, but it looks like Guy Ritchie has filled the Brad Pitt-sized shoes of Sherlock Holmes’ most famous nemesis, Professor Moriarty. Word has been for months that the role would be going to a big name star like Pitt or Daniel Day Lewis, but according to the folks over at Latino Review (who are right a hell of a lot more often than not) the evil mastermind will be played by… that guy in the picture! Jared Harris, son of the late Professor Dumbledore, can currently be found on AMC’s Madmen. He also has upcoming roles in John Carpenter’s The Ward and Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. And yes, he is suitably British. Sherlock Holmes 2 will see the return of Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, and Harris will be joining other recently announced cast members Noomi Rapace and Stephen Fry. The sequel opens in December of next year.

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Meek, introverted accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) journeys West from Cleveland to the mysterious town of Machine where he’s been promised a job, only to find that the job is taken and that the company owner, John Dickinson (Robert Mitchum), is a gun-toting sociopath who listens to nobody.

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mad-men-32

Don is very frustrated with the new oversight at Sterling Cooper and uncharacteristically wears his emotions on his sleeve.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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