Mary-Louise Parker

RIPD

Okay, Ryan Reynolds, you can stop now. Step away from the comic book properties. They’re not doing you any favors, and you have a very nice gig voicing animated properties that’s surely much easier than jumping around in front of a green screen all day and still looking like an idiot afterwards, even when all the effects are added. Really! Turbo may sound entirely stupid, but I laugh in a somewhat admiring manner every time I hear its plot explained (please tell me how your NASCAR-racing snail doesn’t get road rash), and I really did enjoy The Croods. Just focus on the good things in your professional life and stop making films like The Green Lantern and R.I.P.D. It’s just embarrassing now. For all of us. Based on the Dark Horse comic of the same name by Peter M. Lenkov, Robert Schwentke’s spin on R.I.P.D. appears to have taken most of the originality and cleverness straight out of its source material in favor of a crafting a cheap-looking Men in Black rip-off. The film centers on Boston detective Nick Walker (Reynolds), killed off within the film’s first ten minutes by his crooked partner Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon, whose talents are wasted as he attempts to layer over a Boston accent on an already sneering performance), and sent straight up to a purgatory known as the R.I.P.D. (the Rest in Peace Department, because why not). Turns out, Nick can’t get into heaven without putting in one hundred years of work for […]

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RED 2

2010’s Red was a fun action romp that featured both the expected in Bruce Willis and the unexpected in a hilarious John Malkovich and a gun-toting Helen Mirren. The $58 million comic adaptation grossed $200 million world-wide, and Summit happily moved forward on green-lighting a sequel. (Those sons of bitches over at Paramount can take a hint from that decision.) Most of the surviving cast members are returning alongside screenwriters Erich and Jon Hoeber, but director Robert Schwentke is not. Dean Parisot is taking his place, and while his name may not be recognizable maybe you’ve heard of a little, near perfect gem called Galaxy Quest? Yeah, he made that one. Check out Red 2‘s old school action below.

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Catherine Zeta-Jones took a hiatus from acting late last decade, but she’s been back in the game with The Rebound and Sundance Weinstein pick-up Lay the Favorite. Now, she’s continuing that working streak with RED 2. At 42, it might be a little early for her to retire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar-winner has signed on alongside Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Dame Helen Mirren who will be reprising their roles. The screenwriters, Erich and Jon Hoeber, are also back, but director Robert Schwentke is not. He’s currently working on R.I.P.D., which may or may not be the reason, but Dean Parisot will be taking his spot. Parisot is also an Oscar winner, having won for Best Live-Action Short Film back in 1989 and going on to direct Galaxy Quest and Fun With Dick and Jane. It’s an interesting background he brings, but the comedy angle is easy to see. So the director has an Oscar, Dame Mirren has one, Malkovich is a two-time nominee, and their newest recruit is packing a statue. Not even counting the Golden Globes, this action comedy sequel has a lot of Oscar street cred.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It comes and goes as it pleases, dispensing movie news and interesting links for your reading, viewing and listening pleasure. Be honored that it has chosen you to be in its presence. Word. We begin tonight with a bit of a caption contest — because it’s been a boring end to a boring week and this is my column so I’ll do what I want. The above photo is one of a new batch from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, a behind the scenes pic of Bella (Kristen Stewart, who seems very scantily clad in all photos, if you’re into that sort of thing), Edward (Robert Pattinson, sans sparkle) and director Bill Condon. Dear reader, what do you suppose Mr. Condon is saying to the happy couple?

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It’s been a long time since a single film has featured the acting talent assembled in RED. But if there’s one thing this halfhearted action-comedy proves, it’s this: even Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich (not to mention Mary-Louise Parker, Brian Cox and Ernest Borgnine) can’t enliven a story as deadly as that crafted by screenwriters Jon and Erich Hoeber, based on the Warren Ellis/Cully Hamner graphic novel. Co-opting the age old, out of retirement for one last fling blueprint, the film follows retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Willis) as he and his former colleagues are forced back into the game when government spooks try to rub them out. Heavily armed and dangerous geriatrics Joe Matheson (Freeman), the wiry and paranoid Marvin Boggs (Malkovich) and the distinguished Victoria (Mirren) assist Frank in some serious butt kicking, supplemented by quirky quips and knowing, wizened back and forth banter.

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There’s a world out there where people get shot more than they get paper cuts. It’s a world where alliances change, people might be out to kill you, but nothing’s ever all that big a deal. It’s just a Tuesday, and the black ops have busted into your home to end your life. Red might just be the best romantic comedy of the year featuring Helen Mirren on a piece of heavy artillery. Frank (Bruce Willis) is a former CIA agent who’s attacked in his home just when he’s close to asking out Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), a woman he calls the Federal Pension Program help line to speak with on a regular basis. The retired don’t know about Facebook yet. He draws her into a world of former spooks who are also being targeted, including a suave gentleman (played by Morgan Freeman), a paranoid stuffed pig enthusiast (John Malkovich) and a gorgeous lady with a penchant for wet work (Helen Mirren).

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Helen Mirren in Red

When I visited the set of Summit Entertainment’s Red earlier this year, I had an idea that it might be sort of fun. Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren (among others) playing former CIA assassins who must band together to fight against the Agency that’s now hunting them? Sure, that sounds like a blast. But it wasn’t until this new trailer — one that played to crowds at Comic-Con and has since hit the web — that I was completely sold. It’s not the dark, grim tale that Warren Ellis wrote in his comic. It’s something different. Something fun and in many ways, completely absurd. But damn, does it look fun. After the jump you can check out the new trailer, as well as a few new images from the film.

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If you’ve been keeping track, we are miles away from those little boxes on the hillside. Nancy and the gang have gotten just about as deep into trouble as you could possibly get, but now they’re in for even more in the sixth season of “Weeds.” Who knew a plucky little show about a housewife selling pot would be so popular? Everyone with a crush on Mary Louise Parker, that’s who. There’s some big changes in the lives of our fearless dealers who have to deal with the consequence of their actions from the finale of last season. That should be easy enough. Stop bogarting that stuff, say hello to the Newmans and check out the new trailer for the new season:

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RED Comic-Con Preview

Today we round out our week-long coverage of the upcoming action-comedy Red. It’s heading to Comic-Con 2010 next week with plans for a big Bruce Willis-filled panel, and we’ve had our eye on it ever since we found ourselves on set with Bruce and the gang earlier this year. As a fan of the Warren Ellis comic upon which it’s based, I’ll admit to being skeptical about the “action-comedy” angle. But after that first trailer and a few conversations with cast and crew, they’ve got me on the hook. More to the point, you’ll be on the hook when you remember that both Mary-Louise Parker and Karl Urban share the screen with the legendary Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich and Morgan Freeman. After the jump you’ll find more about their characters and two brand new character posters.

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Yesterday, as part of my on-going series of articles directed at the upcoming action comedy Red, I mentioned Helen Mirren’s character Victoria. She’s the kind of dame who wines, dines and then shoots up a parking lot with a .50 caliber machine gun. The kind of character who cuts through a film like a knife. Always interesting. Today we’re on to yet another character who may be a scene-stealer, Marvin Boggs. Marvin is another former intelligence agent and friend of Bruce Willis’s character Frank. He’s a bit of a conspiracy theorist and the product of many years of drug-induced mind experiments at the CIA. What better actor is there to play Marvin, you might think, than John Malkovich? There isn’t.

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Damn you Nancy Botwin and your sexy ways. On August 16, Weeds will return for its sixth season, picking up right where season five left us hanging. Where do we go from here? Is what you were probably left wondering at last season’s heart-stopping end. I know that I was. And as season six approaches quickly, we have the answer: The Botwins are going on the run.

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Anyone who has read the comic “RED” by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner may have a certain set of expectations for a film adaptation. Predictably, they’d think it to be dark, violent and more of a lone wolf on a mission story. For better or worse, that’s not the case for the Bruce Willis led film. Based on this trailer, it’s clearly a comedy.

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You don’t see too many protagonist like Ben Kaleman in Brian Koppelman and David Levien’s latest film Solitary Man. For some, he’ll be considered a slimy and perhaps somewhat misogynistic creep getting what he deserves. For others, he’ll be a sympathetic and understandable man trying to figure out where everything went wrong. We sat down with writer/directors Brian Koppelman and David Levien and learned (literally) everything there is to know about their latest film in an epic interview about family, smooth-talkers and subtle redemption.

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Warren Ellis warned us. In a blog post dated December 8, 2009, Ellis talked about how the book and the movie were destined to be distant cousins. And as we found out in a recent visit to the film’s set, that’s not exactly a bad thing.

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marylouiseparker-header

The project that began with Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman, then added Helen Mirren, is now adding the always lovely Mary Louise Parker to its cast. Oh, and John C. Reilly is coming along, as well.

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Mary-Louise Parker in Weeds

The last episode of Season Three wasn’t exactly the cliff hanger that we’ve seen in seasons past, giving us a little time to breathe and question where Nancy and her crew could go next. Now that Season 4 is over, we can breathe again. Sort of.

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Mary-Louise Parker

It looks as if Nancy Botwin will be dealing her “MILF Weed” to the beatnik brigade in the upcoming Allen Ginsberg biopic.

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Seeing how the film has already received a 76 percent approval at Rottentomatoes, this is an early contender for the most overrated film of the early year. Apparently it was okay, for once, for critics to check their brains in at the door. I guess I didn’t get the memo.

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We continue our week-long feature of Paramount’s Spiderwick Chronicles, a film that has twice the Freddie Highmore for the same price.

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