Terrence Howard

Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard in Wayward Pines

A government agent who appears without warning in a small, sleepy woodsy town in the middle of nowhere that’s hiding much more than it seems? A town that’s full of weirdos — both the harmless and the probably insane? And all of the action seems to take place around him hanging out in the local diner getting his next batch of information? It sounds familiar because it’s Twin Peaks. But Wayward Pines, a new show from executive producer M. Night Shyamalan, is certainly trying its damndest to convince us that it’s something completely different. Adapted from “Pines,” the novel by Blake Crouch, the series will arrive on Fox in 2015 to hopefully cleanse the taste of After Earth. And The Last Airbender. And The Happening. And Lady in the Water. And from our mouths as Shyamalan’s assurance that he can still produce something legitimately creepy and bizarre. Is this a comeback? Maybe, and rest assured that he knows that the premise of the series, which follows a Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) waking up on the outskirts of a town in Idaho with no recollection of getting there  — just a head injury taking care of deleting those memories — and finding himself dealing with a host of strange characters like a wacky nurse played by Queen of the crazies Melissa Leo, a spaced-out diner waitress (Juliette Lewis), a cop that doesn’t really care (Terrence Howard) and a missing woman (Carla Gugino), mirrors David Lynch’s beloved series greatly. “It struck me as having a Twin Peaks-y vibe,” Shyamalan said, according to Indiewire. […]

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Arnold Schwarzenegger continues the post-gubernatorial Hollywood comeback that started with 2012’s The Expendables 2, with the one-liner laden Sabotage, which appears not to be content until it has checked the box of damn near every action flick standard. I have zero problem with this. Co-written with screenwriter Skip Woods (Hitman, The A-Team) and directed by David Ayers (Training Day, End of Watch) the film features Schwarzenegger as John “Breacher” Wharton, the hard-ass leader of an equally hard-ass crew of elite DEA operatives. When Breacher and his team stash a 10 million dollar haul after being sent to take down the safe house of a drug cartel, they’re slowly picked off one by one for their dirty deed. The premise is interesting, because they’re definitely not straight up good folks. Still, audiences will be rooting for them plenty all the same. Hardcore bros and hot ladies with guns slinging awesome zingers and fist bumping between battles with baddies is almost always fun times, right? Check out the red band trailer (courtesy of IGN) for Sabotage below, and being that it’s the weekend, feel free to make a drinking game of the liberally used f@#ks scattered throughout.

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review the best man holiday

Most sequels tend to strike while the proverbial iron is hot or at least while the original film is still part of the pop culture zeitgeist. There are exceptions of course (Tron: Legacy, The Color of Money), but the general rule is the sooner the better. Writer/director Malcolm D. Lee has little interest in rules, well, this one at least, and he’s finally delivered the long-awaited sequel to 1999’s The Best Man. It’s the holiday season (we know this because characters receive invites to a get-together planned for that not-at-all specific date), and nine friends are reuniting for the first time in a long time. Some are married and some are dating, some are wealthy and some are struggling, some are healthy and some aren’t, but what they all share in common is a desire to reconnect this holiday season. When? This holiday season. The Best Man Holiday is a Christmas-set ensemble romantic comedy, but it’s aiming for more than just a Love Actually riff and wraps its story and characters in themes of faith, family, and fornication (just not always in that order). Unfortunately far too much of it falls flat through contrived and obvious story turns and an inordinate amount of cheesiness. Thank god for Terrence Howard.

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terrencehadenhoward

A little indie film called Cardboard Boxer has just made a couple huge steps toward earning everyone’s attention once it’s ready for release. Said steps will probably not be as effective as a multi-million dollar ad campaign complete with fast food tie-ins, but they’re developments that should prove to be a lot more exciting to fans of film than decorated fry boxes. According to Variety, charismatic and respected acting titans Thomas Haden Church and Terrence Howard have both agreed to join the film in starring roles, and the respect they bring to the table is likely going to be invaluable when it comes to selling Cardboard Boxer, because it also comes with a concept that sounds a little skeevy. According to Variety’s rundown of the film, its story follows a homeless man living in Los Angeles who finds that his idyllic, homeless lifestyle gets interrupted and thrown into peril once he falls into the hands of a troublemaking group of rich kids who have been getting their trust fund jollies by paying underprivileged people to fight one another. Gross, right? Still, the grossness could be well done, because the filmmaker bringing it to us is one of the guerrilla video entertainment originals.

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winnie jennifer hudson

Oh look, another biopic. If you’ve heard any buzz about a Nelson Mandela-centric movie this year, it was probably about Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the Idris Elba and Naomie Harris vehicle set to hit theaters this fall. But after getting negative buzz at TIFF all the way back in 2011 and finally securing a distributor this spring, it looks like Winnie Mandela will also see the light of day in September. Directed by Darrell J. Roodt (Sarafina; Cry, The Beloved Country), the biopic follows the story of the South African freedom fighter (Terrence Howard) from the perspective of his wife, Winnie (Jennifer Hudson), as she campaigns for his release from jail and in the fight against apartheid. And in the fashion of some, if not a lot of biopics, it seems like a safe bet for all involved. As soon as the trailer starts and you get sucker-punched by the emotional soundtrack, it’s clear that we’ve walked into a story about an Important Woman – but will it be enough to keep our attention? What will be interesting is seeing how the film handles the negative press and criticism Winnie garnered later in life, or if the film will even touch on the subject. Check out the trailer here:

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Dead Man Down

Last week saw the English debut from Korean director Park Chan-Wook, and now with Dead Man Down we’re seeing another American feature from an acclaimed foreign director, Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Park evaporated any fear of him losing his personality in America thanks to the visually spectacular Stoker. His fingerprints are all over that film, and it’s a shame the same cannot be said for Oplev. While a high-minded Oplev appears every now and then in Dead Man Down, he is overshadowed by the tropes we expect from a WWE movie. When their logo came on screen, audience members laughed, and for good reason. Given what WWE is famous for, one would expect a great deal of machismo from Dead Man Down. The film’s more action-heavy moments are unsurprisingly its greatest strength, but that WWE sensibility seriously clashes with the drama Oplev and his cast are aiming for. The two tones never mesh coherently, leading to an uneven revenge movie.

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There was a major opportunity for Terrence Howard to blow up some scenery and do some violent mustache twirling in Dead Man Down. Mind you, Howard does shout, “I got something for your ass!” when a mansion becomes an overpriced shooting gallery in the film, but that’s as far as the actor goes when it comes to getting his hands silly. It makes sense, considering playing pure evil doesn’t seem like a role Howard would ever want to try out. Speaking with the Academy Award nominated actor, he sees his characters, even a villain like Alphonse, through a philosophical light, noting that “the past, the present, and the future” are happening right now, as he discussed using pieces of himself for a character. Despite the fact Howard was minutes away from boarding a flight, he was kind enough to make time discussing his relationship with his characters, how he proved Juilliard wrong, and more about his newest movie:

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James Marsden

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting column whose Wizards of Waverly Place fandom is finally coming in handy. That upcoming comedy where Elizabeth Banks tries to juggle being a person with loose morals with being a person with career goals, Walk of Shame, has just added another actor. According to Variety, James Marsden has joined the film. There’s no word on what sort of character he’s going to be playing, and seeing as the film is about a series of adventures that occur as Banks’ character tries to get from the scene of a one night stand to a job interview across town, that leaves a lot of possibilities open. Will Marsden be a romantic foil? Just someone who pops in briefly for a humorous interaction? We don’t know, but since we all saw Death at a Funeral, what we do know is that Marsden can do goofy comedy. Hopefully this one will give him another chance to act silly.

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If you’ve ever spent any extended time in a coffee shop or a freshman dorm, chances are you’ve seen a good number of young people with open hearts and confused eyes dutifully thumbing through the pages of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.” It’s one of those books you just have to get into when you’re coming of age, like “The Catcher in the Rye,” or, if you’re a sociopath, Ayn Rand’s stuff. Given the book’s enduring popularity, it’s strange that it’s taken so long for Hollywood to make a big screen adaptation, but, nevertheless, the wait is over, and the first trailer for the film is here. How does it look? Well, it looks like director Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) and his camera crew have shot a beautiful film. And seeing as the narration put over this trailer quotes one of the most famous passages from Kerouac’s novel, it looks like he’s made a film that’s very much On the Road. This seems to be a straight adaptation; the essence of the book put up on the screen, without any unexpected detours.

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Robert Redford in The Company You Keep

Just last week we reported that Robert Redford’s latest film, The Company You Keep, managed to score a distribution deal before it even played any festivals. Well, the film is gearing up to play Venice and Toronto regardless, so TIFF has released a trailer promoting it. Complete with typewriter sounds and vintage news footage, said trailer starts off by making The Company You Keep look like it’s going to be an authentic, journalistic look at the history of the radical anti-war group The Weather Underground, but then we’re suddenly dumped into present day, and it’s revealed that this is actually going to be a fun-looking chase movie about the last few members of the movement still being on the run from the law. The Company You Keep is full of grizzled old activists/bank robbers, plucky young reporters, plucky young F.B.I. agents, action, intrigue, murder, and a cast that features names like Redford, Susan Sarandon, Shia LaBeouf, Brendan Gleeson, Anna Kendrick, Terrence Howard, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, Richard Jenkins, Chris Cooper, Brit Marling, Julie Christie, Stephen Root, and Stanley Tucci.

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Up until this point they’ve been calling David Ayer’s upcoming Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring crime film Ten. Which has made sense, because its a story about 10 DEA agents who rip off a drug cartel and then get bumped off one by one. But Ten is also a generic title that could mean just about anything, so in order to make the film stand out and be more recognizable they’ve now given it the super descriptive and unforgettable title of…Breacher. Okay, so that just makes it sound like this is a movie about a whale or a submarine. Who actually knows why they changed the title, but the deed has been done, and the important thing to focus on is that there’s some new casting news that might be of interest. Breacher, as has been reported, comes from a Skip Woods script that’s loosely based off of an Agatha Christie story called “And Then There Were None.” Christie’s original story detailed the systematic comeuppance of ten previously unpunished murderers. Seeing as the very core of this story is a group of people getting what’s coming to them, it’s going to be very necessary for Ayer to compile an ensemble cast. And as much as we all might love to watch Schwarzenegger don various wigs and prosthetics to play every part, that’s kind of Eddie Murphy’s thing, and wouldn’t be appropriate.

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French actress Isabelle Huppert has been a force in the film world for quite a while now, winning Best Actress awards at Cannes for her work in Violette and The Piano Teacher, and a César for her role in La Cérémonie. Though she’s really only appeared in I Heart Huckabees and episodes of Law & Order: SVU in English-speaking roles (as far as I know?), she’s been a top international actress long enough that most everyone interested in acting and such Stateside should have an idea of who she is. Niels Arden Oplev hasn’t been around the scene for quite as long, but after he took the world by storm directing the Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, he solidified his place on the list of filmmakers that everyone is keeping their eyeballs on. His success launching that franchise has led to his latest project, Dead Man Down, signing mainstream names like Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard, and Dominic Cooper to its cast. Though shooting on the film started last week in Philadelphia, apparently we’re not at the end of the good news when it comes to its cast.

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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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IFC Films has released the first trailer for The Ledge, a psycho-sexual religious infidelity forced-suicide thriller starring Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler and Patrick Wilson. The latter plays a man driven mad with jealous rage after his wife (Tyler) falls for her handsome, grungy new boss. What’s most interesting about the project is that it’s from director Matthew Chapman, who has not directed a film since the late 1980s, a decade in which he made several sexually-charged thrillers, including the 1980 Helen Mirren vehicle Hussy. In fact, Chapman hasn’t done anything of great significance since since 2003, when he penned the John Cusack courtroom thriller Runaway Jury. But here he is, with a quality cast and a movie that appears to deliver some tense moments. Good for him, I say.

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Tracy Morgan and Juliette Binoche

First Tracy Morgan saddles up with Bruce Willis and director Kevin Smith to make one of 2010’s early contenders for biggest disappointment of the year in Cop Out. Now he’s being cast in an ensemble cop drama alonside Juliette Binoche? From director Dito Montiel, of Fighting and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints fame? This is all very confusing.

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princess_and_the_frog_header

‘The Princess and the Frog’ doesn’t have the greatest of stories or the most interesting characters, but it’s a welcome return to a classical style of animation and a form of animated storytelling that Disney appeared to have written off.

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The Princess and the Frog

The folks at Walt Disney Animation can still draw. Just in case you weren’t aware of that, they have made a point of illuminated said fact in the opening moments of the trailer for their first hand-drawn film in 5 years, The Princess and the Frog.

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fighting-header

Ironically, Dito Montiel’s ‘Fighting’ would be a much better movie without all the fighting.

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fighting-montiel-tatum

Channing Tatum and Dito Montiel talk about ‘Fighting,’ their second collaboration after ‘A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,’ and the big things in store for Tatum in 2009.

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Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man

Everybody and their mother seems to have an opinion about Terrence Howard’s dismissal on Iron Man 2. Now we get to hear what Iron Man himself thinks about a “Rhodey” being replaced.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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