Category Archives: Mainstream News

Then and Now: Jennifer Jason Leigh

Then and Now: An in depth look at the career of actress Jennifer Jason Leigh.

By Michael Goth

Jennifer Jason Leigh is the greatest actress of her generation. 31 years ago at the age of 20 the estranged daughter of actor Vic Morrow warmed herself into the hearts of moviegoers as the sympathetic Stacy Hamilton in the Amy Heckerling directed Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Jennifer is known for picking roles that she finds interesting and will contribute to her growth as an actress, even if the film has little box office potential. Infact, the Ron Howard film Backdraft in 1991 is the only high grossing movie that Jennifer has ever been it. Even Fast Times was only a marginal hit that didn’t truly find its audience until it was run on cable and released on video.

Jennifer Leigh Morrow was born on February 5, 1962 in Hollywood, California to actor Vic Morrow and screenwriter Barbara Turner. She has an older sister, Carrie Morrow, and a half-sister, Mina Badie, from her mother’s marriage to television director Reza Badiyi. Jennifer is Jewish of Russian descent on her father’s side.

Jennifer’s parents were divorced when she was only two years old. Something that she never forgave her father for. Father and daughter were still not on speaking terms in July of 1982 when Vic Morrow was killed along with two young children during the filming of the John Landis segment of Twilight Zone-The Movie, when a helicopter crashed on the set. So that people would not associate her with Morrow, as a teenager Jennifer changed her professional middle name to Jason after actor Jason Robards, a family friend.

Jennifer studied under Lee Strasburg, the father of method acting, when she was 14 as well as attending Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Center in New York City. Guest starring roles on such shows as The Waltons and Baretta soon followed as well as a role in the 1981 slasher movie Eyes of a Stranger.
First time screenwriter and former Rolling Stone contributing writer Cameron Crowe went undercover as a high school senior to see how real teenagers acted and what issues they faced. The result was the bestselling novel Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which was bought by Hollywood before it was even published, by producer Art Linson (The Untouchables, Heat, Fight Club), who hired Crowe to write the screenplay and newcomer Amy Heckerling to direct.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High remains one of the most realistic high school movies ever produced. In the film Jennifer’s character, Stacy Hamilton, is continuously pressured into having sex by her best friend Linda, played by Phoebe Cates, and ends up pregnant and has to have an abortion. If the hysterical banter between Sean Penn as surfer dude Jeff Spicoli and Ray Walston as history teacher Mr. Hand is the comical highlights of the movie, then the heart of the film is Jennifer’s Stacy Hamilton. One misconception of teen pregnancy is that only bad girls get pregnant but Stacy is a good girl, though one who should listen less to Linda and more to her own heart.

Another highlight of Jennifer’s early work was the cult horror film The Hitcher. In The Hitcher Jennifer plays alongside C. Thomas Howell and Rutger Hauer. Her character is Nash, a young woman working in a roadside Texas diner who becomes involved in a deadly psychological mind game between Howell and Hauer. Nash is also victim of a terrible death compliment of the deliciously evil Hauer.

In 1990, Jennifer received great critical recognition for playing troubled prostitutes in Miami Blues and The Last Exit to Brooklyn. She received the New York Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for Miami Blues and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for Last Exit. The late great Chicago Tribune critic Roger Ebert named The Last Exit Out Of Brooklyn as one of the best movies of 1990 and praised Jennifer for her performance.

In the early 90’s, Jennifer flirted with mainstream Hollywood success beginning in 1991 in the Ron Howard directed firefighter action-thriller Backdraft where teen pregnancy is that only bad girls get pregnant but Stacy is a good girl, though one who should listen less to Linda and more to her own heart.
Another highlight of Jennifer’s early work was the cult horror film The Hitcher. In The Hitcher Jennifer plays alongside C. Thomas Howell and Rutger Hauer. Her character is Nash, a young woman working in a roadside Texas diner who becomes involved in a deadly psychological mind game between Howell and Hauer. Nash is also victim of a terrible death compliment of the deliciously evil Hauer.

In 1990, Jennifer received great critical recognition for playing troubled prostitutes in Miami Blues and The Last Exit to Brooklyn. She received the New York Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for Miami Blues and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for Last Exit. The late great Chicago Tribune critic Roger Ebert named The Last Exit Out Of Brooklyn as one of the best movies of 1990 and praised Jennifer for her performance.

In the early 90’s, Jennifer flirted with mainstream Hollywood success beginning in 1991 in the Ron Howard directed firefighter action-thriller Backdraft where she played William Baldwin’s girlfriend. Backdraft is a fine movie but Jennifer’s part is quite small and really doesn’t give her much to.
Jennifer was given a much meatier role later in the year in Rush. Rush features what may quite possibly be Jennifer’s finest performance as Kristen Cates, a narcotics officer who is assigned to work alongside Jason Patric. The agents falls in love but soon become victims of the very drugs they are trying to get off the street. Rush is an intense and provocative thriller that unfortunately didn’t find an audience.

In 1992, Jennifer was given the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain for her very effective performance as a mentally ill woman in Single White Female who moves in with Bridget Fonda. Jennifer’s character seems normal, almost shy at first, but soon her psychotic behavior begins to surface as she begins to become jealous of the relationship between Fonda and her boyfriend (Steven Weber). Though not a huge hit, Single White Female did respectable business at the box office and remains one of Jennifer’s best performances. Jennifer was also nominated for the Chicago Film Critic’s Association Award for Best Actress.

Jennifer teamed up with Kathy Bates in director Taylor Hackford’s 1995 film adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling novel Delores Claiborne. Jennifer plays a young woman addicted to pills with a history of childhood sexual abuse, who returns to her hometown when her mother, Delores Claiborne (Kathy Bates), is accused of murder. The film is one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King novel and all involved give great performances. Still the movie failed at the box office. Delores Claiborne was also Jennifer’s last attempt to break into the Hollywood mainstream.

Georgia, also released in 1995, was a small low budget film produced and starring Jennifer. The screenplay was written by Jennifer’s mother, Barbara Turner, and like Delores Claiborne touched on the theme of family estrangement. Jennifer plays a rebellious and drug addicted singer named Sadie Flood, who has spent the last couple of years unsuccessfully trying to make it in Las Angeles Sadie returns to her hometown and conservative sister, Georgia, a successful country singer played by Mare Winningham. Jennifer dropped to 90 pounds to play Sadie and also received some of the best reviews of her career.
Jennifer spent the remainder of the 1990’s appearing in small independent films stating that she was uncomfortable with the Hollywood limelight, and preferred to make small personal films with characters that audiences could care about instead of big budget Hollywood productions.

In 2001, Jennifer co-wrote and co-directed (with Alan Cumming) The Anniversary Party about a troubled couple (Jennifer and Cumming) who have recently gotten back together and are throwing a party to celebrate their 6th wedding anniversary. Jennifer plays Sally, an aging actress who is currently starring in a film. However, the director (John C. Reilly) believes that Sally’s heart is no longer in her acting. Along with Reilly, who appeared with Jennifer in Delores Claiborne and Georgia, the cast was made up of friends of both Jennifer’s and Alan Cumming’s including Jennifer Beals, Kevin Kline, Phoebe Cates, Parker Posey, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer’s step-sister Mina Badie . Almost the entire cast appeared with Jennifer in previous films. The Anniversary Party is a wonderful and moving film that ranks among the best Jennifer had ever made.

Jennifer Jason Leigh continues to work in small independent films and on stage as characters she cares about and hopes that the audience will as well. At age 51, Jennifer continues to deliver heartfelt performances in roles that are diverse and challenging.

First Look: Halle Berry’s “Storm” in X-Men: Days of Future Past!

Source: SuperHeroHype / Bryan Singer’s Twitter

Well, I guess my initial thoughts that Halle Berry wouldn’t be returning to reprise her role as Storm can finally be proven wrong. The X-Men Alum himself has just posted a photo of the actress in what appears to be her coolest outfit yet, as well as a new hairstyle. I can’t say I really dig the hair, but that uniform of hers has got ‘awesome’ written all over it. If this is the theme that their uniforms will have, I can’t wait to see the rest of the cast.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is directed by Bryan Singer, and houses an all-star cast in the form of Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore & Peter Dinklage. The film hits theaters next summer, on July 18, 2014.

New Terror-Filled Carrie Trailer Released

The second trailer has been released for the upcoming Carrie remake, based off of Stephen King’s classic novel. Both Chloë Grace Moretz as Carrie and Julianne Moore as the cruel, controlling mother, really shine and give us a taste of what we can expect from the film. Moore in particular gives the trailer an utterly discomforting tone that oddly makes you yearn for more. While I’m not sure I buy someone as gorgeous as Moretz being that heavily ridiculed and ostracized, I can suspend a certain amount of disbelief due to the caliber of acting that is promised to go along with it. I have yet to see anything less than a stellar performance from Moretz and I expect no less of her in Carrie.

Most fans of the original may not have been initially all that excited for another rehashing of a horror gem, but the trailer gives the viewer intentions of staying true to the story with the gritty transition Carrie goes through from timid outcast to a fierce and vengeful woman among a disturbing atmosphere. Carrie is fittingly directed by a female filmmaker, Kimberly Peirce, and is set to be released in theaters October 18.

Twilight Reboot May or May not Be In The Works.

There’s an old saying about never giving in to failure; “If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try again.” Unfortunately, movie studios should have lived by the teachings of Master Yoda instead; “Do or do not, there is no try!” They instead took this ‘try, try again’ method to heart over the years in never giving up on an idea or a long dying franchise. Major studios would later misuse the remake method as way to make more revenue off an overused idea rather than using fresh new ideas. Why wait a considerable amount of time to allow something to fade when you can simple click the reset button and start over. The Incredible Hulk and The Amazing Spider-Man is evidence of that.

We are a little over five months away from the final installment of Stephenie Meyer’s teen heart robbing sparkly vampire series Twilight with “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2”. However there seems to be something amiss just over the horizon. It appears that rumors have surfaced about a Twilight Reboot possibly happening within the next decade.

Bloody-Disgusting reported yesterday that there are alleged reports that Lionsgate is reportedly considering rebooting the Twilight series within the next decade and are “already discussing it internally.” And whether we like it or not “It will happen.”

Following this news hitting the web, Deadline contacted Co-Chairman Rob Friedman regarding the allegations of a reboot being mulled over within the company. Friedman then responded with the following reply: “We are not remaking Twilight. We will happily support Stephenie Meyer if she decides to proceed in any way. But this will be the last one unless that should change.”

Before Deadline debunked this news, Bloody-Disgusting said that the studio would “deny it, right here, right now. We’ll get plenty of eggs in our face. Sites will burn us at the stake like a witch during the Salem trials. Still, the fact will remain: it’s true.” However with that being said, Deadline pointed out that while Lionsgate has stated there isn’t any plans as of yet for a reboot in the near future, however author Stephenie Meyer has stated in a few interviews that “she wouldn’t mind seeing a reboot.” So basically whatever Meyer’s decides, Meyer’s will get.

The final installment of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson is due out in theaters everywhere November 16th 2012.

Extra Tidbit: So if a reboot does happen within the next few years as claimed by BD, do you think it’ll be able to hold on to its devout fandom?

Extra Extra Tidbit: For a reboot I say Team Jacob wins Bella’s heart this time around and no sparkly vampires!

Michael Rooker returns as Merle Dixon in The Walking Dead!

AMC’s The Walking Dead ranked in as one of the highest rated shows on network television last year, but what makes it such an appealing show? It’s not the zombie apocalypse devastating the world, or the action between the living dead and the survivors, nor is it about the horror element all together. What makes TWD so appealing is the human element, the will to see these variety of people from different backgrounds push on through life in a world turned upside down and somehow make it through it all.

Last season we were given a teaser of what’s to come next for Rick and his group, but more importantly, we were given a few hints at the introduction of a few interesting (Michonne), yet sinister (The Governor,) characters from the comic as well as the promise of the return of past characters including Merle Dixon (Played by Michael Rooker) brother of Daryl Dixon. . When last we saw Merle he was handcuffed to a poll on the roof top of a building in Atlanta with vengeances in his eyes for being left behind by Rick and the group. However if this still is any indication about Merle’s wellbeing, it’s that he alive and well and is itching for some payback.

The new season of The Walking Dead returns Sundays this fall on AMC.

Extra Tidbit: So do you think Merle’s reintroduction around the same time as The Governor coming into the picture merely a coincidence, or is there something much more sinister at play here?

Source: AMC

The Full Trailer for True Blood Season Five!

We’re just under a month away from the premiere of the new season of HBO’s True Blood, but like a drug addict addicted to V itching for another hit, June 10th feels like a life time away. Last season left us aching with many questions over so many heart-stopping moments that it’s felt like an eternity since we’ve seen the mystical hick town of Bon Temps.

However for those who tuned into HBO just before the airing of the new episode of Game of Thrones tonight got themselves a little taste of the new season in an extended look of what’s to come this season of True Blood, but fear not my fellow Truebies and Fangbangers alike, I come bearing gifts and words of good tidings, in case you missed it when it aired on HBO tonight you can watch the video below!

True Blood Season 5: Trailer

The new airs Sunday, June 10th, only on HBO.

EXTRA TIDBIT: Is Sookie and Bill’s relationship truly dead? Will she go back to Eric? Or will Alcide get a taste of what he’s been missing out on these last two seasons? Also, what do you think Roman’s introduction will bring this season and exactly what is Russell Edgington’s plan for revenge?

SIDE NOTE: I once tried to make vacation plans for Bon Temps, Kokomo and La Isla Bonita, and was told all three didn’t exist. Some fucker’s been telling me lies. What next, the North Pole is just ice and polar bears? Fucking crazy, I tell you.

TMNT Reboot Gets Working Title!

They say in all things, there is a silver lining. While I do agree with that assessment, fan boys near and far have unfailingly agreed that there is no silver lining when it comes to messing with one’s childhood memories. Earlier this month it was reported that Transformer’s director Michael Bay announced plans to reboot the successful 80’s franchise which spawned three theatrical released live action films, a successful long running cartoon in the 90’s and a CGI sequel in 2007. So what had fans up in arms against Bay’s announcement? Well, for one; the changing of key elements from the turtles’ origins, such as changing them from mutants into aliens and the fact that he this sent the fans into an uproar over the matter by telling them to “chill out”. [News on the reboot announcement]

But now there’s more word on the matter such as a working title. Bleeding Cool has reported and verified that the new reboot will be called “Ninja Turtles”…. Come again? Yep you’ve read right, it appears they won’t be teenagers either now.

According Bleeding Cool one of the sources who broke the news of the title had gone on record to say “It seems to be driven by marketing. Think of John Carter and how Disney wouldn’t allow for a title with either “Princess” or “Mars”.”

Well as much as I enjoyed John Cater, the simplification of dropping out “of Mars” from the title has proven to be a big disappointment at the box office. Does Ninja Turtles have a shot to prevail where other films could not, or will this prove to be a repeat of history? No word as of yet on casting announcements but it’s assume that’ll change very soon if it’s coming out in just under two years.

Source: Bleeding Cool

Extra Tidbit: Can the Turtles make a comeback with Bay/ Liebesman at the helm?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are Back… As Aliens?

Being a child of the 90s, I dabbled in a lot of 80s movies, music and television shows. And like a lot of kids my age, I was hugely into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I had an obsession with it, from the Saturday morning cartoon to the three live action movies, I couldn’t get enough of Splinter and his martial arts trained Turtles.

For ages now, fans have been aware of the details of a new turtle’s film well on the way, but what we should have been focusing on is the detail that wasn’t being said about the film. And in the beginning many had hoped it would be a continuation to the 2007 CGI film TMNT. But sadly as it turns out, it won’t be. StuffWeLike.com reported the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film is being produced by Michael Bay’s production company, Platinum Dunes, and directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans)

Bay had this to say at the 2012 Nickelodeon Upfront on March 14, 2012. “When you see this movie, kids will believe one day that these turtles do exist, when we’re done with this movie. These turtles are from an alien race, and they’re going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable.”

The following video is of Bay at the Nickelodeon Upfront talking about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.


Michael Bay talks Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by stuffwelike
The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is slated to hit the big screen December 25, 2013.

Extra Tidbit: So what will it be folks, yay or nay on the Re-imagining?

A Sneak Peek of THE WALKING DEAD Episode 212: “Better Angels”

Can’t get enough of AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD? Well here’s a sneak peek at Episode 212 “Better Angels” airing Sunday, March 4th at 9/8c on AMC.

Rick and the survivors are gearing up for something big. Find out what the group is making preparations for in this sneak peak from episode 212. Watch the full episode Sunday, March 11 at 9/10c. Only on AMC.

Prometheus Launches Viral Campaign!

It’s been one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood that 20 century Fox’s ‘Prometheus’ is a prequel to the Alien franchise So-to speak, and even the man himself, Ridley Scott, tried (for a short while) to debunk any rumors that his feature film Prometheus was in fact a prequel, then only to later abandon such notion and claimed it was a prequel per say, but not the typical sense we’ve come accustomed to. Well the cat’s out of the bag now as the first viral ad campaign for the film featuring Guy Pearce as corporate industrialist Peter Weyland of Weyland Industries was launched! The TED 2023 video “I will change the world” has since then gone viral and is sparking major buzz among the Sci-Fi and fanboy community. Scroll down and see for yourself what has everyone talking:

From Weyland Industries Official Website: “Considered a seminal moment in the career of our founder Peter Weyland, this 2023 TED Talk launched Weyland Corp into the international spotlight.To honor this historic event, Weyland Corp is planning to offer a new round of investment soon. Interested parties can expect to find out more within the next few days.”

From TED 2023: “Peter Weyland has been a magnet for controversy since he announced his intent to build the first convincingly humanoid robotic system by the end of the decade.

Whether challenging the ethical boundaries of medicine with nanotechnology or going toe to toe with the Vatican itself on the issue of gene-therapy sterilization, Sir Peter prides himself on his motto, “If we can, we must.” After a three year media blackout, Weyland has finally emerged to reveal where he’s heading next. Wherever that may be, we will most certainly want to follow.”

Synopsis: A team of scientists journey through the universe on the spaceship “Prometheus” on a voyage to investigate Alien life forms. The team of scientists becomes stranded on an Alien world, and as they struggle to survive it becomes clear that the horrors they experience are not just a threat to themselves, but to all of mankind.

This will be director Ridley Scott’s return to the Sci-Fi genre since directing timeless classic ‘Blade Runner’ 30 years ago. Prometheus is starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green and Guy Pearce. And will be released in theaters everywhere Jun 8th.

Extra Tidbit: So after 30 long years away from the genre, do you think Ridley can still pull off a decent Sci Fi flick?