New Image of Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace; Biopic Set for Sundance Premiere

Yesterday we brought you the fifteen movies we’re most excited about at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but it seems we forgot one big one: Lovelace, the biopic about Linda Lovelace and her starring turn in the classic ’70s porno Deep Throat. Stills from the film have been trickling online in the fast few months (and there’s something about that phrase that makes me a little uncomfy considering the subject matter of the film), but a new image of Amanda Seyfried in the titular role’s groovy hairdo popped up this morning.

Entertainment Weekly shares the image as well as more details about the film, which has an impressive cast assembled.

Sharon Stone, Juno Temple, Wes Bentley, Hank Azaria (in the directors chair), Robert Patrick, Bobby Cannavale (partially obscured in the upper right corner), and Chris Noth (standing beside the camera) co-star in Lovelace. Peter Sarsgaard also stars as Lovelace’s husband, Chuck Traynor, the man she later claimed abused her and coerced her into the porn world. James Franco will appear as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and Adam Brody (seated in the chair) is fellow porn actor Harry Reems.

Will Lovelace be a hit? Few movies have been able to capture the essence of porn the way that Boogie Nights did nearly sixteen (sixteen! it’s been that long!) years ago. It’ll definitely be a movie to keep an eye on. 

Check out the new still below:


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Linkage: Taylor Swift and Harry Styles Are Dunzo, Woody Allen’s New Flick Gets a Title

Taylor Swift and One Direction’s Harry Styles have broken up. I, for one, haven’t been this devastated since Taylor Swift broke up with that Kennedy kid. Alas, at least this means Swift will have enough material for at least three songs on her next album. (I’m guessing she’s been drafting some lyrics on that boat.) I’m hoping at least one of them is about Styles’s second set of nipples. (It’d be a good dig in a song called “I Could Never Love You (As Much As You Love Yourself)”) [NY Daily News, Gawker]

Woody Allen’s latest project has a name: Blue Jasmine. It also has a million people in it, including Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, and Peter Sarsgaard. Here’s hoping Andrew Dice Clay plays the regular Woody Allen doppelganger. [Splitsider]

Rapper / weed enthusiast The Game took a break from scarfing down peanut butter-covered Fritos and DiGiorno pizzas to make some comments following Justin Bieber’s alleged marijuana use: “Let’s keep it real. There’s a lot of people in high positions…who smoke a little weed sometimes. I’m not saying it’s okay…but [Bieber] made a mistake.” I’m totally surprised that his statement wasn’t more to the point. [SOHH]

Last year, New York pizza joint L’Asso sent me a calendar featuring pizzas in sexy poses. (One included a pizza wearing assless chaps. I know it’s hard to picture, but just go with it.) It looks like someone else has figured out exactly what I’d like to put on my wall in 2013: a calendar featuring women covered in manure. [The Gloss]

“I chose Ellen as Jesus because of the incredibly positive impact she’s had on the masses. When she came out as gay on television her career took an unjust beating, and she rose form the ashes to become more powerful and well-liked than ever. Portia de Rossi was the easy choice as Mary Magdalene. The only other character I wanted to match up historically was Judas. Despite her status as a fictional character, I absolutely had to choose Shane McCutcheon from ‘The L Word’ as Judas because of her notoriously bad behavior in relationships.” Art, you guys. [HuffPo]

James Franco. Justin Bieber. This link placed here solely for SEO purposes. [Observer]

Bones is returning for a ninth season, which only makes me wonder if anyone can bother to explain to me what the hell Bones is about. [EW]

Brad Pitt has been banned from China, and Paris Hilton has been banned from Japan. Too bad I can’t ban them from my brain HA HA HA AM I RIGHT? [Flavorwire]

Apparently we should all be friends with Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia on Facebook. [Creeper Status]

Here’s a video of a dude falling off a skateboard. You know you need it today. [Hypervocal]

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We’re Breaking Up With ‘Boardwalk Empire’

You watch too much TV. No, you do. So do I. We all follow too many series and overload our DVRs to the point where we have to spend Sunday afternoons clearing them out like they’re our junk drawer. And there are new shows premiering all the time! Some of them worth a look—okay, most of them aren’t, but SOME. But we can’t just keep piling on like this. We’ve gotta start weeding shows out. On the plus side, if you’re a wonky sort, a good TV purge is often a great way to examine what you’re looking for in your entertainment. What you value. So each week here at BlackBook, we’re going to tell you what show you should be giving up on. It won’t be easy, but it has to be done. This week, we’re dumping Boardwalk Empire.

Getting Dumped: Boardwalk Empire

What’d They Do This Time? This past Sunday was the third season premiere of the most acclaimed cable drama you ever forgot was still on. It wasn’t a terrible episode. It’s not a terrible show. If we waited for shows to become straight-up terrible, we’d never stop watching ANYTHING. The problem with Boardwalk Empire is that it feels like an accumulation of all the things HBO dramas have taught us we SHOULD value in a TV show, rather than letting us discover something new and exciting. Even the praise you hear for Boardwalk Empire is so obligatory. It’s a great show because great shows have dark, flawed, possibly unredeemable lead characters whose amorality reflect an America with broken values. It’s a great show because great shows don’t shy away from the violent underpinnings of our society. It’s a great show because great shows makes their audience work to keep up with dozens of characters, each with their own stories and motivations that may or may not ever prove to be important. All these things CAN be (and have been) ingredients in great shows, but behaving like a great show would isn’t nearly the whole ballgame.

Sunday’s episode introduced a character named Gyp Rosetti, played by Bobby Cannavale, who’s your classic HBO hotheaded gangster who takes offense at the slightest provocation and is always eager to bash some guy’s head in. We’ve seen dozens of these guys, on The Sopranos, on Deadwood, probably The Mind of the Married Man at one point. Hell, there are at least three major characters like this on Boardwalk Empire already! It’s exhausting.

Nothing about the show feels exciting or fresh or fun, a problem that came into stark (pardon the pun) relief with the premiere of Game of Thrones, which did all those great-show HBO things but also managed to get viewers actually excited. Nucky’s dealing and killing and making the moves he needs to make to become a Prohibition kingpin—hey, way to get that Justice Department stooge in your pocket!—meanwhile, in Westeros, there’s beheadings and dragons and androgynous knights!

Anything Else? Okay: that metaphor of the lady biplane pilot seeking to fly freely over the continental United States, representing Margaret’s latent desires to be a free and independent woman? A little much. Like cake frosting applied with a shovel.

What We’ll Miss: Thick metaphors aside, Kelly MacDonald really is killing it as Margaret. This IS a character type we haven’t grown sick of: the compromising woman caught between her morals and success. Also: sad Richard Harrow with the half-face. You hang in there, buddy.

What We’ll Have More Time For: Time-shifting means that we don’t have to worry so much about time-slot competition anymore, but if you want to banter on Twitter while watching a show—and eeeeeverybody does that now, so let’s all stop acting offended by it—you’ve gotta watch it pretty close to live, so giving up Boardwalk Empire means more time at 9pm to cheer on Madeline Stowe’s return from the dead on Revenge, or maybe see how Kalinda deals with her ex-husband’s return on The Good Wife. No more waiting multiple seasons for Nucky to purchase highway land! You’re free!

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ABC’s ‘Cupid’: Then & Now

imageEleven years ago, we lived in a golden age. It was an era when credit flowed like honey, and David E. Kelley could still hammer out a watchable dramedy. Back then, you could walk through South Williamsburg and with eager expectations that you might get shanked or mugged. That’s also when some dude who wasn’t the frontman for Matchbox 20 (who was also quite relevant at the time), but shared his name — Rob Thomas — helmed a bittersweet dramedy on ABC. It was about how the ever-hunky Cupid (played by a humbler, sweeter Jeremy Piven) had been banished from Mt. Olympus for his arrogance. Before returning, he had to hook up 100 couples, but without his superpowers. The series also involved a typically neurotic psychologist convinced that the Greco-Roman god of erotic love was just a regular Joe suffering from a debilitating personality disorder. And as viewers, we never really got indication one way or another, as ABC axed the original after 15 episodes. But ’tis the season for remakes, and tonight, The Alphabet Network rolls out a nipped and tucked do-over. So exactly how does the update stack up against the original?

Expected Lifetime Then: 15 episodes, 1 unaired. Now: 7 episodes. Cut from 13. Well, crap. It seems like ABC has already written the show off (again?). At the very least, the update will have an abbreviated single season in common with the original.

Scheduling Then: 10 p.m., Saturdays. Now: 10 p.m., Tuesdays. Apart from cut-down episode orders, nothing speaks to a network’s confidence about one of its expensive primetime babies like scheduling. Despite its almost-full season order, the original aired in a pre-Hulu era of Saturday night. So it remains a testament to what’s probably an evanescent glimmer of hope that ABC hasn’t gone all FOX and banished the show to the Friday Night Time Slot of Death. (Not yet, anyway.)

Cast Then: Jeremy Piven as Cupid/Trevor Hale, Paula Marshall as Dr. Claire Allen. Now: Bobby Cannavale as Cupid/Trevor Pierce, Sarah Paulson as Dr. Claire McCrae. There was never any chance of assembling the old cast, as they’ve evolved (read: aged) and gone onto do more fanciful things (like consume bad fish). By tweaking last names, Thomas is obviously trying to throw off his scent the bad luck that’s been tailing him all through the first iteration of the show and through Veronica Mars.

Setting Then: Chicago. Now: Manhattan. Yes, yes, yes, New York is the only city of true love, what with our proclivity towards deplorable remakes of French films to obviate such a fact. But most boob-tube drama happens in the Empire State these days, so some Magnificent Mile melodrama wouldn’t have been an entirely bad idea.

Last-Ditch Pop Star Stuntcasting Then: Lisa Loeb. Now: Quite possibly Leona Lewis. Bear in mind, Cupid originally aired when Lisa Loeb was a fixture on Top 40 radio, back when radio had still had few qualms about playing chicks with guitars. Nowadays, Top 40 radio is keen on chicks micromanaged by Simon Cowell.

Theme Song Then: “Human” by The Pretenders. Now: Probably none, as ABC forgoes gratuitous opening sequences for more actual show and/or advertisements. Ever the barometer for a show’s longevity (case in point: Nip/Tuck), maybe a Pretenders-assisted intro wouldn’t be the best thing for the Cupid revamp, as it probably wasn’t for the original. At least then, when everyone’s gathered for a doomsday post-game analysis about why ratings aren’t up to snuff, Thomas and ABC bigwigs can rule out alienating all viewers save for the lovely-but-unbankable women 35-54 demo. And in the overwhelming possibility that Cupid doesn’t survive to fire his arrows for an eighth installment, fans of Thomas’ work always have Party Down, one of Starz’s first forays into TV series, hungry for viewers.
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