In 2006, “The Da Vinci Code” made people angry before they’d even seen it: Catholics, albinos, fans of the Dan Brown airport novel who were preemptively riled up in expectation of Ron Howard’s film version not doing it justice. The 2009 follow-up, “Angels & Demons,” made people angry simply because it wasn’t as good as “The Da Vinci Code”—even though it managed to be more entertaining and less self-serious than its predecessor.

All these years later, whether or not you were hankering for Brown’s particular brand of hokum, Howard has adapted yet another bestseller in the author’s series: “Inferno.” It’ll probably annoy people more than anger them, though, because it’s just so silly and scattered. Howard and “Angels & Demons” screenwriter David Koepp are all business when it comes to delivering the doom and gloom, which is of the literary rather than the religious variety this time. But the multiple twists, double-crosses and leaps in logic are more likely to prompt giggles than gasps, despite the impressive production values and the earnest efforts of an A-list cast.

Tom Hanks is back once again as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, the understated hero of the series. Hanks’ performance is a prime example of what he does so well: He establishes that Langdon is the smartest man in the room at all times, but still manages to make the character an accessible everyman. It’s easy to take for granted what a tricky balancing act this is, simply because Hanks makes it look so effortless. By now, it’s his bread and butter. If only it were in the service of better material.

At the film’s start, Langdon has awakened in an Italian hospital room, not knowing where he is or he how he got there. Sweating and panicking, he suffers from excruciating headaches and the disturbing images that flash through his mind: hellish visions of twisted bodies burning and writhing in pain and surging rivers of blood. Soon enough, though, he’s on the run alongside the emergency room doctor who’s been treating him: the brilliant prodigy Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones).

Various factions with conflicting agendas are after him because he’s in possession of an object that’s crucial to solving the mystery of where a global plague is about to be unleashed. Before plunging to his death, Dante-obsessed billionaire madman Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) had warned that overpopulation would spell humanity’s demise, and argued that killing untold millions with a high-tech disease would be the only way to preserve the planet for the greater good. Langdon is the only man who can stop the devastation … by deciphering anagrams, of course. 

It’s all as insane and convoluted as it sounds. At the same time, Hanks is stuck with really obvious, explanatory dialogue like: “This map is a trail he left so that someone can find it.” 

Howard’s pacing is anxious and breathless, punctuated by shrieky sound design and Hans Zimmer’s insistent score, as Langdon and Brooks travel from Florence to Venice and Istanbul. Together, they piece together complicated clues with dizzying speed, trade tidbits of Dante arcana and try to stay a step ahead of the bad and/or good guys who are after them. These include an assassin posing as a motorcycle cop with the tenacity of the T-1000 and some shockingly well-armed agents from the World Health Organization. Omar Sy brings a dash of class and mystery as one of the prime pursuers and Sidse Babett Knudsen, as a WHO executive, creates the rare character here who not only feels like a real person but a grown-up amid all the madness. (The romance between her character and Hanks’, however, feels half-baked, despite how pleasing the two actors are together.)

Foster isn’t on screen long enough to function as much more than a concept as he spouts ominous lines like: “Humanity is the disease. Inferno is the cure.” The likable Jones, meanwhile, serves as a sharp and plucky foil to Hanks’ straightforward Langdon. Intellectually, she’s his equal—but she’s also forced to run in heels a lot.

The one who nearly runs off with the entire movie, though, is Irrfan Khan as the coolly calculating leader of a shadowy security agency known as The Provost. With his impeccably tailored suits and an arsenal of ornate daggers, he may be yet another bad guy—but then again, he may be a good guy. One thing’s for sure: He’s the only one here who realizes how ridiculous “Inferno” is, and he’s having a blast with it.


Bride Snapchats Wedding After Promising Not To, Groom Immediately Divorces Her

Well that’s a pretty extreme response to a long Snapchat story! A groom actually divorced his bride immediately after marrying her because he was mad at her for Snapchatting their wedding.


Kim Kardashian Spotted Out In Public, Apparently With Lots Of Security

Over three weeks since she was robbed at gunpoint in Paris, Kim Kardashian was spotted in public fir the first time on Tuesday night backstage at husband Kanye West’s Los Angeles concert.


The Internet Is Freaking Out About One Woman’s Legs

It’s “The Dress” all over again. One woman’s legs are sending the Internet into an uproar over a pretty tricky optical illusion.


Someone Demolished Donald Trump’s Walk Of Fame Star

Donald Trump’s star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame was demolished this morning by a man dressed as a construction worker.


‘Fantasic Beasts’ Gets China Release Date

While Chinese censors are afraid of some ghosts, they always seem anxious for the magic (and the dollars) from Harry Potter and any of its spinoffs. Although Ghostbusters was nixed from getting a theatrical release in China, Warner Bros’ J.K. Rowling adaptation Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will release to Chinese audiences on November 25. The global release for the film will be on November 18, with a sequel set for November 16, 2018.

The good news for Warner Bros., given that a Chinese release is a big deal for any film given that it is the No. 2 audience outside of the U.S. and soon to be No. 1, comes only a couple of weeks after author JK Rowling announced that the Eddie Redmayne-starring spinoff will be the first of five films that will be rolled out. The Chinese date was reported by Deadline’s sister pub Variety.

The Harry Potter prequel stars Redmayne as pre-eminent “magizoologist” Newt Scamander, who stops in New York following his travels to find and document magical creatures.


‘Twilight’ Actor Edi Gathegi To Star In ‘The SHU’; ‘Escobar’ Adds Julieth Restrepo

Edi Gathegi has landed the lead in the Aaron Fjellman-directed indie The SHU, which Fjellman co-worte with James Doc Mason. The film follows an affluent, African American psychiatrist (Gathegi), who gets convicted of murder and sent to solitary confinement. He must fight for an appeal and survive one of two deadly truths: that he’s guilty and being haunted by the ghost of his victim, or innocent and succumbing to the mind bending effects of extreme isolation.  James Jagger, Melora Hardin, and Tony Amendola co-star.  Fjellman produced with Pete Kirtley, Jessa Zarubica, and Matthew Temple. Gathegi played Laurent in the Twilight Saga films and can currently be seen in Crackle’s StartUP and up next in The Blacklist: Redemption. He is repped by ICM.

Colombian actress Julieth Restrepo has been cast in the Pablo Escobar film ‘Escobar, joining Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, and Peter Saarsgard. Fernando Leon de Aranoa is directing the film from his own script. It tells the story of the drug lord’s tumultuous relationship with his mistress. Restrepo plays Escobar’s wife who must deal with her husband’s philandering while keeping her family together during his hunt down. Bardem, Kalina Kottas, and Miguel Menendez de Zubillaga are producing. Restrepo appeared in Sony International’s pan Latin American series Lady, La Vendadora de Rosas.  She is repped by Global Artists Agency and AvatarMgmt.


MGM Buys Chiara Atik Spec Script ‘Fairy Godmother’

EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, MGM has acquired Fairy Godmother, the first spec script written by playwright Chiara Atik. Whiplash producer Helen Estabrook will produce. The spec is a comic revisionist look at the classic Fairy Godmother tale. Atik is a playwright, writer and blogger whose plays include Women, and Five Times In One Night, the latter of which Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions will take to the London stage next year. An alumni of Ensemble Studio Theater’s Youngblood writing group, Atik was also a staff writer on MTV’s talking-head/sketch show, Hey, Girl! and Netflix’s upcoming animation series Green Eggs and Ham. She also authored the book Modern Dating: A Field Guide and Paris is Lovely/Lonely When You’re Alone. Atik is repped by WME, Think Tank Management and attorneys Patrick Ragen and Stuart Rosenthal.


Howard Davies Dies: Acclaimed British Theater Director Was 71

Howard Davies, the acclaimed director known for his work at several of England’s most prominent theatrical venues including the Royal National Theatre and the Old Vic, has died following a battle with cancer. He was 71.

Born and raised in Durham, England, Davies’ varied career began in the early 1970s and included extensive work with the Bristol Old Vic and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. He also served as an associate director for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Davies also directed 36 productions for the National Theatre and several Broadway productions as well. In a statement to the BBC, the National Theatre called Davies “one of the very greatest theatre directors of his generation.”

For the Royal Shakespeare Company, Davies directed Les liaisons dangereuses, MacbethTroilus and Cressida and others. For the National Theatre, his credits included Hedda Gabler, The House of Bernarda Alba, Pygmalion, The Crucible and The Shaughraun. Davies directed Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Play About the Baby for the Almeida Theatre, and his Broadway credits included Les Liaisons Dangereuses (currently revived with Liev Schreiber and Brit actress Janet McTeer), The Iceman Cometh with Kevin Spacey, the brilliant drama Good and A Moon for the Misbegotten with Spacey and Eve Best.

Davies received numerous accolades over his long career, including the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director for West End theater productions of The Iceman Cometh, All My Sons and The White Guard. He received the London Critics Circle Award for Best Director for Mourning Becomes Electra and The Iceman Cometh, and the Evening Standard Award for Best Director for All My Sons and Flight. And in 2011, for his services to drama Davies was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Davies also worked in film and television, directing the BBC telefilm Copenhagen and the BBC Four film Blue/Orange among others. He also helmed the 1993 feature The Secret Rapture, written by David Hare and based on Hare’s 1988 play.

Before his death, Davies had been set to direct the Michael Frayn-written play Wild Honey at Hampstead Theatre in December. The venue said in a statement that the play will be presented in Davies’ memory.

Davies is survived by his wife, actress Clare Holman.


Fox Comedy ‘The Mick’ Gets NFL-Boosted Debut, Premiere Date, Extended Trailer

Fox has solidified its launch plans for midseason comedy The Mick, which in May was slated to air in the Tuesday 8:30 PM slot, paired with New Girl, while Brooklyn Nine-Nine is on a winter hiatus.

The network will give the new comedy extra sampling with a premiere on Sunday, Jan. 1 at 8 PM, following the NFL doubleheader. The series will then make its time period premiere with an all-new episode Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 8:30 PM, behind New Girl, which will move to 8 PM. Brooklyn Nine-Nine will have a two-part winter finale on Jan. 1. It will then take a break and return in the spring after The Mick ends its freshman run.

Today, the network also released an extended trailer for The Mick. You can watch it above.

Created/written by John Chernin and David Chernin (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) The Mick stars Sunny‘s Kaitlin Olson as Mackenzie aka Mickey, a brash, two-bit hustler from Rhode Island who must assume guardianship of her sister’s three high-maintenance children. The series co-stars Sofia Black D’Elia, Thomas Barbusca, newcomer Jack Stanton, Carla Jimenez and newcomer Scott MacArthur. 20th Century Fox TV is the studio; The Chernin brothers, Nick Frenkel and Oly Obst, along with Randall Einhorn, who directed the pilot episode, are executive producers. Kaitlin Olson is a co-executive producer.

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