Peter Falk, a screen and television actor of inestimable wit, personality, and dedication enjoyed a career that spanned over fifty years and included roles that could have been played by no one else. Sadly, Falk's family confirmed today that the actor passed away at his home in Beverly Hills at the age of 83, after years of struggling with Alzheimer's Disease and related dementia. The wholly unique actor is our latest Rogue of the Week, in posthumous celebration of his seemingly effortless ability to bring a sly sense of humor and endearing humanity to roles in any genre, for any audience.
As Hal Jordan, the hero of Green Lantern, leading man Ryan Reynolds sports a CGI supersuit, flies around the cosmos engaging in derring-do, and of course, gets the girl, played by Blake Lively. While he's doing that, Peter Sarsgaard is playing Dr. Hector Hammond, a scientist whose contact with the entity Parallax turns him from an ordinary guy with a bad haircut and a worse mustache into a cackling menace who looks like the Elephant Man's evil cousin. Guess which actor walks away with the movie? For his performance in Lantern, and his years as an invaluable scene-stealer, Peter Sarsgaard is our latest Rogue of the Week.
A week from now, Michael Fassbender will basically be a full-on movie star. He's starring as the youthful Erik Lensherr, aka Magneto, in Matthew Vaughn's X-prequel X-Men: First Class. While he headlines along with the excellent James McAvoy, playing a pre-paralysis Charles Xavier, Fassbender's riveting performance is the engine powering the entire movie. His Magneto is at once an uncompromising, wrathful loner concerned with little but revenge and simultaneously a charismatic leader of mutants to be reckoned with. It's enough to make you forget venerable Shakespearean Ian McKellen, and it's guaranteed to garner Fassbender a lot of deserved attention.
At the closing ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival – the biggest film festival on the face of planet Earth – The Tree of Life won the Palme d'Or, the highest honor any film can receive at the festival. Guess who was not present to bask in accolades and congratulations for the opus starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, and Sean Penn? The film's legendary writer-director, Terrence Malick. Malick's near-mythic status derives from the fact that he makes masterfully meditative, intelligent dramas, and also his tendency towards the reclusive. It's both of these attributes that make him the Rogue of the Week. Mostly the incredible filmmaking though.
Amongst professional wrestlers in this surreal modern era, showmanship is important, whether it's Hulk Hogan tearing off his little yellow tank tops or erstwhile The Rock Dwayne Johnson and his supernaturally elastic arching eyebrow. In a crowd filled with such outsized personalities, Macho Man Randy Savage was a standout. Signature moves like the atomic drop and the hair-pull hangman earned Macho Man a devoted following of wrestling enthusiasts, but his outrageous fashion sense, energetic persona, and wholly distinctive voice allowed him to carve a niche in the greater popular culture. Unfortunately, Savage – whose name outside of the ring was Randall Poffo – died in an automobile accident today. To mark his passing and his singular style, we're making Macho Man our first posthumous Rogue of the Week.
After a decade creating a vast television mythology for the early years of the Man of Steel, this Friday night will see the series finale of Smallville on the CW. Finally, fans will be able to see actor Tom Welling – who has played Clark Kent from a confused, angst-filled teenager to a superpowered vigilante on the cusp of realizing his destiny – donning the blue spandex, red cape, and prominent codpiece of Superman. To commemorate the conclusion of Smallville's formidable run, we've crowned Welling our latest Rogue of the Week.
Yesterday, May 4th, was Star Wars day because the date allows for near-constant repetition of the pun "May the fourth be with you." This clever means of maintaining the pop-cultural omnipresence of George Lucas' six-film space opera resulted in plenty of Star Wars quotations, cosplay photos, steampunk Boba Fetts, and all manner of ironic tributes the interstellar civil war in a galaxy far, far away. Yet we noticed that one deserving character was definitely not getting the attention he so richly deserves. Admiral Ackbar, the Mon Calamari man with a plan a speech impediment, is now the first fictional character to earn the title 'Rogue of the Week'.
When Justin Lin signed on to direct The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, the auto-inclined series was generally thought to have run its course, no pun intended. In fact, the third film in the series was seen as a joke; Lin inherited an improbable franchise with a faintly ludicrous title and a novelty location, but without the either of the stars of the first two films. Then, when the film hit theaters in 2006, it surprised everyone by being the best film in the series. Lin's latest addition to the franchise, Fast Five, hits theaters tonight at midnight, and the film's poised to raise Lin up yet another notch.
How many documentary filmmakers can you think of who are household names? There's Michael Moore, but his aggressive politicization has largely overshadowed his films and confined him to a narrow audience of true believers. Guys like Ken Burns, Werner Herzog, or Errol Morris are all well known for their docs, but they don't tap into the zeitgeist of mainstream cinema. The fact is, very few documentaries break into the popular culture, and even fewer documentarians become public figures for their work. Certainly, only one man has ever managed to do do so while consistently sporting a horseshoe mustache: Morgan Spurlock.
Many grown up actors with years of experience cannot carry the dramatic weight of an entire film, let alone one in which they're also required to convincingly be a full-on action hero, doing all manner of kung fu and stunts aplenty. Yet 17 year-old actress Saoirse Ronan somehow accomplished all of the above as the title character in Hanna, which came in at number 2 in the weekend's box office, besting Arthur, a heavily marketed comedy starring far more recognizable stars.