Thursday, December 23, 2010

Forest Whitaker

(CNS) Posted Wednesday December 22, 2010 - 9.31am
CBS unveiled its midseason scheduled today that includes a spinoff of Criminal Minds, two other new series and the first-year dramas Blue Bloods and The Defenders changing nights.

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, which will star Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker, will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. beginning Feb. 16, following Criminal Minds.

Mad Love, a comedy about four New Yorkers, two of whom are falling in love while the other two despise each other, will premiere Feb. 21.

Mad Love will air in the Monday 8:30-9 p.m. time slot, replacing Rules of Engagement, which will move to Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. time slot Feb. 24, replacing $#*! My Dad Says, which will have completed its on-air order for the season.

Blue Bloods, the first-year drama starring Tom Selleck as the patriarch of a police family, will begin a four-week run in the Wednesday 10 p.m. time period Jan. 19.

It will replace the first-year legal drama The Defenders, which will air Fridays at 8 p.m. beginning Feb. 4, replacing Medium, which is ending its run.

Blue Bloods will return to the Friday 10 p.m. time slot Feb. 11.

Chaos, described by CBS as a comedic drama about a group of rouge CIA spies in the Clandestine Administration and Oversight Services, will premiere April 1, airing Fridays at 8 p.m., succeeding The Defenders, which will have completed its on-air order for the season.

"We're in the fortunate position of having a schedule with many successful shows and very few holes," said Kelly Kahl, CBS' senior executive vice president primetime.

"This allows us to be very targeted with our midseason series. These are moves that maintain the core stability of a successful schedule, while giving us multiple looks for the future at a few time periods."

Forest Whitaker's new movie almost unwatchable

PARIS (Hollywood Reporter) - With the exception of Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are," Forest Whitaker has had a tough time keeping up momentum since winning an Oscar for his portrayal of Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland."

His last film, "The Experiment," went straight to DVD, and the gloppy "My Own Love Song," co-starring Renee Zellweger, has yet to secure a U.S. release date. The pattern of misfires is unlikely to be altered by Whitaker's latest, "Lullaby for Pi," a ludicrous romance so full of cliches and forced whimsy that it is nearly unwatchable.

An English-language directorial debut from Frenchman Benoit Philippon, the film is a longshot for festival selection. If it does reach North American movie theatres, "Lullaby for Pi" cannot reasonably hope for anything more than feeble box office returns.

The film opens with a woman named Josephine (Sarah Wayne Callies) inexplicably barging into the New York hotel room of Sam, a young jazz musician played by British actor Rupert Friend (from Stephen Frears' "Cheri"). Before being interrupted, Sam is watching what we learn is his favorite movie, Billy Wilder's "Some Like it Hot," a cutesy detail that writer-director Philippin mistakes for character development. When Sam and Josephine get to talking, they engage in the kind of strenuous banter that feels straight out of a beginning screenwriting course.

"Lullaby for Pi" then flashes forward. We learn that Sam and Josephine eventually fell in love and married but Josephine tragically died. Sam is now in a deep depression, chain-smoking and drinking nights away in the same hotel room. His one friend seems to be George (Whitaker), the affable guy who runs the hotel and plays both cupid and shrink to our protagonist.

The film's main plot thread begins when another woman arbitrarily marches into Sam's room, locking herself in the bathroom to hide from an angry boyfriend. Her name is Pi. As played by French actress Clemence Poesy, she is a fidgety creature with paint-stained hands, mysterious tattoos and a permanently sulky gaze.

In the movie's most cloyingly precious stroke, Sam and Pi fall in love while on opposite sides of the restroom door, with Sam sweet-talking the odd young woman gently and mostly respecting her pathological need to stay in the bathtub. At least this part of "Lullaby for Pi," as inane as it is, carries the tiniest drop of curiosity, as we wait for Pi to emerge from her hideout.

Too bad the romance that unfolds once the two lost souls connect face-to-face is one of the most treacly, ineptly written and staged big-screen relationships in recent memory. The main problem is that despite their multitude of tics, neuroses and habits (example: Pi scribbles diary-like prose all over her apartment's walls), neither character exhibits anything resembling credible human behavior. Pi, especially, feels more like a quirky boardroom pitch -- the child-like, vaguely punk beauty with a haunted past -- than a flesh-and-blood person. The film's final-act bid to explain her elusiveness is both cheap and totally uninteresting, a would-be twist that barely elicits a shrug. Meanwhile, even clumsier than the love story is an afterschool-special-like subplot in which Sam plays mentor to a young black pianist (Matt Ward) struggling to earn his father's respect.

The two leads are pretty, but display zero chemistry and are hampered by dialogue that is alternately wooden and painfully earnest. And though Philippon gives the film moody lighting and some feverish close-ups presumably meant to underline his characters' inner turmoil, the look of Lullaby for Pi is as artificial and thinly conceived as the story it tells. The movie's New York is a recycled fantasy Gotham: boozy, bluesy and utterly familiar to anyone who has watched late-night cable TV in the past 30 years. Philippon also has a heavy hand when it comes to emotional climaxes: A heated exchange between Sam and his young protege late in the film and a fight between Sam and Pi at a cocktail party ring laughably false.

Many will end up wondering how a project as deeply misguided as "Lullaby for Pi" managed to get the green light to begin with.

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