Things are supposed to quiet down as far as big movie news is concerned for the next couple of weeks, so enjoy these little draps and drabs of movie news from the last week while you can…
* It’s not quite on the level of finding a mysterious monolith on the moon but it comes close. AICN has it that EFX pioneer genius Douglas Trumbull has said that 17 minutes of lost outtakes from Stanley Kubrick‘s “2001: A Space Odyssey” have been found in a salt mine in Kansas. It’s important to remember this story, such as it is, originates from a message board and perhaps isn’t the best sourced item to ever hit the ‘nets. But what better place to store outtakes than a salt mine in Kansas? A pepper mill in Encino?
* Since the story’s been out since the beginning of the week, by now you’ve no doubt heard the news that Jon Favreau has walked away from “Iron Man 3” in what we’re being assured was an entirely amicable split motivated primarily by his desire to make the Disneyland themed “Magic Kingdom.” As a lifelong Southern Californian and a current resident in good standing of the city of Anaheim, I love the Happiest Place on Earth as much as the next guy. However, as the premise for a movie, I’m hugely skeptical and wondering just what it is that is getting people of the caliber of Favreau and Guillermo del Toro on board with this these theme-parked based projects. (I’m much less skeptical of the Fincher “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” because, well, it’s based on a beloved book of my childhood as well as a pretty cool Disney flick, not a ride.)
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It was another special 90-minute episode of “Sons of Anarchy” tonight, but I honestly didn’t expect any less from the season finale, which opened with the typical montage, this time scored to an upbeat pop song while the club enjoyed a cheerful breakfast feast at the clubhouse. The festivities didn’t last long, however, as Gemma is becoming increasingly worried about Jax’s deal with Stahl after discovering a case file on the IRA council in his cut.
She’s still staying mum on the subject, but after Clay tells her about their expanding business relationship with the Irish, Gemma decides to try and save Jax’s skin before any more harm is done by turning herself in. Not that it will do her any good. Stahl has already exonerated Gemma of all the charges (apart from fleeing custody, which has landed her a few months under house arrest), so there’s really nothing she can do. Nevertheless, Gemma promises Stahl that deals like the one she made with Jax never work out because there’s no trust, and it’s going to end badly for one of the parties involved. If only Gemma knew just how right she would be…
With the hours ticking away until Jimmy is out of SAMCRO’s reach for good, Clay visits Otto at Stockton to set up a meet between him and Lenny the Pimp. Lenny agrees to reach out to his Russian contacts, but warns Otto that while they’re certainly not loyal to Jimmy, it’s going to take a hefty sum for them to flip on him. And as Clay soon learns, he wasn’t kidding, as the Russians ask for $2 million in exchange for Jimmy – money that the club simply doesn’t have. Thankfully, those boxes that Chucky has been trying to show someone for days just so happens to contain $5 million in counterfeit bills. It’s apparently from his time working for Henry Lin, and though he was supposed to destroy it, he decided to keep it instead.
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“I think you’ll dig it. If not, what the hell, it was only a buck.”
That pretty much sums up creator Kurt Sutter’s feelings on the release of the new “Sons of Anarchy” app for the iPhone and iPad, and while it’s hard to imagine any fan of the show not drooling over the prospect of getting more background info on the show’s rich mythology, the fact that it only costs 99 cents makes it well worth the risk. Or you can just take my word for it, because I’ve spent some time with the app over the last 24 hours, and it’s something that most fans would gladly pay more than a dollar for.
The core of the app is dedicated to exploring SAMCRO’s roots, offering back stories on everything from the origins of SAMBEL, to the history of the IRA and its relationship with the Sons of Anarchy. There’s also a Bonus Material section that includes pictures and scripts from deleted scenes of recent episodes, with ones for the season premiere and Episode Five already available, as well as access to direct feeds of Sutter’s personal blog and the official production blog, which are ripe with behind-the-scenes info.
The app itself has a simple yet slick interface that accommodates future updates, and this is where it really shines. Though there are only two story sections available at the moment (the aforementioned “Belfast and SOA” and “The IRA”), the app is scheduled to be updated every Monday and Wednesday – although presumably only when the show is in season – with brand new content that often supports the episode airing that week. Future updates promise more deleted scenes, sections on SAMCRO’s early years and John Teller, information on the bikes of “SOA,” and cast bios.
It’s like a digital Bible for the diehard “Sons of Anarchy” fan, and although there are a few issues that need to be fixed in a future software update (the lack of an icon letting you know when new content is downloading makes it seem unresponsive), it’s nothing too major. More shows should really adopt this model when creating their official app, because while you don’t necessarily need it to watch the show, it gives you the inside track on what the writers know and makes for a much richer viewing experience.
Click here to buy the “Sons of Anarchy” app on iTunes
So far, this season has been pretty hit and miss for me, with a lot more misses than hits. That’s just the nature of what Kurt Sutter has set up this year, however, and I expect things to really begin picking up by midseason. But for the time being, we’re stuck waiting out SAMCRO’s inevitable journey to the land of potatoes and leprechauns as they’re forced to split time between searching for Abel and dealing with business back in Charming.
After deciding that starting a war with the Mayans was against their best interest, the Sons task the Grim Bastards with getting intel on Mayan activity in their home base of Lodi. The Bastards are short on guns at the moment, though, so Clay sets up a deal with Henry Lin to get them some semi-automatics in exchange for the Cara Cara girls to be party favors at an upcoming blowout for some Hong Kong business partners. Opie isn’t at all pleased about Lyla having sex for money, however, and when he sees her going down on one of the Chinese guys at the party, he flips out, leading to an all-out brawl and their deal with Henry Lin ruined. Clay smoothes things over by offering Henry one of SAMCRO’s gun clients in exchange for the guns intended for the Bastards, but he doesn’t look very happy about the trade. Still, the Mayans pose an immediate threat, and at the moment, that’s more important than the future of their gun trade.
The bad news just keeps rolling in when a woman from the law office representing the Sons pays them a visit to inform them that City Council has requested a new bail hearing in regards to their assault charges from the church incident. It seems that Jacob Hale is using the recent drive-by as proof that it was retaliation against SAMCRO’s criminal activity, and unless they appear in court at the end of the week, they’ll lose the bail money and incur a longer prison sentence. Not that anyone really cares, because Jax has already decided that he’s heading for Vancouver, and the rest of the guys plan on skipping town to join him. That becomes unnecessary, however, when Juice receives an email from the Belfast VP with a picture of Cameron Hayes left for dead on the streets of Belfast.
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Anyone who watches “Sons of Anarchy” is well aware of the path of destruction that creator Kurt Sutter left behind at the end of last season, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Season Three begins with the characters picking themselves up off the ground. Only a few days have passed since that disastrous chain of events, and Gemma is still on the lam after being set up by Agent Stahl for the death of Edmond Hayes. But now that Unser has returned to his duties Charming, Tig and a few of the Oregon-based Sons have taken Gemma to a rundown motel to hide out.
Clay has smartly refrained from telling her about Abel’s kidnapping, and it’s a good thing that he has or otherwise, she’d probably come racing back to help with the search. Of course, between trying to hotwire a car and stabbing its owner in the groin with a pocket knife, Gemma has already proved quite a handful for Tig, so he finally concedes to her request to visit her father (Hal Holbrook) when she reads that her mother has recently passed away in the newspaper. I’ll be curious to see where this particular storyline goes, because it doesn’t look like Gemma will be coming back to Charming anytime soon, and quite frankly, she’s already missed.
Tara is doing a pretty good job of filling in, however, and there was a really sweet moment between her and Clay where he told her that she was the best thing to happen to Jax. Though it’s possible that he was just being nice so she would cooperate and not name the Sons during her testimony to the FBI, Clay has always placed family first, and Tara is now a part of that family. And if you didn’t think that Tara was fully committed to Jax and the club before tonight, then she pretty much confirmed it by refusing to leave Charming despite Jax’s request, summing it up perfectly towards the end of the episode with the following speech: “We don’t know who we are until we’re connect to someone else. We’re just better human beings when we’re with the people we’re supposed to be with… I belong here.”
Tara even stood up to Stahl after being accused of lying during her testimony, calling her out at as a despicable human being and more or less threatening her to stay away from her family. But while Stahl didn’t seem too affected by Tara’s best Gemma impression, she looked positively terrified after Clay delivered a message of his own: “Anything happens to my grandson, I promise you, I’m going to shove a gun barrel up that bony ass of yours and I’m gonna blow your black heart out.” You have to hand it to him, though, because he’s right. While the Sons don’t exactly adhere the highest moral standards, Stahl’s web of lies has led to the deaths of several innocents and the kidnapping of baby Abel. Eventually, that’s all going to catch up to her, whether she ultimately confesses from a guilty conscience or someone else pulls the trigger. I’m betting on the latter.
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