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Gary McCurry reviews the first episode of Bloodline…
Changing his mind, Danny Rayburn (Ben Mendelsohn) takes the speech in his hand and places it back in the pocket from which it came. “To the Rayburn’s!” he shouts. His audience at the annual gathering held in the picturesque family-owned getaway in Florida breathe a silent sigh of relief before completing the toast with their cheers.
Netflix bring us Bloodline, a new show that will make your dysfunctional family look like the Brady Brunch in comparison.
I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum here, be warned though, some may surface.
For Friday Night Lights alumni, Kyle Chandler, it’s less “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” and more “dark lies, new starts, family blues” as he takes on the role of John Rayburn. Chandler’s voice narrates the story, beginning with a long monologue that could be labelled as generic. »
- Gary McCurry
On Netflix’s engrossing and intense new series Bloodline, which is part psychological thriller and part family drama, the eldest brother and black sheep of the Rayburn family, Danny (in a compelling performance by Ben Mendelsohn), returns home and begins to expose emotional demons that will threaten to tear the family apart. From creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler (known as Kzk), the strong cast of actors also includes Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz, Sam Shepard and Sissy Spacek. During a roundtable interview to discuss the new show, actress Linda Cardellini (who plays Meg Rayburn) talked about all of the mysterious elements to the show, learning about the skeleton of the story before they start shooting, how excited she is to see the finished product to check out her co-stars’ work, how she views this character, bonding with her cast, that Season 2 is a possibility, »
- Christina Radish
Call it The Avengers of television – Netflix’s Bloodline surely boasts one of the most formidable casts ever assembled for a series. With Kyle Chandler, Sam Shepard, Linda Cardellini, Sissy Spacek, Ben Mendehlson, Chloe Sevigny and more taking central roles in the dark, brooding family drama, there are few shows that can claim to have matched its level of star power.
What attracted them to the project is clear – aside from being based at Netflix, a massively exciting new home for prestige programming, Bloodline offers many dramatic showcases for its stars. Though the show itself has some issues, no one would be surprised to hear Mendehlson and Cardellini’s names in contention for the Emmys next year.
Recently, the series had its red carpet premiere in NYC and we were on hand to catch up with Chandler, Mendehlson and more about Netflix’s newest offering. Check out what they had »
- Justine Browning
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
The Blu-ray release of this star-studded musical extravaganza has some cool extras, like a deleted scene featuring Meryl Streep singing Sondheim's "She'll Be Back," a doc about the production design and costumes, and even the option to watch the individual performances with the lyrics onscreen. Below, get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the special effects (and sneakers) used in the making of Disney's hit musical.
This game-changing documentary by Errol Morris has gotten the Criterion treatment, complete with a high-def digital transfer, an interview with Morris, and more.
The final movie in the "Hobbit" trilogy has arrived on Blu-ray. There aren't a ton of extras, but hey, »
- Jenni Miller
Bloodline, Season 1, Episodes 1-6
Premiered on Friday March 20th on Netflix Instant
This review contains spoilers for the first six episodes of Bloodline
“Sometimes you know something’s coming, in the air, in your gut. You don’t sleep at night and the voice inside your head is telling you something is going to go wrong and there is nothing you can do to stop it. That’s how I felt when my brother came back.”
Bloodline is all about deception. What’s beneath the surface, what we hide from the world and the lies we tell to protect ourselves and our families. The problem is, and the one that is explored in Bloodline, that it’s usually our families who know our deepest secrets anyways. And if you have a family like the Rayburns’ they are likely to use »
Everything would appear to be grand for the Rayburn family in Bloodline (Netflix). Patriarch Robert (Sam Shepard) and his wife, Sally (Sissy Spacek, serious cast this), run a little hotel in an idyllic spot on the Florida Keys. Three of their four grown-up kids live nearby with their own relationships and families, and they take part in an extended clan life: get-togethers, volleyball, tug-of-war on the beach, good stuff like that. There are issues, sure – a bit too much drinking at lunchtime; the odd rocky patch in a marriage. But the Rayburns are respected pillars of the local community, to the extent that a new pier in the area is named after them.
Then prodigal son Danny (Ben Mendelsohn) comes back and casts a shadow over everything. »
- Sam Wollaston
The series focuses on the Rayburn family, headed by Robert (Sam Shepard) and Sally (Spacek), who run an inn in the Florida Keys. When the family's oldest son Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), the black sheep of the family, returns home, all hell breaks loose as his siblings John (Chandler), Meg (Linda Cardellini) and Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) are suspicious about his motives.
News: Glee at Paleyfest: 18 Cast Secrets to Know Before the Series Finale!
Spacek described the series as a "family drama" and a "psychological thriller," while Mendelsohn hinted that things "come to a head pretty quickly."
"Every family has dark secrets," Chandler told Et. "That's why people are going to tune in."
The series starts with a steady pace but quickly steps on the gas »
For many viewers, Ben Mendelsohn will probably be the surprise breakout star of Netflix's "Bloodline," as the Australian actor regularly steals scenes the likes of Emmy winner Kyle Chander, multiple Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz, Oscar winner Sissy Spacek, and Pulitzer Prize winner Sam Shepard. But then there will be another subset of viewers who have followed Mendelsohn's career since "The Year My Voice Broke" or the recent career explosion prompted by "Animal Kingdom," which has included roles in "The Dark Knight Rises," "Killing Them Softly" or "The Place Beyond the Pines." For those fans, Mendelsohn is an award-winning character actor with a resumé that can stack up against anybody in the "Bloodline" cast. It's all a matter of perspective. Mendelsohn's credits are filled with ne'er-do-wells, black sheep and shady characters of ill-repute and Danny Rayburn, his character on "Bloodline," is no exception. In Mendelsohn's hands, Danny is also charming, »
- Daniel Fienberg
If you're like me, one of the reasons you're pumped about this show is that Kyle Chandler is coming back to dramatic television — so what if he's just playing a doughier Coach Taylor, sans headset? Great, we'll take him! Another reason is this show comes from the same people — Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler, and Daniel Zelman — who created Damages, and that was a show you maybe really enjoyed for a couple seasons. Also good news, the cast is rounded out with star-studded talent: Sissy Spacek, Ben Mendelsohn, Sam Shepard, and Chloë Sevigny, to name a few. What are we waiting for? Let's meet the Rayburns!As the camera pans over the Florida Keys, a dour Chandler kicks off the series with a pessimistic monologue, wasting no time telling us terrible things are going to happen in a beautiful place to beautiful people. In a handful of quick but »
- Sean Fitz-Gerald
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the first episode of Netflix's Bloodline.] The Rayburn family's oldest son, Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), has come home. Even though he looked like he was leaving at the end of Bloodline's first episode, viewers who stick with the show shouldn't be surprised if they see more of him. Danny's return was met with quite a bit of suspicion on the part of his siblings, John (Kyle Chandler), Meg (Linda Cardellini) and Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz). Even his father, Robert (Sam Shepard), was a bit uneasy around his oldest child. Meanwhile, his mother (Sissy Spacek) is
- Hilary Lewis
Meet the Rayburns, the family central to Netflix’s meditative, intriguing and well-acted new drama Bloodline.
There’s John (Friday Night Lights‘ Kyle Chandler), the sibling so upright he eventually became sheriff of the Florida Keys town in which he grew up. There’s Kevin (Broadway’s Norbert Leo Butz), the scruffy seadog with a big laugh. There’s Meg (ER‘s Linda Cardellini), the family peacemaker. Finally, there’s oldest child Danny (The Dark Knight Rises‘ Ben Mendelsohn), the volatile, disappointing family screw-up.
And by the end of the hour, thanks to flash-forwards, we watch one member of the »
Netflix’s “Bloodline” touts a first rate ensemble: Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz (best known for his Broadway work) and Ben Mendelsohn as the adult children of Sam Shepard and Sissy Spacek’s Robert and Sally Rayburn. The team that created “Damages” — Glenn Kessler, Todd Kessler and Daniel Zelman — returns with a dysfunctional family drama that unfolds methodically, drawing you in and making you want more at each episode’s conclusion. The Rayburns own a successful resort in the Florida Keys, the main setting for this family drama. The story centers on eldest son Danny Rayburn (Mendelsohn), a ne’er do. »
- Diane Gordon
Whether or not you happened to be a fan, it's hard to deny that "Damages" was, in many ways, ahead of its time. "Damages" was intensely serialized within seasons, but then each season was largely a reboot, bringing in a handful of big name supporting actors to play along with Glenn Close and Rose Byrne. FX chief John Landgraf admitted that it was a hard show for the network to handle and maintain, because viewers couldn't jump in midway through a season and other viewers would store up three or four or 13 episodes and then plow through them well after the Nielsen measuring windows circa 2009 were closed. In effect, "Damages" was a show designed for binge-viewing and anthology storytelling at a time when being a binge-favorite would get you cancelled by FX and shuffled off to DirecTV. [FX was also a producer on "Damages," which incentivized them to keep the show going in some form, even if it wasn't working in the landscape of that moment.] "Damages" creators Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman didn't know it at the time, »
- Daniel Fienberg
This review is based on the first three episodes of season 1, which were provided to us for review purposes prior to broadcast.
The Florida Keys have rarely felt chillier than in Netflix’s Bloodline. There’s an icy darkness in the opaque backwaters, a brooding undercurrent of dread that only the inured locals, never distracted tourists, ever seem to feel. Whether it’s the relentlessly off-putting heat, or the sense of terrible secrets hidden beneath the waves, the region’s far from paradise. But for the Rayburn clan, the wealthy and tight-lipped family at the show’s inky-black core, it’s also the hard-won homeland, where they’ve established themselves as veritable pillars of the community and gathered the sort of local fame most could only dream of.
- Isaac Feldberg
Between their FX/DirecTV legal drama "Damages" and their new Netflix drama "Bloodline," producers Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler have established certain creative trademarks. First, they fill their ensembles with great actors, luring them in with juicy roles that let them showcase a side of themselves they haven't in a long time, if ever. With "Damages," that approach won Glenn Close a couple of Emmys, and allowed other actors like Ted Danson and Martin Short to completely reinvent how viewers saw them. With "Bloodline," it's landed the creators a cast that includes an Emmy winner (Kyle Chandler), an Oscar winner (Sissy Spacek), a Tony winner (Norbert Leo Butz) and a Pulitzer Prize winner (Sam Shepard), plus other impressive actors like Linda Cardellini, Ben Mendelsohn and Chloe Sevigny. Second, they make sure the locales of their shows look gorgeous and distinct. For "Damages," that was the gleaming world »
- Alan Sepinwall
Bloodline is a real orgy of prestige: Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard and Kyle Chandler! From the people who brought you Damages! It's on Netflix, ooooh. And it's a dark, broody family drama with disorienting flashbacks and flash-forwards and fancy rich-people parties and the constant ominous gurgles of a secret-keeping ocean. This, of course, includes the naked, dead body of a young woman as well as the bare breasts of anonymous characters, which I guess is required by law. In other words, Bloodline really seems like another one of our high-end, big-deal shows. But we all have secrets, as the show reminds us over and over. And Bloodline's secret is that it's just not that good.Get to know the Rayburn family: Slightly weary Dad (Shepard) and softie Mom (Spacek), sheriff brother (Chandler), hothead brother (Norbert Leo Butz), can't-commit sister (Linda Cardellini), and Black Sheep Brother (Ben Mendelsohn). Just »
- Margaret Lyons
The trio of executive producers who created FX’s “Damages” — Daniel Zelman, Todd A. Kessler and Glenn Kessler — are at it again, with their new twisty tale “Bloodline.” The family drama-meets-thriller, which debuts on Netflix on March 20, boasts a star-studded cast, including Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard as the parents of a clan burdened by secrets, which come bubbling to the surface when black sheep son (Ben Mendelsohn) comes home. It falls to favorite son Kyle Chandler to protect them — and in true “Damages” fashion, nothing is at seems.
Variety talked to Zelman about how and his fellow EPs created their new thriller.
How did you come up with the idea for “Bloodline”?
It really started simply as a scene. We had finished “Damages.” We were partners with Sony, and we knew were going to do another project with them. We just wanted to make sure that whatever we were »
- Debra Birnbaum
“The Hunger Games” star Josh Hutcherson, as well as Zach Braff, Analeigh Tipton, Ashley Greene and Ahna O’Reilly, have joined James Franco’s “In Dubious Battle,” which has started shooting in Georgia.
Previously announced cast includes Franco, Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston, Nat Wolff, John Savage and Sam Shepard. Franco is directing from Matt Rager’s script adapted from John Steinbeck’s 1936 novel of the same name.
The story centers on a labor conflict between migrant apple pickers and the local growers’ association in a California valley. Jim Nolan, to be played by Franco, becomes involved in the labor movement and rapidly matures as he learns what it means to do organizational fieldwork.
Production companies are Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi’s Ambi Pictures, Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions and That’s Hollywood Pictures. Producers are Iervolino, Bacardi, Scott Reed, Vince Jolivette, »
- Dave McNary
Just a couple of days ago word arrived that Nat Wolff had secured a role in James Franco’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle, but the actor/director isn’t finished bolstering his already impressive cast. He now has Josh Hutcherson, Zach Braff, Analeigh Tipton, Ashley Greene and Ahna O’Reilly aboard to appear.Franco is also starring as Jim Nolan, a man who becomes involved in the labour movement and learns about the struggles of workers during a strike in a California valley.The new arrivals join Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston, John Savage and Sam Shepard in the cast for the film, which Franco has now started shooting in Georgia, working from a script by Matt Rager.Hutcherson, of course, has largely been busy with the Hunger Games films, though he’s squeezed other work in between. He’ll »
Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur
Charlie Hunnam stars as Arthur in the sweeping fantasy action adventure which focuses on his journey to become King. Also onboard are Astrid Berges-Frisbey (Guinevere), Jude Law (Vortigen) and Eric Bana (Uther). [Source: Digital Spy]
- Garth Franklin
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