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When Scott Cooper’s Black Mass was announced, many criticized the mobster drama for seemingly glorifying the reign of terror that James “Whitey” Bulger carried out across the city of Boston for years even while working as an FBI informant to take down the Italian mob. And, unfortunately, the first full trailer for the pic likely won’t do much to set their minds at ease.
Though Johnny Depp’s transformative portrayal of the gangster certainly paints him as an unsavory, sadistic character, the preview makes the mistake of soundtracking the gangster’s apparent invincibility and penchant for brutality with Yelawolf’s “Till It’s Gone,” a pulse-pounding track that romanticizes the dangerous nature of his criminal lifestyle.
Still, though Black Mass isn’t looking like the most sensitive treatment of Bulger’s story, especially given that the families of many of his victims still grieve and suffer today as »
- Isaac Feldberg
Season two of "True Detective" has been an exercise in patience. Last week was a let down because it completely sidestepped dealing with the emotional state of the participants of the shootout. For a series that has always been just as interested in exploring the inner lives of its characters as it has been in solving a murder, it was a strange choice. Flashing forward 66 days but having no new information concerning the case may have been the biggest misstep of all. Of course the case would have to be shut down following such massive bloodshed, but the entire affair seems pointless if absolutely nothing was learned. Seeing Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) going undercover at this point in the season seems like a tale of "too little too late", and for that reason, "Church In Ruins" finds itself awkwardly placed as the sixth episode in the season. Tipping off the final three hours of the season, »
- Michael Hindle
Time jumps can be a tricky thing. The lives of the characters carry on, but the audience has no immediate frame of reference for how things have changed. Therefore, to get us caught up, conversations happen in circles with people saying a bit too plainly how exactly something in the past is affecting them in this particular moment. "True Detective" moves roughly two months (66 days to be exact) after the massive shootout that concluded the previous episode and certainly a lot has changed. As was to be expected, the public tragedy and ultimate failure of the Caspere task force in the overwhelming loss of life that came to pass at the end of the last episode, has caused the case to be declared closed. With no survivors there is no one left to question so it is easy to pin the blame on one of the dead bad guys. Also, »
- Michael Hindle
From comic-book adaptations to sci-fi, fantasy and horror. Here are the new geek-skewed shows coming to Us TV in 2016...
The world of TV has never been so crowded and, at the same time, geeks have never had it so good. As saturated as the big screen is with superhero films and sprawling shared universes, that mentality has well and truly bled onto the small screen too.
So there’s a lot of comic-book adaptations coming up in 2016 from Marvel, DC and others, but genre TV is represented across the board with science-fiction, fantasy and horror represented at pretty much every network and cable channel in the Us.
Here's some of the geek TV that will be making its way to us from the Us next year.
Aka Jessica Jones (Netflix)
Part of Netflix’s own connected slice of the McU, there has been a lot of confusion over when we »
We can debate about the aesthetic and narrative quality of the shootout from last night's "True Detective," but there can be no arguing that it provided outstanding fodder for this Vulture mash-up of "Td" season 2 and the funk-tastic theme song and opening credits to "Starsky and Hutch." Though the failure to cast W. Earl Brown as the Huggy Bear of this universe was a missed opportunity. »
- Alan Sepinwall
Recovering from the utter madness of Comic-Con 2015, which this writer just returned to some 11 hours ago, made the uptick in potent, rousing moments in True Detective Season 2’s fourth episode all the more disorienting. “Down Will Come” ends with the sort of visceral, bloody tragedy that actually matches Season 2’s lugubrious tone, whereas the rest of the season thus far (including a large amount of this episode) has simply felt portentous. The attempted taking of Ledo Amarilla (Cesar Garcia), the first strong suspect in the murder of Vinci’s city manager, ends with dozens of casualties, as well as the death of Detective Dixon (W. Earl Brown), one of this season’s more intriguing characters; that’s not even mentioning that the extended shoot-out ends with the shooting of Amarilla himself. Credit the talented television director Jeremy Podeswa, a veteran of Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire, for giving the »
- Chris Cabin
“Right now there’s so many things to go about the wrong way, I’m losing my fucking vision.”
‘Down Will Come’ does exactly one thing right. When the grindingly stereotypical Mexican gangsters are dead, when the shell casing have stopped clattering, Ani and Ray don’t look like winners, they look like they want to puke and sleep for a week. True Detective treating violence as horrific instead of heroic or edgy is a welcome change, even if the scene leading up to that gravitas isn’t great and the ending’s freeze-and-fade is stunningly bad. At least visions of the horrible are shown to inspire horror.
The rest of the episode is eaten up almost entirely by a kind of worst-of reel that retreads such joyous ground as Paul’s troubled love life, Frank’s troubled love life, Ani’s troubled love life, and whether or not Velcoro »
- Gretchen Felker-Martin
Half-way through the second season and "True Detective" follows its own pattern by hinging on an ending that will have everyone talking. The fourth episode of season one, "Who Goes There" ended with the six-minute, one take scene of the one-man raid on the Hoston Projects. "Down Will Come" doesn't end in quite as impressive a fashion but still delivers a game-changing scene that will no doubt alter the course of the investigation for the rest of the season. Beside the ending, the episode is filled with new information about the case and all the various lives swirling around it. Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch) begins this episode much in the same way he ended the previous one - that is, literally running away from his past. What Black Mountain was involved in over in the Middle East has come to light and the press is eager to confront him about it. »
- Michael Hindle
In an effort to get all my ducks in a row for our "True Detective" podcast I decided to sit down and rewatch the first three episodes, taking notes on each character, situation and the fictional city of Vinci. Before getting to the dirty details, the nuts and bolts of the series begin with the murder of Vinci City Manager Benjamin Caspere, a murder that brings together Detective Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams), Detective Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell), Officer Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch) and career criminal attempting to go legit, Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn). Ray Velcoro is a drunk, troubled detective with an ex-wife looking for sole custody of their child and the misfortune of working the Caspere murder case while also having to answer to the corrupt Vinci police department, mayor and Frank Semyon. Semyon finds himself in a financial fix as a result of Caspere's death as Caspere was »
- Brad Brevet
Written by Nic Pizzolatto
Directed by Janus Metz Pedersen
Airs Sundays at 9pm (Et) on HBO
By far the worst thing about this week’s third episode of True Detective’s second season is that it feels mostly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. Not that it is entirely clear at this point what “the grand scheme of things” even is, but there is a massive difference between world-building and complete pointlessness. After Ray’s survival quickly resolves last week’s cliffhanger, the rest of the episode consists mainly of the team pursuing leads in various places around Vinci and Los Angeles. It may be representative of good police work, not to mention how readily it presents opportunities for the leads to interact with each other at length on car rides and strolls, but it doesn’t make for very compelling television. A »
- Whitney McIntosh
"True Detective" is back for a new season. I posted some overall thoughts on the early episodes on Wednesday, and I have a review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I display some Meryl Streep-type expressive creativity... "Everybody gets touched." -Jordan The first season of "True Detective" opened with a lot of layers of storytelling — meeting Marty, and then Rust, being interviewed by the cops in 2012, with their stories sometimes bringing us back to the case from 1995, and sometimes bouncing to other stages of their partnership — but what was at the moment a relatively compact story itself. In the 1995 scenes, these guys were already partners, albeit relatively new to each other, they got a case, and they followed it. That allowed Nic Pizzolatto and company to dive in deep on exactly who these guys were, since ultimately the show was much more interested in being a »
- Alan Sepinwall
Midway through watching the very first episode of "True Detective" season 1, Matthew McConaughey's Rust Cohle delivered what was already his fourth or fifth monologue about the pointlessness of existence, and I jotted down the following note: Do I want to watch many hours of McConaughey saying this (stuff)? As it turns out, I did. McConaughey was just that mesmerizing, Woody Harrelson wasn't far behind, and the direction of Cary Joji Fukunaga was so stunning that I was able to look past Cohle's lectures, the thinness of the female characters (or, really, anyone who wasn't Rust or Marty Hart), and the serial killer tropes and other recycled devices and even lines of dialogue peppered throughout Nic Pizzolatto's scripts. It had its flaws, but it was still one of the best things on TV a year ago. Pizzolatto's writing was memorable, mixing in hard-boiled detective cliches with Cohle's nihilist philosophy, »
- Alan Sepinwall
Those expecting anything approaching the magic conjured by the original Matthew McConaughey-Woody Harrelson pairing should immediately temper their enthusiasm for “True Detective’s” second season. Impeccably cast around its marquee stars, the new plot possesses the requisite noir-ish qualities, but feels like a by-the-numbers potboiler, punctuated by swooping aerial shots of L.A. courtesy of new director Justin Lin, whose intense close-ups bring to mind a Sergio Leone western. Although generally watchable, the inspiration that turned the first into an obsession for many seems to have drained out of writer Nic Pizzolatto’s prose, at least three hours into this eight-episode run.
Somehow, the first installment managed to take TV’s most venerable genre and put a fresh coat of paint on it, thanks to the intoxicating mix of McConaughey’s unorthodox, philosophizing cop, its grisly crime and the time-bending narrative. Here, Pizzolatto more straightforwardly plows ahead, featuring »
- Brian Lowry
True Detective June 2015 Episode Titles, Plots, Air Dates, TV Promos. HBO has released the True Detective: Season 2 episode titles, official plot synopses, and the air dates for the June 2015 episodes of its cop TV series. The True Detective episodes discussed are episodes 9-10. The two new True Detective: Season 2 TV commercials are entitled ‘Chaos’ and ‘Stand.’
In the first trailer, Los Angeles detective Ray Velacro (Colin Farrell), a corrupt cop under the control of crime lord Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn), asks if he is even supposed to solve the case he’s investigating. Seymon also says at one point, “I need a direction to turn, or I may just start pulling down walls.”
The second trailer is a wordless, pulse-pouding look at the four main characters, including Ventura County Sheriff’s detective Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) and motorcyle »
- Rollo Tomasi
HBO is now entering the heavy promotion stage for "True Detective" Season 2, which stars Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, and Taylor Kitsch and premieres June 21. The network recently shared two new teasers, even letting some of the high-profile cast occasionally speak instead of just looking menacing or depressed:
HBO also issued materials with more details on what will happen in the first two episodes, which air in June, listing more cast members and guest stars.
What's The Show About?
A bizarre murder brings together three law-enforcement officers and a career criminal, each of whom must navigate a web of conspiracy and betrayal in the scorched landscapes of California in "True Detective."
Colin Farrell plays Ray Velcoro, a troubled detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him. Vince Vaughn portrays Frank Semyon, a criminal and entrepreneur in danger of »
- Gina Carbone
True Detective 2 and all its stressful, chaotic madness is almost here, but first the network has a couple more teasers up its sleeves — in the form of an extended synopsis and first-episode details. As you know, "a bizarre murder brings together three law-enforcement officers and a career criminal." That quad is portrayed by Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch, Rachel McAdams, and Vince Vaughn, respectively, and they're all going to dive into a mess tied to the United States' transportation system. (Kelly Reilly, Christopher James Baker, Afemo Omilami, Chris Kerson, James Frain, Lolita Davidovich, W. Earl Brown, David Morse, and Rick Springfield will round out some of the ancillary roles.) So just how messy is that mess?Well, here's the extended synopsis for the season: Colin Farrell (Golden Globe winner for “In Bruges”) plays Ray Velcoro, a troubled detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department »
- Sean Fitz-Gerald
A new Black Mass poster has just been released by the folks over at Warner Bros. The film, which already has some awards buzz for it, particularly for lead actor Johnny Depp, will be released towards the tail end of the year on November 13th.
Check out the brand new poster for the film below, followed by the lengthy synopsis as released by the studio. Remind yourselves of the trailer for the film here.
In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. Black Mass tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, »
- Paul Heath
The drama also stars Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour, Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, James Russo, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Juno Temple, W. Earl Brown, Bill Camp, Brad Carter, and Jeremy Strong.
In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.
Brian Oliver, Tyler Thompson, John Lesher, Patrick McCormick and Scott Cooper are producing the film, with Peter Mallouk, Lauren Selig, Brett Granstaff and Gary Granstaff serving as executive producers. »
- Michelle McCue
It looks like Seth Rogen is going to continue peeling back the curtain on production on AMC’s Preacher pilot; this past weekend, he dropped the first image of Jesse Custer and Arseface from the long-awaited comic book adaptation, and now he’s debuted another image from the set of the show…
Rogen is directing the Preacher pilot alongside Evan Goldberg, while the cast includes Dominic Cooper (Agent Carter) as Rev. Jesse Custer alongside Ian Colletti (Rake) as Arseface, Ruth Negga (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Tulip, Joseph Gilgun (This Is England) as Cassidy, Elizabeth Perkins (Big, Weeds) as Vyla Quinncannon, W. Earl Brown (Deadwood) as Sheriff Hugo Root, Tom Brooke (Sherlock) as Fiore and Lucy Griffiths (True Blood) as the original character Emily Woodrow.
- Gary Collinson
With filming underway on the pilot episode of Preacher, Deadline is reporting that British actor Tom Brooke (Sherlock, Game of Thrones) has nabbed a series regular role in the AMC adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s comic book series, where he will play Fiore, one of two Adephi angels to to Earth to retrieve Genesis.
The Preacher pilot is being directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (The Interview), and sees Dominic Cooper (Agent Carter) leading the cast as Rev. Jesse Custer alongside Ian Colletti (Rake) as Arseface, Ruth Negga (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Tulip, Joseph Gilgun (This Is England) as Cassidy, Elizabeth Perkins (Big, Weeds) as Vyla Quinncannon, W. Earl Brown (Deadwood) as Sheriff Hugo Root and Lucy Griffiths (True Blood) as the original character Emily Woodrow.
- Gary Collinson
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