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Movie Review – The Conjuring 2 (2016)

22 June 2016 1:50 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

The Conjuring 2, 2016.

Directed by James Wan.

Starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe, Frances O’Connor and Simon McBurney.


Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.

Following up 2013’s supremely chilling The Conjuring was always going to be a difficult task but James Wan has managed to deliver an intensely scary piece of film that is nearly as good as the first.

Opening in arguably one of the most famous haunted houses ever; we find Ed and Lorraine Warren attempting to contact spirits at Amityville. Within the first ten minutes The Conjuring 2 manages to deliver edge of your seat scares, coupled with phenomenal direction from Wan. We see Lorraine (Farmiga) walking through the Amityville property, carrying out the crimes that have become so famous. It’s well acted and a »

- Helen Murdoch

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The Enfield Poltergeist: The true story that inspired The Conjuring 2

20 June 2016 8:30 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Luke Owen looks into the story behind The Conjuring 2

James Wan’s horror sequel The Conjuring 2 is currently scaring up the box office with nearly $200 million worldwide (and a new spin-off movie announced), but there are some out there who have criticised the filmmakers for publicising and choosing a ‘haunting’ that has been deemed a ‘fake’ by so many. Though there are claims to the contrary, several experts in the field have said The Enfield Poltergeist is little more than an elaborate hoax by two teenage girls.

So what’s the true story behind The Conjuring 2?

The story begins in 1977 when single mother Peggy Hodgson moved into a semi-detached council house in Enfield, North London with her four children, Margret (12), Janet (11), Johnny (10) and Billy (7). In August, Peggy was awoken by her daughters screaming from their room and when she went to investigate, found their chest of drawers »

- Luke Owen

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Munich Film Festival Spotlights Best of German, World Cinema

20 June 2016 6:35 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Munich Film Festival kicks off June 23 with some 180 feature films, documentaries and TV movies, including Maren Ade’s Cannes competition title “Toni Erdmann,” which opens this year’s event. Festival closes July 2. Germany’s second-biggest film fest offers an ideal summer platform for world cinema, cutting-edge German films, and new discoveries while also showcasing young talents. “We have a fantastic line-up with well-known directors, but also discoveries from countries like Vanuatu or Nepal, which are in our program for the first time,” says festival director Diana Iljine. Matt Ross’ “Captain Fantastic” closes the event.


The Spotlight sidebar is known for presenting lavish productions, big-name filmmakers, and major stars. This year is no different. The lineup includes: Paul Schrader’s “Dog Eat Dog,” starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe; Jason Batemen’s “The Family Fang,” with Nicole Kidman and Christopher Walken; Werner Herzog’s documentary “Lo and Behold, Reveries »

- Ed Meza

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FilmBookCast Ep. 35 – The Conjuring 2

19 June 2016 3:54 PM, PDT | Film-Book | See recent Film-Book news »

The Conjuring 2 Review Podcast. FilmBookCast Ep. 35 – The Conjuring 2 (2016), is an audio podcast review in which FilmBook contributor Mike Smith and his co-host Mike DeCriscio discuss their thoughts on the newest film from director James WanThe Conjuring 2. The Conjuring 2 is a movie directed by James Wan and starring Patrick WilsonVera Farmiga, Frances O’Connor, Simon McBurney, Madison […] »

- Michael Smith

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Review: The Conjuring 2

18 June 2016 10:19 PM, PDT | | See recent Icons of Fright news »

The second chapter in James Wan’s continuing saga of Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring 2, sees the couple in England in the 1970’s at the behest of a priest to rid a family of an unwanted house-guest, such as a ghost of an old man in a chair in the living room for starters. The film opens with the Warrens recalling the familiar events of the murders and haunting in Amityville, with Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) especially drained by the incidents and swearing off taking on any more cases for the time being. It isn’t until Ed (Patrick Wilson) appears as a guest on a local television talk show having to defend the couple’s paranormal work against a skeptic that he insists they get back in the game to prove to themselves and others that they are doing something positive and necessary. But it feels like it »

- Derek Botelho

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Second Opinion – The Conjuring 2 (2016)

18 June 2016 8:00 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

The Conjuring 2, 2016.

Directed by James Wan.

Starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Frances O’Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney and Franke Potente.


Enfield, North London, 1977. The Hodgson family are plagued by a terrifying poltergeist, attracting the attention of American paranormal investigators, Ed & Lorraine Warren, who must take a leap of faith to help them…

If ever proof existed that ghosts and poltergeists are much more than just fiction, the Enfield haunting of 1977 is probably the closest we’ve ever gotten, making it ripe for big screen adaptation and a perfect choice when it comes to a sequel to The Conjuring. Arguably one of the most potent, stylish and ultimately scary horror movies of the last decade, James Wan’s original fictionalised the real-life work of legendary, God-fearing married American paranormal investigators Ed & Lorraine Warren, who anyone with even a passing interest in paranormal activity will probably have heard of. »

- Tony Black

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The Linkening

17 June 2016 3:38 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

But can she actually act? Golden Globe or not, American Horror Story: Hotel was not much to go on in that regard...The Ringer the No Strings Attached vs Friends With Benefits war of 2011 revisited

THR We'll believe any new version of A Star is Born when we see it because someone is always trying to remake it. The latest proposal is Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga (with Cooper debuting as a director)

Deadline Captain America: Civil War is first title of the year to hit $400 million domestic. It just happened.

Playbill Phillipa Soo, currently starring in Hamilton, will play Amelie in the Broadway musical version of the Oscar nominated french film next year

The Guardian celebrates Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring 2) with five memorable moments 

Tracking Board Vera Farmiga's next co-star gig is with Liam Neeson in The Commuter as a mysterious woman who propositions him.

/Film Hollywood is »


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Patrick Wilson, ‘The Conjuring 2’ Star, On The Paranormal: ‘I’m A Believer When I Play Ed Warren’

17 June 2016 1:02 PM, PDT | Uinterview | See recent Uinterview news »

Patrick Wilson reprised the part of famed paranormal investigator Ed Warren in the recently released The Conjuring 2. Patrick Wilson Video: ‘The Conjuring 2The Conjuring 2 has shifted the action of the original film across the pond to London, where Ed and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) take on a new frightful case. Set in Enfield, London, […]

The post Patrick Wilson, ‘The Conjuring 2’ Star, On The Paranormal: ‘I’m A Believer When I Play Ed Warren’ appeared first on uInterview. »

- Chelsea Regan

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Patrick Wilson Bio: In His Own Words

16 June 2016 1:24 PM, PDT | Uinterview | See recent Uinterview news »

Patrick Wilson is an American actor, currently best known for his role as Ed Warren in the horror films The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring Two (2016). Beginning his acting career on the stage, Wilson has made a successful transition from theater—where he had already been nominated for a Tony—to film and television, receiving Golden […]

The post Patrick Wilson Bio: In His Own Words appeared first on uInterview. »

- Travis Jeffrey Gonzalez

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The Conjuring 2 (2016) Review

15 June 2016 11:44 PM, PDT | MoreHorror | See recent MoreHorror news »

Reviewed by Jesse Miller


After I saw the first Conjuring film, I was excited. Given the amount of stories from Ed and Lorraine Warren, you could, if developed right, have a great little franchise on your hands.

So when The Conjuring 2 was announced, with Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga and James Wan all back, I was sold.

The Conjuring 2 jumps across the pond to London, England and we are introduced to the Hodgson family, who start to be tormented by the spirit of an elderly man. Enter: Ed and Lorraine Warren – and the investigation begins!

The film has a delightful cast, from Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga (both apart and together) to Frances O’Connor and the excellent child actors, who pull their weight wonderfully.

The film also features a great supporting cast, with Simon McBurney and Franka Potente representing opposing viewpoints, almost as a duel between skepticism and belief, that the real life case had throughout its duration.

Chad and Carey Hayes return to write the script, along with David Leslie Johnson and the story is another solid old-fashioned ghost story, with some twist and turns in the story that surprise and delight.

James Wan has a great eye for film. This is a fantastically shot film, with some sequences being wonderfully inspired. Wan always had a keen sense to build dread and horror and he conjures up some great imagery here throughout.

That being said, Wan has always been a bit over-the-top with his horror and the same can be said for The Conjuring 2 in places, notably the finale. It hurts the film, I think, because it’s a little bit silly when the film is so calculating and old fashioned. Thankfully, these moments are few and far between.

In fact, James Wan’s ability to build to the scare and then let the audience relax is impressive. He got me a few times by surprise, which I am always thankful for when it comes to horror films.

Yes, The Conjuring 2 runs at 135 minutes but never does it feel bloated or dragging. I felt the time flew past quite quickly and never felt that a scene could’ve been trimmed to cut any fat.

So what you’ve got here is a fantastic sequel, which builds dread and horror effectively while developing an emotional and engaging story with its characters. I walked out of the film satisfied and keen for another.


- admin

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'The Conjuring 2' Gets Spinoff: Introducing 'The Nun'

15 June 2016 8:00 PM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

Admittedly, that headline comes off a bit silly, but this is no joke. According to THR, The Conjuring series is getting its second spinoff series in the form of The Nun, based on the demonic character that reared her terrifying head in the recent Conjuring 2.

While the Conjuring films are generally based on the case files of real life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, this one is pure fiction. In fact, according to THR, the character almost didn't make it into The Conjuring 2.

"The studio and Wan had a cut of the movie, which stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators, in which the antagonist was a demonic figure with horns. The studio was ready to release that version but at the last minute, Wan was struck by a revelation. And so he came up with a new concept, a demon nun, which he pitched to New Line. »

- Joseph Medina

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Box Office Democracy: The Conjuring 2

15 June 2016 5:30 PM, PDT | | See recent Comicmix news »

There’s a lot of charm in The Conjuring 2, maybe more than it should considering it takes place in a grey house, on a grey street, in a part of London that seemingly thunderstorms every night. For some reason this family felt more natural, more caring than the families one typically sees in these horror movies— everyone is believed, everyone tries their best to maximize each other’s safety. There’s a sing-along number and a dance and that might just be about maximizing the value of paying for an Elvis song but it’s very sweet in a genre that sometimes feels as if it is just trying to maximize the unpleasantness it can dish out. I’m still far too easily scared by horror movies to consider myself a real fan but this was a nice movie, a movie I don’t regret sitting through.

The Conjuring 2 is based on a true story. They very much want you to know that. They tell you before the movie, they tell you again after and then they spend the first section of the credits showing pictures of the real life people and events next to pictures from the movie. The real life incident is widely considered to be a hoax and learning that really diminished the movie for me. (That feels a little strange to say. I know that nothing in most movies has really happened. Crimson Peak is complete hogwash.) Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers bear no real resemblance to any actual people. The realities of fiction never impede on my enjoyment there, but I think there’s something about being sold very hard on the idea that this is a true story, that this ghost is real that to find out that it’s fairly documented as not real kind of leaves me with a sense of “what did we do all that for then?” that’s pervasive and inescapable.

Between Saw, Insidious, and now The Conjuring, James Wan is responsible for three of the biggest horror franchises of the 21st century, and he’s an undoubted master of his craft. The main demon is a fantastic piece of design work, but what stands out is this stunning sequence early in the film where the demon is a shadow and then manifests through a painting of itself and it sounds kind of basic in text but it’s a series of arresting visuals, the true work of a master. The flip side of this is I am so familiar with Wan’s work at this point that his less ambitious sequences are starting to feel a little paint-by-number. I know that the fire truck is coming back out of the tent. I know that the zoetrope is going to be used to set up a larger scare. I know the ways Wan likes to be scary and when he plays with it it’s amazing, but when he falls back on it it’s starting to feel tired.

I’ve never seen a modern demonic possession movie that I thought had a stand out performance and this is no exception. Madison Wolfe does a good job playing a creepy possessed child, but I’ve seen that so many times that I’m starting to suspect it might be easy. Isn’t every child in the world a little creepy? And the effects seem to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting (heavy levitating?) these days anyway. James Wan horror movies seem to be Patrick Wilson’s entire career at this point, and he’s gotten good at blustery confidence followed by sheer terror in the third act but there’s nothing new in this performance. There’s nothing cringe-y or terrible— it’s just kind of there. The actors feel like they’re just part of the set, the real star is the camera work, the editing, and the sound design.

I’m often unhappy seeing horror movies for work but I didn’t get that this time. We’re probably reaching the end of this phase of James Wan’s career, he wasn’t permanently lured away from horror with Furious 7 but Aquaman is calling… and I have to imagine at some point the prestige of more “mainstream” films will pull him away forever. The Conjuring 2 feels a lot like what I imagine seeing The Rolling Stones is like; they play the hits and while there are probably moments of unexpected delight, what you’re mostly there for is a sense of comfort and familiarity. I feel that nostalgia for Wan’s horror movies at this point and while I didn’t particularly like them, I respect the level of craft and the place in the horror canon. I lost this particular war but I don’t particularly mind the peace. »

- Arthur Tebbel

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Conjuring 2 Spinoff The Nun Is Happening

15 June 2016 3:22 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

A few months after The Conjuring became a box office hit in the summer of 2013, New Line Cinema went ahead with the horror spinoff Annabelle, which offered an origin story for the creepy doll featured in the first movie. Now that The Conjuring 2 opened big with $40.3 million at the box office, the studio is developing yet another spinoff, entitled The Nun. Ironically, this Nun character was actually a last-minute addition to The Conjuring 2. If you haven't seen The Conjuring 2 yet, there will be Spoilers below, so read on at your own risk.

The Hollywood Reporter reveals that this demon nun character was added into the film just months before the movie opened, during reshoots. James Wan had a cut of the movie where the villain was simply a demon with large horns, who Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) encounter. The studio was ready to release this version, but then the director had a last-minute vision that this character was actually a demonic nun. He convinced the studio to undergo reshoots in March, three months before the movie opened on June 10.

While some of the changes that needed to be made were minor, with the art piece Ed Warren is painting being changed from a demon to a nun, others were much more extensive. One scene that was added involved Lorraine Warren watching the nun's shadow crawl across a wall to line up with the painting. Bonnie Aarons portrayed the nun in The Conjuring 2, but we'll have to wait and see if she comes back. The Nun was also featured in an epic prank video that surfaced just before the sequel's release in Brazil.

David Leslie Johnson, who wrote The Conjuring 2, has come aboard to write this spinoff, with James Wan and Peter Safran coming back to produce. No director is in place yet, but it seems unlikely that James Wan will return to the helm, since he will take on Warner Bros.' Aquaman, which is set for release in the summer of 2018. New Line hasn't set a release date for The Nun quite yet, and it isn't known if the studio will also move forward with The Conjuring 3 or not. James Wan recently teased that the sequel could be about werewolves, but nothing is set in stone quite yet.

The Conjuring 2 has already grossed over $100 million worldwide from a $40 million budget over its opening weekend. The sequel's predecessor, The Conjuring, opened with $41.8 million, en route to $137.4 million domestic and $318 million worldwide, from a $20 million budget. The 2014 spinoff, Annabelle was also a hit with audiences, earning $84.2 million domestic and $256.8 million worldwide, from just a $6.5 million budget. »

- MovieWeb

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Wimple and wail: The Conjuring 2's demonic nun gets own movie

15 June 2016 2:33 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The villain who terrorizes Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga’s paranormal investigators will be the subject of The Nun, the franchise’s second spinoff

The hit sequel to The Conjuring has conjured a spinoff.

The lead villain of The Conjuring 2, a demonic nun who terrorizes real-life paranormal investigators and married couple Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), will be the subject of a new film, titled The Nun.

Continue reading »

- Nigel M Smith

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‘Conjuring 2’ Spinoff ‘The Nun’ in the Works at New Line

15 June 2016 12:56 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

New Line is developing “The Nun,” a spinoff movie based on the demonic character in “The Conjuring 2.”

The studio has tapped David Leslie Johnson, who co-wrote “Conjuring 2” with Chad and Carey Hayes, to write the script. Producers are James Wan, who directed the two “Conjuring” movies and produced the sequel, and Peter Safran, who produced both movies.

No director or actors have been set yet for “The Nun.” The demon nun came to life in “The Conjuring 2” in a painting by Patrick Wilson’s paranormal investigator Ed Warren and later attacked Vera Farmiga’s Lorraine Warren character.

The duo deals with the 1977 case of demonic possession of an 11-year-old British girl, played by Madison Wolfe.

New Line has already successfully spun off 2014’s “Annabelle” from the demonic doll from 2013’s “The Conjuring.” “Annabelle” was a massive hit with $256 million worldwide on a $6 million budget with a sequel set for next year.

The Conjuring” grossed $320 million worldwide and “The Conjuring 2” has performed similarly, already grossing over $100 million worldwide in less than a week of release.


- Dave McNary

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From Morgan Freeman to Matthew Rhys, Actors Take on TV Directing Reins

15 June 2016 11:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The Americans” star Matthew Rhys compares the process of directing an episode to childbirth — once it’s over, you forget how difficult it was in the moment (disclaimer: he is well aware that the comparison is totally baseless, but you get the point).

“The first episode back after directing, you’re just so relieved to be standing on a piece of tape, and not being pecked to death by a thousand questions,” he says. “It’s the episode after that where you go, ‘Oh, I’m a bit bored again.’ ”

Since episodic television relies on a revolving door of directors, actors are excited to take on new work behind the camera. Morgan Freeman, for one, directed the season two premiere of “Madam Secretary” (“The Show Must Go On”) in which the president goes missing and Elizabeth McCord [Tea Leoni] must be sworn into office. Freeman makes a cameo as the Supreme Court chief justice, and helps her take the oath.

The episode was his first directorial stint since his debut in 1993, directing the film “Bopha!” And while Freeman says he prefers the limited time in television as compared to a feature film, the episode still had its trials. “I think the biggest challenge in episodic television is time,” he says. “We cut some wonderful scenes. And you don’t like to cut actors out when they’ve done such wonderful work.”

Freeman will return to the “Madam Secretary” set in July to direct the show’s season three premiere. He says directing allows him to draw from his experiences working with legendary filmmakers. “The idea of directing does become appealing as you work [as an actor],” Freeman says. “Particularly when I worked with Clint Eastwood, I got so many great pointers in directing, just watching him work.” For example, “Positive feedback is the biggest thing, and speed.”

“Coming from the inside you kind of go, ‘Look, I know this dialogue, I’ve used it to annoy directors myself.’ ” matthew rhys

Multi-hyphenate Adam Arkin directed the final two episodes of “Fargo’s” season two, and also played a small role as Hamish Broker, a midlevel manager of a crime syndicate. He says his relationship between acting and directing has fluctuated over time, starting with his first gig on an episode of “Northern Exposure.”

“For quite a while after that, it was almost exclusively on shows that I had committed to as an actor already,” he says. “Now it’s done a complete 180, in that quite often the acting jobs I get now are connected with shows that I’ve already been established on as a director.”

The two episodes that Arkin directed on “Fargo” included elaborate coordination. He had to arrange sequences ranging in scope from a large-scale ambush at a hotel that is interrupted by a UFO sighting, to an intimate conversation in a car between Peggy Blumquist (Kirsten Dunst) and Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson). “There were sequences in those episodes that involved the occasional sleepless night,” Arkin laughs.

So much so that the pressure of acting scarcely crossed his mind. “My focus was probably 98% on the directing part of the equation — even on the day that I was acting,” he says. “There are just a hundred more responsibilities in that role.”

Actors tend to direct shows that they already have ties to, but Regina King says when she expressed interest in directing, director-producer Paris Barclay advised her to do the opposite. “He said, ‘If you want people to really take you seriously, they need to see that you are taking the steps to take it seriously beyond your show. There are a lot of actors who direct on their show. You want to show that your ambition goes beyond what’s convenient.’”

So King applied to a number of directing programs, with her sights set specifically on ABC. “I wanted to work with Shonda Rhimes,” she says. Once she was accepted into the program, King began shadowing “Private Practice,” then “Scandal.”

“Part of the shadowing is you get to observe how the machine works,” she says. “You’re not coming in trying to change anything. You’re coming in, embracing the tone that’s already been set, and trying to put your own signature on it. It’s like you go into a person’s kitchen, and you say ‘Oh, I eat that too. I love chicken parmesan, but I sprinkle parsley on mine.’”

King has since directed “Scandal,” including the season five episode “Pencils Down” in which Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) tries to help presidential hopeful Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) recover from a campaign PR stunt gone wrong.

As an Emmy-winning actress, King says some of the same tools used in acting translate. “I’ve always had good communication with actors as an actor, so that was not much of shift,” she says. “That was a feather that I could already put in my director’s cap.”

You Betcha: Adam Arkin has directed episodes of numerous FX series including the “Fargo” season two finale.

Recently she also directed an episode of “The Catch,” and moved outside ShondaLand for episodes of “Animal Kingdom” and “Greenleaf,” all while starring in “American Crime” and “The Leftovers.” As her credits would suggest, King says her aspirations are neck and neck. “I don’t want to do one or the other, I want to do both,” she says. “And not particularly both at the same time.”

But unlike many actor-directors who might have a very small part in the episodes they direct, Rhys, who directed season four, episode eight of “The Americans” (“The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears”), is the lead actor. “I was lucky enough to trust an amazing crew,” he says. “I blindly, maybe ignorantly or arrogantly, trusted that [the acting] was there after four seasons, and just thought about the directing.”

Rhys says he was originally supposed to direct a different, less-involved episode, but co-star Keri Russell’s pregnancy led to a condensed production schedule.“I got [episode] eight, which was this beast of an episode that had airplanes and deaths and fights. Everything was thrown at the wall,” he says, “I was given a box of fireworks.”

Before “The Americans,” Rhys got his start directing a few episodes of “Brothers & Sisters” while he was on the show. He says he “was very keen to direct” when “The Americans” started, and even raised the idea with the creators. “Obviously they were very wary to give me an episode in season one,” he says. “They had kind of skirted the issue.” Which turned out to be a relief for Rhys once he realized how labor-intensive the show’s production schedule would be. “This is an absolute sprint.”

But on a broad level, directing and acting do inform one another, and manifest in literal ways. “When I first directed, years ago, it kind of changed a number of things about the way I conduct myself. I’m far more punctual. I don’t come with any ideas anymore. I just say to the director ‘Where do you want me to stand, and how do you want me to say it?’ It kind of makes me act quicker,” he says.

And Rhys sees one more big advantage: He speaks the actor’s language, which means he can see straight through their nonsense. “Coming from the inside you kind of go, ‘Look, I know this dialogue, I’ve used it to annoy directors myself, so don’t use it on me. There’s no magic here. I just need you to stand by the window.’”


- Seth Kelley

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[Watch] Patrick Wilson (‘Fargo’) on Golden Globe-nominated role as ‘all-American guy’ at a crossroads

15 June 2016 6:28 AM, PDT | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

“I have played a lot of all-American guys but I have never played someone so steadfast, sure, his conflicts were clear,” says Patrick Wilson as we chat via webcam (watch above) about his starring role as state trooper Lou Solverson in season two of “Fargo.” This Vietnam vet is investigating a triple homicide tied to a […] »

- Zach Laws

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These shows would make great Emmy nominees

14 June 2016 6:00 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Yesterday, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences opened voting for this year's Emmy nominations, including the public release of ballots showing who submitted themselves and in what categories. That means it's time for my annual thought exercise, where I pretend that I'm an Academy member and try to figure out how I would fill out my ballot in the major categories. The whole thing becomes trickier with each passing year, just because there are so many shows and performances worthy of at least consideration: when I made my first run through the ballot, jotting down contenders in each big category, I wound up with 26 potential Outstanding Comedy Series nominees, for instance. It does give me a sense of how challenging this must be for the actual Emmy voters, especially since most of them have much less time to actually watch TV than I do. I'm using the same rules as usual: 1)I only consider shows and performances that were submitted. So even if I wanted to put, say, Hugh Dancy on my ballot for his work in the final season of Hannibal, I couldn't, because he only submitted his work on Hulu's The Path. 2)I can't move things into other categories to suit my preference. I can't treat Horace and Pete like a limited series, even though that's clearly what it was, because the Academy let Louis C.K. submit it in the drama categories, and I can't take a largely dramatic half-hour like Transparent or Togetherness out of the comedy categories. 3)I don't consider shows and performances that I didn't watch much, if at all, this season. Based on the last time I was a regular viewer of Penny Dreadful and Orphan Black, for instance, I suspect Eva Green and Tatiana Maslany would both be incredibly strong contenders for the drama lead actress category, but I haven't seen a second of either show's eligible season. Back in the days before Peak TV, it would make me crazy when actors were obviously nominated based on their work from previous seasons, rather than anything they had done in the current year, so I'm not going to make any nominations based on similar assumptions. Also, because so much of the biggest action this year is in the limited series categories (even sans Horace and Pete), I'm going to make picks there, when usually I've stuck with the comedy and drama fields. So here we go... Outstanding Comedy Series black-ish (ABC) Master of None (Netflix) Review (Comedy Central) Transparent (Amazon) Veep (HBO) You're the Worst (FX) As I alluded to above, this was a tough one, especially since there are so many different kinds of "comedy" up for consideration. I could have surrounded Transparent and You're the Worst with a bunch of other half-hours that trended more towards the dramatic this year (say, Casual, Baskets, Togetherness, and Girls), or put on both of the CW's delightful Monday hour-long comedies in Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, or loaded up on the resurgent broadcast network comedy scene and paired black-ish with the likes of The Grinder, The Carmichael Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Fresh Off the Boat. And I haven't even mentioned Broad City or Lady Dynamite or Catastrophe or Silicon Valley or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or a bunch of others that I'm not happy to not have on my final list. But these six were ultimately the ones that stuck with me the most, in some cases very long after they first aired. Outstanding Drama Series The Americans (FX) Better Call Saul (AMC) Happy Valley (Netflix) Horace and Pete ( The Leftovers (HBO) UnREAL (Lifetime) Because so many great shows like Fargo and American Crime and The People v. O.J. Simpson have gotten themselves categorized as limited series, this wasn't quite as impossible a category to cull down to six choices, even if I changed my mind five different times between including UnREAL, Mr. Robot, or Halt and Catch Fire for that last spot. The Leftovers was my favorite show of last year, and assuming its final season gets bumped to 2017, Horace and Pete and The Americans are the two front-runners to finish atop my best of list for this year. With Mad Men gone, and limited series more competitive, I'm holding out the faintest of hope that Americans can follow the Friday Night Lights pattern and start getting nominated late in its run after being largely ignored early on. Outstanding Limited Series American Crime (ABC) Fargo (FX) The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) Roots (History) Show Me a Hero (HBO) What an amazing resurgence for a format the rest of the TV business had all but ceded to HBO for the last decade. All six of these projects were extraordinary in different ways, and any one of them would be a more than deserving winner, though I'm assuming People v. O.J. is going to sweep its way through most of the limited series categories. Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series Anthony Anderson, black-ish Andrew Daly, Review Chris Geere, You're the Worst Rob Lowe, The Grinder Fred Savage, The Grinder Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent Some years, I set a rule that I will only nominate one actor per show, but I couldn't choose between the two Grinder leads, who were as perfect a crazy man/straight man pairing as TV has had in quite some time. Anderson and Geere did great work flipping back and forth between silliness and pathos this year (I still choke up thinking about Dre's Obama speech from the black-ish episode about how to talk to your kids about black people being shot by cops), Tambor was once again stunning in a largely dramatic performance (that is, again, eligible here, in a category that isn't Funniest Actor in a Comedy Series), and Daly's absolute commitment to the awfulness of Forrest MacNeil's life made the second Review season even funnier, and darker, than the first. Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series Steve Buscemi, Horace and Pete Louis C.K., Horace and Pete Rami Malek, Mr. Robot Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul Matthew Rhys, The Americans Justin Theroux, The Leftovers Horace and Pete was another case of my inability to choose between two actors from the same show, as by the end, C.K.'s work was just as nuanced and devastating as the more experienced Buscemi's. Malek was so riveting that he made a lot of pieces of Mr. Robot work that would have failed utterly in the hands of an even slightly less gifted performer, Theroux's work in the last few Leftovers season 2 episodes left me a wreck, Odenkirk continues to demonstrate surprising depths as a dramatic actor, and it's absurd that Matthew Rhys has yet to be nominated for all he does on Americans. Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie Bryan Cranston, All the Way James Franco, 11.22.63 Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero Regé-Jean Page, Roots Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Patrick Wilson, Fargo Cranston and Franco both gave tremendous performances in ultimately flawed projects. Isaac somehow made all the exposition and policy wonkery of Show Me a Hero entertaining and tragic, Page and Vance were enormously charismatic as men who were flashy on the outside and deeply pained on the inside, and Patrick Wilson basically turned into Gary Cooper and became the powerful, still center around which all the craziness of Fargo season 2 could orbit. Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Aya Cash, You're the Worst Gillian Jacobs, Love Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep Michaela Watkins, Casual Louis-Drefyus will — deservedly — keep winning this category until either Veep ends or she pulls a Candice Bergen and withdraws herself from consideration. So it almost doesn't matter who gets nominated alongside her. But the other performances I chose were all wonderfully nuanced and complicated as they painted very different portraits of women who are all damaged in some way, and any of them would make an incredibly deserving winner if Louis-Dreyfus were to pull a Larry David and somehow offend everyone in Los Angeles at the same time. Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series Shiri Appleby, UnREAL Kerry Bishé, Halt and Catch Fire Carrie Coon, The Leftovers Sarah Lancashire, Happy Valley Krysten Ritter, Jessica Jones Keri Russell, The Americans The Pov structure of Leftovers season 2 rendered everyone but Theroux a supporting player, but since Coon submitted herself here, I'm picking her, because when she was on screen, she was spectacular. Bishé was the highlight of the much-improved second season of Halt, Lancashire remains indelible on Happy Valley, Ritter lived up to all of my hopes for Jessica Jones, and refer to my Matthew Rhys comment when it comes to his TV spouse. The real surprise of the group is Appleby, who had never suggested the kind of depth and force that her role on UnREAL has allowed her to play. Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie Kirsten Dunst, Fargo Felicity Huffman, American Crime Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience Rachel McAdams, True Detective Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Lili Taylor, American Crime As with the corresponding male category, we've got a couple of performances here (Keough and McAdams) that transcended iffy shows. You could argue that any or all of Dunst, Huffman, and Taylor belong in the supporting field, but they were all wonderful, even if they all understandably seem destined to lose to Paulson. Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series Louie Anderson, Baskets Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Jaime Camil, Jane the Virgin Christopher Meloni, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp T.J. Miller, Silicon Valley Timothy Simons, Veep Honestly, I could make this an all-Veep category — say, with Simons, Tony Hale, Kevin Dunn, Gary Cole, Sam Richardson, and Matt Walsh (or swap any two of them out for Hugh Laurie and Reid Scott) — and it would be a completely respectable list. Instead, I decided to limit myself to one guy, and the New Hampshire election story has given Simons a chance to shine like never before. As for the others, Braugher is a national treasure, Camil may be playing the most reliable joke machine on television, Meloni stole First Day of Camp the same way he stole the original movie, and Miller got to add some surprising emotion to Erlich Bachman's usual hilarious buffoonery. And Anderson is, like Tambor, giving an almost entirely dramatic performance (and also playing a woman), but in a way that never feels like a gimmick. Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series Alan Alda, Horace and Pete Dylan Baker, The Americans Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul Kevin Carroll, The Leftovers Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones Lance Reddick, Bosch Even if the Academy at large didn't watch Horace and Pete, I expect Alda will be nominated on name recognition alone, and when they see him give the performance of his career, he'll hopefully win. Baker sketched out a complicated and tragic character in the space of 13 episodes, Banks continued finding new gravitas inside Mike Ehrmantraut, Carroll knocked me out as much as his more well-known co-stars, Dinklage remains so much fun that he can even carry a long scene where he's acting against thin air disguised as CGI dragons, and Reddick also did the best work of his career on the largely unheralded Bosch. Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Ted Danson, Fargo Connor Jessup, American Crime Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager Zahn McClarnon, Fargo Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo Unfortunately, I assume John Travolta has one of these spots in the bag. And the only reason Jessup is here and not in the lead category is because he's young and relatively unknown. But this is still one of the most competitive groups in the whole field, and I'd love to see one of the more unheralded actors eligible win it, even though Danson and Laurie were both superb in the kinds of roles they don't usually play. Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series Loretta Devine, The Carmichael Show Kether Donohue, You're the Worst Allison Janney, Mom Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live Amanda Peet, Togetherness Kristen Schaal, Last Man on Earth Janney, like Louis-Dreyfus, may have a stranglehold on her category for a while, and she's terrific enough — at both the light and dark parts of Mom — that I can't get too annoyed with it. This is another extremely deep category, which I tried to cover with a variety of different kinds of performances from different kinds of shows. There's Devine playing extremely big — and yet still human enough to be at the center of an episode about clinical depression — on Carmichael (where David Alan Grier would also be a fine nominee on the male side), McKinnon carrying SNL, Donohue and Peet doing a mix of utter silliness and something much messier, and Schaal turning out in time to be the very best part of Last Man. I'd have liked to find room for some of the Transparent actresses or Zosia Mamet or a bunch of others, but you've gotta make choices when you play this game. Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series Amy Brenneman, The Leftovers Ann Dowd, The Leftovers Regina King, The Leftovers Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul Alison Wright, The Americans Constance Zimmer, UnREAL Nope. Not gonna leave out one of the three Leftovers ladies here. (As a past winner, King is the most likely to get an actual nomination.) Seehorn, meanwhile, essentially became co-lead for much of Saul season 2, and was so likable and vulnerable and interesting that it felt like she was adding to Jimmy's story rather than taking away from it. Wright was stronger than ever on Americans, even though Martha was in crisis throughout, and Zimmer was every bit Shiri Appleby's dramatic equal as part of the UnREAL two-hander. Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie Olivia Colman, The Night Manager Rachel Keller, Fargo Regina King, American Crime Cristin Milioti, Fargo Anika Noni Rose, Roots Jean Smart, Fargo Another category where I went with three from one show, reflecting both the great work of Keller, Milioti, and Smart, but also the relative shallowness of this particular field. King is one of several actors this year who, thanks to the proliferation of limited series and shows with shorter seasons, has a realistic shot at being nominated for two different performances. Colman had a bunch of great moments during The Night Manager (particularly the monologue about why her character was so interested in taking down Hugh Laurie), and Rose was one of the best parts of the outstanding Roots ensemble. What does everybody else think? What nominations are you most hoping to see? Alan Sepinwall may be reached at »

- Alan Sepinwall

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A Trueblue Shiver-giver – ‘Conjuring 2’ Is The Horror Sensation Of The Decade

13 June 2016 10:00 PM, PDT | Bollyspice | See recent Bollyspice news »

Starrring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe

Directed by James Wan

If only Bollywood’s horror films were not so afraid of the dark. Here is why we can never make a trueblue shiver-giver like The Conjuring. We are so obsessed with ticking off all the boxes in the Book Of Horror that we forget to focus on the actual fear of the unknown. Put in another way, the Indian horror industry is so inured in the familiar, it makes the fear of the unknown seem like a premeditated rollercoaster ride rather than a genuine exploration of the supernatural.

The Conjuring 2 is not the least interested in impressing us with its undoubtedly impressive grip over the grammar of the horror genre. There is a history to the horror here, yes. And in a truly shocking prologue we are familiarized with the previous exorcising excursion of the couple Lorraine and Ed Warren (played with a scrubbed neat conviction by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson).

With brutal yet graceful directness we are dragged into the world of the dead and the semi-dead where spirits roam with creepy casualness in homes that seem as comfortably familiar as yours and mine. Having provided a ruthless trope, the narrative effortlessly sets the stage for the couple’s next act of exorcism in a disturbingly normal London suburb lined with identical houses.

How is one to know that of them is ….brrrrr….haunted?

Director James Wan’s high-points in the plot are never accentuated. Almost no effort is put into creating banner-announcing suspense or building up to those moments where we are meant to jump out of our skins (and we do, oh yes believe me, we do!). It’s in searching for spiritual anomalies in the routine existence that Wan gives us the most chilling treatise on terror seen screen (so go ahead, scream) in the last ten years.

While the 2-hour film is designed to coil itself around our fear bones there is no dearth of warm humorous moments in the plot if we look for them.

“He has taken all the music away,” says the single mother Peggy (Frances Conner looking a tad too distraught all the time) of 4 very bright children, about her estranged husband. Taking the poignant revelation as a metaphor for the family’s lost happiness exorcist Ed Warren promises to restore happiness into the family by getting rid of ….errr, ghosts from the past.

“No, I meant he took all the records and cassettes including our favourite Elvis Presley,” replies the anguished mom used to dealing directly with four demanding children, and now an uninvited spirit in their home.

This ‘music’ exchange is an exceedingly funny moment, and the kind of tangential humour that director James Wan insinuates into the plot with devilish ingenuity. Though the fear-fest flags off in 1977 nowhere is the signpost of periodicity flashed into our flushed faces. The songs from that era like Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’ and the Bee Gees’ ‘I Started A Joke’ are so naturally assimilated into the storytelling we are never allowed to feel distanced from the joy sorrow and fears of the characters.

Patches of the clenched plot are almost like scintillating spoofs on spook. And yet we never cease to be spooked…not when little possessed Janet is played with such tender sincerity by Madison Wolfe. My heart reached out to Little Ms. Wolfe in that fabulously formulated scene in the wing with Lorraine Warren where Janet talks about how isolating it is to be possessed by a demon. In her innocence and vulnerability to the diabolic attack on her person, Ms Wolfe reminded me of that other satanically possessed little girl Linda Blair in the that other milestone of the supernatural genre The Exorcist in 1973.

As Wan gets into the swing of things the brisk narrative transforms into a trot and finally into a breathless last act which is guaranteed to give the weak-bladdered a run for the loo and the cynics a run for their money.

It’s hard to say what makes The Conjuring 2 so infinitely terrifying. A primary factor in its favour is the unassuming tone of narration which yokes the horror of the humdrum into the resilient spirit of routine life. Just as the family under satanic attack refuses to be bullied by the spirit in their midst, we are never bullied into being scared.

This time the terror is on the house.

The post A Trueblue Shiver-giver – ‘Conjuring 2’ Is The Horror Sensation Of The Decade appeared first on »

- Subhash K Jha

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Is The Conjuring 3 About Werewolves?

13 June 2016 5:01 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

James Wan is at the absolute top of his game right now. The Conjuring 2 beat out both Warcraft and Now You See Me 2 at the box office this weekend and his previous film Furious 7 went on to be one of the highest grossing films of all time. It is a foregone conclusion at this point that The Conjuring 3 is going to happen, but what will it be about? Well, as it turns out, maybe about werewolves.

In a recent interview with Cinemablend while out doing press for The Conjuring 2, the subject of where the franchise could go came up. Though they have focused on Exorcist esque hauntings up to this point, the idea of shaking it up for a third entry certainly doesn't appear to be out of the question. When asked if he would be interested in doing something involving werewolves, Wan seemed not only receptive, but enthusiastic about the prospect.

"Maybe we can go and do it like a classic American Werewolf in London style. That would be awesome! The Warrens set against the backdrop of The Hound of Baskerville. That would be awesome."

The idea wasn't founded in total and complete randomness either. The Conjuring franchise has been based on the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in the films. Though most of their cases are about demonic possessions, Ed Warren did publish a book in 1991 called Werewolf: A True Story of Demonic Possession. With some adjustments to the source material, it could make for a very cool possession and monster movie simultaneously, and Wan seems like the right guy to do it.

Warner Bros. has not confirmed plans for a third installment of The Conjuring franchise yet, but after the very successful opening weekend and another round of very positive critical reception, it wouldn't at all be surprising if we get an announcement sometime soon. James Wan did mention that he, the writers and the studio have already been sifting through some of the other Warren case files to figure out which ones might lend themselves to a good third installment. But the short list right now isn't all that short.

"They have a lot of cases. I'm not sitting there sifting through every single one, but I think, you know, between the writers and the studio, I think they have a short list of their favorite, like basically the top 20 or 30 of the Warren's favorite cases."

Wan is moving back to the world of big budget action next, but this time it will be in the superhero landscape as Warner Bros. has tapped him to direct Aquaman. Production should be starting on that film just after Justice League wraps up and has a July 27, 2018 release date, which might make it tricky for Wan to squeeze in The Conjuring 3 should it get the greenlight. Either way, Wan will probably at least be back as a producer but Warner Bros. would very likely want him in the director's chair if at all possible. The Conjuring 2 is in theaters now. »

- MovieWeb

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