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How the return of House of Cards is both a blessing and a curse

The announcement that Robin Wright will headline a shorter final season is encouraging but the makers will have to work hard to fix a dying show

So it’s official. The Kevin Spacey scandal will not end House of Cards. In the first scene of the first episode of the next series, an underling will run into the Oval Office. “Did you hear what happened to Frank Underwood?” he’ll say, before explaining in great detail how a horse kicked him in the crotch and his balls went up into his mouth and exploded, and it made him fall off a kerb into a road where his face and neck were crushed by a fleet of steamrollers, a can-can troupe and an entire phalanx of Netflix board members. Then Claire Underwood will look directly into the camera, do finger guns, make a “click-click” noise out of the side of her
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

'The Strange Ones' wins at Champs-Elysées Film Festival

'The Strange Ones' wins at Champs-Elysées Film Festival
Business as usual for festival unfolding on famous Paris avenue hit by two terror attacks in recent weeks.

Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff’s thriller The Strange Ones has scooped the top prize at the sixth edition of France’s Us-focused Champs-Elysées Film Festival, which wan June 15-22.

The feature, starring Alex Pettyfer and James Freedson-Jackson as two brothers on a mysterious trip into the wilderness, premiered at SXSW earlier this year.

The American Independent Jury Prize comes with a €10,000 cash award for the French distributor of the film but, as it has yet to be acquired for France, the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘All Eyez on Me’: With a Strong Box Office Debut, Another Diverse Film Gets Underestimated

‘All Eyez on Me’: With a Strong Box Office Debut, Another Diverse Film Gets Underestimated
When “Straight Outta Compton” opened in August of 2015 to over $60 million — about $20 million more than most trades predicted — a conversation sparked about the industry’s failure to properly track movies that target people of color.

“You can’t track black,” Jeff Clanagan, CEO of CodeBlack Entertainment said in a 2015 Variety report.

Almost two years later, it seems not much has changed.

All Eyez on Me,” a biopic of Tupac Shakur from Lionsgate and Summit, is expected to earn just over $27 million in its opening weekend. That’s above most estimates, which had it in the $17 million to $22 million range earlier in the week, but below the $30 million it was projected to score as recently as Saturday. “All Eyez on Me” won’t break any box office records, but for a movie with a $45 million budget, that’s a solid opening. What’s more noteworthy, though, is just how “unpredictable” it has been.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Prince William and Queen Elizabeth II Have Emotional Visit With Grenfell Tower Victims

Prince William and Queen Elizabeth II Have Emotional Visit With Grenfell Tower Victims
In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster that devastated West London, the city is coming together in incredible ways to support each other. Following Adele's emotional appearance at a recent vigil for victims and survivors and Tom Hardy's campaign to raise funds for those affected, Prince William joined Queen Elizabeth II for a somber, touching visit to the Westway Sports Centre on Friday. The building is currently serving as a temporary shelter for everyone who lost their homes in the deadly blaze. Her Majesty and the Duke of Cambridge spoke to volunteers helping out at the shelter, as well as survivors, victims' families, and rescue workers. In a statement released on Thursday by the Queen and husband Prince Philip, they sent their "thoughts and prayers" to "families who have lost loved ones in the Grenfell Tower fire and the many people who are still critically ill in hospital.
See full article at Popsugar »

The 100 Season 4 Episode 6 Review: We Will Rise

It appeared that things were finally looking up for our heroes towards the end of an action-packed The 100 Season 4 Episode 6.

But, of course, I should've known better – in the hour's final moments, everything took a drastic downward turn.

View Slideshow: The 100 Photos from "We Will Rise"

"We Will Rise" followed three intersecting but distinct plots.

One arc followed Bellamy, Clarke, and Roan as they set off on a mission to deliver the last remaining hydrazine to Raven at Becca's lab, after the catastrophic destruction of Arkadia on The 100 Season 4 Episode 5.

Without the hydrazine, Raven wouldn't be able to blast off into space and so wouldn't be able to cook up Becca's nightblood recipe with Abby. (Yes, I'm calling it a recipe.)

This unlikely trio's adventure was easily the most exciting aspect.

The tension was high as the three shaky allies journeyed to Becca's lab to deliver the hydrazine to Raven.
See full article at TVfanatic »

Movie industry reacts to Donald Trump victory

Movie industry reacts to Donald Trump victory
Harvey Weinstein, Guillermo del Toro, Jennifer Lawrence, Ken Loach, Shonda Rhimes among those to react.

A number of leading figures in the film and TV industries have responded with shock and dismay to the surprise win for Republican candidate Donald Trump in the Us presidential election this week.

Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton drew tens of millions of dollars in contributions from the entertainment industry during the heated contest. Opponent Trump received a fraction of that support.

Industry heavyweights to back Clinton’s campaign included senior figures from all six of Hollywood’s major studios while Harvey Weinstein, Legendary’s Thomas Tull and a number of top talent agent executives were also donors. Creatives to host events for Clinton included Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes and actors Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney.

Meanwhile, actors Stephen Baldwin, Steven Seagal and Kirstie Alley were among those to voice enthusiasm for the result.

Screen rounds up some of the reactions:

Harvey Weinstein, producer
See full article at ScreenDaily »

UK Film Biz’s Relationship With Europe Is “Much Bigger” Than EU Membership — Lff

UK Film Biz’s Relationship With Europe Is “Much Bigger” Than EU Membership — Lff
With the Brexit hangover continuing to loom large over the UK film industry, attendees at a BFI London Film Festival industry panel on Friday were urged to remember that the UK's cultural and creative relationship with Europe, and the world, is "much bigger" than its membership with the European Union. At a panel dubbed Business As Usual: The UK After the EU Referendum, chaired by the BFI's head of international Isabel Davis, a number of top industry execs weighed in on…
See full article at Deadline »

Muriel, or The Time of Return

Alain Resnais' deceptively conventional drama is really about interpersonal dynamics: lives lived in the here and now are really anchored in events and concerns from the past, that bleed into the present. Delphine Seyrig's antique dealer invites an old beau to visit, but instead of clarity and direction finds just more personal confusion. Muriel, ou Le temps d'un retour Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 824 1963 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 116 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date July 19, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Kérien, Nita Klein, Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée, Claude Sainval, Laurence Badie, Jean Champion Cinematography Sacha Vierny Production Design Jacques Saulnier Film Editor Claudine Merlin, Kenout Peltier, Eric Pluet Original Music Paul Colline Written by Jean Cayrol Produced by Anatole Dauman Directed by Alain Resnais

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Back in film school we'd make pronouncements like, why do all movies have to have such structured plots, with organized conflicts and resolutions?
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

First Look At xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage

  • TheMovieBit
Making a return to what you could call the forgotten franchise of his collection, Vin Diesel is once again putting on the massive fur coat of high octane super spy for xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, and to pimp the fact the first trailer comes our way in two day the man himself has shared with us a brief teaser of the third installment in a franchise that started in 2002. It all goes a bit too quickly to discern whats going on, but all we need to know is Vin Diesel is back kicking ass. Business as usual so. Released: January 20th 2017 Synopsis:The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to recover a
See full article at TheMovieBit »

Comic Book Review – Cry Havoc #6

Mark Allen reviews Cry Havoc #6…

A climactic battle for the folked-up future with fang-gnashing throat-ripping bulletstorm insanity.

Cry Havoc is a book of willful contradictions. The final page of issue #6 – the last in its first arc – uses a caption to tell us that this is “the beginning”. Add to that Lou Canton’s troubled violinist/werewolf and her tendency to do the opposite of things people tell her, not to mention the book’s frequent appearances of mythic creatures that by all rights shouldn’t exist, and it becomes clear that the book’s creators like defying expectations.

The latest issue doesn’t disappoint on this front, upending many of the relationships and notions readers were introduced to over the past five issues as the story reaches its first climax. Villains are defeated; revelations are made; limbs are torn off of living beings by grotesque monsters. Business as usual for Si Spurrier,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Game Of Thrones season 6 episode 8 review: No One

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Game Of Thrones muses on honour, duty, love and home while spilling its cast's blood. Business as usual then...

This review contains spoilers.

6.8 No One

The sixth season of Game Of Thrones has been a course correction for the fifth season (and before). There were complaints about violence against women; now women are firmly in charge and the ones doing the violence rather than being on the receiving end of Ramsay Bolton. There were complaints about Theon's torture; Arya's similar breaking and rebuild at the hands of the Faceless Men ends up being triumphant, rather than depressing (though to be fair, Arya didn't lose any important body parts). There have been lots of dropped characters, and it seems like they're all coming back this season for various reasons. Even the stalled Daenerys plot in Essos seems to finally be paying off, if only because she's got her long-promised Dothraki horde.

There are going to be three scenes in this episode that everyone will be talking about. One of them is the resolution of Arya Stark's adventure in Braavos. In a show where there are routinely massive action sequences (this episode features at least one battle involving dozens of ships), the way Game Of Thrones is able to boil things down to a personal level is remarkable. The episode's most exciting moment is the clash between Arya and the Waif, who has been tormenting her for months and has now been sent to kill her. It's a thrilling chase through the streets of Braavos triggered by the death of Arya's new friend the Lady Crane, and it terminates with a candle being snuffed out courtesy of a skilled slash from Needle. Unlike Reek, we've seen enough of Arya's training to know what she went through, but not so much that it became a snuff film. We've seen enough to know that when Arya rolls down a flight of stairs and gets up, leaving a deliberate blood (or blood orange) trail, that the Waif is walking into a trap. Needle plunging the fight into darkness is just icing on the cake. Mark Mylod has another great fight scene to his credit; the chase between Arya and Waif was Terminator 2 levels of awesomeness, and it made sure to check every chase cliché on the list while still being surprisingly brutal (just listen to the landings Arya has and try not to wince).

Arya has learned a valuable lesson. She knows how to be a Water Dancer, and she was good at chasing cats, and she's now able to combine that skill with the dirty fighting skills taught to her by the Waif and Jaquen during her time training as a Faceless Man. At her core, she's still Arya Stark of Winterfell, but now she knows just what to do when it's time to stop being chivalrous and start slitting throats in the dark. It's a lesson that she's learned well; it's also a lesson for Pod to learn from Bronn. While the two are on opposite sides of the Riverrun debate, Bronn is willing to teach Pod all the things he won't learn from someone like Brienne, who is one of the most honourable knights in the kingdom despite not being Ser Brienne.

That's chivalry, albeit in a different way from the type Brienne and Jaime have between one another. Yes, they have fought in the past, and they're possibly still going to fight since Brienne serves the Starks and Jaime is a Lannister, but throughout the episode, their scenes are wonderful in their interplay. Jaime is nothing if not honourable, and yet he's also the guy who shoved a child out a window and who has committed terrible atrocities in the name of the only love that means anything to him: his love for Cersei. Brienne might be on Jaime's good side, and it's clear that he cares about her on some level, but as Edmure says, Jaime is still an evil man.

Everyone in Westeros has the capacity for evil; even noble Brienne fought dirty to best The Hound. Similarly, everyone in Westeros has the capacity for good. The Hound, for example, has made a complete turn around thanks to the good work of Septon Swearengen. Whether you're good or bad seems to depend on who you're trying to kill. If you're The Hound, cutting off heads and genitals with an axe (this is another scene everyone's going to be talking about), then you're good because you're getting revenge on the thugs who killed your friend. If you're the Brotherhood Without Banners, you can be either good or bad depending on what you do: killing villagers is bad, hanging villager killers operating in your name is good. Cersei is even capable of occasionally doing good things; as Jaime says, her love for her children is her most redeeming feature, and it puts Cersei in the company of Cat Stark, who once freed none other than Jaime Lannister and who started Brienne's mission to serve the Stark family.

Everything seems to come around in the end. Everyone seems to realise this except for perhaps Cersei Lannister. Her whole defence against the High Sparrow has been predicated on her access to Qyburn's Monster, Aka FrankenMountain, and her plan to have a trial by combat. Unfortunately for her, as usual, she tips her hand and gives away her secret killing machine, and all it took was one ripped-off head in front of cousin Lancel to let the High Sparrow know that a trial by combat against an unstoppable killing machine is a bad idea, and since the Sparrow has King Tommen's ear, well... Cersei once again chose short-term satisfaction over long-term success. (“I choose violence.” is a delicious line from the pen of Benioff and Weiss, and it's knocked out of the park by Lena Headey).

Game Of Thrones has set up some interesting conflicts for the next episode; according to the preview images, it's going to be a doozy on par with the other famous ninth episodes. Daenerys and her dragon against a fleet of ships? Arriving Greyjoys versus the Masters? The Boltons face Jon Snow and his wildling army? The Hound killing some more people? Some combination of all of these things?

Whatever happens, I'm excited; for all the criticism Game Of Thrones took in the fifth season, it's clear that the folks behind the scenes have learned and adapted, and the sixth season is all the better for it.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, The Broken Man, here. And read the nine questions we're pondering from No One, here.

Us Correspondent Ron Hogan still believes in the power of the Cleganebowl to bring the world together. What is hype may never die. Cleganebowl forever! Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

See related Game Of Thrones season 6: 8 questions about The Broken Man Game Of Thrones season 6: breaking down Blood Of My Blood's vision Game Of Thrones season 6: 9 questions about The Door Game Of Thrones season 6: going back to square one Game Of Thrones: the rules of magic in the Seven Kingdoms TV Review Ron Hogan Game Of Thrones 13 Jun 2016 - 16:00 Game Of Thrones season 6 Ron Hogan
See full article at Den of Geek »

The Big Bang Theory season 9 episode 19 review: The Solder Excursion Diversion

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Sheldon's storyline at least has some sweetness and humanity in this week's The Big Bang Theory, but that of everybody else? Sheesh...

This review contains spoilers.

9.19 The Solder Excursion Diversion

The Big Bang Theory's been away for a little while and we all knew that, when it returned, the episode would be in one of two modes. It would either be the sweet, slightly sentimental show that treated its characters like human beings, or it would be the cruel crowd-pleaser, treating its characters like sitcom archetypes that are allowed to be terrible people without consequence.

To my slight surprise, The Solder Excursion Diversion was both at once. Sheldon and Amy got the nice, human story while the rest of the gang were stuck in a cluster of unfunny running jokes that forced them all to become the worst versions of themselves. Business as usual.

So Sheldon's a hoarder,
See full article at Den of Geek »

WWE Raw 25/01/16 Recap and Review – The Rock returns, Fastlane main event set, Styles vs. Jericho and more

Miami, Fl played host to a very eventful episode of Monday Night Raw, in which an A-list WWE star made his long-awaited return to his hometown and the main event was set for Fastlane. Meanwhile, Aj Styles met with Chris Jericho in what can only be described as a dream match. It’s the Raw Report…

A distinctly smug Vince and Stephanie McMahon opened the show, gloating at how they emerged victorious from the Royal Rumble at the expense of fan favourites like Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Aj Styles. Stephanie introduced new champion Triple H in grandstanding fashion and Trips spoke about how Reigns had offended him personally by disrespecting Vince McMahon. After what felt like an age of promo time, they finally got around to the issue of the WrestleMania main event. They announced that they would reveal later on the show the main event for Fastlane – a
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Watch: Mark Kermode Takes At Look This Year's Oscar Oversights In 5-Minute Video

As the #Oscarssowhite movement and the ongoing discussion of diversity in Hollywood continues, we as a moviegoing community are forced to consider the ramifications of representation: which stories get told, and why. Indeed, more people are talking about the Oscar nods this year than ever before. What’s been recognized — and more importantly, those who the Academy has failed to recognize — have been subject to a great deal of scrutiny within the critical community in particular (much of it has also spilled out onto the Twitter-sphere, but that’s to be expected). Among these voices is Mark Kermode, the British film critic who takes a good, hard look at this year’s nominations in a new episode of “Kermode Uncut.” Read More: Spike Lee & Jada Pinkett Smith Refuse To Attend 2016 Oscars Over Lack Of Diversity Among Nominees “Business as usual” is how Kermode described this year’s nominations and in many respects,
See full article at The Playlist »

Wednesday’s best TV: Midsomer Murders; Mary Portas: Secret Shopper; Dickensian; Three Days Of Terror; Empire of the Tsars; The Jacksons: Next Generation; 100 Code

  • The Guardian - TV News
Business as usual in Midsomer Murders – meanwhile there’s a lack of love in the air at a wedding boutique for Mary Portas, and Dickensian gets properly into its stride

In principle, we’re innocent till proven otherwise. Midsomer Murders encourages us to accept that, yes, pretty much everyone looks guilty. The series begins not with a body but the absence of one. Gregory Lancaster, a wealthy and ailing man vanishes, post-mortem, from his deathbed. What connects this event and a subsequent disinterment of the family’s nanny, a suspicious doctor/funeral director cohabitation and the laws of local primogeniture? An entertaining yarn, that’s what. John Robinson

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Why Tarantino & The Weinsteins Shouldn't Fear The Police Boycott of 'The Hateful Eight'

On October 24th, Quentin Tarantino, a citizen, exercised his right to speak freely and to assemble peacefully as part of a Manhattan Black Lives Matter Rally. Regardless of your take on the issue, it is his right, and he exercised the very freedom that we take for granted daily. But Quentin Tarantino is more than just a citizen; he is an auteur without peer in American popular cinema, and he is a business in and of himself.

Every few years Tarantino earns millions of dollars, countless awards and accolades, and priceless social cachet for his long time producers the Weinsteins. But should business concerns stifle his willingness to speak as a citizen? I know I regularly have to bite my tongue in order to preserve my financial well being; it is a unique weakness and awareness of adulthood, consequence. And if there are forces both financial and social that constrain our freedoms,
See full article at LRM Online »

Tom Cruise Continues to Film Jack Reacher as Leah Remini Talks Scientology: Pictures

Tom Cruise Continues to Film Jack Reacher as Leah Remini Talks Scientology: Pictures
Business as usual. Tom Cruise continued filming for his upcoming action flick, Jack Reacher, in New Orleans on Thursday, Oct. 29, just ahead of Leah Remini’s exclusive tell all 20/20 interview on Friday, Oct. 30. The 53-year-old actor looked focused on his role as a harried homicide investigator, wearing a grim expression for the part. Cruise has yet to speak out about Remini’s interview, which included several anecdotes about Cruise in relation to the King of Queens actress’ 30 years with the Church of Scientology. Remini, 45, didn’t hold [...]
See full article at Us Weekly »

Rapper and DJ Redman Spins Into Video Directing With Thailand’s Benetone (Exclusive)

Rapper and DJ Redman Spins Into Video Directing With Thailand’s Benetone (Exclusive)
Multi-talented rapper Redman, one half of duo Method Man & Redman, is expanding his repertoire. He has signed to become an in-house music video and commercials director with Benetone Films.

Redman (real name Reginald ‘ Reggie’ Noble) previously expanded from performance into DJing, MCing and music production, then into acting, with movies including stoner comedy “How High” and “Seed of Chucky” and “Scary Movie 3”.

Benetone is a features, commercials and video company with bases in Bangkok, Thailand and Los Angeles. It has produced music videos with Beyonce, Enrique Iglesias and Lil Wayne and commercials for brands including Yamaha, Tropicana Slice and Vespa to name a few.

Details of his directing projects remain under wraps for the moment. Redman is also currently working on music album “Muddy Waters 2.”

Redman’s genius and illustrious knack for creativity combined with our passion for production is undoubtedly going to result in an exciting, promising and fruitful future for all,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘Air’

Film Review: ‘Air’
The future is short of breath in “Air,” a sci-fi chamber piece with Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou as two grunts charged with maintaining an underground government bunker after chemical warfare has rendered the Earth’s surface uninhabitable. This irst feature for videogame designer/writer Christian Cantamessa has an intriguing premise and two capable stars, none of which is utilized as memorably as one might hope. Competently crafted but ultimately just Ok, the suspenser should be able to parlay its cast names’ appeal into decent returns in home-format sales. Limited theatrical opening on 15 U.S. screens Aug. 14 is occurring simultaneously with a VOD launch.

At the start, Bauer (Reedus) and Cartwright (Hounsou) rise from their sleep tanks, as they do every six months. Twice a year they’re roused from artificial slumber and given two hours’ worth of oxygen to complete the tasks necessary to keep this subterranean complex operating.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Live Blog: See the new 'Doctor Who' trailer get the highlights from the' panel!

  • Hitfix
Live Blog: See the new 'Doctor Who' trailer get the highlights from the' panel!
Hey y'all! I am Live at San Diego Comic-Con and sitting in Hall H for the "Doctor Who" panel beginning at 2:15pm Pdt. Follow along for all the breaking news from the cast and crew! [2:04Pm Pdt]: Still waiting to be allowed inside. Above us, a robotic drone is buzzing in direct defiance of the rule technology rules. It sounds like a thousand angry bees trapped in a mechanical shell. Slightly uncomfortable. [2:10Pm Pdt]: We remain outside. An employee/volunteer just came out to assure the antsy press that we are in the right place and will not miss the panel. Ahhh, the joys of trying to herd hundreds of people into a confined space in a timely manner! [2:16Pm Pdt]: We're inside! The panel is running a few minutes behind and the wifi is atroicious but No Matter! I will soldier on! [2:22Pm Pdt]: The lights go down and the trailer comes up.
See full article at Hitfix »
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