18 items from 2013
Here’s a conundrum: A friend or relative complains about how terrible movies have gotten, but they will only go see bad movies. I’m not saying that’s exactly what’s happened with Redbox‘s most popular rentals of 2013, but the annual list fascinates for two reasons. First, it highlights evidence that there might truly be a giant gap between the general audience and critics by displaying cinema at its most fast food basic. Second, it’s weird. This is a place where Django hangs out with a dominating Melissa McCarthy (to soon dethrone Adam Sandler?). Where a broken Denzel Washington is hip to hip with Brad Pitt fighting zombies. Where 2012′s longevity is genuinely proven. Here’s this year’s most-rented from Redbox: Identity Thief The Heat World War Z Flight Olympus Has Fallen Django Unchained Grown Ups 2 White House Down Here Comes the Boom Now You See Me White House Down And Olympus Has Fallen »
- Scott Beggs
Hoult plays a backpacker and his girlfriend (Amber Heard), who is hired by German drug smugglers, only for the job to go south and be forced to flee along the famed no speed limit freeways. [Source: Screen]
Set in Washington D.C., the story follows a rebellious teenager (Tope) who finds himself leading his own investigation into the murder of a classmate. Keener will play Moretz’s mother. [Source: The Wrap]
- Garth Franklin
Len Cariou has had great successes onstage, but he's happy television is his prime home now.
The star of such hit musicals as "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," "A Little Night Music" and "Applause" is in his fourth season as Henry Reagan, family patriarch and former New York police commissioner - the position now occupied by his son Frank (Tom Selleck) - on CBS' Friday drama "Blue Bloods."
Cariou is guaranteed at least one scene a week by the Reagan dinner-table gathering, and he's happy with the job in general.
"It's a great pleasure," he tells Zap2it. "We all have a great relationship, and I think it gives the show a uniqueness for a cop show. We get to know the family members and their different perspectives, and it's a very pleasant working situation. It's like I've gone to heaven."
Cariou credits that in large part to Selleck, »
Bruce Dern’s Oscar strategists can rest easy: The actor’s sterling lead turn in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” is posed no competition by his other appearance of the season, in the bleeding-heart indie “Fighting for Freedom.” Casting Dern as yet another solid farm-belt type railing against the dying of the light (and of the American Heartland), this well-meaning but incredibly stilted portrait of illegal immigrants struggling to stay north of the border has snuck into a single Los Angeles-area screen clearly hoping to catch a bit of its star’s second wind in its sails. Better luck next time.
“Freedom” reps a clear labor of love for producer-thesp Kristanna Loken (best known for playing the distaff T-x in “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”), who spent her own youth on an upstate New York apple farm run by her father, Chris, who’s credited here with the screenplay and »
- Scott Foundas
Trevor Hogg chats with visual effects supervisors Marc Weigert, Volker Engel, Ollie Rankin, Jan Krupp, Alex Pejic, Christian Haas and Andrea Block; production manager Joseph Kasparian, visual effects producer Christal Wolgamott, and previsualization supervisor Roger Liu about destroying the home of the American president in White House Down...
Volker Engel and Marc Weigert“My business partner Marc Weigert and I were in talks to supervise the VFX for another movie in early 2012, when Roland Emmerich [Stargate] asked us to read the White House Down script,” recalls Volker Engel who co-owns the visual effects facility Uncharted Territory. “Shortly after that the other movie got postponed anyway and we immediately started prep on White House Down . We had to hurry up as Channing Tatum [G.I. Joe: Retaliation] had a tight schedule because of another movie he would shoot that same summer. We only had little over two months prep. Normally you want to have at least »
1. Hank: "Hank: Five Years From the Brink," the first film produced by Bloomberg Businessweek Films, will launch exclusively on Netflix starting Sept. 16. Directed by Academy Award and Emmy nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger, the film follows former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson as he discusses the reasons for the fiscal crisis of 2008 -- and explains why another financial meltdown is imminent. Check out the trailer for the film below: 2. Areo: Last week, when a federal judge in D.C. granted broadcasters' motion for an injunction against FilmOn, ruling that the service, which retransmits local TV programming over the Internet without paying a broadcasting fee, violated copyright laws, we wondered what it would mean for Aereo. Aereo's lawyers are now trying to differentiate its service from FilmOn, saying that U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton should disregard the federal judge's ruling in the FilmOn case: "To the extent that Opinion makes factual findings »
- Paula Bernstein
Taking advantage of the Fourth of July weekend (and the promise of an air-conditioned theater) to catch up with a few recent releases, I was surprised to find I had unwittingly strapped myself in for a buddy-comedy marathon. By which I mean that besides “The Heat,” the popular mean-cop/meaner-cop vehicle with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, I also made time to see those widely derided B.O. bombs “White House Down” and “The Lone Ranger.”
Now at first glance, you might not be inclined to call Roland Emmerich’s D.C. demolition derby a buddy comedy, never mind that it toplines Channing Tatum as a Secret Service hopeful trying to protect Jamie Foxx’s President Faux-bama, or that it features several of the year’s funniest throwaway lines. (My favorite: “Your peace plan is working!”) Nor would you necessarily use “buddy comedy” to describe “The Lone Ranger,” Gore Verbinski’s »
- Justin Chang
"Americans ... still believe in an America where anything's possible — they just don't think their leaders do." – Barack Obama
Greetings from the apocalypse! This week some Texas Republicans tried to implement a dastardly plan but were narrowly defeated by plucky State Senator Wendy Davis. Hopefully direct-to-video kings The Asylum can make a "White House Down" knockoff called "Texas State Capitol Down" for DVD shelves two weeks from now, starring Debbie Gibson as Wendy Davis. Yay!
Friday, June 28
Pow! In Theaters
Ah Roland Emmerich, only you have the antidote to the summer blues. The German who's cinematically blitzkrieged more than one of our national landmarks several times over is taking down 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue once again in "White House Down." He's enlisted Channing Tatum as an Aryan super soldier to rescue President Ray Charles (Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx) from terrorists intent on burning Washington D.C. to the ground. I visited the set »
- Max Evry
Sony's summer gamble on a non-superhero film, White House Down, hits the big screen Friday, June 28. The action-thriller stars Channing Tatum as a Secret Service agent who must protect the U.S. president, played by Jamie Foxx, from being harmed by a paramilitary group attacking Washington, D.C. Helmed by Independence Day director Roland Emmerich, the movie also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins and Jason Clarke. For a more comical weekend, Paul Feig's The Heat sees Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock teaming up as an unlikely pair -- potty-mouthed detective Shannon Mullins (McCarthy) and uptight FBI
- Stephanie Chan
"The Heat," out this week, promises plenty of laughs with a team like Bullock and McCarthy at the helm. Bullock has demonstrated her comedic chops in flicks like "Miss Congeniality" and "The Proposal," while McCarthy is consistently hilarious in almost everything she does, from "Bridesmaids" to "Identity Thief." The Heat's premise -- a seasoned FBI pro being paired up with a rough-around-the-edges local cop -- is hardly groundbreaking. But the fact that both cops are ladies is, strangely enough, in this day and age.
- Annette Bourdeau
Related | Welcome to Graceland: Your Guide to Who’s Who — Including the Big Liar and Two Fierce Femmes
The premiere introduced us to Mike Warren (played by Aaron Tveit, Les Miserables), an FBI rookie detoured from his desired D.C. assignment and instead deposited in the titular beach house, which also plays home to fellow bureau agents Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata, Rescue Me), “Charlie” DeMarco (Vanessa Ferlito, CSI: NY) and “Johnny” Tuturro (Manny Montana, »
- Matt Webb Mitovich
The Fall TV Season presentations for all the new network shows take place this week with the first announced today. Here's a full breakdown of which concepts have made the final list over on NBC.
The Peacock did not have a good year. Only one of its new shows, "Revolution," was a true hit. Another, "Chicago Fire," got renewed by the skin of its teeth whilst the fate of a third, "Hannibal," remains uncertain.
None of last year's new comedies survived, neither did two mid-season dramas, which leaves the network with some big holes to fill. Three dramas and three comedies will debut in the Fall ahead of three more dramas and two comedies mid-season. Two further dramas and a comedy are presently unscheduled.
Several other pilots didn't make the final cut and won't become series including the high-profile Charlize Theron-produced drama about the Hatfields and McCoys, the Bruckheimer-produced »
- Garth Franklin
Take a look at a complete preview of the shows coming your way, and mark your calendars. It looks good for NBC this year, and while I’m not sure all of these look like winners, I think you’ll find at least a couple that you’re really going to like.
Blacklist – Fall
The Blacklist — (Photo by: NBC)
For decades, ex-government agent Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) has been one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives. Brokering shadowy deals for criminals across the globe, Red was known by many as “The Concierge of Crime.”
Now, he’s mysteriously surrendered to the FBI with an explosive offer: he will help catch a long-thought-dead terrorist, Ranko Zamani, »
- Marc Eastman
Leave it to the funny people of ‘Saturday Night Live’ to turn this week’s biggest news stories into parodies. Keep reading to watch the hilarious skit.
The nation and the media could not stop talking about Jodi Arias’ murder trial and Ariel Castro’s ghastly kidnappings during the week of May 5. Meanwhile, the House Committee in Washington, D.C. could hardly do a thing to get the public interested in the hearings on Benghazi. Well, Saturday Night Live figured out a surefire way to increase the Committe’s publicity.
Jodi Arias Testifies At The Benghazi Hearings?
Just invite Jodi and Ariel to the hearings, of course! A skit that appeared to just be a riff on the House Committee took a sharp lefthand turn when they announced the first “witness,” Jodi Arias.
“I’m sorry, but Ms. Arias is a 32-year-old woman who was just convicted of killing her boyfriend, »
- Andrew Gruttadaro
For the first time since 1998 (remember when he was still that fresh-faced, breakout star of Swingers and The Lost Word: Jurassic Park?), Vince Vaughn returned this week to host Saturday Night Live. That’s a lifetime between hosting gigs, and it struck me as curious that he’d gone so long between trips to Studio 8H.
Alas, unlike what we saw from Melissa McCarthy last week, a strong monologue ultimately didn’t translate into a laugh-laden show. Because after a strong, confident start, Vaughn lost the plot (was it the cue cards?) in a big, big way. Choosing only two »
- Michael Slezak
Last night on Late Night, Melissa McCarthy confessed she's a teeny bit "less freaked out" about her SNL gig on April 6, but she's still blushing over her cluelessness as to the cast and crew who might have seen her in just her underwear last time around. Plus: Elisabeth Moss recounted that strange chat with David Lynch in which he wouldn't stop calling her Peggy, and asking how Joan's holding up — even continuing the reverse Method act over a post-cocktail email. Also, Eva Longoria, after her stint at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, has learned that Washington D.C. is a lot sleazier and meaner than Hollywood; and Macklemore performed "Can't Hold Us." Watch our compilation to see what you missed. »
- Caroline Shin
TV Critics are just coming off two weeks at The Television Critics Association Press Tour, where all the networks present panels for their new shows, featuring Q&A's with the stars and creators. The content of these conversations has the power to turn critics into swoony-eyed lovers or fang-baring haters, so I postponed selecting my favorite new shows until I'd digested everything the powers that be had to say.
Related - 12 Best Shows of 2012
So take a gander at 2013's Six Best New Shows, and their trailers, to see what stood up to scrutiny and left this critic breathless for more.
The Americans, FX
While some shows simply feel like a network's attempt to rip off the success of another (I'm looking at you NBC's Deception, which puts the "eh" in Revenge), FX's The Americans will simply appeal to everyone who enjoys Homeland, while serving up an entirely original story.
Well, not entirely »
A new trailer for Graceland — which suggests that USA Network’s new summer series is an “overcast sky show” amid the cabler’s many “blue sky” offerings — does “a really good job of capturing the tone,” series creator Jeff Eastin said Monday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena. But is that tone in keeping with the USA brand?
Eastin first gave USA Network White Collar, which revolves around an FBI agent and the world-class con man who assists him. Graceland, meanwhile, concerns a beach house that serves as home base — and home– to an “all-star »
- Matt Webb Mitovich
18 items from 2013
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