17 items from 2014
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Do you enjoy watching beautiful people cry about their problems? Clear some space on your DVR and put the next few episodes of House of Cards on the back burner. You’ve got some serious binge-watching to do.
High school is hard for anyone, and yet television is the one place that can make us feel lucky we don’t have the weight of the world, old-money familial expectations or supernatural super powers on our shoulders. The last 25 years have seen highly addicting soap operas for the teenage set–as dangerous to one’s mental health as Jessie Spano’s caffeine pills. These shows are usually delivered in prime-time, with accompanying soundtracks to deepen your connection, and then-unknown guest stars whose eventual stardom will justify those past viewing decisions.
We were captivated by their lives, hurt when they hurt and meticulously kept track of the various pregnancies, »
- Emily Exton
If Edgar Wright had sex with an episode of Gilmore Girls and the happy couple gave birth to a child who was repeatedly dropped on its head during its formative years, that offspring just might grow up to become the new Stephen Sommers film, Odd Thomas. Please, allow me to explain. Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) is a fry cook in the small Southwestern town of Pico Mundo, but while he likes to keep his life simple and free of clutter like motor vehicles, 401k accounts, and premarital sex, he actually has a fairly complicated secret. He sees dead people. That should be enough for any man, but on occasion Odd also sees fibrous phantoms he calls bodachs that appear in anticipation of pain, suffering, and bloodletting. He starts seeing swarms of them around town, and soon Odd’s investigating a stranger he fears may be planning a devastating attack on his friends and neighbors. Odd »
- Rob Hunter
It may have been hard out there when Terrence Howard was a pimp, but the actor is having an easy time finding work these days. He had a busy 2013, appearing in no fewer than six films, including The Best Man Holiday and Prisoners. However, it was Howard’s brief stint in the all-star cast for Lee Daniels’ The Butler that brought him the biggest audience and the connection to what may be a major role on the small screen.
The actor is now set to star in a pilot of the hip hop drama Empire for Fox, which Lee Daniels will direct. Daniels will also co-write the pilot with his Butler screenwriter Danny Strong. On Empire, Howard will play Lucious Lyon, a rap record company executive. Lyon is “charismatic, tough, wise and a superstar in the music industry who oversees Empire Entertainment and is about to take the company public, »
- Jordan Adler
Though it hasn't been on the air particularly long (or has it always been on the air, as time is a flat circle?), True Detective has become the favorite show of a certain segment of Twitter. And it all came to a head yesterday in the form of the #TrueDetectiveSeason2 hashtag. It's pretty simple: pair the hashtag with a photo of an aspirational, unlikely, or completely bonkers duo. They don’t have to be adults or even human — just undeniably true. Here are some of our favorites, from the Gilmore Girls to Mary Kate and Ashley. »
- Lindsey Weber,Jesse David Fox
Xbox Entertainment Studios has recently show a flurry of activity, and its latest transaction brings a new high-level executive into the fold. Microsoft's upstart digital production wing has snapped up Jordan Levin, the former CEO of the WB Network, hiring him to be the company's executive Vice President. As Evp, Levin will report to Nancy Tellem, whom he worked with back in the 90s at the WB. It was during that time that Levin oversaw the production of several hit shows, including Dawson’s Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gilmore Girls. At Xbox Studios, he will head the development of the studio's upcoming original series. “Jordan Levin offers a unique blend of traditional media experience, technical knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit that sets him apart from others in the industry,” said Tellem. “I am thrilled to welcome him to the Xbox Entertainment Studios team as we continue to build our portfolio of premium TV experiences. »
- Sam Gutelle
Microsoft announced Tuesday that it has named Jordan Levin executive vp at Xbox Entertainment Studios. Levin will report to president Nancy Tellem and will lead the creative team responsible for developing scripted and unscripted original content for the game console and other devices. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed last week reports that Levin was in talks for the position. Levin was formerly CEO of WB Network, where he oversaw 1990s hits such as Dawson's Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gilmore Girls. He also co-founded and served as CEO of Generate, a digital media company acquired by Alloy Digital in
- Natalie Jarvey
Katherine Heigl, formerly of Grey’s Anatomy, formerly of Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen‘s good graces, formerly of a slew of successful romantic comedies and currently of a Nyquil commercial and some truly unfortunate casting choices, has a new film on the way. Called Jenny’s Wedding, Heigl stars as a lesbian who has been hiding her sexuality from her family for years, until she decides to take the next step in her relationship with her longtime girlfriend, Kitty, played by Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls, Mad Men). The news of Jenny’s impending nuptials is enough to tear her family apart, especially since they’re small-town conservatives who have believed up until this point that their daughter’s girlfriend is her roommate. Sounds like a cute little wedding flick that plays right into Heigl’s repertoire. Here’s the kicker. The film is up on Indiegogo to the tune of raising $150,000 to cover post-production costs. Despite »
- Samantha Wilson
While actress Melissa McCarthy was known to many for her supporting turn as Sookie on Gilmore Girls, her role in the 2011 movie Bridesmaids garnered her a new set of fans, as she followed it up with roles in This Is 40 and The Heat. Her newest feature, however, is notable for seeing her make her feature film screenwriting debut, as she co-wrote the script with Ben Falcone. Titled Tammy, Falcone also takes the directorial reins on the project, while McCarthy stars alongside Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, Allison Janney, Gary Cole, Toni Collette, and Kathy Bates. The first trailer for the film has now been released, and can be seen below.
- Deepayan Sengupta
This week, Scream Factory gave all those Kevin Tenney fans out there what they’ve been waiting for by the way of stellar presentations of two of his beloved cult classics on Blu-ray: Witchboard and Night of the Demons. Once again, Scream Factory did a wonderful job of shining the spotlight on two more great horror films that many of us grew up enjoying.
Review: Witchboard Blu-ray
Witchboard, a movie I last saw back in the 90’s when it was still only available on VHS, isn’t by any means the scariest work from Tenney’s career, but there’s a lot to admire about his oddball supernatural story where a super-sexy Tawny Kitaen gets a little too handsy with her friend’s Ouija board.
The story begins when Brandon Sinclair (Stephen Nichols) trots out his trusty ol’ Ouija (pronounced wee-jaa as Brandon so fondly likes to correct people) board »
- Heather Wixson
In this new featurette, actor Christian Kane talks about his character (Mark Allen) in the upcoming 50 To 1. Based on Mine That Bird, the underdog racehorse that won the 2009 Kentucky Derby, the film opens in theaters March 21, 2014.
Two songs from Kane’s The House Rules (2010) album – “Something’s Gotta’ Give” and “Whiskey in Mind” – are featured in the 50 To 1 soundtrack.
The cast and filmmakers of 50 To 1 will hit the road rock-star style on a cross-country tour beginning March 17 to promote the major motion picture’s release.
Cast members set for the tour are Skeet Ulrich, Christian Kane, Todd Lowe and Hugo Perez.Also on tour will be filmmakers Jim Wilson and Faith Conroy. As a very special treat – the real Mine That Bird will make special appearances along the way.
Email your request to:
Include in the subject line:
50 to 1 Movie Tour – First and Last Name, Town, »
- Michelle McCue
Melissa McCarthy will do anything for a laugh.
Fans have known that since Bridesmaids (or, really, Gilmore Girls), and over the past few years she’s become a box-office star who is known for her intense, all-in characters that dominate both the screen and the discussion following the movie. So it was no surprise she’s been a reliably great SNL host the previous two times she hosted, and last night was no exception. If the episode as a whole felt underwhelming, it was only because expectations were sky-high — and laughs-wise, there was an emotional goodbye full of favorite friends to contend with as well. »
- Erin Strecker
[Spoilers from Tuesday's The Mindy Project]
Mindy Kaling loves a good romantic comedy, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that Mindy Project’s winter finale last night culminated in a perfect rom-com moment: Danny kissed Mindy! And it was a longggg one! On a plane! After helping her try to win Cliff back!
I don’t know how I’m going to be able to wait until April to see what happens next. (Is Cliff going to be at the airport? Will Danny want a relationship? Omg what is Morgan going to say!?) Side note: Between this and her meeting with Ginsberg from Mad »
- Erin Strecker
Comedy is one of the longest-running genres in cinema, producing numerous screen legends from The Marx Brothers to Madeline Kahn, as well as numerous classics, from The Gold Rush to Hot Fuzz. Fans of the genre thus look forward every year to the new crop of films, eager to see what they may bring, and this year is no different. Here are ten comedic features we’re looking forward to seeing in 2014, in alphabetical order.
1) Bad Words
Much of Jason Bateman’s career resurrection has centred around his ability to successfully play the comic foil. While his ability to do is deservedly lauded, as shows like Arrested Development would not work without his presence, it often leads to the actor garnering the less colourful roles in any given project, ending up as more of a reactive presence. Bad Words, however, seems poised to put Bateman on the other side, »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Released today is the first official picture from Melissa McCarthy road movie Tammy; in which McCarthy plays the titular character desperate to get out of town fast but having to rely on her Grandma, played by Susan Sarandon, for a ride.
We won’t lie; we’re a bit dubious about this project. Melissa McCarthy is a great comedian and actress and we’ve loved her since her days as kooky Suki in Gilmore Girls. In Kristen Wiig’s Bridesmaids she stood out as one-to-watch but since then her film choices have been disappointing with neither The Heat or Identity Thief impressing critics. McCarthy also stars in CBS’ Mike and Molly which, coming from The Big Bang Theory writer Chuck Lorre really should be a higher quality than it is.
However, our hopes remain high thanks to the cast list which really has pulled in some heavyweights. Aside from Susan Sarandon »
- Victoria Bull
As Netflix forges ahead with its annual purge of available streaming titles, which saw a handful of TV shows and movies expire from the service on Jan. 1, a crop of new additions are taking their place. And while we suppose someone is excited about Seasons 5-8 of "Dexter" and the entire series run of "Murder, She Wrote," there's still a mess of programming that we'd love to see get added to streaming service.
1. "Beverly Hills, 90210"
With the death of SOAPnet, how else will be get our fix of Brandon, Brenda and the like? Season 1 may be available on competitor Amazon Prime, but that's it. We need all 10 seasons at our fingertips, stat.
2. "Gilmore Girls"
Would you believe there is nowhere online to stream this WB gem? We demand easy access to Stars Hollow and its quirky inhabitants, and we demand it now.
Nine seasons of the Domestic Goddess and »
Check out the first trailer and poster for the upcoming movie 50 To 1 - based on Mine That Bird, the underdog racehorse that won the 2009 Kentucky Derby. The film opens in theaters March 21, 2014.
50 To 1 is about a misfit group of New Mexico cowboys who find themselves on the journey of a lifetime when their crooked-footed racehorse qualifies for the Kentucky Derby. The cowboys face a series of mishaps on their way to Churchill Downs, becoming the ultimate underdogs in a final showdown with the world’s racing elite.
Skeet Ulrich (Jericho, “Scream,” “As Good As It Gets”), Christian Kane (Leverage), William Devane (24, “The Dark Knight Rises”), Todd Lowe (True Blood, Gilmore Girls) and newcomer Madelyn Deutch star in the film alongside real-life jockey Calvin Borel, »
- Melissa Thompson
Note: Three episodes (5×01, 5×02, 5×03) were watched for review. The season premiere airs January 2nd at 8pm/7pm Central with two back to back episodes.
There’s a common fear that most loyal television viewers have for long-running television series, that if the showrunner who created the original series departs, that the voice of the show, the thing that keeps driving it, keeps people coming back, will be gone. It’s a legitimate fear, one that can be assuaged by looking into the past at shows like, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, shows that I never personally watched but discovered that critics and viewers felt detached from afterwards. The problem is these were shows that were so defined by the voice of their creators that when they departed, the show became empty. One show that had to get its sea legs for a while was Supernatural. After Eric Kripke left, the show was still impactful, »
- Nathan Smith
17 items from 2014
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