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There was a time when two veteran straight actors such as John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, taking on the roles of a gay couple and their subsequent travails at married life would have been the tabloid equivalent of shock and awe. It still might raise some eyebrows, but Ira Sachs’ Love Is Strange is a testimony to societal progress in terms of storytelling. Now it will face the box office as the Specialty title platforms this weekend via Sony Classics. A real-life gay marriage takes the spotlight this weekend courtesy of Starz Media doc To Be Takei about the multi-faceted actor/activist and social media talent who is best known for playing Hikaru Sulu in TV’s original Star Trek. It will be joined by Millennium Entertainment’s Are You Here with Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler which will open day and date by Mad Men writer Matthew Weiner. »
- Brian Brooks
When it comes to analyzing awards, the Emmys are the hardest to gauge. The Academy Awards have the luxury of looking to Guild Awards or BAFTAs, which share a voting body with the Academy, but the Emmys noms are determined by a panel of unknown—and unpredictable—judges, before going to the voting body. Still, Variety’s Debra Birnbaum and Jenelle Riley take their best guess at who will bring home the gold Monday night.
Supporting Actor in a Drama
Jenelle: In a category of stellar turns, it’s really a three-man race between previous winners Aaron Paul for the final season of “Breaking Bad,” and Peter Dinklage for “Game of Thrones” and three-time Emmy nominee Jon Voight of “Ray Donovan.” Dinklage submitted a showy episode where he gets a great speech, demanding a trial by combat. Voight is beloved and considered the best thing about the Showtime drama. Still, »
- Debra Birnbaum and Jenelle Riley
Two of TV’s favorite leading ladies are teaming up to star in indie Queen of Earth. Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery will join Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss in the film, which is being directed by Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip). Perry wrote and will direct the psychological thriller, which centers on two women (Moss and Dockery) who retreat to a beach house to get a break from the pressures of the outside world. Although they grew up as best friends, they soon realize how disconnected from each other they have become, allowing their suspicions to bleed into reality.
- Rebecca Ford
IFC Midnight’s upcoming thriller The Pact 2 will be released on VOD on September 5th and in theatres October 10th, and to further whet your appetites, they've released an expanded synopsis plus a second still from the film.
The stunning sequel to Nicholas McCarthy’s recent horror classic The Pact ups the ante on terror when a series of brutal murders lead authorities to believe the Judas killer is back and Annie (Caity Lotz; The Pact, "Arrow," "Mad Men") returns home for the final showdown.
Directed by Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath, the film also stars Camilla Luddington ("Grey's Anatomy"), Scott Michael Foster ("Halt and Catch Fire," "Greek"), journeyman Patrick Fischler (2 Guns, "Mad Men," "Californication"), and Haley Hudson (The Pact).
- Debi Moore
As a huge fan of Matthew Weiner's Mad Men, I've been eagerly anticipating his feature film debut, and so was disappointed to hear about the negative critical reaction to You Are Here when it debuted at the Toronto film festival last fall. Weiner has since indicated that the film was unfinished. He edited it further, reshaping the material, and the refashioned project has been dubbed Are You Here (no question mark), which makes no particular sense. Without having seen the first version, I can't comment on the changes, but I can describe the new version as a movie that plays as though it's a work in progress ... that makes no particular sense. Owen Wilson stars as Steve Dallas, a TV weatherman in Annapolis, Maryland....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Charm is a relatively scarce commodity among this year’s new comedies, and “A to Z” has it. A slightly cryptic narration says the show will follow Andrew and Zelda (get it?) and offer “the comprehensive account of their relationship.” Perhaps appropriately, “How I Met Your Mother’s” Cristin Milioti stars opposite Ben Feldman, since this feels — based on first impressions — like the logical heir to that just-departed sitcom in terms of intersplicing unabashed romance, whimsy and the smallest of mysteries into a promising package.
Said mystery resides in the aforementioned narration (delivered by Katey Sagal), which foretells that the duo will date for a little less than nine months. But there are, obviously, a lot of things a couple can do after that length of time, among them “M” (marry) or “B” (break up).
For Andrew (providing “Mad Men” alum Feldman a slightly less neurotic character), who works at an online dating site, »
- Brian Lowry
Because it's NBC's turn to air the Primetime Emmy Awards this year, and because the Peacock would understandably rather air its lucrative Sunday night NFL package in September, the ceremony will take place in late August again. And as an added wrinkle, this year's ceremony will actually happen on a Monday, August 25 at 8 p.m., with Seth Meyers hosting. Between now and then, Dan and I will be making our picks for both who should and will win many of the major categories — if you're wagering, keep in mind that Dan tends to be much better at predicting the winners than I am, but also that he was just as flummoxed as I by last year's winners like Jeff Daniels, Merritt Wever and Bobby Cannavale — continuing with our look at the comedy and drama lead actor categories. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Louis C.K., "Louie" Don Cheadle, "House of Lies" Ricky Gervais, »
- Alan Sepinwall
For seven years, Mad Men used to command an entire floor of L.A. Center Studios, but when I went there on Tuesday to interview Matt Weiner, that once-bustling second floor was now a ghostly, quiet place populated by four people: Weiner, his assistant, and two people heading toward the elevator with packed-up boxes and discarded desk chairs. Mementos from Mad Men could still be seen in places — the show's Sterling Cooper sign plate even graces the door to Weiner's office — but now that filming on the AMC advertising drama has wrapped and the final episode's early 2015 air date is set, Mad Men has been ceding its formidable floor space to a new era of television hopefuls. "The Tyra Banks pilot was just here," Weiner said with a grin, ushering me in.The end of Mad Men was weighing heavily on his mind, but Weiner also has a big-screen »
- Kyle Buchanan
If Matthew Weiner‘s name wasn’t on Are You Here, you never would’ve guessed this movie came from the mind behind Mad Men. The focus, power, subtlety and charms of his AMC drama are nowhere to be found in his feature directorial debut. The staggering drop in quality is disappointing, but worse than that, even on its own terms, Are You Here is a notable misfire. Are We Here is about two seemingly different friends, Steve (Owen Wilson) and Ben (Zach Galifianakis), and how the death of Ben’s father challenges and enriches their friendship and those around them. Ben — who is considered a failure by his family — inherits most of his father’s money, which he was left to clean up his act. This delights the selfish and greedy Steve, while disappointing Ben’s sister, Terri (Amy Poehler). She had plans for her father’s shop, land and money. Since »
- Jack Giroux
"Are You Here" writer and director Matthew Weiner spent the last two decades in television, in which he was instrumental in bringing not one but two of the most popular and important TV shows of the era, "The Sopranos" and "Mad Men" to the small screen. Once production wrapped on HBO's acclaimed mob series, Weiner started work on a '60s-era drama centered on New York's most prestigious ad agencies, "Mad Men," ultimately winning seven Emmys in as many years. Now, with the latter almost in his rear-view, he turns his attention to the big screen.
As Weiner told Moviefone, he's concerned with storytelling and less focused on the medium, be it television, film, or theater. With that attitude, it should come as no surprise that the USC Film School alum makes his directorial feature debut this summer. His new movie, "Are You Here," stars Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, and »
- Jonny Black
Rich Sommer has mad love for his Mad Men costar Vincent Kartheiser and new wife Alexis Bledel. Speaking with Us Weekly at an Aug. 19 screening of Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner's new movie, Are You Here, Sommer, 36, raved about what a good couple the newlyweds are. "She's lovely, and I can truly say that Vinny is night and day — he's a different person since they first started hanging out," the actor told Us of the stars, who tied the knot in June. Of the [...] »
Doctors and nurses have been engaged in soapy doings since broadcasting’s infancy, but seldom in a package quite as tantalizing as “Breathless.” Set in the early ‘60s, this three-part “Masterpiece” production obviously shares certain qualities with “Mad Men,” but quickly establishes its own spin on the era replete with a web of interlocking relationships. Built around a dashing gynecologist who performs illegal abortions, the project feels timely and provocative, but can just as easily be savored strictly for its “Peyton Place”-like attributes. For those needing a fix of sumptuous British period drama until “Downton Abbey” docks, “Breathless” is a breath of fresh air.
The producers won half the battle by casting Jack Davenport (closer to “Swingtown,” happily, than his “Smash” ordeal) as Dr. Otto Powell, who appears to saunter through life with nary a care despite breaking the law to assist women with terminating unwanted pregnancies. Assured and self-confident, »
- Brian Lowry
This weekend, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez throw another punch in "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For," the hard-boiled sequel starring Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Josh Brolin, and many more; HBO's "True Blood" wraps up its final season Sunday night after a seven-year run; the 31st MTV Video Music Awards airs live Sunday, with performances by Iggy Azalea, Taylor Swift, and others; and Seth Meyers hosts the 66th annual Emmy Awards Monday night on NBC.
Also in theaters this weekend: "If I Stay" stars Chloe Grace Moretz as a talented young musician whose life changes in an instant after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide how to proceed with her drastically different life. "When the Game Stands Tall" tells the story of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took De La Salle High School from obscurity to a record-shattering 151-game winning streak. »
- Jonny Black
To avoid a conflict with Sunday Night Football, NBC moved the 2014 Emmy Awards telecast up a month, to August 25. But in swerving clear of the football juggernaut, the Emmys steered right into the lane of the landmark cultural occasion of late August: the MTV VMAs, scheduled for one day prior. It got us thinking: What if we took things to their logical conclusion and handed MTV control of the Emmys, as well? Using categories from both the VMAs and their summertime counterpart, the MTV Movie Awards, we've imagined what would happen if the cable network was in charge of handing »
- Nate Jones, @kn8
After only two months, Zac Efron and Michelle Rodriguez throw in the towel. [Us Weekly] Emma Stone will make her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles in Cabaret this November. [Roundabout Theatre] Lindsay Lohan’s credit card was declined at a Southampton nightclub. [Gossip Girl] Gwyneth Paltrow gives her “conscious uncoupling” pitch to Beyoncé. [Hollywood Life] Despite a recent cover story, George Clooney and fiance Amal Alamuddin aren’t expecting. [Gossip Cop]
[Photo Credit: Life & Style]
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner weighs in on the series finale. [Just Jared] Get a peak of Tom Hardy and his massive beard in BBC’s crime drama Peaky Blinders. [Short List] Melissa Joan Hart makes a departure from her Sabrina days with red hair. [Huffington Post] Are Kate Gosselin and Steve Neild dating again? [Thg]
[Photo Credit: Getty Images] »
- Taylor Ferber
Beneath the streets of Paris lies a vast network of tunnels just waiting to be exploited by an enterprising found-footage film crew. Imagine the excitement of the rolling-boulder opening scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” stretched to feature length, then subtract such vital ingredients as John Williams’ pulse-elevating score, Douglas Slocombe’s visceral cinematography and Harrison Ford’s wry charisma, and you get “As Above, So Below,” in which a Lara Croft-like heroine assembles a team of expendable “cataphiles” (as catacomb obsessives call themselves) to locate the Philosopher’s Stone. It all makes for clumsy-fun escapism, not bad as end-of-summer chillers go, but small-time compared with other Legendary releases.
Returning to the faux-doc format they helped innovate in such pics as “The Poughkeepsie Tapes” and “Quarantine,” the Dowdle brothers, John Erick (who directs) and Drew (his fellow producer), are by now experts at creating suspense within narrow confines. Their previous feature, »
- Peter Debruge
The Gersh Agency has booked production designer Jade Healy (pictured left) (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”) on David Lowery’s “Pete’s Dragon” at Disney, shooting in New Zealand; and producer Sean Ryerson (“Covert Affairs”) on NBC series “Hannibal.” Agency also booked producer Brad Van Arragon (“If I Stay”) on season 3 of CTV/ABC series “Motive” and editor Sidney Wolinsky (“The Strain”) on Starz series “Power.”
Cec has booked editors Chris A. Peterson (CNN’s “The Sixties: The Assassination of President Kennedy”) on Syfy series “12 Monkeys” and Dane McMaster (“We Are Men”) on AMC pilot “We Hate Paul Revere.” Agency also booked editors Marnee Meyer (“The Americans”) and Craig Cobb (“Bored to Death”) on ABC comedy series “Manhattan Love Story.”
- Peter Caranicas
One of the most awarded and acclaimed series in TV history, Mad Men goes into this year's primetime Emmy telecast on the heals of a two-year losing streak. The AMC and Lionsgate Television series, which won best drama four years in a row, was completely shut out in 2012 and 2013 — despite a slew of nominations. This year sees that number of races down significantly. It still vies for best drama (against incumbent and network neighbor Breaking Bad), and both Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks are again nominated in their respective acting categories, but that's it. None of the
- Michael O'Connell
Video Walking Dead First Look: The Carol-Tyreese Horror You Didn’t See!
“This is a show about invention, experimentation and the inherent risks in trying to break new ground — themes that really resonate with us as a network and attracted a passionate audience,” AMC president Charlie Collier said in a statement. “We have a history of demonstrating patience through the early seasons of new shows, betting on talent and building audience over time. We see »
Matthew Weiner has admittedly nabbed more than his fair share of souvenirs from the Mad Men set. "Oh my God, I took too much home from the set. I would have taken everything!" the showrunner told Esquire of his post-production keepsakes. "It's my favorite period. I had emotional attachments to everything. One of the specifics — I took Don's Clio, the one he broke upon his desk. I have to admit, I took something from almost everybody's set. I took Roger's bar. Roger's bar is the happiest bar on the show, so I always thought that would be nice."
- Ashley Lee
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