17 items from 2015
A particularly hard type of film about which to write critically is the comedy of modest ambition that achieves its aim with an acceptable amount of appeal in playing, gags, plot, and outlook, but little more. One does not wish to criticize for not being more (not least as so many are so less), nor to overpraise its slight achievements, leaving one mostly in the territory of reportage, rather than critical appraisal. Which is a way of saying that such a film is Puerto Ricans in Paris, a perfectly inoffensive, oftentimes smile-raising fish-out-of-water/culture-clash comedy that does what it aims to do pretty much without fault.
The Puerto Ricans in question are Luis (Luis Guzmán) and Eddie (Edgar Garcia, like Guzmán, a regular on director Ian Edelman’s HBO series “How To Make It In America), and they play well together – Guzmán furrows his brow a lot, and Garcia is like a nice, »
- Tom Newth
Producers Stephen Levinson, Mark Wahlberg and Rob Weiss have hit upon an HBO formula that works: pick a high-powered industry, and then track a group of attractive people as they try to navigate through that world. "Entourage" has been their biggest success so far, though the recent big screen flop is an indication that their lightweight modus operandi doesn't have much in the way of substance or longevity. The fashion world set "How To Make It In America" was dropped after two seasons, which is a shame as the show included complex relationships and real struggle for its characters, though it was decidedly lacking with respect to the hot bods, hot cars and celebrity cameos common to "Entourage." It's those qualities that Levinson, Wahlberg, and Weiss return to in quantity with "Ballers," which is essentially "Entourage" in the world of sports, and this is surely no coincidence. There's at least one key difference that makes. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Producers Stephen Levinson, Mark Wahlberg, and Rob Weiss have hit upon an HBO formula that works: pick an industry, and then track a group of attractive people as they try to navigate through that world. "Entourage" has been their biggest success so far, though the recent big screen flop is an indication that their lightweight programming doesn't have much in the way of substance or longevity. The fashion world set "How To Make It In America" was dropped after two seasons, and it's a shame as it actually offered complex relationships and real struggle for its characters, though it was decidedly lacking in the kind of hot bods, hot cars, and celebrity cameos of "Entourage." And it's those qualities that Levinson, Wahlberg, and Weiss return to in quantity with "Ballers," which is essentially "Entourage" in the world of sports, and it wouldn't be a surprise if that was by design. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
They may be two of this season’s “It” showrunners, but Jill Soloway and Jennie Snyder Urman aren’t exactly overnight successes. They’ve both paid their dues with staff jobs (Soloway on “Six Feet Under,” Urman on “Gilmore Girls”) and showrunner gigs (Soloway on HBO’s “How to Make It in America,” Urman on the CW’s “Emily Owens, M.D.”). Soloway’s “Transparent” has put Amazon originals on the map, winning Golden Globes for best comedy and lead Jeffrey Tambor, while Urman’s “Jane the Virgin” earned CW its first Globe noms, and scored a win for breakout star Gina Rodriguez. In a wide-ranging conversation with Variety they discuss the challenges of binge-viewing vs. 22-episode seasons, blending comedy with drama, and Caitlyn Jenner.
When did you realize your show might work?
Urman: Right before the TCAs when all the critics watched it, before it started airing. I read those pre-reviews — “Oh my gosh, »
- Geoff Berkshire
After creating the HBO 2010 twentysomething series How to Make It in America, Ian Edelman soon turned his attention to feature films, making his directorial debut with Puerto Ricans In Paris, which he co-wrote with Neel Shah. Edelman’s America scribe partner Joseph Zolfo is also producing. The comedy revolves around brothers-in-law, Eddie (Edgar Garcia) and Luis (Luis Guzman), who are highly regarded counterfeit detectives dispatched to Paris to recover a stolen purse. Ros… »
Making its world premiere at the upcoming Los Angeles Film Festival next month - June 10 through June 18 - Luiz Guzmánm, Edgar Garcia, Rosario Dawson, Rosie Perez, Alice Taglioni, Miriam Shor, and Frederic Anscombre star in the dramedy "Puerto Ricans in Paris." Shot last year, the film (a USA/France/Czech Republic co-production) is directed by Ian Edelman (HBO’s "How to Make It in America"), with a story that follows 2 detectives working in NYPD’s Luxury Goods Recovery Unit, who are responsible for taking down bootleggers selling knockoff consumer items. The 2 cops are played not by Dawson and Perez (as some »
- Tambay A. Obenson
As it turns out, the ghastly ghoulies in the recent Poltergeist remake aren't the most terrifying things to come out of the TV and invade multiplexes this summer. That dubious honor goes to Entourage, the big-screen spinoff of HBO's most successful alpha-male bro-comedy (sorry, How to Make It in America), which arrives in theaters this Friday. It's been four years since Vince, Drama, Turtle, and E (don't forget E!) literally flew off into the premium-cable sunset, so the arrival of Entourage provokes almost as many questions as the final scene of The Sopranos did: Will Turtle become a successful restaurateur? Did Vince actually get married? Will He Make The Movie? Does Ari Gold still treat Lloyd like shit? Will Bobby Flay walk the Entourage red carpet? (Is Bobby still such a weird kisser?) Does Ari's wife actually have a first name? And again, Will Vinny Make The Movie Or Not? »
- Larry Fitzmaurice
When I profiled this project in February, some of you didn't think it was a real, actual film (I really don't know why - maybe because of the title?); but it very much is, and it will be making its world premiere at the upcoming Los Angeles Film Festival next month - June 10 through June 18. Rosario Dawson, Rosie Perez and Luiz Guzmán’ star in the comedy titled "Puerto Ricans in Paris" (I suppose the title may be inspired by the Kanye West/Jay-z 2011 hit "Niggas in Paris"?). Shot last year, the film (a USA/France/Czech Republic co-production) is directed by Ian Edelman (HBO’s "How to Make It in America"), with a »
- Tambay A. Obenson
The best thing about Wayward Pines, the new, short-run effort coming to Fox, is watching how it attempts to learn from the mistakes of similar shows that have come before.
From the less-than-stellar “remake” of The Prisoner with Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen, to the largely goofball Persons Unknown (which was, sort of, The Prisoner 2: The Group), and everything else in the “trapped in a town” genre, the story can’t work if the characters are empty plot devices.
Wayward Pines is a rare example of setting out with the tropes and traps of a genre in order to dodge the pitfalls inherent in telling a type of story that can never fully distance itself from the fact that it’s pretty goofy. The problem is that while the show clearly tries to look at what made other efforts fall apart, and do those things differently, it isn’t »
- Marc Eastman
Tom Savini’s Nightmare City remake has met its indiegogo goal, but you can still support it during its final campaign days to help provide the Umberto Lenzi-presented project with more resources. Also featured in our latest round-up is an excerpt from Scott Shoyer's zombie novel, Outbreak: The Hunger, as well as details on how you can watch the first episode of Fox's Wayward Pines ahead of its May 14th debut.
Tom Savini’s Nightmare City Remake: Tom Savini, the Godfather of Gore, is fittingly set to direct and supervise the special effects on the Monsta Worx remake of Umberto Lenzi's zombie movie, Nightmare City. Lenzi himself is associate producing and presenting the project, with shooting slated to begin late this year in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. In addition to his duties behind the camera, Savini is also attached to play a role in the film, along with »
- Derek Anderson
Michael Zegen, who played American gangster Benny “Bugsy” Siegel in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” will recur in a guest role on Showtime’s upcoming comedy series “Happyish,” Variety has learned. He will appear in at least two episodes.
Zegen’s other television credits include “The Walking Dead,” “Rescue Me,” “Girls” and “How to Make It in America.” He has appeared in the films “Frances Ha,” “Taking Woodstock,” “The Girl Next Door” and “Adventureland.”
“Happyish” is created, written and exec produced by Shalom Auslander, and stars Coogan, Kathryn Hahn and Bradley Whitford. Ken Kwapis directed the pilot and co-exec produces the show with Alexandra Beattie under their In Cahoots banner.
- Seth Kelley
Following the first trailer that debuted last month, Fox has released the second trailer for their highly anticipated event series Wayward Pines. We reported in December that the series will be released on May 14 in more than 125 countries around the world, making it the largest global launch ever for a scripted series. The mystery thriller was developed for television by Chad Hodge (The Playboy Club, Runaway) and executive-produced by Donald De Line (Green Lantern, The Italian Job), Ashwin Rajan (Devil), Hodge and M. Night Shyamalan, who directed the premiere episode.
The series stars Academy Award nominee Matt Dillon (Crash) as a Secret Service agent on a mission to find two missing federal agents in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID. One of the best Secret Service agents in the Seattle office, he's the man who knew missing agent Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino) better than anyone. They were more than »
Rosario Dawson, Rosie Perez and Luiz Guzmán’ star in a comedy set to be released this year (2015) titled "Puerto Ricans in Paris," (I suppose the title may be inspired by the Kanye West/Jay-z 2011 hit "Niggas in Paris"?). Shot last year, I actually only just learned about its existence over the weekend, with very little info available on it online. What I do know is that the film is directed by Ian Edelman (HBO’s "How to Make It in America"), with a story that follows 2 detectives working in NYPD’s Luxury Goods Recovery Unit, who are responsible for taking down bootleggers selling knockoff consumer items. The 2 cops are played not by »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Bessie will tell the story of the singer’s transformation from a struggling young singer into “The Empress of the Blues” responsible for the chart-topping hit, “Downhearted Blues.” The film will also touch on Smith’s personal trials, which reportedly included an affair with fellow blues singer, Ma Rainey, and bouts with drinking leading to the singer’s decline during the Great Depression.
Latifah, who earned an Oscar nomination for playing Mama Morton in 2002’s Chicago, will be joined by a star-studded cast, including Mo’Nique in her first major role since winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Precious. The actress will portray Rainey, who was a music icon in her own right.
An Original vamp is sinking his teeth into Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones.
Eka Darville — who recurred on the CW drama as Marcel’s bloodsucking buddy, Diego — has joined the Netflix original series as Jessica’s neighbor, Malcolm, Marvel has announced.
Malcolm’s own journey will intertwine with Jessica’s quest in a surprising way.
The actress will guest-star on the ABC drama as a woman who “develops an unhealthy obsession with a murder victim,” executive producer Matt Miller tells TVLine.
“It was an Nyu student who was taking a class in unusual psychology, and what happens is we go to talk to her teacher [and] realize the teacher was Hilarie Burton,” the Ep previews. “So Henry is »
Warning: This article contains spoilers that some readers may prefer to avoid.
Speaking to NJ.com, Wahlberg said he would be interested in hiring Martin Scorsese to direct.
He said: "My next goal now is to get the movie made and start talking to Martin Scorsese about directing it."
Scorsese directed the pilot episode of the series and acted as executive producer throughout its run.
When questioned about how the movie could be made given the death of main character Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) in the series' finale, Wahlberg answered: "We can always go back."
Listen to Mark Wahlberg's full interview below:
17 items from 2015
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