1-20 of 29 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
Broken cops, brutal period dramas and a very, very fast man. Here's Michael's take on 2014's television offerings...
If 2013, with its Walter Whites, Hannibal Lecters, Norman Bates and Frank Underwoods, was a year dominated by anti-heroes, then 2014 marked the point at which characters shifted slightly, very slightly, back to the straightforwardness of the law. It would take a sophisticated instrument to spot the difference, but if we are to train our microscopes on the leading dramatic figures of the year, we might start by looking at how damaged they are.
Moral ambiguity remained the order of the day but for the most part, it manifested itself as a response to pain rather than as late-blooming arrogance or inherent evil. Rust Cohle, the Louisiana cop who was one of this year’s most significant memetic breakout stars, was memorably described by his portrayer as "a man who had lived longer than he hoped". The story, »
Created by Peter S. Fischer
Produced by Universal TV
Aired on ABC for 1 season (7 episodes; 16 segments) from November 27, 1981 – January 15, 1982
James Coburn as the Host
Darkroom was a thriller anthology series, much in the vein of Night Gallery, where each story had an image to present before it began. The series was hosted by James Coburn, who introduced each story segment as a photographer in his darkroom, developing photographs and tales. The innovative aspect of this particular anthology series was that the story segments had free range to be as long or as short as the story needed to be, as long as the segments fit within the hour duration. Most episodes contained two stories, but at times there were three.
The tone of the stories presented on the series were mostly frightful tales, with grim twist endings that were enhanced with dark humor. The »
- Jean Pierre Diez
After watching Gomorrah moving to another Italian crime drama was something of a relief from the violent and dark world of the Mafia. Fog and Crimes: The Complete First Season is a more sedate trip into the world of a detective who doesn’t really go for the violent approach, but when he sets his sights on a case Soneri (Luca Barbareschi) never lets go.
Based on the novels by Valerio Varesi the first season of Fog and Crimes features four investigations that have more of a historical feel to them. Touching on not only the past of Italy the stories also focus on criminal pasts and dips into the life of Soneri himself as he fights to solve the crimes.
I will admit to not knowing much about Italian history, but watching Inspector De Luca I found that a good reference for the effect World War 2 had on the country. »
- Paul Metcalf
Director Steven Spielberg struck ratings gold with his 1971 Movie of the Week, Duel, and the film is still regarded today as one of the best TV movies ever made. It certainly jump-started his career which until that point consisted of him being a journeyman director for TV shows like Columbo and Night Gallery. Most people would be forgiven for thinking he moved straight from Duel to Jaws while others know that his big screen debut, The Sugarland Express, predates the shark movie by a year. But relatively few seem to realize he made a second TV movie in the early ’70s — about an innocent family and a house with demonic intentions — because for some reason it’s never before been released on any home video format. Paul and Marjorie Worden (Darren McGavin and Sandy Dennis) move out of New York City with their two kids in tow and buy a home in the countryside. She »
- Rob Hunter
There's a 97 percent chance your grandmother watched Murder, She Wrote. Columbo producers Peter S. Fischer, Richard Levinson, and William Link's Miss Marple redux designed the 1984 drama, which premiered 30 years ago this week, to comfort CBS's aging crowds, taking the mystery-of-the-week format and turning a sweet, keen, 58-year-old widow into a hero. It worked wonders. Angela Lansbury's cardigan-wearing supersleuth Jessica Fletcher walloped competitors, remaining in the Nielsen top 20 for 11 of its 12 seasons. Murder, She Wrote defines a bygone era of television, when 22-episode seasons were made to order. There's nothing “great” about the show in the way that M.A.S.H., Seinfeld, and Breaking Bad were great. Even the countless CSIs and NCIS spinoffs tether weekly episodes together with more narrative coherency, character arcs, and dramatic realism than any two successive installments of Murder, She Wrote. It's a grandma show. But it's the best grandma show. And »
- Matt Patches
The Columbo actor recalls being turned down by the CIA in a 1996 interview
In early 1996, technically to help promote the film Roommates, I got to drink whisky and talk Columbo with Peter Falk in a hotel bar in a chilly Paris (many are cold but few are frozen, Falk said). My key question was whether Columbo like Falk himself is supposed to be one-eyed. Or are his eyes crossed, or squinting from the sun? replied Falk with a beaming face. Or is his eye noticing the suspects teeth mark in the cheese? Your guess is as good as mine.
Falks earliest memory was eating an apple while in hospital to have a cancerous eye removed at three years old. They wouldnt take me in the navy because of my glass eye, he fast-forwarded. So I joined the merchant navy who allowed monocular crew, if you worked in the kitchens. Youre »
- John Hind
Don’t look for any lingering Matt Smith-isms when Peter Capaldi debuts as the well-traveled title character in the Season 8 premiere of BBC America’s Doctor Who (airing Saturday, Aug. 23 at 8/7c). Executive producer Steven Moffat said he and his new leading man deliberately avoided picking up tics and habits from the “Eleventh Doctor” as they fashioned a regenerated “No. 12.”
Co-star Jenna Coleman recalled filming her first few episodes opposite Capaldi and, in instances where she expected the Doctor to “dance or be running around the console, »
The actress died from heart attack complications at a health centre on Tuesday, reports have said.
Martel was best known for playing a prospective bride to Leonard Nimoy’s Spock in the Star Trek episode Amok Time, an episode well-remembered for giving fans a rare glimpse at Vulcan and featuring a full-on fight between Kirk and Spock.
Previously speaking of her time on the show, Martel said that “I was just so happy to be working and playing a part that was so challenging,” before »
Kevin Pollack does a really solid Peter Falk, if you were wondering. That comes in handy considering he's playing the titular Sharklumbo. For those of you who are fans of the sleuthing Columbo, Sharklumbo takes everyone's favorite detective and adds . . . well, a shark. I figure Shark Week is as good a time as any for this character to spread his fins. Is it a good or bad thing that this feels right at home on the SyFy network? Sharklumbo with Gina Gershon and Kevin Pollak from Funny Or Die »
- Sean Wist
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Michelle Presle, Salvo Randone, Cristina Gaioni, Andrea Checchi, Francesco Grandjacquet, Marco Mariani, Franco Ressel | Written by Elio Petri, Tonino Guerra | Directed by Elio Petri
When I think of the Italian film industry I often think of horror and the so-called Spaghetti Westerns but in fact the industry is bigger and far more impressive than that. In the sixties there was a golden era of film making, true to form Arrow Films under its Arrow Academy banner have released one of the most noteworthy movies of that time withL’Assassino.
L’Assassino is the tale of Alfredo Martelli (Mastroianni) a playboy antiques dealer arrested under suspicion of murder of his older lover Adalgisa (Presle). Protesting his innocence to the police his please fall on deaf ears as they increase the pressure on him to confess, convinced without a shadow of a doubt that he is the killer.
- Paul Metcalf
Hulk recently smashed Twitter, or at least his punier human half Mark Ruffalo did. The Avengers actor confirmed that he was in the early stages of developing a big-screen reboot of TV's most beloved detective, although the #RuffaloColumbo kerfuffle may yet turn out to be one of those superheated social media storms that flares up and is then immediately forgotten.
At the very least, #RuffaloColumbo has reminded the wider world how much it used to love Columbo. After the late Peter Falk's magnificent, sublimely modulated performances in 69 feature-length episodes, from the gritty 1970s through to the garish 1990s, it feels almost disrespectful to imagine anyone else in the rumpled raincoat. But the last ever Falk episode co-starring a fresh-faced Matthew Rhys from The Americans, »
- Graeme Virtue
He embraced the big green angry one for The Avengers franchise, but it appears Mark Ruffalo has his sights on a lower key character for the future. Taking to Twitter, he has addressed rumours about a forthcoming Columbo movie with a decidedly non-non-committal response:
@MysteryExec @garywhitta Ed Soloman approached me on this about a month ago. We are thinking a movie.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) July 16, 2014
Though he’s shown a lack of detective work in the spelling of screenwriter Ed Solomon (who wrote Now You See Me featuring Ruffalo), the prospect of the legendary shambolic snoop being resurrected with a respected name is a bewildering yet enticing one. Forever associated with the late Peter Falk, the franchise has been routinely prodded with a stick over the past decade since ending in 2003. The A-Team star Dirk Benedict recently took the part in a stage production of 1962′s introductory play Prescription Murder »
- Steve Palace
@garywhitta That's an idea. Ed Solomon pitched the movie idea to me about a month ago. Does universal have an appetite for it is the ?.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) July 16, 2014
The topic caught the attention of fans, who began mocking up posters of the actor as Columbo.
.@garywhitta @ManMadeMoon @MarkRuffalo just one more thing.. pic.twitter.com/kN0Mc9ym6V
— Liam Brazier (@liambrazier) July 15, 2014
Falk portrayed the detective on TV from 1971-2003.
He was famously told prior to his big break that he would never get work due to his glass eye.
Falk died in 2011 at the age of 83.
What happened next spilled out across several social media accounts and involved comments from Ruffalo himself. Essentially "Men In Black" and "Now You See Me" screenwriter Ed Solomon approached Ruffalo about a month ago about the idea of a cinematic reboot of Peter Falk's iconic TV detective which would star the actor.
Nothing has progressed beyond that though, aside from the public at large finding out about it and so far the reaction has been almost universally positive.
The original American detective mystery series is often considered one of the greatest small screen works of the genre. Sixty-nine episodes were ultimately produced and followed the friendly, »
- Garth Franklin
This is not quite a rumour, because there are comments from the stars involved, but it is also not quite news, because it is a mere whisper in the wind right now. Still, since this is a project that every right-thinking human being would like to see happen, we're going to go ahead and report that Mark Ruffalo is discussing the prospect of a Columbo movie with his Now You See Me screenwriter Ed Solomon right now, and if Hollywood has any sense they will greenlight this sucker at once.There's even been twitter chat about Duncan Jones directing it, presumably as R&R following the huge scale of Warcraft, which makes it even juicier a prospect, as if extra juiciness were needed. Although, again, we must stress that this is just some guys tweeting and not even remotely in the same country as an actual commitment / greenlight / production.The once and future Hulk is, »
Actor currently starring in musical comedy Begin Again welcomes suggestions on Twitter that he'd be a good fit to star in movie version of the much-loved detective TV show
It is not quite yet the story of how a major Hollywood movie was born on Twitter. But thanks to a flurry of tweets this week, the world now knows that Mark Ruffalo is keen on playing Columbo in a big-screen revival for the famously taciturn detective. And Twitter itself is even more determined to see it happen.
This exercise in the power of social media began when Gary Whitta, the English screenwriter of The Book of Eli and After Earth, tweeted his confusion that a Ruffalo-starring Columbo film was not already in production. "How is this not a thing?" he asked of The Avengers actor, who bears some resemblance to the star of the long-running TV series, Peter Falk, and »
- Ben Child
In this day and age of sequels and reboots, it's sometimes surprising that a property hasn't been revisited yet. One of them is the hit TV series Columbo, which ran in various incarnations between 1971 and 2003, starring Peter Falk as the brash L.A.P.D. homicide detective with brilliant deductive skills. While a movie reboot isn't officially happening, it may have gotten a big push forward by screenwriter Gary Whitta (After Earth), who sent out a series of tweets earlier this week, suggesting that he wants to see Mark Ruffalo as the new Columbo.
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) July 15, 2014
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) July 15, 2014
Look at this man, how is »
Twitter has already given the Internet countless surprise gifts, but organization during crucial political protests and viral videos have nothing on this news: Screenwriter Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, an upcoming Star Wars spin-off) may have just willed a Columbo reboot starring Mark Ruffalo into existence simply by tweeting about it. Whitta had been tweeting about how Ruffalo would make for a great new Columbo were anyone to reboot the '70s and '90s series starring Peter Falk as a Lapd homicide detective always racing the clock to prove how a murderer pulled off their crime. It basically started as fan-casting, then Whitta roped in Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones suggesting that he direct the new show, obviously with Whitta writing. That then spun off into...
- Peter Hall
Well, here’s a fun and unexpected bit of casting buzz that actually seems to make a lot of sense to us. The TV detective series Columbo ran for quite a large amount of time, starting out in the ’60s and continuing sporadically up until 2003, with the late Peter Falk in the lead role of the disheveled, affable and wordy detective, who discreetly ran circles around the crooks he was chasing while making them underestimate him with his ostensible absentmindedness. Now, we’re hearing that a Columbo movie may be coming down the pipeline, with an intriguing actor primed to take the lead role – Mark Ruffalo.
Before we go any further, this could turn out to be empty rumblings, but some very interesting tweets went out yesterday between screenwriter Gary Whitta (currently hard at work on a Star Wars spinoff), a user known as “Mystery Executive” and Ruffalo:
Oh hey, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Now here’s an odd pairing that somehow makes a lot of sense. The TV series Columbo ran sporadically for a period between 1968 and 2003, amounting to a number of mystery specials that were lead by Peter Falk as the titular disheveled yet highly gifted detective. The mystery series was beloved for its affable lead and engaging whodunits, and now it may be resurrected with a rather curious choice to take over for Falk: Mark Ruffalo. Screenwriter Gary Whitta, who is currently working on an unspecified Star Wars spinoff, got to joking on Twitter yesterday about the prospect of Ruffalo leading a rebooted Columbo. Much to everyone’s surprise, Ruffalo responded and revealed that he’s actually be approached about starring in a genuine Columbo movie. More after the jump. [Update: Unfortunately, Ruffalo has now learned that Universal owns the rights to Columbo. More below.] The Twitter exchange that lead to this fun bit of news went as follows: Oh hey, @MarkRuffalo and I are both repped by UTA. »
- Adam Chitwood
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