The Work of David Fincher: HOUSE OF CARDS and the Director’s Future

by     Posted 11 hours ago

house-of-cards-david-fincher

[With the upcoming release of his new film Gone Girl, I’m taking a look back at the work of director David Fincher.  These articles contain spoilers.]

“I want to see everybody as unhappy as me,” Fincher says jokingly in the making of documentary for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  For most of his filmography, Fincher has given us cynicism we can understand but as a way of peeking behind the corner to show us some darkness.  Cynicism perseveres because it’s surrounded by what’s seemingly positive.  With House of Cards, Fincher held our hands and we jumped into a world we already knew was wretched, awful, and rotten: Washington politics.  The challenge wasn’t to make audiences detest politicians; the challenge was making it so damned delectable.

Fincher never stopped making commercials or music videos even when his career as a filmmaker took off.  He moved to television with House of Cards but in the 21st century model created by Netflix, and only as something he helped launch as Beau Willimon worked as showrunner.  So other than all being as unhappy as him, what does the future hold for David Fincher?

Watch the AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW Opening Credits

by     Posted 12 hours ago

american-horror-story-opening-credits-video

The American Horror Story: Freak Show opening credits have arrived, and they just might be the best ones yet.  This season of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck’s horror anthology series takes place in 1950s Florida and revolves around a traveling freak show overseen by Jessica Lange.  As Perri pointed out with regards to yesterday’s clown-infused trailer, this season appears to be brimming with vibrant imagery, and these opening titles are no different.  They’re done almost completely in an animation style that is likely computer generated but made to look like stop-motion, and the music is a playful twist on the AHS theme.  There are a number of oddities and creatures to be found, and as with every season of AHS, these titles are surely filled with plenty of hints with regards to where the season may be going.

Watch the American Horror Story: Freak Show main titles after the jump, and sound off in the comments with any hints and teases you think you’ve found.  The fourth season also stars Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Michael Chiklis, Evan PetersAngela BassetEmma RobertsDenis O’HareFrances ConroyPatti LaBelleFinn WittrockNaomi Grossman, Wes Bently, and John Caroll Lynch.  American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres on FX on October 8th.

Tuesday TV Ratings: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Falls to Series Low; SELFIE Falters in Debut

by     Posted 12 hours ago

ratings-agents-of-shield-selfie

TV ratings for Tuesday, September 30th are in.  Here’s a brief look at the highlights:

  • ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not doing great.  The second episode of the show’s second season (read Evan’s recap here) garnered a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 4.54 million viewers, notching a series low for the Marvel show.  On the bright side, there’s always the possibility that it could receive a jolt in viewership after its midseason break following the debut of Agent Carter, but there’s no guarantee that show will be a hit either.
  • Elsewhere on ABC, the series premiere of the awfully-titled Selfie scored a 1.4 rating in the demo and 4.89 million viewers.  Despite the cringe-worthy premise, our own Allison Keene thought the pilot episode was saved by its solid cast.  Those debut numbers on down considerably from the 3.0 rating that The Goldbergs nabbed in its post-S.H.I.E.L.D. series premiere last year.
  • The other ABC shows of the night were Manhattan Love Story with a 1.3 rating and 4.28 million viewers and Forever with a 1.3 rating and 5.6 million viewers.

Hit the jump for the full ratings report, including New Girl, Person of Interest, and more.

SONS OF ANARCHY Recap: “Poor Little Lambs”

by     Posted 15 hours ago

sons-of-anarchy-recap

Sons of Anarchy‘s great wave of carnage continued in “Poor Little Lambs,” but in between were a few reintroductions to great characters from the past (like Walton Goggins as Venus Van Dam, and the always great Kim Dickens as the hooker with a heart of gold, Colette).  There was also a 1990s revival.  Jax once again met with Ron Tully (Marilyn Manson) to work out a drug deal to offload some of that heroin he acquired, and Gemma dropped Abel off at his new school, where one of the teachers is played by Courtney Love (the horror!)  Hit the jump, beautiful people.

Twisty the Clown Strikes in New AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW Trailer

by     Posted 15 hours ago

american-horror-story-freak-show-twisty-slice

We got a nice glimpse of all the main players in American Horror Story: Freak Show’s first trailer, but just wait until you see them in action.  This new 60-second promo offers up a significant amount of footage featuring Sarah Paulson walking around as conjoined sisters, Bette and Dot, Evan Peters as a “Lobster Boy” with an attitude, quite a bit of the world’s smallest woman, Jyoti Amge, and, perhaps best of all, our first good look at John Carroll Lynch as the season 4 villain, Twisty the Clown.

Not only does the new preview continue to prove that a freak show is the ideal setting for the season, giving Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and their team license to go as big as they want, but it could also make Freak Show the series’ most beautiful season yet.  The footage here doesn’t just boast shock value; it looks good.  Even at the rapid-fire trailer pace, it’s abundantly clear that Freak Show is brimming with mesmerizingly vibrant imagery.  Hit the jump to check it all out for yourself in the new American Horror Story: Freak Show trailer.

Marvel’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: “Heavy is the Head”

by     Posted Yesterday

agents-of-shield-recap

Welcome back, true believers!  When last we left our band of wayward agents, the hidden artifact known as the Obelisk had been taken by Avengers-villain, Crusher Creel (aka the Absorbing Man).  The team lost one of their newest members apparently as Lucy Lawless’ Hartlay bit the bullet and was killed in the final minutes of the season premiere, though this is the Marvel universe and resurrections are fair game for any character.  Tonight, we’ll see the return of the mysterious “woman in the flower dress”, Raina, apparently seeking to help the team rather than inhibit them.  Will the team join their old foe in attempting to reclaim the Obelisk?  Will Fitz go even crazier in this episode?  Why oh why didn’t I make a joke about the Absorbing Man not being played by Nick Nolte during the last recap?  All this and more in the recap for the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Heavy is the Head”….

First ASCENSION Trailer Reveals the Starship Launched to Save the Human Race

by     Posted Yesterday

ascension-trailer-slice

Killer Women came and went pretty fast, but Tricia Helfer’s got another series on the way and it looks far more promising.  Ascension is a six-hour mini-series that goes down on a starship carrying 600 people on a mission to save the human race by populating a new world.  Helfer plays Viondra Denniger, a beautiful but manipulative power broker aboard the starship Ascension.

The show’s very first trailer just dropped and even though the piece is only 30 seconds long, it still offers up a fairly comprehensive sense of the Ascension’s mission as well as an effective tease of what sends it into chaos.  Hit the jump to check out the Ascension trailer for yourself.  The mini-series debuts on Syfy on November 24th at 9/8c and also stars Brian Van HoltAndrea RothBrandon P. BellTiffany Lonsdale and PJ Boudousque.

Yvette Nicole Brown Leaving COMMUNITY

by     Posted Yesterday

yvette-nicole-brown-leaving-community

Though Community was brought back from the dead this summer after Yahoo Screen picked up the comedy following NBC’s cancellation, it will return with one less original cast member.  TV Guide reports that Yvette Nicole Brown will be departing the show before its upcoming sixth season due to family reasons, as the actress explains that she needs to care for her ailing father.  The split from the show was amicable as executive producers Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna said in a joint statement, “Yvette was an integral part of Community and is irreplaceable. We are sad to see her go and wish her the very best.”  More after the jump.

Brett Ratner and Bill Lawrence Developing RUSH HOUR TV Show

by     Posted Yesterday

rush-hour-tv-show

Hot on the heels of the news that Fox is developing a TV series adaptation of the 1988 film Big comes word that a Rush Hour TV show is also in development—and from another Cougar Town executive producer, no less.  Deadline reports that director Brett Ratner and TV vet Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Cougar Town) have closed a deal with Warner Bros. TV to co-write and executive produce an hourlong action comedy adaptation of the Rush Hour franchise.  Ratner directed all three films in the series, which was essentially a trio of buddy cop action-comedies revolving around a straight-laced Hong Kong cop (Jackie Chan) who is paired with a cocky, fast-talking LAPD officer (Chris Tucker).  More on the Rush Hour TV show after the jump.

Fox Developing BIG TV Show from ENLISTED Creators

by     Posted Yesterday

big-tv-show

Mining familiar IP is not a new notion in the world of television, and fresh off the debut of its Batman semi-prequel series Gotham, Fox is now developing a Big TV show.  Deadline reports that Enlisted executive producers Kevin Biegel and Mike Royce have sold a half-hour comedy adaptation of Big to Fox that they will write and executive produce.  Loosely based on Penny Marshall’s classic 1988 film starring Tom Hanks, the potential series is described as a show that “explores what it means to be an adult and what it means to be a kid, and how in today’s world those two things are more confused than ever.”  This is actually pretty thematically relevant material as today’s generation doesn’t feel forced to “grow up” as soon as they graduate from college, and instead fully embrace their nostalgia for the movies, TV shows, and even commercials that they enjoyed as kids.

More on the potential Big TV show after the jump.

Fall Pilot Review: SELFIE

by     Posted Yesterday

selfie-karen-gillan-slice

Based on Pygmalion and My Fair LadySelfie follows Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) as she comes to learn that there is more to life than social media.  Helping her along on her journey of self discovery and manners is Henry Higenbottam (John Cho), who works with Eliza, and who is a master of rebranding (she, naturally, works in sales).  The series is created by Suburgatory‘s Emily Kapnek, who gives it her trademark fast-paced style.  Hit the jump to see if this ABC comedy deserves a spot on your DVR.

Monday TV Ratings: GOTHAM and SCORPION Hold Strong; THE BLACKLIST and SLEEPY HOLLOW Drop

by     Posted Yesterday

ratings-gotham-scorpion

TV ratings for Monday, September 29th are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • Fox’s Gotham showed a fairly strong hold of its audience in week two (read Dave’s recap here), scoring a 2.8 rating in the 18-49 demo and 7.33 million viewers.  That’s a drop of just 13% from last week’s premiere and marks a solid retention of its audience.  Sleepy Hollow, on the other hand, was down 15% from last week with a disappointing 1.7 rating and 5.1 million viewers.
  • The strongest hold for a new show this week, however, goes to CBS’ Scorpion (read Dave’s recap here), which dipped only 6% from its premiere and garnered a 3.0 rating and 12.23 million viewers.  It was second only to The Big Bang Theory as far as scripted programming goes, with the comedy hitting a towering 4.7 rating and 16.18 million viewers for a drop of 13% from last week.  Elsewhere on CBS, NCIS: Los Angeles stumbled 37% from last year’s premiere with a 1.9 rating and 9.44 million viewers.
  • Over on NBC, The Blacklist was down 18% in its second week, notching a 2.8 rating and scoring 10.66 million viewers.  The show is one of the most heavily DVR’d, though, so expect its numbers to go way up once Live+7 ratings are figured.

SCORPION Recap: “Single Point of Failure”

by     Posted 2 days ago

scorpion-recap

Last week’s premiere of CBS’s action-drama Scorpion was so fast-paced that it didn’t have time to breathe, thus depriving its supposedly advanced collective brain of oxygen.  Thankfully, the follow-up episode calmed down on the l33t speak and took a bit more time between action beats and epiphanies.  The result: a much more enjoyable hour of television that is moved closer to earning its self-described level of intelligence.  The wisest movie Scorpion makes in its second showing is backing off on the braininess a little bit, and allowing each of the characters to show a little heart.  Hit the jump for our Scorpion recap.

GOTHAM Recap: “Selina Kyle”

by     Posted 2 days ago

gotham-recap

In the Gotham series premiere, viewers were introduced to a world without Batman that nonetheless featured many of the other heroes and villains from the storied franchise.  While the characters seem comfortable in their small-screen iterations, some of the actors are still working out the kinks.  It’s early yet, but the frontrunner for “Best Scenery Chewer” so far is Jada Pinkett Smith in her turn as ambitious gangster Fish Mooney.  Detective James Gordon is obviously the show’s lead and the city’s lone straight arrow, but Ben McKenzie hasn’t yet figured out the balance of noble hero and noir tough guy; instead he winds up just scowling a lot.  In between, however, we have quite a bit of potential, specifically in the performances of youngsters David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova, and relative newcomer Robin Lord Taylor.  Thankfully the show’s second episode gives each of them a share of the spotlight.  Hit the jump for tonight’s Gotham recap.

New GOTHAM Trailer Reveals Victor Zsasz, Arkham City, Sal Maroni and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

gotham-villains-slice

A few minutes ago, I had no clue who Victor Zsasz was, but thanks to this new Gotham trailer, now I do and I want to know more about him.  Admittedly, I missed out on the first episode of the new Fox drama, but Dave dubbed the premiere a solid start and it also scored a 3.2 rating with adults 18-49 and a strong boost from the DVR viewership, too.  Soon enough, we’ll find out if those numbers are the result of the initial hype or if Gotham’s got the legs to contend with some of the other successful superhero TV shows out there.

While we wait for the next ratings report to come in, why not check out what’s to come during the show’s first season?  Again, I’ve got some catching up to do, so all of the material in this season preview is a draw, but Anthony Carrigan’s Victor Zsasz is as unnervingly alluring as they come.  Hit the jump to catch him in action for yourself.  Gotham airs Monday nights on Fox at 8/7c.

Click Here