PaleyFest NY 2014: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne and Show Creator Bryan Fuller Talk HANNIBAL

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The twistedly haunting, creepy and unexpected NBC series Hannibal is one of the best shows currently on television.  With shocking revelations, psychological cat-and-mouse games, and intricately detailed murders, it certainly stays with you, long after it airs.  And after the wild Season 2 finale that left everyone in a state of peril, the anticipation for Season 3 and answers for where it will all go next is growing, as fannibals wait for the show’s return.

As part of PaleyFest NY, which is considered the ultimate TV fan festival, co-stars Hugh Dancy (“Will Graham”), Mads Mikkelsen (“Dr. Hannibal Lecter”) and Laurence Fishburne (“Jack Crawford”), along with show creator Bryan Fuller, talked about their first encounter with the Hannibal Lecter mythos, how the undercurrent of love between Hannibal and Will shapes their understanding of their characters, that Season 3 will show how much everyone has been changed by the events of the finale, what Hannibal will be wearing now, learning more about the relationship between Hannibal and Bedelia (Gillian Anderson), casting Tao Okamoto as Lady Murasaki’s attendant Chiyo, getting back into the lab in the second half of the season, the possibility of the appearance of Clarice Starling, and why the original seven-season plan is now a six-season plan.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “Friendless Child”

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In many ways, Boardwalk Empire‘s penultimate episode, “Friendless Child,” was a capsule of the most essential elements of Nucky’s full story over the course of the series.  The waning hours of Nucky’s gangland battle with Lucky and Meyer mirror the show’s twilight as well.  The gangsters are tired.  Many of them are dead.  There’s a new world order, and all Nucky wants now is to make amends as best he can.  The flashbacks in “Friendless Child” also tied together his relationship with Gillian, and how she may be his only hope for some kind of redemption.  Hit the jump for why “all I have — all I’ve ever had — is Atlantic City.”

THE AFFAIR Recap: “2″

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After a lot of critical fanfare for its pilot (and despite some awful trailers on Showtime), The Affair needed to prove that it had staying power.  Until this week, (and somewhat unusually), only that first episode had been available in advance for review, so the glowing remarks were all based on that powerhouse.  “2″ wasn’t quite as mesmerizing as “1,” (a.k.a. “Pilot,”) but it did fill out some more details of the world Noah and Alison are living in, and how each of them uniquely experiences it.  Hit the jump for “I was never fun. You got more fun, which is the problem.”

THE WALKING DEAD Recap: “Strangers”

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Now that the group of survivors has been reunited after the chaos at Terminus, what are they to do?  The Walking Dead has spent plenty of time in past seasons bottled up in one location or another (the farm and the prison, notably) but it looked like they were getting ready to hit the dusty trails for good this season.  Not so fast.  In the fifth season’s second episode, we get a momentary glimpse of life on the road for this unwieldy group before a new arrival (and an old foe) turn a possible sanctuary into a probable death trap.

Hit the jump for The Walking Dead recap. 

HOMELAND Recap: “Iron in the Fire”

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In “Iron in the Fire,” Homeland expanded on the conspiracy surrounding Sandy Bachman’s death, and brought it all back to Homeland‘s central theme of trust.  As Carrie builds her team in Islamabad, she also wrestles with the CIA operatives already in place there; though as she quickly discovers, she needs their help, too. (Although it isn’t, of course, that simple).  Homeland also snuffed out some of its own fire by revealing the identity of the confidential informant, but did so in a way that shows that arc is far from over.  Hit the jump, because “what I need is your help, not your goddamn foot on the break.”

Nick Wechsler Talks REVENGE Season 4, His Character’s Relationship With Emily, and Where He’d Like to See Jack Go From Here

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On the ABC drama series Revenge, currently in its fourth season, actor Nick Wechsler plays Jack Porter, everything that Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) wishes she could have, but is to clouded by her own desire for revenge for that to be possible.  After a long line of tragic events, Jack is now a cop, hoping to not only protect Emily, but all who are suffering from injustice.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, Nick Wechsler talked about what most surprises him about Jack’s journey, his character’s motivations for becoming a cop, whether Jack could ever arrest Emily, seeing himself in the police uniform, the addition of Brian Hallisay as Jack’s partner, whether he’d want Jack and Emily to actually get together romantically, and where things are headed this season.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

PaleyFest NY 2014: Wendell Pierce, Sonja Sohn, Michael K. Williams, Show Creator David Simon and Executive Producer Nina Noble Talk THE WIRE

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Even though it wasn’t a ratings success when it was on the air, the HBO drama series The Wire will clearly be remembered as one of the best TV shows ever made.  Throughout its run, it showcased great acting performances and great writing, through some of the most provocative storytelling that continues to challenge viewers, as they discover it.

As part of PaleyFest NY, which is considered the ultimate TV fan festival, co-stars Wendell Pierce (“Detective William ‘Bunk’ Moreland”), Sonja Sohn (“Detective Shakima ‘Kima’ Greggs”) and Michael K. Williams (“Omar Little”), along with show creator David Simon and Executive Producer Nina Noble, shared great behind-the-scenes stories and talked about what it’s like to have worked on this show in relative obscurity and have it since go on to be something that so many people love, why they think the show has not only endured but also built in esteem and awareness since it was on, when they realized they were a part of something special, how their relationship with the city of Baltimore changed over the course of the production, letting the actors know about their character’s fate, death being ever-present, why the show ended exactly where it did, and the questions that this show raised for people.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Diego Luna and Zoe Saldana Talk THE BOOK OF LIFE, Jorge Gutierrez’s Passion for the Film, Dia de los Muertos and More

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Now in theaters is Jorge Gutierrez‘s charming and visually stunning tribute to Dia de los Muertos, The Book of Life.  The animated feature depicts Gutierrez’s vision of the afterlife in which the celebrated and beloved spend eternity in the Land of the Remembered, ruled over by the beautiful and kind-hearted La Muerte (Kate del Castillo), while the souls beyond remembrance languish under the rule of the trickster Xibalba (Ron Perlman) in the Land of the Forgotten.  The film’s events are set into motion when the deities place a wager on the romantic fate of three childhood friends – should Maria (Zoe Saldana) choose to marry Manolo (Diego Luna), a good-natured musician, Xibalba will stop meddling in human affairs, but if she marries the rakish warrior Joaquin (Channing Tatum), Xibabla will take over as ruler of The Land of Remembered.

I recently sat down with Diego Luna and Zoe Saldana for an exclusive video interview.  They talked about being drawn to Gutierrez’s passion for the film, their excitement to work together, bringing elements of Mexican culture to a larger audience.  Additionally, Saldana talked about her knack for consistently finding great roles for women.  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Justin Simien Talks DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, Identity vs. Self, White Privilege and the Changing Face of Racism, Testing Out the Film’s Voice on Twitter

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Writer/director Justin Simien has achieved an intriguing mix of racial and interpersonal politics, warmth, and humor with his directorial debut Dear White People.  While the film tackles serious topics and is aimed primarily at a college aged audience, I think it could find traction with a wide swath of viewers (particularly those who find themselves sickened by the insidious notion that racism no longer exists).  I recently sat down with Simien to talk about the genesis of the project, writing a multi-protagonist film, and the reaction many people have had to its themes.

Hit the jump for my Dear White People interview with Justin Simien (you can check out the trailer here and my cast interview here)The film stars Tessa ThompsonTeyonah Parris, Tyler James WilliamsBrandon P. BellKyle GallnerMalcolm Barrett, Brittany CurranMarque Richardson, and Dennis Haysbert, and is now in theaters.

PaleyFest NY 2014: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor and Executive Producer Danny Cannon Talk GOTHAM

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Only a handful of episodes into the first season of the Fox series Gotham and already all of the fans have their own opinions on which heroes and villains they’d like to see make appearances, at some point.  With characters from 75 years of Batman canon mixed with characters invented solely for the show, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out in a world of origin stories.

As part of PaleyFest NY, which is considered the ultimate TV fan festival, co-stars Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sean Pertwee and Robin Lord Taylor, along with executive producer Danny Cannon, talked about the additional six-episode order they just received, making the season 22 episodes instead of 16, putting their own stamp on these roles, that there’s good and bad in everyone in Gotham, interesting fan encounters, the fandom for this show, that a lot of characters will pop their heads in and out, you just won’t know when, balancing the aesthetics of a graphic novel while creating characters who are believable and somewhat grounded in reality, whether any characters from the Justice Society might appear, figuring out the timeline to make sure the character’s ages will match up later on, and their favorite Batman characters.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Weekend Box Office: FURY Tops the Weekend with $23.5 Million; GONE GIRL Crosses $100 Million

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Director David Ayer’s World War II film Fury topped the box office this weekend, dethroning David Fincher’s Gone Girl with a solid $23.5 million.  The unrelentingly brutal Brad Pitt-fronted picture had one of the best openings for a WWII film of all time, placing fourth just behind Saving Private Ryan, Inglourious Basterds, and the current champion Pearl Harbor.  It also marked Ayer’s biggest opening as a director by $10 million, and audiences were satisfied by the finished result as the film netted an A- CinemaScore.  Another of the weekend’s big new releases, the Guillermo del Toro-produced animated feature The Book of Life, pulled in $17 million and landed in third place overall, while the Nicholas Sparks romance The Best of Me scored a mere $10.2 million for fifth place, making it the lowest debut for a Sparks drama ever.

Read the full weekend box office report and get a look at the complete Top 10 after the jump.

ERASERHEAD and THE INNOCENTS Criterion Blu-ray Reviews

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Criterion has released two classics of gothic black and white horror with Jack Clayton’s The Innocents and David Lynch’s Eraserhead now joining their collection.  The former is a brilliant adaptation of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, while the latter is one of the most singular experiences in cinema history, a film that became a perennial midnight movie for a very good reason.  Criterion is celebrating Halloween this year in style, and my review of both films on Blu-ray follows after the jump. 

What Is Marvel’s Civil War? An Introduction to the Comics Storyline That Pits Iron Man vs. Captain America

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Quite the bit of news has been revealed the past week.  Not only is Robert Downey Jr. in talks to co-star in the third installment of the Captain America franchise, but this may very well usher in one of the biggest storylines in Marvel history, Civil War.  Don’t know what Civil War is and why it’s causing such a fuss?  Collider has your back as we thought it would be a great opportunity to walk you through the origins of the event, its players, its ending, and how it could possibly be orchestrated in the current Marvel movie landscape.  Hit the jump for our in-depth look at the Marvel storyline, Civil War.

TOP 5: FURY, Superhero Movie Release Dates, HBO to Offer Stand-Alone Streaming Service, A Horrifying Education, New York Comic-Con Coverage

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Writer/director Ti West made a permanent name for himself in the horror community with 2009′s excellent The House of the Devil. While I think quite highly of that film, I hold his slightly less revered 2011 follow-up, The Innkeepers, in even higher regard. Starring Sara Paxton and Pat Healy (who reunited earlier this year in the disgustingly entertaining Cheap Thrills) as slacker hotel employees who are determined to prove their Yankee Pedlar Inn is haunted during its final weekend of operation, the film is a near pitch perfect modern haunted house tale. Relying on tension and timing rather than gore, West slowly builds The Innkeepers to an effective final act that is both scary as hell and quietly tragic. Because it so expertly relies on atmosphere/mood and quality of scares over quantity, this is one that I always recommend to my non-horror loving friends seeking a scary movie for this time of year that will play well without scarring them for life.

This week’s recommendation in hand, today’s Top 5 features interviews for and Matt’s review of the Brad Pitt war drama Fury, a metric ton of superhero movie release dates and news compiled in one place, word that HBO will launch its own stand-alone streaming service in 2015, the first in a four-entry series dedicated to schooling Matt on some horror favorites, and all of our New York Comic-Con coverage. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

THE KNICK Season One Finale Recap: “Crutchfield”

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The Knick‘s excellent first season ended in a way befitting the series as a whole.  There wasn’t much about “Crutchfield” that was narratively shocking, but The Knick‘s story has never been about that — it’s the way the show tells its story that makes it special.  The events in “Crutchfield” made for a natural culmination of the various plots we’ve been following this season, and had the series ended here, in fact, it would have been satisfying in a lot of ways.  But there’s still plenty for The Knick to explore (and as it was renewed for a second season before it even started its first, we will thankfully get that opportunity).  Hit the jump if you believe “nothing breaks a man like a good cock punch.”

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