Like the rest of the planet, I’m completely smitten with HBO’s Game of Thrones. Over the course of the first three seasons, the show has broken every conventional rule about what a TV show can do, and has grown in popularity every year. While we’re only half way through the seven seasons that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are aiming for, if they keep the quality at the current level, Game of Thrones will go down as one of the best shows of all time. I know it’s rising up my list of favorite TV shows and it shows no signs of slowing down, especially after watching the first three episodes of season four.
With some big events happening last Sunday night, I recently landed an exclusive interview with Game of Thrones director Alex Graves. Not only did he direct last week’s episode, The Lion and the Rose, which included the “Purple Wedding,” he’s directing this weeks, as well as two more episodes this season, including the finale. Graves talked about how he got involved in the show, shooting the wedding and the moment fans have been waiting for, how GOT production schedule is different than other shows, what kinds of cameras they use (including how he used a GoPro for a few shots), how they’re always working on the VFX until the last minute, how the fourth season finale has a massive battle, why he won’t be back for season 5, and so much more. In addition, since Graves worked on NBC’s short lived series, Journeyman (which is also worth watching), we talked about that show and what else he’s developing. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan you’ll learn a lot about how the show is made without spoilers.
From show creator Michael Hirst, the History series Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), an actual historical figure and the greatest hero of his age, who leads his band of Viking brothers and his family on his rise as King of the Viking tribes. As well as being a fearless warrior, Ragnar embodies the Norse traditions of devotion to the gods, both on the battlefield and off.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, executive producer Michael Hirst, who has also written every episode of the series, talked about what compelled him to tackle Vikings, how he found his story’s hero, how challenging it can be to write every episode and have multiple scripts in various stages of production, why the “Blood Eagle” episode stands out in television history, whether he’d ever considered another outcome for that character, where things will go from there, how far along he is in the writing of Season 3, and that they will be branching out to Paris next season. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
Though a new iteration of Space Jam featuring Lebron James turned out to be a silly rumor (probably for the best), the “classic” 1996 film has been resurrected in live-read form. A reading of the screenplay recently took place, and the folks at Funny or Die were there to record the entire event. The eclectic group of participants ranged from comedians like Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, and Ben Schwartz to voice talents like Seth Green and Ralph Garman, and even Boy Meets World’s Danielle Fishel was thrown in for good measure. Of course someone had to fill Michael Jordan’s shoes, and who better than Los Angeles Clippers star (and University of Oklahoma alum—Boomer Sooner) Blake Griffin? Additionally, teammate DeAndre Jordan also participated, debuting a mean Charles Barkley impression.
Hit the jump to watch the very funny highlights from the Space Jam live-read event.
So a couple weeks ago, I wrote about how I was happy to give away passes to Oculus because it had been too long since we’d seen a horror film this year. Thankfully, we’re not going to have another long wait since a new scary movie is right around the corner. The Quiet Ones looks incredibly creepy plus it has a cool 1970s setting, which I thought was one of the stronger points of last year’s incredibly popular horror film, The Conjuring. The Quiet Ones went into production before The Conjuring was released, so you can’t accuse it of being a rip-off, and hopefully it will deliver the on the promising footage from the trailers.
I’m pleased to announce we’re giving away 20 pairs of passes to the Atlanta screening of Transcendence. Hit the jump to find out how you can see the movie early and for free. The film stars Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards, and Rory Fleck-Byrne. The Quiet Ones opens April 25th.
Steven Bernstein’s drama Decoding Annie Parker recently made its debut at the Palm Beach International Film Festival, and now the film’s first trailer and clip are available online. The film stars Samantha Morton as the title character, a woman stricken with breast cancer who works with oncologist Dr. Mary-Claire King (Helen Hunt) in order to explore the theory of a genetic inheritance of cancer. While the trailer gives a good suggestion of the surprisingly light-hearted tone of this true-to-life cancer-themed picture, the first clip (courtesy of Aaron Paul) is just downright strange out of context from the rest of the film, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Decoding Annie Parker also stars Rashida Jones, Alice Eve, Maggie Grace, Corey Stoll, and Ben McKenzie, and opens in limited release on May 2nd. Take a look at our interviews with Paul and Grace about the picture here. Hit the jump to watch the Decoding Annie Parker trailer and the film’s first clip.
One surefire way to get the creepy message of your horror story across: use children speaking rhymes while nightmarish imagery flashes in the background. That’s the method that this new The Quiet Ones trailer employs, and it sure does the trick. The John Pogue-directed picture follows a university professor and his students as they attempt to perform psychological experiments on a disturbed young girl. Of course, it turns out that they’ve meddled with things they ought to have left alone, and the Quiet Ones become quiet no more.
Starring Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards, and Rory Fleck-Byrne, The Quiet Ones opens April 25th. Be sure to read up on this interview with Cooke, and check out the two previously released trailers and creepy motion posters. Hit the jump to watch the new The Quiet Ones trailer.
With its international box office easily climbing past $400 million, there’s no doubt that The LEGO Movie struck a chord with audiences. Now fans can bring the frenetic fun home with them when The LEGO Movie Blu-ray becomes available on June 17th. Not only will the animated family-friendly film come in a Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD 2-Disc Special Edition, and Digital varieties, but there will also be an “Everything Is Awesome” Edition with exclusive LEGO Minifigure and more. Click here to pre-order either version on Amazon.
The film features the voice talents of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, and Alison Brie. Hit the jump for more on The LEGO Movie Blu-ray.
Much like its digitized main character, Transcendence has a cold, distant personality that might understand how humans act but can’t comprehend how they feel. It’s not too difficult to explore the dangers of a man being consumed by technology. That story goes all the way back to the tale of Icarus. It may feel relevant due to our investment in the Internet and the distance we create every day by putting our lives online rather than forging real personal connections, but Wally Pfister‘s directorial debut sticks to a path where other films have gone before. The movie still asks worthwhile questions, but they’re never elevated beyond dorm-room level philosophy. Additionally, these questions overshadow the characters, who are reduced to pieces of a conversation we’ve already had before.
TV ratings for Wednesday, April 16th are in. Here’s a brief rundown:
- The CW’s Arrow fell 13% from last week’s 0.8 rating to a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 2.36 million total viewers. That rating ties the show’s series low, which it previous hit in early March. Read Dave’s recap of last night’s episode here.
- Elsewhere on The CW, new drama series The 100 saw a rise of 20% to a 0.6 rating and 2.02 million viewers, improving on last week’s series low 0.5 rating.
- Over on ABC, the new comedy series Mixology was even with last week’s 1.2 rating and garnered 3.7 million viewers.
The Weinstein Company has released a new trailer for James Gray‘s period drama The Immigrant. The story centers on a woman (Marion Cotillard) immigrating to New York City in the 1920s who, when her sister is rejected and sent back to Poland, finds herself lured into the world of prostitution in the hopes of eventually being reunited with her kin. This trailer focuses on the striking cinematography and throws out several ecstatic blurbs from critics. I wish I had seen the movie they saw. When I caught the film at the New York Film Festival last year, I saw a misguided effort that took a softball approach to a harsh narrative.
Hit the jump to check out The Immigrant trailer. The film also stars Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner.
Terrence Malick might just be the most elusive filmmaker working today. He hasn’t given a proper interview in years, and hasn’t been officially photographed in even longer. Despite all of this, though, he’s become impossibly prolific. There was a 20-year gap between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, but in the past decade he has shot five full features. After completing production on 2012’s To the Wonder, Malick began back-to-back shoots on two upcoming films—one untitled, and one called Knight of Cups. A massive amount of actors shot scenes for both movies, but since Malick’s process involves filming days of footage and then shaping the film in the editing room, there’s no telling which actors will make the final cut.
One such actor who worked on Malick’s Knight of Cups is Antonio Banderas, and when we recently spoke with Banderas in anticipation of the action sequel The Expendables 3, he provided some fascinating insight into Malick’s filming process, going on to reveal that he thinks he’s made the final cut of Knight of Cups. Hit the jump to read on.
Disney has released the first Maleficent featurette. The film tells the story of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the titular villain (Angelina Jolie), and how a betrayal sets off a drive for revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides. This featurette features interviews with Jolie, Elle Fanning (who plays the Princess Aurora), screenwriter Linda Woolverton (The Lion King), and director Robert Stromberg (the two-time Oscar winning art director of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland). Their interviews help provide a few more details about the story, and the featurette also has some bits of new footage.
Hit the jump to check out the featurette. The film also stars Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville. Maleficent opens in 2D and 3D on May 30th.
Earlier today, we heard that Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut would be premiering at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Previously titled How to Catch a Monster, we now have the first image from the re-titled film, Lost River. The new name for the film apparently derives from its setting, a once idyllic town that’s now descending into a place of despair and dragging the families that live there down with it. In addition to the first creepy look at the film, we’ve got some new info on the plot from star Iain De Caestecker, who you might know from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Lost River also stars Saoirse Ronan, Christina Hendricks, Ben Mendohlson, Matt Smith, Barbara Steele. Hit the jump to check out the first Lost River image, and for more on the picture.
Netflix has released a new Orange Is the New Black season 2 trailer. For those unfamiliar with the terrific series, it takes place inside a women’s prison, and although the “main character” is a socialite incarcerated for an old crime, the supporting cast is just as interesting (and in some cases, more so). If you’ve seen season one, this trailer will get you even more pumped for what’s coming up. Set aside some binge-watching time. Additionally, there’s also a brief featurette where the cast tries to sum up their thoughts on the new season in only three words.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and featurette. The show stars Taylor Schilling, Jason Biggs, Laura Prepon, Kate Mugrew, Danielle Brooks, Uzo Aduba, Natasha Lyonne, Taryn Manning, Laverne Cox, Michael Harney, Samira Wiley, Yael Stone, and Lorraine Toussaint. Orange Is the New Black returns with all 13 episodes on June 6th.
Even though Zack Snyder currently can’t really say anything incredibly substantial about Batman vs. Superman (unofficial title), he can talk around it, and that’s close enough for most fanboys. In a recent interview with Forbes, Snyder gave his thoughts on both characters and seeing them together on screen. Personally, the most disconcerting part of the interview is when the interviewer says, “Superman is kind of the ideal of what we’d like to be, and Batman is kind of rooted in what we are. He reflects what we are, so to speak,” and Snyder replies, “Oh, 100%. And I think that’s at the heart of that, you know.” I could not disagree more with that response. I think an “idealist versus pragmatist” approach is understandable, but please don’t lump me in with a billionaire who treats a crime-ridden city like a playground so he can constantly work though his childhood trauma.
Hit the jump for more of what Snyder had to say about the Batman vs. Superman costumes, seeing Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman together on screen for the first time, when we might start seeing official images, and more. The film stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, and Laurence Fishburne. Batman vs. Superman opens May 6, 2016.