Vincent Piazza Talks JERSEY BOYS, Working with Clint Eastwood, Deleted Scenes, Preparing for the Role, the Final Season of BOARDWALK EMPIRE, and More

by     Posted 184 days ago


Now playing in theaters is director Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys.  The film, which is based on the extremely popular stage musical, tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, chronicling the group’s rise in the 1960s with such hits as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man” and subsequent troubles that came with their success.   The film stars John Lloyd Young,  Vincent PiazzaErich BergenMichael LomendaRenee MarinoMike Doyle, and Christopher Walken.  For more on the film, watch the trailer or these clips.

At the New York City press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Vincent Piazza, who plays Tommy DeVito.  He talked about landing the role, his month-long process of preparing for the film before the shoot, how he was the only principal cast member who didn’t come from the show, Clint Eastwood’s style of directing, deleted scenes, the final season of Boardwalk Empireupcoming projects, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

GAME OF THRONES Season 4 to Premiere April 6th; BOARDWALK EMPIRE to Conclude after Season 5

by     Posted 347 days ago


The Television Critics Association panels are currently underway, and today was HBO’s turn to drop some news nuggets.  Chief among the cable network’s announcements is an official premiere date for the upcoming fourth season of Game of Thrones, which will kick off on Sunday, April 6th at 9pm.  The insanely popular fantasy series will be joined on Sunday nights by the third season of Veep and the debut of Mike Judge’s (Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill) new live-action comedy series Silicon Valley, both of which will also premiere on April 6th.  Additionally, Ryan Murphy‘s feature film The Normal Heart will premiere in May, and Damon Lindelof‘s new series The Leftovers will debut this summer.

The fourth season of Game of Thrones will largely cover the second half of George R.R. Martin’s third book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Storm of Swords.  We’ll see our first trailer for season four this Sunday, in front of the premiere of True Detective.  Good luck watching the opening credits without this song stuck in your head.  Hit the jump for news on the final season of Boardwalk Empire.

Screenwriter Terence Winter Talks THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, His First Draft of the Script, Adapting the Memoir, His Plans for BOARDWALK EMPIRE, and More

by     Posted 363 days ago


Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street opens tomorrow, and for those who aren’t familiar with the film, it’s based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the hard-partying, drug-addicted stockbroker who was indicted in 1998 for security fraud and money laundering and served a 22-month federal prison stretch.  The film also stars Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, and Matthew McConaughey.  For more on the movie, watch the trailer.

A few days ago, I got to talk with screenwriter Terence Winter, whose other credits include Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos.  During our conversation, we discussed his first draft of the script, adapting Belfort’s book, the movie’s heavy use of voice-over, his plans for Boardwalk Empire, his new pilot for HBO which Scorsese is directing in April, and much more.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Year in Review: Allison’s Top 10 Returning TV Series of 2013

by     Posted 1 year ago


In addition to a bevy of new and fantastic shows debuting in 2013, there were also plenty of trusted favorites to keep up with as well.  While BBC America and Sundance provided most of the best new content of the year, stalwart HBO dominates the list of returning programming.  Unlike the list of new series, the returning shows category features a few comedies, an acknowledgement that often it takes comedy series a little longer to get off the ground.  Bottom line, a good show is a good show regardless of format or genre.  Hit the jump for, in no particular order, the list of Top 10 Returning Series of 2013.

Screen Actors Guild Nominations Announced; 12 YEARS A SLAVE Leads with 4 Nominations

by     Posted 1 year, 11 days ago


The Screen Actors Guild nominations were announced this morning, and unsurprisingly, 12 Years a Slave led the pack with four nods including Best Ensemble, Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender), and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o).  The surprises came with the snubs.  The Wolf of Wall Street, Her, and Inside Llewyn Davis missed the cut, and it’s clear that The Weinstein Company was a heavy hitter by getting multiple nominations for Lee Daniels’ The Butler and August: Osage County.  Arguably, the biggest snub was Robert Redford for All Is Lost.  Not only is it an acclaimed performance, but also part of his momentum is supposed to be based on the respect he’s accumulated for his long career.  Keep an eye for Oscar Beat as Adam breaks down what the nominations and snubs mean in the long run. [Correction: Adam tells me Wolf of Wall Street was ineligible because it missed the SAG voting deadline, so it's not really a snub]

Hit the jump for the full list of nominations including the ones for television shows.  The winners will be announced on January 18th.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Season 4 Finale Recap: “Farewell Daddy Blues”

by     Posted 1 year, 28 days ago


This season of Boardwalk Empire has been a strange, but overall good, one.  Then came the finale.  Boardwalk‘s fourth season has been really reflexive, bringing up old grudges, old characters, and old sins like never before.  “Farewell Daddy Blues” incorporated a lot of that, including a kind of final resting for Jimmy.  However, last week I noted that this might be the first time (especially after such a relatively quiet penultimate episode) that things are not all answered in the finale — some of these “season-long villains” might actually last a little longer.  That was partially right, and partially wrong.  Some things were sewn up, but did they need to be?  Or did it all happen too fast?  Hit the jump for more.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “Havre de Grace”

by     Posted 1 year, 35 days ago


Boardwalk Empire tinkered with its — an any expected — formula in “Havre de Grace.”  Instead of it being an action-packed slug-fest, the fallout from which we would be left to sort out next week, it was instead a fairly quiet hour.  Maybe it’s a reflective of Nucky’s new outlook.  Instead of a war — his default solution — Eli talks him into another meeting of the crime bosses, just like they did to start the season.  The stakes and causalities of last season’s finale should certainly be enough to give us, as well as the characters, pause.  As Eli says to Nucky, is it worth it?  Weighing that made Nucky realize none of it is, and he wants out.  But can he achieve it?  Hit the jump for more.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “White Horse Pike”

by     Posted 1 year, 42 days ago


The split between character moments and plot points in this season of Boardwalk Empire has certainly improved on last year.  “White Horse Pike” is a great example of an episode where character development doesn’t have to suffer just because the pawns need to be put into place.  Things are heading towards a battle, as they always do around this point in a Boardwalk season, but there are a lot of emotional storylines that are also set to — potentially — explode.  Hit the jump for why, as Eli says, we need to get it sorted!

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “Marriage and Hunting”

by     Posted 1 year, 49 days ago


It’s a shame in some ways that Boardwalk Empire has chosen to pair Richard Harrow and Van Alden together so much this season, because while those episodes pack an emotional punch, it leaves others lacking.  I was trying to put my finger on what was making this season of Boardwalk so much better than last, and it seems to largely be the fact that Nucky has taken a sideline position.  Sure, there’s never an episode that doesn’t feature him, and it’s still his story that drives the general plot.  But this year has seen a calmer and more backseat Nucky, one who is putting family first and shady business alliances last, which has allowed for other, more compelling characters like Van Alden and Harrow to rightfully take center stage.  Hit the jump for more.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “The Old Ship of Zion”

by     Posted 1 year, 56 days ago


Boardwalk Empire has been dredging up some of its own history this year, but whether the outcome will be different this time around is not yet clear.  You wouldn’t think that, with just two brothers, the Thompson family could fold in on themselves so much, yet that’s exactly what’s happening again.  Cast ultimate blame where you will (it does come down to Nucky), but the reality is that Eli is being forced to turn on his brother (again) to protect his son Willie.  But Willie is also feeling an awful lot like Jimmy 2.0, a fact that Gillian hopefully won’t discover, or he might end up drowned in a whorehouse bathtub.  Hit the jump for more.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “William Wilson”

by     Posted 1 year, 63 days ago


Boardwalk Empire is entering the back half of its season, and with that comes plenty of set up.  “William Wilson” was almost exclusively about moving pieces into place, which didn’t make for the most engaging hour, but it wasn’t terrible either.  Still, this year’s best episodes are ones that have narrowed the focus down to a few characters, and the show having to add in locational reminders this year (New York, D.C., Atlantic City, Tampa, etc) proves that audiences still struggle when the show fans out too far.  What is this, Westeros?  Maybe they should invest in a map to start each episode like Game of Thrones.  Hit the jump for why you should never order a steak for someone who doesn’t want it.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “The North Star”

by     Posted 1 year, 70 days ago


After several weeks of building tensions and compelling setup, Boardwalk Empire deflated this week with a woefully predictable and not particularly engaging episode.  Not that “The North Star” didn’t have its moments — time spent with Richard Harrow is always worthwhile.  But in the many one-on-one scenes of the hour, none had an outcome that wasn’t telegraphed from a mile away.  This season also still lacks direction.  Where are we headed?  Most especially, where is Nucky headed?  And shouldn’t him getting his lights punched out happen every episode?  Hit the jump for why “I just hate a goddamn whiner.”

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “Erlkönig”

by     Posted 1 year, 77 days ago


Boardwalk Empire‘s “Erlkönig” takes its name from the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s poem, which translates to “The Elf King,” as recited by Knox and Eddie.  The story is about an anxious boy who is being carried home by his father.  The boy feels the presence of this King and warns his father, who dismisses it several times as nothing but a rustle or a whisper.  But, when the boy finally cries out in pain, the father realizes the “king” is real, and his son is dead in his arms.  “Der Erlkönig” is about the omen of death, and its namesake episode focused heavily, and with exceeding solemnity, on loss.  Hit the jump for why “In the end, all you can count on is blood.”


by     Posted 1 year, 84 days ago


Nucky asking Meyer to tell him something about himself was an important moment for Boardwalk Empire.  At first Meyer wanted to repeat his resume and his credentials — all important things — but there are lots of men with money with whom Nucky could partner.  His hesitation regarding Arnold Rothstein had nothing to do with funds, it was about A.R.’s singular resolve to win.  Meyer eventually did tell Nucky a story about where he came from and how he came up (with Lucky).  That vignette told Nucky wanted he needed to know — that Meyer was strong, loyal and determined.  It also reminded us of something even more important; for all of its showmanship and tangled seasonal plots, what we really want from Boardwalk are personal stories.  Hit the jump for more.

HBO Renews BOARDWALK EMPIRE for Season Five

by     Posted 1 year, 87 days ago


HBO has wasted no time in renewing its prohibition drama Boardwalk Empire just three weeks into its fourth season run.  While the show has had its ups and downs, it remains a strong anchor for HBO’s fall lineup, and continues to provide the premium network with award winners.  (Most recently, Bobby Cannavale won the Best Supporting Actor Emmy for his turn as last season’s thin-skinned gangster Gyp Rosetti).  Hit the jump for more.

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