Guillermo del Toro and Jorge Gutierrez Talk THE BOOK OF LIFE and PACIFIC RIM 2 and 3

by     Posted 11 minutes ago

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The Book of Life is a beautiful film – from the stunning visuals, to the clever use of pop songs, to the touching message at the film’s core, The Book of Life possess an  arnestness that sets it apart from today’s standard animated fare.  No doubt the film’s singular charm is due to the fourteen years of love and hard work director Jorge Gutierrez put into the project, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that producer Guillermo del Toro spent the last six years shepherding the film to it’s final form.

I recently sat down for an exclusive video interview with Jorge Gutierrez and Guillermo del Toro.  They talked about the long journey to the finished film, how the project changed along the way, bringing Mexican culture to a larger audience, and more.  Additionally, del Toro shared his plans for Pacific Rim 2 and 3.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Natalie Brown Talks THE STRAIN, Vamp Camp, Possibility of Flashbacks in Season 2, Her Personal Vampire Apocalypse Survival Plan and More at NYCC

by     Posted 17 minutes ago

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If you haven’t gotten to episode 10 of The Strain yet, I’d highly recommend avoiding this interview because it’s a total game changer for Natalie Brown’s character, Kelly Goodweather.  I got the opportunity to talk to Brown at San Diego Comic-Con and, at the time, I’d only seen three episodes and dubbed her component the family drama portion of the show.  That’s still true to a point, but certainly not in the same way anymore.

Again, this interview is packed with spoilers, so do not continue on unless you’ve completed the first season or at least know what goes down in episode 10, “Loved Ones” – one of the show’s most powerful installments by far.  If you’re ready now, hit the jump to hear what Brown told me about seeing her character through one heck of a transformation, what was going through her head during a particularly intense moment at the end of the season finale and loads more.

Jason Momoa Confirms Aquaman for JUSTICE LEAGUE; Predicts AQUAMAN Will Be an Origin Story

by     Posted 40 minutes ago

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We got some solid reports claiming that Jason Momoa was set to take the role of Aquaman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice back in June, but now that Warner Bros. has confirmed it via that enormous release date announcement, Momoa himself is finally allowed to talk about it.

While at Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta, Momoa discussed the super secretive casting process, why he’s so pumped to take on the role and how he’s prepping for the 2018 Aquaman solo movie.  On top of that, Momoa also confirm that the character will appear in the first Justice League movie.  Hit the jump for more.

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

by     Posted 11 hours ago

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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”

by     Posted 12 hours ago

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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″

by     Posted 13 hours ago

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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”

by     Posted 13 hours ago

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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”

by     Posted 14 hours ago

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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

by     Posted 16 hours ago

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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

by     Posted 19 hours ago

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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

by     Posted 22 hours ago

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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

by     Posted 23 hours ago

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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

by     Posted 23 hours ago

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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

by     Posted Yesterday

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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

by     Posted Yesterday

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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. 

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