First WESTWORLD TV Show Image Revealed; Jonathan Nolan Says HBO Drama Will Be “Ambitious” and “Subversive”

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Earlier today we got our first very brief look at one of the most anticipated new HBO series coming in the New Year, and now the first official Westworld TV show image has landed online as well.  Based on Michael Crichton’s 1973 film of the same name, the sci-fi series revolves around androids that run amuck in a high-tech tourist destination—a theme park, to be exact.  The Dark Knight and Interstellar co-writer Jonathan Nolan created the series, which finds Anthony Hopkins playing the park’s creative visionary and Ed Harris taking on the role of the robot gunslinger played by Yul Brynner in the film.

Check out the first Westworld TV show image after the jump along with some exciting comments from Nolan himself on what he aims to be a “fucked up” series.  Westworld will debut on HBO sometime in 2015.

HBO Year-End Video Provides Brief New Looks at GAME OF THRONES: Season 5 and WESTWORLD

by     Posted 5 hours ago


Every year, HBO releases a video looking back at their programming, and then giving a brief look at what’s to come the following year.  Based on the past year, the network can congratulate itself for new series True Detective and Silicon Valley as well as the (arguably overdue) sendoffs for True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, and The Newsroom.  Now it’s time to prepare for the new year with quality returning shows and fresh series, and the year-end video provides brief glimpses of Game of Thrones: Season 5 and the new show Westworld among others.  It’s exciting to guess which new series could be the network’s next big hit: Will it be the Duplass BrothersTogethernessThe Brink starring Tim Robbins, Jack Black, and Aasif MandviBallers starring Dwayne Johnson?  And when you throw in the original movies and miniseries, it should be an exciting 2015 for HBO.

Hit the jump to take a brief look at Game of Thrones: Season 5 and Westworld.

David Fincher’s HBO Series With James Ellroy Titled SHAKEDOWN; Will Also Direct LIVING ON NOISE for the Network

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Back in September we reported that David Fincher and James Ellroy were collaborating on a Los Angeles-set 1950s crime noir series for HBO and now that show has a title, Shakedown.  Remember when Fincher had those five fallow years between Panic Room and Zodiac?  Boy am I glad he’s not repeating that, he’s one of our master filmmakers so I’ll take pretty much whatever he’s serving up.

Fincher will also direct another pilot for HBO called Living On Noise.  That series will reportedly center around the director’s involvement in the 1980′s music video scene (you probably already know that he shot videos for Paula Abdul, Madonna, Nine Inch Nails, and Aerosmith back in the day).  Hit the jump for more on David Fincher’s involvement in Shakedown and Living On Noise.

God Will not Save You from This Trailer for THE WIRE Remastered Episodes Marathon

by     Posted 15 days ago


As we previously reported, HBO is re-releasing David Simon’s groundbreaking drama series The Wire in HD even though it will throw off the show’s correct aspect ratio in order to please people who (incorrectly) believe that older shows should be readjusted to fit their entire widescreen TV.  Nevertheless, these remastered episodes are coming later this month, and HBO will be running a marathon beginning December 26th on HBO Signature in addition to all of the episodes being available on HBO GO.  I don’t know if these remastered versions will replace the current, correct ratio episodes that are currently available on HBO GO, but you may want to start your own little marathon right now just in case.  The original aspect ratio was designed to give the drama a documentary-style feel, and it’s just another reason the show is so effective.

Hit the jump to watch The Wire remastered episodes marathon trailer.  The marathon begins on HBO Signature on December 26th at 12pm.

New Clips From THE WIRE Compare the SD and HD Versions; Creator David Simon Breaks Down the Differences

by     Posted 17 days ago


Just a couple of days ago we got the news that HBO’s The Wire (in its remastered form) would be available on HBO Go starting December 26th, followed by the HD edition of the series going up for digital purchase on January 5, 2015.  And after that we’ll be getting a Blu-ray release of the series in the summer.

This news was offset by the fact that the remaster will take a show that, while shot on film, was originally framed in the 4:3 aspect ratio and would stretch it out to 1:85 in order to better fit today’s HD televisions.  It’s ironic that, while these TV’s have made the correct aspect ratios for film (1:85, 2:35, 2:40 etc…) more palatable for consumers, they’ve had the opposite effect for every TV show produced before 2008 or so.  Creator/showrunner David Simon addressed the issue at that time in an even-handed and fair manner (he thinks it both helps and hurts his particular series), but now he’s provided video comparisons that help illustrate his point.  Hit the jump for the contrasting clips from The Wire, this is fascinating stuff.

HBO Confirms THE WIRE Has Been Remastered in HD; Will Be Available on HBO Go Starting December 26th

by     Posted 20 days ago


A few months ago, word surfaced that HBO was working on remastering one of the best TV shows of all time, The Wire, for HD.  It was a curious prospect because creator/showrunner David Simon eschewed HD widescreen framing for the entirety of the show’s run, noting that the SD 4×3 aspect ratio was more like real life, and The Wire was not intended to play as a movie.  Alas, the report of HBO’s HD tinkering with the series has now officially been confirmed, as the network has announced that the remastered version of The Wire will be made available on HBO Go starting December 26th, followed by the HD edition of the series going up for digital purchase on January 5, 2015.  However, the network also confirmed that this new version of The Wire has a wholly different aspect ratio.  More after the jump.

HBO Orders Martin Scorsese’s Untitled Rock ’n’ Roll Show Starring Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano and Juno Temple to Series

by     Posted 20 days ago


That untitled rock ’n’ roll show has been brewing since 2010 and was once expected to go into production in early 2014, but now HBO is finally ready to move forward with it.  HBO just put in a series order for the drama, which stars Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra, a New York City record executive with a knack for discovering top talent.

Martin Scorsese is set to direct the pilot episode and he’ll also be an executive producer alongside Mick Jagger, Rick Yorn, Victoria Pearman, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, George Mastras and Terence Winter.  Winter will also serve as showrunner.  Hit the jump for more on the upcoming series including the complete cast lineup.

GAME OF THRONES Season 5 Teaser Sees Darkness

by     Posted 27 days ago


We’re still about five months away from the premiere of Game of Thrones’ fifth season, but HBO is ready to kick off the long-lead marketing today (which is fitting given this week’s heavy quantity of big trailers).  A very brief Game of Thrones Season 5 teaser has been released online that’s more enigmatic than it is revealing, but it does offer a tiny bit of footage from the new season.  For fear of spoiling who’s still alive in the show’s fifth season I won’t go into anymore detail here, but fans of the books might spot a clue or two for what’s in store.  This new season could mark a turning point for the show, as showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss caught up with George R.R. Martin’s book series in a couple of the show’s major storylines last season and have said that the series will likely conclude with Season 7 (or at the most 8).  Essentially, Benioff and Weiss are setting up their endgame now with two Martin books still unpublished, so we could be heading into uncharted territory with Season 5.

Check out the brief Game of Thrones Season 5 teaser after the jump.  The series will likely return to HBO in either early April or late March.

Martin Scorsese and Benicio Del Toro Developing CORTES Drama Series at HBO

by     Posted 34 days ago


Martin Scorsese made his first foray into television with HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, helming the pilot and acting as an executive producer on the series.  He recently delved into his second HBO project, an untitled 70s Rock ‘N Roll drama series from Scorsese, Mick Jagger, and Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter, and now he’s lining up a third potential series at the network: a drama revolving around the life of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés.  And who’s interest in playing the infamous explorer?  That would be Benicio Del Toro.  More after the jump.

HBO Orders WESTWORLD to Series for 2015 Debut; Watch the First Brief Teaser

by     Posted 35 days ago


Jonathan Nolan officially has another show on the air.  HBO announced today (via Twitter, obviously) that is has ordered to series Nolan’s adaptation of writer/director Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi film Westworld, which revolved around a malfunctioning Wild West robot at a futuristic adult amusement park.  The official, cryptic logline for this HBO series is as follows:

Westworld is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.

Nolan, of course, is the brother of Christopher Nolan and has co-written the screenplays for films like The Dark Knight and Interstellar, but he also acts as the creator/executive producer of the CBS series Person of Interest and is developing another potential HBO show in the form of an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi series Foundation.  Hit the jump for more on the Westworld TV show and to watch the first brief teaser trailer for the series, which is poised to debut in 2015.

THE NEWSROOM Season 2 Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 38 days ago


Aaron Sorkin’s return to television with the HBO drama series The Newsroom was intended to be a triumphant return to form.  Its basic premise—following the lives of the people that work at a cable news network—seemed to provide a vehicle through which to opine on the major political issues of the day, not dissimilar from Sorkin’s The West Wing.  But instead of the romantic idealism of Sorkin’s previous series, The Newsroom was a more grounded, and thus a slightly more cynical or aggressive series.  It proved to be mighty divisive and didn’t garner nearly the same amount of acclaim as The West Wing or Sports Night, but I mostly liked the first season even if the show did have a few major issues.

In its second season, The Newsroom went through some significant tweaking both to its structure and its characters, and while there are still some problems to be found, I’d argue it’s an improvement over the first season and remains a worthwhile (and entertaining) series.  Read my full The Newsroom Season 2 Blu-ray review after the jump.

INTERSTELLAR Co-Writer Jonah Nolan Developing FOUNDATION TV Show for HBO

by     Posted 42 days ago


While you’d be hard-pressed to find someone not familiar with Christopher Nolan’s work, his brother and frequent collaborator Jonathan Nolan is responsible for helping craft some of Christopher’s most beloved films.  He wrote the short story that served as the inspiration for Memento and co-wrote the screenplays for The Prestige, The Dark Knight Rises, and the seminal The Dark Knight with his brother.  Most recently, Jonah collaborated on the screenplay for Christopher’s sci-fi epic Interstellar (which he initially wrote for Steven Spielberg to direct), and now he’s continuing on with the sci-fi theme in a TV series adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s book trilogy Foundation.  More after the jump. 

THE NEWSROOM Season 3 Review: Final Season Gets Off to Strong Start with Humor and High Stakes

by     Posted 44 days ago


The final few minutes of The Newsroom’s second season finale appeared to quickly close the book on the show, but Aaron Sorkin’s divisive HBO series is now back with six more episodes to wrap things up in proper fashion.  Indeed, the tidying up of storylines at the end of season two almost felt like Sorkin had had enough with the constant criticism (some justified, some not) of the show, which was intended to be his triumphant return to television after winning an Oscar for The Social Network.  Instead, Sorkin’s look at the world of cable news was a bit of a mixed bag as it tried to find the blend of humor and importance that worked so well in The West Wing.  The show seemed to find a slightly more solid footing in the second season as Sorkin shifted the focus to the characters, backed away from the “news story of the week” structure, and introduced a story arc that played out over the course of the season.  There were still some glaring flaws to be sure, but the show overall felt more comfortable in what it wanted to be.

And now season three looks to be even more of an improvement, with great comedy, heightened stakes, and fantastic character interplay permeating throughout the first three episodes.

TOGETHERNESS Trailer Offers a First Look at the Duplass Brothers’ New HBO Comedy Series

by     Posted 45 days ago


HBO has released the first Togetherness trailer for the upcoming comedy series from filmmaking brothers Mark and Jay Duplass (Cyrus, Jeff Who Lives at Home).  The show follows two couples living under the same roof, going through relationship difficulties as each individual pursues his or her own dream.  This trailer is a strong introduction to the show, as it looks to be a relationship comedy with a bit of a cynical edge.  Mark Duplass also stars in the show alongside Melanie Lynskey, Steve Zissis, and Amanda Peet.

Watch the first Togetherness trailer after the jump.  The eight-episode first season premieres January 11th on HBO after Girls.

New GIRLS Season 4 Trailer: Hannah Takes the Next Step in a Series of Random Steps

by     Posted 45 days ago


HBO has released the official Girls Season 4 trailer, teasing the new season of creator/writer/director/star Lena Dunham‘s divisive comedy series.  This season finds Hannah (Dunham) living in Iowa, where she’s been accepted into the state’s highly coveted writers workshop.  This being Girls, Hannah has big ideas and plans that don’t necessarily pan out the way she had hoped.  What’s most promising about this trailer, though, is the high level of comedy mixed in with the drama.  The series got a little too self-serious for its own good in the second season, and while Season 3 rebounded rather nicely, this trailer is really, really funny.  It’s also relieving to see Adam Driver is still a major part of the ensemble, as he had to split his time between filming the fourth season and shooting this thing called Star Wars: The Force Awakens in London.  Unsurprisingly, though, Zosia Mamet’s Shoshanna is once again the comedic highlight of the new Girls trailer.  Go Shosh.

Watch the official Girls Season 4 trailer after the jump, along with some new images.  The series also stars Jemima KirkeAllison Williams, Alex Karpovsky, Andrew Rannells, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach, with Jason Ritter, Gillian Jacobs, Zachary Quinto, and Natasha Lyonne all poised for guest spots in the new season.  Girls returns to HBO on January 11th.

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