HOUSE OF CARDS Season 2 Review

by     Posted 61 days ago

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House of Cards ended its first season not with a cliffhanger, but with a halfway marker.  There was still the matter of Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), Lucas Goodwin (Sebastian Arcelus), and Janine Skorsky (Constance Zimmer) trying to discover if Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) killed Peter Russo (Corey Stoll), but for the most part, Frank had all but schemed his way into the vice presidency.  In its second season, House of Cards considerably ups the ante by giving Frank a serious rival, putting him and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) at the center of multiple scandals, and introducing new characters to join other pawns already in the game.  Although the new season holds on to some weaker plotlines for too long and hits some anti-climatic conclusions, it still commands our attention and we’re powerless to turn away from “ruthless pragmatists” who crave power at all costs. [This review contains spoilers since a 13-episode season requires more plot details than a movie review]

Three New Promos for HOUSE OF CARDS Season 2 Starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright

by     Posted 68 days ago

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This Friday, House of Cards returns for it second season, and it looks even meaner and nastier than season one.  Netflix has released three new promos, and they all cut right to the heart of this sinister, cynical, and absolutely riveting series.  They also provide a reminder to get a refresher on season one, which you can watch if you have Netflix.  I watched the season one recap last night, and while it didn’t detail every single plot point (it’s a complex series), it highlighted what I assume will be the major threads heading into season two.

Hit the jump to check out the promos.  All 13 new episodes of House of Cards will premiere on February 14th.

Netflix Renews HOUSE OF CARDS for Season 3

by     Posted 76 days ago

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It’s been rumored and talked about for months now, but Netflix has officially renewed its excellent original series House of Cards for a third season, via THR.  The renewal comes just over a week before the release of season two, which will be made available in its entirety on the streaming service on February 14th.  Beau Willimon serves as showrunner and will presumably continue to do so in season three, and one presumes David Fincher will remain onboard as an executive producer.  That being said, no details beyond the renewal are given about the next batch of episodes.  Having immensely enjoyed the show’s first season, I’m very much looking forward to following the further adventures of Kevin Spacey’s Francis Underwood in another season.

Awards Roundup: HER and CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Take WGA Awards, GRAVITY Wins Cinematography Honors, and FROZEN Lands Annie Trophy

by     Posted 78 days ago

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A trio of award organizations handed out prizes last night: the Writers Guild of America, the American Society of Cinematographers, and the International Animated Film Association’s Annie Awards.  In a bit of an upset at the WGA Awards, Spike Jones took home Best Original Screenplay for Her over American Hustle, and Billy Ray nabbed Best Adapted Screenplay honors for Captain Philips over The Wolf of Wall Street and Before Midnight.  It should be noted, though, that due to eligibility rules, Adapted Screenplay Oscar nominee 12 Years a Slave was ineligible for the WGA trophy.

Hit the jump for more, including the full list of winners from the organizations and some Oscar analysis from yours truly.

New Images from HOUSE OF CARDS Season 2 Featuring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, and Kate Mara

by     Posted 88 days ago

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Netflix has released a slew of new images from the upcoming second season of the excellent drama series House of Cards.  Season two finds Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright’s Francis and Claire Underwood continuing their ruthless rise of power as threats mount on all fronts.  These new images don’t reveal too much, but we do get a look at some of the returning and new characters.  If the first season is any indication, we’re in for another dark, twisted, and somewhat humorous ride when all 13 episodes of House of Cards are made available to stream on February 14th.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  Kate MaraMichael GillGerald McRaneyMahershala AliSbeastian ArcelusKristen ConnollyNathan DarrowSakina JaffreyMichael Kelly, and Molly Parker.

New Image from HOUSE OF CARDS Season 2; Netflix Renews LILYHAMMER for Season 3

by     Posted 98 days ago

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Fresh off picking up a Best Actress Golden Globe for Robin Wright, Netflix has released a new image from the upcoming second season of the deliciously dark political drama series House of Cards.  The photo teases the dangerous partnership between Wright’s character and Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood, and if last week’s trailer debut is any indication, things are only going to get more intense in the show’s second season.  All 13 episodes of season two will be made available on Netflix starting February 14th.

Additionally, Netflix has renewed the original drama series Lilyhammer for a third season.  For those unaware, the show stars Steven Van Zandt (The Sopranos) as a mob fixer who is relocated to the Netherlands when he enters the witness protection system.  Season two debuted on Netflix last month.  Hit the jump to take a look at the House of Cards image.

New Trailer and Poster for Season 2 of HOUSE OF CARDS Starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright

by     Posted 105 days ago

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2014 has barely begun, and it’s already time to get vicious.  In less than six weeks, House of Cards will make its return to Netflix, and new trailer provides a potent reminder that I probably have to re-watch season one (possibly with the new commentary tracks).  I remember all of the major plot points, but this trailer shows the vast and intricate web that Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) spun in the first season.  As for the tone, the show looks as delightfully nasty as ever.  It’s important to remember that this new season will probably be the show’s last, so expect the backstabbing to be even more brutal.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer along with a new poster.  All 13 new episode of House of Cards premiere on February 14th.

Netflix Offering Director Audio Commentaries for HOUSE OF CARDS Season One, Including David Fincher

by     Posted 108 days ago

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In anticipation of the upcoming second season of Netflix’s excellent drama series House of Cards, the streaming service is offering audio commentaries on all of season one’s 13 episodes exclusively for Netflix subscribers.  Starting today, you can listen to audio commentary from all six of House of Cards season one’s directors on every episode, which means we have two brand new commentaries from David Fincher to listen to.  The additional directors include James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross), Joel Schumacher (Falling Down), Charles McDougall (The Good Wife), Carl Franklin (Homeland), and Allen Coulter (The Sopranos).  Netflix subscribers can turn on the commentary by utilizing the subtitle or alternate audio preference on the website.

All 13 episodes of House of Cards season two will be available to stream beginning Friday, February 14th.

The Butchery Begins in Intense New Trailer for HOUSE OF CARDS Season 2

by     Posted 129 days ago

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Fresh off the show’s four Golden Globe nominations, Netflix has released an almost operatic new trailer for the upcoming second season of House of Cards.  The new string of episodes finds Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright’s Francis and Claire Underwood continuing their ruthless rise to power as threats mount on all fronts.  This trailer shows off quite a bit of new footage, and while it’s highly encouraging, I’m hoping that Spacey’s character doesn’t go full “horror movie villain” in season two.  It could just be the editing that’s giving off a more viscerally sinister vibe from Underwood, and as a big fan of the first season I’m eager to see how showrunner Beau Willimon continues the story of the Underwoods’ rise to power.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The show also stars Kate Mara, Michel Gill, Gerald McRaney, Mahershala Ali, Sbeastian Arcelus, Kristen Connolly, Nathan Darrow, Sakina Jaffrey, Michael Kelly, and Molly Parker.  All 13 episodes of House of Cards season two will be available to stream starting February 14, 2014.

AFI Announces Top 10 Films and TV Shows of 2013; List Includes GRAVITY, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, and WOLF OF WALL STREET

by     Posted 133 days ago

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This weekend we saw three more critics groups announce awards for the 2013 movie season, and now it’s the American Film Institute’s turn.  Today, AFI unveiled its Top 10 films and TV shows of the year, and the film list includes Oscar frontrunners Gravity and 12 Years a Slave as well as burgeoning contenders like American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Her.  Over on the TV side of things, usual suspects like Mad Men and Breaking Bad made the cut, but so did Netflix’s original series House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black as well as Showtime’s Masters of Sex and ABC’s smash hit Scandal.  The sole comedy on the list of HBO’s excellent Veep.

Hit the jump to check out the full Top 10 lists for movies and television.

HOUSE OF CARDS Season 2 Debuts on Netflix Friday, February 14th; First Teaser Trailer Released

by     Posted 138 days ago

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Netflix has come to the rescue with some solid plans for your upcoming Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day weekend.  What better way to celebrate your relationship than to sit on the couch for three days straight, binge-watching season two of House of Cards?  The streaming service announced today that all 13 episodes of the engrossing political drama series’ second season will be made available on Friday, February 14th, so make reservations with your couch accordingly.  Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright return for season two, as Francis and Claire Underwood “continue their ruthless rise to power as threats mount on all fronts.”

Though David Fincher didn’t direct any season two episodes, he is still involved as an executive producer and fellow producer Dana Brunetti recently told us that the busy filmmaker still had a hand in many aspects of the second season.  Wright, Jodie Foster, Carl Franklin, James Foley, and John David Coles all directed episodes from the upcoming season.  Watch a silent teaser trailer and read the full press release—which includes a lengthy synopsis—after the jump.

Producer Dana Brunetti Talks HOUSE OF CARDS, the Possibility of Season 3, David Fincher’s Involvement, and More

by     Posted 161 days ago

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While you might not know the name Dana Brunetti, you’ve definitely seen some of his work.  Over the past few years, Brunetti has helped produce a number of cool and varied projects like 21, House of Cards, Captain Phillips, Fanboys, The Social Network, and Casino Jack (just to name a few), and next year he’s helping to bring 50 Shades of Grey to movie screens.  Not a bad ten year run.

With Captain Phillips now in theaters, last week I sat down with Brunetti for an extended video interview.  Since we talked about so many projects, I’m breaking up the conversation into smaller parts and starting with House of Cards.  With rumors floating around the net that the show might end with season two, I asked about the status of a third season, how happy Netflix has been with the show, getting nominated for Emmys, whether David Fincher is still involved, his thoughts on releasing all the episodes at once rather than a few at a time, and more.  Hit the jump to watch and look for more with Brunetti tomorrow.

Allison Predicts the 2013 Emmy Awards Winners

by     Posted 212 days ago

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The 2013 Emmy Awards have arrived and will air this Sunday, during which most of us will be watching / going into emotional duress from Breaking Bad.  But for those watching the awards and keeping up with the winners, losers, snubs and surprises (and potentially putting money on it), after the jump are my predictions for this year.  The exact alchemy, casting of runes, meditation and throwing of darts that make up my patented formula cannot be revealed, but I will share the results — without taking any responsibility for what actually happens.  Hit the jump for who everyone thinks will win, who should win, and a few upset picks to keep things interesting

The 2013 Emmy Nominations Anaylsis: Surprises, Snubs, and Snoozes

by     Posted 277 days ago

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The Emmy nominations have always produced a mixture of boredom and anger among TV fans, but save for a few surprises (like Netflix’s 14 nominations), the 2013 Emmy nominations are so lazy they are almost identical to 2012.  Yes, we are in the Second Golden Age of TV, yes there are tons of great shows that, without expanded categories, are not going to get nominated in the current system.  But what about taking a deeper look into the casts of the shows that are always nominated?  Might there be some diamonds in the rough behind the marquee names that might deserve recognition?  Hit the jump for a rundown of the major categories and a comment at the reality of the nominations, and then a list of snubs and a call for you to add your own to the list (because everyone will have a favorite who is forgotten). 

2013 Emmy Nominations Announced; HOUSE OF CARDS Makes History with 9 Nominations; AMERICAN HORROR STORY and GAME OF THRONES Lead

by     Posted 277 days ago

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The 65th Emmy Awards Nominations have been announced, and Netflix’s House of Cards has made history.  The original series marks the first TV show released exclusively online to land top honors, as the David Fincher-produced series nabbed 9 nominations including Best Drama Series, Best Actor (Kevin Spacey), Best Actress (Robin Wright), and Best Director for Fincher—actor Cory Stoll’s excellent work, though, was not recognized.  American Horror Story once again nabbed the most nominations with 17, though the only major nods were for Best Miniseries and Lead Actress in a Miniseries for Jessica Lange.  Game of Thrones followed with 16 nods overall.

House of Cards appears to have knocked Boardwalk Empire out of the Best Drama Series category, as the latter failed to secure a nod.  FX’s The Americans was surprisingly absent as well, and other surprises include New Girl being completely shut out, Mad Men failing to land any writing or directing nominations, Vera Farmiga getting a Best Actress nomination for Bates Motel, and Elizabeth Moss being double nominated for Mad Men and Top of the Lake.  Hit the jump for the list of major nominations.

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