FX Renews THE AMERICANS for Season Three

by     Posted 2 days ago

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FX has ordered a 13-episode third season of its excellent drama series The Americans.  While I enjoyed but wasn’t over-the-moon about its first season, the current second season of the period spy drama has turned the show into one of the very best on TV—and in this current Golden Age of Television, that’s saying something.  Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star as sleeper KGB agents living in America as a married couple with two kids during the Reagan-fueled early 1980s.  While on the surface the show is a thrilling spy series, at its heart The Americans is really a portrait of a marriage as told through the incredibly complicated lives of two individuals, with Russell and Rhys regularly turning in brilliantly nuanced performances.  Suffice it to say, I am very much looking forward to The Americans season 3.

Hit the jump to read the full press release, and click here to catch up on Allison’s recaps.  The Americans currently airs on FX Wednesdays at 10pm, with six episodes remaining in the second season.

New Images from DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Feature Shotgun-Wielding Simians

by     Posted 9 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released 10 new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes images including some fresh details on the upcoming sequel.  The story takes place 10 years after the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.  “The small group of humans are struggling to come back from devastation, and the apes are fighting for survival,” director Matt Reeves tells USA Today. “The big question is, can they co-exist?”  Serkis also points out that in the new movie, “Caesar not only has a wife, but also an infant son and a teenage son,” adding, “This film centers around the notion of family — the survival of the family and what lengths you would go to protect them when life is extremely hard and tough.”  In another interesting note, Judy Greer plays Caesar’s wife Cornelia, and before she got the role, Terry Notary, a former Cirque du Soleil performer and the film’s stunt and movement coordinator, had to sign off.  I can only hope Greer responded, “You are not my supervisor!

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Jason Clarke, Keri RussellGary Oldman, Toby KebbellKodi Smit-McPheeKirk Acevedo, and Enrique MurcianoDawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in 3D on July 11th.

Exclusive: Check Out an Awesome New Poster for Director Matt Reeves DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 19 days ago

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A few days ago at CinemaCon, 20th Century Fox world premiered footage from a number of their upcoming films.  While I’m incredibly excited about their 2014 and 2015 slate, near the top of my list is director Matt Reeves Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.   The story takes place 10 years after the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.  The film also stars Jason Clarke, Keri RussellGary Oldman, Toby KebbellKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer.

With the film opening July 11th, Fox has started ramping up the promotion for the film.  Just a few minutes ago we posted the brand new TV spot (watch it here), and now I’m happy to offer our readers an exclusive new poster.  As you can see after the jump, the poster is clearly a nod to the emotion in the movie, like we saw in the last one.  Having seen the footage at CinemaCon, I can tell you there will be epic action and a great story.  I really can’t wait to see the finished film.  Check out the poster and let me know what you think of it in the comments.

Mo-Cap Goes Ape in New Behind-the-Scenes Photos from DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 22 days ago

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A few days ago, we got a new set photo from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and now three more have arrived.  The story takes place 15 years after the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.  While Rise of the Planet of the Apes certainly had its fair share of apes, they’re presumably going to be an even bigger part of the sequel.  This means more mo-capping, and one of these photos show Serkis and his co-stars going ape while the other two focus on human characters played by Jason Clarke and Keri Russell and a close-up on director Matt Reeves.  But most importantly, Caesar’s going to be riding a horse.  Aw, yeah.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Gary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, Toby Kebbell, and Judy GreerDawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in 3D on July 18th.

THE AMERICANS Recap: “The Deal”

by     Posted 23 days ago

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The season, The Americans has been setting up mirrors for Philip and Elizabeth in their personal and professional lives (often both at the same time, since they overlap).  They aren’t always liking what they see.  This complicated confrontation manifested in “The Deal” as a series of conversations Philip had with an Israeli Mossad agent, and some revelations Elizabeth learned about Philip through Martha about “Clarke.”  Often subtle regarding its themes of identity, “The Deal” went whole-hog in expressing the struggle to define it.  Hit the jump for why “we are better at vodka, they are better at tobacco.”

THE AMERICANS Recap: “The Walk In”

by     Posted 37 days ago

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“The Walk In” was an episode of The Americans steeped in the past.  Past actions, past decisions, and past mistakes defined everything that took place in this hour.  The story surrounding the Jennings family still remains a lot more interesting than what’s happening with Stan — the two elements of the show (the spy story and the family drama) sometimes have difficulty coming together.  However, the dark portends at every turn did create a unifying factor.  Hit the jump for why “Ronald Reagan doesn’t care!” 

Keri Russell Talks THE AMERICANS Season 2, Reacting to the Events of Last Season, Bad-Ass Fight Scenes, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, and More

by     Posted 44 days ago

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The FX period drama The Americans is back for Season 2, as it follows the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C., shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President.  The arranged marriage of Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), whose 14-year-old daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) and 11-year-old son Henry (Keidrich Sellati) know nothing about their parents’ true identity, is becoming more genuine, as the escalation of the Cold War makes everything more dangerous.

During this exclusive interview with Collider, actress Keri Russell talked about the endless complications for characters living in a spy world, how Season 2 gets more layered and rich, that Elizabeth is really knocked off of her center after the events of last season, where things are at now between Elizabeth and Phillip, how much she enjoys the bad-ass fight scenes, how happy she was to get Margo Martindale back for a bit of this season, and why she loves working with director Thomas Schlamme.  She also talked about her experience making Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and how she owes her casting in the film to director Matt Reeves, who created the TV series Felicity with J.J. Abrams.  Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.   

First Trailer for DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, and Gary Oldman

by     Posted 121 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for director Matt Reeves’ (Let Me In) sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  The story takes place 15 years after the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.  The trailer doesn’t really go into all of that, but instead establishes a much darker tone than Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and rightly so.  This is a post-apocalypse, and the teaser gives a good sense of what Reeves is going for.  If you’re looking for a lot of Caesar, you won’t find it because there’s still plenty of effects work left to do.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Jason ClarkeKeri RussellGary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoToby KebbellEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in 3D on July 18, 2014.

Keri Russell and Producer Stephenie Meyer Talk AUSTENLAND and the Lasting Appeal of Jane Austen Stories

by     Posted 248 days ago

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Based on the novel by Shannon Hale (who also co-wrote the script with director Jerusha Hess), Austenland is a quirky romantic comedy about the 30-something and single Jane Hayes (Keri Russell), whose obsession with all things Jane Austen takes her on a trip to an English resort that caters to just that very thing.  But once there, Jane quickly realizes that finding the perfect Regency-era gentleman may be much more of a challenge than she ever could have imagined.

During a conference at the film’s press day, actress Keri Russell talked about what she’s been obsessed with, why Jane Austen stories still appeal to people, her favorite Mr. Darcy, preparing for the role and how difficult corsets are to wear when you’re pregnant, while producer Stephenie Meyer (who wrote the Twilight books) talked about her responsibilities as the film’s producer, what she likes about producing movies, what she’s been obsessed with, who inspires her as a writer, and how easy it was to work with Keri Russell.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Comic-Con: DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Panel Recap; Matt Reeves and Andy Serkis Talk Caesar’s Story, Moving Towards PLANET OF THE APES, and More

by     Posted 272 days ago

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The Planet of the Apes franchise was successfully rebooted a couple of years ago with director Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  The undisputed standout of the film was Andy Serkis’ brilliant portrayal of the ape Caesar, gorgeously brought to life by the people at Weta.  Fox’s sequel to that film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is one of the big summer tentpoles of 2014, and the film debuted some footage at Comic-Con in Hall H earlier today.  During the panel, director Matt Reeves (Let Me In) and cast members Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, and Serkis talked about focusing the story on Caesar, moving forward with a series in which the final outcome is already known, and much, much more.

Hit the jump to read my full recap of the Comic-Con panel for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

First Trailer for AUSTENLAND Starring Keri Russell, Bret McKenzie, and Jane Seymour

by     Posted 284 days ago

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The first trailer for director Jerusha Hess’ upcoming comedy Austenland has made its way online.  The film stars Keri Russell as a woman in her 30s who is so obsessed with the Pride and Prejudice character Mr. Darcy that no real-life man can compare, and her love life pays the toll. She decides to spend her life savings on a trip to a Jane Austen-themed resort in England.  The pic premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to mixed reviews (watch Steve’s video blog reaction here), but this trailer promises an interesting take on the romantic comedy genre with Flight of the ConchordsBret McKenzie as the male love interest.  Jennifer Coolidge looks to be bringing her comedy A-game as always, and I’m interested to see if the film has anything interesting to say about the world of intense fandom or if it just uses the premise as a set up for a love story.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Jane Seymour, Rupert Vansittart and James CallisAustenland opens in limited release on August 16th.

DARK SKIES Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 308 days ago

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Blumhouse Productions (Insidious, Sinister, Paranormal Activity, The Purge) has become known for micro-budget horror films that go gangbusters at the box office.  With Dark Skies, Blumhouse combined their well-honed approach to horror with a sci-fi twist, namely a threat from extraterrestrial beings.  While it’s certainly not the biggest money-maker for the production company, Dark Skies might be my favorite of their films so far.  Not only does it feature an exceptional cast in Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, Annie Thurman and J.K Simmons, but writer-director Scott Stewart combines the best of Steven Spielberg’s family-centric films with a hint of Stanley Kubrick’s psychological horror.  Now that Dark Skies is available on Blu-ray, you can check it out for yourself.  Hit the jump for my Blu-ray review.

Caesar Rides a Horse in First Official Image from the Set of DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 343 days ago

Production is currently underway in Canada on the sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and director Matt Reeves (Let Me In) has now shared the first official image from the set.  While we’ve previously seen Andy Serkis in his performance-capture gear for his work as lead ape Caesar, this image reveals that in the sequel (which takes place 15 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Caesar and his brethren have mastered the art of horseback riding.  It’s a nice nod to the original series of films, and I really can’t wait to see what the very talented Reeves brings to the new franchise.

Hit the jump to take a look at the image.  The film also stars Jason ClarkeKeri Russell, Gary Oldman, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirk Acevedo, Toby Kebbell, Enrique Murciano, and Judy GreerDawn of the Planet of the Apes opens on May 23, 2014.

First Set Photos from DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Featuring Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, and Jason Clarke

by     Posted 1 year, 7 days ago

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Production has begun on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and now we have the set photos to prove it.  Dawn is set 15 years after Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which means a new cast of humans led by Keri Russell, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.  The one constant is Andy Serkis, reprising his lead role as Caesar the ape.  Judy Greer is the major addition to the motion-capture crew, playing a potential love interest for Caesar.

The story jumps back and forth between Caesar’s new kingdom and a small human colony in San Francisco.  Caesar fights to maintain dominance over his subjects; the colony fights to survive.  Directed by Matt Reeves (Let Me In), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens May 23, 2014.  Check out the set photos featuring Serkis, Russell, Clarke, and a band of motion-capture apes after the jump.

THE AMERICANS Episode Recap: “Safe House”

by     Posted 1 year, 15 days ago

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The Americans took a break last week — something FX never does with its dramas — because of filming delays, but “Safe House” was well worth the wait.  Things got messy thanks to one personal mistake that lead to a Cold War crisis, and it was handled with controlled chaos.  What was great about the confusion and fallout that happened throughout “Safe House” was that it wasn’t arbitrary.  On some series, miscommunication and mistakes happen because people don’t speak or are unwilling to ask basic questions or confirm anything (Lost comes to mind, a show where almost no one asked anyone anything obvious).  The Americans pulled off an amazing feat of plotting this week by allowing things to happen realistically in turn, and following a situation until its natural, though most extreme, end.  Hit the jump for more on why “we should have fried chicken every day!”

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