This week on Blu-ray a number of 2012 titles hit home video in the absence of older films. Briefly:
Hit the jump for all the details.
Before the 2012 Emmy Nominations are officially announced (July 19th), I wanted to jump in and highlight some of what I believe to be some of the best underrated performances on television this year. Putting aside some of the perennial winners, the following discussion for each of the major categories is likely to mention plenty of names who won’t get Emmy mentions this year, but certainly should (and others who may get a nod, but likely won’t win). Hit the jump for the (spoiler-free!) list that is not meant to be exhaustive (after all, I do watch an unhealthy amount of TV but I’m not caught up on everything), but hopefully brings at least a few of those dark horses to light with the recognition they deserve.
HBO has canceled David Milch and Michael Mann‘s horse-racing drama Luck after the third death of a horse this season. The show had been picked up for a second season and filming was underway, but on Tuesday a horse was injured when she “reared, flipped over backwards, and struck her head on the ground.” The on-set veterinarian determined that humane euthanasia was appropriate. Two horses were injured and euthanized during the first season, so apparently HBO was operating on the “Three Dead Horses and You’re Out” rule.
While HBO probably renewed Luck due to its cost and star prestige (the show stars Dustin Hoffman), it wasn’t turning into a breakout hit the size of Boardwalk Empire or Game of Thrones. This isn’t to say that HBO would have gone on in spite of the horse deaths had Luck been a bigger hit, but I don’t think any of the network executives are going to be upset at losing an expensive show that had soft ratings. Hit the jump for a statement from the network.
The official premiere of Luck just aired this past weekend on Sunday night, but HBO is already so pleased with the series that the cable network announced today that a second season has already been ordered. Director Michael Mann and Deadwood creator David Milch delivered quite the dramatic pilot set in the world of horse racing and gambling with Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte really adding gravitas to the series, likely joining Steve Buscemi and Boardwalk Empire with Emmy nods later this year. The second season will consist of 10 episodes with production resuming at the end of next month and a premiere set sometime in January of 2013. For the full press release, hit the jump.
With the midseason premieres of several new and returning series just around the corner on network television, cable has plenty of new stuff in store as well. Deadline reports HBO has just brought their midseason premiere schedule to the table with the return of the third (and possible final) season of Danny McBride in Eastbound & Down returning on February 19th at 10/9c. Then following immediately after on the same night at 10:30/9:30c Ricky Gervais brings yet another one of his British successes to the cable network with Life’s Too Short. But before all that, the new drama series Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman, will debut on January 29th. However, the series will actually have a sneak preview after the season finale of Boardwalk Empire on December 11th as well. After the jump you can check out the trailers for all three series.
When it comes to David Milch shows on HBO, I have an embarrassing confession. I watched (and liked) every episode of John from Cincinnati before I ever saw a minute of Deadwood. I am in the process of amending that, now catching up with the third season of the quintessential Western series. But to avoid further shame, I need to be on the ground floor of Milch’s next project, Luck. Now, thanks to Variety, I know exactly when the ground floor is open. HBO will reach out to the Boardwalk Empire audience, hoping a big turnout for the season finale will stay tuned for a sneak peak of the series premiere of Luck on December 11.
To be clear, pride is hardly the only motivation to anticipate Luck. Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Richard Kind, Kevin Dunn, and Michael Gambon star in the drama set at the Santa Anita racetrack. Michael Mann directed the pilot. And, you know, it’s HBO. In case you need further convincing, watch the teaser trailer after the jump.
HBO has released a new trailer for David Milch and Michael Mann’s upcoming horse-gambling drama Luck. If Milch (Deadwood) and Mann (Heat) didn’t already get you excited for the show, here’s the cast: Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Richard Kind, Kevin Dunn, and Michael Gambon. The main plotline focuses on as Ace Bernstain (Hoffman) a man who, after three years in prison, teams with his longtime chauffeur and muscle (Farina), to craft a complex plan involving the Santa Anita racetrack. Of course, this is HBO where there are 3 or 4 plotlines per episode and you have to learn the names of 18 or 19 regular cast members.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. Luck premieres January 2012.
In the independent drama Bloodworth, E.F. Bloodworth (Kris Kristofferson) returns home to Tennessee to find the wife he walked out on (Frances Conroy) withered and faded, and his three sons – Warren (Val Kilmer), Boyd (Dwight Yoakam) and Brady (W. Earl Brown) – grown and soured by years of anger. Only Fleming (Reece Thompson), the old man’s grandson, treats him with the respect his age commands, and sees past all the hatred to realize the way it can poison a man’s soul.
At the film’s press day, actor/screenwriter/producer W. Earl Brown talked about the roller coaster of getting financing for the film, having Kris Kristofferson sign on for the lead role, getting to meet one of his heroes and having it live up to the expectation, and how cathartic it can be to play a character that was so angry. He also talked about what he learned on his time from Deadwood, working with David Milch, the role he plays in the upcoming HBO series Luck, and his next writing project, a thriller called Reverse Course. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
The cable network just premiered their brand new spectacular fantasy series Game of Thrones last night (read my review here), but HBO is already giving us a taste of another new series in their future. The network recently premiered a short featurette on the horse racing series Luck starring Dustin Hoffman with a pilot directed by Michael Mann (Collateral). The series takes a provocative look at horse racing including the owners, gamblers, jockeys and diverse gaming industry players.
Once again, with little effort, HBO has me interested in yet another one of their new drama series. And with a cast that also includes Joan Allen, Michael Gambon, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Kevin Dunn, Richard Kind, Jason Gedrick, Ritchie Coster, Ian Hart, Tom Payne, Kerry Condon, Gary Stevens, and Nick Nolte, this should be something worth seeing down the road. Check out the featurette after the jump for your first look at Luck.
Heavy Rain sounds like it has a chance to be the first decent movie based on a video game ever. The game itself is inherently cinematic — a suspenseful noir thriller in which the Origami Killer drowns his victims on exceptionally rainy days and leaves behind folded paper calling cards. But that potential could easily fall apart at the script stage. The chances of such happening have just reduced tenfold, as Variety reports David Milch has signed on to pen the adaptation.
Milch has created/co-created two seminal television series in Deadwood and NYPD Blue*, so if he can’t turn in a quality script, we should probably give up on trying to turn these things into movies. Milch will get to work on Heavy Rain once he finishes work on season one of Luck, the HBO series headlined by Dustin Hoffman due later this year. Hit the jump for a Heavy Rain synopsis and game trailer.
Though he’ll always be Dr. Alan Grant in my eyes, Sam Neill has done a myriad of different films with just the right amount of gravitas. Now it looks like he’ll be bringing his talents to the small screen as Deadline reports the actor has landed a role in J.J. Abrams mysterious new series Alcatraz over at Fox. Neill will play Emerson Hauser, the head of a government agency who radiates authority and piercing intelligence. The story itself follows a team of FBI agents and a female police officer (previously announced Sarah Jones) as they track down a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day after disappearing 30 years ago. Neill joins Jorge Garcia (Lost), Jonny Coyne and Jason Butler Harner.
Hit the jump for details on a new cast member for HBO’s new series Luck.
After the highly-disappointing Public Enemies, director Michael Mann shifted over to television and worked on the upcoming HBO series Luck co-created by David Milch (Deadwood) and starring Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, and Dennis Farina. However, The Financial Times reports [via Deadline] that Mann is currently looking ahead to what may be his next feature film. In addition to a previously-reported biopic of photographer Robert Capa, Mann is also looking at “an epic tale set in medieval Europe, about the build-up to the 15th-century battle of Agincourt between England and France.” Deadline adds that the project would be based on Bernard Cornwell’s novel Agincourt, which centers on a young warrior whose personal tale serves as a portal to the Battle of Agincourt. We’ve included the official synopsis for Agincourt after the jump.
Mann is also considering Big Tuna. Not a tale about Jim Halpert, the story is a biopic of notorious Chicago crime boss Tony Accardo and the younger man who succeeded him. Should he choose to go with Big Tuna, hopefully Mann will come out with a better gangster biopic than he did with Public Enemies. As for Luck, which is another crime tale—this time set in the world of Los Angeles horse-racing and gambling—it’s set to premiere sometime in late 2011 or early 2012.
When you look at the caliber of talent behind the pilot for the horse racing drama Luck, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that HBO would order it to series. Michael Mann directed the pilot from a script by Deadwood creator David Milch, with a cast toplined by Dustin Hoffman. See what I mean?
According to The Live Feed, the cast is rounded out by Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Kevin Dunn, Richard Kind, Jason Gedrick, Ritchie Coster, Ian Hart, Tom Payne, Kerry Condon, Gary Stevens, and Nick Nolte. Production begins this fall, so Luck should debut on HBO sometime next year along with the fantasy series Game of Thrones. Meanwhile, the Martin Scorsese-directed first episode of the Prohibition-era gangster series Boardwalk Empire premieres September 19th on the network.
It looks like 2009 Best Actor Nominee, Richard Jenkins, will be adding yet another Farrelly Brothers film to his resume. Both Jenkins and Bruce Thomas (Kyle XY) have signed on to join an all-star cast in the upcoming comedy, Hall Pass. Jenkins previously appeared in the Farrelly’s There’s Something About Mary, and Me, Myself & Irene. The film will be directed by brothers, Bobby and Peter Farrelly, and also stars Owen Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Jason Sudeikis, Christian Applegate, and Alyssa Milano. According to Variety, the story “revolves around two married couples whose wives give the husbands a ‘hall pass’ to engage in extracurricular affairs”.
And over at HBO, the horse racing series Luck continues to add to its already impressive cast list. Richard Kind, most recently seen in the 2010 Best Picture nominee, A Serious Man, will portray a jockey’s agent. Also, Ian Hart (Dirt) has been cast as a recently wealthy fast talker who provides funding for a number of Pick Six bets. Created by David Milch, of NYPD Blue and Deadwood fame, Luck stars Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, Nick Nolte, and John Ortiz as a group of guys and their obsessions in the world of horse racing. Michael Mann will serve as co-executive producer and will direct the pilot episode.
The cast of David Milch (Deadwood) and Michael Mann’s (Heat) horse-racing and gambling drama Luck continues to expand as Kevin Dunn (Transformers) , Kerry Condon (The Last Station), and Tom Payne (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day) have all joined the cast. The HBO drama series will feature Dustin Hoffman as Ace Bernstain, a man who, after three years in prison, teams with his longtime chauffeur and muscle (played by Dennis Farina), to craft a complex plan involving the Santa Anita racetrack.
THR reports that Dunn will play the prodigious misanthrope who is the ringmaster of a syndicate of misfits. Condon will play an exercise rider who is interested in “Bug Boy” (Payne), an apprentice jockey.
As we reported earlier today, Nick Nolte has also just joined the cast and will play a formerly famous trainer known as “The Old Man”.