THE NEWSROOM Season 2 Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 34 days ago

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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.

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

by     Posted 40 days ago

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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.

THE NEWSROOM Season 3 Trailer and Poster: Final Episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s Drama Tackle the Boston Bombing

by     Posted 76 days ago

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HBO has released the first full-length The Newsroom Season 3 trailer for the final six episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s drama series.  The show returns for a shortened final season due to Sorkin’s schedule, but as someone who’s stuck through the series for better or worse, I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing how Sorkin wraps things up.  I thought the second season was a marked improvement that addressed some of the show’s major issues (using a new news story as the “plot of the week”, for one), and I’m curious to see if there’s been any further tweaking for Season 3.  This new trailer shows that Jeff Daniels’ character continues his habit of yelling at people, and confirms that this season will address the 2013 Boston bombing.

Hit the jump to check out the Newsroom Season 3 trailer, the fitting new poster, and an interesting featurette.  The show also stars Emily Mortimer, Sam WaterstonAlison Pill, John Gallagher Jr., Thomas Sadoski, Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, Mamie GummerJane Fonda, and Chris MessinaThe Newsroom returns to HBO on November 9th.

Jane Fonda Talks THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, Working with the Cast and Director Shawn Levy, THE NEWSROOM, and More

by     Posted 91 days ago

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Opening this weekend after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival is director Shawn Levy’s (Real Steel) adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel This Is Where I Leave You.   Featuring a fantastic ensemble cast including Jason BatemanTina FeyAdam Driver, Corey StollJane FondaRose Byrne,Kathryn HahnConnie BrittonBen SchwartzTimothy OlyphantAaron LazarDebra MonkAbigail Spencer, and Dax Shepard, the story revolves around a dysfunctional family that is forced to come together and sit Shiva when their father dies, opening old wounds and reigniting passions that have long-since been repressed.  Loaded with great performances and a very funny script, I definitely recommend seeing the film this weekend.  For more on This is Where I Leave Youread Adam’s review or watch the trailer.

A few days ago I landed an exclusive video interview with Jane Fonda.  She talked about why she wanted to be involved in the project, what it was like collaborating with Shawn Levy, how she prepares for a role, if she’s streamlined her process, Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

HBO Releases New Teasers for THE NEWSROOM, THE COMEBACK, and BOARDWALK EMPIRE

by     Posted 115 days ago

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Last night, HBO ran the series finale for True Blood (read Allison’s recap here), but also released teasers for three shows that will be premiering this fall.  On September 7th, Boardwalk Empire will begin its fifth and final season, and as this latest teaser reminds us, “No One Goes Quietly”.  Then in November, HBO will premiere the final season of Aaron Sorkin‘s The Newsroom, and I can’t decide if it’s narcissistic or clever that they’re using script pages to tease the show’s conclusion.  And while it may be “good-bye” to Boardwalk Empire and The Newsroom, it’s “Welcome back” to The Comeback, which will also premiere in November.

Check out The Newsroom final season teaser after the jump along with the teasers for Boardwalk Empire and The Comeback.

Olivia Munn Talks DELIVER US FROM EVIL, THE NEWSROOM Season 3, MORTDECAI, and Working with Jon Stewart and Johnny Depp

by     Posted 167 days ago

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Press junkets are weird.  First, you walk into a room in a fancy hotel where you come upon a complete stranger whose face you know well, and on whom you have been given a dossier.  Then, you sit down and for about four minutes this person is basically contractually obligated to answer your questions.  You talk, but it’s not really a conversation because both your questions and, generally speaking, his or her answers are scripted riffs.  This situation is even more strange if you initially knew this stranger’s face from a talk show where you saw her conducting interviews of her own.

This is the situation I found myself in when I sat down with actress Olivia Munn to discuss her role in director Scott Derrickson’s new, semi-fact-based religious thriller Deliver Us From Evil.  The Jerry Bruckheimer production, which also stars Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, and Joel McHale unfolds as a mix between Serpico and The Exorcist and is now playing in theaters nationwide.  During our discussion, Munn was forthcoming and seemingly unscripted. We talked about Jon Stewart taking a chance on her for The Daily Show, the shocking twist ending of The Newsroom, how her geek knowledge could have helped out during the action scenes, working with Johnny Depp and mustache fetishes for the upcoming Mortdecai, and more.  Hit the jump to watch the full interview, and be sure to check out our previous Deliver Us from Evil interviews with Derrickson, Bruckheimer, Ramirez, and real-life counterpart Ralph Sarchie.

Olivia Munn Talks DELIVER US FROM EVIL, MORTDECAI with Johnny Depp, and the Final Season of THE NEWSROOM at WonderCon

by     Posted 243 days ago

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From filmmaker Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose), Deliver Us From Evil tells the story of the real-life series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes that police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) began investigating in New York.  As frightening events occur around the city, Sarchie teams up with an unconventional priest (Édgar Ramírez) who is schooled in the rituals of exorcism.

While at WonderCon to promote the film’s July 2nd theatrical release, actress Olivia Munn (who plays Sarchie’s wife and the mother of his child) spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about how she got involved with this project, why she only likes horror movies if they’re based on a true story, creating a great family core at the center of the film, why having Magic Mike and the first season of The Newsroom come out at the same time changed the way people saw her, as an actress, and getting to a place where you can change the Hollywood game.  She also talked about how they’re half-way through the final six-episode third season of the HBO series The Newsroom, that HBO won’t let the cast out of their contracts because they’re hoping show creator Aaron Sorkin will decide to do more, and how much fun she had making Mortdecai with Johnny Depp.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

HBO Renews Aaron Sorkin’s THE NEWSROOM for Third and Final Season

by     Posted 339 days ago

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After waiting and waiting to see whether Aaron Sorkin would continue with his HBO series The Newsroom, the creator has agreed to return for a third and final season.  The network announced today that it would be renewing the series for one last season, after Sorkin recently stated that he “needed time to think” about returning for a third season.  The scheduling issue that came into play was the fact that Sorkin needed to write the script for Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic before returning to his showrunning duties, and it appears that he has done so as THR reports that production on The Newsroom’s final season will commence this spring.

Joining Sorkin and executive producers Alan Poul and Scott Rudin for the third season will be former The Office showrunner and actor Paul Lieberstein (aka “Toby”), who has come onboard as an executive producer for the HBO series.  The team has been meeting in recent weeks to map out storylines, and as an avid Sorkin supporter—for better or worse—I’m eager to see what they come up with.

Aaron Sorkin Says He “Needs Time to Think” about Returning for THE NEWSROOM Season 3

by     Posted 1 year, 85 days ago

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HBO has a habit of renewing its original series very early, which makes The Newsroom a curious case.  Though Aaron Sorkin’s cable-news set drama isn’t exactly a critical darling, the show’s second season showed a steady increase in viewership and Jeff Daniels pulled a surprise Emmy win for Best Actor in a Drama Series this past Sunday.  Nevertheless, the show wrapped up its second season over a week ago and we have still yet to hear official word from HBO about season three—despite Daniels jumping the gun with a tweet “confirmation.”

What we have heard is that discussions are ongoing with Sorkin about a third season, and the ball very much appears to be in his court.  Now the creator says he “needs time to think” about doing another season of the show.  Hit the jump for more.

Thomas Sadoski Talks THE NEWSROOM Season 2, Delivering Sorkin Dialogue, Working with Olivia Munn, the Show’s Polarizing Nature, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 95 days ago

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From the mind of Aaron Sorkin (creator of The West Wing and screenwriter of The Social Network and Moneyball), The Newsroom is a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make a nightly cable-news program.  Focusing on network anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), his executive producer and former girlfriend MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer), the newsroom staff (John Gallagher, Jr., Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, Alison Pill and Thomas Sadoski) and their boss (Sam Waterston), the series tracks their idealistic and seemingly impossible mission to do the news well, in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles, as well as their own personal entanglements.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Thomas Sadoski (who plays news producer Don Keefer) talked about how challenging The Newsroom is to make, how exhausting it can be to do such fast-paced dialogue for 16 hours a day, how passionate both the fans and haters of the show are, the growth of his character in Season 2, how much fun he has working with Olivia Munn, how much he enjoyed the physical comedy he got to do this season, whether he’d watch ACN, if it were a real news network, and the new appreciation the show has given him for journalists and what it takes for them to do their job well.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Jeff Daniels Says THE NEWSROOM Has Been Renewed for a Third Season

by     Posted 1 year, 105 days ago

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HBO famously renews its original series incredibly quickly, but Aaron Sorkin’s drama show The Newsroom is barreling towards the final two episodes of its second season and we have yet to hear official word of a renewal.  That appears to have changed, though, as star Jeff Daniels recently tweeted, “It’s Official. #Newsroom coming back for a Season 3.”  Though we still haven’t heard official word from HBO regarding season three, we do know that HBO wants a third season.  The holdup has actually been a matter of scheduling instead of concern over ratings or reviews.  Hit the jump for more, including why The Newsroom just might return a little later than usual. 

HBO Executives Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo Talk GAME OF THRONES, James Gandolfini’s CRIMINAL JUSTICE, THE NEWSROOM Season 3, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 144 days ago

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While at the HBO portion of the TCA Press Tour, President of Programming Michael Lombardo and co-President Richard Plepler took some time to talk about new and returning programming.  During the interview, they spoke about how long Game of Thrones and True Blood could run for, what they have currently in development with both David Chase (The Sopranos) and David Milch (Deadwood), the status of the Criminal Justice pilot and why they think it’s best to recast the role James Gandolfini played, the possibility of a second season for Family Tree and a third season for The Newsroom, the half-hour series about high school life that they’re developing with Danny McBride and Jody Hill, and that they are no longer moving ahead with a Transporter series at Cinemax.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Character Posters for Season 2 of THE NEWSROOM

by     Posted 1 year, 187 days ago

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HBO has released character posters for the upcoming season of The Newsroom.  As we previously reported, season two will focus on the 2012 Presidential campaign, but EW reports that the season will begin on August 23, 2011 (the day Muammar Gaddafi’s Tripoli compound was captured by rebel forces) and also cover major events including “the Tea Party/American Taliban, the general election including the primaries and conventions, Trayvon Martin, the Affordable Care Act, and drones,” because Aaron Sorkin wants to throw in his two cents but use a TV series instead of a blog.  The new posters cleverly play up Sorkin’s impeccable one-liners, but also use the very serious reporters staring pensively.

Hit the jump to check out the posters.  The Newsroom returns July 14th.

New to Blu-ray: OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS, HOUSE OF CARDS, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 190 days ago

Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:

Sam Waterston Discusses His Comedic Work on THE NEWSROOM in Exclusive Bonus Feature from The Complete First Season DVD/Blu-ray

by     Posted 1 year, 191 days ago

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Creator Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama series The Newsroom returns for its second season next month, but the first season of the cable news-set show hits stores on Blu-ray and DVD soon, and we here at Collider are happy to share an exclusive clip from one of the bonus features included on the set.  In this clip from the bonus feature called “The Rundown,” Sorkin, Jeff Daniels, and Sam Waterston discuss Waterson’s wonderfully charming comedic performance as Charlie Skinner.  In the clip, Waterston admits that he never knows when Sorkin is writing Skinner drunk and when he’s writing him sober, so he has to decide just how loose to play Skinner in any given scene.

Hit the jump to watch the clip.  The Newsroom: The Complete First Season will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on June 11th, and the set also includes the full “The Rundown” roundtable interview feature, a behind-the-scenes look at the show’s sets, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, interviews with Sorkin about each episode, and more.  Season two of The Newsroom premieres on HBO July 14th.

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