There are rare occasions when a new television show establishes itself so well and gives such a sense of purpose that you feel you’ve been with it all along. Showtime’s Homeland was a fine example, with one of the best drama pilots I’ve ever come across. But Banshee, the new drama from Cinemax, is a close contender. It also has the surprising distinction, so far, of possibly being a contemporary heir-apparent to Deadwood.
The series comes from Alan Ball, who lest we forget, gave us American Beauty and Six Feet Under before he lost his way with True Blood. Banshee is a callback, thankfully, to his earlier work, focusing on that familiar territory of the underbelly of a sleepy, small town. The series’ title comes from the name of the town where the show is set, deep in rural Pennsylvania, in Amish country (or close to it). But despite the rural setting, there is plenty going on. Hit the jump for the specifics and more reasons to give this one a shot.
After what’s been years of successful action/comedy/horror films for Simon Pegg, the versatile actor is now reportedly looking to the small screen for a more dramatic project in L.A. Noir. Pegg is circling as a guest star in the pilot written and directed by Frank Darabont. He will join lead actor Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), as well as Neil McDonough (Minority Report) and Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes) in the TNT period drama. Set in the 1940s and 1950s, L.A. Noir chronicles the war between the LAPD’s Captain William Parker (McDonough) and the mobster, Mickey Cohen. Bernthal stars as Joe Teague, an ex-Marine turned LAPD cop who gets caught up in the conflict, while Ventimiglia stars as a former Marine who served with Teague in WWII and becomes a lawyer for the mob. THR reported on Pegg circling a guest role, but so far there are few details as to his character.
Hit the jump for a casting update on True Blood-creator Alan Ball’s Banshee.
Universal Pictures has sent over four clips from The Thing. The film is a prequel to John Carpenter’s classic 1982 horror pic. The premise is similar to Carpenter’s original, as it centers on a group of scientists in Antarctica who are tormented by an alien being that has the ability to mask itself in human form. Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., the film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Eric Christian Olsen, Ulrich Thomsen, and Davetta Sherwood. Hit the jump to check out the clips and look for our exclusive interviews with the cast in the coming days. The Thing opens October 14th.
What does it mean to set an example? Can a show of great violence stop further violence? Can a show of great peace cause peace? Susanne Bier’s In a Better World explores these questions but it never manages to find their dramatic weight. The film features some gorgeous cinematography, interesting characters, and solid performances, but they never coalesce into a compelling story. The narrative has trouble finding its pace as it jumps between various characters and their struggles, but never builds much tension. At its best, it’s a cold, meditative drama and at its worst, it comes off like The Adventures of Young Punisher.
With director Dominic Sena’s Season of the Witch opening on January 7, we’ve been given 9 movie clips and an exclusive TV spot. Here’s the synopsis:
Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman star in this supernatural action adventure about a heroic Crusader and his closest friend who return home after decades of fierce fighting, only to find their world destroyed by the Plague. The church elders, convinced that a girl accused of being a witch is responsible for the devastation, command the two to transport the strange girl to a remote monastery where monks will perform an ancient ritual to rid the land of her curse. They embark on a harrowing, action-filled journey that will test their strength and courage as they discover the girl’s dark secret and find themselves battling a terrifyingly powerful force that will determine the fate of the world.
Hit the jump to check out the movie clips and the TV spot: