After weeks of deliberation, last night I made the decision to resume my Netflix subscription. Today, after having watched the pilot episode of its original series Orange is the New Black, I can say with confidence that was $7.99 well spent. Only one episode in and I can absolutely see myself spending the rest of this Labor Day weekend devouring the remaining 12 episodes with ease. While you’ve likely read some of the show’s rave reviews elsewhere already, I’ll lend my own endorsement by saying that the pilot offers a near-perfect balance of humor and drama. Moreover, the pace is never slowed by consistent cutting between Piper Chapman’s (Taylor Schilling) past transgressions and present consequences. If anything, it serves to heighten the depressing reality of the situation we find Chapman in. All said, I give the pilot high marks all around and myself a disappointed facepalm for not having got in on the series sooner.
My reintroduction to Netflix aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights part one of our Ender’s Game set visit, the first trailer for Dallas Buyers Club, an editorial by Matt imploring all of us to stop asking for Bryan Cranston to play Lex Luthor, the first trailer for Divergent, and a little bit of extra plot info regarding Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar. As you may expect, a brief recap and link to everything I just mentioned can be found after the jump.
1. ENDER’S GAME Set Visit Part One: 25 Things to Know About the Film
Having not read the book, my anticipation for the film adaptation of Ender’s Game is more vested in seeing how those who adore Orson Scott Card’s novel react to Gavin Hood’s movie than actually seeing the adaptation myself. Friends and colleagues of mine who love the book and are subsequently excited for the film remind me a lot of myself in the days leading up to the release of Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. The idea of seeing something that meant so much to me in book form play out on the big screen was exciting to say the least and I’m hoping they’re as satisfied with the Ender’s Game movie as I was the Watchmen one. All of this said, if you’re in the least bit excited for Ender’s Game, I recommend checking out part one of our set visit which features 25 things Scott Wampler thinks you should should know about the film.
2. First Trailer for DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Not so bold prediction: Matthew McConaughey will be nominated for an Oscar this year. While I loved his performance in writer/director Jeff Nichols’ Mud, I’m thinking it will come either via his work in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street or in Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club which debuted its great first trailer, poster, and new images earlier this week. Okay, so maybe my prediction is totally piggybacking off of our own Adam Chitwood’s sentiment in his first Oscar Beat feature only a few days ago. That said, my hope is that if McConaughey does indeed get nominated you completely forget Chitwood’s feature and attribute all of that early buzz to yours truly.
3. Editorial: Stop Asking for Bryan Cranston to Play Lex Luthor
This past week, Matt issued all of us a sincere request: Stop Asking for Bryan Cranston to Play Lex Luthor. Whether you agree or disagree with the premise of his editorial (I tend to agree, although I think it misses an opportunity to give a “tip of the hat” to talented casting directors who get it right more times than not) I think it brings up an interesting issue he calls “fan-casting”. This one is definitely worth a read and is ripe for debate in the comments section.
4. First Trailer for DIVERGENT
Last week, I pronounced myself as willfully out-of-touch regarding YA novel adaptations when discussing The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. While my state of content ignorance also applies to Divergent, I do have to say that the first trailer for Neil Burger’s movie felt more action-packed than I expected. It also didn’t imply the classic “I’d rather die than live without you” love interest between Shailene Woodley and Theo James’ characters which I appreciated. Let’s hope the full movie keeps that trait in tact because nothing says “I’m unique and refuse to conform to societal expectations!” like a teenage girl who can’t live without a hot boyfriend to provide her some sense of self-worth.
5. New Plot Info on INTERSTELLAR; Matt Damon Joins Cast
While I despise spoilers as much as the next moviegoer, I’ll admit that I generally like to know something about the movie I’m paying to see. That in mind, I’ve been aching for a little more info on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and this past week provided me with just enough plot clues to keep me interested into November 2014. Also, the movie added Matt Damon because, let’s face it, the cast didn’t feature enough successful actors/actresses already.