House of Cards Season 6 (Television/TV Review) – A Terrible Final Season

Fans of House of Cards were stunned when the heinous acts of Kevin Spacey were revealed. Clearly, no other option remained than to fire him from House of Cards which meant that Season 5 was the last season where we would see Frank Underwood in this political TV show.

All of this meant that Season 6 was in doubt. However, a sixth and final season of House of Cards did go ahead with Robin Wright playing the lead role of Claire Underwood. I was interested to see how this final season of House of Cards would wrap up the long-running storylines and what affect the absence of Kevin Spacey would have on the show.

My Thoughts On House of Cards Season 6

When the credits rolled on the final episode of House of Cards, it was clear to me that Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood was badly missed; he was the show. Season 6 of House of Cards felt rudderless without him as the focal point.

After everything that came out about Kevin Spacey, there was absolutely no way he could have continued playing Frank Underwood in this television series. With the benefit of hindsight though, Season 6 should not have been made. House of Cards should have ended with Season 5. The show should have ended with Kevin Spacey.

This is because Season 6 is an utter mess. Everything in this eight-episode season of House of Cards felt rushed and not enough time was given to wrap up all of the interconnected storylines in a satisfying way. Because of this, what we were eventually led to was an ending that was abysmal. The last five minutes in the finale of Season 6 were an absolute joke when it came to closure.

The performances in this season of House of Cards were still very good, especially from Robin Wright, but they could not save a season of television that had such bad storytelling. Season 6 was a terrible way to end House of Cards and end a TV show that was so crucial to the success of Netflix as a major player in the entertainment industry.

House of Cards Season 6 Review

 

Film/TV News – Steve Carell Discusses Welcome to Marwen + The Office

In recent years, Steve Carell has diversified his portfolio by doing a mix of comedic and dramatic roles in films. Indeed, for every Anchorman 2 there is a Foxcatcher and this has showcased the range Steve Carell has as an actor.

Welcome to Marwen is one of his upcoming films and, at a press day for this movie in Los Angeles, Collider interviewed Steve Carell about Welcome to Marwen. He also spoke about The Office, the TV show that really propelled his career to new heights in the entertainment industry.

Welcome to Marwen

Steve Carell had this to say on the reaction he had when he found out that it was director Robert Zemeckis who had the rights to Welcome to Marwen:

Wow! I was a little overwhelmed. I just decided to take a chance, and I’ve never done that before. I’ve never felt compelled to go after something the way that I did this. The themes of the story touched me because it’s about love and hate.”

I’m not telling anyone how to feel about the film, but what I thought, going in, was that here’s a guy who experienced a very traumatic episode in his life, and the way he was able to come out the other side and find a path of healing through his art, was so beautiful and so inspiring. And the fact that from something so ugly came something so beautiful, just really touched me.”

The Office

Steve Carell also spoke about whether he has any desire to reprise his role as Michael Scott in any reunion of The Office and whether The Office would ever come back in the first place:

I’ll tell you, no. I feel like I’m a broken record, talking about this because I get asked about it. The show is way more popular now than when it was on the air. I just can’t see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same thing, but it wouldn’t be.”

Ultimately, I think it’s maybe best to leave well enough alone and just let it exist as what it was. You’d literally have to have all of the same writers, the same producers, the same directors, and the same actors, and even with all of those components, it just wouldn’t be the same. So, no.”

But, I love the show. It was the most exciting time, and all of those people are my friends. We all love it. It was a special thing. It was a special thing before people thought it was a special thing. It was special to us, before other people started feeling that way. But, no.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Film News – Nicolas Cage On Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse + Mandy

Eccentric actor Nicolas Cage could not have picked two more radically different films to star in 2018 than Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mandy. These movies operate in completely different genres and mediums of film but they have both been well received by movie critics. In a wide-ranging email interview with Collider, Nicholas Cage discussed both Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mandy.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Here is what Nicolas Cage said on what he did to channel noir icons such as Humphrey Bogart into his vocal performance for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:

Nothing specific but more of a recall, more of a collage of memories, to try and bring some kind of flavor or color of it – but nothing 100%. It’s still very fluid. It’s more of an essence of the way those guys would talk in their movies back in the 30s.”

Mandy

Nicolas Cage had this to say on the one thing from the filming of Mandy that will stick with him forever:

We were trying to get this one shot after Red already had the skull juice and turned into a golem of sorts…and he is about to grab one of the cult children and throw him against the tree and Panos had to have it happen just right. It was all about timing, the speed in which I would get him against the tree.”

We did that shot about 15 or 20 times – which we never had happen before, and after I looked at Panos and said ‘That was the shot from Hell.’ and he looked at me and took about a two-second beat and he said, ‘Well, they are all from Hell.’”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Star Wars Resistance: Season 1 Episodes 9 – 10 (Television/TV Review) – Great Character Development of Yeager, Torra and Doza

In my opinion, Yeager has been a big miss in the most recent episodes of Star Wars Resistance. For me, he is the most compelling character in this animated Star Wars television show because we hardly know anything about him. This gives him a mysterious aura and I have been dying to find out more about his past.

Thankfully, in ‘The Platform Classic’, we would get the chance to heavily focus on Yeager and his past. We would also find out more about Doza in ‘Secrets and Holograms’ and this all ties into what I mentioned in my last Star Wars Resistance review in regards to this first season having episodes that will prioritise characters rather than the main plot.

My Thoughts On Season 1 Episodes 9 – 10 Of Star Wars Resistance

‘The Platform Classic’ is easily one of the best episodes so far in Season 1 of Star Wars Resistance, especially when it comes to character. In this episode, Yeager is reunited with his brother Marcus and they clearly do not have the warmest of relationships.

As we find out later on, this is because, in a past race involving Marcus and Yeager, Marcus used hyperfuel to boost his ship to disastrous results. His ship spun out of control and killed several people, including Yeager’s family.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how well this dark backstory linked very well into the story beats of ‘Fuel for the Fire’ which itself was probably the weakest episode of Resistance so far. In this sense, ‘The Platform Classic’ gave ‘Fuel for the Fire’ more relevance to the narrative of Resistance. Plus, this was an episode that really fleshed out Yeager as a character which was great.

Eventually, a race at The Colossus takes place that Marcus needs to win to pay off a debt to the Guavian Death Gang (that itself was a nice link to Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Yeager races against Marcus and they let everything out about the past and their relationship. As a result, they are able to settle their differences which establishes the foundation for forgiveness.

Indeed, the last moments of ‘The Platform Classic’ showcase an important message from Yeager; “it’s important to forgive people. When you don’t, nobody wins”. I hope that we get to see more of Marcus and Yeager together sooner rather than later if it leads to more great moments and messages like this.

Doza’s Past

As I mentioned earlier, ‘Secrets and Holograms’ gave us insight into Doza’s past through a story that showed us more of his daughter Torra as well as progressing the main plot of Resistance. Indeed, we see that Doza is still reluctantly collaborating with The First Order and is considering their offer of “protection”.

We also get to see how much Torra is suffering from cabin fever on The Colossus. This helped us find out more about her character which was good and, in this episode of Resistance, she uses Kaz as an escape from her enforced reclusive lifestyle.

However, Kaz has a mission to do and his continuing distrust of Doza is not helped when he discovers an Imperial uniform in Doza’s quarters. The reason why he was there in the first place was to obtain the contract data given to Doza by The First Order but, clearly, the more interesting piece of knowledge that Kaz obtained was the fact that Doza used to be in the Empire.

Now, for Kaz, this is more “proof” that Doza is The First Order spy. However, for us as the audience, it is obvious that, given how Doza has shown that he does not like The First Order and that he wants to protect Torra from them, he defected from the Empire. The question is what caused him to do this?

Kaz’s actions in ‘Secrets and Holograms’ did not go unnoticed by Torra who suspects Kaz’s true purpose on The Colossus. Consequently, I would expect that she would be the first person who Kaz tells about who he really is and what he is really doing on The Colossus.

My Final Thoughts On Season 1 Episodes 9 – 10 Of Star Wars Resistance

Still, we will probably not get to that stage until the end of Season 1. For now, all I will say is that both ‘The Platform Classic’ and ‘Secrets and Holograms’ were great episodes of Resistance that developed characters like Yeager, Torra and Doza while still giving us the good humorous moments that give this TV show its heart and soul.

Star Wars Resistance Season 1 Episodes 9 - 10 Review The Platform Classic Secrets and Holograms

 

TV News – Michael Schur On The Office

It is very rare for a UK television show to be successfully adapted into a US TV series. You just have to look at The Inbetweeners to see this. However, The Office is an exception. Indeed, the US version is beloved and it is considered by many to be one of the best modern comedy TV shows. One of the writers of The Office was Michael Schur and, in an interview with Vox, he explains why the US version of The Office eventually succeeded.

The Office

Here is what Michael Schur had to say on some of the reasons why the US version of The Office succeeded:

The path [The Office] took was fascinating, and even though I was working on that show, I became a sort of student of the path of that show. And I remember tracking, internally, all of the things that went right with that show. There are so many, but I’ll give you three examples of things that went right for that show.”

Thing No. 1: That show was developed by Kevin Reilly, who was running NBC at the time. He had come from FX, and he loved the British show, and he was very passionate about The Office. So he gave [creator] Greg [Daniels] the chance to basically do it the way he wanted and basically cast it the way he wanted. He was very invested in the show.”

Thing No. 2: Over that off-season, after those six episodes aired that nobody liked, Steve Carell became a gigantic movie star. Just totally coincidentally, 40-Year-Old Virgin comes out, and the world goes, ‘Oh my God, look at this guy. Look how funny he is, and look how kind he is, and look how talented he is.’ And NBC goes, ‘Well, we have this giant movie star under contract…’”

And, look, things one and two are related here. They partially gave us the second season because they had Steve under contract.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Film/Movie Review) – Trash of the Highest Order

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a fantasy film directed by David Yates with J. K. Rowling returning to write the screenplay for this sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It is the second instalment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise and the tenth in the Wizarding World franchise that began with the Harry Potter movie series.

The Crimes of Grindelwald features a large ensemble cast that includes Kevin Guthrie, Claudia Kim, William Nadylam, Callum Turner, Johnny Depp, Zoe Kravitz, Ezra Miller, Jude Law, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston and Eddie Redmayne.

The story of this movie focuses on Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). He is instructed by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to help take down the escaped dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).

My Expectation For Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The mixed reviews for The Crimes of Grindelwald were a real disappointment to see. I wanted to go into this film full of confidence that it was going to be good but I could not muster any optimism. My pessimism was also influenced by the fact that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them did not hold up on a repeat viewing.

I still think the first Fantastic Beasts film is a decent movie but it was not as good as I remembered it to be when I first watched it in 2016. Consequently, my expectations for The Crimes of Grindelwald were pretty low. Still, surely the film could not be as bad as some of the reviews made it out to be.

My Thoughts On Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is absolute trash. A bad and boring first and second act are topped by a gigantic turd of a third act that had me crying with laughter at its absurdity. The whole cinema was silent and I could not contain myself; I was streaming tears with how ridiculous the last half-hour of the film was.

In its defence, there are things in The Crimes of Grindelwald that I thought were positives. No one gives a bad performance and Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore is the standout. He is very good as Dumbledore and everything in the first and second act that had to do with him and Hogwarts was enjoyable to watch.

Indeed, the best scene of the film is when Dumbledore solemnly looks into the Mirror of Erised. This was a great link to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and the Dumbledore/Grindelwald relationship. It was a great piece of visual storytelling.

The Negatives Of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

However, there is more bad than good in this film so let us move on to everything else in The Crimes of Grindelwald that ranges from bad to atrocious. For one, the film is woefully paced. I mentioned earlier that the first and second acts are boring and this was all down to how sluggish this film feels. For a lot of the time, it was a real struggle to be engaged with what was happening in The Crimes of Grindelwald.

I also thought that a decision made by Queenie (Alison Sudol) came out of absolutely nowhere. The reasons for this decision being made were not established well and it was one of many examples of the overall poor storytelling in this film. Still, the biggest crimes that The Crimes of Grindelwald commits is how, firstly, the universe is made smaller by ridiculous twists and connections between characters that contradicts established canon.

Indeed, it was a certain exposition scene which explained a mysterious part of the plot that started off my uncontrollable laughter but I was already laughing at parts of the film prior to this. The other huge crime is that this movie is not fun and for a Wizarding World film to not be fun is an utter disgrace in my opinion.

I also thought the lighting was awful. I was straining to see what was going on at various times during the movie. All of these overwhelming negative aspects absolutely establish Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald as the worst film I have seen in 2018.

Fantastic Beasts 2 The Crimes of Grindelwald Film Movie Review

 

Film News – Cinematographer James Laxton On If Beale Street Could Talk

Barry Jenkins has, for many, followed up Moonlight with a film as equally impressive in the form of If Beale Street Could Talk. From the reviews I have read and/or watched for this movie, one of the qualities that unites both Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk is the impressive cinematography.

James Laxton was the cinematographer for both films and, in an exclusive interview with Collider, Laxton had the chance to speak in-depth about If Beale Street Could Talk.

If Beale Street Could Talk

One of the things James Laxton discussed was the initial conversations he had with Barry Jenkins about If Beale Street Could Talk:

So I guess I knew about Beale Street not long after Moonlight, in terms of when it was discussed. He wrote them at the same time, so being a close collaborator of Barry’s, I learned about Beale Street around the same time that I learned about Moonlight and then making Moonlight first, but this story and this movie adaptation was long coming.”

That’s something I think is a good benefit of Barry and I, we get to hash out ideas over the course of months if not years of sharing thoughts and perspectives about a project long before we even get to the set.”

So while we like to use natural light and work quickly, the basic vocabulary of films, and the more fleshed out concepts of what we apply on screen kind of comes from having conversations weeks, months, years back. So I learned about Beale Street somewhere around 2016 probably, 2015 maybe even.”

And yeah I think the early conversations were just sort of poking at the surface of an idea of what the language of the film could be. Closer to when the production started, during pre-production I think we talked about sharing Mr. Baldwin’s written vocabulary—how he writes, his style of writing—to try and adapt that to the screen in terms of how do we move the camera.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Film News – Laurence Fishburne On Apocalypse Now + His Career

Laurence Fishburne is an actor who commands respect. Indeed, his roles in classic movies such as The Matrix, Boyz n the Hood and Apocalypse Now as well as his role as Perry White in the DCEU have given him a successful career in the film industry.

He has no plans to stop now with upcoming roles in John Wick 3 and Clint Eastwood’s The Mule. In an interview with Collider at the Marrakech Film Festival, Laurence Fishburne discussed Apocalypse Now and his career in general.

Apocalypse Now

Laurence Fishburne had this to say on how important Apocalypse Now was for him:

That movie was really the beginning of me thinking of myself as an artist. It was the beginning of my understanding of cinema, it was the beginning of my understanding of the world, because I was suddenly taken out of Brooklyn and I was in the Philippines in the middle of Asia.”

I was in a place where most of the people looked like me, so it opened up a whole world of possibilities. My work with Francis on Apocalypse Now and all the films I did afterwards with him (The Cotton Club, Rumble Fish, Gardens of Stone) really shaped me and formed me as an artist.”

His Career

Laurence Fishburne also spoke about whether he has seen any progression in the film industry from his perspective as a black actor:

Things have been changing. People have been trying to change things throughout my career. For people of color, for women, for everybody and I think now people are succeeding in a way that we haven’t seen before. So it’s a great time.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Film News – Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman + Peter Ramsey Discuss Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

It feels really weird to be in December and not have a new Star Wars film being released. Still, the void is slightly filled with movies such as Aquaman, Bumblebee, Mary Poppins Returns and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Indeed, the latter of these films is receiving a ton of praise with many film critics stating that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the best animated superhero film ever made in addition to being one of the best films of 2018.

The directors for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse are Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman and Peter Ramsey and, in an interview with Collider, they had the chance to speak about this Marvel animated superhero movie.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman had this to say on the process of creating the script for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:

PETER RAMSEY: “It’s an insanely organic process. Even the writing of the script is part of that whole flow, so there’s very little delineation between like an actual script page and what ends up in boards or what comes out of the art department. It’s all a really free-flowing sort of thing that we all just shepherded along and threw things in the pot, stir, and stir, and taste it.

See where we are, then it’ll bounce back to pages. Its one of those things that it’s like, it really was all about the film as a process in and of itself rather than, ‘Here we have a finished script. Now we will do exactly what’s on the page and nothing more.’ It was much more alive than that.”

ROTHMAN: “Some ideas start in the script. Most ideas, a lot of ideas happen downstream from the script and then as we’re working on the script, if we have to tweak or rewrite a scene, all of a sudden we’ve seen what animation is doing, or we’ve seen what the art department has added.”

And that makes us think of this other idea. It is a really organic process of seeing what the team is doing and then refining what you’re doing and emphasizing things that seem to be working well and disappearing things that aren’t.”

Miles Morales

Bob Persichetti said this on what type of person they wanted Miles Morales to be in this film:

A kid from Brooklyn, first and foremost. He’s meant to be your average teenager from Brooklyn with a loving mom and dad. That’s the big difference between him and Peter Parker is he still has both his parents.”

We tried to make him as relatable as possible, because even though it’s a radioactive spider that triggers it, it’s really just a simple coming of age story for him. Putting him in New York, and thinking about all the aspects of this film, a lot of the different cultural aspects of this film originated in New York from comic books to hip-hop to graffiti to the idea of Spider-Man, period.”

It was really just trying to create a kid who maybe had a little bit of a creative soul in him and was searching for an identity. Making sure that he was challenged and grew and had like a radioactive puberty.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Star Wars Resistance: Season 1 Episodes 7 – 8 (Television/TV Review) – Decent Side-Mission Episodes

From the synopsis’ for ‘Signal from Sector Six’ and ‘Synara’s Score’, these episodes did not come across as ones that would showcase the main plot of Star Wars Resistance. Clearly, in a first season of any television series, character personalities and dynamics need to be established so not every episode of Resistance is going to heavily showcase the main story.

With that in mind, I hoped that these episodes of Resistance would be entertaining and would establish things that could be important in the future.

My Thoughts On Season 1 Episodes 7 – 8 Of Star Wars Resistance

My hopes were realised. I would class ‘Signal from Sector Six’ and ‘Synara’s Score’ as decent “side-mission” episodes of Star Wars Resistance which will have relevance at a later time in this animated Star Wars TV show. In ‘Signal from Sector Six’, Kaz and Poe Dameron reunite and go for a bit of flying to catch-up on how Kaz is doing as a spy on The Colossus. They end up picking up a distress call from a ship where a pirate attack has gone badly wrong.

After some trouble, they eventually rescue Synara, a female Mirialan, and escape from the ship. The actual story of ‘Signal from Sector Six’ was a bit disposable but it had some funny moments. Indeed, some of the interactions between BB-8 and CB-23, a new droid, made me chuckle and some of Poe’s lines on the ship were great, with one line that acted as a subtle homage to The Simpsons being a highlight.

I also appreciated how we had an episode that took place off The Colossus and seeing the relationship between Kaz and Poe develop was also good as seeing them together was one of the key aspects of ‘The Recruit’. Still, the ending of ‘Signal from Sector Six’ was the most important aspect of that episode. This is because we find out that Synara was actually one of the pirates who attacked the ship and she is part of the pirate gang that attacked The Colossus in ‘The Triple Dark’.

Kaz does not know this. Hence, he brings Synara to The Colossus and integrates her into the community. When I finished watching ‘Signal from Sector Six’, I immediately thought that this could link into the Pirate and First Order plot lines of Resistance very well in future episodes.

Synara and Tam

As it turns out, ‘Synara’s Score’ did a good job at building upon what ‘Signal from Sector Six’ established when it came to the character of Synara and the Pirate plot line. Clearly, as she is loyal to her Pirate gang, Synara is acting as a spy on The Colossus and spots an opportunity to cause a Pirate attack.

However, a redemption arc for Synara is clearly established in this episode with the friendship she established with Tam. The interactions between Synara and Tam were a nice element of ‘Synara’s Score’ and Tam will be the key to Synara’s eventual turn to the good side.

The humour that was provided by Neeku worked quite well and the ending of ‘Synara’s Score’ also has a lot of relevance going forward. This is because the pirate attack that Synara instigates causes Doza to contact The First Order about the deal that was offered to Doza in ‘The High Tower’.

As a result of this ending, I expect that The First Order will have a larger role in the next couple episodes of Star Wars Resistance. However, having more episodes that focus on one particular character and/or relationship would not surprise me.

Star Wars Resistance Season 1 Episodes 7 - 8 Review Signal from Sector Six Synara's Score