TV News – Bradley Whitford On Valley of the Boom + The West Wing

Bradley Whitford has a starring role in the new TV show Valley of the Boom and he is no stranger to working in the television industry which is evident with his roles in shows such as The West Wing. In an interview with Collider, Bradley Whitford had the opportunity to discuss both Valley of the Boom and The West Wing.

Valley of the Boom

Bradley Whitford had this to say on reading the script for Valley of the Boom and what it was like to work on this show:

When I read the script, I was incredibly excited about it. You have no idea, when a director is trying to do something this cutting edge and joyous, if it’s gonna work, at all, and it turned out to really be a lot of fun.”

It’s a way of telling a story that resonates with the story that it’s telling. There was a wild mish-mash of forces coming together. It was the Wild West with high stakes. You were either gonna be Bill Gates, or you were gonna be taking a shower in a parking lot.”

The West Wing

Bradley Whitford also spoke about whether he would want to be involved in a revival of The West Wing:

I think a number of us have, at different times, pitched a similar idea. Aaron [Sorkin] is a smart guy. He’s wisely cautious and hesitant to go back to what was such a wonderful experience.”

This current presidency actually makes it more difficult to do our show, for a lot of reasons, but I walk around constantly knowing that, while it was certainly time for us to end The West Wing, the show could have continued creatively, just because there is an infinite arena of possibilities.”

The good news is that all of us love each other. It feels like a family. As the years go by, we have even more appreciation for our good fortune to be part of a creative and cultural experience like that. I would do yard work for him. I would do anything. But, it’s dangerous. You don’t want to mess it up.”

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TV News – Nic Pizzolatto + Mahershala Ali On True Detective Season 3

Season 3 of True Detective looks like a return to form for this television series. Season 1 was praised but Season 2 was underwhelming for a lot of people. However, from the reviews, Season 3 seems like a step in the right direction for this TV show. At a press conference for the new season, True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto and Mahershala Ali discussed this third season of True Detective.

Nic Pizzolatto

Here is what Nic Pizzolatto had to say on what differentiates Season 3 of True Detective from previous seasons:

Maybe the focus on character and the intertwining of timelines. It’s a much, much more complicated structural thing that we tried to do this year, than existed in Season 1, while having some familiarity with Season 1, the way that you had these two timelines that then merged.”

And we wanted to go to a lesser known part of the country, to a place that’s mysterious, not only in its landscape, but people don’t know very much about it. There’s a tone and a texture in common, but I feel like this one has a lot more light in it than previous seasons, and it reaches for hope a bit more. I’m not even sure this is properly noir, given where it goes.”

Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali explained why he wanted to take on this project given his busy schedule:

I grew up in television. What I mean by that is that I was very fortunate to book a pilot, a few months out of school. That was in a time where, once you’re in TV, you stayed in TV. You didn’t get to do film. I came out of school in 2000, and I booked (the NBC series) Crossing Jordan in January or February of 2001.”

So, my relationship with television has been ongoing, having always aspired to have a blossoming film career. That’s how you would prioritize things. But over time, I found that it’s less about the medium and way more about the quality of the material. This was just a 500-page film that happens to be captured on television.”

The gift of having an opportunity to sit in the body and be in the bones of a character like Wayne Hays, as an exercise for an actor, I know that I’m a better man, a better actor, and a better husband and father, as a result of my six and a half months playing this part.”

To do this type of material and to be that close to it, it requires you to process, reflect and think about the world and people, in a way that goes beyond how you would normally do that because I’m spending so much time in the bones of another person.”

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Film News – Composer Justin Hurwitz On First Man

Director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz collaborated together on the critically acclaimed film La La Land and they reunited to work together on First Man. The score for First Man has received a lot of praise and, in an exclusive interview with Collider, Justin Hurwitz had the opportunity to discuss First Man.

First Man

Justin Hurwitz said this on when he first heard about First Man:

I heard about it early on. In fact, I know the reason he first sat down with Ryan Gosling was to pitch him on this Neil Armstrong movie before Ryan knew anything about La La Land, and it was in the course of that conversation that Ryan heard that Damien was also developing a musical and he was interested in that.”

So I knew way back then that Damien was developing the script with Josh Singer and he was getting with Ryan to talk about it. Then I didn’t think too much about it ’cause we were so busy making La La Land […] I would hear little bits and pieces about how it was coming along, but, again, I really wasn’t thinking about it too much. Damien would give me an early draft to read around that time, kind of half way through editing La La Land.”

Then it wasn’t until March of 2017 when Damien started like actually prepping First Man that I really got thinking about it and got working on it. I read another draft of the script that had progressed quite a bit. It was their pre-production draft at that point. So I read another draft and then started working on it with Damien at the time that he was doing his prep for location, costumes, cinematography and all that stuff.”

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Widows (Film/Movie Review) – Steve McQueen’s Best Work So Far

Widows is heist film directed by Steve McQueen that is based on the 1983 ITV series of the same name. The movie features a large ensemble cast that includes Carrie Coon, Jacki Weaver, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Brian Tyree Henry, Colin Farrell, Cynthia Erivo, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez and Viola Davis.

The story of Widows focuses on a group of women who attempt a robbery. They do this to pay back a crime boss after their criminal husbands are killed when a heist goes terribly wrong.

My Expectation For Widows

Steve McQueen has not directed a film since 12 Years a Slave. While a harrowing film to watch, it is a very good movie and it went on to garner an Oscar for Best Picture. This was a huge achievement for Steve McQueen.

Clearly, given his past success and the long gap between 12 Years a Slave and Widows, anticipation for Widows has been high amongst film fans. Moreover, the great reviews this movie received certainly increased the hype for Widows, at least for myself anyway.

As a minimum, I was confident that Widows would be a good film and if it did indeed showcase itself as a movie worthy of award recognition then that would be brilliant. With a cast this great, an interesting premise and a director who has shown his worth as a storyteller with 12 Years a Slave, everything was looking good.

My Thoughts On Widows

I liked 12 Years a Slave but I personally think that Widows is a step above in quality and it is Steve McQueen’s best film to date. I had a great and enjoyable time with this movie.

It has fantastic acting, confident direction that is evident in McQueen’s clever use of the camera at certain points in the film and a well-crafted story with depth, twists and mystery. All of this combines beautifully to make a great film and it also helps to negate some pacing issues that Widows has.

I mentioned that the film has great acting in it and that comes from every member of this ensemble cast. Everyone delivers but I have to say that Daniel Kaluuya and Elizabeth Debicki were the standouts for me. They were both terrific in very different ways and the arc that Debicki’s character goes on in Widows is one of the best in the movie.

Widows also really impressed me with how it dealt with important issues such as political corruption, police brutality and racial profiling. It is a film that showcased these issues in an impactful way but, at the same time, it also had the usual thrills of a heist film embedded into its story.

My Final Thoughts on Widows

When we consider all of this, Steve McQueen deserves a lot of credit and I would love it if he and the film was recognised at the 2019 Oscars because Widows is, in my eyes, the best film that he has directed. I can only hope that his next film comes much sooner than Widows did.

widows review

TV News – Scott Grimes On The Orville Season 2

The Orville is a sci-fi television show whose first season was heavily inspired by Star Trek. Season 2 of The Orville is currently airing and, in an interview with Collider, Scott Grimes, who plays Lt. Gordon Molloy in this TV series, had the chance to discuss the second season of The Orville.

The Orville Season 2

Here is what Scott Grimes had to say on how fun it is to make The Orville and how big Season 2 is compared to Season 1:

It’s so funny, it’s a blast to make, getting the opportunity to live a child’s dream of pretending that you’re in space with creatures, and being on a spaceship, in general, but it’s the toughest job that I’ve had to do, as far as working with Seth [MacFarlane].”

You try to raise yourself to what he expects and wants and sees in the project, which is not easy, all the time. It’s tough, on that level, to try to make him happy. I’m not saying that he’s a tyrant. He’s terrific to work for, but he’s also a comedic genius.”

He’s trying to make a specific show and be taken seriously, at the same time, so that’s a fine line that we ride. But yes, it’s an absolute blast, on the fantasy side of when you were a kid who was pretending to be a spaceman.”

Season 2 is completely bigger. Even though the first couple of episodes didn’t really show that, it gets gargantuan soon. The great thing about doing Season 2 was our confidence.”

We knew that we had an audience, we knew we could get a little more dramatic and serious, and we knew that we could get a little tiny bit less goofy ‘cause we didn’t have to sell that anymore. We just knew what we were.”

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Film News – Scoot McNairy Discusses Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

With upcoming roles in True Detective Season 3 and the Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Scoot McNairy is set to have a great 2019 when it comes to his career in the entertainment industry. In an interview with Collider, Scoot McNairy had the chance to speak about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Scoot McNairy had this to say on working with Quentin Tarantino on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood:

I think this one definitely stands alone, within his expertise of making movies. Honestly, the experience on set was so great and so fascinating to me that what I got most out of it was the time that I was able to spend there, working with all them, and working with this tight knit crew. It was just great.”

I wish all movies were made the way that Quentin makes them. There’s a certain spirit on set, where everybody there wants to be there, and is excited to be there, and they love what they’re doing, and they’re excited about the project. That’s just really contagious. Also, his process and the way that he does it, I’ve never been on a set like that in my life.”

It feels like you’re making movies from the 1930’s. It the organic, raw, way of making films, where everything is in camera. He doesn’t even have a monitor. He just stares at you, next to the camera. It’s fascinating.”

[Once Upon a Time in Hollywood] was probably one of the greatest experiences of my career. Just to watch Quentin be on set and be Quentin, and hold court, was one of the most fascinating things I have probably ever experienced in the movie business. It was an amazing, awesome experience. I would give anything to do it again.”

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TV News – Jon Bokenkamp On The Blacklist Season 6

The Blacklist is into its sixth season and, throughout its run, this TV show has received positive reviews, especially when it comes to the performance by James Spader as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington. One of the executive producers and writers of The Blacklist is Jon Bokenkamp and, in an interview with Collider, he had the chance to speak about Season 6 of The Blacklist.

The Blacklist Season 6

Here is what Jon Bokenkamp had to say on what life in prison will look like for Raymond Reddington:

Oh, dear god, it’s not anything that we’ve seen before. To begin with, Reddington is cut off from his resources. He’s cut off from the various people who are his allies, and he’s forced to navigate a world that even he has never experienced before.”

And yet, the one thing that I think is important to point out is that, if there was anybody who could look at being incarcerated as a challenge and find the joy in it, it would be Raymond Reddington. He lives life to the fullest, in every experience, no matter how dire, and he embraces it.”

I don’t want to give the impression that it’s going to be a dark, gloomy season, although we certainly are capable of going dark and gloomy. The way in which he embraces this newfound situation that he finds himself in is going to be compelling, to say the least.”

I’ve talked to James about it, and I remember him telling me, ‘Red’s a guy who might die, at any moment.’ He’s in incredible situations, and he never knows what day might be his last, and that really influences the way in which he lives.”

It gives him this incredible freedom to embrace every new situation, as if it might be the last, and this season is certainly no different.”

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Film News – Screenwriter Christina Hodson On Bumblebee + Batgirl

Bumblebee is a Travis Knight directed film that has been a gift from the gods for many fans of the Transformers franchise. Indeed, these fans have been given a Transformers movie that ticks all the boxes for them. This is something that Michael Bay’s Transformers films did not do. The screenwriter for Bumblebee was Christina Hodson and, in an interview with Variety, she had the opportunity to discuss Bumblebee.


Here is what Christina Hodson had to say on how the idea for Bumblebee came to her:

In 2007, when Spielberg was doing the press tour for the first [Transformers] movie, I remember him saying that for him, Transformers was this very simple, very timeless notion of a boy and his car. I always thought that makes so much sense.”

I have very fond memories of when I was 12 and I got in my dad’s old BMW. I was washing it, and I remember turning the key in the ignition for the first time, and I wasn’t really meant to. You know that magical feeling when you’re a small person and you turn the key of this big hunk of metal? It just felt like the most magical, forgive me, but transformative thing.”

And I’ve always just loved the idea of taking that to the next level. Pretty early on, I knew I wanted to tell the story of two broken people who are healing each other. So the broken girl and the broken car kind of felt like a romantic notion.”


Christina Hodson also discussed how writing for Batgirl compares to writing for other DC characters like Harley Quinn:

I’m in the middle of falling in love with her. I always feel differently at the beginning, middle, and end […] Harley just feels like my crazy alter ego. When I’m feeling nuts, that’s what Harley is. And Batgirl…honestly it’s funny, there’s a little piece of me in every character I write. They start with me, and then they take on a life of their own. She’s been through so many iterations.”

There’s certain characteristics of hers that are always there that I’m excited to develop further. Whenever I’m writing a character who’s based on someone who’s existed in a previous form, whether it’s comics or a movie or anything, I always hope to bring something new to them and bring them to life in their own way, even if they fairly iconic like Harley Quinn or Batgirl.”

I think fans want the original, to be honest, but they also want to see something they haven’t seen before.”

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Star Wars Resistance: Season 1 Episode 11 (Television/TV Review) – A Good End To The First Half Of Season 1

The mid-season finales of Star Wars Rebels were usually some of the strongest episodes of that animated Star Wars TV show. Going into the mid-season finale of Star Wars Resistance Season 1, titled ‘Station Theta Black’, I was hoping that this trend would continue.

From the synopsis, this episode had everything going for it. This was due to the fact that the focus would be on The First Order/Resistance conflict with Kaz and Poe as our main protagonists in this episode of Resistance.

My Thoughts On Season 1 Episode 11 Of Star Wars Resistance

‘Station Theta Black’ was a good mid-season finale that should be looked upon as being one of the most important episodes of Star Wars Resistance. For one, this is because a good amount of the major players in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy were involved in this episode of Resistance.

As I have already mentioned, Poe was heavily involved in ‘Station Theta Black’. However, we also got to see Captain Phasma have an expanded role in this episode of Resistance than we have previously seen which was cool.

Still, the biggest character that appeared in this mid-season finale was General Leia Organa. I liked the role she played in this episode of Resistance but I personally thought that the voice performance given by Carolyn Hennessy was mixed. Indeed, Leia appeared in two scenes in ‘Station Theta Black’.

In my opinion, I thought that the voice performance given by Carolyn Hennessy in the first scene Leia was in was pretty mediocre. However, Hennessy’s voice performance as Leia was much better in the second scene Leia was in. The mixed voice performance was probably my only real problem with ‘Station Theta Black’. I liked everything else.

The Story Of ‘Station Theta Black’

In ‘Station Theta Black’, Kaz and Poe investigate The First Order’s presence at a mining facility in the Unknown Regions. They were only able to do this thanks to Kaz’s work in the previous episode of Resistance. At this mining facility, they eventually discover that The First Order are mining materials which are used to create blasters.

To us as the audience, this was an obvious sign of the galactic invasion to come. Again, this is more evidence of the importance of this episode of Resistance. Additionally, because this show is set before the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we also get to see an instance of Poe’s reckless, hot-shot pilot attitude.

Certainly, he is very willing to disobey Leia’s direct orders and it puts both himself and Kaz in considerable danger with Kaz almost losing his life on this mission. For me, it is little details like this which connect the television shows and the films in a great way.

My Final Thoughts On Season 1 Episode 11 Of Star Wars Resistance

So, overall, the roles of major Sequel Trilogy characters like Poe, Phasma and Leia as well as the focus on the wider First Order/Resistance conflict made ‘Station Theta Black’ a good and extremely relevant episode of Star Wars Resistance.

We are now at the halfway stage of Season 1 and, so far, I would say that Season 1 of Resistance is at a slightly better level of quality than Season 1 of Rebels. This only increases my excitement to see what happens in the second half of this season of Resistance.

star wars resistance season 1 episode 11 station theta black review


TV News – Jon Bernthal On The Punisher Season 2

Recently, Marvel Netflix television shows such as Luke Cage and Daredevil have been cancelled and it is expected that The Punisher will also be cancelled after Season 2 is released. Jon Bernthal reprises his role as Frank Castle for the second season of this superhero action TV series and, in a roundtable interview, he had the opportunity to discuss Season 2 of The Punisher.

The Punisher Season 2

Jon Bernthal had this to say on what message The Punisher has about the issue of gun violence:

I can’t speak for the show because I don’t write it. I think that you’d have to talk to Steve and to Marvel about that. For me, it’s a few things. Number one, art, when it’s done right, holds a mirror to society and makes you question it. And question yourself.”

You shouldn’t attempt to spoon feed answers or to preach. [Art should] make you look at yourself and hopefully present different sides to an argument and help make society or help make the viewer ask questions about the world in which they live in. I tend to try and avoid art that is preachy and tells you how to think.”

As far as I’m concerned, I think for so long now we’ve really gone through this thing in this country where a certain element has a stronghold and a monopoly on what it means to be strong or tough or masculine or patriotic, for that matter. For me, the great joy that I have in playing this role and other roles is where I got to pick soldiers and combat vets, and the guys that share their stories with me.”

To me, the mark of somebody who is strong, patriotic, tough is someone who has an open mind. Someone who is open to listening to all sides and not be steadfast and not be completely clinging to their own sense of, ‘This is what is right and this is what is wrong.’”

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