Agents of SHIELD showrunners interview

The third season finale of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. jumped ahead six months, with (spoiler alert) the S.H.I.E.L.D. team pursuing a runaway Daisy (Chloe Bennet) who can apparently fly. Prior to the time jump Hive (Brett Dalton) met his demise, the second time Dalton’s character has died on the show. Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) also sacrificed himself for the greater good.

Season four not only has to deal with that aftermath, but also promises to introduce Ghost Rider with Gabriel Luna as Robbie Reyes. We spoke with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen at a Marvel Television cocktail party for the Television Critics Association.  Read More »

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Interview: Jean-Claude Van Johnson Director Peter Atencio

Amazon’s pilot for Jean-Claude Van Johnson not only seems like Jean-Claude Van Damme’s guaranteed comeback, but it is a love letter to JCVD’s loyal fans for decades. With references to his splits, his movies from Bloodsport to Timecop and even a twin, Jean-Claude Van Johnson leaves fans wanting more. It will be up to the fans whether or not Amazon orders a full series, as they can vote on Amazon’s pilot season.

Van Johnson stars Van Damme as himself, a retired actor who comes back not only to Hollywood but to his true job as an undercover agent. Thanks to his agent Jane (Phylicia Rashad), Van Damme takes a role on the action-packed Huckleberry Finn reboot Huck as a cover for his latest mission. We spoke with the pilot’s director and potential series executive producer Peter Atencio about where Jean-Claude Van Johnson could go and how he made the ultimate Van Damme movie in the pilot. Hit the jump to read our interview with Interview: Jean-Claude Van Johnson director Peter Atencio.

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Gotham Season 3

Gotham returns for its third season tonight. What began as “Batman without Batman,” the story of Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie)’s rise to commissioner in the Gotham City Police Department, has embraced its comic book roots. Season two featured “Rise of the Villains” and “Wrath of the Villains.” The third season’s “Mad City” promises to see Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) prepare to suit up and introduce characters like Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung) and an aged up Poison Ivy (Maggie Geha), with the Council of Owls enacting their machinations throughout the season.

We interviewed Gotham co-executive producer Ken Woodruff over the summer when he was on a panel for the Television Critics Association. Beginning with tonight’s season premiere, Woodruff discussed the plans for the third season. Hit the jump to read our Gotham Season 3 interview with Woodruff.

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blair witch interview

Director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett have become two of the most exciting new voices in horror over the past five years with films like A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next, and The Guest (as well as memorable segments in both VHS movies and The ABCs of Death). Now, the duo have decided to enter someone else’s playground with Blair Witch, a sequel to the 1999 classic The Blair Witch Project.

Blair Witch is a very different film than the original movie, replacing the slow-burn psychological terror of the first film with visceral scares and a relentless pace. It is very much its own beast, the result of Wingard and Barrett setting out to make a movie on their own terms, the sequel to the original that they always wanted to see.

With Blair Witch in theaters today, I sat down with the duo to discuss how you keep found footage horror fresh, what attracted them to this project, and the glory that is drone cameras.

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rogue one bits

Last night it was revealed that Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino would be replacing Alexandre Desplat to score Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. When I heard the news after arriving at a press screening of The Magnificent Seven, I was met with two conflicting emotions: excitement and dread. Here’s why.

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Mr. Robot Python Part 1 Recap

“You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.”

So begins one of the most important, influential video games ever made. Infocom’s Zork was birthed in an MIT lab in the late 1970s. It was released to the public as a series of text-based adventure games in the early ’80s, and went on to shape much of the structure present in modern adventure and exploration games. Its enigmatic opening remains, perhaps, the greatest beginning to a video game ever made. Poor grammar aside, Zork’s opening lines invite the player into a new universe built almost entirely by the player’s own imagination. Where modern games max out on polygons and rendering detail and atmospheric effects to present a cinematic vision for gamers, Zork stands as a testament to the power of simple text on a screen, as well as to the underlying structures that make games work. Give the play a place to explore; set boundaries; create obstacles; leverage frustration. As you progress and fail and progress some more in search of a path to the end, the biggest question the game leave you with is, “what am I not seeing?”

It’s fitting that Elliot asks himself the same thing near the end of “Python Part 1,” the penultimate episode of Mr. Robot’s similarly enigmatic, confounding, sometimes frustrating second season. Elliot—and not just Elliot—is searching through a dark, unknowable space, the boundaries of which keep expanding and expanding as the search carries on. At some point there might be an end, or an escape, or even just a door to some better place of the imagination. Our “hero” is caught in the second stages of an adventure. He’s left the field, entered the house, found the door to a mysterious cellar, venture down and discovered the Great Underground Empire.

But what are we not seeing?  Read More »

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Black Mirror Season 3 Review

It’s been nearly two years since the last episode of Black MirrorCharlie Brooker‘s tech dystopia anthology series, and over three years since the last proper full season aired. Naturally, then, news that Netflix had commissioned 12 more episodes was met with a combination of excitement and trepidation.

On the one hand, Black Mirror is second to none when it comes to chronicling the way humanity and technology intersect in 2016. On the other, we’ve seen tons of shows renewed after extended hiatuses, only to return as shells of their former selves. Could the third season of Black Mirror live up to the greatness of the first two? Based on the two episodes that screened at TIFF, “San Junipero” and “Nosedive,” the answer seems to be yes.  Read More »

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS review

There’s a lot to admire about Nocturnal Animals, the second feature from Tom Ford. The narrative is actually two narratives, beautifully braided together by Ford and brought to life by Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s pretentious pulp, in a good way — engaging to watch and pretty to behold. But Nocturnal Animals seems to be aiming for profundity, and there it falls short. It’s trying to say something, but what isn’t exactly clear.  Read More »

Space Mountain movies

In January 2012, Variety reported that screenwriter Max Landis had sold a pitch to Walt Disney Pictures for an “untitled space adventure” pitch with the potential to be a film franchise that could “benefit all of the company’s divisions.” A few months later it was reported that screenwriter Max Borenstein was hired by the mouse house to write his own “space-set sci-fi adventure” called Paladin for Tron: Legacy producer Justin Springer.

But as it turns out, the two projects were actually Space Mountain feature films that Disney was developing in secret. Find out what Max Landis’ Space Mountain movie would have been and learn why both projects didn’t happen.
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