7 Things to Watch This Weekend

July 21st, 2017 Movies, Television

‘Stranger Things’ Director Shawn Levy on How He Plans to Lose His “Comic-Con Virginity”

July 21st, 2017 Movies, Television

Even going to the Oscars for ‘Arrival’ might not top the excitement of San Diego: “I have been told to hydrate and sleep when you can.”

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TV Review: Spike TV hides an absorbing true-crime mystery behind familiar trappings

July 21st, 2017 Television

One of the things that’s so appealing about true crime is that the narrative attraction comes ready-made, no heavy lifting required. Something dramatic has already occurred, and it happened right here in the real world. There’s a victim, an aggressor, the vicarious adrenaline rush of the salacious details, and the knowledge that, unlike fictional crime, nothing is too random, bizarre, or outlandish—everything is pre-justified in advance by the knowledge that it all really happened.

Director Joe Berlinger presumably knows all this by heart. The director of the landmark Paradise Lost trilogy of films about the West Memphis Three, as well as numerous other documentaries (Whitey: United States Of America V. James J. Bulger, Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster) and TV docuseries, has an uncanny knack for both cracking open sprawling, messy true-life narratives, as well as finding surprises and complications in stories that appear open-and-shut on first …

TV Review: A money-laundering Jason Bateman can’t wash the stink off Ozark

July 20th, 2017 Television

Netflix’s algorithms have noted how much time you’ve spent with the Whites of Albuquerque and the Escobar cartel. They may also be observing your fruitless searches for the Crowder gang within the service’s streaming library, because Ozark—despite being created by The Accountant duo of Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams—plays like a computer program’s idealized hybrid of Breaking Bad, Narcos, and Justified. There’s a seemingly milquetoast guy and his wife doing the legwork for an intimidating drug boss, all of which is complicated by their dealings with artful backwoods criminals and the FBI agents attempting to get to the drug boss. The show is also unrelentingly dour, which you could chalk up to the humorlessness of 1s and 0s, or more accurately pin to showrunner Chris Mundy, who, when he was in charge of AMC’s Low Winter Sun, took a dirty-cop drama set …

Red West, Actor, Songwriter and Longtime Elvis Presley Confidant, Dies at 81

July 20th, 2017 Movies, Music, Television

The Memphis native appeared in 18 of the singer’s features as well as in ‘Road House,’ ‘Walking Tall’ and TV’s ‘Black Sheep Squadron.’

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Booger Tells All: Curtis Armstrong Talks ‘Revenge of the Nerd’ Memoir (Q&A)

July 18th, 2017 Movies, Television

The veteran actor of memorable roles in ‘Risky Business’, ‘Moonlighting,’ ‘Supernatural’ and other shows opens up about his new book.

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15 Stars Who Attended Comic-Con in Disguise

July 18th, 2017 Movies, Television

Justin Timberlake, Ryan Reynolds, Andrew Garfield and other A-listers have masked their true identities and walked unnoticed on the convention floor.

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Tim Roth Invites You to Join Him at a Vivian Maier Exhibition

July 14th, 2017 Movies, Television

The actor, who funded the Oscar-nominated movie about the mysterious photography genius, talks his ‘Hateful Eight’ reunion with Jennifer Jason Leigh on ‘Twin Peaks’ (a total coincidence) and Quentin Tarantino’s new Charles Manson project: “He gives us a time and a place and we’re just all there.”

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TV Review: Time with Friends From College is a faint reflection of glory days

July 14th, 2017 Television

At least Friends From College has this down pat: The “gang’s all here” regression that occurs when any circle of old friends, close relatives, or old friends treated like close relatives reunites—and the alienating affect that can have on people from outside the circle. Old jokes are rehashed, old grudges dredged up, old songs played on the stereo, and since it’d take so much effort to fully catch an outsider up, the effort isn’t made. In the new Netflix comedy from husband-and-wife duo Nicholas Stoller and Francesca Delbanco, that big chill (if you will) is articulated early on by the significant others elbowed out of the series’ core group of Harvard alums. When author Ethan (Keegan-Michael Key) and attorney Lisa (Cobie Smulders) move to New York to reactivate the Voltron of pettiness and enabling that was their campus clique, Friends From College conveys, with a singular …

Los Angeles Film, TV Shoots Drop in Second Quarter of 2017

July 12th, 2017 Movies, Television

There’s also been a drop in TV drama production as series cancellation impacted the overall numbers, compared to the second quarter of 2016.

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TV Review: I’m Sorry is like the comedy podcast you can watch

July 12th, 2017 Television

The number of times Andrea Warren (Andrea Savage) mentions podcasting in the early episodes of I’m Sorry feels appropriate. Sitting down at a microphone to yuk it up with likeminded funny people is one of the easiest ways for a contemporary comedian like Andrea to get her name out there—as it has been for her counterparts in other semi-autobiographical sitcoms like Crashing and Maron, the latter of which sprung from and revolved around Marc Maron’s rebirth via WTF. But unlike those variations on the Curb Your Enthusiasm model, I’m Sorry really gives off the invitingly loose, chummy, riff-heavy vibe of a podcast. The casual camerawork—its handheld bobs and weaves another nod toward Curb’s undying influence—is almost incidental. I’m Sorry is the single-cam comedy you can listen to; it’s a podcast you can watch.

To downplay I’m Sorry’s visual elements …

‘Planet of the Apes’ Through the Years: How the Primates Have Evolved Since 1968

July 11th, 2017 Movies, Television

With ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ set for a July 14 release, THR takes a look at the evolution of the simians over the years.

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TV Review: The Bold Type paints a fun but unrealistic picture of life at a big-city magazine

July 11th, 2017 Television

The “three girls making their way in the big city” trope has been around for decades, going back to mid-20th-century films like Three Coins In The Fountain, The Best Of Everything, and yes, Valley Of The Dolls. As these young women strive for success, will they sacrifice love for their careers? Or, more likely, their careers for love? As the decades have passed, TV has tried to take up the mantle, from Lipstick Jungle in 2008 to the recent Amazon failure Good Girls Revolt. In most of these productions, the archetypes are the same: There’s the innocent, who’s often our main character/entry point (using Valley Of The Dolls terms, the Anne), the ambitious one (the Neely), and the street-smart savvy one (the Jennifer).

The umpteenth entry in this career-girl genre is FreeForm’s The Bold Type, featuring three young women in the early stages of their careers …

Tiger Joe Robinson, Actor in ‘Diamonds Are Forever,’ Dies at 90

July 10th, 2017 Movies, Television

He also worked as a stuntman and taught Honor Blackman a thing or two about self-defense.

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TV Review: Religion is just as dangerous as Dracula in Netflix’s promising Castlevania

July 10th, 2017 Television

Of all the video games you could choose to adapt for TV or film, Castlevania is one of the wiser picks. The story of this influential 30-year-old game series is told in broad strokes, more of a vague framework for the unending struggle between Dracula and humanity than any sort of detailed narrative with complex characters. Dracula is born, Dracula is slain, Dracula is reborn, and so it goes for centuries. It’s about as elemental as it gets, an empty canvas for outside creators to fill with their own vision of its bloody, timeless combination of Bram Stoker, Universal monsters, and anime action.

But dig deep enough, as the creators of Netflix’s new Castlevania animated series have done, and you can find the pieces to build a more multidimensional tale, one that doesn’t presuppose Dracula is some unstoppable force of pure evil who goes around slaughtering humans …

What to Watch This Weekend

July 7th, 2017 Movies, Television

Spider-Man swings into theaters and THR offers a definitive summer TV catch-up guide.

Miriam Marx Allen, Daughter of Groucho Marx, Dies at 90

July 7th, 2017 Movies, Television

Letters that she received from her dad became a 1992 book that showed a different side of the fabled comedian.

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Slinkies to Thighmasters: Hollywood’s Most Powerful People Reveal the Most Surprising Object on Their Desk

July 7th, 2017 Business, Movies, Television

From Magic 8 Balls (“It’s at least 50 percent right!”) to Silly Putty (“the best stress/creativity tool ever created”), an unlikely variety of gadgets, toys and more can be found in the offices of entertainment’s top execs, creators and stars.

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Hollywood Job Envy: Entertainment’s Most Powerful Reveal Who They’d Trade Places With for a Day

July 6th, 2017 Business, Movies, Music, Television

While multiple members of 2017’s THR 100 said they’d like to switch seats with Bob Iger — “CEO of Happiness,” according to Oprah Winfrey — and The Rock, admired in part for his “great calves,” others are content to stay in their own powerful positions.

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TV Review: Snowfall isn’t quite Christmas in July, but it is a gift

July 5th, 2017 Television

TV doesn’t really get summers off anymore, thanks in part to streaming platforms. The hottest months of the year are no longer just a repository for reruns, or a dumping ground for shows that couldn’t hold their own during the fall. GLOW and Preacher are the most recent cases in point, having held audiences in their grips for a weekend binge-watch as well as on a weekly basis. The season is still far from being chock-full of must-see offerings, though, which means conditions are optimal for the arrival of Snowfall, the latest crime drama to hit FX.

Debuting Wednesday night, the series aims to trace the origins of the first crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles. That’s a tall order, and Snowfall gamely tries to live up to the challenge, with mixed results. Its focus is both granular and sweeping, delving into the private lives of those …