Features 2

Features 2 (101)

First Look: 'Mr. Corman'

Written by 02 August, 2021

Written, directed, produced by and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mr. Corman follows the days and nights of Josh Corman, an artist at heart but not by trade. Things haven’t been going his way lately – his lifelong dream of a career in music didn't pan out and he finds himself teaching fifth grade at a school in the San Fernando Valley, his ex-fiancé Megan has moved out and his high school buddy has moved in. Aware that he still has a lot to be thankful for, Josh struggles nevertheless through universal feelings of anxiety, loneliness and self-doubt. Darkly funny, oddly beautiful and deeply heartfelt, this relatable comedy-drama speaks for our contemporary generation of 30-somethings – rich with good intentions, poor with student loans and working to become grown-ups sometime before they’re senior citizens.

In addition to Gordon-Levitt, Mr. Corman stars Arturo Castro, Debra Winger, Bobby Hall aka Logic, Alexander Jo, Juno Temple, Jamie Chung, Shannon Woodward and Hector Hernandez.

Mr. Corman premieres Friday, August 6th, 2021 on Apple TV+.

Last modified on Monday, 02 August 2021 22:25

New On Pluto: August 2021

Written by 01 August, 2021

Here is a rundown of the new titles coming to the ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV in August 2021:

A Fish Called Wanda
And Justice For All
An American Werewolf In London
A Night At The Roxbury
Anatomy Of A Murder
Big Night
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Bringing Out The Dead
Cheech & Chong's Still Smokin'
Closer
Cold Comes The Night
Copycat
Danger: Diabolik
Deepstar Six
Don't Look Now
Downhill Racer
Django Unchained
Dream Lover
Exposed
Fargo
53 Pick-Up
First Knight
Four Weddings And A Funeral
Freedomland
Ghost World
Griffin & Phoenix
Half Past Dead
Hardcore Henry
Hearbreakers
Hollywood Shuffle
Hotel Artemis
Hudson Hawk
Hush
Jesse Stone: Death In Paradise
Jesse Stone: Night Passage
Jesse Stone: Stone Cold
Kalifornia
Kiss Me, Stupid
Kung Fu Hustle
L.A. Confidential
Last Action Hero
Mac & Me
Modern Girls
Nicholas Nickleby
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
Not Easily Broken
On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Once Upon A Time In Mexico
Passengers
Predestination
Prick Up Your Ears
Pumpkinhead
Return To Me
River's Edge
Road To Perdition
Robocop
Robocop 2
Rollerball
School Daze
Seconds
Selma
Sense And Sensibility
Silver Linings Playbook
Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers
Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland
Something Wild
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Street Smart
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert
The Delta Force
The Golden Child
The Legend Of Zorro
The Matrix
The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix Revolutions
The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell Of Fear
The Other End Of The Line
The Perfect Score
The Ruins 
The Russia House
The Silence Of The Lambs
The Sum Of All Fears
The Uninvited
The Untouchables
To Catch A Thief
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
Ulee's Gold
Unthinkable
Vertical Limit
We Own The Night
Where's Poppa?
Windtalkers





Last modified on Sunday, 01 August 2021 15:51

First Look: 'Blade Runner: Black Lotus'

Written by 23 July, 2021

Experience the future with Blade Runner: Black Lotus — an Adult Swim and Crunchyroll original animated series inspired by the award-winning and critically lauded Blade Runner movie franchise, coming this fall.

Last modified on Friday, 23 July 2021 23:16

First Look: 'Life After Lockup - Season Three'

Written by 28 July, 2021

The third season of WE tv's smash hit docuseries Life After Lockup returns with 16 new episodes on Friday, August 27th at 9 PM ET/ 8 PM CT. The insanely addicting series follows 10 former inmates and their significant others from the hit series Love After Lockup, through their weird and wild journey to survive the real world together.

This season, viewers will be shocked to see which couples make it outside the prison walls and committing to their relationships. However, none of it will be easy because they must fight the temptations of the outside world while also learning to adapt to their new normal.

Couples this season include:

Marcelino & Brittany (Las Vegas, NV)
While Marcelino and Brittany move into their dream home with enough space for all the kids and dogs, Brittany makes plans to open a halfway house and become a peer counselor. Brittany’s business dreams lead her back into the life with other ex-felons. Will her choices lead her back on the dangerous path, and bust their budget…and their marriage?

Lacey & Shane (Virginia Beach, VA)
As the breadwinner of the family, Lacey’s income has taken a hit since giving birth to Summer. Then Shane quits his job to help with the kids, but when he dodges daddy duty and disappears all day, he may be keeping relationships – both in person and on social media – from Lacey. When those secrets get revealed, both Shane and Lacey revert to old habits that test their union and may challenge their happily ever after.

Daonte, Nicolle & Tia (Virginia Beach, VA / North Carolina)
As Daonte and Nicolle continue to work on their relationship, Nicolle also reconnects with her prison girlfriend, Tia, behind Daonte’s back, or so she thinks. Nicolle tries to maintain relationships with both, but how long will that last? When will Daonte say, enough is enough? Or will he? 

Stan & Lisa (St. Louis, MO)
After a bumpy start to their relationship, Lisa and Stan try their best to make it work. Lisa doubts Stan’s financial status and sometimes it seems the only thing keeping them together is their kinky adventures in the basement. Lisa and Stan both have secrets they are keeping from one another, but will a catfish expose everything?

Britney & Ray (Houston, TX)
Britney doesn’t allow Ray a moment to breathe and enjoy his newfound freedom, demanding that he must get a job, propose and give her a baby as soon as possible. Will Ray buckle under the pressure? Will Britney get the wedding she’s always dreamed of? And will Ray live up to her high expectations?

Shawn, Sara & Destinie (Las Vegas, NV / Cincinnati, OH)
While Shawn was pursuing Destinie, he was also communicating with another inmate, Sara. This time, Shawn believes Sara is the one and is ready to give up everything, including his family and career in pursuit of true love. Sara’s release date is fast approaching, but Shawn worries the same lies he told Destinie will catch up to him once again…and Sara has secrets of her own. Destinie has not stopped contacting Shawn and with her release imminent, can Shawn juggle both women?

Amber & Puppy (Atlanta, GA)
After their messy break up, Puppy goes MIA and Amber is fearful that she relapsed or found herself back behind bars. She takes it upon herself to find Puppy, but will Amber like what she finds? Meanwhile, the two get serious with new boyfriends, however, their beaus have been previously incarcerated for crimes similar to Amber and Puppy. Can all four cons stay out of trouble or will the temptation of easy money become too great?

John & Kristianna (Cresco, IA)
John promises Kristianna the Christian wedding she’s always dreamed of, and this time Kristianna searches for the perfect venue (not John’s pickup truck) and the perfect dress (one that fits). Can John let Kristianna take the reins and not make this wedding about him? With the pressures of a wedding ahead and a damaged relationship with her sister Terra, will she come to spoil their wedded bliss or finally stay out of her and John’s relationship? When the wedding day comes, Kristianna’s past comes back to haunt her – will she wind up a runaway bride? 

Last modified on Wednesday, 28 July 2021 13:53

'Manifest' Creator Jeff Rake Talks Social Media & The Future Of The Show

Written by 20 July, 2021

If there is an unexpected Cinderella story that came out of the otherwise grim first half of the broadcast television year in 2021, it was the surprising second life of the former NBC drama Manifest.

The network decided against picking up another season after the show wrapped its third season a few weeks ago, and for most shows, that would be the end of the story. Yes, a few canceled shows do find a new life somewhere else, but it's an extremely rare situation. And as the cast of Good Girls can tell you, these resurrections can fall apart at the last minute.

To be fair to NBC, despite having accomplished the impressive feat of lasting three seasons, Manifest was never a critic's darling, and while the ratings were solid, the show wasn't a massive hit in the ratings. But maybe that relatively low profile on broadcast television will help make its second life possible.

The first two seasons of Manifest were added to Netflix in early June, and the show quickly rose to the top of the Netflix Top Ten list in the U.S. It spent more than a month at #1 or just below the top, which would be an impressive feat for any series. Sure, that viewing performance was helped because there were two seasons of episodes to binge at once. But it was also the result of a well-made show with a cast that brought the complex mythology to life. And it was a well-made show that most people have not seen.

Since the first days of Manifest, various cast and crew members have been highly engaged in social media, helping to build a community that was ready to fight for the show when it needed saving. And they have been fighting - using social media to promote everything from watch parties to email campaigns in hopes of saving the show. And one of the most vocal voices on social media has been show creator, showrunner, and executive producer Jeff Rake. He's a constant presence online, and I wanted to talk to him about his approach to social media and how he is leveraging that online presence to try and save the show. 

I spoke with Jeff by phone, and here is the complete conversation, lightly edited for clarity:

From the very first days of Manifest being on NBC, you have been very engaged on social media with fans. You've been a strong advocate for the show, and that's not something a lot of showrunners are comfortable doing. Can you walk me through your thoughts about why this approach made sense for you?

Jeff Rake: When I think about the relationship between social media and Manifest, there is a deep connection that has always felt very organic. In my opinion, one of the satisfying aspects of the show for the viewer is that you're not only watching a show; you're on a shared journey with the characters and everybody else who is watching the show with you. And I think that social aspect - in a really wonderful way - has elevated the television viewing experience. Because it allows us as a community of entertainment consumers to communicate with each other, brainstorm together, and puzzle-solve together when it comes to the mysteries of the show. And then also to just emote communally. To just share in the emotional journey together. 

I think we've always done that. But it was always at home. Alone or with whoever was with us on the couch. But in this modern era, to have the opportunity to find like-minded people and have the ability to have an ongoing conversation about the journey makes the experience all the more satisfying and powerful. So as the creator and showrunner, I like to participate in that aspect of the experience as much as I can. Because I like to think that my contribution to the dialogue is additive and hopefully brings additional insight into the viewing experience. 

And honestly, I do it because it's fun for me, just like it is for everyone else. Ultimately, we're all communicating with each other on social because we get a kick out of it, and I must admit, I certainly do.

Manifest is a show in a real sweet spot for me when it comes to broadcast television. It's heavily serialized, it's got a complex mythology. And the recent success rate for these types of shows is not especially positive. I think in the past ten years, Manifest might be the only one to get past season one. And aside from the show's quality, I think one reason Manifest survived through three seasons is that it had such a strong social media following. I enjoyed Debris this past season (an NBC series canceled after one season), but the showrunner wasn't active on social media, neither was a lot of the cast. Even the official NBC Twitter account just had a few hundred followers. So there wasn't anyone out there championing the show, and I think that matters in 2021.

I suspect that you're right about that. I think any savvy creator who is lucky enough to have a show on broadcast - or on cable or streaming for that matter - is thinking about how to engage on social with its fanbase.

And in the case of Manifest, it was a perfect storm of an incredibly appealing cast. A cast that includes many actors who themselves are very engaged on social. And they've been great partners of mine in keeping up the dialogue on Twitter, Instagram. I pop onto Facebook, and I pop onto Reddit. Or truthfully, it's my wife popping onto Reddit, and then she tells me what's going on. So I apologize to anybody who is on Reddit who is disappointed I haven't been directly active there. I've been lucky because of that cast of mine being so engaged, so that's a giant asset to the show. 

Another aspect of the show that makes it very effective on social is the storytelling itself. To your point, we're a broadcast, serialized mystery. A show that defies the norm of what has been succeeding on broadcast in recent years. You would arguably have to go back to Lost for the last time where there was a home run with a broadcast serialized mystery. And look, Manifest isn't that. We're done fine on broadcast. We had three great seasons on broadcast. Obviously, NBC felt the numbers weren't strong enough to keep us going. I think they're thinking twice about that now, given the strong showing we've had on the platforms. 

But getting back to your original point. It's important to take social very seriously when you are launching a show in the modern era. You can make the argument that there's a level of expectation among consumers of entertainment that not only will they be able to watch a show, but that they'll also be able to somehow on social with the storytellers - creators, writers, directors, actors or crewmembers. Or at the least, a vibrant social community engaging in the conversation throughout the season. It's almost become the new normal. And I think because a show has an upside in growing popularity in the face of adversity - case in point, Manifest . Canceled by NBC, blows up on a platform, social blows up again talking about it. And it becomes arguably the most talked-about show for the summer of 2021.

Can you talk at all about where the fate of Manifest stands right now? You're still out there pushing it on social media as if it was the second episode of season one. You must have some optimism that something might happen with the show?

One of my favorite movies is Field Of Dreams, and we both remember the mantra, "If you build it, they will come." So there is a little bit of reckless optimism going on here, and I have just set out to keep the conversation alive. A lot of the actors, as well as a number of fans have been engaging in the conversation with me. I have seen enough Cinderella story endings over the years with other shows. A show is canceled, and then due to overwhelming popularity in reruns or a platform or social media engagement, either a third-party studio or a third-party network stepped in and created a number of new episodes or a movie or kept the show going. I've seen it happen often enough that I have to ask myself, "Why not Manifest?" Here we are a month, almost five weeks after the cancelation announcement, and more people than ever are watching the show.

All I can report from Hollywood is that the incredible support and enthusiasm for the show has been noticed and has resulted in some conversations. I know that NBC is aware of the interest. I know they've taken notice. Obviously, Netflix is aware. They've taken notice. And other people have taken notice. We have taken several calls discussing financing assistance. These are companies that produce television and movies and music, and they've reached out to us and sat down with us and had a serious conversation about figuring out how we could keep the show going.

I can't speak to it any more specifically than that. Other than I know it is being noticed. I know conversations are happening. Whether or not that will result in the tangible result I'm hoping for - additional episodes, a finale movie - time will tell.

I am assuming that the cast contracts have expired at this point?

Typically when a large-scale studio production launches, the studio makes sure that they have long-term options with the actors, so they continue should the show be picked up for additional seasons, and that was the case here. The contracts expire, and there is a set expiration date, in this case, sometime around the middle of June. 

And in the weeks following the cancellation, the studio asked for the actors for a several week extension so they could shop around and see whether anyone wanted to pick up the show. And all of the actors were kind enough to do for a couple of more weeks. And then we got to a point where no one was immediately stepping up, and at this point, those contracts have expired.

So right now, those actors are out there as free agents. So that's just one more hurdle we would have to overcome should we find our partner to continue producing the show.

But here's what I do know. All the actors love the show and love working with each other. I'm in constant touch with the actors and we're all paying close attention to what's happening out there. They want to finish the story just like I do. I'm hopeful that when the time comes for us to produce something, we'll be able to get the band back together.

 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 22:03

Op Ed: Why Can't Disney+ Fix Their Episode Order Problem?

Written by 16 July, 2021

In my newsletter on Thursday, I wrote about the addition of some of Norman Lear's classic television shows to Amazon Prime Video and IMDb TV. I noted that fans had been complaining about missing episodes and episodes listed out of order, both problems that could be confusing for casual viewers of the shows.

The piece generated a lot of comments from subscribers of other streaming services, who noted similar problems often pop up elsewhere. But some of the most passionate complaints came from Disney+ subscribers, who noted that the service continues to have multiple problems with its episode listings, primarily episodes that are out of order. Several problems were resolved by the service after complaints came from the creators of the affected shows. But for most of the other issues, repeated complaints have not led to any corrections.

One frequent chronicler of the problem is Drew, who runs the website DisneyDejaVu.com. He keeps a running list of all of episodic order issues on Disney+ and I am turning this over to him to explain why it matters:

I remember after Disney+ launched being irritated that some episodes were out of order while competitors like Prime Video had in the proper order. Disney+ says they add them in airdate order, but it's known that airdate order is often wrong for kid's shows. Disney was notorious for this - they aired episodes as they pleased, not as they were written. For TV that may have worked - people drop in and out. 

The problem is that this is the binge era now and the service serves as the "forever home" for these titles. People don't "drop in and out." They watch from the start and in order. When pilots that introduce the story and characters are placed 20 episodes into the series or villains are appearing multiple episodes after they've been vanquished, it ruins your enjoyment. 

While the airdate policy is necessary for uploading episodes efficiently, they have to be able to correct necessary mistakes they make or that were made at the time of airing. Case-by-case needs to be handled as it's reported. They cannot be rigid with it. How many months of people telling them Darkwing Duck's pilot episodes are listed as #29-30 are acceptable to take before they move them to the #1 and 2 slot?

In the case of the Disney Afternoon series every pilot is mid-series because Disney aired them first as a long movie, then split them up and inserted  them as individual episodes in syndication. We've reported this constantly. They fixed DuckTales 1987, Goof Troop, and TaleSpin  four months ago, but left Bonkers, Hercules, Rescue Rangers, and Darkwing Duck with the same problem.

There are countless articles written since the launch calling them out for this which you'd think would amount to "bad press" - who wants to subscribe to a service that is accused of making series unwatchable for new fans or frustrating for old ones? Ever since launch I've become determined to amplify the voices of the many who complain daily about Disney+ episode order issues, hoping someday Disney takes it seriously enough to fix it all so new fans can discover shows as the creators intended them to be watched. 

On my own news site, Disney Deja Vu, I isolated the 15 series with episode order issues that affect storylines / narratives. These are the 15 that need to be fixed the fastest or perhaps the only 15 that need to be fixed at all.

We've now seen them re-order shows for the creators of DuckTales 2017, Phineas and Ferb, Amphibia, and Big City Greens relatively quickly after the creators complained. In other words - they can do this fast when they choose to.

Yet the speed of fixes requested by the paying subscribers is glacial. I've spoken to some people who work there. They are very kind, apologetic, and ask me for patience. I feel awful - they likely don't have a large staff and have a lot to prioritize. 

But then I stop and realize that these fixes cannot take very long. We've seen them fix three shows in three days back in the spring (TaleSpin and DuckTales 1987), then stop. The fifteen we've listed could be done in one week. None of these are massive re-orderings either. In most cases it is a pilot or finale airing mid-season or two episodes side-by-side that simply have the order flipped incorrectly.

Does having the episodes out-of-order bother you? If you have a comment, send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 




Last modified on Friday, 16 July 2021 13:15

First Look: 'Heels'

Written by 19 July, 2021

Heels is a story about the men and women who chase their dreams in the world of small town pro wrestling. Set in a close-knit Georgia community, it follows a family-owned wrestling promotion as two brothers and rivals war over their late father’s legacy. In the ring, somebody must play the good guy and somebody must play their nemesis, the heel. But in the real world, those characters can be hard to live up to — or hard to leave behind.

The drama series also stars Alison Luff as Staci Spade, Jack’s wife who learns that she has to contend with the emotional stakes her in-laws have invested in their wrestling goals and the demands it puts on her family; Mary McCormack as Willie Day, Jack’s business partner and the logistical brains behind the local wrestling organization; Kelli Berglund as Crystal Tyler, Ace’s valet and love interest; Allen Maldonado as Rooster Robbins, one of the best wrestlers in the circuit who always has something to prove and always backs it up; two-time Super Bowl champion James Harrison as Apocalypse, a been-around-the-block journeyman wrestler who’s been at it for decades and has no illusions of fame or glory; and Chris Bauer as Wild Bill Hancock, a larger-than-life former wrestling star who is now a high-level pro wrestling scout.

Heels premieres Sunday, August 15th, 2021 on Starz.

Last modified on Monday, 19 July 2021 11:57

What If Tucker Carlson Was A TV Critic?

Written by 13 July, 2021

What would it look like if Fox News Channel primetime host Tucker Carlson was a TV critic? We have some thoughts in the video below.

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 July 2021 14:06

New On Peacock: July 2021

Written by 01 July, 2021

Here is a rundown of the new titles coming to Peacock in July 2021:

THURSDAY, JULY 1ST, 2021:
All Eyez On Me (2017)
Antz (1998)
Bad Teacher (2011)
Balls Of Fury (2007)
Because I Said So (2007)
Born On The Fourth Of July (1989)
Daredevil (2003)
Darkman (1990)
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Deep Impact (1998)
Doomsday (2008)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
End Of Days (1999)
Erin Brockovich (2000)
Far From Heaven (2002)
Fast & Furious (2009)
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1998)
Flashdance (1983)
47 Ronin (2013)
Grown Ups (2010)
Grown Ups 2 (2013)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Hulk (2003)
I Am Bolt (2016)
Inception (2010)
Jaws (1975)
Jaws 2 (1978)
Jaws 3-D (1983)
Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
Jetsons: The Movie (1990)
Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002)
Junior (1994)
Killing Escobar (2021)
King Kong (2005)
Knock Knock (2015)
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Leprechaun (1993)
Lost Speedways Season Premiere
Megamind (2010)
Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009)
Non-Stop (2014)
Paper Soldiers (2002)
Rain Man (1988)
Ray (2004)
Robin Hood (2010)
Role Models (2008)
Signs (2002)
Sky Blossom: Diaries Of The Next Greatest Generation (2021)
Smokey And The Bandit (1977)
Smokey And The Bandit II (1980)
Smokey And The Bandit Part 3 (1983)
Smother
Spawn (1997)
The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
The Best Man Holiday (2013)
The Fast And The Furious: Toyko Drift (2006)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
The Godfather: Part III (1990)
The Happening (2008)
The Hunger Ganes (2012)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
The Hunger Games Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014)
The Hunger Games Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015)
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
The Magnificent Seven (2016)
The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor (1998)
The Preacher's Wife (1996)
The Rundown (2003)
The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants (2005)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Skulls (2000)
The Village (2004)
The Wedding Planner (2001)
Twins (1998)
Unbreakable (2000)
Van Helsing (2004)
Walking Tall (2004)
Wanted (2008)

FRIDAY, JULY 2ND, 2021:
The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021)

SATURDAY, JULY 3RD, 2021:
The Cabin In The Woods (2012)

THURSDAY, JULY 15TH, 2021:
Archibald's Next Big Thing Is Here Season Three Premiere
Dr. Death Series Premiere

FRIDAY, JULY 16TH, 2021:
Ray (2004)
Sisters Of '96: The 1996 USA Women's Olympic Soccer Team
The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

THURSDAY, JULY 22ND, 2021:
Olympic Dreams Featuring The Jonas Brothers

THURSDAY, JULY 29TH, 2021:
The Croods


Last modified on Tuesday, 06 July 2021 12:58

First Look: 'Val'

Written by 06 July, 2021

For over 40 years Val Kilmer, one of Hollywood’s most mercurial and/or misunderstood actors has been documenting his own life and craft through film and video. He has amassed thousands of hours of footage, from 16mm home movies made with his brothers, to time spent in iconic roles for blockbuster movies like Top Gun, The Doors, Tombstone, and Batman Forever. This raw, wildly original and unflinching documentary reveals a life lived to extremes and a heart-filled, sometimes hilarious look at what it means to be an artist and a complex man.

Val premieres in theaters July 23rd, 2021 and on Prime Video August 6th, 2021

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 July 2021 12:28
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