Jane the Virgin, Socially Active TV

Jane the Virgin is an important show for many reasons, and one of the major ones is that it is really the only network show that features a primarily Latino cast. This is no accident and neither is it a purely token gesture by network execs attempting to bring in an underserved, and valuable audience. The show owes itself, to some degree, to a Venezuelan telenovela ( Juana la Virgen ) that serves as the shows loose basis. So far the show has been doing rather well for itself, the show was nominated at the 72nd Golden Globes as the best television series in the musical or comedy category. Furthermore Gina Rodriguez won the award for best actress in the same category.

Jane the Virgin takes an interesting approach to an old question, and surprisingly for a network show, has a religious tinge. The inciting incident, the whole reason for the show, is that Jane is a virgin who is artificially inseminated by mistake. More could be said but that sentence casts a fairly accurate image for the ups and down, conflicts, and major plot points of the show. Jane is devoutly religious and thus obviously decides that she must keep the baby while attempting to lead the life she had planned out before the unexpected pregnancy.

jane the present

The show is currently in its second season and much of the cast has remained on from the first. One of the major aims of the show has been to create something that isn’t a rehash of a Spanish soap opera. The crew wants to make Jane the Virgin into something that not only stands on its own legs in light of its predecessor but also will not be written off like a run of the mill daytime television show. It could be said that Jane the Virgin’s star is dealing with a similar issue.

Gina Rodriguez got her fame from a recurring role, Beverly, in The Bold and the Beautiful . The Bold is a landmark soap opera which originated as a sister show to The Young and the Restless . It’s easy to tell that there are layers of soap opera history that Rodriguez is attempting to break out of. Since her role on The Bold and the Beautiful she has been reaching out into other forms of entertainment and for lack of a better phrase, has just simply been on a roll. She has received awards and acted well outside the comfort zone that a soap opera provides. She was in a musical movie, Go for It! , and came away from that project with a nomination in the 2011 Imagen Awards. For those who are not familiar, the Imagen Awards are put out by the Imagen Foundation which is an organization made for “encouraging and recognizing the positive portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment industry.” She won an Imagen Award for her work in the film Filly Brown , which received a wide variety of praise and awards itself.

jane the virgin mad

Rodriguez is a multitalented artist and hints of that fact surface in her career history. As mentioned she was in the musical film Go for it! and not mentioned earlier is that Filly Brown focuses around the career of a young, aspiring hip-hop artist from L.A.. Currently Rodriguez is working on her own album in addition to putting in time with various movies and of course, Jane the Virgin.

It is clear that Jane is aiming to land a cut above the rest and go for something more than just weekly fluff, it wants to give the viewers intelligent writing, comedy, and connection. Just like any good show. However it seems that Jane is aware of its own status as something of a figurehead for Latino programming and, as unfair as it is, will probably be taken as a benchmark for the feasibility of more Latino-centered shows to come. However, if that is the situation viewers are faced with as programming takes small steps towards representative diversity, the issue could be in worse hands. More than making any distinct statement, the show aims to create smart conversation, as Rodriguez herself says about season two, “ I think it’s going to be even smarter than you can imagine. Jane just continues to surprise me, how smart (showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman) is and our writers, how intricate they can make these storylines and these roller coasters and yet so grounded in love and so grounded in family.

jane the virgin cast

I saw the first few episodes of Jane and I think the fans are going to be very, very proud. The storylines continue to get more thorough and you get deeper in everybody’s relationships and each character we continue to get deeper but also we have so many great guest stars, we talk about so many social issues that need to be spoken about but in a very non judgmental, non confrontational way. We just create conversations. And that’s what I think Jane does best.”

The show takes on major issues facing America, and one in particular, immigration reform, is at the forefront. It is such a relief to see that Jane the Virgin was able to break the mold of tv and come through the fourth wall to point out injustices that occur everyday in America. Injustices that a majority of nonimmigrants have no idea is reality. In one episode a character is in a coma at a hospital and those watching over her are informed that as soon as she wakes up she will be deported to Venezuela because she is undocumented and does not have health insurance. A character yells, “This can’t be legal!” and white text appears on the screen, “Yes, this really happens. Look it up #Immigration Reform” Laying out beliefs on immigration reform is divisive and to see a show, which depends on high ratings, giving the world its own voice directly is refreshing. Hopefully Jane and its cast are able to keep the show politically and socially active while still maintaining the level of quality it has delivered consistently so far. To watch Jane the Virgin on The CW, you need a cable TV subscription from Comcast!

latino cast cw

 

Taxi and politics?

Panahi’s new project, taxi, is a special brand of documentary that offers viewers an opportunity to see genuine people in a community that they will most likely not have the chance to experience for themselves. The film takes place in Tehran, the capital of Iran. Needless to say, it’s a place that is hard to get to for many people and the truth of the matter is that many Americans simply do not have a desire to go there.

Everyone knows that tensions between the US and Iran are running particularly high on account of a backlog of political adversity, the whole conflict with Islamic State, and of course the recent nuclear deal that has left parties on both sides relatively dissatisfied.

goldener bar jafar panahi

That political scene has created an incredibly conducive environment for the introduction of Jafar Panahi’s newest film.  Critics have described the film as a portrait of Iran but I think what is more important to note is how the film can function as a portrait of the people of Iran. Films like these are important because they essentially act as a conversation that could never be had otherwise. I think it is fair to say that something around 95% of people who see this film are never going to go to Iran. That may be because of the political environment, finance, or personal opinion but the fact of the matter is that the majority of American’s opinions on Iran are completely created, and molded by mass media.

This situation becomes complicated because global media coverage of Iran is always something close to sensational and in recent years has become even more so on account of the ever-looming thought of nuclear conflict. This film is important because it provides an outlet for the voice of Iranians that would most likely be heard, possibly even considered otherwise.  The film of itself is a dialogue aimed at creating dialogue, and while this kind of ideological double stacking ends up feeling overly concocted or at the very worst pretentious, the usual does not apply to Panahi’s film.

taxi pahani

The movie is almost entirely shot from the taxi and is surrounded by interesting circumstances. Panahi has gained something of a reputation for his film making, to say the least. He has for all intents and purposes been banned from travelling and making movies, which is why after he won an award for one of his works, his daughter had to take receive the award on his behalf. This circumstance perhaps also explains why Panahi has taken to this new locale for his flim, a moving target is harder to hit after all.

The setting does more than provide a certain degree of safety for Panahi though; it also functions as an incredibly democratic setting. There is something about a taxi cab that levels the playing field for every person involved.

The specific brand of connection that comes from the taxicab has been highlighted by many shows and movies thorough out the years. Some famous examples come from the Discovery Channel’s Cash Cab which gave ordinary people a chance to win hugs amounts of money simply for their knowledge of history and current events. Another side of the same concept shows through in web series and I believe a short-lived show that had people confessing about events in their life in the backseat of the cab.

taxi docuemtary pahini

Either way the cab offers up a humanizing stage, one that makes things seem more honest and heartfelt then they would otherwise. There is a mystique of authenticity that surrounds that whole environment.

This sense is what makes Jafar Panahi’s taxi so powerful, relatable, and ultimately important. It does what many films are essentially unable, or uninterested in doing because it presents a risk. Films about understanding and spreading cultural awareness often go about their business by showing the worst of the worst or the best of the best. We see films about inner city violence, child soldiers, prostitution of necessity,  or we are offered a glance into the best politicians and public figures. All of this knowledge is valuable because any information acquired offers up a better perspective or at least dials the focus in one step closer to a clear view.

It could be argued that Panahi is providing the cinematic world with the most accurate view of Tehran available without actually sending people there to look at it themselves, breathe in the air, hold their own conversations, and meet their own sample of people. Instead he brings the authentic opinions of strangers, friends, and others to the screen by simply interviewing them without pretence or even much of an angle.

This kind of honest and open human interaction is the star of the film. Through it we get to see what it is actually like to live somewhere, and what a sampling of the people in an far away city do, say, and think throughout their day. This sort of honest connection, I believe, has found a great fostering home in social media as well. I do not mean to claim that Panahi was inspired by Facebook, Twitter, or what have you in his efforts to do this.

respect islam taxi pahani documentary

More so, it simply reminds me of a feature of Snapchat that I find particularly amazing, and I’m sad to see that it has not received more attention in recent years.  It’s something equivalent to a live stream in which Snapchat looks at users; locations to determine if they are within the relevant area for a certain event.  If they are and they include the appropriate hash tag then their content is uploaded to all users. In my experience this was best demonstrated during the recent hurricanes on the East coast. The concept of seeing events from the perspective of individuals who are actually experiencing the event as a necessary part of their lives, or area in the case of Taxi, is much more valuable than taking a glance at a curated and essentially engineered version of the same events. To see when Taxi will air in your area, purchase a reliable cable connection today.

Hard Knocks given by NFL films and HBO

Hard knocks is an American reality television series, in the sports genre. The show originally started broadcasting in 2001. To date there have been ten seasons of hard knocks, and the show is an ongoing one as of 2015.

The premise of the show is simple; with each season, the show follows a team from the NFL (National football league) as they undertake their training camps and prepare to enter the new season of the sporting calendar.

The show extends to the exploration of both the professional aspects and the personal aspects of a career in football, and this is not limited to the players of the team-instead the staff and the coaches all get screen time so that the viewer can see the viewpoint of the football team from all angles, and explore the otherwise unseen business aspects of the game and what goes into creating a successful squad of players.

In the various seasons, the teams that have been followed include the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys (for a second time), Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, and the Houston Texans.

nfl cup

The show has been narrated by Liev Schreiber and Paul Rudd. Liev Schreiber is the current narrator.

Overview Of The Show/Plotlines/Common Viewpoints

The show tends to focus on a wide variety of people involved with each club that season highlights. As we mentioned in the introduction, this extends to the staff, the coaches, and the players. Every year, particular attention is paid to the new players on the team, and how they adjust to going from college football to a lot of professional football in the NFL. There tends to be heavy emphasis on the top draft pick for the team.

Attention is also paid to players who were not drafted, and journeyman players who are not guaranteed a spot on the team but are attempting to reach that coveted spot on the team.

Production

The show has been named by multiple sources as one of the first, if not the first, ever sports-based reality television series. The show was conceived by Marty Callner in 2001.

The show tends to consist of five episodes per series, a reduction of one from the six that the original two series, broadcast in 2001 and 2002 both featured. There have been a total of thirty-seven episodes to date.

Each episode has a run time of about fifty-five minutes without taking into account the adverts/commercials.

Steve Sabol, Rick Bernstein, Ross Greenburg and Marty Callner – the show’s creator – all serve as executive producers, whilst Ken Rogers and Keith Cossrow are listed and credited as the producers of the show.

Since its inception, the show has been on HBO, who have signed a multi-year contract to keep the show running as of 2013. The show has been renewed for its popularity, even though there is always a difficulty in finding a team that is willing to take the burden of having a show produced while they are training. Notably, several teams have turned down the chance to appear on Hard Knocks, among them The San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, and Washington Redskins.

As of October 8th, 2013, the NFL has actually stipulated that one team every year will have to be involved with the filming for publicity reasons. This will either be decided by a team volunteering, or it is stipulated that a team that has not been in the play-offs in the last two years who haven’t already done the show in the past ten years will be picked from in order to ensure that the show always has a team to represent the NFL on Hard Knocks.

The Seasons

Each season is focused on a different team. In addition, each season has a number of particular points of focus. This section will highlight some of those points.

Season 1

This series followed the Baltimore Ravens. The team wanted to repeat their success of winning the Super Bowl. They had to adjust to Jamal Lewis ending his season early with an injury, and another key issue was that the team was full of veterans in the twilight of their careers.

 

Dwayne Missoury as a rookie playing for the Baltimore Ravens

Dwayne Missoury as a rookie playing for the Baltimore Ravens

Season 2

The Dallas Cowboys were followed in this season. Emmitt Smith’s last season was a key issue, as was Dave Campo’s coaching as he entered his third year.

 

Jason Garrett during the 2013 season

Jason Garrett during the 2013 season

Season 3

Priest Holmes return after a potentially career ending neck injury, Boomer Grigsby’s change of position and the competition for the quarterback and cornerback jobs were features of the third series, which followed the Kansas City Chiefs.

 hard knocks kansas city chiefs

Season 4

The Dallas Cowboys were featured in season 4. Pacman’s reinstatement to the NFL, Keon Lattimore attempting to get a job, and the rookies attempts to adjust to the NFL were key themes.

DeVeren Johnson was a wide receiver for the cowboys

DeVeren Johnson was a wide receiver for the cowboys

Season 5

This season followed the Cincinnati Bengals, and featured the battle for fullback, the injuries of Reggie Kelly and Ben Utecht and the battle for the strong safety position in the starting lineup.

 

The bengals got some bad press after the season was over due to their performance

The bengals got some bad press after the season was over due to their performance


Season 6

Season 6 followed the New York Jets . Important themes and plot arcs of the show included the holdout on the contract of the cornerback, the battle for who would be the starting fullback, the marketing of quarterback Mark Sanchez and Kris Jenkins recovery from ACL surgery.

 hard knocks new york jets

Season 7

Season Seven followed the Miami Dolphins. The contract of Ryan Tannehill, the quarterback position battle and the knee surgery and subsequent attempted recovery of David Garrard all feature as prominent themes.

hard knocks dolphins 

 

Season 8 – Cincinnati Bengals

Season 8 saw the Cincinnati Bengals featured for the second time on the show. Some of the features of the show included Larry Black’s injury, James Harrison’s reluctance to engage with the Hard Knocks Crew, Margus Hunt’s adapting to the NFL and life in the USA, and several battles for positions including quarterback and fullback.

hard knocks nfl films

 

Season 9 – Atlanta Falcons

Season nine followed the Atlanta Falcons in 2014. The show had several themes, including the attempt to build more resilience in the team, Kroy’ Biermann’s attempted return to the sport (and a new playing position) after suffering a major injury, and the beginning of the careers of Tyler Starr and Jaques Smith, who are both rookies looking to make the team.

 

Atlanta Falcons had JJ Watt, who was a beast

Atlanta Falcons had JJ Watt, who was a beast

Season 10 – Houston Texans

The season followed the Houston Texans throughout the first five games of their season.

To watch on HBO, check out and purchase a Comcast XFINTIY TV plan!

Blood and Oil

“The biggest oil discovery in American history” is what the oil findings in North Dakota have come to be called. Given all the media attention the events have attracted, Josh Pate and Rodes Fishburne decided to go ahead and make a drama series, with this significant event as the backdrop. The show debuted on the ABC network on September 27, 2015.

blood and oil chase crawford

Cody and Billy LeFever, a married couple, want to build a business and they move to North Dakota to get a piece of the action that has unraveled in the region. They have risked everything to make the shift to North Dakota. However, they find it a lot harder than they thought it would be. The couple is sweet and lovable, who makes friends easily. They are also smart enough to see the opportunity and cease it immediately. After some sheer luck and fortunate or unfortunate turn of events, they get to meet the local oil baron, Hap Briggs, his beautiful wife, Carla and son, Wick. This is where the two start realizing the dream for which they had taken the journey. In the meanwhile, Cody becomes pregnant and that changes things.

blood and oil new millionaire is made

The cast of the show that is mainly responsible for pulling the audiences for the pilot, specifically Don Johnson. He became famous with his memorable role as Detective James Crockett in Miami Vice, and as Inspector Nash Bridges in the show of the same name. He has to his credit numerous memorable roles in movies and television, which have given him a special place in the heart of the audiences. After a long break, Don Johnson is doing a series long role in a show. He is a Golden Globe award winner and has also earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In Blood and Oil, he is playing the role of Happ Briggs, who is a corrupt and powerful businessman in North Dakota, who can do anything to make his business thrive. However, he is not the lead character, owing to his corrupt means.
The main character, Billy is played by the Chace Crawford. He is known for the role of Nathanial Archibald from the drama series, Gossip Girl. Chace has been a part of many popular television shows like Glee, Family Guy, and so on. The role of Crawford is nice and naïve in the beginning, but given the direction of the show, it will steer at least a little towards the darker side. Billy’s wife and business partner, Cody is portrayed by the beautiful Rebecca Rittenhouse. Audiences may recognize her from the medical comedy show, Red Band Society, in which she played the role of Brittany Dobler. The actress was also on the way to become the female lead in the Marvel movie, Deadpool, but Morena Baccarin finally grabbed it.

blood and oil promo trailer

The character of Carla Briggs, the socialite wife of the rich Happ Briggs, is brought to life by veteran actress, Amber Valetta. Starting off with House of Style, an MTV show, Amber went on to do roles in hit movies. Her filmography includes projects like Hitch (2005), Transporter 2 (2005), Gamer (2009), and Spy Next Door (2010), among others. She made her foray into the world of television with the 2011 drama series, Revenge. Apart from being an actor, she has also been a successful model. She has been the face of premium fashion brands including Versace, Gucci, Louis Vitton, Armani, Chanel, Prada, and so on. She also had multi-million dollar contracts with huge cosmetic companies, like Elizabeth Arden and Calvin Klein. Her role as Carla Briggs in Blood and Oil, has shades of gray, just like her businessman husband.

blood and oil still

Then, there is the understated but significant role of Wick Briggs, the son of Happ and Carla Briggs. The character is played by Scott Michael Foster, best known for his role as John Paul Jones in the comedy series, Greek and then as Leo in another ABC show, Chasing Life. His role in Blood and oil appears to be antagonistic. However, given the internal conflict that the character is experiencing, he may as well be the only protagonist left, as the oil business and the money together bring everybody’s dark side out.

blood and oil cast death
The show is following the story of the couple and whether or not they will be able to make it through their struggles. There is no real connection formed between the audience and the other characters. Everything is about the couple. This is because of how the couple has been portrayed. It’s not like only either of the husband or wife is ambitious, and the other isn’t. It is a kind of partnership they have and it is with this spirit that they have decided to get into the business. However, the business of oil, as has been stressed enough in the show, is that of corruption and power. This couple is entering such a domain with no experience and are just a naïve twosome. It will be interesting to watch the evolution of the show as time passes by and as they get more and more involved in their business. They may learn the tricks of the trade and get smart enough to be able to run without corruption or give into the ways of the business, or find a ground somewhere in between.

For many viewers, the show might feel pretty similar to Dallas and the same audiences may like this show more. As was the case with Dallas, in Blood and Oil too one family is building a big business empire, the existence of which is threatened by the new arrivals in the state. Though the main characters of Cody and Billy, feel original, all the settings and characters surrounding them seem to be off the beaten path. The show also went through a lot of changes in its title before release. It was initially called Boom, which was then changed to oil. However, it finally changed to the current name before the release.

The show has received mixed reviews, but given its storyline and the army of actors supporting it, the show can easily become a hit. Only time will tell. To watch Blood and Oil on ABC, you need an awesome cable TV package like this!

Sleeping with Other People: This Year’s Rom-Com

The romantic comedy film, Sleeping With Other People, was first seen at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24th, 2015. It was released last month on September 11th. IFC Films got the distribution rights to the movie on February 6th, 2015. It premiered on April 17th, 2015, at the Sarasota Film Festival and again on April 21st at the Tribeca Film Festival. The show continued to make its way through the film festivals during the spring and summer. It made an appearance at the Montclair Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Provincetown Film Festival. On June 18th it was shown for the first time in Europe at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

cant stop sleeping with other people

The film was written and directed by Leslye Headland and produced by Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell,
Sidney Kimmel, and Adam McKay. Music was by John Nau and Andrew Feltenstein who were hired in October of 2014. Ben Kutchins acted as cinematographer and Paul Frank edited the film. Gary Sanchez Productions, IM Global, and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment were production companies for Sleeping With Other People. It was distributed by IFC Films. The running time for the movie is 92 minutes and the Box Office is at $1.3 million. It originated in the United States and the language is English. Principal photography started on June 26th, 2014. It began in New York City. In early July a wedding scene was filmed involving Brie and Sudeikis. A few days later the pair were spotted filming an argument near Central Park.

LAINEY sleeping with other people

The cast for the film consists of Jason Sudeikis as Jake, Alison Brie as Lainey, Natasha Lyonne as Kara, Amanda Peet as Paula, Adam Scott as Dr. Matthew Sovochek, Marc Blucas as Chris, Jason Mantzoukas as Xander, Andrea Savage as Naomi, and Adam Brody.

The point of Sleeping With Other People is to be something of a remake of When Met Harry Met Sally —at least, in some ways. Both movies ask the question– “can men and women simply be friends?” and of course, the answer seems pretty cut-and-dry to most people, who generally think the answer is as easy as “yes” or “no.” Romantic comedies are famous, of course, for challenging the relationship men and women have with one another. It is the 21st century, but has that question or the answer to it really changed that much from the time that When Harry Met Sally was first new to the scene a couple of decades ago?

There will, of course, be a few difference between the two films. For one thing the plots themselves are unique, but aside from that, Sleeping With Other People will have cell phones and more jerks. It may also be somewhat more crude than When Harry Met Sally. Recently society has been more keen on raunch-coms, so to speak, as opposed to rom-coms—or romantic comedies. The movie, of course, will still keep to most of the romantic-comedy norms and standards; all of the ones we have come to expect from most films in the genre. The movie does not shy away from the subject of sex, but few other romantic comedies do either. That is, in fact, one of the larger and central subjects of the film—albeit that is not all that’s involved, as with any romance.

sleeping with other people

The story starts out in college with Lainey furiously trying to get the attention of a mystery fellow by pounding on his door and calling out for him. Jake saves her from the embarrassment and gets her to come into his own dorm room to calm down. He begins to win her favor and seduce her by insulting the guy who she was trying to talk to, and, it is of no surprise, they end up sleeping together—actually– losing their virginities to one another, meanwhile “Get Over It” by OK Go, a 2002 hallmark, plays loudly in the background.

In one way or another both seem to struggle with sexual addiction, which is actually where they meet one another—at a sex addiction meeting. Over a decade later, 12 years, to be exact, Lainey and Jake run into one another again by chance. Neither of them has really the ideal love life, to put it one way. Lainey is involved with a married OBGYN who also happens to be her college crush, Matthew Sobvechik. Jake, on the other hand, is unable to hold unto a girlfriend because of his tendency to cheat. He hasn’t been able to find a woman who can, evidently, meet his emotional needs. Obviously they have some real issues with monogamy and sex, although they themselves are not incapable of having a meaningful relationship—and in fact that is what both of them want but can’t seem to have due to their own warped behaviors. When Lainey and Jake meet they decide to keep things on the platonic side and only be friends. In the meantime they offer one another support and advice to try to help each other with their self-destructive attitudes.

SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE IFC FILMS

The film has has relatively good reviews although they are not outstanding. Rotten Tomtoes has given it a score of 60% and IMDb gives it 6.5/10 stars. The movie is described as raunchy, empathetic, funny, exhilarating, sentimental, smart, and lively. Fans like the chemistry between the two characters and say that they are sexy and romantic together as well as individually charming. Alison Brie is definitely given plenty of applause for her acting ability, particularly the comedy she invokes during a dance scene at a kid’s party. Sudeikis is perfect for humorous banter. It should be said, however, that there are quite a few graphic and crude jokes, sex scenes, and drug use. For those who don’t like that sort of thing they may find better entrainment getting a different movie. The film is also frequently compared to When Harry Met Sally, but often not in the best light. Many people argue that the film tries too hard to be like When Harry Met Sally but doesn’t measure up in areas of chemistry and humor between the characters. When you sign up with Comcast XFINITY, you can see when Sleeping With Other People will air!

Flakedly Hilarious

 

2BA6DC5B00000578-0-image-a-14_1440511791691Flaked is the latest comedy series to be picked up by Netflix. The first eight episodes of the show will debut in 2016 across all regions covered by the digital streaming service. The series will star Will Arnett, who is also associated with Netflix’s BoJack Horseman, and the fourth season of Arrested Development. Mitch Hurwitz, the creator of Arrested Development, is the executive producer for the show. The series is co-created by both Arnett and Mark Chappell.

The story of the show revolves around Chip, played by Will Arnett, who is a popular guy and a self-appointed ‘guru’. He has stayed in Venice, Los Angeles, for a long time, where, he is well-known. The story explores the comedy that unravels when such a personality falls for someone, no less, for the girl his best friend has the hots for. London, as the girl is called, works as a waitress at the Venice beach and is also attracted towards Chip. To make things more complicated, Chip offers London a place to live directly above his shop. It leads to a lot of lies, goof-ups and what not, which finally come back to strip him away off his image of a ‘guru’ and unveil his manipulative ways. The comedy will churn out of the different characters in his life and Chip’s own struggle to keep ahead of his lies, which will be interesting to watch.
The lead role in the series is played by William Arnett. He is a Canadian actor with a long list of credits in the television and movie industry. The actor is best known for his roles in the NBC series, 30 Rock as Davon Johnson, and in Up All Night as Chris, the loving stay-at-home dad, among many others. He has been part of numerous movies, including his latest performance as Vern Fenwick in Teenage Mutants ninja Turtles: Half Shell (2016). The actor is also a well-known voice artist and has lent his voice to many characters including Mr. Perkins in Despicable Me (2010), Surly in Nut Job (2014), and Batman in The Lego Movie (2014), among many others. Talking about Flaked, William Arnett said, “We’re very excited to partner with Netflix–the home of original, original content–and the network I knew would be the ideal home for this passion project.”

will arnett to relsease new flaked show

The role of Clip’s love interest, London, is played by Ruth Kearney. The 26-year old has appeared in a few movies before. She played the role of Angel in Jet Stream (2013), Miriam in Gracie! (2009) and also Jess Parker in the TV series Primeval in 2011. The role of Chip’s best friend, Dennis, is played by David Sullivan. Chip is the popular guy and Dennis kind of lives in his shadows and works for restaurants, creating wine lists for them. David Sullivan has to his credit roles in NCIS: LA, The Veil, and Argo. He has also worked on TV shows such as Wicked City, an ABC drama. Christopher Mintz-Plasse will also join the cast of the show as the techno-savvy genius, who is new to the city of Venice and is desperately trying to find his place and fit in. Christopher is a successful voice artist and he has brought to life many popular characters, including Fishlegs in the movie and the animated series, How to Train Your Dragon. He has also done movies like the Kick Ass series, as well as Superbad. It will be new to watch him perform on screen in a live-action drama, something he has never done before.

George Basil will appear in the role of Cooler in the series, a complete goofball and a simple character. Basil can also be seen simultaneously on the TBS show, Wrecked and also Rad Dad, another comedy series. Then there is the character of Kara, Chip’s girlfriend, which is played by Lina Esco. She is in her first year being sober and her relationship with Chip is not exactly a great one. Travis Mills also forms part of the recurring cast for the show, as the proprietor of local coffee shop.

The founder of the production company, Electus, Ben Silverman, was excited about the collaboration and said, “Netflix is driving the golden age of television with its content and we are proud to be part of their family with ‘Flaked.’ Will Arnett, Mitch Hurwitz, Mark Chappel and Peter Principato are brilliant collaborators and friends.” Ben Silverman, Peter Principato and Hurwitz for Electus and Principato-Young are the executive producers of the show along with Arnett and Chappell.

will arnett who let the dogs out

Chappell and Arnett have already worked together successfully on The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. Their association with this show can really work wonders on it. Arnett is also in the middle of a deal with CBS, an association that he developed after playing the part of Nathan Miller in The Millers, the CBS sitcom that got cancelled midway in 2014.
Talking about the series, Cindy Holland, Vice President, Netflix’s Original Content said, “We are thrilled to be the home of Will Arnett’s next series, and look forward to Chip joining his repertoire alongside such diverse and inspirational characters such as Gob, Bojack, and Batman.”

The show is to be aired in 2016 and is a Netflix original. With the ever increasing cost of licensing and reducing profit margins, Netflix has come up with a wide range of original content. The quality of the content is good and more and more people are subscribing. The same logic for this show and hopefully it will be an interesting watch. Netflix has been adding more and more content to its comedy lineup with shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Grace and Frankie, and so on. Netflix has to expand its arsenal to make people subscribe to its services and lower its licensing costs. That is exactly what it is doing now.

The good news that Netflix has done well with their original content series. This should come as a huge boost to Flaked, which has successful producers and talented actors backing it. At the end of the day, viewers only care about the quality of the content, irrespective of the source, which is again a good news for the show. Flaked is available on Netflix, which you can access with your Comcast XFINITY bundle.

Westworld

The HBO original TV series Westworld is an upcoming science fiction thriller based on the 1973 movie of the same name. The original movie was written and directed by the bestselling novelist, Michael Crichton, who has written novels the likes of Jurassic Park and Sphere. The series is being directed by Jonathan Nolan, who is best known as the screenplay writer for blockbusters such as The Dark Knight (2008), Interstellar (2014), and others. Nolan is also one of the executive producers for the series. The other executive producers are Bryan Burk and Lisa Joy. The series will debut on HBO in 2016.

westworld death scene

The story follows the events at Westworld, a futuristic theme park, which people visit to fulfill all their dark fantasies. The theme park is replete with androids (robots) whose only purpose is to fulfill their visitors’ wish. These robots are completely lifelike and they are almost indistinguishable from humans. However, as it always happens with anything in which Michael Crichton is involved, things invariably go haywire and the robots start killing humans. The series has been described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin”. Interestingly the robots can be killed, but they will reappear in the series with completely new personalities. This gives actors an opportunity to appear throughout the series as more than one character.

The teaser trailer for the series absolutely kills it. In fact, the teaser created more buzz for HBO than the season two finale of the HBO’s own series, True Detective. The teaser does not leave it to the imagination of the viewer that the show is going to be an hour long sick fest of freakishness. In fact, it seems that Nolan is hell bent to deliver on what he called an “ambitious, subversive and f–ked up” Westworld.

westworld main character

From the looks of it, HBO is pulling out all the big guns to make sure it doesn’t repeat a mistake that season 2 of True Detective was. Not only is Westworld loaded with heavy hitters behind the screen, but also on it. The show makers have brought a great ensemble of A-listers to have ever appeared on screen. The most notorious of all the cast is Anthony Hopkins, who, from the trailer, looks like he is back to his Hannibal smile. His true intentions are to be seen yet. Hopkins will play the role of Dr. Robert Ford, the creative director of Westworld. Ford has an uncompromising vision for the theme park and always manages to achieve what he wants, albeit using unorthodox means. The thought that Hopkins’s character be in control of everything at the theme park forces many fans to wonder – when things go for a toss, it is highly likely that they will have something to do with Hopkins’ character. Then again, the producers have already announced that the main villain will be The Man in Black, a role that will be played by four time Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner, Ed Harris.

Evan Rachel Wood plays the role of Dolores Abernathy, a farm girl, who is about to be whacked out of her all-figured-out state in the harshest way, and forced to confront the fact that her entire existence is an elaborate lie. James Marsden, the X-Men star, has joined the cast as the newly arrived mysterious gunslinger, Teddy Flood. Flood’s pursuit of a local beauty lands him in the dark world of Westworld. Thandie Newton will be playing the role of the beautiful and razor-sharp Maeve Millay. Millay is exceptionally good at reading people, and is a true survivor, or at least has been so far. Whether she will be ready to face the hells that Westworld will soon turn into, is something that only time will tell.

westworld hbo

Anything sci-fi will not be complete without the geek element, which is provided to Westworld by Jeffrey Wright, who is best known for his roles in The Hunger Games, Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace.
Wright will play the role of Bernard Lowe, the head of the Programming Division at Westworld and creator of the artificial people that entertain guests at Westworld. It will be interesting to see where Lowe will be when his “children” will break bad. The role of Theresa Cullen, Westworld’s operations head, for which Miranda Otto was the initial choice, will now be played by Sidse Babbett Knudsen. Cullen is responsible for practically everything happening in real time at the theme park, and it is her job to make sure that things are under control at all times. Elsie King is another staff member of Westworld in the Programming division. The character, played by Shannon Woodward, is tasked with noting any ‘odd behavior’ in the artificial beings. The British actor Simon Quarterman will be playing the role of Lee Sizemore, the narrative director at Westworld.

Then there are the outsiders to the adult theme park. Logan, played by Ben Barnes is a veteran Westworld guest, a bachelor and has a shady past. His latest visit to the park is equally motivated by his hedonic desires as by his desire to help his friend, William. William himself is a first time visitor to the park, who, although initially does not like the activities of the park, experiences a change of heart. The other cast members include Ptolemy Slocum, Kyle Bornheimer, Currie Graham, Timothy Lee DePriest, Steven Ogg, Lena Georgas, and Demetrius Grosse.

Westworld has its share of people on the other side of the law. Rodrigo Santoro plays Harlan Bell, who is a terrifying and brutal human, whose only purpose is to survive at any cost. He is the most wanted outlaw in Westworld. Other outlaws in the series are Armistice, and Lawrence, who are being played by Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, and Clifton Collins Jr. respectively.

westworld tease

Warner Bros. had been planning to remake the original Westworld since as early as 1990s. However, the project never saw the light of day. Later in 2013, they announced that HBO had ordered a pilot for a TV series based on the movie. It was decided then itself that the series would be directed by Jonathan Nolan, who would be co-writing it with Lisa Joy. The series is being produced by Bad Robot Productions, Jerry Weintraub Productions, Kilter films, and Warner Bros. The pilot was shot in August, 2014, in and around Los Angeles. Although the show was originally scheduled to premiere in 2015, it has now been postponed to 2016. HBO is included with a cable TV bundle from Comcast XFINITY.

Everything You Need to Know about In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea is an upcoming adventure drama, directed by Ron Howard, which tells the story of an American whaling ship which sinks and leaves the crew drifting at sea for several months. The film is currently set to be released on December 11th, 2015, and has received mostly positive reviews from early screenings of the film. Most early reviews of the movie praise the direct, dramatic storyline, and the intense performances of the cast.

Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about In the Heart of the Sea.

It is based on real life events

Spoiler alert!

In the Heart of the Sea is based on a non-fiction book of the same name, which in turn was about an actual event: the sinking of the Essex, an American whaling ship which went down in 1820.

in the heart of the sea official trailer mom

The actual Essex was called by many to be a “lucky” ship because it often had very profitable whaling voyages. Its captain, George Pollard, was only 29 years old and was the youngest man in American to hold the captain command over a whaling ship. Prior to its final voyage, the ship had been refitted–though it was still considered small for a whaling ship. Like all whaling boats, the ship held separate “whaleboats,” smaller boats which were used for traveling into the sea in order to spear, shoot or otherwise kill whales.

The final voyage started on August 12th, 1819 and was expected to last about 2 and half years. The ship was damaged shortly after it left port, but the crew decided to continue without repairing the damage to its sail or replacing two of the whaleboats which were totally destroyed. It took the ship 5 weeks to reach its destination at Cape Horn–which was much longer than any previous voyage–and the crew eventually decided to sail to a previously unknown destination at the advice of some whalers who said they discovered a new hunting ground. This new location was much farther than land than most whaling destinations, and the crew eventually stopped at Charles Island to capture tortoises and restock some supplies. One of the crewmembers set a fire on the island, which set the island completely ablaze–this fire is believed to have heavily contributed to the extinction of two species only found on the island.

sperm whale in the heart of the sea

After leaving the island, the crew was dealing with considerably tension due to the many ill-omens and the fire which Captain Pollard punished the crew for. The crew was in the process of hunting a whale when an extremely large sperm well–estimated to be 85 feet long–began to attack the ship. The whale’s attack damaged the boat considerably, and the Essex began to sink. Three sailors were believed to have died in the initial attack. The 20 survivors jumped into the sole remaining whaleboat, reunited with the other whaleboats still at sea, and began to sail for land, despite having inadequate supplies. The crew was divided on which way to sail, namely due to the fear that some islands in the area were inhabited by native cannibals.

Over the next 90 days, many crew members became seriously ill due to the lack of fresh water or food because there were not enough supplies salvaged from the Essex before it went down; one of the whale boats eventually drifted away from the others and was never found again. The seriousness of the situation over the next few weeks resulted in the crew deciding to that they must start drawing lots for sacrifices; the unlucky that were chosen were killed and their remains were then eaten by the crew. Eventually, the survivors—including those who had been stranded near an island—were rescued.

The non-fiction book about the Essex was a bestseller

in the heart of the sea

The non-fiction book In the Heart of the Sea was written by Nathaniel Phil brick and published in 2000; the book was a best-seller and won several awards, including the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Director Ron Howard reportedly read the book and pitched the film idea to Warner Bros. Pictures; in 2000, right after the book was published, Miramax Films was reportedly interested but declined to pursue a film deal.

It has an all-star cast

Like most Ron Howard films, the cast for In the Heart of the Sea is top-notch. The film will star Chris Hemsworth as Owen Chase; Benjamin Walker as Captain George Pollard; Cillian Murphy as Matthew Joy; Tom Holland as Thomas Nickerson; Ben Whishaw as Herman Melville; and Frank Dillane as Owen Coffin. The film will also feature Brendan Gleeson as the older version of Thomas Nickerson.

Other actors were considered for the roles

in the heart of the sea inspired by moby dick

The final cast for the film were not the first actors considered for the roles. Benedict Cumberbatch was considered for the role of Captain George Pollard, as were Tom Hiddleston and Henry Cavill. However, it was Benjamin Walker– perhaps most recently known for playing Abraham Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter–who landed the role. Walker is much closer in age to the real George Pollard than some of the other actors considered.

Production for the film was grueling

Any film that involves the characters being stranded on a boat for 90 days will natural be grueling. In the Heart of the Sea has been described by the cast and crew as a particularly difficult shoot, not only because of the need to film in boats and water for long periods of time, but because of the dramatic changes that their characters must go through during the course of the production. The starvation that causes the crew to eventually consider cannibalism required the cast to go on an extreme diet in order to look thin enough for that point of the film. According to Chris Hemsworth in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, the cast were put on a diet of 500 to 600 calories a day–far less than the recommended 2,000–in order to lose enough weight. See this movie and other Chris Hemsworth flicks after you sign up for a cable TV package.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

The upcoming movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, is an American animated, action-comedy movie to be released on December 23, 2015. The movie is the fourth installment in the Alvin and Chipmunks franchise. It is directed by Walt Becker, and written by Adam Sztykiel and Randi Mayem Singer. Karen Rosenfelt, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., and Janice Karman are producing the movie.

From the looks of the first trailer, it appears that a majority of the movie happens on the road. At some point in the beginning of the movie, the chipmunks are introduced by their father, Dave, to his new girlfriend, Samantha. The chipmunk trio – Alvin, Theodore, and Simon, are initially happy to meet their dad’s girlfriend, but then Samantha’s son enters their life. While the chipmunks try to get to know him, he proves to be an insufferable haft-wit. Then, somehow a misunderstanding develops among the chipmunks that Dave has planned to propose Samantha in Miami. They think that if they let their Dad marry Samantha, then their step brother will turn their life into a living hell, and therefore, the marriage and proposal have to be prevented at all costs. The chipmunks only have three days to stop the disaster from happening. They then decide to set off on an adventure to reach Miami, and stop their father before he makes the mistake, which they believe will not only cost them their father, but also gain them a horrible stepbrother.

the road chip alvin and the chipmunks

Justin Long, of Live Free or Die Hard (2007) and Accepted (2006) fame, is lending his voice for Alvin. Jesse McCartney, of Keith (2008) fame, will be doing the voice of Theodore, while Matthew Gray Gubler will is assigned to Simon. All these actors have been in the previous movies, but unlike them, Amy Peohler will not be returning as the voice of Eleanor. Instead, Eleanor will be voiced by the Big bang Theory star, Kaley Cuoco. Their father, Dave will be voiced by Jason Lee of the Almost Famous (2000) fame. The rest of the cast for the movie include Christina Applegate as Brittany, Anna Faris as Jeanette, Bella Thorne as Ashley, and Kimberly Williams-Paisley as Shira. Tony Hale will voice the villain in the movie, although his character has not been revealed yet.

alvin party

After nearly two years since the last Chipmunks movie hit the theaters, 20th Century Fox announced in 2013 that a fourth installment of the series is under way. It was originally decided that the movie will hit the theatres by December 11, 2015. Nothing much happened until late 2014, when Randi Mayem Singer was brought in as the writer for the movie. By December that year, Walt Becker was on board as the director of the movie, and it was now decided that the movie would be released on December 23, 2015, right before Christmas. In February 2015, Tony Hale joined the cast, and by March Kimberly Williams-Paisley as well as Bella Thorne was roped up for the movie. The rest of the cast was recruited in various months, and by the end of March, 2015, most of them were on the team. The shooting for the move began in the same month, and was completed by May, 2015.

The movies of Alvin and Chipmunks franchise are something that draw a collective sigh from millions of fathers the moment they are announced. Just like the Disney’s Frozen, everybody hates them, but neither the “Let it Go” is going anywhere, nor are these movies. Even the members of the cast openly hate the movies. But, just like the Fast and Furious movies, people will watch every new installment of Alvin and Chipmunks and eventually end up cursing themselves for watching it. That’s how they made more than a billion dollars in the box office collection from the previous three movies. There is no escaping it. Even the strongest of hearts won’t be able to hold off their kids’ incessant pleas for too long. Those little devils know all their parents’ buttons, and will press them until they hit the seats of cinemas.

regency enterprises alvin and the chipmunk

If watching the cheesy movie and its characters is not enough, the producers have to torture parents more with the cheesy names too. Continuing in the tradition of the ultra-cheesy puns of squeakquel, and chipwrecked, the fourth instalment has been named Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip. But even haters cannot deny the fact that there is something about these movies that draw the public to them, and all the success cannot be dismissed as luck. Not after that success has been reproduced thrice in a row. Could it be because of the musical numbers? Alvin and Chipmunks movies are usually an hour and a half long recital of current generation pop hits in the most annoying voices the Hollywood has ever managed to produce. It will not be an exception this time either. The trailer already indicates that the Chipmunks will be singing Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk, dancing on the top of expensive cars.

alvin non party way man

Whatever the reason for their success, the kids love them, and it will be two hours of much needed peace for parents just before Christmas. From the trailer it is quite clear that the chipmunks will be putting up a great show for viewers. They will be seen performing all sorts of stunts, such as balancing themselves precariously on what appears to be an ugly driverless car, in the midst of a busy street, putting all the lives around them at risk. As with any chipmunks movie, this is not about the story. Children enjoy these movies for the antics that these “cute” (to be read as “annoying” by adults) tiny furballs, as they survive by sheer team work. That really doesn’t sound half-bad. May be, we adults should stop hating these movies for what we consider as the destruction of our childhood memories, and start enjoying them for what they really are – just an hour and half hours’ worth of animated action, comedy and fun. Well, except, maybe, for the annoying parts wherein they burst into songs. If you have a cable TV package, you can see the Road Chip anytime it airs!

The Peanuts Movie

The Peanuts Movie is an upcoming 3D computer animated movie from Blue Sky Studios and 20th century Fox. It is a comedy that is based on Charles m Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts. Written by Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz and Cornelius Uliano, The Peanuts Movie will be directed by Steve Martino. The film will be released on the 6th November, 2015, and is being released for the 65th Annivesary of the comic strip. It takes all its characters from the strip, including Charlie Brown, Snoopy, lucy van pelt and Pig Pen. It is the first feature length film based on the series to be released in 35 years, and the fifth film using the characters in total. The film will star Bill Melendez, Noah Schnapp, Hadley Belle Miller and AJ Teece as well as Noah Johnston.

all peanuts kids

 

Cast

Bill Melendez is set to play the role of Snoopy and Woodstock (from archival recordings.) was a Mexican American character animator, film director, voice artist and producer, known for his cartoons for Walt Disney Productions (working on four Disney films, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi), Warner Bros. Cartoons, UPA and the Peanuts series.

Noah Schnapp is set to play the role of Charlie Brown.  Charlie Brown is the central protagonist of the long-running comic strip. Credited as a “lovable loser”, Charlie Brown is one of the great American archetypes, he is a very well-received and well-known cartoon character.

charlie brown

Hadley Belle Miller is set to play the role of Lucy van Pelt. In the comics, she is the main bully and the older sister of Linus and Rerun. Lucy is characterized as a crabby, bossy and opinionated girl.

AJ Teece is set to play the role of Pig-Pen. In the comics, Pig-Pen is a young boy who is, except on very rare occasions, very dirty.

Noah Johnston is set to play the role of Schroeder. He is distinguished by his precocious skill at playing the toy piano, as well as by his love of classical music and the composer Ludwig van Beethoven in particular. Schroeder is also the catcher on Charlie Brown’s baseball team.

Venus Schultheis is set to play the role of Peppermint Patty. A tomboy, she is one of a small group in the strip who lives across town from Charlie Brown and his school friends. She has freckles and auburn/brunette hair and generally displays the characteristics of a tomboy, although that was slightly changed when Marcie was paired with her.

Alexander Garfin is set to play the role of Linus van Pelt. The best friend of Charlie Brown, Linus is also the younger brother of Lucy van Pelt and older brother of Rerun van Pelt.

Francesca Capaldi is set to play the role of the Little Red-Haired Girl. The Little Red-haired girl appears in the comics as the object of Charlie Brown’s affection, and a symbol of unrequited love. Charlie Brown most often notices her while eating lunch outdoors, and always failing to muster the courage to speak to her.

dog goes to school peanuts movie

Mar Mar is set to play the role of Franklin. In the comics, Franklin goes to school with Peppermint Patty and Marcie. In his first story arc, he met Charlie Brown when they were both at the beach.

Mariel Sheets is set to play the role of Sally Brown. Sally Brown is the younger sister of Charlie Brown in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles Schulz. She was first mentioned in early 1959 and throughout a long series of strips before her first appearance in August 1959. Kathy Steinberg was the first to voice Sally in 1965.

Rebecca Bloom is set to play the role of Marcie. She serves as comedic foil and best friend to tomboy Peppermint Patty, and displays a romantic interest in Charlie Brown.

William Alexander Wunsch is set to play the role of Shermy.

Anastasia Bredikhina is set to play the role of Patty. In the earlier comic strips, Patty often acted as a sort of mother-hen, looking out for the younger characters; however, she also set the tone for the strong female characters in the Peanuts universe.

Madisyn Shipman is set to play the role of Violet. Violet and Patty are best friends.

 

Production

2006 saw the passing of the creator of the Peanuts comic strip. At this time, his son wanted to create a film that kept his father’s legacy alive. Working with his own son, Bryan, the two generations of Schulz set to work on what would become The Peanuts Movie. Together, they created the plot and screenplay, deciding that they would like to keep complete control of the production in order to ensure that the film was as their father envisioned the characters and world he’d created.

They chose Martino as the director having seen and enjoying his work on the Dr. Seuss movie, Horton Hears a Who.

 

linus

The goal for the film was to inspire children. The character of the main protagonist, Charlie Brown, is a child who lives without any particular luck, but keeps working hard, picking himself up and eventually succeeding. The director said this about the plot: “Here’s where I lean thematically. I want to go through this journey… Charlie Brown is that guy who, in the face of repeated failure, picks himself back up and tries again. That’s no small task. I have kids who aspire to be something big and great… a star football player or on Broadway. I think what Charlie Brown is—what I hope to show in this film—is the everyday qualities of perseverance… to pick yourself back up with a positive attitude—that’s every bit as heroic… as having a star on the Walk of Fame or being a star on Broadway. That’s the [story’s] core.

The music for the film has been written by Christophe Beck, the Cinematography by Renato Falcao, and the production by 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. 20th Century Fox are also the international and domestic distributors for the film. The film has a budget of $100 million, and will be released on November 6th 2015. Watch The Peanuts movie anytime with on demand options in XFINITY cable TV packages.

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