Showing posts with label Scott Rudin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scott Rudin. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Book Review: "BURN IT DOWN" Goes After Hollywood's Biggest Abusers


AUTHOR: Maureen Ryan
ISBN: 978-0-06-326927-9; hardcover (June 6, 2023)
400pp, B&W, $32.50 U.S., $40.00 CAN

Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood is a 2023 nonfiction book from author Maureen Ryan.  Ryan is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, and she has had a three-decade career as a reporter and critic for such publications as GQ, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, and Variety, to name a few.

Abuse and exploitation of workers is baked into the very foundations of the entertainment industry and in Hollywood, specifically.  It is a cycle, and if that cycle is going to be broken, it is important to stop looking at headline-making stories as individual events.  To make change that sticks, we must look closely at the bigger picture, to see how abusers are created, fed, rewarded, and allowed to persist.  People must discover how they can be excised – with the right tools.

In Burn It Down, veteran reporter Maureen Ryan does just that.  Drawing on decades of experience, Ryan connects the dots and illuminates the deeper forces sustaining Hollywood’s corrosive culture.  She offers fresh reporting that sheds light on problematic situations at television series such as ABC's “Lost” (2004-10) and “The Goldbergs” (2013-23); NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (1975-present); Fox's “Sleepy Hollow” (2013-17); HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (12 seasons over the period of 2000 to 2024), to name a few.

Ryan weaves insights from industry insiders together with historical context and pop-culture analysis.  Most of all, Burn It Down both shows us what’s gone wrong in the entertainment world and also how people can fix it.

THE LOWDOWN:  I first heard of Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood when Hollywood trade publications and social media started reporting a particular section of Maureen Ryan's book.  The chapter entitled, “'Lost' and the Myths of a Golden Age.”  I think many fans had an idealized view of the creative process behind ABC's Emmy-winning TV series, “Lost.”

What the people behind the scenes of the show knew was that that the production of the series involved the machinations and temperamental behavior of executive producer and showrunner, Carlton Cuse, and the codependency of fellow executive producer, Damon Lindelof.  The report about the book offered juicy “Lost” details, but Burn It Down offers further insight via Ryan's interview of fired “Lost actor, Harold Perrineau.

“Lost” is just one part of the story.  Ryan's revealing conversations with actor Orlando Jones details an ugly behind-the-scenes situation with Fox's former supernatural drama, “Sleepy Hollow.”  It seems that after the first season, which was well-received, Fox became concerned that the series was “too Black,” meaning too much focus on too many African-American characters.

Once again, “Sleepy Hollow” is just one part of the story.  Burn It Down is a virtual horror show of stories of terrible behavior – usually committed by white men – behind many hit TV series.  In the book, actress Evan Rachel Wood talks about the abuse she has suffered over the years, especially at the hands of her former boyfriend, rock star Marilyn Manson.  Burn It Down details the Nxivm cult and also the abuse of EGOT recipient, super-producer Scott Rudin.

Still, fully one-third of Burn It Down (the book's “Part Two”) talks about moving forward.  How can people clean up the industry?  What does “centering survivors” and “doing the work” look like?  How does the industry foster real change or even create a new model of creative leadership?

I get the feeling that writing this book took a lot out of Ryan, but I believe that there are more horror stories to tell, enough to fill several books.  Maybe, other writers can pick up this crusade.  In the meantime, I adore Burn It Down, and I recommend it to fans of non-fiction books about Hollywood and about the “Me Too” movement.  In the meantime, the paperback edition is due June 4, 2024.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:   Fans of nonfiction books about Hollywood scandals will want to read Burn it Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

A copy of BURN IT DOWN can be bought at AMAZON.

The text is copyright © 2024 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved.  Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from September 26th to 30th, 2021 - Update #16

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


DISNEY - From Deadline:   Tim Federle will direct and Madhuri Shekar will write "Sister Act 3" for Disney+. Whoopi Goldberg will reprise her role as "Deloris," the nightclub singer turned nun.  Goldberg will also produce the film along with Tyler Perry and Tom Leonardis.

SCANDAL - From VanityFair:  Film, TV, and Broadway titan, Aaron Sorkin, says that scandal-ridden bully and super-producer (and Sorkin's collaborator), Scott Rudin, got what he deserved.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:   OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network has signed a deal for a 20-episode third season of "All Rise," the legal drama that CBS cancelled in this past May.  The Warner Bros TV-produced series will air on OWN beginning in 2022.  Star Simone Missick and most of the cast will return.

TELEVISION - From EOnline:  Ellen Pompeo remembers that time she called Denzel Washington a "m*therf*cker."

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Eleven years after dumping it, NBC is reviving its beloved crime drama, "Law & Order," for a 21st season.  No premiere date has yet been announced.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  J. Michael Straczynski is set to write and executive a reboot of his 1990s science fiction syndicated TV series, "Babylon 5," for The CW.  The series ran for fives seasons (1994-99), including a pilot film (1993) and five other television movies.  The pilot TV movie and the series' first four seasons were syndicated via the "Prime Time Entertainment Network."  Season 5 aired on cable network TNT.

SCANDAL - From Deadline:   Grammy-winning recording artist, R. Kelly, has been found guilty on all nine counts in his federal sex trafficking and racketeering trial in Brooklyn. Sentencing is set for May 4th, 2022.

CELEBRITY - From GQ:  Oscar-nominated, box office champion, Will Smith, is the cover feature in November 2021 issue of "GQ." "Introducing the Real Will Smith" is the title of the article.

TELEVISION - From TheHill:  "Saturday Night Live" is adding a comedian, James Austin Johnson, to its cast who's been dubbed the world's greatest impersonator of former President Trump.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 9/25 to 9/27/2021 weekend box office is "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" with an estimated 13.3 million dollars.

From Negromancer:  My review of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings."

CELEBRITY - From YahooEntertainment:  Former child star, Dante Baco (who played "Rufio" in Steven Spielberg's 1991 film, "Hook") talks about his career and transition from child to adult actor.

MARVEL - From THR:   On Friday, Sept. 24, Marvel Entertainement filed a series of lawsuits against the estates of a group of comic book creators who created many of their most popular characters.  Those creators, all deceased, include Stan Lee, Gene Colan, and Steve Ditko.  The dispute is over something called "copyright termination," but you can read more at the article.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Director Joel Coen and actor Frances McDormand answer questions about their new film, "The Tragedy of Macbeth," which also stars Denzel Washington and opened the 2021 New York Film Festival.

POLITICS - From YahooNews:  Kidnapping, assassination and a London shoot-out: Inside the CIA's secret war plans against WikiLeaks qne Julian Assange.


From THR:  Actor and former Disney child star, Tommy Kirk, has died at the age of 79, found dead on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.  Kirk was best known for the films he made for Walt Disney Studios from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s.  These include "Old Yeller" (1957), "The Shaggy Dog" (1959), "Swiss Family Robinson" (1960), and "Son of Flubber" (1963), to name a few.  He also played boy detective, "Joe Hardy," of "The Hardy Boys" on "The Mickey Mouse Club" in 1956.  The late Walt Disney reportedly personally fired Kirk from the studio in 1963 when he learned that the 21-year-old was involved in a gay relationship.  Kirk was elected as a "Disney Legend" in 2006.

From Deadline:  British film editor, Jon Gregory, has died at the age of 77, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.  Gregory was nominated for a "Best Film Editing" Oscar nomination for his work on "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (2017).  He was a four-time BAFTA nominee, including for his work on films like "Four Wedding and a Funeral" (1994) and "In Bruges" (2008).  Gregory is also known for his work with director Mike Leigh, including on films "Naked" (1993) and "Secrets & Lies" (1996).

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from April 18th to 24th, 2021 - Update #24

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


AWARDS - From Deadline:   Back around April 11th, the winners at the 21st Annual Black Reel Awards were announced.  "Judas and the Black Messiah" won the "Outstanding Film" award.  Regina King's "One Night in Miami" wins the most awards, picking up five trophies.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:    CBS has renewed "NCIS: Los Angeles" for a 13th season.  It has give a straight-to-series order for "NCIS: Hawaii," which will be the first series in the franchise to have a female lead. The original "NCIS," was renewed for a 19th season.

OSCARS - From Esquire:  On the eve of the 93rd Academy Awards, writer Tom Nicholson ranks the previous 92 "Best Picture" Oscar winners.  No, "Crash" is not #92; it's #84.  "Cimarron" is #92. "Moonlight" is #1.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Star Vin Diesel and director F. Gary Gray will team-up for STXfilms action-comedy, "Muscle."  The film's story is being kept secret for the time being.

ANIMATION/LGBTQ - From YahooEntertainment:   Pixar is seeking "authentic" young performer to voice its first transgender character

AWARDS - From THR:  "Nomadland" wins "Best Feature" at the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards. This article includes a complete winners list.

SCANDAL - From Deadline:  Broadway and film super-producer, Scott Rudin, is now saying that he will step back from his film and streaming projects in the wake of the scandalous revelations about his abusive behavior towards those he works with and those who work for him.  Rudin previously announced that he would step back from his Broadway projects.

STREAMING - From Deadline:  Netflix is nearing a deal on "Shout It Out Loud," a biographical film about the iconic rock band, KISS.  Apparently, the hopes are that it would do for KISS what the Oscar-winning "Bohemian Rhapsody" did for the rock band, Queen. 

From Deadline:  Actress Hillary Duff is set to headline "How I Met Your Father," a spinoff of the long-running CBS comedy series, "How I Met Your Mother" (2005-14).

BLACK HISTORY - From Variety:   Jamie Foxx, Halle Berry, and Kevin Hart are among the Black Hollywood figures behind a two-part Apple Original Films documentary about African-American achievement in Hollywood and about what it takes for Black actors to be successful in the film industry.

DISNEY - From Variety:   Disney and Sony Pictures have signed a massive licensing deal that will bring Sony films to multiple Disney streaming and broadcast and cable TV platforms.  The previously announced Netflix/Sony deals gives Netflix exclusive rights to Sony films in the post-theatrical "Pay 1" window.  The Disney/Sony deal gives Disney all subsequent TV windows.

GOLDEN GLOBES - From Deadline:  The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hands out the Golden Globes, has expelled former 8-time president, South African-born Phil Berk, from the organization.  Berk recently sent an email to fellow members disparaging "Black Lives Matter" and one of its founders.

From Deadline:  Phil Berk, former 8-time president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (which hands out the Golden Globes), sent out an email to fellow HFPA members blasting the "Black Lives Matter" movement and co-founder Patrisse Cullors.  Fellow members push back at Berk, an 88-year-old South African.

BLM - From YahooNews:   Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on all counts against him in the killing of African-American victim, George Floyd, nearly one year after kneeling on Floyd’s neck in an incident that sparked global protests against police brutality.  Chavin, a white man, was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd on May 25, 2020.

ANIMATION - From Variety:   Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers (a current Oscar nominee for Disney/Pixar's "Soul"), and Justin K. Thompson have been tapped by Sony Pictures Animation to direct the sequel to the Oscar-winning animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”

BOX OFFICE - From Variety:   The winner of the 4/16 to 4/18/2021 weekend box office is "Godzilla vs. Kong" with an estimated take of 7.7 million dollars.

STREAMING - From EW:  Amazon is spending "upwards of 464 million dollars" to produce the first season of its "Lord of the Rings" TV series!

AWARDS - From Deadline:  The American Society of Cinematographers announced its 35th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards winners.  "Mank" won the "Theatrical Release" trophy.

From Deadline:  At the 2021 / 48th annual Annie Awards, Disney/Pixar's "Soul" wins "Best Feature" and "Wolfwalkers" wins "Best Indie Feature."  The two films were the big winners at the ceremony, with "Soul" winning seven awards and "Wolfwalkers" winning five.

From Deadline:   At the 2021 / 57th annual Cinema Audio Society Awards, Amazon Studios drama, "Sound of Metal," and Disney/Pixar’s "Soul" won out in top categories.


From Deadline:   Film and television producer, Charles "Chuck" Fries, has died at the age of 92, Thursday, April 22, 2021.  Fried was a prolific producer of films and of television series and movies.  He produced such films as "Cat People" (a 1982 remake) and "Troop Beverly Hills" (1989).  Fries is also considered a very important person in the development of the TV movie, especially "issue-oriented" films such as "Bitter Harvest" (1981) and "Small Sacrifices" (1989).

From YahooEntertainment:   Gregory Jacobs, the rapper and record producer best known as "Shock G" and "Humpty Hump," has died at the age of 57, Thursday, April 22, 2021.  As Shock G, Jacobs led the rap group, "Digital Underground," which had a hit in 1990's "The Humpty Dance."  Shock G also produced two tracks and provided background vocals on 2Pac/Tupac Shakur's debut album, "2Pacalypse Now" (1991).

From YahooEntertainment:   Scottish pop singer, Les McKeown, has died at the age of 65, Tuesday, April 20, 2021.  McKeown was the lead singer of the Scottish pop rock band, the "Bay City Rollers," during the group's most successful period, the mid-1970s, including singing lead on the "Billboard Hot 100" #1 single, "Saturday Night" (1975).

From CNN:  Former Vice-President of the United States, Walter "Fritz" Mondale, has died at the age of 93, Monday, April 19, 2021.  Mondale served as VP under President Jimmy Carter from Jan. 20, 1977 to Jan. 20, 1981.  Mondale was also a United States Senator for the state of Minnesota from 1964 to 1976.  He unsuccessfully ran for President, but lost to incumbent President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

From Variety:  Songwriter, composer, playwright, and record producer, Jim Steinman, has died at the age of 73, Monday, April 19, 2021.  Steinman's most famous work is recording artist Meat Loaf's 1977 debut album, "Bat Out of Hell."  Steinman composed all the songs on the album which became one of the bestselling albums of all time.  Steinman also wrote and/or produced songs for Air Supply, Barry Manilow, and Celine Dion, to name a few.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from April 1st to 10th, 2021 - Update #33

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


STREAMING - From THR:   Eddie Murphy's sequel film, "Coming 2 America," was Amazon's first streaming film to finish #1 on Nielsen's streaming rankings (for the week of March 1 to 7).  Now, it has become the first feature film from any of the four platforms that Nielsen monitors to repeat at #1 (March 8 to 14).

MOVIES - From WeGotThisCovered:   Rumors say that Robert Downey, Jr. is still trying to get troubled movie star, Johnny Depp, a part in Downey's third entry in his "Sherlock Holmes" franchise.

TELEVISION - From THR:  Tyler Perry is developing a new series, "Mabel" for Showtime.  "Mabel" will act as a prequel to Perry's "Madea" films as the new series will chronicle Madea's life going back to 1972.

SCANDAL - From THR:  The magazine and its website offer an article featuring tales of Hollywood and Broadway super-producer, Scott Rudin's abusive behavior towards his young assistants and other professionals. 

From Deadline:  Oscar-nominated producer Megan Ellison, who has worked with Scott Rudin says that his behavior is worst than what "The Hollywood Reporter" claims.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Rising stars Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and Tosin Cole are in negotiations to lead New Line’s reimagining of the 1990 cult comedy, "House Party," produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter's The SpringHill Company. Award-winning music video director Calmatic will be helming in his feature debut.

SCANDAL - From YahooLATimes:   Zachary J. Horwitz, who is an actor under the name, Zachery Avery, was arrested on Tues., April 6th under the federal charge of operating a ponzi scheme.  Horwitz reportedly owes investors 227(!) million dollars.

DC COMICS TO MOVIE - From THR:   "Justice League" actor Ray Fisher gives a bombshell interview about his experiences with key figures in the making of the film, including acclaimed writer-director Joss Whedon.

From Vulture:  A history of allegations of abuse on the part of Joss Whedon.

COVID-19 - From Deadline:  California Gov. Gavin Newsom says that the state will be ending most COVID restrictions and will be "opening up" on June 15th, 2021.

From Deadline: Tyler Perry is reportedly going to end the COVID quarantine bubble at his studio in Atlanta because most of his crew has been vaccinated.

SPORTS - From YahooSports:  The Baylor University Bears are the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Champions.  The Bears (28-2) beat the Gonzaga University Bulldogs (31-1) 86-70 in the men's championship game on Monday, April 5, 2021 at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:   Byron Allen's Allen Media Group owns the free-to-air TV network, "This TV."  Now, This TV has signed a distribution deal with eight major ABC-owned TV station subchannels in order to expand its reach.

CELEBRITY - From YahooEntertainment:   30 years ago, actress Melanie Thandiwe Newton's name was misspelled in the credits of her first film, the Australian pic, "Flirting."  Since then, the world knows her as "Thandie Newton," but now she is reclaiming the "w" and she is Thandiwe Newton.  "Thandiew" is pronounced "tan-DEE-way."

LGBTQ - From YahooEntertainment:  Oscar-winning actress, Kate Winslet, says she knows many gay actors, especially young actors, who fear that coming out will derail their careeers.

SCANDAL - From Deadline:  Former movie studio boss and Oscar-winning producer, Harvey Weinstein, is appealing his New York state sex crime convictions, which landed him in prison for 23 years.  Meanwhile, on April 9th, there will be a hearing to extradite him to Los Angeles to face multiple sex crime charges.

MOVIES/STREAMING(?) - From WeGotThisCovered:  Paramount is reportedly developing a "Star Trek" project that is set only on Earth.

SAG AWARDS - From Variety:   If you care ... "Variety" is live-blogging / updating the 2021 / 27th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards with the announcement of the winners as they happen.

From THR:  "The Trial of the Chicago 7" tops the 2021 SAG Awards.

From THR:   Michael Keaton becomes the first actor to be part of three winning ensembles in the category of "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture."  In addition to being a cast member of tonight's winner, "The Trial of the Chicago 7," Keaton was also a member of "Birdman" (2014) and "Spotlight" (2015), which both won "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture."

BOX OFFICE - From Variety:   The winner of the 4/2 to 4/4/2021 weekend box office is "Godzilla vs. Kong" with an estimated take of 32.2 million dollars. This is the best pandemic-era opening weekend.

From Deadline:  "Godzilla vs. Kong" earns an estimated 48.5 million dollars during its first five days at the domestic box office.

From Deadline:   Warner Bros./Legendary's "Godzilla vs. Kong" opened on Wed., March 31st, 2021 and had the biggest opening day since the COVID pandemic, 9.6 million dollars in domestic box office.

ANIMATION - From Deadline:  Emmy-winning actress Zendaya has been cast as "Lola Bunny" in "Space Jam: A New Legacy," the sequel to the 1996 film, "Space Jam," which starred Michael Jordan.  The film is due July 16, 2021.

MOVIES - From YahooEntertainment:  Actor Edward Norton said that he got his breakthrough role, as a 19-year-old altar boy who kills a Catholic bishop in the 1996 film, "Primal Fear," when Leonardo DiCaprio passed on the role.  Norton would earn an Oscar nomination for the part.

MUSIC - From Variety:   HYBE (formerly known as "Big Hit Entertainment"), the home of South Korean pop super-group, BTS, and Ithaca Holdings, which manages Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande (among others), have merged.

STREAMING - From Deadline:   Popular cast member, Rege-Jean Page, will not be returning for Season 2 at "Bridgerton."

MOVIES - From THR:   Actor Steven Yeun is in talks to join Oscar-winner Jordan Peele's upcoming thriller.  The title of the film has not been announced, but it is due July 2022.

MOVIES - From THR:  Anthony Ramos has apparently made a star turn in the upcoming film, "In the Heights."  Now, he is in final negotiations to be the lead in next installment of the "Transformers" film franchise.  Steve Caple, Jr., who directed "Creed II," is scheduled to direct the film.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:   CBS has officially picked up "CSI: Vegas," a sequel to the original series, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," for the upcoming TV season.  Original series stars, William Petersen and Jorja Fox, will return to join a new cast.

JAMES BOND - From Collider: How to Watch the James Bond Movies in Order (Chronologically and by Release Date)


From XXL:   The rapper, Earl Simmons, better known as "DMX," has died at the age of 50, Friday, April 9, 2021.  His debut LP, 1998's "It's Dark and Hell is Hot," debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 LP chart.  His first five LP would reach #1 and would be certified platinum.  DMX was also an actor and appeared in numerous films, including the 2001 hit, "Exit Wounds."

From Deadline:   The voice-over artist, Mark Elliot, has died at the age of 81, Saturday, April 3, 2021.  He was best known for his work with The Walt Disney Company doing voice-overs for Disney promos and trailers.

From Deadline:   The film and television actress, Gloria Henry, has died at the age of 98, Saturday, April 3, 2021.  Henry is best known for playing "Alice Mitchell," the mother of Dennis Mitchell in the former CBS sitcom, "Dennis the Menace" (1959-63).  She also appeared in numerous TV series, such as "Perry Mason," "The Thin Man," and "Dallas," to name a few.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

CBS All Access Canada Now Streaming "Console Wars" Documentary

CBS All Access’ First Feature-Length Documentary “CONSOLE WARS” Now Available in Canada

From Legendary Television and CBS Studios, the Documentary Film Provides a Front Row Seat to the Iconic ‘90s Battle Between Video Game Companies Sega and Nintendo

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CBS All Access, ViacomCBS’ subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, today announced that its feature-length documentary CONSOLE WARS is available to stream on the service in Canada starting, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. CONSOLE WARS is currently available to stream for CBS All Access subscribers in the United States and marks the first feature-length documentary for both the service and Legendary Television.

An Official Selection of the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, CONSOLE WARS takes viewers back to 1990 when Sega, a fledgling arcade company, assembled a team of underdogs to take on the greatest video game company in the world, Nintendo. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pit brother against brother, kids against grownups, Sonic against Mario and American’s unique brand of capitalism against centuries-old Japanese tradition. For the first time ever, the men and women who fought on the front lines for Sega and Nintendo discuss this battle that defined a generation.

CONSOLE WARS is produced and directed by Jonah Tulis and Blake J. Harris, author of the bestselling book of the same name, and also produced by Legendary Television and CBS Studios. Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver, Josh Fagen (Point Grey Pictures) and Scott Rudin and Eli Bush (Scott Rudin Productions) are executive producers, and Julian Rosenberg (Circle of Confusion), Doug Blush (MadPix Films) and Katie Mustard produced the film.

About CBS All Access Canada:
CBS All Access is ViacomCBS’ direct-to-consumer digital subscription video-on-demand and live streaming service. For $5.99 CAD, CBS All Access offers Canadian viewers more than 8,500 commercial-free episodes on demand, spanning full current seasons of select CBS series, entire previous seasons and classic shows, as well as the ability to live stream CBSN, CBS News’ 24/7 streaming news service. CBS All Access is available in Canada at, on iOS and Android mobile and tablet devices, and connected device platforms including Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku devices. In addition, the service is now available on the newly launched Apple TV Channels.

To sign up for CBS All Access in Canada, visit:

About Legendary Television:
Legendary Television is a leading global full-service television studio specializing in financing, developing and producing quality genre and character-driven projects for multiple platforms. Championing compelling auteur-driven storytelling featuring renowned talent, Legendary’s Television roster includes: the reboot of the classic family adventure series LOST IN SPACE, for Netflix; CARNIVAL ROW, a fantasy noir drama starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, for Amazon; and PACIFIC RIM, an original anime series expanding the story of the first two live action movies, for Netflix. Upcoming projects include: DUNE: THE SISTERHOOD, based on one of the most popular science fiction franchises of all time, for HBO Max; PAPER GIRLS, based on Brian K. Vaughan’s best-selling graphic novel, for Amazon; and DEBRIS, the sci-fi drama from J.H. Wyman and starring Jonathan Tucker and Riann Steele, for NBC. To learn more visit:
About CBS Studios:CBS Studios is one of the industry’s leading suppliers of programming with more than 70 series currently in production across broadcast and cable networks, streaming services and other emerging platforms. The Studio’s expansive portfolio spans a diverse slate of commercially successful and critically acclaimed scripted programming, genre-defining franchises including the ever-growing “Star Trek” universe, award-winning late night and daytime talk shows, and an extensive library of iconic intellectual property.
A review of Console Wars the original book is here.
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Friday, May 22, 2020

NatGeo Sets Memorial Day Debut for "Barkskins"

National Geographic Announces MEMORIAL DAY Premiere for Limited Series BARKSKINS With Back-to-Back Episodes Over Four Weeks Beginning Monday, May 25, 2020, at 9/8c

From Scott Rudin Productions and Fox 21 Television Studios and Created by Elwood Reid, This Epic Eight-Part Series Is Based on Annie Proulx’s New York Times Bestselling Novel

Featuring a Stellar Ensemble Cast Led by David Thewlis and Marcia Gay Harden, Viewers Will Be Transported to 17th Century New France in a Story Filled With Mystery, Drama and Grit


WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BARKSKINS examines the mysterious massacre of settlers in the vast and unforgiving wilds of 1690s New France that threatens to throw the region into all-out war. Likely suspects abound — the English, the Hudson’s Bay Company and a band of Kanien’kehá:ka (Iroquois) possibly in league with the English looking to drive the French from the territory — but who or what brought these settlers to such a tragic end? National Geographic’s new eight-part limited series, BARKSKINS, created by Elwood Reid and based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Annie Proulx, transports viewers to the wild frontier of the late 17th century. BARKSKINS premieres this Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2020, at 9/8c with back-to-back episodes over four weeks.

    “BARKSKINS is a primeval story of survival and the quest to build a civilization out of the endless forest”

BARKSKINS is set in Wobik, a small settlement in what is now the Canadian province of Quebec. As the Catholic Church sends Jesuit priests to convert the indigenous people, France sends indentured servants to populate its territory, along with “Filles Du Roi” (“Daughters of the King”), young women to be matched with husbands, start families and help the colonies prosper. This disparate group of outcasts, rogues and innocents must navigate brutal hardships, competing interests and tangled loyalties at the crossroads of civilization: 1690s New France.

“BARKSKINS is a primeval story of survival and the quest to build a civilization out of the endless forest,” said Reid, creator and executive producer. “The settlers who’ve come to seek their fortune in the vast and unforgiving ‘New World’ — the landless poor, street urchins, religious seekers, rapacious traders and the penniless young women hoping to marry into land and wealth — are met with the brutal reality of their dreams as they attempt to carve their place in it. They find themselves in the forest of the world, a dark and uncaring place, long settled by indigenous nations who view their arrival with disdain, and a recognition that an alliance with these disparate newcomers is increasingly necessary for survival.”

The series tells a thrilling story of exploration, adventure and ambition among dreamers and fighters — some with a utopian vision of the world, others crass and conniving, but all navigating the perils of a treacherous new frontier. As tensions escalate, unlikely alliances are forged, old antagonisms deepen and new families are formed against the seemingly endless natural riches and hidden dangers of the new American continent. BARKSKINS’ depiction of the collision between civilization and commerce is timeless, as is its spirit of adventure, natural wonder and survival of the fittest.

Premiering globally in 172 countries and 43 languages, the eight-episode historical fiction limited series hails from Fox 21 Television Studios and Scott Rudin Productions, and is based on the bestselling novel by Pulitzer Prize winner Proulx. The series stars David Thewlis (“Wonder Woman”) as “Claude Trepagny,” Marcia Gay Harden (“The Newsroom”) as “Mathilde Geffard,” Aneurin Barnard (“Dunkirk”) as “Hamish Goames,” James Bloor (“Dunkirk”) as “Charles Duquet,” Christian Cooke (“Point Blank”) as “Rene Sel,” David Wilmot (“The Alienist”) as “Constable Bouchard,” Thomas M. Wright (“The Bridge”) as “Elisha Cooke,” Tallulah Haddon (“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”) as “Melissande,” Kaniehtiio (Tiio) Horn (“The Man in the High Castle”) as “Mari,” Lily Sullivan (“Picnic at Hanging Rock”) as “Delphine” and Zahn McClarnon (“Fargo”) as “Yvon.”

Series creator Reid (“The Bridge”) also serves as showrunner and executive producer. Scott Rudin (“No Country for Old Men”), Garrett Basch (“The Night Of”), Eli Bush (“Lady Bird”), David Slade (“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”) and Proulx are also executive producers.

Proulx is the author of eight books, including the novel “The Shipping News” and the story collection “Close Range.” Her many honors include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and a PEN/Faulkner Award. Her story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film.

# # #

About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 132 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27% of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit or, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Fox 21 Television Studios
Fox 21 Television Studios, a division of Disney Television Studios, is devoted to making creatively ambitious scripted and unscripted series for all distribution platforms. Fox 21 Television Studios is responsible for the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning sensation from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (with FX Productions), as well as its follow-up, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” which also won the Emmy and the Golden Globe for Outstanding Limited Series; the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning “Homeland,” starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, now in its eighth and final season; the Emmy-winning “Fosse/Verdon” (with FX Productions) from award-winning producers Thomas Kail, Steven Levenson, Joel Fields and Lin-Manuel Miranda and starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams; the blockbuster “Sons of Anarchy” as well as its follow-up, “Mayans M.C.” (with FX Productions) from co-creators Kurt Sutter and Elgin James; “Queen of the South,” executive produced by David T. Friendly, Dailyn Rodriguez and Benjamin Daniel Lobato; the Emmy-winning “Pose” (with FX Productions) from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, Alexis Martin Woodall and Sherry Marsh; and the Emmy-nominated GENIUS franchise currently in production on its third installment, GENIUS: ARETHA, starring Cynthia Erivo, Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett and Rebecca Naomi Jones, with Anthony Hemingway tapped as executive producer and producing director for the season. Upcoming series include Ryan Murphy’s “Ratched,” starring Golden Globe and Emmy winner Sarah Paulson in the title role; “The Old Man” (with FX Productions), starring Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges and six-time Emmy winner John Lithgow; and the newest installment of “American Crime Story,” titled “Impeachment: American Crime Story” (with FX Productions), starring Sarah Paulson, Beanie Feldstein and Annaleigh Ashford. Fox 21 Television Studios shows have amassed a collective 120 Emmy nominations and 34 Emmy wins, as well as multiple Golden Globes, Humanitas Prizes and Peabody Awards.


Sunday, March 4, 2018

2018 Oscars "Best Picture of the Year" - "The Shape of Water"

Best Picture

The Shape of Water - Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale, Producers - WINNER

Call Me by Your Name - Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges and Marco Morabito, Producers

Darkest Hour - Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten and Douglas Urbanski, Producers

Dunkirk - Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers

Get Out - Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Jordan Peele, Producers

Lady Bird - Scott Rudin, Eli Bush and Evelyn O'Neill, Producers

Phantom Thread - JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison and Daniel Lupi, Producers

The Post - Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri - Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, Producers


Sunday, February 26, 2017

"Moonlight" Wins "Best Picture of 2016" Oscar

Best Picture

Arrival - Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers

Fences - Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers

Hacksaw Ridge - Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers

Hell or High Water - Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers

Hidden Figures - Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers

La La Land - Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers

Lion - Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers

Manchester by the Sea - Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers

Moonlight - Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers - WINNER

Sunday, February 19, 2017

"Fences" Arrives on Digital HD Feb. 24th and on Blu-ray March 14th

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis Star in the Oscar®-Nominated Masterpiece FENCES, Arriving on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack March 14, 2017

Triumphant Adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning Play is Nominated For Four Academy Awards® Including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress

Digital HD Debuts February 24, 2017 Just in Time for the Academy Awards®

HOLLYWOOD--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Academy Award® winner* Denzel Washington directs and stars in the powerful and moving drama FENCES, arriving on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand March 14, 2017 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. The film arrives on Digital HD February 24, 2017 two days before the 2017 Academy Awards ceremony.

    @DenzelWashingt @ViolaDavis star in Oscar-nominated #FencesMovie on Blu-ray 3/14 & Digital HD 2/24

Hailed by critics and audiences alike, FENCES has been nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Denzel Washington), Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis) and Best Adapted Screenplay (August Wilson). FENCES also has been named one of the best films of the year by the American Film Institute, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, the Producers Guild of America and more. In addition, Washington and Viola Davis both won SAG Awards for their performances and Davis’ transcendent performance earned her the 2017 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and more than a dozen critics’ group awards.

Adapted by legendary writer August Wilson from his own renowned play, FENCES follows former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxson (Washington) in 1950s Pittsburgh as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down. An unforgettable and timeless masterpiece, FENCES “connects with people on a deep, emotional level” (Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times) and pulses with the universal truths of love and forgiveness, despite what lies beyond your own fence.

The FENCES Blu-ray Combo Pack includes over 30 minutes of fascinating bonus content. With interviews from the cast and crew, including actor/director Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, discover how August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play was adapted from stage to screen. Plus, visit the movie's Pittsburgh set, learn how Davis prepared for her award-winning performance, and much more. Buy FENCES on Blu-ray Combo Pack and get a bonus digital copy of The Manchurian Candidate (2004), starring Denzel Washington, for a limited time only.

FENCES Blu-ray Combo Pack

The FENCES Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles. The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following:


    Feature film in high definition
    Bonus Content:
        Expanding the Audience: From Stage to Screen
        The Company of Fences
        Building Fences: Denzel Washington
        Playing the Part: Rose Maxson
        August Wilson’s Hill District

The Blu-ray Combo Pack available for purchase includes a Digital HD Version of the film that can be accessed through UltraViolet™, a way to collect, access and enjoy movies. With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them—reliably and securely—to a variety of devices.

FENCES Single-Disc DVD
The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, and Spanish subtitles. The disc includes the feature film in standard definition.

Paramount Pictures presents in association with Bron Creative in association with Macro Media - Denzel Washington, Viola Davis: “Fences.” Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney. Music by Marcelo Zarvos. Costumer designer Sharen Davis. Edited by Hughes Winborne, ACE. Production designer David Gropman. Director of photography Charlotte Bruus Christensen. Executive producers Molly Allen, Eli Bush, Aaron L. Gilbert, Andy Pollack, Dale Wells, Charles D. King, Kim Roth. Produced by Scott Rudin, p.g.a., Denzel Washington, p.g.a., Todd Black, p.g.a. Screenplay by August Wilson based upon his play. Directed by Denzel Washington.

About Paramount Home Media Distribution
Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), home to premier media brands that create television programs, motion pictures, consumer products, and digital content for audiences in 180 countries and territories. The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment and transactional digital distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and applicable licensing and servicing of certain DreamWorks Animation titles. PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and transactional distribution across worldwide digital distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies.


Street Date:
March 14, 2017 (Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand)
February 24, 2017 (Digital HD)
U.S. Rating:         PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive references
Canadian Rating:         PG, violence, coarse language

“ACADEMY AWARD®” and “OSCAR®” are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

*Best Actor in a Leading Role: Training Day (2002); Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Glory (1990)


Sunday, January 15, 2017

National Geographic Announces "How to Survive a Plague" Miniseries

National Geographic Acquires David France’s How to Survive a Plague for Scott Rudin Productions

How to Survive a Plague to Be Produced as a Scripted Miniseries

WASHINGTON & PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Geographic today announced plans to adapt David France’s acclaimed book, “How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS,” into a scripted miniseries. Scott Rudin will executive produce.

    “With Scott and his team, we are honored to develop David France’s incredible book into a groundbreaking scripted series.”

Praised by critics as “a masterpiece of intimate storytelling” and “a sweeping social history, a bracing act of in-depth journalism, and a searingly honest memoir,” How to Survive a Plague is the gripping true story of a patient population that seized power over its own care and treatment to push through drugs that turned HIV from a fatal infection to a manageable disease.

The miniseries will chart the founding of ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), and the rise of an underground drug market in opposition to the prohibitively expensive (and sometimes toxic) AZT. Ignored by public officials, religious leaders and the nation at large, these activists took on the political and medical establishment by becoming their own researchers, lobbyists, drug smugglers and clinicians, which forced reform and saved the future of an imperiled population.

“This medical thriller about the community that fought AIDS through its own form of grassroots advocacy and scientific research is the perfect fit for National Geographic,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks. “With Scott and his team, we are honored to develop David France’s incredible book into a groundbreaking scripted series.”

France, who directed the award-winning documentary of the same name, will also executive produce the miniseries, which will premiere on National Geographic in 172 countries and 43 languages. National Geographic and Scott Rudin Productions are also developing Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author Annie Proulx’s Barkskins as an ongoing series.

About David France:
David France is the author of “Our Fathers,” a book about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal, which Showtime adapted into a film. He is a contributing editor for New York Magazine and has written as well for The New York Times. His documentary film “How to Survive a Plague” was nominated for an Academy Award, won a Directors Guild Award and a Peabody Award, and was nominated for two Emmys, among other accolades.

About Scott Rudin:
Films include “Fences,” “Ex Machina,” “De Palma,” “Steve Jobs,” “Top Five,” “While We’re Young,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Captain Phillips,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Frances Ha,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Margaret,” “Moneyball,” “True Grit,” “The Social Network,” “Greenberg,” “It’s Complicated,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Julie & Julia,” “Doubt,” “There Will Be Blood,” “Margot at the Wedding,” “The Darjeeling Limited,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Notes on a Scandal,” “The Queen,” “Closer,” “The Life Aquatic,” “Team America: World Police,” “The Village,” “School of Rock,” “The Hours,” “Iris,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Wonder Boys,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut,” “A Civil Action,” “The Truman Show,” “In & Out,” “The First Wives Club,” “Mother,” “Clueless,” “Nobody’s Fool,” “Addams Family Values,” “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “The Firm,” “Sister Act” and “The Addams Family.” Theater includes “Passion,” “Seven Guitars,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “The Chairs,” “The Blue Room,” “Closer,” “Amy’s View,” “Copenhagen,” “The Goat,” “Medea,” “Caroline, or Change,” “The Normal Heart,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” “Doubt,” “The History Boys,” “Faith Healer,” “Stuff Happens,” “The Year of Magical Thinking,” “Gypsy,” “God of Carnage,” “Fences,” “The Motherf**ker With the Hat,” “Jerusalem,” “Death of a Salesman,” “One Man, Two Guvnors,” “Betrayal,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “This Is Our Youth,” “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” “A Delicate Balance,” “The Iceman Cometh,” “Between Riverside and Crazy,” “Fish in the Dark,” “The Audience,” “Skylight,” “The Flick,” “King Charles III,” “A View From the Bridge,” “The Humans,” “The Crucible,” “Blackbird,” “Shuffle Along,” “The Front Page” and “The Wolves.” Television includes “The Newsroom,” “Silicon Valley” and “The Night Of.”

About National Geographic Partners LLC:
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 128 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit or, or find us on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, Google+,YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"School of Rock" the TV Series Debuts on Nickelodeon March 12th

Classmates Band Together in Nickelodeon’s New Live-Action Series School of Rock Premiering Saturday, March 12, at 9:30 P.M. (ET/PT)

Produced with Paramount Television and Based on the Feature Film, the Comedy Series Airs Regularly on Saturdays at 8:30 P.M. (ET/PT)

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A group of overachieving prep school students band together and learn to rock out when they meet their new, unconventional substitute teacher in Nickelodeon’s highly anticipated live-action comedy series School of Rock, premiering Saturday, March 12, 2016, at 9:30 p.m. (ET/PT). The series, produced with Paramount Television, will air regularly on Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

School of Rock follows a group of rule-abiding students -- Zack (Lance Lim), Lawrence (Aidan Miner), Freddy (Ricardo Hurtado), Summer (Jade Pettyjohn) and Tomika (Breanna Yde) -- who learn to take risks and reach new heights thanks to substitute teacher Dewey Finn (Tony Cavalero), a down-on-his-luck musician who uses the language of rock ‘n’ roll to inspire his class to form a secret band. Throughout the school year, these middle-school classmates find themselves navigating relationships, discovering their unknown talents and learning lessons on loyalty and friendships.

The series features guest appearances from Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy), Kendall Schmidt (Big Time Rush) and Kira Kosarin (The Thundermans). Episodes will include musical performances by the cast covering hits “What I Like About You” (The Romantics),“Lips Are Movin” (Meghan Trainor), “The Kids Are All Right” (The Who), “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (Twisted Sister), “Shut Up and Dance” (WALK THE MOON), “Heart Attack” (Demi Lovato) and more.

Fans can access additional content such as musical games, activities and more at

School of Rock is developed by Jim and Steve Armogida (Crash & Bernstein, Grounded for Life), who also serve as Executive Producers with Jay Kogen (The Simpsons, Henry Danger). The 2003 movie of the same name was written by Mike White. Its director Richard Linklater and producer Scott Rudin serve as series Executive Producers, along with Eli Bush (The Newsroom, Ex Machina).

About Paramount Television
Paramount Television develops and finances a wide range of creative television programming across all media platforms. Paramount Television is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a global content company with premier television, film and digital entertainment brands.

About Nickelodeon:
Nickelodeon, now in its 36th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 20 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).


Friday, November 27, 2015

New "Zoolander 2" Trailer Set Record



HOLLYWOOD, CA – The new trailer for Paramount Pictures’ “ZOOLANDER 2” has broken the record to become the most successful comedy trailer launch of all time. The trailer, which debuted online on November 18, 2015 and offers fans a sneak peek at the highly anticipated sequel to 2001’s “ZOOLANDER,” reached 52.2 million views in its first week of release.

“ZOOLANDER 2” is directed by Ben Stiller and features an all star cast of Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Penélope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen, Milla Jovovich, Christine Taylor, Justin Theroux and Kyle Mooney. The film is written by Justin Theroux & Ben Stiller and Nick Stoller and John Hamburg. Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld, Scott Rudin and Clayton Townsend are producing. Jeff Mann is executive producing.

“ZOOLANDER 2”opens nationwide on February 12, 2016.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Review: "Ex Machina" More Proof of Alex Garland's Talents

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 40 (of 2015) by Leroy Douresseaux

[A version of this review first appeared on Patreon.]

Ex Machina (2015)
Running time:108 minutes (1 hour, 48 minutes]
MPAA – R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence
WRITER/DIRECTOR:  Alex Garland    
PRODUCERS:  Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, and Ben Salisbury
EDITOR:  Mark Day
COMPOSER:  Geoff Barrow

SCI-FI/DRAMA with elements of a thriller

Starring:  Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, and Oscar Isaac

Ex Machina is a 2015 science film from writer-director Alex Garland.  The film focuses on a young programmer chosen to evaluate a female A.I. on her human qualities.  Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin is one of this film's executive producers.

Ex Machina introduces Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson),  a programmer working for Bluebook, the world's most popular search engine.  Caleb wins a company-wide contest to visit the company's CEO, Nathan (Oscar Isaac), at his secluded home and research facility.

Shortly after he arrives, Caleb learns that Nathan has built a humanoid robot (or android) named Ava (Alicia Vikander) that possesses artificial intelligence (A.I.)  Nathan wants Caleb to administer “the Turing test” to Ava.  This test is designed to measure an A.I.'s ability to persuade the tester that it is human.  Ava is breath-taking in appearance, and Nathan discovers that he can relate to her despite knowing that she is artificial.  Ava may be an android, but her feminine wiles prove to be more formidable than Caleb could ever imagine.

Alex Garland has proved to be a talented novelist and filmmaker.  His wrote the screenplay for the film, Dredd, one of the best film adaptations of a comic book to be released this decade.  In Ex Machina, he makes use of special effects in subtle ways, and that serves to make this film seem both plausible and tangible.  Like Spike Jonze's Her, Ex Machina seems to be set in some near-future, a decade or so from now.  The manner in which Garland presents Ava makes it seem as if a sentient android A.I. is just a few years from appearing.  In fact, this movie makes me believe that somewhere in our world, in a hideaway compound, nestled in the mountains, a billionaire tech genius is probably halfway to making his own Ava.

Ex Machina is stylish, but substantive, but where it is spare, beauty comes through.  It is as if Garland uses an eye-candy aesthetic to spin his ideas and theories.  He shrewdly intertwines romance, character melodrama, dramatic conflict, and pulp thrills while composer Geoff Barrow's score enhances everything to great affect.  In fact, Barrow has invented a “soundscape” that makes Ex Machina less ethereal and speculative, but more vivid and life-like.

This shrewd, speculative science fiction film could not work without high-quality performances from its actors.  It should be no surprise that Oscar Isaac delivers a complex man who is maddeningly fascinating and repulsive in Nathan.  Isaac's presence is so strong that it is hard to believe that Nathan is apparently a “supporting character.”  Isaac is about to blast off into wider fame in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and so is his costar, Domhnall Gleeson, who is also appearing in the seventh installment of the Star Wars film franchise.

Gleeson delivers a complicated character in Caleb.  Other than realizing that he is smitten with Ava, the viewer might find Caleb hard to figure out.  The character is well written, and Gleeson translates that into a character that, like a real person, hides so much behind the facade of his face.

Alicia Vikander also seems to be close to being a breakout actress, but perhaps she will prove to be a fine dramatic actress instead of merely being a pretty face who is cast in splashy Hollywood flicks for a few years.  Her layered, textured performance makes Ava seem spare, aloof, mysterious, and even cold.  However, Vikander makes you believe that there is so much more to Ava, more than anyone, even her creator, can ever know.

With its themes that recall Frankenstein, Ex Machina is a sleek film with both Gothic and futuristic sensibilities.  As much as I like it, I find the last 10 minutes of the film to be flimsy because the ending seems tacked on more than it seems predictable (which it is).  Despite that, I still think that Ex Machina is an exceptional science fiction film that is worth watching.  Consider it a cautionary tale about our future or perhaps, consider it a sign post along the road to the Twilight Zone.

8 of 10

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is Stylish and Quirky, of course

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 17 (of 2015) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Running time:  99 minutes (1 hour, 39 minutes)
MPAA – R for language, some sexual content and violence
DIRECTOR:  Wes Anderson
WRITERS:  Wes Anderson; from a story by Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness (inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig)
PRODUCERS:  Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales, and Scott Rudin
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Robert Yeoman (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Barney Pilling
COMPOSER:  Alexandre Desplat
Academy Award winner

ADVENTURE/COMEDY/DRAMA with elements of fantasy

Starring:  Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jeff Goldblum, Mathieu Amalric, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Bob Balaban, and Owen Wilson

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a 2014 comedy-drama and adventure film from writer-director Wes Anderson.  Anderson and Hugo Guinness, who wrote the film's story with Anderson, were inspired by the writings of Austrian, Stefan Sweig (1881-19420, a novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer.  The Grand Budapest Hotel focuses on the adventures of a legendary concierge at a famous hotel and the lobby boy who becomes his trusted sidekick.

The Grand Budapest Hotel opens in the present day, before moving back to 1985.  The film moves back again to the year 1968.  A man, known as “The Author” (Jude Law), travels to the Republic of Zubrowka (a fictional Central European state).  He stays at a remote mountainside hotel in the spa town of Nebelsbad.  The Author discovers that the Grand Budapest Hotel has fallen on hard times.  He meets the owner of the hotel, an elderly gentleman named Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham).  Moustafa tells “The Author” how he came to own the Grand Budapest Hotel.

That takes the story back to the year 1932, during the hotel's glory days.  Monsieur Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) is the Grand Budapest Hotel's devoted concierge.  He manages the hotel's large staff and sees to the needs of the hotel's wealthy clientele,  Gustave also often has sexual relationships with some of the hotel's elderly female clientele.  One of the aging women who flock to the hotel to enjoy M. Gustave's “exceptional service” is Madame Céline Villeneuve "Madame D" Desgoffe und Taxis a.k.a. “Madame D” (Tilda Swinton).

After Madame D dies, M. Gustave discovers that she has left him something in her will, a highly-sought after painting by Johannes van Hoytl (the younger), entitled, “Boy With Apple.”  M. Gustave also learns that Madame D was murdered and that he is not only the chief suspect, but that he is also caught up in a dispute over a vast family fortune.  M. Gustave is in trouble, but luckily he has hired a most capable and talented new lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori).  M Gustave's most trusted friend and protege, Zero, may be the only one who can help a legendary concierge save himself.

I said that Ethan and Joel Coen's 2010 film, True Grit (a remake of the classic John Wayne western), was a movie in which the brothers got to work out and to employ their visual tics, cinematic style, and storytelling techniques on a Western.  It was a good film, but it was truly “a Coen Bros. movie.”

In a similar fashion, The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson employing everything that is eccentric, quirky, and unique to his films going back at least a decade.  Embodied in this movie, the Wes Anderson style is wonderful and invigorating and a joy to watch.  Truly, The Grand Budapest Hotel has a striking and an eye-catching visual style.  Anderson's mix of ornate visual environments and eccentric characters with deeply held emotions makes his movies hard to ignore, if you give them half the chance.

Those characters can be a problem, though.  For this film, Anderson easily offers 20 characters worth knowing, but other than M. Gustave and Zero, Anderson uses the others as quirky backdrops or as caricatures upon which he can hang his plot.  Thus, The Grand Budapest Hotel is beautiful, but depth of character is lacking.  The adventure of M. Gustave and Zero plays as if it were something straight out of a beloved children's book.  Much has been made of Ralph Fienne's performance in this film, and it is indeed a good one.  It must be noted that Tony Revolori as Zero is also quite good.  Still, the adventure of the two leads would be better with more interplay from the other characters than the film offers.  Adrien Brody's Dmitri Desgoffe und Taxis is wasted, and Willem Dafoe's J.G. Jopling is not so much a menacing villain as he is a bad guy straight out of Jay Ward Productions.

However, while this movie does not fail to burrow into the imagination, it does not really plant its roots in the viewers' hearts.  It is gorgeous on the surface, but Anderson seems to avoid the deeply emotional ideas he introduces, making The Grand Budapest Hotel an exceptional film, but keeping it from being truly great.  It is Wes Anderson art for Wes Anderson's art sake.

8 of 10

Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Academy Awards, USA:  4 wins: “Best Achievement in Costume Design” (Milena Canonero), “Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling” (Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier), “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score” (Alexandre Desplat) and “Best Achievement in Production Design” (Adam Stockhausen-production design and Anna Pinnock-set decoration); 5 nominations: “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven M. Rales, and Jeremy Dawson), “Best Achievement in Directing” (Wes Anderson), “Best Achievement in Cinematography” (Robert D. Yeoman), and “Best Achievement in Film Editing” (Barney Pilling), and “Best Writing, Original Screenplay” (Wes Anderson-screenplay/story and Hugo Guinness-story)

2015 BAFTA Awards:  5 wins: “Best Original Music” (Alexandre Desplat), “Best Costume Design” (Milena Canonero), “Best Production Design” (Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock), “Best Original Screenplay” (Wes Anderson), and “Best Make Up & Hair” (Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier); 6 nominations: “Best Film” (Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven M. Rales, and Jeremy Dawson), “Best Leading Actor” (Ralph Fiennes), “Best Cinematography” (Robert D. Yeoman), “Best Editing” (Barney Pilling), “Best Sound” (Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak), and “David Lean Award for Direction” (Wes Anderson)

2015 Golden Globes, USA:  1 win: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical;” 3 nominations: “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Wes Anderson), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” (Ralph Fiennes), and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Wes Anderson)

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Review: "Top Five" is Chris Rock's Woody Allen Thing

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 15 (of 2015) by Leroy Douresseaux

Top Five (2014)
Running time:  102 minutes (1 hour, 42 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong sexual content, nudity, crude humor, language throughout and some drug
PRODUCERS:  Eli Bush, Barry Diller, and Scott Rudin
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Manuel Alberto Claro
EDITOR:  Anne McCabe
COMPOSERS:  Ludwig Göransson and Ahmir-Khalib “Questlove” Thompson
Black Reel Award winner


Starring:  Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Romany Malco, Cedric the Entertainer, Ben Vereen, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones, Hassan Johnson, Tichina Arnold, Luis Guzman, Kevin Hart, Olga Merediz, Laurissa Romain, Miriam Colon, Charlie Rose, Bruce Bruce, Taraji P. Henson, Gabourey Sidibe, Whoopi Goldberg, Adam Sandler, DMX, Jim Norton, and Jerry Seinfeld

Top Five is a 2014 comedy-drama and romance from writer-director Chris Rock.  Rock stars as a comedian who is trying to make it as a serious actor, while his fiancée is turning their upcoming wedding into a reality-television event.  Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Jay-Z, is a co-producer on this film.

Top Five focuses on Andre Allen (Chris Rock).  He had a successful career as a stand-up comedian, and later became a box office star with his hit movie franchise, Hammy The Bear, which yielded three films.  Now, Allen is trying to become a serious actor with a new film, Uprize, in which he portrays Dutty Boukman, a prominent figure in the Haitian Revolution.

Allen is also engaged to marry reality-TV star, Erica Long (Gabrielle Union).  The wedding planning, the bachelor party, the wedding itself, and even the honeymoon are going to be reality-television programming on the cable network, Bravo.  While dealing with the headache of a big wedding, Allen is also busy promoting Uprize, so he grudgingly agrees to a probing interview with The New York Times.  Allen is surprised to find himself opening up to Times reporter, Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson), but Brown isn't quite being upfront about her intentions.

In Top Five, Chris Rock has delivered a film that recalls the films of Woody Allen.  Like Allen, Rock uses comedy to probe the inner recesses of the lead character's mind, faults, shortcomings, and foibles.  Also like Allen, Rock uses romance to bring together two conflicted people, whose motivations and yearnings are similar to one another, but are also in conflict with one another.

The drama comes into Top Five because, even with the crazy scenarios and embarrassing moments and revelations, the story takes everything seriously.  The sublime and the ridiculous cannot exist without each other, and stupidity does not absolve one of being honest with oneself.

Rock delivers a solid performance, and he only plays himself half the time in the film.  Rosario Dawson shows both dramatic and romance-comedy chops.  Wow, she is good, and I can't help but think that if she were a white girl that she would have headlined big-time romantic comedies ages ago.  Katherine Heigl and Kate Hudson aren't better than Dawson.

J.B. Smoove is smooth, and Cedric the Entertainer kills it and then some in a cameo role.  Whoopi Goldberg, Adam Sandler, and Jerry Seinfeld appear together near the end of the film and are a treat, especially Seinfeld, who is a riot.  In fact, a number of comic actors and comedians (including Tracy Morgan) make cameo appearances or have bit parts in this movie, and they do their best to make Top Five a must-see movie.

The Hollywood trade press is reporting that producer Scott Rudin wants Chris Rock to quickly make a non-sequel follow-up to Top Five, bringing back some of the cast of this film.  This movie is going to be a hard act to follow.  Top Five is Rock's best directorial effort to date, and it is one of the best films of 2014.  Rock should have received an Oscar nomination for Top Five's screenplay.

9 of 10

Saturday, April 11, 2015

2015 Black Reel Awards:  1 win: “Outstanding Screenplay (Original or Adapted), Motion Picture” (Chris Rock);  6 nominations: “Outstanding Motion Picture” (Scott Rudin and Eli Bush), “Outstanding Actor, Motion Picture” (Chris Rock), “Outstanding Actress, Motion Picture” (Rosario Dawson), “Outstanding Director, Motion Picture” (Chris Rock), “Outstanding Ensemble” (Victoria Thomas), and “Outstanding Original Song (Ahmir-Khalib Thompson-performer and writer and Eliza Colby-performer and writer for the song, “It Ain't Easy”)

2015 Image Awards:  2 nominations: “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” (Cedric the Entertainer) and “Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture” (Chris Rock)

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Negromancer News Bits and Bites for the Week of March 22nd to 28th, 2015 - Update #19


From BleedingCool:  The show is called "Fear The Walking Dead."

From TheVerge:  A connected universe of multiple Transformers movies...  No, it's not April Fool's Day yet...

From Indiewire:  Bradley Cooper is now reportedly set to direct that A Star is Born remake that Clint Eastwood abandoned.

From Deadline:  Those darned Negroes, taking jobs from Caucasian actors!

From Vulture:  Then, scorn followed that Deadline article.

From YahooMovies:  Steven Spielberg signs to direct sci-fi novel to film for Warner Bros.

From YahooMovies:  Who can get $20 million a film.

From YahooMovies:  Born in New Zealand, Russell Crowe still can't get Australian citizen, although he has lived in the country since he was four.

From THR:  The winner of the March 20th to 22nd, 2015 weekend box office is Insurgent with an estimated take of $54 million dollars in its debut weekend.

From SoundonSight: Chris Rock is working on to a follow-up to the well-received Top Five (of which I will post a review soon).  Producer Scott Rudin wants some of the cast of Top Five back for the new film, which will not be a sequel.

From YahooCelebrityMichelle Rodriguez talks about her grief over the death of her "Fast & Furious" franchise costar.

COMICS: Titles and Movies:

From YahooGames:  Ryan Reynolds tweets first image of his Deadpool costume for next year's "Deadpool" film.

From Comicvine:  Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor - first look.

From TheVerge:  The Avengers comic book has a new look and a new team.

From CinemaBlend:  Tyrese Gibson hints that his is the new Green Lantern.

From YahooGames:  New "Fantastic Four" movie poster is revealed.

From CinemaBlend:  In the upcoming Ant-Man, Scott Lang may be depicted as a straight-up criminal, something that Marvel had recently played down.

From Vulture: The Russo Brothers, the directors of Captain America: Winter Soldier and its sequel, Civil War, will reportedly director the two Avengers: Infinity Wars films.

From YahooTV:  Jennifer Lawrence says that her stint as Mystique in the X-Men is coming to an end.

From CinemaBlend:  The movie Spider-Man may indeed by Peter Parker... sadly.

From YahooTech:  The plot of "Captain America 3?"