Jan 102013

85th Academy Awards nominations were revealed this afternoon. Full list of nominations can be found here and highlights below:


“Amour” – list to follow
“Argo” – Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney (Producers)
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald (Producers)
“Django Unchained” Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone (Producers)
“Les Misérables” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh (Producers)
“Life of Pi” Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark (Producers)
“Lincoln” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy (Producers)
“Silver Linings Playbook” Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon (Producers)
“Zero Dark Thirty” Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison (Producers)

Bradley Cooper for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”
Hugh Jackman for “Les Misérables”
Joaquin Phoenix for “The Master”
Denzel Washington for “Flight”

Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour”
Quvenzhané Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Naomi Watts for “The Impossible”

Continue reading »Oscar nominations 2013 «

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 Posted by at 23:33
Dec 282012

Midseason is upon us! The following new shows will have their premieres in January 2013:

NBC Deception

The Cast of NBC’s “Deception”

January 7 Monday

NBC 10:00/9:00c “Deception” (formerly: “Infamous”) Undercover detective investigates death in  wealthy family.
Cast: Meagan Good, Tate Donovan, Victor Garber, Katherine LaNasa, Laz Alonso, Marin Hinkle, Ella Rae Peck.
Genre: Crime soap
Preview: Pilot is available on Hulu and here.
Forecast: No show of this type ever succeeded long term. If the first 15 minutes of the show (featuring one of the worst displays of acting this season) doesn’t scare people off then unlikable characters and flat writing should.
Competes in schedule with: Castle and Hawaii Five-O





The Cast of 1600 Penn

Even promo shots look terrible

January 10  Thursday

NBC 9:30/8:30c “1600 Penn”  Bill Pullman returns as PoTUS in comedy about dysfunctional family living in the White House.
Cast: Bill Pullman, Jenna Elfman, Josh Gad, Brittany Snow Martha MacIsaac, Andre Holland, Amara Miller.  
Genre: Comedy
Preview: Pilot available on Hulu to US internauts, everyone else click here for trailer
Forecast: By far, the best casted comedy this midseason. The trailer makes the show look atrociously bad, old school and unfunny, and terribly aging 31 year old Josh Gad thinks he can still play college students, but the pilot is actually not bad and definitely does not carry that last century “one laugh every three minutes” vibe the trailer implies. Pilot also breaks this year record of cameo appearances.
Competes in schedule with: Person Of Interest, Glee



Cinemax' "Banshee"

Antony Starr in Cinemax’ “Banshee”

January 11  Friday

[Cinemax] 10:00/9:00c “Banshee“ An ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania, where he continues his criminal activities, while he’s hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier. 10 episode initial order.
Cast: Antony Starr, Ben Cross, Cedric Stewart, Frankie Faison, Ivana Miličević, Rus Blackwell.
Preview: Click here for trailer  and full pilot episode is available on YouTube
Genre: Action drama
Forecast: Creator of ‘True Blood” is behind it. Lead’s uncanny resemblance to Sam Worthington might help. 
Competes in schedule with:  Blue Bloods


Continue reading »New TV shows starting in January 2013 «

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 Posted by at 16:45
Dec 272012
Gerry Anderson dies at 83

Gerry Anderson, MBE (born Gerald Alexander Abrahams; 14 April 1929 – 26 December 2012)

Gerry Anderson MBE, legendary British publisher, producer, director, writer and creator of UK television series Thunderbirds died on 26th December 2012 aged 83 in a nursing home near Oxfordshire after long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

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 Posted by at 23:22
Dec 252012
Charles Durning dies at 89

Charles Durning (February 28, 1923 – December 24, 2012)

Charles Durning, an award winning actor known from over 200 movies and television shows,  former professional boxer and a decorated D-Day veteran died on December 24, 2012 in his Manhattan home at age of 89.

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 Posted by at 23:45
Nov 282012

Last installation of the most interesting film titles on release in cinemas this year:

Poster "Playing For Keeps"

Cheesy to the max

Playing For Keeps

Plot: Romcom about retired soccer pro whose agrees to coach his young son’s struggling team and becomes popular with soccer mums.

Why watch: Good cast, this is going to be uber cheesy Xmas movie.

Genre: Romantic comedy

Production: USA, $35 million

Director: Gabriele Muccino

Script: Robbie Fox, Stuart Blumberg

Cast: Gerard Butler, Uma Thurman, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones

United States Cinemas: Friday December 7 2012

United Kingdom Cinemas: Thursday 8th November 2012




Continue reading »Movies to see in December 2012 «

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 Posted by at 13:15
Nov 242012
Larry Hagman at Fan Expo in Toronto 2011

Larry Martin Hagman (September 21, 1931 – November 23, 2012)

Larry Hagman, actor most widely known from his role in TV show “Dallas” died on November 23, 2012 at age of 81 following complications from throat cancer.

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 Posted by at 08:05
Oct 202012

Oscars season is definitely upon us. Movies to see this month:

Poster for Robert Zemeckis "Flight"

Denzel will fix it


Plot: Airline pilot saves a flight from catastrophe, but an investigation reveals malfunction was not random.

Why watch: Weekend movie with Denzel.

Genre: Drama

Production: USA

Director:  Robert Zemeckis

Script:  John Gatins

Cast: Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Don Cheadle

United States Cinemas: Friday November 2 2012

United Kingdom  Cinemas: Friday 1st February 2013

Australia  Cinemas: Thursday 7th February 2013




Continue reading »Movies to see in November 2012 «

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 Posted by at 19:01
Oct 182012
Sylvia Maria Kristel died on 17 October 2012

Sylvia Maria Kristel (28 September 1952 – 17 October 2012)

Sylvia Maria Kristel, a Dutch actress best known for playing the lead character in four of the seven Emmanuelle films in seventies has died in her sleep on 17th October 2012 at the age of 60 following long battle with tobacco related throat and lung cancer.

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 Posted by at 12:52
Oct 072012

In order of premiere schedule:

The cast of The New Normal

The cast of “The New Normal”

The New NormalNBC Cast: Justin Bartha, Andrew Rannells, Georgia King, Bebe Wood. Premiered on September 11.

Novel premise – story of country bumpkin – a mother to a nine-going-on-thirty daughter, who decides to change her life around, quit her dead end job, leave bigoted parent and a small town behind, by escaping to big city and becoming surrogate mother to a gay couple. This show created a lot of buzz for all the wrong reasons before premiere – networks in hicks lands refusing to broadcast it because of “gay family” issues and insensitively chosen premiere date being just tip of an iceberg.

When pilot was made available via Hulu I meant to do full, in-depth review but in all honesty, first episode was just cheesy, preachy, over the top and simply bad, I could not force myself to waste any time dissecting it. I hoped overall ratings would inevitably do it for me. Oddly enough, “The New Normal” managed to survive the ill picked premiere date, grumpy outrage of right-wing lobbies in middle states and its own general “bleh-ness”, sloppy writing and lunatic acting. It also vastly improved in episodes that followed. But even with aforementioned improvement, I found the show to be rarely funny but overly dramatic in the way it tries to clash “raving homophobia” against “flaming campness” for viewer entertainment. Most of the time it doesn’t come out funny, it comes out loony. Caricature. Even as a show elected to be a poster boy for “agenda” driven TV productions this season, it falls short. There are simply better and smarter shows revolving around gay-in-general and gay-as-parents story lines already on the market and “The New Normal” simply doesn’t match that level. “Modern Family” it ain’t.

My verdict: waste of time – pass. My prediction – half a season then abrupt cancellation.

[Note: On October 2, 2012, NBC ordered a full season but in May 2013 the show was not renewed for second season ] Continue reading »New TV shows in late September 2012… «

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 Posted by at 22:35
Sep 242012
Poster for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards 2012

64th Primetime Emmy Awards 2012

The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were held on September 23, 2012 at the Nokia Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles, California. “Modern Family” and “Game Change” scooped most awards (four each) with “Two and a Half Men” and “Hatfields & McCoys” following ex aequo second with two awards. Among networks, HBO dominated with 6 wins among 81 nominations. Main award list below:


Outstanding Drama Series – Homeland Showtime

Outstanding Comedy Series – Modern Family ABC

Outstanding Miniseries or TV Movie – Game Change HBO

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody on Homeland Showtime

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison on Homeland Showtime

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Jon Cryer as Dr. Alan Harper on Two and a Half Men CBS

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer on Veep HBO Continue reading »64th Primetime Emmy Awards winners «

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 Posted by at 08:52
Sep 222012

Monthly installment of our “see with your mates, take your dates to” list of cinema films premiering in October. It’s a rather dry month but Oscar season is definitely upon us.


"The Paperboy" poster

“The Paperboy”

The Paperboy

Plot: A reporter and his younger brother investigate the events surrounding a murder to exonerate a man on death row.

Why watch: Indie straight-to-Cannes movie with incredible cast made by director of “Precious” for less money in total that any of the four headlining actors usually take for a leading role.

Genre: Drama

Production: USA $12.5 million

Director: Lee Daniels

Script: Lee Daniels based on Peter Dexter’s novel

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack, Nicole Kidman, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray, Scott Glenn

United States Cinemas: Friday October 5, 2012 (Limited release)

No dates for international release





Continue reading »Cinema movies to see in October 2012 «

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 Posted by at 00:05
Sep 202012

October 10,  Wednesday

The CW 09:00/08:00 “Arrow” Man with a past becomes bow and arrows wielding hero fighting evil. Cast: Stephen Amell, Paul Blackthorne, Jamey Sheridan, David Ramsey, Colin Donnell.

ABC 10:00/09:00 “Nashville” Drama set in the world of country music. Cast: Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Eric Close, Powers Boothe, Sam Palladio, Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Robert Wisdom

NBC 10:00/09:00 “Chicago Fire” Drama about members of Engine 55, Truck 81, Squad 3, Medic 61, and Battalion 25 of Chicago Fire Department. Cast:  Taylor Kinney, Jesse Spencer, Eamonn Walker, Monica Raymund, David Eigenberg, Charlie Barnett, Lauren German, Teri Reeves


October 11,  Thursday

The CW 09:00/08:00c “Beauty And The Beast” Modern times drama with procedural twist based on well known story of the same title. Cast: Kristin Kreuk, Jay Ryan, Austin Basis, Nicole Gale Anderson, Nina Lisandrello, Max Brown


October 16,  Tuesday

The CW 09:00/08:00c “Emily Owens M.D.” Story of first-year intern at Denver Memorial Hospital. With: Mamie Gummer, Justin Hartley, Michael Rady, Jack Coleman, Kelly J. McCreary, Aja Naomi King

MTV 10:00/09:00 “Underemployed” Comedy about underachieving twentysomethings. Cast: Diego Boneta, Jared Kusnitz, Inbar Lavi, Michelle Ang, Sarah Habel


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 Posted by at 00:44
Sep 042012
Michael Clarke Duncan

R.I.P. Michael Clarke Duncan (December 10, 1957 – September 3, 2012)

Michael Clarke Duncan, star of “Armageddon”, “Sin City”, “The Green Mile” and Academy Award nominee died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Monday September 3, 2012. His heart had not recovered from a coronary attack he suffered earlier in July.

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 Posted by at 21:29
Aug 282012

On Tuesday, August 27 Fox made two pilot episodes from their fall comedy lineup available to wider audience via online services, like Hulu. While this new trend of testing the market before broadcast is getting ever more popular among major networks, FOX pulled new record by jumping almost entire month ahead, as both shows were scheduled to première on September 25.

"The Mindy Project" Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling as Dr. Mindy Lahir in “The Mindy Project”

First of the two was “The Mindy Project”. As the working title turned final cut suggests, the focus of the show is one Mindy (Lahiri), played by Mindy (Kaling – from “The Office”), thus joining short list of comedy shows this year where main character is named after portraying actor (e.g. Charlie as Charlie in “Anger Management”) as if to avoid confusing the leading actor too much with being “in character”. Mindy, (the fictional one, of “The Mindy Project”) is a twenty something, freshly made M.D. of obstetrics and gynaecology  stomping through life in Bridget’s (Jones, of the “Bridget Jones Diary”) shoes of an aspirated, driven, self sufficient single lady but with the finesse and dating habits of Carrie (Bradshaw, of the “Sex and The City” fame) and fierce bravery of Ally (McBeal, from “Ally” the show, naturally). The premise is uncomplicated, the cast is studded with doctors resembling male models and the supporting cast is full of equally pretty faces. They even dragged in Mindy’s colleague from “The Office” for a guest appearance. What could possibly fail? Well… how about the lead for starters…

Continue reading »FOX new comedy pilots “Ben & Kate”… «

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 Posted by at 12:37
Aug 232012

Short list of the most interesting film titles on release in cinemas this September. As usual the choice is purely subjective, just my selection of flicks to take your mates and dates to. Most titles will be in nationwide distribution across US and will be available in most English speaking countries, although as you can see by some entries below – if a movie is in limited distribution but gives the right vibe – it ends up on the page anyway. As usual, if you have any notes or suggestions, please do not hesitate to submit them via comments feature at the bottom of the page. Type away. I do not byte.


Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana in "The Words"

Writers block. Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana in “The Words”

The Words

Plot: A writer at the peak of his literary success, discovers the price he must pay for stealing another man’s work.

Why watch: Beautiful cast, interesting premise.

Genre: Drama

Production: USA

Director:  Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal

Script:  Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde,  Ben Barnes, J.K. Simmons

United States Cinemas: Friday September 7 2012

New Zealand Cinemas:  Thursday 8th November 2012

No details of international distribution. Fix it CBS Films or the rest of the world will watch it online.


Continue reading »Cinema movies to see in September 2012 «

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 Posted by at 00:06
Aug 212012
MTV's "The Inbetweeners" (US)

“…dude, we look nothing like The Inbetweeners”

When US networks remake British TV series, especially cult comedy shows, we can always expect steady stream of outrage and anger from .co.uk domains. It was no different with “The Inbetweeners”. After MTV revealed first trailer promoting the US remake, the official YouTube channel was flooded with “thumbs down” ratings that would put Rebecca Black’s musical productions to shame. But in all honesty – transplanting good British scripts with good cast across the ocean more often than not – actually does work. During first season Ricky Gervais’ “The Office” replanted onto US soil was nearly word for word copy of the British original. Although American version at first visibly lacked Mackenzie Crook’s caricature Gareth and Martin Freeman’s heart warming Tim, thanks to brilliant cast it quickly outgrew the old script and found its own direction by simply focusing on character building. In matter of weeks we stopped comparing it to old show and seamlessly accepted the crew of Scranton office led by Michael Scott (arguably much easier to relate to and funnier to watch than Ricky’s own David Brent). The same can be said about Shameless. Where British original was held together by top cast for the first two short seasons and then quickly and abruptly plunged downhill, the moment writers across Atlantic took over from the imported story line in American version, Shameless US continued to grow and entertain for all the right reasons.

MTV had no such luck however. Their attempt to americanize “Skins” failed miserably, despite word for word and scene for scene transposition of the UK script. The casting choices were questionable, tweaked characters did not work together, delivery was set to shock rather than interest and eventually after 10 slow episodes the show hit the can. It felt like show runners did not understand the idea at all.

Continue reading »The Inbetweeners US – pilot review «

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 Posted by at 07:36
Aug 202012
R.I.P. Tony Scott

Anthony David Scott (1944-2012)

Tony Scott, British movie director of (among other titles) “Top Gun”, “Days Of Thunder”, “Crimson Tide” and  “Enemy of the State” and brother of film maker Ridley Scott, has passed away in Los Angeles on August 19.  Scott, who was 68, is survived by wife and their teenage twin sons.

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 Posted by at 03:35
Aug 192012

The process of selling American TV series to foreign networks, similar to mechanisms behind cancellations and renewals within US networks, is full of oddities and decisions beyond comprehension of viewers like you and me. Sometimes it looks like failure of some titles to break outside of US might be due to very poor distributor or underwhelming performance from sales team. Lifetime or Starz – for example – have extremely bad luck selling anything in UK, with barely any titles filtering through for years now. Other series seem to attract bids from “mickey mouse” fringe networks without long-term commitment guarantees or any kind of viewership that would warrant handing over broadcast rights. In both cases, it’s the viewers that suffer. We live in digital age, if viewers can not find interesting titles on their screens, they reach for alternative means, and end up watching grey zone downloads, from which there is rarely any point of return. So – distributors – do you freaking job, and UK networks, stop screwing around. Below is a list of last season titles  that are either unknown in Britain or UK viewers can not find them on their silver screens anymore:

Ashley Judd and Sean Bean in ABC's "Missing"

“…well, one doesn’t simply get on air in Mordor”

5. “Missing”

When ABC announced action packed TV series with Ashley Judd, pre-emptive acquisitions around the world started almost immediately. 10 episodes of the high budget, big names show about retired CIA operative chasing kidnappers of her only son across several continents and countries aired in US between March and May 2012, and almost immediately the show was syndicated across 24 countries worldwide, from Russia, through Philippines all the way to Brazil. But when in May 2012, after leaving the plot open-ended for season two, ABC heavy handedly chopped “Missing” together with “Pan Am”, “The River” and few other high budget titles from its schedule, taught by the previous expensive lessons, UK networks hit the brakes and the show never found a home on British Isles. “Missing” was not my cup of tea, I felt it was too “nineties” and over the top, but there is no denying that it is well put together, well casted and solid family/teenage entertainment. It is a shame it was not shown in UK. It is even bigger shame season two was cancelled.


Continue reading »Top five US TV shows not airing… «

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 Posted by at 18:38
Aug 152012

In addition to our still updated list of brand new TV shows for this season below is the shorter to read list of brand new TV show titles scheduled to première on US networks in September 2012.


September 3,  Monday AE 9/8c “Coma” Two part mini series about hospital doctor investigating unusually high number of deaths among patients who previously shown no signs of terminal diseases. Based on novel by Robin Cook and movie by Michael Crichton. Ridley Scott, Tony Scott produce. Cast: Steven Pasquale, Geena Davis, James Woods, Ellen Burstyn and Richard Dreyfuss

Matthew Perry in NBC's "Go On"

“Did you just call me Chandler?” Matthew Perry is Ryan King in NBC’s “Go On”

September 11, Tuesday (I genuinely think those will be rescheduled to September 18, I’m not sure if America is ready for comedy premieres on 9/11 anniversaries yet).

NBC 9:00/8:00c “Go On” Recently sampled TV show about radio talk show host joining a therapy group after personal loss. From  writer/producer of “Friends” Scott Silveri. Cast: Matthew Perry, Laura Benanti, Julie White, Suzy Nakamura, Allison Miller. Read pilot review.

NBC 9:30/8:30c “The New Normal” New comedy show about surrogate mother to a gay couple. Cast: Andrew Rannells, Ellen Barkin, Justin Bartha, Georgia King, Bebe Wood.



Continue reading »TV show premieres scheduled for September 2012 «

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 Posted by at 00:05
Aug 142012
The Cast of NBC "Animal Practice"

“… I don’t understand, it seemed funny during table reading?”

As part of their Olympic previews, on Sunday NBC broadcasted pilot episode of “Animal Practice” – a short form “broad audience” comedy prepared for Wednesday 8pm slot. The premise and setup are simple – bunch of doctors and nurses in veterinarian clinic is joined by new owner, who shares romantic past with main doctor. For added laughs the clinic is visited by patients in need of special care – be it – suicidal cats or dogs with owners that are willing to pay to put them down behind their daughters back. As you can see the bar is not exactly set very high.

“Animal Practice” was picked up to series in May 2012, and in the same time Irish actress Amy Huberman who played female lead role in the original pitch pilot was replaced by Joanna Garcia-Swisher (“Reba”, “Privileged”). Joining Joanna Garcia is “Weeds” regular Justin Kirk as a capable vet and keen women psyche observer Dr George Coleman, sidekicked by a team of most intolerable and lame animal clinic staff in northern hemisphere. You know the show is in trouble when capuchin – Crystal The Monkey (“Night At The Museum”, “The Hangover II”) is the least annoying and, most of the time, best actor out of the lot. Continue reading »NBC’s “Animal Practice” pilot review «

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 Posted by at 01:44