No matter how you look at it, Guardians of the Galaxy was a massive success. Here in the U.S., it was the third-biggest movie of 2014, taking in $333 million at the box office. Internationally, it did even better; worldwide, it grossed $774 million. With its origins in a popular Marvel comic, an all-star cast and the weight of Disney behind it, very few people were surprised at how well the movie did. Some of those people, though, were the people making the movie! Star Chris Pratt admits they were caught off guard by how big a blockbuster the movie became. (Click on the media bar below to hear Chris Pratt)
You can bet that Pratt and his castmates have higher expectations for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which opens on May 5.
Kiefer Sutherland is, without a doubt, one of the primary reasons for the success of ABC’s political thriller Designated Survivor and his old show, 24. President Tom Kirkman and Jack Bauer are both characters that require a strong, confident presence, and Sutherland plays both to perfection. Of course, part of it is acting, but part of it is hard-wired into Sutherland’s persona. He’s one of the most affable, confident people in Hollywood, especially when it comes to interacting with fans or the press. He told us he learned a very valuable lesson about talking to people in the aftermath of his very painful, very public breakup with Julia Roberts back in the 1990s. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kiefer Sutherland)
Kiefer Sutherland stars in Designated Survivor, airing Wednesday nights at 10/9c on ABC.
Created by Tracey Wigfield, Great News centers on Katie Wendelson (Briga Heelan), a hard working news producer who is stuck doing dead end segments which will never gain her acclaim or a promotion. Andrea Martin co-stars as Katie’s loving but way too involved mother who lands an internship at Katie’s workplace!
This mother and daughter dynamic comes from Wigfield’s close knit relationship with her own mother.
“My mother kept saying as I was developing the show - ‘just try to make it like Frasier,’” said Wigfield, who previously served as an executive producer on The Mindy Project and writer on 30 Rock. “Obviously if I knew how to do that, I would do that! But I think what she meant by that is - I grew up watching and loving Frasier. Shows like Frasier and Cheers and Seinfeld have very specific characters that are weird in their own ways and you come back every week because you’d like to hang out with them. They seem like kind of fun. Keeping that in mind, I just tried to populate the newsroom with sort of specific weirdos who you want to see getting into trouble together.”
Great News, co-starring Nicole Richie and John Michael Higgins, airs Tuesdays on NBC (9 pm et/pt).
One of the ingredients in making an action RPG more than just a hack and slash driven visceral experience is to infuse it with a memorable story. Code Vein, which hits major consoles in 2018, has a plotline that promises a memorable experiences.
Set in the not too distant future, the game centers on a humanity that’s been nearly decimated by a disaster that has brought ruin to the world. Within these crumbling remnants of society lie a group of Revenants called Vein, a group that thirst for blood and gain power via exchange for their memories. If their bloodlust gets too all consuming, each Revenant has the capacity for turning into a ghoul.
Players enter this universe as a Revenant who stumbles into this collective, and along with a handpicked companion from the Vein they are tasked with recovering lost memories and finding a way out of this surreal reality. With a device called Blood Veils, Revenants can drain the blood of their enemies to enhance their own abilities.
“Code Vein provides a fresh anime aesthetic and blood-curdling gameplay twists to the popular 3rd-person action PG game,” said Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. Vice President Eric Hartness. “The talented development team at Bandai Namco Studios is creating a tightly crafted experience filled with plenty of challenges that our fans crave along with a smart and engaging story that is sure to draw players into the world of Code Vein. Let the fest begin!”
Third person adventures also enable gamers to soak into the visual splendor of RPG titles (the teaser trailer employs an arresting silhouette style to its images), and hopefully Code Vein takes the genre to another level when it comes out next year.
The Pirates of the Caribbean saga began in 2003 with The Curse of the Black Pearl, back when Johnny Depp was a mere 40 years old. The fifth installment in the franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales, opens two weeks before Depp’s 54th birthday. With a sixth movie already in development, Depp could be playing Captain Jack Sparrow well into the next decade — and beyond! And you know what? That’s just fine with Depp. In fact, he really likes the idea of playing Sparrow as an old man. (Click on the media bar below to hear Johnny Depp)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens in theaters May 26.
As a judge and mentor on The Voice, Gwen Stefani gets to share her musical gifts with the show’s aspiring singers, many of whom undoubtedly look up to her as an artist and an inspiration. After all, she’s had an amazing career, both with No Doubt and as a solo artist. Until recently, Stefani said, she actually had a hard time digesting the fact that a generation of young performers looks up to her. (Click on the media bar below to hear Gwen Stefani)
The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.
In How To Be A Latin Lover, Eugenio Derbez is Maximo, a gigolo who’s been living the high life after marrying an older woman during his youth. When that woman leaves him for another man, Maximo sets his sights on another elderly lady with money (Raquel Welch). Salma Hayek co-stars as Maximo’s level headed sister Sara, a woman who begrudgingly welcomes him into her home.
In real life, Derbez is in good shape and he had to gain a bit of weight to fill out his yellow speedo scene in How To Be A Latin Lover. The sequence, which has him showing off his flabby body in a pool in front of a crowd of people, is one of the movie’s funniest moments. However, shooting that sequence in front of Raquel Welch had its drawbacks!
“It was not a closed set and it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my career,” said Derbez, who starred last year in the faith based drama Miracles from Heaven.
Click on the media bar below to hear Derbez talk about his yellow speedo scene (Hayek is also heard in the clip)!
How To Be A Latin Lover, co-starring Rob Lowe, opens nationwide April 28th.
Sam Worthington fans may have to wait until 2020 to catch him in Avatar, but thankfully he’s picked his share of first rate projects in the interim. His latest film, the faith based drama The Shack, hits Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand May 30th via Lionsgate.
Based on the New York Times bestselling novel, The Shack centers on Mack, a family man whose faith is understandably shaken after a family tragedy. His life is transformed after he’s invited to an abandoned shack, where God reveals himself in the form of three strangers (Octavia Spencer, Avraham Aviv Alush, Sumire Matsubara). Tim McGraw and Radha Mitchell co-star in the faith based film.
Special features on the disc include audio commentary from director Stuart Hazeldine, a deleted scenes, five featurettes, and the music video “Heaven Knows” by Hillsong United.
Worthington, who starred last year opposite Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge, was attracted to the film’s universal themes and ability to resonate with audience members long after the credits roll. Click on the media bar below to hear Worthington explain why The Shack is “great filmmaking.”
This year, Katherine Heigl celebrates her 25th year in the movie business. She made her debut at age 13, which means we’ve literally watched her grow up before our very eyes. While she’s still a beautiful woman at age 38, she’d be the first to admit she’s no longer the youthful-looking teen she was when she started out. And as she approaches her 40s — traditionally, a decade that’s not very kind to Hollywood actresses — she’s been reminding herself that she has more to offer than just her looks.
Katherine Heigl’s latest movie is the thriller Unforgettable, which is in theaters now.
When you sign on to play a superhero in the movies or on TV, becoming a role model is just part of the package. Melissa Benoist knew this when she auditioned for Supergirl, and after landing the title role, she’s been working hard to live up to her end of the bargain. She’s especially been active lately as part of the women’s rights movement, and she told us she got some great advice from the original female TV superhero: Wonder Woman’s Lynda Carter. (Click on the media bar below to hear Melissa Benoist)
Supergirl airs Monday nights at 8/7c on The CW.