As many fans of The Big Bang Theory know, Raz, Howard, Leonard, and Sheldon are all fans of sci-fi/fantasy movies. At times throughout the series we have seen clips or heard music from those beloved films. One of those movies was Ghostbusters and last season featured a Ghostbusters clip with Bill Murray. One would think getting permission to use clips from past films would an easy thing, especially when it’s getting exposure on the top comedy on television! Well, not so fast.
Big Bang Theory co-creator/producer Bill Prady asked the studio who owns the Ghostbuster rights and they were turned down! Well, Prady wouldn’t take a no for answer, and pulled some strings by calling Bill Murray’s brother Joel who he and fellow Big Bang Theory co-creator Chuck Lorre worked with on a previous show and asked him to contact his famous sibling. One thing led to another and what seemed nearly impossible, actually happened! Prady reflects on how the show received permission to use the clip. Bill Murray even got involved in the process and asked the studio executive who initially rejected the request to use the clip! (Click on the media bar below to hear Bill Prady)
The Big Bang Theory airs Monday night 8/7c on CBS.
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Over the course of the nine seasons, The Voice has continued to keep the competition fresh and innovative. One of the things that the show does best is that the judges bring in Coach Advisors for The Battles. Each judge brings in A-list singers to work with their group.
Voice coach Gwen Stefani, a major star in her own right, has brought television star/movie/music star Selena Gomez as her advisor. Gomez is the perfect person to bring in especially right now, as she has a hit single with Good For You and her voice can be currently heard in the box office hit Hotel Transylvania 2. Gwen Stefani said she was the perfect choice to bring on as advisor because not only does she have so much experience under her belt at such a young age, she believes Gomez will only get better as an artist, and her continued growth can only inspire Stefani’s fellow singers. (Click on the media bar below to hear Gwen Stefani)
Check out The Voice battle rounds Monday and Tuesday night 8/7c.on NBC.
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Emmy/Golden Globe winner Ted Danson has been a television mainstay for years on end. Since starring in the classic television series Cheers, which ended its run in 1993, Danson has been doing great work on television. Just as he finished five year run on C.S.I. his character D.B. Russell continues on C.S.I. Cyber. But if that is not enough, Danson also joins cast of the FX hit series Fargo.
The 67-year-old actor continues to land great projects, and even though he could probably use a break, he continues to work on his craft. Danson told us he wasn’t looking for a role on Fargo, but when scripts come to him it’s all about the quality. A self-proclaimed actor of the studio system, Danson admitted he felt lucky to land Fargo.
Danson told us he never watched the show in its first season because why watch it when the Academy Award winning film was so good? Once he was cast on the project and actually check out the first season, he was amazed by the program’s first rate storytelling. His Fargo experience changed his philosophy on the way he takes on projects, since now it’s all about working with the best writers. No matter how big or small the role, it’s all about taking part in a well written project, an experience that he also witnessed on Damages.
Catch the season premiere of Fargo tonight 10/9c.on FX.
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Though he’s understandably receiving rave reviews for his magnetic performance as a laser focused assassin in Sicario, Benicio del Toro delivers equally captivating work in Escobar: Paradise Lost.
Nick (Josh Hutcherson) is a surfer who’s hanging out in Colombia with his big brother Dylan (Brady Corbet) and Dylan’s companion Laure (Ana Girardot), as the trio see the picaresque beaches and surrounding area as their temporary haven. Even though a local gang initially threatens their seemingly peaceful existence, they won’t be deterred.
The equation changes when Nick falls head over heels with Maria (Claudia Traisac), the niece of drug lord Pablo Escobar (Benicio del Toro). Their immediate connection is palpable (Traisac and Hutcherson actually have wonderful chemistry), but love always comes with a cost, as being part of the Escobar family can lead to a violent turn of events.
Del Toro, who packed on a few pounds to play Escobar, brings the right amount of gravitas and terror to his part, while Hutcherson is just as convincing as the naive Canadian who’s in over his head.
The real surprise, behind Escobar: Paradise Lost doesn’t rest on the actors’ performances, as Hutcherson and Del Toro are always up to the task (even in bad films, both tend to rise above the material). Rather, it’s first time filmmaker Andrea Di Stefano who brings a refreshingly different take on the proceedings, as his narrative is split into two separate stories (the first half deals with Nick’s romance with Maria and acceptance into the Escobar family and the second section delves into more action driven territory). Di Stefano and cinematographer Luis David Sansans also infuse the film with several visually breathtaking sequences (most notably a chase sequence that occurs near the edge of a mountain). Huge credit also goes to Di Stefano for not giving the film’s final moments a cheesy Hollywood ending but instead giving viewers a more realistic (and, in turn, evocative) closing.
Blu-ray Special Features: The 30 minute plus featurette “Catching Pablo - The Making of Escobar: Paradise Lost“ focuses on the creative process of Andrea Di Stefano, who sees his story as a modern day Greek tragedy. Hutcherson, Del Toro, Traisac, and Carlos Bardem (he plays Escobar’s right hand man) are also interviewed in the documentary which also details the painstaking yet eventually worthwhile challenges of shooting in Panama. Cinematographer Sansans also breaks down his working relationship with Di Stefano.
Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi
Most actors have made movies they’d rather soon forget. Some of these films are so bad that eventually they reach cult status. Let’s face it, even the most esteemed thespian has a bad movie on their IMDB profile. We spoke to a couple of those actors who recall some films that they feel weren’t so great.
Academy Award winner George Clooney has done some excellent work throughout his distinguished career. But even he has a few. One of those films was 1997’s Batman & Robin where Clooney played Bruce Wayne/Batman in what many say wasn’t his finest moment. The film was a critical failure and while the Joel Schumacher directed flick made money at the box office, it’s the lowest grossing installment of the franchise. We have spoken to Clooney, who takes responsibility for the film’s poor performance. We don’t think it was his fault. We think Schumacher’s vision, or lack thereof, is the reason why the film was a disappointment. Years ago Clooney told us why he thought the film wasn’t well received. (Click on the media bar below to hear George Clooney)
Clooney’s good friend and fellow Oscar winner Sandra Bullock has a few bad movies on her resume as well. One of those films was the troubled 1997 action film Speed 2. Keanu Reeves, who starred along with Bullock in the first film, decided not to reprise his role for the sequel. This was in addition to the film’s $160 million budget, which was a high sum considering the film earned a dreadful $48 million. Bullock knew Speed 2 didn’t live up to the original, but like the class act she is, Bullock supported the movie at the time of its release. She told us that during interviews, she talked about all of the good aspects of making the film, and just hoped that nobody asked her what she thought of it. (Click on the media bar below to hear Sandra Bullock)
What is a bad movie you love? Let us know!
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Now playing in select theaters and On Demand, Knock Knock centers on a happily married architect whose wife and kids leave him for a mini-vacation. Alone at his suburban Los Angeles home, Reeves helps two stranded ladies (Ana de Armas, Lorenza Izzo) who come knocking on his door. Their continued flirtations leads to an adulterous encounter which he’ll soon regret.
Whether it’s directing films (Man of Tai Chi) or spearheading a cinephile driven documentary (Side by Side), Keanu Reeves is always open to mixing things up creatively. Though last year’s hit film John Wick has spawned an in development sequel, Reeves isn’t just about riding that gravy train and latching on to another studio driven project.
Instead, he ventured to Chile (which doubled as Los Angeles for Knock Knock) to work with director Eli Roth in a relatively low budget (it’s estimated at $3 million) thriller.
For actress Ana de Armas, working with Reeves was a memorable experience. “What is impressive is his attitude and the way he shows respect,” said de Armas. “He’s so giving and generous and patient. He’s such a great partner, and he just wants you to shine and be greater.”
Click on the media bar to hear Lorenza Izzo talk about how Reeves helped her during a fork sticking sequence in Knock Knock:
Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi
Academy Award winning film composer John Williams, the mastermind behind the iconic scores E.T., Superman (1977), The Indiana Jones franchise, and all the Star Wars films including the newest Star Wars: The Force Awakens which comes out December will be the recipient of the 44th AFI Life Achievement Award recipient, which will held June 9, 2016 in Los Angeles.
Over his seven decade spanning career, Williams has won five Academy Awards and 22 Grammys. He has garnered 49 Oscar nominations, making him the second-most-nominated artist after Walt Disney.
Over the years we have spoken with a healthy share of cinema’s greatest directors. A few years back we spoke to George Lucas, the man who created the Star Wars franchise, and he said Williams is very important to the Star Wars films. (Click on the media bar to hear George Lucas)
Who could ever forget the Theme from Superman, the 1978 film which turned Christopher Reeve into an A-list star? We spoke to director Richard Donner and his good friend, the late Tom Mankiewicz, who helped write the film. They explained the behind the scenes story of how they got John Williams to write the score and theme to Superman. (Click on the media bar to hear Richard Donner)
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Undateable should be renamed unshakeable, as the cast and crew take on the challenge of doing live shows for its entire third season! One of the reasons why this creative risk will work lies in the natural, improvisational talents of the cast’s four comics (Ron Funches, Brent Morin, Chris D’Elia, Rick Glassman). When a line is flubbed or a situation in the storyline’s goes a little off center, this will be their moment to save the day or even make the moment even funnier.
“It’s exciting,” said cast member Bianca Kajlich. “As actors it’s always fun to be challenged. It’s a huge compliment to get to embrace this and take it on and (the producers) feel like we’re capable of doing it.”
“It’s going to be a great challenge, and I think it’s going to bring out a lot of our strengths, which is the live performance,” adds Ron Funches.
In the video below, Kajlich and Funches are asked about why Undateable executive producer Bill Lawrence (Scrubs) believes they were perfect for their respective roles. Funches humorously says he’s a renaissance man with a ton of sex appeal!
Bianca Kajlich talks about the joy behind the show’s “free fall” moments in the following Deepest Dream post. Undateable airs live on Fridays (NBC, 8 pm et)
Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi
After starring in the one of biggest film of the year with Furious 7, Vin Diesel returns to movies in the action/fantasy film The Last Witch Hunter opening October 23. As the titular character, Diesel is on the path to obliterate the world of witches and save humanity in the process.
While Diesel has starred in many action films and a few sci-fi flicks, he has yet to star in a fantasy film, and it’s a genre he’s wanted to explore for years. When The Last Witch Hunter came his way he jumped at the opportunity to take on this fantastical role. (Click on the media bar below to hear Vin Diesel)
The Last Witch Hunter also stars Game of Thrones actress Rose Leslie and Elijah Wood.
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Matt Damon is possibly going to earn another Oscar nomination for his role in the science fiction The Martian which directed by Ridley Scott. Throughout his career, Damon has given tremendous performances playing the hero, anti-hero and the villain, he makes it all looks so easy. However, if you ask Damon, that’s not the case, as he told us that acting is a craft that can never be perfected. (Click on the media bar below to hear Matt Damon)
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