Fact: Television networks haven’t had much luck adapting hit movies into hit TV shows. Want to know the last time a film-inspired series cracked Nielsen’s end-of-season Top 10? It was M*A*S*H, way back in 1983!
Since then, plenty of big movie titles, like Minority Report, Rush Hour, and The Exorcist have wound up as ratings roadkill. But, as the Chicago Cubs taught us this year, droughts and curses are made to be broken… and CBS thinks it’s got a hit on its hands with its adaptation of Antoine Fuqua’s 2001 cop drama, Training Day.
The series, starring Bill Paxton and Justin Cornwell, takes place 15 years after the film, but retains a lot of the movie’s gritty portrayal of police life. And in a character-driven genre, Training Day comes with a great pedigree — the original film earned Denzel Washington an Academy Award. So, if the show stays true to its roots, it looks like it has the potential to be a hit. Ultimately, that’s up to you, so take a look at the trailer and tell us if you’ll be watching.
Training Day premieres Thursday, February 2 on CBS.
When it came to TV sitcoms, the ’70s was a revolutionary time. Suddenly, a genre that had been utterly escapist got real. And a lot of that was due to legendary producer Norman Lear. His shows, including All In The Family, The Jeffersons, and Good Times, dealt with all kinds of contemporary issues, most notably inner-city race relations. And they did so in a no-holds-barred way that you wouldn’t see on TV sitcoms today. Although soon, you might — Sony, which owns the Lear library of shows, is looking to revive them for today’s audience.
Good Times starred James Amos and Esther Rolle as a husband and wife raising three kids in the Chicago projects. Amos was especially proud of how the first few seasons of the show mixed its laughs with a lot of serious issues, but once J.J. (Jimmie Walker) became the show’s breakout character, he thought the show started to get a little lazy. As it turns out, it was an opinion that proved fatal to his character! (click on the media bar below to hear John Amos)
His character’s death gave the show one of its signature moments, when his wife finally comes to grips with the fact that he’s gone, but Amos doesn’t need to see it — he still hears the simple, yet emotional line all the time from fans of the show. (Click on the media bar below to hear JamesAmos)
What do you think about bringing back Good Times for a modern audience? Is it a good idea? Let us know what you think.
Solace, a thriller starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead), Anthony Hopkins, and Colin Farrell, hits Blu-ray and DVD March 14 via Lionsgate.
The plotline centers on an Jone Merriwether (Morgan), an FBI agent who teams up with retired physician John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins) to solve a series of murders. Clancy’s supposed psychic powers are put to the test when the pair are on the trail of a murderer (Farrell) who simply can’t be caught.
Morgan, who along with his intimidating work as Negan on The Walking Dead was also effective as a killer in Desierto, is effective at playing bad guys. Hopkins is known for his work as Hannibal Lecter (Hannibal, The Silence of the Lambs). Both actors would have probably been perfect in the film as the killer, but it will be a great change of pace to see Farrell play the villain.
Special features include audio commentary from director Afonso Poyart and the “Visions and Voices: The Making of Solace” featurette.
Actress Elle Fanning’swork in 2016 includes excellent performances in The Neon Demon and the new release 20th Century Women. Although she has a smaller part in Ben Affleck’s gangster epic Live By Night, Fanning once again delivers scene stealing work.
Based on Dennis Lehane’s novel and set in the Prohibition Era, Live By Night centers on Joe Coughlin, a bank robber who climbs the ranks of the criminal underworld with his ruthless as well as savvy business skills. Coughlin’s bustling empire may be threatened by Loretta Figgis (Fanning), the daughter of a sheriff (Chris Cooper) who captivates people with her sermons. Devout religion and liquor often don’t mix, and Loretta ends up being a thorn on his side.
“Her character was so breathtaking to me in a way,” said Fanning. “I’d never read anything like it and I’ve never had to do such a challenging role . . . there’s so many different layers to this girl. Because essentially, she’s just a little girl.”
Though Loretta should be fearful for her life, she doesn’t cower in Coughlin’s presence. Rather, both parties share an inexplicable kinship. Click on the media bar below to hear Fanning discuss Loretta’s bond with Coughlin:
Now playing in select theaters, Live By Night opens nationwide January 13.
After playing a character on a TV show for 12 seasons, some actors might feel like they know their characters even better than the show’s writers or producers. Jared Padalecki has played Sam on The CW’s hit series Supernatural since its premiere back in 2005, and after shooting more than 250 episodes, Padalecki has decided that when it comes to character development… well, he’ll leave that to the experts. He likes being pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns the writers dream up for his character on a weekly basis. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jared Padalecki)
Supernatural returns with new episodes January 26 on The CW.
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