It wasn’t 20 years ago today. No, it was much longer than that — 53 years ago today, to be exact, when The Beatles made television and music history with their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. An audience of 73 million watched the Fab Four make their American TV debut, a viewership record that wouldn’t be surpassed until Super Bowl XII, nearly 14 years later! In fact, of every man, woman and child living in America, two out of five were watching the broadcast.
Interestingly enough, before being booked on the show, The Beatles didn’t know who Sullivan was! But here in the U.S., he was a legend; his variety show ran on CBS from 1948 all the way to 1971. No episode, though, was watched more than The Beatles‘ first appearance on February 9, 1964. When we spoke to Sir Paul McCartney, he took us back to his memories of that historic night. (Click on the media bar below to hear Paul McCartney )
Get ready for… “The Walking Idol”? Well, not exactly. You won’t see zombies singing on TV. But you might see American Idol brought back from the dead.
Yes, although Idol’s 15-season run on Fox ended a couple years ago, Variety reports that NBC is in talks with producer Fremantle to revive the show that made household names out of previously-unknown artists like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Chris Daughtry. Working in NBC’s favor: The network runs another Fremantle show, America’s Got Talent, featuring one of Idol’s original judges, the irascible Simon Cowell. And many believe that if the show is resurrected by NBC, the network would want Cowell to return to the judges’ panel. To Cowell, though, the idea of life after death for Idol must be mind-blowing, considering that he never thought the show would make it past its first few episodes! (Click on the media bar below to hear Simon Cowell)
Is an American Idol encore a good idea? Would you watch? And which judges would you bring back for the revival? Tell us your thoughts!
Project Cars 2 is not coming out until late this year, but a new trailer released by Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. puts the game on the right track.
With over 170 cars and 60 tracks, the game promises an in-depth racing simulation experience. PC gamers will also be treated with 12K resolution graphics with VR support, and it’s a level of detail that should momentarily fill PlayStation 4 and Xbox One users with envy. The snow capped mountains featured in the trailer, as well as the finely detailed contours of the cars featured in the clip are definitely eye-catching.
“We’re thrilled to pull off the covers on our publishing partnership with Bandai Namco Entertainment and finally share more details on our latest build with Project Cars 2,” said Game Director Stephen Viljoen. “Our collective goal at Sightly Mad Studios is to create a simulation racing experience that rivals that of real-life. Realism and authenticity are central to our development mantra for Project Cars 2, hence we’re making sure we employ the best professional drivers, game developers, artists and sound engineers to realize our vision for a game that takes players on the ultimate driver journey.”
Project Cars 2 debuts late 2017 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam. Check out the trailer and tell us what you think!!
While television has had successful shows using “ripped from today’s headlines” storytelling, Scandal isn’t supposed to be one of them. The Washington political universe revolving around the show’s heroine, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), is supposed to be a fictional one. And during its first few seasons, Scandal’s plotlines certainly seemed like they were over-the-top unbelievable. But as believability becomes a diminishing commodity in real-life DC, some of Scandal’s stories have started to feel like they’ve indeed been ripped from the headlines.
So, are these too-realistic plot twists a matter of confluence or coincidence? Creator/producer Shonda Rhimes says her team of writers has just one set of criteria when it comes to scripting Scandal’s stories. (Click on the media bar below to hear Shonda Rhimes)
Scandal airs Thursday nights at 9/8c on ABC.
Though the new drama Running Wild had its share of well known veterans (Sharon Stone, Sex and the City’s Jason Lewis, Sons of Anarchy’s Tommy Flanagan), it’s Dorian Brown Pham who anchors the narrative.
The film centers on Stella Davis (Pham), a recent widow whose sprawling ranch is in danger of foreclosing due to her late husband’s financial mismanagement. Though she begins her journey as an insular and entitled woman, her strong minded nature, along with some much needed help from the ranch manager Brannon (Lewis) gradually puts her in a good place. Upon discovering wild horses on the ranch, the pair collaborate with convicts (Flanagan is one of the inmates) from a local prison rehab program to help tame these beautiful animals. Standing in their way of progress is an animal activist (Stone) who will do anything to keep these horses “running wild.”
Though she looks absolutely natural on a horse, Pham told us that the experience was “super scary.”
“I had never been on a horse before,” says Pham, who previously worked on the TV series Wilfred. “They told me I was shooting (on) a Thursday and I had to fly out Saturday and start shooting on Monday. So it was crazy. And the horses didn’t arrive until midway through the first week and I had that first horse riding scene - just even talking on a horse at first (was challenging). It took a few rides and then I sort of got comfortable but towards the end (of production) it was great. I was really comfortable.”
As with most films, Running Wild was shot out of sequence, and though Stella’s personal growth in the story is pretty huge, the non-linear process didn’t phase the actress. “It was really nice to have an evolution in a character,” says Pham. “it was great to wake up on day one - of course we didn’t shoot in order but as far as the storyline, to be able to wake up and say ‘I have everything I need’ to then a day later not having anything. That was very cool to go through that (process) and build myself up again and then be very satisfied with my work, and then be ready to stop and quit. That’s so real to so many people - myself included.”
Running Wild opens in select theaters and On Demand February 10.
Ryan Gosling is riding the crest of a career wave right now, winning a Golden Globe award for his starring role in La La Land, which could also earn him his first Oscar later this month. And he’s got another highly anticipated movie in the pipeline: Blade Runner 2049, the long-awaited sequel to Blade Runner, hits theaters this October. But no matter how many accolades he receives in 2017, it’s still a 2004 romantic drama that has won him the most fans. As new audiences continue to watch and stream The Notebook, the film’s legend grows. And Ryan Gosling’s OK with that. (Click on the media bar below to hear Ryan Gosling)
Jack Nicholson, who hasn’t been seen on the big screen since 2010, is reportedly attached to star in an American remake of Toni Erdmann, the Oscar-nominated foreign film. The film centers on an elderly father (Nicholson) who finds his workaholic daughter too serious and begins to play pranks on her and creates an outrageous alter ego that becomes her CEO’s life coach. Variety reports that Kristen Wiig has been attached to star as the daughter.
Jennifer Connelly has joined the cast of Alita: Battle Angel in a villainous role. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Rosa Salazar stars as the titular character, a female cyborg discovered by a scientist who has been wiped of her memories of her previous life. Alita becomes a bounty hunter tracking down criminals with Connelly being one of the big bads in the film. Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali and Ed Skrein also star in the film, which is being adapted by James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez from a popular graphic novel.
Susan Sarandon, Thomas Mann and Diane Kruger have all joined the cast of the film Butterfly in the Typewriter, a biopic about the life of Confederacy of Dunces author John Kennedy Toole. Deadline reports the film centers on Toole’s struggle to get his book published, his ongoing depression and eventual death at a young age and his grieving mother’s (Sarandon) fight to get the book recognized. He won the Pulitzer Prize for the book that was published 11 years after his suicide.
According to Variety, Mia Wasikowska and Christopher Abbott have wrapped production on the new psychological thriller Piercing. The film is based on the Ryu Murakami 1994 novel of the same name. The film centers on Abbott’s character, who appears to be a family man, bidding his wife and kid goodbye as he checks into a hotel, calls an escort and plans to murder the prostitute. But his plan goes awry when the woman (Wasikowska) leads him in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse.
Eva Green will star as author Virginia Woolf, who starts a passionate lesbian affair with a socialite named Vita Sackville-West in Vita & Virginia. Screen Daily reports that Gemma Arterton plays Sackville-West in the film, which explores their relationship that fueled Woolf’s novel Orlando.
Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, Grace & Frankie, Angie Tribeca and Catastrophe all have revealed their season premiere dates. Orange Is the New Black will return on Netflix for its fifth season on Friday, June 9. House of Cards is set for a May 30 return on Netflix, with some bonus casting news as Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott will join the Kevin Spacey-starring series for its fifth season. Continuing with the Netflix premieres, you can circle March 24 for the third season of Grace & Frankie, starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Over at TBS, the third season of Angie Tribeca will premiere on April 10 with the officers tracking a serial killer. And Catastrophe has been penciled in for an April 28 Season 3 premiere on Amazon Prime.
CBS This Morning news anchor Charlie Rose is taking leave from the show to undergo heart surgery. Rose is having an artificial aorta valve that was installed 15 years ago replaced. He expects to return to the airwaves in March. TV Line reports that a rotating list of substitute anchors including Josh Elliott and Anthony Mason will fill in.
There’s good news for The OA, as Deadline reports that Netflix has ordered a second season of the Brit Marling-starring series. Marling stars in the sci-fi series as a blind woman who disappears for seven years, only to return alive with unexplained scars on her back. Upon her return, she attempts to share her secrets with the locals in the hopes of finding other missing people.
Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films company has optioned the Janice Y.K. Lee novel The Expatriates for a possible TV series. There was been word that Kidman may potentially star in the series as well. The story centers on the complicated relationships of three American women as they navigate life inside the tight-knit expat Hong Kong.
The second season of Blindspot has enabled actress Jaimie Alexander to get even more comfortable with her surroundings and delve deeper into the evolving mystery of Jane. Alexander, who’s also known to Thor fans as Lady Sif, moved from Los Angeles to New York to shoot the series, and along with getting used to the Big Apple she’s becoming even more adept with the role’s physical nature.
“I’m actually getting less injuries now,” says Alexander. “I think I’ve just started to train even more so in Wing Chun and we have a lot more rehearsal time with our stunts nowadays then we did in our first season. We’ve incorporated a tattoo suit for wide shots and when I fight so that I don’t stick to my opponents like I did last year and so that cuts down on the get ready time in which case I can go to stunt rehearsal first and then go to hair and make up.”
Click on the media bar to hear Alexander elaborate on the tattoo suit she occasionally employs during Blindspot.
Blindspot, co-starring Sullivan Stapleton, airs Wednesday evenings on NBC (8 pm et/pt).
Directed by Ceyda Torun, Kedi is a film that will have a direct appeal to cat lovers. That being said, 79-minute documentary takes an intriguing look at the street cats who roam Istanbul and the people who find themselves inextricably attached to them.
A healthy share of memorable stories are found in Kedi, as we discover a lady who’s a guardian to a multitude of cats in an attempts to find her own sense of peace. Another man recounts how, after the tragic sinking of his boat, a cat lead him to an unexpected discovery. The documentary is a piece that should have universal appeal, as the people who are bonded with these cats all have interesting stories to tell.
Also covered on this week’s CinemAddicts podcast is a review of several projects under the Oscar Shorts banner. My personal favorites where the shorts Sing, which details a young girl’s journey with her school choir, and the documentary Joe’s Violin, the story of a Holocaust survivor’s bond with a school studen who temporarily inherits his violin. Take a listen to this week’s podcast below!!