The NBC hit series This Is Us is one of the best dramas on television. The show makes audiences smile and cry, and most importantly it has heart. The success of the show also has to do with the great writing and the great ensemble cast that features Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore, Chris Sullivan, Chrissy Metz, Susan Kelechi Watson, Ron Cephas Jones and Milo Ventimiglia.
The cast seems like they have been together for a long time despite the series only being in its first season. That chemistry is exhibited both on and off camera. Milo Ventimiglia told us working on This Is Us has been a great experience and even though it’s emotionally draining work, it’s a joy to collaborate with an amazing cast.
A film I’m definitely looking forward to checking out is Masterminds, a comedy that hits Blu-ray and DVD January 31st via Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. The picture didn’t light the world on fire at the box office (just $17 million), but there’s a a few big reasons why this flick might be worth your time.
The picture, which is based on the 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery, centers on a group of misfits who make off with $17 million in cash. Zach Galifianakis is David Ghantt, the armored truck driver who is lured into this criminal operation by his work crush Kelly (Kristen Wiig) and her collaborator Steve (Owen Wilson). Jason Sudeikis co-stars as a hitman who is just one of the people who are on David’s trail.
Along with the aforementioned actors, the film also boasts a talented filmmaker in Jared Hess. Although he burst onto the scene with the smash hit Napoleon Dynamite, Hess has a refreshingly eccentric and oftentimes subtle approach to comedy (for evidence, check out his underrated 2015 comedy Don Verdean). Though his narrative style doesn’t always equate with monumental box office success, each of his films have refreshingly been left of center. Hess didn’t pen Masterminds, and it will be interesting to see how he works with material that wasn’t self-generated.
The Blu-ray and DVD come with the featurette “The Imperfect Crime.”
Telltale Games has received a healthy share of critical acclaim for The Walking Dead series, as episodic based gaming is a genre that continues to build momentum. The first episode of The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – A New Frontier premieres will be available on the Telltale Online Store, Steam and other digital distribution services starting December 20th.
The game will not be restricted to just one device, as it’s being released on PC, Xbox (One and 360), PlayStation (PS4 and PS3), and iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play).
Playstation 4 users who preorder the title will also receive a complementary copy of The Walking Dead: Season Two and The Walking Dead: Michonne while Steam users earn a 10% savings on their preorder. For hard copy enthusiasts (such as myself!), a Season Pass Disc hits the streets February 7th for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One users.
With this latest story, players venture through the world as Javier, a young man in search of his family. Along the way he meets a girl named Clementine, a girl who’s experienced unimaginable loss. With their fates tied together, the pair must make the right decisions or become another addition to “the walking dead.”
Telltale Games offer up a sneak peek at the premiere episode at The Game Awards, which takes place December 1st at the Microsoft Theater.
The irreverent Bad Santa broke all the politically correct rules and became a hit in an increasingly PC environment, introducing Billy Bob Thornton as Willie Soke, the ultimate unwilling hero. The alcoholic, abrasive safecracker found his heart in his relationship with bullied young boy, and while all of the expletive-laden banter may have elicited laughs, it was the character growth of Willie that led the original to succeed.
It took over a decade for a sequel to come, with Billy Bob Thornton stating in interviews that it had to be the right script for a follow-up to be done. And while the elements are in place for it to be a solid story, the execution is somewhat lacking. When we open the film, Willie is down-and-out, ready to end his life only to be interrupted by a now grown Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) and a package of money with the promise of a new job. From there, Willie is reunited with Marcus Skidmore (Tony Cox), who tells him of a job in Chicago with an unnamed partner that turns out to be Willie’s estranged and fresh out of jail mother Sunny (Kathy Bates). The gig turns out to be the robbery of a charity, led by a recovering alcoholic (Christina Hendricks) and her philandering, embezzling husband (Ryan Hansen).
The film gives us more insight into how Willie became the miserable guy he is through his interactions with his mother, who admittedly was not the best influence. And mistrust rules supreme over Willie’s relationships with both Marcus and Sunny, while Thurman continues to be the only relationship that brings out his human decency.
While there are attempts at family bonding between Willie and Sunny, the moments often feel forced and it simply doesn’t deliver the heart that worked so well in the original.
While the film succeeds at delivering a wealth of too blue, politically incorrect zingers, they’re not as sharp as the original film, and Willie’s interactions with others don’t feel as fleshed out either. Hendricks in particular felt under-utilized and the pay off doesn’t feel as earned. There are laughable and quotable moments in the movie, but they are fewer and far between that the original, and it feels as though Bad Santa 2 underwhelms in the sequel that many had hoped for.
Matt LeBlanc has found himself another hit show starring in the CBS hit sitcom Man with a Plan. After starring ten seasons on the beloved NBC hit Friends and a few years later on the Showtime series Episodes, it seemed LeBlanc had won it all in television. However, that wasn’t the case as LeBlanc told us after he finished filming the last season of Episodes he wanted to get back into sitcoms.
Now that he is older and a father, Man with a Plan fit perfectly in every aspect of a show he was looking for. (Click on the media bar below to hear Matt LeBlanc)