Ellen DeGeneres Goes Big With Her Giving This Year

If you’re a regular viewer of Ellen DeGeneres and her syndicated talk show, you couldn’t be faulted for mispronouncing her name as “Ellen The Generous.” She’s always giving out great stuff to not only her guests, but her studio audience as well. That’s especially true of her annual 12 Days of Christmas shows, when she hands out prize packages worth thousands of dollars to audience members! This holiday season, DeGeneres is taking the spirit of her talk show giveaways, amping it up, and going primetime with Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways. Technically, the title is incorrect, because it will be three nights — but DeGeneres told us the shows will definitely live up to the “greatest” in the title when it comes to the presents she’ll be awarding to people. (Click on the media bar below to hear Ellen DeGeneres)

Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways will air Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 8/7c on NBC.

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John Goodman On ‘The Conners’: Love (And Laughs) Will Keep Us Together

John Goodman first played the role of Dan Conner over 30 years ago, so he’s now been living with the character for nearly half his life. When Roseanne was revived — and then rebooted as The Conners — he was able to slip back into the role naturally and comfortably, since it’s the role that has essentially defined his career and persona. He also feels right at home within the Conner family. After all, he’s known most of the actors on the show for more than three decades, and they’ve been through a lot together over the years. Goodman told us that long-running, hard-earned chemistry doesn’t just apply to the actors themselves: He says the same thing applies to the Conner family itself, a group that’s been able to stay together because of the genuine sense of fun and affection they share. (Click on the media bar below to hear John Goodman)

The Conners airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC.

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McKenna Grace Continues A Storied Tradition In ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Trailer

The first trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife is upon us, and although none of the regular cast appear in the clip, it is still a wonderful family affair. Jason Reitman takes over directing duties with this installment (his father Ivan Reitman directed the first two Ghostbusters), and the trailer hints that the feature will definitely pay homage to late filmmaker/actor Harold Ramis.

Dr. Egon Spengler (Ramis) has passed on, and his granddaughter Phoebe (McKenna Grace) seems to be a chip off the old block. Along with her brother Travis (Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard) and an ever ready science teacher (Paul Rudd), she uncovers a ghostly occurrence in her small town. Expect a ton of green slime, as well as several faces from the past to show up in this highly anticipated film.

The 2016 Ghostbusters installment, although it made over $229 million worldwide, performed below expectations, but Ghostbusters: Afterlife should right the ship when it comes out this summer. Check out the trailer and tell us what you think!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Robin Lord Taylor Engages In The “Human Experience” Of ‘The Mandela Effect’

Directed by David Guy Levy, The Mandela Effect centers on Brendan, a computer game designer who, after the loss of his daughter, believes there may be a reason why people are misremembering important facts about their past. Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham), who plays Brendan’s concerned brother-in-law, previous worked with Levy on the 2012 feature Would You Rather.

“Working with David is so freeing because he works in a similar way I do in that it’s all about jumping in and getting on our feet and just working through it physically without a lot of talking or over analyzing,” said Taylor. “I love working that way. And I would love to work with him again and I feel like, especially the second time, he and I having had worked together before and being very good friends – it’s really nice working with someone. When it’s time for the scene – his kind of direction with me is like ‘yeah man, you know what you’re doing.’ (laughs) It’s a really good collaboration that we have.”

Click on the media bar to hear Taylor discuss the “human experience” behind The Mandela Effect.

The Mandela Effect, co-starring Aleska Palladino, is now playing in theaters and is available on VOD.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

For Kristen Bell, ‘Frozen’ Is A Hot Bed Of Emotion-Driven Stories

What is it about Frozen that turned it into a phenomenon when it was released six years ago? What was it that resonated with people and generated nearly $1.3 billion in international box office? What was it that made people want to revisit the characters for the new sequel? Kirsten Bell, who voices the character Anna in the films, admitted she might be a little bit biased, but she also makes some provocative points about why the films have made such a strong emotional connection with viewers. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kirsten Bell)

Frozen 2 is playing now in theaters.

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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Is, Like, Totally Different From The First Movie

The countdown is on, and Wonder Woman 1984 is now officially less than six months away from release. Anticipation has definitely been stoked by the latest trailer. While Gal Gadot is obviously back, along with Chris Pine, there are several new faces to be seen in the new film. Gadot told us that’s by design — that director Patty Jenkins and the whole crew have been working under the premise that the sequel isn’t the continuation of a story, but a whole new story for the characters. (Click on the media bar below to hear Gal Gadot)

 

Wonder Woman 1984 opens in theaters next June 5.

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How Kaley Cuoco Found Her Voice … Well, Harley Quinn’s Voice

For 12 years, Kaley Cuoco’s voice was unmistakable as Penny on The Big Bang Theory, but that was a live-action show. As Cuoco is discovering, animation is a completely different animal. When she took on the title role in Harley Quinn, she told us she went through a process of finding her character’s unique voice. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kaley Cuoco)

 Harley Quinn is streaming now on DC Universe.

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Why Did Willem Dafeo Have To Go Film ‘Togo’?

One of the most emotional movie experiences you’ll have this holiday season won’t be in a theater. At a recent screening of the Disney+ film Togo, nobody left the room with dry eyes. The movie — about the real-life efforts of dog-sled teams to save the town of Nome, Alaska from an outbreak of diphtheria — stars Willem Dafoe as a sledder who, with his dog, Togo, becomes part of the Great Race of Mercy, as it has become known. We spoke to Dafoe, who told us why he was so passionate about taking the role. (Click on the media bar below to hear Willem Dafoe)

 

Togo starts streaming December 20 on Disney+.

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Ryan Reynolds Goes Open World Gaming With ‘Free Guy’ Trailer

Open world video games give players the chance to explore a universe for hundreds of hours without even completing the final mission, and this ambitious aesthetic gives gamers a seemingly endless amount of possibilities.

The upcoming action comedy Free Guy has Ryan Reynolds playing an NPC (non-playable character) who decides to break out of his daily rut and become a proactive participant in his neighborhood. NPCs usually are background characters in a video game who, if they are lucky, have a few words of dialogue before disappearing into the story, but Reynolds’ character has other things in mind!

The picture is directed by filmmaker (and Stranger Things executive producer) Shawn Levy, and Levy has Stranger Things’ Joe Keery on board as part of the ensemble. Lil Rel Howery, director Taika Waititi (JoJo Rabbit), and Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) round out the cast.

Reynolds, who recently made headlines thanks to a brilliant marketing move to plug his Aviation Gin brand, looks like he has another hit on his hands. Free Guy, penned by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn (Ready Player One), hits theaters July 3, 2020.Check out the trailer and tell us what you think!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Steven Strait Is Grateful For “Extraordinary” Journey Of ‘The Expanse’

The Expanse finds a new home in season four thanks to Prime Video. Cast member Steven Strait (Magic City) was already well versed with his character Holden and The Expanse universe before season one even started, as he told us he was an avid fan of the James S.A. Corey (the pseudonym of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) penned novels.

“We have the incredible luxury of having the authors of the books in our writer’s room which is incredibly unusual,” said Strait. “Who better to guide an adaptation of the original projects themselves. To me, as a fan of the books, that has been such an incredible security and collaborative effort that we have had with them. To have them available there all the time as this kind of encyclopedia of this world as they work with everyone involved to adapt this thing to a very different medium has been amazing.” 

Click on the media bar to hear Strait discuss how the loyal fandom of The Expanse has impacted the show in a profoundly positive manner:

Season four of The Expanse comes out December 13 on Prime Video.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi