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Two weeks ago, Netflix released the fourth season — and what is allegedly the final season, though I have a hard time believing that, given history — of "The Killing," having revived the show after AMC canceled it for a second time. I have seen all six episodes, and while I already discussed it on this week's podcast, I had a few thoughts I wanted to write up, as well as provide a space for non-podcast listeners to weigh in on how they felt about the series' latest conclusion, with spoilers aplenty coming up just as soon as I’m somehow the most depressing character in a TV universe that also includes The Leftovers"...
I don't want Donny *or* Nicole to go home.
So I'm not at all pleased with Thursday's (August 14) "Big Brother" elimination episode as we begin.
Donny's just been playing the strangest of "Big Brother" games, winning key POV challenges and getting support from Frankie and Derrick on Team America, but in a House of alliances, he hasn't made any.
And Nicole has been excellent at winning Head of Household challenges, but not so effective at wielding her power.
Let's see how things pan out on tonight's episode...
A quick review of tonight's "Rectify" coming up just as soon as I thought you'd be funnier...
The Black Keys' new music video for "Weight of Love" features not just a cult, but the most beautiful cult in the land.
It's a all-female cult led by supermodel Lara Stone, featuring subdued activities that keeps the white-clad model cult members active without delving into the realm of actual "fun," like braiding hair, topless laundry, jumping jacks, bowing down and shucking corn. Mother Stone gets all aggro in a girl's face and is, like, thisclose to kissing her, too. It's basically a teen boy's half-formed wet dream set to an extended Nautica commercial, with Black Keys' Dan Auerbach's visage from their "Fever" video on the endcaps.
So maybe it Auerbach's dream? Hm. Theo Wenner, who directed the clip, also helmed "Fever," so maybe they're branding a new religion. Auerbach recently produced Lana Del Rey's new album, so I half expected her to be in this somber, sunlit mix.
"Weight of Love" has a nasty guitar solo and a long instrumental intro, one of the stronger tunes off of The Black Keys' latest album "Turn Blue."
Michael J. Fox “stunned” to learn of Robin Williams’ Parkinson’s Disease
"Pretty sure his support for our Fdn predated his diagnosis,” Fox tweeted. "A true friend; I wish him peace.” PLUS: Disney channels will show “Aladdin” this weekend in honor of Williams.
“Orange is the New Black” adds comedian Mike Birbiglia
He’s joining the cast of the Netflix series, but his role is being kept under wraps. PLUS: The real-life Alex Vause lands a book deal.
“The Walking Dead” creator says Daryl Dixon might be gay
Says Robert Kirkman: “All I can say is that it’s been discussed. We have very specific ideas about Daryl’s sexuality (or the seeming lack thereof), and if there’s ever a quiet period in the show where he’s not consistently distracted by crossbowing… we’ll tackle it in the show.”
Quit complaining and embrace Shark Week as if it was pro wrestling!
"Shark Week is lying to you, and that’s okay,” says G. Clay Whittaker. "Embrace the false information and have a little fun.”
Another “Doctor Who” episode has been leaked online
Does the BBC have a leaking problem?
Shonda Rhimes: "Owning Thursday night on ABC this fall is incredibly exciting!”
Rhimes talks to Marie Claire about her first job, her three offices and what beverages get her through the day.
Lee Tergesen goes from “The Americans” to “The Blacklist”
The former "Wayne's World" star will play Mary-Louise Parker’s husband on the NBC series.
“The Wire’s” David Simon weighs in on the events of Ferguson, Missouri
"The notion that police officers are entitled to anonymity after such an action is not merely anti-democratic; it is, in fact, totalitarian,” he says in a series of essays on his blog. PLUS: Did “Battlestar Galactica” warn about Ferguson?
Netflix announces standup specials for Chelsea Handler and Bill Cosby
Handler’s special will come two months after she leaves E!. Netflix will also show standup specials from Jim Jeffries and Chelsea Peretti.
Claim: Britain’s “Dancing with the Stars” may ban older dancers
A source tells The Sun, “Signing so-called ‘old duffers’ is a waste of time because they never have a chance of winning. They are never very good."
“SNL” alum Chris Kattan gets 3 years probation
Kattan was sentenced to driving under the influence of drugs and rear-ending a vehicle on the freeway.
Will Arnett launches his own production company, called Electric Avenue
Arnett has a first-look deal with CBS TV Studios.
Police raced to “Idol” alum Josh Gracin’s home after he posted an apparent suicide note to Facebook
The Season 2 finalist an ex-Marine was able to get in touch with the authorities, who conducted a welfare check at his home.
NFL Films to stop using film
Starting this season, NFL Films will shoot games using digital video cameras. Instead of shipping film across the country, footage can be sent electronically. PLUS: Ed Reed and Brandon Marshall join Showtime’s “Inside the NFL," which moves to Tuesdays.
Playing gay on “Graceland” was “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life,” says Manny Montana
"When the idea was brought up to me, I was, like, yeah, that's a great story line, let's do it,” he says. “And then the week the episode was filmed, I got really scared. I called my acting teacher, my mom, my dad.”
Here is the average “SNL’s” casts age from each season
The 2008-09 had the highest average age at 36.3, while the 1982-83 cast was the youngest at an average age of 26.37.
“Grey’s Anatomy” Season 11 is being dubbed “The Year of Meredith”
Meredith won’t take a backseat in her marriage, which could end up causing strife in their relationship, says Shonda Rhimes. PLUS: Meredith is going to throw a monkey wrench into Alex and Jo’s relationship.
Watch Minkus on “Girl Meets World”
Cory Matthews’ “Boy Meets World” nemesis appears on Friday’s episode.
You can buy one of Jimmy Kimmel’s houses
The late-night star is selling one of his homes for $2.3 million.
A&E filming a marching band reality show at a historically black university
Alabama State University's Mighty Marching Hornets Marching Band will start filming on Monday.
Gilles Marini to guest on “The Mysteries of Laura”
It’s the first post-“Switched at Birth” gig for Marini.
POZNAN, POLAND— Michael Price gets around. The British composer leaves Poznan today after being one of the featured speakers at the Transatlantyk Festival, a week-long event dedicated to film, music, and cuisine, to head straight to Los Angeles for the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday (16).
Price is nominated for the first time for Outstanding music composition for a miniseries, movie or a special (original dramatic score) for “Sherlock,” the BBC series he composes music for with David Arnold. Price apprenticed with a number of composers, but he also worked as a music editor for years, on such films as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Love Actually,” and “Nanny McPhee.”
I hopped in a car with Price to interview him on our way to Transatlantyk’s closing gala.
You started as an assistant for the late composer Michael Kamen ("Brazil,""Band Of Brothers," "Lethal Weapon," "Mr. Holland's Opus"), who was a very passionate and emotional composer. What was the biggest thing you learned from him?
Michael was the ultimate tunes guy. He was about melody and it was quite in a way that sometimes the films weren’t big enough to contain what he wanted to say with them and the music that he wanted to write. Sometimes I would take sort of small detailed view of a scene and he would step back from it and try to write a theme that would play out right over the top of it and I don’t think I got that when I was his assistant. I was just like ‘C’mon, that’s where it stops.” And he said, “No, it will be great.” And the older I get and the further away I get from[my days with him], the more I’m in awe really of that melodic sense, and that sense of the glorious theme. And now I think in my own work, I do less, I just try to simply play the best tune I could make.
So what he taught you was to play up to your strengths?
Absolutely. And just to believe in the power of the melody. He worked with that sense of not a mechanical way to writing for films, but a glorious, open hearted way of doing it.
After Michael, you went to work with Craig Armstrong (“Love Actually,” "Romeo + Juliet," "The Incredible Hulk"), another very melodic composer. What did you learn from him?
I think Craig has the amazing ability to make the same instruments that everyone else is using sound like Craig Armstrong. I was trying to to work out why him doing orchestra or strings and piano sounded totally, immediately like Craig and why somebody else didn’t have that same character to them. I was fascinated to the extent where I did some transcriptions of his work to try to work out and came to the conclusion that every composer just has a DNA themselves and the way that they move from one note to another and all the tiny little choices that the make add up to them and you can’t reverse engineer it…
What’s your DNA?
I think I thought I was quite serious and then I did “The InBetweeners” and comedy after comedy after comedy, so I’m not really sure. In a way I try not to become self conscious about something like that. With “Sherlock,” it’s become so popular that the tunes that David and I originally wrote for it have sort of gone out from us and just become public property now. They’re there for people to play on YouTube themselves and for people to do their own thing. When you carry on and do another [season] of it, if in any way become self conscious and are trying to work out what is the DNA of the music of “Sherlock” to try and replicate it, it makes for hard going.
“Sherlock” has so many quick cuts and is edited so interestingly visually. How does that affect how you and David score it?
There was an original pilot episode [that got scrapped]. A lot of the tunes that we wrote for the pilot stayed and it was clear that the speed of thought of Sherlock was driving the whole momentum of the show, really. It was trying to get inside his brain and kind of give the audience an experience of what it’s like to be with Sherlock when he’s doing it. But then when [new director] Paul McGuigan came on to direct the first series proper, rather than the pilot, he brought with him this incredible visual panache and flair and it’s stunning. So I think we developed the material from the pilot episode it was about trying to keep up and not artificially force the pace, but I guess it’s like surfing, you’ve got to catch the wave and just go with it, and on a good day, I think we did that.
You and Oscar winner Steven Price [for “Gravity”] were both music editors. How does that help you as a composer?
It’s sort of like an apprenticeship in the deepest. oldest sense. Being a music editor often means that you’re there right at the start and you’re there right at the end. You’re the last person to turn the lights off and close the door on the way out. I’m very happy that I’ve done both. I’m happy I was a music editor because it gives you an incredible technical background and a lot of sense of structure and I’m really happy I’ve had people like Michael Kamen in my life, which gave me a sense of melody. I think if you glue the two together, on a good day, it works well.
Man, I would love it if he's been sneaking around and shooting a movie without telling anyone. I don't think that's what happened… but who knows? I think it's far more likely that what we've heard is correct. The shoot will happen in the spring, and we can count on seeing the film in time for the holiday season in 2015.
But let's pretend for a moment. After all, word is breaking that The Weinstein Company will have a nearly two-minute-long trailer for "The Hateful 8" attached to the front of "Sin City 2" when it hits theaters next week. It appears the plan is not to officially put it online.
Newly minted Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden announced a couple key executive appointments on Thursday (August 14), filling two roles with companies whose very similar names will confuse me for a long time.
Thanks to the way junkets work, you sometimes end up with the oddest combination of people in a room, and that was certainly the case when I attended the press day for "The Expendables 3" and found myself sitting across from Kelsey Grammer and Randy Couture.
In general, it's been a pretty strange summer for Kelsey Grammer. I spoke with him when I was in Hong Kong about his work in "Transformers: Age Of Extinction," and he also had a featured role in "Think Like A Man 2." In "The Expendables 3," Grammer plays Bonaparte, the guy who Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) turns to when he's putting a new team together. He's like an agent for badass mercenaries. We discussed how wide a net he's cast this year with the roles that he's been playing, and he seems to be in a great mood about all of it.
This was just a bad idea.
Don't get me wrong… Jake Johnson, Rob Riggle, Keegan Michael Key, and Damon Wayans Jr. are all genuinely funny people, and when you put that many funny people together, there are going to be funny moments. I certainly laughed a few times during "Let's Be Cops," and as far as actual film craft goes, it's perfectly serviceable.
But if anything counts in comedy, it's timing, and right now is not the time to make a movie about how easy it is to abuse the privileges that come with wearing a police uniform. I'm not just talking about this week's horrifying events in Ferguson, Missouri, either, although I'm sure everyone at Fox is mortified. This is the second time in recent memory that they've released a comedy at the exact wrong moment, with "The Watch" rolling into theaters just as the Treyvon Martin conversation was at its most heated.
This time, though, the problem runs deeper. At Comic-Con, they mentioned that Luke Greenfield actually did this with a friend of his, and that's where the idea for the film came from. I have to assume that they didn't take it anywhere near as far as the characters do in this film, because he would have ended up shot to death if that was the case, but just admitting that you ever thought it would be a good idea to leave your house pretending to be a police officer is basically confessing that you are a sociopath. It is an insane thing to do.
In the film, they are careful to lay the groundwork that excuses Ryan (Johnson) and Justin (Wayans) of any sort of malice or forethought. Justin's a video game designer, and he's working on a game about being a street cop, so he has a pair of uniforms that he puts on a pair of mannequins. Those happen to be in the apartment when Ryan reminds him that there's a costume party that night. It's labored, all in service of that first image of the two of them suited up, and the movie does make the point that when you put someone in that uniform and you get all the details right, it is transformative. Johnson and Wayans could easily play cops in another movie. They've both got the right build, and they wear the uniforms well. And the first evening they're out, when they accidentally discover that people think they are the real deal, is pretty funny and fairly innocent. It's the 13-year-old idea of what you'd do with that power.
Where the film goes from there is way more problematic, and there's no real way to get it right. The longer they do what they do, and the more elaborate the lie, the less identifiable these guys are. Ideally, this should have been handled like a "Superbad," a story about one long night. I could buy it if there's not a moment where they characters have a chance to stop what they're doing, consider their actions, and then suit up again to go back out. They try to earn it by writing Ryan as a guy who thought he would play pro ball, only to get injured, and he's been playing dead ever since. As he pretends to be a cop, he starts to realize that he's good at the job. The more he learns about it, the more he clicks with it. It's ultimately played as a redemptive arc for the character, and I didn't buy a word of it. Likewise, I enjoyed Rob Riggle here because they have him playing it straight. I'm so used to seeing Riggle turn into a lunatic that when it becomes clear that his character is just a good and decent cop who is always trying to do the right thing, it's almost a twist. And while I liked watching him do it, I don't buy his relationship with Ryan and Justin. It just doesn't track the way they write it.
When you're making comedy films, you need to take the cultural temperature as you're working. We're in an era right now where there are some serious questions about the way the public relates to law enforcement, and that's not just this week. That's the last few years, a conversation that's getting louder and louder because it is impossible to pretend it's not a real problem. We are over-arming law enforcement. We are creating a military state in which certain citizens are treated a different way for the most dispiriting of reasons. And we have such a troubled relationship with firearms and who is allowed to have them and how, and just seeing images of white people carrying rifles in Wal-Mart and unarmed black people being held at gunpoint for no reason in Ferguson juxtaposed should have all of us asking ourselves how things got this broken, and how we begin to fix them. It's real, real, real hard to laugh at parts of this movie right now.
Key shows up as a low-level henchman who Ryan and Justin use to try to get close to the big bad guy in the film, and there's a whole big sub-plot about what happens when they end up clashing with genuinely dangerous Eastern European mobsters and crooked cops, and it's sort of brutal to sit through any time it's trying to be serious. Nathasha Leggero shows up playing crazy and drugged and horny in a way that only she could combine those things, and again… like Key… she scores laughs because she's so genuinely funny, even if the film doesn't do anything interesting with them.
Look, someone's going to cast Jake Johnson in the right film and it's going to be gigantic. I think it's inevitable. He's almost able to make this all seem palatable, and I don't fault any of the cast considering what they were asked to do. But the script by Luke Greenfield and Nicholas Thomas makes too many easy choices, and it simply doesn't work in terms of maintaing credible audience sympathy.
"Let's Be Cops" is in theaters now.
After an underwhelming summer, the fall festival season is finally upon us. And, unlike previous years, it appears the wealth of world premieres has been spread across the Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York Film Festivals.