Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New 'Luke Cage' Season 2 Trailer Crowns Alfre Woodward as Harlem's Queen

"Harlem doesn't need a hero; it needs a queen," Alfre Woodard's Mariah Dillard proclaims in Netflix's new trailer for "Marvel's Luke Cage" Season 2. To which we say: Yasss!

The shady politician/crime lord (and now nightclub owner, after her cousin's death last season) promises to Make Harlem Great Again. Of course, she's got a major obstacle in the form of the indestructible Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and a headache in the form of her disapproving daughter Tilda (Gabrielle Dennis).

And Mariah's nefarious plans are also threatened by the arrival of the bulletproof Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir) and another crime lord named Rosalie (Annabella Sciorra).

But for all their differences, it seems Mariah and Luke might actually be on the same side this time. "Harlem can only handle one devil at a time," he notes. And the devil you know ...

"Luke Cage" Season 2 premieres June 22 on Netflix.



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Monday, June 11, 2018

Tina Fey Pitched a Liz Lemon and Leslie Knope Spinoff, and We Need it to Happen

Tina Fey may have just inadvertently pitched the greatest television show ever, merging two beloved NBC comedies starring badass female characters. Now if only someone could convince her to actually make it a reality.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight on the Tonys red carpet on Sunday night, where Fey was supporting her nominated adaptation of "Mean Girls," she was asked about those never-ending rumors of a "30 Rock" reboot. Though the writer-actress admitted earlier this year that she had been mulling the idea, she also made it clear that such a revival was not currently in the works.

When the subject was broached again on Sunday, Fey said "we're nowhere" with regards to news of a "30 Rock" reboot. But instead, she offered fans an even better suggestion.

"Amy's willing to do a 'Parks & Rec' reboot," Fey told ET of her longtime pal and frequent costar, Amy Poehler. "Maybe we should just do a Liz Lemon-Leslie Knope spinoff."

Excuse us while we high five a million angels and eat some celebratory waffles.

Poehler sparked "Parks and Recreation" reboot rumors last month when she said she would definitely be on board for a revival sometime down the road. And seeing Leslie and Fey's "30 Rock" heroine team up on their own show is quite possibly the best bit of fan fiction wish fulfillment we could ever hope for.

Obviously, Fey was just joking around, but if anyone can make this happen, and make it believable and hilarious and wonderful, it's our favorite celebrity BFFs. We'll keep our fingers crossed and light some Li'l Sebastian prayer candles.

[via: Entertainment Tonight]



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'Incredibles 2' Review: It's Good, but Not Great

Smart, thrilling but strangely ephemeral, "Incredibles 2" is a great example of what happens when anticipation works against the success of a movie.

It's been 14 years since director and writer Brad Bird delivered his original tale of a crime-fighting family and the society that may or may not want it, but several cinematic universes -- and too many lackluster Pixar sequels later -- Bird's follow-up lacks its predecessor's freshness, not the least of which because Bird chooses to pick up right where he left off, and even take a few steps backward in several instances. Nevertheless, another mostly successful combination of the brisk, operatic action and recognizable familial strife that made the first film so appealing, this sequel works much better when it's exploring the filmmaker's ideas dramatically than when it's serving as a soapbox for cranky opinions about technology, parenting, and gender roles.

The film opens with The Incredibles' showdown with the Underminer (John Ratzenberger), the villainous mole man whose arrival at the end of the first film signaled the family's readiness to work together -- or so they thought. Underminer escapes, and the ensuing destruction of Metroville caused by his equipment closes the door on the possibility of legalizing superheroes. Thankfully, Helen (Holly Hunter) and Bob (Craig T. Nelson) discover a pair of new advocates in Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener), telecommunications tycoons who want Elastigirl to lead the charge in changing public perception about the Incredibles and their gifted colleagues.

As Helen heads off to stop crime and generate some positive press coverage, Bob agrees to stay home with Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner), and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile), discovering it takes a different kind of hero to juggle the daily responsibilities of childcare. But when a new supervillain calling himself the Screenslaver perpetrates an escalating series of crimes against allies to the superhero cause, Helen must work twice as hard not only to protect Metroville, but their fleeting opportunity for legitimacy -- even as the separation from her husband and kids begins to exert a greater toll on the whole family.

While it makes sense for Bird to not move too far past the events of the previous film -- he cleverly conceived each of the characters to suit the mindset, or energy level, of parents and children at certain ages -- the fact that he immediately walks back the prospect of Supers gaining legal status feels like a sequel idea that would (and should) be called out for its laziness. (Like, say, killing off the closest loved one of a superhero who spent the entire first movie trying to reconnect with her.) But what's more disruptive to the forward momentum of this movie than that choice is the fact that the characters repeatedly stop to discuss that choice in, well, a lot more detail than a superhero movies needs in 2018.

Both of the "Captain American" sequels and "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (plus a few others) more or less explicitly examine the responsibility of heroes, the repercussions of their actions, and so forth; do we need to watch the Parrs bicker over the dinner table about laws that keep them from doing good, or shared drinks over the philosophical implications of heroes in a world of normal folks?

Additionally, Bird pays lip service to the unbalanced gender dynamics of both the Parr family and the Deavor family (Winston is CEO; Evelyn is a tech designer), but the conversations mostly sit there on screen, slowing down a story that sometimes is making wonderful strides forward and other times feels disappointingly regressive.
In 2018, what's new or original about Bob's chauvinist struggle to "be okay" with Helen going out into the world while he stays home with the kids? Or, that he has trouble adapting to more "domestic" responsibilities like babysitting, homework, and emotional support? "Mr. Mom," starring Michael Keaton, covered this territory 35 years ago. Meanwhile, there's a whole conversation about how people will readily sacrifice "quality for ease," and the movie features a villain who rails against dependency on screens and devices. Both certainly ring true, but they ultimately just reinforce so many other ideas in the movie that sound like Dad Rants, especially when they only peripherally tie into the actual events of the rest of the story.

That said, there are still many pleasures to be found in the film, which tries with moderate success to move past these underwhelming plot strands as briskly as possible, and tackle a few with exactly the kind of incisive specificity that made the first film such a jazzy, relatable ride. (Bob's effort to help Violet reconnect with a boy she likes unfolds with the right kind of sweet, well-intentioned naivete that many other parts of the movie handle with, well, just too much impatience or exasperation.)

Though some of the Jack-Jack scenes feel like isolated vignettes better suited for the special features of the movie's home video release, Bird finds some interesting ways to utilize the character's unpredictable powers (and personality) to great comedic dividends. Additionally, it handles its action scenes even better than last time (Bird clearly picked up a few things from working on "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"); a motorcycle chase in the middle of the film is fluid, fast-paced, and exhilarating, and unlike similar sequences in so many other animated movies, here it exudes a real sense of danger and suspense.

Ultimately, what Bird has created with "Incredibles 2" is an expected sequel to the first film, but also one that doesn't quite feel fully worthy of it -- something that rewards our wait, but doesn't necessarily amplify or transcend what made its predecessor so fun, exciting, and unique. Of course, maybe that's "enough" when so many sequels drop off precipitously in quality; but after a movie called "Incredibles" lives up to its name and then some, it's hard for "No, Really, It's Very Good" not to feel a like at least a little bit of a disappointment.



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'Game of Thrones' Author Suggests Title for Prequel & Updates on Other Spinoffs

There were five prequel spinoff ideas in the works for "Game of Thrones." One prequel was just officially announced for a pilot order. Another is officially "shelved." Three others are still in development.

That's the scoop from author George R.R. Martin, whose works are being adapted for these spinoffs. He also assured readers of his "A Song of Ice and Fire" series that work on the sixth novel "The Winds of Winter," is still his "top priority." (Pause for your own eyeroll, if needed.)

Martin prefers to call the spinoffs "successor shows" to "Game of Thrones."

The one that HBO ordered to pilot, from Jane Goldman, is set 10 thousand years before "Game of Thrones." In his latest blog post, GRRM revealed his choice for a series title:

"This one really puts the PRE in prequel, since it is set not ninety years before GAME OF THRONES (like Dunk & Egg), or a few hundred years, but rather ten thousand years (well, assuming the oral histories of the First Men are accurate, but there are maesters at the Citadel who insist it has only been half that long).

We're very early in the process, of course, with the pilot order just in, so we don't have a director yet, or a cast, or a location, or even a title. (My vote would be THE LONG NIGHT, which says it all, but I'd be surprised if that's where we end up. More likely HBO will want to work the phrase "game of thrones" in there somewhere. We'll know sooner or later).

Yes. "Game of Thrones: The Long Night," or some such. "The Long Night: Game of Thrones Continues." Others are suggesting "Age of Heroes," which would be OK, but "The Long Night" sounds less like a CW crossover.

Here's GRRM's update on the other GoT spinoffs in the works:

"As for the other successor shows... if you have been following along, you know that we started with four, and eventually went to five. One of those has been shelved, I am given to understand, and of course Jane's pilot is now moving to film. But that does not mean the others are dead. Three more GAME OF THRONES prequels, set in different periods and featuring different characters and storylines, remain in active development. Everything I am told indicates that we could film at least one more pilot, and maybe more than one, in the years to come. We do have an entire world and tens of thousands of years of history to play with, after all. But this is television, so nothing is certain."

So three more remain in active development and he's confident about at least one more pilot. Sounds good.

Of course, we still have the final season of "Game of Thrones" to look forward to. Season 8 just held its wrap party, although filming doesn't seem to be completely finished. HBO has yet to share a trailer or official photos or the release date, beyond telling us it will premiere in 2019.

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Directors: Don't Assume 'Avengers 4' Will Revive the Dead Characters With Sequels Ahead

Stan Lee just tried to give fans hope for their "Avengers: Infinity War" favorites, but -- with a snap of their fingers -- the Russo Brothers want to take it all away.

SPOILERS AHEAD FROM 'INFINITY WAR' & MAYBE 'AVENGERS 4'.

There's a built-in conundrum with "Avengers 3" and "Avenger 4" -- which used to be "Infinity War" Part 1 and Part 2. Certain characters, like Peter Parker and Star-Lord and most of the "Guardians of the Galaxy," are vaporized at the end of the movie.

And yet ... Peter Parker has a "Spider-Man" sequel filming this July for release next July and the "Guardians" have a third movie coming out in 2020.

There's also meant to be a third "Spider-Man" movie coming as part of Tom Holland's trilogy.

Plus, dusted heroes Black Panther and Bucky Barnes are just getting started, and we're expecting a lot more from them in the next phase of the MCU.

Also, original Avengers Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Chris Hemsworth have been pretty vocal about passing the torch to the new crew after "Avengers 4," when their contracts are up. Robert Downey Jr. is part of that original bunch, too. It doesn't seem like a coincidence that they are members of the non-dusted characters.

So with all of that information already out there ... the vaporized people come back, right? Obviously? What are the stakes if people who "died" don't stay dead?

HuffPost asked Joe and Anthony Russo to comment on the criticism that the "deaths" of the dusted characters have no meaning since we know they'll be back for sequels. Here are their responses:

"Here's the thing, I think it's important to remember anything is possible in the MCU," Anthony said. "Just because there's a sequel on the books doesn't mean ... people become accustomed to time moving linearly in the MCU. That doesn't necessarily have to be the case. There's a lot of very inventive ways of where the story can go from here."

"There's four years between 'Guardians 2' and 'Infinity War,'" Joe added. "That's a long time, and a lot of 'Guardians' stories to tell. Again, as Anthony said, don't expect everything to move forward in a linear fashion in the Marvel universe."

Um, James Gunn already said "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" will take place after these two "Avengers" movies, adding that "it will help to set up the next 10, 20 years of Marvel movies."

That doesn't mean Gamora would return, though, since she wasn't dusted. She was sacrificed by Thanos. She, Loki, Heimdall, and Vision were killed, not snapped, so they may be dead dead. Then again, we're willing to take their advice and not assume we really know.

But they are definitely messing with time at this point, and we have to keep that in mind.

We know that "Ant-Man and the Wasp," coming out this July, takes place before "Infinity War." "Captain Marvel" takes place long before "Infinity War," but will probably catch up somehow since "Infinity War" ended with Nick Fury sending a message to Captain Marvel. Her first movie opens two months before "Avengers 4."

Set spoilers have already connected "Avengers 4" to time travel to the past. It also looks like the film will also include a significant time jump ahead from "Infinity War."

Thanos has the Time Stone at this point, but we're operating in Doctor Strange's one timeline where the good guys defeat Thanos. We also know the "Avengers 4" synopsis mentions a "turning point" and "sacrifices," and fans already suspect they know what that means. Maybe they're right. We'll all find out when "Avengers 4" opens May 3, 2019.

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Jimmy Kimmel Irritates Ryan Gosling in Space for 'First Man' Interview 

NEEDS. MATT. DAMON.

Seriously. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" fudged a George Clooney "Gravity" cameo (which was pretty funny) for this "First Man" interview with Ryan Gosling, but failed to tie-in the Matt Damon feud via one of Damon's astronaut movies? Houston, we have a problem.

As one fan suggested in the video comments:

"They missed a perfect opportunity to pass by Mars and see Matt Damon calling Jimmy to pick him up.?"

Classic. They could've picked either "The Martian" or "Interstellar" -- either would work, or just pretend he's been floating out there for years since no one missed him backstage.

Anyway, Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong in the upcoming movie "First Man," which debuted its trailer during Jimmy Kimmel's show on Friday night. To promote the movie, Kimmel and Gosling did "the first talk show interview in outer space," with Kimmel basically spending the whole time asking silly questions and irritating Gosling.

Watch the interview:And check out the trailer: "First Man" opens in theaters October 12th.

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'Lucifer' Star: Streaming Network Has to Save Show by June 16

Hell hath no fury like "Lucifer" fans scorned -- but heaven also has no hope like "Lucifer" fans waiting for salvation.

"Lucifer" was canceled by Fox after three seasons and two bonus episodes. Fans have been tweeting their hearts out, along with the stars, to try and get someone to pick up the show. Tom Ellis and other cast members have mentioned conversations with potential new networks, and now we're hearing that whatever happens has to happen by this Saturday, June 16.

That's the word from Lauren German (Detective Chloe Decker), who spoke during the "Lucifer" panel at Oz Comic-Con in Melbourne, Australia. Here's her #SaveLucifer and #PickUpLucifer update, via ComicBook.com:

"It's beautiful. I can't tell you guys how hard it is to hear that the show is ending and then she and I come out here and see all of you and then online the hashtags and the petitions being signed and the campaigns that are going. We don't know that stuff's gonna happen. It just pops up and it's just, you know it's heartwarming, it's amazing, and I don't know if all of you know basically you know Fox has cancelled us, so we won't be happening on Fox, but there's a chance that a streaming network might pick us up and that would have to happen by June 16th. It's like we can't contractually audition for anything until June 16th and then, sadly, we are free to go after that. So, we're just praying, praying it happens."

She said something similar to The Iris of Australia:

"Now, I have heard, not to get anyone's hopes up or anything because I'm certainly am proceeding as if I'm looking for a new job but, I've heard that there is a chance a streaming channel could pick us up and we will hear about it by the 16th June. So, if it happens, amazing, and if not, you know, onward. Yeah, I was completely surprised that we didn't get a season 4. It just seemed like it was gonna happen and we've so much of a story left to tell and I do know that our set in L.A. have not been taken down yet so, you know, that's a good sign."

So June 16 is Cinderella's midnight. If the stars know what's happening (or not happening) at that point, they will probably pass the word straight on to the fans.

In the meantime, Lauren German retweeted notes like this one to keep fans pushing for a pickup:

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