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Posted by Ashley Laggan

Scandal, An Innocent Man

Scandal, Season 4, Episode 6, “An Innocent Man”
Written by Zahir McGhee
Directed by Jeannot Szwarc
Airs Thursdays at 9pm EST on ABC

On this week’s Scandal, Olivia visits Jake, a former first lady charms Mellie, Abby discovers Cyrus’s secret, and Fitz grants Olivia a favor.

Despite the title, “An Innocent Man” isn’t about the men of Scandal, it’s about the women. Mellie, Olivia, Abby, and even Quinn all have significant wins, making the episode a nice departure from the past five. Also, it’s the first time any of the women have felt like their old selves in a long while, particularly Olivia, who hasn’t been fully herself since the arrival of her father to D.C.

Remember back to season one, when the gladiators (also, how long has it been since any of Olivia’s team referred to themselves as such?) insisted Pope and Associates a no-cry zone? Well, Olivia herself hasn’t followed that rule in a long time, and it’s been incredibly disappointing. The crying itself isn’t the problem–it’s the gradual dissolution of everything Pope and Associates used to stand for and be, namely a very powerful and intelligent team led by a fearless and thoroughly-capable woman. Sure, Olivia does get a win over her father (finally!) in “An Innocent Man,” but she still has a long way to go before she’s restored to her former glory.

The case-of-the-weeks used to be fun, and sometimes they’d even add quite a bit to over-arcing storylines, but they’ve begun to feel like afterthoughts, tossed into the episode to fill excess time. All this week’s does is further highlight how far Olivia’s fallen–she is entirely unable to rely on her gut and is fooled by a fame-hungry criminal. Even Fitz–her number one fan–and Rowan show a disheartening lack of faith in Olivia’s intelligence regarding Jake. While it’s unsurprising that Rowan doesn’t have faith in his daughter, Fitz has always been in awe of Olivia and her capabilities–if he doesn’t even trust her ability to not be manipulated, does he even deserve to be with her again?

Back to the women, Mellie really shines throughout the episode. The addition of guest star Bitsy (who’s really just Old Mellie, right?) is a great move by the writers, as she really kicks Mellie’s recovery into high gear. Plus, she’s extremely entertaining and sassy and fun. Bitsy is everything Mellie could become and hopefully will be. Mellie, more than anyone else (even Olivia), deserves some change in her life.

Meanwhile, Abby is perhaps the best option for discovering Cyrus’s illicit secret–she’s long been looked down upon by the White House staff (particularly Cyrus and Fitz), so it should be fun watching her hold this over Cyrus’s head. And Quinn is single-handedly hunting for clues about the lingering case surrounding Olivia’s former college friend and two dead teenagers, so kudos to her for not being a quitter or allowing Huck’s distractions (though they’re good distractions) affect her. Bonus, this season finally has a hint of direction! So thank you Quinn for keeping the investigation going, because it’s about time season 4 knew where it was headed.

“An Innocent Man” may not be season four’s best episode yet, but it remedies quite a few ongoing complaints, like the overall lack of plot direction, and Olivia’s inability to overcome her father’s influences. This episode feels like the first step toward much better things to come, and the new developments couldn’t be more welcome.

 

Ashley Laggan

The post Scandal, Ep. 4.06, “An Innocent Man” spotlights the show’s women appeared first on Sound On Sight.

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Posted by Bryan Rucker

136954_8689

How to Get Away With Murder, Season 1, Episode 6: “Whack-a-Mole”
Directed by Bill D’Elia
Written by Michael Foley
Airs Thursdays at 10pm EST on ABC

Six weeks into fall and How to Get Away With Murder is the biggest hit of the new season and one of the most watched shows on television.  Viewers are connecting with its potent mix of legal procedural, murder mystery, and soap opera. They also must be connecting with the character of Annalise Keating, a woman as complicated as has ever been seen on network television, and where the question of her likability, or lack thereof, is deemed completely irrelevant on the strength of Viola Davis’s masterful performance. Annalise is an idealist and a hypocrite, passionate and calculating, funny and terrifying. But is she a good person? The creators trust their audience’s intelligence not to even bother asking that question.

So far, the cases of the week have often seemed superfluous, a way to kill time between solving the twin murders of Lila Stangard and Sam Keating.  But in the most recent episode, “Whack-a-Mole”, the appeal of a death row inmate convicted of killing his girlfriend 21 years ago is integrated into the characters’ lives and allows the show to address themes that have been percolating below the surface for some time. Asher, the buffoonish law student played by Matt McGorry –a role that gives the actor so much more to do than his blank slate prison guard on Orange is the New Black – learns that his father, the judge on the original case, allowed perjured testimony to convict a black man of murdering his white girlfriend in order to get a job promotion. Asher has to face the fact that his charmed life has partly come about on the back of some one else’s misery.  The case also touches on less dramatic but equally damaging examples of institutional racism, such as housing discrimination.

What makes all this so electrifying, aside from the fact that race is rarely discussed so explicitly on network television, is that it’s so personal for the characters, especially Annalise. This is a woman in an interracial marriage trying to help a man who is in prison due to his interracial relationship leading to murder. Of course Annalise’s husband had an affair with a young white woman, now also a murder victim. So Annalise can crusade for justice at work while also calling her husband’s mistress, a dead college student, a “white whore.” That moment, totally intended to shock (and blow up Twitter), works only due to Davis. She has the ability to wring emotional honesty out of dialogue that reads completely over-the-top on the page.

At the end of last night’s episode, the announcer promised that in two weeks we will know the identity of Sam Keating’s murderer. Hooray for that, because the flash forwards of the law students transporting Sam’s body have become almost insufferable as the weeks go on. It’s puzzling that an otherwise propulsive show would be treading water this badly. At this point there’s no way to fix the monotony, just end it and hope that this structure is something they don’t carry over into the second half of the season. Perhaps the problem with these scenes is that Viola Davis isn’t in them.  Her career, from Doubt to The Help to HTGAWM has proven that she can do anything, make good writing great and mediocre writing believable. Let’s hope that these writers take advantage of her gifts and continue to give her something to say.

Other thoughts:

We finally know what Asher’s up to in the flash forwards. Sleeping with Bonnie!

Wes grows a backbone for a whole scene. “You’re disgusting. You disgust me.”

Did you see the photo of Asher’s dad with George H. W. Bush? Perfect.

“It’s not just white people that go to Kennebunkport!”

David Allan might not have killed his girlfriend, but he definitely still belongs on death row for liking his steak well done. Gross.

The post How to Get Away With Murder, Ep. 1.06, “Whack-a-Mole” addresses race and injustice head on appeared first on Sound On Sight.

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Posted by Michael Gingold

ZOMBIEBROMANCEFINALISTSFEAT
FINAL DESTINATION and TAMARA scripter Jeffrey Reddick teamed with talent-discovery platform TentSquare on a zombie video competition, and the 13 entries in the running for the top prize can be seen on-line. In this contest, as Reddick outlines in the video below, filmmakers were challenged to create a short movie of two minutes or less […]
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Posted by Ryan Turek

Hellraiser - Pinhead

Hellraiser - PinheadHellraiser is one of those remakes that has been in development for so long, it’s hard to keep track of what is happening with it, who is on board and what the approach is going to be. About a year ago, Clive Barker himself revealed that he pitched an idea to Dimension Films and was running with the project, penning a remake himself for the company. Not directing, but writing.

In a recent interview with EW, Barker offered an update on Hellraiser. Here’s an excerpt from this article:

In fact, these days, Barker is very much back in the Pinhead business. The writer reveals he recently sent Dimension Films chief Bob Weinstein the second draft of his screenplay for a new Hellraiser movie, which Barker describes as a “very loose” remake of his original film.

“I think the phrase is ‘reboot,’ although I’ve never really understood what that meant,” he says. “I wanted to make sure we sounded some fresh notes. The movie actually begins on Devil’s Island. I wanted to fold into the Hellraiser narrative something about the guy—the Frenchman Lemarchand—who made the mysterious box, which raises Pinhead. I figured, ‘Well, what would have happened to him?’ He might well have been taken to Devil’s Island and I thought that would be a pretty cool place to start the movie. We’re waiting for Bob to come back to us and see when we’re going to actually make the movie.”

If you’re not familiar with Devil’s Island, it was a penal colony – a prison that operated from the mid-1800s to 1953. As we know, Lemarchand was a character who played a major part in Hellraiser: Bloodline, the fourth installment in the series.

Go check out the rest of that EW article. It’s a solid read in which Barker talks about his near-death experience not along ago, Nightbreed and returning to directing.

The post Clive Barker Offers Major Hellraiser Remake Update! appeared first on Shock Till You Drop.

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Posted by Ryan Turek

john-carpenter

carpenter-lost-themes

If you were not at Beyond Fest then you certainly read it at Shock first that John Carpenter was aligning with a record company to put out a “Lost Themes” album. Today, more info has been revealed regarding that album, furthermore, you can hear a track as well!

It appears Sacred Bones Records will be bringing this thing to life. If you go to their site now, you’ll find their landing page has a sample called “Vortex.” It is very much in line Carpenter’s “vibe.” I wonder if this was a “lost theme” from Big Trouble in Little China

Go listen to it now and stay tuned for release date news!

The post John Carpenter’s Lost Themes Album Has a Home, Listen to the First Track appeared first on Shock Till You Drop.

all i hear is your heart

Oct. 31st, 2014 03:43 pm
musesfool: Death of the Endless, captioned "I was there, too, before everything else" (death)
[personal profile] musesfool
Tonight, [personal profile] innie_darling and I are going to see Neil Gaiman at NYPL. It seems fitting.

I'm sure I've mentioned that I'm not a big Halloween person, because it's my mother's birthday, so I never really got to do much fun stuff - there was always dinner with the fam or cake etc. and the few years I skipped, my dad got really passive-aggressive about it (my mother, surprisingly, never did). I miss my mother. She would have been 79 today.

*

I did a recs update:

[personal profile] unfitforsociety has been updated for October 2014 with 20 recs in 6 fandoms:

* 15 Avengers
* 2 Crossovers
* 1 Arrow, 1 Legend of Korra, and 1 Harry Potter

Not a whole lot - I am way behind on fic-reading. I just haven't had much energy for anything lately.

*

Elementary: Enough Nemesis to Go Around
spoilers )

*
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Posted by Chris Sims

If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.

All month long, we've been devoting our lists to spoooooky topics, from great horror stories to scary villains and the greatest stories about a certain fanged count. So today, with Halloween finally upon us, we've put them all together for your trick-or-treating enjoyment!

Continue reading…

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Posted by John 'Spartan' Nguyen

arrow-felicitys-mother1-111190

In Arrow, Oliver Queen’s mom is considered a MILF to many fans. Now we get to see Felicity Smoak’s mom, and guess what, she’s definitely going to be a MILF to a lot of fans out there. Playing her is NYPD Blue‘s Charlotte Ross, who will appear in Wednesday’s episode, “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak.”

Okay, so we get to meet Felicity’s mom, but what about her ex-boyfriend? Yep, we’ll meet him too, and he’ll be played by Nolan Funk. In the meantime, Laurel tries to level up by training with Wildcast (JR Ramirez).

The photo of Felicity’s mom is courtesy of TVLine.

arrow-felicitys-mother2-111189

“The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” airs at 8pm ET/PT on November 5th.

CHARLOTTE ROSS (“NYPD BLUE”) STARS AS FELICITY’S MOTHER — When a cyber attack brings Starling City to its knees, Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) are pushed to their limits to contain the destruction. Life gets even more complicated for Felicity when her mother, Donna (guest star Charlotte Ross), stops by for a surprise visit. Meanwhile, Ted Grant (guest star JR Ramirez) questions Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) motives, and Thea (Willa Holland) buys an apartment with Malcolm’s (John Barrowman) “estate” money, which infuriates Oliver. Nolan Funk guest stars as Felicity’s ex-boyfriend. Michael Schultz directed the episode written by Ben Sokolowski & Brian Ford Sullivan (#305).

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Posted by John 'Spartan' Nguyen

videogame bang

What’s up, Boo-Berry Pizzas?! And Bitch you guessed it! Halloween is today and this is our Halloween Spooktacular: Marvel Edition Episode. Unless you have been living under the proverbial rock or forgot to pay your internet/ phone bill or just woke up from a coma, there is no way you have not heard the huge news coming from Marvel about “Phase 3″.

We have assembled a crack team of Marvel comic/ movie specialists to discuss the big news. Assisting Cory and Aaron this week are human Marvel encyclopedia David Ng, as well as first timer to the VGB: Eddie Villanueva. The crew reads between the lines this week and talks about what we are looking forward to in phase three, as well as things we are worried about.

All that plus Whattcha Playin’, a Spooky Halloween soundboard, and oodles and poodles of spooky Halloween fun!

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Posted by John 'Spartan' Nguyen

pride-prejudice-zombies-movie1

Seth Grahame-Smith is an author who had his book, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, turned into a live-action film. Now his other book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, will also be turned into a movie.

Entertainment Weekly has released the first-look photo from the zombie parody starring Ellie Bamber as Lydia, Bella Heathcote as Jane, Lily James as Elizabeth, Millie Brady as Mary and Sukie Waterhouse as Kitty. Together, they are the Bennet sisters.

Pride-and-Prejudice-and-Zombies_990x557

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a parody of Pride and Prejudice, a book by Jane Austin. Burr Steers is directing the film starring period sisters killing zombies via martial arts.

Lily James, who plays Elizabeth, says that the two Elizabeth’s are similar.

“Even in the original story, Elizabeth’s a fighter and beyond her contemporaries in her ambitions and her ideas of women,” she tells Entertainment Weekly. “She’s a badass warrior. She’s a ninja.”

Principal photography started in late September.

Source: EW

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Posted by Meredith Woerner

The Best Halloween Costumes On The Internet

Happy Halloween, people! Tonight is the night — so paint on the makeup and get out your lattes and brooms, you Basic Witch. Here are the most jaw-dropping Halloween costumes we've found posted on the Internet this year.

Read more...








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Posted by Patrick Sponaugle

"Hail Hydra." (HBO)

“Hail Hydra.” (HBO)

It’s October, and we’re a little more than six months past the Season Four premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones, and therefore less than half a year away from the Season Five premiere. We just have to make it through Winter. Which is coming, the Stark meteorologists have assured us.

October is also the month terminated by the holiday of Halloween, with all the attendant ghosts stories, zombie hordes hunting brains (or candy – one of those), and the appearance of other undead creatures too ornery to quietly stay dead. A fine time to talk about Game of Thrones. And resurrection.

Heads up, I’ll be talking Season Three details, so if you’re behind, Spoiler alert.

Game of Thrones is a fantasy, but in general magic isn’t heavily emphasized. Sure, we’ve seen a magical assassination and some Penn and Tellerstyle shenanigans from the Warlocks of Qarth, but usually swords are more reliable than spells.

That is, until Season Three, when the Hound’s sword only mostly killed Beric Dondarrion, who came back to life as he had six times before. Resurrected by badass priest Thoros of Myr.

Critics were quick to complain that if resurrection in Game of Thrones is possible, then the dramatic stakes are lost. Death, where is thy sting? and all that. This was particularly relevant for a show that two seasons before had highlighted the deadly serious stakes when Ned Stark, the literal poster boy for the series, had his life cut short.

But is the example of Beric Dondarrion’s resurrection really a negative game-changer for the story’s dramatic stakes? Game of Thrones wouldn’t be the first example of a fantasy epic that included a character’s death and return.

"He's got a bad feeling about this..." (Warner Bros.)

“He’s got a bad feeling about this…” (Warner Bros.)

Lord of the Leveling Up

In the first Lord of the Rings movie, the Fellowship of the Ring, all-around good guy wizard Gandalf the Grey appeared to sacrifice himself to rescue the adventuring party from a fiery, demonic Balrog.

This involved shattering a bridge the Balrog was attempting to cross, which dropped the flight-challenged winged monster into a crevasse. Sadly with Gandalf in tow also and presumed dead.

In The Two Towers, we discover that Gandalf was quite simply too badass to die. He used the falling Fallen-Maiar as a cushion (a pincushion, as he was stabbing it with his sword Glamdring on the way down.) He’d then chased the Balrog up through the mountain to the summit, powered up Glamdring with some handy lightning and killed the Valarauka.

Did I say too badass to die? I did but don’t believe me. Gandalf then died from his exertions. But wait! He apparently had earned enough XP (that would be “experience points” to any non-gamers reading this) from the Balrog’s death to warrant resurrection. Gandalf the Grey was dead, but Gandalf the White had arrived.

"A Bath and a New Wig were All that was Required!" (Warner Bros.)

“A Bath and a New Wig were All that was Required!” (Warner Bros.)

Did the overall dramatic stakes change with Gandalf’s death and resurrection? Maybe. Certainly the emotional loss the Fellowship felt, although not misplaced, wouldn’t have the same impact on repeat viewings. But the stakes of the Free Peoples versus Sauron and his legions were essentially unchanged. The story was still all about the Ring being dropped into Mount Doom.

The scope of the resurrection was admittedly limited to Gandalf. He’s a wizard and he’s got divine backing. But we don’t know if that trick would work a second time. Watching the films, we could still worry about him dying again.

Scene: Valinor:

Valar #1: Oh, Gandalf the Grey died.
Valar #2: No worries, Saruman has vacated “the White” position; just level “Grey” up and issue him this robe.

Scene: Valinor, later:

Valar #1: Hey? Gandalf the White just died!
Valar #2: Really? That wasn’t in my script. We’re all out of new robes and colours. Tell him he’s now Gandalf the Ultraviolet, and his robe will be invisible and intangible.
Valar #2: There goes our PG rating.

I suppose we might have less investment emotionally in Gandalf if he could die and return, die and return.

I mean, Who would want that?

BBC

BBC

Doctor, Heal Thyself

Although, that’s pretty much what we get from The Doctor in BBC’s long running Doctor Who series.

The Doctor, a Timelord, upon death regenerates into a new body, often with a new personality. Look, we all understand that this was a clever way of enabling the television show to last 50 years (with a long hiatus preceding the 9th Doctor) but it absolutely should water down the dramatic stakes. Whenever the Doctor is put into a situation where death is a possible outcome, can we really be that invested?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I am that invested, even though I know that the Doctor will regenerate. (There’s some debate on when the regeneration cycle will be terminal. Back in Ye Olde Dayes when I watched the Third and Fourth Doctors (*my* Doctors) it was a given that he’d be capped at 13 regenerations. I believe now that the regeneration limit has been lifted due to some consequence in one of the series I’ve missed (wife and I have jumped in on Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor) and that’s what I’m basing my opinions on. Whovians, feel free to school me.)

I can think of some reasons for this continued investment. Often, the potential death of the Doctor would be as a result of a failure to stop whatever threat was underway. That’s fairly common in most television shows. But more importantly, the Doctor who dies and the Doctor who regenerates are different. Often very different. The memories of the previous regenerations are mostly there (sometimes a plot point relies on past memories being fuzzy) but the personality can wildly vary. A change in the Doctor might be very unwelcome to a viewer who had an emotional attachment to the old.

But the dramatic stakes haven’t changed. We know threats and evil (like Daleks) will exist. And to oppose them, there’s the Doctor. Not really the same Doctor, but a Doctor.

Fox Television

“Hey, She’s Died *Twice*” (Fox Television)

In Every Generation, a [HEROIC ARCHETYPE] is Born. And Eventually Dies. To Make Room for a New One.

In many ways, this is similar to the premise of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If we think of the Doctor as more an occupation or title than a person, that ends up being very similar to the Slayer. A Slayer lives, fights evil, dies. A new Slayer is activated. Lives, fights evil, dies. A new Slayer is activated.

The Watchers Council, who should at least be vaguely interested in the welfare of the Slayer, mostly had no emotional investment whatsoever. There’s no need to bow to the demands of any particular Slayer, a new one was always on the horizon. Probably one more amenable to Watchers Council’s directions and control. So in a sense, the Slayer as a concept was constantly being resurrected. Without affecting the stakes. (And I’m not talking about Mister Pointy.)

Buffy was literally resurrected during the course of the show. (And not the more or less prosaic resuscitation done to bring her back to life from being drowned by the Master in Season One, I’m talking about the magical ritual the Scooby Gang undertook to bring the dead and decayed body of Buffy Summers back to life, and to restore into it her soul. A classic do-over.)

I’m not a fan of the sixth season of Buffy, in some ways I consider the first five seasons a complete story, with the following two seasons watering down the Buffy mythos. But I respect the resurrection story, not the clap-your-hands, make-it-happen execution that brought her back to life, but her depression from being yanked out of a state of bliss and put back into the painful burden-filled real world. That consequence was a fascinating story concept.

Bringing Buffy back to life raised the dramatic stakes, not lowered them.

Besides, Buffy wasn’t singular in being brought back from death. It was a show about vampires. In a way, a lot of characters came back.

The Good Vampires, the Bad Vampires, and the Ugly Vampires

Any show with vampires is going to eventually take a character we know and love (or at least know) and turn them into the undead.

There’s a fine line between the idea of damning a person from a vampire’s bite, or saving them from death. In general, the Buffy universe always equated undeath with damnation. A vampire was essentially a demon wearing the dead person’s skin, relating to the human world through the filter and lens of the dead person’s personality.

This may or may not be the same mechanism in HBO’s recently ended series True Blood, which vaguely attempted to explore the idea of vampires as a species openly co-existing with humans. True Blood was a guilty pleasure of mine, and I’m not trying to defend it, but it fits in with my general thesis. Occasionally, someone on the show would be on the brink of death, and to save them, they are turned into an asshole. I mean, a vampire.

Death is usually considered a negative, but coming back might be worse, especially if it’s a character one has investment in (or in the case of Tara, strong neutral feelings for.) The dramatic stakes aren’t lowered, but are raised as the protagonists are forced to deal with a very personal complication. In my experience, resurrections often fall into this mold. Rarely is the resurrection merely the removal of the deadly condition. But there are exceptions.

"Forever" (Warner Bros. TV)

“Forever” (Warner Bros. TV)

Two Mysterious Exceptions

Last year, my daughter discovered the ABC show Resurrection, and declared it in her youthful wisdom “the Best Show Ever.” This year, my wife is making me watch Forever.

(I suspect she wanted my implicit approval of any improper thoughts she has towards Ioan Gruffud.)

Neither show is concerned about the possibility that raising the dead might lower dramatic stakes. On the contrary, the premises of the shows depend on resurrection, and a very clean type of resurrection where the resurrected are returned without evidence of mortal wounds or other ill-effects. (That we know of.)

In these shows, the dramatic stakes are not related to a character’s invulnerability, but to the mystery that underlies their unexplained tenacious survival.

Of interest to me, Michelle Fairley, the deceased matriarch of the Stark family from Game of Thrones is now part of the cast on Resurrection, playing a deceased matriarch. Of interest because it brings me back to that show and Beric Dondarrion, with one eye but many lives.

Revenant Evil

There are many examples of shows surviving the resurrection of characters without it becoming a cancer for the dramatic stakes and the quality of investment expected from the audience. (If you don’t believe me, re-read everything up above.) Of course, this isn’t true of every television show. Bobby Ewing coming back from the dead was crazy, because he had never been dead. It had all been a dream.

Seriously, I think Time Travel should have been introduced into the Dallas storyline continuity before dropping that bomb.

But, the issue with Bobby Ewing wasn’t so much that his death had been retconned into a dream, but that there’d been a full season (including a season of Knott’s Landing) that had just been invalidated. That was the problem, the wasted time in watching storylines that could not have any bearing on the reality of the story. (Some people make that claim about the final season of Lost. Those people are wrong.) It made for an inconsistent and incoherent story.

"I AM Changed! And Not Just Because I was Recast from Season One!" (HBO)

“I AM Changed! And Not Just Because I was Recast from Season One!” (HBO)

In regards to the coherence of Beric Dondarrion and his resurrection, magical revivification might not necessarily be commonplace in the setting of Game of Thrones, but it isn’t necessarily inconsistently done (albeit because we have such a small dataset to work from.)

All we can say is that Thoros of Myr has had surprising success in reviving Lord Beric, on several occasions, from mortal wounds. Heavy emphasis on surprising. Melisandre of Asshai, the only other power-wielding devotee of the Lord of Light, was quite shocked when told of Thoros’ unexpected talent. And she’s hardly ever surprised, right Maester Cressen?

There’s a common thread in shows that allow for resurrection, those who return are different. Often different for the worse. Lord Beric does not seem unchanged by his experiences during the time in-between resurrections, and he gives the impression of becoming less and less of the man he was.

So, are the stakes lowered in Game of Thrones, now that resurrection is on the table? I really don’t see why that’s the conclusion. Death might have lost its sting, but often the new life picks up that missing burden. More often than not, it’s a fate to be avoided.

As always, I’m happy to hear opposing opinions.

Hey, since I’m on a Game of Thrones topic, there’s an ancillary matter vaguely related to the above, which I’d like to talk about. But it’s spoilery from Book Three and beyond. I hate spoiling people, so if you’re not up to date, please stop reading. (I doubt you need much encouragement to stop reading this Wall of Text.)

Spoilers begin, after this gentle warning from the late, lamented Oberyn Martell.

(courtesy of VanityFair.com)

Oi! Unsullied Show-Watchers Not Up on the Books are as Welcome Here as Jon Snow is in my Privy. Clear Off!

Now it’s time for the article that I really wanted to write. All that stuff above is mostly a smokescreen.

It’s the Halloween-month, and we’re used to the dead returning, scaring the crap out of the living at this bleak time. So when are we going to see Lady Stoneheart show up on Game of Thrones, to start wreaking some well-deserved judgment on the Freys? (And hopefully, eventually, some Boltons, yo?)

Lady Stoneheart is Late, and is the Cat Out of the Bag?

Okay fellow book readers (and possibly spoiler-loving non-readers), since the Red Wedding, we’ve been waiting to see Catelyn Stark be pulled from a river and revived when Beric Dondarrion gives her a kiss of life that Thoros refuses to apply. A kiss that ends Lord Beric’s half-life existence forever and gives birth to the vengeful living cadaver, Lady Stoneheart.

Some were hoping that her return would be the shocking last scene of Season Three (and therefore were extra-aggravated with the somewhat less than inspiring rock-concert crowd-surfing of Daenerys as the final shot.)

The end of Season Four, which largely coincided with the end of A Storm of Swords (whose epilogue introduced the scary revenant of Catelyn Stark), seemed the perfect place to introduce Scary Stark. Some were expecting that Podrick and Brienne’s story from the books would be truncated to sync up with Lady Stoneheart’s first introduction to the viewing audience in an extra-horrifying finale.

But no, instead the finale continued the momentum that had been carried through the fourth season, that bad things were now happening to the “bad guys” (kinda), and good things were now happening to the “good guys”. (Kinda.)

Up until Season Four, book readers had previously been pretty good about keeping the cards close to their chain-mailed chests. Pretty much no one breathed a word about Ned Stark’s execution, or Robb’s bad time at the Tully-Frey reception, or the surprising and messy conclusion to the Battle of the (Fourth) Century (post-Targaryen conquest): the Mountain and the Viper. But foiled expectations were met with loud observations.

Episode Nine ended with Jon walking to negotiate with Mance Rayder:

The Internet response: WHERE THE HELL IS STANNIS?

The Internet’s second response: What? Is Stannis going to show up and save the day?

Episode Ten ended with Arya sailing off to Braavos, and no sign, not even a hint, of Catelyn’s resurrection:

The Internet response: WHERE THE HELL IS LADY STONEHEART???

The Internet’s second response: WHO? We better Google this!

Following the end of the finale, there were a fair amount of articles written, some better than others at keeping a lid on spoilery details, about Lady Stoneheart’s omission. I know there were show watchers who pieced together the secret that Catelyn Stark rises from the dead in the books.

It might still happen. There has been negative press (by that I mean, reports in the media that imply Lady Stoneheart will not be in the future storylines) but I haven’t read anything conclusive. And really, even if Weiss and Benioff held a press conference and swore that they were cutting Lady Stoneheart from the series, I’m not so sure I’d take them at face value. The only narrative from the show-runners that I’m interested in is what’s presented on the show. If you ask too many questions of show-runners (*cough cough* Cuse and Lindeloff *cough cough*) their vague answers are going to feed confirmation-biased expectations. And that path leads to disappointment.

Let’s just take it as a given that I believe we’ll be seeing a risen Catelyn Stark. I don’t even require Michelle Fairley to reprise the role of Catelyn Stark immediately. Catelyn in the books is described as messed up, and she doesn’t speak (at least not in Book Three’s epilogue.) Another actress could fill that role with the help of prosthetics.

Early in Season Four’s airing, a blog I follow had a very interesting photo of actress Lu Corfield, reported to be a new addition to the cast for the season:

CatAndCat

Corfield (on the right) bears a close resemblance to Michelle Fairley (on the left, obviously.) Anabloggin originally thought that Lu might be a stand-in for Fairley as the silent, sepulchral Stoneheart, but she ended up playing a minor role as the Madame of the Mole’s Town brothel instead.

But… she really does look a lot like Fairley to me… I’m just saying.

The fact is that enough information had been leaked to tip off show-watchers, who now have a notion about Cat’s return in the books. A buddy of mine is a show watcher, and he was not happy to hear the rumor of Catelyn back from the dead. His complaint was exactly what I was hearing when Beric Dondarrion could not be killed by the Hound.

If someone could return from the dead, Cat’s death at the Red Wedding was meaningless. And the more articles people like my friend read, saying that Lady Stoneheart is being cut from the story and why that’s a good thing for the story’s overall dramatic stakes, the more that opinion gets reinforced.

HBO

HBO

Except what’s pulled out of the river and brought back to life, isn’t really Catelyn Stark. It’s a monster. And that makes Catelyn’s demise pretty meaningful.

If Catelyn doesn’t come back, then her long simmering feud with Jon Snow is meaningless. Brienne of Tarth’s story is meaningless.  Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr’s storylines are meaningless (and I can’t imagine a universe that would deflate the importance of Thoros of Myr, the Chuck Norris of Westeros.)

A dead Catelyn ends the possibility of meaning to those stories. But an undead Catelyn ignites the spark of possibilities. It’s too early to rule anything out about what is going on in Book Five, with Brienne leading Jaime into a Stoneheart trap. (We all think that, right?) There’s a huge mess of different storylines, and there’s going to be pressure to start having storylines intersect.

Catelyn Stark is a lynchpin linking Jaime and Brienne to Stannis and Ramsay Snow, Jon Snow and Arya. It makes no sense to say that the story would be better off without her, or to say that the dramatic stakes have been reduced now that a living character has been transformed into an unpredictable creature.

Anyway, I’m fine with us not seeing Lady Stoneheart in Season Five either. But I really want to see some Freys swinging from trees during the next season to at least set things up for the future.

Podrick: M’lady, there’s another hanged man, wearing Frey colours. That’s the fifth this week.
Brienne: What of it, Pod? I’m a Tarth, and you’re a Pane. We have nothing to fear from people with grudges against the Freys.
Podrick: Really? I was sensing a rise in the local dramatic stakes.
Brienne: You’re an idiot.

"‘Game of Thrones’ and The Stakes of Raising The Dead" was originally published on Film School Rejects for our wonderful readers to enjoy. It is not intended to be reproduced on other websites. If you aren't reading this in your favorite RSS reader or on Film School Rejects, you're being bamboozled. We hope you'll come find us and enjoy the best articles about movies, television and culture right from the source.

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Posted by Maria Bustillos on Gawker, shared by Tina Amini to Kotaku

The Empire of Harmlessness: Hello Kitty at 40

Thirty-nine years ago in Japan, Hello Kitty, the global emissary of cuteness, made her public debut. She appeared on a plastic coin purse priced at 240 yen, or about 80 cents.

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Posted by Hannah Means Shannon

Live from somewhere inside a decaying castle with angry hoards outside, flaming torches and pitchforks at the ready, the horror comic enthusiast, comic creator extraordinaire and editor of many historically important but maddeningly strange and artistically brilliant volumes of bone-chilling comics, Craig Yoe joins us here on Bleeding Cool especially for Halloween. The massive line of artfully preserved and ghoulishly presented Chilling Archives of Horror Comics have reached we lucky readers through a partnership between IDW and Yoe Books, and if there’s one man who knows his horror comics, it’s this guy.

Hear about his work on these mind-bendingly strange and twisted tales here before night sets in and Craig takes on his true monstrous form as a not-so-mild-mannered editor, ready to strike fear in all and sundry.

 

Hannah Means-Shannon: Craig, are you a big fan of Halloween? How are you celebrating today?

Craig Yoe: Halloween! Today is my high holy day! I’m dressed up right now as a scary-looking horror comics publisher! Or is that silly looking?

HMS: What’s your history with horror comics? Were you an early reader of classic horror?

CY: I was too young to experience the glories of the Pre-Code 1950s horror comics. I’m afraid that, as a toddler, my innocence really would have been seriously seduced if I had read them. I would have ended up in not following social norms, I’d be publishing weird books, I’d probably be saddled with a embarrassingly stupid haircut… OH, WAIT!

HMS: What was the first horror anthology you edited, and what was your motivation in doing so?

CY: That would be Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein, the start of the Chilling Archives of Horror Comics series for Yoe Books/IDW which was then followed by Bob Powell’s Terror and Jack Cole’s Deadly Horror.

The motivation was to humbly do my very best to preserve our rich comics heritage, to showcase the work of tragically under-appreciated masterful cartoonists that deserve our praise, to bring much-deserved public awareness to the often sadly neglected but incredibly fascinating and vitally important horror comics art form–but mainly to make lots of money! Unfortunately the latter part hasn’t worked out so good, but I’m having fun, so there’s that!

HMS: What role do you think horror comics play in the history of comics? Why are they significant to our comics heritage?

CY: Many people don’t realize it but horror was a big part of comics history way before there were newsstands and candy stores full of pure horror comic books in the fifties. Early superhero and adventure comics had zombies, witches and even horror hosts in them, inspired by the pulps and suspense radio shows.

Of course, eventually slews of comics totally devoted just to horror began to overflow the newsstand racks adding fuel to the fire of criticism of comics by the author of Seduction of the Innocent, psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham, and his ilk. Then followed crushing Senate investigations and the resulting self-imposed emasculating Comics Code of the publishers of comics–the few that were left. And did I mention actual book burnings, decimated sales and fired cartoonists, writers, and editors jobless and out on the streets?  That was a sad time in our comic history!

HMS: Who are your top 3 favorite comic artists dealing with horror and monster themes?

CY: Hannah, for me the nightmare-inducing Unholy Trinity are Dick Briefer, Bob Powell and J.C.–Jack Cole–that’s why I published books about them! But certainly I must also cite Ghastly Graham Ingels over at EC and the great Bernie Wrightson, his horror heir apparent. I was NOT aware of the power of Tom Sutton until Michael Ambrose and Donnie Pitchford put together a book of his Charlton work for us that will be coming out early next year.  I’ve described Sutton as the bastard child of Graham Ingels and Jim Steranko to try to communicate my own reaction to discovering his spine-tingling oeuvre!

I’d like to mention one more guy. In my favorite book we’ve ever done, Comics About Cartoonists: The World’s Oddest Profession, we had a comic by an unknown guy named Vince Napoli. When I saw his genuinely creepy art, I was actually spooked and soiled myself–too much information?!

HMS: EWW! Speaking of releases please tell us a little about the upcoming offerings from Yoe Books. How do they add to our archives of horror tradition?

CY: There are lots more books in the Chilling Archives of Horror Comics coming up like Tom Sutton’s Creepy Things and Howard Nostrand’s Nightmares. And we are doing more Ditko books, like the book we just did with editor Fester Faceplant, the soon-to-be-released Ditko’s Shorts which includes Ditko’s great horror and fantasy short-form comics.  Clizia Gussoni (a.k.a. Madame Clizia), Steve Banes (a.k.a. Mr. Karswell) and I (a.k.a. Firelock the Warlock) are always working away on our popular floppy bi-monthly comic Haunted Horror. And Clizia and I are gathering more comics for its companion comic, Weird Love.

But right now we’re all psyched about The Worst of Eerie Publications, edited by Mike Howlett, that is going to be out any moment! To use Popeye’s term, this “disgustipating” book was supposed to be out for Halloween but was actually held up in Customs where it was carefully scrutinized–but thankfully it was eventually cleared! Not to be confused with the Warren Publications’ Eerie, these Eerie Publications comics from the 1970s, “Tales from the Tomb,” “Terror Tales” and “Horror Tales” did do-overs of old scripts from 1950s comic books. They were redrawn by artists like Dick Ayers and Chic Stone with way too much blood, guts and bone-crunching gore, beyond all good taste and decency!

These comics SHOULD have been banned and the confiscated copies thrown on gas-fueled pyres–along with the editors and artists that did them! Yet, we are now lovingly publishing the very best of the very “worst” of them in a beautiful hardback book! Hannah, I see outraged shrinks, politicos and mothers with torches outside my home as I type this… HANNAH, I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR ANY MORE QUESTIONS! I’VE GOTTA RUN…

Find out more about these lavish editions of horror comics and what Yoe Books has in store by checking out their full listings here.

The Terror! Witness Craig Yoe’s Weird Love For Horror Comics And Their Enduring Legacy

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Keyboard Geniuses is our weekly glance at a few intriguing, witty, or otherwise notable posts from the Gameological discussion threads. Comments have been excerpted and edited here for grammar, length, and/or clarity. You can follow the links to see the full threads.

Ominous Tones

This week, Anthony John Agnello offered up a For Our Consideration op-ed that was about sound in horror games. Anthony argued that Alien: Isolation overused its overwhelming, terrifying sounds to the point that they no longer become scary. Anthony offered the original Resident Evil is a scarier alternative, one that uses silence to unnerve players and boost the spook factor of what little sound there is. NakedSnake posited that Resident Evil and Alien: Isolation are using silence and sound in two different ways:

Resident Evil is pretty damn spooky, and the sparse sound design is a big part of it. The silence is eerie and ...

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Scottish hip-hop band Young Fathers are the winners of the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize, an annual award for the best album from a British artist. Considering the collective reaction to the win can be summarized as “Who?”, it’s safe to call this a dark-horse victory. The band bypassed several favored nominees—Blur frontman Damon Albarn, critical darling Bombay Bicycle Club, the much-buzzed-about FKA twigs—to claim the prize with its major label debut, Dead.

This is the 23rd year the Mercury Prize has been awarded, and much like the Best New Artist Grammy, it’s been a bit hit-or-miss about choosing artists with bright futures. Some winners go on to break through in a big way; some continue on in a modest vein, releasing a respectable discography; and some aren’t really heard from much afterward. Prior to its big win, Dead had sold a mere 2,386 units ...

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Remember Twitter Lists? Yeah, us neither. But a photographer named David Friedman finally found a good use for them (if you remember to click on that “Lists” tab. It’s right next to your “Favorites.”). Friedman has compiled a master list of lists that contain pop culture icons (or has-beens), sorted by the TV show they were on. The Saturday Night Live list is the biggest, with 75 cast members, and the smallest is Stephen Tobolowsky, who, Friedman notes, “is just Stephen Tobolowsky.” But there’s also The Facts Of Life (eight cast members, only from the first season), Happy Days (three cast members), Doctor Who (19 cast members), and Breaking Bad (15 cast members). It’s a nice way to keep an eye on some of your favorite shows and actors without, say, having your main Twitter feed clogged up by Victoria Jackson and Kirk Cameron. You can find ...

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Oh, who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Not SpongeBob SquarePants any longer, who’s venturing out from his underwater home for a land-bound adventure. The latest trailer for SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge Out Of Water sees the titular sponge and his friends leave the ocean in search of an evil pirate chef played by Antonio Banderas. While the first trailer implied the major MacGuffin would be a magical book, this trailer centers its plot machinations on a more familiar object of desire: the Krabby Patty.

After Banderas steals their precious burgers, SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, and Mr. Krabs follow him to the human world where they develop superpowers and steal inking jokes from Finding Nemo. In keeping with the tradition of the TV show, the creatures become 3-D when they leave the sea. But while the show depicted them as literal sponges and starfish, the film renders its characters ...

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Posted by Jason Torchinsky

Colani: The Designer For All Your Scary Car Costume Needs

It's Halloween, so many of us are planning our elaborate going-out costumes , perhaps car-related, but all likely involving lots of extra shaving. But what about cars themselves? Don't they deserve scary costumes? Of course they do. And at least one designer, Luigi Colani, is doing his part.

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Posted by Raphael Orlove

There's very little to say about Toyota's 1G-GZE supercharged straight six. Well, except that it was a ghost and it appears to have haunted at least one innocent dog.

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​The Fall of the House of Bertone

Oct. 31st, 2014 05:23 pm
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Posted by Alex Kierstein on Road & Track, shared by Matt Hardigree to Jalopnik

​The Fall of the House of Bertone

In August 1996, 82-year-old Nuccio Bertone came home from a holiday in the south of Italy feeling poorly. Six months later, on February 26, 1997, he was gone. The man who had transformed his father's unnotable coachbuilding shop into one of the world's most respected automotive design houses, with a factory in Grugliasco capable of producing 70,000 cars per year, had died 11 days before the Geneva Motor Show.

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Posted by Debi Moore

Halloween has arrived on the second episode of Nerdist’s newest show, “Origin Story,” entitled “Chicken Breast Chucky,” where filmmaker Andrew Bowser heads to Son of Monsterpalooza to crowdsource, create, and cosplay the greatest ghoul yet!

Artist Ruben Martinez (“RM73″) and returning cosplayer Jessica LG brought Chicken Breast Chucky to life in merely three days with some incredible prosthetics by Makeup Designory and The Stan Winston School of Character Arts.

Donning his cloak of seafood and wielding his blue chainsaw, it seems no one is safe once you hear Chicken Breast Chucky’s evil cry: “Viva La Bologna!

“Origin Story” is an inventive docu-series hosted by Nerdist’s Andrew Bowser. Within one weekend at a pop culture convention, Bowser crowdsources, creates, and cosplays a brand new superhero. Each episode chronicles the creation of the “origin story” by way of a Mad Lib with the help of con attendees, followed by a rendering of the new hero by a guest artist, and then finally created into a costume by a gifted cosplayer. On the final day Bowser cosplays as the brand new character and films an impromptu comedy sketch with fans and fellow cosplayers.

“Origin Story” airs Fridays on Nerdist.

Nerdist Industries, run by Chris Hardwick, is home to a ton of geek-specific content with web series, podcasts, and much more. For more info visit Nerdist.com, and be sure to subscribe to the Nerdist YouTube Channel so you don’t miss any of the other cool stuff they have available.

Nerdist's Origin Story

The post Meet a New Monster in Nerdist’s Origin Story: Chicken Breast Chucky appeared first on Dread Central.

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Posted by Russ Fischer

Dan Gilroy Interview

It’s rare to see a directorial debut that is a total home run, but that’s Nightcrawler in a nutshell. The film’s writer/director, Dan Gilroy, is not, however, some rookie who got lucky. He’s been a screenwriter for years, with credits on films like The Fall, Real Steel and The Bourne Legacy. He was the writer on Tim Burton’s aborted Superman film with Nicolas Cage. And his family is in the business, too: brother Tony has his own screenwriting career, and is director of films like Michael Clayton and Duplicity; brother John edited films such as Warrior and Pacific Rim; and his wife Renee Russo needs no introduction.

They all are part of Nightcrawler, in which Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a man who finds himself uniquely suited to compete in the world of independent cable news contractors. Gyllenhaal’s character Lou Bloom is taught the “if it bleeds it leads” axiom early on, and he runs with that concept. Renee Russo plays Nina, who buys Lou’s footage and helps shape his new career. Tony Gilroy produced, and John Gilroy edited.

I sat down with Dan Gilroy to talk about the film, and admitted that, as horrible as the guy can be, I’m somewhat envious of Lou’s pure drive to succeed. We talked about sociopaths, the liberation that comes from ditching a traditional character arc, and the beauty of Los Angeles at night.

Note: This interview is not spoilerish in a nuts and bolts sense — you won’t be given the plot. But we talk about the broad scope of the character and the concepts behind the film. So bookmark this one to return to after you’ve seen the film if you’d prefer to see Nightcrawler cold.  

nightcrawler-BTS-4

As a writer, do you start with the situation, or the character?

I normally start with the situation. In this case the situation was there, because I had uncovered this world, but I didn’t start writing it then. I stepped back from it, and over a period of time the character started to develop. And when the characters started to speak I realized the movie wasn’t about the world, it was more about the character. And so it became more of a character study than I usually do, which felt really great to do.

The script upends some technical “rules,” such as the notion that the main character should change.

There’s no character arc! When I started to write the character I realized, “this guy isn’t going to change.” Every film you’re commissioned to write is all about an arc; usually the arc is that the world creates a change in the character, usually for the better. To not have an arc, the messages and ideas in the film became more prominent. The character is plowing through boundaries, and keeps going. So the boundaries become very clear, the things he’s crossing. And the focus on it is the world bending morally to what he’s doing. At the end, allowing him to succeed at what he has done, and celebrating his success. Raising questions: what does it say about us that we allow something like this to happen? It opened a lot of doors that a traditional arc doesn’t.

What was the most important thing to communicate with this character?

I believe that people like Lou are increasingly rewarded for what they do. I feel that in today’s world you will often find people with some sociopathic tendencies who are succeeding on a corporate level. I feel that the world is increasingly about the bottom line, and not so much about human respect or human dignity. In that regard, people who care about other people will not be in a position to make choices and do things that other people who they’re competing against will get to do. And I feel that the world is increasingly reduced to transactions, and that the human spirit is shoved aside to the point that — well, Lou understands that the world is about the bottom line. And accepts it! He has no family, and no connection to anything. It allows him to thrive, and to fully embrace the uber-capitalist concept, the ultimate hyper-free market. Which I feel is increasingly the world that we live in.

He very rapidly transitions from labor to management.

He is uniquely suited to management because he SO believes in the system. He believes that our experience on this planet, as sentient human beings, can be reduced to a climb up a ladder. To the acquisition of a job title. People who reach upper management in corporations or business — not all the time, there are many hard-working people who deserve everything they get, probably far more than not — but there are people who, like Lou, embrace the idea that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get it done. And I think that suits people for management in a lot of ways.

I’m almost jealous of Lou, in that he so forcefully expects to get what he wants, and that it does all fall into place for him.

When I was writing Lou, I thought “wow, it’s almost a dream that you could go through the world, do what you want, and not worry about the consequences.” Ultimately it’s hell, because I believe when you don’t care about other people you’re living in utter hell.

But all the time that I invest in thinking about my relationships with other people, my relationship with my wife, my kids, people around me, people having problems, I worry about them, I can’t sleep at night. Lou has none of that! He is utterly unburdened. He wakes up every morning and it is just “what am I doing for me?” He doesn’t worry about anybody but him. And that is probably wish-fulfillment in some ways, for some people whose lives are consumed by worry and legitimate concern about people they love. Lou has none of that, and all the time that we invest in that, he invests in himself. I think it works much to his advantage.

I wonder about an endpoint, or a crash for Lou. I’ve found myself thinking a lot about whether he could become a Rupert Murdoch figure.

I believe he does. When I wrote it I did. I believe the people who get caught are the dumb ones. That the true sociopaths, the smart ones, you never see them. They live and die amongst us and you never know they’re true sociopaths. Because a sociopath is not just someone who doesn’t care about human emotion. They’re someone who understands people to the point that they can manipulate them to an extraordinary degree.

Lou is a wonderful manipulator.

He understands people the way a lion understands a gazelle. Everything about them. There’s nothing he doesn’t know about them. So, actually, I always thought it was ironic when Rick says “your problem is you don’t understand people.” Lou understands people to a degree that goes beyond anything Rick could imagine. On an animalistic level.

One line really stuck out for me: Lou telling Rick “get out of your head, it’s a bad neighborhood.” It sticks in part because I project it onto Lou as well.

Yeah, it is a bad neighborhood in Lou’s head.

That line seems so specific; does it come from a particular place?

It’s very funny you ask about that line! That line came from a friend of mine who’s a producer, a gentleman named Jon Peters (Superman Lives producer), and I worked with him a number of years ago. Jon used to say that sometimes. “Get out of your head, it’s a bad neighborhood!” And it always stuck with me. I loved the line, so I’ll credit Jon Peters with that line. And proudly so, I love the guy.

K72A2226.tif

I love that the process of making a film about an isolated sociopath was a total family endeavor.

I felt so supported to have a brother on either side — particularly one brother who started out as a writer and became a director. There was nothing I was experiencing that Tony [Gilroy, producer] couldn’t help me out with. And then my brother John is an amazing editor and I was working with him on the other side. So I feel supported on that side, they’re both extraordinarily talented. Then I had Renee [Russo], my wife, on set working. So it felt very comfortable to walk on set. I mean, there was still a lot of tension and stress. We’re working under…we didn’t have a lot of money and days were tight. But in the stress of it all it was nice to know that I was supported by people who I can trust. John was cutting as I went along, and he had an assembly [by the end] then we came in and worked on it afterward. We had a 16-week post. He was instrumental in crafting key, crucial sequences.

What was the most difficult scene to lock down?

There were two. One was when Nina was directing the story, telling the anchors to sell it harder. We had to cut and compress, and John compressed it in a way that was just amazing. And then the shootout and the chase, the way we crafted that and the way John put it together, the pacing of it and the angles we chose, I felt it showed a master hand on John’s part.

Was the script solid when Jake came on?

Script was written, Jake didn’t change a word. But Jake is my creative and collaborative partner in a lot of ways on this. I wanted to work with him, to bring his energy and creativity to the part. So we decided in our first meeting that we were going to rehearse. So we did that for months beforehand.

I would go up to his house and the rehearsal process was really one of exploring and trying, and not being afraid of something not working. Jake is fearless that way, Jake is utterly fearless and wanting to try. I think directors can only be so lucky to work with someone like Jake if you’re open to it. If you’re willing to collaborate and share, for lack of a better term, the power of directing with an actor in the sense of allowing them to explore and do things, try things and do different takes. Having those in the can so in post you can string together something that is unique. Jake blew me away. Even now when I watch his performance I always see something different that he was doing. He’s a supreme talent.

It seems like you’re in a wonderful position, working with him and Renee, to get something potentially very difficult — like the date sequence.

The date from hell! That came from a lot of rehearsal and finding layers to the scene, realizing that she was vulnerable, and Jake realizing different points. It was like a chess game. That’s how we approached it; we shot for like 12 hours on that scene.

nightcrawler-BTS-3

How do you direct a movie that is so heavily bound to characters in cars?

Cars are hard. A lot of that was working with Robert Elswit. We had a digital camera, the Alexa, and it’s just figuring out — you put these trays on either door, and you figure out how many cameras you’re going to have at any given time. You want to put a camera on the hood at times, but you don’t want to block the driver’s view. There are times Jake would be driving when the camera’s in front you have concerns; can he see or not? So the mechanics of figuring out what series you’re going to do shots in — basically saying ok, this angle first because there’s a right hand turn, or whatever, then just working out a shot list with Robert.

How often was Jake driving?

Jake was driving probably 75% of the time and he was getting towed (on a process trailer) probably 25%. We wanted Jake driving as much as possible because there’s a gravity to driving. And Jake is an excellent driver! Incredible driver. That thing at the end where he threads the car between a couple things, and does the pull, that’s Jake driving. He’s a superb driver, I don’t know if he took driving classes, because he’s really good at it.

I found myself excited that Nightcrawler proves the nighttime city picture has got some kick left to it. I’d like to know more about how you and Elswit set the tone of the night shoots.

We wanted to show LA in a way that it’s not traditionally shown. A lot of times LA is desaturated, and cement and freeways, and downtown. We wanted to capture more of the electricity of the place, the wilderness energy of it, the desert light that you can see forever.

So we did a lot of wide-angle, we were opening up the camera to capture as much light as possible, and really bringing in a lot of detail in the background. It was shooting in places that you don’t normally see, allowing neon signs to register, doing as much deep focus as possible, never really using shallow focus. We wanted your eye to go as far back into the frame as possible. And we wanted to shoot LA to make it look physically beautiful as much as possible, to be honest. I find it to be a physically beautiful place in a lot of ways, between the mountains and the hills and snow and ocean.

We had 80 locations in this movie, we shot all over LA. In 27 days, of which 24 were nights, in a row. We were on nights for weeks, it was a wild energy. LA at night is amazing, driving around LA at night there’s no traffic at all, ever. A lot of films go downtown. We didn’t go downtown; we never shot anything downtown because everyone does, and we wanted to show a different part. And Robert lives in Venice, we shot that scene just blocks from his house. He walked home that day, he loved it! But we would drive around for months before, we did a lot of that to find locations.

Nightcrawler Jake Gyllenhaal

For many people, awareness of this movie came out of the blue with that Craigslist promo. Whose idea was that?

It was Jake’s idea to shoot the elevator pitch speech different times while we were shooting the movie. So that was Jake’s idea, which I loved. We started just shooting that whenever we could, we shot like five versions of it. We cut it together, put the music to it, and Open Road’s marketing people very wisely found Craigslist as the place to launch it. So that was their idea, and I loved it. Great idea! Open Road I think is doing a terrific marketing job. It really opened the door for us in a lot of ways.

***

Nightcrawler is open in theaters today, October 31.

NIGHTCRAWLER is a pulse-pounding thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling — where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.

 

The post Interview: ‘Nightcrawler’ Director Dan Gilroy on Manipulation and Ditching the Character Arc appeared first on /Film.

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Posted by Germain Lussier

Magic City

When a TV series is canceled, that’s usually the end. It’s only on rare occasions (Arrested Development, The Comeback, etc.) that it gets a second chance as a series and it’s even more rare that a canceled show gets turned into a movie (Firefly being the big, obvious example). Now, the Starz show Magic City is getting that elusive chance.

Series creator Mitch Glazer has written and script and will direct a big screen version of the 1960s Miami based mob series. All the regulars will return - Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Danny Huston, Kelly Lynch etc. – and they’ll be joined by Bruce Willis and Bill Murray. This is pretty awesome news. Read more about the Magic City movie below.

Deadline broke the news of the Magic City movie, which will be up for grabs at the American Film Market next week. Here’s a quote from Bill Block of QED:

Mitch is a fantastic creative partner and we’re thrilled to collaborate with him again. We loved Magic City the series and know that with Mitch’s sensational script and this outstanding cast, it will translate beautifully to the big screen.

Glazer said this:

The chance to explore this wild time and place and this compelling family saga is a dream come true.

Here’s the description of the first season of the show (it ran two years from 2012-2013):

IKE EVANS is the king of 1959 Miami Beach and “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Ike is locked in a life and death struggle with his suddenly not-so-silent partner, mob boss Ben “The Butcher” Diamond. Ike realizes that everything bad, everything wrong in his life began when, in desperation, he took Ben Diamond’s money to build his dream hotel, The Miramar Playa. Ike, seeing there is no way he can live with, no way he can survive this mob cancer, vows to rid himself of the Butcher… or die trying. He will risk everything, freedom and family, to win back the Miramar Playa and in the process learn the truth in the proverb – what good is it for a man to gain the world but lose his soul?

I heard great, great things about the series when it was on but didn’t have Starz to check it out. I love the idea of this period mob type movie, especially with this cast, creative team, and level of familiarity. What do you think?

The post Canceled Starz Series ‘Magic City’ Becoming A Movie; Bruce Willis, Bill Murray Join Cast appeared first on /Film.

[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Dan Van Winkle

First Feather Flight (FF01) of SpaceShipTwo

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo spaceplane—designed for space tourism—has just crashed.

Virgin Galactic has been keeping everyone apprised of the situation via Twitter:

 

According to TechCrunch, at least two pilots were on the spacecraft when it went down, but there have been unverified reports suggesting parachutes were spotted, so we hope for the best.

WhiteKnightTwo, the vehicle that carries the spaceplane up to its cruising altitude, landed safely. We’ll know more when Virgin Galactic holds a press conference at 2PM PST and update this information.

Updates:

#1: From NBC News: “A source at the Kern County Sheriff’s Department told NBC News that two parachutes were deployed after the anomaly.”

#2:

#3: THR has received that information as well: “At 10:50 am SpaceShipTwo crashed in the Mojave desert, with one of the pilots confirmed dead and the other suffering ‘moderate to major’ injuries, Sgt. M. Singer, of the California Highway Patrol, told THR.”

(via TechCrunch, image via Virgin Galactic)

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