Watching the new trailer for "Wayward Pines," the new FOX 10-episode thriller from M. Night Shyamalan ("The Sixth Sense"), I couldn't shake a feeling of deja vu. No, not visions of dead people, but elements that seemed to be ripped from (oh, wait, an homage to) other sources. On the one hand, this could be seen as a salute to a short-lived by deeply influential 1990 cultural touchstone ("Twin Peaks") or a beloved scifi series ("The X-Files") or a serious take on a hit comedy ("The Truman Show"). Or, if you're not a fan of Shyamalan, you could see this as a desperate grab for the good ideas of other people. You be the judge!
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Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up, the Competition's only African entry: Abderrahmane Sissako's "Timbuktu."
Watch Fox’s new show trailers
Fox has officially released the trailers for “Gotham,” “Empire,” Rainn Wilson in “Backstrom,” reality show “Utopia,” “Waywad Pines,” “Hieroglyph,” “Mulaney” and check out David Tennant's American accent on “Gracepoint."
“Penny Dreadful” debuts to 1.4 million
The Showtime series’ premiere topped the launches of “Masters of Sex” and “Homeland.”
Fox boss: “We're eventizing our entertainment slate”
With “American Idol” falling, Fox’s new goal is to give viewers an “urgency to view.” PLUS: Fox’s Upfronts promotes “Sober Companion,” even though the Justin Long comedy has yet to be picked up.
Jon Stewart’s movie will premiere in the U.S. this fall
"Rosewater,” the film Stewart took a leave of absence for last summer, has landed a U.S. distribution deal.
Clay Aiken’s Democratic Congressional primary opponent dies
It looks like the former “Idol” has won the Democratic primary for a North Carolina Congressional seat after his opponent, 71-year-old Keith Crisco, died in a fall this afternoon. Aiken's race vs. Crisco had been too close to call, with Aiken leading by 369 votes.
“Once Upon a Time” boss: “We’re dealing with the world of ‘Frozen’”
“That was Elsa,” exec producer Adam Horowitz says, adding: "We are honored to be allowed to do it. We loved the movie. We fell in love with it when it came out last year like everyone did, and we want to do our best to do it justice.” PLUS: Producers were surprised the big reveal was a surprise.
NBC banking on “The Blacklist” and its late-night dominance
At this morning’s upfronts, NBC said it is counting on the James Spader drama to help rebuild its Thursday lineup. PLUS: Rating NBC’s new show trailers.
“Mad Men” could be taken down by history
SC&P doesn’t look so good, based on historical events. PLUS: What that nipple crisis really means, and Megan is now the most compelling character on “Mad Men."
Michael J. Fox: "If you want to hide from the FBI, go on NBC on Thursday nights”
Fox made the crack about his failed NBC sitcom this morning on “The View.”
Jimmy Fallon tonight presents late-night’s 1st vinyl-pressing
Fallon tweets: "Making history tonight - Neil Young is going to perform and press a vinyl with the help of Jack White live on the show. One take. Fun.”
“Orange is the New Black” releases posters of its characters in action
Check out moving images of Nicky and Sophia.
Tonight’s David Boreanaz-directed “Bones” season finale is “literally explosive,” like “24"
So says John Francis Daley: “The way David directed it was with a focus on people being very intense because we’re dealing with some heavy stuff. So it was fun to play it as the stakes were higher than ever. It was almost like filming an episode of 24 in that sense. Every scene is high-stakes.”
Megan Boone promises “a very epic finale” for “The Blacklist”
"You will get a lot of answers,” she says. "It’s a very, very involved episode. We reach a lot of conclusions, and just as we’ve been doing throughout the series, we open new questions."
Are music shows dying?
“American Idol” is “now your grandmother’s ‘Idol’” as music competition shows, with the exception of “The Voice,” are beginning to fade.
Well, they have certainly done that.
In fact, listening to the album through speakers feels like you’re doing it a disservice and missing lovingly crafted details. “Turn Blue” is an album that is meant to be heard in its entirety with your full attention as the music pans from left to right and flows from your ears into your brain. It is not background music. In fact, we’d suggest to get the full effect, sink into a bean bag chair and a lava lamp.
The album gets off to a trippy start with the nearly seven-minute fuzzy opus,“Weight Of Love.” But that only hints at what’s to come. On “Turn Blue,” a punchy guitar line morphs into a sonic wave that threatens to blow your mind via headphones, and if “Weight of Love” recalls Pink Floyd, wait until you get to “Bullet in the Brain.” It practically demands to be listened to alongside “Comfortably Numb.”
First single, “Fever,” is one of the most straight ahead rock tracks on the album, but even it has the Black Keys’ usual little tics that make it sound unlike anything else on the radio. Plus, it includes the most delightful use of a farfisa organ since ? Mark & The Mysterians’ “96 Tears,” before it seemingly shifts into a different song.
Lyrically, the album deals primarily with romantic disillusionment and betrayal, such as on “Bullet In The Brain,” when Auerbach sings “I let you use my gifts to back those lying lips.”
Auerbach has turned into such an accomplished producer —in the last two years alone, he’s worked with Ray LaMontagne, Lana Del Rey, Dr. John, and Michael Kiwanuka —but here the band gets an able assist from Danger Mouse, who ups the psychedelic factor.
Part of The Black Keys appeal has always been Carney’s drumming, which is more upfront in the mix than many other drummers, but never overwhelms the song. On the hypnotic “It’s Up To You Now,” percussion takes the lead, setting the tone as the song shifts tempos from frenetic to druggy, but never veers from the ‘70s rock that influenced it.
In fact, the album seldom leaves the ‘70s thematically, even if it does change styles. On “Waiting On Words,” even though the song is produced like a rock track, Auerbach delivers a soulful vocal that recalls Smokey Robinson filtered through a tremolo guitar.
The Black Keys haven’t abandoned the funk that got them so far on their last album, 2011’s “El Camino,” but it gets slightly muted here on songs like the swaying “10 Lovers.”
Auerbach and Carney deserve credit for staying so true to the ‘70s premise, but it doesn’t necessarily wear well. By the time track 10, “In Our Prime,” rolls around and Auerbach goes into a wonky guitar solo, it’s the tiniest bit tedious, but then the band comes back and closes with “Gotta Get Away,” a straight-ahead rocker that is so poppy it practically pops out of the speakers and starts dancing on the floor by itself. It doesn’t have the usual heft of a Black Keys’ tune but that’s part of its appeal. It’s lightweight and frothy and utterly delectable. Maybe that could be the starting point for album number nine.
A week ago at this time, I was on the set of FOX's "Gracepoint" on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Over two days, I talked to all of the show's stars, including David Tennant, Anna Gunn, Michael Peña and Kevin Rankin, who told me that he wouldn't want to play a British version of Herc in a British "Friday Night Lights." [No, a British "Friday Night Lights" doesn't exist, silly. We were just discussing the very interesting thing Tennant is doing in "Gracepoint," essentially reprising his "Broadchurch" role, only with a different name and a different accent. And yes, I've heard his American accent for the show. And no, he didn't use the accent in his interviews.]
At the time, "Gracepoint" was shooting its ninth episode and, to an actor, they all claimed that they didn't know who the killer was, but that it was allegedly different from the killer in "Broadchurch," a claim that FOX executives repeated this morning in announcing that the 10-episode "Gracepoint" will air on Thursdays at 9 p.m. this fall.
Netflix is holding fans of "Orange Is the New Black" in solitary (figuratively speaking) until Fri. June 6, when the show returns for its second season. To tempt us, the network has released posters of some of our favorite characters (Alex, Lorna, Nicky and Sophia) as well as a brief interview with Uzo "Crazy Eyes" Aduba, who simply sees her character as "passionate." Well, that's one way of putting it.
We can all be heroes of our own lives, according to Janelle Monae’s new video for “Heroes.”
Letterman jokes on “The View”: "Now I feel like I made a mistake”
David Letterman also responded to Bill O’Reilly’s concerns that Stephen Colbert couldn’t do his job. "Take a good look at me. I've done this show for 30 years," Letterman said. "If I can do it, I'm pretty sure Stephen Colbert can do it."
“The Blacklist’s” post-Super Bowl episode will be a 2-parter
NBC is taking a page out of the “Grey’s Anatomy” playbook. “Grey’s” got huge ratings by splitting its post-Super Bowl episode into two parts.
Fox is “going back to our roots” in its decision to end the all-animated Sunday block
Speaking about “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Mulaney’s” addition to the Sunday block, Fox Entertainment boss Kevin Reilly pointed to past live-action Fox shows that aired on Sunday, from “Married with Children” to “Malcolm in the Middle.”
NBC’s new schedule looks boring now that it’s no longer in freefall
"Calling NBC’s new schedule ‘boring' might sound like a burn,” says Josef Adalian, "but it’s actually just the opposite: Winning networks tend to be dull networks, and right now, the Peacock is totally winning.”
Jay Leno addresses his college alma mater’s graduates: “I always read bad reviews"
“You will learn more from your critics than you will ever learn from your friends,” Leno told graduates of Emerson College, where he graduated in 1973.
Michael Rosenbaum dropped from NBC’s “Mission Control”
The “Smallville” alum's role as "a handsome, jockish, stubborn and loudly likeable NASA astronaut” is being recast.
Weather Channel apologizes for snarky “bullying” tweet to a Ft. Worth City Councilman
Councilmember Joel Burns, who was part of the “It Gets Better” campaign, was told by The Weather Channel: “Sorry to see you go. Good luck on ending bullying.”
Why does “SNL” keep cutting its best sketches and putting them online?
It’s become a trend to see the most interesting sketches end up on the web Sunday as an “extra” from dress rehearsal.
“Parks and Rec’s” Perd Hapley talks about playing a fake newscaster, including last night on “Revenge”
Turns out actor Jay Jackson is a former news anchor himself. In fact, he was part of an Emmy-winning newscast. Besides playing a newscaster, Jackson is pursuing his "real passion” as a jazz singer. But he also has a company that helps TV news reporters make their demo reels.
Sherri Shepherd didn’t talk about her separation on “The View”
A source tells People that she didn’t want to take away from Barbara Walters’ final shows.
There is talk of “Sherlock” filming Season 4 next year
“It will not be this year – but 2015 is very much the hope and expectation,” a source tells Radio Times. If it happens, “Sherlock” would likely air on PBS in early 2016.
Disney Jr.’s “Lucky Duck” to star “Ed’s” Tom Cavanaugh and “Smash’s” Megan Hilty
They’ll voice the characters in the rubber ducky movie.
This was “Mad Men’s” craziest episode yet
Does the character of Ginsberg have a connection to beat poet Allen Ginsberg? PLUS: Ben Feldman took home a souvenir from last night’s episode, “Mad Men” is returning to normal, this was the show’s most incoherent yet, and that scene felt sterile, manic, and oh-so-very creepy.
NBC’s “Constantine” trailer looks nothing like the movie, and that’s a good thing
The 2005 Keanu Reeves film was a disaster.
Ricky Gervais live-tweeted a night out with Russell Crowe
When Gervais posted a photo of them together, Crowe quipped: “see . . . that photo right there . . . the difference between TV and Cinema.”
“The Bachelorette’s” Andi Dorfman photoshopped without a shoulder in ABC promo
Also, her hands have been replaced. PLUS: “Bachelor” alum Kacie Boguskie weds.
Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up, one of the clear (or not-so-clear) wild cards of the lineup: Alice Rohrwacher's "The Wonders."
So the phone rings, and I answer it, and it's Mel Brooks.
That's an actual thing that happened. That's now something I can say. And even better, the 40 minute conversation that followed me answering the phone is one of my favorites in recent memory. How often do you get to talk to a comedy legend about one of the pinnacle moments of not only their career, but of film comedy in general?
I was told I'd have about 15 minutes originally. Time was tight. And if you get offered 15 minutes to talk to Mel Brooks about "Blazing Saddles," you take it, right? We ended up having a really fun back and forth about that film, about films he's produced, about his partnership with Gene Wilder, and about the ways Hollywood failed the great Richard Pryor. The only reason we wrapped it up is because we had to, and it would have been easy to talk to him for twice as long.
What I enjoyed most is that from the moment I picked up the phone, I felt like he was willing to play. I managed to get out, "Hello, Mr. Brooks. How are you this afternoon?" before he was off and running.
"Okay, Drew, you're on."
"You're on. You are on. Describe your network. Describe it."
"My online home is HitFix. It is a website where we cover film, television, music… it's a broad entertainment site."
"It's a website? Is it popular?"