There has already been a lot written about race in these initial stages of the Oscar season, and there will be plenty more to come -- even if early projections of an 80% black Best Actor field seem increasingly unlikely to pan out. Kia Makarechi writes that he's glad the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan, Idris Elba and Forest Whitaker are in the awards conversation, but believes the supposed diversity of this year's race is merely an illusion: "These roles have to be played by black actors ... we'll know when Hollywood casting directors and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences view people of color as deserving of equal opportunities to shine when a black man in the role of a fictional caring father, son, teacher, student, doctor, author or otherwise non-racially coded character is nominated for and wins Best Actor." [Huffington Post]
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Not that this has been a great overall fall for new series, but pretty much every rookie of note — from the genuinely good ("Masters of Sex") to the uneven but promising ("Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD") to the mediocre shows that do one thing very well ("The Blacklist") — have already debuted over the last couple of weeks. What's left over for this week are the runts of this unimpressive litter, none worthy of a full-length review, but which we can discuss briefly before they debut:
Okay, so I finally figured it out. "Simon Kinberg" isn't actually a single person. It's a collective of people who are able to crank out massive amounts of work at any given moment. He's part of the team of writers working on "Star Wars," he's a jack-of-all-trades on "X-Men: Days Of Future Past," he just had "Elysium" in theaters, and now he's also writing "Fantastic Four" while he produces Mark Millar's "Kindergarten Heroes."
Is that correct?
Is that seriously what is happening?
Holy cow, see what I mean? No way one guy's doing all of that at the same time.
Hey, boys and girls, it's time for another movie marketing lesson from your friends at HitFix.
What do you do when you have a film that mostly appeals to men, but you want to make sure you get the attention of younger women? It's really important those women go with their boyfriends on Friday and Saturday night, because that means their boyfriends will definitely go. Well, when your cast is limited to just two, cough, older, cough, actors, there isn't much you can do. Sure, rave reviews (97% on Rotten Tomatoes, 8 100 grades so far on Metacritic) and amazing footage are selling it pretty damn well, but it's opening week. The pressure is on! Someone in the studio is no doubt saying, "How can we liven things up a bit down the homestretch? I mean, yeah, the movie stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, but how do we make some noise on, y'know, those gossip sites (Sandra can't do this on her own!)?"*
Well, that’s certainly an interesting product placement: a woman uses a Beats Pill as a ball gag. Yes, with approximately 29,895 or so shots of Britney Spears in her new video for “Work Bitch,” the image of an extra is the one that I took away. In part because it’s one of the more creative, if not repellant, ways I’ve seen a blatant product placement in a video and, quite frankly, it’s the most interesting thing in the video.
Last week, Alan Sepinwall wrote about the premiere episode of Marvel's first foray into weekly television, but tonight, he passes the torch to me. I'm going to be writing the recaps for the series each week here on HitFix, and I'm curious to see if this becomes can't-miss television for me the way previous Whedon shows have been.
The pilot episode probably had more expectations placed on it than any other TV show in recent memory, at least from the fans who you would expect to be the target audience. I'm not sure exactly what anyone else expected from a Marvel TV show, but looking at the first episode, it's about what I thought it would be. The stories have to be smaller scale than the things we've seen in the movies so far, and it's a procedural, so they need to try to create self-contained plots that drive the show while they parcel out bits and pieces of information for the larger mythology.
I liked the gadgetry in the first episode, and I think the cast is solid. Brett Dalton's got the sort of character to play that is going to be hard to make interesting, only because someone has to be the straight man while everyone else gets to be quirky or eccentric. I'm curious to see how they fill in the backstory for Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), and I already enjoy the chemistry for Fitz/Simmons (Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge).
Everything that happens in this week's "Sons of Anarchy" could've been condensed into a pretty solid hour of TV. So why did "Wolfsangel" have to be yet another unnecessarily bloated 90 minute episode?
It's evening round-up time, with quick reviews of tonight's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" coming up just as soon as I pump my fists too hard at a Weird Al concert...
If we've said it once we've said it a hundred times: the Best Actor Oscar race is crowded this year. And that's really putting it lightly. The amount of contenders that would be shoo-ins in any other year is unfortunate, really, because someone is going to come up with the short straw, and it won't be pretty.
Kevin James making a sitcom comeback
The former "King of Queens" star has signed on a 10/90 Charlie Sheen-type sitcom deal that would have him star in a sitcom for 10 episodes. And if a ratings threshold is met, 90 more episodes will be automatically picked up.
NBC cancels "Camp"
The Rachel Griffiths summer drama won't be back for a 2nd season.
'X Factor' judges Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato tease Four-Chair Challenge, One Direction visit and more
"Family friendly" and "Mark Millar" are not normally used in the same sentence.
Even so, it appears that 20th Century Fox is planning to give it a shot with "Kindergarten Heroes," a new movie that Carter Blanchard just signed on to write with Simon Kinberg producing. The book does not appear to actually exist yet, and the only artwork I could find for it online is what looks like the front of a book, but I can't find any listing anywhere that would indicate that you actually buy that book.
Selling unpublished material before it hits the stand is nothing new for Millar. I thought it was very interesting when I was on the set of "Kick-Ass" and some of the issues existed only as rough artwork and some story notes. Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman's script actually fed back into the way Millar was thinking, and that cross-traffic is one of the things that made that so much fun for all involved.
As a producer, Kinberg is a busy man these days. He's one of the guys in the mix for the new wave of "Star Wars" films that will kick off with "Episode VII," presumably arriving in theaters in December of 2015. He just produced "Elysium," and he's right there in the midst of things for "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" as well.