Friday, September 25, 2020

Trailer Roundup: World of Calm, Books of Blood, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Helstrom, American Utopia, The Queen's Gambit, Big Sky, WandaVision and more!

September 24


Welcome to the world’s most adorable dog grooming show! Each episode of Haute Dog features three groomers facing off in head-to-tail creative contests for the title of “Best in Show” and a $10,000 prize. With hilarious commentary from two fabulous judges, celebrity dog stylist Jess Rona and actor/comedian Robin Thede, along with comedian Matt Rogers as host, Haute Dog showcases canine breeds of all kinds in a dazzling array of creative trans-fur-mations!

September 28


The right to vote is at the foundation of America's democracy. But not every vote is created equal. How does the system work, and can it be fixed?

October 1


Based on true events, THE SALISBURY POISONINGS premieres this October 1st only on AMC+.

Each episode of a World of Calm is designed to transform your feelings through enchanting music, scientifically engineered narratives, and astounding footage. Join the immersive visual journey to naturally calm the body and soothe the mid. Narrated by Mahershala Ali, Idris Elba, Oscar Isaac, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Lucy Liu, Cillian Murphy, Keanu Reeves, and Kate Winslet. Coming soon to HBO Max.

October 6


10 years ago, 16 & Pregnant changed the conversation forever. With new stories and new bumps in the road – the story of motherhood begins again Tuesday, October 6th on MTV.

October 7


All stories end here. Books Of Blood premieres on October 7 only on Hulu.

October 9


Are you ready for some fresh stories? The stars are back on the red couch for an all-new season of The Graham Norton Show, premiering Friday, October 9 at 11/10c.

From the producers of The Haunting of Hill House comes a new ghost story. The Haunting of Bly Manor arrives October 9th, only on Netflix. The Haunting of Bly Manor stars Victoria Pedretti, Henry Thomas, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, T'Nia Miller, Rahul Kohli, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Amelie Smith and Amelia Eve.

The next chapter awaits. Unlock the magic with a new season of the Emmy Award Winner Ghostwriter, available October 9 exclusively on Apple TV+.

October 15


A retired detective sets out on a dangerous and potentially felonious crusade when a serial killer begins tormenting him through a series of letters and emails. Mr. Mercedes is streaming on Peacock October 15th.

Freedia Got A Gun streaming on Peacock October 15th. Freedia Got A Gun dives into this country’s centuries-long struggle with gun violence and its ties back to race and toxic masculinity. Devastated after learning her brother Adam was murdered, New Orleans bounce legend Big Freedia uses her platform to raise awareness about the complexities of gun violence. As Freedia shares her personal journey from growing up gay in the projects through Hurricane Katrina and chasing her musical dreams, she delves deep into the first-hand experiences she and the community have had with gun violence, seeking to uncover the causes behind it.

October 16


Every Family Has Its Demons. All episodes premiere October 16, 2020, only on Hulu.

Directed by John Maggio, the film explores the rise of cyber conflict as a primary way in which nations now compete with and sabotage one another. Cheap, invisible and devastatingly effective, cyber weapons are the present and future of geopolitical conflict – a short-of-war pathway to exercising power. THE PERFECT WEAPON, A compelling overview of worldwide cyber conflict, debuts October 16.

October 17


David Byrne’s American Utopia brings the critically acclaimed Broadway show to HBO in a one-of-a-kind film directed by Oscar and Emmy-winner Spike Lee. Recorded during its run at Broadway’s Hudson Theatre in New York City, David Byrne is joined by an ensemble of 11 musicians, singers, and dancers from around the globe, inviting audiences into a joyous dreamworld where human connection, self-evolution, and social justice are paramount. Stream David Byrne's American Utopia Saturday, October 17 on HBO Max.

October 23


When winning takes everything, what are you left with? The Queen’s Gambit follows a young chess prodigy’s rise from an orphanage to the world stage. But genius comes with a cost. A riveting adaptation of Walter Tevis’ groundbreaking novel comes to Netflix on October 23rd, starring Anya Taylor-Joy.

October 29


Executive produced by five-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker Richard Linklater and two-time Academy Award winner Bill Guttentag, THAT ANIMAL RESCUE SHOW follows the animal rescue community in and around Austin, Texas, where Linklater lives. The 10-episode docuseries provides a window into this captivating world through moving, humorous and powerful stories of animals, the humans who love them, and the inspiring, life-changing bond that occurs between people who have dedicated their lives to rescue and the animals who rescue them right back.

October 30


Citizen Bio follows the stories of four of America’s most notorious biohackers and their relationships with Aaron Traywick, a self-proclaimed biohacker whose life took a tragic turn when he was mysteriously found dead at a meditation spa at the age of 28. Watch the premiere on SHOWTIME on Friday, October 30 at 9/8c.

Truth Seekers is a supernatural comedy drama series featuring Nick Frost, Samson Kayo, Simon Pegg, and Emma D'Arcy. A group of part-time paranormal investigators team up to uncover a deadly conspiracy.

November 17


From visionary storyteller David E. Kelley comes Big Sky, a thriller created by Kelley, who will write multiple episodes and serve as showrunner in its premiere season. Private detectives Cassie Dewell and Cody Hoyt join forces with his estranged wife and ex-cop, Jenny Hoyt, to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. But when they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, they must race against the clock to stop the killer before another woman is taken. The new drama premieres Tuesday, November 17 on ABC.

November 20


“If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.” - Jamaican proverb. Small Axe is a collection of five films inspired by real-life events about ordinary people showing courage, belief, and resilience to overcome injustice and achieve something transformative in their West Indian community. The television debut by Academy Award winning director Steve McQueen. Premiering on BBC One and coming to Prime Video in the US on 11/20.

This November…RUN. Starring Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen. RUN premieres November 20, only on hulu.

November 23


One night. A three-part event. Come to a place where time doesn’t exist. Black Narcissus premieres 11/23 on FX. Next day FX on Hulu.

Coming Soon


Welcome to WandaVision. Coming soon to Disney+. Marvel Studios' captivating new series WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, and marks the first series from Marvel Studios streaming exclusively on Disney+. The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Dancing With the Stars S29E02: First Elimination

DWTS has its first drama of the season during Week Two
by Kim Krober

With the first elimination of the season lurking just around the corner, the celebrities and their pro partners were justifiably starting to feel the pressure. Drama unfolded as it was revealed The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe sustained an ankle injury before the show went live and producers were unsure if she would dance (she inevitably did, but it was drawn out to the surprise of no one). Carole Baskin's blubbering was understandable due to the controversy surrounding the commercial that aired during last week's premiere. Derek and Bruno looked pretty in pink, but Tyra failed to impress me again in a hideous sparkly black-and-gold ensemble. However, my interest was piqued when Tyra let it slip that next week is Disney Night. I can't wait to see everyone's costumes!

Let's take a look at how your favorites did on this second week of competition:

Nev Schulman & Jenna Johnson, Cha-Cha

I admire that Nev was able to turn the most embarrassing experience in his life into something rewarding. Equally rewarding was his colorful, dynamite-fueled Cha-Cha. Derek called it a solid performance to open the show. Bruno teased him about his lack of manscaping but admired his nimble footwork and mind-boggling gyrations. Carrie Ann commended him for the placement of his hands and arms. Tyra made things awkward when she said if it wasn't for social distancing guidelines, she'd be touching his manscaping.

Score: 21


Skai Jackson & Alan Bersten, Samba

Skai channeled her inner strength and outer beauty with a Samba set to Ne-Yo's "Miss Independent". What started out smoothly ended up with several missteps. Bruno told her she's precise with plenty of talent and to pluck up her spirits for next week. Carrie Ann admired her confidence but cautioned her about being too "salutish" with her arms. Derek said a setback only sets you up for a comeback. Hopefully, Skai comes back even stronger next week.

Score: 15



Johnny Weir & Britt Stewart, Tango

A Johnny Tango set to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" was not quite as perfect as it sounds, although I loved their costumes and his intensity. Carrie Ann praised him for being so into the dance, but she noted his footwork isn't as polished as it could be. Derek loves Johnny Gaga but cautioned him about his frame. Bruno said he needs to get more staccato in his dance.

Score: 18



Justina Machado & Sasha Farber, Foxtrot

Justina continued to impress with her stunning Foxtrot set to The Prince of Egypt's "When You Believe." Derek gushed about her natural beauty and fluid movements. Bruno admired her honest quality, saying she dances from the heart and embraces everybody watching. Carrie Ann complimented her for transporting her to a happy place and Sasha for such great choreography. I was a little surprised she ended up with three 7's after so much praise.

Score: 21



Monica Aldama & Val Chmerkovskiy, Jive

The Jive is a tough dance because of the amount of energy required, but Monica was in good form with a swinging bubble gum Jive set to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off." Bruno said her cheerleading qualities benefited her this week but noted the timing wasn't quite right. Carrie Ann loved seeing her more relaxed but pointed out a lift that subtracted a point from her score. Derek said he enjoyed it, calling it playful and bubbly. With two 5's and a 6, the judges certainly can't be accused of giving out high scores too early this season.

Score: 16



AJ McLean & Cheryl Burke, Foxtrot

I know I threw a little N*SYNC shade at AJ last week, but he is one of the stronger competitors this season. I liked his sultry Foxtrot to Dean Martin's "Ain't That a Kick in the Head." He looked very debonair in his ultra-shiny suit. Carrie Ann said he was smooth as silk, while Derek called him a showman bringing so much joy to the stage. Bruno said the Rat Pack would be proud of AJ's pizzazz, although he thought parts of it were a bit choppy.

Score: 19



Anne Heche & Keo Motsepe, Foxtrot

Anne made me laugh when she talked about not embarrassing her kids live on TV. She may be more than a little odd, but her Foxtrot to OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" was an admirable effort for week two. Derek enjoys the relationship between Anne and Keo but thought the energy up top didn't quite translate to her legs. Bruno was swept away by their connection and content. Carrie Ann loved the trust in Anne's eyes, saying she sees true performance growth.

Score: 18



Nelly & Daniella Karagach, Cha-Cha

Nelly is 45!? I guess that makes sense, but it makes me feel old. He didn't look it as he Cha-Chaed to Earth, Wind & Fire's "Let's Groove." Bruno complimented his natural musicality, although he said he needed to articulate the Cuban motion through his feet better. Carrie Ann could tell he practiced his routine a lot, but she noted he needs to drop his shoulders more. Derek admired his impeccable timing and attention to detail. I loved that he had custom dance shoes made to look like sneakers after the judge's comments about his footwear last week.

Score: 18



Chrishell Stause & Gleb Savchenko, Rumba

Chrishell admitted to America that she still has some work to do, but was it enough to keep her around a third week? I absolutely love The Greatest Showman soundtrack, so I enjoyed the song choice of "This Is Me." It was a well-timed Rumba to capture her raw spirit and energy on the ballroom floor. Carrie Ann and Derek commended her for dancing from her heart with passion. Bruno called her a bombshell, saying she had beautiful lines and shapes. I think she had the biggest comeback of the night.

Score: 18



Charles Oakley & Emma Slater, Cha-Cha

Charles seemed to be more in his element with a soulful Cha-Cha set to Luther Vandross' "Shine" this week. Derek called his jacket fire, saying it was a huge improvement. Bruno thanked him for bringing the chili this week. Carrie Ann told him to watch his focus and perform like he's dancing for everyone in the audience individually. He went from a trio of 4's to 5's, but was it enough improvement to keep him in this competition?

Score: 15



Jesse Metcalfe & Sharna Burgess, Foxtrot

Dancing an ethereal Foxtrot to Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams," Jesse and Sharna remain one of my favorite couples to watch on the dance floor. That sparkly moon and starry backdrop were stunning. Bruno called him Mr. Dreamy, but told him to watch his posture, bum, and footwork. Carrie Ann said it was smooth and elegant, while Derek just told him good job (joking about being cut off with his critiques nearly every time throughout the night, which did get annoying).

Score: 20



Jeannie Mai & Brandon Armstrong, Cha-Cha

I don't know why Jeannie's mother was so harsh about her premiere performance, as I thought she was one of the standouts. Her second-week Cha-Cha sizzled. Carrie Ann and Derek both enjoy her charisma, energy, and wildness. Bruno loves that she's starting to play with her partner, admiring how they work off one another so well.

Score: 18



Carole Baskin & Pasha Pashkov, Viennese Waltz

Carole opened up about the negative media attention stemming from the Tiger King documentary, saying how much it has affected her relationship with her daughter. I maybe could've taken her Viennese Waltz more seriously if it wasn't set to Tom Jones' "What's New Pussycat?" I know that's a producer's decision and not Carole's, but it further perpetuates the spectacle pageantry feel, especially with that over-the-top rose-studded, cat portrait backdrop and  their glitzy gold costumes befitting of crazy cat lady royalty. Derek noted it was a big improvement from last week, saying he was impressed. Bruno said her performance was shining, while Carrie Ann said it suited her purr-fectly. It was definitely a better effort than week one, and her scores reflected her perseverance.

Score: 16



Vernon Davis & Peta Murgatroyd, Paso Doble

Vernon's Paso Doble to Rhianna's "We Found Love" was anything but hopeless, although maybe it wasn't perfect. Bruno loved his power, determination, and strength but warned him about working on the shaping. Derek admired the stoic approach, while Carrie Ann told him to tap into a bigger performance quality.

Score: 18



Kaitlyn Bristowe & Artem Chigvintsev, Foxtrot

It's always hard to gauge how bad an injury is from home, but Kaitlyn seemed okay during her Foxtrot to Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance." Seriously good pain meds, strong determination, or someone wanting a sympathy vote? Hard to say. Carrie Ann called it an elegant performance. Derek loved to see her reclaiming the dancer from within, saying it was effortless and beautiful. Bruno complimented her on the classical ballerina feel and for being able to fill the space. Injured or not, she topped the leader board this week.

Score: 22



I was a little confused about how voting works this season. Apparently, it's open during the live show and ends just before the last commercial break (I didn't get to vote because I didn't realize this beforehand, and if you're on the West Coast, you're still out of luck getting your voice heard). The first elimination of the season revealed Carole & Pasha and Charles & Emma were in jeopardy. It was then up to the judges to determine which couple would be going home. Carrie Ann voted to save Carole, while Bruno voted to save Charles. It came down to Derek to quickly break the tie, and he also voted to save Carole. I was sad to see Charles and Emma go home, but I think the right decision was made based on their combined performances from both weeks. How did your favorites fare this week?

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8:00 PM on ABC.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Box Office Report :: September 18•20


There has not been a lot of action at the box office aside from more new releases shifting dates later into this year and into next year but before we get to this week's report, let's catch up and look at the past two weekends' grosses.

Below are the Top Ten grosses for the weekend of September 4-6.

  1. [N] Tenet - $20,200,000 [NEW]
  2. [1] The New Mutants - $3,037,702 [$11,790,329]
  3. [2] Unhinged - $1,808,429 [$11,439,637]
  4. [3] Bill & Ted Face the Music - $773,108 [$2,267,572]
  5. [6] The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run - $345,000 [$3,314,145]
  6. [4] The Personal History of David Copperfield - $327,438 [$990,911]
  7. [5] Words on Bathroom Walls - $275,642 [$1,535,180]
  8. [8] The Eight Hundred - $61,957 [$250,215]
  9. [9] Peninsula - $59,867 [$850,967]
  10. [7] Cut Throat City - $56,395 [$618,347]
Source: Box Office Mojo

Below are the Top Ten grosses for the weekend of September 11-13.

  1. [1] Tenet - $6,700,000 [$29,500,000]
  2. [2] The New Mutants - $2,089,204 [$15,329,572]
  3. [3] Unhinged - $1,516,422 [$13,842,978]
  4. [N] The Broken Hearts Gallery - $1,126,401 [NEW]
  5. [4] Bill & Ted Face the Music - $292,653 [$2,748,235]
  6. [7] Words on Bathroom Walls - $230,951 [$1,942,487]
  7. [5] The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run - $225,829 [$3,964,145]
  8. [6] The Personal History of David Copperfield - $194,528 [$1,405,572]
  9. [9] Peninsula - $52,110 [$943,460]
  10. [10] Cut Throat City - $41,029 [$695,812]

Source: Box Office Mojo

Warner Bros. Pictures was certainly hoping that Tenet was going to be the film that got people back into theaters ... except theaters in major cities like New York and Los Angeles were not open yet, and other studios have been cautiously keeping an eye on the situation and then moving their releases to later in the year. WB and theaters owners were really counting on Mulan to help deliver a one-two punch at the box office, but with the move to streaming in the US and other countries where theaters are still not operating a full capacity, Tenet has floundered in the States (although it has flourished in international markets where people didn't object to wearing masks and staying home for their health). The next big movie to come along was supposed to be Wonder Woman 1984, but the performance of Tenet forced Warner to move that to Christmas, leaving October with one major release, Death on the Nile -- if 20th Century Studios/Disney sticks with the date. November will be the next big month but even that is iffy if rumors of Disney pushing Black Widow to a later date -- or to Disney+ Premium Access like Mulan -- come to pass. After that it's the 25th Bond film No Time to Die if Universal sticks to its November 20 release. Also scheduled for release the same day is Pixar's Soul, but there are rumblings that it may now go directly to Disney+ without the premium price attached to it as they did with Artemis Fowl, Hamilton and Onward. So it's really difficult at this point in time to even guess what may be coming down the pike.

As it stands now, after its third week of release in the US, Tenet took a 30% hit from last weekend, earning just $4.7 million (estimated, as Warner has not provided actual totals for the film the past two weeks) which gives it a cumulative total of $36.1 million. The one thing Tenet's performance seems to indicate is that a vast majority of Americans are just not ready to sit in a box of recirculated air with a bunch of strangers. Overseas, the film is going strong in 52 markets, topping out at $5.6 million in China. The film bowed at Number 1 in Japan with $4.3 million. The cumulative international total stands at $203 million, with a global tally of $239.1 million against a $205 million budget. 

Taking second once again is The New Mutants in its fourth week, seeing just a 13% decrease and earning $1.82 million, bringing its domestic total to $17.74 million. Overseas the film has earned a total of $17.3 million, giving it a global total of just over $35 million against a budget anywhere between $65 and $80 million. Unhinged saw its fortunes drop by 15.5%, moving down one spot to Number 4 with $1.28 million for a six week domestic total of $15.69 million.

Sony may be rethinking its decision to release the decidedly low key rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery theatrically. Even with a modest budget of $8 million, it seems the film's target audience would have been more receptive to the film had it been released theatrically during the summer months, which was not possible so going to PVOD would have been the better option. The film opened at Number 4 last week and this week it slipped by 29% to Number 5 with $802,322, giving it a domestic two week total of $2.40 million. Internationally, the film has earned a total of $212,980, for a worldwide total of $2.62 million.

There were some new releases this weekend but nothing from any of the major studios. Two of them even managed to crack the Top 10. At Number 3, Infidel made its mark with a weekend gross of $1.38 million on 1,724 screens (with an $802 per screen average). At Number 8, Alone made its debut on 174 screens, earning $182,473 ($1,084 average).

Disney isn't releasing any numbers for its premium presentation of Mulan, but some sources have suggested the film has earned well over $200 million to date. Where Disney hoped to make a splash with the film theatrically was in China, but as the film has been dogged by controversy over where it was filmed, the box office response has been lackluster to say the least with the grosses tumbling 72% in its second weekend, bringing the two week total in China to $36.08 million. Worldwide the film's theatrical box office total stands at $57 million.

The weekend of September 25 has a long list of smaller films set to open but none of them except for Kajillionaire have any name recognition so the films at the top of the charts should be secure there for a while.

Below are the Top Ten grosses for the weekend of September 18-20.

  1. [1] Tenet - $4,700,000 [$36,100,000]
  2. [2] The New Mutants - $1,823,448 [$17,741,422]
  3. [N] Infidel - $1,384,296 [NEW]
  4. [3] Unhinged - $1,281,563 [$15,695,476]
  5. [4] The Broken Hearts Gallery - $802,322 [$2,409,216]
  6. [7] The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run - $205,700 [$4,236,803]
  7. [5] Bill & Ted Face the Music - $189,014 [$3,117,463]
  8. [N] Alone - $182,473 [NEW]
  9. [8] The Personal History of David Copperfield - $172,601 [$1,652,515]
  10. [6] Words on Bathroom Walls - $147,175 [$2,189,346]

Source: Box Office Mojo

Image © Warner Bros. Pictures

Friday, September 18, 2020

Trailer Roundup: The Amber Ruffin Show, Gangs of London, Emily in Paris, History of Horror, The Mandalorian, Moonbase 8 and more!

September 24


An infamous true crime story. Over thirty years ago, three generations of one family were murdered at their isolated farm. Initial evidence pointed the finger at the daughter of the family who had a history of mental illness, however one detective refused to accept this and delved deeper into the investigation. His determination uncovered new evidence that shed suspicion on another family member. This is a dramatized true crime story based on extensive research, interviews, and published accounts, looking at the mystery behind what happened that fateful day. Coming soon to HBO Max.

September 25


Each week THE AMBER RUFFIN SHOW will showcase Amber’s signature smart and silly take on the week's news. No matter what's happening in the world, Amber will respond to it with a charming mix of seriousness, nonsense, and evening gowns. THE AMBER RUFFIN SHOW is a topical late-night show with just the good parts – the comedy.

September 30


Shanann Watts and her two young daughters went missing in Frederick, Colorado. As details of their deaths made headlines worldwide, it became clear that Shanann’s husband, Chris Watts, wasn’t the man he appeared to be. Experience a gripping and immersive examination of the disintegration of a marriage. Only on Netflix September 30.

October 1


Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney) was the most powerful criminal in London. Now, his son Sean (Joe Cole) must prove he's ready to take his father's place. See why critics are raving about Gangs of London, available exclusively on AMC+ beginning October 1.

A serial killer with no limits. A system full of flaws and several hopeless victims. Nothing will stop Verônica's in fighting for justice. Good morning, Verônica is coming on October 1st.

Watch Robert the Bruce October 1st On Crackle.

October 2


Say oui to new possibilities! Emily in Paris, a new series from creator of Sex and the City, Darren Star, premieres October 2. Only on Netflix.

Song Exploder, based on the hit podcast, spotlights some of the world's greatest musicians as they reveal how they brought one of their songs to life. Featured artists include Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, R.E.M. and Ty Dolla $ign. Song Exploder premieres globally on October 2.

October 4


This documentary series brings to life the legends, heartbreak and history created at The Comedy Store, which over the past 47 years has launched the careers of a breathtaking array of stars. As a Comedy Store alum, former stand-up comic Binder spotlights one of pop culture’s great laboratories with never-before-seen footage and incisive, emotional interviews with some of the biggest names in comedy. Watch the premiere on Sunday, October 4 at 10/9c on SHOWTIME.

The documentary chronicles an investigation by professional authenticator, Dr. Whitny Braun to reveal extraordinary, groundbreaking evidence uncovering whether a newly discovered, secret photograph could be the 131st and final image of President Lincoln, taken after his infamous assassination. Premiering October 4, the documentary kicks-off UNDISCOVERED.

October 6


Directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr. and script by Osei-Kuffour Jr. and Stephen Herman, Black Box stars Mamoudou Athie, Phylicia Rashad, Amanda Christine, Tosin Morohunfola, Charmaine Bingwa, and Troy James. After losing his wife and his memory in a car accident, a single father undergoes an agonizing experimental treatment that causes him to question who he really is.

The Lie is written and directed by Veena Sud, and stars Mireille Enos, Peter Sarsgaard and Joey King. When their teenaged daughter confesses to impulsively killing her best friend, two desperate parents attempt to cover up the horrific crime, leading them into a complicated web of lies and deception.

October 10


Director Eli Roth teams up with the darkest minds in horror to explore how nightmares come to life on screen. Eli Roth's History of Horror Season 2 premieres Saturday, October 10 at 10/9c.

October 13


Based off the award-winning, best-selling Audible Original production from writer Madhuri Shekar, Evil Eye is directed by Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani, and stars Sarita Choudhury, Sunita Mani, Omar Maskati, and Bernard White. A seemingly perfect romance turns into a nightmare when a mother becomes convinced her daughter’s new boyfriend has a dark connection to her own past.

Nocturne is written and directed by Zu Quirke in her breakout feature debut. Starring Sydney Sweeney, Madison Iseman, Jacques Colimon and Ivan Shaw. Inside the halls of an elite arts academy, a timid music student begins to outshine her more accomplished and outgoing twin sister when she discovers a mysterious notebook belonging to a recently deceased classmate.

October 16


What was intended to be a peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention turned into a violent clash with police and the National Guard. The organizers of the protest — including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale — were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and the trial that followed was one of the most notorious in history.

October 30


The Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through a dangerous galaxy in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire. The new season of The Mandalorian starts streaming Friday, October 30, only on Disney+.

November 8


Set in the isolated desert of Winslow, Arizona at NASA’s Moon Base Simulator, MOONBASE 8 follows eager astronauts Skip (Fred Armisen), Rook (Tim Heidecker) and their leader Cap (John C. Reilly) as they attempt to qualify for their first lunar mission. Watch the series premiere on Sunday, November 8 at 11/10c on SHOWTIME.

November 9


Do not forget how this feels right now. Industry premieres November 9 on HBO and HBO Max.



The 10-episode legal thriller stars Bryan Cranston as Michael Desiato, a respected New Orleans judge whose teenaged son Adam (Hunter Doohan) is involved in a hit-and-run that leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices. Coming to SHOWTIME this December!

Coming Soon


This is the way… to get pumped for the coming months. Start streaming favorites like Hidden Figures, X2, and Big, plus Originals like The Right Stuff, Clouds, Marvel Studios’ WandaVision, and a new season of The Mandalorian. Coming soon on #DisneyPlus.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Dancing With the Stars S29E01: 2020 Premiere

DWTS returns for Season 29 with performers' safety paramount
by Kim Krober

I wasn't sure what to expect when it was announced Dancing with the Stars was returning for its 29th season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Would the dancers be forced to compete wearing masks like some sort of grotesque sequined masqueraders? Would it change things dramatically without having a live audience to root them on in the ballroom? Would there still be group-choreographed dances to open the show? Would there be a subdued feeling due to current world events? Would all three judges be able to return? How could the show possibly go on with new host Tyra Banks after the producers unceremoniously dumped Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews? 

The show began with the pros dancing one at a time to a stripped-down rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." It was very subdued and unlike any of the other season premieres I've witnessed over the years. And I didn't really like it if I'm being honest. It just didn't feel right. The judges were almost comically social distanced so their arms can't touch when they're gesturing. The ballroom felt more than a little sad without an audience or Tom. Tyra Banks quickly grated on my nerves with the only thing possibly bigger than her ego being the red dress she wore when she first entered the ballroom. How many times are we going to have to witness her changing hideous outfits during a single show? Poor Bruno must not have had access to hair dye during the quarantine, although he managed to work it with his new silver fox look. It was great to see my favorite dance pro Derek Hough back as a guest judge in Len Goodman's absence due to the international travel restrictions. Much as I predicted, he was the nicest judge by far, often giving the contestants a higher score paddle than his fellow judges. The dancers aren't wearing masks, but the show is taking great measures to keep them safe and socially distanced, including forced quarantines and several temperature checks throughout the week. But like all of DWTS' new changes or not, the show must go on. Let's take a look at how your favorites did on this first week of competition:

AJ McLean & Cheryl Burke, Jive

I was in high school when The Backstreet Boys were at their peak in the late '90s, and I'm sorry, but they were old-looking even way back when (I always thought N*SYNC were cuter dancers with catchier music even though I was more of a grunge rocker). AJ was a good choice to open the show, as he was light on his feet. Derek enjoyed his confidence, while Bruno called it a powerful debut from a bona fide performer although he told him he needs to work on his kicks and flips. Carrie Ann said it started the show with a bang, but he needs to be larger than life with his dancing if he's going to stick around in this competition.

Score: 18


Chrishell Stause & Gleb Savchenko, Tango

Chrishell Stause of Selling Sunset fame? I've never heard of her or her program, and she failed to impress me during her Tango set to P!nk's "Raise Your Glass." Bruno said she managed to get the Tango in escrow, but they're a long way from selling it due to her many missteps. Carrie Ann admired her potential, while Derek told her to work on her pigeon toes.

Score: 13



Vernon Davis & Peta Murgatroyd, Foxtrot

As an NFL player and Superbowl Champion, Vernon knows what it takes to go all the way in this competition. He came out in command with an ethereal Foxtrot set to John Legend's "All of Me." Carrie Ann admired his stage presence but docked him points for a lift. Derek called it smooth but cautioned him about his arm extensions. Bruno thought their chemistry was sizzling, saying he can't wait for a Rumba from these two.

Score: 17



Anne Heche & Keo Motsepe, Cha-Cha

As one of the handful of familiar faces to me this season, I was looking forward to seeing Anne's fancy footwork. The spacey backdrop was a nice nod to her colorful claims of being an extraterrestrial goddess in her autobiography. I loved their shiny, almost hypnotic costumes. Derek commended them for being clean and for making him smile. Bruno called her a sparkling cracker, but told her it needed a little more hip action. Carrie Ann admired her precision and tension with her partner, saying she is a star of the ballroom. It was certainly an out-of-this-world experience.

Score: 18



Jeannie Mai & Brandon Armstrong, Salsa

Although I do love most of ABC's game show reboots, I must confess I do not enjoy Holey Moley, which Jeannie co-hosts. However, her Salsa with newcomer Brandon was as fun as their lime-green costumes and song choice of Taylor Dayne's "Tell It to My Heart." Bruno called her a little ray of sunshine but cautioned her about keeping her balance. Carrie Ann said it was amazing to see her energy light up the room and can't wait to see what she has in store. Derek cautioned her about her turns but said it was well done for her first dance out of the gate.

Score: 18



Jesse Metcalfe & Sharna Burgess, Quickstep

I remember when Jesse starred on the supernatural soap Passions (one of the rare exceptions to my 'I don't watch soaps' rule because I was in high school and it had a Dark Shadows vibe to it). It was also awesome to see Sharna return to the program after what felt like a lengthy hiatus. I think they're the couple I'm rooting for this season. This "Part-Time Lover" captured my full-time interest on the dance floor, even if his Quickstep seemed a little lacking in energy. Carrie Ann called it a passionate Quickstep, but said he needs to tame his intensity with better posture. Derek praised him for being a leading man on the dance floor, while Bruno echoed this, saying it was fantastic.

Score: 18



Skai Jackson & Alan Bersten, Tango

Not being an avid Disney Channel watcher, I had no idea who Skai was before this competition. However, like the other exuberant Disney competitors before her, she quickly won me over with her spirit. Derek complimented her on her posture but noted he would have liked to see her travel more distance on the dance floor. Bruno called it a mature performance from such a young lady. Carrie Ann admired the way they dealt with the height difference, saying it was an exciting performance. I hope this young competitor sticks around for a while.

Score: 21



Kaitlyn Bristowe & Artem Chigvintsev, Cha-Cha

Yawn, another Bachelorette star. ABC needs to stop relying on their interchangeable bank of reality stars. Her Cha-Cha wasn't terrible, but I will never vote for her because I just don't care enough. Bruno told Artem it was nice to see him back and doing a wonderful job with Kaitlyn. Carrie Ann called it a great first dance but told her to watch her footwork. Derek thought she has potential, but her arms were misplaced and the dancing felt a little too safe.

Score: 20



Nev Schulman & Jenna Johnson, Foxtrot

Catfish is a show I've heard of but never watched, although Nev made me an instant fan of his quirky personality with his magical Foxtrot to "The Way You Look Tonight." Carrie Ann found it uplifting and refined. Derek warned him about making sure his butt stays tucked into his frame, while Bruno admired their debonair style.

Score: 20



Johnny Weir & Britt Stewart, Cha-Cha

I predict good things for Johnny, if his first dance is any indication. Figure skaters tend to do well in this competition because they're so naturally fluid. The Pussycat Dolls' "Loosen Up My Buttons" seemed like the perfect song to introduce his sassy enthusiasm and flair to the world. Derek cautioned Johnny about staying confident and out of his head because he could tell when he felt lost in the dance. Bruno commended his lyrical qualities but said his hips need more precision. Carrie Ann wondered why he hasn't been on this show before because he seems like a natural fit ... my thoughts exactly!

Score: 18



Justina Machado & Sasha Farber, Cha-Cha

I didn't recognize Justina from One Day at a Time. She seems to be a fun match for Sasha. She looked uber confident in her Cha-Cha set to Aretha Franklin's "R-E-S-P-E-C-T." Bruno complimented her in Spanish, which I assumed was a good thing. Carrie Ann said she was on fire, while Derek told her she oozed charisma. Tyra said she had the ballroom and America hyped. I guess Tyra was bound to be right about something.

Score: 21



Charles Oakley & Emma Slater, Salsa

NBA player Charles Oakley oozed style even if his Salsa moves were a little stiff. As one of the older contestants this season, he has room for improvement. I'm confident Emma will inspire him. Carrie Ann told him to work on his timing and filling the space. Derek said he felt joy from the performance but urged him to work on the finesse. Bruno liked that he got in the laid-back spirit of things, but told him if he gets the timing right, he'll be a bigger contender.

Score: 12



Monica Aldama & Val Chmerkovskiy, Foxtrot

As the head coach of Cheer, Monica is in tune with her competitive spirit. Derek called her a breath of fresh air, although he said her turns felt a little congested. Bruno thought it was elegant but warned her not to break her wrists when extending her lines. Carrie Ann was impressed with her confidence, although she could tell she wasn't always in sync with Val. I was mostly surprised the show's producers didn't pair Val with Carole Baskin this season.

Score: 19



Nelly & Daniella Karagach, Salsa

Nelly's Salsa with newcomer Daniella was money. I found it entertaining - he's surprisingly flexible. I hope he goes far in this competition. Bruno called it a wonderful ride, telling Nelly he has nicely rhythmical hips. Carrie Ann did not see the backflip coming (nor did America), telling him his groove is right but he needs to show more of his heart and who he is beyond his persona. Derek cautioned him about wearing dancer's shoes in future routines instead of tennis shoes, although he felt they were totally appropriate for this particular performance.

Score: 16



Carole Baskin & Pasha Pashkov, Paso Doble

Am I the only person in America who didn't binge-watch Tiger King during quarantine? It's still on my to-do list and may be a little higher in priority now that I've witnessed the spectacle that is Carole Baskin for myself. What else would Carole Baskin dance to other than Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger"? It was a black-lit train wreck I couldn't take my eyes off from start to finish. Carrie Ann said her ultimate summer dreams just came true. Derek commended her for coming out with the tiger theme, although it needed more attack. Bruno thought she was going to dislocate her shoulders (as did most of America I'm sure). Has anybody received anything lower than a 3 in this competition? Ouch.

Score: 11

How did your favorites fare this week? What do you think about the new host, fill-in judge, ballroom look, and safety precautions? Will you be tuning in this season to see who takes home the coveted mirrorball trophy or is it a pass?

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8:00 PM on ABC. The next episode will air on a special night, Tuesday, September 22 at 8:00 PM, due to Monday Night Football.

The Boys S02E04: Nothing Like It in the World

The Boys takes it slower as things get worse for everyone.
by Jeremy Fogelman

The latest episode of The Boys is called ‘Nothing Like It in the World’, which is yet another direct title reference to an issue of the comics, albeit without any connection whatsoever. As somewhat close as the show stayed similar to the comics, it’s completely different now -- honestly I can’t even imagine the same ending, at least not in the same way. I suppose I appreciate that freedom, although I hope the showrunners actually do have a plan about it.

There is a bit of a continuation of Kimiko’s grief, anger, and desire for revenge, but the Frenchie kissing her was so absurdly out of character it made me realize that Frenchie has no characterization at all in the show. He is legitimately the least interesting character in the show, and I don’t know if that’s going to improve -- it didn’t this episode, nor did his tryst with his “therapist” raise anything interesting.

Mother’s Milk takes Hughie and Starlight on a classic road trip to track down a mysterious old supe from back in the day, nearly fifty years ago. This leads to some decent moments of relationship drama and interactions, and there’s even a little backstory finally on MM -- he’s been incredibly underutilized until now. It was a bit long in the tooth as a subplot this episode, even if the final moments are useful backstory (although it was pretty clear to those who knew the original material).

The revelation, that Liberty was simply Stormfront before she changed her name, isn’t much of one unless it leads to more darkness in the past with that supe -- thus why she changed her name. Stormfront essentially says the same thing when confronted by Homelander, that she had to change with the times. Her creepy attention is likely sincere -- obviously a superhuman blonde, blue-eyed, white guy is the pinnacle of her ideals. I’m just glad that Aya Cash gets an interesting character to sink her teeth into after years of being ignored for excellent work on You’re the Worst, even if often it feels very unsettling to watch her in action.

Butcher’s storyline, of tracking down his wife Becca, is fine enough, although the final moments are a bit... strained in the believability department. Butcher calls Becca’s son a freak, and doesn’t want to bother to take him along -- honestly, it’s a bit ridiculous that he wouldn’t try. Becca seems to be the one thing that’s different for him among the rest of the world.

In last place of interest is the Deep’s storyline of interviewing potential wife candidates from his thinly veiled Scientology parody. It’s hard to care about it, and it’s not really funny -- but at least the other two storylines are interesting still. Black Noir’s creepy search for Butcher was interesting, if unsettling, in the “this will hopefully pay off soon” way.

Homelander’s further descent into increasingly monstrous behavior continues, including threatening Starlight and having Doppelganger pretend to be the woman he killed. The final moments, of killing “himself” by rejecting caring about what other people think of him, as the music twangs discordantly, should certainly raise alarm bells.

His change of heart with Maeve is a step back in a way from the pit, but he takes the wrong lessons from racist monster Stormfront. As usual, it’s acted exceptionally, even if it feels paced a bit oddly -- slower than normal. Overall, it’s interesting to watch an episode of the show when not binging it -- it feels quite a bit different than normal. Still an entertaining watch, but it does feel a bit like one of the “place setting” transitionary episodes than something self-contained.

The Boys streams new episodes weekly on Amazon Prime.

Images © Amazon Prime Video

The Boys starts off its second season as bloody and over the top as ever

‘The Boys’ drops three episodes for a third season of bloody explosions and attempts at subversive commentary.
by Jeremy Fogelman

The first season of The Boys was decent enough, as I reviewed at the time, spiraling off significantly from the comics storyline enough that I was completely unsure of where it was going. The second season so far continues that trend, killing off characters like Raynor (Jennifer Esposito), who certainly lasted far longer in the original comics. In fairness, she was a pointless character in the adaptation, so the impact of her death doesn’t feel particularly significant.


All of the original ensemble has returned, continuing the story with varying degrees of success. Hughie continues to suffer PTSD from his misadventures, and it’s only been touched on a little since then. Frenchie and Mother’s Milk still have almost nothing to do, but they at least give Karen Fukuhara more to do with the now named “Kimiko” (she also was finally utilized well in the She-Ra Netflix animated show).


Kimiko’s arc with her brother (played by Abraham Lim) was pretty good in these first three episodes, setting up a mystery about who this mysterious new “super terrorist” was, getting Butcher almost killing him, Kimiko reconnecting, and them fighting over his terrorist ways (that he justifies by American imperialism and wanton destruction and murder in his home village). It all connects with the final moments of not-so-secret white supremacist Stormfront (Aya Cash, always welcome -- she was great in You’re the Worst) murdering her brother and tossing off some racism casually.


Of course, Stormfront in the comics was a literal Hitler Youth superpowered child extracted from Germany who grew up to be a monstrous “Thor” styled rip off because Garth Ennis thought it would be clever to combine Norse mythology with racism, like the Nazis did (both the original and modern day Nazis co-opted Nordic imagery). Here Stormfront is American, from Portland, and female, allowing a bit more rug pulling later on.


Now, when I read the comics in the first place, I recognized that the name Stormfront was itself a reference to the white supremacist website, even though that too is an appropriation. So I was not exactly surprised when the character turned out to be racist. Here she’s shown softer at first, quirky and rude, making fun quasi-feminist jabs against Vought and systemic patriarchy, but she’s only (hardly a coincidence) really interacting with the white superheroes of the Seven -- Homeland and Starlight.


I was wondering when the other shoe would drop, and it does in the third, brutal episode where Stormfront, on the tail of Kimiko’s brother, casually kills many black civilians for no reason except her hatred and racism. Her savvy nature presents an interesting new sort of antagonist, both against the already monstrous Homelander (who simply thinks all humanity to be worthless compared to him, but he’s not racist about it -- small help) and the Boys.


The final shot of episode three, the Boys surrounding Kimiko as she stares hatefully at Stormfront’s press conference, that’s a good setup and really getting us finally invested in her story -- we want to see her take revenge on the racist monster that killed so many people. That storyline works so far.


Less successful is the Starlight business in general -- her theoretical spywork feels a bit scattershot, with only a few interesting moments, and the romance angle doesn’t feel that interesting yet. A-Train has little to do yet, other than moments of dizziness, and Maeve just has a little backstory with her secret girlfriend to explain why it must be a secret.


Homelander continues to be a fascinating sociopath of a character, trying to push his son with Billy Butcher’s wife to display superpowers, and although eventually the kid does display some, it feels like Homelander still won. Antony Starr is still really great in the role of this odd, terrible person, who suffers and causes suffering in turn.


Least successful of all is everything with the Deep’s attempts at recovery, which parody Scientology pointlessly and have an extended hallucination montage where Patton Oswalt plays the Deep’s gills (he’s funny but...) and ultimately tries to push the idea that the Deep’s issues comes from self-hatred. Sure, I can buy that, but he’s still someone that sexually assaulted and killed people. He hasn’t done nearly enough to be forgiven, and I was glad to see that Starlight immediately rejected the attempt.


But the show continues to be gory and profane, and Giancarlo Esposito gets another role where he exudes confident sociopathy so that’s fun. I feel like there’s some good setup here for the rest of the season, which will be released weekly going forward, and I’ll continue to be amused at how they use titles from the graphic novels completely differently for the episode titles.

New episodes of The Boys stream weekly on Amazon Prime.

Images © Amazon Prime Video 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Trailer Roundup: Ratched, Console Wars, TinyWorld, Hubie Halloween, Charm City Kings, Star Trek: Discovery, Rebecca, Wipeout

September 15


Britain's funny man Michael McIntyre is taking on baths that are too hot, passwords that are too long, and why US audiences are better.

September 18


Looking good today, Mildred. Witness the origin of one of the world’s most iconic characters, Nurse Ratched. Sarah Paulson stars in Ratched, coming to Netflix on September 18.

September 22


The Playbook profiles legendary coaches as they share the rules they live by to achieve success in sports and in life. Featured coaches include the Los Angeles Clippers' Doc Rivers; two-time FIFA World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis; Premier League’s José Mourinho; Serena Williams’ famed tennis coach, Patrick Mouratoglou; and hall of fame basketball player and coach Dawn Staley. The Playbook premieres globally on Sept. 22.

September 22


Jack and Michael Whitehall return with Season 4 of Travels With My Father, and this time they're going Down Under. Join the duo as they tackle wild Emus, visit the Sydney Opera House and attempt Drag.

September 23


An Official Selection of the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, Console Wars takes viewers back to 1990 when Sega, a fledgling arcade company, assembled a team of misfits to take on the greatest video game company in the world, Nintendo. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pit brother against brother, kids against grownups, Sonic against Mario, and uniquely American capitalism against centuries-old Japanese tradition. For the first time ever, the men and women who fought on the front lines for Sega and Nintendo discuss this battle that defined a generation. Stream Console Wars September 23 only on CBS All Access.

September 25


Family man Devin and his fast-talking pal Bobby get swept up bouncing around L.A. in a wheeling-dealing scheme to score a mythical pair of sneakers.

October 2


Meet nature’s littlest heroes and see the extraordinary things they do to survive in the new Apple Original docuseries, narrated by Paul Rudd. Watch Tiny World October 2 on Apple TV+.

October 5


Six stories. One test. Are they ready to meet their soulmates? Premieres Monday, October 5 10/9c.

October 7


Hubie Dubois (Adam Sandler) thanklessly spends every Halloween making sure the residents of his hometown, Salem, celebrate safely and play by the rules. But this year, an escaped criminal and a mysterious new neighbor have Hubie on high alert. When people start disappearing, it’s up to Hubie to convince the police (Kevin James, Kenan Thompson) and townsfolk that the monsters are real, and only he can stop them. Hubie Halloween is a hilarious family film about an unlikely hero with an all-star cast including Julie Bowen, Ray Liotta, Noah Schnapp, Steve Buscemi and Maya Rudolph, produced by Happy Madison.

October 8


In this gritty coming-of-age drama, fourteen-year-old Mouse (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) desperately wants to join the Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets. His older brother, Stro, was their top rider before his tragic death—a loss that consumes Mouse as much as his passion for bikes. Mouse’s mom (Teyonah Parris) and his police mentor, Detective Rivers (William Catlett), work overtime to help the charismatic teen reach his full potential, but when the Midnight Clique’s leader, Blax (Meek Mill), takes the boy under his wing, the lure of revving his own dirt bike skids Mouse toward a road way past the straight and narrow. Streaming October 8th only on HBOMax.

October 9


Love After Lockup returns as our couples face shocking firsts, family drama and deception on the rocky road to the alter. Will these relationships survive outside of prison walls, or was it all just a con? Love After Lockup returns October 9 at 9|8c!

October 15


Who's hungry for seconds? Impractical Jokers: Dinner Party is back with new meals and new guests starting October 15 on truTV!

October 15


The new season of Star Trek: Discovery premieres October 15, only on CBS All Access. Watch the Official Trailer, which debuted during the Star Trek: Discovery panel on Star Trek Day.

October 16


A golden cage still is a cage. Someone Has to Die, coming October 16, only on Netflix.

October 20


Misery loves company. Join Host Jameela Jamil and the stars of truTV’s Impractical Jokers – Brian “Q” Quinn, James “Murr” Murray, Joe Gatto and Sal Vulcano for all new episodes of The Misery Index, now returning on Tuesdays at 10:30/9:30c on TBS!

October 21


A young newlywed arrives at her husband’s imposing family estate on a windswept English coast and finds herself battling the shadow of his first wife Rebecca, whose legacy lives on in the house long after her death. A modern adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's gothic novel comes to Netflix: starring Armie Hammer, Lily James, and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Coming Soon


Multifaceted megastar John Cena (Fast & Furious 9, The Suicide Squad) and Emmy-nominated comedian and actress Nicole Byer (Nailed It!, Girl Code) have signed on to host TBS' revival of the adrenalizing and outrageous physical competition series Wipeout. Cena and Byer will command the hysteria of the fan-favorite series by serving up commentary tailored to the all-around hilarity and thrill of the heart-pumping competition, with Camille Kostek (I Feel Pretty) complementing their presence by serving as the entrenched Host in the Field, covering the contestants' progress throughout each intense round.

The wild within cannot be tamed. The legend of Wolfwalkers is coming soon to Apple TV+.