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+.

Hotchka Movies by the Decade feature #7 :: September 9 • 15

© DreamWorks Pictures

The second week of September brought us a lot of new films, some that have gone on to be classics, some that have earned a cult following, some award winners, some with big stars that flopped hard, and many that simply don't exist any longer. This week's new releases featured Lucille Ball one year away from <em>I Love Lucy</em>, Jack Nicholson and Karen Black, a Coke bottle that fell from the sky, Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine, Cameron Crowe's teenage experiences, Joaquin Phoenix pulling a fast one, zombies and a very hungry plant. Let's take a look at this week's new movie premieres. And remember, you can click on any highlighted link to rent or purchase a film or book on which the film is based from our affiliates, which helps us to keep rolling out the red carpet.


September 9 - Milestones
  • Cast: Lewis Stone, Alice Hollister, Gertrude Robinson
  • Director: Paul Scardon
  • Studio: Goldwyn Pictures
  • Trivia: Adapted from the West End play by Arnold Bennett and Edward Knoblock.
September 12 - The Dwelling Place of Light
  • Cast: Claire Adams, Nigel De Brulier, King Baggot
  • Director: Jack Conway
  • Studio: Benjamin B. Hampton Productions, distributed by Pathé Exchange, W. W. Hodkinson Corporation
  • Trivia: Based on the 1917 novel The Dwelling-Place of Light by American novelist Winston Churchill.
September 12 - Felix O'Day
  • Cast: H. B. Warner, Marguerite Snow, Lillian Rich
  • Director: Robert Thornby
  • Studio: Pathé Exchange
September 12 - Food for Scandal
  • Cast: Wanda Hawley, Harrison Ford, Ethel Grey Terry, Margaret McWade, Minnie Devereaux, Juan de la Cruz
  • Director: James Cruze
  • Studio: Realart Pictures Corporation
September 12 - Homespun Folks
  • Cast: Lloyd Hughes, Gladys George, George Webb
  • Director: John Griffith Wray
  • Studio: Thomas H. Ince Corporation, distributed by Associated Producers
September 12 - Lady Rose's Daughter
  • Cast: Elsie Ferguson, David Powell, Frank Losee, Holmes Herbert, Ida Waterman, Warren Cook
  • Director: Hugh Ford
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • Trivia: The film premiered in New York City in August 1920 before going into wide release. Based on a 1903 Broadway play which was based on the novel by Mrs. Humphry Ward. Ida Waterman also appeared in the play. The film is considered lost, as are most of Elsie Ferguson's films.
September 12 - The Master Mind
  • Cast: Lionel Barrymore, Gypsy O'Brien, Ralph Kellard, Bradley Barker, Marie Shotwell, Percy Helton
  • Director: Kenneth Webb
  • Studio: Associated First National Pictures
  • Trivia: Also known as Sinner's Three. Based on the 1913 play by Daniel David Cohen (aka Daniel D. Carter). The film is considered lost.
September 12 - Merely Mary Ann
  • Cast: Shirley Mason, Casson Ferguson, Babe London, Kewpie Morgan, Jean Hersholt, Paul Weigel
  • Director: Edward J. Le Saint
  • Studio: Fox Film Corporation
September 12 - The Restless Sex
  • Cast: Marion Davies, Ralph Kellard, Carlyle Blackwell, Charles Lane, Corinne Barker
  • Director: Leon D'Usseau, Robert Z. Leonard
  • Studio: Cosmopolitan Productions, International Film Service, distributed by Famous Players-Lasky Corporation
  • Trivia: Based on the 1918 novel by Robert W. Chambers. Norma Shearer appears as an uncredited extra before her first credited role in 1920's The Stealers. The 'Bal des Arts' sequence was designed by Erté. This was the last American film for Blackwell, who returned to England and continued to work for ten more years. The film is preserved in the Library of Congress and Gosfilmofond.
September 12 - The Village Sleuth
  • Cast: Charles Ray, Winifred Westover, Dick Rush, Donald MacDonald, George Hernandez, Betty Schade
  • Director: Jerome Storm
  • Studio: Thomas H. Ince Corporation, Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, distributed by Paramount Pictures
  • Trivia: Copies of the film are held at the Library of Congress, Gosfilmofond, UCLA Film and Television Archive, Academy Film Archive, and Jugoslovenska Kinoteka.
September 13 - The Price of Redemption
  • Cast: Bert Lytell, Seena Owen, Cleo Madison, Edward Cecil, Wilbur Higby
  • Director: Dallas M. Fitzgerald
  • Studio: Metro Pictures
  • Trivia: The film is considered lost.
September 15 - Marooned Hearts
  • Cast: Conway Tearle, Zena Keefe, Ida Darling, Tom Blake, Eric Mayne
  • Director: George Archainbaud
  • Studio: Select Pictures
  • Trivia: The film is considered lost.



© First National Pictures

September 13 - The Bad Man

  • Cast: Walter Huston, Dorothy Revier, James Rennie, O. P. Heggie, Sidney Blackmer, Myrna Loy
  • Director: Clarence G. Badger
  • Studio: First National Pictures
  • Trivia: Based on the 1920 play by Porter Emerson, and is a sound remake of the 1923 silent film of the same name. An incomplete nitrate print of this film—8 of 9 reels—survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archive, but is decomposing and in danger of being lost if not preserved in the near future. The film was remade again in 1940 with Wallace Beery. Two foreign language versions of the film were made: El hombre malo (Spanish) and Lopez, le bandit (French).


September 9 - I Love You Again
  • Cast: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Frank McHugh, Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer
  • Director: W.S. Van Dyke
  • Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, distributed by Loews Inc.
  • Trivia: Powell, Loy and director Van Dyke were all involved with The Thin Man films. Powell and Loy first appeared together in 1934's Manhattan Melodrama. Lux Radio Theatre adapted the film twice, first in 1941 with Loy and Cary Grant, and again in 1948 with Powell and Ann Sothern. Loy was supposed to reprise her film role but had to drop out due to retakes on a film.


September 15 - Devil's Doorway
  • Cast: Robert Taylor, Louis Calhern, Paula Raymond, Marshall Thompson, Edgar Buchanan, Spring Byington
  • Director: Anthony Mann
  • Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer


© Columbia Pictures

September 15 - The Fuller Brush Girl
  • Cast: Lucille Ball, Eddie Albert, Carl Benton Reid, Gale Robbins, Barbara Pepper
  • Director: Lloyd Bacon
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • Trivia: Red Skelton appears in an uncredited cameo as The Fuller Brush Man, the role he played in the 1948 film. Mel Blanc voices two parrots in the film.


September 9 - September Storm
  • Cast: Joanne Dru, Mark Stevens, Robert Strauss
  • Director: Byron Haskin
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Trivia: The film was produced in 3D, but was released after the end of the 1950s 3D fad (1955's Revenge of the Creature). The next major 3D film released was The Bubble in 1966. Most theaters presented the film 'flat'. A restoration of the 3D elements was undertaken in 2016 with Kino Classics releasing a 3D Blu-ray in 2017.


© The Filmgroup

September 14 - The Little Shop of Horrors
  • Cast: Jonathan Haze, Jackie Joseph, Mel Welles, Dick Miller, Jack Nicholson
  • Director: Roger Corman
  • Studio: The Filmgroup, Santa Clara Productions, distributed by The Filmgroup, American International Pictures
  • Trivia: Thought to be based on the 1932 story 'Green Thoughts' by John Collier. Screenwriter Charles B. Griffith may have been influenced by Arthur C. Clarke's 'The Reluctant Orchid'. The film's original title was The Passionate People Eater. The film was shot in two days using sets left standing from Corman's A Bucket of Blood. The film inspired the Off-Broadway musical and 1986 film (the show was revived in 2003 and 2019) and gained new interest from those projects. The original story was about a private investigator, and the Audrey character was named Oriole Plove with Nancy Kulp (Miss Jane from The Beverly Hillbillies) as the leading candidate for the role. Seymour's original name was Irish Eye, and Haze was to play Archie Aroma. To flesh out the story, Corman and Griffith ended up at a diner hashing out ideas with their waitress as a referee. The waitress, Sally Kellerman, sat with them and helped work out the story. The story originated as Cardula, which involved a vampire music critic. Corman rejected that and Griffith came up with Gluttony, a story of a salad chef who cooked his customers. Corman said it was too expensive and Griffith suggested a man-eating plant. Corman okayed the idea. Jackie Joseph confirmed she was hired for a detective film that was completely rewritten by the time she flew back to make the movie. Griffith plays several small roles in the film, his father appears as a dental patient and his grandmother is Seymour's hypochondriac mother. Dick Miller was offered the role of Seymour but turned it down, taking the role of Burson Fouch instead. Corman shot the film quickly to avoid a new industry rule going into effect on January 1, 1960 that would require producers to pay residuals to the actors for all future releases of their work, which would change his B-movie business model permanently so he shot the film the last week of December 1959. To speed up the process, the film was shot like a sitcom with three cameras. Exteriors were shot over two weekends with $279 worth of rented equipment, children were paid 5 cents to run out of a subway tunnel, and winos were paid 10 cents to appear as extras. A scene with a train running over Robert Coogan's character was filmed with the train backing away from the actor and then printed in reverse. The film's score was originally written for A Bucket of Blood. Composer Fred Katz sold the same score to Corman as new music which was used in a total of seven films. The film was screened out of competition at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival. The film was originally released as part of a double bill -- and only referred to as 'Added Attraction' -- with Mario Bava's Black Sunday. The film was also paired with Corman's Last Woman on Earth a year later. Corman did not feel the film had any financial future and failed to copyright the film, making it widely available as a public domain title of varying quality. The film was badly colorized in 1987 and then again in 2006 with better results.
September 14 - The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse
  • Cast: Dawn Addams, Peter van Eyck, Gert Fröbe
  • Director: Fritz Lang
  • Studio: CCC Filmkunst, C.E.I. Incom, Critérion Film, distributed by Prisma Filmverleih
  • Trivia: This was Lang's final film. The Mabuse character had appeared in film's by Lang in 1922 and 1933. The film spawned a series of German Mabuse films, six total, that were released to compete with Rialto Film's Krimi films. The film was a German-Italian-French co-production. The film premiered in Germany on September 14, 1960 and in France on June 28, 1961.
September 15 - Under Ten Flags
  • Cast: Van Heflin, Charles Laughton, Mylène Demongeot
  • Director: Duilio Coletti
  • Studio: Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica, distributed by Paramount Pictures (US)
  • Trivia: The film opened in Italy on September 21, 1960. The film is based on actual World War II events.


September 9 - Hornet's Nest
  • Cast: Rock Hudson, Mark Colleano, Sylva Koscina, Sergio Fantoni, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Jacques Sernas
  • Director: Phil Karlson, Franco Cirino
  • Studio: United Artists
  • Trivia: The film was attacked for depicting children learning about violence and failed at the box office. Hudson turned to TV acting after this film. Sophia Loren was to be the female lead but dropped out at the last minute. Though set in 1955, the hair styles, clothing and attitudes are obviously from the late 1960s.


© Columbia Pictures

September 12 - Five Easy Pieces
  • Cast: Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Susan Anspach, Ralph Waite, Toni Basil, Fannie Flagg, Sally Ann Struthers, Richard Stahl
  • Director: Bob Rafelson
  • Studio: BBS Productions, distributed by Columbia Pictures
  • Trivia: The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jack Nicholson), and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Karen Black), but lost in all categories. It was also nominated for Golden Globes in the same categories plus one for Rafelson's directing. Black tied with Maureen Stapleton for her role in Airport. The film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry in 2000.


September 9 - Phobia
  • Cast: Paul Michael Glaser, Susan Hogan, John Colicos, Lisa Langlois
  • Director: John Huston
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • Trivia: Kevin Thomas, film critic for the Los Angeles Times called the movie 'the worst film ever directed by a winner of the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award.'
September 10 - The Big Brawl
  • Cast: Jackie Chan, Kristine DeBell, Mako, Ron Max, David Sheiner, Rosalind Chao, Lenny Montana, Peter Marc, José Ferrer
  • Director: Robert Clouse
  • Studio: Golden Harvest (Hong Kong), Warner Bros. (U.S.)
  • Trivia: Also known as Battle Creek Brawl. This was Jackie Chan's first attempt to break into the American film market. The film fared poorly at the box office and Chan was advised to try supporting roles like the Japanese race car driver in The Cannonball Run. He did not have success until 1995's Rumble in the Bronx.
September 10 - The Exterminator
  • Cast: Robert Ginty, Samantha Eggar, Christopher George, Steve James
  • Director: James Glickenhaus
  • Studio: Amsell Entertainment, AVCO Embassy Pictures, Shapiro-Glickenhaus Entertainment
  • Trivia: Some releases of the film have an alternate ending in which 'The Exterminator' survives a CIA ambush, which made 1984's The Exterminator 2, again with Robert Ginty, possible.


© C.A.T. Films

September 10 - The Gods Must Be Crazy
  • Cast: N!xau, Sandra Prinsloo, Marius Weyers, Nic De Jager, Michael Thys, Louw Verwey, Ken Gampu, Simon Sabela
  • Director: Jamie Uys
  • Studio: C.A.T. Films, distributed by Ster-Kinekor (South Africa), 20th Century Fox (U.S.)
  • Trivia: The film opened in South Africa on September 10, 1980, but did not see a release in the US until October 26, 1984. At the time, the film broke box office records in South Africa and was the most financially successful release in South Africa's film industry history. For the US release, the original Afrikaans dialog was dubbed in English. The film was developed while Uys was making the documentary Animals Are Beautiful People where he first encountered the San people and 'fell in love with them'.


September 9 - The Reflecting Skin
  • Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Lindsay Duncan, Jeremy Cooper
  • Director: Philip Ridley
  • Studio: BBC Films, Téléfilm Canada, Zenith, distributed by Virgin Vision (UK), Miramax Films (US)
  • Trivia: This was one of Mortensen's first starring roles. The film premiered at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival and extra screenings had to be scheduled to meet demand. The film won 11 international film awards. Roger Ebert said the film reminded him of Blue Velvet but better.


© Columbia Pictures

September 12 - Postcards from the Edge
  • Cast: Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Reiner, Mary Wickes, Conrad Bain, CCH Pounder, Dana Ivey, Oliver Platt, Michael Ontkean
  • Director: Mike Nichols
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • Trivia: Based on Carrie Fisher's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Nichols began pre-production in New York with a group of actors reading the lines to perfect the script. In exchange they were given small roles in the film. An unknown Annette Bening was one of those actors. Carrie Fisher said she wrote about a mother actress and a daughter actress and was offended that people thought she had no imagination for language, 'just a tape recorded with endless batteries'. Fisher did note that her mother Debbie Reynolds wanted to portray Doris, but in Reynolds' biography she said Nichols told her she wasn't right for the part. Streep was nominated as Best Actress for the Oscar and Golden Globe, while Shirley MacLaine received a Supporting Actress Golden Globe nomination. Streep won the Funniest Lead Actress American Comedy Award, and Bening won the Newcomer of the Year award from the London Film Critics' Circle.
September 14 - Death Warrant
  • Cast: Jean-Claude van Damme, Robert Guillaume, Cynthia Gibb, George Dickerson, Patrick Kilpatrick, Armin Shimerman
  • Director: Deran Sarafian
  • Studio: MGM-Pathé Communications, distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • Trivia: The film was written by David S. Goyer while a student at USC. The film's original title was Dusted.
September 14 - Hardware
  • Cast: Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, John Lynch, William Hootkins, Iggy Pop
  • Director: Richard Stanley
  • Studio: British Satellite Broadcasting, British Screen, Unlimited Palace Productions, distributed by Palace Pictures (UK), Millimeter Films (US)
  • Trivia: The film opened on October 5, 1990 in the UK. This was Stanley's feature film directing debut. Fleetway Comics successfully won a lawsuit over the screenplay that plagiarized the short story 'SHOK!' that appeared in the Judge Dredd Annual 1981. A notice was added to later releases of the film assigning proper credit. The film was originally more specifically British but Miramax insisted on American leads. The film was originally rated X for its extreme gore but was recut to get an R-rating. The film did not get a home video release until 2009 due to continuing legal issues that prevented a release.


© Carolco Pictures

September 14 - Repossessed
  • Cast: Linda Blair, Ned Beatty, Leslie Nielsen, Anthony Starke, Robert Fuller
  • Director: Bob Logan
  • Studio: Carolco Pictures, distributed by Seven Arts
  • Trivia: The film received a limited theatrical release (which Blair blamed on 20th Century Fox for rushing The Exorcist III into theaters a month before this was set to premiere), and went to VHS and Laserdisc a few months later. The film won a Razzie Award for Worst Original Song, 'He's Comin' Back (The Devil)'.
September 14 - State of Grace
  • Cast: Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright, John Turturro, John C. Reilly, Burgess Meredith, Mo Gaffney, Vincent Pastore
  • Director: Phil Joanou
  • Studio: Orion Pictures
  • Trivia: The film's lackluster box office performance was blamed on it being overshadowed by a similar movie released within the same week -- Goodfellas.
September 14 - White Hunter Black Heart
  • Cast: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Fahey, George Dzundza, Alun Armstrong, Marisa Berenson
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Studio: Malpaso Productions, Rastar, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Trivia: Based on the book of the same name by Peter Viertel, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The film is a thinly disguised account of Viertel's account of working on the 1951 film The African Queen. This was co-screenwriter James Bridges' last film before dying in 1993. The film was shot on location in Kariba, Zimbabwe, and surrounds including at Lake Kariba, Victoria Falls, and Hwange, over two months in the summer of 1989. Actor Clive Mantle, who plays the racist hotel manager Harry, has the distinction of being the only person to successfully beat up Clint Eastwood in a film.
September 15 - Boiling Point
  • Cast: Masahiko Ono, Yuriko Ishida, Hisashi Igawa, Bengal, Katsuo Tokashiki, Takahito Iguchi, Johnny Ohkura, Beat Takeshi
  • Director: Takeshi Kitano
  • Studio: Bandai / Shochiku Fuji, distributed by Shochiku Co., Ltd.
  • Trivia: This was Kitano's second film as a director, and first as a writer. He also stars under his stage name Beat Takeshi. The film's original title was 3-4X Jugatsu, which is the final score of a baseball game played in the film. 'Jugatsu' (October) was added to the title because the exciting baseball play-offs are held that month.


September 9 - The Girl
  • Cast: Claire Keim, Agathe De La Boulaye, Cyril Lecomte, Sandra Nkake
  • Director: Sande Zeig
  • Studio: Artistic License
  • Trivia: Based on a short story by Zeig's partner Monique Wittig, her first English-language story. The film opened in Canada on September 9, but did not get a limited US release until April 20, 2001.
September 10 - waydowntown
  • Cast: Fabrizio Filippo, Marya Delver, Gordon Currie, Tobias Godson, Tammy Isbell, Jennifer Clement, James McBurney, Don McKellar
  • Director: Gary Burns
  • Studio: Distributed by HomeVision, Lot 47 Films (US), Odeon Films, Alliance Atlantis, CTV, Telefilm Canada (Canada), Madman Entertainment (Australia)
  • Trivia: The low budget film was shot digitally and transferred to 35mm film. The film, set in Calgary, Alberta, was screened at the Calgary International Film Festival on September 19, 2019 to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
September 13 - Almost Famous
  • Cast: Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee, Patrick Fugit, Anna Paquin, Fairuza Balk, Noah Taylor, Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Director: Cameron Crowe
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Vinyl Films, distributed by DreamWorks Pictures (US), Sony Pictures Releasing (International)
  • Trivia: The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2000. The film is based on Crowe's experiences as a teenage writer for Rolling Stone. The film received four Oscar nominations and won for Best Original Screenplay. It also won a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. Roger Ebert named it the best film of the year and the ninth best of the 2000s. It won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and Kate Hudson won for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture. The name of the band in the film, Stillwater, shared the name with a real band which required the producers to get permission to use the name. Nancy Wilson of Heart, and Crowe's then-wife, co-wrote three of the five Stillwater songs for the film. Peter Frampton wrote the other two. Mike McCready of Pearl Jam played lead guitar on all of the Stillwater songs. Crowe went to London to screen the film for Led Zepplin members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, after which they granted him permission to use five songs on the soundtrack -- the first time they'd done that since allowing Crowe to use 'Kashmir' in Fast Times at Ridgemont High -- but would not allow him to use 'Stairway to Heaven' for one scene. On the special 'Bootleg' edition DVD, the scene is included as a bonus, without the song, with a watermark instructing viewers when to start playing the song.
September 13 - The Golden Bowl
  • Cast: Kate Beckinsale, James Fox, Anjelica Huston, Nick Nolte, Jeremy Northam, Madeleine Potter, Uma Thurman
  • Director: James Ivory
  • Studio: Merchant Ivory Productions, TF1 International, distributed by Lionsgate
  • Trivia: The film opened in France on September 13, in the UK on November 3, 2000, and in the US on April 27, 2001. Based on the 1904 novel by Henry James. Northam and Beckinsale had a conflict after Beckinsale asked Northam to walk faster in a scene to avoid stepping on her train. Northam became belligerent from getting a note from a fellow actor and was punched in the face by Beckinsale's then-husband Michael Sheen. The film received a cool reception at the Cannes Film Festival prompting executives at Miramax to ask the filmmakers to make some cuts to shorten the film. They refused and Miramax sold the film to Lions Gate (now Lionsgate).
September 15 - Bait
  • Cast: Jamie Foxx, David Morse, Kimberly Elise, David Paymer, Mike Epps, Robert Pastorelli, Jamie Kennedy
  • Director: Antoine Fuqua
  • Studio: Castle Rock Entertainment, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Trivia: The film was a huge failure, earning about $15 million worldwide against a $51 million budget.
September 15 - Circus
  • Cast: Famke Janssen, Lucy Akhurst, Christopher Biggins, Amanda Donohoe, John Hannah
  • Director: Rob Walker
  • Studio: Circus Pictures, Film Development Corporation, distributed by Columbia Pictures
  • Trivia: The film opened in the UK on May 5, 2000 before its US release on September 15. The film holds a 9% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
September 15 - Duets
  • Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Huey Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Maria Bello, Andre Braugher, Scott Speedman, Lochlyn Munro, Angie Dickinson, Maya Rudolph, Marian Seldes
  • Director: Bruce Paltrow
  • Studio: Hollywood Pictures, distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
  • Trivia: The film premiered at TIFF on September 9, 2000. This was the only time Gwyneth Paltrow worked with her father Bruce on a film, and it was his last film before his death. Brad Pitt was in a relationship with Paltrow and had been cast in the film but they broke up and Pitt decided to drop out, replaced by Scott Speedman. Lewis, Paltrow, Giamatti and Bello sang their own songs, while Arnold McCuller provided the vocals for Braugher. Paltrow's version of 'Bette Davis Eyes' was a Top 3 hit in Australia.


September 10 - I'm Still Here
  • Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck, Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs, Antony Langdon, Yasiin Bey, Ben Stiller, Edward James Olmos, Jamie Foxx, Billy Crystal, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Bruce Willis
  • Director: Casey Affleck
  • Studio: They Are Going to Kill Us Productions, Flemmy Productions, distributed by Magnolia Pictures
  • Trivia: The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 6, 2010. The film purported to depict Phoenix's retirement from acting and transitioning to a hip hop star, with Phoenix remaining in character for public appearances throughout filming, giving the impression he was genuinely pursuing a new career. The idea was born out of Phoenix's amazement that people believed reality television shows were unscripted. After screening the film, potential buyers were taken aback by many disturbing scenes of drug use, sex, abusive behavior and full frontal male nudity, and weren't sure if the film was a serious documentary or a mockumentary.
September 10 - Legendary
  • Cast: John Cena, Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover, Tyler Posey
  • Director: Mel Damski
  • Studio: WWE Studios, distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films
  • Trivia: The film was shot at Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School in Kenner, Louisiana in December 2009.
September 10 - Passion Play
  • Cast: Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox, Rhys Ifans, Bill Murray, Kelly Lynch
  • Director: Mitch Glazer
  • Studio: Annapurna Productions, distributed by Image Entertainment
  • Trivia: An incomplete cut of the film premiered on September 10 at TIFF. The film holds a 3% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film did receive a limited run on May 6, 2011 in New York and Los Angeles with a newly edited cut of the film that Glazer stated improved the film vastly.


© Screen Gems

September 10 - Resident Evil: Afterlife
  • Cast: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Shawn Roberts, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Spencer Locke, Boris Kodjoe, Wentworth Miller
  • Director: Paul W. S. Anderson
  • Studio: Constantin Film, Davis Films, Impact Pictures, distributed by Screen Gems
  • Trivia: The film first opened in Tokyo on September 2 before its US release on September 10. This was the fourth film in the Resident Evil series and the first in 3D. While not well-received in the US, earning just $60 million against a $60 million budget, the film was a hit worldwide, earning a global total of $300 million, the second highest of the series at that time. The previous film, Resident Evil: Extinction, was meant to be the last film in the series but its box office success led the studio to reconsider that decision. This marked Anderson's return to the franchise after directing the first film. Jensen Ackles was considered for the role of Leon S. Kennedy. Ali Larter missed filming seven episodes of Heroes to appear in the film. Johnny Messner auditioned for the role that went to Wentworth Miller, who was then surprised to see how muscular his character, Chris Redfield, was in the videogames. Anderson was sold on the 3D process after seeing footage from Avatar. The crew spent two week in pre-production learning the 3D camera system. During production, Jovovich accidentally shot out a $100,000 camera. The 3D cameras were so heavy, using Steadicams was impossible so camera operators mounted the cameras on Segways to achieve Steadicam shots.
September 10 - The Romantics
  • Cast: Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, Anna Paquin, Malin Åkerman, Adam Brody, Dianna Agron, Jeremy Strong, Rebecca Lawrence, Candice Bergen, Elijah Wood
  • Director: Galt Niederhoffer
  • Studio: Falcon Films, Paramount Famous Productions
  • Trivia: The film had its premiere on January 24, 2010 at the Sundance Film Festival. Liv Tyler was cast as Laura but was replaced by Katie Holmes who also served as the film's executive producer. This was Rosemary Murphy's last film.