Independence Day II: Resurgence


Independence Day II: Resurgence is the long awaited sequel to 1996’s blockbuster summer hit; Independence Day. Independence Day II: Resurgence will be directed by Roland Emmerich, produced by Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich and Haralad Kloser, and star Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox and Brent Spiner, who will all reprise their roles from the first movie, as well as Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher, Sela Ward, Charlotte Gainsbourg, , Maika Monroe, Joey King, Angelababy William Fichtner, and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

The film is due to be released on June 24th, 2016.

first look at independence day 2

Plot

Independence Day (the first film) saw the existence of extra-terrestrials be proved beyond doubt when huge ships started hovering above the various major cities of the world. As people began to welcome them, the aliens attacked – attempting to wipe humanity out. The rest of the plot sees the human cast attempt to save humanity and the world by finding a weakness in the alien invasion force.

Independence Day II: Resurgence is set twenty years after the events of Independence Day. In the intervening time, the various governments of the world as well as select international comities have attempted to build stronger defences against the threat ofanother extra-terrestrial invasion force. They have done this using recovered alien technology.

The invasion force from the first movie sent a distress signal before their defeat, and a new invasion of alien forces is arriving to Earth to avenge and conquer the planet, annihilating humanity in the process.

 independence day obama

Production

The idea of a sequel to Independence Day has been a possibility for many years. Especially in the wake of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, the creator of the movie had always wanted to revisit the film with a sequel.

Emmerich and Devlin apparently worked on a sequel, but could not find a way to continue the story. The plans were scrapped. Then, in 2009, Emmerich once again stated that he was planning a sequel – even at one point suggesting creating a pair of sequels to make a trilogy.

In 2011, Emmerich and Devlin jointly stated that they had ideas for sequels, and that they wanted the star of the movie, will Smith, to join them. Smith initially demanded $50 million to appear in the two sequels. Smith would not end up in the sequel in the end.

In March of 2013, the plans tended towards being completed in their current state. Jeff Goldblum would return, and the plot was secure. Will Smith would not return due to the price of his appearance. The two sequels would be shot back-to-back, and sci-fi plots including wormholes would be used.

Later, Fox would greenlight the first sequel, to be titled Independence Day: Resurgence . The title was released in June of 2015.

The filming began on May 5th 2015, and concluded on the 22nd August, 2015. Most of the scenes were shot in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

white house in flames independence day resurgence

The film was originally going to be released on July 3rd, 2015. This was delayed until July 2016. Fox then brought the film forward by a few weeks, and as of now, the film will be released in June, on the 24th, 2016.

Cast

Jeff Goldblum will play the role of David Levinson. Goldblum is reprising his original role from the film Independence Day. Goldblum is famous for his roles in The Fly, Jurassic Park and its sequel Jurassic Park: The Lost World, as well as Independence Day.

Bill Pullman will play the role of Thomas J. Whitmore. Pullman again is reprising his role from the first movie. He is notable for his roles in Spaceballs (1987), While You Were Sleeping (1995), Casper (1995), Independence Day (1996) and Lost Highway (1997).

Liam Hemsworth will play the role of Jake Morrison. Hemsworth is most noted for his roles on Australian soap Neighbours, as well as movie roles in The Last Song  and The Hunger Games series of movies.

Jessie Usher will play the role of Dylan Dubrow-Hiller. Usher currently stars as Cam Calloway on the Starz television series, Survivor’s Remorse. He also played Lyle on Level Up. He also appeared in When the Game Stands Tall and voiced the American Boy in Teenage.

Maika Monroe will play the role of Patricia Whitmore. She has previously appeared in films such as Labor Day  and At Any Price.

Sela Ward will play the role of U.S. President Lanford. She is previously famous for roles in The Fugitive (1993), My Fellow Americans (1996), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), The Guardian (2006), The Stepfather (2009), and Gone Girl (2014).

Charlotte Gainsbourg will play the role of Dr. Catherine Marceaux. Gainsbourg has appeared in many Lars Von Trier movies and is also a musician, having released several albums of material.

Joey King will play an as-yet undisclosed role. She is known for starring as Ramona Quimby in Ramona and Beezus, which is an adaption of Beverly Cleary’s books. She has also previously had roles in the movies Oz the Great and Powerful, The Conjuring, and White House Down.

independence day resurgence space shot

Judd Hirsch will play the role of Julius Levinson. He is famous for Running on Empty (1988), Independence Day (1996), A Beautiful Mind (2001), and Ordinary People (1980).

Angelababy will play the role of Rain. She is a Hong Kong model, actress, and singer.

Vivica A. Fox will play the role of Jasmine Dubrow-Hiller. She is best known for her roles in the films Independence Day, Set It Off, Soul Food, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Kill Bill, Booty Call, Sharknado 2: The Second One and Juwanna Mann.

Brent Spiner will play the role of Dr. Brackish Okun.

William Fichtner will play the role of General Adams.

DeObia Oparei will play the role of Dikembe.

Gbenga Akinnagbe will play the role of Agent Travis.

Travis Tope will play the role of Charlie.

Mckenna Grace will play the role of Daisy.

Patrick St. Esprit will play the role of Secretary of Defense Tanner.

Chin Han will play the role of the leader of the Chinese Space Squadron.

Karl Stefanovic will play the role of an Australian television reporter.

 

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The Leftovers. The post-rapture

The Leftovers is an American drama series produced by Warner Bros for HBO. It is currently in its second series, having premiered originally on June 29th, 2014 and being renewed for a second series which started on October 4th, 2015. The show follows the lives of the Garvey family, people who are left behind after the rapture occurs. The show stars Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler, Chris Zylka, Margaret Qualley, Carrie Coon and Emily Meade. The show has received a generally positive critical reception.

This article will give an overview of the plot of The Leftovers so far, as well as give an overview of the main cast and the production of the show. We will also give commentary about the critical reception of the show thus far.

Plot

The show The Leftovers explores the idea of a life after what the show calls “The Sudden Departure” – a twist on the Rapture from Christian theology. In the show, the characters are literally “Leftovers,” people who didn’t ascend during the Rapture.

abduction the leftovers

The Sudden Departure is not universally recognized as the Christian rapture – instead, it is named for the mysterious and unexplained disappearance of two percent of the world’s population – over one hundred and forty million people.

 

The show concentrates on a single family who were left behind – the Garvey’s. They reside in a fictional town in New York called Mapleton. The patriarch is called Kevin Garvey, and he is a police chief. His wife is a cult member that believes in the rapture theory, assuming that the rapture left them behind due to their sinful lives. The son of the family is a college student, and the daughter is a rebellious teenager.

The second series moves from New York to a town outside of Austin Texas.

Cast

Justin Theroux plays the role of Kevin Garvey. Kevin is the police chief of the fictional town of Mapleton.

Amy Brenneman plays the role of his wife, Laurie Garvey. Laurie has joined a cult – the Guilty Left Behind, who believe that sin is the reason they haven’t disappeared.

mental institution the leftovers

Christopher Eccelston plays the role of Matt Jamison, a one-time reverend, now an editor of a sinner-shaming tabloid. His character is conflicted as he led a pious and Christian life, and yet he was left behind during the Sudden Departure.

Liv Tyler plays the role of Megan Abbott. Megan is a woman preparing to get married.

Chris Zylka is in the main cast playing Tommy Garvey, the son of Laurie and Justin.

Margaret Qualley plays the rebellious teenager Jill Garvey, in the role of Justin and Laurie’s daughter, as well as Tommy’s sister.

Carrie Coon plays the role of Nora Durst.

Emily Meade is cast in the role of Aimee.

Amanda Warren plays Lucy Warburton.

Ann Dowd was cast in the role of Patti Levin.

the leftovers kids

Michael Gaston is the actor for the role of Dean. Dean is a person who has adapted to the change in the world by acting out with violent impulses. Gaston is best known for his work on Sudden Death, Ransom, Cop Land, Thirteen Days, The Crucible, Double Jeopardy, High Crimes, Sugar and Body of Lies and Bless the Child.

Max Carver and Charlie Carver play the two identical twins, Adam and Scott Frost.

Annie Q is on the cast, playing Christine – a groupie of Holy Wayne.

Janel Moloney plays the wife of Matt Jamison, Mary Jamison.

Regina King plays the role of a doctor called Erika Murphy.

Jevin Carrolll is cast in the role of John Murphy.

Jovan Adepo also appears, in the role of Michael Murphy.

underwater scream the leftovers

The recurring cast also consists of Paterson Joseph playing the role of Henry “Holy Wayne” Gilchrest, Frank Harts plays the role of police officer Dennis Luckey, Scott Glenn plays Kevin Garvey Sr, and Marceline Hugot and Jasmin Savoy Brown play Gladys and Evie Murphy respectively.

 

Production

HBO own the rights to the show having acquired them prior to the release of the book on which the series is based. This occurred in 2012.

The pilot was commissioned in February 2013. The HBO executives decided to commission a full series of ten episodes which would comprise the entirety of the novel. The second series was commissioned and started airing in October of 2015. The first series aired from June 29th 2014.

The opening theme is currently performed by DeMent, the music being titled “Let the Mystery Be.”

The composer of the score of the show is Max Richter.

Damon Lindelof, tom Perrotta, Peter Berg, Sarah Aubrey, Mimi Leder and Tom Spezialy are the executive produces for the show, with Nan Bernstein Freed being labelled as producer.

The show was shot on location in New York for the first series, and the second series was based and shot in Austin, Texas. Todd McMullen has handled cinematography.

Each episode is fifty-one to fifty-eight minutes long, aside from the pilot, which has a run time of seventy two minutes.

dad the leftovers

The production companies are Warner Brothers Television, Film 44 and White Rabbit Prooductions – making it the first HBO show to be outsourced for production as opposed to being created by HBO’s in house production team. Warner Brothers also handle the distribution of the show domestically and internationally through their distribution company, Warner Bros Television Distribution.

 

Reception

The Show The Leftovers received mixed but mostly positive reviews from critics. Metacritic, the review aggregator, shows an aggregated score of 65/100 for the first season, whilst the second season garnered a rating of eighty out of a hundred. On Rotten Tomatoes, a fellow aggregator, the show holds a rating of 70% for season one, with 88% being the rating for the second season.

One critic wrote of the show, “It’s a show that wants to provoke a reaction in you, whether it’s admiration, hatred, or just bafflement. It’s HBO’s best drama–and thus must-see TV.”

the leftovers gay

The show has received numerous accolades, including a Critics’ choice award and several nominations from both the Satellite Awards and the Critics’ Choice Television Awards.

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HBO’s The Wire

The Wire is an American crime drama. Produced by HBO, it is widely considered to be one of the greatest televisions shows of all time by critics. Set in Baltimore, Maryland (United States,) the series to date has comprised of five seasons, each looking at a different aspect of life in the city. The first season concentrated on a gang with aspirations to become a crime syndicate, the second season concentrated on unions and the docks of Baltimore, the third season concentrated on the political process, the fourth season on the school system and the fifth season on journalistic practices.

In addition to the new focus, there are various story arcs running through multiple seasons – and the main cast tends to be present in some, if not all, of the seasons.

The series stars Dominic West, Amy Ryan, Idris Elba, John Doman, Andre Royo, Aiden Gillan and Seth Gilliam among others.

Production

The Wire is considered a crime drama and a serial drama. It was created by writer and former police reporter David Simon.

Originally, the plot was going to be a fictionalisation of Simon’s former writing partner’s time as a homicide detective. The partner, Ed Burns, spoke of his time on the surveillance team, as well as problems of bureaucracy within the Baltimore Police Department. These would go on to be major plot driving points throughout the series.

omar the wire

The show would morph into something much wider over time. David Simon, Robert F. Colesberry and Nina Kostroff Noble would go on to be executive producers at various points throughout the show’s run, and the producers included Ed burns, Karen L Thorson, Joe Chappelle, George Pelecanos, and Eric Overmyer.

The show was shot on a single camera setup, and each episode lasted between 55 and 60 minutes, with the exception of the series finale, which lasted for 93 minutes. The production company in charge was Blown Deadline Production, and the hannel it aired on was HBO. The picture formats were 4:3, yet the show was later remasted in 16:9.

“Way Down In The Hole” is the theme tune for the song, yet it appears in various guises – with a different version used for the title credits in each series.

The show had a total of 60 episodes and its run lasted from June 2002 until March 2008.

the wire courtroom

Plot

Whilst there are over-arching stories across the seasons, The wire is notable for its distinct approach to storytelling over a season  – in each one, it concentrates on a different aspect of life in Baltimore, Maryland. Here, we will list each season and give a highlight of what the season was about.

Season One

Season One focuses on the police and their attempts to dismantle the Barksdale crime organization. The series introduces a new unit to the Baltimore police department – one that uses Wire Taps and attempts to break down organized crime – specifically the Barksdale Organization – in the city of Baltimore. The season also introduces a number of characters from the crime syndicate, including Avon Barksdale, head of the gang, and his right-hand man, Stringer Bell.

Central themes are the drug trafficking business, unbridled capitalism and both apathy and corruption in the police department.

Season Two

Season Two concentrates on the ports of Baltimore. The season introduces Beadie Russell, who works with the unit formed in Season One. The issues for the police involve trafficking through the ports, as well as potential issues with union workers and the corruption of the union in the docks. Stevedores play major characters in the season, as do a Greek organized crime gang that are involved with trafficking. The Barksdale Organization continues to operate on the periphery.

wire king HBO

Season Three

Season Three concentrates on the political process. It sees the Barksdale Organization attempt to get involved in real estate in order to clean their money and legitimize their operations, with varying success. It shows corruption in the mayoral election, and attempts by the political class to create a haven for drug users which cleans up the city. Also with limited success.

 

Season Four

Season Three introduced a competitor to the Barksdale Organization – the Stanfield Organization, led by Marlo Stanfield. Season Four explores this gang in more detail, as well as introducing a new plot point; the education system. This involves four new cast members playing boys from the school system in West Baltimore. The show describes how youngsters become involved in drug trafficking through the school system.

Season Five

The fifth and final season of The Wire focuses on media consumption and journalism. This is true to the writer of the show, David Simon, who was formerly a journalist investigating crime stories for the Baltimore Sun. The season, according to David Simon, deals with “what stories get told and what don’t and why it is that things stay the same.”

omar comin hbo the wire

The show sees a faked serial killer (in order to redirect limited city funds back into the police budget) start to gain attention, notoriety, and even contact the press. The press then run with the story, showing the corruption of the media, due to the serial killer being a fabrication.

The show ends with a conclusion and glimpse into the future of the many characters who have appeared on the show (at least, the ones who are not deceased.)

 

Notable Cast

Dominic West plays Jimmy McNulty.

Cedric Daniels is played by Lance Reddick.

Sonja Sohn plays Kima Greggs.

Seth Gilliam plays Ellis Carver.

Thomas “Herc” Hauk is played by Domenick Lombardozzi.

Bubbles is played by Andre Royo.

Lester Freamon is played by Clarke Peters.

Roland “Prez” Pryzbylewski is played by Jim True-Frost.

Avon Barksdale is played by Wood Harris.

Stringer Bell is played by Idris Elba.

D-Angelo Barksdale is played by Larry Gilliard Jr.

Hassan Johnson plays Wee-bey Brice.

Amy Ryan plays Beadie Russell.

Tray Chaney plays Poot.

Bodie is played by J.D. Williams.

Wallace is played by Michael B. Jordan.

Frank Sobotka is played by Chris Bauer.

Aiden Gillen plays Tommy Carcetti.

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The Player

The Player is an American action-drama TV series broadcasted on the NBC network. The Player, which was earlier named Endgame, stars Philip Winchester, of Flyboys fame, and Wesley Snipes, known for Blade Trilogy. The show was created by John Rogers and John Fox. Rogers, who is best known for the movie, Transformers and the TV series, Leverage. John Fox is the executive producer of the TV series, The Blacklist. John Rogers and John Fox also serve as executive producers of the show along with Bharat Nalluri and John Davis. The series premiered on NBC on September, 24, 2015.

wesley snipes nbc the player

The show follows the escapades of Alex Kane (Philip Winchester), who was a former intelligence officer and is now a security expert in Las Vegas. One night he is trying to rebuild his relationship with his ex-wife, but she gets shot by an intruder in her apartment. Enraged, Alex pursues the person in a high speed car chase. At some point during the chase, his car is hit by a car driven by Cassandra King (Charity Wakefield). Kane wakes up in a hospital and learns that he is a suspect in a murder. He escapes from there and is found by Cassandra, who is known professionally as The Dealer. She takes him to her boss, Mr. Johnson (Wesley Snipes), who is known professionally as The Pit Boss. This is where the plot of the series unfolds.

A large group of billionaires has come together and funded a computer, which can predict the crimes before they even happen. Of course, the billionaires have no interest to use that computer for the benefit of humanity and have decided to use it as a betting tool. They appoint a suitable candidate as The Player, whose job is to stop the crimes predicted by the computer. The billionaires, then take bets on the outcome of the crime as to whether The Player is able to stop the crime or not. So, in a way, maybe these billionaires really are using it to stop crime, but in their own lofty way that is a source of their amusement. The last person appointed for the role died, and the job has now fallen in the lap of Alex, should he choose it. Alex is promised that if he plays along with the game, then the billionaires will help him find the murderers of his wife.
Alex rejects the offer initially. But, when he visits the body of his wife in the morgue, he notices that she doesn’t have her ring tattoo anymore. So he gets suspicious of the whole affair, and decides to investigate from the inside. He eventually accepts the offer. The rules of the game are simple. He can talk about his job only to Cassandra King, and the job is for life. With that settled, he buckles himself for assignments, knowing fully well that if any of them go haywire, it could mean his last day on earth. In all of this, only Detective Cal Brown, who is a longtime friend of Alex, is truly by his side. He is also unwillingly drawn into the game as he helps Alex.

alex cane nbc the playerq

The series has a small permanent cast. Philip Winchester plays the role of Alex Kane, the intelligence officer turned security expert, who is the latest The Player in the game of the wealthy. To carry out his various heroic tasks, The Player is provided all sorts of equipment – fast cars, guns, and cool gadgets. Wesley Snipes dons the role of the mysterious and powerful, Mr. Johnson aka The Pit Boss. Snipes’ character is analytical, intimidating, and exudes power. He manages The Game from the top. He is generally away from the action, but he is more than capable of cleaning the mess, when things go out of control. Wesley is known to have rejected more than a few offers for TV shows. Clearly, he sees something in the character of Mr. Johnson.

The role of Cassandra King, The Dealer, is played by Charity Wakefield, of The Raven fame. Cassandra is a tech genius and has her own history in the world of intelligence. She might appear vulnerable at times, but is far more powerful and deadly than what she looks. In fact, she still retains enough friends/command to make airstrikes happen, according to her whims and wishes. Alex’s only real friend in all of this, Detective Cal Brown, is portrayed by Damon Gupton. Gupton is an upcoming actor whose previous credits include four episodes of Fox’s Empire and the WEtv thriller, The Divide, which was cancelled after it completed the first season. The other members of the cast are Daily Betts as Alex’s wife Ginny, and Nick Wechsler as Cassandra’s boyfriend, Nick.

charity wakefield cassandra king nbc the player

After hitting success with the show, The Blacklist, NBC took upon itself to repeat the success in a similar fashion. Half of the production team from The Blacklist was brought together to create another TV show for the network. The result is The Player. Executive producers of The Blacklist, John Davis and James Fox, are among the executive producers of The Player. Similarly, Davis Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television are again producing for NBC. The network announced the pilot for the series on May 8, 2015, and had immediately given the “go ahead” for the series, which premiered on September 24, 2015. However, it is not clear how many seasons of the show have been ordered.

The Player has received mostly negative ratings from critics, while the audience has given it an average review. The series has been most criticized for its lack of story, and for not bringing anything original to the table. Winchester shows little to no emotions other than being perpetually angry, presumably on account of his ex-wife’s death. Snipes manages to deliver “seemingly cool” lines, but his character is limited to black suits and expressionless facial movements. None of the characters in the show can be recognized with by the audience. All that the show does is depend heavily on a high amount of testosterone-filled action packed scenes involving car chases, gun fights, blasts, and so on. Critics agree that the show needs to grow out of the comfort zone, set by The Blacklist.

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Marseille, Netflix Takes Politics Abroad

Netflix is branching out into previously unknown territory with its new show, Marseille, its first original series in a language besides English. The show is not only shot entirely in a foreign language, it is also filmed entirely in France. This kind of ambition shows just how confident, and justifiably so, Netflix is in its original series. Given that the idea of a Netflix series was brand new not very many years ago it is reassuring to see that it has been a successful gamble. Even more so, Netflix is clearly not content to simply rest on its laurels and is trying new things.

The show will apparently follow trends that have become very popular in recent television, and have always been in high demand in the entertainment industry. Power, corruption, crime, redemption and everything else involved with politics and public prominence. While the dynamics of power, public sway, and personal intrigue may sound something like Game of Thrones , this show seems to be much more akin to House of Cards. That move is not surprising considering the huge success of House of Cards which was the original Netflix original series.

Several details about the plot of the show have been released and look like a recipe for excellent content and undoubtedly a lot of bingewatching. Revenge, while usually best served cold, appears in the forefront of the show and drives much of the stories conflict. It is important to note that while this is a political drama, the producers and directors have made sure to guide the story to be largely character driven. A move becoming more and more common in media that is revealing a heightened awareness and desire for higher tier content in their viewing. Alongside revenge there will be drug lords, corrupt politicians, good guys, bad guys, unions, socialites attempting to sway the direction of the city, and much more.

marseille cast

Netflix is aiming to create much more than a show, according to Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos. “A series that erases the line between film and television,” were the words Sarandos chose to use for the series, and that statement seems to be in line with much of what Netflix has been doing in recent months. Clearly the company is aiming at moving away from traditional media in which shows, movies, and miniseries are all disconnected. The continuations and additions to Marvel’s persistent universe echo that progressive sentiment in that various series will meld and build off each other, while in Marseille the aim appears to be a series with the quality of film.

In addition, Sardanos named the show as “diabolically smart,” which further illustrates Netflix’s goal to deliver high quality content to its subscribers. As streaming media becomes more ingrained in the daily life of many people people are no longer looking for escapist media but instead want to be stimulated, made to solve the riddles and guess what will happen next in an uncertain story arc.

The promise of a smart and engrossing story is backed up by writer Dan Franck, who has received a Golden Globe for his work along with two Primetime Emmy’s. The director of the first two episodes is FlorentEmilio Siri, who has called the series something close to a writer’s dream. The director clearly shares Netflix’s goal to heighten the value of content available to viewers, having said that French cinema is at the moment essentially limited to comedy and this series offers an opportunity to draw the audience to a new level of entertainment.

The show centers around the character Robert Taro, who has held his place as mayor of Marseille for 25 years. Gerard Depardieu has accepted to be the figurehead of the series as the mayor and can certainly be counted on to deliver a stirring performance. He is after all, one of the most prolific character actors in the history of film. Having taken on around 170 movies since 1967 is not his only accomplishment, he is also a cultural ambassador of Montenegro and is a Chevalier of both the Ordre national du Merite and the Legion d’honneur. Clearly he can be counted on to draw the audience deep into the show.

marseille resembles house of cards in style

His character, Taro, is faced with an upcoming election in which a young and popular man with deep personal connections to Taro is running against him. This old vs. new arc is layered and bears many implications for the show. Not only does it bear weight for the real world, outside the show, in which social change is sweeping the entire globe as a new generation with new technology gains a louder and stronger voice. It could also be something of a nod from Netflix itself, a company that has undoubtedly put major pressure on traditional film and television industries as well as cable and traditional means of delivery.

The writers are well aware of this and promoting it, Siri has personally made it clear that this is a show that will be deeply character centered and will differ from other series in that it will not sacrifice deep story development for the sake of pacing alone. This is a brave move for any artist as action almost certainly keeps viewers intrigued, but a deep story leaves a much more lasting impact and brings people coming back to watch more.

This show, while in French, is not made just for French speaking people. While the show is set almost entirely in Marseille and filmed in France the goal is not to exclude everyone else. Instead the show wants to present the story from a uniquely French viewpoint and offer viewers a chance to broaden their own perspectives by witnessing a story unfold through a viewpoint much different than their own.

marseille netflix shoot

Netflix has given huge creative freedom to the team responsible for making the show a reality and with a brand new project guided by a deeply enthusiastic, successful team it seems clear that Netflix has lined themselves up for a foreign language grandslam that may even open up audiences to other works outside their comfort zone.

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Marvel Adds Luke Cage to its Netflix Superhero Team

Marvel is adding to its cinematic universe with the series Luke Cage and is releasing the new show through Netflix. Cheo Hodari Coker is developing the series for the popular web streaming service and keeping it inline with the continuity of Marvel’s collective universe in order to prepare for a Defenders crossover miniseries.

Cheo Hodari Coker has worked on both films and television in the past. His highlights include Notorious, a movie chronicling the life of music icon Biggie Smalls, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Almost Human , a series starring Karl Urban and Minka Kelly, which received critical acclaim along with one Emmy win and three nominations. He will be writing the first two episodes of the series.

luke cage netflix series new
By Getty images.

While Cheo Hodari Coker will be working behind the scenes Mike Colter will be the face of the show, playing the title character. Colter has experience playing fighters, his most prominent role came from the film Million Dollar Baby . He has also acted in more fantastic settings, most notably through his roles in the Halo franchise, specifically Halo: Nightfall and Halo 5: Guardians. Now he is the lead of a series but it is interesting to note that it will not be the only show on Netflix featuring Luke Cage and his signature chain belt.

Marvel has clearly dedicated itself to a comprehensive comic universe and is satisfying its fans further by transferring that continuity to film and television. Colter will appear as luke cage in another upcoming Marvel web series (also through Netflix), Jessica Jones . The show is another in the lineup that will culminate in a Defenders miniseries.

jessica jones luke cage alfre woodward

Colter’s take on Luke Cage is bound to be gripping and intriguing as the characters backstory is fairly unique in a superhero universe made of clear good and evil figures. The Luke Cage of the comics has some traditional superhero characteristics, essentially superhuman strength but also unbreakable skin. What separates him from other heros is that he is a reformed convict that now protects the population from crime. It will certainly be interesting to see how that backstory surfaces in the show, if it will be given out to audiences as an intro or hinted at through dynamic flashbacks and mentions that allow the audience to learn more as the show develops.

In the series Luke Cage is part of an experiment that goes awry, granting him his invincible skin and wild strength but rendering him a fugitive out on his own. He eventually makes his way to Harlem and tries to begin a new life there, but as anyone with superpowers does, finds himself up against greater odds than he had expected or hoped for. The show has been in development for some time now, starting in the second half of 2013 with casting decisions being announced later in 2014. Colter will have a great chance to flesh out the Luke Cage character because the show will not be the first time Colter appears as Luke Cage in a Netflix series. Marvel is clearly pushing its interconnected characters in these series, and Jessica Jones will be the first to release. This show does not center around Luke Cage, instead focusing on Jessica Jones , but it will feature Cage and give the actor a chance to work on the character before leading a dedicated series.

luke cage netflix preview

Cheo Hodari Coker does not have a major roll with Jessica Jones but that series is setting a high precedent for these interconnected series that Luke Cage seems very likely to deliver on. Jessica Jones screened at the New York Comic Con and was met with massive applause, praise, and critical interest. This praise was as much for the actors and actresses as for the new direction that Marvel is taking most of its series in.

Judging by how intertwined these two series will be it is fair to believe that they will cover somewhat similar topics and appear to be a continuation of the new direction Marvel is taking its heros in. As opposed to fighting brightly costumed villains bent on conquering the world with fantastic schemes Marvels heroes now find themselves in a grittier, more realistic world. These shows now tackle important, difficult themes like assault, rape, and mental illness.

Clearly this show will not be about the classic Luke Cage of the past, who sported an essentially chrome tiara and was not too far removed from blacksploitation. Thankfully, we will be given a more modern take on Luke Cage for which Colter is equally grateful. He is quoted as saying, “when I saw the tiara, all the 1970s blacksploitation stuff, I was like, ‘oh my God…’ But they assured me, ‘that’s not what we’re doing, we’re doing a modern day version.” Marvels new modern
direction seems to be doing a service to fans and the company alike, if the huge success of other recent shows is anything to go on.

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Part of this take is changing the nature of the superhero, going from world saving to more community focused narratives. Luke Cage in particular will be something closer to a neighborhood hero and focus essentially only on New York, much like Jessica Jones. The hope is that while major blockbusters such as Thor and Iron man do well in their own right, these new series will take some of the fantasy out of the superhero in order to form a deeper, more tangible connection with viewers. Marvel has placed a lot of resources and creative risk into these series, forgoing cartoonish superheroes for a darker, albeit more realistic, world. It is a move that has paid off in the past and it seems that these interconnected series are slated to continue that trend. Not to mention that while all these series do function independently the real charm is that Marvel is trying to create a new genre of television, one in which the show doesn’t end at the credits. With this perpetual, connected universe and related shows we will see characters and stories intertwining between shows. This will grant viewers a layered experience with different viewpoints on various issues and allow for different views of familiar characters.

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The Ranch: A That’s 70’s Show Reunion Brought by Netflix

The Ranch is an upcoming comedy television series scheduled to premiere on Netflix in 2016. The show will star Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson in the lead roles. It comes from the executive producers of the hugely popular sitcom, Two and a Half Men. The twenty episodes of the series will be released in two sets of ten episodes each and should be on everybody’s watch list, at least for sampling.
The story of the show is set in Colorado and is about two brothers. It starts with Ashton Kutcher’s character coming back home to run the family business with his brother, played by Danny Masterson. Their father, a rancher himself, however, does not have a good relationship with his footballer son. He is angry at his son, for going away and leaving behind the family business.

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The Ranch got a direct order for the series without a pilot and it is understandable given the lineage it is coming from. The show brings together many old crew members from different shows together. First, the show is created by the executive producers of Two and a Half Men, Jim Patterson, and Don Reo. Ashton Kutcher was the lead in the show for the last four seasons of the series. The Ranch also took shape right around the twelfth season of Two and a Half Men. Reo and Patterson have written the screenplay and will also be the executive producers for the show. Initially, there was also a rumor that Chuck Lorre would be associated with the show, but that did not happen. The Ranch is also the second multi-camera on Netflix after Fuller House. It is anticipated that the series will appeal to the wide audience base of Two and a Half Men, as well as the cult show, The Big Bang Theory, because of the presence of Reo and Patterson.
Then there is the pair of old friends from That 70s Show, Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson, who are not only acting in the show, but producing it too. Laura Prepon too, another veteran of That 70s Show, is currently working on another Netflix project, Orange Is The New Black. This is kind of a mini-reunion for the That 70s Show team here. It will be interesting to watch how it pans out for Kutcher and Masterson. Both of them are seasoned performers, who are no strangers to the comedy.

Ashton Kutcher has garnered mass popularity over the years with roles in sitcoms like That 70s Show and Two and a Half Men, in which he replaced Charlie Sheen in the last four seasons. The actor is also known to be a successful producer and investor. He has been a part of many movies, including the hits such as Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000) and critically acclaimed projects like The Butterfly Effect (2004). His recent movies include No Strings Attached (2011) and Jobs (2013), among others. Ashton Kutcher is also responsible for the concept and production of the MTV hit show, Punk’d, which he also hosted. It is now in its ninth season.

that 70s show cast reunites for netflix show the ranch ashton kutcher

Danny Patterson, who plays Ashton’s brother in The Ranch, also played Steven Hyde in That 70s Show. Over the years, he has been actively involved in both TV shows and movies. What many people do not know is that he is also a professional DJ. His most recent project was the TBS show, Men At Work, which he also produced for ten seasons.

Sam Elliot plays the role of the father to these two brothers. The actor is well known for his voice and typical cowboy appearance. No wonder, he will fit in The Ranch perfectly. The actor has a large body of work behind him, both in television and movie industry. Most people recognize him from the character of General Ross in Hulk (2003) and the old caretaker in The Ghost Rider (2007). He is also well known for his roles in shows like FX’s Justified and NBC’s Parks and Recreation. He has been a part of numerous documentaries and has also lent his voice to various commercials and other projects.

Debra Winger has also been signed up for the show, a first regular full time television series for her. The talented actress is a three time Academy Award nominee and brings a lot of weight to the show. Her Oscar nominations came from the movies An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), Terms of Endearment (1983), and Shadowlands (1993). She has numerous awards to her credit, including the Best Actress Award for Terms of Endearment by the National Society of Film Critics, another Best Actress title at the Tokyo International Film Festival, and so on. The actress had cut down significantly on her work to focus on her family life and kids. Now that her kids are in their youth, the actress is accepting more work.

Ashton Kutcher y Danny Masterson

There is also a difference in how Netflix is releasing this show. Instead of the 13-episode release of shows that it does for most of its shows, the streaming service has ordered 20 episodes for the first season of The Ranch. The first lot of ten episodes will be released initially, followed by the second set. The style is more like broadcast television, where a typical season consists of 22 episodes on an average. Netflix has been experimenting with its release methods with other shows as well. For instance, All Hail King Julien, the animated series, is doled out in a batch of five episodes each. However, for Between, the new drama series, Netflix only released one episode per week, just like the regular cable networks. These experiments may give Netflix the perfect blend that results in maximum viewership and appreciation of the content it is producing.

Netflix original series have a track record of receiving a warm reception from audiences. The presence of a big star like Ashton Kutcher, is surely going to add to the appeal of The Ranch. It is also interesting to watch how sitcom stars are making a headway towards the Netflix shows. This is an interesting phenomenon and the online streaming service will definitely be able to tap into the sitcom fan base with more shows like this. As far as The Ranch is concerned, although it debuts in 2016, the cast and crew of the show are highly likely to create a lot of buzz before the launch date itself.

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Mako Mermaids Back Again

Mako Mermaids, also known as Mako: Island of Secrets and Secret of Mako Island, is an Australian Children’s/Teen-Drama starring Lucy Fry, Ivy Latimer, Amy Ruffle, Chai Romruen, Isabel Durant, Allie Bertram, and Alex Cubis.

The second series premiered on Netflix in most territories and the Eleven network in Australia on the thirteenth of February 2015.

This article will tell you about the show, the second series, the cast and the production. It will also reveal what’s known about the third series of this popular show.

 

What Is Mako Mermaids?

Mako Mermaids, or Mako: Island of Secrets, is a childen/teen drama in the fantasy genre. It features mermaids and mermen as its chief characters, and their interactions with the human world.

To date, there have been two series of the show, for a total of fifty two episodes. This article concentrates on the second series – with the plot, production and cast highlighted.

The running time of each episode is twenty six minutes, and the show has been created by Jonathan M. Shiff. Writers of the show include Sam Carroll, Anthony Mossi and Chris Roache. The show is directed by Evan Clarry and Grant Brown. The Opening and Closing theme of the show is “I Just Wanna Be” by Chantelle Defina and Jack Dacy.

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What Happened In Season One?

The main character, Zac, played by Chai Romruen , is a teenager who decides to go on a camping trip to a nearby island; Mako Island – which is where the title of the show comes from. Zac is unaware that whilst camping, he is also being watched. Those watching him are the caretakers of the island – a trio of mermaids.

Despite their guarding the island, Zac falls into a magic pool, the moon pool, on the night of a full moon. This turns him into a merman. Because of this oversight, the mermaids are banned from their pod of mermaids.

To undo this, the mermaids need to learn to live on the land and infiltrate the human world, in order to remove Zac’s powers from him.

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What’s Happening In Season Two?

In series two, the mermaids are on their quest. The discover more about the secret island of Mako, and they also learn more about the mermen. Two of them go in search of a new place to live, and one of them – along with her friends – concentrates on removing Zac’s powers.

Will There Be A Season Three?

Good news for Mako’s Island fans: In 2014, it was announced that there will be a third season. It is due to premiere some time in 2016. Little is known about the series so far, except from the fact that Linda Ngo will join the cast as a Chinese mermaid called Weilan, and a guest appearance of Cariba Heine as Rikki Chadwick has been confirmed for the final two episodes.

 

Cast

Amy Ruffle plays the character of Sirena in both series one and two, and is one of the three mermaids. Naive and sweet, she acts as a mediator and peacemaker when Lyla and Nixie quarrel.

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Lucy Fry plays the character of Lyla in series one, and initially has an interest in Zac solely for the task of removing his powers. However, over time she begins to become attrated to him. She is considered in charge of the three main mermaids, and is head-strong, loyal and very intelligent.

Ivy Latimer plays the character of Nixie in series one, one of the three mermaids. Nixie is an adventurous girl, but one who is true to her convictions. In series 2, she is not present, but is mentioned throughout as searching for a new home with Lyla.

Chai Romruen plays the character of Zac Blakely in both series 1 and 2, and becomes a merman whilst camping on Mako Island after he falls into a magical oasis. His character is a sports enthusaist and a natural surfer. In series 2, he finds out that Mimmi is his sister, and he was already a Merman as of his birth.

Gemma Forsyth plays the character of Evie McLaren in series 2, (and is also a member of the supporting cast in series 1) who is the girlfriend and major love interest of Zac. In series oneshe believes that the interest in Zac that the mermaids have is due to them stalking her. Over the course of series one, she realizes the truth of the matter, that the girls aren’t human, and apologises for her rash judgement. She is herself accidentally changed into a mermaid in series two.

Isabel Durant plays the character of Ondina (series 2), as a mermaid who is tasked with removing Zac’s powers. She is a headstrong character and tries to do the things she plans without compromise.

Allie Bertram plays the character of Mimmi in series two. Mimmi is a mermaid who attempts to take Zac’s powers from him. She is inquisitive and intelligent, and occasionally is responsible for getting Ondina out of trouble. She discovers in season two that unbeknownst to her, Zac is her biological brother.

Alex Cubis plays the character of Erik in series 2. Erik is a merman who is part of a rare bloodline of mer-people. In the show, this blood line hasn’t been seen for many millenia. He is an elusive character, and prefers solitude.

 

Production

Series one of Mako: Island of Secrets was originally announced in 2011. It was 26 episodes long, and each episode was twenty six minutes in length.

Series Two was confirmed in February 2013. The production for the show began in the second half of the same year, and was funded by Screen Australia. The second series premiered on February 13th, 2015 in North America and Latin America, as well as the United Kingdom and seom other countries. It first premiered in Australia on the Eleven network on the same date.

The season was split into two halves – the first aired from the aforementioned date, February 13th 2015, and the second half aired from May 29th onwards on Netflix. Netflix mistakenly labelled this second half of the second season as the third season, which has yet to air.

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Iliza Shlesinger: Freezing Hot

Freezing Hot is a one-hour comedy special by Iliza Shlesinger, comedienne and winner of season six of “Last Comic Standing.” This is her second one-hour special, following on from War Paint in 2013. The show was shot on location in Denver, Colorado in 2012 and is available to view on Netflix as of January 2015.

The show tackles themes of “girl logic,” the difference in thought processes between men and women, and social issues. This article will tell you about the comedian, her previous roles, the show itself and the production credits associated with it.

Who Is Iliza Shlesinger?

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Iliza Shlesinger is a comedienne. She is thirty two years old, and was born in Dallas in Texas, United States of America.

Her notable achievements include being the winner of the sixth season of Last Comic Standing, an NBC show which was a reality TV show set to find the best new comedic talent. She won a cash prize, and this kick-started her comedy career. Previous to that, she’d started comedy at her school’s improv team, and then performed with ComedySportz Dallas before attending the University of Kansas for her freshman year. She would then transfer to Emerson College in Boston, where she majored in film. It was there that she refined her comdy skills as a member of the colleges comedy sketch group called Jimmy’s Traveling All Stars, and she credits this with refining her writing and editing skills.

She was also the host of NBC’s dating reality-tv show Excused, which was set in a house in LA and saw contestants pit against each other in order to win dates. The show ran for two seasons, from 2012-2013 and ran for a total of 230 episodes. The show was created by  David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe for Renegade 83 Productions.

What Is Freezing Hot?

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Freezing Hot is a one-hour stand-up comedy special. It was filmed during one of her stand up shows on location in Denver Colorado in December of 2012.

It takes its title from a list of potential titles that Iliza considered. She settled on Freezing Hot because, in her own words:

“Basically, what I found was a lot of the material I was that I was commenting on girls’ thought processes. I’ve come up with something called “Girl Logic” which is basically sort of wanting what you can’t have or wanting the one thing that you want, but not wanting whatever makes that thing a thing. I want cold weather, but I don’t want to be cold. I’m hungry, but I don’t feel like eating…Freezing Hot just comes from the idea that everything in our brain is a contradiction of ourselves. It’s a commentary on women’s thought process.”

It covers themes such as “girl logic” – or the differences between men and women. This is a recurring theme for Shlesinger, who coined the term “girl logic” for herself and made the explanation of it part of her routine for War Paint. Occasionally the show veers into other territory, such as social commentary.

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Critics have rated it generally favourably. The AV Club wrote that it was bogged down by traditional gender roles, yet IMDB and other aggregators seem to suggest that the show has received strong reviews, usually around the 70% positive range – which shows that the opinion, both public and critically, is quite reasonable in terms of people’s enjoyment of the show.

You can see it on Netflix. Netflix bought the rights to air the comedy special Freezing Hot as part of an acquisition drive they have been doing recently. In order to increase their Video On Demand Library, they have acquired the rights to many titles. There’s been particular interest paid to comedy shows, and Iliza Shlesinger’s Freezing Hot is one of those acquired titles. Interestingly, Netflix also have bought the rights to air War Paint, Iliza’s first stand-up comedy special from 2013.

What are Iliza’s Shlesinger’s Previous Works?

Previous to Freezing Hot, Iliza Shlesinger appeared on the sixth season of Last Comic Standing. She became the winner of that season, defeating other comedians and comediennes in order to win a cash prize and launch her career in comedy business.

Following that, she was on Excused, a reality-tv dating show which was produced for NBC.The show was set in a house in LA and saw contestants pitted against each other in order to win dates. Iliza starred in the show for its entire run of two seasons, from 2012-2013. This included a total episode count of 230 episodes.

Who Else Is Involved In The Production?

The show was directed by Jay Chapman. The show was written in its entirety by Iliza Shlesinger. The show also has a long line of producers, including, Kara Baker, Rob Guillermo, Chico Henson, Cisco Henson, Lisa Nishimura , Ryan Polito, Iliza Shlesinger, Jack Vaughn    , Brian Volk-Weiss and Kristen Zolner, who all are credited to Freezing Hot as executive producers.

Kimberly Leen  served as the associate producer of the show, and Kieran Dotti fulfilled the role of production supervisor. Finally, Deborah Adamson served as the line producer for the show Freezing Hot.

The cinematography was done by Samuel Brownfield. Film editing was done by Brenda Carlson. Production Design was completed by Jeremy W. Foil – who served as the associate production designer – and Jim Kronzer. Both used stage names in the credits, the former appeared as Jeremy Foil in the credits, and the latter appeared as James Kronzer.

The art department included Jeremy W. Foil and Sean Green and James Wamser, both who acted as stage hands.

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The sound department consisted of Thomas Cassetta as a sound-mixer and Warren Woods handled the post-production audio.

The camera-men and associated operators include Tomothy Billingham, Stephen Fort, Tom Harker, Lisa Higginbotham, Matt James, Joe Kelter, Breck Larson, Matt Kubas, Pierce Lowell, Ed Martinez and Kevin White.

The editorial department included Dale Carroll, Aj Habrilla, Gary Lister, Andrew McGivney and Tobin Phillips.

Other crew members credited for Freezing Hot include Matias Alvarex, Michael Dondero, Greg Eakins, Keri Kassing and Felicia Sabartinelli.

 

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The Adventures of Puss in Boots

The Adventures of Puss in Boots is the American animated television series produced by DreamWorks Animated Television. Puss in Boots is the beloved character from the wildly popular Shrek franchise by the same producer. The series will be released in sets of five episodes each time, throughout the year. The first five episodes of the series premiered on Netflix in January, 2015 and the later sets were released in the months of May and September, later in the year.

three musketeers puss in boots adventures netflix

The plot of the series paints Puss as a guardian, who is constantly fighting thieves off the hidden treasure of a city called San Lorenzo. The story goes that Puss stole a coin from the treasure first. By doing this, he unknowingly broke the spell that was keeping the city and its people hidden from the outside world. The Puss now protects the city from the bandits that keep attacking it for the loot.

The plot of the movie is simple and may be even shallow for some. The show glorifies lessons such as the importance of friendship, promises, and so on. These are definitely lessons worth learning, but they seem more directed towards kids, in the way they are presented. Even the comedy seems to take the same route. This is a departure from the movies which were more of a ‘whole family entertainment’.

pigt friend puss in boots

Puss is very much the same character as in the movies. Keeping the sanctity of the character is a good move because the Shrek films, as well as the movies on Puss, have built on his background story, which make the character what he is. Though the character is the same, the voice behind him has changed. While the movies had Antonio Banderas giving his voice to Puss, the TV series has the Canadian-American voice actor, Eric Bauza, doing it. Then there is the love interest of Puss, Dulcinea, whose voice is rendered by Jayma Mays. The character is shown to be innocent, naïve and protected but absolutely lovable. There are many other supporting characters that include Artephius, the alchemist, Toby, who is completely smitten by Puss’ antics, Mayor Tomoroso, Pajuna, Vina, Kid Pickles, Esme, Cleevil, and others. The voice artists for all the characters have to be given credit for matching up with the characters so well. The dialogue delivery is perfect and even the music is chosen well to complement the story.

puss in boots at a bar

As far as the story progression and character development are concerned, the series does not fair very well. The characters are not as nicely carved out and polished like the movies. They are fun to watch but not necessarily the kind that people will remember. As we said, it is directed towards kids and it is fine in that sense.

Then there is the visual, technical aspect of the movie. Given the production house backing the project, this seems a little odd, but the series does seem to be low on budget. Visually, it is not as smooth as the movies. Though the characters themselves seem to be fine, it is their movement and action that seem to be rough around the edges. This leaves a lot to be desired, but then again, it is something that can be overlooked, if the content is enjoyable.

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Puss in Boots is definitely not for everyone. Seeing the plot of the movie, some may feel that they are too old to be sitting through it too. Nevertheless, it is fun to watch, for those who enjoy kid’s comedy shows. It is simplistic, fun, enjoyable and a one-time watch. If somebody is a fan, then it is definitely worth knowing more about their favorite Puss in Boots.

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