|REBOOT THE ‘SAW’ FRANCHISESAMUEL L. JACKSONFIRST TRAILERCHRIS ROCKTRAILERSPIRAL|
The kind of light and hokey biopic that a “cool” substitute teacher might show to a semi-interested AP history class, “The Banker” tells the little-known story of Bernard Garrett, a brilliant and enterprising black man who broke through two of America's most racist industries by hiring a white handyman to play the face of his business. Considered in that context, it’s “BlackKklansman” for math nerds, but absent the shit-stirring righteousness that made Spike Lee's film so much fun.
On the contrary, this wooden tale of socioeconomic privilege is as stiff and disjointed as a middle school play, with every line of over-enunciated dialogue pitched to the rafters so that all of the parents can hear it save for a third act so full of banking jargon you'd need an MBA to make sense of it all. Even if the Apple TV+ drama hadn't been postponed due to credible allegations of sexual abuse and wanton revisionism, it would still reek of inauthenticity. Garrett's victories are too convenient, his setbacks too compressed; the struggle is real, but here it seems like make believe.
And yet, the film's most glaring weakness is also the source of its most enduring strength, as the artificiality of it all sometimes helps “The Banker” to subvert the performative nature of race in this country. Director George Nolfi “The Adjustment Bureau” wrote the ingenious post-modern sequel “Ocean's Twelve,” and his latest effort is never better than when it functions as a kind of crime-free real estate caper, with the hero Anthony Mackie and his sly hustler of a business partner Samuel L. Jackson grooming their lower-status accomplice Nicholas Hoult for the role he was born to play: A handsome white man. At the same time, Garrett and Joe Morris are forced to disguise themselves as a janitor and chauffeur in order to Cyrano de Bergerac their caucasian employee whenever his own wits fail him. Sometimes the only way to beat the system is to fool it into thinking that you're not.
Save for a corny prologue that takes us back to Garrett's childhood in small-town Texas circa 1939 the little boy works as a shoe-shiner for white bankers, writes down everything they say, and then scampers home for a dinner scene with big “Walk Hard” energy, “The Banker” begins in the early '60s, as Garrett and his wife Eunice Nia Long arrive in Los Angeles and immediately start buying up property with an eye toward moving black people into white neighborhoods. Mackie plays Garrett as a cold man with a spark in his eyes — he generally seems determined to be as distant as possible — forcing Nolfi to push the film uphill before it's been able to gather any momentum.
The script which Nolfi co-wrote with Niceole Levy, David...
Some good news for “Killing Eve” fans: AMC Networks has announced it is moving the Season 3 premiere of “Killing Eve” up by two weeks. The news comes accompanying a flirtatious first trailer, which teases plenty of the stylish edits, wry dark humor, and Sapphic obsession-filled tension that Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s award-winning spy drama is known for. Unfortunately, nothing in this trailer confirms or denies that this will be the season that our two anti-heroines finally consummate their mutually destructive obsessive romance. But it still looks like a whole lot of fun.
[Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers for Season 2 of “Killing Eve.”]
The Season 2 finale left Eve Sandra Oh presumed dead, having been shot in the back by her best frenemy/would-be lover Villanelle Jodie Comer. However, as the titular role, it was believe that twist would last. The first teaser confirms that Eve is very much alive, and Villanelle is very much still insane and obsessed with her.
The official synopsis reads: “The third season of the award-winning drama continues the story of two women with brutal pasts, addicted to each other but now trying desperately to live their lives without their drug of choice. For Villanelle Jodie Comer, the assassin without a job, Eve Sandra Oh is dead. For Eve, the ex-MI6 operative hiding in plain sight, Villanelle will never find her. All seems fine until a shocking and personal death sets them on a collision course yet again. The journey back to each other will cost both of them friends, family, and allegiances...and perhaps a share of their souls.”
“We know how adored this series is and we know how keen people are for great content right now,” said AMC President Sarah Barnett of the decision to push the release date up. “This season of ‘Killing Eve’ digs deep psychologically, and with actors like Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer and Fiona Shaw the results are nothing short of astonishing. We literally couldn't wait for fans to see it.”
AMC will premiere the third season of “Killing Eve” next Sunday, April 12 at 9/8c. As was previously announced, all eight new episodes will be simulcast on BBC AMERICA and AMC.
Check out the stylish first trailer for Season 3 of “Killing Eve” below:
Chris Rock will reintroduce the “Saw” horror franchise to the world this summer as the writer and star of Lionsgate’s “Spiral,” but up first for the beloved comedian is a leading role in “Fargo” Season 4. And it's one he’s already touting as the greatest work of his career. Rock joins Jason Schwartzman, Jessie Buckley, Ben Whishaw, and Timothy Olyphant in the new season from writer-showrunner Noah Hawley. “Fargo” kicks off its new run next month on FX, and it’s going to be epic, at least based on what Rock says in a preview interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“This is the best part I've ever done and, honestly, probably the best part I'll ever have,” Rock says of the series. “That's how it works. Morgan Freeman is in ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’ He's amazing. He's made a kazillion dollars since then. He never got a part that good again. When you get these great parts you have to make the most of them.”
Rock stars in “Fargo” Season 4 as Loy Cannon, a crime lord with a conscience. “He's a businessman, he's a deacon at his church, he's a loving father and husband, he owns a bank, and he's also a criminal,” the comedian said about his character. “He fixes fights and runs numbers and prostitution. He's always on edge. It's Tony Soprano-esque.”
According to Rock, “Fargo” Season 4 takes on an ambitious scope that previous seasons lacked. Rock calls the new season “the biggest ‘Fargo'” yet. The actor adds, “The scale is tremendous. ‘Fargo’ normally tells little stories that get out of hand. They're about ordinary people, something happens, and then we get to see how evil ordinary people can be. This is quite different. We start off gangsters, so we're beginning with bad people, and then it escalates.”
Rock is primarily an actor on the show, but he did step in and make rewrites to the script when he felt strongly that something Hawley wrote should be fine-tuned. “I'd be talking as a guy who's lived this and kind of knows Loy Cannon,” Rock said. “In the 1950s, my dad was 17 and my granddad was 30. So I know these guys a little bit.”
“Occasionally I would pull Noah to the side and go, ‘What about this?’ or ‘I have literally sat with these guys and they never say this,'” Rock said. “As the senior black person on the set, along with [costar] Glynn Turman, there is a responsibility you have if you disagree with something. Nine times out of 10 the person you say it to appreciates it.”
“Fargo” Season 4 begins April 19 on FX.
Since directing Brie Larson to an Oscar win in 2015’s Room, Irish writer/director Lenny Abrahamson has been fairly quiet, directing only a couple episodes of a TV series called Chance and a single feature, the 2018 horror mystery The Little Stranger, which starred Domhnall Gleeson. Now Abrahamson has returned to his home country as one of the two directors of Normal People, a new Hulu co-production with the BBC which focuses on two young lovers from Ireland who find themselves on opposite sides of a class divide. Check out the trailer below.Normal People Trailer
Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Man, this show looks sexy. I know the whole “Romeo and Juliet” dynamic is a little played out, but author Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, which serves as the basis for the show, was critically acclaimed, so I suspect there’s more going on here than what we see in this trailer. Normal People will reportedly consist of twelve half-hour episodes, with Abrahamson tackling the first six and Hettie Macdonald Doctor Who, Howards End directing the final six. Rooney is serving as a writer on the series, along with Alice Birch Lady Macbeth, Succession and Mark O’Rowe Boy A.
Daisy Edgar-Jones 2019’s War of the Worlds TV series stars as Marianne, and Paul Mescal Bump plays Connell, the two friends/lovers at the center of the story, and the production hired real students who were attending Dublin’s Trinity College to participate in the show. I visited Trinity College’s campus a couple of years ago to check out the world-famous Long Room in its Old Library; you can see it at the :54 mark in this video. It’s fitting that the world “normal” is in the title, because this looks like one of the most normal, traditional things Abrahamson has been involved with in years. And I wouldn’t exactly say that the guy who made Frank and Room is super concerned about directing traditional projects.
Here’s the show’s official synopsis:
Based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, Normal People is an exquisite, modern love story about how one person can unexpectedly change another person’s life and about how complicated intimacy can be. It follows Marianne and Connell over several years, as they embark on an on-again/off-again romance that starts at school and continues through college, both testing their relationship as they explore different versions of themselves.
Normal People premieres on Hulu on April 29, 2020.