Posted in Video,[experience-it-all] by Scott Meisner on August 30th, 2014

In support of the ALS Association, I participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge that is sweeping the nation.

Enjoy the clip, and most importantly, donate!

2014 Emmys: ‘Breaking Bad’ & ‘Modern Family’ big winners, again

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on August 29th, 2014

For the second year in a rowBreaking Bad and Modern Family won Best Drama and Best Comedy, respectively, at the Emmys. The AMC drama claimed six trophies for its final season. In addition to winning the big one, Bryan Cranston was crowned Best Actor and his co-stars Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn were named Best Supporting Actors. Also, series creator Vince Gilligan won Best Directing for the finale “Felina” and Moira Walley-Beckett won Best Writing for the penultimate episode “Ozymandias.” Modern Family went on to win two more statues: one for Best Supporting Actor (Ty Burrell) and another for Best Directing (Gail Mancuso). Sherlock was also a big winner at Emmys scoring three statues that night for Best Lead Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Best Supporting Actor (Martin Freeman), and Best Writing (Steven Moffat). Elsewhere, Fargo won Best TV Miniseries and Best Directing and American Horror Story: Coven‘s Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates won Best Lead Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.

For the full list of winners, click here.

Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul & Julia Louis-Dreyfus make funny in ‘Pawn Stars’ parody

Posted in Hilarity,Video by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2014

The Emmys are coming and the Television Academy sure knows how to spread the word. It’s produced this wildly entertaining and quite funny Pawn Stars parody reuniting Breaking Bad partners-in-crime Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. They star in the 6+ minute clip as Buzz and Randy Jackson of “Barely Legal Pawn” where they encounter celebrity client Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She’s looking to sell her Seinfeld Emmy because she wants to buy a private island, just like Celine Dion. Cranston’s comedic prowess shines here, and after some haggling the clip takes an expected twist in the end that Bad fans will rejoice over. So sit back and watch these Emmy-winning actors do their thing.

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards hosted by Seth Meyers airs live Monday, Aug. 25 at 8PM (ET) on NBC.

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‘Parks & Rec’ season 6 gag reel

Posted in Hilarity,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2014

The upcoming seventh season of NBC’s Parks And Recreation will be the series’ last, so you need to get all your laughs in now before the curtain closes. Enter the season 6 gag reel brimming with so much funny you might need to take an intermission or two. My favorite part? That’s when Jim O’Heir (aka Jerry/Larry/Terry Gergich) actually pulls a Jerry in real life and totally messes up a take. What’s yours?

Parks & Rec returns in 2015.

‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ lands early October premiere, extends two teasers [Update: new teasers inside!]

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2014

We have a date! The Freaks come to town in the next iteration of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series on October 8. The network also released a tantalizing description of the upcoming season:

American Horror Story: Freak Show begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952. A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.

And if that wasn’t enough, there are two brand new teasers hyping the big premiere. Above, a haunting creature extends an invitation to the Freak Show. After the break, a mustached man licks a lollipop; any more detail would ruin the surprise!

As we approach AHS: FS’s October premiere date there’s bound to be more where this came from. I wonder what other Freaks we’ll be introduced to next…

Update (8/28): And just like that, two new teasers involving a three-legged acrobat and a caged woman are chilling after the break awaiting your dissection. (Click here for more…)

Extended look at Fox’s origin story ‘Gotham’

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2014

Here’s your first intensive look at the fall’s most anticipated new drama, Gotham. Warner Bros. and Fox have released a 20-minute behind-the-scenes look at the massive origin story revolving around Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie). Creator Bruno Heller (The Mentalist) has DC Comics heroes and villains at his disposal and from the get-go viewers will be drawn into gritty, violent world filled with the likes of a young Bruce Wayne (aka Batman), Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin), Edward Nygma (The Riddler), and Ivy Pepper (Poison Ivy). The ensemble cast also includes Sean Pertwee as Wayne’s butler and confidant Alfred Pennyworth, Donal Logue as Gordon’s parter Harvey Bullock, and Jada Pinkett Smith plays an original villain envisioned specifically for the series, Fish Mooney.

You’ll hear from Heller, McKenzie, and most of the cast, as well as other creatives involved in the making of the series. It’s a fascinating look at how the world of Gotham has been remade for the small screen. If you haven’t been counting down the days until Gotham‘s September 22 premiere, consider this the tipping point.

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Hannah rides a bike in brief tease at ‘Girls’ season 4

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2014

There’s not much here, but for fans of HBO’s Girls anything is something. Star Lena Dunham rides a bike clumsily in this season 4 tease. When we last saw Hannah Horvath she decided to ditch NYC to participate in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Might this be her failed attempt to make it to class? Hannah’s story continues when Girls returns to HBO early next year.

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Yahoo teases ‘Community’ season 6 in packed (retrospective) trailer

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2014

Warning: the following trailer does not contain new footage. Production on the holy sixth season of Dan Harmon’s Community begins later this fall. The trailer does pack juicy morsels of goodness from every season NBC aired up to this point, though. There’s funny stuff throughout, but the best gag has to be when the trailer pretty much disregards the existence of the Harmon-less season 4. Enjoy, and get ready for Community “better than it was before. Better. Stronger. Faster.”

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‘Phineas and Ferb’ to air ‘LOST’ inspired episode written by Damon Lindelof with guest star Terry O’Quinn

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2014

After conquering Marvel’s superheroes and Star Wars, Disney’s hit cartoon Phineas and Ferb is about to get Lost. In an upcoming installment “Lost in Danville” set to air Monday, September 29 at 7:30pm (ET) on Disney XD, the tinkering boys will find themselves in a mysterious episode written by Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof.

A mysterious locked capsule falls into Phineas and Ferb’s back yard and they struggle to open it, only to discover they have unleashed something they cannot control. Meanwhile, Perry learns that Dr. Doofenshmirtz has been abducted and tracks him to Seattle where another evil scientist, Professor Mystery, has his own sinister plan.

A locked capsule? A polar bear pictured in the still above? Perhaps the elusive Dharma Initiative and the sinister Smoke Monster will play pivotal roles here. Guest voices includes Lost‘s very own Terry O’Quinn (John Locke) as Professor Mystery and Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle) and Rob Morrow (Numbers) play capsule inhabitants Denise and Bernie (perhaps Danville’s very own Bernard and Rose?–just a theory!).

The ABC drama premiered on 9/22 back in 2004; celebrate 10 years of Lost by watching this specially themed P&F episode that is bound to be filled with easter eggs galore.

Renewals: AMC’s ‘Halt And Catch Fire’, FX’s ‘The Strain’ & Showtime’s ‘Masters of Sex’

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2014

Let’s start with the unexpected. AMC has gone ahead and renewed freshman series Halt And Catch Fire for a second season. Despite middling ratings and buzz, the 80s period drama about the PC Revolution will return next year. Star Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) provided the initial draw and after a slow build the show became fun summer fare with its knack for capturing the exciting, experimental era it’s set in. From the technological jargon to the music, HCF eventually found its creative streak and has me yearning to see more in a second season. Props to Pace’s costars Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis, and Kerry Bishé for their emotionally grounded performances that made it easy to get invested.

“This is a show about invention, experimentation and the inherent risks in trying to break new ground — themes that really resonate with us as a network and attracted a passionate audience,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. “We have a history of demonstrating patience through the early seasons of new shows, betting on talent and building audience over time. We see that opportunity here and look forward to a second season of Halt and Catch Fire from creators Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers, and showrunner Jonathan Lisco.”

Elsewhere, FX renewed Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse’s vampire horror fest The Strain and Showtime is bringing back Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan for a third season. No surprise here, really. Though I’m not the loudest Strain supporter (I have issues with the writing and acting) it’s the type of summer fare that just makes sense. As for Masters of Sex, this is the show that just keeps on giving. This season’s bottle episode “Fight” might be the series best thus far featuring phenomenal performances by stars Martin Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.

“We’ve never had any doubts about The Strain,” said FX Networks head John Landgraf. “It is thrilling when you have a show that is a creative and commercial hit, which is a rare accomplishment in this increasingly crowded marketplace. We look forward having it on FX for as long as Carlton, Guillermo and Chuck Hogan need to tell this epic tale.” Added del Toro: “I am thrilled! Another season to spread the virus! Working with Carlton, Chuck and FX has been immensely rewarding and we have such sights to unveil in the upcoming episodes — the blood hits the fan on this one, mankind becomes an endangered species.” Added Cuse: “I am grateful for all the blood, sweat and tears (but mostly blood) given to the project by all involved, and I could not be more excited to continue telling this epic story.”

“Both Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex are quintessentially Showtime: bold, provocative, premium television with production values at the top of the food chain,” said Showtime president David Nevins. “These acclaimed shows are filled with complex and interesting characters and settings that will no doubt give audiences compelling television to invest in for seasons to come.”

Paul Rudd is Ant-Man

Posted in Image cache,Movies,News by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2014

On August 18 Marvel initiated principal photography on its next super hero franchise, Ant-Man. Above is the first image of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man. At the start of the movie he is a thief, and by the end he will be transformed into a superhero with the power to drastically decrease in size and increase in strength. Rudd stars alongside Michael Douglas (who plays his mentor Dr. Hank Pym), Evangeline Lilly (who plays Hope Van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym), Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Abby Ryder Fortson, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris, John Slattery, and Gregg Turkington, and T.I. And here’s the latest synopsis:

Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Ant-Man, directed by Peyton Reed (Edgar Wright stepped away from the project), hits theatres July 17, 2015 and will shot on location in San Francisco (see above) and Atlanta, Georgia.

Can comedic actor Paul Rudd suit up and transform into a respectable super hero? If Chris Pratt of Parks and Rec fame can do it (aka Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Star-Lord), I have faith. Skip after the break for a Comic Con-exclusive poster featuring concept art from the upcoming flick.

[Via Marvel 1, 2] (Click here for more…)

COSMOS: my thoughts

Posted in Television,[experience-it-all] by Scott Meisner on August 19th, 2014

Completed Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Thank you to host Neil deGrasse Tyson, composer Alan Silvestri, executive producer Seth MacFarlane, executive producer, writer, and director Ann Druyan, and of course the late, great Carl Sagan. Cosmos is a true masterpiece of knowledge and wonder. Spectacular, from top to bottom: live, on-location shoots; cinema-level CG animation; stylized traditional animation; an inspiring host in Dr. Tyson, who makes all of the science exciting and easily digestible; and a magical score imagined by Silvestri. Traveling through space and time on the modernized Ship of the Imagination across the past, present, and future is a wildly entertaining, visually breathtaking, and wholly educational experience. Personally I’ve always been fascinated by science; Cosmos has opened my eyes even wider to the enormous spectrum of knowledge out there today and the knowledge waiting to be discovered. How exactly does dark matter and dark energy work? Will alien life ever discover our Voyager spacecraft? What happened before the Big Bang? What lies beyond the Observable Universe? Equally as important, Cosmos reaches out and grips you about the concerning realities about how we are treating our planet and it envisions very different futures for us depending on the vital actions we take next. A “Cosmic Calendar,” introduced in the first episode of the 13-part series, visualizes and condenses our universe’s 13.8 billion year lifespan into a single, glanceable year; it might make you feel tiny in our vast universe (humanity occupies the last day in the last second of the entire calendar) but it provides such amazing insight into our existence, where we come from, and where we may be heading next. In sum, I highly recommend you carve out time in your lives to take an exciting journey into spacetime; it’s unlike anything else you’ve seen on TV before and you’ll come out of it awestruck, inspired, and most of all, with an expanded mind and a new passion to question everything around you.

Jennette McCurdy writes, produces, stars in new web series satirizing her Hollywood career

Posted in News,Web Series by Scott Meisner on August 14th, 2014

Former iCarly star Jennette McCurdy stars in a new web series about dealing with what comes next after your show is cancelled, going through a publicized breakup, and being forced to tackle a new chapter in life. You can say What’s Next For Sarah? is loosely based on events that recently unfolded in Jennette’s world. Nickelodeon rather abruptly cancelled spinoff series Sam & Cat starring Jennette and Ariana Grande, and this web series provides a satirical, humorous, and thoughtful outlook on her life following the cancellation fallout.

It’s about pulling back the curtain just a little bit and exposing what it’s like to live in a world full of sleazy agents and casting directors, shallow relationships, and the pressures of dealing with always being in the spotlight.

“I wanted What’s Next for Sarah to be a light-hearted call-out to some of the more absurd experiences I’ve faced growing up in the entertainment industry,” Jennette shared with The Hollywood Reporter. “My goal was to exaggerate some of the more classic Hollywood archetypes — the phony reporter, the insincere agent, the duplicitous casting director — and heighten them to a surreal extent that we can all laugh at. We all have those moments where we feel like the world is entirely crazy, and we’re the only sane person.”

This web series marks an exciting new venture for the young and talented actress. In addition to starring in the lead role as Sarah Bronson, Jennette penned and executive produced all four installments. When asked about what it was like to wear so many hats on set and to be heavily involved with the creative and production side of things, she explained to me the innately fast-paced nature of getting it all done.

What’s Next For Sarah was a real pet project for me. I had never been involved in the crew side of a production, and I saw this as an opportunity to do so,” Jennette told [experience-it-all]. “I wrote the scripts, passed them along to my friend Jesse Bloch, he said, “We gotta make these,” and the whole process snowballed from there. Two weeks later we attached my good friend Colton Tran to direct, and the three of us had four weeks of preproduction to find cast and crew, location scout, organize the departments, and get all set for production. It was a whirlwind. Three days of production and four weeks of post later and here we are!”

Click here to watch What’s Next For Sarah. The series is easily digestible; the bite-sized installments clock in at around three to six minutes in length apiece. Who knows–perhaps with enough viewership this won’t be the last we hear of Jennette McCurdy’s alter ego Sarah Bronson and the hysterically exaggerated world she lives in.

Hideo Kojima & Guillermo del Toro are working on a new ‘Silent Hill’ game starring Norman Reedus (Plus: my impressions)

Posted in News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on August 13th, 2014

Take a moment to let that sink in. Good. Now, once more with feeling:

Renowned video game developer and creator of the Metal Gear franchise Hideo Kojima and film director/producer Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, TV’s The Strain) are teaming up to create the next installment in the Silent Hill franchise with The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus as the game’s protagonist.

During Sony’s press event at Gamescon on Tuesday, a mysterious new horror game dubbed “P.T.” from unknown developer 7780s Studio was teased on-screen. Sony advised interested gamers to access a playable demo on PS4 via PSN to learn more. Soon enough, an excitable, British gamer chick who goes by the name of SoapyWarpig uploaded a live stream of her completing the demo via Twitch. I highly recommend you watch the final minutes of her gameplay; her colorful commentary is so incredibly enjoyable.

After completing the nightmarish demo (see my impressions below), the names Hideo Kojima, Guillermo del Toro, and Norman Reedus flash on the screen as you briefly visit a dark and gloomy street and are introduced to Reedus’ character. And then the black words Silent Hills splash on a bright white screen as Akira Yamaoka’s classic, chilling Silent Hill theme plays. In amazing Kojima style, gamers were duped into thinking this was some random horror game from some unknown studio. Silent Hills is in fact a Kojima Productions title; 7780s Studio was completely fabricated! Oh, and “P.T.” stands for “Playable Teaser,” that first of its kind boasts Sony. Other details surrounding the now-highly anticipated game, including release date and console support, are still being kept under wraps for now.

I played “P.T.” in its entirety and yes, it scared the living shit out of me. For my impressions skip after the break. (Click here for more…)

Xbox and PlayStation at Gamescom 2014

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on August 13th, 2014

Gamescom is a video games trade show–like E3, except for the that fact that it takes place in Europe (in Cologne, Germany to be precise) and it attracts a much, much larger crowd of attendees including members of the press and game developers. And just like they did at Los Angeles’ E3 in June, console makers Microsoft and Sony held press events revealing new titles, providing updates on previously announced ones, and showing off new system features. For the latest on the games, I recommend you visit Joystiq. This post will mostly focus on software updates coming to the Xbox One and PS4, as well as new hardware options revealed. For the full scoop, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)

Jimmy Fallon parodies ‘House of Cards’

Posted in Hilarity,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on August 13th, 2014

Jimmy Fallon’s latest parody takes on Netflix Original Series House of Cards. Though it falls short when stacked against previous parodies (see: Game of DesksJoking Bad, and Lost parody Late), Jimmy does a fine impersonation of Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood and the two parts are sprinkled with funny nods to the show for fans to enjoy. Take a look; House of Cue Cards part one is embedded above, and part two is after the break. (Click here for more…)

HBO renews ‘The Leftovers’ for a second season

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on August 13th, 2014

Who knew one could feel so ecstatic about such a depressing show!” I tweeted upon hearing the news of renewal. HBO’s The Leftovers, from Losts Damon Lindelof and Leftovers author Tom Perrotta, continues to depress and infuriate its viewers with gory, out of left field violence (read: the shocking death-by-stoning of GR member Gladys) and mystery perpetually left unresolved (Perrotta’s book never explains what happened to The Departed; will the show?). So far in its first season the series has managed to captivate with its unapologetic dreary outlook. It’s proven it can tell interesting character studies by using full episodes to further flesh out backstories (see: Rev. Matt Jamison and Nora Durst’s tales of faith and discovery). And then there’s our protagonist, the flawed, enigmatic Kevin Garvey, Jr. played expertly by Justin Theroux whose life eloquently weaves in and out of dreams always living on the edge of sanity. Garvey is the glue whose actions have repercussions not only on his depressing town but also on the main mystery that lights a fire under the series: where did everyone go and why? Whether or not Holy Wayne’s army of pregnant Asian women hold the key to “bridging” the gap between The Leftovers and The Departed, it’s too much fun despising the chain-smoking, white-clad Guilty Remnant and picking out the Lost-like clues Lindelof is leaving along the way. With just three episodes left this season, we are on the precipice of finding out if this show truly contains any answers or if it will continue to force viewers to journey into a bleak and hopeless unknown that is, at the same time, a supremely hypnotic and tantalizing place to be.

“We are thrilled to bring back The Leftovers for a second season with the exceptional talents of Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta,” HBO programming head Michael Lombardo said in a statement today. “It has been truly exciting to see the overwhelming response to their provocative and original storytelling. We look forward to continuing the journey as the show delves deeper into the lives of those who remain.”

The Leftovers airs Sunday nights at 10PM on HBO.

Mini teaser: AMC’s ‘Better Call Saul’

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on August 13th, 2014

Here’s your very first look at Bob Odenkirk as lawyer Jimmy McGill, the protagonist of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s Breaking Bad spinoff/prequel series. As we already know, Better Call Saul takes place six years before the Saul meets Walter White; it will take time before McGill transforms into criminal lawyer “Saul Goodman” audiences have come to know and love. This is the teasiest of teasers clocking in at a mere 10 seconds, but the clip does just enough to remind viewers of Odenkirk’s magic plus we get premiere timeframe: February 2015. Let the countdown begin.

Update (8/24): Gilligan & Gould talk Saul in a new teaser embedded after the break. (Click here for more…)

‘Homeland’ stars discuss upcoming new season

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on August 13th, 2014

Homeland stars Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, and Nazanin Boniadi take time during their promotional photoshoot to talk season 4. In addition to a brief glimpse at this season’s shooting location (Cape Town, South Africa will stand in for parts of the Middle East), this new clip does a fine job at teasing the upcoming Brody-less season just as the “First-Look” trailer did before it.

Homeland returns October 5 to Showtime with a two hour premiere.

A Lonely Island movie is in the works!

Posted in Movies,News by Scott Meisner on August 13th, 2014

The Lonely Island aka The Dudes aka Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer are making another movie together. The last time the SNL Digital Short guys collaborated on a feature film was in 2007; the absurd genius that is Hot Rod was the result. This time around they are teaming up with Universal Pictures and prolific producer Judd Apatow to make a comedy set in the world of music, according to Variety. TLI is no stranger to making music; in addition to producing comedic music videos for SNL like “Jizz in my Pants” and “I’m On a Boat,” they’ve gone on to release three comedy-rap albums: Incredibad (2009), Turtleneck & Chain (2011), and The Wack Album (2013). The untitled pic will be directed by Schaffer (Hot Rod) and Taccone (MacGruber). All three Dudes are expected to star. In short, this project has the potential to be insanely outrageous and hilarious packed with a catalog of TLI-infused tunes. At the very least, we’re likely to get a new Lonely Island album out of it! Next stop: trailer town.