Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On Netflix: 'Happy Valley' is 2014's Best New Cop Show

Sarah Lancashire as Sgt. Catherine Cawood in the miniseries "Happy Valley".
West Yorkshire Police Sgt. Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) charges onto the screen in just the first three minutes of the entire miniseries with her backstory. She's 47, divorced and has two kids (one dead, and one who doesn't talk to her). She has one grandchild, and her sister, a recovering heroin-addict, lives with her. That's how she introduces herself to a man, and us, who's threatening to light himself on fire at a playground after a break-up with his girlfriend.

Sgt. Catherine Cawood is the tough, yet fragile lead character in "Happy Valley", a BBC One production named after an area of West Yorkshire known for its drug problem. But drugs isn't the focus of this series. Instead, it toes the line of a "Fargo" storyline, with an extortion/kidnapping plot and a likeable female officer at the center. Though, this story doesn't have as much humor peppered into it as the Oscar-winning film.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nicki Minaj Releases "Anaconda" Video, Taylor Swift and Gaga announce new albums.

Nicki Minaj, who has slowly been releasing singles from her upcoming album Pinkprint released the ass-tastic video to her Sir Mix-A-Lot ripped second single "Anaconda". The video is a plethora of twerking that ends with a her teasing Drake while a giddy one-sided conversation about big asses by Minaj plays. Full of ass, gorgeous women, and good eye candy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Power Rangers Movie Gets Release Date

It's morphing time... again!

Lionsgate and Saban Brands films have officially announced a July 22, 2016 release date for "Power Rangers", first Power Rangers film in the franchise to get a theatrical release in almost 20 years.

Although no cast or director have signed on to the project, Ashley Miller and Zach Stenz ("Thor", "X-Men: First Class") will write the screenplay.

Based on the long-running TV show about superhero teenagers who morph into rangers and fight off evil with superpowers, the original series "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" created two feature films: "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie" in 1995 and 1997's "Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie".

Anderson Cooper to feature Upper Darby School District as Part of Research Study Feature

A special research project in the Upper Darby School District by a known psychologist will be the focus of a feature on an upcoming episode of "Anderson Cooper 360º".

Cooper will be interviewing Angela Duckworth at Upper Darby High School on September 2 to discuss her grit research. Duckworth, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, chose to include the school district in the feature due to its impact on the research.

District spokesperson Dana Spino said about 20 high school seniors will also be interviewed for the feature, which will take the better part of the day to shoot.

Shooting is closed to the public.

Grit is a word that Duckworth uses in conjunction with perseverance and long-term goals. The "grittier" someone is, the more likely they are to keep going toward their goals despite adversity. Less girtty individuals are more discouraged.

Duckworth's work with the school district started with a phone call from assistant superintendent Dan McGarry, who wanted a way to encourage a positive school climate in a district of 12,000 students. Initial research started in the middle and high schools. 

For her work, Duckworth was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant last year.

Monday, August 11, 2014

On Netflix: Feel Good Cheating with 'The Players'

Les Infidèles (The Players) (France, 2012, directed by Emmanuelle Bercot, Fred Cavayé, Alexandre Courtès, Jean Dujardin, Michel Hazanavicius, Jan Kounen, Eric Lartigau and Gilles Lellouche.  in French with English subtitles, color, 109 minutes)

Never has a film taken such a prominent look at the cheating ways of men as "Les Infidèles (The Players)" has. This collection of short films explores so many different kinds of men (all being played by Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche) that you feel bad for them even though you know you shouldn't.

The film opens and closes with the story of Fred (Dujardin) and Greg (Lellouche), two buddies who love staying out late, sleeping around and pretending they're still in the prime of their lives while their wives stay at home. Mounting pressure from their wives find the two going to Las Vegas for one final screwfest before fully committing.

On Netflix: English 'Southcliffe' is Grueling Account of a Massacre

Sean Harris portrays Stephen Morton, a man who goes on a shooting rampage in "Southcliffe".        Channel 4
Southcliffe (England, 2013, miniseries/drama. English, color, four episodes.) In a world where every place seems like a target for tragedy, the English miniseries "Southcliffe" takes a look at its effects on a small market town.

Recently picked up by Netflix - who erroneously calls it a Netflix Original - for streaming, "Southcliffe" delves into long accounts of a small town's ways of coping with the deaths of 15 people and the wounding of 20 more after a man goes on a random shooting spree in the small Kent town. Clocking in at just over three hours with four episodes, this miniseries focuses on the pain and heartbreak of loss, and not the act of violence itself.

At the center of the story is Stephen Morton, a man who takes care of his mum and likes to go on long runs while wearing a lot of Army gear. He meets Chris Cooper, a soldier home from Afghanistan, with whom he eventually takes on a mission practice that plays more like a deadly cat-and-mouse game in the woods. When it's learned Stephen's not a former SAS soldier as was believed, Chris and his uncle beat him in the woods.

The next morning, the rampage begins.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Studio Releases New District 13 Citizens Posters for 'Mockingjay- Part 1'

With just over three months to go until the eagerly-anticipated "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1", Lionsgate has released six character posters of its District 13 inhabitants.

Leaders of the once uninhabitable District 13, President Coin, Beetee, Effie, Finnick, Haymithc and Plutarch, are all characterized against a bland concrete wall on the poster's far right side. District 13 was thought to be destroyed after the first rebellion in Suzanne Collins'  best-selling novels, best was revealed in the second book, "Catching Fire", that it will be used as a base to plan a second rebellion.

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1" will be released nationwide on November 21.