Author: Craig Zablo

“The Strain”: Season 2 (2015) / Z-View

The Strain: Season 2 (2015)

Created by:  Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan

Directors:  Gregory Hoblit, Guillermo del Toro (ep. 1); T.J. Scott (ep. 2); Guy Ferland (ep. 3); PJ. Miles Dale (eps. 4 – 5); Howard Deutch (eps. 6 – 7); Kevin Dowling (ep. 8 – 9); Phil Abraham (ep. 10 – 11); Vincenzo Natali (eps. 12 – 13)

Screenplay: Carlton Cruse, Chuck Hogan (ep. 1, 13); David Weddle, Bradley Thompson (ep. 2, 8, 12); Regina Corrado (ep. 3, 9); Chuck Hogan (ep. 4, 7); Liz Phang (ep. 5, 10); Carlton Cruse, Regina Corrado (ep. 11); Justin Britt-Gibson, Chuck Hogan (ep. 11); Carlton Cruse, David Weddle, Bradley Thompson (ep. 12)

Stars: Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Jim Watson, Mía Maestro, Kevin Durand, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Jack Kesy, Natalie Brown, Miguel Gomez, Max Charles, Ruta Gedmintas, Rupert Penry-Jones, Samantha Mathis, Joaquín Cosío, Adriana Barraza and Sean Astin.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

As the strigoi (vampire) virus spreads, most of the world remains clueless.  Eph and Nora continue to search for a biological response to kill the virus.  The Master has a plan to use Eph’s son to get to Eph.  Fet and Dutch grow closer as they clear surrounding buildings.

Gus and Vaun rebel against Eldritch Palmer.  Councilwoman Justine Faraldo realizes the strigoi threat is real.  She uses her security force to fight the strigoi as she rallies the community to join their efforts.  Eph and Nora have success with a biological response to the strigoi, but will anyone in power outside of New York City believe the threat is real?

Setrakian and Fet learn the whereabouts of an ancient book known as the Lumen that may have the answer on how to kill the strigoi.  They attempt to purchase it, but learn that Eichhorst is also trying to get it.

As the strigoi’s numbers increase, the Master’s plans move forward.  The team becomes aware of Quinlan, a half-vampire, who claims he wants to destroy the Master.  Can he/it be trusted?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan have created a modern day vampire tale with a backstory that extends not just decades, but centuries.  The vampires aren’t the classic creatures of the night seen in countless movies.  And the stakes aren’t just a beautiful woman’s soul.  Here the fate of the world is at risk.

The writers should be commended for creating a huge cast of interesting characters with wonderful backstories.  Dr. Ephraim “Eph” Goodweather played by Corey Stoll is the lead.  It isn’t often the “star” is given so many character flaws.  Several members of the supporting cast have lived up to the title co-star.  Kudos to David Bradley as Professor Abraham Setrakian, Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet and Miguel Gomez as Augustin “Gus” Elizalde for playing characters that make the show sing. Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer, the sickly billionaire who aides the Master and Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichhorst, the Nazi vampire acolyte who has served the Master for decades deserve kudos as well.  Season two welcomes Rupert Penry-Jones as Quinlan and Samantha Mathis as Justine Feraldo the tough councilwoman who refuses to run from the crisis.

Although Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan wrote a Strain trilogy of novels, the series doesn’t follow them exactly.

The Strain: Season 2 (2015) earns 5 of 5 stars.

“Love Lies Bleeding” – The Second Trailer is Here!

Earlier today we got the two new Love Lies Bleeding posters and now we get the second trailer.

From writer/director Rose Glass and starring Kristen Stewart, Katy O’Brian, Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov, with Dave Franco, and Ed Harris. LOVE LIES BLEEDING – In select theaters March 8, everywhere March 15.

DIRECTOR: Rose Glass
CAST: Kristen Stewart, Katy O’Brian, Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov, with Dave Franco, and Ed Harris

“Who Are You, Louis?” – The Teaser for “Interview with the Vampire” Season 2 is Here!

I’m glad we are getting some more promotional materials for season 2 of Interview with a Vampire.

Deal me in!

Who are you without your past?

A luxury apartment covering an entire single floor of a high rise. Where the Vampire has granted the interview with the man he once judged to be unworthy. And where the journalist Daniel Molloy has hustled, for a second shot at the interview that got away from him 40 years earlier…

Based on Anne Rice’s iconic novel, Interview with The Vampire follows Louis’ epic story of love, blood and the perils of immortality, as told to the journalist Daniel Molloy. Chafing at the limitations of life as a black man in 1900’s New Orleans, Louis finds it impossible to resist Lestat’s offer of the ultimate escape: joining him as his vampire companion.

But Louis’s intoxicating new powers come with a violent price, and the introduction of Lestat’s newest fledgling, the child vampire Claudia, soon sets them on a decades-long path of revenge and atonement. A sensuous, contemporary reinvention of Anne Rice’s revolutionary gothic novel.

Who Are You, Louis? | Interview with the Vampire Season 2 | Premieres May 12 | AMC+

“Reacher”: Season 2 (2024) starring Alan Ritchson / Z-View

Reacher: Season 2 (2024)

Directors: Sam Hill (Eps.1 – 2); Omar Madha (Eps. 3 – 4); Carol Banker (Eps. 5 – 6); Julian Holmes (Eps.7 – 8)

Teleplay: Nick Santora (Showrunner, Executive Producer, Writer – Ep. 1); Scott Sullivan (Ep. 2, 5, 8); Penny Cox (Ep. 3); Cait Duffy (Ep. 4); Cait Duffy & Michael J. Gutierrez (Ep. 6); Penny Cox & Lillian Wang (Ep. 7)

Starring: Alan Ritchson, Maria Sten, Serinda Swan, Shaun Sipos, Ferdinand Kingsley, Robert Patrick, Domenick Lombardozzi, Luke Bilyk and Malcolm Goodwin.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Jack Reacher, an ex-Military Police Investigator is contacted by, Frances Neagley (Swan) a former member of his team.  Someone is targeting the team for execution.  And it ain’t pretty.  One of the members was dropped from a helicopter after being tortured.  Reacher and Neagley have no idea why they’re being targeted, but they plan to warn the other team members… find out the reason… and then get revenge.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

I was glad to see Frances Neagley played by Serinda Swan brought back for season two.  Neagley especially if teamed with Karla Dixon (Serinda Swan) could carry their own series.

Domenick Lombardozzi plays a cop who may or may not be crooked.  Lombardozzi is excellent as always.

It goes without saying, but I’m going to anyway: Alan Ritchson IS Jack Reacher.

Bring on Season 3!

“Bring Him To Me” starring Barry Pepper, Jamie Costa & Sam Neil – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I like the poster, the trailer had me interested, but the synopsis for Bring Him To Me sold me.

Deal me in.

Written by Tom Evans and directed by Luke Sparke, BRING HIM TO ME is about a mild-mannered Driver (Barry Pepper) working for a mob boss. His conscience is tested when he is asked to collect a young and unsuspecting new crew member known as Passenger (Jamie Costa) one week after a violent robbery. What Passenger doesn’t know is that he is being driven into an ambush, forcing Driver to confront his loyalties to his boss and his own morality.

“Drive-Away Dolls” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I like the poster and the trailer for Drive-Away Dolls has me interested.

They’re on the road and on the run. You don’t want to miss this ride!

Written by Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke, this comedy caper follows Jamie, an uninhibited free spirit bemoaning yet another breakup with a girlfriend, and her demure friend Marian who desperately needs to loosen up. In search of a fresh start, the two embark on an impromptu road trip to Tallahassee, but things quickly go awry when they cross paths with a group of inept criminals along the way. #DriveAwayDolls is in theaters February 23.

“Manhunt” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Here we have the poster and trailer for Manhunt, the seven episode limited series about the conspiracy behind the assassination of President Lincoln.  I’ve always been interested in conspiracy theories as well as the stories behind the assassination of President Lincoln.  I recently watched the excellent documentary Lincoln’s Last Day and now I’m psyched for Manhunt.

A conspiracy thriller about one of the best known but least understood crimes in history: the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. This is the astonishing story of the high-stakes hunt for John Wilkes Booth. Manhunt, a limited series, comes to Apple TV+ March 15

Based on The New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning nonfiction book from author James L. Swanson, “Manhunt” is a conspiracy thriller about one of the best known but least understood crimes in history, the astonishing story of the hunt for John Wilkes Booth in the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. The seven-part limited series stars Emmy Award-winning actor Tobias Menzies (“The Crown,” “Game of Thrones,” “Outlander”), and is created by Emmy nominee Monica Beletsky (“Fargo,” “The Leftovers,” “Friday Night Lights”), who also serves as showrunner and executive producer. Emmy nominee Carl Franklin (“Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” “One False Move,” “Devil in a Blue Dress”) directed the first two episodes and is also an executive producer on the series.

Starring alongside Menzies are Anthony Boyle (“Tetris,” “The Plot Against America”), Lovie Simone (“Greenleaf”), Will Harrison (“Daisy Jones & The Six”), Brandon Flynn (“13 Reasons Why”), Damian O’Hare (“Hatfields & McCoys”), Glenn Morshower (“The Resident”), Patton Oswalt (“A.P. Bio”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”) and Hamish Linklater (“The Big Short”).

“The Incredible Shrinking Man” (1957) directed by Jack Arnold / Z-View

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Director:  Jack Arnold

Screenplay: Richard Matheson, Richard Alan Simmons based on THE SHRINKING MAN by Richard Matheson

Stars: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langton, William Schallert, Frank J. Scannell, Helene Marshall, Billy Curtis and Raymond Bailey.

Tagline: Victim of weird mist ! Day by day he shrinks! Science is baffled! Cat becomes monster! Terror at every turn! Deadly spider attacks! Lost in a flood’s fury!

The Plot…

Scott Carey (Williams) and his wife, Louise (Stuart) are vacationing on a small boat.  When his wife goes down to get some drinks a strange mist passes over the craft.  Scott is covered with particles from the mist.  Six months later Scott realizes he’s shrinking.

The best doctors confirm that Scott is shrinking and begin searching for a cure.  As Scott continues to shrink life becomes more difficult.  Before too long even the household cat becomes a danger.

If no cure is found, what will become of Scott as he continues to shrink…

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The Incredible Shrinking Man is based on Richard Matheson’s novel THE SHRINKING MAN.  Some scenes from the book were to risqué for 1957 and probably still are today.  They include Scott sleeping with a female midget, Scott abused by a drunk homosexual, and Scott peering through the window to watch a teenage baby-sitter.

Although the story ends with no cure found to save Scott, the studio got cold feet as filming progressed.  Director Jack Arnold, hot off The Creature from the Black Lagoon, refused.  Instead Arnold came up with a soliloquy for Scott to speak that ends the film.  Test audiences proved the decision to be a winner.

The large props used when Scott shrinks were later used on the Universal Studios Tour and the television series Land of the Giants.

Look for Mr. Drysdale (Raymond Bailey) of The Beverly Hillbillies fame playing a doctor.

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) rates 5 of 5 stars.