Category: TV

“A Murder at the End of the World” (2023) starring Emma Corrin and Clive Owen / Z-View

A Murder at the End of the World (2023)

Created by:  Brit Marling, Zal Batmanglij

Directors:  Brit Marling (eps. 1, 5 – 6); Zal Batmanglij (eps. 2 – 4, 7)

Teleplays: Brit Marling & Zal Batmanglij (eps. 1, 4, 6 – 7); Brit Marling & Zal Batmanglij and Melanie Marnich & Rebecca Roanhorse (ep. 2); Brit Marling & Zal Batmanglij & Melanie Marnich (ep. 3); Brit Marling (ep. 5)

Stars: Emma Corrin, Brit Marling, Harris Dickinson, Louis Cancelmi, Clive Owen, Joan Chen and Alice Braga.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Darby Hart (Corrin) is an amateur detective and author of a book detailing how she solved a cold case where a serial killer had murdered several women.  Darby accepts an invitation from billionaire Andy Ronson (Owen) to attend a retreat being held in a remote location in Iceland.  Ronson has invited nine people from different walks of life who think out of the box.

When Darby arrives, she is surprised to discover that Ronson has used his billions to create a home that is like a fortress from the future.  Artificial Intelligence responds to commands throughout the mansion. Even more surprising is that her former boyfriend, Bill Farrah (Dickinson) is there.  Bill was her partner when she followed clues to solve the cold case. They haven’t seen each other in six years.

Ronson explains that the guests are there to brainstorm ideas to make the future better.  The guests mingle and begin to get to know each other.  After everyone has retired for the night, Darby decides to go to Bill’s room.  Through the window Darby sees Bill on the floor bleeding and taking his last breaths.  By the time Darby gets help, Bill has died.

It’s obvious Bill was murdered.  Since no one else could have gained entrance to Ronson’s estate, the murderer is one of them.  Will Darby figure who before the killer strikes again?  Who can she trust?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

A Murder at the End of the World is a clever whodunnit.  Emma Corrin is outstanding as Darby, the socially awkward amateur sleuth.  I love that the story takes place in a rarely used location.  If you’re a fan of Nero Wolfe, Benoit Blanc and/or Hercule Poirot then give this one a shot.

A Murder at the End of the World (2023) earns 4 of 5 stars.

“Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire” – Exclusive Clip (2024) Jacob Anderson from IGN Fan Fest 2024 and Season 2 Poster!

I’m looking forward to Season 2.  Hopefully it will be as good as the first.

Jacob Anderson, star of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, gives us an exclusive sneak peek at Season 2 with this clip as part of IGN Fan Fest 2024. Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire premieres on May 12, 2024 on AMC and AMC+.

“Lincoln’s Last Day” (2015) / Z-View

Lincoln’s Last Day (2015)

Director:  Molly Hermann

Writer: Molly Hermann

Cast: William Frasca, Tuesday Beebe, Fritz Klein and William Mark McCullough

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Everyone knows that John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln.  What many don’t know is that Booth was in a conspiracy that as he killed Lincoln, his associates would also kill Secretary of State William H. Seward and Vice President Andrew Johnson.  Lincoln’s Last Day details the plot as well as an almost hour by hour movement of all involved.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Lincoln’s Last Day is extremely well done.  Seeing actual artifacts worn by Lincoln on his last day as well as the derringer Booth used to kill the President add gravitas.

Lincoln’s Last Day (2015) rates 5 of 5 stars.

“Tommy” (2017) / Z-View

Tommy (2017)

Directors:  Gentry Kirby, Erin Leyden

Tagline: His Toughest Fight Was Outside the Ring

The Plot…

Tommy Morrison rose from poverty and a broken home to co-star in Rocky V, and become a World Champion Boxer.  Morrison was on top, but his inability to control his addiction to drugs, partying and women led to his downfall.  Morrison made repeated comebacks, but sabotaged himself every time.  Finally he received news that ended his career and ultimately his life.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Tommy Morrison’s story is a sad one.  This is especially true since Morrison’s own behavior caused his downfall.  I give him credit for his initial press conference when he announced he had HIV.  Sadly, his behavior went south after that.  He had a doctor give him bicep implants, he claimed he no longer had HIV and he began getting in trouble with the law (DUIs, drugs and weapons convictions, etc.).  He continued to lie and cheat on the two women he truly loved him.

Tommy Morrison with better self-control could have had a career in boxing and maybe even movies or television.  I thought it was funny that Tommy’s boxing nickname was “The Duke” because John Wayne was a distant relative.  It’s funny because it wasn’t true and Morrison was surprised no one ever checked.

Tommy (2017) rates 5 of 5 stars.

“The Day Hitler Died” (2016) / Z-View

The Day Hitler Died (2016)

Directors:  Craig Collinson

Writers: Craig Collinson

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

In 1948, U.S. Navy Captain and Nuremberg Judge, Michael Musmanno, filmed interviews with members of Adolph Hitler’s inner circle who were with him in his bunker in his final days.  These interviews provide a first hand look at Hitler’s spiraling mental health as he realizes all is lost.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

These interviews were only rediscovered in 2013 and had not been seen by the public.

The Day Hitler Died (2016) rates 4 of 5 stars.

“Attack of the Hollywood Cliches!” (2021) hosted by Rob Lowe / Z-View

Attack of the Hollywood Cliches! (2021)

Directors:  Sean Doherty, Ricky Kelehar, Alice Mathias

Writers:  Dane Baptiste, Ben Caudell, Sean Doherty

Stars: Rob Lowe, Andie MacDowell

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Rob Lowe hosts an exploration of movie cliches like the hero walking calmly away as something behind him explodes, one-man super-soldiers, kissing in the rain, a character coming from the grocery store always has a loaf of French bread sticking out of the bag and more.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

A harmless way to spend an hour.

Attack of the Hollywood Cliches! (2021) rates 3 of 5 stars.

“The Strain”: Season 4 (2017) / Z-View

The Strain: Season 4 (2017)

Created by:  Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan

Directors:  J. Miles Dale (eps. 1 – 2, 10); Kevin Dowling (eps. 3 – 4); Norberto Barba (eps. 5 – 6); Thomas Carter (ep. 7); Paco Cabezas (ep. 8); Jennifer Lynch (ep. 9)

Screenplay: Carlton Cruse, Chuck Hogan (ep. 1, 10); Liz Phang (ep. 2, 8); David Weddle, Bradley Thompson (ep. 3, 9); Chuck Hogan (ep. 3); Mickey Fisher (ep. 4); Jeff Wadlow (ep. 5); Paul Keables (ep. 6); Andy Iser (ep. 7)

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

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Nine months have passed since the bombs went off.  A nuclear winter envelopes the world.  The strigoi have formed a “partnership” with surviving humans.  Humans donate blood to feed the strigoi.  Despite people disappearing most humans feel the partnership is their only hope.

Setrakian, Fet, Mr. Quinlan, Gus and the others continue to work separately and together to find a way to kill the Master.  If they can do that, the strigoi will be mindless and easier to destroy.  When the group comes up with a suicide plan, there is little doubt that all will not survive… the real question is will the Master be killed.

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.  In different episodes, different characters get the spotlight but viewers don’t get the feeling that it is by the numbers.  David Bradley as Professor Abraham Setrakian, Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet and Miguel Gomez as Augustin “Gus” Elizalde continue to shine.  Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer and Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichhorst, the Nazi vampire acolyte continue to be great villains.  Rupert Penry-Jones as Quinlan makes a great anti-hero.

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

The Strain: Season 4 (2017) earns 5 of 5 stars.

“William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill!” – Two Posters & Two Trailers!

We have two posters and two trailers for William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill!

Deal me in.

Directed by the visionary filmmaker Alexandre O. Philippe (78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene, Memory: The Origins of Alien), William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill is an intimate exploration of the life and career of William Shatner. From his unforgettable portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek to his diverse accomplishments of a 70+ year career across film, television, and the arts, the documentary captures the essence of Shatner’s journey and his extraordinary contributions to the entertainment industry.

An intimate portrait of William Shatner’s personal journey over nine decades on this Earth, You Can Call Me Bill strips away all the masks he has worn to embody countless characters, and reveals the man behind it all.

“The Strain”: Season 3 (2016) / Z-View

The Strain: Season 3 (2016)

Created by:  Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan

Directors:  GJ. Miles Dale (eps. 1 – 2); Ken Girotti (eps. 3 – 4); Deran Sarafian (eps. 5 – 6); T.J. Scott (eps. 7 – 8); Vincenzo Natali (ep. 9); Carlton Cruse (ep. 10);

Screenplay: Carlton Cruse, Chuck Hogan (eps. 1, 10); David Weddle, Bradley Thompson (eps. 2, 6); Chuck Hogan (ep. 3); Regina Corrado (ep. 4); Liz Phang (ep. 5); Chuck Hogan, Glen Whitman (ep. 7); Regina Corrado, Liz Phang (ep. 8); Vincenzo Natali (ep. 9)

Stars: Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Jim Watson, 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.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

The battle with the strigoi is in full effect.  Police, military and citizens have united.  The virus is spreading across the country and throughout the world.  Eldritch Palmer considers joining Eph, Fet and Setrakian against the Master.

When the stigoi begin winning the battle, police force prisoners, even those who committed misdemeanors into battle.  Gus and Angel find themselves in a no-win situation when they are placed in one of the groups forced to go underground into a strigoi stronghold.

The Ancients, who fear the Master’s reach is growing make an uneasy alliance with Quint.  The Master reveals himself as the battle nears the end.  Humanity may not survive.

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.  In different episodes, different characters get the spotlight but viewers don’t get the feeling that it is by the numbers.  David Bradley as Professor Abraham Setrakian, Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet and Miguel Gomez as Augustin “Gus” Elizalde continue to shine.  Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer and Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichhorst, the Nazi vampire acolyte continue to be great villains.  Rupert Penry-Jones as Quinlan makes a great anti-hero.

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

The Strain: Season 3 (2016) earns 5 of 5 stars.

“The Why Files”: Season 3 (2022) / Z-View

The Why Files: Season 3 (2022)

Creator:  Andrew Gentile

Stars: Andrew Gentile

Tagline: Where Cool Nerds Laugh and Learn

The Plot…

The Why Files started as a weekly Youtube podcast where the host, Andrew Gentile looked at myths, legends, strange phenomena and more.  Gentile approaches each subject with respect and the right touch of humor.  After explaining the subject he then explains what part is true, debunks parts that can be and admits if the truth isn’t known.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Andrew Gentile is an excellent host.  His sidekick is a Hecklefish that adds humor.

Some of my favorite episodes from season three include: Dyatlov Pass Mystery Solved; Edgar Cayce – The Coming Storm; Computer Predicts the End of the World; The Dodleston Time Travel Mystery; The Dead Internet Theory; Alien Bases on the Moon; Why Ancient People Didn’t See the Color Blue; Legend of the Immortal – The Count of Saint Germaine and How a UFO Caused the Battle of Los Angeles.

The Why Files: Season 3 (2022) earns 5 of 5 stars.

“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.

“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?

ABOUT INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
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+