*Text from Geek Tyrant
Marvel’s The Defenders follows Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage(Mike Colter) and Danny Rand/Iron Fist (Finn Jones), a quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.
The series also stars Elodie Yung as Elektra, Scott Glenn as Stick, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth, Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker, Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse, Simone Missick as Misty Knight and Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing.
The Netflix original series launches globally on August 18, 2017.
Charlize Theron is the queen of action right now in Hollywood, which isn’t a bad title to attain after 20 years playing mostly deeply serious character roles. Theron, who is originally from South Africa, doesn’t have as deep a resume as some of the actresses from her generation, but it’s not lack of talent that prevents her, more a tendency to take on misguided “message” projects that fall flat. Additionally, if you look for Monster among her 10 Best, you won’t find it as it is one of the few films in my life I’ve walked out of because I found it so deeply unpleasant. Doesn’t mean that she wasn’t outstanding in her acting; just means that there’s only so much hooker/serial killer I can take (and from the eventual director of Wonder Woman….who knew?). She’s on a serious career upswing in the wake of stealing Mad Max: Fury Road (where’s our Furiosa spin-off?) and re-establishing her action dominance in Atomic Blonde. She looks 20 years younger than her actual age, and can beat you up, so it’s unlikely this actress is going to fall prey to the gender wall that eats so many careers. I’d like to see her do more comedy though. She has great timing, and that’s something you can’t teach.
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I know we normally do “My Favorite Scene” on Tuesdays, but I felt like putting up a Monday morning laugh. For the defining sitcoms of my teens and early twenties, I had Frasier and Friends, the latter of which was more pertinent to my life as my friends have been the story of mine, so a sitcom about a tightly knit group of them trying to figure out how to be adults (and failing miserably often as we so often all do, was my favorite). There are so many hysterical moments over the show’s run, but one of my favorites is just a stupid moment when Chandler and Rachel are trying to help Ross move a couch up the stairs to his new apartment (the use of friends as slave labor is pretty much what a “contractor” is in your twenties). It’s hysterically set up, but it’s David Schwimmer’s manic screaming of ‘PIVOT!” that absolutely slays me when I rewatch the clip. Not just me either. They had to do this scene a LOT, because Schwimmer’s PIVOT scream was causing them all to lose it as you can see in this retrospective/blooper.
Sam Shepard, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and Oscar nominated actor, passed away this week from complications from ALS at the age of 73. Shepard was never a glamorous actor. He rarely had starring roles; he preferred to work as part of an ensemble. His most memorable role was his only Oscar nomination, playing test pilot Chuck Yeager in 1983’s The Right Stuff. He was an actor who worked more and got progressively better roles as he aged, his next-to-last coming in the acclaimed Netflix series Bloodlines as the patriarch of the troubled Rayburn family. He also was outstanding in the mini-series adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s sequel to Lonesome Dove, Streets of Laredo. “Presence” is a quality you either intrinsically have as an actor or are constantly working to manufacture. For Shepard, it was effortless. RIP.
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Tom Hardy has, for an actor only 15 or so years into his career, put together a top 10 list of projects that would be the lifetime envy of most. Rarely the leading man, Hardy seems most comfortable in a high-class ensemble where he can build indelible characters that steal movies. Even before he became part of the “Nolan Troupe”, joining the director for Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and Dunkirk, Hardy was firmly established as a consummate character actor. Even in films like Mad Max: Fury Road, in which he’s the title character, he was content to let Charlize Theron’s Furiosa steal the movie while he provided the constant and the result was the Academy actually nominated a cool movie for Best Picture. Hardy is one of many actors that had their first high-profile role in Band of Brothers (one of the five best things ever to air on TV) along with James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and others. Hardy doesn’t stick just to films, having returned to TV for the massively underrated Peaky Blinders and beginning his own starring vehicle in FX’s Taboo. He’s a chameleon (compare skinny Band of Brothers Hardy with Bane), but at the core of all of his characters is a fierce anger that sometimes burns hot or cold, but it’s always an asset to whatever project he’s undertaking.
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