Bradley Cooper’s best role may be as an weapons-obsessed, semi-homicidal raccoon, but the actor has put together a solid list of performances in which he is not knee-high and betailed. When Alias exploded on ABC, everyone thought Jennifer Garner was going to be the breakout star from the cast, but, over the years, Cooper has emerged as the most talented member of that fantastic ensemble cast. He’s hit or miss as a leading man, with his best solo performance undoubtedly being sniper Chris Kyle in American Sniper. Where Cooper shines is as part of an ensemble. He works best when paired with other high caliber actors (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook) and can easily do drama, comedy, or action. His achievement with Rocket is not glib praise. Cooper completely transforms his voice to play one of the MCU’s most popular characters, and manages to make a character that is silly in concept, a hysterical, often moving example of voice acting at its finest.
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After clearing his name, Luke Cage has become a celebrity on the streets of Harlem with a reputation as bulletproof as his skin. But being so visible has only increased his need to protect the community and find the limits of who he can and can’t save. With the rise of a formidable new foe, Luke is forced to confront the fine line that separates a hero from a villain.
Mike Colter returns as the titular Luke Cage, with Simone Missick as Misty Knight, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard, Theo Rossi as Shades and Finn Jones as Danny Rand aka Iron Fist. Newcomers to the series so far include Mustafa Shakir (The Deuce, The Night Of) as John McIver, a natural leader, brimming with charisma, whose mission is focused on Harlem and vengeance; and Gabrielle Dennis (Insecure, Rosewood) as Tilda Johnson, a brilliant, holistic doctor with a complicated history in Harlem where, as much as she tries to stay far from trouble, it seems to always find her.
The second season is executive produced by series showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker (Ray Donovan), Jim Chory (Marvel’s Jessica Jones), and Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Jessica Jones), who also serves as Marvel’s Head of Television.
Marvel’s Luke Cage returns June 22.
Benedict Cumberbatch, in addition to being one the finest actors working today, possesses THE most English of English names ever to be bestowed upon an Englishman. In case you doubted it was his real name, it’s actually shortened. His full name is Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch. He has, however, endeared himself to geeks and non-geeks alike by already indelibly visiting the worlds of Tolkien (Smaug and the Necromancer), Star Trek (nobody blames Into Darkness on him), and the MCU (where he is the resident Sorcerer Supreme: Dr. Stephen Strange). Cumberbatch, with his distinctive, mesmerizing voice and talent for squeezing his narrow frame into giant characters both fictional and real (Julian Assange, William Pitt, Alan Turing), has already made a lasting mark on the big screen and small, where he has achieved an impossible feat with Stephan Moffat and Martin Freeman in updating Sherlock Holmes for contemporary times, while still maintaining the spirit of Conan Doyle’s master detective better than any adaptation in my lifetime (if not period).
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“May the Fourth be with you!”
“And also with you!”
If you can have this exchange with someone today, this person is someone to not ignore the other 364 days of the year. Today is, of COURSE, the greatest unofficial holiday on the calendar: Star Wars Day! Not Cinco de Mayo eve, but a celebration of the greatest fictional universe and the state of that fictional universe is, unfortunately, a lot more precarious than it was at this time last year. Star Wars is at a crossroads. Though it was a financial and critical success, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi split the fanbase in a way that it hasn’t been since Disney started managing the property. Whether you thought what Rian Johnson with TLJ was brilliant, or-like me-you’re still kind of trying to suppress the whole experience because the more you dwell on it the more depressed you get, it was a divisive film. My short, personal rant is that it undid nearly everything good that The Force Awakens did, ruined several characters (some irredeemably), and didn’t really accomplish a whole lot for being the longest film in the Saga. But it’s more fun if Auralnauts’ Kylo Ren breaks down the film.
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George Clooney was a journeyman TV actor until he became the initial breakout star from one of the best dramas in TV history: ER. The first five years of ER can stand against any drama, and Clooney’s departure signaled an end to the show’s best creative period. Despite nearly breaking Batman, Clooney quickly transitioned from standard box office fare to more cerebral dramas over which he has exerted more and more control as his career has progressed. Despite a slump over the last few years, Clooney’s resume has more than its share of outstanding films like Michael Clayton, Up in the Air, Goodnight and Good Luck, The Ocean’s Trilogy, The Ides of March, Syriana, and more. Clooney’s acting has improved enormously from his initial days on ER (during which he seemed to rely primarily on head bobbing and smiling) to powerful performances that have justly earned him critical acclaim. Half of his award nominations, though, are for his work behind the camera either as producer, director, or screenwriter. He’s at his best when dealing with complex, intelligent material and in control of as much of the process as possible, which can’t be said for many talents. Continue reading George Clooney’s 10 Best Movies