The story of the “Million Dollar Quartet” — the nickname given to the formidable foursome of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins — has been told in both book and musical form. Now the tale is coming to TV via CMT and an eight-episode series that traces the rise of the famed label of the title, its genius producer Sam Phillips and the four disparate, but complementary musicians
“Sun Records,” executive produced by Leslie Greif and Gil Grant, is based on the Tony-winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet” and arrives shortly after the 60th anniversary of the legendary one-off recording session featuring the four men.
Among those stepping into some very big, and in at least one case blue suede shoes, are Elvis impersonator Drake Milligan as Presley, Chad Michael Murray (“One Tree Hill”) as Phillips, Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”) as famed Presley manager Colonel Tom Parker, Kevin Fonteyne (“Masters of Sex”) as Cash, British actor Christian Lees as Lewis and Dustin Ingram as Perkins.
The trailer for "Get Out," written and directed by Jordan Peele.
Director: Jordan Peele Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Keith Stanfield
Comedy star Jordan Peele (“Key and Peele,” “Keanu”) makes the leap to horror — and goes behind the camera — with this Blumhouse thriller with a frighteningly resonant premise: Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), an African American man, and his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams) pay a weekend visit to her family in the suburbs, where he discovers insidious shenanigans targeting the black residents of her very idyllic, very Caucasian hometown.
The first-time helmer Peele (who also wrote the screenplay) updates the simmering suburban paranoia of “The Stepford Wives” into a 21st century nightmare in which micro-aggressions are murder on more than just your nerves — and all too familiar in today’s still-divided America. Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford costar as the parents whose discomfort over their daughter’s new romance might just belie something more sinister, while up-and-comer Keith Stanfield (“Selma,” “Straight Outta Compton”) makes an appearance as a fellow visitor with a smile on his face and panic in his eyes.
Watch the trailer for "Logan" starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.
Director: James Mangold.
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook
The “X-Men” movie universe has been, since its 2000 inception, one of great change. In the process of charting the evolution of Marvel’s merry mutants, directors like Bryan Singer, Brett Ratner and Matthew Vaughan have come and gone (and in the case of Singer, come back). Characters who seemed perfectly cast — like Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier and Ian McKellen as his friend/nemesis Magneto — have been recast (enter James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, respectively).
Ryan Murphy has probably done more than anyone in Hollywood to bring the anthology series into vogue.
In 2017, he will build on the success of “American Horror Story” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” with “Feud.”
The first season will dramatize the notorious, if somewhat misunderstood, rivalry between screen legends Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Based partially on the script “Best Actress” by Jaffe Cohen and Michael Zam, the eight-episode “Feud” will go behind the scenes of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?,” the 1962 film that both women hoped would revive their flagging careers but which ultimately became a camp classic. Davis earned an Oscar nomination for her performance, much to Crawford’s irritation.
Like its central characters, FX’s “The Americans” has always lived dangerously. The couple at the heart of the show, Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, are undercover KGB agents posing as an ordinary American suburban husband and wife, so fans of the show are rooting for protagonists who, at their best, are anti-American and, at their worst, want to bring the country down. The show also has situations that could be considered a little too convenient. Stan Beeman, their closest friend — and neighbor — is an FBI agent targeting Russian spies and for the most part has little suspicion of the true identifies of the nice couple across the street.
But such shortfalls have been overcome by the electric chemistry and performances of Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, a vivid sense of its period setting in the ’80s and its suspenseful stories and plot lines that also put the Jennings at the brink of danger and being discovered — and what that would mean for their likable family. Even more importantly, the regularly roller-coaster family dynamic brings a clearly identifiable element to the proceedings — there are marital woes, bratty teens and steamy sex on both sides of the Cold War.
Though critically acclaimed, “The Americans” has existed mainly as a ratings sleeper since its premiere in 2013, but emerged as a true contender in its fourth season, earning both Emmy and Golden Globe recognition. The show has maintained a steady sense of urgency and excitement even as the stakes are raised for the Jennings. The confession by the couple to their inquisitive daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) of their true identity — and Paige’s betrayal of her parents by telling her church pastor that her parents are Russian spies — could have been disastrous for the show’s momentum (see the second and third seasons of “Homeland”), but instead has taken the drama to another crackling level. The Jennnings’ fascination and growing affection for the American way of life brings another layer that makes the drama even more complex. Can’t wait for the new season.
Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Evans star in the live-action movie "Beauty and the Beast."
Director: Bill Condon Cast: Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor, Dan Stevens, Ian McKellen, Luke Evans, Josh Gad
Let’s be real. A live-action “Beauty and the Beast” with full-on musical soliloquies is a bold idea. But the thought of Emma Watson as Belle running up a hill belting out, “I want adventure in the great wild somewhere,” hits right in that sweet nostalgia spot, hard.
There is absolutely no way a live-action film about singing household objects and a young woman falling in love with what appears to be the human form of Black Phillip from “The Witch” should work, and yet we’re curious. Deadly curious.
It wasn’t long after “Trainspotting” came out in 1996 that the movie began to epitomize an era.
Directed by Danny Boyle and written by John Hodge (from a book by Irvine Welsh), the film captured the growing consumerism, heroin-chic and Cool Britannia of the time. There were numerous memorable scenes (upside-down babies, heinous bar bathrooms), kinetic edits, indelible monologues (Choose Life! Colonized by Wankers!) and that raw uptempo soundtrack. As it followed the exploits of Renton, Sick Boy and other on-the-margin types in Edinburgh, Scotland, “Trainspotting” took on landmark status.
The film, of course, also launched the careers of Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller -- not to mention Boyle, years ahead of “Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours” and his reputation for slick sizzle.
Fox’s “Shots Fired” is almost certain to prompt debate and discussion behind its provocative premise, which reflects some of the most explosive headlines of the day — the shooting of unarmed African American men by white police officers.
In the central story line of the 10-hour drama, the topic is given a surprising twist: The victim is a young white man and the shooter is an African American police officer. The shooting in a small town in North Carolina puts the community on edge. But the atmosphere becomes even more charged when the spotlight switches to the neglected murder of an African American teen, which reopens wounds that threaten to tear the town apart.
The series comes from the powerhouse couple of Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love & Basketball”) and Reggie Rock Bythewood (“Notorious”), who said in a statement that they were inspired by questions raised by their young son following the George Zimmerman trial in which Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin. They hoped to create a project that would address “the policing of African Americans, our broken criminal justice system, and race-relations that would also ask difficult questions and spark real conversation and change.”
It may struggle to escape the shadow of the dragon-sized dramas of schedule-mate “Game of Thrones” this year, but this series, co-created by Mike Judge, continues to offer sharp satire of the odd personalities and absurd economics of the tech industry. Last season saw Richard’s (Thomas Middleditch) company Pied Piper spiral through various stages of assured success and disaster while trying to launch its platform. And its inability to be understood by non-engineers resulted in the company being nearly swallowed by the Google-esque Hooli before being rescued by Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller) and Big Head (Josh Brener).
For the fourth season, Pied Piper has pivoted to video thanks to an effort by Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) that holds some promising possibilities in the changing dynamics between the programmers, particularly with regard to the dryly amoral Gilfoyle (Martin Starr). Like the area it skewers, the show still tilts primarily male, and there’s a chance it could become even more so as Suzanne Cryer’s investment firm has pulled out, which would leave Amanda Crew’s Monica as the show’s biggest female character. However, now that she's working closer with Pied Piper than ever with last season’s finale, there’s still lots of potential for this start-up to pay off.
Nasty women with high political aspirations will rule in 2017, or at least on some of HBO’s most popular returning series.
Two very different shows — the fantastical drama “Game of Thrones” and the political satire “Veep” — left us with opposite scenarios in 2016: a women occupying the highest governing seat in the land and one taking leave of that seat.
Now, the question as to how those women deal with that power, or the loss of it, makes Season 6 of “Veep” and 7 for “Game of Thrones” two of the most anticipated returning shows of the new year.