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“There’s a lot of crotch to face.”
“Community’s” Alison Brie makes this observation in a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of Netflix’s new series “GLOW,” which looks to be the most fun, spandex-laden series ever, and that includes superhero shows.
The series is a fictional retelling of the rise of women’s wrestling in the 1980s. Brie stars as struggling actress Ruth Wilder, who gets her shot of stardom with GLOW, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. She’s part of an elite, dirty dozen of misfits who are all looking to take their frustrations in life and channel them into take-charge personas in the ring.
“Every woman has a wresting character sleeping inside of them,” adds Betty Gilpin, who plays Ruth’s chief rival, a former soap star named Debbie who took a break from acting to have a baby.
A few of the other more colorful wrestler names include Cherry Bang (Sydelle Noel) and Sheila the She Wolf (Gayle Rankin). Leading the pack is Marc Maron as Sam Sylvia, the has-been B-movie director with the vision for GLOW.
The behind-the-scenes video also show how the actresses trained for what we presume are their wrestling debuts, taking hits, getting clotheslined, learning to flip, fall and flop with grace, all while having an armpit or crotch in their face.
The series was co-created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, and executive produced by “Orange Is the New Black’s” Jenji Kohan. Take a look at the series below:
“GLOW” will release all 10 episodes of Season 1 on Friday, June 23.
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Director Dan Gilroy has a new script making the rounds in Hollywood that has two of the leads of his 2014 film “Nightcrawler,” Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo, attached to star, Deadline reports. Gilroy’s directorial debut about a con man (Gyllenhaal) navigating the world of Los Angeles crime journalism attracted an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay.
Few details about the new project are known, aside from the fact that it is set in the art world. Gilroy’s second film as a director, 2018’s “Inner City,” stars Denzel Washington as Roman Israel, a driven, idealistic defense attorney who, through a tumultuous series of events, finds himself in a crisis that leads to extreme action, according to IMDb. The film co-stars Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo.
In addition to writing and directing “Nightcrawler,” Gilroy served as the screenwriter on films including “Kong: Skull Island” and “The Bourne Legacy.” His first produced film was 1992’s “Freejack,” starring Russo, Emilio Estevez and Mick Jagger.
Gyllenhaal is currently shooting Jacques Audiard’s western for Annapurna, “The Sisters Brothers,” and will next appear in David Gordon Green’s “Stronger,” about the recovery of a victim in Boston Marathon bombing. Russo, who is married to Gilroy, recently wrapped production on Ron Shelton’s action-comedy “Villa Capri.”
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From music videos to film, David Fincher’s work has a cinematic quality that is instantly recognizable. His collaborations with Brad Pitt have given us two of the most iconic movies of the 1990s, namely “Se7en” and “Fight Club”, while “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” offered jaw-dropping visual effects that garnered several well-deserved Academy Award wins, as well as a Best Director nomination for Fincher himself.
Considering his storied film career, it’s perhaps no surprise that some incredible films have had a great influence on Fincher’s career over the years and have been imprinted in many of his films. Traces of “All the President’s Men” can be found in the obsessive journey undertaken in “Zodiac,” another real-life quest to uncover the truth at any cost. Travis Bickle’s lonely and unhinged mission to clean corruption from his city in “Taxi Driver” is not unlike the Narrator’s attempts to destabilize corporate America in “Fight Club.” Others still, like “Alien” perhaps, inspired Fincher to contribute to the franchise with a sequel of his own.
From “Chinatown” to “The Exorcist,” scroll through the gallery to appreciate David Fincher’s great taste in cinema.
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To say there’s no conflict in “Gypsy” would be a slight exaggeration, but to say it’s one of the most boring thrillers on Netflix would not. Intended as an exploration of a middle-aged woman’s unrestrained desires, the new series never elevates its drama to anything thematically challenging or narratively titillating. It’s as familiar as it wants to be risqué, which is the one rule you shouldn’t break when constructing a mind game.
Lisa Rubin’s 10-episode first season tracks Naomi Watts’ Jean Halloway, a Manhattan-based therapist with a good husband, Michael (Billy Crudup), and an adorable child, Dolly (Maren Heary). She spends her days seeing patients, discussing treatment plans with her colleagues, and getting blow-outs as a relaxing treat. Her nights are spent experimenting in the kitchen, watching movies with the family, and drinking a glass of wine or two.
But she hides a dark side; a secret life; a self so deeply hidden… she’s basically the same person. Jean’s shameful adventure begins with the bold choice of ordering a glass of wine in the daytime — I know. It’s too early for wine, Jean! You’ve got to go to work! You’re supposed to order coffee from a coffee shop! But after a few days chatting with her barista-turned-bartender, Sydney (Sophie Cookson), Jean needs to show her she’s unpredictable, and what better example than a Chardonnay in the a.m.?
Sydney becomes a point of fixation for Jean, who calls calls herself Diane when flirting with the young woman who moonlights as a singer when she’s not slinging drinks. The two enter into a bit of a romance, but one so slow-moving and filled with so much empty drama it’s amazing either remains invested. Perhaps it’s because of Jean’s greater sin that she’s so infatuated with Sydney. You see, Sydney is Sam’s ex, and Sam (Karl Glusman) is Jean’s patient — hence Jean’s name change, for protection.
In this taboo dynamic, “Gypsy” comes closest to approaching a meaningful conflict. Jean isn’t a good therapist. She’s frustrated by her patients, be it their lack of progress or restraint in explaining themselves, and she employs some unorthodox methods to “help.” And yet, none of them are that extreme. Without spoiling a show that’s kind of impossible to spoil, she definitely makes a few choices that would get her suspended, if not outright fired, but they’re hardly shocking to an audience at home.
“Gypsy” has the opportunity to lean into some batshit crazy shenanigans — the kind that get people talking, online and off — but Jean holds her cards far too close to the vest. Like far too many shows on streaming platforms, this one feels like it’s expected to be binged, not designed for it. The drama is minimal and poorly constructed; the dialogue feels forced and flimsy. But Jean isn’t spicing up the hours of mundane material, either. She’s not shoving anyone in front of a train or hiding an evil twin in the Black Lodge.
…or is she? The painful narration to kick off the series makes it fairly obvious “Gypsy” is keeping secrets from the audience, and one episode ends on a revelation meant to be more gasp-inducing than it plays. It means something is coming — an explanation, shocking or otherwise. A few twists feel safe to predict, but the real problem are these blunt, unanswered promises that something is coming. It’s as if the show is constantly winking at the audience, teasing a twist that’s always one more episode away. Through six, it’s difficult to keep waiting, let alone to trust the girl who cried, “Twist!”
If you could somehow ignore these implications, one could perhaps argue that “Gypsy” is the first psycho-sexual thriller not to rely on big reveals. For one, it doesn’t treat its same sex romance as an exemption for cheating. This isn’t the story of a woman who’s discovering herself at a late age and struggles with coming out. She’s afraid of losing her husband by cheating on him, and treating her sexuality as truly fluid — as well as putting equal stakes on her choice to cheat — is commendable.
But for that interpretation to be satisfying beyond its progressive spirit, there would have to be more heart to these cardboard cut-out characters. Poor Billy Crudup, film’s reigning supporting actor MVP (“20th Century Women,” “Jackie”), gets saddled with a “good dad” role, leaving him little to do other than react to his wife’s barely alarming behavior. The couple spends time building history through tough exposition, and there are implicit accusations tossed in without the seriousness needed to make them suspenseful, but neither actor is really given a chance to strut their stuff. (That their issues regularly fall under “rich white people problems” doesn’t help.)
Within this lack of Crudup upping his Crud and Naomi Watts Naomi Watts-ing lies the most frustrating element of “Gypsy”: Finally, after a gloriously savage turn on “Twin Peaks” and a hysterical cameo in “BoJack Horseman,” Watts finally has her own show, and… there’s just not much to it. “Gypsy” isn’t as fun or as deep as one would expect from a project so dependent on its star. Over the last couple decades, Watts has proven she loves a good challenge, and the only challenging aspect of her first TV show is in watching it all the way through.
“Gypsy” Season 1 premieres Friday, June 30, exclusively on Netflix.
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‘American Gods’ Review: Season 1’s Finale Is a Beautiful Sensory Nightmare That Finally Answers the Show’s Biggest Question
For the last seven weeks, “American Gods” has warned us of a coming war. One by one, the gods of centuries past made their way from the pages of global lore into the twisted landscape of this Starz show, where the mortal and immortal co-mingle and their fates are intertwined. With “Come to Jesus,” a grand finale that cobbled together all the disparate elements that made the series compelling viewing, Season 1 of “American Gods” reached its creative peak and paved the way for its cosmic tug-of-war to continue.
Though this season has delighted in its own diversions, crossing national and metaphysical boundaries to bring its infamous cast of characters together, keeping these factions separate for so long made their convergence all the sweeter. Mr. Wednesday, fresh from offing Vulcan, tows Shadow along to the house of Ostara, introducing a perfectly cast Kristin Chenoweth to an already loaded ensemble. While Wednesday tries to recruit the afternoon’s host to his side of the war of his making, Sweeney and Laura have effectively tracked down Shadow. Toss in a surprise visit from Media and its cohorts and it’s the perfect opportunity for Wednesday to pull back the curtain on his true identity.
In true “American Gods” fashion, Ian McShane’s booming invocation of “ODIN!” gets swept into the swirling atmosphere of this ill-fated Easter celebration. Coupled with Mr. World’s exponential choreography, its the show’s biggest example of showing that even with Shadow in tow, this is a cosmic battle that is specifically tied to weapons of its own devising. With this season-capper, it’s established the divide between Old and New and moved the conflict from a sensory, experiential realm to one where its moving chess pieces have clearer intentions.
As a piece of science fiction and a tome about the role that mythology has in informing our view of the world, it wouldn’t be unfair to view this finale through the prism of history and the chapter being written in our modern world. As this finale ventured from Egypt to Tehran, echoing the journeys in this season from Europe to the Middle East and westward to North American lands, it’s hard not to see this whole season as a shot across the bow against isolationism.
“American Gods” lives in a land of artifice, but there’s a value to having this allegorical conflict feature so prominent in its finale. The tools of Wednesday’s destruction are those of time-tested mythology, but the constant question of illusion, delusion and free will that’s woven into each development feels timeless.
© 2017 Starz Entertainment, LLC
Book readers were obviously privy to some of these plot machinations and characterizations, but for the uninitiated, “American Gods” took an almost perverse delight in shielding both Shadow and the audience from the most basic of information about who these immortal players actually are. Media, Technology, Mr. World, Czernobog and company — all of those individual entities still have some degree of abstraction to them, but having now seen so many of them in a direct face-off opens up a portal to a storytelling world where that caginess won’t serve as much of a purpose.
Even though the season has been drenched in a classic battle between two opposing forces, the divide between old and new doesn’t necessarily mean a simple battle between light and dark or good and evil. The lush vegetation and pastel costumes harkened back to “Wonderfalls” and “Pushing Daisies,” previous Bryan Fuller TV efforts that wrestled with the consequences of the whims and rules of the supernatural making their way into the everyday minutiae of life in North America. It’s a world where familiar tropes and cultural touchstones can be upturned at a moment’s notice, reworked to challenge our assumptions about the traditions that made them into such recognizable entities.
Even as McShane continues to excel at acting like Ian McShane and the cycle of other MVPs come trotting across the screen (only a show like “American Gods” could have Jeremy Davies as Jesus feel like sensible window dressing), Ricky Whittle’s performance and the treatment of Shadow Moon is still the center of the Venn diagram that the rest of the show flows through. But here, in this finale, there’s a sense that as the character begins to understand his place in the universe, “American Gods” finally found a way to take all of the densely detailed individual worlds of these gods and drive them toward a common purpose.
In many ways, Season 1 of “American Gods” has felt like a richly delivered preamble, written on a page in beautifully rendered calligraphy and draped in the wardrobe like that of the inimitable Mr. Nancy. Orlando Jones’ return to this saga was a welcome one, especially when he’s again given a rich story to help bring to life through his narration. The Bilquis origin story, drenched in devotion, sacrifice and carried by an unexpected fall from grace, shows that “American Gods” doesn’t need direct connection between its players to be an engaging meditation on the stories we tell ourselves and the way we connect to the folklore of ancestors past.
But, as Mr. Nancy invokes in conversation with Wednesday and Shadow, “This is all too big. Too much going on at once. We should start with a story.” Now that the show has finally spent its share of time on stories, it’s arrived at a chilling crossroads, ready to bring along with it everything that set its first eight hours apart.
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EBay Is Shutting Half.com Down — This Time For Good, as The Site Will Disappear At the End of Summer
And this time, eBay is making good on that promise. The online company originally announced in 2003 that it would close Half.com – but reversed course a year later after Half.com sellers refused to transfer over to eBay.
For the next 13 years, Half.com continued to operate as a subsidiary of eBay, and users still sold items on the platform – which remained pretty much unchanged and even now operates with a user interface that looks straight out of the early 2000s.
But perhaps sales volume finally dipped low enough that eBay decided now was the time to do what it tried to do all those years ago, and migrate the few remaining Half.com sellers to the mother ship.
“We would like to thank you for your support of Half.com – some of you have been with us since we launched in 1999,” eBay said in a letter to users. “We have enjoyed being part of your selling journey and wish you ongoing success. For all of your future marketplace needs, visit the eBay Seller Center to learn how to grow your business on eBay.”
In a list of Frequently Asked Questions, the company said Half.com traffic will redirect to eBay.com on Sept. 1, but that returns and refunds will continue to be processed until Oct. 31. Users will still be able to access their Half.com account information until Nov. 30, which is also the final day that customer service will be available.
Why the change? “We believe we can provide a greater selling opportunity for our selling community, and a better shopping experience for our buyers, by focusing on the core eBay.com platform.”
It’s been clear for some time that eBay had grown impatient with its lingering Half.com user base. Hoping to wean them off Half.com last year, eBay dramatically marked up its commission fees for media sellers in December. Sellers started seeing hikes as huge as 200% (for sales over $500) in fees.
Half.com was launched in 1999 by Josh Kopelman, and was sold to eBay a year later for $350 million. The site developed a fan base thanks to its ease of using the item’s UPC code to help list it, and then listing a set price that remained indefinitely on the site until it was sold.
During the Internet frenzy of the early 2000s, Half.com made headlines by offering the town of Halfway, Ore., $73,000 to change its name to Half.com, Ore., for a year. It took that bet. But that was a different time – an age when most audiences still bought recorded media in stores, or on then-new sites like eBay and Half.com.
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