Watch This: Trailer for Sicario

This drugs-on-the-border war story stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro. Emily Blunt as Kate Mercer is an FBI agent. The action moves back and forth across the border between El Paso and Juarez and shows a world of brutality and murder.

Emily Blunt claims a part many argued should be played by a man. Personally, I’m in favor of action heroes being played by women, especially women as talented as Blunt.

I’m also eager to see women get roles that are not violent and action oriented, but are stories about women living more normal lives – especially women played by actors as talented as Emily Blunt.

When Variety reviewed it after it showed at Cannes, they wrote, “A blisteringly intense drug-trade thriller that combines expert action and suspense with another uneasy inquiry into the emotional consequences of violence.”

The film opens September 18.

Watch This: Trailer for Dark Places

Dark Places looks intense and good. Based on a book by Gillian Flynn, the film stars Charlize Theron as Libby, the little sister of Ben, a prisoner played by Corey Stoll. Libby’s family was murdered when she was a child. Ben was convicted of the crime.

A group of ex-cops called The Kill Club are intent on reviving the crime and solving it, because they believe Ben is innocent.

Chloe Grace Moretz and Christina Hendricks co-star in the film, which was produced by Theron. It opens on August 7, and is already available from some on demand sources.

Watch This: New Preview for Suffragette

Suffragette will premier in the U.S. in late October. It’s premiering in early October in the U.K. at the London Film Festival. There’s a new preview available.

The film deals with the battle for women’s right to vote in late 19th and early 20th Century in England.  Suffragette stars Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep. Mulligan plays Maud, a wife and working mother who joins a group fighting to secure the right to vote for women. The group’s now-famous leader Emmeline Pankhurst is played by Streep. Continue reading “Watch This: New Preview for Suffragette”

Previews and Video from Complications

Complications starts June 18 on USA. It begins with a two-hour premier that should be plenty of time to get people hooked if it’s any good.

The star is Jason O’Mara as Dr. John Ellison. The women in the series are all arrayed around him in one way or another – other doctors, his wife, nurses. The women look like an important and compelling part of the drama, and not just something stuck in the story to make the lead male look good.

Also featured are Gretchen (Jessica Szohr), a nurse; John’s wife, Samantha (Beth Riesgraf), and Dr. Bridget O’Neill (Lauren Stamile).

Judging from the clips, the plot will be less medical drama and more social and action drama.

First take a look at the overall clip, then videos from the main female characters. Sorry about the ads.

Beth Riesgraf as Samantha Ellison.

Jessica Szohr as Gretchen Polk.

Lauren Stamile as Dr. Bridget O’Neill.

I’m happy to say that the main cast includes two black men who are not gang bangers. They are played by Ronreaco Lee and Chris Chalk.

I’m going to give it a chance. Do you think it’s worth a look?

Watch This: Lifetime TV’s new series UnREAL

UnREAL starts on Lifetime TV June 1. This behind the scenes look at a reality show modeled after The Bachelor stars Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer. The shows creators are Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro.

Appleby as Rachel and Zimmer as her boss Quinn are joined by Josh Kelly as the main characters responsible for creating drama and suspense with the so-called reality TV they are producing.

You can’t help but look at these shows where a bunch of women are competing for the attention of one available man and be forced to ponder gender roles and sexism. It would be wonderful if this show deals with that directly and not as subtext.

Then there’s the problem of the blinding whiteness of everyone on the reality show in UnREAL.

From the clips below, it looks like another theme might be the way young people today have no life but work – work is life.

I hope this series exposes the dark underbelly of reality TV, because it really needs to be unearthed. I dislike reality shows. Therefore, logically, I’m looking forward to this show, which promises to reveal the lie behind the illusion – to draw back the curtain so we see the wizard for what he is.

There are two clips to share.

What do you think? Will you give it a try?

Watch This: Trailer for Advantageous

Advantageous, which took the SXSW Special Jury Prize for Collaborative Vision, will be streaming on Netflix starting June 23. The film is from writer and director Jennifer Phang.

Still from the film Advantageous

I first became interested in this sci-fi drama when I read Emily Yoshida’s SXSW report about it in The Verge. Here’s how she described the film at the time:

[Advantageous] was the first sci-fi film I had seen at the festival, as well as the first genre film in general. It’s a quiet, deliberately paced story of a woman, her daughter, and a medical procedure with philosophical implications worthy of a Black Mirror Mother’s Day special. Gwen (Jacqueline Kim, who also co-wrote the film) is a spokeswoman for a new-fangled body-swapping procedure, who must undergo the procedure herself in order to keep her job and be able to ensure a good future for her daughter, Jules (Samantha Kim). It’s moody and specific and is a rare sci-fi film to nail its human emotion — particularly the mother-daughter relationship at its center — just as expertly, if not more so, as its more lofty philosophical questions.

According to the film’s Facebook page, Jennifer Phang received the award for Best Director, and the film won in three other categories at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival.

The film will be released in some 20+ languages and will include a version with Jennifer Phang giving director’s commentary on some of the topics explored in the film.

I’m looking forward to the film. It looks very good.

I appreciate Netflix for making the deal to stream Advantageous and for backing the recent Grace and Frankie and other female-based content.

Addendum: Now that I’ve seen the film, you can read my review of Advantageous here.

Trailers for New TV Series with Women Leads

There are a number of TV shows being announced now. Some star women in leading roles, some have more than one woman out in front, and some even boast women of a color other than white. Let’s have a look at them.

Supergirl

Supergirl begins this fall on CBS. We’ve been given a rather lengthy first look at the series. We may be able to skip ahead to the second episode, this trailer tells so much. As a bonus, if we start the season with episode 2, the whole wardrobe problem will be solved.

Melissa Benoist is Supergirl. Chyler Leigh plays her sister Alex. Mehcad Brooks is Jimmy (sorry, James) Olsen. Calista Flockhart plays Supergirl’s boss. The boss is some kind of horrible parody on every bitchy boss ever imagined by a male writer since the beginning of the Planet Krypton. (Really, fellas, can’t anyone do better than that?)

I’ve mentioned Supergirl a couple of times previously on this blog, if you want more in depth details check out Big Casting News for Supergirl and Brain Dump: Supergirl, Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Blacklist.

So here she is, the female superhero we’ve long awaited. If I were inclined to mangle famous poems, I might say,

so much depends
upon

a red skirt
with cape

glazed with pop
culture

beside the endless
patriarchy.

The Catch

Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers are behind The Catch, which was created by Jennifer Schuur. This is a thriller centered on the brilliant Alice Martin (Mireille Enos). She’s a fraud investigator who’s about to be the victim of fraud herself. It sounds like a season long hunt for the bad guy, mixed in with other cases.

The Catch also stars Alimi Ballard as Evan, Damon Dayoub, Jay Hayden, Jacky Ido, Bethany Joy Lenz, Rose Rollins and Elvy Yost. Props to The Catch – although the star is white, there is ample diversity in the rest of the cast.

Although Mareille Enos is capable of super intense acting, I’m most looking forward to seeing Rose Rollins on my TV again.

Quantico

I think Quantico is going to take the lead on diversity. The main character is played by Priyanka Chopra, an award winning veteran of a number of Indian films. Aunjanue Ellis also has top billing on this FBI story. The plot centers around a number of recruits at the FBI training center in Quantico. Jake McLaughlin plays Ryan Booth.

Of all the previews shown in this post, I like this one the best simply because of the diversity issue. But why is there only one show like this? (I’ll mention Proof later, it helps.)

Blindspot

Blindspot is going to be one of those season long searches for the truth like Blacklist or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. It’s about a woman who “wakes up” with no memory of her past life. She’s completely covered with fresh tattoos.

Jaimie Alexander stars as Jane Doe, with Ashley Johnson and Sullivan Stapleton backing her up in this tale about a vast international conspiracy.

Heartbreaker

Heartbreaker is a medical drama starring Melissa George. Other doctors surrounding the brilliant heart surgeon are played by Dave Annable, Don Hany, Shelley Conn and D.L. Hughley.

Jill Gordon and Amy Brenneman are among the producers for Heartbreaker.

Angel from Hell

Angel from Hell starts on CBS this fall. Jane Lynch looks happy about it, judging from her Twitter feed.

The show will be on Thursday evenings, a tough slot for any show of interest to women, especially a half hour comedy. It stars Jane Lynch, Maggie Lawson, Kevin Pollak and Kyle Bornheimer. Other information is a little skimpy at this point, but the only names I can find for writers and directors are male names.

Angel from Hell doesn’t premier until November, so there will be plenty of time to fill in the details.

I love that wild hair on Jane Lynch. Perfect.

Elsewhere on Old Ain’t Dead

There are other female-led series I’ve talked about before on the blog. If you missed those posts, here they are.

I don’t think this is a complete list of the new shows with female leads, but it gives you some female-led shows to consider for your next few months of TV watching.

The Diversity Countdown

Looking just at the starring role in these women’s series, how do we stack up on diversity?

We have

  • Melissa Benoist
  • Mireille Enos
  • Priyanka Chopra
  • Jaimie Alexander
  • Melissa George
  • Jane Lynch
  • Jennifer Beals
  • Dark Matter names the men first, so I’m not listing anyone from it
  • Emma Ishta

I’d say that is a less than outstanding rundown if you’re counting diversity points.

It’s not that I don’t want Melissa Benoist or Jaimie Alexander or the other white women on the list to have great parts. I do. Lots of great parts. I also want lots of great parts for the rest of the female human race.

Watch This: Trailer for San Andreas

I don’t think I’ve ever paid  money to see a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. That may change. The upcoming disaster movie San Andreas stars Dwayne Johnson as a father and Alexandra Daddario as his daughter. It also features Archie Panjabi, Carla Gugino, Paul Giamatti, Ione Gruffudd and Kylie Minogue.

The film description: “In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his estranged daughter.”

As you can see from the trailer, the special effects in the film look awesome. Disaster flicks aren’t my usual genre, but – Archie Panjabi. I don’t think she is going to have a very big part, but it is certainly something different from her role on The Good Wife.

All my life, which is a lotta years, I’ve been hearing that the San Andreas fault was going to crack open and half of California would fall into the sea. That’s what this movie is about.

What do you think? Will you give this thriller a try?

Orange is the New Black Season 3 Promos

June 12, people. Orange is the New Black, with the best social media staff IN THE WORLD, has visuals to help you remember that date. June 12 – got it?

There are also a few still shots besides the awesome preview video.
Taryn Manning and Lea DeLaria sit on the grass. Lea is covered with colored balls
What are we doing here? Mourning the demise of the lesbian agenda? Putting a collection of pet crickets to rest? Planning a clown school?
Kate Mulgrew and Selenis Leyva  face off
Look at those faces. I love those faces, those stares, those raised eyebrows. Litchfield never lets life get comfortable.
Taylor Schilling and Ruby Rose looking very friendly
A new person in the cast and she appears to make friends quickly. Think she’ll stir up trouble the way Vee did?
A group scene with numerous cast members looking up at something
Don’t they look a lot happier since Miss Rosa did them a great service regarding Vee? Is this not the best cast anywhere on television? Yes, it is.

Watch This: Trailer for Ricki and The Flash

I am somewhat (okay, a whole lot) excited about Ricki and The Flash. The first excitement is the star Meryl Streep. Next, there’s the writer Diablo Cody.

But wait! There’s more! Check this out:

“Meryl Streep takes on a whole new gig – a hard-rocking singer/guitarist – for Oscar®-winning director Jonathan Demme and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody in Ricki and the Flash. In an original and electrifying film loaded with live musical performances, Streep stars as Ricki Rendazzo, a guitar heroine who made a world of mistakes as she followed her dreams of rock-and-roll stardom. Returning home, Ricki gets a shot at redemption and a chance to make things right as she faces the music with her family. Streep stars opposite her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer; Rick Springfield, portraying a Flash member in love with Ricki; Kevin Kline as Ricki’s ex-husband; and Audra McDonald as Kline’s new wife.”

Oh, my, what a cast. Meryl Streep singing rock and roll and slinging a guitar around like she knows what to do with it. Oh, my.

There is something so magical about Meryl Streep. Just a glance at this image of her in her costume and you know she’s going to kill in this part. In real life she’s 65, matronly, wearing glasses and a not very exciting dress. Put her in front of a camera, yell action, and something special happens. I feel lucky to be able to watch what Meryl Streep does and be amazed by it again and again.

Mamie Gummer lets herself look like hell in this film. I love that. I love the smacking that Ricki gets from her family, from her ex husband’s new wife. I love the Rick Springfield, the Kevin Kline, the Audra McDonald. This film better be good, because I love it.

Enough already with the gushing. See what you think of the trailer. The film opens August 7.

The Trailer

Meryl Streep images © 2015 – Sony Pictures Entertainment