It is the mid-90s and Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton) has just been arrested for a multitude of offenses. The high school football star and son of retired cop Big JimKeene (the late Ray Liotta in one of his last filmed roles) is encouraged to take a plea deal with the hope of getting out jail quickly. Instead, the judge makes an example of Jimmy and sentences him to ten years with no chance of parole. Months later, he is offered a deal: elicit a confession from suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) – who is currently residing in a maximum security prison for the criminally insane – and get out of jail early, or turn it down and wait out the remainder of his sentence.
BLACK BIRD is inspired by true events and comes with the added pedigree of being written and created by Dennis Lehane, the acclaimed Novelist behind titles like MysticRiver, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island. The first two episodes make for a compelling set-up for the six-episode Mini-Series, introducing us to all of the players and setting the stakes sky high right from the start. The transitions from present to past and back again are a little clunky in some areas while being downright riveting in others. Hauser, who has truly honed his craft over the past half-decade, is incredible as Hall, creating a character that we are immediately unsure of. Is he telling the truth? How does he know certain details, but not others? Why is he so soft spoken? I had a lot of questions and uneasy feelings about him, and the series plays right into all of that and allows Hauser the freedom to dig deep and explore Hall’s idiosyncrasies. I will not call it his best work yet (not when his turns in I,Tonya and Richard Jewell still exist), yet I look forward to being endlessly fascinated by his performance and genuinely hope it sticks the landing.
And yes, it is just as gut-wrenching and heartbreaking to see Liotta on-screen after being taken from us less than two months ago. He is absolutely mesmerizing in his supporting role. Such a tremendous loss.
Sadly, I cannot speak highly of the rest of the Series at this point. The first two episodes are slickly-produced and look great, but also feel unnecessarily dragged out. Whole swaths of scenes could have been trimmed down to mere montages, mere pieces of dialogue or excised entirely. What that boils down to is the hard truth that these early episodes do not make a great case for why BLACK BIRD exists as a prestige Mini-Series and not a two-and-a-half-hour film. Egerton’s accent is great and he gets to show off his acting range (and his ridiculously sculpted abs, which I have to assume are in place for his rumoured desire to play the MCU’s Wolverine), but does not really wow. His chemistry with Sepideh Moafi’s FBI Agent Lauren McCauley is fiercely palpable at least – as is the edginess Moafi brings to her character. Greg Kinnear is solid as Detective Brian Miller, but again, is not really afforded the chance to wow.
BLACK BIRD may prove to be compelling, must-watch Television. There are certainly hints of greatness parsed throughout these early episodes and I do look forward to keep watching, if only for Hauser. My fear is that the next four will be just as stretched thin and padded-out. But I genuinely hope I get proven wrong.
The first two episodes of BLACK BIRD premiere Friday, July 8, 2022 on Apple TV+, with each new episode arriving every Friday throughout July.
Taron Egerton stars in BLACK BIRD, coming soon to Apple TV+. The Series, based on a true story also features the work from a late Ray Liotta.
“Black Bird” stars Taron Egerton as Jimmy Keene, Paul Walter Hauser as Larry Hall, Greg Kinnear as Brian Miller, Sepideh Moafi as Lauren McCauley, and Ray Liotta as Jimmy Keene’s father, Big Jim Keene. The series is adapted from the true crime memoir “In With The Devil: A Fallen Hero, A Serial Killer, and A Dangerous Bargain for Redemption” by James Keene and Hillel Levin.
Inspired by actual events, when high school football hero and decorated policeman’s son Jimmy Keene (Egerton) is sentenced to 10 years in a minimum security prison, he is given the choice of a lifetime — enter a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane and befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Hauser), or stay where he is and serve his full sentence with no possibility of parole. Keene quickly realizes his only way out is to elicit a confession and find out where the bodies of several young girls are buried before Hall’s appeal goes through. But is this suspected killer telling the truth? Or is it just another tale from a serial liar? This dramatic and captivating story subverts the crime genre by enlisting the help of the very people put behind bars to solve its mysteries.
The first two episodes ofBLACKBIRD arrive Friday, July 8, 2022 on Apple TV+, with new episodes to come weekly through August 5, 2022.
Taron Egerton stars in BLACK BIRD, coming to Apple TV+.
Inspired by actual events, when high school football hero, decorated policeman’s son, and convicted drug dealer Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton) is sentenced to 10 years in a minimum security prison, he is given the choice of a lifetime — enter a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane and befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser), or stay where he is and serve his full sentence with no possibility of parole. Keene quickly realizes his only way out is to elicit a confession and find out where the bodies of several young girls are buried before Hall’s appeal goes through. But is this suspected killer telling the truth? Or is it just another tale from a serial liar? This dramatic and captivating story subverts the crime genre by enlisting the help of the very people put behind bars to solve its mysteries.
In addition to Egerton and Hauser, “Black Bird” stars Sepideh Moafi, Greg Kinnear and Ray Liotta.
BLACK BIRD arrives globally July 8, 2022 only on Apple TV+.
Halloween is just around the corner and Netflix is ready to get us in the spirit with HUBIE HALLOWEEN!
In the infamous town of Salem, Massachusetts, big-hearted Hubie Dubois (Adam Sandler) regularly spends Halloween making sure his fellow residents celebrate the holiday safely and keep the childish shenanigans in check, though they don’t often thank him for it. Hubie is mocked for being overly cautious and still living with his mom (June Squibb), plus he’s called the police so often over the years that Officer Steve Downing (Kevin James) actively avoids him.
Also starring: Julie Bowen, Ray Liotta, Maya Rudolph, Rob Schneider, Kenan Thompson, Steve Buscemi, Michael Chiklis, Tim Meadows, Noah Schnapp, Paris Berelc, China Anne McClain and Shaquille O’Neal. Steve Brill (Little Nicky, Walk of Shame) directs.
Some new stills:
See the Trailer:
HUBIE HALLOWEEN streams on Netflix Wednesday, October 7, 2020.
The Movie which brought Ryan & Eva together. After premiering at TIFF last September to positive Reviews, finally The Place Beyond the Pines sees a release later this month. Reuniting Director/Writer Derek Cianfrance together with Ryan Gosling after their fantastic Collaboration, Blue Valentine, the Drama is about a Stunt Driver (Gosling) who provides for his unborn Child and Lover (Eva Mendes) by robbing banks. A Rookie Cop (Bradley Cooper) however is onto him, he himself dealing with internal issues in reporting to a corrupt Detective (Ray Liotta). Think Drive, but with a Motorbike, a Baby and Corruption! LOL
Regardless, the Film looks amazing and despite it being early still, the Critics of Rotten Tomatoes have pegged it at 92% on their Tomatometer.
Watch the Trailer in full below:
Of course, I’ve met some of the amazing Cast of The Place Beyond the Pines over the years and it’s always seeing a Film blossom after it premieres at TIFF!
Rolling Stone Magazine got the exclusive Behind-the-Scenes with some amazing Photos during filming in Schenectady. Click here for more!
eOne Films releases The Place Beyond the Pines on April 12, 2013.
“I’m living in America and in America you’re on you’re own.”.
Alliance Films & Mr. Will Wong are thrilled to give Readers a chance to win Passes to see one of the most talked-about Films of 2012, KILLING THEM SOFTLY! After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival this past May, the response has been overwhelmingly positive for the Crime-Drama.
Adapted from George V. Higgins‘ Novel COGAN’S TRADE and set in New Orleans, KILLING THEM SOFTLY follows professional Enforcer, Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt), who investigates a Heist that occurs during a high stakes, Mob-protected, Poker Game. The Film also stars Scoot McNairy , Ben Mendelsohn, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins and James Gandolfini.
The Screening takes place in Toronto on Thursday, November 29, 2012. To enter to win a Double Pass to see KILLING THEM SOFTLY, under this Post at Mr. Will Wong on Facebook, please name for the Cast Member who I am seen with above. You should also be following here on Twitter. If you have restricted Privacy Settings, please ensure you leave a Twitter Handle for me to reach you back. Your deadline is Friday, November 23, 2012. Good luck!
Watch the Trailer in full below:
Alliance Films releases KILLING THEM SOFTLY on Friday, November 30, 2012.
Remember to “like” Alliance Films on Facebookhere!
Inspired by a real-life Hitman, The Iceman premiered tonight at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Earlier in the day, Ray Liotta showed-up to promote the Film – stopping by to greet Fans before heading-in to do Press; eOne Films releases.