It’s Civic Day weekend, meaning it’s time to stream something new! Here’s some of our best recommendations to help make this an even better long weekend!
THE KISSING BOOTH 2 (NETFLIX)
Joey King is back in this direct sequel to 2018’s The Kissing Booth, reprising her role as Elle, who is now in her senior year of high school. Returning also is her flame Noah (Jacob Elordi) who now is studying at Harvard. The love triangle game is strong in this Sequel with her visiting him in Boston, only to meet Chloe, who appears to be getting rather close to him. Bringing back The Kissing Booth for her school’s charity fair, she and BFF Lee (Joel Courtney) recruit heartthrob Marco (Taylor Perez) for a dance competition and before we know it, they start developing feelings for one another. Matters are complicated as Elle isn’t sure if she if Noah is cheating with Chloe and at the same time she feels a romance blooming between her and Marco. She finds herself resented also as Lee‘s girlfriend Rachel (Meganne Young) can’t get a moment together with him, without Elle always being in the picture. All the while, Elle‘s trying to figure out if she will choose Harvard to be with Noah or just go to Berkeley. Above this, she’s worried she won’t have enough money to go to the school of her dreams. While we clearly don’t remember our senior year of high school having this much drama, kudos to Elle who is played well again by King. This Sequel really doesn’t resolve much, leaving room for yet another installment of this Franchise and still capturing that sweet spot in her life where she still is free to do whatever she wants before college. Judging by interest in this, a third Film seems likely!
FEAR CITY: NEW YORK VS THE MAFIA (NETFLIX)
The Producers of Don’t F**k With Cats are back with this gripping three-part Docu-Series which takes us back to the ’70s when New York went from the “City of Fun” to the “City of Fear” as various five big mafia families had their hands in controlling every aspect of the City whether it be garbage collection to real estate. With a combination of interviews, photographs, actual surveillance tapes and re-enactments, we learn how under eventual Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the FBI and a team of undercover agents in gut-wrenching detail, walks us through how they infiltrated the Mafia’s cars, homes and frequented establishments. We see also the challenges the Prosecutors faced convincing a jury with collected surveillance footage, before a ruling defined an era of change for a crime-riddled New York. Once again, some great haunting storytelling here from both sides of law enforcement, which educates as well as it entertains.
THE REMIX: HIP HOP X FASHION (NETFLIX)
The ’90s were a pivotal period for Urban Music and Fashion with several of today’s looks and sounds having stemmed from that renaissance period. But did these artists all come armed with their own sense of style to go along with their groundbreaking music? THE REMIX: HIP HOP X FASHION is a concise 67-minute Documentary which premiered at Tribeca, taking a look at some of the unsung heroes of fashion who conceptualized some of the ’90s biggest acts like Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim and more. They came out of the underground and into the mainstream in much of the fashion we see today from major fashion houses like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Fendi. The Film looks at the likes of Dapper Dan who now is an official collaborator with the former, April Walker of Walker Wear and Stylist Misa Hylton who still is working with the likes of Beyoncé. We see their unsung legacies on style as we know today and how it has left an indelible mark on black and mainstream culture.
GOOD GIRLS – SEASON 1 (NETFLIX)
Acquiring NBC’s GOOD GIRLS has proven to be a winning move for Netflix. The Series now available on the streaming service shot straight to #1 on its Trending list in Canada. Starring Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks in the lead role of Beth, teams-up with best friend Beth (Retta) and her little sister Annie (Mae Whitman) deciding to rob a supermarket to make ends meet. Aiming for $30,000 but instead walking away with $500,000, they soon become the target of a band of criminals, led by Christopher (Manny Montana). Unable to re-pay their debt, they soon find themselves caught in a criminal underworld carrying-out jobs for Christopher, unable to escape. Matters get even more complicated as Christopher and Beth develop a complicated relationship, which at any moment feels like it’s ready to implode. Despite a story which takes some implausible turns, Hendricks carries the lead role superbly, making this a fun watch.
MUPPETS NOW (DISNEY+)
A huge emphatic stamp of approval for this six-episode improvisational Comedy Series which has our beloved Muppets back and funnier than ever as they are in an age of Instagram, Vlogs and Social Media. The episodes are part Talk Show and part Game Show, with a diverse variety of celebrity guests (including RuPaul, Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, Aubrey Plaza, Roy Choi and more!) who play it straight like they are on any other interview, but what truly makes this a joy is how the Muppets true to form, ham it up true to brand and they ultimately are the stars of the interview. Danny Trejo in a Taco Challenge in episode 2 against The Swedish Chef is outrageously-funny! While this looks like it’s for the kids, it’s definitely more for the big kids. We adore The Muppets and our only complaint is how quick the time passes. We want more!
BLACK IS KING (DISNEY+)
“You can’t wear a crown with your head down” is a quote heard in Beyoncé‘s Visual Album BLACK IS KING, available now on Disney+. And this line sums it all up entirely. Fans have been hungry for new music from the Icon and she rewards them with this gorgeously-shot 85 minute Musical Film immersed in a new Afrobeat-inspired sound, starring, writing, directing and producing. The Film, serving as a companion piece to often-forgotten album The Lion King: The Gift, centers on a young African king, exiled by his family and like Simba, he learns just how dangerous it is out there in the world. While her message is to empower the young to reclaim what is theirs, this might go over the heads of the young audience she is speaking to, but it sure talks to her fans of a generation who are responsible for leading and raising these children by example. BLACK IS KING is loaded with star power including appearances in the Album and Film by Pharell Williams, Kelly Rowland, Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Campbell, Canada’s Jessie Reyez and of course Jay-Z and their children Rumi, Blue Ivy and Sir Carter.If I Were a Boy, Crazy in Love, Single Ladies and Say My Name were an era of the past for Beyoncé. She is here with a new vision and is in it to be heard.
THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY SEASON 2 (NETFLIX)
Picking-up from the end of Season 1, this quirky Toronto-made fan favourite returns with 10 new episodes. Five (Aidan Gallagher) uses his time travel ability and takes his siblings back in time to stop the Apocalypse from happening. Things go awry however and his siblings all revert back to different eras. Vanya (Ellen Page) has Amnesia and is living with a family; Diego (DavidCastañeda) finds himself in an asylum and eager to get out to prevent JFK from being assassinated; Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) is married to an Activist; charismatic Klaus (Robert Sheehan) is finding himself in trouble as usual, having started a cult; and Luther (Tom Hopper) is working in a club as a bodyguard. Season 2 takes us a journey as these siblings find one another again, navigating the scenarios they have landed in, but reuniting is only the tip of the iceberg in the many complex problems they have to tackle.
SUGAR RUSH: EXTRA SWEET (NETFLIX)
This is our first time checking-out this competition Baking Series which takes pairs of skilled bakers, pitting them against other duos in new themed baking challenges each episode. The first round involves cupcakes, the second a confection and the third a cake. This new six-episode set includes celebrity guests like Tyler Posey and the late Naya Rivera and we were entertained as more often than not we agree with the panel of judges’ assessments. Some really brilliant and inspired talent tasked with challenges that update as trends evolve. We were floored by some of these creations including a cake that lit-up under black lights and even levitating cakes!
We’re sure many of you are thrilled for the upcoming second season of Toronto-made THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY! Here’s a brand-new Trailer to get you pumped and also the new Gerard Way (ft. Judith Hill) track heard on the Trailer, HERE COMES THE END!
Synopsis: Five warned his family (so, so many times) that using his powers to escape from Vanya’s 2019 apocalypse was risky. Well, he was right – the time jump scatters the siblings in time in and around Dallas, Texas. Over a three year period. Starting in 1960. Some, having been stuck in the past for years, have built lives and moved on, certain they’re the only ones who survived. Five is the last to land, smack dab in the middle of a nuclear doomsday, which – spoiler alert! – turns out is a result of the group’s disruption of the timeline (déjà vu, anyone?). Now the Umbrella Academy must find a way to reunite, figure out what caused doomsday, put a stop to it, and return to the present timeline to stop that other apocalypse. All while being hunted by a trio of ruthless Swedish assassins. But seriously, no pressure or anything.
See the Trailer:
Check-out Here Comes the End from The Umbrella Academy Creator Gerard Way (featuring Judith Hill), featured in the Trailer!
THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY Season 2 streams on NetflixFriday, July 31, 2020.
Based on My Chemical Romance Frontman Gerard Way‘s popular graphic novels, Netflix Series THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY is set to stream across the world. Filmed right here in Toronto, from Canadian Showrunner Steve Blackman and Executive Producer Jeff King, it centers on a group of six survivors of fourty three children born one day in 1989 to mothers who prior had shown no signs of pregnancy. Now adults, they must come together to solve the mystery of their father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, who has passed. This family of superheroes must iron-out their differences in the wake of a possible apocalypse.
Stars of genre-bending The Umbrella Academy reunited on the festive Red Carpet tonight at TIFF Bell Lightbox in support the the Series’ launch tomorrow on the world’s leading internet television service, Netflix. In attendance were Mary J. Blige, Cameron Britton, Colm Feore, Sheila McCarthy, Tom Hopper, Emma Raver-Lampan, Robert Sheehan, David Castañeda, several of the Show’s young stars and Ellen Page, who has made headlines much of late speaking-out for the LGBTQ Community.
We had the pleasure of seeing and snapping the talent tonight on the Carpet including Sheila McCarthy, Colm Feore, Executive Producer Jeff King, Cameron Britton, Tom Hopper and Emmy Raver-Lampman.
Sheila McCarthy – “Agnes”
We ask the Toronto-born Actress about her character Agnes, a donut shop owner. She says, “Her glass is full to brimming, even in very violent situations, she sees the sunny side. She’s having the greatest love of her life with someone half her age, which doesn’t matter.”. She also tells us about her favourite part of working on the Series, revealing her she won’t forget meeting two-time Oscar nominee and R&B superstar Mary J. Blige. “Two years ago if you told me that I’d be working with her, I’d go ‘What?’! She’s the sweetest, kindest person”, she states. “It’s very carefully-handpicked show and it’s not always like that. It’s a labour of love I tell ya.”.
Colm Feore – “Sir Reginald Hargreeves”
The screen and stage legend tells us what drew him most to the project and Way‘s vision. “It’s a fabulous part and vision of the part by Gerard (Way) and Steven Blackman, a brilliant Writer. He’s got a serious job creating superheroes who could save the world. He knows what end game is and the stakes are very, very high.”.
The role while being a departure from some of the more charismatic roles Feore is known for in his celebrated career, but he clarifies, “For all the absence of warmth and charm, there’s a real eye-on-the-prize focus on what needs to be achieved.”. “It was awfully-fun cracking the whip on the little ones. I got to be mean to Ellen Page by proxy! I know she’s a little mad at me that I didn’t even read her book about the family, EXTRA ORDINARY, but I knew it would pay dividends in the end.”.
Jeff King, Executive Producer
Known for his work on Stargate SG-1, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and White Collar, Canadian-born King feels incredible about bringing the production to and premiering it in Toronto. “This is incredible. This is hometown for me and I haven’t been here in long time to shoot. But I have to credit the Ontario government and the Government of Canada for having an incentive program that would bring studios like Universal and Netflix and encourage them to be in Toronto because it’s such a great multicultural city. I’ve filmed in Paris, London, New York, New York and Vancouver, but Toronto is a unique mélange of all these things because of its people, architecture and proximity.”. He jokes, “Now if would just snow a little less it would be good.”.
Cameron Britton – “Hazel”
Britton who also starred in Netflix’s Mindhunter, tells us what drew him most to his role as an assassin. The Actor who is paired alongside Blige‘s Cha-Cha says, “He’s someone who doesn’t know who he is and I’ve wanted always to play someone in transition, finding out who they are. I found it really interesting that who they are in this case is a villain. It’s uncommon for villain not to know their identity.”.
On his preparation process, he admits being a bit nervous. “Preparation was scary because there was too much freedom to find out who these folks were. I didn’t meet Mary till a few days before starting to shoot. That’s when the characters opened-up a lot more. The chemistry was there and sometimes you get lucky in that regard.”.
Tom Hopper and Emmy Raver-Lampman – “Luther” and “Allison”
Hopper has starred on HBO‘s Game of Thrones and more recently was seen in Amy Schumer Comedy I Feel Pretty, while Raver-Lampman got a breakthrough after a turn on Broadway in Hamilton. They tell us about their love for Toronto.
Raver-Lampman recalls, “We started filming in January and wrapped in July, so we saw all the seasons. So many TV shows and movies come through town and everyone on show was a veteran of their craft.”. “We went to music festivals, did tons of Karaoke and we loved trying different restaurants. We tried to take Toronto in as much as we could.”.
Hopper states, “The amount of fun stuff we did outside of shooting was great. I had a wicked time. At the time my wife was home pregnant with my second baby. What made it a lot easier was these guys and Toronto. I needed these guys to get through this.”.
Despite being siblings, the two show a great chemistry which is prevalent even in few words. We ask how they achieve this on-screen.
Raver-Lampman tells us, “Right from jump, we really got along. There was no ego. We had a willingness to talk through scenes and make the best of the situation. It is because we had a friendship that existed offstage that we became close pals. I think at some point we stopped talking about scenes we had together. I think the Pilot was most we ever talked about scenes and then we would fall right into it and I started figuring out what he needs from me and vice-versa.”.
Hopper adds, “I was learning who Allison was as I was learning who Luther was. I got to know her as Allison as Emmy, it’s weird. And that’s all to do with the trust Emmy that talks about.”.
See our Chats:
See some Snaps from the night:
THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY streams on Netflix CanadaFriday, February 15, 2019.
All photos taken on Nikon D3400.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Amanda Gilmore)
Based on My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way’s Comic Book series of the same name, THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY is set to stream on Netflix this February. Way also serves on the series as Executive Producer. The first season, comprised of ten hour-long episodes brings together a quirky ensemble of talent. It centers on seven children born on the same day despite their mothers not having been pregnant, who are adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) an alien disguised as a billionaire.
–Vanya (Ellen Page) who is a skilled Violinist
–Luther (Tom Hopper) who possesses super-strength and the body of an alien ape
–Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) who is a star of the Red Carpet, who can alter reality through her lies
–Klaus (Robert Sheehan) who is an odd-ball underachiever, able to communicate with the dead
–Diego (David Castañeda) who has superior knifing skills and ability to control his breath
–Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) who has the appearance of a teen boy and is able to travel in time
Mary J. Blige also stars as Cha-Cha, a time-travelling assassin, along with her partner Hazel, played by Cameron Britton.
Shot right here in Toronto, The Umbrella Academy is a genre-bending mix of Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Drama and Comedy, set against a late ’80s-inspired Soundtrack, the period in which the central characters were born and grew-up. While a bit of a slow-burn, as much time is spent explaining these characters’ back stories, we learn along the way what led to their dysfunction present day as siblings as they look to solve their father’s death. With Number Five travelling into the future to learn that the world will be ending in a matter of days, the siblings must come together to save the world before others threaten to off them and assassins are in hot pursuit of Number Five.
The series’ aesthetic is dark and apocalyptic, set in the poorly-maintained mansion in which the siblings were raised. Fans of the Comic Book Series however surely will find plenty to connect with and rewarded as the plots thicken and the siblings are brought together in a common goal.
The Umbrella Academy is a star vehicle for young Aidan Gallagher who gets a chance to shine with plentiful action sequences, possessing a maturity well beyond his years and he handles the dramatic scenes, especially with Ellen Page with prowess, being her emotional and intellectual equal. Page is fragile and vulnerable, cast well in the role of Vanya who really needs to find herself in a family of siblings whom all possess a useful skill… except her. Tom Hopper as leader Luther and glamorous Emma Raver-Lampman, possess an almost-inappropriate interest in one another which translates from the source material. Robert Sheehan‘s Klaus and David Castañeda‘s Diego are the rebels in the family, keeping things uncomfortably dangerous.
Season One of THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY streams Friday, February 15, 2019. More here.
English Actor Tom Hopper has been hard at work in Toronto balancing filming Netflix’s upcoming Adpatation of THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY and family life back home. While the Series based on My Chemical Romance Frontman Gerard Way‘s Comic Books is set to wrap in about a month we thought we’d never see the star! Hopper plays one of the principal characters, Luther.
We spotted the Actor out and about King West going for a walk. Just yesterday his Castmates and he were out at the Field Trip Festival dancing to the grooves of DamienMarley at Fort York!
In addition to roles on Black Sails, The Adventures of Merlin and Game of Thrones, Hopper last was seen this spring in Amy Schumer Comedy I FEEL PRETTY!
We totally weren’t ready for this spotting, which was completely random. Hopper was amazing to stop for a Selfie!
A little later in the day we spotted star of Haven, ER, Brothers & Sisters and Graceland, Emily Rose. Although it isn’t yet announced what she’s filming here in Toronto, we’re sure her fans are excited to see her return! She also was super-sweet to stop for a Snap!
What good is some sun on a weekend if it can’t be enjoyed right? We spotted some stars out and about this weekend including the hotly-buzzed Greenwood Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack, some returning back to work after a breather.
Our second home Woodbine Racetrack, was where it was at this past Saturday as Toronto’s A-List gathered under the sun trackside for cocktails, racing, music, fashion and fun at the Greenwood Stakes. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Vancouver’s Deighton Cup, the affair saw socalities abound including the likes of Suzanne Rogers, Glen Baxter (Fashion Television), Shadowhunters’ Dominic Sherwood, The Umbrella Academy‘s Jordan C. Robbins and more! Sherwood tells us he neither won or loss at the races, but does appear to know a thing or two having been to Royal Ascot in his native England.
We hope the bustling event which takes its inspiration from both RoyalAscot and the Kentucky Derby, will come back again soon!
See some Snaps. Hover cursor left and right below and click arrows to navigate slideshow:
Also don’t forget to check-out our Webseries with Woodbine Racetrack, MR. WILL’S PATH TO THE PLATE, as we near our favourite Festival of the Summer, the Queen’s Plate! Episodes are out every Thursday leading-up to the Festival and each week we meet a new Contender and the unsung heroes in their success stories!
Emmy Raver-Lampman already is a star of the stage having appeared on Broadway in Wicked and Hamilton. She has landed a high-profile gig as Allison in Netflix‘s upcoming Series The Umbrella Academy based on My Chemical Romance frontman GerardWay‘s Comic Books. While the Series isn’t due till 2019, it will continue to film till July in Toronto.
Three-time Grammy winner Ben Harper plays The Mod Club tonight in support of 14th Studio Disc No Mercy in this Land. The veteran Singer/Songwriter was all smiles arriving from L.A. with his Band and Crew.
We’ve had the pleasure of meeting Pablo Schreiber a few times now but it’s always nice seeing him, a class act. He returns to Toronto to begin work on season two of AMERICAN GODS after some delays. You know him as Pornstache from acclaimed Netflix Series Orange is the New Black, something which on paper seems unflattering but believe us, that is a good thing!
We have come so close to meeting Emily Browning a few times but we’re thrilled finally to get a Selfie with the talented Australian-born Actress. She filmed Pomepeii opposite Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) a few summers back and we missed her again when she promoted Legend alongside Tom Hardy at TIFF! While she was in a bit of a rush after waiting on all her luggage she was kind to stop for a rush of fans off her flight. Like Schreiber, she also stars in Series American Gods.
It was an awesome Easter/Passover Long Weekend in Toronto. Some stars arrived back in town, some stayed in town!
As production is set to resume on the eighth season of acclaimed Series Suits this week, Amanda Schull who stars as Katrina Bennett and was upgraded recently to a Series Regular, made her way back to town with husband George Wilson. With stars Patrick J. Adams and Meagan Markle exiting the Series, we see some exciting additions to the Cast like Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy) who just arrived last week.
See our Snap:
While Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy continues to film around town through July and potentially August, we haven’t seen many of its stars around but one interesting thing is that Mindhunter star Cameron Britton has been cast as Hazel in the Series based on My Chemical Romance Frontman Gerard Way‘s Comic Book Series. Other recent additions include R&B Queen and Actress Mary J. Blige.
See our Snap:
For the Soccer fans, Mexico’s Club América arrived to much fanfare at the Airport which hoards of fans and Media awaiting their arrival. They will be in a much-awaited clash against Toronto FC! Hover cursor left and right to navigate the slideshow!
Some other talent we’ve seen around town, although exactly what for, still is unconfirmed:
We also saw Ruby O. Fee, a German Actress finishing the last leg of filming for Jonas Åkerlund‘s Assassin Thriller POLAR starring Katheryn Winnick, Vanessa Hudgens and MadsMikkelsen.
Ruby O. Fee
The Cast of Shazam! continue to make a splash around the City and we love following how big a family they’ve become over Social Media, bonding over TV, Movies and game nights. They even went to CN Tower together last week and also had a special private screening of Ready Player One at Warner Bros. Pictures Canada‘s Head Office uptown. Film wraps May.
The Cast largely have been really nice to fans and we have been extra cautious with the younger talent ensuring their caretakers and parents were okay with photos.
A Reader who requested to remain anonymous sent us this Snap of Zachary Levi in-costume as he filmed on-location a while back. The costume appears faithful to the original Comics. Dare we say it may even veer a bit to the nostalgic/campy?
Expect a huge unveil July at San Diego Comic Con after it wraps here in May. Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release SHAZAM!April 2019.
Based on Gerard Way‘s (My Chemical Romance) Comic Book Series, Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy quietly has been filming in and around Toronto since January. Set in the late ’70s, it takes place in an alternate universe where John F. Kennedy never was assassinated and centers on a team of dysfunctional superheroes who come together to solve their father’s death. They also must not let their clashing personalities get in the way and destroy everything.
The Series stars Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, Robert Sheehan, Emmy Raver-Lampman, David Castañeda and child actor AidanGallagher. Recent double Oscar-nominee Mary J. Blige also was added to the cast recently and we spotted her arriving on-set. Blige was last in Toronto for the TIFF ’17 Premiere of Mudbound.
Written into the Series, her character Cha Cha is said to be an unorthodox woman who can travel in time to kill targets. Filming in the City’s Dundas West area, she was spotted in a suit and bob with bangs like a Femme Fatale. She was seen with two friends/handlers enjoying a quiet pizza lunch to the sounds of Stevie Wonder at Pizza Libretto before heading back to work. One onlooker says she saw a friend scope out the restaurant before having Blige enter and she sat facing the window the entire meal.
The Set has been extremely protective of this Series, barring fans from seeing talent even out of costume. We’re really curious to see why the secrecy. Hmm…