Thursday, September 20, 2018


When the name of Josh Groban is mentioned, the first thing that comes to one’s mind is that he is a magnificent singer; well, either that or one of his inspirational songs like “To Where You Are” or his cover of “You Raise Me Up”. He has stretched his acting muscles too, but mostly his appearances are as himself or one-episode minor roles (in TV at least; his film outings at least have more meat). Now he is partnering with veteran actor Tony Danza on upcoming new Netflix series “The Good Cop”, and you will agree with me that this awesome voice can really act.
The streaming media giant has had their trailer for “The Good Cop” since July, and it will come on the platform Friday. Its story is perhaps one of the most uncommon variations to the tried and true “good cop-bad cop” and “buddy cop” formulas, considering its lead stars play father and son, and partners of sorts in the force. Tony Danza stars as Tony Caruso Sr., an archetypal “dirty cop” in the NYPD who was busted and spent “seven years in state” for corruption.
His downfall cements his image as a non-example to his son Tony Jr. (Groban), who is so determined to never follow in his dad’s crookedness that he has become a by-the-book spoilsport who, while a good police detective, is a social fuddy-duddy. When Tony Senior is released and given a civilian consulting job with his old department, he sees it as a chance to set his reputation straight, especially when he is partnered with a chagrined Junior in crime investigations. Of course, trying to reform does not automatically mean dropping all his cowboy qualities, and his poor son is going to have to bear with dad’s “help” in catching crooks and improving his social life.
Seriously, Josh Groban is an ace in “The Good Cop” especially playing as a straight-laced serious police officer who becomes a great font of story humor for those same qualities. I really feel Tony Junior’s personal discomfort at working with his “broken-pedestal” father who is a hit with his son’s workmates and who, underneath his unethical public face is actually skilled in their line of work. Most importantly, his character immersion is so great that he does not seem like his singer self at all.  Danza for his part is utterly charming in his trademark smarty-pants Italian-American archetype that he has got down pat, and thus makes an excellent foil for Groban in scenes together.
Netflix’s “The Good Cop” also stars Monica Barbaro, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Frank Whaley. Episodes will start streaming on September 21.
Image from Den of Geek

Stars and Production IMPRESS with SNEAK PEEK of NBC’s “MANIFEST”

Mysterious phenomenon being encountered while on a plane trip has been an interesting subject for film and television. In the 1990s ABC aired a mini-series adaptation of Stephen King novella “The Langoliers”, before premiering “Lost” in 2004 to rave reviews that elevated the theme. Now, it is NBC’s turn to try their hand at the mysterious airplane trip, but without the horror undertones of the above-mentioned shows. Premiering next week is “Manifest”, about a 2013 routine airline flight that goes through a turbulent but normal journey only to find itself in the here and now, and the implications it places between the plane’s passengers and the rest of the world.
The new show, which has posted a sneak peak of its pilot on YouTube and Facebook, stars Melissa Roxburgh and Josh Dallas as siblings Michaela and Ben Stone, who were vacationing in Jamaica in 2013 as an extended family with their parents and Ben’s wife and twins.
Michaela, Ben and his leukemic son volunteer to stay behind due to their overbooked flight back to New York; their makeup flight runs into heavy turbulence but otherwise reaches its destination, but things start getting weird. They are diverted to NY Stewart and detained by authorities, who claim that the year is 2018 and they have been missing for five and a half years. Now the Stones and their fellow passengers must cope with the time they lost, and the continuing manifestation of other unusual phenomena around them.
Melissa Roxburgh started in minor film roles for the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” film sequels, 2016’s “Star Trek Beyond” and a “Legends of Tomorrow” episode on The CW that same year, before landing a more substantial part in the 1-season military drama “Valor”. She is very effective in the character of Michaela on “Manifest”, a woman with cold feet in marrying her longtime boyfriend while also suffering traumatic nightmares from a past car accident.
Playing the role of her brother Ben is Josh Dallas, best known these days as Fandral in the 2011 MCU film “Thor”, but more importantly perhaps as Prince Charming/David Nolan in ABC’s recently-finished “Once Upon a Time”. I have followed his career since that show and have been singularly impressed by his acting skills there, as well as all his other film and TV appearances I’ve looked up (a voice role in Disney-Pixar’s “Zootopia”? Yes!) He and Roxburgh are looking to become quite an effective main character duo for “Manifest”.
Speaking of the show, its uploaded “First Act” preview has been met with near-universal acclaim and enthusiasm. YouTube has almost a million views and 11,000 likes. Facebook does better with 31 million views, over 100,000 reacts and 92,000 comments, all utterly effusive in their praise.
Produced by Warner Bros. Television, “Manifest” also stars Athena Karkanis as Ben’s wife Grace, Parveen Kaur as Saanvi, Luna Blaise as Olive and J.R. Ramirez as Michaela’s left-behind fiancé Jared, a police detective. The new series premieres next week on Monday, September 24 on NBC.
Image courtesy of 411 Mania

SEGA GENESIS MINI Console Gets Release Date MOVED to 2019

It has been said that nostalgia is a powerful tool in the hands of some long-lived manufacturing companies. The electronic entertainment, or videogame, industry has taken these words to heart at times. Nintendo was the first to bank on it when they introduced an emulation-based dedicated console that gathers some of the best titles of their NES console, in a single retro-styled unit. The NES Classic Edition of was then followed by the SNES Classic Edition, both winners with a nostalgic customer base. Nintendo’s old gaming rival Sega has tried to copy that success by announcing a Sega Genesis Mini earlier this year. Originally slated to come out this year, it has just been delayed.
Gamespot reports that the Sega Genesis Mini, an emulation-based dedicated game console that they were developing with digital media firm AtGames, has been pushed back from this year to a release sometime in 2019. The console, a throwback to Sega’s immensely popular Genesis system (known as the Mega Drive in Japan, Europe and Australia) is being held back to allow for more development time and to attempt a synchronize worldwide release on all major gaming markets. This was laid out by Sega of Japan in a Twitter post September 18.
According to a translation of Sega’s tweet by Gematsu, the game company, now purely a software developer after retiring its last console hardware the Dreamcast in 2001, was also interested in having a core team of the original Mega Drive’s developers as part of the AtGames design group for the Mini version, aided by some selected Japanese software developers. This is to ensure, as Sega puts it, “a level of quality that Sega fans expect.”
Sega first announced the Genesis Mini during the 2018 SegaFes event in April. Its initial planned release in 2018 (at least for Japan) was supposed to coincided with the 30th anniversary of the release of the original Sega Mega Drive in its country of origin; the American Genesis came out in 1989, and finally other regional versions in 1990. With the advent of the 32-bit Sega Saturn console, Sega wound down production of the 16-bit Mega Drive/Genesis in 1997, with licensed manufacturers such as Majesco following suit in succeeding years.
While a Sega take on the Mini console trend began by Nintendo was heavily supported by longtime fans, some of them are wary of the involvement of AtGames, which had earlier produced the officially-licensed Sega Flashback retro console. This product was badly-designed according to players, with AAA-powered wireless controllers, clunky electrical adaptors, and a library of lackluster Sega game titles.
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