Movie Review: MAESTRO

MAESTRO movie poster | ©2023 Netflix

Rating: R Stars: Carey Mulligan, Bradley Cooper, Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman, Josh Hamilton, Scott Ellis, Gideon Glick, Sam Nivola, Alexa Swinton, Miriam Shor Writers: Bradley Cooper & Josh Singer Director: Bradley Cooper Distributor: Netflix Release Date: November 22, 2023 (theatrical); December 20, 2023 (Netflix) “A work of art does not answer questions, it provokes them; and its essential meaning is in the tension between the contradictory answers.” – Leonard Bernstein MAESTRO, which is about the famed conductor/composer/musician and his wife, the actor Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein, opens with this quote. It’s certainly fair enough to quote Bernstein, it’s […]Read On »


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FREERIDGE: Actress Ciara Riley Wilson on new Netflix teen comedy – Exclusive Interview

Ciara Riley Wilson | ©2023 Ciara Riley Wilson

FREERIDGE, a new half-hour comedy, is a spinoff of ON MY BLOCK. Both series are currently streaming on Netflix. In FREERIDGE, four East Los Angeles high school friends start to believe they are cursed after buying an old box at a garage sale. Not only are they being beset by a lot of weird coincidences, but an old woman who is supposedly dead shows up at the door. Ciara Riley Wilson plays Demi, one of the quartet. Wilson, whose first name is pronounced “Sierra,” has a background in dance and designs fashion when not acting. Although FREERIDGE is her first […]Read On »


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Movie Review: LUTHER: THE FALLEN SUN

LUTHER: THE FALLEN SUN movie poster | ©2023 Netflix

Rating: R Stars: Idris Elba, Cynthia Erivo, Dermot Crowley, Andy Serkis, Thomas Coombes, Hattie Morahan, Lauryn Ajufo, Vincent Regan Writer: Neil Cross, based on the BBC television series created by Neil Cross Director: Jamie Payne Distributor: Netflix Release Date: February 24, 2023 (theatrical); March 10, 2023 (Netflix) Anyone who watched all or even some of the five seasons of the English detective series LUTHER, which ran from 2010 through 2019, knows that its principal draw is the title character, played by Idris Elba. Yes, creator Neil Cross, who also wrote all the episodes, provided some good twists and snappy dialogue. […]Read On »


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LUCIFER: Co-executive producer and writer Mike Costa of the musical and animated episodes – Exclusive Interview – Part 7

LUCIFER_©_2020_Netflix

Moving from broadcast Fox to streamer Netflix, and knowing where the show was headed in terms of its conclusion allowed the makers of LUCIFER to experiment with form. This meant that in Season 5, we got “Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam,” in which God (Dennis Haysbert) decides it would be enjoyable to have everyone express themselves in song and dance. God’s angelic sons Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and Amenadiel (DB Woodside) are the only ones who know this is happening – Lucifer is furious, especially as it makes him sing his innermost thoughts to his father. Then, in Season 6’s “Yabba Dabba […]Read On »


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LUCIFER: Co-executive producer and writer Mike Costa on the ramifications of Rory – Exclusive Interview – Part 6

Tom Ellis stars as Lucifer in Fox's LUCIFER | © 2016 Brendan Meadows/FOX

LUCIFER’s sixth and final season – all seasons are now streaming on Netflix – is largely propelled by the time-traveling arrival of the angel Rory (Brianna Hildebrand). Spoiler alert: Rory is the grown child of Chloe (Lauren German) and Lucifer (Tom Ellis). Rory adores her mom and sister Trixie (Scarlett Estevez). However, Rory’s fury at Lucifer for apparently abandoning her and Chloe before Rory’s birth in the present has magically swept Rory from twenty years in the future to present-day Los Angeles for a confrontation. This dovetails with Lucifer’s ultimate decision to return to Hell as a new kind of […]Read On »


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LUCIFER: Co-executive producer and writer Mike Costa on SUPERNATURAL connections – Exclusive Interview – Part 4

LUCIFER - Season 4 Key Art | ©2019 Netflix

LUCIFER is now airing its first three seasons (the ones that originally ran on Fox) on TNT. The entire six-season run of the series, starring Tom Ellis as the title character, is available on Netflix, which produced and premiered Seasons 4, 5, and 6. In Part 4 of our exclusive interview with LUCIFER co-executive producer/writer Mike Costa, he tells us what he knows of the show’s meta connections with The CW’s SUPERNATURAL. Back in LUCIFER’s 2016-2017 first season, series executive producer/show runner Joe Henderson said that there were writing staffers who were watching both SUPERNATURAL (which had Heaven and Hell as […]Read On »


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LUCIFER: Co-executive producer and writer Mike Costa on the Season 6 premiere – Exclusive Interview – Part 3

Tom Ellis as Lucifer in LUCIFER - Season 5 - "It Never Ends Well For the Chicken" |©2020 Netflix/John P. Fleenor

LUCIFER’s sixth and final season – now streaming on Netflix with all previous seasons – had some new challenges. Among these was how to keep in line with the show’s procedural format now that detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) and her consultant (among other things) Lucifer (Tom Ellis) had left the police force, in anticipation of Lucifer becoming God. Co-executive producer Mike Costa wrote the LUCIFER Season 6 premiere, “Nothing Ever Changes Around Here.” The episode has Lucifer and Chloe going to the Magic Castle (a real establishment in Hollywood) to see magicians perform, only to get caught up in […]Read On »


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TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: Effects makeup artist Todd Tucker on new Leatherface movie – Exclusive Interview

Todd Tucker from Illusion Industries for TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE | photo courtesy Todd Tucker

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE just premiered its newest incarnation on Netflix on Friday, February 18. It’s directed by David Blue Garcia from a screenplay by Chris Thomas Devlin, from a story by Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues, based on characters created by Kim Henkel & Tobe Hooper. This TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is a direct sequel to the 1974 original, directed by Tobe Hooper. It takes place in a very small, mostly empty town in Texas, where young entrepreneurs bring in a busload of investors to revitalize the place. They are unaware of one very significant remaining resident – Leatherface. Within the […]Read On »


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LUCIFER: Co-executive producer and writer Mike Costa on Season 6 character motivations – Exclusive Interview – Part 2

LUCIFER Season 5 Key art | ©2021 Netflix

LUCIFER is now running all of its six seasons on Netflix. In Part 2 of our exclusive conversation with LUCIFER co-executive producer/writer Mike Costa centers on the character of LAPD detective Daniel Espinosa, played by Kevin Alejandro. Dan is Costa’s favorite character. Ex-husband of Chloe (Lauren German), father of their young daughter Trixie (Scarlett Estevez) and frenemy of Lucifer (Tom Ellis), Dan has wound up on the wrong side of decisions. When he was murdered, Dan also wound up in Hell. Even with Lucifer’s command that Dan’s soul was not to be tortured, Dan was kept in Hell by his […]Read On »


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LUCIFER: Co-executive producer and writer Mike Costa talks about the end of the series – Exclusive Interview – Part 1

LUCIFER - Season 5 Key Art |©2020 Netflix

LUCIFER wrapped its six-season run – the first three on Fox, the last three on Netflix, where all seasons are now available – on September 10, 2021. This multi-part interview with LUCIFER co-executive producer/writer Mike Costa is extremely spoilery, but by now, we’re hoping that readers have had time to catch up with the series climax. ASSIGNMENT X last spoke with Costa in the middle of LUCIFER Season 5. The series, developed for television by Tom Kapinos, based on the DC Comics by Mike Dringenberg and Sam Kieth, based on the character created by Neil Gaiman for Vertigo (got all […]Read On »


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