NEWS….THE LAYOVER….KILLER ELITE…GLADIATORS…SPARTACUS…AND MORE
by Elaine Hegwood Bowen
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A short stop or break in a journey, usually imposed by scheduling requirements.
Anthony Bourdan turns travel misfortune into opportunity in Travel Channel’s New original series premiering Monday, November 21, at 9:00 p.m., ET/PT
Hour-long weekly travel log explores how to make the most out of 24-48 hours at an unexpected destination
Anthony Bourdain, contemporary cultural anthropologist, best-selling author and host of the Emmy-winning series, “No Reservations,” turns the travel genre on its head in Travel Channel’s newest original series, “The Layover.”
Beginning Monday, November 21 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT , Bourdain is back like never before with a high octane series that gives him just 24-48 hours to explore an unexpected destination. Viewers get a ringside seat as Tony goes on the hunt for local intel and explores the essential “must see” places, people and foods in locations throughout the U.S., Asia and Europe. His itineraries, completely off the beaten track and all completed within a matter of hours, are mini-trips of a lifetime. No nonsense and budget friendly, Bourdain reveals insider tips that only the most seasoned travelers would know.
In each hour-long episode of the 10-part series, Bourdain explores a different jet-setting hub proving that layovers are opportunities for travelers to mingle with locals, crash parties, dine on local cuisine, and explore cultures. From New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami to Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Rome, Montreal and Amsterdam, viewers learn where to go, where to stay and what to eat, to maximize their enjoyment no matter how much or little time they have in that city.
“’The Layover’ is a fast, busy and content-filled hour,” comments Bourdain. “We go to spots that I personally think are cool and fun for all budgets. In every case, these are places where I either did go, or would visit even when the cameras are off. ‘The Layover’ is a reflection of what I’ve learned over time. It’s about telling a story that viewers can recreate themselves.”
Travel Channel has partnered with the award-winning production company, Zero Point Zero to produce “The Layover” series. They also produce the network’s critically acclaimed and Emmy award winning travel series, ‘Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations’, which is now in its seventh season and recently earned four 2011 Emmy nominations. Chris Collins, Lydia Tenaglia and Anthony Bourdain will serve as executive producers for Zero Point Zero, and Stone Roberts will serve as the executive producer for the Travel Channel.
Anthony Bourdain is a 28-year veteran of professional kitchens, having worked as a dishwasher, line cook and chef in places good, bad and horrible — most of them in New York City. In 2000, he published a memoir of his experiences in the culinary underbelly. “Kitchen Confidential” became an unlikely, but enduring, international bestseller. He has since milked that lucky break for everything it’s worth, following up with the gonzo-travel diary, “A Cook’s Tour”; a historical account of the notorious turn-of-the-century cook and disease carrier, “Typhoid Mary”; the crime novels “A Bone in the Throat,” “Gone Bamboo” and “The Bobby Gold Stories”; “The Les Halles Cookbook”; a collection of essays entitled “The Nasty Bits”; and the companion book to the Travel Channel series, ‘No Reservations’. His recently released, “Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook”, is the long-awaited follow-up to “Kitchen Confidential”, and is an insider’s perspective on the changes in the restaurant business. Since embarking on a round-the-world trip for “A Cook’s Tour,” he has continued traveling for ‘No Reservations’ (now in its seventh season), for various publications, for public-speaking engagements and because he likes it. He lives in New York City with his wife, Ottavia, and his daughter, Ariane.
Available on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack with UltraViolet™, DVD and Digital Download January 10, 2012
A pulse-pounding, punch throwing, action-packed thrill ride starring Jason Statham, Academy Award® nominee Clive Owen and Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro
Based on a shocking true story, Killer Elite is a gritty battle between guns-for-hire that has been hailed as “one of the best action thrillers of the year!” by Richard Roeper, ReelzChannel. Pitting two of the world’s most elite operatives against the cunning leader of a secret military society, Killer Elite stars Jason Statham (The Transporter, Death Race), Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro (The Godfather Part II, Raging Bull) and Academy Award®-nominee Clive Owen (Children of Men, Closer). Directed by Academy Award®-nominee Gary McKendry (Everything in this Country Must), Killer Elite is available on Blu-ray™Combo Pack with UltraViolet™, DVD, On Demand and Digital Download January 10, 2012 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Open Road Films.
GLADIATORS returns to STARZ in 2012
SPARTACUS renewed for Season Three
Green Light Comes Months Ahead of “Spartacus: Vengeance” Premiere
The most celebrated STARZ Originals franchise, “Spartacus,” will continue to wow audiences worldwide with a renewal secured for a thrilling and bloody third season. The green light comes well in advance of “Spartacus: Vengeance,” which will debut exclusively on STARZ - Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10 PM ET/PT.
As yet untitled, production on the third season of ‘Spartacus’ is expected to begin in New Zealand in early 2012.
“Many surprises are in store for ‘Vengeance‘ viewers this year, but rest assured the multi-layered plot and richly developed characters will continue to be a trademark of this series,” said Rob Tapert, executive producer. “It’s incredibly gratifying to see how the story has resonated so well with viewers worldwide.”
“The executives at Starz have been extremely supportive in giving us creative freedom and allowing us to tell the story in a rich, yet bold way that leaves an indelible mark on its fans,” added Steven S. DeKnight, executive producer.
The most recent chapter of “Spartacus” was the prequel, “Gods of the Arena,” which ran in January 2011 and averaged an estimated 6.2 million total viewers per episode across all linear channels and on-demand viewing.
Australian actor Liam McIntyre (Ektopos, Radev, “Neighbours,” “The Pacific”) assumes the title role of Spartacus in “Vengeance.” McIntyre is joined by returning favorites: Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Battlestar Galactica”) as Lucretia; Peter Mensah (Avatar, 300, The Incredible Hulk) as Oenomaus – once known as Doctore; Manu Bennett (The Marine, 30 Days of Night), as Crixus; Dustin Clare (“Underbelly,” “Satisfaction”) as Gannicus; Nick E. Tarabay (“Crash,” “CSI: Miami”) as Ashur; and Katrina Law (“Third Watch”) as Mira.
Season two also brings the return of “Blood and Sand” cast members, Craig Parker (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) as Gaius Claudius Glaber, the Roman commander who condemned Spartacus to slavery, and his alluring and cunning wife Ilithyia played by Viva Bianca (Accidents Happen) . Actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson (“Dirt”) joins the series as Naevia, the former body slave to Lucretia who was banished from the Ludus for engaging in a love affair with Crixus.
Premiering exclusively on STARZ, “Spartacus: Vengeance” is produced by executive producers Rob Tapert (The Grudge, “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”), Steven S. DeKnight (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Sam Raimi (Spider-Man and The Evil Dead), and Joshua Donen (The Quick and the Dead). “Spartacus” is distributed internationally by Starz Media Worldwide Distribution.
Katsuhito Ishii’s REDLINE and Award-Winner FIRST SQUAD: THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
This winter is sure to be cool with Anchor Bay Entertainment’s release of two of the coolest animation titles ever!
In celebration of its 20th Anniversary, Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Manga brand is set to release two of the most highly anticipated animated films. On January 17, 2012, Katsuhito Ishii’s REDLINE and award-winner FIRST SQUAD: THE MOMENT OF TRUTH will be released on Blu-ray™ and DVD. REDLINE will also be released in theatres prior to January 17th. Ranging in themes from World War II to futuristic surreal car races, Manga continues to release high-end artistic animated films.
Both films tout accolades from critics and the festival circuit worldwide. REDLINE won the Audience Official Selection Award for Animation at Fantasia and the Outstanding Achievement in Feature Filmmaking – Animation Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival. It has received rave reviews even from those admittedly not anime fans. From its premiere at Fantastic Fest, Harry Knowles said “REDLINE should not be missed, everyone came out smiling and happy. FANTASTIC!” He called it the “…coolest Speed Racer ever…and that counts the Wachowski film.” AnimeNewsNetwork.com called REDLINE “… the most insanely exciting, visually exhilarating anime film you’ve seen in decades. Incredible fun!” FIRST SQUAD: THE MOMENT OF TRUTH has received several awards including the Asteroid Award for Best Feature at the Trieste Science+Fiction Festival and Kommersant Newspaper’s Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival. Additionally, FIRST SQUAD was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film by the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
Written by Katsuhito Ishii (director of The Taste of Tea, Funky Forest, Shark Skin Man & Peach Hip Girl and the anime segment of Kill Bill Vol.1) and directed by the up-and-coming Takeshi Koike, who participated in the “World Record” segment of Animatrix (2003), REDLINE was seven years in the making and proudly demonstrates the new possibilities of 2D animation, amidst the current prominence of 3D animation.
REDLINE is a racing film created by studio Madhouse (Paprika, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars). REDLINE is about the biggest and most deadly racing tournament in the universe. Only held once every five years, everyone wants to stake their claim to fame, including JP, a reckless dare-devil driver oblivious to speed limits with his ultra-customized car - all the while, organized crime and militaristic governments want to leverage the race to their own ends. Amongst the other elite rival drivers in the tournament, JP falls for the alluring Sonoshee - but will she prove his undoing, or can a high speed romance survive a mass destruction race?
Directed by Yoshiharu Ashino, FIRST SQUAD: THE MOMENT OF TRUTH is set during the opening days of World War II on the Eastern Front. Its main cast of characters is a group of Soviet teenagers, each with extraordinary abilities. The teenagers have been drafted to form a special unit to fight the invading German army. They are opposed by a Schutzstaffel (SS) officer who is attempting to raise from the dead a supernatural army of crusaders from the 12th Century Order of the Sacred Cross and enlist them in the Nazi cause. FIRST SQUAD: THE MOMENT OF TRUTH was produced by Eiko Tanaka, Misha Shprits and Aljosha Klimov.
THE SCORPION KING 3: BATTLE FOR REDEMPTION
From the producers of The Mummy, a legend returns in an epic adventure for glory starring Ron Perlman and Billy Zane
Available on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital Download on January 17, 2012 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment
In a dangerous, action-packed battle to regain his glory and reclaim the empire, Mathayus’s journey is steeped in intrigue, sorcery and romance, fueling this new film that spawned from the billion-dollar The Mummy film franchise. The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption tops the series once again, featuring even more of the heart-stopping action, mind-bending stunts and astonishing plot twists that have earned the series millions of fans the world over. The film’s spectacular fight scenes, choreographed by renowned stunt experts Kawee “Seng” Sirikanerut (Ongbok, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Civilization) and Supoj “Jimmy” Khaowwong (Batman Begins), are showcased within enchanting ancient palaces, against a backdrop of breathtaking desert vistas.
The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption stars Golden Globe® winner Ron Perlman (“Sons of Anarchy,” Hellboy II: The Golden Army) as Horus, the powerful King of Egypt and Billy Zane (The Roommate, Titanic) as the villainous Talus. Directed by Roel Reiné, the film also stars Victor Webster (“Castle,” Surrogates) as Mathayus and UFC star Kimbo Slice (Locked Down), Bostin Christopher (Unbreakable); six-time WWE World Champion Dave Bautista (House of the Rising Sun), and Temeura Morrison (Green Lantern, Stars Wars: Episode 3 — Revenge of the Sith), Selina Lo (Shanghai) and Krystal Vee (Streetfighter: The Legend of Chin-Li).
With lavish production values, including an army of warrior elephants and astounding battle sequences featuring a myriad of martial arts and swordfight sequences, The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption is an ambitious and spectacular DVD Original™ release from Universal 1440 Entertainment, a production division of Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
Since his triumphant rise to power in the original blockbuster The Scorpion King, Mathayus’ kingdom has fallen and he’s lost his queen to plague. Now an assassin for hire, he must defend a kingdom from an evil tyrant and his ghost warriors for the chance to regain the power and glory he once knew. Starring Ron Perlman (Hellboy) and Billy Zane (Titanic), and featuring 6-time WWE champion Dave Bautista and UFC star Kimbo Slice, The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption takes The Mummy phenomenon to an all-new level of epic action and non-stop adventure!
Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago, who also serves as a news editor for FilmMonthly.com.
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