SHAMELESS LOSES ANOTHER REGULAR
First, it was Emmy Rossum leaving the Showtime series, which is currently in part one of its two-part ninth season. Now, Cameron Monaghan, who plays Ian, announced on Instagram yesterday that Sunday's episode will be his last on the show. Frankly, I am not surprised. Creator John Wells and his writing team have exhausted Ian's story line and there's no place else for him to go on the show without entering the redundancy phase for his character. Ian Gallagher is a young gay man suffering from bipolar disorder, but on an ensemble, there are only so many avenues you can go with that-and Shameless has driven down all of them.
It's another sign that this show should use its current season as a device to wrap up the series before it becomes a caricature of itself. Wells said in a recent interview he wants to go 17 seasons, and that is a scary thought unless Daniel Day Lewis joins the cast as Frank Gallagher's lost brother.
VENOM IMPRESSIVE IN FIRST WEEK, BUT EXPECT A DOWNFALL
Ruben Fleischer's new film cranking out $80 million at the box office is no surprise. It's a Sony-Marvel production with a top flight cast, and when you open on 4,000 screens, there should be a high gross. The key point for this film will be the second and third week. How much of a drop it experiences? IMDB has the reported budget around $100 million, which should be easy to recoup in less than a couple weeks with overseas money coming in as well. Whether it dictates that the film gets a sequel is another story. It wasn't a good movie, sitting closer to trash than anything resembling a second thought. If there is a sequel, get a different director and let TWO people write the screenplay instead of four sets of hands. I vote no.
THE THIN SKIN OF ACTORS IS A REAL THING
When I posted my review for Jeremy Piven's comedy tour stop on Sunday, I reached out to the actor via Twitter direct message to express gratitude for taking the plunge on stage while advising him I was just being honest in my review. We had already exchanged messages in recent weeks about possibly setting up an interview and me attending one of the six shows he was doing over the past weekend. So, I dropped my review into the conversation, and Piven didn't take to it lightly. He went down the predictable avenues of thin-skinned celeb reaction. Whether it was pointing out how "all I do is judge" and how I wasn't showing context, the reaction painted an entire new picture of the actor, who has always been one of my favorites. It also reminded me why I'm proud to be a writer and columnist. If people are paying attention to your words, you are doing something right.
BEAUTIFUL BOY ANTICIPATION
There's something about father/son tales that always hooks my attention. It could be Tom Hanks' gangster and his son, Michael, running away from the mob in Road to Perdition. Rocky Balboa and his son reuniting in one of his comebacks. Liam Neeson and his estranged son raging war against the mob a 24-hour stint. I take it all in like a box of candy. All over it. Beautiful Boy, starring Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name), is something else. A true story based on a memoir by David and Nicholas Sheff about a father trying to save his son from a meth addiction.
A parent fighting a villain like a deadly drug addiction tromps the threat of a singular mobster. The movie looks powerful in a number of ways. Based off the trailer for Felix Van Groeningen's film, it handles addiction and the toll it takes on a family in a very honest way. There are no shortcuts here. Carell looks to be in top form as David, and Chalamet, the prized actor of the moment, truly digs into the troubled life of Nic. This is my next must-see film.