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Abbott Elementary’s Janelle James Shares A Joke She’s Surprised Made It Onto ABC’s The Final Straw

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Abbott Elementary’s Janelle James Shares A Joke She’s Surprised Made It Onto ABC’s The Final Straw

Game shows continue to be the staples of network television, helping to bridge the gap between Spring TV and the launch of the Fall season, when summer crowds need content to fill their primetime evenings. While we normally keep track of the 2022 TV schedule to cover every new and returning program, ABC is turning its attentions to a slate of game shows that will showcase talent from their other shows, including Michael Strahan hosting The $100,000 Pyramid and two Jonas brothers, Kevin and Frankie, introducing a new program they have conceived called Claim to Fame. More on those shows as we get closer to them arriving on the network, but for the moment, the spotlight falls on comedian Janelle James and her upcoming game show The Final Straw, making its debut on Sunday, July 10, at 9 pm ET/PT. 

Most audience members likely recognize Janelle James for her breakout role on the ABC program Abbott Elementary, which has very quickly found its audience, and was rewarded with a second season from ABC already, giving the creators an enormous vote of confidence. James plays Ava on the program, the principal of the school in the show’s title who is more concerned with TikTok than she is with her staff or her students. James is very funny, and has carved out her niche as a comedian, so when given the chance to speak with her about her hosting duties, and the jokes she brings to the gig, she told us about one that she swore she thought was going to get cut. But it didn’t. As James explains:

Well, an example of a joke would be, so, this game, the towers are themed. So there’s a wedding theme, there’s a children’s nursery, and there are all objects that go with those themes. And so, for the wedding theme, when the stack falls, I say, ‘That stack went down like a drunk bridesmaid at a wedding!’ That joke means two things. (laughs) Just a little example of a joke for the adults while the family is watching, the kids will be like, ‘Why was that funny?’ But hopefully parents will have a laugh!

The towers that Janelle James references are part of this unscripted program, where four teams face off to “combat tremendous tipping towers,” per ABC. The way that the network describes the show: 

Each life-sized themed tower is chock full of various objects ranging from basketballs to small kitchen appliances as contestants try to successfully pull items from the stack without tipping it over in order to earn prizes. If the tower falls, the team is eliminated and the last team standing will compete against The Mega Stack, an epic battle of physics where the odds are literally stacked against them, in hopes of winning a life-changing grand prize.

And here’s an idea of what they will look like on the program, The Final Straw:

This game show will give Janelle James fans something to tide them over until Abbott Elementary returns. In the down time, the show’s creator Quinta Brunson has been speaking about the show’s influence in the sitcom genre, as well as sharing the reasons why she almost considered quitting television before Abbott Elementary broke it big. As you know, we are big fans of the program here on CinemaBlend, and are equally excited for The Final Straw to make its debut on ABC on July 10.

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Quentin Tarantino Reveals His Pick For ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Made’

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Quentin Tarantino Reveals His Pick For ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Made’

It may not feel like it sometimes, but any upcoming movie has the chance to be named “the greatest movie ever made” by someone out there. However, that honor does have some specific caveats if you’re someone like filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. Not only has the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director chosen a Steven Spielberg classic for that very distinction, Tarantino also explained just why that title is very specific. 

In an upcoming interview with our in-house podcast ReelBlend, Quentin Tarantino made his fourth appearance to talk about all things movies; the first since the big live show at the New Beverly Cinema. Promoting his new co-hosting gig on The Video Archives Podcast, Tarantino had yet another spirited discussion about cinema, which led to his pick of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws as  the greatest “movie” ever made. That distinction is important, as the Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood director made that perfectly clear through the following remarks: 

I think Jaws is the greatest movie ever made. Maybe not the greatest film. But it’s the greatest movie ever made. And then there are other movies that can get in its rarefied air. But as far as a movie, there’s no making it better than Jaws. There’s no ‘better’ than Jaws. It is the best movie ever made. And it shows how badly timed most movies made before Jaws were.

Leave it to Quentin Tarantino to separate his tastes in movies into those two separate, important camps: “movies” and “films.” In this case, the designation of a movie almost sounds like it’s shorthand for the blockbuster opuses that Steven Spielberg made a name for himself with. Which means that “films” are presumably more of the independent/art house titles that have higher pedigrees, and usually end up on the lists of best picture nominees every year.

Strangely enough, Jaws is one of six horror movies to have Best Picture nominations, so the line could blur just a bit in that respect. Putting aside the “movies” versus “films” debate, Quentin Tarantino isn’t using that separation to be a snob. Later on in the conversation, he explained how spectacles such as this are their own form of art, and how Steven Spielberg came to be someone who perfected it: 

What I meant by that, to one degree or another, is that Spielberg and a lot of his cohorts grew up seeing those kinds of movies in the theater. Henry Levin’s Journey to Center of the Earth, he’s gonna run to go and see that. Richard Fleischer’s Fantastic Voyage. He’s going to run and go see it. Gordon Douglas’s Them! He’s going to run and go see. Now… most of them weren’t directed that well. They were assignments given to journeyman directors who did their best with them. That was how we were used to seeing comic book — that kind of movie experience. As opposed to a Spielberg, who was like, ‘No, this is exactly the kind of movie he likes. This is exactly the kind of movies he was put on earth to make. And he’s going to make it, within an inch of his life, as effective as it possibly can be. And, you know, Michael Anderson, isn’t putting that kind of work in Logan’s Run.

Spielberg, and “cohorts” like George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Copolla all latched onto genres that were pulpier entertainments in their childhood, only to make them into something new. Through films like Jaws, Star Wars, Taxi Driver, and The Godfather, we saw a generation of directors taking movies they loved and reviving them through their own personal lenses. Which is exactly what Quentin Tarantino would do when he stepped onto the scene with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction; and it’s also why he’s such a staunch supporter of the cinematic experience. 

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If this conversation boils down to anything, it’s game recognizing game. Much as Steven Spielberg idolized the movies that helped make Jaws, Quentin Tarantino has reverence for the bearded director and his dedication to making the movies that sparked his love of cinema. Though considering the history his collaborator Samuel L. Jackson has had with sharks, you have to wonder if this has already sparked any sort of humorous conversations between the two?

You’ll be able to watch, and listen, to Quentin Tarantino’s latest appearance on ReelBlend, as it’s set to hit YouTube tomorrow. Meanwhile, Tarantino may not have his tenth and final film in the works just yet, but you can still enjoy the man’s gift for words in two very cool ways. 

Tarantino’s Video Archives podcast, which he co-hosts with friend and collaborator Roger Avery, is currently streaming wherever you find fine listening material. However, if you also want to read the man’s thoughts on ‘70s filmmaking in his upcoming book Cinema Speculation, which you can currently preorder on Amazon (opens in new tab); or any other fine bookseller.

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‘Prey’ Interviews With Amber Midthunder, Dan Trachtenberg And More!

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The stars of “Prey,” Amber Midthunder (“Naru”), Dakota Bevers (“Taabe”), Dane DiLiegro (“The Predator”), director Dan Trachtenberg and producer Jhane Myers discuss their new “Predator” movie in this interview with CinemaBlend at San Diego Comic-Con 2022. They discuss the “Prey” audition moment that landed Amber Midthunder her role and more!

You can stream “Prey” on Hulu on August 5.

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ | Marvel Comic-Con Interviews with Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan & More

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ | Marvel Comic-Con Interviews with Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan & More

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” stars Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Will Poulter (Adam Warlock), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Sean Gunn (Kraglin / On-Set Rocket), Chukwudi Iwuji (The High Evolutionary) and writer Director James Gunn discuss their upcoming Marvel film and conclusion of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy in this post-Hall H interview with CinemaBlend at San Diego Comic-Con 2022.

Video Chapters

  • 00:00 – Chris Pratt on Finding “Your Side”
  • 00:35 – Chris Pratt Teases What’s Ahead For Star-Lord and Gamora In GOTG 3
  • 01:24 – Karen Gillan LOVES ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Fan Reactions
  • 02:00 – Karen Gillan Weighs In On Nebula Unaliving Nebula in ‘Endgame’
  • 02:32 – James Gunn Teases a “Darker” ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Movie
  • 03:20 – Sean Gunn on Baby Rocket’s Difficult Backstory
  • 04:30 –  Pom Klementieff on Welcoming New Marvel Actors to the ‘Guardians’ Family
  • 05:15 – Pom Klementieff Teases A More Badass Mantis In ‘Guardians 3’
  • 05:35 – Will Poulter Teases Adam Warlock Origins in ‘GOTG 3’ 
  • 06:32 – Chukwudi Iwuji on The High Evolutionary and His Motivations
  • 07:20 – Chukwudi Iwugi Praises James Gunn’s Dialogue
  • 08:15 – Chris Pratt Recalls His Last Day of Filming the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Trilogy
  • 08:55 – James Gunn Is Literally Always Writing and Rewriting Scripts
  • 09:49 – Will Poulter Wants to Play Adam Warlock Again “If Marvel Will Have Me”

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