New Movies and TV: ‘Mississippi Grind,’ ‘The Intern,’ ‘Empire’ and more

From new series to memorable guest stars and the film releases that will have you racing to the theatre, Hello! Canada’s weekly report on buzz-worthy movies and TV shows is your all-access guide to the big and small screen.

This week, Ryan ReynoldsMississippi Grind and the drug cartel drama Sicario, both of which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), roll into theatres, while Anne Hathaway bosses around Robert De Niro in The Intern.

On the small screen, audience favourites The Big Bang Theory and Empire return and new series Scream Queens (Lea Michele, Emma Roberts), Life in Pieces and Minority Report make their debut. Also, we catch up with actor Zachary Levi to hear about Heroes Reborn – a reboot of the hit 2006 science-fiction series, Heroes.

Don't forget to check back on Mondays to stay up to date on must-see TV and noteworthy silver-screen news!


MOVIES

RYAN REYNOLDS' BIG GAMBLE

On the red carpet at the TIFF premiere of Mississippi Grind (in theatres Sept. 25), its star Ryan Reynolds couldn’t stop talking about lucky charms. While he plays an odds-on favourite in the gambling drama, off-screen the Canadian actor credits his wife Blake Lively and their daughter James as his source of good fortune. Joining Ryan in the captivating drama is Bloodline’s Ben Mendelsohn, who plays a chronic gambler who lives in a vicious cycle of good and bad days, and who has lost everything due to his addiction. The troubled twosome form an unlikely friendship that takes them on a road trip down south in search of adventure and big wins.

EMILY BLUNT TAKES AIM AT OSCAR

Photo: © Lionsgate

In the TIFF film Sicario (Sept. 25), Emily Blunt plays an FBI agent who is blindly recruited to join a top-secret government operation that aims to take down drug cartels in Mexico. Although her on-point portrayal of a courageous yet seemingly naïve officer has ignited whispers of “Oscar,” the mom of one told Entertainment Tonight that she takes awards season speculation “with a pinch of salt” adding, “I’m just glad people like me in the film.”

ROBERT DE NIRO’S INTERNSHIP

In the latest offering from director Nancy Meyers ( What Women Want, The Holiday), Robert De Niro proves that it’s never too late to get back into the working world - even if you are a 70-year-old retiree who takes on an internship at an online fashion site. The Intern (Sept. 25) also stars Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway, who plays Robert’s skeptical boss, Jules. After witnessing his way with the younger workers and the valuable life lessons he has to share, Jules develops a special friendship with her senior staffer.


TV

THREE QUESTIONS WITH … ZACHARY LEVI

Photo: © Getty Images

“It’s about a lot of very disconnected people,” says Zachary Levi (Chuck, Alvin and the Chipmunks) about his new show, Heroes Reborn, during a sit down chat in Toronto. And much like the original Heroes series, the characters are, “all on their individual journeys that run the gamut of fear, deception, intrigue, romance and death.” It’s been five years since fans were left heartbroken over the cancellation of the science-fiction series that featured super-hero-powered regular people working together to save the world. Now, fans can expect more action and adventure in Heroes Reborn (series premiere Sept. 24, Global/NBC); a 13-part mini-series that shows what life is like after civilization learned of the super-elite breed of humans. Here, Zachary expresses his love for the show, personal heroes and being a comic convention all-star.

Were you a fan of the original Heroes series?

Yes! I was doing Chuck the same time they were doing Heroes and I was like, “Wow. What a cool world this is that they get to work in.” Also, I’m a big fan of mini-series. I think it’s kind of the perfect way of telling a story - not too long and not too short.

Who was your acting hero growing up?

That’s a good question. I think my hero growing up might have been Tom Hanks. He’s probably the closest thing to someone I’ve looked at and thought, “Oh man, he’s accomplished something. He’s doing movies I’d love to do!”

You launched Nerd HQ (a small convention within Comic-Con) in 2011, why was it important for you to do that?

With Chuck, we had people sleeping overnight on concrete in line queuing up to get into our panels at Comic-Con, and I so appreciate and respect people who love someone or something so much that they would do that. But waiting in those lines, it’s just not really my thing. So I wanted to take out as many lines as possible. I wanted people to pre-purchase tickets ahead of time. You know you have a ticket. You show up … you get in.

ONE TO WATCH

SCREAM QUEENS

American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy delivers more frightening fun in the new college-themed dramedy Scream Queens (series debut Sept. 22, City/Fox). A group of sorority girls, fronted by Emma Roberts, find themselves the target of a return murderer who wreaked havoc on their campus two decades prior. Rounding out the team of screamers is Glee’s Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin and the original “queen of scream” Jamie Lee Curtis.

EMPIRE RETURNS

Photo: © Fox

After a blowout freshman season that left audiences wanting more, Empire is back (Sept. 23, City/Fox) and ready to dish out more drama, romance and oh-so-beautiful music. And even though the Lyons family patriarch Lucious (Terrence Howard) awarded his business to his son Jamal, that doesn’t mean the war for the throne is over. Look for a bevy of guest stars, including Chris Rock, Marisa Tomei,Lenny Kravitz and Vivica A. Fox, to serve up both trouble and remedy for the famous hip-hop family.

TUNE IN

The Big Bang Theory (season nine premiere Sept. 21 CTV/CBS): After months of waiting, fans will find out if Penny (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) and Leonard went through with their elopement and how Sheldon (Jim Parsons) deals with his breakup and botched engagement plans.

Life in Pieces (series debut Sept. 21, City/CBS): Colin Hanks (Dexter) joins a star-studded ensemble (including James Brolin and Dianne Wiest) in this new comedy about family life. The sitcom follows the Shorts family, with each episode taking us inside the very different perspectives of three generations of relatives.

Minority Report (series debut Sept. 21 Global/Fox): Based 11 years after the events of the hit Tom Cruise film, a team of psychic agents help law enforcement solve crimes. Starring Meagan Good and Nick Zano.

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