According to Cuoco, it all started with Stone asking if it would be ok to add some physical contact during a particularly emotionally charged scene. Cuoco approved of the touching but probably wasn’t entirely aware of what she had just agreed to. When Stone surprised her — and everyone else on set — by slapping her co-star hard across the face, the production crew reacted with stunned silence. But Cuoco was thrilled.
During the interview, Cuoco recalled thinking to herself, “We got the money take, that’s [Stone’s] Emmy win right there.” However, it’s not entirely clear which take wound up in the final product. According to Cuoco, she and Stone played the scene a total of three different times, each take accompanied by an equally hard slap from the legendary actress. Notably, Cuoco reported that Stone even fully committed to the slap in a final take where the camera wasn’t focused on Cuoco’s face, something that may seem unnecessary, but surely added a hefty dose of realism nonetheless.
While we’re still not sure this slap outranks this year’s other much-talked-about slap, it certainly sounds like Stone and Cuoco made a meaningful connection nonetheless. The new season of “The Flight Attendant” premieres on HBO Max on Thursday, April 21.
Salt And Sacrifice: How To Farm Guiltless Shards And Why It's Important
Guiltless Shards resemble the Human Effigy in “Dark Souls 2.” They are the single consumable in “Salt and Sacrifice” that can fully restore a player’s health, and the only way to earn them is by killing minions that are summoned by mages in the game world. This makes Guiltless Shards one of the most important consumables in “Salt and Sacrifice” and virtually essential for boss fights.
The more Guiltless Shards you accrue on your journey, the more scarce their drop rate becomes, making farming them of the utmost importance. One of the best methods is going directly right of the spawn at Ashbourne Village. There, a Fire Mage continuously spawns and summons minions you can kill for Guiltless Shards. This method is fast and effective, and won’t require much effort if you’re willing to grind. Once you’ve done this several times, you can fully stock up on Guiltless Shards and become the most durable being in Altarstone Kingdom.
Direct-to-Video Movies That Deserve More Love
Though often viewed as lesser-than creations, there have been a slew of direct-to-video movies that are worthy of both recognition and praise. For decades, theatrical releases have garnered immense appreciation and attention, constantly being talked about and acknowledged by both critics, fans and award circuits. In many ways thought of as inferior, direct-to-video movies can actually be just as good if not better than big screen, theatrically released pictures, with a handful of sequels going on to be even more well-received than their predecessors. From heartwarming animated flicks to terrifying slashers, action extravaganzas and kung fu comedies, the small screen has proven to be a worthy adversary to cinematic releases.
The 1996 action horror comedy Tremors 2: Aftershocks is heavily considered one of the greatest direct-to-video movies, while the sequel to the great Disney musical The Lion King, 1998’s The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, went on to gross over $460 million worldwide from sales and rentals alone, proving that there is in fact an eager marketplace for home video releases. These direct-to-video movies deserve more love than they get.
Serving as the standalone sequel to the widely popular Disney film A Goofy Movie, the 2000 animated comedy An Extremely Goofy Movie follows Max Goof as he heads off to college, excited to break free from his bumbling father and enjoy his newfound independence in peace. Max’s plans for some time apart from his dad Goofy hit a snag when the elder Goof loses his job and decides to finish his own degree, resulting in hijinks and misadventures.
The follow-up is a fun and entertaining movie that showcases the endearing father and son duo as their relationship is tested in more ways than one, with Goofy slowly discovering Max may not need him like he used to. Critics praised the straight-to-DVD sequel, with many calling it likable and ambitious; An Extremely Goofy Movie won the award for Best Animated Home Video Production at the 2000 Annie Awards.
Michael Dougherty directed the 2007 anthology horror comedy Trick ‘r Treat, telling four terrifying Halloween horror tales set in the small fictional town of Warren Valley, Ohio; a mysterious trick-or-treater wearing a burlap sack and footie pajamas makes an appearance in each of the interwoven stories. Dougherty had previously created the animated short Season’s Greetings in 1996, which served as a precursor and inspiration for the spooky flick.
With an impressive cast including Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, and Leslie Bibb, Trick ‘r Treat went on to receive critical acclaim during its limited appearance at film festivals like Fangoria, acquiring a strong and passionate cult following in the process. After suffering a pushback, the horror comedy was released on home media to great fanfare and has become a spooky season staple; Dread Central wrote, “Trick ‘r Treat ranks alongside John Carpenter’s Halloween as traditional October viewing and I can’t imagine a single horror fan that won’t fall head over heels in love with it.”
Touting a dynamite cast of talented performers like Parick Wilson, Chris Pine, and Ed Helms, the 2014 comedy crime film Stretch follows the eponymous down-on-his luck lead (Wilson) as he grapples with his addictions to gambling and cocaine; the limousine chauffeur takes on the job of shuttling around a mysterious billionaire, yielding dangerous results. The thrillingly over-the-top action comedy also features cameos by celebrities like Ray Liotta, Norman Reedus, and David Hasselhoff, garnering a lot of anticipation and build-up for its release.
Just one month before its release date, Universal Pictures pulled Stretch from their schedule, and it was instead distributed via video on demand; this decision was called by The Hollywood Reporter as “an apparently unprecedented move.” Regardless of its debut drama, the picture went on to earn glowing reviews from critics and was commended for its bold and refreshing energy and infectious sense of humor, as well as Wilson’s show-stealing performance.
Michael Jai White starred as the titular former CIA agent in the 2009 blaxploitation action comedy Black Dynamite, chronicling the Vietnam War veteran and kung fu fighter as he sets out on a crusade to avenge his little brother’s death and clean up the streets of gangsters and drug dealers. White became inspired to create the idea of the picture after listening to James Brown’s “Super Bad” and because of his love of throwing classic blaxploitation movie parties, eventually pitching the movie’s premise to director Scott Sanders while sporting his blue jumpsuit.
The filmmaker was instantly attracted to the idea, later expressing to The AV Club, “It’s just a little too badass. That’s the tone of the movie. Our humor comes from the fact that the movie is just a little too badass.” Black Dynamite paid homage to the low production values of blaxploitation films, with many filming errors done on purpose; its success led to an animated series, web show, and a follow-up sequel currently in the works.
Widely regarded as one of the best direct-to-video sequels ever created, the 1996 action horror comedy Tremors 2: Aftershocks focuses on Tremors character Earl Bassett (the late great Fred Ward) as he agrees to once again hunt and eliminate an outbreak of deadly subterranean “Graboids” at a Mexico oil refinery. Destroying the creatures proves to be quite the challenge due to the Graboids newfound ability to attack above ground, causing Bassett to enlist the help of superfan Grady Hoover and fellow survivor of the Nevada incident Burt Gummer.
Tremors 2: Aftershocks was set for a straight-to-video release due to its predecessor finding immense success on the home-video rental market rather than in theaters. The fun and wild action comedy was appreciated for its faithfulness to the franchise, with TV Guide saying, “this movie is a rarity among direct-to-video sequels, one that’s not only worthy of its theatrical predecessor but suggest that it too, belongs on the big screen…despite the significantly lower budget, the monsters remain entirely convincing.”
Cuba Gooding Jr. and action legend Dolph Lundgren teamed up for the exciting 2012 flick One in the Chamber, in which the former actor portrays skilled assassin Ray Carver as he works both sides by providing services to two rival mafia families. After a botched job to assassinate a prominent crime boss, Carver attracts the unwanted attention of legendary Russian hitman Aleksey “The Wolf” Andreev, with the two hired killers eventually joining forces to bring the criminal underworld down.
Both of the talented lead actors thrive in their powerful and dangerously gripping roles, giving audiences a thrill ride as they wrack up an ever-growing body count of the Prague mafia members. While it’s no surprise that Lundgren thrived in his action-filled and physically demanding performance, Gooding Jr. also proved to be quite the formidable assassin, showing he can tackle any genre and film style.
The 1998 animated romantic musical drama The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride is the sequel to Disney’s 1994 blockbuster hit The Lion King and centers on the Pride Lands of Africa King Simba and the empowering Queen Nala’s daughter Kiara, as she sets out to end the feud between her father’s pride and the outcast pride who were once loyal to the evil Scar. The headstrong and curious Nala ends up falling in love with the banished rogue lion Kovu, with the pair struggling to unite their warring prides.
Matthew Broderick returned to voice Simba, as did Timon and Pumbaa performers Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella among others. The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride went on to earn positive reviews from both critics and audiences, going on to become and remain one of the top-selling direct-to-video releases of all time, earning a whopping $464.5 million worldwide in sales and rentals.
Joe Lynch directed the 2007 slasher film Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, the second installment in the Wrong Turn franchise that follows a group of strangers who become contestants on a survival-themed reality television show, having to thrive in the West Virginia wilderness for a week; the seemingly innocent challenge takes a turn for the menacing when the group becomes targeted by an inbred family of ghastly cannibals.
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End was screened at the London FrightFest Film Festival and Austin’s Fantastic Fest before being released on DVD, ultimately going on to become the best-reviewed movie from the franchise. Some critics called the slasher superior to the original, with FEARnet’s Scott Weinberg calling it, “A fast-paced and completely unapologetic love-letter to the old-school ‘80s splatter sequels like Friday the 13th 2 and Texas Chainsaw 2 (Gory, too!).”