April 9, 2009 |
There is a definite through line from inept martial arts instructor Fred Simmons in last year's "The Foot Fist Way" to bigheaded baseball burnout Kenny Powers in HBO's "Eastbound & Down" to sad-sack mall cop Ronnie Barnhardt in the new movie "Observe and Report." Writer-director Jody Hill, who had a hand in creating all three characters, seems drawn to people who live in a self-created world, oblivious to what anyone else may think of them.
June 5, 2008 |
Director and former taekwondo student Jody Hill made "The Foot Fist Way" on a shoestring budget, so he didn't have money to hire professional stuntmen. Turns out taekwondo instructor Sean Baxter, whose school in Concord, N.C., served as the film's primary location, stepped in at the last minute, saving the production not only cash but potential grief as well.
July 25, 2013 |
Like many other observers in the TV industry, HBO's chief executive officer Richard Plepler is perplexed by Netflix's decision not to disclose the ratings for its original series, like the Emmy-nominated “House of Cards.” “It's curious. I don't know what more to make of it," he said Thursday at the Television Critics Association, during a session where he and programming president Michael Lombardo addressed a wide range of questions from reporters. Though Plepler pointed out that HBO and other non-ad-supported outlets such as Showtime and Starz make their ratings public, he wasn't there to pick a fight, concluding, “Quite frankly it's not our business, and we leave it at that.” Nor did Plepler feel threatened by Netflix's impressive showing in last week's Emmy nominations, where the streaming service received 14 nods to HBO's 108, saying, “We live very comfortably amidst competition.” Not surprisingly, the recent death of James Gandolfini, whose performance as Tony Soprano helped cement HBO's status as a home for high-quality television, was one of the first subjects to come up during the session.
April 26, 2009
UNDERRATED Kristin Scott Thomas: After "The English Patient," we sort of lost track of her. It took a couple of turns in recent foreign dramas, such as "I've Loved You So Long" and "Tell No One," to remind us how arresting she can be. But check out IMDB -- did you realize she's also done comedy? An "Ab Fab" ep and the unintentionally hilarious "Under the Cherry Moon" (with Prince!). Seriously, we'll follow her anywhere. 'The Iron Giant': Remember our Vin Diesel item a while ago?
October 11, 2009
Lala.com: Lost amid the concerns about MP3 file-sharing was one of its root causes: Music fans wanting to try an album before they buy. Record stores addressed this with listening stations and consider Lala an online listening station for a new era. Log in and you can sample about 7 million songs for one free listen without spending a penny. It's like window-shopping with your ears -- what a time to be alive. Zombies: Finally, after wasting time with onscreen villains such as Nazis, terrorists and vampires, Hollywood has returned to a common enemy we can all get behind: the walking dead.
February 28, 2010
SUNDAY The template for many an espionage thriller, famously set to celluloid by suspense master Alfred Hitchcock in 1935, John Buchan's novel "The 39 Steps" comes to "Masterpiece Classic" in a new by-the-book adaptation. Rupert Penry-Jones stars. (KCET, 9 p.m.) MONDAY Sure she can sing, but can she act? We'll find out as country-music cutie and Season 4 "American Idol" champ Carrie Underwood guest stars as Ted's (Josh Radnor)