5 items from 2017
A version of this article originally appeared on ew.com.
Yeah, he’s thinking he’s back. A few years after Keanu Reeves re-asserted himself as an action star with 2014’s high-octane revenge thriller John Wick, he’s back for a second round. As far as most critics are concerned, Reeves (and the returning duo of director Chad Stahelski and screenwriter Derek Kolstad) stuck the landing with John Wick: Chapter 2, expanding on both the first film’s mythology and its body count. Sure seems like we have a new franchise on our hands.
EW’s Chris Nashawaty gave the »
- Christian Holub
NBC has decided to use Frank Oz’s 1991 feature What About Bob?, starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus, as the basis for a new comedy series. Rather than follow men, it will instead be led by a female cast and titled What About Barb?, with a pilot order to test the potential of the series.
The series will be produced in conjunction with ABC Studios with writers Joe Port and Jon Wiseman, who have previously worked on The Odd Couple reboot, 1600 Penn and The It Crowd. The series will be a single camera comedy – no studio audience – and, much like the film, will tell the story of a psychotherapist attempting to get rid of an overbearing patient who keeps intruding on nearly every aspect of her life.
The original film saw Dreyfuss in the role of therapist Lee Marvin and Murrary as Bob, a loveable but annoying patient to nearly every therapist he’s encountered. »
- Ricky Church
There’s nothing fresh about the story of a movie star facing down the barrel of mortality, but it’s comfortable terrain for writer-director Brett Haley. The filmmaker’s tender 2015 drama “I’ll See You In My Dreams” found Blythe Danner playing an ex-singer looking back on her life in somber terms; now, Haley sets his sights on Sam Elliott — who played Danner’s suave romantic interest in “Dreams” — for another melancholic character study about the tribulations of getting old. “The Hero” finds Elliott in a deeply contemplative role, riffing on his own career and delivering a touching meditation on fading stardom. Haley may traffic in traditional sentiment, but again the actors elevate it.
As the perennial cowboy figure, it’s been many years since Elliott’s iconic roles in “Lifeguard” and “Tombstone;” for younger generations, his iconic drawl may be most familiar as the rambling voiceovers in “The Big Lebowski. »
- Eric Kohn
If a 60-foot saguaro cactus could talk, it would almost certainly sound like Sam Elliott. At 72 years old, the lanky character actor has played his share of bikers, hippies, and cowboys, but never the hero — at least, never on the level of Lee Hayden, the faded-glory Western star he portrays in Brett Haley’s “The Hero.” This affectionately crafted project offers Elliott the most substantial big-screen role of his career, though sadly, that’s not saying an awful lot for an actor who was passed over to play Indiana Jones, and is instead best known for drawling such catchphrases as “The Dude abides” and “Beef: It’s what for dinner.”
Fortunately for Elliott, “The Hero” targets those old enough to remember his early roles (like the clean-shaven card sharp in the opening scene of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,”) and particularly memorable later ones (the silver-‘stashed seducer in »
- Peter Debruge
Warner Archive Delivers the Best Way to Enjoy a Bad Day at Black Rock
Welcome to this week in home video! Click the title to buy a Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon and help support Fsr in the process!
Pick of the WeekBad Day at Black Rock [Warner Archive]
What is it? A one-armed man arrives via train in a remote western town, and the populace reacts with suspicion and violence.
Why buy it? Spencer Tracy excels as the polite but mysterious stranger whose presence sets everyone on edge, and the more he probes the harder they push. The film explores threads of America’s deep-seated racism and small-town insulation, and it pairs that commentary with a steadily increasing suspense. The themes and actions here are still sadly relevant, even now, and it makes for an important watch that still manages to entertain. Tracy’s potential adversaries include Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Walter Brennan, and »
- Rob Hunter
5 items from 2017
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