13 items from 2013
What happens when group of unruly chickens decide to make a reality television show? Bad things, my friend. Very bad things. Director Carter May’s unique indie flick “Bad Chicken” tells the story of several birds who would like nothing more than to make it big in TV. When they cast a talent-starved young woman in the pilot and head to the desert, things turn extremely ugly very fast. I really don’t know what else to say about this one, folks. The embedded trailer and the lengthy synopsis kind of speak for themselves. By the way — here’s that synopsis: All Norah ever wanted to be was a reality TV star. She would send out her audition video to any kind of show that was casting, regardless of premise. One day, her wish finally came true. She and her reluctant boyfriend, Isaak, were cast to star in a new reality TV pilot. »
- Todd Rigney
Peter Berg is an interesting guy. He's certainly not the first guy who ever came to Hollywood to become an actor, only to then become more involved with writing, producing and directing both films and television, but his resumé as a director runs the gamut from dark comedies ( Very Bad Things ) to buddy comedies ( The Rundown ) to a serious look at high school football both on film and television ("Friday Night Lights") and then big mega-budget blockbusters like Hancock and Battleship . His latest film, Lone Survivor , may seem somewhat of a departure for the filmmaker after the movies listed above, being a serious dramatic military thriller based on the autobiographical telling by Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell of how he and three other SEALs were left fighting for »
Peter Berg is a manly director. After shepherding such testosterone-soaked films as "Very Bad Things," "The Rundown," "Friday Night Lights," and "Battleship," the director has set his sights on bringing his passion project to the big screen, in spectacularly violent fashion. "Lone Survivor" is based on Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell's non-fiction account of how his elite unit was ambushed and fell in the rocky mountains of Afghanistan. As told by Berg, it is a film full of fire and fury and men doing incredibly manly things. We got a chance to speak to the director, who told us about pulling together his cast, what his thoughts on "Battleship" are more than a year later, the movie's patriotic tone, and more. "Lone Survivor" stars Mark Wahlberg as Luttrell, with Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Alexander Ludwig and Ben Foster serving as his band of brothers. (Eric Bana turns in a fine »
- Drew Taylor
For someone who oozes movie-star charisma, Michael Fassbender doesn’t seem to care a whit whether we like his characters or not. There was Shame, of course, in which he played a depressing sex-addict. In 12 Years a Slave, he is a sadistic Southern plantation tyrant who abuses his slaves in every possible way. And in The Counselor, which opens today, he plays a greedy lawyer who gets in way over his head with the Mexican drug cartel.
- Jeff Labrecque
Director Peter Berg will be hoping his next big-screen expedition will wipe any memory his massive-bugeted disaster Battleship. He’s got decent directing prowess having given us Friday Night Lights, the enjoyable Welcome To The Jungle (aka The Rundown) and dark all-star comedy Very Bad Things, so know he has it in him. Fingers crossed fact-based military thriller Lone Survivor sees him back on form.
The film is set in 2005 and centres on the mission of a team of Navy SEALs who were ambushed while in Afghanistan. It’s based on the same-titled novel by squad leader Marcus Tuttrell and follows their gruelling survival efforts while in the ill-fated Afghan mountains claimed as Taliban territory. Mark Wahlberg leads as Tuttrell, with his team made up of the impressive Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch and Eric Bana as his Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen.
Check out this behind-the-scenes featurette from »
- Craig Hunter
In Fear is one of those the-less-you-know-the-better films. In the spirit of preserving its deeper mysteries, let's just say that it's a film about a boy and a girl driving around the Irish countryside and bad things happen in it. Very bad things. Oh, and it's got a nifty new poster we're delighted to be sharing.What else can be said without spoiling the ride? Well, despite its Irish setting, this taps into that Brit horror tradition of things going seriously pear-shaped out in the boondocks. Recent chillers like Eden Lake and Wake Wood and, of course, classics such as The Wicker Man and Straw Dogs have all taken a similar fish-out-water approach to scaring the wits out of their protagonists. That's where this one starts before it heads off in a very different direction.The film's two leads, Agents Of Shield's Iain De Caestecker and Beautiful Creatures' Alice Englert, »
Over the course of the next three weeks, leading up to the series finale of Breaking Bad, I will be posting capsule reviews of my 20 favourite episodes from the series, all listed in chronological order.
Click here to see the entire list, posted thus far.The complete list will be published on September 30th.
Season 1, Episode 3: “And the Bag’s in the River”
Directed by Adam Bernstein
Written by Vince Gilligan
This is the episode in which Jesse and Walt clean up the mess caused by Jesse’s chosen method to get rid of Emilio’s body. The episode recalls such films as Very Bad Things and Shallow Grave, in which a group of men are left to find the best way to get rid of a dead body without getting caught. However, the method with which they methodically dispose of the corpse bears similarities to another hit TV show, »
I really miss seeing Peter Berg on the big-screen. He’s given impressive performances in the likes of Cop Land, The Last Seduction and Fire In The Sky, yet of late, he’s more content to bring us blockbuster disappointments with Hancock and Battleship. It’s not all bad though, having shown he can direct a decent film with both Friday Night Lights and Welcome To The Jungle (aka The Rundown) stand-outs in this directorial resume. Many also love his debut Very Bad Things, although I remember it being distinctly average. Maybe I’ll revisit and give it another chance.
Berg’s latest is set in 2005, the fact-based war drama Lone Survivor. It will depict the mission of a team of Navy SEALs, who were ambushed while in Afghanistan and is based on the same-titled novel by squad leader Marcus Tuttrell. It’s a harrowing true-life tale charting their gruelling »
- Craig Hunter
After seeing the TV spots and trailers you may be asking yourself, “Hey didn’t I see this last March?” Not really, it’s just another instance of Hollywood releasing two flicks with a similar theme just months apart. Last year there were dueling Snow Whites: Kristen Stewart in Snow White And The Huntsman versus Lilly Collins in Mirror Mirror (and both had Oscar-winning wicked stepmothers: Charleze Theron in Huntsman and Julia Roberts in Mirror). Just three months ago Gerard Butler was protecting the Prez (Aaron Eckhart) while battling evil forces taking over DC in Olympus Has Fallen. Arriving in theatres this weekend is Channing Tatum protecting his Prez (Jamie Foxx) against an Oval Office siege in White House Down. Besides the cast and rating (Fallen was R, Down is PG-13), there are huge differences in the two closely themed action extravaganzas. But are movie audiences ready to re-visit a burning Capitol dome so soon? »
- Jim Batts
This week's new release of The Hangover Part III finds the Wolfpack heading to Las Vegas again. Thus, we're celebrating Sin City with movies that take place or have a prominent scene in Las Vegas. See if you can match the picture to the movie we borrowed it from! Question 1 of 5 ? Name that movie: Knocked Up Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Vegasland Very Bad Things »
- Maggie Pehanick
This week on Smash, Ivy Lynn proves that art can sometimes imitate a wardrobe malfunction, Karen backbone-building exercises begin to pay dividends and (say it ain’t so!) Julia and Tom’s friendship hits a rocky patch. Plus, Julia makes big contributions to Bombshell and Hit List, Kyle completes his transition from forgotten dustpan into a real human boy and Eileen gets double-crossed by the lamestream media. (I kid! I kid! I just always wanted to type the phrase “lamestream media” for kicks and giggles, and figured, “I’m recapping a show on a Saturday night — here’s my shot! »
- Michael Slezak
Like most Colton Haynes fans, we were bummed to hear that he wouldn't be returning to "Teen Wolf" for Season 3; his character moves away in the four-month time-jump after Season 2. But after spending a little time with Haynes on the "Arrow" set this month, we're no longer disappointed -- we're just incredibly excited to see the impact that his character, Roy Harper, will have on Oliver Queen and his cohorts.
In the comic books on which "Arrow" is based, Roy Harper is known as "Speedy," the Green Arrow's sidekick, and later he becomes the Red Arrow. He's an orphan, introduced to archery by a Navajo medicine man, and he becomes an asset to Oliver until he's sidelined by a heroin addiction. Obviously, the "Arrow" version of Roy is updated and reimagined, as all DC characters are when they appear in The CW show.
When we meet Roy in Wednesday's episode, »
In the spirit of National Beyoncé Week — brought to you by the National Football League, the United States Congress, the Internet and the House of Dereon — I begin this American Idol recap with the bastardization of a famous lyric from the Artist Occasionally Known as Sasha Fierce:
“To the left, to the left. All the lady Idols in the holding pen to the left.”
Yes, folks, I’m still trying to sort out my feelings about one of the biggest changes to the show’s structure since my early days of recapping Fox’s reality behemoth — back when I identified with #TeamBo over #TeamCarrie. »
- Michael Slezak
13 items from 2013
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