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Billy Bob Thornton has strung together a career’s worth of memorable performances in films including Sling Blade, A Simple Plan, Primary Colors, Bad Santa, Monster’s Ball, Love Actually, Friday Night Lights, and the Joel and Ethan Coen-directed Intolerable Cruelty and The Man Who Wasn’t There. Has he ever played as riveting a character as his small screen turn as Lorne Malvo, the manipulative, malevolent murderous catalyst for the series transfer of the Coen Brothers film classic Fargo? Thornton is smack in the center of an Emmy category stacked with fellow movie stars lured by the superior writing and character development largely missing from features nowadays. Here, he tells Deadline why the small screen was the perfect forum for his resurgence, and what happens when an actor interprets a mortal character as something else.
Deadline: Lorne Malvo facilitated all the good and bad that happens in Fargo‘s snowy Minnesota town. »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Based on the critically-acclaimed classic film by Joel & Ethan Coen, Fargo has been given a new season on the back of a impressive 18 Emmy nominations in the recent announcements. Set to air in 2015, the 10-episode second season is set to take the True Detective route, and tell a new story as well as having an array of new characters and actors in the roles.
In a press statement, John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks & FX Productions said “We could not be more proud of Fargo… Noah’s audacious, bordering on hubristic riff on my favorite Coen brothers film earned 18 Emmy nominations – the most for a single program in our history. Fargo was nothing short of breathtaking and we look forward to the next installment. »
- Scott Davis
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, while it’s still in theaters
Beyond the Edge: through gorgeous archival footage and new re-creations, thrillingly places us amidst the first successful summit of Everest in 1953 [my review] [iTunes Us] Life Itself: a touching biography of film critic Roger Ebert, and an accidental look at the tremendous upheaval that journalism has weathered in the past half century [my review] [iTunes Us] The Lunchbox: a charming, bittersweet, utterly chaste love affair forged over food and cemented by kindred spirits [my review] [iTunes Us] Particle Fever: funny, exhilarating, suspenseful documentary about the Large Hadron Collider, and how physics is more akin to philosophy and art than you may have imagined [my review] [iTunes Us] We Are the Best!: an exuberant rock ’n’ roll comedy in which three of the most memorable movie teens ever embrace their adolescent angst and give it screaming voice [my review] [iTunes Us]
streaming now, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The first trailer for St. Vincent from writer/director Theodore Melfi has arrived and it’s pretty darn great. With a hint of Bad Santa and About A Boy comes what I believe to be the perfect role for Bill Murray at this point in his career. He’s been trying for that Oscar for over a decade now, and it is roles like this that will keep him in the race. The dramedy is sure to tickle the funny bone and pull the heart strings. Here's the synopsis: A drunken, »
- Graham McMorrow
With the dog days of summer finally upon us, it's good to find an excuse (any excuse) to dip out of the heat and into a coolly air-conditioned living room. And what better way to spend your time than by watching things on Netflix? Behold, a list of things that are new to Netflix in July.
There are a bunch of new Christmas movies on the streaming service, part of the company's "Christmas in July" program (things like "Bad Santa" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas"), as well as a handful of Disney classics (like "Tarzan" and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"). There are also, as always, newer films that you might have missed, but don't have to anymore -- everything from Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" (starring the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman) to this year's "Wolf Creek 2," a high-octane Australian thriller that seriously doesn't disappoint.
There are also »
- Drew Taylor
FX's critically acclaimed series Fargo (TV) testifies to the adage that lightening can, in fact, strike twice. And it has. Based on Joel and Ethan Coen's 1996 film of the same name, the crime drama and dark comedy was created and written by Noah Hawley and endorsed by the Oscar-winning brothers who served as executive producers on the show. When Time Magazine penned it as "one of the ten best shows of 2014," it became evident that the ten-episode limited series had set a higher bar for an already escalating standard in series television. Like the film, it was the true story that really wasn't, and actor Billy Bob Thornton wanted in. He joined a stellar cast of series regulars that included Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman, along with an impressive assortment of supporting actors like Adam Goldberg, Oliver Platt, Jordan Peele, Keith Carradine, and Kate Walsh, all of »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jennifer Maurer)
Joel and Ethan Coen, despite the fact that they are a duo, are a singular force in modern cinematic history. That is to say, if you’ll forgive the grammatical confusion, there is only one Coen Brothers. Their outstanding 1996 film is equally singular, despite the fact that there is now a fantastic TV series that shares both its title and geographical setting: FX’s Fargo.
The similarities between the two works stand out enough to give the unacquainted observer a reasonable amount of pause. We’re in a period of film and television history where direct remakes are going out of fashion, but fresh takes on older stories are becoming more and more in vogue, whether they’re the evil Maleficent, the troubled Norman Bates or the up and coming Commissioner Gordon. The surge in this type of adapted storytelling gives rise to a certain skepticism that would caution against »
- Darren Ruecker
On the Calgary set of FX's "Fargo" last month, most of the cast was there either shooting or dropping by on an off-day to chat with a group reporters. Billy Bob Thornton couldn't make it, but sent his regrets and expressed the desire to talk to all of the assembled scribes pre-premiere. That's the sort of thing you hear a lot in-the-moment, but doesn't normally come to pass. Things slip through the cracks and nobody's really to blame. People get busy. Billy Bob Thornton followed through. After a series of crossed wires and adjusted schedules, the Oscar-winning "Slingblade" scribe checked in last Sunday morning, delayed only because he got caught-up watching early baseball, which immediately gives us something in common. "You can imagine what I think about your team," Thornton drawls. He's famously a Cardinals fan. I'm not-especially-famously a Red Sox fan. "You guys just creamed us twice," Thornton admits, »
- Daniel Fienberg
New York (AP) - After failed attempts and broken dreams, by golly, someone went and put "Fargo" on series TV.
The 10-episode season premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. Edt on FX. And it mesmerizes. As a furtherance of the 1996 crime classic by Joel and Ethan Coen that starred Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi, the TV adaptation is a wonder.
Like that movie, the series is set in rural, snow-glazed Minnesota, but 20 years later (in 2006), and is stocked with new characters, deadly mischief and a bounty of stars including Allison Tolman as a bright-eyed deputy and Martin Freeman as a nebbishy insurance salesman (distant echoes of the roles played by McDormand and Macy in the film). Also on hand are Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Oliver Platt, Kate Walsh, Keith Carradine, Adam Goldberg, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, and more.
At the core of its deliciously deranged narrative is Lorne Malvo, »
- The Associated Press
Directed by Jason Bateman
It only seems like yesterday that Jason Bateman was starring in one of the biggest sequel turds of all time, Teen Wolf Too, and whose own career was seemingly destined to be the male Judy Greer in any and all big studio rom-com. Then came a little TV show called Arrested Development, followed by a few choice film roles and today we are talking about Jason Bateman, movie star and now director. While the director part may have been inevitable career choice (since he has directed quite a few TV episodes from various shows) and you can certainly debate how big a star Bateman really is, the guy has parlayed his career quite well. Bad Words, Bateman’s first feature film directorial effort, is a movie that after seeing the trailers, I felt I was going to like. »
- Craig Dietz
Jason Bateman has come a long way since the days of Little House on the Prairie and Silver Spoons. Now, with his new film Bad Words, Bateman adds another adjective to his long career – feature film director. While comedies don’t typically get the respect and accolades as other film genres, it’s extremely difficult to make people laugh. Mastering that is challenging in and of itself, and with Bad Words, Jason Bateman succeeds.
In the film, Bateman stars as Guy Trilby, a man who’s a bit down on his luck and on a particular mission. For some reason, which is eventually revealed towards the end of the movie, Trilby takes advantage of a loop hole in the rules of a national spelling bee and enters the competition as an adult, which immediately puts him at odds with fellow contestants and competition officials. Tagging along with Trilby cross country »
- Dane Jackson
Rated R for crude and sexual content, language and brief nudity Cast: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Rohan Chand, Phillip Baker Hall, Ben Falcone, Steve Witting and Allison Janney Written By: Andrew Dodge Directed By: Jason Bateman Bad Santa, Bad Teacher, Bad Grandpa… all movies in which an authority figure who should by all accounts […]
Read Review: Bad Words on Filmonic.
- Andrew Shuster
Written by Andrew Dodge
Directed by Jason Bateman
One of the mainstays of the holiday season is Chuck Jones’ masterful animated short adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which manages to both be a clever embrace of everything that Christmas embodies in its secular form and to be a nasty piece of work about a grumpy so-and-so who eventually turns good. The feature-length take on the same story, by director Ron Howard, is one of the worst blights of recent holiday-film entries, precisely because if you spend 2 hours with the Grinch, he either becomes totally intolerable or must be given a sufficient enough backstory to explain why he’s such…well, a Grinch. And the only reason why the Grinch is so memorable is that he’s inexplicably mean, but in short bouts; the longer we spend with him, the less appealing he becomes. »
- Josh Spiegel
After a steady stream of teasers, FX have finally released a full trailer (a whole minute!) for their upcoming miniseries adaptation of the Coen Brothers' classic Fargo.
The 10-episode limited series is executive produced by the Coens, who also have writing credits alongside Noah Hawley (Bones), with Adam Bernstein (Breaking Bad) directing the first episode. It will "follow an all-new 'true crime' story and new characters, all entrenched in the trademark humor, murder and 'Minnesota nice' that has made the film an enduring classic." You can watch the trailer below...
Fargo will air later this year and stars Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa) as drifter Lorne Malvo, Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) as businessman Lester Nygaard and newcomer Allison Toleman (Prison Break) as Deputy Molly Solverson. »
- Oliver Davis
Exclusive: Punk’d alum Ryan Pinkston (Bad Santa) and Groundlings Matt Cook (Harry’s Law) and Mike Castle have been cast as leads in TBS‘ multi-camera ensemble workplace comedy pilot from Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. The untitled project (aka Buzzy’s, Clipsters) is about a group of kids from high school who ran in different circles but now all work together at a local Charlestown, Ma barbershop called Buzzy’s. Their dreams may lie across the Charles River in Boston, but for now, their work, their lives, their loves and their worries remain in the town they grew up in. Pinkston, repped by Pakula/King & Associates, Principato-Young and Lev Ginsburg, plays Ben, the greedy owner of Buzzy’s, who is always trying to squeeze an extra penny out of his business and appears to be unaware that all his employees know and despise his shopworn manipulative ploys. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
Signature line: “Your average American male is in a perpetual state of adolescence -- you know, arrested development.” – Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth from TV’s "Arrested Development." That utterance from Bateman’s cult series, which made a comeback on Netflix last year, could be applied to his own career as he continues to distance himself from his child-star past. He takes a step in the right direction by starring in his feature directing debut as a disagreeable foul-mouthed lout who crashes a kids’ spelling bee and picks up a doe-eyed Indian tyke as a sidekick he refers to as “slumdog” in the just-opened R-rated comedy "Bad Words" – aka "Bad Santa" with dictionaries. Career peaks: Bateman was born into a showbiz family on Jan. 14, 1969, in Rye, N.Y. His father, Kent, was a producer, director and screenwriter while older sibling Justine played Michael J. Fox’s under-achiever sister on the TV series "Family Ties. »
- Susan Wloszczyna
Jason Bateman has become so good at playing milquetoasts that there’s something immediately bracing about watching him play an actual jerk in Bad Words. As Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old taking advantage of a loophole in the rules for the Golden Quill National Spelling Bee, the actor turns his characteristic deadpan into a weapon: He maintains his even-keeled delivery, and hurls agonizingly cruel insults at the world — about people’s vaginas, their ethnicities, their weight. The film itself is uneven, but it’s kind of awesome seeing Bateman act so vile.Directed by Bateman himself from a screenplay by Andrew Dodge, and billed as a zany comedy — Bad Santa for high-achievers — Bad Words is a lot darker and more twisted than you might expect. Why is Trilby even here? What would possess a grown man to lay orthographic waste to a bunch of nervous middle schoolers? Though he doesn’t »
- Bilge Ebiri
Jason Bateman has described his directorial debut, "Bad Words," as "'Bad Santa' with spelling bees," a comparison so evident in the material that it's practically a remake. The actor's step behind the camera, in which he plays a bitter 40-year-old who crashes a national children's spelling bee by amusingly upstaging the pre-pubescent competitors, moves along at an enjoyable pace carried by its steady heap of one-liners. Taking cues from Andrew Dodge's Blacklist screenplay, "Bad Words" has a caustic wit that puts its comedy in league with "Bad Santa," but just barely delivers on the cruel intensions of the premise without deepening it, as the aforementioned precedent does so well. It's less of a showcase for Bateman's ability to direct comedic storytelling than simply to make people laugh, which makes "Bad Words" a sufficiently vulgar playground. "I'm not good at a lot of things," confesses Guy Tribly (Bateman) in an opening voiceover. »
- Eric Kohn
Scatological Prowess: Bateman’s Directorial Debut an Amusing Vulgarity
Fans of fare like Bad Santa and Bad Teacher should rejoice in Bad Words, foul-mouthed fodder involving funny but typically inappropriate exchanges with schoolchildren, which also serves as actor Jason Bateman’s directorial debut. Those with a puritanical mindset will most likely find the film off-putting, though most of the film’s hysterical moments originate from its more audacious and unhinged twitches. While closer examination of its narrative only results in unraveling it to be a thinly veiled showcase for the type of witheringly putrid character Bateman is so good at playing, that’s not to say there isn’t a lot of fun to be had.
Guy Trilby (Bateman), a persnickety and disgruntled 40 year old, expert speller and embittered citizen, has found a loophole in the rules of the Golden Quill national spelling bee and thus decides to hijack the »
- Nicholas Bell
Back in October we brought you the news that Peter Dinklage had signed up for a Bad Santa-like "R-rated leprechaun comedy". At the time the Paramount project was untitled and didn't have a director in place, but both those issues have now been rectified. The film is called O' Lucky Day, and the director will be Lawrence Sher.Sher is following Wally Pfister's recent form, seizing the director's chair following a successful career as a cinematographer. In particular, he's known for his association with Todd Phillips, acting as Dp on all three Hangover films and Due Date. He also shot Garden State, The Chumscrubber, Dan In Real Life, Paul and The Dictator. But it's not all indies and comedies: he recently contributed some additional photography to Godzilla. The only plot synopsis available for O' Lucky Day so far is that it involves Dinklage trying to pass himself off as a real leprechaun. »
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