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<p>&quot;About a Boy&quot;</p>

"About a Boy"

Credit: NBC

Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'About a Boy'

David Walton is either perfectly cast or totally miscast

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"About a Boy" (NBC)
Airs:Midseason TBD
The Pitch: "It's like 'About a Boy,' only warmer and fuzzier."
Quick Response: On one hand, Jason Katims' adaptation of Chris and Paul Weitz's adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel works very well. It successfully brings nearly a full movie or book's worth of story into 22 minutes and, thanks to both Katims and director Jon Favreau, there are a couple laughs and three or four totally effective warm fuzzies. Nobody does warm-fuzzies like Jason Katims. David Walton brings ample charm to the lead role and, after having been rascally and winning in a slew of failed NBC comedies, perhaps this'll be the one that brings him a certain level of stardom. Minnie Driver is a neurotic, sometimes hilarious mess and once you accept that you're not going to instantly embrace her -- You aren't supposed to, just as you weren't immediately supposed to love Toni Collette's character in the movie -- I think she's very, very good. Even though we're mostly in the early antagonistic stage of things, I think there's fine chemistry between Walton and Driver. And although Benjamin Stockham is more of a sitcom kid than I'd like -- I prefer Nicholas Hoult's understated eyebrow-driven work in the movie to Stockham's expressive mugging any day -- he's funny enough and I think the sitcomization of the semi-eponymous "boy" sets up the the "... on the other hand," which you knew was coming. On the other hand, Katims and Favreau have pretty solidly missed the point of Hornsby's book and the movie. Or changed the point. I think Walton's well-cast for what Katims and Favreau want to do, but I think he's probably miscast for the source material. At 34, Walton is still young enough that the character's boyish behavior is almost entirely unconditionally winning. Yes, he's childlike, but he's not so old that it's a problem and just because he's got friends who have more mature lives and just because he's got a different lifestyle from the Driver character, that doesn't mean he's doing anything wrong. Hugh Grant was 42 in the movie and part of why his performance there is SO great is because he's also charming, but you see the cracks in his charm, you see the desperation and sadness that maybe the character *doesn't* initially feel, but maybe he *should* feel. There's a lesson that the character *has* to learn in the book and the movie, whereas with this casting and this tone, you figure that David Walton's character has a few good years before he can legitimately be judged. If you age down that main character, you drain the title of its double meaning and you take away what's at the core of Hornby's book. Maybe. Of course, there's room for wiggling. Grant was a little older than Hornby's Will, if memory serves, and that added age brought the melancholy of the book to the surface for the movie. If Walton is younger, what aspect will that bring to the surface of the TV show? And will whatever aspect that is justify the change? We'll see. As it stands here, the main dynamic is less like "About a Boy" and more like "Bent," only with a kid. A few people loved "Bent." I liked "Bent" a lot. If attaching a brand name to a remake of "Bent" gets "Bent" back, some people will be perfectly happy (and some people will feel mighty bait-and-switched).
Desire To Watch Again: Ample. My reservations about the pilot stemmed largely from familiarity with two versions of the source material that this doesn't adhere to in terms tone/theme. Probably I need to get over that. At a certain point "About a Boy" will become its own thing. Katims worked on "Friday Night Lights," which wasn't the book or the movie, but was awesome as its own thing. He has worked on "Parenthood," which isn't the Ron Howard movie and has been, in my opinion, much better as its own thing. I like Walton and Driver. A lot. Once I see what "its own thing" is, I can easily imagine enjoying "About a Boy" as its own thing. But it's not Nick Hornby's "About a Boy." So get ready for that.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Believe' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Us & Them' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Star-Crossed'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Intelligence' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Crisis' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Rake'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Mom' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Lucky 7'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Dads' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Super Fun Night'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Welcome to the Family' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Millers' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 

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'King & Maxwell' canceled after 1 season


"King & Maxwell" canceled after 1 season
The TNT procedural starring Rebecca Romijn and Jon Tenney won't make it to Season 2.

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<p>Jack Johnson</p>

Jack Johnson

Credit: Wade Payne/AP

Jack Johnson and Justin Moore vie for No. 1 on next week's Billboard 200

The top five features all new releases

The top of the Billboard 200 album chart will look radically different next week as five albums bow in the top 5 slots.

Likely to come in at No. 1 is Jack Johnson’s “From Here To Now To You” (115,000-120,000), followed by country singer Justin Moore’s “Off The Beaten Path” at No. 2 (100,000-105,000).

That will be it for titles topping the 100,000 mark. Landing at No. 3 will be country artist Chris Young’s “A.M.” (55,000-60,000) with Maybach Music Group’s compilation, “Self Made, Vol. 3” at No. 4. (50,000-55,000). DJ/producer Avicii’s full-length debut, “True,” rounds out the top 5 debuts at No. 5 (45,000-50,000).

The last of the six debuts in the top 10 belongs to Billy Currington, whose “We Are Tonight” bows at No. 9 (27,000-30,000), according to Hits Daily Double.

Between Moore, Young, and Currington, country music is having a banner week in the top 10, but it gets even better: Luke Bryan’s former No. 1 album, “Crash My Party” will be at No. 6 (40,000-45,000) and this week’s chart topper, Keith Urban’s “Fuse” at No. 7 (35,000-40,000).

The Weeknd “Kiss Land” falls from No. 2 to No. 8 (30,000-35,000) while 2 Chainz brings up the rear as “B.O.A.T.S ll Me Time” drops from No. 3 to No. 10 (21,000-24,000).

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<p>It's going to be hard for Timur Bekmembatov to top the classic chariot race, but if there's anyone in Hollywood who has no sense of what 'over-the-top' means, it's him.</p>

It's going to be hard for Timur Bekmembatov to top the classic chariot race, but if there's anyone in Hollywood who has no sense of what 'over-the-top' means, it's him.

Credit: MGM

'Wanted' director Timur Bekmembatov is set to crack the whip on a new version of 'Ben-Hur'

So now every studio also needs their Bible story?

There is no weirder trend right now than the sudden resurgence of the Biblical epic.

Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" sounds like one of the weirdest movies of all time. The script was fascinating, a hybrid of a moral tale and a monster movie,and Ridley Scott is evidently gearing up to make a Moses movie with Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, and Aaron Paul called "Exodus."

I'm not sure I understand the sudden urge. If the idea is to try to reach out to traditional conservative Christian groups, I'm not sure hiring the directors of "Wanted," "Requiem For A Dream," and "Black Hawk Down" is the way to do that. At least with Aronofsky and Scott, they've demonstrated some range as filmmakers in the past. Bekmembatov, on the other hand, is a sensation junkie ADD lunatic. That's not necessarily a negative judgment, just an observation. There are very few people who would have ever approached something like "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" with the straight-faced utter lack of humor that he did, and the idea of him shooting something like a new souped-up version of the chariot race from "Ben-Hur" is so decadent that I almost can't contain my glee.

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<p>Jake Gyllenhaal in &quot;Prisoners&quot;</p>

Jake Gyllenhaal in "Prisoners"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Tell us what you thought of 'Prisoners'

Denis Villeneuve's studio thriller hits theaters this weekend

A pair of movies are hitting theaters this weekend that mark a distinct transition from summer entertainments to fall adult drama programming. One is "Rush." The other is Denis Villenueve's "Prisoners," a tense piece of work that I called a "tense bow of tension drawn impossibly tight" out of Telluride. I don't see it as awards caliber material, though Hugh Jackman gives a terrific performance, it makes some brave choices for a studio thriller and I have respect for Villeneuve's craft. This site seemed to find that piece bewildering in its vacillation, and really, that's kind of this movie in a nutshell to me. So it fits. (And yes, Virginia, that's a site dedicated to reviewing reviews.) So with that, let's just turn it over to you. When and if you get around to "Prisoners" this weekend, tell us your thoughts in the comments section and feel free to vote in our poll below.

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Kevin O'Leary
Credit: kevinoleary.com

'Mr. Wonderful' reveals what it takes to wow on 'Shark Tank'

Kevin O'Leary tells HitFix about the three things that excite the sharks

The season debut of "Shark Tank" (tonight at 9:00 p.m. on ABC) is poised to chew up the competition (last season it was the top Friday night network show among adults aged 18 - 49), and that's just fine with the tough cookies who tear apart the fledgling business owners who come begging. Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and "Mr. Wonderful" Kevin O'Leary have no problem telling entrepreneurs what they really think. I had a chance to talk to Mr. Wonderful during press tour, and he revealed the three things that make him interested in investing, the companies that have disappointed, and why everyone should want to invest with a shark... if they can. 

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<p>Will the people of &quot;Mad&nbsp;Men&quot;&nbsp;have to hang their head again at Emmy time, or will they bounce back for a drama series win?</p>

Will the people of "Mad Men" have to hang their head again at Emmy time, or will they bounce back for a drama series win?

Credit: AMC

Emmys 2013 Predictions: Outstanding Drama Series

Will 'Homeland' repeat? Could this finally be the year for 'Breaking Bad' to win the top award?

The 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented on Sunday, Sept. 22, starting at 8 Eastern on CBS, with Neil Patrick Harris as host. From now until Sunday (sometimes multiple times a day), Dan Fienberg and I will be making our usual picks for the major categories — for both what should win and what will (and keep in mind that Dan is much better historically at predictions than I am).

It's time for our final category: Outstanding Drama Series, which includes reigning winner "Homeland," four-time champ "Mad Men," former winner (in the miniseries category) "Downton Abbey"), two shows that seem to be riding a wave of buzz in "Breaking Bad" and "Game of Thrones," plus "House of Cards," which may get points both for all the movie people involved (Emmy voters are impressed by movie people) and for the newness of the Netflix model.

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Vince Gilligan: Watch 'Breaking Bad' over Emmys, final episodes won't run exactly 75 minutes


Vince Gilligan: Watch "Breaking Bad" over Emmys, final episodes won't run exactly 75 minutes

The "Breaking Bad" creator says the last two episodes will actually run about six to seven minutes past the hour. PLUS: Hank Schrader rises.


"Lost" created a secret document tricking ABC into thinking it was a self-contained series
Four "Lost" writers were enlisted during the pilot to create the document, which promised that the show wouldn't be as mysterious as it ended up being with a less-serialized structure, and that characters would live in a "primitive 'Melrose Place.'" Co-creator Damon Lindelof says the document was created to ensure "Lost's" renewal.


Kelly McGilis is going Amish again for a TV movie
The "Witness" star will play an Amish aunt in "Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio."


NBC Entertainment boss' contract extended throught2017
The Peacock has been making a comeback under Bob Greenblatt's leadership, especially since it just came out that NBC was No. 2 in the 18-49 demo last season.


Jon Hamm is sporting a bushy salt and pepper beard these days

Check out the "Mad Men" star in a photo taken on Thursday.


Taylor Armstrong officially out of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"
But she will appear in a few scenes next season.


"The Bachelor" host not dating a former bachelorette
Chris Harrison was spotted in a bar with Season 17's Selma Alameri, but she insists they are just good friends.


"Castle" books "Justified's" Joelle Carter
She'll guest as the girlfriend of a death row inmate.


Jimmy Fallon gives "Wheel of Fortune" contestant who missed out on $1M a 2nd chance
Watch the contestant get redemption.

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<p>Kevin&nbsp;Costner and&nbsp;Donald&nbsp;Sutherland in&nbsp;&quot;JFK&quot;</p>

Kevin Costner and Donald Sutherland in "JFK"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Oliver Stone's 'JFK' to be re-released on 50th anniversary of Kennedy assassination

Here's your chance to see a masterpiece on the big screen

Oliver Stone's "JFK" is a masterpiece. I say that unequivocally. It's masterful filmmaking of a degree few could ever hope to reach, but it's been consistently plagued and overshadowed by the whiff of conspiracy fatigue ever since its 1991 release.

This has always been strange to me. Nothing presented in the film is all that far-fetched, and depending on your opinion of Dallas journalist Jim Marrs, it was all perfectly well-reported before Stone and screenwriter Zachary Sklar came along. Meanwhile, there has been a curiously strong push lately, it seems, to ensure once-and-for-all acceptance of the lone gunman theory, which, I'm sorry, if you've ever stood in the book depository and seen that vantage point (relative, as the actual window itself is blocked off), then you know the shot was pretty tough to pull off. And "back and to the left" seems pretty significant to me.

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<p>Drake and Ellen chatted on her show</p>

Drake and Ellen chatted on her show

Credit: Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

Drake postpones tour, citing 'tech requirements'

Watch as the rapper talks about his love life with Ellen DeGeneres

Fans who answered “yes” to Drake’s “Would You Like A Tour” forthcoming concert outing will have to wait a little longer to see the Canadian rapper live.

Citing “an intense rehearsal schedule and technical production requirements,” Drake announced that the outing, which was supposed to start Sept. 25 in Portland, Ore. will now start Oct. 18 in Pittsburgh.

The 16 dates affected by the shift have now been tacked on to the end of Drake's tour, according to Pitchfork.
Now that he’s pushed back the tour, Drake found time to go on “The Ellen Show” yesterday and awkwardly answer her “Who Has Drake Dated” questions and plug his new album, “Nothing Was The Same,” which comes out Sept. 24. He clammed up a little about Rihanna, but was more forthcoming about Nicki Minaj.

  

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

09-25 Portland, OR - Rose Garden *
09-26 Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Dome *
09-27 Vancouver, British Columbia - Rogers Arena *
09-29 Calgary, Alberta - Scotiabank Saddledome *
09-30 Edmonton, Alberta - Rexall Place *
10-02 Saskatoon, Sascatchewan - Credit Union Centre *
10-03 Winnipeg, Manitoba - MTS Centre *
10-05 Minneapolis, MN - Target Center *
10-06 Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center *
10-08 St. Louis, MO - Scottrade Center *
10-09 Chicago, IL - United Center *
10-11 Indianapolis, IN - Bankers Life Fieldhouse  *
10-12 Auburn Hills, MI - The Palace of Auburn Hills *
10-13 Cleveland, OH - Quicken Loans Arena *
10-15 Columbus, OH - Schottenstein Center *
10-16 Buffalo, NY - First Niagara Center *

10-18 Pittsburgh, PA - CONSOL Energy Center *
10-19 Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center *
10-21 Montreal, Quebec - Bell Centre *
10-22 Ottawa, Ontario - Canadian Tire Centre *
10-24 Toronto, Ontario - Air Canada Centre *
10-26 Hartford, CT - XL Center *
10-27 Newark, NJ - Prudential Center *
10-28 Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center *
10-30 Boston, MA - TD Garden *
10-31 Washington, DC - Verizon Center *
11-02 Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena * 
11-03 Raleigh, NC - PNC Arena *
11-05 Miami, FL - American Airlines Arena *
11-06 Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Times Forum *
11-07 Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena *
11-09 New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Arena *
11-10 Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center *
11-12 San Antonio, TX - AT & T Center *
11-13 Houston, TX - Toyota Center *
11-16 Phoenix, AZ - US Airways Center *
11-18 Sacramento, CA - Sleep Train Arena *
11-19 Oakland, CA - Oracle Arena *
11-21 Anaheim, CA - Honda Center *
11-22 Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Hotel *
11-24 San Diego, CA - Viejas Arena *
11-25 Los Angeles, CA - STAPLES Center *
11-28 Vancouver, British Columbia - Rogers Arena *
11-30 Calgary, Alberta - Scotiabank Saddledome *
12-01 Edmonton, Alberta - Rexall Place *
12-03 Portland, OR - Rose Garden Arena *
12-04 Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Dome *
12-07 Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center *
12-08 Minneapolis, MN - Target Center *
12-09 Indianapolis, IN - Bankers Life Fieldhouse *
12-11 Saint Louis, MO - Scottrade Center *
12-12 Chicago, IL - United Center *
12-13 Columbus, OH - Nationwide Arena *
12-15 Buffalo, NY - First Niagara Center *
12-16 Auburn Hills, MI - The Palace of Auburn Hills * 

* with Miguel and Future



 

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<p>Now why does this look familiar to me?</p>

Now why does this look familiar to me?

Credit: Phase 4 Films

Review: 'The Dirties' uses found footage to take an ugly look at school violence

Smart but deeply sad film punches hard

There's no way I can be objective or dispassionate about a film like "The Dirties." As I was watching it, the part of me that is a film critic, constantly analyzing and contextualizing, simply shut down. My experiences, my influences, my history… it makes it impossible for me for me to try to explain this in any terms except personal ones. That happens with films all the time for people, and it is an occupational hazard. I've had moments like that so many times over the years, and each and every time, I feel like this is why I am as fascinated today by the strange emotional magic trick of a movie as I was in 1977 when I first fell in love.

My teenage years were the John Hughes years, the '80s, full-flush, and I went from a chubby nerdy ten year old kid in 1980 to a chubby nerdy twenty year old who couldn't wait another day and moved to Los Angeles. The mid-point of that decade was the moment that made all the difference in the world, the moment where my family moved to Florida and I ended up enrolled in the same high school as Scott Swan, a kid who had just moved to the area from Pittsburgh, a kid who was exactly as movie crazy as I was.

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<p>Um, there's something in the road. You might want to watch out for that.</p>

Um, there's something in the road. You might want to watch out for that.

Credit: Magnet Releasing

'Doomsday' director Neil Marshall set to remake 'Trollhunter'

Good news for fans of the filmmaker, but frustrating nonetheless

Any announcement that involves Neil Marshall getting more work is a good thing.

It's exciting to hear that he's back on "Game Of Thrones" for next season. His work on "Blackwater" was epic, even by the amazing weekly standards of that show. I think he's been completely undervalued as a feature director, and a big part of it is simply because not enough people have seen his movies. "Centurion" happened at the exact wrong moment in the career arc of Michael Fassbender, and it would have been a much easier sell a year later. It's worth catching up with if you haven't seen it, and it's just one more example of how good Marshall is at staging large action sequences.

Marshall has a classic sense of action geography. He's smart about how he lays out his big set pieces, and he is excellent at conveying what's important in a scene and how everything connects. These days, that seems to be a more and more precious skill, especially when the aesthetic pushes more and more towards total incoherence and visual chaos. When you look at "Doomsday" or "The Descent" or "Dog Soldiers," you clearly see a guy who has action chops to spare, and yet it seems like he doesn't work nearly enough.

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