I confess I haven't thought much about Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep" -- which finally opens in theaters tomorrow -- since reviewing it at the Venice Film Festival seven months ago. Though it takes on the potentially incendiary subject matter of the Weather Underground, the film's political ideas are handled as softly as the lighting on its veteran stars' faces -- but as an old-school Hollywood entertainment with a classy, cannily cast ensemble, it mostly delivers the goods. I'd call it Redford's strongest directorial effort since 1994's Oscar-nominated "Quiz Show," though films like "Lions for Lambs" and "The Conspirator" have admittedly set the bar pretty low.
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I've viewed this entire process of Netflix making a fourth season of "Arrested Development" with some skepticism, taking the default assumption that Mitch Hurwitz and company are simply staging an elaborate prank on Jeffrey Tambor. I won't believe these new episodes are real, I told myself, until I'm sitting in front of my computer watching them.
I now have a date for when this will allegedly be happening: Sunday, May 26.
The pilot for "Nashville" was, hands down, my favorite of the year. The music, the cast, the concept -- all of it seemed poised to be a heady mix of soap,"All About Eve," youthful striving, and middle-aged regret set to a beat. But then, the road became rocky -- and the first characters to falter were Gunnar and Scarlett.
Don't get me wrong. The reason I'm frustrated with these two (and a few others on the show) is that, especially with such strong actors playing these roles, I really want to believe the powers that be can correct course (which I also believe of the show overall). I'm still hooked on "Nashville," but lately I feel as if the show is trying to make me watch "Chicago Fire" instead.
The boys have been asking me lately when they are going to be able to go to a film festival with me. They have this image in their heads of what a festival is like, and I asked them to describe to me what they thought I was doing when I was gone.
More than anything, what our conversations illustrated clearly is that the boys want to participate more in the things that they believe are important to me, and I want them to feel like they have some sense of what it is that I do. We're reaching the end of their two weeks of spring break, and I realized that we could do something special for them here at the house, and that with just a little bit of effort, it could be the sort of thing that they never forget.
To that end, I've decided that this weekend is the First Annual Film Nerd 2.0 Spring Break Mini Film Festival. I'm making badges for them so they feel like they're at a festival, and I'll make them line up outside the office between movies while I change discs so they won't know what's coming next. I plan to keep the line-up a surprise from them until each film begins. In some cases, these are films they've been asking for, and in some cases, they're films I was planning to share, and in every case, they are films that I think will spark some sort of big reaction.
I'm curious to see what the long-term arc of Danny McBride's career looks like.
Right now, I still feel like Hollywood's trying to figure him out, and vice versa. He's had his shot in a few films, and he's played a lot of supporting parts, and overall, I think we've seen some of what he's capable of, but not anywhere near all of it.
McBride's a better actor than he seems to be given credit for, and I guess part of that is that the comedy persona he's created seems larger than life in some ways, full of swagger, and I think people honestly believe that's who he really is. If he was really just Kenny Powers, and there was no difference between the two of them, I can't imagine anyone wanting to work with him twice. The real McBride strikes me as a smart guy who knows what his own comfort zone is, and he's been able so far to craft comedy material that fits him easily.
A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as I burn my hand on a potato...
I'm more than a little under the weather today, but even at full health, I doubt I'd have the enthusiasm to write a full review of ABC's "How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)," which debuted tonight in the post-"Modern Family" timeslot. It's a sitcom featuring a bunch of actors I often like (Sarah Chalke, Brad Garrett, Elizabeth Perkins), given material that's alternately limp and frantic. (Though Chalke's always been frantic; it's just that "Scrubs" knew how to turn that to the show's advantage in a way most of her other gigs have not.) Garrett demonstrated on "Til Death" that he had an ability to wring laughs out of weak material, but that was when he was playing to a studio audience; one of the disadvantages of the single camera sitcom format is that there's no crowd whose energy you can feed off of.
It's airing Wednesdays at 9:30 because ABC hasn't given up on the idea that some show they air there will retain more of the "Modern" audience than "Cougar Town," "Happy Endings," "Don't Trust the Breadbox in Apt. 23" and "Suburgatory" have managed to, and because it was either this or "Family Tools," which is being held all the way until May. But it's unmemorable at best, and in hindsight — given how much it evolved from its lame pilot — I wonder if ABC might have been better off just leaving "The Neighbors" there as originally planned.
For those who tuned in tonight, what did you think? You setting a season pass, or waiting for any or all of the cast to find other work?
Sitting down with Matthew Beard, Joshua Sasse and Leah Gibson to discuss their new series, "Rogue," what's immediately striking is their accents. Beard and Sasse are Brits and Gibson Canadian. I wondered what it was like on the set with so many actors from so many places (star Thandie Newton all coming together to play a buch of tough Hungarian criminals and the cops who hunt them.
Wednesday (April 3) night is Classic Rock Night on "American Idol," apparently. Given that our Top 7 has devolved into a talented, but familiar assortment of weekly ballads, we'll see if the Classic Rock theme means a change of pace or a lot of cheating.
One thing that's for sure is that we can expect a lot of padding and we can also expect whoever gets paired with Lazaro Arbos on their group performance to struggle.
Click through for the full adventure....
Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives," the follow-up to his 2011 genre thriller "Drive," ranked pretty high up on Guy's recent wishlist of Cannes entries. It wouldn't be outrageous to anticipate a bow there, seeing as "Drive" was so warmly received on the Croisette, translating to a Best Director prize for Refn. Pity, though, that the awards season yielded a mere single Oscar nomination for the film, albeit in the unexpected (though no less deserving) field of sound editing.