At Variety.com, my latest is a feature on actor-directors:
Shooting perhaps the most emotional scene of potential Oscar nominee "Little Children," Jackie Earle Haley was drained. Take after take, each taking its toll.
Todd Field came over for a pep talk. Field, the "Little Children" director with a lengthy resume of his own as an actor, needed to bring all his experience to bear in support of Haley. Field put his arm on Haley's shoulder and leaned in.
"And he said, 'Better you than me,' " Haley recalls with a laugh.
In this year's Oscar race, there is no shortage of actors such as Field, Robert De Niro ("The Good Shepherd") and Emilio Estevez ("Bobby") who are quite happy to join longtime convert Clint Eastwood ("Flags of Our Fathers," "Letters from Iwo Jima") behind the camera.
While an acting background has never been a director's prerequisite, there seems little doubt that on-camera experience accelerated these directors' off-camera education. ...
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Despite discouraging news that it employs both a voiceover and numerous forced analogies between love and baseball, My Boys, a half-hour comedy about a female sportswriter, debuts tonight on TBS with fairly promising advanced reviews. I'll be checking it out.
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The former George Michael from Arrested Development, 18-year-old Michael Cera, is writing, producing and starring in a direct-to-web, "multiminute" series entitled The Good Life, reports Andrew Wallenstein of the Hollywood Reporter.
Gone in 60 seconds? Only at an absolute minimum.
"Shot mockumentary-style, Good Life follows Cera and Clark Duke as aspiring TV producers who are so convinced that they have the next big thing on their hands that they remain oblivious to the fact that they have made little progress getting their dream show made," Wallenstein writes.
If it's as good as the underrated The Good Life from the 1990s, it will be worth watching.
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I haven't written about Heroes, but it is quite a fun show. I fear the hype surrounding it may get out of control, but the stories and pacing are really snappy and engaging. The only storyline that continues to leave me cold is the Niki-Jessica one, which I just find dull and unrewarding.
In the meantime, I'll agree with those who say that the highlight of Heroes is Hiro - Masi Oka.
One thing I look forward to each week: the cool way the show displays its episode title after the cold opening.
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I missed an episode or two of The Nine after seeing the first month's work and was going to abandon the low-rated program, but found time over Thanksgiving weekend to see the two most recent ones, and they entertained me. But just when I think I'm back in, they push me back out. ABC has pulled the show off the air, and figures to burn off its remaning six episodes without producing any new ones, according to Michael Schneider of Variety.