Billy Bob Thornton

The Slow Erosion of the TV vs. Movie Actor Class System

I know you’re supposed to let a movie draw you into its narrative without excess baggage, and its characters should exist only as themselves and so on, but I had an odd moment of external realization when I first saw About Alex (which is out this week on DVD, and is pretty good). The scene comes about six minutes into this junior Big Chill, and there’s nothing earth-shattering about it as a scene; Siri (Maggie Grace) meets Josh (Max Greenfield) and Sarah (Aubrey Plaza) at the train station to drive them to the cabin where they and several other old friends are spending the weekend. But as the three characters embraced and reconnected, something in the back of my head whispered, “Look, it’s Schmidt and April Ludgate meeting up with Shannon from Lost.” And no, that didn’t make this scene the culmination of some sort of weird TV fan fiction; it merely accentuated, with a rare bit of clarity, how much the game has changed for actors, in terms of the transition from TV to film (and back). … Read More

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‘Fargo’ Season 1 Episode 7 Recap: “Who Shaves the Barber?”

I’m fascinated by Lester Nygaard. He’s an absolutely terrible person but one who is able to convince himself that he’s not. He gets worse and worse as the series go on yet I am still 100% invested in his story, always wanting to know more about him, and always simultaneously disgusted and impressed by his actions. There’s no arguing that he’s despicable but what keeps me interested is how, during these last few weeks, he’s shown a surprising and frightening aptitude for criminal behavior.  … Read More

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‘Fargo’ Season 1 Episode 5 Recap: “The Six Ungraspables”

Last week’s episode, “Eating The Blame” was the most interesting episode of Fargo so far as it seamlessly weaved the series in with the film. It was a game-changer that wasn’t exactly a game-changer; it appears that quick cold open is about as deep as this connection will get (and I’m OK with this). This week’s episode is interesting in a different way. It often feels like a retelling of the events so far but it somehow works and remains engaging. It’s more visually stimulating than the rest of the season has been, it brings Molly closer to the end game, and it’s just straight-up good. At the risk of sounding simplistic, this is what keeps sticking out for me when I watch Fargo: It’s such a good show. Easy as that. … Read More

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FX’s Darkly Funny ‘Fargo’ Is Far More Than a Coen Brothers Rehash

Here are the reservations that we must get out of the way first: Fargo the series is not a strict adaptation of Fargo the film. It is superficially similar but should be seen as a separate entity. Although Fargo borrows settings, themes, accents, violence, and a hell of a lot of snow from the movie, it is a distant cousin, twice removed, not a copycat child. It should also be said that, aside from its origin (and other films from the Coen brothers), Fargo will be compared to a handful of recent television dramas. There are shades of Breaking Bad and True Detective, two shows that are still lingering in our minds. Fargo does not take place in a unique universe. We have already seen detective thrillers, middle-class white dude antiheroes, unfortunate women, questions of masculinity, gleeful acts of disturbing violence, and good people who suddenly realize that they are capable of not-so-good actions. That said? Fargo is a thoroughly enjoyable watch (particularly the first episode), beautifully shot, and very, very funny.  … Read More

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It’s the First Trailer for FX’s ‘Fargo,’ You Betcha

A bit of skepticism over FX’s upcoming television adaptation of the Coen Brother’s Fargo is understandable—after all, film-to-TV transitions… Read More

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“Talk and Listen, Listen and Talk”: Acting Tips From Robert Duvall’s SXSW Panel

AUSTIN, TX: Robert Duvall, as you might expect, is a man of few words. He’s in Austin this week for the North American premiere of A Night in Old Mexico, a film that his Lonesome Dove screenwriter William D. Witliff had been trying to make for something like 35 years, so he joined film critic Leonard Maltin for an hour-long “Conversation with Robert Duvall” on Tuesday afternoon. And Duvall, while endlessly fascinating and full of kind words for his previous collaborators, wasn’t always forthcoming; most of his answers were short and simple, leaving Maltin to coax as many words of wisdom as he could from the 83-year-old actor. But he did occasionally get the legendary thespian to impart a few thoughts on his life’s work. … Read More

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12 Excellent Holiday Movies You Can Stream Online

Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. As you may have noticed, the holiday season is upon us, so we’ve gathered up some of our favorite traditional and non-traditional Christmas flicks, including the likes of Bill Murray, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., Chevy Chase, Nicole Kidman, Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, John Cusack, Lauren Graham, Kevin Spacey, Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Denis Leary, Michelle Monaghan, Judy Davis, Val Kilmer, Mel Gibson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny Glover, and more. Check them out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More

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Flavorwire Interview: Billy Bob Thornton on Returning to Directing in ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’

It has been 12 years since Miramax Films unceremoniously dumped Daddy and Them, the third film written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, into a straight-to-cable release and, it seemed, put an end to Thornton’s directorial ambitions. Coming on the heels of the company’s mangled 2000 release of his All the Pretty Horses, the one-two punch from Miramax (which had also distributed his 1996 breakthrough effort, Sling Blade) caused the Oscar winner to swear off filmmaking, focusing instead on acting and music. But now, all those years later, there is a new Thornton film. It’s called Jayne Mansfield’s Car; Thornton directs and co-stars (alongside Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick, and many, many others), and co-writes with his old friend and writing partner Thom Epperson (their other scripts include One False Move, The Gift, and A Family Thing). It’s good to have him back. … Read More

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