Monday, March 30, 2009

Friday Night Lights gets two more seasons

It's official. Two more seasons for Austin-shot Friday Night Lights with a continuation of the joint deal between DirecTV and NBC. Unfortunately they will again by 13-episode seasons. That will make a total of 76 episodes for the show. The second season was shortened by the Writers Guild strike, and the third was concocted by the cable/network pact.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Texas newspaper death watch: Houston Chronicle

Probably the only major Texas daily I haven't written for, the Houston Chronicle, is joining the parade of cuts, stabs and other various injuries to the newspaper business.

The worst news for someone like me who writes fiction is the loss of the Chronicle's longtime books page editor, Fritz Lanham. Another paper that won't be reviewing my future books...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Three Stoogies do a spit take from the grave

Nyuck, nyuck, NO!!!!

This just in from Hollywood Reporter:

Jim Carrey to play Curly, Sean Penn as Larry and Benicio Del Toro as Moe in a Three Stooges movie. First off, repeat after me: Jim Carrey is not now and never has been funny. Sean Penn? A fine actor, but also NOT FUNNY. He actually seems to lack any sense of humor at all. Del Toro's dark side is actually sort of intriguing for the role of a guy who pokes people in the eye. Here's hoping blood spurts out when he does this to his cohorts. It's the only way this project could be bearable. Did I mention that Jim Carrey isn't funny? Because he's not.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nicholas' favorite book

When he's older, he'll never remember phonebooks even existed. But now he flips through looking for pictures of trucks--there's a lot of them in there.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some SXSW tales...

I've been running around covering the South By Southwest Film Festival the last few days, writing for three different markets. Here is a story on the Texas Film Hall of Fame for the San Antonio Express-News, and something also about Robert Rodriguez's talk today.

I'm also blogging the fest at the Austin Chronicle.

Saw Tim McCanlies' The 2 Bobs tonight. What a departure for him!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Texas Film Hall of Fame

I got out my crappy camera for some star gazing last night. You can read my article about it in the Dallas Morning News here.

I don't think this photo quite conveys how strange Brendan Fraser's hair is (it looked like he'd just had a weave removed). No, he's not a Texan, but he introduced one. Who is that Beastie walking past him?

Billy Bob is now an official Texan. Here he is with Dennis Quaid.

Connie Britton won the hotness award of the night. She is much younger looking in person than on Friday Night Lights (both the movie and the TV show).

Powers Boothe is graduate of the school that shall forever be known as Southwest Texas State.

Larry Hagman was joined by both his real-life wife of 55 years and his Dallas TV wife Linda Gray.

Friday Night Lights stars Dana Wheeler-Nicholson (you know from Fletch) and Brad Leland.

Director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen).

Thomas Haden Church did a hell of a job as emcee. I interviewed him by phone once and found him to be very down to earth.

Kyle Chandler, the coach on Friday Night Lights, with his very attractive wife. Secret fact about him? The coach smokes cigarettes.

Keith Carradine, a presenter and non-Texan, is still easy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

He's 23 months old today!

Allen Shamblin follows the dream

Tim Janecek and Allen Shamblin

Last night Allen Shamblin was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame. He gave big thanks to Tim Janecek, who was my sister's boyfriend back when I first met Allen. I was a bit of a wounded bird at the time--fresh out of college, no car, no job. I didn't much know what I wanted to do. Allen and Tim were appraising houses in Austin when Allen's sister spurred him to complete some songs he'd stored away in a closet. Thus began a journey that finds Allen now one of the top Nashville songwriters (his most famous song is probably "I Can't Make You Love Me," which Bonnie Raitt did).

Last night he walked out onto the stage of the Paramount Theater and thanked Tim, who was the guy with him in the lunch line at an Austin cafeteria when their conversation about Allen's first songs was overheard by a woman behind them. That encounter was the start of Allen's career. I'm honored to say I was the very first person to interview Allen back then. And I'm about to go dig up a tape I have of his second-ever performance before a live audience.

One thing Allen said last night as he sat on stage with fellow inductees Willie Nelson, Guy Clark and Michael Martin Murphey (wow!) struck home: somewhere down the line you've got to quit doing what you think you should be doing and do what you are driven to do. I'm still trying to move toward that...