Wednesday, September 29, 2010

'True Grit' trailer is up!

The wait is over to see a snippet of the Coen brothers' True Grit. You can find the trailer here. It includes a couple of quick shots from the Granger, Texas, set (standing in for Fort Smith, Arkansas), including the hanging scene. You can see more shots from the hanging scene here.

By the way, the song in the trailer is the Mosie Lister gospel song "Where No One Stands Alone" as sung by the Peasall Sisters.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lone Star officially gone

It was good while it (briefly) lasted, but Kyle Killen's Dallas-shot Lone Star is dead.

Here's my brief piece from The Dallas Morning News on the show being pulled from the schedule in the middle of shooting its sixth episode.

'Lone Star' sinking quickly

The ratings are in for the second episode of Fox's Lone Star, and they are even worse than the dismal viewership for the first episode. It doesn't bode well for the Dallas-shot series.

The president is an alien! (and other facts)

If you're wondering where this email originated, you've come to the correct place. Please forward it to everyone you know and annoy them endlessly. And feel free to alter it to perpetuate your pet causes. I'm personally somewhat opposed to flaming cats.

Jim Jones of Fakeytown, Arkansas, was fed up. For the zillionth time he'd received an email forward claiming that the president was indeed an alien. The forward contained what he was sure was proof—a statement from a former soldier. Former soldiers never lie and are quite patriotic. They are American to the core. (and friendly with the infantry). Jones knew this had to be true. After all, there was something vaguely different about the president's appearance.

But Jones thought for a moment and decided to check The email was false! The president was not in fact as alien. He was born somewhere on this planet. Then Jones realized something else: Every time he received one of these odd emails that reported outright lies as facts, he went to to check if the forward was in fact true. They never were, but was getting a lot of traffic from guys just like him.

That's when Jones, a good, God-fearing American who supports our troops, understood the plot that was afoot. was creating all of these nutty forwarded emails just to get more traffic to its site. Why Snopes even created an email claiming that Snopes itself was evil! More traffic, more mind control! Snopes was indeed out to corner the market on idiocracy.

Jones thought about this for a long time, then stretched out in his rubber room and took a nap.

If you forward this email to 10 friends today, you will receive 100 messages in reply. You will also grow hair (only not in the places you requested), have lots of dirty thoughts and receive eternal salvation. If you don't forward it, you will continue to lead the same humdrum existence you are currently living. Forever.

Friday, September 24, 2010

'Lone Star' creator says: 'Watch my show before it's too late!'

Austin resident Kyle Killen is as dumbfounded by the disastrous ratings for his creation Lone Star as I am. Here's his open letter begging you to watch the second episode of the Dallas-shot Fox series about an oil biz swindler. Come on, set those DVRs!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

'Lone Star' dumped after one episode?

I saw the pilot in Dallas at the Studios at Las Colinas where it's shot, and it looked fresh and promising. Apparently I was one of the few people who saw it. The Hollywood Reporter says the first episode's ratings were so low that it's almost assured of being canceled immediately. This despite major efforts by Fox to get interest percolating early.

THR sez: "The ratings for Star were so bad that there was no silver lining to find on this mushroom cloud. The 4.1 million total viewers who showed up was a shockingly low number, especially given it had a strong lead-in from the season premiere of "House," from which its audience tumbled 68%. 'Those are Friday night numbers on a Monday night premiere,' said Brad Adgate, a veteran TV analyst with Horizon Media. 'That's a nice cable audience.'"

Entertainment Weekly wonders if the pilot episode is waiting on many viewer's DVRs: "Given how competitive the first night was for the 2010-11 TV season, there’s a good chance that many viewers recorded Lone Star so they could watch the ultra-addictive Dancing with the Stars or the CBS comedies live instead. On top of that, viewers are still in the sampling stage; its too early for anyone to commit to new shows. Fox recognizes that viewers need time to find Lone Star, which has the added benefit of being popular with the TV critics."

Is the show worth saving? Yes. But will Fox give it a chance? Stay tuned.

Friday, September 17, 2010

In search of the elusive Mike Leach

My journey into the Heart of Dryness in search of defrocked Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach leads me to Cadillac Ranch and the mutterings of a seeming madman. The horror! The horror!

Read my University of Texas football blog in The Austin Chronicle.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

'Dallas' brings the Ewing family back to TV

TV Squad says the new Dallas pilot ordered up by TNT will focus on offspring of the "bitter rivals and brothers J.R. and Bobby Ewing, who clash over the future of the Ewing dynasty while the fate of Southfork itself weighs in the balance.''

No word on how much if any of the pilot will be shot in North Texas. The long-running original series primarily shot in Los Angeles.

Texas Longhorns face GIANT EXPECTATIONS!

My latest Texas Longhorns football blog for The Austin Chronicle as the season enters week two with Garrett Gilbert at the helm and Tre Newton as the ball carrier of the week. Mack Brown's search for a running game continues.

'Tree of Life' eyes 2011 release

Yes, the long-awaited Smithville-shot Tree of Life is now set to come to the big screen in 2011. Thus sayeth The Hollywood Reporter.

Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the mysterious Terrence Malick film starring Brad Pitt.

Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley (who can speak simultaeously) said, "Terrence Malick has crafted a deeply moving, keenly observed and magisterial film. Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and the entire cast's performances are simply amazing. This is a signature film by a signature filmmaker and we are proud to be releasing it."

Friday, September 3, 2010

Are Texas Longhorns ready to try again?

OK, Time for my seasonal gig where I blog about the Texas Longhorns football team for The Austin Chronicle. I'm in my fourth year doing this. Here's where I try to answer the question is Garrett Gilbert another Chris Simms or more like his idol Major Applewhite? The answer isn't that simple.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yes, Spy Kids 4 is now in production

How do I know it's Spy Kids 4's time before the camera? Third Coast Extras wants twins or triplets to play "Jessica's daughter" this Friday. The baby must be 24 inches long, appear to be 10 months old and have an olive complextion. Who is Jessica? MTV says that would be a certain Jessica Alba whose diaper changing on the set of Machete apparently inspired Mr. R.

Interesting other hints as to cast with this casting calls for stand-ins: "brunette Caucasian male who is between 6'3" and 6'5" tall with a slim to medium build" and "female African American that is in between 5'3-5'5 around 120 lbs." I'm guessing Rosario Dawson on the later. Anyone have any guesses?

Here's one more: "An African-American male around 6'2ish. Short to no hair is preferable." It's like a puzzle on film! (My guess is Samuel Jackson is in the house...)

Robert Rodriguez is, as ever, fairly quiet about his Austin-shot productions, but this one is very clearly in action.