Bob Odenkirk

Saul and Walt in Breaking Bad

Saul Goodman’s solo spinoff series just added a new and increasingly complicated wrinkle. According to executive producer Peter Gould, via the Daily News, Better Call Saul will feature a “floating timeline.” As in, the series will take place before Breaking Bad. And during Breaking Bad. And after Breaking Bad. Whenever Gould wants it to be in any given episode. Considering the show was originally supposed to be set in the early ’80s, that means we’re getting at least four decades’ worth of Goodman’s rise to sleazy, inflatable power. Upon reading this, the brain’s first response should be “Cool, I guess.” This gives Better Call Saul an easy way to reunite the old Breaking Bad gang in scenes where they’re clearly older than the characters they’re supposed to be portraying (although the occasional Breaking Bad flashback already gave us that gift). More Bryan Cranston, more Dean Norris (maybe?), more Aaron Paul (nope, not so long as Aaron Paul is to be believed). And we’ll finally see Saul manage that Cinnabon in Omaha, which is worth the cost of the whole damn show.

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Better Call Saul

You might feel some apprehension about the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, but you know you’re going to watch it. When it finally arrives, that is. The show, which is to star Bob Odenkirk reprising his role as lawyer Saul Goodman, was supposed to debut on AMC this November. The bad news is that it’s been pushed back until early next year. The good news, though, is that the cable network is excited about what they’ve seen so far and have already renewed the series for a second season. The first will be 10 episodes, and the second, arriving early 2016, will add another 13. Vince Gilligan is directing the pilot and will share showrunning duties with Peter Gould, who created Goodman as a Breaking Bad writer in season 2 (the character’s debut episode was also called “Better Caul Saul”). Michael McKean, who was so great recently on HBO’s canceled Family Tree is also in the cast as another lawyer, and Jonathan Banks is reprising his role as Mike Ehrmantraut. Yes, it’s a prequel series.

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Colin Hanks in Fargo The Muddy Road

I can’t help but think Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) is a very careless criminal. The third episode of of the TV series Fargo, titled “The Muddy Road,” begins with the character kidnapping a man from his office during work hours in broad daylight for all to see. He’s also captured doing so on surveillance cameras. He may not show his face completely, but this is a guy with a pretty distinct look, and witnesses and closed-circuit video are easily going to be enough to put him in a tight spot. You’d think. Is he just that lucky? In the pilot episode he visits the man he’ll later murder in order to get a look at him, but everyone else there gets a good look at him, too. At the end of the same episode, he runs a stop sign in a stolen car after having murdered a couple people, including a police chief. Sure, he’s intimidating enough to get off on a warning without showing identification, but he’s eyeballed pretty good. And now, this week we also see him slip into the home of the Supermarket King (Oliver Platt), after having killed a dog in plain view outside, and just slowly and confidently continue his scheme even while the man of the house is audibly walking nearer and nearer to where Malvo is standing. There’s some nice tension there for the audience in the shot where you can see Platt walking down the hallway towards the kitchen, where Thornton is […]

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Saul Goodman

It’s finally here. The news all us Breaking Bad fans have been dreading (anticipating? confused by?) for months: The Saul Goodman spin-off is happening. The news comes by way of Deadline, who’ve providing the first real details on the series. As of now it’s titled Better Call Saul, it’ll air on AMC (worth mentioning as Netflix was interested in grabbing up the series for themselves), it’ll have hour-long episodes and will serve as a prequel to the events of Breaking Bad. The series is also being described as “far less dark than the original series,” to the surprise of absolutely no one. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan is the one who’s been championing this spin-off since the start, but here’s the big question- will he actually be working on the show? If so, color me impressed and excited for every new episode of Better Call Saul. If not, I’m already wincing in advance. Saul Goodman is a terrific character, but it may be the case that he’s one of those characters who’s so terrific because you only see him briefly in each episode. A little Saul may go a long way.

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saul goodman

No one likes being Catfished, but I’d readily forgive Breaking Bad showrunner Vince Gilligan if the yearlong talks of a Saul spin-off turned out to be an elaborate viral ad for the show’s final eight episodes (premiering this Sunday). That might be too much to hope for, though, since Gilligan reiterated his support for “The Saul Show” at the TCAs several days ago, calling its materialization his “fervent wish” and announcing that he and Peter Gould, the writer-producer who created the jesterly consigliere character, had been working on the pilot script. If Gilligan and Gould have decided whether the spin-off would be a comedy or a drama, a half-hour or hour long, or a prequel or a sequel, they’ve remained mum on such details. If it came to pass, The Saul Show would be only the second spin-off among the post-Sopranos prestige cable dramas (the first was Caprica, the Battlestar Galactica appendage that fans and critics found vestigial). Likewise, a Breaking Bad spin-off should give us pause, as it would break two of prestige cable dramas’ implied pacts with its quality-seeking audience: auteurship (the sequel’s showrunner would be Gould, not Gilligan) and a certain level of resistance to commercial pressures. Because Breaking Bad has never been a ratings boon for AMC like The Walking Dead, The Saul Show feels less like a naked cash-grab in the way, say, Joey was, and more like an exhausted writer seeking to coast a bit. But there are still so many reasons to be […]

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odenkirk

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup you’re going to want to be following if you want news about which cult movie icon has just been cast in Guardians of the Galaxy. If your eyeballs and brain have been anywhere near an episode of Mr. Show or Breaking Bad, then chances are you’re a pretty big fan of the comic stylings of the respected though curmudgeonly Bob Odenkirk. Well, good news for you, because Odenkirk just wrote a movie called Girlfriend’s Day that he’s also going to star in. According to a release from Magic Stone Productions and Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment, Best Worst Movie and The American Scream helmer Michael Paul Stephenson will direct the film, which sees Odenkirk playing a famous author in a world where greeting card writers are celebrated as heroes. The film will apparently see Odenkirk’s character and his rivals engaging each other in a campaign of murder and deceit, all in the name of creating the definitive greeting card for the hot new holiday, Girlfriend’s Day. Sounds pretty weird, but in that good way.

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Movie 43 Trailer

It’s been a really long time since a sketch anthology movie got released in theaters. I’m not some sort of human trivia machine, so I don’t know exactly how long, but let’s just say that it’s been quite a while since somebody showed somebody else their VHS copy of Kentucky Fried Movie in a college dorm room. The people at Relativity Media are making a big play at bringing the form back though, by recruiting an army of funny filmmakers and a legion of talented actors to put together a new sketch comedy anthology called Movie 43. Who do they have directing segments of this thing? People like Bob Odenkirk, James Gunn, Elizabeth Banks, Peter Farrelly, and tons others. Who’s starring? People like Halle Berry, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman, and many more than can be typed without having your fingers cramp up. This movie cast Gerard Butler as its leprechaun, so you know it’s star-studded.

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Bob Odenkirk and Stacy Keach

As if the news that The Descendants director Alexander Payne was going back to his filmmaking roots and making a low-key road trip movie set in Nebraska wasn’t exciting enough, when the news broke that he had cast Bruce Dern and Will Forte as his main characters, a curmudgeonly old man and his estranged son, suddenly Nebraska really started to get interesting. Which is probably the first time anyone has ever expressed that sentiment, ever.

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*The following contains Breaking Bad spoilers in general and a major spoiler for the season four finale in particular. The Breaking Bad bandwagon is one that I avoided  getting on for a long time. After watching seasons one through three in a summer marathon, I found a lot to enjoy in the show, but there certainly wasn’t any drinking of the Kool-Aid being done. And while there still isn’t, I’ll be damned if the ending of season four didn’t at least tempt me to take a sip or two. This season started off rather lackluster compared to the high of the previous season. Sure, Gus slitting Victor’s throat and the cartel shoot-out were among some of the greatest moments of the show’s history, but they were scattered in a field with the likes of Hank’s self-loathing and distractingly annoying advertisements for Denny’s. But the final two episodes of this season made up for the majority of all that lackluster crap. What made the Breaking Bad season four finale special is that the immediate storyline involved is played out over two episodes instead of one. “End Times” is mostly set up for what we saw in “Face Off,” and that’s why “Face Off” is so fucking good. Imagine if the spinning gun scene in “End Times” had instead aired in the same episode as the final shot of the season. It wouldn’t have worked, simply because the final shot was one what required a moment of processing by the audience. Had everything been in […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival

A few months ago while covering the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Carol Marshall of Carol Marshall PR invited me to attend the LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival at the Independent Theater in downtown Los Angeles. I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to be able to swing it, and was uncertain as to my ability to attend almost until the last day.

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It’s hard not to not like the Brothers Solomon, the actual characters, not the movie… not.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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