Colin Hanks

Fargo Series Finale

There were few surprises in tonight’s series finale of Fargo. Maybe the biggest one was how Agent Budge (Keegan-Michael Key) repeated the riddle of the previous episode’s title, “A Fox, a Rabbit, and a Cabbage,” rather than moving on to address the meaning behind “Morton’s Fork,” as this installment was called. But maybe that served its own purpose. Morton’s Fork is a matter of choice in a situation where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. For instance, if the show had Budge go over the meaning of the episode’s title, I probably would have criticized its consistency, yet with the discrepancy I question the reason. On a larger scale, the fork applies to a number of outcomes that a show might have where fans will be disappointed. Most television series these days have to deal with the dilemma when finishing up. Audiences are so hard to please at the end of a long-term investment, and at 10 episodes Fargo might have been just long-term enough to face that kind of scrutiny. Plot-wise, what might have satisfied the majority of viewers? Deaths of certain characters? Answers to questions about a particular character’s mortality? Do we ever have expectations for heroic outcomes anymore? The conclusion of this series is more interested in resolving the arcs of its good guys, and those resolutions are only satisfying on paper.

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Oliver Platt in Fargo

Just when I’m thinking that the Supermarket King storyline is worthless, this week it ties the Fargo series to its movie namesake. There was a tease in last week’s episode with the ice scraper in the office of Stavros (Oliver Platt), and now “Eating the Blame” opens with a flashback to 1987, which is the year in which the Fargo movie takes place. Funny, I just finally re-watched the movie the other day and was left wondering if someone would ever find the cash that Steve Buscemi’s character buries. Here’s the answer: Stavros found it miraculously in a moment of despair and used it to become grocery store royalty. I wonder if that will be the only link we get. It’s not important if it is or isn’t. What is important, at least this week, is the idea that miracles and plagues can be mistaken for each other. The finding of the money was a sure sign that “God is real” to Stavros, and it’s hard to argue that for 19 years it had to have seemed truly heaven sent. But he’s also likely had two decades of contemplating whether the briefcase belonged to someone and whether he’d be in trouble for taking it. The answer appeared to come in the form of the extortion note, completely accidental on the part of blackmailer Don (Glenn Howerton). And that it is accompanied by Biblical plagues of water turning to blood and locusts (really crickets, in a really great scene) makes it all the […]

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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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Let’s face it, we exist as a generation that has grown up on stoner comedies. There have been drugs in our movies since before we were off the teet. So we should have seen it all by now, right? Not exactly.

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The Coroner

In scouring Netflix Instant for some horror to watch, I flicked past Lucky, a film starring Colin Hanks and Jeffrey Tambor. Normally, a Colin Hanks film is enough reason for me to keep looking, especially when the cover looks like Photoshop vomit with fake bodies, fake props, and money flying everywhere. What is this? After reading the description though, I figured I’d give it a shot. Hanks stars as Ben Keller, an ‘aspiring serial killer’ who runs into a bit of lucky when he unknowingly murders a woman who just purchased a winning lottery ticket. Well, he knowingly murders her. He just didn’t know about the winning lottery ticket she had. With his new found fortune, Keller wrestles with his desire to kill while courting his long-time crush, a money hungry hottie he grew up with.

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Channel Guide: A Column About TV

I mooch Showtime off of family, friends, and strangers so it wasn’t until earlier this week that I was able to finagle my way into someone’s home to watch the Dexter finale. This is less of a personal confession and more of a warning. Yes, I will be breaking in to your house this Christmas/Hanukkah to jack cable TV from you but more importantly, if you don’t always watch Dexter finales when they originally air and still haven’t seen the shocking yet, in many ways, inevitable conclusion to season 6, then I suggest that you stop reading this right now. Though, before we address those last couple of minutes, let’s look at the season as a whole, which was the most ambitious, heavy-handed, and ultimately weirdest to date.

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There are a lot of movie called Lucky. In fact, there are at least 2 coming out in 2011 alone, and there’s now a trailer for the one that doesn’t involve a stolen dog. The Colin Hanks-starring film features blood, blondes and a Bluth. Writer/Director Gil Cates Jr. doesn’t like the conventional, and it looks like he’s playing around with more black romantic comedy here. It doesn’t hurt that he’s got the unassuming Hanks in a murderous lead role alongside Ari Graynor, Ann-Margaret and Jeffrey Tambor. But honestly, why give him such a big knife to cut the cake with?

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After last Tuesday’s TV news bombshell that consisted of FOX obliterating pretty much every under-performing show on their schedule, many wondered what could be next from the networks in terms of picks-ups and cancellations. Well, NBC has decided to answer that question with a slew of pick-ups, none of which involve the words “wonder” or “woman.” At the moment the fourth place network has called for series orders from four pilots including Whitney a sitcom based on the stand-up comedy and starring Whitney Cummings. The Steven Spielberg produced, Gleeish musical-comedy Smash. The U.S. adaptation of the British series Prime Suspect and the Christina Applegate starring Up All Night. But that’s not all. It appears that NBC decided to have a little heart yet again as reports are filing in from all across the internet saying that spy-comedy CHUCK has indeed been renewed for a fifth season. This is by far the best news I’ve heard all day.

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When it comes to the movies I see every year at Sundance I have only one complaint — some of them take a very, very long time to make their theatrical release.

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Colin Hanks, Emily Blunt, John Malkovich and Steve Zahn The Great Buck Howard

With the exception of The Wackness, I have allowed quite a few of my Sundance ’08 favorites to dangle in oblivion, without much recognition beyond the positive reviews that I wrote in January. The Great Buck Howard will not be one of them.

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John Malkovich stars as a washed up mentalist trying to get back into the spotlight in this very enjoyable comedy from Writer/Director Sean McGinly and Producer Tom Hanks.

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