Kyle Chandler

2013review_performances

Christian Bale, Sanda Bullock, Joaquin Phoenix, Oscar Isaac, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Michael Fassbender, and Meryl Steep, because she’s Meryl Streep, have all had heaps of praise thrown their way this year by both fans and critics. They’ll continue to see even more acclaim in 2014 and beyond, but with all those fantastic movie star performances, not all of 2013′s best have gotten the attention they deserve. That happens most every year, of course. Only so many performances can be nominated for statuettes. After all, even after listing these 13, another 13 could have easily followed (it was a good year). In that spirit, hopefully you’ll share your picks in the comments section, but for now, here are 13 performances from 2013 not to forget when someone else is being played off stage for making their acceptance speech too long.

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trailer morning

While the Toronto International Film Festival continues to march on for another magical week of premieres and reviews (seriously, check out all the reviews we have coming out of Toronto), the rest of us at home can revel in the fun with some new trailers that are continuing to be released. Take Morning, for instance, the directorial debut of actor Leland Orser (Taken, Se7en), which he reworked from a short he previously directed (and wrote) of the same name. The story of a middle-aged couple named Mark and Alice Munroe (Orser and his real-life wife Jeanne Tripplehorn), whose child dies accidentally, Morning follows their unfathomable and insane grief as they try to cope with what they’ve lost. It seems that others in the film (like grief counselor Laura Linney and Kyle Chandler) don’t quite understand why the Munroes are acting strangly — Orser sitting in the empty pool in his underwear being guarded by the umbrella-toting grandma is a great shot — but they’re going to do their best to try. Check out the trailer for yourself here:

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james

The protagonist of director James Pondsoldt‘s new film is an alcoholic.  The other characters in The Spectacular Now may not point that out, but why would they? Nobody in high school thinks of any teenaged partier as an alcoholic, and Pondsoldt sets the film directly from that perspective. More so than with his previous film, Smashed, with The Spectacular Now Pondsoldt deals with a destructive main character. The protagonist in Smashed (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wasn’t actually hurting anyone besides herself. We see the opposite in The Spectacular Now. This isn’t a coming-of-age movie where the nerdy kid comes out of his shell because some hip girl takes an interest in him. It’s one where he maybe breaks out of that shell a little too late while hurting others in the process. Keep reading to see what director James Pondsoldt had to say about crafting an authentic high school experience for Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) and his audience.

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Broken City Trailer

Broken City seemingly has all of the ingredients to be one of those action/dramas that is so cheesy it delivers – there’s Mark Wahlberg being tough, there’s Russell Crowe with a horrendous spray tan and a Donald Trump-lite combover, there’s Catherine Zeta-Jones with an equally horrendous spray tan, and there’s director Allen Hughes, who has some street cred as one half of The Hughes Brothers directing team. And corrupt politician dramas are usually fairly entertaining, right? Not so much here. Broken City, instead, is largely a misfire. The film’s plot meanders and leaves many open threads, likely the result of re-edits, and none of the characters are particularly likable. There’s just so much a balls out Russell Crowe performance can save a movie, and shockingly enough, Crowe doesn’t even have all that much screen time. The film opens with Wahlberg’s NYC Detective Billy Taggert shooting someone in the head in a NYC housing project, Bolton Village – he has a beard, so clearly, he is coded as being troubled. He is tried (now beardless), since his self-defense plea is questionable at best. There is evidence that surfaces that can put him away, but Republican-seeming Mayor Nicolas Hostetler (Crowe) decides to keep that evidence for his own eventual gain, allowing Taggart to go free, albeit without his job.

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It’s a real surprise how apolitical Argo is. There are parallels one could make from today’s headlines, but as director Ben Affleck sees it, the movie comes down to one key theme: the power of storytelling. Whether it’s from his own industry or the United States intelligence service, stories can make for a powerful weapon. In Argo‘s case, it’s to entertain. In the events the film chronicles, it was to save lives. To make sure Argo the movie did its intended job, Affleck copied some of the all time great filmmakers of the 1970s and went through history’s finest classics to make the era come alive. The inspiration he got didn’t only come from Martin Scorsese or Sidney Lumet, but also from unexpected places, such as John Carpenter’s The Thing and Matt Reeves’s Let Me In. In many ways, Argo is a love letter to 70s filmmaking, and Ben Affleck clearly wore that love on his sleeve during a recent roundtable interview, along with his co-stars John Goodman and Bryan Cranston.

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Argo John Goodman Alan Arkin Ben Affleck

The November 4th, 1979 takeover of the American embassy in Iran by students and other revolutionaries was front page news around the world as 52 American hostages were held captive. Negotiations were attempted and military strikes were considered, but the crisis didn’t end until well over a year later when they were all finally released. Lesser known, and in fact unknown to the public until 1997 when it was declassified, is the story of six Americans who escaped the embassy that November day to risk capture and possible execution as they awaited an unlikely rescue. It turned out to be a very unlikely rescue indeed. Argo is Ben Affleck‘s third film as director, and while it lacks the darkly emotional impact of Gone Baby Gone and the kinetic shoot ‘em up action of The Town it stands tall as his best and most entertaining film yet. Brilliant character actors swirl through the constantly surprising true story alongside wonderful period details, humor, humanity and the most suspenseful thirty minutes of the year.

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Okay, so maybe screen legend is pushing it, but it’s kind of hard not to get excited about the career resurgence that Matthew McConaughey has experienced in the past year. Remember all those years he was doing lame romantic comedies and cashing checks? Well, forget them, because hopefully that’s all over. This year the man famous for his bongos, his abs, and his southern drawl has already shown up in worthwhile projects like Bernie, Magic Mike, and Killer Joe, and now Variety has word that he’s keeping that momentum going by being the latest to sign on for Martin Scorsese’s next, The Wolf of Wall Street. You remember what The Wolf of Wall Street is, right? We’ve only written up about a thousand casting announcements for it so far. It’s Scorsese’s look at the real life adventures of decadent day trader Jordan Belfort, and all of the drug and adrenaline fueled shenanigans he got himself into back in the ’80s (you know, before he got caught being involved in illegal trading and money laundering and had to go to jail).

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Jean Dujardin

Seeing as it’s been confirmed that Martin Scorsese’s next film, The Wolf of Wall Street, is going to start shooting in August, the clock is starting to tick when it comes to getting the cast together. Already we know the obvious part, that frequent Scorsese collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio is going to star as the titular bad boy investor. And we also have word that intriguing supporting players Jonah Hill and Kyle Chandler have signed on as DiCaprio’s wing man and the FBI agent trying to take him down, respectively. But Scorsese’s job doesn’t stop with just a recruiting of three big names. Variety is reporting that casting on the film has continued, and Scorsese is close to landing a fourth big name as well.

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It’s a wild career Peter Berg has created for himself. The kid from Shocker and Aspen Extreme grew up to have an eclectic mix of directorial offerings. Everything from wicked, black comedies like Very Bad Things and damn solid action flicks like The Rundown. He’s even dabbled in the Summer blockbuster like Hancock and this Friday’s Battleship. I think that movie made Cole angry. Berg’s most important work of art came in the form of Friday Night Lights, arguably the best show in the past decade. You be the judge which side of that fence I fall on. Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t Lose. But we can’t exactly run a Commentary Commentary on the full series run of that show. That would take too long, and there’s not enough Monster in the world to keep the writing juices flowing. So we’ll do one on The Kingdom, Berg’s 2007 film about an FBI investigation of a suicide bombing in Riyadh. That’s in Saudi Arabia, something you’d know if you’ve seen this film’s opening credits. Or watched The Daily Show more often. Enough about TV. On with the Commentary Commentary for The Kingdom.

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Kyle Chandler should be one of the biggest leading men in Hollywood. That’s really all there is to it. Post-Friday Night Lights, the Emmy-winning actor has started to line up some really solid feature work, like Argo, Broken City, and Zero Dark Thirty. Seeing such a talented actor getting some big breaks lessens the sting of the end of FNL – just a bit. But Chandler isn’t content to work with just Affleck, Bigelow, and Hughes, though, he wants the big guns. Deadline Dillon reports that Chandler has now joined the cast of Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street. Leonardo DiCaprio is already on board to play the lead, Jordan Belfort, as the film is based on Belfort’s memoir about his dramatic rise and fall on Wall Street, one punctuated with both bad personal (drugs! booze! parties!) and professional decisions. Jonah Hill is also set for the film, playing a friend of Belfort who gets mixed up with his business dealings as well. But if DiCaprio and Hill are going to wheel and deal, just who is going to take them down? Chandler, of course.

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Remember when Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Richard Kind, Scoot McNairy, Chris Messina, Michael Parks, Kerry Bishe, Kyle Chandler, Rory Cochrane, and Tate Donovan all got together to make a movie about a fake movie being made in order to rescue hostages being held in Iran? This trailer is one more slice of proof that Affleck knows what the hell he’s doing behind a camera, especially when it comes to the slightly funny world of serious issues. Instead of crime-riddled Boston, this time it’s the Iranian Hostage Crisis, a fake script called Argo and a crazy attempt at rescuing 6 people. It’s Ocean’s Eleven except the stakes are real, and they’re life-or-death. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Editor’s Note: This article will be updated in real time as the winners come in during the Primetime Emmys broadcast. Winners will be highlighted in bold and you can check out the winners that were already announced at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The very first Emmy Award was given to a ventriloquist named Shirley Dinsdale who worked with a puppet called Judy Splinters. Is that significant? Of course it is. That fact coupled with the design of the award itself – a woman holding an atom – represent the true heart of television’s most significant celebration: artistic inspiration, scientific technology, and wooden humanoids that only talk with a hand shoved up their back. Ponder that while you bask in the glory of the victorious. Here are the winners of the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards.

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I’ve already written a couple of different stories about the casting process of Ben Affleck’s next film as a director, Argo. His CIA drama includes an impressive list of names like Alan Alda, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Kyle Chandler, and Affleck himself; and it tells a globe-hopping story that should push the limits of what Affleck can do as a director like nothing else he’s made up to this point. I’m really looking forward to it. So I’m pleased as punch that Warner Bros. has sent out a press release which not only states that filming is set to begin, but also confirms a few more interesting last minute names to fill out the cast. Joining that bevy of powerful presences up top will be veteran character actor Michael Parks, who recently has been used by directors like Kevin Smith in Red State and Quentin Tarantino in the Grindhouse movies, Clea Duvall, who’s been in movies like Zodiac and 21 Grams, Richard Kind, who you’ll recognize from things like Curb Your Enthusiasm and the Coens’ A Serious Man, and Tate Donovan who has done, well…uh, not much that I’ve liked. Still, add them all together and that’s a seriously awesome group of actors. I’ve done the plot synopsis thing on this movie before, but for the sake of posterity, let’s take a look at Warner’s official word on what this movie is about after the break:

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I’ve recently been using the magic of streaming video services to catch up with Peter Berg’s high school football melodrama Friday Night Lights. The show isn’t great, it’s got its good points and bad points, but easily the strongest aspect of the whole thing is not the teenagers or the football, it’s the marriage between main character Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and his wife Tami (Connie Britton). A lot of why it works is that their relationship is written more real, and with less forced crisis than any other marriage I’ve seen on a prime time drama, but the other part of why it works is because Kyle Chandler is just such a warm, engaging presence on the screen. And now that the show is over he’s going to need to find some more work. I’m rooting for the guy. He landed a pretty big role in J.J. Abrams Super 8 earlier this summer, and that’s got to help some with his visibility. And in a current piece focusing on the actor in USA Today, they’ve revealed that he has a small role in Ben Affleck’s upcoming hostage thriller Argo. I hadn’t heard his name attached to that film yet, and a quick look at the IMDB page reveals that it hasn’t been added there, so let’s treat this as news. And also I’ll treat it as an excuse to talk a bit more about the cast that Affleck has assembled. I already reported on the story that John Goodman […]

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Billy Bob Thornton owned the role of Coach Gaines in 2004′s Friday Night Lights, which is partially why it was so surprising for Kyle Chandler to own the role of Coach Taylor in a completely distinctive way when the television show hit in 2006. That pilot is one of the best produced in the past ten years, and it launched a hell of a series. That series which was borne out of the big screen now looks to make the jump back to its roots. “We have a real good script idea. We want to do it. We’re very serious about doing it. We intend to do it,” director and show creator Peter Berg told TVLine. He went on to describe the concept as one that revolves around Chandler and Connie Britton (who plays his wife in the series). The other roles would ostensibly be new characters taken up by new actors – the benefit of working with characters in high school. That very thing is a big structural part of why the show worked. New seasons would mean new seasons, and the audience would have to say goodbye to some and learn to like (or hate) newcomers. That won’t benefit a movie as well, but at its heart, it’s a story about sports and the impact they have on a small town in Texas. That’s a pretty classic story on its own. Now to see if Brian Robbins and James Van Der Beek have a new football movie in […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr relives his childhood by running around with a Super 8 film camera, trying to capture a train derailment on film. He deftly uses the cover of shooting a home movie with a bunch of local tweens who ride around on their bikes all day like some extras in a Spielberg film. However, when the cops come after him for suspicious behavior, he ducks into the local cinema to catch the live-action big screen adaptation of the Judy Moody books. This might not be helping his case.

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There’s nothing quite like returning to the old neighborhood to find that your childhood playground hasn’t been torn down. You run your hand along rope ladders deemed “unsafe” by modern standards, feel the crunch of pebbles beneath your feet that did more to cut than soften a fall, sit in the swing and think for a moment about jumping out at the highest point. Super 8 is the cinematic equivalent of unearthing a time capsule and finding everything inside is still impossibly shiny and new. It’s impossible to remove the film from its own nostalgia, except for its intended audience of children discovering this type of filmmaking for the first time (and maybe even seeing their first Amblin logo). That’s a pretty powerful thing. With everyone clamoring to tap a market of adults eager for their own past while simultaneously getting kids into seats, J.J. Abrams‘s latest is one of the few that actually succeeds.

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That Amblin logo at the front of the new trailer for Super 8 is an important signal to audiences that fell in love with the studio (and fell in love with movies because of the studio), and the rest of the trailer seems like it was cut from a movie Steven Spielberg directed in 1981 using all the best technology from 2011. Simply put, the trailer finally fives a sense of the plot to this mysterious flick without giving away everything. It’s incredible, a heartfelt looking movie, and it raises genuine excitement in the way that trailers haven’t seem to do in months. Get that feeling for yourself:

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At some point within the last six months, a magical cat let out a huge meow while dropping off a magical copy of the Super 8 script in front of Kyle Chandler’s magical doorstep, and now he has a role in the film. Early Edition references aside, Kyle Chandler has been cast in an unnamed role in the unnamed plot of the named movie. Joining him is Elle Fanning who is, probably, playing one of the young children that find the footage of the alien on their camera footage. Judging by the trailer, that would mean those kids were playing by themselves on the train tracks at night. That’s bad parenting, and it makes me think twice about supporting this movie. J.J. Abrams and company should win me back by casting Connie Britton as the bad parent. [Vulture]

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