Stacy Keach

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 announcement that the Bourne franchise would continue without Matt Damon was met with skepticism by many, including myself, for several reasons. The most relevant? Matt Damon played Jason Bourne. How could the franchise continue without him and his character but still call itself a Bourne film? Would another actor step into his shoes a la James Bond, or would it simply be another case of an agent with amnesia going rogue? The answer turned out to be neither, and instead, rather ingeniously, The Bourne Legacy is a parallel story that begins during the third act chaos of The Bourne Ultimatum. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a top agent who finds himself caught up in the Bourne fallout when the agency attempts to cover their tracks by terminating his co-workers. He’s forced to go on the run alongside an agency scientist (Rachel Weisz) while trying to out maneuver new a executive-level baddie played by Edward Norton. Some familiar faces from the first three films crop up along the way to flesh out the connective tissues between films, but this is really an introduction to a brand new character… and possibly a brand new trilogy of films. Check out the trailer below, and tell me your not at least a little excited to see this.

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“There was never just one.” Well, that’s a nifty way to explain why Matt Damon isn’t in the latest installment of the Jason Bourne franchise, The Bourne Legacy. Damon’s out, and Jeremy Renner is in as another victim and/or participant in shady Project Treadstone. This first stylized trailer (complete with Inception-esque “brannngsss” and “brrahhhhmmms”) introduces us to Renner’s character – a bruiser from Reno who is on the run after showing some impressive stuff to all those government heavies who’ve gone through this already with Jason Bourne. Don’t you think Joan Allen‘s Pam Landy is just exhausted by now? Join the program and check out the trailer for The Bourne Legacy after the break.

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In 2008 I was going through some major family issues, ones I am (even now) reluctant to publicly talk about. Often times I would feel I was alone in wondering if I would suffer the way I was watching those close to me suffer. I was lost, and while from the outside I didn’t let on, inside I was going through my own personal hell. That’s when Christopher Titus came along. Having grown up with the likes of Malcolm in The Middle I was fully aware of the new age of programs that tackled the issues of the dysfunctional family in a darkly comedic way without losing a sense of reality. A few years prior to ’08 I had seen one of Titus‘s specials on Comedy Central (I believe it was The 5th Annual End of The World Tour) and was immediately entertained. Through Google, I discovered he once had a show – one that, oddly enough, came right around the same time as Malcolm. The show, of course, was called Titus. I got my first glimpse of the show on YouTube in my college dorm room, but I didn’t know what I was about to get myself into.

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The time has come. World War III is upon us. IT’S ON! As Barry Word would say. Lights and Reynold will step into the ring for one final time to determine who the true champ is and settle the score once and for all. Both men will sweat. Both men will bleed. And both men will leave everything they have in the ring to know who the king really is. But by the end, the true winner will come forth and be crowned champion for the final time. Ding! Ding! Ding!

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We’re one week away from the ultimate boxing showdown and the count down has begun. But before Lights and Reynolds go at it for the final time, Lights will get one more surprise thrown his way. And the drastically changed odds on the fight and the attempted drive by aren’t it. This surprise is going to force Lights to make a choice. A choice between his family and… his family. Light and Reynolds will also meet face to face one final time before stepping foot in the ring to determine who the champ really is.

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Are you a recently defrosted human from the year 1999 that woke up in the thirtieth century? If so, then do I have some news for you… Comedy Central has ordered two more seasons of Futurama for a total of a twenty six episode order. Each season will contain thirteen episodes, clearly the return of the show last year drew even stronger ratings than anyone realized, because it takes a bomb under the feet of a television executive to get an order this high. And to be honest, I would not put that out of the realm of possibility for Bender Bending Rodriguez. It took about five episodes to get its footing back, but once Futurama started delivering episodes, some of which surpassed the quality of the original run from FOX, it never stopped. So I’m more than welcoming of another season, and the fact that we can guarantee Futurama through 2013 is more than a happy surprise for the day. But unfortunately that news is counter balanced with the unfortunate announcement that FX has decided not to pick up the critically acclaimed boxing series Lights Out for a second season. This news though tragic does not come as a surprise considering the ratings were only slightly higher than Terriers, and like Terriers, the show was never able to cross the one million mark in ratings beyond the airing of the pilot in January.

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It’s been a week since Lights and Death Row went through a glass window courtesy of well, each other. The fight is on and the date is set, but this week Lights has much bigger fish to fry. While on an errand run with his sister, Lights runs into a old friend and retired boxer. But this is no ordinary run in, because this old friend can barely remember what he ate for breakfast that morning. And things get even worse when Lights learns that one of his “favors” has come back to bite him in the ass.

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Last week Lights’ come back took a major blow when Johnny accidentally stabbed him with a pair of rusty scissors. Now what was a smooth training regimen till August, has become a race against the clock to get Lights healed up before the big day. And things take a turn for the worst when Lights gets word that Barry has begun the process of looking for a replacement opponent for Death Row Reynolds. By the end of the episode, at least one person with make a choice that they might end up regretting down the road.

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It’s only been a couple weeks with Ed Romeo but Lights can already feel a new energy within him, and boy is he gonna need it. But not for boxing… his family and his higher ups are going to force Lights to choose between winning and promotion, and by the end of the episode both of them are going to come back to bite him in the ass. Death Row Reynolds’ personal life with also be put in the spotlight, and he too will have to start choosing between his family and his career.

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It’s been a week since Lights’ big comeback win against El Diablo and he’s all fired up for a now confirmed fight in ten weeks against Death Row Reynolds. But things aren’t so bright and sunny after Pops dropped a bomb on Lights when he decided to no longer continue training him if he was going to go through with the Reynolds fight. Lights is now in desperate need of a new trainer before the fight, and his search will lead him to a possibly unstable man who is hell bent on changing everything about Lights that Pops has built over the years.

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Ding, ding, ding, it’s fighting time. The day has arrived and Lights has done everything he possibly can to get ready for his come back fight against El Diablo. But his right eye is still giving his trouble, and when Johnny begins to take notice of the level of intensity Pops is taking to train the prize fighter he steps in to try and help. And that’s only the beginning of Lights’ troubles. Because he and Theresa are about to get the one phone call they could have never expected.

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It’s been a week since Theresa through him out of the house, and since then Lights has been on a full time training regiment courtesy of Papa Leary. Six AM call times, five days a week of sparring, morning runs, ice baths, the whole shebang. But things go south when Lights takes an accidental thumb to the eye during training. Could this be the monkey wrench that will throw Lights off his game? Or will Johnny be able to come to the rescue? We’re just going to have to wait and see.

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Lights’ financial troubles are taking a major toll on his family, and things have reached a breaking point. The choice is clear for him and Theresa: fight or lose everything that they’ve worked for. But there’s a hitch, and thanks to Johnny getting Lights’ come back fight off the ground is going to be a lot harder that anyone realized. Lights will have to work outside the system if he’s going to be able to get anything done, and by episode’s end the truth will be known and Lights’ decision will be made… whether he likes it or not.

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Things have not been going well for the Leary family in the last few weeks, and things are about to get much, much worse. Between Omar’s outrage over his payment, the I.R.S. creeping further and further into the Leary financials, and Johnny’s serious gambling problem, someone is going to be forced to reveal some secrets that will turn the family on their heads. It will be up to the help of some outside influences to get Lights and his crew out of this jam. And before all is said and done, someone will have to take a trip to the hospital.

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The gym has come on hard times and there seems to be only one way out of the whole, a new fighter named Omar and a title shot that’s only two weeks away. But the problem is that he doesn’t actually have the fight yet. It will be up to Johnny to secure Omar’s place in the ring. But Omar is a cocky son of a bitch, and it will be up to Lights and Pops to guide him down the path to success before he gets his clocked cleaned for good.

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It’s been a few days and Lights has had a chance to collect himself after putting a beating on some bar patrons and a dentist. But one of those actions is about to return to bite him right in the ass. At the same time, a reporter will attempt to uncover the truth of Light’s troubles, and Lights will be forced to resort to some, not so ethical means to fix the problem he’s created. And at least one member of his family will learn a secret that Lights didn’t want anyone to find out.

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Last week, FX premiered their new drama Lights Out to major critical acclaim. The show is a perfect blend of the hard hitting story telling FX is so well known for, and the big bad world of sports. I had the opportunity to partake in a conversation with show runner Warren Leight and “Lights” Leary himself, actor Holt McCallany. They had a lot to say about getting ready for the show, the uphill battle the production went through and how the show reflects the real word of boxing.

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Patrick “Lights” Leary is a retired boxer who has been out of the game for five years since his last fight ended in the stolen loss of his championship. Now he’s a devoted family man who would do anything for the people in his life. But that life is about to come crashing down harder than the final blow of Forman vs Ali at The Rumble in the Jungle in 1974. Between his daughters and the IRS, Lights will come face to face with a decision that could damage his perfect life, forever.

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Take the family ideals of The Fighter, throw it in a blender with The Sopranos, sprinkle in a little of Michael Mann’s Ali camera work, hit start and voila, you have the brand new FX drama Light’s Out. Lights Out focuses on retired boxer Patrick “Lights” Leary who has been out of the game for five years after being robbed of the Heavyweight Championship in his final match against sports rival “Death Row” Reynolds. Upon hearing that Leary can’t let a sleeping dog lie, Reynolds offers Leary a chance at a rematch. But that’s only the beginning of his troubles.

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