William Mapother

Underdogs

There are a few different ways to approach the first trailer for Doug Dearth’s Underdogs – there are certainly the obvious Friday Night Lights comparisons (while the film is set in Ohio, there is little doubt the game is just as important there as it is in Texas), there’s the true-life element, there’s Joe Namath just standing around like he’s not Joe Namath, there are even plenty of Cutting Edge flashbacks to remind viewers why they love D.B. Sweeney (if you need help coming back from sports hell, he’s still your dude), but the most striking bit is a buried one. That’s Natalie Imbruglia shaking her hair and her hand in the stands (presumably at Sweeney) for just a second, smack in the middle of the trailer. Yes, Natalie Imbruglia, Aussie pop star and purveyor of nineties earworm “Torn.” If she’s making a move to be the Connie Britton to Sweeney’s Kyle Chandler in the new film, we’ll allow it. The film is billed as an “inspirational” tale about football and family and what happens when both of those things aren’t exactly up to snuff. Sweeney stars as a tough luck coach who takes on a losing team and applies some offbeat methods to picking players and training them (sure, sure, you’ve heard this one before – but have you heard it when it features criminals?). There’s all sorts of drama here, from a quarterback who doesn’t seem able to live up to his potential, a romantic entanglement with a rival […]

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mad men header

This week’s Mad Men, entitled “The Flood,” brings us to that pivotal point in history when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, viewing how the tragic event brought out the best and the worst in people. Some used the event to their gain or resented it for putting a stop to the normal routine. For others, it made them appreciate the important things in life, like family and friends. Written by showrunner Matthew Weiner and Tom Smuts and directed by Chris Manley, this week’s installment was hardly perfect – it had a few unusually cheesy moments – but it was thought-provoking and featured a powerhouse performance from Jon Hamm. The title of the episode comes from Ginsberg’s father saying, “In the flood, the animals went two-by-two,” as he sets his son up on a surprise dinner date with a comely teacher, eventually passing off MLK Jr.’s assassination as a good time to play matchmaker. The date goes pretty well – though Ginsberg is apparently a virgin – and the girl admits that she is also just going along for the matchmaking ride. While Ginsberg’s father helps to enunciate the episode’s theme – the quest to find companionship in a scary, uncertain wolrd – the Ginsberg home life is somewhat corny and melodramatic. Ginsberg sews for his father on a sewing machine! They bicker about dinner! And matchmaking! This tale of a Jewish émigré and his son holed up in a small apartment reads like something out of The Jazz Singer, […]

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Friends With Benefits director Will Gluck teaches us proper technique in the bedroom, Another Earth star William Mapother confronts what he’d do if he met himself, and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil director Eli Craig packs for Comic-Con with us. We can bring liquids on planes now, right? Listen Here: Download This Episode

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Maybe going in blind to this movie is the best option, because going in blind worked brilliantly for the trailer. I knew nothing about Another Earth until scoping out these few minutes, but those minutes are built to cause goosebumps. The less said the better. Check it out for yourself:

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Fox’s new action series Human Target started with a bang and spent last week fizzling to a near certain doom. I am a big proponent of this show, and even I could not abide the tepid, mundane third installment. This week’s episode, “Sanctuary” is a return to form and restores my faith in this series.

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