DID YOU READ

Five reasons to watch Arrested Development on IFC

tobias

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As you know (because they tell you in the opening credits) Arrested Development is the story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. But, as you also know, the show is so much more than that. Created by the Academy Award-winning team of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, Arrested Development stars a compendium of who’s who of comedy (David Cross! Will Arnett! Jeffrey Tambor! Jessica Walters! just to name a few). The show, which originally aired on FOX from 2003-2006, follows the Bluths, a down-and-out family who has a hard time staying on the up and up. The show was undeniably brilliant, raking in Golden Globes and Emmy Awards, but like many brilliant critically acclaimed shows, it got cancelled after three seasons.

Now, however, much to the delight of the many ardent fans of the show, Season 4 will be arriving this spring on Netflix featuring all new adventures and mishaps of the Bluth clan. Want to see where it all began? Tonight at 6/5c we’re showing the pilot episode of Arrested Development followed by three more episodes. Then check The Schedule for more chances to watch the Bluths in action.

There are lots of reasons to watch Arrested Development, but here are five of the best:

1. Tobias

2. Lucille

3. Lindsay

4. GOB

5. Buster

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Back to back episodes of Arrested Development start tonight at 6/5c

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

What to watch tonight: Will Eisner’s and Frank Miller’s “The Spirit”

621_356_the_spirit

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Will Eisner’s dazzlingly dark graphic novel “The Spirit” comes to life in a stunning stylized manner. Directed by Eisner’s comics world colleague, Frank Miller, “The Spirit jumps off the screen to engage the viewer. It’s not a surprise, though, as Miller uses the same green-screen method that brought “Sin City” to life. Miller earned his directorial bona fides when Robert Rodriguez brought him on to co-direct “Sin City,” which was based on Miller’s graphic novel. Miller put his “Sin City” experiences to good use in “The Spirit” bring the characters to life on the silver screen while remaining true to their comics roots. In “The Spirit” he creates a stark and highly stylized film noir world in the vein of “Batman Begins” or “Dark Knight Rises.”

The film stars Gabriel Macht as a rookie cop who is brutally killed, but because this is a comic he is mysteriously brought back to life. He then assumes the guise of The Spirit — a masked crime fighter who prowls the shadows of Central City on a supernatural mission to keep the urban landscape safe. As with most superheroes, The Spirit has an arch nemesis, The Octopus, who is played by Samuel L. Jackson. The Octopus is determined to live forever even if it means wiping out the entire population of Central City, so The Spirit has no choice but to stop the diabolical villain from achieving his cold-blooded plan. But even with his unique powers, the brave masked crusader faces deadly challenges from the treacherous beauties that inhabit Central City, including the sweet girl next door Ellen Dolan (Sarah Paulson), spitfire secretary Silken Floss (Scarlett Johansson), wraithlike siren Lorelei (Jaime King), seductive policewoman Morgenstern (Stana Katic), and thee black widow Plaster of Paris (Paz Vega) who all set out to seduce The Spirit. Then there’s the Angel of Death who’s determined to claim the only man who ever somehow escaped her grasp. Even when he’s in the arms of his true love, Sand Saref (Eva Mendes), our hero isn’t safe.

Watch the trailer and be sure to tune in tonight at 8/7c for “The Spirit”:

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“The Spirit” airs tonight at 8/7c and at 10:15 PM ET/9:15 p.m. CT; Saturday, Nov. 24 at 8:00 PM ET; and Sunday, Nov. 25 at 3:00 AM ET

Welcome to the Automat: The Larry Sanders Show

Larry-Sanders-Show

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Before Girls or Curb Your Enthusiasm or Flight of the Conchords, there was The Larry Sanders Show. It was the seminal HBO comedy in the 90s filled with razor-sharp satire that skewered Hollywood while letting everyone in on the joke. It starred Garry Shandling as the vain and neurotic talk show host Larry Sanders with Jeffrey Tambor as his hapless and somewhat clueless sidekick Hank. The satirical sitcom focused on the behind-the-scenes action of running a hit late night TV show, including the writers (Jeremy Piven, Sarah Silverman), producers (Rip Torn), bookers (Janeane Garofalo, Mary Lynn Rajskub), and agents (Bob Odenkirk). Among the show’s many highlights are the celebrity guests who stop by the set to play self-parodying versions of themselves, including Farrah Fawcett, Janet Jackson, Robin Williams, Drew Barrymore, Beck, and Jerry Seinfeld. The show is truly great, which is why we’re excited to be airing it during The Automat, the DVR-friendly early morning time slot. Tune in tomorrow to The Larry Sanders Show at 5 a.m. ET/4 a.m. CT and check the schedule for other showtimes.

But why take our word for it? Here are Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Silverman, Andy Dick, and Judd Apatow on what made the Larry Sanders Show so great:

Bob Odenkirk

Sarah Silverman

Andy Dick

Judd Apatow

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The Larry Sanders Show airs tomorrow at 5 a.m. ET. Check the schedule for other showtimes.

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