Tuesday, April 22, 2008

He acts, he writes, he directs... he brought us FNL

Peter Berg first came to my attention on Chicago Hope - the bad boy you really wanted Jayne Brook to take home and tame. Or not. But at least take home.

Then he wrote and directed Very Bad Things - the sole aim of which was to out-LaBute LaBute as far as I could tell. It scored a 39. And, oddly enough, and I'd forgotten this, starred Jon Favreau - the director of the other superhero movie coming out this summer - Iron Man. Funny that.

He's still acting, but Mr. Berg has definitely made the leap to that hyphenate writer-director-producer. Now, I'll be honest, I watched The Rundown, in which Berg directed The Rock and Seann William Scott - and I didn't even need to look that up, scary, right? - and enjoyed it (RT: 70, by the by). But it was his next movie, Friday Night Lights, which Berg wrote and directed, based on the book by his cousin, H. G. Bissinger, that really made me sit up. RT? 81, thank you very much.

The next thing PB brought to the big screen was The Kingdom (director-producer). As an action movie, I was so there. As a political movie - hmmm, not so much. Then again, Toby Keith would've been proud. So what do I know? Well, maybe something... Survey says? 52.

Which actually gives me hope for Hancock (starring Will Smith, Jason Bateman - who was also in The Kingdom - and the eminently watchable Charlize Theron), because that should be an action movie in the best tradition of Die Hard (the first), Indiana Jones (the first)... get the drift?

PB is also responsible for creating what many of my friends argue, and I agree, is one of the best first seasons in TV history - Friday Night Lights.

And for that, we are forever grateful.

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