Friday, August 13, 2010

“NFL Notebook: Tillman movie set to open - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” plus 3 more

“NFL Notebook: Tillman movie set to open - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” plus 3 more

NFL Notebook: Tillman movie set to open - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Posted: 12 Aug 2010 09:35 PM PDT

Mary Tillman doesn't want any more congressional hearings or official inquiries.

She still doesn't believe she has been given anything close to satisfactory answers as to how her son died, or why the circumstances of his death were reported incorrectly for so long. But she knows it's unhealthy to keep pushing, and Pat Tillman wouldn't have wanted that for his family.

Of course, if new information were to come out because of the documentary being released this month, the Tillmans would take up the cause again. Yet that's not why they agreed to cooperate with the making of "The Tillman Story," which opens in limited release Aug. 20.

The film chronicles how the Arizona Cardinals safety abandoned NFL riches in 2002 to join the Army Rangers. He was killed in Afghanistan in April 2004 -- in an enemy ambush, the military told the world. It wasn't until five weeks later the truth was revealed that he was a victim of friendly fire.

His mother sees the story as far bigger than that of one very famous solider.

"It's happening to other soldiers," Mary Tillman said Thursday in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "It's a systemic problem."


Brett Favre's decision should be near. The quarterback traveled from Hattiesburg, Miss., to Pensacola, Fla., to have his surgically repaired left ankle examined by Dr. James Andrews, according to NFL sources.


Miami Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall said he has a fallback plan if NFL teams lock out players next year: He'll try out for the NBA. Marshall said he would audition for the Miami Heat or Denver Nuggets as a shooting guard. The 6-foot-4 Marshall lettered in basketball three times at Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, Fla.


Tennessee signed former Indianapolis defensive lineman Raheem Brock.


A person familiar with D'Qwell Jackson's injury says the Cleveland linebacker has been told he does not need surgery and could be back on the field in less than one month.


The Denver Broncos have signed free agent linebacker Johnny Williams and waived linebacker Nick Greisen. Williams spent last season on the Steelers' practice squad. Greisen joined the Broncos last year but a knee injury in training camp sidelined him for the season.


San Francisco defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer missed his fourth consecutive day of training camp and his absence is still considered unexcused.


Starting cornerback Terrell Thomas, safety Michael Johnson and free agent receiver Tim Brown all did not practice. Thomas had a minor leg injury. Johnson had back spasms and Brown had groin and hamstring injuries. Receiver Derek Hagan spent about a minute or two on the ground after being hit in the head by safety Michael Greco on a pass play.


Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill is likely to be out until at least September with a sprained knee.


Chicago placed rookie running back Harvey Unga on injured reserve, meaning he won't play this season.

First published on August 13, 2010 at 12:33 am

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Movie Review: 'Animal Kingdom' - Los Angeles Times

Posted: 12 Aug 2010 07:41 PM PDT

"Animal Kingdom" is an art house crime saga that will put your heart in your mouth, a moody, brooding, modern-day film noir that marks the impressive debut of an Australian writer-director who knows how to make a film that is, in his own words, "dark and violent yet beautiful and poetic at the same time."

That would be David Michod, a compelling creator of story and atmosphere whose assured film, which took the highly competitive world cinema jury prize at Sundance, manages to be both laconic and operatic.

Faultlessly acted by top Australian talent, including Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn and Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom" marries heightened emotionality with cool contemporary style to illustrate one of the oldest of genre truths: "Crooks always come undone, always, one way or another."

That speaker is 17-year-old Joshua, or J (newcomer James Frecheville), cast adrift when his mother overdoses on heroine and who ends up living with his grandmother and his trio of desperate, outside-the-law uncles. Coldblooded crime is their business, their only business, and much against his will J becomes a pawn between the only family he has left and the deadly, unapologetically immoral pressure put on everyone by the lawless Melbourne police.

What's especially impressive about "Animal Kingdom" is how carefully made it is, how Michod and his team use all the tools at a filmmaker's disposal, including cinematography, lighting and sound design, to create a disturbing, malignant atmosphere in which every pause is pregnant with menace and every word could cost you your life.

A key element in this tapestry is the critical role given to Antony Partos' part-acoustic and part-electronic score, which completely achieves what the composer calls "a sense of the epic within the film without being melodramatic." Michod so trusted the score he periodically uses it instead of dialogue over key dramatic moments.

This rich music smoothly counterpoints "Animal Kingdom's" unadorned script and naturalistic acting, the sense that all its performers convey that everything they experience, no matter how shocking, surprising or malevolent, is happening in deadly earnest.

J, of course, knows nothing of what is in store for him when he comes to live with his grandmother, a tiny blond woman, upbeat and bubbly, whom everyone calls Smurf (Weaver). He remembers, he says in voice-over, that "Mom kept me away from our family because she was scared," but he has yet to find out what she was scared of.

Armed robbery, it turns out, is the family trade, but J arrives at a time when the trade is falling apart. As family friend and criminal partner Barry ( Joel Edgerton) says, "Our game is over, it's getting too hard." J's edgy, tattooed Uncle Craig (Sullivan Stapleton) is moving into drug dealing, while Uncle Darren ( Luke Ford) can't seem to find his footing anywhere.