Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Spider-Man regular heading to Winnipeg to get Chilled

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J.K. Simmons is one of the great contemporary American character actors, as you'll know if you've seen him in TV shows such as Oz, Law & Order or The Closer, or movies such as The Ladykillers.

But Simmons is probably best known for his bombastic, crew-cutted J. Jonah Jameson in all three Spider-Man movies.

Bearing that in mind, try to resist the impulse to yell J. Jonah's trademarked "Parker!" if you see him in town next month.

Simmons, 52, has been signed to co-star in the movie Chilled in Miami, starring Renée Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr., which is scheduled to begin shooting in Winnipeg on Jan. 7. (The cast is currently rehearsing in the comparatively balmy climes of New York City.)

Chilled will also feature Siobhan Fallon, a Saturday Night Live alum who may be best remembered as mom to Shia LaBeouf's hero Stanley Yelnats in the movie Holes.

* * *

The Hessen Affair -- the Billy Zane heist thriller by the Belgian company Corsan -- officially wrapped its Winnipeg shoot yesterday. (The production moves to Belgium in the new year.) But its associated local production company, Buffalo Gal Pictures, is still hustling along, working on the TV series Less Than Kind, which has been proceeding with visiting guest stars such as Kevin McDonald (creative producer Mark McKinney's Kids in the Hall comrade) and This Hour Has 22 Minutes' Shaun Majumder.

* * *

Local boy gets to Sundance: Former Winnipegger Robert Kirbyson, who toiled for years on the CBC series It's a Living with Peter Jordan, is getting a crack at the Hollywood dream with his six-minute short film Ctrl Z, which will be screening at the Sundance Film Festival next month.

The film, which was shot on a shoestring budget in a single day, is one of five finalist films competing in a contest for emerging filmmakers, with a $10,000 cash prize going to the winner. Kirbyson's film is a fantasy about an office drone given unlimited second chances due to a malfunctioning computer keyboard.

Kirbyson, whose previous directing credits include the CBC holiday movie The Christmas Orange, starring Al Simmons, moved to Hollywood with his wife in 2005 to realize his dream of making movies.

The contest was sponsored by Delta Airlines, and the film can be viewed on www.delta.com/flyinmovies.

* * *

Time to put on your 3-D glasses, kids: Beowulf, the CG-animated film by Robert Zemeckis, makes its 3-D debut in Winnipeg on Friday.

It's about time. The film is impressive enough, but if you saw it on conventional screens, you undoubtedly shared the frustration that comes with watching something that was clearly meant for a 3-D venue in shabby old 2-D.

By the way, the newly refurbished Portage Place venue will be screening the concert film U2-3D in January, according to IMAX honcho Clare McKay. A specific date has not been set.

randall.king@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 15, 2007 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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