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Sporting his "Inherent Vice" shoulder-length hairst...
Thirty years ago, "Trading Places," John Landis' classic comedy, premiered to critical and commercial success. Not only was it the 4th highest grossing film of 1983 (making over $90 million, behind "Flashdance," "Terms of Endearment," and "Return of the Jedi"), but the film also received praise from the likes of Roger Ebert ("This is good comedy") and Rex Reed ("Trading Places is an updated Frank Capra with four-letter words, and I can think of no higher praise than that"). The film is about two beyond-wealthy yet bored brothers (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) who swap out a well-to-do finance guy in their employ (Dan Aykroyd) with a homeless conman (Eddie Murphy) just to watch the world burn, oh no, we mean to test the good old "nature vs. nurture" debate.
Cannes: Gaspar Noé Calls 3D 'Childish,' Wants 12-Ye...
In honor of the Academy Award-winner's birthday (she turns 63 today), Indiewire has ranked her films from worst to best....
With this being Autism Awareness Month and communities still reeling from Superstorm Sandy, it’s tempting to dismiss “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors” as a convenient combination of buzzwords – I nearly did. But while watching the film, I quickly dismissed those preemptive assumptions and became entranced with this poignant portrait of a family and their struggles on the outskirts of Manhattan, reminding me again about what makes the Tribeca Film Festival so great –- the heart-felt storytelling that sneaks through the red carpet barricades and evokes a transcendent realism, be it documentary or narrative.
Just as we were beginning to tire of all of these Kickstarter campaign stories from the trendsetting uber-successful “Veronica Mars” to the backlash-ridden Zach Braff project to a second "Friday Night Lights" (yes, a movie of a TV show of a movie), James Franco and Seth Rogen throw us for a loop. While promoting their upcoming meta-apocalyptic comedy “This Is The End,” Complex asked them about the possibility of a “Freaks and Geeks” movie, referencing the “Veronica Mars” campaign.
Two months ago, Miramax announced that Robert Rodriguez would take part in Blackberry’s “Keep Moving” project with his own “Project Green Screen.” The “do-it-yourself” filmmaker had an unfinished short at his disposal and called out to fans “to use your creativity and imagination to help complete” the film. Although this reads like a fun experiment in fan collaboration, it also sounds like a bunch of free labor, but what do we know about innovative filmmaking?
Within the few days or so, we have heard about the deaths of Roger Ebert and "Queen of Prep" Lilly Pulitzer. Following the rule of threes, we have also lost one of America’s sweethearts. Original Disney teen sensation and "Beach Party" star Annette Funicello passed away yesterday, due to complications from multiple sclerosis. Discovered at the age of 12 by Walt Disney, Funicello went on to be unarguably the most popular Mouseketeer (6,000 fan letters a week) in the newly formed “Mickey Mouse Club“ and to appear in such Disney classics as "The Shaggy Dog." By this time, Funicello was also releasing pop hits left and right, including "Tall Paul," "First Name Initial," and "Pineapple Princess." After outgrowing her Mouseketeer sweater, to the notice of young boys around the country, she moved onto the series of films she is probably most famous for, the "Beach Party" movies.
Warner Bros. has released six new “The Great Gatsby” character posters. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the posters’ Art Deco-style gilded trim evokes the glitz of the flapper era and the pizzazz we’ve all come to expect from the director of “Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge.” As you can see below, each poster shows a literal close-up of the character along with a figurative close-up in the backdrop.
A little bit of "writers hired to adapt things" news this Sunday afternoon. DreamWorks has hired Mike White (“School of Rock,” the recently-cancelled “Enlightened”) to adapt the latest novel from Matthew Quick, author of “Silver Linings Playbook.” Quick’s “The Good Luck of Right Now” will be published Spring 2014 and is about a man who takes care of his mother with dementia and falls for a librarian who believes she and her brother were once abducted by aliens.
It’s release date time with three new releases to add to the 2013 slate and one for 2014. IFC Films is getting its summer lineup in order and Columbia is setting a date for fall 2014.
Another great conversation at the recently wrapped TCM Classic Film Festival found famed cinematographer Haskell Wexler discussing the landmark Rolling Stones doc “Gimme Shelter” with filmmaker Albert Maysles (“Salesman,” “Grey Gardens”) and camera operator Joan Churchill. Wexler acted as host and introduced the film with Maysles. After the film, Wexler, Maysles and Churchill sat down for a discussion that turned into a brief impromptu Q&A with the three discussing everything from the Hell’s Angels to being on acid to a few near-death experiences, with some additional comments by ‘Gimme Shelter’ producer Ron Schneider. Below is a selection of highlights from the conversation.
Ben Mankiewicz is a man of many talents – weekend host on TCM (Turner Classic Movies), regular co-host of liberal YouTube show “The Young Turks” and its spin-offs “What The Flick?! Show” and “TYT Sports,” and he played a sportscaster on “Party Down.” And while it may seem like Mankiewicz plays to a particularly older audience, as a TCM host, Mankiewicz has an expanding flock of classic film fans and they’re not all blue-hairs -- just check out the twitter hashtag #TCMParty.
Released 4th of July weekend 15 years ago, "Armageddon" was a little known indie picture examining an existentialist crisis triggered by meteors pummeling the earth. Joking aside, the Michael Bay disaster flick was balls to the wall epic. With a real late '90s gem premise -- a massive asteroid is on its way to faceplant earth and a ragtag team of oil-drillers is the world's only hope -- and a cast led by a not-yet-bald Bruce Willis and a fresh-faced Ben Affleck, even the Grinch-iest of critics must appreciate the sheer ridiculous "we’re saving the world, dammit" bravura of it (Gene Siskel said, "its audacity is almost amusing" and we concur). The movie also holds a special place as a veritable "Who’s Who" of "Oh, That Guy"-type actors (including Will Patton, Michael Clarke Duncan, Peter Stormare, William Fichtner, Keith David, and Jason Isaacs). "Armageddon" went on to be the highest grossing film of 1998 (beating out Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan"), inspire a EuroDisney attraction, and catapult
Where was everyone this weekend? Clearly not at the movies. In top spot, "2 Guns" (review here) made $27 million, marking Universal's sixth box office number one film for the summer, but the weakest #1 opening of the summer so far. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur (who also directed the Mark Wahlberg-starring "Contraband" that opened at $24.3 million last year), the R-rated actioner paired Wahlberg with Denzel Washington. The studio was heading into the weekend expecting an opening in the low $20s, so perhaps thank the core contingent of Denzel and Wahlberg fans for the bump, as the movie marks their fifth and sixth best openings ever, respectively.