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In 1984, Danny DeVito made one of the most assured and entertaining directorial debuts in comedy history when he helmed The Ratings Game, a hilarious satire that premiered on Showtime only to disappear from circulation in the decades that followed. The movie tells the story of a New Jersey trucking mogul (DeVito) who moves to Los Angeles with dreams of making it in the TV business. When he falls in love with a woman (Rhea Perlman) who works for a ratings service, he figures out a way to rig the system in his favor, rising to the top with a […] »
- Jim Hemphill
Ryan Lambie Jul 26, 2016
They cost millions and they’re very, very odd. We take a look at 12 expensive and eccentric Hollywood films from the past 40 years...
The risk-averse nature of filmmaking means that the world’s more maverick and outrageous writers and directors have to make do with relatively low budgets. Nicolas Winding Refn drenched the screen in all kinds of sordid, violent and startling imagery in such films as Only God Forgives and this year’s The Neon Demon, but the combined budget of those probably didn’t even match the catering budget for something like Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
Every so often, though, a truly bonkers film slips through the Hollywood studio system - often by accident. From horror sequels to original sci-fi adventures, here are 12 incredibly expensive and gloriously eccentric Hollywood movies from the past 40 years.
The Exorcist II (1977)
Budget: $14 million
Like most films made for purely financial reasons, »
Is this Brian De Palma’s only dull film? Very possibly yes. Released in 1986, this post-SNL Joe Piscopo vehicle (you read that correctly) feels incredibly standard. The plot concerns two low-level gangsters, Moe and Harry (Piscopo and Danny DeVito, respectively), who lose their mob boss’ money at the race track. Said mob boss (Dan Hedaya) orders the two schlubs to kill each other. Hijinks ensue.
In spats, it plays like De Palma trying out slapstick. Select moments — a close-up shot that pulls out to reveal Harry being drowned inside of a fish tank or Moe testing out a bulletproof suit jacket for his boss — highlight the fascinating hybrid of De Palma’s visual style with broad, studio comedy. If only it worked a bit more frequently throughout the film’s bloated 100-minute runtime. One can only ponder what additional mileage the director may have achieved from DeVito’s deliciously terrible hairpiece, »
- The Film Stage
Legendary Entertainment confirmed as studio set to bring Nintendo mystery-solving game to the big screen
Detective Pikachu, the Pokémon game in which a kindly and intelligent character teams up with a boy called Tim Goodman to solve mysteries, is to be the first instalment in a forthcoming Pokémon movie franchise, with production starting in 2017.
Only released earlier this year, the game has proved one of the most popular in Nintendo’s Pokémon slate. Soon after its release, 40,000 signatures were gathered on a petition lobbying for Danny DeVito to voice the English language version, but the actor reportedly declined to audition.
Continue reading »
- Catherine Shoard
Chicago –Director Todd Solondz has made a career out of not shying away from the most uncomfortable negativities of life. From extreme disconnection (“Happiness”) to pedophilia (“Life During Wartime”) to the sad rejection of pre-teen years (“Welcome to the Dollhouse”), Solondz pulls no punches. He achieves that harsh intent yet again in “Wiener-Dog.”
This is an anthology film, about a group of disparate people who somehow own the same female dachshund dog (the long bodied wiener dogs). It contains a quasi-sequel to “Welcome to the Dollhouse” (1995) – with Greta Gerwig portraying main character Dawn Wiener as an adult – and it tests the patience of any dog loving person as the pooch goes through a series of sorrowful circumstances. But this is what real life is, and Solondz to his credit is not afraid to expose it cinematically. It is tough stuff, and also tends toward the cynical dark side of human nature, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
When I first met Ivan Reitman, I was warned to be on my best behavior. I was an employee at Dave’s Video, a laserdisc retail store, and Reitman was one of the store’s most important customers. He, Steven Spielberg, and Danny DeVito all had a standing order. They wanted one of every title. Everything. If it came out, they owned it. Reitman’s assistants picked orders up frequently, but every now and then, he’d be the one that came in, sometimes with his teenage son Jason in tow. When he did come in, it was important that we keep him happy. He was one of the guys keeping the doors of that business open, and we absolutely went out of our way to make sure he got anything he wanted. He turned out to be far less scary than he'd been described when I finally helped him one afternoon, »
- Drew McWeeny
Hollywood is vexed by the lack of home runs at the box office this summer. But there is a bright spot amidst countless forecasts of trouble for the film industry. Two of the biggest smashes of the season so far, Disney’s “Finding Dory” and Universal Studios’ “The Secret Life of Pets,” are a reminder that animation is the one genre that seems to be unstoppable at the movies.
Beyond their reliance on pixelated performances, “Dory” and “Pets” share another similarity. They are both stories centered on animals that yammer about their personal lives, bicker and act like human beings. Against a questionable year of ticket sales, where even movie stars like Johnny Depp and George Clooney have come up short, audiences seem to prefer their personalities with tails.
These cuddly creatures are serving as an antidote to dark times in the world. Some executives in Hollywood are starting to »
- Ramin Setoodeh
If this year’s Emmy nominations were a disappointment to you, the guys who make “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” get where you’re coming from.
The Fxx comedy first premiered in 2005 (originally on FX), and over the following 11 seasons and 123 episodes, it’s garnered a loyal and fervent fanbase — but never much in the way of awards attention.
Read More: Indiewire’s 2016 Emmy Predictions
That inspired Season 9’s “The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award,” in which executive producers Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton vented their frustrations about the awards race, and the fact that the closest they’ve come to an Emmy is three nominations for Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or a Variety Program.
In the episode, the gang tries to get their bar considered for a city-wide bar competition, and the parallels to the awards season circus could not be more clear. »
- Liz Shannon Miller
The anticipation for a TV series going into its second season isn’t unlike that of an athlete coming out of his rookie year: There’s reasonable expectation of some kind of progression now that enough time has gone by for the kinks to have been worked out. Which makes it all the more disappointing that a show set in the world of pro football, HBO’s “Ballers,” doesn’t seem to have elevated its game in its sophomore outing.
The lingering problem is one that plagues many teams: no matter how good a franchise player is, winning is difficult without at least some strength in the supporting cast. Unfortunately, “Ballers” rests almost entirely on the mountainous shoulders of A-list attraction Dwayne Johnson.
That’s odd considering HBO knows all too well how much power its comedies draw from deep benches, from the ensembles at “Veep” to “Silicon Valley.” The last comedy “Ballers” creator Stephen Levinson parked »
- Andrew Wallenstein
Wiener Dog, a four-story anthology from writer/director Tod Solondz, follows a little dachshund from one home to the next, finding masters who represent four stages of life – childhood, young adulthood, middle age, and elderly. The pooch is but a linking device to introduce Solondz’s real subjects; the dark and despairing characters that we associate with the oddball director. With his output of deadpan black comedies like Welcome To The Dollhouse and Happiness, Solondz has specialized in human weakness and cruelty, awkward exchanges, and embarrassing confrontations. He continues this tradition with Wiener Dog, easily his finest film since Happiness and one which features a trio of human performances from Julie Delpy, Danny DeVito, and Ellen Burstyn that are among the year’s best.
In the first story, the pooch is adopted by a high-strung couple (Julie Delpy and Pulitzer-winning playwright Tracy Letts) for their son Remi (Keaton Nigel Cooke »
- Tom Stockman
Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 25 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new Sundance Film Festival hit comedy “Wiener-Dog” starring Greta Gerwig and Julie Delpy from IFC Films and Amazon Studios!
“Wiener-Dog,” which opens on July 15, 2016 in Chicago and is rated “R,” also stars Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, Danny DeVito, Tracy Letts and Zosia Mamet from writer and director Todd Solondz. Note: You must be 17+ to win and attend this “R”-rated screening.
To win your free passes to “Wiener-Dog” courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 7 p.m. in Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning; this doesn’t intensify your competition!
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Welcome to the doghouse: the latest hilariously biting comedy from Todd Solondz is a twisted Lassie for misanthropes. It follows the wayward adventures of a dachshund who passes from oddball owner to oddball owner—including the world’s worst mom, a beleaguered screenwriter, and the grownup incarnation of Welcome to the Dollhouse’s Dawn Wiener—whose radically dysfunctional lives are all impacted by the pooch.
Featuring an all-star cast that includes Greta Gerwig, Julie Delpy, Danny DeVito, Ellen Burstyn, and Zosia Mamet, Wiener-dog is a tragically funny, wondrously warped look at the absurdity of life (and death) from one of contemporary cinema’s most fearless and unique voices.
Wiener-dog opens in St. Louis on Friday, July 8.
Wamg invites you to enter for a chance to win a pass (Good for 2) to the advance screening of Wiener-dog on Wednesday, July 6th at 7:00 Pm in the St. Louis area.
We will contact the winners by email. »
- Movie Geeks
Some films get very lucky with topical gags hitting the mark more effectively than the writers could have realised. The one about Taylor Swift here got a very big laugh when I saw it. This is a likable odd-couple action comedy from director and co-writer Rawson Marshall Thurber, who gave us Dodgeball. I suspect he has been influenced by Ivan Reitman’s Twins from 1988, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. (I even wondered if he had seen Dominik Moll’s black-comic classic Harry, Un Ami Qui Vous Veut Du Bien, from 2000.) It starts with that sine qua non of the modern studio comedy: the “anti-nostalgia prelude” sequence set in high school when the protagonists were hilariously naff. It’s wish fulfilment for comedy writers, »
- Peter Bradshaw
Roald Dahl famously loathed all the movie adaptations of his books, including the 1971 classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” starring Gene Wilder. So when the beloved author died in 1990, his widow Felicity (who goes by Liccy) was torn about what to do with his catalogue. It was a time, following the hit comedy “Home Alone,” where the major studios were vigorously chasing family-friendly tales, and many of Dahl’s stories fit the bill. But Liccy didn’t want celebrated bestsellers such as “Matilda” or “James and the Giant Peach” falling into the wrong hands.
Dahl’s publisher at Penguin Books set up a few meetings, and she eventually connected with literary agent Michael Siegel. They bonded right away. “I don’t want there to be bad movies,” Liccy told him. They came up with an unorthodox, boutique approach. “Rather than sell the stories directly to the studios, we would »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Enter here for your chance to win passes to an advance screening of the new film from writer/director Todd Solondz, Wiener-dog, starring Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, Julie Delpy, Danny DeVito, Greta Gerwig, Tracy Letts, and Zosia Mamet.
For your chance to receive two (2) complimentary passes to see the new film Wiener-dog at the Landmark Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak, Michigan on Wednesday, July 6th at 7:00Pm, just look for the “Enter the Contest” box further down on this page. But hurry because the contest ends at 11:00pm on Monday, July 4th!
About The Film
Wiener-dog: Welcome to the doghouse: the latest hilariously biting comedy from Todd Solondz is a twisted Lassie for misanthropes. It follows the wayward adventures of a dachshund who passes from oddball owner to oddball owner—including the world’s worst mom, a beleaguered screenwriter, and the grownup incarnation of Welcome to the Dollhouse »
Erik Sudberg has signed on to write the script. Jeffrey D. Erb of Framelight Productions will produce the film. Sudberg’s credits include “Behind the Stars: The Bernie Brillstein Story” and the thriller “Red Sequin.”
Jade gained notice as a regular on the sixth and final season of Vh-1’s “Mob Wives” and via publication of Idw Media’s “Destiny: Queen of Thieves,” based her look and attitude. She has also appeared on shows including “Gossip Girl,” “The Good Wife,” and “Law & Order,” as well as movies like “Elf.”
“Destiny: Queen of Thieves” focuses on a female master thief who lives in New York City. When »
- Dave McNary
From Todd Solondz and Greta Gerwig to Daniel Radcliffe and his pair of directors known collectively as the Daniels, a notable pack of filmmakers and stars are heading to theaters with limited releases this weekend. Solondz Wiener-Dog, with Gerwig, Danny DeVito, Ellen Burstyn and a rambunctious dachshund (or two) share this week’s Specialty roster with the Daniels' feature bow Swiss Army Man starring Paul Dano and Radcliffe. Also up: New Zealand director Taika Waititi… »
To help sift through the increasing number of new releases (independent or otherwise), the Weekly Film Guide is here! Below you’ll find basic plot, personnel and cinema information for all of this week’s fresh offerings.
Starting this month, we’ve also put together a list for the entire month. We’ve included this week’s list here, complete with information on screening locations for films in limited release.
See More: Here Are All the Upcoming Movies in Theaters for June 2016
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, June 24. All synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.
Director: Gary Ross
Synopsis: “In Jones County, Miss., Newt Knight joins forces with other farmers and a group of slaves to lead a rebellion against the Confederacy.”
- Steve Greene
Todd Solondz has been making movies since 1989, and became the toast of Sundance and American art-houses with just his second film, 1995’s “Welcome to the Dollhouse.” But the writer-director hasn’t been all that prolific throughout his career, producing only eight features in just over a quarter-century. In part that’s due to the ups and […]
- Noel Murray
Todd Solondz’s eighth film “Wiener-Dog” follows a single wiener dog on a life journey as he enters four separate domestic traps rife with dysfunctional and chaos: An uptight mother (Julie Delpy) and her fragile nine-year-old son (Keaton Nigel Cooke), the return of Dawn Weiner (now played by Greta Gerwig) and her classmate Brandon (played by Kiernan Culkin), a disgruntled film school professor (Danny DeVito), and a grumpy old grandmother (Ellen Burstyn) and her spoiled granddaughter (Zosia Mamet).
All of these stories explore Solondz’s recurring themes involving the futility of existence, the pain of suburban life, and the double punch of loneliness and regret. Watch an exclusive clip from the film below featuring Delpy’s character Dina teaching her son about spaying their new dog.
- Vikram Murthi
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