13 items from 2014
NewsRadio Season 1, Episode 1 “Pilot”
Written by Paul Simms
Directed by James Burrows
Aired 3/21/1995 on NBC
Airing as a mid-season replacement after the failure of The Martin Short Show and the Gene Wilder vehicle Something Wilder, it still boggles me to this day that NewsRadio wasn’t more popular in its time. Debuting between Wings and Frasier (two shows it would often be sandwiched between over the years), NewsRadio never achieved the same mainstream penetration as other seminal NBC comedies from the same era, teetering on the edge of cancellation and ending in tragedy, airing a creative but deflated fifth season in the shadow of Phil Hartman’s murder.
Revisiting NewsRadio‘s pilot, it still astounds me the show never took off. Mixing farce with hilarious ironies, the pilot opens with Wnyx’s new news director Dave Nelson (a post-Kidz in the Hall Dave Foley) arriving (approximately) 35 seconds early to »
- Randy Dankievitch
Good news, Spidey fans!
Earlier today EW teamed up with Sony and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Andrew Garfield to get your Spider-Man questions answered. Read some of Garfield’s best answers from the chat below. And if you missed it, don’t worry. You can read the whole chat here.
Did you read any specific comic book to help you play Spidey? @SolidSnake1287 #AskAndrew @SpiderManMovie— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 28, 2014
.@EW @SolidSnake1287 I've been immersed in all things Spidey since I wore my first Halloween costume aged 3…— Spider-Man (@SpiderManMovie) March 28, 2014
(cont.) I drew physical inspiration from the art in the Ultimates, »
- EW staff
After a string of half-hours seemingly designed for niche tastes that sporadically merit the label “comedy,” HBO has its most fully realized and potentially commercial player within that genre in some time thanks to “Silicon Valley.” Co-created by Mike Judge (with the dryness of “King of the Hill” and tone of “Office Space”), it’s a savvy look at the birthing pains of a tech startup, filled with unforced humor and a serialized plot, in which the sad-sack characters find themselves caught between feuding billionaires. Similar but superior to Amazon’s “Betas,” it’s inordinately user-friendly compared to many recent pay-cable offerings.
The series won’t actually premiere until April (it’s getting a preview at the SXSW Festival), but piggybacking on the return of “Game of Thrones” should funnel a lot of men in its direction. And after viewing five of the eight episodes, there’s a lot to like, »
- Brian Lowry
Mel Brooks' wildly irreverent Western spoof stars Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little as a drunken gunslinger and a black sheriff who defend a frontier town from a crooked attorney and his cronies. While taking hilarious potshots at racism and stereotypes (Madeleine Kahn's trashy saloon singer is a hoot), the film is still best remembered for its gut-busting campfire scene. More beans, Mr Taggart? »
Feature Mark Harrison 3 Mar 2014 - 07:02
Roald Dahl has often been referred to as one of the greatest storytellers for children in the 20th century. His books have delighted children for generations, with their dark and inventive sense of humour and their eccentric, dastardly adult characters.
Likewise, his written work for adults has just as much wit and creativity, and over the years, he also worked as a screenwriter on a number of projects, including TV work on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and his own anthology series, Roald Dahl's Tales Of The Unexpected.
Given how it doesn't even take the likes of J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer five years to have their popular works adapted by Hollywood, there has inevitably been an extensive crossover between Dahl's written work and the big screen. »
As we continue to move forward through the list, let us consider: how do you define an original screenplay? In theory, everything is based on something. Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is basically a modern A Streetcar Named Desire. But, somehow, Jasmine is classified as an original screenplay. When a film is wholly original, nothing like it had been done before, and others have tried to copy it since. Plenty of original screenplays (some in this list) take on tired genres, but flip the script. But the ones that really catch the audience by surprise are the ones that feel imaginative, creative, and different.
40. Spirited Away (2001)
Written by Hayao Miyazaki
That’s a good start! Once you’ve met someone, you never really forget them. It just takes a while for your memories to return.
- Joshua Gaul
Every Wednesday, FM writers Simon Columb and Brogan Morris write two short reviews on Woody Allen films ... in the hope of watching all his films over the course of roughly 49 weeks. If you have been watching Woody's films and want to join in, feel free to comment with short reviews yourself! Next up is September and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask...
Simon Columb on September...
“I’m not who I thought I was” notes Steffie (Dianne Wiest) in Woody Allen’s sober and sincere September. Loosely based on Chekhov play Uncle Vanya, Allen contains the drama within a single house. Friends and family are supporting clinically-depressed Lane (Mia Farrow) following a failed suicide attempt but everyone finds it difficult to cope. Lane loves her boyfriend Peter (Sam Waterston), but he has fallen for Steffie, a married woman going through a rough patch. »
- Gary Collinson
Blu-ray Release Date: May 6, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $24.98
Studio: Warner Home Video
The 1974 movie has Brooks’ signature crazy laughs and Brooks himself as a dimwitted politico.
The film tells the story of a black sheriff (Cleavon Little, TV’s True Colors), who’s appointed by a corrupt political boss to ruin a western town. But, with a little help from friends like Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory), Sheriff Bart turns into a formidable adversary.
Another Brooks’ movie regular, Madeline Kahn (Nixon) also stars in Blazing Saddles, as a Marlene Dietrick-style chanteuse, and she was nominated for the Supporting Actress Academy Award for her performance.
The film also was nominated for Best Editing and Best Original Song “Blazing Saddles,” but alas didn’t win for any of them. »
I don’t own Blazing Saddles. I know. That’s insane. Don’t worry, that will change May 6.
Here is the news release from Warner Bros.:
On May 6, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (Wbhe) will commemorate the four-decade birthday of the great comedy classic Blazing Saddles, by releasing a new 40th Anniversary Blu-ray highlighted by a new featurette Blaze of Glory: Mel Brooks’ Wild, Wild West in which Mel Brooks reflects on his own movie-making chutzpah, Blazing Saddles‘ lasting cultural impact on audiences of all generations, and alongside co-stars Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn, proves why his film is, without a doubt, the funniest and most outrageous film ever made. Blazing Saddles 40th Anniversary Bu-ray will also include 10 quotable art cards with funny quotes and images from the film, plus vintage extra content including Brooks’ commentary, cast reunion documentary, and “Black Bart,” the 1975 television pilot inspired by the movie. »
- Jeff Bayer
[Press Release] Burbank, Calif., February 3, 2014 – On May 6, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (Wbhe) will commemorate the four-decade birthday of the great comedy classic Blazing Saddles, by releasing a new 40th Anniversary Blu-ray highlighted by a new featurette Blaze of Glory: Mel Brooks' Wild, Wild West in which Mel Brooks reflects on his own movie-making chutzpah, Blazing Saddles' lasting cultural impact on audiences of all generations, and alongside co-stars Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn, proves why his film is, without a doubt, the funniest and most outrageous film ever made. Blazing Saddles 40th Anniversary Bu-ray will also include 10 quotable art cards with funny quotes and images from the film, plus vintage extra content including Brooks’ commentary, cast reunion documentary, and »
- Pietro Filipponi
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has added an exciting roster of screen legends and beloved titles to the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, including appearances by Maureen O’Hara, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien, plus a two-film tribute to Academy Award®-winner Richard Dreyfuss. Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide with TCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.
O’Hara will present the world premiere restoration of John Ford’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture How Green Was My Valley (1941), while Brooks will appear at a screening of his western comedy Blazing Saddles (1974). O’Brien will be on-hand for Vincente Minnelli’s perennial musical favorite Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), starring Judy Garland. The tribute to Dreyfuss will consist of a double feature of two of his most popular roles: his Oscar®-winning performance »
- Melissa Thompson
Later this year, Mel Brooks’ brilliant homage to the Universal monster movies Young Frankenstein turns 40. Having spawned a successful Broadway musical and inspired countless other spoofs, this send-up of the original Frankenstein films remains the gold standard against which many comedies are judged. Rightfully so. If only Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer paid more attention to what makes it good, we wouldn’t be plagued by so many terrible spoofs out there now. The Blu-ray of Young Frankenstein features Brooks’ frank commentary of the film, examining the contributions of co-writer Gene Wilder as well as many fond memories of the cast – most of whom are no longer with us. Brooks may have changed direction from filmmaking to work on the Broadway stage in recent years, but his expertise at making a timeless comedy is detailed here. Young Frankenstein (1974) Commentator: Mel Brooks (director, co-writer) 1. The film was originally to be produced at Columbia, but »
- Kevin Carr
A biopic of the iconic, yet troubled, black comedian Richard Pryor has been rumoured for many years now in Hollywood. The stand-up comic famed for his fast-talking, foul-mouth and outrageous onstage antics was also known to have struggled with alcohol, substance abuse and depression during his career. While Pryor wrote Mel Brooks’ classic comedy Blazing Saddles and starred in the likes of Stir Crazy, Silver Streak and See No Evil, Hear No Evil alongside frequent collaborator Gene Wilder, he was also an accomplished dramatic actor. Giving an outstanding performance in Paul Schrader’s Blue Collar.
It appears that the biopic is creeping ever forward and The Butler and Precious director Lee Daniels is currently circling the project as his next possible film. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker was looking at a biopic of the tragic singer/songwriter Janis Joplin, set to star Amy Adams, but now has apparently moved on to an »
- Craig Hunter
13 items from 2014
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