10 items from 2016
Rolling Stone just issued their list of the 'Top 100 Television Shows of All Time.' The rankings, which came from a survey of actors, writers, critics, and producers, includes all the shows you’d expect like Seinfeld, The Simpsons, The Sopranos. And a bunch of other programs that don’t start with the letter “S.” It’s a pretty comprehensive list and a reminder of how many great shows there have been even before what we’re now calling the Golden Age of television. Like any “top” anything list, there’s controversy. And we’re more than happy to dive into that topic. One thing we didn’t do is re-rank everything. If we did that, we’d be here forever and you wouldn’t want to read any further. So rather than that, we’ve just picked three shows that made the list that shouldn’t have and three replacements to fill those gaps. »
- David Eckstein
Actress Lucie Lucas, director Gabe Klinger, and actor Anton YelchinYou may already know the work of Brazilian-born American Gabe Klinger, perhaps through his writing as a critic for Cinema Scope and Sight & Sound, or through his programming at such venues as the Museum of Modern Art and the International Film Festival Rotterdam. In 2013, Klinger leapt behind the camera for his delightfully idiosyncratic debut film, Double Play, a documentary twofer chatting with and exploring the work of two distinctively different yet unexpectedly compatible American filmmakers, Richard Linklater and James Benning. This move to documenting (and combining) favorite filmmakers seemed like a natural extension of Klinger's advocacy in print and work at cinematheques and film festivals. Yet rather than remaining in the documentary mode, for his follow-up Klinger has gone overseas to Portugal to make a cleverly time-addled romance that's at once elated and melancholy. Porto, taking place in a dreamy, remembered »
No genre is more subjective than comedy. What makes one person laugh may make another cringe. Some “comedies” may only result in a few chuckles while watching, yet are heightened as one looks back. Others may cause constant laughter, yet are forgettable after theater’s lights come on.
With Seth Rogen‘s latest comedy, Sausage Party, arriving in theaters this week, we’ve set out to reflect on the millennium’s comedies that have most excelled. To note: we only stuck with feature-length works of 60 minutes or longer and, to make room for a few more titles, our definition of “the 21st century” stretched to include 2000.
Following our favorite sci-fi films and animations, check out our top 50 below and, in the comments, let us know your favorites. If you’re on Letterboxd, you can follow the list here.
It is wholly possible »
- The Film Stage
Before launching his late-night legacy in the 1980s, David Letterman had a few forays into the acting world, appearing in an episode of Mork & Mindy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and a few other programs in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. As it turns out, though, the actor/comedian actually auditioned for a role that may have changed his career. The iconic 1980 comedy Airplane!. Through the magic of the internet, the video of his screen test for the Ted Striker role has surfaced, which is well worth watching.
The video surfaced on YouTube last week, and is actually taken from a 1982 episode of Late Night with David Letterman, the first year of this landmark NBC program, where the host welcomed Airplane! writer-directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker as guests. During the episode, the filmmakers showed the audience David Letterman's 1979 screen test for Ted Striker, a »
There are two types of people in the world. Those who believe that Airplane! is one of the greatest comedies ever made, and people who are wrong. The film has left an indelible mark on movie history since it was released in 1980. It.s been seen so often, by so many, that most of us could nearly recite the film from memory. However, now, for the first time, you.re about to see the entire movie in an entirely new way. Imagine if David Letterman had played the lead. Ok, now stop imagining it, and just see it. The recently unearthed clip is from a 1982 episode of NBC.s Late Night with David Letterman in which the three writer/directors of Airplane!, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker were guests. As part of the interview, the three show the clip of David Letterman.s 1979 screen test to play the »
That’s right. Hulu.
I’m here to tell you that there’s a cinematic streaming goldmine available on Hulu that includes recent hits, older classics, domestic releases, and foreign imports. It’s even home to hundreds of Criterion titles. Sure there’s plenty of filler and seemingly thousands of titles that can’t possibly be real, but I’m here to recommend some good movies to watch this month on Hulu.
Pick of the Month — Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013)
South Korean cinema features no shortage of brilliant and brutal action thrillers, but while everyone knows about the likes of I Saw the Devil and Memories of Murder there are more than a few gems that have slipped through the cracks. Jang Joon-hwan’s long overdue follow-up to Save the Green Planet is a fast-moving, creatively violent mix of dark deeds and beautifully choreographed fights and stunts. There’s a wicked sense of humor running through it »
- Rob Hunter
There are few movies as quotable as the 1980 disaster-movie parody Airplane! — and of the movie's many memorable gags, arguably the most enduring is the moment when reluctant pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) tells Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen), “Surely you can’t be serious,” and Rumack replies, “I am serious — and don’t call me Shirley.” As part of our weeklong 100 Jokes That Shaped Comedy series, we dug into the origins and execution of that exchange — as well as the overall comedic mechanics of Airplane! — with the trio who wrote and directed the film, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker.What was the origin of “Don’t call me Shirley”? Jerry Zucker: The origin of that joke is similar to the origin of a lot of jokes in the movie: While we were writing, we used to watch a lot of old, serious movies that had a lot of »
- Abraham Riesman
February may be the shortest month of the year, but the major streaming sites certainly haven't used that as an excuse to slack off. Perhaps motivated by the imminent Leap Day, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are unleashing an absolute blizzard of new titles over the next four weeks — from a martial-arts sequel 16 years in the making, to a note-perfect new comedy series that's arriving just in time to cure (or inflame) those post-Valentine's Day blues. Here are our top 10 picks for what to watch in the next 29 days.
11.22.63 (Hulu, »
Every time I sing the praises of TBS' "Angie Tribeca" on Twitter, I get one of two responses: "That's a comedy? I thought it was another boring police procedural." and "That's a real show? I thought it was a viral video parody promoting a product I couldn't quite identify." On the one hand, this speaks to what a poor job TBS has done of marketing the show, which will debut with a 25-hour, commercial-free marathon of its first season(*) on Sunday night at 9. On the other, put those two misconceptions together, and you more or less have "Angie Tribeca." It's a real show, but one so committed to parodying police procedurals like "NCIS" and "Law & Order: Svu" that it's hard to put any one moment in a promo and not have it look like the genuine article. (*) There are only 10 episodes of that season, so each episode will air »
- Alan Sepinwall
"Surely you can't be serious?" "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley." Whether you'll take to the new TBS comedy "Angie Tribeca" depends, I expect, on how funny you find this classic line from the old Zucker brothers/Jim Abrahams movie "Airplane!" or any of their other fare, particularly the films -- and the 1982 show "Police Squad!" -- featuring the rubber-faced Leslie Nielsen as Lt. Frank Drebin. Rashida Jones stars in this terrifically goofy series, created by married team Steve and Nancy Carell, as the title character, an Lapd detective who might as well be a direct descendant of Drebin's. Out on January 17th, it's a slapstick, prop-heavy, pun-lovin' homage to the Zuckers and the '60s-'70s series "Get Smart" (I'm guessing Steve Carell got the bug when he starred in the big-screen reboot of that show in 2008). And if there's one thing the show makes abundantly clear, »
- Sara Stewart
10 items from 2016
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