14 items from 2015
December 19th marks 35 years since the release of 9 to 5, the cult comedy that brought together Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin with Dolly Parton in her film debut as Miss Doralee Rhodes, a kind-hearted secretary who fantasizes about lassoing her "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" boss and roasting him on a spit.
Tomlin stars as Violet Newstead, a working widow and mother of four who's passed over for promotions despite her obvious qualifications. The project was conceived of by Jane Fonda, who was inspired by the work of Karen Nussbaum, an »
The stylistics of documentary filmmaking helped wipe out the old Hollywood way of doing things, and this sharp look at Olympic skiing is a prime example. Michael Ritchie became a director to be watched filming a killer competitor (Robert Redford), a blaze on the ski slopes and an Sob in every other aspect of his life. The style still looks fresh, 36 years later. Downhill Racer Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 494 1969 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 101 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date December 1, 2015 / 39.95 Starring Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Camilla Sparv, Dabney Coleman, Karl Michael Vogler, Jim McMullan, Kathleen Crowley, Carole Carle. Cinematography Brian Probyn Film Editor Richard A. Harris Original Music Kenyon Hopkins Written by James Salter from a book by Oakley Hall Produced by Richard Gregson Directed by Michael Ritchie
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
In the late 1960s, when the standard Hollywood way of making movies began to fall apart, »
- Glenn Erickson
The 1983 hacker film WarGames will soon be rebooted as an interactive video with new characters and plots, allowing viewers to decide where the action will go. Variety reports that the "digital remake" will come out early next year.
The original movie took place during the Cold War and revolved around a young hacker, played by Matthew Broderick, who stumbles into the U.S. government's War Operation Plan Response supercomputer, which calculated the probability of nuclear winter. Thinking it's a game, he runs a simulation and ostensibly threatens the world with »
Shall we play a game?
“WarGames,” the iconic ’80s hacker drama starring Matthew Broderick, Alley Sheedy and Dabney Coleman, will be reimagined as an interactive video with all-new characters and storylines — in which you, the viewer, decide the outcome.
The companies describe the “WarGames” interactive video as a modern take on the original, melding the interactive elements of a video game with the cinematic experience of a movie. The plot of the 2.0 version has yet to be sketched out, but execs said that there will be multiple user-controlled outcomes that will reward repeat viewings.
“We are very excited to be working with Interlude on this audience-driven interactive story experience,” said Roma Khanna, MGM Television Group and Digital president. “‘WarGames’ is the perfect MGM title for this innovative technology. »
- Todd Spangler
There’s something paradoxical about the Emmys. We look forward to them and write endlessly about them, wondering who’s going to win and what stars will wear and what silly things will happen, all the while complaining about the show’s length and pace. Really, the Emmys can’t win. Except, of course, when they do.
It starts with the host. Misfires happen, of course, like the super-serious Bryant Gumbel in 1997, or the disastrous experiment 11 years later when the five nominated reality TV hosts (Jeff Probst, Tom Bergeron, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Ryan Seacrest) ran the proceedings and, aside from drawing the lowest ratings in the show’s history, made the unforgivable mistake of being boring. But there are certainly magical hires, as well.
Perhaps the two best hosts in recent memory are Conan O’Brien in 2006 — in a show that featured pre-taped sketches with casts of nominated shows, »
- Neil Turitz
"Trainwreck," the new Amy Schumer/Judd Apatow movie, examines the plight of one snarly woman as she exits her familiar world of sexual freedom and hangovers for a detour into serious romance. Though several eye-popping cameos and supporting performances buttress the film, Schumer's performance is the acting triumph of "Trainwreck." Without her shaky conscience and burgeoning sense of fulfillment, the movie's conventional story might feel staid. Thankfully, it's anything but. Schumer's performance marks a welcome addition to cinema's long line of strident, hilarious female protagonists. We're celebrating that lineage with a list: the 20 best female-driven comedies ever. Some are old and some are new, but all are marked by a degree of cosmopolitan fun and nerviness -- and the occasional slap from Cher. 20. "How to Marry a Millionaire" We remember Lauren Bacall as a glamor girl with a damning grimace, but let's start revising that narrative to include her chops as a comic force. »
- Louis Virtel
In today’s climate of cannibalizing existing properties to wring out every cent possible, it’s surprising that a “WarGames” remake hasn’t happened yet (though one is certainly in development). It’s been thirty-two years since the release of the John Badham-directed Cold War and science-fiction film, and what better way to revisit it than with this vintage behind-the-scenes video via Eyes On Cinema. The 1983 film follows Matthew Broderick as a high school kid who naively hacks into the sophisticated computer system at Norad, thus nearly kicking off World War III. The cast also features a pre-“The Breakfast Club” Ally Sheedy along with character actors Dabney Coleman and Barry Corbin. Running nearly four minutes long, the featurette was originally released at the time of the film’s premiere and has short interviews with both the young leads and one with director Badham as well that pinpoints exactly why genius hacker characters. »
- Cain Rodriguez
'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are »
- Andre Soares
James Salter, a critically acclaimed author who also indulged an ultimately unsatisfactory flirtation with Hollywood, has died. He was 90 and lived in Bridgehampton, NY but passed away Friday in Sag Harbor, his widow Kay Eldredge confirmed to the New York Times. Downhill Racer (1969), directed by Michael Ritchie and starring Robert Redford as a member of the U.S. ski team, was his most successful film. It also starred Gene Hackman, Camilla Sparv and Dabney Coleman. His… »
A version of this story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. Thirty-five years after they gave Dabney Coleman hell in 9 to 5, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are toplining the Netflix comedy series Grace and Frankie. The pairing reunites two artists of impressive longevity and range. Here’s a rundown of unforgettable performances from two rich careers. Jane Fonda The Game Is Over (1966) Fonda and director Roger Vadim were newlyweds when they made this update of Zola's novel La Curée . Notwithstanding the sex-kitten
- Sheri Linden
The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy has been scoping likely contenders for the Cannes 2015 lineup, and we take note of two reports on the status of two of them, Andrzej Żuławski’s Cosmos and Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Love in Khon Kaen. Also in the works: Warren Beatty's Howard Hughes movie with Lily Collins, Matthew Broderick, Martin Sheen, Annette Bening, Dabney Coleman, Candice Bergen and Oliver Platt; Steve Martin is joining the cast of Ang Lee's Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk; Scott Rudin has acquired rights to Kazuo Ishiguro’s epic new novel The Buried Giant; Netflix has picked up a new series by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij; and more. » - David Hudson »
Some of the greatest (or at least heavily favored) American television shows got the big screen treatment when they were selected to have their small screen following turn into a cinematic experience. Unfortunately, for every beloved nostalgic television show that translated successfully in movie theaters (The Brady Bunch Movie, Star Trek, Batman, etc.) there are boob tube stinkers that overtake the good crop. Sure, there are middle-of-the-road movie adaptations of television programs that have a mixed bag reception (1997’s Leave It To Beaver, 1987’s Dragnet, 2012’s Dark Shadows, etc.). Nevertheless, it is always the unflattering fare that receive the bulk of the attention (do you register, 1999’s The Wild, Wild West ?).
In Boob on the Tube: Top Ten Worst Movie Adaptations of TV Shows we will take a look at the top ten televised offenders that dared to venture into cinema’s stratosphere only to end up floating down shamefully »
- Frank Ochieng
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
This might not be the best of Nicholas Sparks's oeuvre of weepy romantic dramas, but at least it's not the most insane! (That honor probably goes to "Safe Haven," for the record.) In any case, this story about true love lost and found stars Cyclops from "X-Men" and Michelle Monaghan. If you love Nicholas Sparks, you love him, and nothing anyone else says will change that. Which is sort of admirable, really. Extend your love Sparks with this exclusive featurette.
- Jenni Miller
Young Robert Redford and politics: 'The Candidate' and 'All the President's Men' (photo: Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in 'All the President's Men') A young Robert Redford can be seen The Candidate, All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor, and Downhill Racer as Turner Classic Movies' Redford series comes to a close this evening. The world of politics is the focus of the first three films, each one of them well-regarded box-office hits. The last title, which shows that politics is part of life no matter what, is set in the world of competitive sports. 'The Candidate' In the Michael Ritichie-directed The Candidate (1972), Robert Redford plays idealistic liberal Democrat Bob McKay, who, with no chance of winning, is convinced to run against the Republican incumbent in a fight for a California seat in Congress. See, McKay is too handsome. Too young. Too liberal. »
- Andre Soares
14 items from 2015
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