6 items from 2015
When you see “Inside Out” in the theater this summer, the short film in front of it will be called “Lava,” and it is a labor of love for writer/director James Ford Murphy. If you want to know about the film itself, you should check out my reaction piece from the event, which I'll post on Wednesday, but before I left the Pixar campus, I sat down with Murphy to talk about his film, the inspiration behind it, and the odd effect it had on the animators who worked on it. When I walked into the room, he looked at my shirt, which read “Cassius Clay,” and immediately remarked on it. We talked about boxing and Ali specifically for a few before the publicist asked us to start. It put us in a great mood as the conversation opened. Drew McWeeny: I enjoyed the short last night, and »
- Drew McWeeny
“Monopoly Millionaires’ Club,” the extremely flashy Las Vegas-set continuation of the multistate lottery game that ran last year, premieres this weekend. And while there are some hurdles that might keep it from passing “go” right away — the show is syndicated instead of dedicated to one network because some states don’t have a lottery system, and the lottery ticket game that prospective contestants entered to earn a place on the show was deemed too complicated and was suspended at the end of last year and brought back as an instant-win scratcher ticket game this month — there is one person who is ready to bet big on the project: “Mike and Molly” star Billy Gardell, who serves as host of the show.
“I wanted the biggest game show on television, like Jackie Gleason big,” said Gardell, who said his agents had been on the hunt for an outlet like this for him and found this project, »
- Whitney Friedlander
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
Big Willy’s latest big screen outing makes its way to the multiplex this month. In Focus, Smith plays the consummate con man, a smooth operator who liberates people of their wealth with the help of a Margot Robbie-shaped femme fatale.
The duo of tricksters aren’t the first con artists to grace the silver screen however. So from pool sharks and grifters to tricksters, card cheats and American hustlers; here’s our rundown of the most memorable con artists in movie history.
One of the finest fraudster films to ever grace the multiplex; The Hustler stars Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson, a pool shark intent on toppling legendary cue-man Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). With its smoky sets, stunning black and white cinematography and superb performances from Newman and Gleason; the film is just as good today as it was on its release more than 50 years ago. »
- Daniel Bettridge
Throughout the vast history of cinema the profession of law enforcement has been portrayed heavily and made its mark on the big screen in both dramatic and comical fodder. Whether it be straight up cops and robbers or crooked officers on the take in gangster flicks or ant-hero gun-slinging loners trying to buck the system the presence of crime-busting cads never fail to add compelling, if not at times over-exaggerated, insight into the world of law-enforcing personalities.
The one element of the law-enforcing community that seems somewhat limited but still registers mightily in some cinematic arenas is the concept of the sheriff. Sheriffs do cast a prominent shadow in all sorts of fields in the movies: westerns, medieval times, contemporary country car-chasing farces and even some urban melodramas.
In Arresting Developments: Top Ten Sheriffs in the Movies we will take a look at some of the notable on-screen sheriffs in »
- Frank Ochieng
Written by Doran William Cannon
Directed by Otto Preminger
Of the nearly 70 films I’ve written about in this column, I would whole-heartedly recommend each without reservation, to not only watch, but to spend good money on. With 1968′s Skidoo, out now on a new Olive Films Blu-ray, I’m breaking that tradition. I wouldn’t suggest anyone purchase this film, though everyone should see it. This is a most unusual, absolutely indefinable, wholly unique motion picture.
I initially viewed Skidoo on the sole basis of its starring Alexandra Hay, who I’ve been smitten with since first seeing her in Jacques Demy’s Model Shop, released the following year. On this point, Skidoo succeeds. Hay is a delightful beauty, charming in a way that is very much of the era. Admittedly unfamiliar with her biography, I can’t imagine why she didn’t have more of a career. »
- Jeremy Carr
6 items from 2015
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