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Comedy legend Harry Shearer filed a $125 million lawsuit on Monday alleging that heâ.s been cheated out of royalties earned by This Is Spinal Tap,Â the 1984 classic he co-created with fellow stars Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and director Rob Reiner.
In the three decades since its release, the film has become part of the fabric of popular culture, introducing numerous catchphrases into the popular lexicon â.Â most notably the extra-loud guitar amplifiers that “go to 11,” an oft-quoted line uttered by bands across the globe. What’s more, it did much to popularize the “mockumentary” film genre. But despite »
- Jordan Runtagh
We’ve got a pretty decent month of Netflix additions to recap with Marvel’s Luke Cage, Christopher Guest’s Mascots and the Amanda Knox documentary leading the list of original content over the past 30 days. Other major additions in the U.S. include James Cameron’s Titanic, Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the […] »
If you loved Best in Show and Pitch Perfect, Mascots is probably right up your alley. The movie, from comedy legend Christopher Guest, takes us inside the competitive world of sports mascots. In this exclusive clip, we meet husband-and-wife mascot-ing couple Mike (Silicon Valley's Zach Woods) and Mindy (Sarah Baker, who you might remember from her guest role on Louie), who have some personal problems off the field. Mascots is available on Netflix now. »
- Lindsay Miller
David, Devindra and Jeff discuss Christopher Guest’s disappointing new film and suggest ways to be less creepy when going to family films by yourself. You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(At)gmail(Dot)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook! Download or Play Now: Subscribe to the /Filmcast: Shownotes What We’ve Been Watching (06:38) David: Mascots Jeff: […]
The post /Filmcast Ep. 388 – The Accountant appeared first on /Film. »
- David Chen
Harry Shearer, increasingly the sonorous voice of protest in various contract disputes, is suing the entertainment groups Vivendi and StudioCanal for $125 million, over profits he says he was cheated out of for This Is Spinal Tap. Shearer played Derek Smalls, bassist and self-described “lukewarm water,” in the 1984 metal mockumentary, which was based on characters he, Christopher Guest, and Michael McKean had originated in 1978. But after several decades of Spinal Tap enjoying a successful run across film, home video, albums, concert tours, and way overused quotes, Shearer says he’s earned a mere $81 in merchandising income, from a contract that may as well read “Shit sandwich.”
In a video posted to his just-launched website Fairness Rocks, Shearer explains that, while “filing a claim like this one is neither fun nor easy … I think it’s important to challenge the status quo, not just for myself but I ...
- Sean O'Neal
In a complaint filed Monday, Shearer, who portrayed Derek Smalls in the 1984 film, says that “Vivendi and its agents including StudioCanal executive Ron Halpern, have engaged in anti-competitive business practices by manipulating accounting between Vivendi film and music subsidiaries and have engaged in fraud to deprive the Spinal Tap creators of a fair return for their work.”
Shearer co-created the fake band Spinal Tap in the ‘70s with Christopher Guest and Michael McKean. The film, directed by Rob Reine, followed the group as they promoted their fictional album “Smell the Glove.” The mockumentary received great reviews and in turn, has become a classic over the years.
- Liz Calvario
Harry Shearer, the actor best known for the nearly two dozen voices he contributes to The Simpsons, has filed a lawsuit against the corporation Vivendi alleging accounting misappropriation, fraud and breach of contract with regard to the movie This Is Spinal Tap and its soundtrack. Shearer played bassist Derek Smalls in the 1984 mockumentary, yet he contends that he's earned only $81 in merchandising income over a 22-year period and only $98 for his contributions to the soundtrack. He's seeking $125 million in compensatory and punitive damages, according to the complaint.
The actor has also launched a website, »
"This Is Spinal Tap" star and co-creator Harry Shearer says he's been getting the short end of the stick for the legendary movie ... to the tune of $125 million. Shearer's production company just filed suit against Vivendi -- which owns Universal Studios -- and handles accounting on all merchandise and music related to the 1984 mockumentary. According to docs, Vivendi claims the movie's 4 creators -- Shearer, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Rob Reiner -- were only owed a whopping $81 for merch, »
- TMZ Staff
Harry Shearer has launched a $125 million fraud and contract-breach lawsuit against Vivendi and StudioCanal over the 1984 rockumentary classic This Is Spinal Tap. The complaint, filed Monday in California federal court, is packed with enough nuggets to instantly make this a must-watch "Hollywood accounting" case. Through the lawsuit, Shearer also reveals he is attempting to claw back rights to the film and its continually popular soundtrack. Shearer, perhaps best known for the 23 characters he voices on The Simpsons, co-created the semi-fake band Spinal Tap in the 1970s with Christopher Guest and Michael McKean. The film,
- Eriq Gardner
Cannes, France — Harry Shearer is suing Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and Studiocanal for $125 million for allegedly fraudulent accounting of the music revenues from Rob Reiner’s 1984 film “This is Spinal Tap.”
Shearer, who co-created and starred in the classic mockumentary, is seeking $125 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
Shearer, who co-wrote the soundtrack to the film, filed suit in the Central District Court of California on Tuesday over the alleged underpayment of music royalties. The lawsuit says that Vivendi reported only $98 in total income from soundtrack music sales between 1989 and 2006. As far as worldwide merchandising income, Vivendi reported only $81 between 1984 and 2006, the lawsuit says.
Vivendi has “failed and refused, and continues to fail and refuse, to provide »
- Elsa Keslassy
Christopher Guest is the best at what he does – unfortunately, with Netflix original Mascots, what he does is getting a little wearisome. Ever since his break alongside Michael McKean and Harry Shearer in 1984’s Spinal Tap, Guest has built an incredibly fruitful directorial career on a series of uniquely hilarious mockumentaries, Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000) and A Mighty Wind (2003). Although the formula was established early on with Guffman, each film managed to provide a refreshing twist on the proceedings, documenting the distinctly American oddballs of diverse cultural industries: small town theatre; dog shows; American folk music. While there’s some fun to be hand in Mascots, it fails to bring anything new to the table, ultimately retreading well-worn territory. Here, Guest enters the banal and bizarre world of sports mascots, bringing along many of his regular cast of actors as well as a wealth of newcomers. The film follows a number of contestants. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Martin Macnamara)
When she finished making Waiting For Guffman, Parker Posey was “devastated.” After all, that was the end of her time with Corky St. Clair, Christopher Guest’s small-town theater maven. Posey was Libby Mae Brown, his devoted, gum-smacking ingenue. “I had never worked in this way that felt so real and felt like family. I loved Corky so much. I was so sad to lose him,” she told The A.V. Club during a recent phone interview. “I cried in the van on the way home, and he held my hand, and I didn’t think I’d see him again.”
But Posey got to reunite with Corky in Mascots, Guest’s new film, in which he reprises his role and she plays another acolyte of his (the movie just started streaming on Netflix). Posey steps into the mask of Cindi Babineaux, a mascot/modern dancer/performance artist at a »
- Esther Zuckerman
The traditional fall season of award-season releases gets a late start on Friday with “Moonlight” (A24) and “The Handmaiden” (Magnolia) leading the way. It can’t come a moment too soon.
This weekend, top-quality films “Certain Women” (IFC), “Christine” (The Orchard), “Miss Hokusai” (Gkids) and “Aquarius” (Vitagraph) competed in limited openings. All nabbed good or better reviews. But none scored at the level likely to lead to the sort of wider response and multi-million grosses that normally come along regularly at this time of year.
The weakness can be seen among later-week grosses as films expand. There hasn’t been a breakout crossover release of any significance since “Hell or High Water” (Lionsgate), which is still grossing better than most recent releases.
“Shin Godzilla” (Funimation) showed strength with a midweek opening in a mixed plan of bookings. Similar to “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” (Abramorama), out-of- the-box distribution seems to be finding positive results. »
- Tom Brueggemann
How does the new Christopher Guest Netflix comedy “Mascots” compare to classics like “Waiting for Guffman”? 5. For Your Consideration (2006): Maybe it’s my own proximity to show business and the inner workings of Oscars campaigns, but this spoof of awards season rarely feels like it was made by someone who would, presumably, be able to satirize this annual insanity from an insider’s perspective. Catherine O’Hara, as always, is brilliant as an older actress who’s willing to do just about anything in pursuit of acclaim. 4. Waiting for Guffman (1996): Cue the hate mail – this comedy about small-town theater people. »
- Alonso Duralde
As Spinal Tap lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel – wearer of anatomically correct T-shirts, owner of amplifiers that go to "11," writer of delicate compositions like "Lick My Love Pump" – Christopher Guest, along with director Rob Reiner and his co-writers/bandmates Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, turned 1984's This Is Spinal Tap into a devastatingly funny dissection of rock pomposity. To say that the film's mix of off-the-cuff jokes and straight-faced parody has influenced several generations of filmmakers and funny people would be a vast understatement – everyone from Ricky Gervais to Fred Armisen »
★★★☆☆ Watching Christopher Guest's Mascots is a lot like meeting up with old friends you've not seen in years. It's comfortable, the gang's all there and the laughs come thick and fast, but you also can't shake the nagging feeling that your relationships haven't evolved with the people you've become. This is the fifth instalment in the Guest mockumentary 'canon' and it's evidence that the format has now solidified into a template that needs refreshing, as much gentle enjoyment as it might bring.
- CineVue UK
Few things in cinema have been as reliably funny as watching Christopher Guest assemble his de facto repertory company and bring to life the misfits and malcontents who make up some small, odd corner of the universe. But after a string of loopy comic gems that included 1997’s “Waiting for Guffman,” 2000’s “Best in Show,” 2003’s “A Mighty Wind” and 2006’s “For Your Consideration,” Guest didn’t direct another one of those films for a decade, which made Saturday’s 8:30 a.m. screening of his new “Mascots” at the Toronto Film Festival worth an early wake-up call. This time, »
- Steve Pond
It’s been 10 years since Christopher Guest‘s last feature film, “For Your Consideration,” turned its satirical eye on the world of Hollywood awards. Now he brings his usual mockumentary format to another to the world of “Mascots” — specifically the sports mascots competing to win the coveted Golden Fluffy. The film premiered on Netflix on Thursday, October 13. Sign up to […] »
- Daniel Montgomery
It has been a decade since pioneering mockumentary filmmaker Christopher Guest delivered his last feature length work, the unfortunately underwhelming “For Your Consideration.” And in that time, Guest has seen the comedic format he perfected nearly from the start catch on like wildfire. It’s hard to imagine the oeuvre of Sacha Baron Cohen or shows like both the U.K. and U.S. versions of “The Office,” “Parks & Recreation,” and “Modern Family” without Guest laying the groundwork.
- Kevin Jagernauth
In honor of Christopher Guest’s long overdue return to the mockumentary – the costumed cheerleader saga Mascots, hit Netflix at midnight – let’s take a moment to celebrate some of the most indelible characters in his filmography. This collection of ordinary folks in extraordinarily amusing niches – small town actors with big city dreams, obsessive dog owners, outdated folk musicians, awards show hopefuls – could easily be milked for laughs through condescending jabs. Instead Guest and his repertory cohort of improvisational comics imbue their creations with rich empathy and heartfelt humor, no matter how ludicrous their worlds. This marks theirs as a distinctly humanist cinema that revels in personal idiosyncrasies rather than repelling from them, and chooses ironic optimism over sarcastic defeat. While refreshingly full-bodied, they’re, above all else, very funny.
For me, all roads lead back to Libby Mae Brown, the spirited, slack-jawed (low-fat or non-fat) Blizzard queen from Waiting for Guffman, »
- Daniel Crooke
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