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Happy thirtieth birthday to This Is Spinal Tap, which licked the world's love pump this week in 1984. It remains the funniest, truest, most emotionally honest movie ever made about rock & roll and the people who live for it. Can you trace the influence of this film through pop culture through the years? That would be like trying to dust vomit. The enduring power of Spinal Tap is how it gets the details so lovingly right, musically and emotionally — right from that opening scene where the roadies lift the giant skull, »
Hoult will star as an A&R man called Stelfox working at the height of the Britpop music craze who goes to extreme lengths in order to find his next hit.
Deadline Hollywood first broke the news of Piddock’s attachment, which has subsequently been confirmed by the production.
Additional cast is due to be announced next week.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
We’ve clearly reached the point where the 1990s’ Britpop scene can be properly treated as a period piece, with many cinemagoers too young to remember its heyday, what with their Bieber fever and their 1Direction cults. Still, Nicholas Hoult and Jim Piddock will be looking to stir up some nostalgia with Kill Your Friends.Adapted by John Niven from his own 2008 book, Kill Your Friends finds 27-year-old A&R man Steven Stelfox (Hoult) carving out quite the career for himself in the London music industry. Zigzagging around the world in search of the next massive hit (powered by greed and huge snorts of Colombian marching powder), Stelfox will do anything for that elusive new sensation. Even if it means getting a little more cut-throat than the competition… Literally.With Holy Flying Circus and Black Mirror director Owen Harris stepping up to direct his first film, he also has regular »
There's always a time and place for nostalgia, but when it comes to movies from the 1980s, it goes beyond that. Throughout the decade, we hit cinematic milestone after cinematic milestone, with franchises being born that still resonate and fuel the box office today, some three decades removed. We can look at 2014 and see some good movies on the horizon. But when we look back at a year like 1984, its breathtaking to see how many seminal pieces of pop culture were born into existence. 1982 is sometimes called the greatest year for genre movies of all time, with an eye on science fiction. But 1984 goes maybe a step beyond that. These 12 months were jam packed with truly timeless classics. You may be awestruck staring at what came exactly 30 years ago. Nothing has quite topped it for sheer year-round, non-stop entertainment. These are 30 great movies that are turning 30 in 2014!
Tagline: In the Year of Darkness, »
When "This Is Spinal Tap" opened on March 2, 1984, it made a modest $4.7 million, but the cast and crew behind this "rockumentary" likely had no idea what an oft-quoted, cultural touchstone it would become. ("This one goes to 11.")
At the time, maybe the send-up of big-hair heavy metal bands was too close to reality, and many moviegoers thought Spinal Tap was a real band. Actually, the film did have a soundtrack (with such classics as "Sex Farm Woman") since the comic geniuses of Spinal Tap wrote and performed their own songs. They even took the group on the road in 2009 for the film's 25th anniversary and even opened up for themselves as their other musical persona, The Folksmen from Spinal Tap's folk sequel of sorts, "A Mighty Wind."
- Sharon Knolle
On a sunny May morning in northwest Atlanta, Will Ferrell ambles into the warehouse at 2282 Defoor Hills Road – a windowless, 31,000-square-foot behemoth that has been transformed, thanks to low rents and generous Georgia tax incentives, into a makeshift movie soundstage. The warehouse is typically home to moving companies, but today the tenant has a much higher profile: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, a.k.a. the most hotly anticipated comedy of the year, and the most buzzed-about sequel in comedy history. Ferrell is starting his workday as the film's hero, »
Of course it happened in February. Yesterday, Harold Ramis passed away from complications resulting from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare blood disease. He is survived by his spouse, Erica Mann, as well as his three children and two grandchildren. He is also survived, for those of us who knew the man’s work but never met him personally, by some of the most influential and game-changing comedies of the past forty years. It’s difficult to know what the careers of Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and John Belushi would look like without him. If there had been no Harold Ramis, there would be no Caddyshack, no Vacation, no Groundhog Day. If Ghostbusters could ever have existed sans Ramis in some other form, it’s impossible to imagine quite what that would be. He was, by all measures, a consequential figure in American comedy. While working as a schoolteacher during the late 1960s, Ramis »
- Landon Palmer
Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler
Ramis played Dr Egon Spengler, collector of spores, molds and fungus, in Ghostbusters, which he also co-wrote. His other credits as screenwriter include Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, Animal House and Analyze That. He also produced and directed several films, and even recorded songs for film soundtracks.
Starting out in Chicago, he spent time as a teacher and mental health worker, writing plays on the side before securing a job as a joke writer at Playboy. He went on to join the likes of Bill Murray, John Belushi and Christopher Guest on the National Lampoon radio show and revue before moving into film.
Ramis first became ill four years ago with the rare condition, in which the body's own immune system attacks blood vessels, causing inflammation that can. »
- Jennie Kermode
So, is Ti West's "The Sacrament" a found footage movie or a mockumentary? In fact, it's neither. "This is an after the fact made documentary. It’s like a Christopher Guest movie if you will," the director told Crave Online last fall. "It’s just very dark, and I don’t think anyone’s looked at Christopher Guest’s career and been like, 'Oh, found footage.' It’s always been like these weird mockumentaries, but mockumentary sounds good for comedy and not for anything else. So it’s just hard to label it necessarily but to me, having a tough time labeling something generally means something’s interesting." Certainly, "interesting" is the operative word for this unique picture that stars Joe Swanberg, Aj Bowen, Kentucker Audley, Amy Seimetz and Gene Jones and follows two Vice media correspondents as they set out to document their friend's search to find his missing sister, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
In 2013, HBO debuted three new comedy series. One was Christopher Guest's first significant work in decades, featuring many of the regulars from his beloved improvised films. One was the first major solo project from Stephen Merchant, co-creator of "The Office" and "Extras." And one featured the creators of "Big Love" attempting to adapt a British series about the neglected nurses and patients in a hospital's elder care wing. Going into that year, I doubt a casino would have even given you odds that the only one of the three to survive would be the latter, but that's exactly what's happened. »
- Alan Sepinwall
Welcome to the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at none other than the splashiest venue, Madison Square Garden. What an amazing night of shiny pups, showy handlers, and some stellar announcing. I should state upfront that my only knowledge of dog shows comes from Best In Show, the Christopher Guest mock-umentary that now seems like much less of a mocku and more of a docu.
For some background, America’s Dog Show extended its standing as the second-longest continuously held sporting event in this country, a streak that began in 1877. This year’s event drew an entry of 2,845 dogs. »
- JoJo Marshall
If the Us president had had his way, the actor, best known for Spinal Tap and The Simpsons, might have had a much shorter, more brutal life. But why has he now decided to play him in TV series Nixon's the One?
Richard Nixon hated television and the feeling was mutual. The new-fangled medium had done him no favours in the close-run 1960 presidential race against a more photogenic John F Kennedy in America's first televised debates. His five-o'clock shadow made him appear shifty. By the time he ran again in 1968, radically packaged up by Madison Avenue ad men, Nixon grumbled to a TV chatshow producer: "It's a shame a man has to use gimmicks like this to get elected." The reply came back: "Television is not a gimmick."
- Andrew Collins
This story first appeared in the Feb. 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Quick, name three comedies on HBO. Girls … Veep … and …? Years after ratings hits Sex and the City and Entourage, three of the premium cable network's four most recent comedic efforts -- the recently canceled Christopher Guest serial Family Tree and Stephen Merchant's Hello Ladies, as well as Getting On, which likely will win a renewal -- have been ratings and buzz disappointments. Its newest entry, the gay-themed Looking, debuted Jan. 19 to only 338,000 viewers in live-plus same day measurement, losing more than half
- Lesley Goldberg
“Elliot” won the jury award for best documentary feature at Slamdance, although frankly much of its content appears so perfectly boobish, in a low-budget Christopher Guest-imitating mode, that at times you might suspect you’re watching a mockumentary — and an only moderately amusing one, at that. In the tradition of “American Movie” and “Audience of One,” the film chronicles Elliot “White Lightning” Scott, a purported martial-arts champion aspiring to become “Canada’s first action hero,” as he shoots his latest amateur screen epic. If at first we take him as delusional but harmless, by the end we see him through a long-suffering g.f.’s eyes as a liar, user, narcissist and general loser. This exercise in Stupid People Tricks is funny in spots, but not enough to tempt more than nominal home-turf commercial exposure.
- Dennis Harvey
Harry Shearer has been quite the polymath during his career, from his iconic voice roles on The Simpsons to his comedic excellence with Spinal Tap and his radio projects on both sides of the Atlantic.
The series plays out Nixon's infamous secret audio recordings from the White House that eventually led to his downfall. Harry Shearer discussed the making of the series with Digital Spy, as well as the future of The Simpsons, Spinal Tap and more.
With Nixon's the One returning to Sky Arts, did you always intend for the show to be made into a full series after the original one-off episode?
"It was my hope, yeah. It was a privilege to be able to do one, but I »
The Coens' tale of a of a once feted folk singer on the slide has brilliant elements that don't quite make a satisfying whole
"How does it feel, to be on your own… Like a complete unknown… ?" Llewyn Davis knows exactly how that feels. Dragging his self-pitying butt around the freezing backstreets of early 1960s Greenwich Village, he is indeed "without a home", a formerly feted singer who made his name as one half of a popular duo until his partner threw himself to an early death, a result, perhaps, of spending too much time with Llewyn. He's an arsehole and everyone tells him so – from fellow folk singer Jean (Carey Mulligan), who is pregnant with his child and wants money for an abortion, to John Goodman's aggressive jazz fiend who callously mocks Davis's former partner's suicide ("You throw yourself of the Brooklyn bridge, traditionally. George Washington bridge? Who does that? »
- Mark Kermode
HBO has decided to cancel Family Tree after one low-rated season. The eighth and final episode aired in July.
A docu-style comedy, Family Tree was created and written by Christopher Guest and Jim Piddock. The story follows Tom Chadwick (Chris O'Dowd), a young man who feels lost in his life until he inherits a box family heirlooms. The contents send him searching for his roots. Nina Conti and Tom Bennett co-star.
A co-production of the BBC and NBC-Universal, the eight episodes ended up averaging just 540,000viewers.
What do you think? Did you enjoy Family Tree? Would you like to see it continue somehow? Perhaps in another form? »
Though HBO will be losing both True Blood and Boardwalk Empire after the shows air their final seasons this year, the network is clearing a couple of other programs off its schedule. HBO has decided not to renew the comedies Hello Ladies and Family Tree for second seasons, per THR. The network will be giving Hello Ladies a wrap-up comedy special from star Stephen Merchant, but it appears that we’ve reached the end of the road for Christopher Guest’s Family Tree, which was an endearing if ultimately minor show from the brilliant mind behind Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman. THR also adds that talks are underway for a second season of the dark comedy Getting On, starring Alex Borstein. Hit the jump for more on HBO's current slate. In addition to announcing 2014 end-dates for True Blood and Boardwalk Empire, HBO recently ordered a third and final »
- Adam Chitwood
HBO's "Family Tree" has been cut down. The freshman comedy series created by Christopher Guest and Jim Piddock and starring Chris O'Dowd will not be getting a second season, according to various published reports the network has confirmed to HitFix. Complications surrounding HBO's co-producing deal with the BBC on the series reportedly contributed to the network's decision not to move forward. Also ending its run after a single season will be "Hello Ladies" starring Stephen Merchant, though HBO has agreed to air a special for that comedy series to wrap things up, similar to the send-off they gave to Ricky Gervais' »
- Chris Eggertsen
HBO has decided not to go forward with second seasons of its comedies “Family Tree” (pictured) and “Hello Ladies,” a representative for the network told TheWrap on Thursday. “Family Tree,” from Christopher Guest, stars Chris O’Dowd as a 30-year-old man who loses his job and his girlfriend and begins investigating his family’s unusual past after inheriting a mysterious box of belongings from a great aunt he’d never met. The series premiered in spring 2013. Also read: HBO’s Gay-Themed Drama ‘Looking’ Has Limp Debut “Hello Ladies,” which stars Stephen Merchant (“The Office”) as an Englishman looking for love in Los Angeles while chronicling. »
- Tim Kenneally
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