11 items from 2015
Not all that long ago, way back in the 1990s, when every other stand-up comedian was getting a sitcom deal and every funny group of friends was aiming to be the next Kids in the Hall, the comedy duo looked to be nearly extinct. At the very least, the duo, or double act — that foundational comedic configuration, the straight man and the quipster, the stooge and the bananaman, the fat one and the skinny one — seemed quaint, archaic, and prepped for retirement. Sure, it had given us Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Burns and Allen, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, Nichols and May, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and the Smothers Brothers, but that was precisely the point: By the end of the 20th century in American comedy, the duo hadn’t felt really relevant since the 1960s, possibly since the 1930s. They had the whiff of vaudeville about »
- Adam Sternbergh
Teresa Wright and Matt Damon in 'The Rainmaker' Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright vs. Samuel Goldwyn: Nasty Falling Out.") "I'd rather have luck than brains!" Teresa Wright was quoted as saying in the early 1950s. That's understandable, considering her post-Samuel Goldwyn choice of movie roles, some of which may have seemed promising on paper. Wright was Marlon Brando's first Hollywood leading lady, but that didn't help her to bounce back following the very public spat with her former boss. After all, The Men was released before Elia Kazan's film version of A Streetcar Named Desire turned Brando into a major international star. Chances are that good film offers were scarce. After Wright's brief 1950 comeback, for the third time in less than a decade she would be gone from the big screen for more than a year. »
- Andre Soares
Over the years we've seen many actors portray God on the big screen, from George Burns to Morgan Freeman, but now it is apparently Octavia Spencer's time toe become omnipotent and all-powerful. This is because she is now in final negotiations to play God in an adaptation of the novel The Shack, which is now in the works over at Lionsgate. Variety has gotten the scoop on this casting, reporting that newcomer director Stuart Hazeldine will be at the helm of the project. The book, penned by author William P. Young, centers on a man named Mackenzie Allen Phillips, who is devistated following the abduction of his youngest daughter, Missy, during a family vacation. Following an investigation, it appears that the girl has been brutally murdered, with evidence discovered in an abandoned shack in Oregon. Four years late, Mackenzie receives a note inviting him back to that shack - »
Streaming video is a godsend if you want to catch up with recent seasons of TV series. But what's a TV fan to do who wants to stream older shows? Netflix has very little from before the millennium, and Amazon Prime has very little from before 1990.
That's not a knock; the big streaming services know their market. Still, it's worth remembering that Amazon's initial appeal as a bookseller was it's long-tail catalog, the notion that comprehensiveness was worthwhile because somebody somewhere would want that obscure or ancient title, that the markets for all those titles were collectively significant and worth catering to, and that the Internet had at last made it easier to connect those customers with what they wanted.
But until the big streaming services step into the long-tail breach, Shout Factory TV (at shoutfactorytv.com) is ready to make a home there. The boutique streaming service, which is free and requires no subscription, »
- Gary Susman
In a parallel universe, Jim O'Heir could have spent the last seven seasons on "Parks and Recreation" not as office punching bag Garry/Jerry/Larry/Terry/Garry, but as Ron Swanson. That's the role he auditioned for at the start, and while he didn't get it, Mike Schur and Greg Daniels liked his audition enough to hire him as a background character with the potential to do more, much like Stanley, Phyllis and Meredith on "The Office." It was a move that paid out well for all involved, and tonight's second episode — the last regular installment of "Parks" before next week's series finale — had a crowning moment of sorts for O'Heir's long-suffering alter ego. (I reviewed both of tonight's episodes here.) Earlier today, we spoke about the ups, downs, and many names of Garry Gergich, the experience of being a part of this great series, as well as the Kickstarter »
- Alan Sepinwall
Billy Wilder screenwriter-producer partner Charles Brackett remembered: Q&A with film historian Anthony Slide (photo: Charles Brackett ca. early 1940s) Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He's renowned for classics such as The Major and the Minor, Sunset Blvd., Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. The fact that Wilder was not the sole creator of these movies is all but irrelevant to graduates from the Auteur School of Film History. Wilder directed, co-wrote, and at times produced his films. That should suffice. For auteurists, perhaps. But not for those interested in film history facts. That's why the Charles Brackett diaries offer such a refreshing glimpse into his and Billy Wilder's moviemaking process. Now, Charles who? Oscar winner Charles Brackett Charles Brackett (1892-1969) just happens to be the – largely forgotten – guy who co-created with Billy Wilder (and, at times, with a third screenwriting partner) classics »
- Andre Soares
Created by Steve and Nancy Carell, the satirical take on police procedurals focuses on an eccentric but brilliant group of Lapd detectives. Parks and Recreation alum Rashida Jones fills the title role, while Hayes MacArthur (Go On), Jere Burns (Justified), Deon Cole (Conan) and College Humor’s Andree Vermeulen round out the cast.
Smart will guest-star as a seductive and friendly high-end call girl who »
Remember when Adam Sandler was funny? Think hard; I know it was a long time ago. Ok, so he was never a comedic genius at the level of the Marx Brothers or George Burns, but at least you could get a chuckle or two out of his films. Now he’s just become the Razzies’ favorite actor, and it appears that that trend is not going to shift any time soon. After inking a four-picture deal with Netflix last fall, Sandler has finally announced what his first Netflix film will be: a western spoof called Ridiculous 6.
Ridiculous 6 will tell the story of an orphaned boy (Sandler) raised by an Indian tribe, along with four half-brothers played by Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider, Luke Wilson, and Terry Crews. Nick Nolte is on hand as Sandler’s long-lost father, with Jon Lovitz as a wealthy industrialist and Whitney Cummings as his wife. Steve Buscemi, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
Irwin was entertainment director and VP-general manager for the entire Del-Webb Gambling/Entertainment Corporation, which included the Fremont and other downtown casinos, during its heyday, bringing in the likes of Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Frank Sinatra and many other top names of the 1950s and 1960s. Irwin was responsible for bringing Johnny Carson to the Sahara in Las Vegas, where he broke all the records in the Congo Showroom. Others he brought to Sahara for their first Vegas stints included Bolger, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jeannette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Marlene Dietrich, Dan Dailey, George Burns, Paul Anka, Bobby Darin, Eleanor Powell, Eydie Gorme/Steve Lawrence, Connie Francis, Brenda Lee, Eve Arden, Bob Newhart, Maury Wills and Shari Lewis.
- Carmel Dagan
I am ready for Oscar speeches. I am ready for badass Oscar speeches. And here are 10 that remind you what it looks like when a bad-ass wields a gold statue and tells it like it is. 1. Lee Grant remembers what Hollywood did to her. And now they will never forget. Lee Grant, who won a Best Supporting Actress for "Shampoo," was blacklisted in the '50s and had to put her entire career on hold. She eventually rebounded with an Emmy for "Peyton Place" and a couple of Oscar nominations. When the time came to approach the dais, she had reckoning on her mind. Addressing her Oscar, she said, "We had a fight 20 years ago. I think he's changed. I know I haven't." Bam. 2. George Burns was the hottest young star of '75. George Burns picked up an Oscar for "The Sunshine Boys" at the age of 80. And yet, he »
- Louis Virtel
The presentation of the union’s highest accolade will be the centerpiece of the annual ceremony which will be simulcast live on Sunday, Jan. 25 on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. Et/ 5 p.m. Pt, the show’s executive producer Kathy Connell announced Tuesday.
SAG-aftra is honoring Debbie Reynolds for her career achievement and humanitarian accomplishments.
Also Read: SAG Awards 2015: The Nominees (Photos)
Fisher has been an actor, novelist, screenwriter and performance artist during her career. She »
- Todd Cunningham
11 items from 2015
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