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The most recent stumble was the tepid buddy romp “Hot Pursuit,” which went nowhere despite some promising elements. It had a female director, Anne Fletcher, with a solid track record (“27 Dresses,” “The Proposal”). It featured two popular funny ladies as a mismatched pair, Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. And it employed a time-tested premise of using crime as a backdrop for humor. But its makers forgot one thing: A good script that somehow avoided relying on such material as menstruation and faux lesbian make-out sessions to draw laughs. Film historian Jeanine Basinger notes that after “The Hunger Games” opened the gates for more franchises based on literary series aimed primarily at girls, “Studios are too busy trying to prove women are action stars. They are working so hard on that, they forgot to make these comedies funny. How many really great female comedians have been seen in motion pictures from 1960 onward? »
- Susan Wloszczyna
Hollywood got the memo. Women like movies too.
It’s a “duh” moment, but one that took a shockingly long time to arrive. The opening weekend numbers for”Pitch Perfect 2,” which annihilated the competition with a staggering $70 million bow, illustrate the financial power of this frequently ignored consumer group.
“It’s a validation of the fact that if you make movies by women for women starring women they’re going to do well,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.
What makes “Pitch Perfect 2″ something of a rarity is that it not only stars women like Rebel Wilson and Anna Kendrick, but its behind the scenes talent, director Elizabeth Banks and writer Kay Cannon, are also female.
- Brent Lang
Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic Bale at the Oscars Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic on the Academy Awards' Red Carpet Eventual Best Supporting Actor winner Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic Bale are seen above on the Red Carpet of the 83rd Academy Awards, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Welsh-born Bale took home the Oscar statuette for his performance as a boxer turned coach and junkie in David O. Russell's boxing drama and sleeper hit The Fighter. His co-stars were Mark Wahlberg (who also co-produced the film), Best Supporting Actress winner Melissa Leo, and Best Supporting Actress nominee Amy Adams. Christian Bale movies The Fighter was Christian Bale's first Academy Award nomination. Among his other movie credits are: The Dark Knight (2008). Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Christian Bale. Heath Ledger. Maggie Gyllenhaal. Aaron Eckhart. The Prestige (2006). Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Hugh Jackman. »
- D. Zhea
Hot Pursuit has opened to critical panning and unfavorable audience reactions today. The $35 million Action-Comedy’s 6% rottentomatoes score, lack of persistent marketing and generally-unfunny jokes in its major trailer all point at a financial loss for Warner Bros. But there lies the hope for women filmmakers in this article: this movie was still released amidst all the panning, the negativity generally-aimed at female filmmakers, and the recent backlash from the leaked emails between Marvel CEOs concerning the perceived lack of appeal for female superhero films.
The leaked emails remind us of the general sexist attitude towards female filmmakers, specifically directors. The major studios, including Warner Bros, nowadays produce and distribute just a few dozen films a year with an average budget of over $100 million. All those superhero and mega-expensive films we’ve come to love, hate, and blog about are the proof. By now, we’ve all noticed that a »
- Christopher Ortiz
New Line Cinema (Warner Bros.), MGM released their new comedy/action film, "Hot Pursuit," into theaters this weekend, and all the top,major critics have turned in their reviews for it. It turns out that most of them weren't too please with what they saw, giving it a very low, overall 30 score out of a possible 100 score across 33 reviews at the Metacritic.com site. The film stars: John Carroll Lynch, Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Richard T. Jones and Rob Kazinsky. We've supplied blurbs from a few of the critics,below. Sara Stewart from the New York Post, gave it a not so great 50 score, saying: "Witherspoon’s charge, Sofía Vergara as a recalcitrant witness in need of police protection, is an adept slapstick comic likewise hamstrung by director Anne Fletcher’s sluggish pacing, which reliably stays with a scene for three beats beyond the punch line." John Anderson from the Wall Street Journal, »
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is looking slightly better than initial projections with a projected $90 million for its second weekend — and this time, the Disney-Marvel movie won’t battle a slew of competing sporting events.
But Warner Bros.’ Reese Witherspoon-Sofia Vergara comedy “Hot Pursuit” isn’t so sizzling, looking at just $12 million-$14 million in its opening weekend despite prospective Mother’s Day moviegoers. Though “Hot Pursuit” provides a female-friendly alternative to “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” it has garnered a sad 6% on Rotten Tomatoes, and box office is looking even softer than initial projections.
The first “Avengers” movie tallied $103 million in its second weekend after its record-breaking $207.4 million opening. While the sequel could have trouble matching the first film’s $623.3 million domestic gross, overseas markets could more than make up for it, with Chinese grosses in particular growing fast. »
- Pat Saperstein
When Hot is Cold: Fletcher’s Tone Deaf Comedy a Frivolous Altercation
For those familiar with director Anne Fletcher’s studio track record, including the rom-com platitudes of The Proposal (2009) and the broad mother and son road trip comedy The Guilt Trip (2011), it will hardly be surprising to find a similar lack of comical finesse on hand in the shrill insistence of her latest venture, Hot Pursuit. Basically another blacktop jaunt desperately trying to amuse with a countless host of familiar squirming scenarios, television alums David Feeney and John Quintance try to inject their small screen inclined tropes into the old odd couple formula with a surprising lack of success. This had to have been something that seemed like it could have worked thanks to the talent it attracted to headline, but the vehicle serves a complete disserve to its leading ladies, on both content and visual fronts.
- Nicholas Bell
Hot Pursuit director Anne Fletcher has been quoted as saying in essence she’s only concerned — presumably, in this case — about making a movie for audience satisfaction, not critics. All well and good but, as I say in my video review above, this movie is one hot mess that even easy-to-please average moviegoers are going to recognize is just. not. funny. Sorry. And this Reese Witherspoon-Sofia Vergara vehicle comes from a director I have admired for smart… »
Reese Witherspoon got an Oscar nomination for starring in “Wild” last year, but she’s not getting any love for “Hot Pursuit,” her new buddy comedy with “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara. The PG-13 Warner Bros. release directed by Anne Fletcher (“The Proposal”) has a measly 8 percent approval rating from 81 critics counted on Rotten Tomatoes. That means only six of them could recommend it to their readers. “The joyless and perfunctory ‘Hot Pursuit’ would be a black mark on anyone’s résumé, but it’s an especially disheartening one for Witherspoon at this point in her career,” TheWrap‘s Inkoo Kang wrote in her. »
- Greg Gilman
Hot Pursuit, the odd-couple comedy starring Reese Witherspoon as a joyless cop and Sofia Vergara as the wife of a drug boss, opened in theaters Friday to blistering reviews. ‘Hot Pursuit’ Review Roundup Directed by Anne Fletcher (The Proposal, 27 Dresses), Hot Pursuit follows Witherspoon’s uptight cop Cooper, as she tries to protect Vergara’s Daniella Riva […]
- Chelsea Regan
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, May 8. [Synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.] Wide Hot Pursuit Director: Anne Fletcher Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Michael Mosley, John Carroll Lynch, Richard T. Jones, Jodi Lyn Brockton, Robert Kazinsky, Matthew Del Negro, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Mike Birbiglia Synopsis: "An uptight by-the-book cop must protect the widow of a drug boss from crooked cops and gunmen." Limited 5 Flights Up Director: Richard Loncraine Cast: Morgan Freeman, Diane Keaton, Michael Cristofer, Cynthia Nixon, Claire Vanderboom, Korey Jackson, Carrie Preston, Sterling Jerins, Josh Pais, Miriam Shor Synopsis: "A couple (Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton) must decide whether or not to sell their Brooklyn walk up of 40 years. The story takes a comedic turn when the dynamic couple have to contend with eccentric open house guests, their pushy realtor niece, and the health of their beloved »
- Steve Greene
Chicago – I get it. The old fashioned buddy movie, except with the twist of the femme-flavor-of-the-moment Sofia Vergara and runty Reese Witherspoon. It practically writes itself. In fact, that might be the only legitimate excuse for the mess that is “Hot Pursuit” – it wrote itself.
With a title so lazy it should come with its own hammock, “Hot Pursuit” recycles every plot point and joke stylings from every buddy picture ever made. What could have been an interesting twist – Sofia Vergara has established herself as a funny character on TV’s “Modern Family” – turns into a shriek fest with Vergara doing most of the unfunny shrieking, with a philosophy of “If we say the jokes louder maybe they’ll be funny…” Reese Witherspoon, who is no slouch when it comes to doing comedy (Her Tracy Flick role in “Election” is one of the funniest characters of the past 20 years), seems lost as well, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The superheroes started the Summer with a bang (and a pow and lotsa’ crashes) last Friday, so it’s now time for what is turning out to be another warm weather cinema staple: the female-driven, often raunchy comedy, which can probably be traced back to the surprise smash of 2011, Bridesmaids. Its breakout star, Melissa McCarthy, then became the unofficial queen of Summer R-rated gagfests with The Heat and Tammy. So, is this the 2015 model Mm comedy? Nope, we’ve got a few weeks to go before she reteams with director Paul Feig for Spy (also to premiere shortly is the feature film debut of cable TV firebrand Amy Schumer). This is an attempted funny flick that riffs on one of her previous hits. It’s an action-cop-buddy-comedy which pairs an Oscar-winning actress (like Sandra Bullock in The Heat) with funny lady mostly known for her broadcast TV work (Melissa still »
- Jim Batts
Director Anne Fletcher has spoken out in defense of her “Hot Pursuit” star Sofia Vergara, whose very private reproductive struggle went public thanks to ex-fiance Nick Loeb. While their engagement was called off in May 2014, Loeb filed a lawsuit against Vergara for the rights to two frozen female embryos made during their relationship — a campaign invoking religious and paternal rights that he’s carried out in the New York Times and on cable news. “I feel like everybody else does, it’s really rude and inconsiderate for her life,” Fletcher told TheWrap in a wide-ranging interview. “It’s personal. Nobody should be talking about. »
- Matt Donnelly
Any movie that causes you to roll your eyes more often than it induces an audible laugh is generally considered a failure, especially if said movie is a comedy. Hot Pursuit, an action-comedy portioned like a mild rye and cola, does not lack for idiotic moments early on, like when our born and raised Texan protagonist can’t recognize a longhorn tattoo. In fact, it only gets dumber the longer it goes, forgoing any legwork that explains how certain characters arrive in situations, and why it is those situations escalate to 11 without a moment’s hesitation.
At one point, stars Reese Witherspoon and Sophia Vergara avoid a police roadblock by getting under a rug and donning decoy antlers, so as to pass themselves off as a deer, Halloween horse-style. There’s also an extended bit where the stars pretend to be lovers, and share an awkward attempted-makeout session to distract a gun-totting redneck. »
- Sam Woolf
Anne Fletcher, whose Reese Witherspoon-Sofia Vergara buddy comedy “Hot Pursuit” opens this weekend, has weighed in on Hollywood’s gender divide and her personal policy on reading movie reviews. In a wide-ranging interview Thursday with TheWrap, Fletcher who counts Sandra Bullock‘s comedy the “The Proposal” among her box office hits, said she’s never approached her work from a female perspective. And she prefers it that way. “How I explain it is, when I was a dancer, I wasn’t a female dancer. I was a dancer. As a choreographer, I wasn’t a female choreographer. As »
- Matt Donnelly
“Hot Pursuit” has earned the distinction of being the only film to make me amused at the prospect of “raccoon herpes.” The phrase in itself isn’t entirely unfunny (just say it to yourself), but what made me laugh out loud was Reese Witherspoon’s commitment to saying it deadpan (try doing that). She and costar Sofia Vergara take a subpar script from TV writers David Feeney and John Quaintance and run with it, showing their comedic prowess and turning cinematic lemons into Mike’s Hard Lemonade. It’s not tasty, but it gets the job done. Similar to director Anne Fletcher’s “The Proposal,” “Hot Pursuit” gets by on the charm and chemistry of its leads. This is an unsubtle, loud and not particularly bright comedy, but that’s not to say that it isn’t funny. Your head will hurt from the stupidity present throughout its 87 minutes, but »
- Kimber Myers
The charm of Sofia Vergara is that so much about her is unexpected.
Just looking at her, you wouldn’t imagine a wacky sense of humor, no-nonsense business acumen or that she keeps that amazing figure without being a slave to diet and exercise.
What still surprises Vergara about herself, though, is her career.
“I grew up thinking I would be a doctor, and I was in Colombia so women were not into having such a difficult career,” she says. “For me the next best thing, because I love science and chemistry, (was) dental school. Then I started doing TV, which I loved, but it was not something that I thought I would end up doing when I was young.”
Vergara isn’t coy about age. She’s 43, which she casually mentions. It helps, of course, that she is in a great place.
Having just wrapped her sixth season as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on “Modern Family, »
- Jacqueline Cutler
Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron will continued to dominate the box office over Mother's Day weekend, while Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara comedy Hot Pursuit is hoping to generate enough interest among women to open in the high teens. Anne Fletcher directed the two actresses in the MGM and New Line comedy, which goes out through Warner Bros. MGM and Witherspoon's company, Pacific Standard, ran production on Hot Pursuit, starring Witherspoon as an inept police offer who must protect the widow of a drug dealer from criminals and corrupt cops. So far, the $35 million movie is one of
- Pamela McClintock
There are really only two things to discuss when it comes to Hot Pursuit. The first is the fact it's produced by, directed by and starring women. This is the kind of progressive feature we've been looking for in Hollywood and Reese Witherspoon is clearly a frontrunner for the cause following her producer credit on two of last year's Oscar-nominated films -- Gone Girl and Wild. Of course, the other talking point is Hot Pursuit is absolutely terrible, which then, sadly, begins to overshadow any progress it may represent. This, of course, is coming from the perspective of a man. Comedy lands differently for everyone and perhaps it's that Y chromosome that's causing me so much trouble, because instead of laughing I was burying my face in my hands, amazed at how long 87 minutes began to feel. From Anne Fletcher, the director that brought us Step Up, 27 Dresses and The Proposal, »
- Brad Brevet
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