13 items from 2016
Graeme Robertson continues his series looking at directors who damaged their careers; next up is Michael Sarne (read the first part on Richard Kelly here, the second part on Michael Cimino here, and the third part on George Lucas here)…
It’s probably likely that a good number of you reading this will have never heard of Michael Sarne, and there is a good reason for that. That reason you ask? The reason is Myra Breckinridge (1970), a warning that you really should not give a onetime pop star complete creative control over a film when they haven’t the faintest idea how to make one.
Based on the best-selling novel by controversial writer Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge tells the story of a young attractive woman who heads to Hollywood to inherit the fortune of her late husband Myron’s uncle, all the while pushing various sexual and social boundaries, that »
- Graeme Robertson
Image Source: Getty / Santiago Felipe If you're a RuPaul's Drag Race fan, you'll know that one of the best episodes of every season involves "Snatch Game." Putting a Drag Race twist on the classic game show Match Game, each of the queens dresses up as a well-known celebrity, TV personality, musician, or public figure - basically whatever their beautiful heads can dream up. There have been plenty of iconic "Snatch Game" moments through the seasons, but last week's edition took things up a notch. As part of Rpdr All Stars season two, we witnessed Alaska Thunderf*ck as Mae West, Tatianna as Ariana Grande, and, most brilliantly, Katya as Björk. If you were delighted by Katya's take on the strange Icelandic singer, you're not alone. In fact, even Björk saw (and fell in love with) Katya's impression. Image Source: Logo TV During a Monday Ama (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, »
- Ryan Roschke
The recent box office success of The Boss firmly establishes Melissa McCarthy as the current queen of movie comedies (Amy Schumer could be a new contender after an impressive debut last Summer with Trainwreck), but let us think back about those other funny ladies of filmdom. So while we’re enjoying the female reboot/re-imagining of Ghostbusters and those Bad Moms, here’s a top ten list that will hopefully inspire lots of laughter and cause you to search out some classic comedies. It’s tough to narrow them down to ten, but we’ll do our best, beginning with… 10. Eve Arden The droll Ms. Arden represents the comic sidekicks who will attempt to puncture the pomposity of the leading ladies with a well-placed wisecrack (see also the great Thelma Ritter in Rear Window). Her career began in the early 1930’s with great bit roles in Stage Door and Dancing Lady. »
- Jim Batts
Rita Hayworth in 3-D, in a hot story that was acceptable for 1925 and 1932, but too racy for repressed 1953. On a tropical island, a prostitute cabaret singer battles a fiery preacher missionary inspector for her freedom. Hayworth is dynamite, and it takes all of her talent to keep the show afloat, with so much interference from the equally repressed censors. Miss Sadie Thompson 3-D 3-D Blu-ray Twilight Time 1953 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 91 min. / Street Date July 12, 2016 / Available from Twilight Time Movies Store29.95 Starring Rita Hayworth, José Ferrer, Aldo Ray, Russell Collins, Diosa Costello, Harry Bellaver, Wilton Graff, Peggy Converse, Henry Slate, Rudy Bond, Charles Bronson, Jo Ann Greer. Cinematography Charles Lawton Jr. Original Music George Duning, Morris Stoloff, Ned Washington, Lester Lee Written by Harry Kleiner from a story by W. Somerset Maugham Produced by Jerry Wald Directed by Curtis Bernhardt
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Yes! 3-D on Blu-ray shows no sign of going away, »
- Glenn Erickson
Summer’s in full swing with big family gatherings and social events. It’s the perfect time for some raunchy laughs at the multiplex. Eleven years ago (no, really!) R-rated movie comedies made a big, big comeback when Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were Wedding Crashers. Four years later, the lead up to nuptials ignited a comic trilogy with The Hangover. Then the ladies got in on the act just two years later with Bridesmaids. This weekend’s new flick doles out a bit from all those entrees in the funny flick buffet, expanding on a comedy staple (or main course in the food analogy), namely the comic team. This doesn’t quite harken back to Stan and Ollie or Bud and Lou, rather the inspiration may be a bit over twenty years ago to Harry and Lloyd, those Dumb & Dumber dudes, continuing through Harold and Kumar, on to various unions of Rogen, »
- Jim Batts
June 10 would have been the birthday of Hattie McDaniel, the memorable Oscar winner for “Gone With the Wind” and a Hollywood trailblazer who is remembered with both affection and a little ambivalence.
She was born in Wichita, Kans., in 1895, the youngest of 13 children of two former slaves. Five years later, the family moved to Colorado, where she made her debut on the relatively new medium of radio. She is credited as being the first black woman to sing on the radio, thanks to her gig at age 17 in Denver. She sometimes performed as “Hi-Hat Hattie” and continued singing and doing comedy on radio, in nightclubs and in vaudeville.
She came to Hollywood while in her 30s and appeared uncredited in several works. But the studios took notice with her small but fun role in 1933’s “I’m No Angel,” playing one of Mae West’s maids.
McDaniel was first mentioned »
- Tim Gray
The Little Black Dress—From Mourning to Night is a free exhibit currently at The Missouri History Museum (Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri). The exhibit runs through September 5th.
The Little Black Dress – a simple, short cocktail dress—is a sartorial staple for most contemporary women. Prior to the early 20th century, simple, unadorned black garments were limited to mourning, and strict social rules regarding mourning dress were rigidly observed.Featuring over 60 dresses from the Missouri History Museum’s world-renowned textile collection, this fun yet thought-provoking exhibit explores the subject of mourning, as well as the transition of black from a symbol of grief to a symbol of high fashion. You’ll also see fascinating artifacts—from hair jewelry to tear catchers—that were once a regular part of the mourning process. Plus, you’ll have the chance to share your own memories of your favorite »
- Tom Stockman
Who are the funniest, wackiest, cleverest, wittiest comic actors in the history of film and television? Take a look at our list and see who we came up with.
The top 25 laugh-getters…
#25…George Carlin: Probably the best stand-up comedian of all-time. He brilliantly satirized American culture, mixing his liberal social commentary with an often unapologetically coarse and dirty style of language. His penchant for obscenities was most evident in his trademark routine “Seven words you can never say on television”. No one was better at mocking the excesses of American culture than Carlin.
#24…Robin Williams: He had a manic energy and great improvisational skills. His hyper, free-form style inspired many comedians to follow, such as Jim Carrey. He shot to fame in the TV series Mork & Mindy, before breaking away to very successful movie career, appearing in films like Good Morning Vietnam, The World According to Garp, Mrs. Doubtfire and Popeye. »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
Sometimes actors are cast in a movie together and instantly display great onscreen chemistry. You look at them and think, “These two should work together again. They make a good team.” Sometimes they do reunite and it leads to a series of great screen collaborations, but sometimes they don’t and we’re left wishing the pair would have made more films together.
Back in the days of the old ‘Studio System,’ movies studio execs would look for actors who had good on-screen chemistry and repeatedly cast them together in films. This was called “packaging”, and it lead to the frequent teaming of people like Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers; William Powell & Myrna Loy; Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall; Boris Karloff & Bela Lugosi; Bob Hope & Bing Crosby; Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland; Nelson Eddy & Jeannette MacDonald; etc., etc.
The ‘Studio System’ is long gone and so is “packaging”. It’s a pity »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Dakota Johnson is our Mae West. She’s become a symbol of screen licentiousness whose very presence in a movie signals a certain type of “action”. She was thrust upon the world in Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey, playing a coquettish damsel experiencing a new type of love, a love that required rhinestone-studded paddles. Next she stole the show from Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes as a teen femme fatale in Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, her character employing scandalously plunging neck-lines to yield eye-watering sartorial results.
Now she comfortably carries Christian Ditter’s How to Be Single, a breezy roundelay of sexual liberation and self-discovery set in Manhattan that bears more than a passing resemblance to Sex and the City (the good TV shows, »
- David Jenkins
Lena Dunham and Jane Fonda are impressively in sync on many important issues - feminism, sexuality, politics - but they took divergent paths to get there. Fonda, 78, interviewed Dunham, 29, for Paper magazine's March, Mae West-inspired cover, and pointed out the very different ways they were taught about their bodies. "I grew up with massive body image [issues] - my father made me feel that I was fat and unattractive and I don't think he realized how destructive it was," Fonda explains. Dunham says her parents were always supportive of her and helped her feel like she was good enough. "Despite »
- Julie Mazziotta, @julietmazz
Lena Dunham and Jane Fonda are impressively in sync on many important issues - feminism, sexuality, politics - but they took divergent paths to get there. Fonda interviewed Dunham for Paper magazine's March, Mae West-inspired cover, and pointed out the very different ways they were taught about their bodies. "I grew up with massive body image [issues] - my father made me feel that I was fat and unattractive and I don't think he realized how destructive it was," Fonda explains. Dunham says her parents were always supportive of her and helped her feel like she was good enough. "Despite »
- Julie Mazziotta, @julietmazz
The stage is set for a David vs. Goliath battle at the 88th academy awards.
In one corner are the Goliath box office hits that Oscarcast viewers have heard of — and maybe even seen: This year’s top three on the nominations tally are Fox’s “The Revenant” (12 noms), Warner Bros.’ “Mad Max: Fury Road” (10) and Fox’s “The Martian” (seven).
Together, they’ve amassed over $1.2 billion at the global box office.
In the other corner are the likes of Fox Searchlight’s “Brooklyn,” which was acquired at Sundance and had a production budget of $11 million, and A24’s “Room,” which is the first best picture nominee for the emerging studio.
Together, they’ve made just over $40 million at the domestic box office (though neither one is close to finished, especially with three weeks to go until the Oscars).
Blockbuster Oscar winners such as “Rocky” and “Titanic” have given way »
- Geoff Berkshire and Tim Gray
13 items from 2016
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