5 items from 2014
Bill Hader has come a long way since his stint on Saturday Night Live, creating many popular characters and impersonations such as Stefon, Vincent Price and CNN’s Jack Cafferty. He is one of the highlights in such films as Adventureland, Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express, and so it is easy to see why author Mike Sacks interviewed him for his new book Poking A Dead Frog. In it, Hader talks about his career and he also lists 200 essential movies every comedy writer should see. Xo Jane recently published the list for those of us who haven’t had a chance to read the book yet. There are a ton of great recommendations and plenty I haven’t yet seen, but sadly my favourite comedy of all time isn’t mentioned. That would be Some Like It Hot. Still, it really is a great list with a mix of old and new. »
A quarter-century ago, Kevin Costner hit a double-play, following up "Bull Durham" with "Field of Dreams" and becoming king of the sports movie. Twenty-five years later, as "Field of Dreams" marks its 25th anniversary (it was released on April 21, 1989), Costner is back with "Draft Day." The movie's about football, not baseball, and Costner's character plays in the executive suite, not on the field, but his mere presence still offers a reminder of great sports movies past.
And after all, isn't nostalgia a key element of sports movies? "Field of Dreams" makes this explicit -- we long for the sports heroes of our childhood, for a supposed long-gone golden age of our preferred sport, as a way of connecting with our past and bridging the generational divide that separates us as adults from our parents. Sports movies offer more than just the drama of winners and losers, or the journey from dream to achievement, »
- Gary Susman
Just for fun, on this Easter holiday, take our trivia challenge. Can you place all these quotes? If you’re stumped, scroll down for the answers.
Where are the Following Quotes From?
1) "Into the garbage chute, flyboy!"
2) "I never drink...Wine."
3) "Did you ever pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?"
4) "You've got the brain of a five year old child, and I bet he was glad to get rid of it."
5) "I spent eight years trying to reach him and another seven trying to see that he never got released, because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply evil!"
6) "I love dead! Hate living!"
7) "I'm like a dog chasing a car. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it!"
8) "I am big! It's the pictures that got small!"
9) "If I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a really great man. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Three significant early Paramount comedies make an appearance in our Great Global Search, Horse Feathers and Monkey Business starring the Marx Brothers and It’s A Gift with W.C. Fields. Groucho and company are nothing less than essential but in the grand scheme of things, Fields’ dysfunctional family portrait stands apart from its contemporaries as one of the greatest comedies of all time.
The plot line is merely a thread; Harold Bissonette, an embattled New Jersey grocer makes plans to move his reluctant family to a recently purchased orange grove in California. The action is bare-bones as well, detailing the mundane daily regimen of poor Harold, at home, at work and even in bed; nearly fifteen minutes of the film’s 68 minute running time focuses on the persecuted shopkeeper simply trying to fall asleep.
Fields generally worked within one of two personas, the scheming, bellicose carnival barker or the put-upon »
- TFH Team
In spanning eight decades, Marcel Ophuls’ filmed autobiography “Ain’t Misbehavin’” incorporates a wide array of approaches: nostalgia-filled interviews with celebrated contemporaries, whimsical excerpts from Hollywood films, samplings from his own and his father’s oeuvres, and jaunts to the sites of past traumas and triumphs. Ophuls obviously greatly relishes his role as cosmopolitan raconteur, but his spontaneous delivery can feel over-rehearsed, his focus erratic. Film buffs will doubtless appreciate his imaginative use of free-associative film clips and anecdotes about Preston Sturges, Marlene Dietrich and Francois Truffaut, but “Misbehavin’” ultimately seems too patchy to resonate with wider audiences.
Ophuls’ remembrance of his early life offers a nearly miraculous confluence of personal, cinematic and world history. As the son of famed German-Jewish director Max Ophuls, who left Germany for France and from there escaped to Hollywood, young Marcel found himself at the center of international film production as well as the Holocaust, »
- Ronnie Scheib
5 items from 2014
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