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Perhaps the most subjective genre in cinema, the same comedy can cause one viewer to have tears of laughter and another to not crack a smile. So, while knowing there can be no definitive list of the finest in the genre, the Writers Guild of America attempted to narrow down the 101 funniest screenplays. Noting the distinction from the best in the genre, these 101 films should simply produce the most laughs.
Topping the list is Woody Allen‘s Best Picture-winning Annie Hall, a choice difficult to argue with. Rounding out the top five were Some Like it Hot, Groundhog Day, Airplane! and Tootsie, while films from the Coens, Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson, and Edgar Wright were also mentioned. There are also some genuine head-scratching inclusions, including The Hangover at 30, and, as much as I enjoy the film, Bridesmaids nearly making the top 15, but overall, if one is looking to brighten their mood, »
- Jordan Raup
“Annie Hall” has been named the funniest screenplay in voting by the members of the Writers Guild of America.
The script by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman topped “Some Like it Hot,” “Groundhog Day,” “Airplane!” and “Tootsie,” which make up the rest of the top five. “Young Frankenstein,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House” rounded out the top 10.
The awards for the 101 funniest screenplays were announced at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood at the conclusion of two hours of panel discussions and clips, hosted by Rob Reiner. He noted that his “This Is Spinal Tap” script had finished at the No. 11 spot — a coincidence that recalled the “go to 11” amplifier joke in the film.
- Dave McNary
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.”
These words, once spoken by Steve Jobs, are nowhere to be found in “Steve Jobs,” probably because they would have been entirely redundant. From first frame to last, Danny Boyle’s movie is all business, all the time — a hyper-caffeinated Silicon Valley farce whose very structure mocks any sane notion of work-life balance. For two hours we watch as the iconic Apple entrepreneur (played with monomaniacal intensity by Michael Fassbender) prepares for three potentially game-changing product launches, attending to his messy personal affairs in the spare moments he doesn’t have. Around and around he goes, barking orders, accelerating deadlines, making last-minute adjustments and bickering, bickering, bickering with his other colleagues, as though determined to elevate their blood pressure to a »
- Justin Chang
Unless you're Meryl Streep or Jennifer Lawrence, there aren't a lot of great roles for women in Hollywood. This isn't brand new information, and lately a number of actresses have spoken out about the problem.
As if that wasn't enough, many of cinema's most iconic heroines - the roles that we hold up as evidence to the contrary - were actually written with men in mind, before an enterprising actress or director stepped in to flip the script. And so, in honour of our favourite leading lady Sigourney Weaver turning 66, here are six times that approach paid off...
Catchily titled The Far-Reaching Philosophy of Edwin A Salt, Kurt Wimmer's initial draft of the spy thriller featured a male lead whom Tom Cruise almost played, until he passed because it felt too close to his Mission: Impossible role. The script was then rewritten after studio exec Amy Pascal »
No film in recent memory leaps off the screen like The Forbidden Room, Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson‘s omnibus-like homage to numerous forms of cinematic storytelling. From the first splotchy, out-of-sync seconds, it’s clear that they’re attempting to play with the medium’s properties in a very direct, sometimes assaultive way, but this is no endurance test — in all its stories, threads, angles, and suggestions, it may also be the most consistently funny thing to hit theaters this year. (Imagine if Tim & Eric were aesthetic-obsessed cinephiles and you’ll start to get the idea.)
Because the film has no decisive start or end point — and their Internet companion piece, Seances, only further reinforces this quality — our conversation could have gone anywhere, perhaps at the concession of coherence. But, as you’ll see, they’re far too familiar with their work and far too certain of their intentions »
- Nick Newman
Gary Cooper movies on TCM: Cooper at his best and at his weakest Gary Cooper is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 30, '15. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any Cooper movie premiere – despite the fact that most of his Paramount movies of the '20s and '30s remain unavailable. This evening's features are Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Sergeant York (1941), and Love in the Afternoon (1957). Mr. Deeds Goes to Town solidified Gary Cooper's stardom and helped to make Jean Arthur Columbia's top female star. The film is a tad overlong and, like every Frank Capra movie, it's also highly sentimental. What saves it from the Hell of Good Intentions is the acting of the two leads – Cooper and Arthur are both excellent – and of several supporting players. Directed by Howard Hawks, the jingoistic, pro-war Sergeant York was a huge box office hit, eventually earning Academy Award nominations in several categories, »
- Andre Soares
Ambition and authenticity can be at great odds with one another, especially as one tries to find their identity in the disorienting velocity and volume of New York. In Noah Baumbach’s latest effort, the dizzying screwball farce “Mistress America,” these disparate intentions collide with emotional force. A distant cousin of “Frances Ha,” also co-written by Baumbach and co-star Greta Gerwig, “Mistress America” may also have a female protagonist as its focal point, but ultimately it’s a picture with different concerns, certainly delivered in a vastly dissimilar form. Nevertheless, Baumbach’s breezy hot streak continues with another contemporary classic New York tale. Doing his best Peter Bogdanovich impression, filtered through John Hughes and ‘80s touchstones like the wackier elements of “Something Wild," Baumbach’s latest is like a millennial riff on “His Girl Friday,” with a rapid-fire delivery, minus the traditional romance. However, ‘America’ certainly has its own »
- Rodrigo Perez
"The enjoyment of a work of art, the acceptance of an irresistible illusion, constituting, to my sense, our highest experience of "luxury," the luxury is not greatest, by my consequent measure, when the work asks for as little attention as possible. It is greatest, it is delightfully, divinely great, when we feel the surface, like the thick ice of the skater's pond, bear without cracking the strongest pressure we throw on it. The sound of the crack one may recognise, but never surely to call it a luxury." —Henry James, from The Preface to The Wings of the Dove (1909) "[The critic’s] choice of best salami is a picture backed by studio build-up, agreement amongst his colleagues, a layout in Life mag (which makes it officially reasonable for an American award), and a list of ingredients that anyone’s unsophisticated aunt in Oakland can spot as comprising a distinguished film. This prize picture, »
- Greg Gerke
BBC Culture has this week unveiled a new list of the top 100 American films, as voted for by a pool of international film critics from across the globe. The format of the poll was that any film that would make the list had to have recieved funding from a Us source, and the directors of the films did not need to be from the USA, nor did the films voted for need to be filmed in the Us.
Critics were asked to submit their top 10 lists, which would try to find the top 100 American films that while “not necessarily the most important, but the greatest on an emotional level”. The list, as you may have guessed, is very different to the lists curated by say the BFI or AFI over the years, so there are certainly a few surprises on here, with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (2013), Terrence Malick »
- Scott J. Davis
First off, let's make one thing clear. We're not scratching our heads at Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" making the BBC's 100 greatest American films. That movie, of which an image accompanies this post, not only made the list, but ranked appropriately at no. 25. It's the rest of the selections that have us scratching and, yes, shaking our heads in disbelief. A wonderful page view driver, these sorts of lists make great fodder for passionate movie fans no matter what their age or part of the world they hail from. There is nothing more entertaining than watching two critics from opposite ends of the globe try to debate whether "The Dark Knight" should have been nominated for best picture or make a list like this. Even in this age of short form content where Vines, Shapchats and Instagram videos have captured viewers attention, movies will continue to inspire because »
- Gregory Ellwood
Leave it to the Brits to compile a list of the best American films of all-time. BBC Culture has published a list of what it calls "The 100 Greatest American Films", as selected by 62 international film critics in order to "get a global perspective on American film." As BBC Culture notes, the critics polled represent a combination of broadcasters, book authors and reviewers at various newspapers and magazines across the world. As for what makes an American filmc "Any movie that received funding from a U.S. source," BBC Culture's publication states, which is to say the terminology was quite loose, but the list contains a majority of the staples you'd expect to see. Citizen Kane -- what elsec -- comes in at #1, and in typical fashion The Godfather follows at #2. Vertigo, which in 2012 topped Sight & Sound's list of the greatest films of all-time, comes in at #3 on BBC Culture's list. »
- Jordan Benesh
Every now and then a major publication or news organisation comes up with a top fifty or one hundred films of all time list - a list which always stirs up debate, discussion and often interesting arguments about the justifications of the list's inclusions, ordering and notable exclusions.
Today it's the turn of BBC Culture who consulted sixty-two international film critics including print reviews, bloggers, broadcasters and film academics to come up with what they consider the one-hundred greatest American films of all time. To qualify, the film had to be made by a U.S. studio or mostly funded by American money.
Usually when a list of this type is done it is by institutes or publications within the United States asking American critics their favourites. This time it's non-American critics born outside the culture what they think are the best representations of that culture. Specifically they were asked »
- Garth Franklin
Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “The Assassin” will play as the opening of next month’s Cine Fan Summer International Film Festival (Siff), a popular spin off event of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man” will close the festival that runs Aug 11-25.
In between, the Siff will play a further 30 films, including “Wild City,” the return to Hong Kong of top local director Ringo lam, who has not made a Hong Kong film for over 10 years.
Contemporary Japanese films screening include “Love & Peace,” by Sono Sion, “Yakuza Apocalypse,” by Miike Takashi, “Prophecy,” by Nikamura Yoshihiro and “Flying Colors,” directed by Doi Nobuhiro.
- Patrick Frater
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage was very much front and center at Friday night’s premiere of “Jenny’s Wedding” at the Directors Guild of America as part of Outfest.
“I get very emotional and I cried,” recalled Katherine Heigl on the red carpet. “I was very grateful — grateful that our country has seen the light and is encouraging others to do the same.”
Heigl portrays the titular Jenny in the film, playing a buttoned-down Cleveland social worker who is openly gay — except with her family — and decides to marry her roommate, played by Alexis Bledel. IFC is releasing the movie on July 31.
“I loved making out with Alexis,” Heigl said.
The film, shot two years ago, was selected for Outfest several weeks prior to the Supreme Court ruling.
“Doing this at Outfest feels like the right time and the right place,” Heigl noted. “I »
- Dave McNary
“Superman is so boring,” they whine. “He’s too powerful! He can never die or even get hurt! How can you tell an interesting story about him?” Well comic nerd straw man, there’s a lot of ways to counter that argument. For one thing, all protagonists are protected by a magical set of plot armour that keeps them from dying. Batman’s just a human being, but he’s just as invincible and Supes. DC are never gonna kill him…at least, no permanently.
For another, Superman totally can be killed. In fact, he has been. Numerous times. Whilst the Man Of Steel is widely believed to be near-invulnerable – in fact, he’s very close to being god-like in his power – the guy has his weaknesses. Mainly His Girl Friday reporters and fellow superheroes, but also Kryptonite (in all its shades) and magic can mess with him. »
- Tom Baker
Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy comedy “Spy” will open the 41st annual Seattle International Film Festival, organizers announced Wednesday. Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actress McCarthy stars as Susan Cooper, an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst who is the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. When her partner (Jude Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Jason Statham) is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer and prevent a global disaster. See video: From ‘His Girl Friday’ to ‘The Heat': The Evolution of Female Comedies The ensemble cast »
- Joe Otterson
To mark the occasion, Digital Spy has unearthed 25 fascinating facts about the beloved 1990 film. Read on to find out why Vivian is a Disney princess, how Superman himself Christopher Reeve almost played Edward and the film's straight-to-the-point title in China.
1. The original script for Pretty Woman was titled $3,000 and was a dark drama about prostitution in La. Vivian was a drug addict trying to go clean to save up money for a trip to Disneyland. Disney-owned Touchstone Pictures developed the idea into a more conventional romantic comedy, meaning Vivian is something of an edgier Disney princess.
I wanted to write about word balloons, which I’m pretty sure hasn’t been talked about here at ComicMix before, at least since I arrived here, is it coming on three years already? And now I’m incredibly frustrated and possibly going crazy.
I got the idea from seeing a piece in Entertainment Weekly featuring an interview with Scott McCloud in which he talked about the use of word balloons in comics. I thought I set the magazine aside to use as a reference – and I’ve been tearing about the house for over an hour looking for it. Can’t find it anywhere…and I even went through my recycle bin. And I went to EW’s website, but have you been there recently? It’s H-o-r-r-i-b-l-e! Supposedly it was “redesigned,” but it looks more like it was hacked into by The Onion’s staff, or maybe the »
- Mindy Newell
Sometimes (Ok, frequently) the Academy drops the ball. Cary Grant gave his fair share of pantheon performances ("His Girl Friday," "Bringing Up Baby," "The Awful Truth"), none of which garnered him a nomination for Best Actor (he was instead honored for "Penny Serenade" and "None But the Lonely Heart"). Ingrid Bergman's work in "Casablanca," "Notorious" and "Stromboli" was similarly ignored. This year's Oscar candidates are no different, and with that in mind, here are the 15 best performances from the current acting nominees that weren't nominated for an Oscar. Patricia Arquette, "Lost Highway" (1997)"Lost Highway" is sometimes overshadowed by David Lynch's later masterpiece "Mulholland Drive," but it's a rewarding film in its own right, a nightmarish look at repressed guilt, barely-hidden jealousy and self-deception. Arquette (giving a canny double-performance as »
- Max O'Connell
"Time passes. That's for sure."
2015 is 1/12th done and we haven't even fully wrapped up 2014 yet. Slow down, geez. Here are some highlights from that month that was. Please to enjoy icymi
Unjust Pride DVD Sony has put the gay heroes in the closet
Up Close at the Critics Choice Awards Jessica Chastain & more
Tangerine, Grandma, It Follows and The Witch -Our favorite Sundance films
SAG Fashions the pretties
Why Wes? Why Grand Budapest Hotel?
When u think of costumes... do u think of Watts?
The Five Stages of Grief via Oscar nominations
Fairy Tales and Oscar Streep is the first storybook kind of witch (though not the first literal witch)
Best Actress 1977 A short detour discussion
Julianne Moore's Top Ten Pre-Alice Performances - how does your list vary?
Excuuzzzzze Me it's the 75th »
- NATHANIEL R
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