15 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. »
To get to a happy ending in a Tom Hanks movie, an innocent character has to pay the price. Here's the proof...
With the best part of $10bn banked for his movies across his career, Tom Hanks remains one of the biggest and most interesting movie stars on the planet. His most recent performance in Captain Phillips, for instance, was comfortably one of his best. And looking back on Hanks’ career, the path of increased boldness and range is easy to chart.
Furthermore, he’s achieved his successes without public meltdowns, without signs of turning into a diva, and without putting us through many poor films at all. The man is a hero.
Well, to everyone but certain characters in his movies. For, on rewatching Big, we became aware of an alarming trend: that there tends to be a character in a Tom Hanks movie whose role is to »
It’s not so much that the world needs yet another spoof of romantic comedies. Whether it’s through direct parodies like Date Movie, or through reinventions like The 40 Year-Old Virgin, the genre has had enough holes poked in it over the years. Even without those films, we’ve groaned through the clichés enough times on our own. But David Wain’s rom-com spoof They Came Together, which on paper sounds like it’s way late to the party, sneaks up on you. Taking pretty much every rom-com trope and distilling it into highly concentrated ridiculousness, Wain’s film is both a takedown and a tribute: As with his summer-camp-movie spoof Wet Hot American Summer, you walk away with a renewed love for the genre.They Came Together starts off as a variation on You’ve Got Mail (which itself was a variation on The Shop Around the Corner). Amy Poehler is Molly, »
- Bilge Ebiri
Austin Film Society continues their "Rebel Rebel" film series this weekend with a rare 35mm screening of Getting Straight at the Marchesa. This 1970 film from Richard Rush stars Elliott Gould as a Vietnam vet who attempts to go back to college amid the countercultural revolution. Also starring Candice Bergen and shot by legendary cinemtographer Laszlo Kovacs (Easy Rider, Paper Moon), it's playing tonight and again on Sunday afternoon. Doc Nights is booked for Wednesday evening and will be spotlighting the story of a young ballerina who was diagnosed with polio at 27. Read more about Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq in our preview post here. On Thursday evening, you can view Stanley Kubrick's Paths Of Glory as part of this month's Essential Cinema series about World War I.
The Paramount Summer Classic Film Series has a wide variety of flicks to choose from this week. Saturday and Sunday at the Paramount, »
- Matt Shiverdecker
Directed by David Wain
Molly (Amy Poehler) and Joel (Paul Rudd) are likable singles who reside in New York that we immediately want to get together and stay together but beyond the initial thrills of seeing them meet, the material of David Wain’s They Came Together soon turns disappointingly repetitive. Mimicking The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail, Molly’s small candy business goes up against Joel’s employer- the Corporate Candy Company. They have direct personal conflicts with each other but there is an undeniable pull of attraction between them that can’t be ignored. From ridiculing falling-in-love montages to klutzy bumblings on dates, this film in no way approaches the absolute zaniness of the best of Wain’s previous achievement with »
- Lane Scarberry
Attendees at next month’s Cannes Film Festival will hear plenty of French being spoken — except, that is, by the characters onscreen. Of the French films recently announced as part of this year’s official selection, two (Olivier Dahan’s opening-nighter “Grace of Monaco” and Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria”) are predominately English-language features with largely American and British casts, while “The Search,” from “The Artist” helmer Michel Hazanavicius, reportedly features a mix of English, French, Chechnyan and Russian. Meanwhile, in the festival’s Un Certain Regard sidebar, “Lady Chatterley” director Pascale Ferran’s “Bird People” is another hybrid English/French affair, with a cast that includes Josh Charles, Radha Mitchell and Clark Johnson.
On the one hand, this may seem fated in a year when reliable linguistic provocateur Jean-Luc Godard will be present in the Cannes competition with a film titled “Goodbye to Language.” On the other, this »
- Scott Foundas
Bollywood romance blossoms when the wrong lunch lands on the desk of a Mumbai office drone
Already a huge success in its native India, Ritesh Batra's Mumbai-set romance arranges a tender marriage of Brief Encounter with Ernst Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner. Bollywood star Irrfan Khan plays Saajan, an ageing office drone who finds the wrong lunchbox delivered to his desk and stumbles into a chaste relationship with Nimrat Kaur's unhappy housewife. Before long, this pair will learn the value of crossed wires and missed connections and how (in the words of one colleague) "the wrong train can get you to the right station". Who cares if the conceit feels a shade schematic? The Lunchbox is perfectly handled and beautifully acted; a quiet storm of banked emotions. I loved the bittersweet scenes of Saajan clinging to the handrails of the crowded commuter carriage or smoking on »
- Xan Brooks
That warm-and-fuzzy feeling is guaranteed by the combination of Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan and Christmas in this winning update of 1940's Jimmy Stewart/Maureen Sullivan heart-warmer The Shop Around The Corner. The huggable duo recreate their Sleepless In Seattle chemistry to play rival bookshop owners who can't stand each other in real life but fall head over heels in cyberspace. As their current squeezes, Greg Kinnear and Parker Posey are great value but probably shouldn't get too far ahead with their wedding plans. »
Welcome, beloved guests. The time has come to check-in to The Grand Budapest Hotel. Upon arrival, be sure to take in the beautiful world surrounding you, as created by director and co-writer Wes Anderson, as well as the wonderful hotel aesthetic, brought to you by production designer Adam Stockhausen. This week, Wamg and a few members of the press sat down (in a roundtable discussion) with Anderson and Stockhausen to talk about Anderson’s all new caper The Grand Budapest Hotel. Check it out below!
The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars; and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting; a raging battle for an enormous family fortune; a desperate chase on motorcycles, trains, sleds, and skis; and the sweetest »
- Melissa Howland
Welcome, beloved guest-to-be. Upon your check-in to The Grand Budapest Hotel on Friday, you might meet a very important attorney that goes by the name of Deputy Kovacs, who is played by Jeff Goldblum in Wes Anderson’s new caper about friendship, honor, and promises fulfilled. This week, Wamg and a few members of the press sat down (in a roundtable discussion) with Goldblum to talk about the working with Anderson, upcoming projects, and memes. Check it out below!
The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars; and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting; a raging battle for an enormous family fortune; a desperate chase on motorcycles, trains, sleds, and skis; and the sweetest confection of a love affair — all »
- Melissa Howland
Written and directed by Wes Anderson
More than perhaps any other director, the work of Ernst Lubitsch has been the most noticeable influence on Wes Anderson’s style. Though the great German-American writer-director, most prolific in the 1930s and 1940s, was never quite so aesthetically bold in the look of his sets, he too was preoccupied with meticulous staging for comedy within his chosen locales, be they the titular Shop Around the Corner or the Parisian hotel of Ninotchka; The Grand Budapest Hotel is set in a fictional European country, the Republic of Zubrowka, another Lubitsch trait from works like The Merry Widow and The Love Parade, though The Shop Around the Corner happens to be set in the city Anderson’s mountaintop lodging house takes its name from. He garnered the descriptor of ‘the Lubitsch touch’ thanks to the moving sincerity that »
- Josh Slater-Williams
Valentine's Day is upon us, and if you have young kids at home and/or forgot to secure a sitter, you're probably going to have to celebrate at home. Perhaps you've been together a while and don't get caught up in the dinner and gifts revelry any more (if ever!). We hear you, and we've got some great recommendations for a lovely romantic movie night after the kids have gone to bed.
For couples who love old-school rom-coms: "You've Got Mail"
Watch on Amazon Instant
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There was something magical about Meg Ryan in her Hollywood heyday, and she was once quite deservedly the queen of romantic comedies. Although we adore "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle," this remake of "The Shop Around the Corner" combines our love of New York-set romances, all things Tom Hanks, and the allure of bookstores.
For couples who like some »
- Sandie Angulo Chen
The romantic comedy genre is both an easy target and somehow difficult to spoof properly. We have high hopes, however, for Role Models writer-director David Wain, who is putting the box office disappointment of Wanderlust behind him by putting two of his Wet Hot American Summer ensemble, Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, back together for They Came Together. The first clip is below.They Came Together takes – well, rips – a page from The Shop Around The Corner and remake You’ve Got Mail for the tale of small business owner Molly who somehow finds love with corporate titan Joel (Rudd). And yes, they apparently both like fiction. Small world!With the movie due to premiere at Sundance, Wain has also released a typically witty director’s statement: “After having already made world-changing cinematic statements on adolescence (Wet Hot American Summer), religion (The Ten), service (Role Models), and community (Wanderlust), I »
We all have predisposed notions about the infamous “romantic comedy.” As with other genres, there’s a large subsection of offerings, giving it a bad name. But, for every tired, cliché-driven comedy, there is another impressive offering that redefines the genre, garners plenty of laughs, and tells an honest story about love and relationships, however warped they may be. In the coming weeks, we’ll take a look at the fifty romantic comedy films that should be seen. These may not all be classic films, but they certainly put a stamp on the industry and the genre we affectionately call “rom-coms.”
#50. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Most of Wes Anderson’s films could be described as romantic comedies, but his 2012 effort stands out, as its central story focuses on young love and the need to find acceptance. In Anderson’s world, while quirks abound, true connections between characters are commonplace. With Moonrise Kingdom, »
- Joshua Gaul
The Sundance Premieres section is “A showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly anticipated dramatic films of the coming year.”
Written and directed by Jake Paltrow
It’s always a mix of delight, discomfort, and teeth-grinding tension when Michael Shannon (Bug, Take Shelter, The Iceman) takes center stage. His exacting performances often subtly build upon instability and transfix the audience as a countdown to imminent emotional combustion begins. This sci-fi drama by Jake Paltrow (The Good Night) is set to showcase Shannon and rely on his strong air of deeply held convictions to boldly deliver the film’s gritty premise of humanity’s struggle in a future deprived of water. The rest of the acting ensemble are coming of age as promising talents that may complement Shannon’s gravitas. Elle Fanning shined in Ginger & Rosa while »
- Lane Scarberry
15 items from 2014
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