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Warner Brothers must have both wanted to capitalize and mock the release of Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West, as they’ve just created a slightly new special edition of Blazing Saddles for the film’s 40th anniversary. There was no way (and no offense to MacFarlane) that he could match or top Mel Brooks’ film, which is hard to call his masterpiece or even the best film he directed that year. But that’s only because in 1974 both it and Young Frankenstein were released. Which is the better movie boils down to preference. That said, I prefer Saddles. The film stars Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman and Madeline Kahn in this Western send up, and my Blazing Saddles Blu-ray review follows after the jump. Starting with the title song, everything is on point in Blazing Saddles as Brooks treats the film like a feature length Looney Tunes cartoon. »
- Andre Dellamorte
Have you ever considered the job of Location Manager? I can quickly confess that I have not despite often considering plentiful jobs that go on behind the scenes on motion pictures. The Credits discusses the complicated work with Catou Kearney the Location Manager of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It's a technically challenging movie, not least of which because they shot so much outdoors and needed a lushly overgrown forest.
The apes ... have created a vast forest utopia. Finding such a place, one that looks as abundant as the script demands, but that could also support a large crew and a ton of equipment, takes months of research, legwork, and a few thousand phone calls. Kearney is a seasoned location manager, and relishes the opportunity. “It’s like putting a ten-thousand piece puzzle together,” she says. “When that last piece falls into place, there’s nothing like it. »
- NATHANIEL R
The release this week of Jon Favreau’s Chef provides a new addition to the popular sub-genre of Food Cinema. From Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (1994) to Julia & Julia (2009), film directors have often created meals so mouth-watering that the thought of another handful of chewy, over-toffeed popcorn makes a mockery of one’s very soul.
Here then is the ultimate HeyUGuide to the ultimate Cine-Banquet, for any budding chefs out there to prepare for like-minded friends (please consult Alexander Payne’s Sideways for your wine selection).
Amuse-bouche: ‘Rillettes du Canard’ Red Dragon (2002)
“Hannibal, confess. What is this divine looking amuse-bouche?” Dr. Lecter is perhaps wise to keep back some of the secrets of the lavish banquet he has prepared for The Baltimore Opera Society. Few of them would suspect that the missing (and talentless) flutist from their own woodwind section is not just the ghost at the feast, but the key ingredient. »
- Cai Ross
“We tried to make this in 2002 but we couldn’t get the studio to do it,” he told the audience the Regal.
Wain’s longtime collaborator Michael Showalter wrote the script shortly after 2001′s “Wet Hot American Summer” but Universal put the project into turnaround. A decade later, Wain held a table read with Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler and got Lionsgate’s microbudget division on board.
With a budget of “$3 million and change,” Wain shot the project in 23 days, mostly in Brooklyn.
“We had a lot of one-take scenes; it was a race against time and money,” he noted. “Dollar for dollar, it was the least expensive movie I’ve ever done.”
The director explained that he was emulating the tone of “Airplane, »
- Dave McNary
I’m told by a company insider that Roger Bart, a Tony winner and star of Broadway’s The Producers and Young Frankenstein, has departed Finding Neverland, the Broadway-bound, Diane Paulus-staged show based on the 2004 Miramax film starring Johnny Depp. The film about Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie and his relationship with the family that became the Darlings of his books about the ageless boy, the fairy Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, Captain Hook and his gang of pirates aboard the Jolly Roger. The musical is slated to begin performances July 23 at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, following a U.K. tryout […] »
There is something about getting a kick out of the sleazy celluloid cretins that feels rather intriguing. Whether these movie weasels are unctuous lawyers, abusive spouses or borderline bullies the concept of being a big screen weasel brings to mind some of the most colorful cast of conniving cohorts of misbehaving ever assembled. Okay…maybe that is a stretch as there are countless of other worthy weasels deserving of making a top ten list–probably even better known or notorious than the selection being presented currently.
Nevertheless, let’s check out the weasel-like wonders that movie audiences have learned to love or despise depending on the frame of mind in celebrating these shifty oddballs.
Note: The selections of The Art of Being Shady and Shifty: The Top 10 Movie Weasels featured below are presented in no particular preference or order:
Now how can anyone omit one of »
- Frank Ochieng
I thought the best part of interviewing Andy Daly in Austin over the weekend would be getting a chance to witness the star of Comedy Central's "Review" channeling his fictional alter ego Forrest MacNeil and eating pancakes, as he did in the year's funniest half-hour of television. But though pancakes were, in fact, consumed (in the interests of accuracy, I should say that Daly ordered the short stack — albeit what turned out to be a Texas-sized short stack — and ate much, but not all, of it), the most exciting part of the interview was the news that Comedy Central was days away from announcing that "Review" (which had ended on a brilliant, but seemingly final, note) would return for a second season. (In that same announcement, Comedy Central also renewed "Inside Amy Schumer" and the animated series "TripTank," as well as greenlighting two new series: "Another Period," starring Riki Lindhome »
- Alan Sepinwall
What can I possibly tell you about Blazing Saddles that you don’t already know as a movie fan? Unless you’re one of those people who puts Spaceballs and Robin Hood Men In Tights at the top of your comedy list. In that case, I’d tell you to replace your funny bone and get serious about life by watching the greatest comedy of all-time, Blazing Saddles.
By coming out the same year as Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles is a perfect counterpoint to highlighting the mastery of Mel Brooks over the comedic film medium. While many folks will often highlight Young Frankenstein or The Producers as Brooks’ greatest achievement, I’ve always been a Blazing Saddles guy. I’ve mentioned my love of Saddles in the past, most often in other comedy reviews. Overall, I’m just a Brooks fan, but there’s something about the sheer audacity and »
- Robert Ottone
At 87, Mel Brooks has lost none of his edge.
The legendary comic provocateur has phoned me from his Los Angeles office to promote the just-released 40th anniversary Blu-ray of his magnum opus, "Blazing Saddles," but before he submits to an interview, he quizzes me about Moviefone's unique pageviews and other Web traffic statistics, about which he knows more than I do. Having concluded that Moviefone is well-trafficked enough for him to talk to, he says, "Ask away, Susman!"
"Blazing Saddles," which made serious satirical points about racism while also making cinema safe for fart jokes, is certainly one of the most influential comedies ever made. Brooks believes it's the funniest film of all time (followed closely by his own "Young Frankenstein"), and he's still upset with the American Film Institute for disagreeing with him. He's making his case for the film with the Blu-ray (which contains a new making-of documentary, »
- Gary Susman
So the phone rings, and I answer it, and it's Mel Brooks. That's an actual thing that happened. That's now something I can say. And even better, the 40 minute conversation that followed me answering the phone is one of my favorites in recent memory. How often do you get to talk to a comedy legend about one of the pinnacle moments of not only their career, but of film comedy in general? I was told I'd have about 15 minutes originally. Time was tight. And if you get offered 15 minutes to talk to Mel Brooks about "Blazing Saddles," you take it, right? We ended up having a really fun back and forth about that film, about films he's produced, about his partnership with Gene Wilder, and about the ways Hollywood failed the great Richard Pryor. The only reason we wrapped it up is because we had to, and it would have »
- Drew McWeeny
I love it when I'm watching a movie and all of a sudden, out of nowhere there's a surprise appearance by a big, well-known actor. Sometimes the roles are funny, sometimes actors parody themselves, and then there are times when we get an incredible dramatic performance. There are a ton of great movie cameos out there, but I thought I'd put together a list of 20 cameos and small movie roles that I have enjoyed over the years.
There are some famous cameos such as Stan Lee's Marvel movie cameos and the Anchorman cameos that I purposely left off the list because they seem to be obvious choices.
Look over my list and let me know what your favorite movie cameos are in the comment section!
This is by far my favorite movie cameo of all time. Murray is absolutely hilarious in every way. »
- Joey Paur
Harumph, harumph, harumph!
After all, he’s carving time out of his day to speak about Blazing Saddles, the delirious western that is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special edition Blu-ray, out May 6. Time is of the essence: “I have people coming in to give me awards,” Brooks jokes. “Every 45 minutes, roughly, someone will knock on my door and give me the United Jewish something or other. I always get an award every day, some kind of award.”
Well, it’s good to be the king. And »
- Jeff Labrecque
Whatever you make of Woody Allen these days, and whatever you feel about the puffing-up process that swells a likable film into three hours of Broadway razzle-dazzle, let me suggest this: Of all screen-to-stage adaptations since The Producers, Bullets Over Broadway is, artistically speaking, the shrewdest choice, the one that has the greatest chance of honoring its source material and not leaving audiences just sitting there waiting for their favorite bits. The very idea of a Young Frankenstein musical kills the best joke in Young Frankenstein — the surprise musical number — and the greatest-hits nostalgia of Spamalot revealed just how daring and unique the original was: Broadway sanded the edges off, made sure the laughs were for everybod »
After splitting sides at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the romantic comedy parody They Came Together starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, is finally coming to theaters this summer, and the first trailer has arrived to show off the goods. Along with some huge laughs, there's also glimpses of the incredible supporting cast that includes Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Cobie Smulders, Max Greenfield, Christopher Meloni and a whole slew of hilarious cameos. Director and comedian David Wain has hit a home run with a parody that calls back to classics like Airplane and Young Frankenstein. Watch the trailer! Here's the first trailer for David Wain's They Came Together, originally from BuzzFeed (via Film Stage): They Came Together is directed by David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer), who co-wrote the film with Michael Showalter (The Baxter). The film tells the love story of Joel (Paul Rudd), a »
- Ethan Anderton
At age 87, Mel Brooks is adding another first to his already iconic career: a one-man show.
Brooks is set to appear in a solo autobiographical play at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse for one night only on April 28. In typical Brooks fashion, he’s serving as director, producer, writer, and actor for the “introspective retrospective” into his life and career.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, show producer Kevin Salter said, “What Mel wanted to do was to have a platform to tell some of these great stories that he has in an intimate fashion.” Brooks reportedly approached the »
- Marc Snetiker
When did "spoof" become such a dirty word? There once was a time when filmmakers like Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein) and brilliant comedians like the late Leslie Nielsen (Airplane!, The Naked Gun) mastered the art of parody. No film genre was safe. Nowadays, however, movies like Michael Tiddes. A Haunted House 2 arrive in theaters with a thundering eye roll. When did things go so wrong? Open Road Films didn.t screen Marlon Wayans. comedy sequel for critics. (I know, right?) That gave us an excuse to go back and celebrate the finest entries in the spoof genres. movies that packed in the laughs and took advantage of the creative leeway that comes with assuming a familiar genre. Surely you love these 10 vintage spoof movies. We apologize for calling you Shirley. And, of course, we want to hear from you! Tell us your favorite spoof movies in the »
Chicago – In May 13, 1996, I didn’t know what an RPG was. That all changed with “Super Mario RPG: The Legend of The Seven Stars”. The term was right there in the title! Not only did they popularize the genre, Square Enix streamlined the numbers heavy RPGs of the past into something challenging, charming, thrilling, and accessible. The combat was required timed button presses, and the story was oddly touching; bittersweet moments supplementing the generally upbeat and zany antics. It was almost a kid-friendly water-slide prelude to the pop-culture Tsunami that was to be “Final Fantasy VII” only a few months later, at which point pretty much everyone knew what an RPG was and what to expect to from one.
Video Game Rating: 4.0/5.0
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
(Brian De Palma, 15, Arrow, 1974)
In 1974, after a decade making low-budget, semi-underground movies, Brian De Palma thought he was about to enter the big time when 20th Century Fox paid $2m for this wild satire on indulgent rock musicians and the corrupt industry that exploited them. Basically it's a transposition of The Phantom of the Opera to the modern pop world, where an evil impresario, Swan (the diminutive, baby-faced composer Paul Williams,, who also wrote the songs), steals a pretentious rock cantata from Winslow Leach, its naive author, and frames him on drugs charge.
After he's been disfigured by a record-pressing machine, Winslow returns to seek revenge by haunting Swan's theatre, the Paradise. The piece also draws on Goethe's Faust, Wilde's Dorian Gray and Edgar Allan Poe, and refers to movies ranging from Psycho (the shower scene is reprised using a plunger) and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.
But De Palma »
- Philip French
Zap2it: What has the impact been on you of playing Penelope Garcia over nine seasons of "Criminal Minds"?
Kirsten Vangsness: When fortune comes upon you, it can really shut you down, or it can really crack you open and you can learn so much about yourself.
I feel honored that I get to be a squatter in this sort of fancy mansion with these fancy people for this period of time -- with all these dead bodies everywhere -- and I'm really appreciative. I've gotta say, this has been such a gift.
Related: TV's most devastating deaths
Zap2it: When you've tackled other work on film and stage, have you seen the effect of the popularity of "Criminal Minds" on that?
Kirsten Vangsness: Well, you would think so. I am a member of a nonprofit theater company called Theatre of Note that has a 40-seat house, and »
With final box office figures unavailable at the time of writing, the festival (which ran Feb 20-March 2) has hit the 40,000 mark for the first time with a programme of 369 screenings, panel discussions, live performances and pop-up cinema events.
Speaking at the closing gala, festival co-directors Allan Hunter and Allison Gardner thanked the festival’s sponsors - Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Event Scotland, Creative Scotland and the BFI. Gardner added: “We’ve had a truly wonderful time with the festival: great films, fabulous guests and the warmest audiences. Thank you very much for the support and a huge thanks to the massive team that’s worked so hard across a huge »
- email@example.com (Ian Sandwell)
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