17 items from 2014
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are fantastic as estranged twins with a family history of depression. After a failed suicide attempt, Milo (Hader) goes to live with Maggie (Wiig) and her Golden Retriever-like husband, Lance (Luke Wilson). Although Maggie's life looks perfect from the outside, she's got just as many self-destructive secrets at Milo. Sweet and sad, this is definitely Wiig's best dramatic role to date.
Tina Fey and Jason Bateman lead an impressive ensemble cast in this dramedy about a family forced together for their father's funeral, and the seven days of mourning customary known as sitting shiva in the Jewish tradition. Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, Ben Schwartz, »
- Jenni Miller
From his breakout turn as mayor Merle Jeeter in Norman Lear’s twisted parody “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” in 1976 Dabney Coleman has built a career on playing the smarmy comedic villain. He earned raves in the 1980 blockbuster “9 to 5” as the sleazy boss on whom, in a pioneering nod to mainstream feminism, a trio of female employees (Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) enact revenge; in 1982’s “Tootsie” he played a sexist soap opera director who gets kneed in the cojones by Dustin Hoffman in drag; and in satirical sitcom “Buffalo Bill” — cancelled in 1984 after a critically acclaimed two-season run on NBC — Coleman’s condescending, narcissistic talkshow host insulted everyone from the stage manager to Jesus.
But if Coleman, receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Nov. 6, had to pick his favorite all-time antagonist, he says that it would most definitely be Jeeter, the character that helped »
- Malina Saval
By Anjelica Oswald
Hollywood films portraying the world — including the troubled side — of show business have garnered best picture nominations for years. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) could be a serious Oscar contender and features Michael Keaton as a former film star known for his portrayal of a superhero named Birdman. He attempts to renew his career by writing, directing and performing in a Broadway play. The film hit theaters Friday. Here are ten best picture Oscar-nominated films about show business (in chronological order):
1. The Red Shoes (1948)
The film is a tragic story about a young ballet dancer (Moira Shearer) who is forced to choose between her future dance career and the composer she falls in love with. The film was nominated for five Oscars and won two.
2. All About Eve (1950)
Anne Baxter stars as Eve, an aspiring, conniving actress who »
- Anjelica Oswald
Criterion has announced their November slate of releases and among them is Frank Capra's romantic-comedy classic It Happened One Night and Blu-ray upgrade of Michelangelo Antonioni's L'avventura and Sydney Pollack's Tootsie starring Dustin Hoffman. First off, and most exciting as far as I'm concerned, is Capra's It Happened One Night, which I speculated previously would be added to the collection sooner rather than later. Starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, this is an all-timer in terms of romantic comedies and Criterion is delivering it with an all new 4K digital restoration, new conversation between critics Molly Haskell and Phillip Lopate, the 1997 feature-length documentary Frank Capra's American Dream, Capra's first film, the 1922 silent short The Ballad of Fisher's Boarding House, the American Film Institute's tribute to Capra from 1982 and the film's trailer. The release arrives on November 18. The other title I'm excited about is Antonioni's L'avventura, the »
- Brad Brevet
The Criterion Collection is always guaranteed to earn some of our money each month, but what to do when some of the big movies they've got coming have already been on home video for years? Is it really worth it just to get a wacky C on the cover? You tell us, but this lineup for November is still pretty solid all around. Leading the way is Frank Capra's comedy classic "It Happened One Night," the first movie in Oscar history to sweep all five top categories —Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. As per usual, this edition is coming fully loaded, with a feature length documentary about the director, his first silent film and much more. And while this movie has been around on DVD for a while, perhaps this dazzling new 4K reproduction will indicate new depths in the film. Speaking of classics, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Jessica Lange will be the ninth recipient of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Kirk Douglas award for excellence in film this year.
Lange, who won an Emmy in her first season on “American Horror Story,” will be presented with the award at a gala at Santa Barbara’s Bacara Resort and Spa on Nov. 16. She follows past recipients such as Quentin Tarantino, Harrison Ford, Robert De Niro and John Travolta.
“Jessica Lange possesses the three key elements in making it in this crazy business: talent, beauty, and intelligence,” said Kirk Douglas in a statement, “all of which have served her well and continue to do so. It is my honor to give her my award.”
Lange won the Academy Awards for best actress and supporting actress for her roles in “Blue Sky” and “Tootsie” respectively. She was also nominated for best actress in four additional roles: “Frances,” “Country, »
- Sebastian Torrelio
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced Emmy- and Oscar-winning actress Jessica Lange as the recipient of this year's Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film. The honor will be presented at a black-tie Gala dinner at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara on Nov. 16, an event which serves as an annual fundraiser for Sbiff. "Jessica Lange possesses the three key elements in making it in this crazy business: talent, beauty and intelligence, all of which have served her well and continue to do so," Kirk Douglas said. "It is my honor to give her my reward. Recent recipients of the honor include Forest Whitaker, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris and John Travolta. Lange received her sixth Emmy nomination to date this month, for her work in FX's "American Horror Story." She won Oscars for her performances in 1982's "Tootsie" and 1994's "Blue Sky. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Jessica Lange will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's 2014 Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film, Sbiff organizers announced on Wednesday. Lange, who won Oscars for “Tootsie” and “Blue Sky,” and Emmys for “Grey Gardens” and “American Horror Story,” will receive the award at a black-tie gala on Sunday, Nov. 16 at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara. The actress is a current Emmy nominee for “American Horror Story: Coven,” and is now filming the fifth season of that FX series. She is also featured in the upcoming film “The Gambler,” with Mark Wahlberg and Brie Larson. See »
- Steve Pond
James Garner movies on TCM: ‘Grand Prix,’ ‘Victor Victoria’ among highlights (photo: James Garner ca. 1960) James Garner, whose film and television career spanned more than five decades, died of "natural causes" at age 86 on July 19, 2014, in the Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood. On Monday, July 28, Turner Classic Movies will present an all-day marathon of James Garner movies (see below) as a tribute to the Oscar-nominated star of Murphy’s Romance and Emmy-winning star of the television series The Rockford Files. Among the highlights in TCM’s James Garner film lineup is John Frankenheimer’s Monaco-set Grand Prix (1966), an all-star, race-car drama featuring Garner as a Formula One driver who has an affair with the wife (Jessica Walter) of his former teammate (Brian Bedford). Among the other Grand Prix drivers facing their own personal issues are Yves Montand and Antonio Sabato, while Akira Kurosawa’s (male) muse Toshiro Mifune plays a »
- Andre Soares
Bill Murray became a movie star 35 years ago this week, upon the release of "Meatballs" on June 29, 1979. His lead role as the head counselor at a sub-par summer camp marked a number of firsts: his first of four movies with director Ivan Reitman (the others were "Stripes" and the two "Ghostbusters"), his first of six movies with writer Harold Ramis (the four Reitman films, plus "Caddyshack" and "Groundhog Day"), and his first taste of mega-stardom beyond his TV fame on "Saturday Night Live."
Since then, his career has taken on a trajectory unique in the history of film, one in which he's gone from comic goofball to dramatic thespian, from universally beloved to acquired taste, and from manic cynic to soft-spoken spiritual seeker. Through it all, however, there have been a few constants; no matter whether he's a grubby groundskeeper or a morose mogul: Murray's character is always the coolest »
- Gary Susman
No, I’m not thinking Doubtfire vs. Madea. Technically that would involve a man fighting a woman, as Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire is Robin Williams playing a male character who dresses as an old lady while Mabel “Madea” Simmons is just Tyler Perry playing an old lady. It doesn’t sound like a fair battle. Obviously Madea would kick the fake nanny’s ass. But the synopsis I have in mind is similar for this Mrs. Doubtfire sequel that Fox 2000 has just announced with original director Chris Columbus and Williams both on board. It has to be an Expendables type movie, which means it’s not just Doubtfire 2 but an ensemble piece in which Williams as Daniel Hillard as Doubtfire is joined by Dustin Hoffman as Michael Dorsey as Tootsie, Martin Lawrence as Malcolm Turner as “Big Momma,” David Cross as Tobias Funke as Mrs. Featherbottom, Miguel A. Nunez Jr. as Jamal Jeffries as Juwanna Mann, Harland Williams »
- Christopher Campbell
Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel rolls out into more markets this week after debuting at just four theaters last weekend. Bill Murray only has only a brief cameo, but he made the most of it and was absolutely hysterical.
Now we have a question for you: What is your favorite Bill Murray movie? Feel free to vote for one of his legendary comedies like Ghostbusters and Caddyshack, one of his more serious films like Lost In Translation and »
The director of the Jeepers Creepers franchise, Victor Salva, has teamed up with Saw's Tobin Bell for Dark House, a tale about a father who travels to a seemingly abandoned mansion in order to learn about his son’s dark psychic gifts.
Instead, Bell’s character, Seth, a mysterious woodsman, leaves them wrapped up in a journey about the true nature of fate.
DC: I know you’ve been interviewed quite a bit in the past by guys like me about your experiences in the horror genre, but I would love to talk about your entire career and your time in New York. How did you first get your start in the business?
- Drew Tinnin
This year’s Best Actor race is shaping up to be one of the greatest of all time. And by greatest, I mean both the most competitive and also the most outstanding, in the sense that each nominee is excellent — hypothetical winners in almost any other year. They also reflect the depth of superb male performances in 2013. Consider: Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Robert Redford (All Is Lost), Joaquin Phoneix (Her), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) all missed the cut.
EW’s Owen Gleiberman recently analyzed this year’s Best Actor race, calling it the most “fiercely, »
- Jeff Labrecque
So, we’ve arrived at the top 20, slowly creeping toward those films that are exactly what a romantic comedy should be. We’ve seen films that fall into the category, but lean more toward other genres. We’ve seen romantic films that are funny enough to be comedies, but don’t entirely represent the spirit of the rom-com, despite being brilliant films. Now, we form a clearer picture of what a romantic comedy is. Not all of the films in this section are necessarily “good,” but they’re all iconic, definitive romantic comedies (hence their inclusion). Memorability does not necessarily come partnered with quality. It means right place, right time.
courtesy of totalfilm.com
20. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
- Joshua Gaul
The Super Bowl is usually the highest-rated single television broadcast of the year, so the post time slot is probably the most coveted in TV because of the massive lead-in audience (upwards of 100 million viewers). But if the program that airs right afterwards typically draws big ratings, why don’t networks take advantage of this and premiere the pilot of a new series? Wouldn’t this be the best way to promote a show you think will be a huge hit? It would seem like a no-brainer, but in fact, that strategy isn’t always bulletproof. More often than not, a pilot for a new series won’t bring in the same high ratings as a special episode of an established series. Once the Big Game is over, most viewers will go ahead and switch the channel. Unless your a fan of the winning team, and care to sit through the post-game wrap up, »
Best Supporting Actor Oscar Predictions 2014 (photo: Jared Leto in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’) As explained in our previous Oscar 2014 predictions post, this year’s Academy Award nominations in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories initially looked impossible to predict. For Best Supporting Actor, Jared Leto was the front-runner for his performance as a transsexual with AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club, and Michael Fassbender was another strong possibility for his evil planter in 12 Years a Slave — but who else? (See also: "Oscar Predictions 2014 Best Actress: Meryl Streep Possibly to Break Another Record," "Oscar Predictions 2014 Best Actor: Robert Redford Possible Near-Record," "Best Supporting Actress 2014 Oscar Predictions: Jennifer Lawrence and/or Scarlett Johansson to Make Oscar History?" and "Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Picture, Best Director.") A couple of weeks ago, the SAG Award nominations helped to clarify things some, but, just as in the Best Supporting Actress category, there remains quite »
- Steve Montgomery
17 items from 2014
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