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Because 2016 cares not for subtlety, this month marks the 40th anniversary of “Network.” Since its release in November 1976 to wide praise and an eventual heap of Oscars, director Sidney Lumet and writer Paddy Chayefsky’s excoriation of the exponentially money-driven, bottom-feeding tendencies of television news has only grown in renown, as each angry pundit updates the film’s library of prophecies about The State of Television Today.
With the ascent of an actual reality TV star to the U.S. Presidency following a broadcast news cycle that worked for everything but a dedication to public interest, it would seem that this depressing political season has reached the logical end of the film’s apocalyptic forecast, landing on a reality too absurd for even “Network” to dramatize: Howard Beale as President. However, as we reflect on what’s gone wrong with contemporary news media and political culture, it’s important to »
- Landon Palmer
Remember when Robert De Niro starred as wannabe standup comic Rupert Pupkin in Martin Scorsese's classic The King of Comedy. Since Pupkin was a full-time sociopath, it came as huge surprise when this amateur had the goods to make a go at his five minutes of fame. As Jackie Burke in The Comedian, De Niro is playing a pro, an aging comic who long ago made his bones doing stand-up and starring in a hit TV sitcom, Eddie's Home, that fans won’t let him forget. De Niro got under the skin of Pupkin. »
Robert De Niro’s 2016 began with Dirty Grandpa. He’s closing it out with another movie in which he woos a much younger woman, only this project is slightly higher brow. In the first trailer for The Comedian, which comes via Entertainment Weekly, we’re introduced to his passé stand-up named Jackie Burke. You know he’s out of the loop because he uses offensive terms like “dyke” and seems unaware that gay marriage is legal. But that doesn’t stop Leslie Mann‘s character, who he meets in a soup kitchen, for falling for him despite their age difference. A performance for a bunch of elderly people makes him a success again, but we assume the ultimate question is whether he’ll find happiness or something like that. De Niro’s casting is an obvious nod to The King Of Comedy, though Taylor Hackford’s film doesn’t ...
- Esther Zuckerman
One of the late additions to the 2016 release calendar is The Comedian, the latest film from Taylor Hackford (Ray, The Devil’s Advocate). Starring Robert De Niro as an insult comic with his glory days behind him, Sony Classics picked up the film and after an AFI Fest premiere and ahead of an Oscar-qualifying run, the first trailer has landed.
Seemingly a far cry from The King of Comedy, we said in our review, “When I consider The Comedian, I’m hard-pressed to articulate just what the movie is. It feels as though over the course of the production, whatever point it was supposed to have got lost, perhaps in the transition from one director or screenplay draft to another. What’s left is an accretion of movie stars and name comedians orbiting a plotless New York travelogue starring Robert De Niro.”
- Jordan Raup
In 1983, Robert De Niro starred as Rupert Pupkin, a crazed fan who yearns desperately to be a stand-up comic, in the ironically titled The King of Comedy. Now, 33 years later, the seven-time Oscar nominee (he’s won two statuettes) is in contention for nod No. 8 with his lead role in The Comedian, a darkly humorous film set in the strange world of comedy clubs.
Directed by Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray) and written by a quartet of industry pros including Jeff Ross and Richard Lagravenese, The Comedian features De Niro as a once-edgy Don Rickles-like stand-up named Jackie Burke. »
More than three decades after starring in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” De Niro returned in another role as a troubled stand-up with a supporting cast of Leslie Mann, Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Patti Lupone and Cloris Leachman. “This has been a passion project of mine for many years,” he said on the red carpet.
But De Niro — who’s won two Oscars and been nominated seven times — admitted after the screening that getting honest laughs was a serious challenge.
“It was good but it was not an easy experience” he allowed. “Sometimes the extras didn’t realize they were supposed to laugh.”
De Niro, who was a major Hillary Clinton supporter, was asked »
- Dave McNary
If you thought “Dirty Grandpa” marked a comedic bottoming out for two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro, then you underestimated the catastrophic capabilities of this wretched year. Kicking off 2016 by putting his penis on Zac Efron’s pillow, the cinematic icon who so vehemently desired to punch Donald Trump in the face concludes a painful 12 months as the titular star of “The Comedian,” spouting a slew of sexist, homophobic, and comprehensively dated jokes that America’s president-elect would probably find familiar.
Too conventional to function as shock comedy and too angry to spark spontaneous laughs, “The Comedian” is a film without a purpose. Taylor Hackford’s latest directorial effort never even takes the time to figure out why its central figure turned to stand-up in the first place. Worse yet, De Niro shows little sign of caring what drives our darkest funnymen to say what they say on stage, »
- Ben Travers
It’s not easy to grow old gracefully in the entertainment business, and the chance to both explore and poke fun at that uncomfortable truth may have been exactly what drew Robert De Niro to “The Comedian.” But despite the actor’s sincerest efforts in the role of a stand-up comic still trying to distance himself from the ‘90s sitcom that made him famous, there’s a fundamental miscalculation to the casting that drags down an already lumpy shaggy dog dramedy.
De Niro’s fans may be hoping for a spiritual successor to his classic Martin Scorsese dark comedy “The King of Comedy,” but “The Comedian” falls much closer to actor’s forgettable showbiz satire also penned by writer-producer Art Linson, “What Just Happened?” In fact, that’s a question viewers may ask themselves almost any time De Niro’s character, Jackie Berkowitz, grabs a mic.
There’s a strange »
- Geoff Berkshire
De Niro’s turn as a misanthropic weather-beaten comic who can’t seem to shake his annoying alter-ego, mixes Bad Grandpa’s puerile pathos and Louie’s darkness
Robert De Niro recently made headlines for saying he could no longer punch Donald Trump in the face now the New York businessman is president-elect. It’s the kind of thing you could imagine his character in The Comedian, the misanthropic burned-out standup Jackie Burke, working into a routine or perhaps taking a step further. In fact, Burke – whose put-upon manager is played by Edie Falco – doesn’t have any such issues with self-constraint, and triggers the film’s first act by assaulting a heckling audience member in a public breakdown that has shades of Michael Richards.
That outburst sets up the well-worn premise of The Comedian: a standup who can’t shake his best known and, often, most mainstream character. »
- Lanre Bakare
In the parlance of the stand-up world, “The Comedian” takes the stage with a tight 15 minutes. Unfortunately, you have to endure the other 104 to enjoy them. This Robert De Niro passion project wants desperately to find some grace notes in the life of a has-been who’s not ready to give up the spotlight — think “The Wrestler,” only translated to the comedy-club circuit — but like a comic who’s lost his edge, the movie indulges in cheap jokes and even cheaper sentiment in its desperate quest for love. De Niro’s Rupert Pupkin in “The King of Comedy” was a. »
- Alonso Duralde
As director Martin Scorsese preps his 24th feature film “Silence” for official release, it’s natural to look back at the many films he’s made over the past fifty years — “Raging Bull,” “The King of Comedy,” “Goodfellas,” etc. But one film of his in particular looms large in the culture: “Taxi Driver,” Scorsese’ 1976 vigilante film starring Robert De Niro as a disturbed Vietnam vet who works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City. As he slowly loses his grip on reality, he attempts to save a young prostitute (Jodie Foster) from a life of sleaze and degradation.
“Taxi Driver” was nominated for four Oscars, drew controversy for its graphic violence and inspired an enduring catchphrase. In honor of its 40th anniversary, the film was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Afterwards, the »
- Vikram Murthi
Martin Scorsese (Courtesy: Getty Images)
By: Carson Blackwelder
It’s a known fact that Martin Scorsese is one of America’s most prolific directors — and one who has proven to be inspired by his birthplace of New York City as well as other places up and down the East Coast on numerous occasions. With Silence set to be released on December 23 (with a wider release in January 2017), will this filmmaker see success with a film leaving behind this iconic backdrop?
Stephen Galloway, The Hollywood Reporter’s executive editor of features, questioned in a recent chat with this site’s namesake, Scott Feinberg, whether or not Scorsese — in all his years of making movies — had ever made a great film that had left these settings behind.
Of Scorsese’s lengthy résumé — which, before Silence, contains 23 feature-length movies — the majority have been set in either New York City or somewhere on the East Coast. »
- Carson Blackwelder
The Clash’s frontman Joe Strummer had a seismic impact on music as well as the attitudes of impressionable youth. His rebellious attitude and leftist politics inspired a generation to take a stand for what they believed in. Derrick Borte’s new film “London Town” follows a young teenager’s coming-of-age story at the beginning of the punk rock era who happens to befriend Joe Strummer at a crucial point in his life.
As unemployment hits the working class suburbs of London very hard in 1979, 14-year-old Shay (Daniel Huttlestone) is forced to take care of his younger sister while his father (Dougray Scott) works two jobs, but Shay is caught up in the punk scene after being exposed to The Clash from his estranged mother (Natascha McElhone) and meeting 15-year-old scenester Vivian (Nell Williams). When »
- Vikram Murthi
The New Regency chairman and producer will receive the Industry Tribute at the 2016 Ifp Gotham Awards in New York on November 28.
The award is awarded each year to an individual “whose unique vision and contributions have made a signiﬁcant impact on the motion picture industry.”
New Regency’s upcoming films include Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply, Assassin’s Creed and A Cure For Wellness.
Legendary Entertainment has hired veteran branding, consumer products and licensing executive James Ngo to the newly created role of senior vice-president of franchise management. Ngo will set to work finding additional revenue-generating streams for such properties as Godzilla and Pacific Rim and will also manage the company’s brand collaborations on established IP such as Pokémon.The American »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Some actors and directors go together like spaghetti and meatballs. They just gel together in a rare way that makes their collaborations special. Here is a list of the seven best parings of director and actor in film history.
Of all the parings on this list, these two make the oddest films. (In a good way.) Tim Burton is one of the most visually imaginative filmmakers of his generation and Johnny Depp was once the polymorphous master of playing a wide variety of eccentric characters. They were a natural combo. Depp made most of his best films with Burton, before his current ‘Jack Sparrow’ period began. The duo had the knack for telling stories about misfits and freaks, yet making them seem sympathetic and likable. »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
Jerry Lewis turned 90 in March. Many fans, me included, wished hard to see this legendary comedian and virtuoso filmmaker cut loose on screen one more time. Max Rose doesn't grant that wish. For starters, his first film in 20 years is not a comedy — it's a sober, sad-eyed study of an old man on the ropes. Max, a former jazz pianist who never quite made it, sits alone in a house haunted by memories, mostly of his wife Eva (the great Claire Bloom) who has just died. At her funeral, his eulogy is tortured, »
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of, so they can see that it’s not the answer.” – Jim Carrey “Better to be King for a night, than schmuck for a lifetime.” – Rupert Pupkin, “The King of Comedy” Read More: Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ Reportedly Over 3 Hours […]
- Nicholas Laskin
Frank Ocean: musician, visual-album releaser, list-making cinephile. Following on the heels of his latest album finally being made available to the eager public, Ocean has revealed his 100 favorite films. Originally posted on Genius, which has a breakdown of how movies like “The Little Mermaid” and “Eyes Wide Shut” made their way into his lyrics (“I’m feeling like Stanley Kubrick, this is some visionary shit/Been tryna film pleasure with my eyes wide shut but it keeps on moving”), the list contains a mix of familiar favorites (“Annie Hall,” “The Royal Tenenbaums”) and comparatively obscure arthouse fare (“Woyzeck,” “Sonatine”). Avail yourself of all 100 below.
“The Last Laugh”
- Michael Nordine
After a few delays, Frank Ocean‘s Channel Orange follow-up, Blond, has now arrived and, with it, not only an additional visual album, but Boys Don’t Cry, a magazine that only a select few were able to get their hands on. (Although, if you believe the artist’s mom, we can expect a wider release soon.) In between a personal statement about his new work and a Kanye West poem about McDonalds, Ocean also listed his favorite films of all-time and we have the full list today.
Clocking at 207.23 hours, as Ocean notes, his list includes classics from Andrei Tarkovsky, David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Orson Welles, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Jean Cocteau, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola, Fritz Lang, Werner Herzog, Akira Kurosawa, Ridley Scott, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergei Eisenstein, F. W. Murnau, Luis Buñuel, and more.
As for some more recent titles, it looks like The Royal Tenenbaums »
- Jordan Raup
Winona Ryder graces the cover of New York Magazine's Aug. 8-21 issue, and if you didn't know any better, you'd probably think her photo shoot was from 20 years ago. The Stranger Things actress looks as though she's barely aged at all, rocking minimal makeup, a white t-shirt, and slicked-backed hair for the magazine. But while her fierce look is enough to make any '90s kid happy, it's her accompanying interview that proves how badass she still is. Winona opens up about everything from dealing with anxiety to why she's not on social media to a particularly awful encounter with a fan. See her best quotes below! On dealing with anxiety and being sensitive in the public eye: "I wish I could unknow this, but there is a perception of me that I'm supersensitive and fragile. And I am supersensitive, and I don't think that that's a bad thing. To do what I do, »
- Caitlin Hacker
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