11 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. »
“Never happen.” That’s how John Cena replied to a comment about a heel turn from Mark Bell and his cameraman at the Supertraining Gym in Sacramento recently. The video was released on Youtube and runs for 7:41 with about 20 seconds of Bell and his friend suggesting a heel turn to Cena.
The discussion about wrestling didn’t last too long. Most of it was about weightlifting, which is something Cena enjoys a lot. There was one other moment where Bell wondered if Cena had it in him to go heel. Cena replied confidently: “Oh I’ve got it in me for sure… I do what they tell me, boss.” In other words, he’s confident he could pull it off although he doesn’t really think they’re going to ask him. He’s got a point there.
Cena offered them the $1 bet from the movie Trading Places, »
- John Canton
In celebration of John Landis' 64th birthday, we take a look at some of the director's most cherished films.
Today, legendary director John Landis turns 64, and in his long and storied career in Hollywood, the celebrated filmmaker has managed to create some of the most influential and beloved movies the world has ever enjoyed.
So, to celebrate and honor this iconic crafter of comedies and headmaster of horror, here are John Landis' 5 highest-rated cinematic masterpieces, based on their Rotten Tomatoes score…
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%
Directed by Landis, but written by David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams – the men who brought us Airplane! – The Kentucky Fried Movie is a collection of totally random, bizarre, and downright hilarious comedy sketches. No plot to speak of, the film is just a wonderful hodgepodge of 1970s weirdness.
Rt Score: 87%
Few movie genres date with as much fluctuating unpredictably as comedy. What is hilarious to one person is humourless to the next. What is daring and boundary-breaking to one will just be in poor taste to the other. Some comedies are so reliant on contemporary social mores that the laughs are whittled away over time. Does anyone really still think that Will Hay’s comedies are hilarious, or Abbott & Costello’s, say?
The maturation process whereby movies pass through opprobrium, obscurity, rediscovery and reassessment is especially tortuous for comedies. A joke has to be pretty strong to withstand thirty or forty years of scrutiny, and the film must withstand repeated viewings and still retain the ability to amuse. I can’t imagine anyone, not even the people who made it, will remember Epic Movie or Meet The Spartans in 2044.
It’s one of the great touchstones of maturity when you »
- Cai Ross
Badass Digest has just opened up voting for their Villain Death Match. Unlike our recent Monster Madness where we focused on horror movie monsters, Bad's goal is slightly different. They are opening up the battle to all genre’s in hopes to crown the ultimate movie villain. Here is how the brackets break down:
Bracket 1: The Sinister Sixteen
Darth Vader, Star Wars
Jason, Friday The 13th
The Thing, The Thing
T-1000, Terminator 2
Captain Rhodes, Day Of The Dead
Lord Humungus, Mad Max 2
Simon Phoenix, Demolition Man
Randolph and Mortimer Duke, Trading Places
Emma Small, Johnny Guitar
Cruella de Vil, 101 Dalmations
Ramrod, Vice Squad
Angel Eyes, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Bob Barnes, Platoon
Edwin Epps, 12 Years A Slave
Anton Chigurh, No Country For Old Men
Connie Marble, Pink Flamingos
Bracket 2: The Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Khan, The Wrath Of Khan
The System, Brazil
Loki, Thor/Avengers Franchise
The Xenomorph, »
- Chris Connors
Every summer has a dominant blockbuster, but it’s not every year that the season’s biggest movie inspires a legitimate mania. Ghostbusters, which surrounded some of the funniest guys on the planet with expensive — though slightly cheesy — special effects, was a certifiable phenomenon. In 1984, your classmates, your teacher, your pen-pal in Nairobi, even your half-deaf grandmother knew the emphatic, enthusiastic chanted response to the winking question, “Who you gonna call?” Thirty years later, everyone still knows the answer.
- Jeff Labrecque
Eddie Murphy steals every scene and redeems this role-reversal comedy, with its toe-curling scenes of blacking-up, a cliched tart with a heart, and gorilla-human rape
I am of the very firm opinion that, unless what you like causes actual harm to others or yourself, you should never feel guilty for liking anything. This motto for life will come as no surprise to anyone who's ever seen my DVD collection (which proudly includes the Ron Howard slushfest, Parenthood) and music collection (yes, that Is a Four Non-Blondes album you're holding there, what's your point?), both of which are unashamedly forced on any visitor who makes the mistake of stopping by. But even I can admit to some pangs of conscience for loving one particular film: Trading Places.
Trading Places is, by some measure, one of the funniest films ever made, and certainly one of my absolute favourite movies of all time but it is also, »
- Hadley Freeman
The video team here at HitFix constantly impresses me with not only the volume of work that they produce, but also the quality. We've gotten very lucky with the people we've hired, and they make any of our collaborations both easy and fun. Last week, they approached me about a new ongoing feature that they wanted to do, and tomorrow, we're going to shoot the first episode of "Ask Drew," which is exactly what it sounds like. I am constantly asked questions via e-mail and Twitter and in our comments section, and I feel like I never fully answer all of them, something that makes me feel terrible. I am grateful for each and every reader of the work we do here at HitFix, and if I can answer something, I try to. To that end, we are going to try something a little different here starting tomorrow. I want »
- Drew McWeeny
The Pretty One is a tragic tale of death, self acceptance, and teaching young girls that identity fraud will find you the love of your life – a tonally confusing story from first time feature creator Jenée Lamarque. Enlisting such phenomenal acting talents as Zoe Kazan, Jake Johnson, and John Carroll Lynch, Lamarque shows extreme promise as a future director, squeezing memorable performances from her cast, but with a story attempting to delicately balance both light and dark material – something seems amiss. Tragic, yes, but tragically depressing, tragically constricting, and tragically, well, awkward – a total shame considering Zoe Kazan’s enlightening characterization.
Laurel and Audrey (Zoe Kazan) are identical twins living polar opposite lifestyles. Laurel stays home and cares for her father (John Carroll Lynch) in the wake of her mother’s death, still sleeping in the same twin bed from her early childhood, while Audrey’s ambitions turned her into »
- Matt Donato
The films of director John Landis are particularly suited to repetition—in both rewatchability for comedies like “Trading Places” or “The Blues Brothers” or horror like “An American Werewolf in London," but also in double-dip DVDs and Blu-rays from Universal every few years as well. Luckily, Landis is one of those filmmakers who reveals a new, fascinating behind-the-scenes tale with each new release, and that is certainly the case surrounding the Blu-ray of “Animal House” a few years back. In that spirit, here's a wide-ranging, three hour discussion with Landis on the Kevin Pollak Talk Show on YouTube. Granted, it's from 2011, but hat tip to Larry Wright to putting in on our radar, because it's great stuff. It’s the type of conversation that includes the director’s memory of lunching with Alfred Hitchcock and hearing his reaction to Brian De Palma’s “Dressed To Kill”, and ends with another »
- Charlie Schmidlin
Last year I listed ten New Year's movie scenes, this year I give you a selection of scenes compiled by Bernhard Fasenfest that I've been holding onto for just over a year so I could post it today. The list of films featured is directly below the video. Happy New Year! Blackboard Jungle (1955) Boogie Nights (1997) Holiday Inn (1942) Last Night (2010) Little Caesar (1931) Money Train (1995) New Years Eve (2011) Oceans Eleven (1960) Poseidon (2006) Radio Days (1987) Rosemary's Baby (1968) Sleepless in Seattle (1993) Strange Days (1995) Sunset Boulevard (1950) Tabu (2012) The Apartment (1960) The Gold Rush (1925) The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) Trading Places (1983) When Harry Met Sally (1989) While You Were Sleeping (1995) »
- Brad Brevet
11 items from 2014
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