The Natural
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13 items from 2013

Ad Agencies Working Overtime On Shows, Not Spots

21 November 2013 8:15 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Hollywood is filled with executives who honed their chops on Madison Avenue. Dick Wolf, builder of the famous “Law & Order” franchise, toiled away at an ad agency writing slogans for Crest toothpaste. Adam Stotsky, president of NBCUniversal’s Esquire, once worked for a big agency called Fallon. Sometimes, an ad man likes to dabble in a glitzier world: Phil Dusenberry, a creative executive at Bbdo known for his work on Pepsi, adapted the script for 1984 baseball film “The Natural.”

Now those worlds are set to mix even further. Ad agencies have long worked to produce various pieces of video content, even full-blown TV programs, but the growth of video platforms has heightened demand for those services, which have been seen as a side business for agencies.

“The agency model is evolving,” said Jon Hamm (no, not the actor from ad-agency drama “Mad Men”), chief creative and innovation officer of Momentum Worldwide, »

- Brian Steinberg

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50 dedications at the end of movies (and what they mean)

14 November 2013 1:57 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Odd List Simon Brew 15 Nov 2013 - 07:08

Lots of films are dedicated to, or in memory of someone. But it's not always clear why. We've been finding out...

Back when Breaking Bad returned for its final batch of episodes in August 2013, it had a dedication at the end of it. The card read 'Dedicated to our friend Kevin Cordasco'. As it turned out, Kevin Cordasco was a 16-year old who had been battling cancer for seven years, who had met both Bryan Cranston and Vince Gilligan. Cordasco died before he could ever get to see the episode dedicated to him.

I found this such a moving story, that it got me wondering about the dedications that appear on films, and what the story behind them was. After all, the dedications are there for a reason. What I uncovered was some funny stories, mainly extremely sad ones, and some extremely moving dedications. »

- sarahd

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'Rock the Kasbah': Bill Murray to Star in Comedy About Afghan 'American Idol'

4 September 2013 3:30 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

In news that will surely get The Clash stuck in your head for days, the droll Bill Murray is hooking up with director Barry Levinson for what sounds like a heartuggin' new comedy, "Rock the Kasbah."

Murray will play the manager of a musician on a Uso tour in Afghanistan. Things are looking pretty bleak for Murray's character -- he's broke and alone, and his passport is Awol -- when he meets a girl with musical aspirations and the pipes to match. He brings her to Kabul to compete on "The Afghan Star," a TV show similar to "American Idol," minus Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.

The reality show was the subject of a documentary several years ago, 2009's "Afghan Star," which follows several contestants on their bid for stardom. It's not as simple as impressing the judges, though; the contestants are heroes to the youth of Afghanistan, and in »

- Jenni Miller

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Year of the Month: 1980?

2 September 2013 11:12 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

1980. The year which brought you Sissy Spacek's Oscar winning roleThe Film Experience likes to keep one foot in the past and one in the now at all times... so as to be well-rounded like. People who never watch anything beyond the now or their own personal nostalgia hits, even if they profess to love movies or the Oscars, they're not really movie lovers just pop culture consumers. (Not that there's anything wrong with that! It's just not what we do here at Tfe.)

For September I thought we'd do things a tiny bit differently and because I am easily distracted and scattered we'll probably have three running themes this month to augment the contemporary cinema coverage. We'll infrequently be checking out old Robert Redford classics as All is Lost approaches (we've already started with Butch Cassidy and The Natural), we'll be looking at high school / college movies in this Back to School Month and, »


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Sneakers: the finest crime caper movie of the 1990s?

27 August 2013 2:39 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Feature Simon Brew 28 Aug 2013 - 05:51

More than 20 years old it may be, but time has been unusually kind to the hacker caper thriller Sneakers, Simon writes...

Proverbial cards on the proverbial table: I love Sneakers. I'm a big fan of caper movies at the best of times, but this one's always been a favourite. There's an easy charm, an absence of nastiness, and a sheer sense of fun in here that's always appealed to me. Plus, it doesn't matter how many times I watch it, it doesn't feel dated. Even though it clearly is.

However, I've got to share two bugbears first. I don't like to start on negatives, but these moments really get me every time, and very slightly sully an otherwise stupendous Sneakers soup. Guttingly, both moments unfortunately involve Ned Rierson himself, the marvellous Stephen Toblowsky, in a cameo role that pops up towards the end of the film. »

- ryanlambie

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Robert Redford is "The Natural"

21 August 2013 9:00 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

To celebrate Robert Redford's imminent return to cinema in "All is Lost" Team Experience will be surveying some of his classics and key films. Here's Anne Marie on The Natural.

Robert Redford is as American as apple pie and baseball. Actually, it might be equally accurate to say that apple pie and baseball are as American as Robert Redford. Like Jimmy Stewart before him, Redford personifies the American Man ideal. But unlike Stewart's earnest Everyman, Redford, with his golden boy good looks and sweet-but-sardonic smile, is the Mythic American Man model. Redford is not the star you relate to; he's the star you admire from afar. Robert Redford has spent most of his career playing variations on this character, but nowhere is his inherent legendaryness used to greater effect than in the 1984 film The Natural. The Natural is a movie about the American Myth through the lens of the American Pastime. »

- Anne Marie

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Curio: All Things Redford

13 August 2013 9:00 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Alexa here. Robert Redford turns 77 this week. Although he's aged (somewhat) naturally, I still can't believe he is older than my father-in-law. The news of him joining the cast of Captain America: The Winter Soldier seemed weird at first until I realized he's already played a superhero of sorts; give that Roy Hobbs a cape and he might as well be Superman.  Here are some curios that celebrate the indie godfather/mainstream icon.

The Candidate original Spanish poster, available here.

The Natural and more after the jump  »

- Alexa

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10 Emmy Wins That Remind You How Awesome The Emmys Are

16 July 2013 7:49 AM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

The Emmys are my favorite televised awards ceremony. Why? Because you can win multiple times for the same part, you can lose multiple times for the same part, and you can win by surprise, in a streak, or in an upset. The drama is more varied than the Oscars, and it’s a little harder to predict who will win at the Emmys — yet it’s also rarer that I have a major problem with who takes home the hardware.

Just ahead of this Thursday’s Emmy nominations, here are 10 classic Emmy wins that remind me why I love this ceremony so much.

1. Jackee becoming the first black Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy (’88)

Presenter Bruce Willis may have mispronounced her name, but Jackee (Harry)’s triumph at the ’88 Emmys in the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category for 227 still sizzles with saucy supremacy. “Does this mean I get more money? »

- Louis Virtel

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Richard Marquand interview: Return Of The Jedi, Star Wars

24 June 2013 1:34 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Feature Jules-Pierre Malartre 25 Jun 2013 - 06:31

A previously-unpublished interview with Return Of The Jedi director Richard Marquand...

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Return Of The Jedi. A book on the making of the film is to be released this autumn, and I’m looking forward to delving through the previously little known facts, pictures and artefacts about the movie that author J W Rinzler has discovered while writing the book. I recently unearthed some forgotten Return Of The Jedi lore myself when I packed my things for my upcoming move. Imagine my surprise when, going through some old papers, I came across an interview of Richard Marquand I did back in 1984, barely a year after the release of Return Of The Jedi.

Marquand, fresh from his Return Of The Jedi directorial experience, was in Montreal to promote his latest movie, Until September, a romantic comedy »

- simonbrew

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Will 42 Boast the Best Weekend Debut for a Movie About Baseball?

13 April 2013 11:04 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Will the just-released 42 have the most successful opening weekend for a baseball movie? Writer-director Brian Helgeland's 42, which features Chadwick Boseman as baseball player Jackie Robinson and veteran Harrison Ford, whose credits range from The Conversation and Star Wars in the 1970s to the more recent Cowboys & Aliens, debuted with an estimated $9.1 million at 3,003 locations this past Friday, April 12, as per studio figures found on the web site Box Office Mojo. (Almost) undeboutedly, 42 will end up grossing between $25 million and $26 million by Sunday evening. If that does indeed happen, the film will boast the best debut weekend ever for a movie about baseball -- well, sort of. Pictured above: Ford, looking remarkably different under heavy makeup, plays Brooklyn Dodgers' team executive Branch Rickey in Helgeland's movie. Well, if you dwell on a planet where inflation is as real as the plots of Hollywood films -- including those based on real-life events, »

- Zac Gille

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Mad Max's Weekend Movie Guide: 'To the Wonder' & More

12 April 2013 7:00 AM, PDT | NextMovie | See recent NextMovie news »

"They say if you go to the movies long enough you will finally see yourself on the screen." –Roger Ebert, review of Joe Dante's 'Matinee'

Greetings from the apocalypse! As you may have heard this past week we lost the big enchilada of film criticism, Roger Ebert. Neither as fanged as Pauline Kael nor a Peter Travers-style studio kiss-ass, Ebert's prose was both literate and fiercely proletariat, with modern film journalism positively maggoty with his influence. Yours truly is honoring his sensei by quoting him throughout this week's column, with a heartfelt tribute at the end.

Friday, April 12

You Down With VOD?

Terrence Malick is one of the true unique voices of film. Not "modern film," just "film." Period. His elliptical, transcendent style is given perhaps its most undiluted outlet in the form of "To the Wonder," this week's much-coveted "Survivor of Thunderdome." Let's get »

- Max Evry

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Robert Redford to Star in David Lowery’s The Old Man And The Gun; Morgan Freeman Joins Wally Pfister’s Directorial Debut, Transcendence

11 April 2013 2:20 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Check out the latest major casting news below: Robert Redford (The Natural) will star in The Old Man and the Gun for writer/director David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints). Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) has joined the cast of Wally Pfister's directorial debut, Transcendence, which also stars Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall and Kate Mara.  The film is due out April 25, 2014. Hit the jump for more on both pictures. Heat Vision reports that Redford will star in Lowery's The Old Man and the Gun, adapted by Lowery from a 2003 New Yorker article written by David Grann.  The article told the tale of Forrest Tucker, a lifelong bank robber born in 1920 who spent most of his life in or escaping from jail (including Alcatraz and San Quentin).  It centered on a 78-year-old Tucker who was living in a retirement community with his third wife.  Old habits die hard »

- Dave Trumbore

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Happy Belated Birthday to Glenn Close! What are Her 5 Best Roles?

20 March 2013 11:10 AM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

Glenn Close's birthday was yesterday, and I won't let it pass without a fight. Glenn Close's birthday will not be ignored, Dan.

To celebrate the gifted and seismically commanding actress' 66th birthday, I thought we'd rank her five best roles to date and fight about it in the comments. Here we go.

5. Reversal of Fortune

First of all, the idea of Glenn Close narrating a movie is like a magical absinthe dream. Employing the aristocratic, self-consciously demure voice she used to overdub Andie MacDowell in Greystoke, Glenn Close becomes the voice and conscience behind Reversal of Fortune, the 1990 film adaptation of Alan Dershowitz's look inside the Von Bulow murder case. Look at this scene in which she starts to spill some rage on her weirdo husband. Those eyes! Those pounding fists! Though Jeremy Irons walked off with an Oscar for his role as Claus, Close surely warranted »

- virtel

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