17 items from 2015
Benicio Del Toro landed an Academy Award for 2000’s “Traffic,” in which he played a conflicted police officer. His new film, “Sicario,” puts him back in the world of drug trafficking, but as a very different character — a mysterious, dangerous man bent on revenge. Will Smith has earned two Oscar nominations for playing real-life people in “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.” He stands to earn his third nod for his portrayal of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a doctor who fought against the National Football League to expose the danger of head trauma in players. Among many topics, the two spoke about their mutual love of Roger Deakins and Eddie Murphy.
- Jenelle Riley
It may come as a shock to some, but Eddie Murphy is still funny. And he still knows how to command a crowd with the perfect joke. For a while, it looked like Eddie had retired his Bill Cosby impersonation in light of the legal troubles facing the befallen comedy legend. But he surprised everyone with some very funny Cosby banter during his acceptance speech for the Mark Twain Prize in Washington, D.C. And the AP Wire now has video from his appearance.
Eddie Murphy hasn't had a hit movie in years. Hard to believe, but his last big screen outing was in the 2012 comedy A Thousand Words. Since then, he has been laying dormant, plotting his return to the stage for his first stand-up comedy show in decades. Of course, we're no closer to that happening than we were back in 1987, when his final stand-up movie Eddie Murphy Raw hit theater screens. »
One of the most controversial things I've ever published, based on the sheer volume and intensity of the mail sent to me afterwards, was my statement of belief that Eddie Murphy is, in fact, done. I am happy to say that Eddie proved me wrong this weekend, if only for a single moment. If that happened, then anything could happen. That's good to know. I still don't believe he's ever going to get back out there in a major way. The occasion was Murphy's acceptance of the Mark Twain Prize For American Humor from the Kennedy Center, a major award at this point considering it's only been around for 18 years. That means that Eddie's been retired from comedy a full decade longer than they've been giving out this award. And to be fair, Eddie really only has two comedy albums to his name. One had a TV special that accompanied it, »
- Drew McWeeny
Eddie Murphy may have refused to imitate Bill Cosby during the “Saturday Night Live” 40th anniversary episode, but the Murphy evidently had a change of heart on Sunday night. While accepting the Mark Twain Prize for humor, Murphy took a few shots at Cosby, who won the award in 2009. Murphy did an impression of the embattled comedian that he first made famous in his 1987 stand up special “Eddie Murphy Raw.” “Bill has one of these. Did y’all make Bill give his back?” Murpy said of his award statuette, according to Mashable. “No, because I know there was a big outcry from. »
- Joe Otterson
However, there are some unforeseen benefits in John Cena leaving WWE. A range of opportunities are about to open up, there’s a vacuum that needs to be filled. In his absence, there could be some real progressive action in WWE.
11. A New Us Champion WWE.com
Cena’s exit should mean a new Us Champion. Surely there is no way he’ll be holding on to the belt for two whole months, without ever appearing once.
The title change, which »
- Grahame Herbert
In an interview with Bloomberg Wednesday, Brian Grazer announced he's developing a Neflix film for Eddie Murphy. Grazer described the film as if he were speaking to Cahiers du Cinéma, calling it "a tour de force movie that’s cinéma vérité with Eddie Murphy being as raw as he can be." As cinéma vérité is a style of documentary filmmaking that relies heavily on improvisation to highlight its subjects, we can probably expect a return to Murphy's '80s comedy roots — as seen in his 1987 stand-up film Raw — and less of the stark Method acting of The Adventures of Pluto Nash. »
- Ira Madison III
When you think of Stone Cold Steve Austin, what comes to mind first? The signature sound of breaking glass as he’d march down the entrance ramp? The time he doused Shane and Vince McMahon with a beer truck? His record as a six-time WWF Champion? “What?”
There’s a lot of reasons why many people still consider the toughest S.O.B. to be the greatest wrestling talent of all time. Austin himself will be the first to admit that he wasn’t the world’s best wrestler, but his endless charisma and strong character made him utterly compelling. He very well could have just been another pre-Attitude Era wrestler long since forgotten, but once he uttered the famous “Austin 3:16” speech, he appealed to charged-up young men the world over who also wanted to drink beer and slap their boss around.
However, Stone Cold’s »
- Nicole Malczan
"Trainwreck" director Judd Apatow has been a relentless critic of Bill Cosby's since the rape allegations resurfaced in the media. During a promotional appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," Apatow got to simultaneously return to his stand-up comedy roots while skewering The Cos with a cruel and reasonably accurate impression (and one that also calls back to the punchline from Eddie Murphy's Cosby routine from "Eddie Murphy Raw"). It comes at about the 2:35 minute mark of this clip, after he first jokes about his own modest level of fame and what it's like to live in a house with three women: »
- Alan Sepinwall
The new comedy "Get Hard" stars Kevin Hart as an unlikely coach who trains Will Ferrell for a stint in prison. In one scene, Hart insists that Ferrell go to a top La brunch spot and give oral sex to a random patron in the bathroom to learn -- I guess? -- the mechanics of prison rape. Yes, this movie equates consensual gay sexual activity with actual rape. Cut to Will Ferrell in a restaurant bathroom gagging at the sight of a penis for the amusement of a multiplex audience. Could it be the most homophobic scene in a comedy of the past ten years? It's certainly a candidate. To commemorate this weirdly ignorant movie, we've compiled a list: movies with homophobic scenes so blatant, they made us shudder. Sometimes a movie reeks of homophobia (See: that ol' heart-warmer "Cruising") and sometimes it's just a couple of moments in a »
- Louis Virtel
"The door to their world could close at any moment. I've got to go in and get her out." A commercial for the Poltergeist remake teases more horrors for the Bowen family. Also included in our latest video round-up is a new Salem Season 2 trailer and clip, along with a recent Avengers: Age of Ultron TV spot and another Scream Queens teaser.
Poltergeist: A remake of the 1982 film of the same name that was directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) and produced and co-written by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist is rated PG-13 and will hit theaters in 2D and 3D on May 22nd.
Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt star as the Bowen parents, who move their family to a new home. Their children are played by Saxon Sharbino, Kennedi Clements, and Kyle Catlett. Jared Harris (Lincoln, The Quiet Ones) plays the star of a TV show, titled Haunted House Cleaners, »
- Derek Anderson
In Eddie Murphy's stand-up classic Raw, the comedian reveals, "Richard [Pryor] is the one who made me want to do comedy. When I was young, I wanted to be Richard Pryor so bad I used to sneak in the basement, put his albums on, and just listen… I wanted to be Richard so bad, I used to go out on stage when I was 15 and talk and act and walk and everything like Richard Pryor." With that admiration in mind, Murphy has been cast to play an unexpected role in »
Hard to believe it, but Eddie Murphy was once one of the biggest stars and box office draws in the world. Since the heady days of his Raw and Delirious stand up shows and the runaway success that the Beverly Hills Cop franchise brought him, it's fair to say that his career has been in steady decline. With a string of poor career choices and forgettable roles, Murphy needs a hit, and Lee Daniels might be the man to give him a role worth remembering. Murphy has joined the cast of Daniel's Richard Pryor biopic, and the smart money says he will play Pryor's father in the movie. Pryor had a turbulent lifestyle and drowned out the problems in his life with cocktails of drugs and booze, in between playing to sell out shows all over America. Widely regarded as one of the greatest comedians of all time, there's plenty »
- email@example.com (Dave Higgins)
Actor-filmmaker Robert Townsend has signed on to direct the reboot of Brewster's Millions, news which comes 30 years after the 1985 comedy Brewster's Millions was released, starring Richard Pryor and John Candy. The story is based on George Barr McCutcheon's 1902 novel, which was turned into a stage play in 1906 along with 10 different movie adaptations, including a lost 1914 Cecil B. DeMille version towards the beginning of his career.
Michael William Schmidt is writing the screenplay, which centers on Montgomery Brewster, a man who inherits $1 billion, under one condition: he must spend $100 million in one week, or he loses everything. The financial stakes in the reboot have been increased considerably, since the 1985 version, directed by Walter Hill, centered on Richard Pryor's Brewster tasked with spending $30 million in 30 days, in order to receive his full inheritance of $300 million. No further story details were released at this time.
The story is based on the 1902 novel by George Barr McCutcheon that was adapted into a play in 1906 and made into films 10 times — including a lost 1914 release directed by Cecil B. DeMille at the start of his career.
Producers of the new “Brewster’s Millions” are Joseph and Jack Nasser. The adaptation was written by Michael William Schmidt and follows Monty Brewster, who is set to inherit $1 billion – with one key caveat: He must spend $100 million in one week or end up with nothing more than the clothes on his back.
Apa will handle domestic sales of the film.
Townsend’s first feature was 1987’s “Hollywood Shuffle, »
- Dave McNary
During an emotional luncheon, Essence magazine honored black women in Hollywood, with presenters and honorees frequently tearing up or sobbing. A performance by Common and John Legend helped add to the emotion in the room at the Beverly Wilshire on Thursday.
Gina Prince-Bythewood kicked off the doings referencing her athletic days at UCLA. “We are playing in someone else’s house, but it doesn’t matter. Tune out the Bs,” she said as she presented the Discovery Award to shorts filmmaker Iman N. Milner.
“Your mere existence is a reminder to keep fighting,” Milner told the guests, who included Oprah Winfrey, Alfre Woodard, Essence mag president Michelle Ebanks, Carmen Ejogo and Aja Naomi King, as she tearfully accepted her prize.
- Shalini Dore
According to Macdonald, Murphy, who hadn’t been back to Studio 8H since leaving the show in 1985, refused to impersonate Bill Cosby, who’s been facing allegations of sexually assaulting multiple women, in a sketch. Instead, the veteran comedian opted to reminisce, however briefly, on his time on the show.
On Murphy’s decision, Macdonald tweeted:
Eddie Murphy is the coolest, a rockstar even in a room with actual rockstars.
— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) February 19, 2015
Eddie decides the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he is down. — Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) February 19, 2015
— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) February 19, 2015
- Tara Aquino
If Flannery O’Connor had ever abandoned writing to try her hand at Southern-fried reality TV, the result would probably look something like Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel’s “Finders Keepers.” At times gleefully indulging in the absurdities of one of the decade’s weirdest man-bites-dog news stories — involving a pitched legal battle over ownership of a severed leg — and at others halting the laughter in its tracks to dig deep into the pain and struggles of the real people involved, this hysterical, insightful and genuinely empathetic documentary could easily prove a specialty hit with the right handling.
“Finders Keepers” is not the first doc to attempt to restore three-dimensional humanity to someone who had essentially become a human meme — Ben Steinbauer’s “Winnebago Man” is a worthy predecessor — but it’s unusually skillful in balancing its rubberneck entertainment value with warm, wise perspective. As one interviewee notes, “It’s a funny story, »
- Andrew Barker
17 items from 2015
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