20 items from 2015
"Trainwreck," the new Amy Schumer/Judd Apatow movie, examines the plight of one snarly woman as she exits her familiar world of sexual freedom and hangovers for a detour into serious romance. Though several eye-popping cameos and supporting performances buttress the film, Schumer's performance is the acting triumph of "Trainwreck." Without her shaky conscience and burgeoning sense of fulfillment, the movie's conventional story might feel staid. Thankfully, it's anything but. Schumer's performance marks a welcome addition to cinema's long line of strident, hilarious female protagonists. We're celebrating that lineage with a list: the 20 best female-driven comedies ever. Some are old and some are new, but all are marked by a degree of cosmopolitan fun and nerviness -- and the occasional slap from Cher. 20. "How to Marry a Millionaire" We remember Lauren Bacall as a glamor girl with a damning grimace, but let's start revising that narrative to include her chops as a comic force. »
- Louis Virtel
Our weekly feature in which a writer answers the question: if you could force your friends at gunpoint to watch one movie or TV show what would it be? Haven't seen “A Walk on the Moon?" Come closer, so I can smack you. It's a smack for your own good, like the one Cher gave Nicholas Cage in “Moonstruck." Haven't seen “Moonstruck?" We need to break up. It's you. "A Walk on the Moon" is not just a gorgeous film about a 1960s housewife's sexual awakening set against the backdrop of Woodstock -- it was directed by the President of the United States, Tony Goldwyn. What Can't he do? Pearl (Diane Lane) and her husband Marty (Liev Shrieber) are parents to petulant, adolescent Alison (Anna Paquin) whom they conceived… wait for it, kids, because this is the educational part of my piece… as teens the first time they had sex »
- Liz W. Garcia
The giddy makeover scene is a staple of any good romantic comedy. But add Mistresses‘ Karen Kim (currently working on her Masters degree in “Gurrrrl, Please!”), some medical-grade marijuana and a married couple that puts the “eek!” in freaky and you’ll find yourself clutching a pillow like that doll from The Conjuring just rang your doorbell.
RelatedBlind Item: Will This Be the Fall’s Most Divisive Television Event?
Indeed, by the end of this week’s episode, “Into the Woods,” I was hollering at my screen as if Karen was running up a flight of stairs instead of out »
"Annie Hall" "Annie Hall" is a definitive comic gem from 1977, a watershed romantic comedy that gave great roles to Diane Keaton, Carol Kane, and even Paul Simon. And you better not bring it up around me, because I will be livid. Can't you talk about "Manhattan Murder Mystery" or something? You realize Anjelica Huston plays a poker expert in that, right? "Harold and Maude" Damn, I love Ruth Gordon. One of the top five Oscar speeches of all time, for sure. Bud Cort? What a wonderful performance he gives. What a strange, enigmatic, weird, funnyish movie. Sigh. Too bad if you bring it up one more time like it makes you a sensitive, deep man who can appreciate peculiar whimsicality, I'm going to tie up and torture your improv instructor. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Unless you're voicing a conspiracy theory that Harper Lee wrote all of Truman Capote's best work, »
- Louis Virtel
Martin Brest has directed seven feature-length movies, among them the blockbuster Beverly Hills Cop and Scent of a Woman, which brought Al Pacino a long-overdue Oscar. But Brest gained a reputation for perfectionism that irritated collaborators and infuriated producers. As a result, he hasn’t worked since the expensive, widely derided failure of the Jennifer Lopez-Ben Affleck comedy Gigli, made in 2003 when he was in his early 50s. But if he never worked again he’ll be remembered for this minor classic that approaches perfection, a superbly contrived combination of numerous genres and sub-genres – the comedy-thriller, buddy movie, odd-couple picture, prisoner-and-escort drama and road movie – that were in the air at the time.
- Philip French
Natalie Portman and husband-to-be Benjamin Millepied on the Red Carpet Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied at the Oscars Best Actress winner Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied (at the time, Portman's husband-to-be)* arrive at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Portman took home the Oscar for her performance as a mentally unstable ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's psychological drama Black Swan. An international box office hit, Black Swan was also a Best Picture nominee, ultimately losing the Oscar to Tom Hooper's The King's Speech. Besides Natalie Portman and dancer-choreographer Benjamin Millepied, also in the Black Swan cast are Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder, Barbara Hershey, and Vincent Cassel. Portman's fellow Best Actress contenders were: Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right. Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine. Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole. Jennifer Lawrence for Winter's Bone. Natalie Portman had been previously nominated in »
- D. Zhea
Cher took the Met Gala by storm when she arrived alongside fashion designer Marc Jacobs on Monday. All eyes were on the iconic singer, who, despite performing on tour last year, hasn't made a public red carpet appearance since April 2013 when she attended a screening to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her film Moonstruck. Cher did give a clue that she would be popping up for the event on Twitter earlier in the day when she shared a photo of herself from the Met Gala back in 1974. Keep reading to see Cher's high-profile outing at the Met Gala, and check out all the other stars who hit the red carpet for the stylish event! »
This story first appeared in the April 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. What happens when you put four New York-based theater greats (who also write for Hollywood) in a room and ask them to dish about the differences between the two cultures? A lot of smart conversation, not all of it precisely on point. But that's no surprise, considering the far-ranging brainpower of the scribes: Tony Kushner, the dramatist behind Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and Angels in America (both the 1993 play and the 2003 HBO miniseries); John Patrick Shanley, who wrote 1987's Moonstruck and the play
- Seth Abramovitch
With director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) at the helm, the cast includes Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony-Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Argo, Drive), Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds, The Bridge) John Leguizamo (Chef, Kick-ass 2, John Wick), Benjamin Bratt (Love In The Time Of Cholera, Traffic), Elena Anaya (The Skin I Live In), Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck, Steel Magnolias) , Juliet Aubrey (The Constant Gardener, The White Queen) and Academy Award and Tony Award nominated Amy Ryan (Birdman, Gone Baby Gone).
- Michelle McCue
Cult favourite Nicolas Cage has carved out an eclectic and brilliant career spanning the decades and across genres, with forays into action, drama and comic book adaptations to name but a few. To celebrate the release of his latest film, Dying of the Light, out on Blu-ray and DVD from the 2nd March 2015 courtesy of Signature Entertainment, we take a look back at some of his greatest roles.
Dying of the Light (2015)
This brilliant thriller, directed by Paul Schrader and executive produced by cinematic wunderkind Nicolas Winding Refn, stars Cage as Evan Lake, a desk-bound Langley CIA agent, forced into retirement by signs of early onset dementia. At the same time he discovers that his former nemesis, Jihadist Muhhamed Banir (Alexander Karim – Zero Dark Thirty, TV’s Tyrant), is not dead as has been assumed for the last two decades, but alive and receiving experimental medical treatment. Banir’s exact »
- Phil Wheat
Love all things Oscar? Netflix currently has more than a dozen Oscar-winning films to stream, including 12 Best Picture winners ranging from "Marty" to "The Silence of the Lambs." Many racked up multiple awards on Oscar night, a tribute to their excellence or some really great Oscar campaigning. We're looking at you, Harvey Weinstein, who helped push "Shakespeare in Love" and "The English Patient" to Academy glory.
- Sharon Knolle
The Oscars are less than 96 hours away, so you only have a limited amount of time to brag about your insane knowledge of Academy Awards history. Ready for a brutal 21-question foray into Oscar's grisly past? Let's roll. (We give you the questions on the first page. Jot down your responses, then check the answers, along with the accompanying questions, on the next page. The videos embedded here aren't related to the questions. They're just fun!) 1. What ‘90s Best Actor winner gave the shortest onscreen performance ever nominated (and therefore awarded) in that category? This is measured by total minutes and seconds spent onscreen. 2. The first (and so far only) black female nominee in the Best Original Screenplay category was a co-writer of what biopic released in the 1970s? 3. From 1937 to 1945, the Academy guaranteed nominations in one particular category to any studio that submitted a qualifiable entry. What was the category? »
- Louis Virtel
This Sunday, over 3,000 dolled-up guests will traverse 500 feet of red carpet on their path into the 87th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre (where it’ll be hosted for the 14th time). But before they reach for that first glass of Piper-Heidsieck brut during the ritzy Oscar cocktail hour, a series of events, benefits, award shows and gifting suites will properly launch the festivities. Here’s where the industry’s brightest will be primping, prepping, donating and gallivanting in the days leading up to Hollywood’s biggest night.
Icon Mann Industry Panels
Where: L.A. SAG-aftra office, 11 a.m.
Why you don’t want to miss it: Industry vets will examine the evolution of black male characters throughout film history and »
- Jasmin Rosemberg
It has not been an easy week. At the start of the week, we had our editorial meeting here at HitFix, as we do every Monday, to talk about both the week ahead and longer-term projects as well. For fairly obvious reasons, there was a fair amount of talk about Valentine's Day content, and I mentioned a few different ideas that I might write about, including one that I'll end up publishing at some point about Steve Martin. But even as I pitched a few ideas, I found myself uncomfortable with the entire idea of writing about romantic films right now. Honestly, I was hoping to spend this week with my head down and then just sail right through this weekend without writing about love at all, because for the first time in my adult life, I am no longer sure what I think about it. After all, I was with my wife for 14 years. »
- Drew McWeeny
Love is in the air, and it’s streaming on Netflix. Valentine’s Day is almost here, and that means you can unabashedly watch the all those romantic movies that make your heart swell. From the all-time classic love stories like Sense and Sensibility to modern romps like Silver Linings Playbook, we’ve picked the 14 best romantic movies to watch on February 14. The best part? Whether you’re happily single, blissfully in love, or somewhere in between, all of these movies will strike a chord in one way or another. Oh, and there’s a good chance a few of them will star Hugh Grant.
If you love off-kilter romantic comedies about off-kilter lovers, you’re in luck. If you love off-kilter romantic comedies about off-kilter lovers, and Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, football fanaticism, wacky dance contests, and Chris Tucker as the funny sidekick, well then you’ve hit the mother lode. »
- Aly Semigran
Why go out on Valentine's Day?
Instead of dealing with crowded, overpriced restaurants, you and your honey can just stay in and stream your favorite romantic movies like "Moonstruck," "An Affair to Remember," "Pretty in Pink," or "Dirty Dancing" on Netflix. Or, if you're flying solo, your date can be Harrison Ford, Cary Grant, Nicolas Cage, Sandra Bullock, Claire Danes or Gwyneth Paltrow. Grab that box of chocolates, add these movies to your streaming list and enjoy romance at its most cinematic.
- Sharon Knolle
In the week leading up to the Academy Awards, movie fans in the Hollywood area will get an up close look at the nominees from six of the categories competing at the 87th Oscars.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present their annual series of public programs celebrating this year’s nominees in the Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Short Film categories.
See the full list of nominees here.
The various hosts chosen for each symposium have all earned their Oscar street cred by being involved with Oscar nominated or winning films and all events will be held at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
If you’re in the Southern California area, check out the Oscar Week schedule:
Oscar Week: Shorts
Tuesday, February 17, 7 p.m.
Hosted by Sean Astin. »
- Michelle McCue
Nic Cage is back in the theaters this coming week, starring in Outcast. Costarring is the seldom seen Hayden Christensen (although some think that’s a good thing). Here’s the trailer to judge for yourself.
Producers: Alan Zhang (Waiting in Beijing), Jeremy Bolt (Shopping, Event Horizon, Resident Evil, The Dark), Christopher Milburn (An American Haunting, Getaway, Transit), Karine Martin (Magic Beyond Words: The Jk Rowling Story), Gary Hamilton (Lord of War, The Bank Job, Predestination),Ye Ying (Three Kingdoms, 14 Blades, The Four). George Mizen (The Holding), Léonard Glowinski (The Diving Bell & the Butterfly, Unknown, Alexander), Xun Zhang (CJ7, Forever Enthralled, The Founding of A Republic)
Running Time: »
- ComicMix Staff
For the last week of January, horror and sci-fi fans have several great titles to choose from that are making their home entertainment bow on Tuesday. Big Driver, the latest Stephen King adaptation, is coming to DVD and Cinedigm is releasing both Open Windows and Why Don’t You Play in Hell? as well, after their successful festival runs in 2014.
Big Driver (Lionsgate, DVD/Digital HD)
From best-selling author Stephen King comes Big Driver, arriving on DVD (plus Digital) January 27th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Starring Golden Globe® nominee Maria Bello (A History of Violence), Academy Award® winner Olympia Dukakis (Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Moonstruck, 1987) and Grammy® nominated rocker Joan Jett, Big Driver is a dark »
- Heather Wixson
You're hung over. You want good streaming options now. You don't want to move. Let us do the work for you. Check out the best of new Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu below. Netflix "Mean Girls" If you didn't spend enough of 2014 commemorating the 10th anniversary of this gem, make a resolution to re-watch it first thing in 2015. Still Amy Poehler's funniest role to date. Happy hour's from four to six! "Friends" (Complete series) Lisa Kudrow > Courteney Cox > Jennifer Aniston > Matthew Perry > Matt LeBlanc > David Schwimmer. That is the only thing I know about this life. "Election" There is plenty to cherish about this movie, specifically that Reese Witherspoon is exactly the right kind of terrifying as Tracy Flick, but let's just remember the days of Chris Klein as an august young movie star who represented the flip-haired bravado of the class of '99. "101 Dalmatians" Forgive me, but this »
- Louis Virtel
20 items from 2015
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