20 items from 2014
Who doesn't love to laugh? Whether your taste runs to R-rated raunch, classic yuks or witty British humor, you'll find something hilarious to stream on Netflix.
Right now, there are movies starring Robin Williams, Walter Matthau, Jack Black, Goldie Hawn and a nice selection of films showcasing the comedy chops of Joan Cusack. (Availability subject to change, so get streaming now!)
1. "The Addams Family" (1991) PG-13
Everyone's favorite macabre family is wonderfully portrayed by Anjelica Huston as Morticia, Raul Julia as Gomez, Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester and Christina Ricci as Wednesday. Spooky fun, just in time for Halloween.
2. "The Bad News Bears" (1976) PG
3. "Bernie" (2011) PG-13
Jack Black stars in the real-life story of a mortician who ends »
- Sharon Knolle
When Pulp Fiction opened in theaters 20 years ago today, the mainstream moviegoing audience was introduced to a dynamic new Hollywood talent. Quentin Tarantino was a 31-year-old hipster whose formal film education never rose much higher than working as a clerk in a Manhattan Beach video store. A walking encyclopedia of film history who fetishized some of the more obscure genres, Tarantino had a gift for dialog and his own visual toolbox that expanded the language of cinematic storytelling. Pulp Fiction was the culmination of a two-year stretch where the director went from Nobody to Wunderkind, beginning with the Sundance premiere »
- Jeff Labrecque
Two-time Oscar nominated director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) has wrapped principal photography on The Sea of Trees, which filmed on location in Japan and Massachusetts, starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street), Ken Watanabe (Inception, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Last Samurai) and two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts (The Impossible, 21 Grams, King Kong, Mulholland Dr.). The cast also includes actors Katie Aselton (star of FX's The League) and Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black).
Arthur Brennan (McConaughey) treks into Aokigahara, known as the The Sea of Trees, a mysterious dense forest at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji where people go to contemplate life and death. Having found the perfect place to die, Arthur encounters Takumi Nakamura (Watanabe), a Japanese man who has also lost his way. The two men begin a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms Arthur's will »
Good news, Netflix’s very funny looking original animated show BoJack Horseman featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Aaron Paul and Alison Brie will appear on Netflix on Friday 22nd August just in time to binge watch over the bank holiday weekend.
From what I have seen so far it looks promising but then so did Hemlock Grove. Expect a full report next week. In related news, Netflix have announced a whole slate of stand-up comedy exclusive to its service after the success of the recent Aziz Ansari special. So the likes of Chelsea Handler, Jim Jefferies, Bill Cosby, Bill Burr and Chelsea Peretti will be adding stand up shows to streaming between now and December. I have only heard of a couple of these acts but there again one of the best things to do with an hour to spare is browse Netflix for its plentiful supply of stand-up »
- Chris Holt
Ruffalo ramps up the rumpled charm as Stephen Bloom, the coolest conman since Robert Redford, in a caper that makes me want to write my life the way Bloom writes his con games
Why I'd like to be Samuel L Jackson in Do The Right Thing
- Richard Trenholm
- Liz Cookman
Spike Lee's film has it all. Comedy, murder, politics, a stellar R&B soundtrack, and some of the best lines in cinema history. And at its centre is Jackson, on the cusp of fame, playing DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy
- Ashley Clark
John Cusack was once the oddball star of such classics as High Fidelity, Being John Malkovich and Grosse Pointe Blank, but 2014 has seen the actor knock out 4 films already with more to come by the end of the year. These aren’t the wonderful films Cusack used to put out but are instead a range of straight to DVD films, or films that share a limited theatrical run with an on demand release date. Reclaim is no different, with Cusack being a sinister guy who adopts out children for high prices, and then reclaims them in order to continue the scame. Ryan Phillippe plays an unsuspecting American who, along with his wife played by Rachelle Lefevre, become victims to the menacing Cusack, but will stop at nothing to get their recently adopted daughter back. It looks like a decent bit of action fluff, but surely Cusack must be running on empty by now. »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
The only thing more depressing that a bad movie trailer is seeing a good cast in a bad movie trailer. That’s what seems to be happening with the upcoming thriller Reclaim, which features two actors who have seen better days: John Cusack and Ryan Phillippe.
Cusack is the bad guy in this scenario, and he certainly looks the part, wearing a windbreaker and a baseball cap and being a generally not-very-nice person. He’s a scammer coming after Ryan Phillippe and his beautiful wife Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight), who are down in Puerto Rico finalizing an adoption. As the trailer informs us, it turns out that Cusack and his cronies are part of a ring who scam people into paying for an adoption and then turn around and make off with the kid – hence the “reclaim” of the title. Things are going to go from bad to worse, though, what »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
The stars and writer all want Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion 2. But will Disney pay up?
1997 wasn't a bad year for school reunion movies. Grosse Pointe Blank, starring John Cusack, was arguably the best of them. But Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion, starring Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow was also good fun. It followed a pair of 28 year olds attending their school reunion, and was a modest box office hit.
Yet Mira Sorvino, chatting to E! Online, argues that Disney don't "realise what a cult phenomenon it has become. I mean, people dress up as us for Halloween", she said. She also added that at Comic-Con last week, the question she kept getting asked was "when are you going to come here for the [Romy & Michelle] sequel?".
It turns out, John Cusack can turn down movies. More on that in a second. Starring the rag tag, utterly motley crew cast of Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke, no one in a million years dreamed that 2010's "Hot Tub Time Machine" was going to be a hit (ok, sort of hit), let alone a fairly funny and a pretty good comedy. It beat the odds, and as directed by Steve Pink (co-writer of “Grosse Pointe Blank” and “High Fidelity”) it delivered ridiculous, vulgar and absurd laughs. As silly as the premise was, hell, it worked. And of course it spawned a sequel. Of course we had no clue it would be at Comic-Con, because the buzz has been elsewhere, but a new debut red-band trailer has been released. This time the gang of friends (minus John Cusack who apparently had better things to do) use the »
- Edward Davis
Now this is a real shame. Having only just discovered one of my favourite actors Paul Giamatti is bringing the exploits of detective Hoke to the small screen, I learn at the same time FX are taking a pass on the pilot. What are they thinking? This combination is lightning in a bottle – created by author Charles Willeford, Hoke Moseley is a washed-up, broken down cop with false teeth and more baggage than a royal elephant. He made his debut in Miami Blues, which was adapted into a movie by Grosse Pointe Blank director George Armitage in 1990 with Fred Ward as Hoke. The series-not-to-be was going to be set in the Eighties.
The prospect of star/exec producer Giamatti bringing his hangdog charm to the role should have made this a shoo in, but it seems the studio just weren’t biting. Getting the formula for a pilot right is »
- Steve Palace
(Cbr) In the wake of Edgar Wright’s surprise departure from "Ant-Man," whose development predates Marvel Studios, Deadline offers two reminders: 1) “the power at that studio clearly resides with one person, Kevin Feige”; and 2) the director still has "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" at Disney. With so much attention focused on "Ant-Man" and the conclusion of his Blood and Ice Cream trilogy with "The World’s End," it’s easy to forget that Wright is attached to the big-screen remake of the 1970s supernatural drama, with Johnny Depp as his star. The short-lived 1974-’75 television series, which influenced the creation of "The X-Files," starred Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak, a Chicago newspaper reporter with an interest in bizarre and supernatural crimes whose perpetrators ended up being witches, mummies, killer androids and even invisible aliens. A 2005 revival lasted just six weeks on ABC. According to Deadline, the script by D.V. DeVincentis ("Grosse Pointe Blank »
- Kevin Melrose, Comic Book Resources
With Edgar Wright no longer directing Disney and Marvel's Ant-Man his schedule has opened up and Deadline is reporting he may not be going too far. The site reports he may be heading back to a feature film adaptation of "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" at Disney, which he was first attached to back in February 2012. The film is a remake of the '70s ABC telepic and series with Johnny Depp as a candidate for the lead role as Carl Kolchak, a tabloid news reporter (played by Darren McGavin in the original) whose cases always led to supernatural perpetrators including zombies, vampires, werewolves and aliens. Deadline reports the screenplay from D.V. Divicentis (High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank) is in good shape and the film is expected to be more of a family friendly PG-13 feature. It's interesting looking back at my write-up on the news from 2012 where I wrote: »
- Brad Brevet
Comedians often want to be action heroes, and traditional action stars often try too hard to be funny. Which helps explain why Will Ferrell frequently targets projects that allow him to fire a gun or chase down a bad guy. and he might have just picked up his latest effort in that genre. Columbia Pictures has picked up a pitch called The Yank, which the studio is eyeing as a potential starring vehicle for the Anchorman star, according to Variety. If the movie is to pan out, Will Ferrell would play an innocent insurance courier who bumbles into a grand conspiracy to steal the Crown Jewels from their display in London. The trade says that Steve Pink (who penned High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank) will share screenwriting duties with Jeff Morris. The comedy will be produced by Ferrell.s shingle, Gary Sanchez Productions. As noted, this isn.t Will »
Since the superhero found-footage film “Chronicle” became a sleeper hit in 2012, director Josh Trank has moved on to the “Fantastic Four” reboot bringing along Michael B. Jordan, and writer Max Landis was dumped by the studio as a result of creative differences, leaving the planned sequel in a stalled state. Now, after nine months, Fox has finally found their new writer. Deadline reports complete unknown -- he has zero produced credits to his name—Jack Stanley to pen the sequel. Stanley caught the attention of the studio after the one-two punch of the specs “Sweetheart”—akin to a female-led version of “Grosse Pointe Blank”—and the werewolf-thriller “Silver.” Although it’s still much too early for the sequel’s plot to be known, Stanley’s take will likely be less ambitious than Landis’ rejected draft if John Landis’ comments last year are to believed. With the original film budgeted at »
- Cain Rodriguez
Once upon a time, there was TV, and there were movies, and these were two very different worlds. The past twenty years have seen a gradual but important change, however, with the quality of television production increasing, and talent crossing those perceived boundaries both in front of, and behind the camera. The result of this ongoing change can now be enjoyed in the form of shows like True Detective, American Horror Story, House Of Cards, and soon, the as-yet-untitled Wall Street drama from John Cusack.
Currently in pre-production for CBS, the show centres around a smart hedge fund trader mired in the world of power, influence, manipulation and high finance that is America’s Wall Street. The cast is led by Charlie Cox (Stardust, Boardwalk Empire) as Jackson, the trader, with David Morse (The Hurt Locker) and Maggie Grace (Lost, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) in supporting roles. In addition »
- Sarah Myles
The Overlooked Hotel is a new column in which we throw the spotlight behind the front line, champion those unfairly lost in the shallow focus of fame and feed the hungry underdogs.
John Cusack may occasionally slum it in by-the-numbers films (2012, Serendipity, America’s Sweethearts – discuss), but when he is really applying himself he is amongst the most accomplished actors working today. Endearing, personable, yet edgy enough to convincingly portray characters as diverse as Craig Schwartz, Roy Dillon and Robert Hansen, Cusack’s best work has perhaps tended to feature in the lesser-known, unheralded films on his CV, which is where we come in. More to the point, that is where Grosse Pointe Blank comes in.
Released in cinemas in 1997, Grosse Pointe Blank has Cusack’s fingerprints all over it. He starred in it, »
- Dave Roper
What the hell has happened to John Cusack? Remember the glory days of Say Anything, Grosse Pointe Blank, High Fidelity and Being John Malkovich? Now he is giving us nonsense like The Raven, The Paperboy and this, Drive Hard. Above is the first trailer for Drive Hard, a crime thriller fronted by Cusack and Thomas Jane, that somehow stayed completely off our radar until now. It's a buddy comedy that follows the wild ride of a mysterious thief (Cusack) who kidnaps a race car driver turned driver's ed instructor (Jane), so he can be a reluctant getaway driver. Along the way, this odd couple will cross paths and piss off cops and gangsters. Damien Garcey, Christopher Morris, and Zoe Walker co-star. The Playlist has unearthed a couple of stills from the film, which you can see below. The first one has Cusack double-fisting a pair of guns, and in a »
Only a year ago it was just a cancelled TV series. Then it was suddenly a hugely successful Kickstarter project, and now the finished Veronica Mars movie is almost upon us. Warner Bros. have released the first trailer for Kristen Bell's former-teen detective cinema upgrade.The film finds former teen detective Veronica headed back to Neptune, California, after ten years away. In the meantime she's become a corporate lawyer and shacked up with lurrve interest Piz (Chris Lowell). What's drawing her home, however, is the plight of former flame Logan (Jason Dohring), who's accused of killing his pop star girlfriend. The points of the old love triangle between Veronica, Piz and Logan are soon sharp again, and Veronica finds herself investigating her first mystery in a decade.For the unititiated, there are shades of Grosse Pointe Blank in the school reunion thread, and echoes of One For The Money in the detective's-old-flame-in-trouble hook. »
20 items from 2014
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