16 items from 2014
(Cbr) You may not know The Birthday Boys, but you’ll definitely recognize quite a few of the faces on "The Birthday Boys," the sketch comedy group’s TV show that returns for a second season tonight at 11:30 on IFC. The Birthday Boys — Jefferson Dutton, Dave Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell and Chris VanArtsdalen — started as a stage show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, and caught plenty of high-profile attention over the years; notably Bob Odernkirk and Ben Stiller (who have a shared history on sketch comedy with Fox’s short-lived but fondly remembered 1992 series The Ben Stiller Show). Odenkirk and Stiller serve as executive producers on "The Birthday Boys" TV show, with Odenkirk appearing frequently in the show’s first season. This year, though Odenkirk retains a presence on "The Birthday Boys," his schedule (including filming "Breaking Bad" spinoff "Better »
- Albert Ching, Comic Book Resources
We’ve reviewed every summer movie season since 1980 to find out which are the best, and which are the worst. Last week we posted our picks for the worst, and here we post our picks for the best.
2015 and 2016 may just be the most overthetop summer movie seasons yet. It seems like nearly every movie slated for a summer 2015 or 2016 release is heavily anticipated. Because of these impending summers of movie awesomeness, we’ve decided to take a look back at summer movie seasons of years past. The idea of the summer movie season is currently in full swing, but it didn’t catch on immediately. Hollywood had to do its fair share of experimenting to determine what types of films would be most successful. As a result, some summer movie seasons have been better than others. We’ve reviewed them all for you and ranked them from worst to best. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
There’s something conducive about musicians becoming actors. Perhaps it’s attributable to the performance-based nature of their work – going out on a stage, entertaining millions of folks, putting on a show… The number of musicians who have transitioned to acting and done so successfully is a surprisingly large pool. David Bowie, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, Elvis Pressley, Frank Sinatra… The list goes on. Harry Connick Jr is not often mentioned alongside such flashier personalities, but the singer/songwriter has quietly built up a steady resume of eclectic performances be it as a serial killer in Copycat or as the romantic lead in Hope Floats. In this week’s Dolphin Tale 2, Connick Jr reprises his role as Dr. Clay Haskett, the lead marine biologist of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Much of Connick Jr’s scenes are centered on the imbalance of at once running an aquarium while at the »
- Tommy Cook
Stars: Blair Bowers, Andrew Agner-Nichols, Nic Detorie, Felicia Gonzalez Brown, Josh Adams, Sarah Allyn Collier, Rick Kain, Connie Bowman, Emily Morrison, Joy Nathan, Paul Fahrenkopf, Steve Ray, Molly Boyle, Bob Hurley, Scott Gardner | Written by Mike Kravinsky | Directed by Michael Kravinsky
Described as a cross between The Newsroom and Hope Floats, Geographically Desirable tells of an overworked sleep deprived TV news woman, Nicole, whose life is derailed when she inherits a house in a small quirky town after her Uncle passes away. Torn between the fast paced excitement of life in the big city, and the comforting embrace of the small town, she has to decide what is right in her life and whether a change would be for the better or worse.
- Richard Axtell
There was a time when a major studio might have made “Jackie & Ryan,” a wholesome, female-skewing heartland romance, with a Sandra Bullock in the lead and reaped the profits; today, it’s a wing-and-a-prayer festival film that marks Katherine Heigl’s introduction to independent cinema. That’s more of a knock on the shifting biases of mainstream audiences than it is on the ample cornball charms of Ami Canaan Mann’s third feature, which casts Heigl as a hard-up single mother and former country star who’s brought out of her shell by dreamy, drifting busker Ben Barnes. , and merits a carefully targeted release from a nurturing distributor.
The Venice Lido is a curious place to unveil a not-especially-arty film this cozily American in flavor and focus. Everything about “Jackie & Ryan” (filmed under the initial title “Your Right Mind”) seems geared more toward a Sundance berth, right down to its »
- Guy Lodge
With Sandra Bullock's 50th birthday approaching we'll be looking at a few of her films. Here's Andrew Kendall on a little discussed '98 picture. - Ed.
Is it strange that when asked to celebrate Sandra Bullock’s birthday with a film from her oeuvre I immediately turned to the 1998 (ostensible) romantic drama Hope Floats? Despite the 80 million dollars at the box office the film was not quite a hit and critics were not impressed. Yet, whenever I’m asked to stump for a Bullock performance I tend to turn to Birdee Pruitt not necessarily as the “best” Bullock, or not even quintessential Bullock but my favourite Bullock.
The well-intentioned, sometimes – oftentimes – too treacly Hope Floats from writer Steven Rogers (who did a better job handling domestic dramas that same year with Stepmom) and direct Forrest Whitaker (who helmed his strongest film three years earlier with Waiting to Exhale) is »
- Andrew Kendall
A Woman Under The Influence 40th Anniversary Screening In Los Angeles
By Todd Garbarini
Probably the best known film of the late film director John Cassavetes’ career, A Woman Under the Influence (1974) is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a screening at the Landmark Theatre at 10850 West Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA 90064 on Wednesday, May28th at 7:00 pm. The film’s star, actress Gena Rowlands, is scheduled to appear in person.
From the press release:
An Evening with
Star Gena Rowlands!
Director John Cassavetes'
A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
Wednesday, May 28 at 7:00pm
at The Landmark
A Woman Under the Influence received two Oscar© nominations in 1974—best actress Gena Rowlands and best director John Cassavetes. The film tells the story of a wife and mother whose unstable behavior leads her husband (Peter Falk) to commit her to a mental institution. At the time of its release, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Believe it or not, HBO does have a limit to what it will let "Girls" show.
While it may seem as if the nudity-heavy series can film just about whatever it likes, executive producer Judd Adaptow has revealed that there have been instances that caused the network to step in and put its foot down.
Speaking before a group of students at Loyola Marymount University on March 12, Apatow says, "There have been things on 'Girls' where HBO has said to us, 'If we put this on TV, we literally could lose our license to broadcast.'"
While he never elaborates on the specifics of the scene in question, or when it was planned during the show's three season run, he did admit, "Let's just say it's something you see in adult film. Elements of sexual intercourse. The high points of sexual intercourse."
Apatow admits he understood why HBO wasn't down with the boundary-pushing scene. »
American Idol returned on Wednesday with “Movie Night,” where the contestants performed songs made famous by a film. Judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban appeared more satisfied on Wednesday than they’ve been in past weeks as they heard the Top 11 singers perform.
American Idol Recap
First up was Sam Woolf, who sang The Beatles’ "Come Together," which appeared on the Across the Universe movie soundtrack. Though Woolf left his guitar behind in order to achieve a more dynamic performance, the judges still felt that the Florida teen could break out of his shell a bit more to better engage the audience.
Jess Meuse took on "Sounds of Silence" from The Graduate. With her guitar strapped on, Meuse gave an earnest performance that showcased her gritty voclas. Unfortuantely for the singer, the band botched the song somewhere in the middle, making for a bumpy patch in the number. »
It's movie week on "American Idol" Season 13, so fingers crossed we don't have to hear any "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing." Let's get right to it, shall we?
Nice how the Beatles' catalog was made into a movie, right? Handy for moments like this. Anyway, we love this choice by Sam. He's a good singer, but he's been so blah on the show thus far. This is actually letting him show a little grit and growl. It's still a sliding scale -- he's not Caleb Johnson -- but for Sam, this is positively edgy. He could've gone much, much further with it and not been quite so Broadway at moments, but we'll take what we can get. Baby steps.
2. Jessica Meuse, "The Sound of Silence," "The Graduate"
Love the choice. I barely typed a word for the first half of the song because I was so engrossed. »
Adding Harry Connick, Jr. to the panel means not only adding a seasoned musician, but also an accomplished actor in his own right. So after entertaining on the big screen with P.S. I Love You, Hope Floats and Independence Day -- plus a long run on Will & Grace -- he aggravated all the nail-biting auditionees with a ton of well-acted fake-outs during American Idol's Final Judgment round on Thursday. Video: Mariah Carey Says 'American Idol' Was 'Not What I Signed Up For' "Do you think you're a good singer? Do you think you're a really good singer?"
- Ashley Lee
Forest Whitaker is to direct, write and star in an adaptation of William P Young's bestselling novel The Shack, about a father trying to come to terms with the death of his daughter who was abducted and killed.
Whitaker has previously directed Waiting To Exhale and Hope Floats, but this will be his first time he will also write and star in his own film. While Whitaker has acted in a wide variety of roles, from spiritual hitmen to Idi Amin, his films have both been traditional dramas laced with sentimentality and romance.
The Shack will be a high-profile project for Whitaker, given the success of the book, which has sold millions of copies since its publication in »
- Ben Beaumont-Thomas
• Shia Labeouf is not retiring, it seems. The Nymphomaniac star, thrust into the spotlight recently by an ever-escalating plagiarism controversy, has signed on to Barry Levinson’s Rock the Kasbah alongside a host of high-profile names including Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride, and Kate Hudson. The film follows a past-his-prime rock manager who takes his sole client on a Uso tour in Afghanistan. While in Kabul, the manager discovers a young talent and enters her into the Afghan Star contest — Afghanistan’s version of American Idol. [The Wrap]
- Lindsey Bahr
Though Forest Whitaker may soon be incurring the wrath of Liam Neeson in Taken 3, the Oscar-winning actor is also lining up another directorial project for the near future. Deadline reports that Whitaker is in talks to direct and co-star in an adaptation of the bestselling William Paul Young novel The Shack. The self-published, faith-based book tells the story of a man who whose daughter was abducted and brutally murdered in an abandoned shack in the Oregon wilderness. Years later, the man receives a note, apparently from God, inviting him to return to the shack where he finds something that will change his life forever. Summit Entertainment acquired the feature rights to the book last April and John Fusco (Hidalgo) is penning the script. Assuming this project moves forward sooner rather than later, this will be Whitaker’s first directorial effort since 2004’s First Daughter. He also previously helmed 1998’s »
- Adam Chitwood
Following the huge success of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” Forest Whitaker is looking to stay busy in 2014 both in front of and behind the camera as he is in final negotiations to write, direct and star in Lionsgate’s adaptation of best-selling novel “The Shack.”
Based on the William P. Young novel published in 2007, the story follows a man whose youngest daughter is abducted during a family vacation, with evidence found in an abandoned shack leading authorities to believe she was murdered. Four years later, the man receives a note, apparently from God, inviting him back to the shack and, against his better judgement, he accepts the invitation and finds something there that will change his life forever.
Gil Netter will produce the pic. »
- Justin Kroll
After last year’s tense quartet of judges, of which Urban is the only one to return to American Idol, the new group had to prove they were worth lapsed fans returning to the singing competition show. Without a doubt, reintroducing Lopez, returning Urban, bringing Connick on board and saying goodbye to Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson was a good choice by producers. Instead of constant tension, there’s some camaraderie.
Connick’s dry humor was a welcome addition to American Idol, especially when a couple of the contestants had trouble remembering who he was. One of the contestants that claimed to be a huge fan of the jazz singer got some special attention. “If you »
16 items from 2014
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