1-20 of 45 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
It always seems documentary filmmakers have a hard time walking the line between commentator and story teller. Separating themselves from the subject and allowing the nature of the story they are telling to tell itself rather than manipulating it for their own means. This is a problem I've always had with Michael Moore's documentaries as he seems only interested in preaching to the choir rather than exploring both sides of the debate. When it comes to Alex Gibney's Scientology documentary, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, I genuinely feel he has done his absolute best to stand back and observe rather than inject himself or his opinions. He details an organization that, rather than respond to accusations, chooses to attack when confronted, and this has been going on even before the film's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2015 and continues to this very day. »
- Brad Brevet
Entertainment Weekly has a fascinating new oral history that rehashes the humble beginnings of Matt Stone and Trey Parker's South Park. Parker, along with TV producer Brian Graden and former Comedy Central president Doug Herzog, recounts in detail how he and Stone morphed from two University of Colorado graduates with a viral-video Christmas card into the wielders of one of the longest-running subversive cartoons on TV today. Whether or not you're familiar with the "Jesus vs. Frosty" story, we've gone through and picked half a dozen highlights that are sure to catch your eye (it's available here in its entirety).1) The South Park kids' voices were born from film-school boredom. Parker: When you’re in the film school, you’re working on someone’s film every weekend, so you’re spending your weekends on set. Matt and I would always end up either running cameras or running sound or something. »
- Sean Fitz-Gerald
The titular burg will probably not be throwing a parade for “Fresno,” a mean-spirited farce whose strenuous bad taste seldom translates into actual laughs. A cast of familiar faces and funny people — though they’ve all had much, much better material — will make this a viable ancillary item, though it’s unlikely to accrue the modest cult following attached to helmer Jamie Babbit’s 1999 debut feature, “But I’m a Cheerleader.”
Babbit and her scenarist Karey Dornetto have each worked on a number of good TV comedy shows; between them, they include “Girls,” “Arrested Development,” “Community,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Portlandia,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment” and “South Park.” But the feature format is apparently not their friend, together or separately. “Cheerleader” was awfully broad, 2007’s “Itty Bitty Titty Committee” painfully so; for its part, “Fresno” provides pain and lots of broads (this is a lady-free zone), and is pretty awful. »
- Dennis Harvey
Alison Dilaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) is a pretty little prisoner. The character whose disappearance, "death" and resurrection grounded the show for five seasons was wrongfully convicted of murdering Mona (Janel Parrish) on Tuesday night's episode of Pretty Little Liars. And, at the end, her gal pals joined her in orange jumpsuits, arrested as accessories to the crime she didn't really commit. With just one week left until the spring finale - and the big "A" reveal - here's what went down in Rosewood: Related: Pll Star Sasha Pieterse: The Big 'A' Reveal Is 'Dark' and 'Twisted' Biggest Moments • The prosecution »
- Michele Corriston, @mcorriston
Alison Dilaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) is a pretty little prisoner. The character whose disappearance, "death" and resurrection grounded the show for five seasons was wrongfully convicted of murdering Mona (Janel Parrish) on Tuesday night's episode of Pretty Little Liars. And at the end, her gal pals joined her in orange jumpsuits, arrested as accessories to the crime she didn't really commit. With just one week left until the spring finale - and the big A reveal - here's what went down in Rosewood: Related: Pll Star Sasha Pieterse: The Big 'A' Reveal Is 'Dark' and 'Twisted' Biggest Moments • The prosecution »
- Michele Corriston, @mcorriston
The South by Southwest Film Festival is starting up this Friday, and I could not be more excited. This is my fourth year of attending the fest, and each year brings about a couple of films I love. What is also great about SXSW is, unlike Toronto or Cannes, there is plenty of room for discovery. Many films are making their world premieres here from lesser known filmmakers. SXSW also brings together an eclectic assortment of genres for the program, from indie dramas to horror films to science-fiction to you name it. I think going to those aforementioned festivals and just seeing "prestige pictures" continuously could get a bit boring. Sure, SXSW has a higher risk for a terrible movie, but the risk is exciting. Consequently, making a most anticipated list for a festival offering a lot of discoveries seems like a contradiction. But, of course, if you look through the program, »
- Mike Shutt
Does length matter? (In a game, that is)
Okay, stop sniggering. We’re better than that. I was, of course, referring to the recent brouhaha surrounding PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 and its relatively short running time. For the uninitiated, mere days before the game launched to collective sighs around the globe, rumours hit the web that the game could be completed in as little as five hours. Gaming sites melted down, Internet arguments kicked off; it was, for lack of a better term, just another molehill turned mountain within the gaming industry… read the full article.
‘Dark Souls': Ornstein and Smough are a golden maelstrom of unyielding death
In the brutal gauntlet of boss encounters in Dark Souls, there are a daunting amount of epic and memorable battles to consider. From the soul-crushing difficulty of battling four undead kings in the darkness of the void, to the haunting duel »
The experiment has failed. The Oscars simply don’t work. And no, I’m not just continuing to vent my frustration over Boyhood losing.
For the last six years, The Academy has experimented with a different number of Best Picture nominees, starting with 10, then a variable number between five and 10 based on first place votes.
That experiment could now be coming to an end. The Hollywood Reporter floated the rumor Tuesday that the Academy is seriously considering switching back to five nominees for Best Picture, and that the motion has support with a “significant fraction of the Academy”.
This is speculation at the moment, as the Academy’s Board of Governors isn’t set to meet until March 24. That said, this year’s Oscar ratings were down by 15 percent from last year, despite having one of the year’s biggest box office hits in American Sniper up for Best Picture »
- Brian Welk
More than a decade ago, Mort Marcus’ Debmar Studios made waves with its move to pick up broadcast syndication rights to raunchy Comedy Central series South Park. The gamble paid off, with South Park remaining a part of the portfolio of Marcus and Ira Bernstein’s Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury. Now the production-distribution company has taken to the market another signature Comedy Central program, Tosh.0, landing a deal with the Fox Television Stations. Under the barter… »
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Obsidian Entertainment/South Park Digital Studios
PS3, Xbox 360
For fans of the show, South Park: Stick of Truth is a faithful representation of the series. From the art style to the driving force behind characters actions, everything about this game oozes South Park. Though there are many engaging and entertaining battles, there is but one that will keep players struggling to stay in their seats-the final battle for control of the universe with Princess Kenny.
After defeating Nazi Zombie Chef and releasing him from Clyde’s evil grip via a magical fiery fart, the New Kid is promoted to King Douchebag. The noble quest to defeat the armies of darkness and retrieve the Stick of Truth seems to be at an end. But then, what’s this? Betrayal from within the ranks! Princess Kenny sides with the Big Bad Government Guy »
- Elizabeth Rico
It’s not all grumble and moan round here when TV networks decline to pick up pilots. Sometimes, we’re even grateful.
Hindsight teaches that every so often, passing on a particular show is the best thing a channel could have done. Not ordering one pilot to series spurs its creators on to start another, and frees up its cast to join new projects.
Had the failures below all thrived, there’s a chance we could now be living in a world with no Breaking Bad, Hannibal, or even South Park. Had these pilots gone on to enjoy healthy, lengthy lives, then Jack Bauer, Oberyn Martell, Chandler Bing and more might all be unrecognisable today.
Here then, are the TV pilots we’re grateful weren’t taken to series because their »
This article is best read with its companion piece “Hollywood Has Never Been Original.” A few weeks ago, The New York Times published a comparison piece between Richard Linklater’s Boyhood – filmed in annual pieces over twelve years – and Michael Apted’s Up documentary series – films that have revisited the same small handful of British people every seven years, since age 7 in 1964. While author Mary Jo Murphy was not the first to make such a comparison, these disparate but comparable projects seemed to be asking for an in-depth analysis between ambitious films that exercised patient filmmaking experiments that fly in the face of the accelerated, profit-driven industry that drives much of feature filmmaking. However, rather than make productive comparison between Apted’s and Linklater’s films (and Truffaut’s Antoine Doinel series, for that matter) that assesses what was generated by these filmmakers’ particular attempts to focus on revisited subjects over extensive production schedules, Murphy »
- Landon Palmer
The Academy Awards offer a huge, guaranteed audience of both industry and civilian fans. That makes it a unique opportunity for stars and non-stars alike to act out with the assurance that someone, somewhere will be paying attention to them. And this has happened a lot. As we approach the 87th Academy Awards, let's take a look back at some of the strangest moments to grace Oscar night. Some Dude Steals Alice Brady's Oscar In 1938, as the story goes, an unidentified man strode onstage to accept Alice Brady's Best Supporting Actress Award (for In Old Chicago), because she »
- Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl
Viacom has overhauled the management of its cable groups, with Doug Herzog adding oversight of MTV, VH1 and other networks to his portfolio while TV Land and Cmt move into the kids and family group headed by Nickelodeon chief Cyma Zarghami.
The restructuring comes after the exits this week of longtime MTV Networks exec Van Toffler and TV Land president Larry Jones. Viacom is under increasing pressure to turn around the declining ratings at its flagship cablers, which has led to turbulence in its affiliation negotiations with some MVPDs. News last week of Jon Stewart’s pending departure from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” didn’t help matters.
“Our industry is in transition, and change does not always come easy, but we have a tremendous amount of talent at Viacom, and we are innovating at every level and at every brand,” Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman wrote in a memo to staffers Thursday. »
- Cynthia Littleton
Just as the host had planted the seed for several months that he was contemplating his departure, the network has been mulling its options, too.
The challenge executives face, though, is how to replace a man who has held a unique role in popular culture — a man at ease with politicians and pop stars, and who can both discuss the news and make it. The key word, though, in that sentence may be “man.”
Under president of original programming Kent Alterman, Comedy Central has sought people who have a unique voice or world view. With this crucial hire, however, the network has the opportunity to fill a much-needed void in latenight — by hiring a woman for the job.
- Brian Steinberg and Cynthia Littleton
Here’s a confession: this writer isn’t exactly enamored with the overly-referential satire found in Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s long-running cartoon South Park, nor by the crass, classless humor that titillated Book Of Mormon’s Broadway audiences. There is, obviously, no shortage of admirers out there eager to chow down on another helping of Parker’s brand […] »
- Trevor Parker
Cameos, mistakes and in-jokes. We’ve trawled the Game Of Thrones season 4 DVD commentaries for what went on behind the scenes…
Warning: contains spoilers for Game Of Thrones season 4.
If you’re a busy Game Of Thrones fan who can’t find the spare ten hours required to re-watch season four with the accompanying disc commentaries, then we have your back. Gleaned from said audio tracks provided by the cast, crew and creators George R.R. Martin, Dan Weiss and David Benioff, is the below list of nerdy facts and anecdotes about the making of season four.
Granted, skip the commentaries and you won’t experience first-hand Peter Dinklage’s rendition of Let It Go from Frozen, a stream of filthy innuendo from Lena Headey, or the general sense of awe, adoration and good-natured mockery everyone who works on the show has for everyone else (“If only you could act, Peter »
First Letterman’s leaving. Then Colbert goes in Dave’s stead. And now you’re taking Jon Stewart away from me too?!? Damn you Late Night Gods!
Still, we most soldier on, and we have about a solid year left with Stewart, and that gives us plenty of time to find a solid replacement. Here are just a few nominees from the Sound on Sight staff.
Image Courtesy HelloGiggles
Why does Jon Stewart have to leave? Now where will we learn about the news? It seems hard to fathom him not being there, but it looks like it will be a reality. While there are many correspondents on his show that they could move forward with, let’s look at the landscape of late night and ask what we need more of: girls. And what girl would be better than Amy Poehler. With Parks and Recreation finishing up, »
More changes are afoot in late night.
Another major shift in late-night comedy is taking shape as Comedy Central confirmed on Tuesday that Jon Stewart would be stepping down from The Daily Show "later this year." Stewart broke the news to a stunned audience at Tuesday’s taping that he would be exiting the satirical news program when his contract is up in September.
Thank you Jon. pic.twitter.com/yPdxjnkuLw
— Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) February 10, 2015
"For the better part of the last two decades, we have had the incredible honor and privilege of working with Jon Stewart," the network wrote in a message posted on Twitter. "His comedic brilliance is second to none. Jon has been at the heart of Comedy Central, championing and nurturing the best talent in the industry, in front of and behind the camera."
Stewart addressed his decision to step down from The Daily Show prior »
Jon Stewart's announcement that he'll leave The Daily Show later this year after more than 15 years shocked his fans and leaves a gigantic void at Comedy Central. The news came during a taping of his show on Tuesday night, minutes before NBC News announced a six-month suspension for embattled anchor Brian Williams. If NBCUniversal will lose the face of its news division, Comedy Central is losing a personality of far more importance to the Viacom-owned channel. It was Stewart — along with Trey Parker and Matt Stone's South Park — who put Comedy Central on the pop
- Marisa Guthrie, Michael O'Connell
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