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David Lynch, Meg Ryan and Jim Jarmusch all have one thing in common--for some reason, coffee has been a recurring set piece over the course of their careers. The ubiquitous caffeinated beverage's power to stimulate the brain and draw people together over conversation has propelled storylines in many of their films, and they are not alone.
For a while back in 2006, it even looked like Tom Hanks and Gus van Sant might make a movie about the international coffee peddler Starbucks' ability save down-and-out families. We have yet to see the "How Starbucks Changed My Life" film go into production, but countless other actors and directors have slipped in sips of java to keep scenes percolating.
Here are ten of the most memorable examples.
10. Agent Kujan makes a mess, "The Usual Suspects" (1995)
Nothing punctuates a moment of surprise in a movie quite like a coffee cup shattering on the floor -- except, »
- Brian Warmoth
This week on Bones, Booth is not only investigating a crime in which a dismembered body is found in a mailing box, but he's given some devastating news that brings out a very emotional side of our favorite FBI agent.
Hodgins and Clark totally geeking out over finding the murder weapon reminded me why this show makes me so happy. They love their jobs and have fun with it, even though it's gross (for me to watch, I mean) and half the time, well All of the time, I don't understand scientific-speak. But I'm getting ahead of myself. »
She rose to fame just before Julia Roberts who rose to fame just before Sandra Bullock. Together the three of them inarguably ruled the Romantic Comedy genre for a full decade back when, and this is an important note, the genre was producing regular classics. (Look at any modern RomCom Queen's filmography and try to find films half as good; the qualitative dropoff is more like a horror movie!)
Cut to 2011 and the other two members of America's Sweetheart Trinity: 1990s Division are still headliners and now Oscar Winners. So what happened to Meg Ryan and why did goodwill not follow her or rescue her as it did her royal sisters in big screen love and laughter? For a good long while people wondered when her Erin Brockovich would arrive. Eventually they stopped wondering but why couldn't she even stumble onto her own The Blind Side?
It isn't a simple matter of talent. »
- NATHANIEL R
Former American sweetheart Meg Ryan might not be the star she once was when she was breaking our hearts in classic romantic comedies like When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless In Seattle but there's no doubt she deserves her place in Hollywood history.
Nowadays, she's more famous for her private life and her romances than she is for film roles, but she has already amassed some iconic characters including orgasm-faking Sally Albright (When Harry Met Sally), Annie Reed (Sleepless in Seattle), Alice Green (When a Man Loves a Woman) and Kathleen Kelly (You've Got Mail).
And now she is turning 50 on Saturday, it's time to salute magical Meg.
Here's 10 things you may not have known about Ms. Ryan:
- She provided the voice for Russian royal Anastasia in the hit 1997 animated film about the Russian royal.
- She has played Kate, Catherine, Katharine or Kathleen in five movies, Maggie in three.
- She shares a birthday with Jodie Foster.
- Meg Ryan is an anagram of 'Germany'.
- She has an asteroid named after her - 8353 Megryan.
There comes a night in Michael Mann's film Heat (1995) when the police detective (Al Pacino) decides he should have a little chat with the criminal he suspects is planning a major heist (Robert De Niro). Your first instinct may be to wonder: does every criminal enterprise in Los Angeles qualify for this friendly heart-to-heart where the law explains to the outlaw just how serious the crime and its consequences will be – is it a little like having your Miranda rights read to you? Or, is it simply that a big movie with Pacino and De Niro had to bring its firepower together, in the way Friedrich Schiller could not resist improving on history with a meeting between Queen »
- David Thomson
 In what sounds like a perfect match of filmmaker and material, Nora Ephron is set to write and direct Lost in Austen, a cinematic adaptation of a 2008 British miniseries about a modern-day Jane Austen fan who finds herself dropped into the middle of the events of Pride & Prejudice. Also on board is Bond 23 director Sam Mendes, who will produce with Pippa Harris. More details after the jump. The original Lost in Austen series saw London woman Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) switching places with Pride & Prejudice heroine Elizabeth Bennett (Gemma Arterton) via a magic portal in Amanda's 21st century bathroom. Amanda attempts to ensure that events unfold as they did in Austen's novel, but finds herself falling for the handsome Mr. Darcy (Elliot Cowan). The present-day setting will be moved to New York City for Ephron's adaptation. No cast is attached at this time. Although not all of Ephron's work »
- Angie Han
Despite having films in her past like Lucky Numbers and Bewitched, director Nora Ephron has proven that when she gets a film right, she knocks it out of the park as when she helmed Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, not to mention writing my favorite romantic comedy of all-time When Harry Met Sally. Now Ephron is venturing into familiar territory, at least in the genre that she's used to working, as Variety reports the filmmaker is attached to direct a big screen adaptation of Lost in Austen, a British mini-series which is essentially a modern, time-traveling take on Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice. The original series starred Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans) and here's the official synopsis: Amanda Price is sick of the modern world. She yearns for the romance and elegance found in the books by her favorite author, Jane Austen. But she's »
- Ethan Anderton
Yes, It's Another Version Of 'Pride & Prejudice' It's easy to dump on Nora Ephron. And in many ways, justified, certainly to anyone who's had to sit through "Mixed Nuts," or "Michael," or "Lucky Numbers" or "Bewitched." But she did, of course, write the stone-cold classic "When Harry Met Sally," and, maybe it only feels that way because so many of those who've been influenced by her have botched the rom-com genre so badly, but when she gets it even half-right, as in "Sleepless in Seattle," "You've Got Mail" or "Julie and Julia," there are few who can do what… »
Wow, Trouty Mouth went from being a high school student to an elementary school teacher in a matter of months. Chord Overstreet (Glee) guest starred as Mr. Wilkerson, the next teacher that Brick doesn't click with. It's that time of year everyone: the kids are back to school!
Sue is ecstatic to be in high school, but she's unintentionally ruining Axl's life. The only way she could say "frosh" more times in a conversation is if she suddenly acquired Brick's whispering reflex. Since her presence at the school is making Axl crazy, he decides to get a little revenge when she asks for advice about what elective to take during her free period before math. He tells her that by taking swimming, she can prepare to be on the swim team and get extracurricular experience. What he doesn't tell her is that there's no way she'll make it to her »
- Emily Offshack
Maybe it's the holiday weekend, but we're feeling a little Hanks nostalgia. We haven't seen "Larry Crowne" yet, but something about the ads puts us in the mind of Tom Hanks of yesteryear -- the affable, effortless actor who got his start in drag on TV's "Bosom Buddies" and is now the very definition of Hollywood A list.
It isn't that we're discouraging anyone from seeing "Larry Crowne" (despite those reviews -- ouch), but for those of you unable or unwilling to make it out to the movies this weekend we've compiled a list of six different Tom Hanks Diy Film Festivals. Any one will make for great Independence Day weekend viewing -- or, hey, go all out and do one festival for each day of the holiday weekend. What's more American than Tom Hanks and apple pie? (Okay, maybe Ron Howard and apple pie, but we're talking Hanks here).
And don't worry, »
For comedians aspiring to be dramatic actors, there is no better model than Tom Hanks. A two-time Academy Award winner and five-time nominee, this unflashy, modern-day Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda has also shown every struggling actor on earth that if you persevere you can actually make people forget you started out as a comedian and then simply a romantic comedy lead (remember the dreaded "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle" years). Hell, if you endure long enough you can even wipe out the memory of TV movies like "Mazes and Monsters" and sitcoms like "Bosom Buddies" (where's that… »
Tom Hanks plays director, screenwriter, and star of this week's comedy Larry Crowne, and I fully support him doing as many jobs as he can find, because I'm kind of obsessed with him. As a kid, I fell for him in movies like Big and Joe Versus the Volcano, and as the years went on, Hanks just kept making great movies that I loved. Be they drama (Forrest Gump) or comedy (You've Got Mail), the films of Tom Hanks always make me happy. Even when you can't see him (a la Toy Story), just hearing that distinctive voice and laugh pick me up. Are you a big Hanks fan too? If so, tell me your favorite movies of his in the comments! »
- Shannon Vestal
Kurt here with another round of Movies and Muscle. Flicks and Flexing. Celluloid and Deltoids. (I'm stopping, I'm stopping.) Today we have Fool's Gold, a frothy, summery dish and the unofficial sequel to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Released in 2008, this treasure-hunting rom com was to be the Runaway Bride or You've Got Mail for the beloved, if overestimated, duo of Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, whom, for brevity purposes, we'll refer to herein as Hudsoghey. Sadly, this well-meaning-lark-with-an-asking-for-it-title wound up even less successful than those other films, basically just serving as further proof of the lightning-only-strikes-once rule.
From what I gathered, Hudsoghey play husband-and-wife golddiggers who dive for sunken relics in what is either The Bahamas or an especially tropical-looking part of Florida (I swear I heard “Florida” in there somewhere). When I entered, wife was in the process of divorcing (a characteristically absent) hubbie, complaining about his incessant immaturity, »
- Kurtis O
What happened to Meg Ryan? It doesn't feel like it was that long ago when she was starring in movies like Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally or even You've Got Mail. Be it the old adage about women's expiration date in Hollywood, the bad plastic surgery or the fact that she started appearing in some really bad movies, her career hasn't exactly gone well in the last decade. For that reason, the title of her newest project makes total sense. According to Variety, Ryan is currently in talks to star in Long Time Gone for first time director Sarah Siegel-Magness. The film would be the actress' first since Serious Midnight in 2009. The story centers on a broken family that only begins to heal itself when the teenage son's girlfriend moves into the house and "changes their lives forever." Ryan will play the family matriarch who, after learning that »
Though her acting career has taken a turn for the worse over the past decade, it looks Meg Ryan is going to try to find success behind the camera. Variety reports the Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail star is set to make her feature directorial debut with Into the Beautiful a comedic drama from writer Anne Meredith. The project is described as a contemporary version of The Big Chill (though it's not a remake) with the story following longtime friends reconnecting after years apart. Apparently the film is set to start shooting in September in New York, and although she's directing, it doesn't sound like Ryan will be in front of the camera. I'm kind of a sucker for these kind of films. I love The Big Chill (but I hated Grown Ups), and these kind of stories just make me think about reconnecting with old friends years »
- Ethan Anderton
I can't help but be a little sad when I think of Meg Ryan, the cute girl that starred in one of my favorite contemporary romantic comedies, You've Got Mail (What? I'm man enough to admit it.), but then went on to a plastic surgery nightmare only to return and reveal everything in the little-seen, not to mention terrible, In the Cut. Since then her track record hasn't improved so instead of stepping in front of the camera again she's stepping behind it.
Variety reports Ryan is set to make her feature directing debut on Into the Beautiful from a Anne Meredith (Cavedweller) script. The film is described as a contemporary Big Chill with longtime friends reconnecting.
Producer Wendy Finerman told Variety, "I'm often drawn to pictures that make you laugh and cry... I think this is the perfect project for Meg to bring to life. She's poignant and funny and heartfelt. »
- Brad Brevet
It's that one candy-filled, semi-Hallmark time of the year that nobody can really escape (unless you cut yourself off from the outside world for the whole day). It's Valentine's Day, and the thick, smog-like layer of love is in the air. Now for some reason a majority of the women in my family collect romantic movies either on VHS or DVD. The piles of heart-felt movies began to collect throughout the years either in a cabinet or in a drawer underneath the television in their houses. Of course that means I was subjected to watch a good chunk of them when I was a kid. Now that I'm a little older, there are certain trends in character behavior from the male leads that I absolutely can not stand. How do these women put up with them? How do they fall for these good looking on the outside, disgusting on the inside, »
Tom Hanks, governor of the Academy, and Best Actor Oscar winner for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994), will be a presenter at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer have announced. In addition to his two Oscar wins, Hanks was also nominated for Big (1988), Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Cast Away (2000). Last year, Hanks voiced the character Woody in Lee Unkrich's Best Picture and Best Animated Feature nominee Toy Story 3. Next, Hanks will be seen in Larry Crowne, on which he also served as director, co-writer and producer. Larry Crowne also features Julia Roberts, Wilmer Valderrama, Taraji P. Henson, Pam Grier, George Takei, and Nia Vardalos — Hanks' co-screenwriter. Tom Hanks' other film credits include Charlie Wilson’s War, The Da Vinci Code, The Terminal, Catch Me If You Can, Road to Perdition, You've Got Mail, Apollo 13, Sleepless in Seattle, A League of [...] »
- Anna Robinson
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All About Eve / An Affair to Remember [Blu-ray] Both of these arrived just yesterday so I haven't had a chance to watch them just yet, but I absolutely cannot wait. All About Eve is a fantastic movie and I am praying the transfer is as great as I hope it to be. An Affair to Remember, however, I have not seen yet and can't wait to get my first glimpse.
One thing I'm happy to see is the boys at DVD Beaver give the image quality of both high marks, especially All About Eve. Alice in Wonderland (60th Anniversary Edition) I have a review of this forthcoming, but I can tell you right now this is an excellent Blu-ray and one I recommend any Disney fan pick up if they are even slightly considering adding it to their collection. More to come shortly. »
- Brad Brevet
A look at what's new on DVD today:
"Let Me In" (2010)
Directed by Matt Reeves
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment
"Never Let Me Go" (2010)
Directed by Mark Romanek
Released by Fox Home Entertainment
Two of 2010's most underrated films that approach their respective genres from radically different perspectives than most, "Cloverfield" director Matt Reeves' "Let Me In" and Mark Romanek's "Never Let Me Go" will finally have the opportunity to stand out on home video. In "Let Me In," Reeves applies some of his own biographical touchstones for this remake of Tomas Alfredson's horror film about the unlikely friendship between a vampire (Chloe Moretz) and a lonely young boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Romanek's adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's much-beloved sci-fi novel about a group of children raised apart from the rest of society for purposes that are unknown to them. (Alison Willmore's reviews for "Let Me In" and »
- Stephen Saito
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