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Do not be shocked if St. Vincent seems familiar; a grumpy old man who can barely take care of himself forced to tend to the needs of a child is a concept well many have drawn from. By taking a proven premise first time director Theodore Melfi is clearing hoping his first time is not also his last time.
Bad Santa, the original Bad News Bears, and even The Mighty Ducks have used this idea with staggering success. Typically the key to making it work is getting right cantankerous man to play the part. Walter Mattau, Billy Bob Thorton, and now Bill Murray can be added to the list of people that have taken this familiar role and made it uniquely their own.
Murray plays Vincent, »
- Dan Clark
The Santa Clause is 20 years old today—and while the series spawned a trilogy of family-friendly holiday films, we can't forget the franchise's dark origins. Tim Allen's Scott Calvin becomes Santa Claus by accidentally causing the original St. Nick to fall to his doom. Sure, the film pushes a "seeing is believing" message and includes plenty of warm and fuzzy holiday cheer—but it still starts off with the death of Santa Claus. The Santa Clause isn't the only movie to put a dark spin on the holiday season; there's a long and storied cinematic history of strange, bleak, »
- Jonathon Dornbush
The makers of “A Merry Friggin' Christmas” sprung for the fancy wrapping but skimped on the gift inside. How else to explain the gathering of such a talented and likable cast in service of such undercooked, utterly laugh-free material? Of trivial interest for containing one of Robin Williams’ final screen performances (the late actor has three additional films awaiting release), this feature helming debut from prolific TV comedy director Tristram Shapeero is nevertheless “Friggin'” forgettable. Hitting theaters and VOD three weeks before Thanksgiving, the pic’s dysfunctional family antics are sure to be little but a hazy memory come Christmas.
Clocking in at a brisk 72 minutes (not including end credits) and overflowing with engaging thesps, pic should be a breeze to watch. But if the shockingly simplistic final product is remotely reflective of the original script, tyro scribe Michael Brown’s take on an adult son, Boyd Mitchler (Joel McHale »
- Geoff Berkshire
The holidays are almost upon us, and if you just can't wait to re-watch seasonal classics like "White Christmas" or "The Muppet Christmas Carol," they're available right now on Netflix. There are also a few Thanksgiving-themed movies you can stream, our favorite being, of course, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."
There's something for almost every taste, whether you want something nice like an animated film for the kids or something very naughty, like "Bad Santa."
1. "American Son" (2008) R
Nick Cannon stars as a young Marine who's just completed basic training and is about to ship out to Iraq: But first, he's home for a volatile four-day Thanksgiving with friends and family.
2. "The House of Yes" (1997) R
- Sharon Knolle
Got a scoop request? An anonymous tip you’re dying to share? Send any/all of the above to email@example.com
Question: Is Grey’s Anatomy planning a big cliffhanger for the winter finale, similar to last December’s Jackson/April wedding brouhaha? —Jared
Ausiello: I hear the Nov. 20 episode will end with a cliffhanger, but whether or not it’s on par with the climax in the 2013 fall finale is probably subjective. (For example, Mer/Der fans will likely deem this year’s cliffhanger a bigger deal than last year’s.) Bonus Scoop: It was incorrect of me »
Robin Williams remained a dynamic performer all the way up to his untimely demise earlier this year, but he all too rarely worked on projects that were up to his level of comic brilliance. And if you were hoping that “A Merry Friggin’ Christmas” bucked that trend, get ready for a movie that's the equivalent of the gift that goes straight to the exchange counter on December 26. The dysfunctional-family comedy ranks among my very favorite flavor of Christmas movies — films like “The Ref,” “Bad Santa,” and French import “La Bûche” all do a great job of cutting through Yuletide »
- Alonso Duralde
Update: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that Castle will air the sixth episode of its seventh season next Monday, Nov. 10. Last fans heard of Castle's disappearance, Castle was being warned that he might not want the truth. And according to showrunner David Amann, the truth isn't going to reveal itself anytime soon considering that Castle's disappearance won't be revisited in the next four episodes. However, Amann did promise that we'll come into contact with it again in the near future. And when we do, fans don't need to be worried about the truth messing with Castle and Beckett's relationship. »
- Samantha Highfill
With early, festival-driven campaigns already ramping up (see: Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”) and sleeper candidates generating buzz (major question marks like Amy Adams in “Big Eyes”), the 2015 Best Actress race is tightening up. Is there room for surprises? Jennifer Aniston hopes so. Words has arrived through the wire that Cinelou Films’ distribution fledgling Cinelou Releasing has picked up the actress’ dramedy vehicle “Cake” for release before the end of the year. The film played to mixed reviews at September’s Toronto Film Festival, but clearly Cinelou bigwigs Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon see awards potential. A press release indicates that the movie will have a one-week qualifying run in December before rolling out in January. Based on a blacklisted script by Patrick Tobin and directed by "Phoebe in Wonderland" and "Beastly" director Daniel Barnz, “Cake” follows Claire (Aniston), a divorcee suffering from chronic back pain, the lingering effects of »
- Matt Patches
Thornton, 59, and Jolie, 39, met on the set of 1999's Pushing Tin and married in 2000 after a whirlwind two-month courtship. Things only got weirder from there until they divorced in 2003.
"I mean, it was a crazy time," Thornton told The Hollywood Reporter at a Loyola Marymount University School of Film & Television event on Oct. 15. "I've never been fond of it."
Photos: Angelina Jolie's Sexiest Black Red-Carpet Gowns
He also elaborated on the infamous blood vials the two used to wear around their necks, revealing the "romantic" thought behind the necklaces.
"Vial of blood is very simple," Thornton explained. "You know those lockets you buy that are clear and you put a picture »
The Fargo actor has signed up for a follow-up to the 2003 festive comedy, and despite looking forward to filming, he isn't sure it will match the original.
"We're just waiting for a script," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "We're never gonna beat the first one, but you got to get as close as you can. You just can't go and do it halfway so we're waiting for something that's close enough.
"It'll do real well, I imagine, and people will say, 'Well, it wasn't as good as the first one' and we'll say, 'Yeah, we knew it wouldn't be', but I think it should be fun and I think people who liked [the first one] will enjoy it and hopefully we'll get it off."
It feels like we've been writing about a potential sequel to Bad Santa for a good few years now, without any sign of the film itself moving forward. It's become one of those projects that gets talked about, but is looking decreasingly likely to happen.
Speaking at Loyola Marymount University, Thornton said that "we're just waiting for a script", adding that "we're never going to beat the first one, but you got to get as close as you can. You can't just go and do it half way, so we're waiting for something that's close »
Prepare for the return of Willie T. Stokes! Since its release back in 2003, the holiday comedy Bad Santa has developed a sizable cult audience, and, as a result, it looks like a follow up is actually going to happen. Billy Bob Thornton himself has teased that Bad Santa 2 is currently in the early stages of development. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thornton was recently part of a special Q&A at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film & Television, and revealed that there are indeed plans to make a follow up to the Terry Zwigoff-directed Christmas dark comedy. The actor said that he thoroughly enjoyed crawling into Willie's skin because it allowed him to display his talents in a broad comedy that went out of its way to play for big, crude laughs. When the topic turned to a possible Bad Santa 2, Thornton assured the audience that it »
I liked Bad Santa when I saw it in 2003. I actually haven't seen it since then so I have no idea how it ages or holds up or any of that, but apparently there's an appetite for a sequel. Makes sense, I guess I'd probably check out Bad Santa 2 if it happens. A few years back Steve Pink was going to helm, but then those duties fell to Doug Ellin. Ellin is still busy wrapping up the artistic juggernaut of the Entourage movie, so even though there's a chance his Kubrickian penchant for perfection will keep him in the editing room for another few years on that project, one could also reasonably assume he'd make time for this sooner or later. If the script is good. That's what they're waiting on. Even though Billy Bob Thornton himself wisely admits there's no way they can top the first one (the »
- Evan Dickson
2003’s debauched yuletide comedy, Bad Santa, dashed any misguided notions that those who dress up to play the jolly chap are without issues. Billy Bob Thornton’s take on the rotund fellow completely veered away from saccharine stereotypes of a happy man who only wants to deliver cheer to everyone. Instead, his store-front Santa was a drunken slob who chased women and shirked his duties whenever possible.
In short, it was brilliant, and thus, rumours began to circulate about a second trip in his kinky sleigh for Bad Santa 2. The latest news we’ve had on the project landed in May 2013, when Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink apparently vacated the director’s chair to make way for Entourage creator Doug Ellin. At the time, Ellin was also reported to be working on a re-write of Johnny Rosenthal’s original script, which brings us up to date with the status of the project. »
- Gem Seddon
Ever since its release in 2003, Bad Santa has become a Christmas staple for those seeking something a little bit more vulgar than the likes of Elf or It's A Wonderful Life. In a recent discussion at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film & Television, Billy Bob Thornton confided that there were still plans for a Bad Santa 2, and he has very realistic expectations for it. Thornton on a sequel to Bad Santa: We're just waiting for a script, ya know? »
- Sean Wist
A sequel to the 2003 cult classic Bad Santa might be in the works, actor Billy Bob Thornton told a gathering of students October 15 at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film & Television. In a wide-ranging interview that covered everything from his early days living in dire poverty to his overnight fame following 1996's Sling Blade to his horrified reaction living the life of celebrity during his years married to Angelina Jolie, Thornton said he was a great fan of his broad comedy as a nasty Santa. As for the sequel, "We’re just waiting for a script,"
- Tim Appelo
Written & Directed by Theodore Melfi
You know you have star power when an entire theater sits through the end credits just to watch you water a potted plant. Such is our national obsession with Bill Murray. Whether it’s a raised eyebrow or an awkward pause, you’re just waiting for him to do something funny. Sadly, St. Vincent keeps you waiting for most of its running time. This watered-down Bad Santa is too busy being a benign crowd pleaser to deliver much of a kick.
Vincent (Murray) is the ball of hate that lives next door. He curses at passersby in the street, and his only friends are a cat and a pregnant exotic dancer with an outrageous Russian accent. Even his house looks like an ancient, yellowing cigarette butt. But he’s also got his soft spots. Like continuing to visit his wife in the nursing home, »
- J.R. Kinnard
On the grand scale of lovable-curmudgeon-befriends-impressionable-youth movies, St. Vincent probably ranks somewhere around the middle — slightly better, perhaps, than the self-important Gran Torino, but not nearly as good as Rushmore or Bad Santa (which itself was a spoof of such movies). It’s hard to judge films like this: The destination is often familiar and not always particularly interesting, but the ride itself isn’t always so bad, especially when you’ve got Bill Murray along for company.Murray plays Vincent, a potty-mouthed alcoholic and compulsive gambler in Sheepshead Bay undergoing a pretty rough time: He’s totally broke; his house is worth less than his mortgage; he’s in massive debt to a loan shark (played by an engagingly tremulous Terence Howard, doing what he can with a throwaway role); and his loud new neighbors just wrecked his fence as they were moving in. Said neighbors turn out to be Maggie (Melissa McCarthy, »
- Bilge Ebiri
Briefcases full of cash, double-crossing, exotic locations, sophisticated suits and talk of the one last fabled con are all there in the first trailer for Will Smith's thriller Focus. The heist film, also starring Rodrigo Santoro (300) and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), sees Smith as a veteran con man. The teaser for the film alternates between breezy criminal scenes to hints of when things go wrong. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the writers of Bad Santa and I Love You Phillip Morris, are directing the title. Focus is set for release on Feb. 27,
- THR Staff
In Focus, Will Smith is an experienced con man who leads a well-organized ring of criminals. Then he meets an up and coming grifter played by Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) and the con games get complicated for both of them. Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Bad Santa writers and Crazy Stupid […]
- Russ Fischer
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