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A grumpy old loner who comes to embrace the spirit of friendship and community? It’s like Groundhog Day. Well, it is and it isn’t
• Bill Murray interviewed
• St Vincent reviewed
Does anyone remember The Hidden, a nifty, nasty and inventive 1987 sci-fi B movie with Kyle MacLachlan? It’s about an alien organism of maximum hostility and violence that can transfer itself from one human host to another, each time discarding the previous used-up host-corpse. And it never dies: it just reappears in another guise.
This reminds me a great deal of St Vincent, Bill Murray’s brand-new old-codger movie. The story of a kid named Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) and his newly divorced mother (Melissa McCarthy) who move in next door to a grouchy old alcoholic and degenerate gambler (that’ll be Bill), it is the umpteenth retread of a venerable and creaky Hollywood standard that reboots itself incessantly in ever-changing forms. »
- John Patterson
Everybody has that one movie that they've watched so many times, "knowing it by heart" doesn't even begin to describe the relationship. It's the film that you drop everything to watch when it comes on TV, or that you bought and wore out the VHS copy, and then the DVD and the Blu-Ray... and you're still happy to watch it again on Netflix. Maybe it all started with what your family liked to watch (or what they hated) or what ended up in your stocking at holiday time, or what you fell in love with at the theater. Below, the HitFix editorial staff shares its most-watched movies of all time. What is yours? Tell us in the comments! Donna Dickens "Titanic" I was that fourteen year old girl. The one that saw “Titanic” in theaters multiple times (my personal tally was seven.) I bought the VHS two-pack. I recorded the »
- HitFix Staff
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
When you make movies about people, an eye for casting becomes an auteurist stamp. Richard Linklater knows his characters so well — their personalities, their movements, their sounds — that by the time he inserts actors into each part, the choices feel like absolutes. Take the "Before" series. It’s a war crime to fantasy cast alternatives for Celine and Jesse. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke are too perfect. Just try. Nope. Not the same movie. Can’t do it. Impossible. In a testament to Linklater’s knack for spotting talent, the Casting Society of America will present two-time Academy Award-nominee with their Career Achievement Award at the 30th Annual Artios Awards. “Richard is a filmmaker whose work is both current and timeless. With Boyhood, he worked with casting director Beth Sepko to make casting choices, which sustained the film’s emotional truth over the 12 years it took to shoot. It demonstrates »
- Matt Patches
21 Years: Richard Linklater
Most filmgoers don’t know Richard Linklater’s name but his effect has been felt through the American independent film scene since the debut of Slacker in 1991. For the star-studded cast of commenters sitting down for some insights into Linklater, it’s hard to imagine a world without him. He is the unicorn who managed to build an entire career of passion projects, a rare opportunity indeed.
Written and directed by Michael Dunaway and Tara Wood, 21 Years: Richard Linklater seeks perspectives on one of cinema’s most underrated directors via interviews and stories shared by notable filmmakers Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Jack Black, Keanu Reeves, Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Reitman, Kevin Smith, the Duplass brothers, and Matthew McConaughey. To provide a unique spin on talking heads, Dunaway and Wood splice in animated »
- Colin Biggs
As a midway celebration of one of American independent cinema’s most vital careers, “21 Years: Richard Linklater” makes for a disappointingly hollow hagiography: gushy, superficial and strangely overdue — arriving significantly later than its title prescribes. This year, “Boyhood” sparked a serious reappraisal of Linklater’s oeuvre by film lovers everywhere (Brit film journal Little White Lies dedicated an issue to the helmer’s career, while Variety’s own critics ranked his 17 features to date), but this VOD-bound overview adds little to the conversation, beyond fresh endorsements from the likes of Ethan Hawke, Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey, embellished by amusing animated segments.
Given helmer Michael Dunaway and co-director Tara Wood’s evident affection for their subject’s contributions to cinema, it’s weird that they didn’t leverage their project as an excuse to gain access to the Austin-based auteur. Instead, the pair travel far and wide to interview his collaborators, »
- Peter Debruge
To American audiences exploring the indie film scene in the 1990s, few names mattered as much as Richard Linklater’s. One of Generation X’s essential voices, Linklater’s idiosyncratic dialogue-driven efforts – Slacker, Before Sunrise, Dazed & Confused, to name a few – struck a nerve among film fans across the country and beyond. On the verge of earning his first Oscar nomination for Best Director for the coming-of-adolescence masterwork Boyhood, the indie underdog is finally starting to reap the praises he has deserved since starting his career nearly 25 years ago.
Boyhood brought the writer/director virtually unanimous praise from critics and audiences. In the wake of that film’s success, though, a light career retrospective of Linklater’s principal work from the new documentary 21 Years: Richard Linklater, feels superfluous. It is easy to figure out why he is such an essential director to audiences craving original material, to the actors he »
- Jordan Adler
It looks like Paramount is continuing its long-running relationship with Richard Linklater. The filmmaker directed the surprise hit "School Of Rock" and remade "Bad News Bears" for the studio, which has also stepped in to handle home video distribution for Linklater's Oscar contending, critics favorite "Boyhood." And the fruitful relationship between the studio and director will continue with his next movie. Cinephile fave Megan Ellison, who produced this year's hugely acclaimed "Foxcatcher," will produce Linklater's "That's What I'm Talking About" via her Annapurna Pictures, with Paramount taking North American distribution rights. The film features a batch of new and rising actors —Tyler Hoechlin, Wyatt Russell, Ryan Guzman, Zoey Deutch, Will Brittain, and Glen Powell— in this "spiritual sequel" to "Dazed & Confused," regarding a college freshman who rolls with some colorful »
- Kevin Jagernauth
A great sports movie should also appeal to those who have no particular interest in sports. Accordingly, some of the best baseball movies could just as easily slot into other genres – they're comedies like The Bad News Bears, historical dramas like Eight Men Out, weepies, biopics, coming-of-age dramas and everything in between.
With this week's release of based-on-a-true-story feel-good drama Million Dollar Arm, Digital Spy takes a look at the ten best baseball movies.
1. Eight Men Out (1988)
John Sayles' 1988 drama tackles Major League Baseball's Black Sox scandal, in which eight underpaid members of the Chicago White Sox (including 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson) conspired with gamblers to intentionally lose the 1919 World Series. Sayles' terrific script perfectly captures the time and place and does a superb job of dramatising several elements of a complex story, with impressive attention to detail.
Very much an ensemble piece, the eclectic cast includes John Cusack (as »
Domestically, the film kicked up a sterling $65 million from 3,845 locations.
So cowabunga and cue the follow-up. Part two will land in theaters on June 3, 2016, with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes returning again as a producer and screenwriters Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec (“Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol”) coming back as screenwriters.
The sequel announcement comes after the film managed to hold off “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Analysts expected the Marvel film to take a bigger chunk out of “Ninja Turtles'” profits given that both films were expected to appeal to younger males. The comicbook film still managed to bring in $41.5 million in its sophomore weekend, a 56% drop from its debut that pushed its Stateside haul to $175.9 million. That »
- Brent Lang
A character actor with more than 80 film and TV projects to his name, Austin, Tex.-based Marco Perella is receiving his widest exposure ever—for a movie he finished shooting eight years ago. As the drunk disciplinarian stepfather of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) in Richard Linklater’s decades-spanning Boyhood, Perella plays the pathetic bully with a finesse that’s left some viewers thinking the movie was all too real.
EW spoke to Perella about his role in the film and the choice of words when he’s being praised for being bad.
The interview below references specific scenes and plot details of Boyhood. »
- Joe McGovern
Richard Linklater, the auteur behind films like Dazed and Confused, the Before Sunrise trilogy, and A Scanner Darkly may be walking away from the WB's planned remake of The Incredible Mr. Limpet. The director, who peppers in studio fair like the 2005 Bad News Bears remake between projects he's more passionate about, seems to want to capitalize on the current buzz surrounding his film, Boyhood, to make another more personal film. The writer-director spent 12 years working on Boyhood, literally shooting the film little by little, with the same cast, depicting a true coming-of-age tale.
The film has been getting absolutely sensational reviews since it's limited release last month- scoring 99% on RottenTomatoes with 168 critics having chimed in. The film features a cast that includes frequent Linklater collaborator Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and a handful of unknown actors. The reception to this film, which clearly meant a lot to the filmmaker, has seemingly knocked Mr. »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
Richard Linklater might be an auteur, but he’s not a snob: One year after releasing Before Sunset in 2004, for example, he directed a remake of the Bad News Bears. Still, there is a certain degree of artistic whiplash in going from Boyhood, his current critical hit that he spent 12 years making, to a remake of The Incredible Mr. Limpet, a Warner Bros. project he’s been attached to for more than three years. The original Limpet was an animation/live-action hybrid that starred Don Knotts as a man who turns into a fish and helps the Navy destroy Nazi submarines. »
- Jeff Labrecque
FX premiered The Strain this week, its terrifying new show from creator Guillermo del Toro, and one thing is certain: it is not for the faint of heart. The show follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), an epidemiologist who finds himself at the center of an outbreak - only this is no ordinary outbreak. When a plane full of dead passengers lands at New York's Kennedy International Airport, Ephraim fights to be on the case, assuming the cause of death must be some new strain of ebola or any other, you know, "normal" virus. Nope! It's a vampire virus and a variety that looks closer to the zombies of The Walking Dead than the sexy night walkers of The Vampire Diaries. The premiere sags in parts, but it definitely has its gruesome moments. Let's dive in! The dead plane. The opening sequence itself isn't too scary, but the aftermath is. »
- Maggie Pehanick
Justin Chang: Andrew, if you’ll allow me a brief (sort of) digression before we get down to business: A few nights ago, as part of our foolhardy mission to rank the films of Richard Linklater, I watched “Waking Life” for the first time since I’d seen it at a college screening in 2001. Back then, we were both sophomores at USC (though we didn’t know each other at the time), and presumably of the ideal age and mindset to groove on the film’s kaleidoscopic visuals and similarly trippy discourse. I recall having been more bored than seduced at the time, though I’m happy to say that my very different reaction following this second viewing — which began around midnight, all the better to cultivate the optimal bleary-eyed dream state — was enough to move “Waking Life” a few notches up my own list.
At a certain point late into the movie, »
- Justin Chang and Andrew Barker
While Richard Linklater was making "School of Rock," "Bad News Bears," "Before Sunset" and "Bernie," he was also quietly making "Boyhood," a film that's production spanned 12 years. It's an unprecedented experiment, one that's met with unqualified raves as Linklater follows one boy, Mason (newcomer Ellar Coltrane) from age 5 to 18.
Much of the film is inspired by Linklater's own life and he cast Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's divorced parents, and his own daughter, Lorelei, as Mason's sister. All agreed to the unconventional project, which Linklater had mapped out but was never sure exactly where it would go.
The director sat down with Moviefone (while an exhausted Coltrane took a nap in the same room) at the film's Los Angeles junket to discuss how his own daughter wanted to bail on the film, forcing Ethan Hawke to wear Dockers, and waiting to see what kind of kid Mason was »
- Sharon Knolle
A mere 10 minutes of The Battered Bastards of Baseball will have you convinced that its namesake, a ragtag minor league team named the Portland Mavericks active in the '70s, must have served as the inspiration for the Bad News Bears.
A celebratory family affair to a fault, the film was directed by team owner Bing Russell's grandsons Chapman and Maclain Way. It also features interviews from his son Kurt, whom you may know as the star of such entertainments as Overboard and Sky High.
The result is true to the rough-around-the-edges spirit of the team itself — which is to say, vibrant, rebellious, and fun as all hell — if also utterly biased. The Brothers Way aren't as innovative behind the camera as their subjects were on the field, but t »
Kevin Costner’s Durham Bulls. Charlie Sheen’s Cleveland Indians. Walter Matthau’s Bad News Bears. Wildly rambunctious baseball teams that became beloved cinematic all-stars. But they were no Portland Mavericks, the real-deal franchise that grabbed minor-league baseball by the short hairs in the mid 1970s.
In the Netflix documentary, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, directors Chapman and Maclain Way turn back the clock to 1973, when their grandfather, Hollywood actor Bing Russell (Bonanza), purchased the Class A Portland franchise and fielded a completely independent team against a league of teams stocked with Major League Baseball prospects. He held open tryouts »
- Jeff Labrecque
An exciting team is coming together to bring Larry’s Kidney to the screen. The Wrap reports that Richard Linklater will direct The Campaign stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis in an adaptation of Daniel Asa Rose’s memoir Larry’s Kidney, which recounts Rose’s journey to China with his black sheep cousin Larry and his mail order bride in order to save Larry’s life by securing him a kidney transplant. Ferrell will play Rose while Galifianakis will play Larry, and with Linklater at the helm we can probably expect something a tad more thoughtful than a simple outlandish comedy. This looks to be Linklater’s most “commercial”-sounding film since 2005’s Bad News Bears and 2003’s excellent School of Rock, as he’s been bounding between genres as of late to fantastic results. His last three films are all top-notch (Bernie, Before Midnight, and the upcoming Boyhood »
- Adam Chitwood
Whoa - where did this come from? A press release has announced that Gravitas Ventures has acquired Us release rights to release a documentary about the filmmaking career of Richard Linklater, who just debuted his 12-year project Boyhood at Sundance earlier this year. Titled 21 Years: Richard Linklater, the feature-length doc "examines the first 21 years of Linklater's career and includes intimate interviews with many of the filmmakers' longtime collaborators and animation by Austin-based Powerhouse Animation Studios." His first 21 years of work includes classic films like Slacker, Dazed & Confused, Before Sunrise & Sunset, Waking Life, School of Rock, Bad News Bears, Fast Food Nation and A Scanner Darkly. Read on. The documentary is made by Paste Magazine's movies editor Michael Dunaway and Tara Wood. Here's the full description of the project direct from the press release, detailing some of the people interviewed: Drawing on the idea that the first 21 years of work defines the career of an artist, »
- Alex Billington
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