9 items from 2016
Three episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
There’s not a lot left to do and say within the 30-minute, struggling creative-type, self-aware comedy genre. Shows like Louie and Girls honed in on the structure and voice of sitcoms like this over the past few years, letting replicators flourish (Broad City) or flounder (Flaked). There’s always a downtrodden hero, a partner in crime, and a plan to somehow “make it,” along with all of the other people who seem to be getting ahead. Some shows have slowly been pushing at the boundaries of what even defines this type of series, like You’re The Worst‘s deeply dark second year, and the cool thing about Hulu’s returning anarchic little sitcom, Difficult People, is that it knows this, and sets its sights on its peers with weaponized glee.
“When did comedies become 30-minute dramas?” Julie Kessler asks best-friend-forever Billy Epstein (Klausner and Eichner, »
- Mitchel Broussard
Writer and academic W.G. Sebald once said: “Men and animals regard each other across a gulf of mutual incomprehension.” In truth, an animal understands nothing of its place in the world, their mind focused merely on food and the prospect of comfort, if available. In cinema, there is an old actor’s adage that states: “Never work with children or animals. They will always upstage you.” When an animal performs successfully in a film, it’s undeniably captivating because we know that animal is unaware of its role in the overall story. The camera has recorded some beautiful cosmic miracle, appearing from the outside to somehow defy Sebald’s words.
Whether fictional friend or foe, the relationship between humans and animals in cinema has always captured our imaginations. These sometimes expand beyond the borders of the normal, and, beyond the Bourgeoisie pooper-scoopers and barked-out cry conveying that some hapless child has fallen down a well, »
- Tony Hinds
The original “Who Am I,” directed by Baran bo Odar, centered on a computer hacker group in Berlin that gears towards global fame. It was shot in Berlin and Rostock, starred Tom Schilling and Elyas M’Barek and screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
Goyer has also directed “Zig Zag, »
- Dave McNary
This week we continue the rebirth of the DC Universe, and in doing so see the rebirth of the Bat Family, a monstrous villain, the return of an “ancient numbering system”, a recycled Aquaman, and the truth of a Goddess. Read on to see this week’s breakdown of some of the top books from DC Comics .
Click on the images for a larger view.
Action Comics #957
Story: Dan Jurgens Art: Patrick Zircher Colors: Tomeu Morey
Review: It was very strange just now writing that issue number. 957, wow! I don’t know if DC always planned to forego the new 52 numbering to bring this back, or even if New 52 somehow made it past its eventual demise that DC would have just returned to this numbering anyway. Regardless, here we are in the midst of a Rebirth for DC Comics and we get the “Rebirth” of some classic numbering (see Detective »
- Jeremy Scully
A quick review of tonight's Silicon Valley coming up just as soon as I fill a Ziploc bag with stuffed newspaper and draw a smile on it... Predictability doesn't have to be the enemy of comedy. Some of the greatest sitcoms of all time generated some of their biggest laughs from the audience's anticipation of what they knew was about to happen, from Jack Benny's cheapness to Frasier Crane's arrogance to George Costanza's cowardice. But selling a joke the viewer knows is coming requires a lot of artistry and even more work on establishing the characters in question so that their programmed responses come across as a feature, not a bug. Last week's Silicon Valley just about cleared the bar for acceptable levels of predictability. We might have realized, for instance, Richard was talking to the tech blogger long before he did, but his unfortunate monologue was just so »
- Alan Sepinwall
JC Spink and Chris Bender are dissolving their 18-year-old management-production company Benderspink, which has been involved in “The Hangover” trilogy, “We’re the Millers,” “A History of Violence” and “Zombeavers.”
The duo said the split is amicable in a statement issued Tuesday: “We started Benderspink in our late 20s almost 18 years ago. We could not be more proud of what we’ve achieved together and are excited for this next chapter in each of our lives.”
The statement did not elaborate on what they will do next.
Spink focused mostly on management while Bender focused on producing. The company was formed in 1998 after the two had worked as assistants at Zide-Perry Productions, where Bender received a co-producing credit on “American Pie.”
The duo, who met at Bucknell University, had a long-time first-look deal through New Line that launched in 2001. They delivered mid-budget titles such as “Horrible Bosses” and “The Butterfly Effect” franchises, »
- Dave McNary
The innovative Viewpoints section celebrates the distinctively bold visions of underrepresented perspectives, styles and characters. Featuring 25 unique and fascinating viewpoints from 15 countries, films in this category vary from realised, hyperreal worlds such as in High-Rise, Equals, Nerdland and The Loner to real world perspectives including Syrian refugees in After Spring, solitary confinement inmates in Solitary and adult students at Night School.
Here are the films selected in this year’s Viewpoints:
Chris Prynoski (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative
Nerdland is an R-rated cartoon comedy about celebrity, excess, and two showbiz nobodies, John (Paul Rudd) and Elliott (Patton Oswalt), with a plan to become famous—or even infamous—by the end of the night. Featuring an army of comedy cameos including Hannibal Buress, Laraine Newman, Mike Judge, Kate Micucci, »
- Sacha Hall
Winer is a veteran TV director and executive producer, most recently on “Life in Pieces” for CBS and 20th Century Fox TV, where he has an overall deal. He has also directed many episodes of “Modern Family” and “The Crazy Ones.”
Winer directed the remake of “Arthur” in 2011 for his first feature film credit. »
- Dave McNary
You can count on Sundance to be a place where movies that happen to be directed by women and also happen to star actors who happen to be female are celebrated. It's a phenomenon not lost on director Rebecca Miller, whose film Maggie’s Plan — about a woman (Greta Gerwig) entangled in a love triangle with a professor (Ethan Hawke) and his wife (Julianne Moore) — screened Friday in Park City.Despite another year of female-centric films bowing at the fest — including entries from directors Clea Duvall, Sian Heder, Meera Menon, and others — festival vet Miller (her debut film Personal Velocity took home the grand jury prize in 2002) told Vulture in advance of her premiere that Hollywood is “Absolutely still in an era where these types of movies aren’t seen as commercially viable. There is a fear of the woman protagonist.” Miller, who is the daughter of playwright Arthur »
- Stacey Wilson Hunt
9 items from 2016
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