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In the movie world, the difference between success and failure will always be measured, to a degree, at the box office. But that can’t be the only measure. What follows is a semi-objective (as in: let’s tote up a few numbers and see what they mean) and critically subjective (as in: here’s what was good, whether or not it made money) compilation of the highlights and lowlights of the 2016 summer movie season. Please feel free to agree, disagree, or call out your own favorites and duds.
Winner: The way to get animated Twenty-one years ago, the launch of Pixar didn’t just herald the age of digital animation. It kicked off a renaissance in mainstream animated filmmaking that, miraculously, has only grown. Nearly all of these films are products for children, yet it’s an exhilarating paradox that the best of them are defined by what we »
- Owen Gleiberman
She first caught our attention with a supporting role in "Gilmore Girls" playing the best friend of Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham). She continued her work on television in the popular sitcom "Mike and Molly", but it was clear that McCarthy's comedic talent would soon allow her to become a full fledged movie star.
Most notably, her supporting turn in the breakthrough comedy Bridesmaids gave her not just a unique character in Megan, but also earned her a rare Academy Award nomination for a comedic performance. Those are few and far between, but it only proved the unstoppable force of McCarthy, who has gone on to headline countless comedy films including The Heat, Spy and The Boss. »
- Adriana Floridia
Melissa McCarthy has been nothing short of hilarious in movies like Bridesmaids and Spy, as well as her TV work on Mike and Molly and Saturday Night Live, to name a few roles. Thanks to a sense of physical comedy that would make Lucille Ball proud (we're convinced that every time McCarthy throws herself down a flight of stairs, an angel gains its wings) and impeccable comedic timing, she's solidified herself as one of Hollywood's most hysterical leading ladies. Keep reading to see all of her best onscreen moments, and check out her incredible appearance on Lip Sync Battle. »
- Quinn Keaney
Jason from Mnpp here -- you want to know something shocking? Alright "shocking" might be me overexaggerating (thank you for that new word, Ryan Lochte) but I was shocked anyway - I have never done an edition of "Beauty vs Beast" for Bridesmaids. Doesn't that seem absolutely impossible? I went back and forth through the archives myself a couple of times to make sure but it's true. I couldn't believe it - I saw it was Kristen Wiig's 43rd birthday today and I thought to myself, "Well maybe there's something besides Bridesmaids that I can do, since obviously I'd have done Bridesmaids by now," but nope, no, haven't, kuh-rrrrrrazy!
So let's! I've seen this movie so many times at this point (if it is on cable, and it is always on cable, I will stop my life and I will watch it) that I managed this entire post without »
Today in Atlanta casting notices, actors are sought for “Life of the Party,” an upcoming feature from hit movie writers (and real-life married couple) Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy. Read: “The Secret to Melissa McCarthy’s Improv Prowess” The flick, which stars McCarthy along with her “Bridesmaids” pal Maya Rudolph, seeks a background female actor, aged 18–24, to portray a “snob.” Shooting is slated for several days at the end of August and September in Atlanta, Georgia. Details of the film’s plot are being kept heavily under wraps. However, producers have divulged that it is similar “in tone to the late Rodney Dangerfield’s ‘Back to School.’ ” For more information on “Life of the Party,” check out the full listing here. And be sure to check out all of Backstage’s Atlanta audition notices! Check out our YouTube channel for advice on auditions, headshots, and more! »
Rebecca Miller’s new witty romantic comedy “Maggie’s Plan” charmed audiences and critics when it premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and then later when was it released in theaters this past May. Now, it soon will enchant audiences when it hits home video.
The film follows Maggie (Greta Gerwig), a vibrant and independent New Yorker, decides to become a single mother with the help of a former college acquaintance (Travis Fimmel), but the initial plan comes up against fate when she meets and falls for “ficto-critical anthropologist” John (Ethan Hawke), whose marriage to Columbia University professor Georgette (Julianne Moore) is falling apart. Years later when Maggie finds herself falling out of love with her now husband, she devises a new plan to reconnect John with Georgette. The film also stars »
- Vikram Murthi
There's no denying that Kristen Wiig was one of Saturday Night Live's greatest players, and she's proven to be quite the character on the big screen as well. Through her funny roles in movies like Bridesmaids and Zoolander 2, Kristen always knows how to make us laugh with just one look. In celebration of her birthday on Monday, see some of her best comedic moments below! »
- Kelsie Gibson
No genre is more subjective than comedy. What makes one person laugh may make another cringe. Some “comedies” may only result in a few chuckles while watching, yet are heightened as one looks back. Others may cause constant laughter, yet are forgettable after theater’s lights come on.
With Seth Rogen‘s latest comedy, Sausage Party, arriving in theaters this week, we’ve set out to reflect on the millennium’s comedies that have most excelled. To note: we only stuck with feature-length works of 60 minutes or longer and, to make room for a few more titles, our definition of “the 21st century” stretched to include 2000.
Following our favorite sci-fi films and animations, check out our top 50 below and, in the comments, let us know your favorites. If you’re on Letterboxd, you can follow the list here.
It is wholly possible »
- The Film Stage
Despite the fact that the new rendition of the 1984 classic included some of the best-known female comedians in the industry — Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon — this year’s “Ghostbusters” still faced a lot of criticism. The film’s director, Paul Feig, has made up his mind on one thing after the backlash — he will absolutely not be rebooting any more classic movies.
“No, no, no. No, I will not,” he told the Huffington Post. “This one was just too tempting because I knew we could do something with it that was exciting.”
But despite the initial criticism that “Ghostbusters” unleashed, Feig has also said that the reaction since the film’s July 15 opening has been positive overall — especially among women and young girls.
“It’s such »
- Maria Cavassuto
“Ghostbusters” director Paul Feig is finished with reboots. After years in TV, Feig made a name for himself directing Melissa McCarthy in big-screen comedies based on original stories. As the director of “Bridesmaids,” “The Heat,” and “Spy,” Feig says he won’t be returning to any classic Hollywood properties any time soon. After dealing with the online backlash […] »
- Rachel West
Born in Australia, Rebel Wilson began her stage and television career there before moving to the U.S. She broke out big in the movie world with her winning performance in Bridesmaids in 2011 and cemented her appeal the following year as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect. This year she's played key roles in How to Be Single and The Brothers Grimsby and now she is set for a starring role in a new version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. According to Variety, the movie will "bring con artistry to the 21st century -- two female scam artists, one low rent and the other high class, compete to swindle a naive tech prodigy out of his fortune." The origins of the story date back to 1964. That's when the comedy Bedtime Story was released, starring David Niven...
- Peter Martin
Melissa McCarthy has found her new bestie.
Helmed by Ben Falcone – McCarthy’s husband and creative partner following their work across Tammy and The Boss – Life of the Party is billed as a college-set comedy in the “vein of the Rodney Dangerfield hit college comedy Back to School.” New Line is the studio backing the project, enlisting Chris Henchy (Daddy’s Home) to produce alongside Ben Falcone and McCarthy.
THR notes that production is expected to get underway later this month in Atlanta, where Rudolph and McCarthy will be joined on set by Animal Kingdom breakout Molly Gordon – attached to the part of McCarthy’s daughter – and Gillian Jacob (Community, Love), who climbed aboard as an unnamed sorority sister four weeks ago. »
- Michael Briers
Born in Australia, Rebel Wilson began her stage and television career there before moving to the U.S. She broke out big in the movie world with her winning performance in Bridesmaids in 2011 and cemented her appeal the following year as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect. This year she's played key roles in How to Be Single and The Brothers Grimsby and now she is set for a starring role in a new version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. According to Variety, the movie will "bring con artistry...
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The British actor and talk show host will voice the Beatrix Potter character in a film mixing live action and animation
The British actor and talk-show host will voice the titular character while the Bridesmaids and Spy star is in talks to join him. The film will be a hybrid of live action and animation and is set to be directed by Will Gluck, whose credits include Easy A and Annie.
Continue reading »
- Benjamin Lee
New Line has given “Life of the Party” a prime summer release date of May 11, 2018. McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone set up the comedy project several months ago at New Line with her starring and him directing.
As with “The Boss,” McCarthy and Falcone wrote the script and are producing through their On the Way production company along with Chris Henchy (“Daddy’s Home”). Details of the plot are being kept under wraps other than being in the vein of the Rodney Dangerfield’s “Back to School.”
She and McCarthy broke out in the 2011’s “Bridesmaids. »
- Dave McNary
Maya Rudolph is reteaming with her Bridesmaids co-star Melissa McCarthy for New Line’s college-set comedy, Life of the Party. McCarthy's husband, Ben Falcone, is directing the movie, which has a script by the duo. The pair are producing the project with Chris Henchy (Daddy's Home). The plot is described as being in vein of the Rodney Dangerfield hit college comedy Back to School, about a crass partier who joins his son at university. Animal Kingdom star Molly Gordon is playing McCarthy’s daughter while Gillian Jacobs is cast as a sorority sister. Rudolph will play McCarthy’s neurotic best friend.
- Borys Kit
There haven’t been a lot of movies in the last decade that have been forced to deal with outright hatred long before they were released, and the unique difficulties of such a situation made for some odd moves when it came to the marketing for Ghostbusters.
While the fact that the film was remade with a set of female Ghostbusters obviously got most of the attention, the internet was also buzzing with the ire of those who weren’t thrilled that the thing was being remade at all.
When the first trailer hit, and quickly became one of the most “disliked” videos in the history of YouTube, director Paul Feig, some of the cast, and anyone else with a dog in the fight, quickly decided that it might be possible to make lemonade out of the situation, and tried to create a misogyny PC shield out of the firestorm »
- Marc Eastman
In 11 Questions, The A.V. Club asks interesting people 11 interesting questions—and then asks them to suggest one for our next interviewee.
At this point Ira Glass and his voice are synonymous with This American Life. But radio isn’t his only medium these days. He’s also a film producer. In 2006 his name was on the pre-Bridesmaids Paul Feig comedy, Unaccompanied Minors, based on a This American Life segment. Since then, however, he’s mainly worked on Tal storyteller Mike Birbiglia’s directorial efforts: 2012’s Sleepwalk With Me, which he co-wrote, and the recently released Don’t Think Twice. Don’t Think Twice follows the members of a team of improv comedians as they navigate their careers, their friendships suffering friction as they achieve varying degrees of success. It’s one of the few movies Glass has seen more than once, thanks to his ...
- Esther Zuckerman
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“It will be forgotten about in a couple of months time. We will all move on with our lives. And in 30 years time, people will go: ‘Remember that reboot? It wasn’t very good, was it?'”
This is an extract from the Flickering Myth Podcast #33 (27th July, 2016). Subscribe on iTunes.
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See Also: 14 rumours about the troubled Ghostbusters reboot production
Ghostbusters is set for release on July 11th in the UK and on »
- Oli Davis
It’s no surprise that Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass’s return to the “Jason Bourne” franchise topped this weekend. It’s a near-replicate of last – a new franchise entry hits its mark, then two more lower-budget wide openers do less combined, but enough to boost the weekend totals above the previous year. “Jason Bourne,” more than “Star Trek Beyond,” exceeded pre-opening estimates.
Oddly, all three openers scored A or A- from audience pollster Cinemascore. (This is rare for any one week outside of awards season.) Their Metacritic ratings were more mixed, in the tiny range of 58-60. Their budgets also varied, with $120-million “Jason Bourne” (Universal) coming in at triple the combined cost of the other two (Stx’s “Bad Moms” and Lionsgate’s “Nerve” both cost around $20 million). As always, costs determines the ultimate box office winners and losers.
Why “Jason Bourne” soared $10 million above expectations.
1. Stars like Matt Damon still matter. »
- Tom Brueggemann
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