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Recent films about women's sexuality like The To Do List and For a Good Time, Call . . . have grounded their characters' sexploits with subplots about female friendship. But the quietly trailblazing Sweet Talk eschews such niceties, even to the point of neglecting character development. Instead, this extended erotic fantasy is single-minded in its exploration of what phone sex geared toward women's pleasure might look like.
Unfortunately, that's where writer Peter Lefcourt's imagination falters. His notions about female fantasies involve fur coats, ballrooms, and duels between men &mda »
This week in Blu-ray/DVD recommendations I confidently offer up writer/director Maggie Carey's The To Do List for your consideration. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, and many more, The To Do List delivers consistent laughs and, at times, an all too realistic depiction of the awkwardness of "first times". As an added bonus, I imagine viewers who grew up in the 90's will appreciate the fashion and accessory induced nostalgia the film provides (the sound of a Trapper Keeper ripping open is music to my ears). Moreover, having a story like this told from a female perspective is refreshing to say the least. I don't want to oversell it as being a comedic game-changer but The To Do List is a solid feature debut for Carey and Plaza is excellent as the overachieving lead who approaches sexual experience the only way she knows how: like it's »
- Jason Barr
The Writers Guild of America has remained tough on qualifying scripts for its screenplay awards, excluding more than a dozen high-profile scripts, including John Ridley’s screenplay for “12 Years a Slave.”
The guild’s restrictions — far more rigorous than other guilds — require that scripts be produced under WGA jurisdiction or under a collective bargaining agreement in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the U.K. The WGA had no immediate comment on the exclusions, but the restrictions on eligibility are a longstanding practice at the guild.
Other notable screenplays excluded include Peter Morgan’s screenplay for “Rush”; Ryan Coogler’s script for “Frutivale Station”; “Philomena,” written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope and “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” penned by William Nicholson.
Voting to determine the WGA’s nominees launched Tuesday on 95 eligible screenplays — 41 in the adapted category and 54 in the original category. The guild’s restrictions also require that the »
- Dave McNary
Chicago – What to Watch is back! Miss us? Every week, we roll out 5-10 of the latest films and TV shows to be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and various streaming services. This week’s highlights include a few classics, a cult hit, a couple of recent comedies, and a family flick. In the order we’d advise buying or renting them…
The Vivien Leigh Anniversary Collection
Photo credit: Cohen Media Group
“The Vivien Leigh Anniversary Collection”
Another Wtw, another Cohen Media Group release. Seriously, the good folks at Cohen have been doing an amazing job of finding relatively obscure classics and recent foreign films and polishing them like they’re beloved worldwide. They’re rivaling Criterion and Scream Factory as studios for which every release truly matters. Their latest is a collection of four early films from the legendary Vivien Leigh, an actress best-known for “Gone with the Wind” and a true Hollywood icon. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week:
What's It About? The third installment of Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy, following 2004's "Shaun of the Dead" and 2007's "Hot Fuzz," "The World's End" features a group of five reuniting friends. They embark on an epic drinking marathon in an effort to top their pub crawl from 20 years prior, only this time an unexpected alien invasion strikes.
Why We're In: A refreshing blend of comedy and sci-fi, "The World's End" is the perfectly charming film to spoof the apocalypse genre and keep you endlessly entertained. Plus, it features hilarious (as always) performances from Wright staples Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.
Watch: Go behind-the-scenes on "The World's End" (Video)
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week:
"Tokyo Story" (Criterion Collection)
- Erin Whitney
To celebrate the recent Blu-Ray/DVD release of The To Do List, we have a prize pack to give away to one lucky reader. Included is a pearl necklace, a cheetah-print notebook, a gel pen, snap bracelets, a lifeguard lanyard, a scrunchy, a copy of the soundtrack and a Blu-Ray of the film.
Released into theatres back in July, our very own Matt Donato had this to say about in in his review:
The To Do List should be on every comedy lover’s must see list for 2013, because awkward sexual encounters have never felt so right.
To enter our contest for your chance to win the prize pack, simply Like us on Facebook and then Re-Tweet our contest message. A winner will be chosen on November 26th.
Thanks for reading We Got This Covered »
- Matt Joseph
Sasha Alexander, star of the TNT original drama “Rizzoli & Isles,” and Clark Gregg, star of the ABC series “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” will reveal the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® nominations on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. The nominations announcement will be telecast live on TNT at 9 a.m. (Et) / 6 a.m. (Pt) and webcast live on tntdrama.com and tbs.com. Prior to the announcement, this year’s stunt ensemble nominees will be unveiled during a live webcast at 8:50 a.m. (Et) / 5:50 a.m. (Pt).
Alexander has also been named social media ambassador for this year’s SAG Awards. During the six weeks leading up to the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony – which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at 8 p.m. (Et), 7 p.m. (Ct), 6 p.m. (Mt) and 5 p.m. (Pt »
- Michelle McCue
Writer-director Maggie Carey explains the story behind her directorial debut The to Do List in our exclusive featurette for the Blu-ray and DVD release on November 19. Aubrey Plaza stars as Brandy Klark, the class valedictorian who becomes determined to lose her virginity in the summer before heading off to college. Take a look at this video, which includes scenes with Aubrey Plaza and Rachel Bilson, set to the 1990s 2 Live Crew hit "Me So Horny."
Class of '93 valedictorian Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) wants to get "educated" before she goes off to college, so she assembles a "to do list" of all the sexual activities she missed out on in high school. Quickly realizing that she's way out of her league, Brandy solicits her best friends, older sister (Rachel Bilson) and burnt-out boss (Bill Hader) for their help and advice. As Brandy crams for her sexual finals, a supporting cast »
Before we get underway, once again I'll remind you Barnes & Noble is still offering their 50% off Criterion titles through the end of November! I have included some suggested titles along with links to my reviews, including my just posted review of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights from yesterday. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Samurai Trilogy (read my review) America Lost and Found: The Bbs Story Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy (read my review) John Cassavetes - Five Films (Shadows, Faces, A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Opening Night) City Lights (read my review) Frances Ha Tokyo Story The Uninvited (read my review) La Notte (read my review) Eyes Without a Face (read my review) Seconds (read my review) Autumn Sonata (read my review) Safety Last! (read my review) Repo Man On the Waterfront Brazil Godzilla (read my review) 12 Angry Men Rosemary's Baby The Killing Paths of Glory »
- Brad Brevet
What do you write about a movie as ruthlessly, robotically dirty-minded as The To Do List? Here is a film so utterly committed to providing gross-out punchlines for its lewd, one-joke premise that it ends up stranding a talented cast with a painfully stiff, horrifically out-of-touch script that does more to enforce gender stereotypes than shatter them.
The film centers on gawky high-school valedictorian Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza), who attempts to complete a check-list of sexual experiences before heading off to college. Getting in her way though is the competing attentions of sweet and sensitive Cameron (Johnny Simmons) and dreamboat Rusty Waters (Scott Porter), who complicate Brandy’s studious and organized approach to intercourse.
My gut reaction to The To Do List was not revulsion but rather, disappointment. This comedy was meant to cement Plaza’s status as one of Hollywood’s most talented young comediennes, following two other terrific »
- Isaac Feldberg
Happy Endings alumni keep racking up new projects. Adam Pally—already having a big year in Iron Man 3, A.C.O.D., The To Do List, and other guest appearances on television—was recently upped from a recurring role to series regular on the second season of The Mindy Project, and, like his former co-star Casey Wilson, he’s getting in on the production side of television as well. Pally will co-executive produce a single-camera comedy at NBC from How I Met Your Mother writers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand. The pilot focuses on “two guys who strike it »
Before Midnight I haven't watched this yet, primarily because I want to sit down and watch all three -- Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight -- right in a row and I just haven't found the time. However, the best thing about this release is that we finally get special features. Until now, the only special feature on any of the previous Before films was a trailer, now we get a commentary track with Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, a "Revisiting Jesse and Celine" featurette and a Q&A with the trio. Now, if you don't own the two previous films, but are preferring to wait until they too come available on Blu-ray, the best option is probably to buy the Before Sunrise / Before Sunset double feature at Amazon, which costs only $10.78. Not a lot of money to make sure you at least have both on hand whenever you need them. »
- Brad Brevet
After a quiet period at the box office, Britain's favourite movie remains unchanged for the first time since July
• Read the archive of Charles Gant's UK box office reports
After a pretty dismal frame at the UK box office, Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, retained the top spot, with a 17% decline from the previous weekend. It marks the end of a long run where fresh titles conquered the chart summit each week – The Wolverine, The Smurfs 2, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Kick-Ass 2, Elysium, One Direction: This Is Us, About Time, Insidious Chapter 2 and Rush. Prisoners is the first film to land consecutive number one chart placements since Monsters University back in July.
Following its very strong opening in Scotland the previous weekend, »
- Charles Gant
Drugs, sleaze, sex, Scots, Irvine Welsh – is it 1996 again? This is just as energetic as Trainspotting, but less hip and more theatrically grim, wallowing in the debauchery and mania of a copper bent way out of shape. The only subtlety to be found is on the face of McAvoy, whose committed performance holds it all together.
Sunshine On Leith (PG)
It worked for Abba, so why not the Proclaimers? Basing an Edinburgh love story around their music turns out to be a fine idea.
(Sophie Fiennes, 2013, UK) 133 mins
Slavoj Žižek gives an absorbing, annotated »
- Steve Rose
You daily film news bulletin, fresh from the grinder
All over the planet, filmgoers are getting ready to fork out for the latest films - here's where you can find out whether they're any good.
• We've got a bunch of British films to look over this week, kicking off with Sunshine on Leith, the Proclaimers-soundtracked musical directed by Dexter "Get Babyface!" Fletcher. With three big stars from Peter Bradshaw, it's clear Fletcher is becoming a proper film director. Another Scottish-set film, For Those in Peril, gets a decent three stars, hot from its Cannes premiere, while How We Live Now, starring Saoirse Ronan and directed by Kevin Macdonald, is similarly awarded. Incredible as it may seem, All Three films feature a young man called George MacKay, who is accorded an interview in Film & Music to mark the achievement.
• Not so well liked (and, strangely, not featuring George) is Filth, »
• Read the archive of Charles Gant's UK box office reports
Late September, rarely a robust time for UK cinemagoing, continues the seasonally becalmed pattern. Overall, the 27-29 September session represented the third worst weekend for box office in the past year. Given that the previous frame delivered the second worst, it's clear just how sluggish the market is right now.
The only film delivering a weekend gross in excess of £1m was Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Aside from the previous weekend, when Rush held on to the top spot with £1.34m, Prisoners' £1.37m tally is the lowest for a No 1 film since Dredd landed »
- Charles Gant
UK box office top ten and analysis for the weekend of Friday 27th to Sunday 29th September 2013...
The Hugh Jackman / Jake Gyllenhaal thriller Prisoners has taken top spot at the UK box office in its opening weekend, pulling in £1,365,527 to knock Ron Howard's F1 biopic Rush from pole position in the chart. Be sure to check out our reviews of Prisoners here, here and here, along with Trevor Hogg's interview with director Denis Villeneuve, which you can read here.
Prisoners wasn't the only new release to crack the top ten, with Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine claiming third place behind Rush with £833,798, followed by the poker thriller Runner Runner, which took fourth thanks to an opening weekend haul of £764,886. Meanwhile, skipping to the bottom of the chart and Disney-Pixar's Monsters University climbed five places to take tenth in its twelfth week of release here in the UK.
Number one »
- Gary Collinson
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Nov. 19, 2013
Price: DVD $30.99, Blu-ray $35.99
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Plaza plays Brandy Klark, the class of 1993 valedictorian who feels like she’s missed out on much of high school because she was too busy studying. Before she goes to college, Brandy wants to get educated about sex and makes a to do list.
When she realizes she’s out of her league, she solicits her best friends, older sister (Rachel Bilson, TV”s Hart of Dixie) and burnt-out boss (Bill Hader, Men in Black 3) for help, and gets assistance from two horny misfits: an orally challenged classmate (Donald Glover, TV’s Community) and grunge-singing doofus (Andy Samberg, Celeste & Jesse Forever).
The R-rated movie was only released in limited theaters, grossing $3.5 million. Critics gave it mixed reviews, »
There was a time when crude jokes about sex and scenes featuring our protagonists accidentally eating somebody else’s excrement, were limited somewhat to adolescent, teenage boy films such as American Pie or Kevin & Perry Go Large. However, the comedic emphasis in Hollywood seems to be forever tipping, as following on from the likes of Bridesmaids comes Maggie Carey’s The To Do List – where this time it’s the girls’ chance to talk about sex, in the most inelegant way you could possibly imagine.
When the assiduous, sexually naïve Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) finishes high school, she feels under pressure from her peers, and older sister Amber (Rachel Bilson), to be more adventurous and well-versed in her sex life before starting college. She therefore creates a ‘to do list’, whereby she makes an agenda of activities to accomplish, ranging from tea-bagging (“Must be a British thing”) to losing her »
- Stefan Pape
Blue Jasmine (12A)
In the downward trajectory of late-era Allen comes a startling spike to remind us how great he still can be, especially when it comes to women's roles. This show belongs to Blanchett, playing a Manhattan one-percenter brought down to earth. Propped up by alcohol, drugs and her sister, she's an accident that's already happening, and a magnificent, tragicomic creation.
A kidnapping case refuses to crack in this weighty, slippery whodunit.
Greedy Lying Bastards (12A)
(Craig Scott Rosebraugh, 2012, Us) 90 mins
Climate-change deniers get a dose of their own medicine, as this impassioned doc lays out a history of hypocrisy.
Mister John (15)
(Christine Molloy, »
- Steve Rose
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