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‘Be More Chill’ Review: No Heat Lost As Joyous Viral Musical Sensation Finally Charges Broadway

‘Be More Chill’ Review: No Heat Lost As Joyous Viral Musical Sensation Finally Charges Broadway
To quote a song from the tenacious – and tenaciously enjoyable – Be More Chill, the Joe Iconis-Joe Tracz musical arrives on Broadway with just enough of an “upgrade” from last summer’s Off Broadway staging to fill its new home and the greater expectations that come with the move. The costumes, the scenic design, the projections of computer gimcrackery and video game effects all seem buffed, beglittered and amped up just enough to suit Broadway demands without swamping the heart and humor that caught everyone’s attention in the first place.

By now, you might have heard about Be More Chill, if only for its unusual route to Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre (where it opens tonight under the swift and generous direction of Stephen Brackett). Based on a novel by the late Young Adult author Ned Vizzini, Be More Chill first hit the stage at a New Jersey theater
See full article at Deadline »

SXSW Film Review: ‘Sword of Trust’

  • Variety
SXSW Film Review: ‘Sword of Trust’
There are few chores more taxing on the film festival circuit than sitting through an improv-based comedy whose performers don’t have the skill set to pull it off — an unfortunate sight that’s been turning up all too regularly since “Waiting for Guffman” made well-executed improv comedy look deceptively easy nearly a quarter-century ago. The considerable pleasure of Lynn Shelton’s latest “Sword of Trust” is that everyone onscreen is so good at this kind of work that one wishes more tightly scripted comedy screenplays had such savory dialogue, or inspired character conceptions.

A shaggy-dog tale that throws together a handful of strangers seeking profit from an alleged Civil War artifact, “Sword of Trust” is light and loose, the kind of movie likely to illicit chuckles if seen at home (rather than the guffaws it earned from receptive crowds at its SXSW premiere). But in its small way, it
See full article at Variety »

Film Review: ‘A Bread Factory’

  • Variety
Film Review: ‘A Bread Factory’
“A Bread Factory,” written and directed by Patrick Wang, is a drama that tickles your spirit in a special, buoyant way. It’s set in the small town of Checkford, N.Y. (it was shot in the picturesque historical village of Hudson), and though Wang has conceived the film as an epic — it’s four hours long, and is being shown in two parts, each of which is presented as a movie unto itself — “A Bread Factory” revolves around something that may sound astonishingly minor: a community arts center, the sort of homespun place that presents plays, chamber-music concerts, and art shows and hosts the occasional visiting luminary and features after-school programs for children.

The center is called the Bread Factory (that’s because it’s situated in an old bread factory), and it’s been run for 40 years by its two founders, crusty WASPy Dorothea (Tyne Daly) and elegant
See full article at Variety »

‘Barry’: Bill Hader on Season 2 Plans, Who Might Still be Alive, and Why It’s Ok If You’ve Never Heard of ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’

‘Barry’: Bill Hader on Season 2 Plans, Who Might Still be Alive, and Why It’s Ok If You’ve Never Heard of ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’
In Bill Hader’s experience, there are two predominant reactions to Barry Berkman’s take on “Glengarry Glen Ross” during the fourth episode of “Barry.”

“Either people think it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever seen, or they’re like, ‘What is that? I don’t get that,'” Bill Hader told IndieWire, before recreating a typical conversation he’s had about the scene.

Hader: “It was ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ — don’t you remember ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’?”

Fan: “Oh. When did that come out?”

Hader: “1992.”

Fan: “Oh, that’s the year I was born.”

Hader: “Well, there you go.”

As tempting as it might seem to label one of these the right response and the other oh so very wrong, don’t. Hader said it’s Ok if you aren’t familiar with the movie because, really, everyone has a cinematic blind spot.

“When we were interviewing writers [for “Barry”] — and
See full article at Indiewire »

Bill Hader Reflects on Violence, Female Influence in ‘Barry’ Season 1

  • Variety
Bill Hader Reflects on Violence, Female Influence in ‘Barry’ Season 1
Bill Hader’s HBO series “Barry” is technically a half-hour comedy, but since his character is a hitman who decides he wants to become an actor, it does get very violent.

“We wanted to be very real and for what it is,” Hader said at Variety‘s Tune In! TV Summit in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “We wanted the violence to be incredibly real because it should be a world that he doesn’t want to be in anymore.”

Bill Hader wanted the violence in his new show 'Barry' to be "incredibly real" https://t.co/D4OrJ4SCPA #TVSummit pic.twitter.com/5QZYoHIKga

— Variety (@Variety) June 13, 2018

Of course, HBO was on-board for that, he shared with moderator Daniel Holloway, Variety‘s senior TV reporter, and a room full of industry insiders. It wasn’t just about making the violence look real, but also making sure it came
See full article at Variety »

10 Fun Facts About the Movie “Waiting for Guffman”

Waiting for Guffman is perhaps one of the more obscure shows you will ever watch, if you ever watch it. As it stands this movie is something that you might have to look around for despite having earned great reviews during its run. Sadly it ran on a pretty short budget and didn’t get a whole lot of play outside of its initial run. In some ways it seems to have reached for the stars only to trip over its own two feet on the way up. It did star a few noted actors that were and still are fairly

10 Fun Facts About the Movie “Waiting for Guffman
See full article at TVovermind.com »

If You're Googling This Lost in Space Actor, I'm Sorry, but We Can't Be Friends

Image Source: Netflix

Netflix's reboot of the 1960s sci-fi series Lost in Space has a shocking amount of people wondering A) why Dr. Smith is so creepy, and B) why she looks so familiar. The thrilling series, which has been giving me heart palpitations all afternoon, was released early Friday morning. The criminal character of Dr. Smith is played by Parker Posey, an actress who's not a stranger to bingeable movies and television.

Posey has been acting for decades; she broke out in the '90s thanks to roles in quirky films like Party Girl, The House of Yes, and Clockwatchers. She's also appeared in popular films like Dazed and Confused, Scream 3, You've Got Mail, and The Sweetest Thing.

She has become a beloved character actor, known for taking standout roles in Christopher Guest's mockumentaries. To date, she's appeared in five of the director's films: Waiting For Guffman,
See full article at BuzzSugar »

‘Drunk History’: Derek Waters Previews Season 5 and Acknowledges the Insanity of Getting Oscar-Winning Guest Stars

  • Indiewire
‘Drunk History’: Derek Waters Previews Season 5 and Acknowledges the Insanity of Getting Oscar-Winning Guest Stars
Ten years after the invention of the “Drunk History” format, comedian Derek Waters is reconsidering how to describe the performers who get wasted, then narrate their take on a pivotal moment in history. “I want to start calling them ‘storytellers,'” he said. “It sounds more important. I think ‘narrator’ sounds like a voiceover actor.”

Indeed, the term “narrator” doesn’t quite do justice to what intoxicated celebrities bring to the series, which returned to television Tuesday night after nearly 13 months off the air.

Tuesday’s “Drunk History Christmas Special” will be followed by the show’s full return on January 23. It’s been a long time since new “Drunk History” episodes premiered, something Waters (who co-created the show with Jeremy Konner) acknowledged. “If I was a fan, I’m thinking the show’s over,” he said. “‘I thought you were dead.’ But that’s better like that than people going,
See full article at Indiewire »

The 100 Greatest Comedies of All-Time, According to BBC’s Critics Poll

After polling critics from around the world for the greatest American films of all-time, BBC has now forged ahead in the attempt to get a consensus on the best comedies of all-time. After polling 253 film critics, including 118 women and 135 men, from 52 countries and six continents a simple, the list of the 100 greatest is now here.

Featuring canonical classics such as Some Like It Hot, Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall, Duck Soup, Playtime, and more in the top 10, there’s some interesting observations looking at the rest of the list. Toni Erdmann is the most recent inclusion, while the highest Wes Anderson pick is The Royal Tenenbaums. There’s also a healthy dose of Chaplin and Lubitsch with four films each, and the recently departed Jerry Lewis has a pair of inclusions.

Check out the list below (and my ballot) and see more on their official site.

100. (tie) The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Trailer for Andy Samberg’s Mockumentary “Tour de Pharmacy” Looks Solid

If done correctly a “mockumentary” can be comedic gold. If you want to see exactly how a “mockumentary” is done then look no further than the work of Christopher Guest. I personally think his finest film was Best in Show but many argue that Spinal Tap or Waiting for Guffman was his best. To each other own but I personally think that Best in Show was one of the best parody documentaries if not the best ever. Another heavy hitter in the parody department is Andy Samberg. He tends to do shorter spots with his comedy group The Lonely Island.

Trailer for Andy Samberg’s Mockumentary “Tour de Pharmacy” Looks Solid
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Funny Pokemon Live-Action Role Playing Mocumentary-Style Short - Pokelarp

Everyone who played Pokemon as a kid always wished they could have them in real life, right? It's not just me? Ok, cool. But then the time came where we grew up and realized that would never happen, so we just kept playing the games in our homes, away from the prying eyes of those who would judge us. 

In this mockumentary-style video by Team Gravity, one young man-child, lives out his adventure by live action role playing with his friends and one actual adult who is forced into it. It's actually really funny especially if you enjoy mockumentary style videos like Waiting for Guffman or What We Do in the Shadows. This was intended to be a series but never got off the ground as hoped. It's still pretty enjoyable for a small group of filmmakers. If you are a fan of Pokemon and up for a laugh check it out.
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Great Job, Internet!: Now you can see what the bedroom of Stranger Things’ Barb would look like

Ever wonder what the private spaces of some of your favorite TV and film characters would look like? Well, wonder no longer, as two women in Chicago with a yen for pop culture, a flair for design, and some time on their hands have created Imagined Interiors, a website where they craft rooms that reflect the personalities of fictional characters. So far their selections are very specific, to say the least, including Waiting For Guffman’s Libby Mae Brown’s pink bathroom—right down to a Skeet Ulrich snapshot, curlers, and giant can of Aqua Net—and the kitchen room table of The BirdsMelanie Daniels, where Tippi Hedren’s character would no doubt sip some relaxing tea at her lovely midcentury table and chairs before being attacked by feathers and beaks.

Best of all is the the bedroom of Stranger Things’ Barb, which features brightly colored sheets and an
See full article at The AV Club »

New to Netflix: Spinal Tap, Blazing Saddles, Jurassic Park...

It's that time of month when we get our new streaming options. Here are random new titles on Netflix for March (or that showed up late in February), freeze framed at totally random places, whatever comes up. As we do...

It's part of a musical trilogy I'm doing in D minor, which I find is really the saddest of all keys. I don't know why but it makes people weep instantly.

This is Spinal Tap (1984)

Heh. So funny this movie. Christopher Guest and Rob Reiner's collaboration became a classic. Without it we probably wouldn't have had Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show or whatnot. 

More films after the jump...
See full article at FilmExperience »

Sing – Review

Hey gang, let’s put on a show! We can save the (school, rec center, etc.)” That’s been the rallying cry of many a movie musical, going back to the “Our Gang” comedies right up to the recent charmer Sing Street (the reason there was to impress a girl and tick off the school officials), but it’s usually associated with the squeaky-clean team-ups of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney from the 30’s and 40’s. This old plot gives us a ragtag group of plucky “go-getters” joining forces in creating a spectacular that will “wow” the masses. And there’s usually lots of backstage drama and romance as the clock ticks down to the big opening night (the best parody is probably Christopher Guest’s “mockumentary” Waiting For Guffman). Could this type of tale be told with animation? In a world of talking, dancing, singing animals, perhaps? That’s
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Mascots Review

  • TheMovieBit
Christopher Guest is the best at what he does – unfortunately, with Netflix original Mascots, what he does is getting a little wearisome. Ever since his break alongside Michael McKean and Harry Shearer in 1984’s Spinal Tap, Guest has built an incredibly fruitful directorial career on a series of uniquely hilarious mockumentaries, Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000) and A Mighty Wind (2003). Although the formula was established early on with Guffman, each film managed to provide a refreshing twist on the proceedings, documenting the distinctly American oddballs of diverse cultural industries: small town theatre; dog shows; American folk music. While there’s some fun to be hand in Mascots, it fails to bring anything new to the table, ultimately retreading well-worn territory. Here, Guest enters the banal and bizarre world of sports mascots, bringing along many of his regular cast of actors as well as a wealth of newcomers. The film follows a number of contestants.
See full article at TheMovieBit »

Newswire: Parker Posey on her connection to Christopher Guest’s Corky St. Clair

When she finished making Waiting For Guffman, Parker Posey was “devastated.” After all, that was the end of her time with Corky St. Clair, Christopher Guest’s small-town theater maven. Posey was Libby Mae Brown, his devoted, gum-smacking ingenue. “I had never worked in this way that felt so real and felt like family. I loved Corky so much. I was so sad to lose him,” she told The A.V. Club during a recent phone interview. “I cried in the van on the way home, and he held my hand, and I didn’t think I’d see him again.”

But Posey got to reunite with Corky in Mascots, Guest’s new film, in which he reprises his role and she plays another acolyte of his (the movie just started streaming on Netflix). Posey steps into the mask of Cindi Babineaux, a mascot/modern dancer/performance artist at a
See full article at The AV Club »

All 5 Christopher Guest Mockumentary Movies Ranked, From Worst to Best (Photos)

  • The Wrap
All 5 Christopher Guest Mockumentary Movies Ranked, From Worst to Best (Photos)
How does the new Christopher Guest Netflix comedy “Mascots” compare to classics like “Waiting for Guffman”? 5. For Your Consideration (2006): Maybe it’s my own proximity to show business and the inner workings of Oscars campaigns, but this spoof of awards season rarely feels like it was made by someone who would, presumably, be able to satirize this annual insanity from an insider’s perspective. Catherine O’Hara, as always, is brilliant as an older actress who’s willing to do just about anything in pursuit of acclaim. 4. Waiting for Guffman (1996): Cue the hate mail – this comedy about small-town theater people.
See full article at The Wrap »

Christopher Guest on 'Mascots' and Why His Comedies Are Completely Different

Christopher Guest on 'Mascots' and Why His Comedies Are Completely Different
As Spinal Tap lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel – wearer of anatomically correct T-shirts, owner of amplifiers that go to "11," writer of delicate compositions like "Lick My Love Pump" – Christopher Guest, along with director Rob Reiner and his co-writers/bandmates Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, turned 1984's This Is Spinal Tap into a devastatingly funny dissection of rock pomposity. To say that the film's mix of off-the-cuff jokes and straight-faced parody has influenced several generations of filmmakers and funny people would be a vast understatement – everyone from Ricky Gervais to Fred Armisen
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Mascots’ Review: Christopher Guest Is at It Again, This Time With Team Spirit

  • The Wrap
‘Mascots’ Review: Christopher Guest Is at It Again, This Time With Team Spirit
Few things in cinema have been as reliably funny as watching Christopher Guest assemble his de facto repertory company and bring to life the misfits and malcontents who make up some small, odd corner of the universe. But after a string of loopy comic gems that included 1997’s “Waiting for Guffman,” 2000’s “Best in Show,” 2003’s “A Mighty Wind” and 2006’s “For Your Consideration,” Guest didn’t direct another one of those films for a decade, which made Saturday’s 8:30 a.m. screening of his new “Mascots” at the Toronto Film Festival worth an early wake-up call. This time,
See full article at The Wrap »

This Is The Day Before The Show, Y'all

by Daniel Crooke

In honor of Christopher Guest’s long overdue return to the mockumentary – the costumed cheerleader saga Mascots, hit Netflix at midnight – let’s take a moment to celebrate some of the most indelible characters in his filmography. This collection of ordinary folks in extraordinarily amusing niches – small town actors with big city dreams, obsessive dog owners, outdated folk musicians, awards show hopefuls – could easily be milked for laughs through condescending jabs. Instead Guest and his repertory cohort of improvisational comics imbue their creations with rich empathy and heartfelt humor, no matter how ludicrous their worlds. This marks theirs as a distinctly humanist cinema that revels in personal idiosyncrasies rather than repelling from them, and chooses ironic optimism over sarcastic defeat. While refreshingly full-bodied, they’re, above all else, very funny.

For me, all roads lead back to Libby Mae Brown, the spirited, slack-jawed (low-fat or non-fat) Blizzard queen from Waiting for Guffman,
See full article at FilmExperience »
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