You would think that any movie with Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin — a trinity of beloved, Oscar-winning actors — in its cast couldn’t be too terrible. And yet the trailer for Stand Up Guys looks kind of like a cross between a less memorable episode of The Sopranos and The Bucket List. The threadbare premise isn’t doing them any favors: Pacino plays a man who gets out of prison after a few decades only to discover that there’s a hit out on him — and that his closest pal (Walken) has been hired to deliver the kill by 10am the next morning. So they head out on the town for one last hurrah, a night of debauchery that includes stealing cars, doing drugs, and rescuing Alan Arkin from his recliner. Click through to watch the trailer, and let us know in the comments if you think we’re being too harsh — and if you wish Christopher Walken was your best friend. … Read More
Welcome to Flavorpill’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, we’ve got great titles from the likes of Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Buster Keaton, J.J. Abrams, Oliver Stone, Max Ophuls, Gaspar Noé, and the creators of Mystery Science Theater 3000; check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
Welcome to Flavorpill’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. Netflix is losing some awfully good films at the end of July, so we’re heavy on titles with an expiration date, but we’ve got some new streamers as well — featuring Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Hilary Swank, Woody Harrelson, Miranda July, and Bruce Campbell, plus a couple of great documentaries and (cheating a bit) one of our favorite TV shows. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
This Friday, Robert DeNiro once again does his very best to assure you that he’s actually not one of the finest screen actors of all time, via his mercilessly overcooked performance in the alarmingly bad paranormal thriller Red Lights. Badly miscast as a superstar psychic, the two-time Oscar winner conveys not a moment of credibility, and while it’s not the absolute worst work he’s done (more on that below), it got us thinking about some of our finest actors, and some of their less notable performances. After the jump, our list of ten truly terrible performances by ten highly respected thesps; add your own in the comments. … Read More
Few cities capture the American imagination quite like New York, which explains why so many great films are set here. Time Out New York recently took on the estimable task of ranking the 100 best New York movies of all time, and we’re fans of just about everything they selected. But our most beloved films about the city will always have to do with its ever-changing countercultures, and although TONY included a handful of excellent examples (Paris Is Burning, Smithereens, Wild Style, etc.), we can’t help adding to the list. After the jump, we round up 10 classic New York counterculture movies, some of which may well be too campy, silly, or niche to belong on a “100 best” list, but all of which we consider required viewing. … Read More
Today’s excruciating weather seems like a fitting tribute to the film everyone loves to hate-watch in the summer: Jaws. We say hate with a grain of salt, obviously, because the tale about a great white terrorizing an island community is one of cinema’s greatest hot weather movies — tapping into our universal fears like few can.
Steven Spielberg’s second feature film — which set the standard for summer movie blockbusters and is essentially an updating of Melville’s Moby Dick, based on Peter Benchley’s novel — first hit theaters today in 1975. For a film that’s almost 40 years old, Jaws is just as suspenseful and unnerving now as it was back then. Spielberg’s horrific shark Bruce is surprisingly scarier than most CGI monsters currently packing theaters.
With shark-filled beaches in mind, let’s take a look back at other movies that make us cringe when the temperatures rise. Tell us about the films that get your vote below. … Read More
While Moonrise Kingdom is currently making Wes Anderson fans swoon, one film that inspired the director’s filmography is getting a Blu-ray release today from distinguished distributor Criterion. Harold and Maude was digitally restored and lovingly packaged by the company, and we can’t get enough of it. The darkly comedic, unconventional love story centers on a morbid, wealthy 19-year-old man (Bud Cort) and the bohemian 79-year-old widow he falls for (Ruth Gordon). It’s a heartbreaking, but inspiring tale, and a landmark of 1970′s cult cinema.
The youthful rebellion of the counterculture movement, and the anxiety of the Vietnam War are reflected through Harold and Maude’s relationship. The 1971 film clearly expresses an anti-war sentiment through its characters that buck authority in different ways and carve their own path despite the odds (a loving push from Gordon’s feisty octogenarian is crucial here). We thought of other cinematic couples from various points in film history that also found love in a countercultural landscape. Dig into our picks, then leave your own in the comments below. … Read More
The pop cultural impact of 30 Rock can be felt in many ways, but the most improbable of them all is that Alec Baldwin is somehow cool all of a sudden. As we reported earlier this week, Baldwin is going to appear in James Toback’s new film — a mockumentary about the Cannes Film Festival — and he’ll be playing himself. Of course, there’s an argument to be made that he plays himself in 30 Rock anyway — but in any case, the news got us thinking about the whole idea of actors playing themselves, which seems to have been undergoing something of a renaissance in recent years. Here are a few of the most notable examples, good and bad. … Read More
Backlash is a funny thing. It’s always been present in popular culture, but it feels as though it’s become particularly prominent over the past few years, an unavoidable step in any celebrated film, band, book, or television show’s penetration into the cultural landscape: first comes critical acclaim, then financial success, then ubiquity, and then the inevitable backlash from those who object (or who have turned, perhaps because of said popularity and/or ubiquity). Sometimes, the pendulum swings back and the backlash fades — but often, the negative connotation is what sticks, and that’s what becomes the lasting perception.
This week’s 3D rerelease of Titanic got us thinking about backlash, and how often we find ourselves defending movies that were, at least in the beginning, critical and popular hits, but have since fallen out of public favor. Thus, we’ve collected ten movies that the worm turned on — but that we’re standing by, damnit, and we’ll tell you why. Check them out after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More