Let’s get this out of the way: I wasn’t there. CBGB and the New York punk scene it fostered had their heyday almost a decade before I was born. By the time I made it to the club — exactly twice — it was the turn of the millennium. The first time, I arrived by cab from a friend’s house on the Upper East Side, ordered a coffee (I was 16), saw a band called The Candy Darlings (who initially interested me only because of their Warhol-related name, although I remember loving them), and had to run home to make curfew before a then-unknown-outside-of-New-York act called Yeah Yeah Yeahs took the stage. … Read More
Of all the curious pieces of casting in Randall Miller’s new punk-era biopic CBGB, this might be the strangest: distinguished British stage actor and Harry Potter star Alan Rickman playing the club’s crabby proprietor Hilly Kristal. Severus Snape hanging out with the Ramones and the Dead Boys? But while there’s plenty to question about the film — its historical accuracy and its largely one-dimensional portrayal of many of its key characters have already been the subject of some criticism — Rickman at least lends a measure of depth and interest to his portrayal of Kristal. He spoke to Flavorwire about the film, the era, and how to approach the depiction of living history. … Read More
Break out your blood-smeared undershirt and go crawl around in an air duct: this month marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Die Hard, John McTiernan’s seminal action movie that made Bruce Willis a star, Alan Rickman a go-to villain, and the simple formula of a lone hero, a contained location, and a brilliant supervillian into one of Hollywood’s most durable. And though Fox paid its own dubious tribute to the franchise with its most recent sequel, the true testament to the film’s influence is the sheer volume of Die Hard imitators unleashed in the quarter-century since its release. … Read More
The true nature of Star Trek Into Darkness’s villain has become perhaps the Internet’s worst-kept secret, but don’t worry — you’ll not have it spoiled here. Suffice it to say that the film’s antagonist is fiercely intelligent, physically brutal, and hellbent on revenge. In other words, this is a great movie villain. But what makes a truly memorable one? Sifting through the scores of iconic movie bad guys and girls reveals that villainy comes in all shapes, sizes, and levels of intensity; ranking them against each other is a tall order, but your Flavorwire was willing to give it a… Read More
Four hundred and forty nine years ago today, William Shakespeare was born. So today, we celebrate his birthday with National Shakespeare Day in the UK and the rather less elegant Talk Like Shakespeare Day in the US. With this in mind, we’ve put together a set of videos of famous actors reading or performing Shakespeare — both elegantly celebrating the man and, well, talking like him. NB: we’ve ignored clips of famous actors performing Shakespeare on film or in proper plays, leaning toward recital of sonnets and informal monologues. Fill your ears with Shakespeare read by wonderful actors after the jump, and let us know if we missed your favorite in the comments. … Read More
There was little reason to expect that a jukebox musical filled with so-bad-they’re-good ‘80s pop songs was going to be any good whatsoever, and true to prediction, Rock of Ages was one of the summer’s biggest dogs. It’s out tomorrow on DVD and Blu-ray, though, which exponentially increases the chances that one of your friends (the one who’s always wanting to go karaoke-ing, probably) is going to buy it and insist on having it on at some point in your friendship. Fear not: though Rock of Ages is an execrable film, it has (contrary to any and all expectations) a genuinely enjoyable and unexpectedly witty Tom Cruise performance buried underneath all the hairspray and Journey covers. Playing Stacee Jaxx, a rock star long removed from anything resembling reality, Cruise is totally credible and genuinely funny; there’s a good 20-minute stretch in the middle where they just turn the movie over to him, and it’s the only point in the entire running time where Rock of Ages actually works. As a thank-you to Mr. Cruise and all of those who make the unbearable ever-so-briefly watchable, we put together a list of a few of our favorite great performances in terrible movies; see if you agree with our picks after the jump. … Read More
You’d think that making (mostly) perfect films on an almost-yearly basis would leave Joel and Ethan Coen little time to script other people’s movies. And yet, here is a trailer for Gambit, a remake of the 1966 Michael Caine/Shirley MacLaine comedy of the same name, which was given to the Coens to write way back in 2003 and attached to several directors — including Alexander Payne and Robert Altman — at various times. The man who finally ended up making the film is Michael Hoffman, whose unusual career has included such films as Soapdish, Restoration, The Emperor’s Club, and most recently 2009’s The Last Station. His version stars Colin Firth as an art curator plotting to dupe his horrible boss (Alan Rickman) into buying a faux Monet, with the help of a cowgirl played by Cameron Diaz. The delightful Cloris Leachman, Tom Courtenay, and Stanley Tucci round out the cast.
Judging by the trailer, the wit and playfulness with which the Coens approach comedy made it into Hoffman’s version. The wackiness factor is high, Firth is endearingly disheveled, Diaz’s accent is appropriately campy, Tucci is doing his artiste thing, and Rickman is briefly naked (in a SFW kind of way). Even if we might have preferred to see the Coens behind the camera, we’ll go along for this ride. Let us know if you agree. … Read More
People sure do love CBGB now that it doesn’t exist anymore, don’t they? Not only is a CBGB music festival coming to New York in July, but there’s also a movie called CBGB in the works, which focuses on its famous proprietor, the late Hilly Kristal, and the venue’s halcyon days in the ’70s. Over the past week or so, casting announcements have been trickling out, and they’re pretty intriguing. We didn’t quite picture Alan Rickman as Kristal, for example, but we’ve got faith that the man who brought us Snape will make a good effort at embodying the downtown icon. And it appears to be a stroke of genius to cast his Harry Potter colleague Rupert Grint as the Dead Boys’ fire-haired shit-starter Cheetah Chrome. But Malin Akerman as Debbie Harry? See the legends side-by-side with the actors who have been cast to play them after the jump, and let us know whether you think CBGB is getting it right. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we channeled our inner archaeologists with news about a burial chamber filled with more than 80 mummies and a dozen infant remains. We judged 40 ’90s boy band members on their current hotness. We read 20 panels of Archie out of context. We browsed the lost projects of… Read More
1. A new four-minute “super preview” of Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man — which opens with a pretty incredible action scene set on the Brooklyn Bridge — has arrived online. Watch it here.
2. Alan Rickman will play Hilly Kristal, the legendary owner of the iconic New York rock venue CBGB, in… Read More