Alec Baldwin

Will Smith’s ‘Concussion’ Is a Tough, Angry Jab at the NFL

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Back in September, shortly after the first trailer debuted for Peter Landesman’s Concussion, the New York Times ran a story alleging the filmmakers had — if I may use a baseball metaphor for a football movie — switched from a fastball to an underhand pitch. The story, drawn from emails attained during the Sony hack the previous winter, quoted from multiple email exchanges between studio execs, director Landesman, and reps of star Will Smith, contending the film’s dramatization of Dr. Bennet Omalu’s crusade against the National Football League had been softened considerably from the script’s initial drafts. The Times may have been right, but if they were, all I can say is this: based on the movie we got, it’s hard to imagine how scathing those earlier drafts must’ve been.
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Five Movies In, The ‘Mission: Impossible’ Series Finds Its Style

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Perhaps the most interesting thing about Mission: Impossible—  Rogue Nation, the latest inventively punctuated installment in Tom Cruise’s spy series, is that Mission: Impossible has actually become a franchise, almost in spite of itself. What began as yet another ‘90s film adaptation of a classic television show (as any film historian can tell you, these were the superhero movies of their era, in terms of “fuggit, sure, do another one” ubiquity) initially positioned itself as less a connected narrative than a spy anthology series, with each film sporting a new director and a totally different aesthetic. But sneakily, over the past couple of entries, a new element has emerged: consistency. And in the process, M:I has become one of our more reliably entertaining film series.
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Surprise! Cameron Crowe’s ‘Aloha’ Isn’t a Catastrophe

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Public service announcement: Cameron Crowe’s new film Aloha features a party scene where Emma Stone and Bill Murray dance to Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That,” and if you (like me) are the kind of person who finds the promise of such a scene utterly delightful, let me assure you that it lives up to that promise. It’s a scene of sheer movie-star pleasure that pretty much stops the film for about three minutes; it doesn’t really move the plot (or even, in retrospect, make much narrative sense), but it feels like something Crowe had to put in, for the simple reason that he couldn’t not put it in. Maybe a more disciplined filmmaker would’ve resisted that temptation, but if we’ve learned anything about Cameron Crowe, it’s that he’s not terribly disciplined, which can be both a blessing and a curse. It seems your correspondent likes Aloha more than much of the critical community (to say nothing of the studio releasing it), but your enjoyment will hinge greatly on your level of tolerance for Mr. Crowe’s indulgences.
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The 45 Best ’30 Rock’ Insults

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A sincere and heartfelt happy birthday to our hero Tina Fey, who turns 45 years old this week, and continues to be basically amazing all the time. So in celebration of this welcome anniversary of her time on earth, we focus our attention on one of her finest accomplishments: the insults of the dearly departed 30 Rock, which still proves a fine source for cuts and burns you can repurpose for everyday use. Here are a few of our …Read More