There must be something in the air this week, because on the same morning that Glee‘s flaccid attempt at Radiohead’s “Creep” did the rounds on various music blogs, World of Wonder reposted Barbra Streisand’s bewildering cover of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars.” This double dose of ghastliness got us thinking about the singular hubris of so many covers that purport to “improve” a song by removing exactly what made it special in the first place. The history of music is littered with these boring renditions of great songs, so for a laugh on a Friday afternoon, here’s a roundup of the most egregious. Try not to throw your computer out the window before you get to the end. … Read More
Movies that premiere on Christmas Day tend to appeal to family members of all ages — and boy, does The Guilt Trip fit that tradition. In one of the strangest on-screen duos in recent memory, Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand are an inventor and the widowed mother he takes along on a cross-country roadtrip to sell one of his creations. The premise sounds a bit silly, but you know what? If the trailer is any indication, Rogen and Streisand actually make a likable comedy team, believably balancing sweet and awkward moments. Directed by choreographer turned filmmaker Anne Fletcher (The Proposal, 27 Dresses, Step Up), its cast also includes Adam Scott, Danny Pudi, Kathy Najimy, Colin Hanks, and Casey Wilson. If you must see a movie with Nana this Christmas, The Guilt Trip promises to be a perfectly decent option. … Read More
A fascinating little movie that you not have heard of hit DVD and Blu-ray this week—its debut in either format. A New Leaf was the debut directorial effort of Elaine May, half of the comedy team Nichols and May (with Mike Nichols, who would go on to direct The Graduate, Silkwood, The Birdcage, and many others). She wrote, directed, and co-starred with Walter Matthau; a notorious perfectionist, she went over schedule on the picture, and when she finally turned it over to Paramount, it ran a full three hours. Studio head Robert Evans recut the film, softening its darkly comic tone and shortening it to 102 minutes. (It was an arbiter of things to come; though she had no difficulties with her second film, The Heartbreak Kid, she went over budget and over schedule on Micky & Nicky and the notorious boondoggle Ishtar, her final directorial effort to date.) May tried to both stop the film’s release and have her name removed, to no avail. It’s a pretty great movie, odd and funny, with peculiarly winning performances by May and Matthau; the disappointment is that the new video release has none of those deleted scenes, which studios frequently tossed or lost in the days before bonus features and director’s cuts.
Our longing for the original, extended cut of A New Leaf got us thinking about other films whose longer versions have either vanished or been suppressed. After the jump, we’ve gathered up what we know about ten of them; add your own in the comments, won’t you? … Read More
Just five months ago, the journalistic community lost 60 Minutes media personality Andy Rooney, and sadly Mike Wallace now joins him. The esteemed CBC reporter had an impressive career that spanned over sixty years, comprised of fascinating interviews with notable headliners. He spent decades asking tough questions, brazenly steering his interviews directly to the heart of the matter and getting answers audiences were dying to know. To share screen time with the legendary journalist could either signify your career’s high points, or it’s absolute lows. We’ve taken a look back at some of Wallace’s most memorable chats with famous faces. Whether on 60 Minutes, or one of the media giant’s earlier programs like The Mike Wallace Interview, these intriguing one-on-ones recall another era of journalism — with figures many of us would grapple at the chance to talk to — and Wallace was one of the best. Hit the jump to find out what the intrepid reporter asked of Malcolm X, Salvador Dalí, Ayn Rand, and others. … Read More
1. NBC News has apologized for playing an edited version of George Zimmerman’s 911 call to police the night he shot Trayvon Martin, that was “trimmed to suggest that Zimmerman volunteered to police, with no prompting, that Martin was black.” The network claims that it was “an error made in the production process that we… Read More
Playbill is reporting that Barbra Streisand’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ Tony Award-winning musical Gypsy may actually become realized. Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes was hired by Universal to write the screenplay — which was no small (or inexpensive) feat, considering how bright his star is shining thanks to the period drama’s success. Producers Joel Silver and Streisand should be feeling hopeful about the project with Fellowes on-board, especially after last year’s concerns about Sondheim and Laurents signing off on another film version of the popular production.
There’s no director confirmed at this time (The King’s Speech filmmaker Tom Hooper was previously in talks before things got shaky), and no word on whether or not Babs will be starring in the musical movie about burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee and her pushy stage mother, Rose. We hope Streisand can erase her part in Little Fockers from our brains by joining the cast — she’s certainly got the lungs to do it. Check out the trailer for the 1962 film past the break, which starred Rosalind Russell as mamma and Natalie Wood as Gypsy. … Read More
Divas are an odd lot. This much we know. But the extent of their eccentricity still occasionally manages to surprise us — which is why our mouths hung open in shock when we first set eyes on this Harper’s Bazaar photo of Barbra Streisand’s basement. Yes, reader, the quaint village you see above, complete with… Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we were thrilled to hear that U.S. District Court Judge Walker ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional. We listened to an all too brief snippet of Antony’s covers of Dylan and Lennon. We laughed out loud over the latest installment of the Awl’s Letters to the Editors of… Read More
You can feel legitimate excitement in these pre-paparazzi era Polaroids taken by Alan Light at the after-party for Barbra Streisand’s A Star Is Born, held at Dillon’s Disco back in 1976. (Crazy pop culture trivia fact: The remake was originally going to star couple-of-the moment James Taylor and Carly Simon.) Click through for images of Chevy Chase, Kris Kristofferson, and a shockingly young-looking Gary Busey, who has on some bizarre striped pants. … Read More
Despite the fact that Barbra Streisand may as well be eleven-ty years old when compared to the likes of the tween stars who currently dominate the pop world (and was nowhere to be found on our 50 Essential Women-in-Music Albums list), she’s poised to snag the top spot on the Billboard Charts next week with her new collection of jazz standards, proving once again that only old people buy CDs anymore. More on the her crushing defeat over Mariah Carey and Paramore after the… Read More