Bill Murray

10 Essential Animated Movies That Are Absolutely Not for Kids

This week, the Criterion Collection releases Watership Down, Martin Rosen’s 1978 adaptation of Richard Adams’ novel. It’s one of the few animated films in the collection to date, but don’t go gathering up the kids, movie nerds — from the moment little Fiver gets his apocalyptic vision, wherein “The field… the field… it’s covered with blood!,” it’s very clear that this is one cartoon that’s not for the kiddies. But it’s also a terrific movie, reminding us that too often, the seemingly malleable form of the animated feature film is consigned to family entertainment and left there. Here are a few notable… Read More

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The 50 Funniest Cameos in Movie History

This week, Olive Films is releasing, for the first time on Blu-ray, The Road to Hong Kong, the last of the seven “Road” buddy comedies starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Hitting theaters a full decade after the penultimate entry, Hong Kong is an occasionally funny and occasionally wheezy bit of business, with one honest-to-God great sequence: an unbilled cameo by Peter Sellers, who strolls into the picture and steals the damn thing outright. Hope and Crosby were early adopters of the kind of inside-joke comedy that yielded such cameos, which became increasingly common in the years that followed; we’ve gathered up some of the funniest in movie… Read More

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The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Birdman,’ ‘St. Vincent’

Oscar night is just around the corner, and there’s a decent chance that you’re spending this week finally getting around to seeing The Imitation Game or whatever. But if you’re all caught up on this year’s nominees (or, good for you, utterly indifferent to the whole shebang), good news: this week’s new disc and streaming releases include a couple of last year’s acclaimed but largely unrecognized pictures, a terrific under-the-radar thriller, and a new HD release of the last film by one of Japan’s cinematic masters. Oh, and one of the year’s most nominated titles is out there now as well, if you go for that sorta thing. … Read More

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Watch Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Bill Murray in the First Trailer for Cameron Crowe’s ‘Aloha’

It’s been a weird decade or so for Cameron Crowe. His painfully earnest 2005 picture Elizabethtown was a rarity… Read More

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‘I Smile Back': Why Did Sarah Silverman Need a Serious Drama to Become a “Serious Actor”?

PARK CITY, UTAH: Since its premiere Sunday night, one of the biggest stories of the Sundance Film Festival has been Sarah Silverman’s revelatory performance in the addiction drama I Smile Back. Indiewire called her “completely riveting.” Variety insisted, “rarely has a performer striven so concertedly to shed any trace of his/her comedy roots.” And Hollywood Reporter wrote of her “gutsy performance” “annihilating almost every trace of her comedy persona.” On the ground, the skill of her turn has generated nothing less than surprise — she’s so good, and so dramatic! But it should no longer shock anyone that a comic actor is also skilled at drama, not just because there’s such precedence for it, but because comic actors are too often regarded simply as second-class thespians. … Read More

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Why ‘Tootsie’ is One of the Finest (and Most Important) Comedies Ever Made

In the first-season 30 Rock episode “Fireworks,” Liz Lemon and would-be beau Floyd fall asleep watching Tootsie. In their morning discomfort, Floyd awkwardly announces, “I, uh, I think Tootsie’s a very well-crafted movie.” Liz, equally uncomfortable, replies, “Yeah, they use it as an example in all the screenplay books.” As with the best of that show, it’s a moment that’s funny because it’s true — in this case, it’s literally true, Tootsie is a very well-crafted movie. But praising it solely for craft also shortchanges it a bit. The further we get from Tootsie — which is available for fresh consumption via Criterion’s recent DVD and Blu-ray special edition — the more it seems clear that it may, in fact, be the single finest comedy of all time. … Read More

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A Maine Native Judges the Accents in HBO’s Masterful ‘Olive Kitteridge’

Watching Lisa Cholodenko’s magnificent HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, adapted from the wonderful Pulitzer Prize-winning novel-in-stories by Elizabeth Strout, I was full of glee: “They went full New England!” I said out loud. Because flinty Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins, playing Olive and her husband Henry, really sounded like they sort of, kind of came from Maine. … Read More

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Bill Murray Talks Tinder, Is Bill Murray on ‘Kimmel’

Last night Bill Murray, the grandfather of every American twenty-something, made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he continued… Read More

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‘St. Vincent’ Is Warm, Likable, and Worrisome for Bill Murray Fans

Somewhere around the scene where Vincent takes little Oliver to the racetrack, I realized that Bill Murray was playing the Walter Matthau role, if St. Vincent had been made in the early ‘80s. (Marsha Mason would’ve done the Melissa McCarthy role, by the way. Herb Ross would’ve directed, from Neil Simon’s script. I gave this a lot of thought.) On one hand, I’m fully on board with this metamorphosis, because Vincent is a vintage Matthau curmudgeon — hard drinking, chain-smoking, grouchy and bitter, but a pussycat underneath. On the other, Matthau’s late career is a lesson in how that persona can be declawed and defanged into something cute and cuddly and comparatively uninteresting. That’s not what happens in St. Vincent, which is a lovely little movie with a lot of laughs and a good heart. But it’s a warning signal for a direction Murray’s career could take, if he’s not careful. … Read More

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