The Midas touch of Bill Murray has faltered a bit in recent years, thanks to appearances in mediocre (and… Read More
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
“Our world interconnected. Our systems interconnected. Our identities vulnerable.” So goes the on-screen tagline in the trailer for Michael Mann’s new cyber-thriller Blackhat, and as the word “identities” is replaced by “security,” “homes,” “secrets,” “money,” “privacy,” “safety,” and the like — along with a giant close-up of a cable plugging in — it’s easy to chuckle along with Hollywood doing one more fear-mongering thriller about hackers taking down sacred cows and exposing private information, as if such a thing were actually plausible. (Oh, wait.) Yes, the Sony hack suddenly made Blackhat’s potentially worrisome January release suddenly timely and relevant, but it’s part of a long tradition of films that looked at the capabilities of computers, artificial intelligence, and the Internet — and shit their collective pants over it.
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I know you’re supposed to let a movie draw you into its narrative without excess baggage, and its characters should exist only as themselves and so on, but I had an odd moment of external realization when I first saw About Alex (which is out this week on DVD, and is pretty good). The scene comes about six minutes into this junior Big Chill, and there’s nothing earth-shattering about it as a scene; Siri (Maggie Grace) meets Josh (Max Greenfield) and Sarah (Aubrey Plaza) at the train station to drive them to the cabin where they and several other old friends are spending the weekend. But as the three characters embraced and reconnected, something in the back of my head whispered, “Look, it’s Schmidt and April Ludgate meeting up with Shannon from Lost.” And no, that didn’t make this scene the culmination of some sort of weird TV fan fiction; it merely accentuated, with a rare bit of clarity, how much the game has changed for actors, in terms of the transition from TV to film (and back).
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Why Are We So Obsessed With Tarantino’s Violence? An Excerpt From ‘Pulp Fiction: The Complete History of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece’
Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, the movie that crystalized the 1990s indie film movement and, in doing so, changed mainstream moviemaking forever. To mark the occasion, I’m happy to present this excerpt from my book on the film, Pulp Fiction: The Complete History of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece, available from Amazon or at your fine local bookseller.
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Buried among this week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases is a movie that, by the looks of it, was supposed to be one of the summer’s big hits: Blended, the third onscreen teaming of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Their first film, 1998’s The Wedding Singer, reshaped Sandler into a romantic lead and got him less-vicious-than-usual reviews, while grossing $80 million domestic; its follow-up, 2004’s 50 First Dates, did $120 million. But stars can fall over a decade, and Sandler and Barrymore’s big reunion was a big disappointment, only pulling $46 million total (barely more than First Dates’ first weekend). In other words, lightning doesn’t always strike twice, and for every Hope and Crosby or Redford and Newman, there are plenty of cinematic reunions that didn’t quite pan out.
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When the first Sin City movie was released, George W. Bush had just begun his second term. Pope John Paul II died during its opening weekend; Hunter S. Thompson had taken his own life about six weeks earlier. People were talking about Terri Schiavo. Doctor Who had just returned to television after a 16-year absence, and Dan Rather and Peter Jennings had just anchored their final evening newscasts. The #1 single in the country was 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop.” Hitch, Million Dollar Baby, and Miss Congeniality 2 were still in theaters. Sin City opened against the Queen Latifah vehicle Beauty Shop, but neither film’s trailer was unveiled on YouTube, which would not launch until three weeks after their release date. In other words, the first Sin City came out a long, long time ago, and while the duration between that film and its sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For doesn’t fully explain the new film’s flaws, it’s quite instructive when examining the reactions to them.
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Woody Allen’s latest, Magic in the Moonlight, is out this weekend, and all of the discussion surrounding its release is good news for at least one group of people: the marketing folks who designed and approved its comically inept poster. It’s yet another example of godawful Photoshop work in movie marketing, an area already tainted by a stunning lack of originality. Click through for a closer look at Magic and a few other egregious movie poster… Read More
Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. As you may have noticed, the holiday season is upon us, so we’ve gathered up some of our favorite traditional and non-traditional Christmas flicks, including the likes of Bill Murray, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., Chevy Chase, Nicole Kidman, Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, John Cusack, Lauren Graham, Kevin Spacey, Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Denis Leary, Michelle Monaghan, Judy Davis, Val Kilmer, Mel Gibson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny Glover, and more. Check them out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now.
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