Chris Rock

Inside the Weird World of Twitter’s Celebrity-Impersonating “Parody” Accounts

At 4:50 on the afternoon of March 1, @BillMurray tweeted a joke to his 497,000 Twitter followers: “I always say ‘morning’ instead of ‘good morning.’ If it were a good morning I’d still be in bed instead of talking to people.” His fans responded enthusiastically. “I knew we’d have something in common,” replied one follower; “Thanks for the laughs this am,” replied another. A third took the opportunity for a personal connection: “I watched Meatballs today for the first time in roughly 30 years. It was a good morning with some good memories.” In all, the joke was re-tweeted 1,243 times, and 1,587 Twitter users favorited it.

There’s only one problem: the person tweeting as @BiIIMurray isn’t really Bill Murray. As those with even a passing knowledge of the comedian and actor’s personality could guess, Bill Murray isn’t on Twitter. But “Bill Murray” is. … Read More

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The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Top Five,’ ‘Ever After’

It’s a bit of a dodgy week for home movie viewing, new release-wise at least; the calendar is dominated by the likes of that Penguins of Madagascar thing, the ill-advised Annie remake, and the unfortunate Exodus: White Gods and Kings. But there’s good news too, as this week sees the release of one of last year’s best comedies, the Blu-ray debuts of two all-time classics, and a hidden gem from Criterion. Plus, for you Netflixers, we offer a fave from ’98 rendered newly timely. … Read More

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‘Birdman,’ ‘Maps to the Stars,’ and Hollywood’s Current Vogue for Self-Obsession

“Pray that those that eat, those that are eaten, and the act of eating be universally devoid of self,” celebrity therapist Dr. Stafford Weiss (John Cusack) says smugly in Maps to the Stars, director David Cronenberg’s big, wet defecation on the deadening influence of Hollywood. He’s quoting the Dalai Lama, he says, but long before his cushy life goes up in flames, it’s clear that Weiss’ Buddhist wisdom is all smoke and mirrors, a vain stab at profundity from an exceedingly shallow man. Indeed, here, as in other recent depictions of Tinseltown’s insider baseball, such noble sentiments ring false, or are otherwise crushed by an industry no longer much interested in altruism. That four films from four directors, each with its own distinct style and tone, should tread such similar thematic ground in this short span of time suggests a certain discomfort with the changing rules of the game, a fear that the dog-eat-dog business of filmmaking threatens to annihilate a particular brand of film art. Call it the unexpected anxiety of obsolescence. … Read More

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Gabrielle Union Has Some Smart Things To Say About Ferguson, Sexism, and Diversity in Hollywood

Gabrielle Union recently gave an interview to Yahoo Style, and for a piece that ran in the site’s fashion vertical,… Read More

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The ‘Humbling’ of Al Pacino

The once-great actor, now just shy of washed up, sits in his dressing room at the Broadway theater, talking to himself. He finally gets his call and heads down to the stage, only to get locked out of the theater on the way down, sent around to the front of the house like some kind of audience member or something. This actor’s nightmare is a key early sequence in… The Humbling, Barry Levinson’s new adaptation of Philip Roth’s penultimate novel, starring Al Pacino. Yes, Levinson’s film, which opens quietly in a few markets and on demand this Friday, has the misfortune of debuting dangerously close to Birdman, a film with which it unquestionably suffers in comparison. But like Birdman, it offers the tantalizing opportunity to watch a great actor sorting through perception and persona by playing fiction that feels like fact. … Read More

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Hacked Sony Email Confirms What Chris Rock Told Us About Racism in Hollywood

Let’s tread very lightly here. In a nutshell: Over the past several days, a group calling itself Guardians of Peace has released scores of files and documents attained via a massive hack of Sony Pictures, reportedly executed in protest of the company’s upcoming release of The Interview, a goofy comedy wherein Seth Rogen and James Franco are sent to assassinate Kim Jong-un. The initial leaks were harmless enough — high-quality downloads of Sony movies — but they quickly escalated to include salary spreadsheets, film budgets, unreleased scripts, medical records, passwords, contact information, and, most damningly, private email correspondences between Sony higher-ups. The whole thing is pretty awful. … Read More

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Why Did It Take Chris Rock So Long to Make a Great Movie Like ‘Top Five’?

The moment he dropped his 1996 breakthrough stand-up special Bring the Pain, Chris Rock was dubbed the heir apparent of Richard Pryor, one of the few comics on the scene to approach the king’s potent mixture of social commentary, personal confession, and performative brilliance. But that wasn’t all they had in common; Pryor spent most of his film career failing to find a vehicle that captured his unique gifts, and Rock has experienced much of the same struggle. “Richard Pryor has two good movies out of 30 or 40,” Rock told Rolling Stone. “Rodney Dangerfield had one. So it’s easy to look at history and go, ‘Maybe I’m not going to get one’… But I guess you’ve got to make your own history.” And Rock has done just that with his new film Top Five, writing, directing, and starring in a picture that plays like a cross between Stardust Memories, Funny People, and Before Sunset, but refracted through the prism of Rock’s distinctive comic sensibility. So why did it take him so long to make a movie worthy of his talent? … Read More

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