christian slater

Celebrating the Take-No-Prisoners Cynicism of ‘Heathers’ On Its 25th Anniversary

In order to appreciate what a dirty bomb Heathers was when it was originally released 25 years ago, on March 31, 1989, you have to remember what exactly the “high school movie” was back then. The entire sub-genre was basically worked over in Heathers’ wake, with movies like Mean Girls and Jawbreaker and television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer depicting high school as a virtual (sometimes literal) hellscape — jaded, cynical, bitter little pills. But the 1980s began with giggly sex comedies like Porky’s and Fast Times, and then John Hughes took over, imbuing high school narratives with an earnest kindness and “be yourself” messaging. And then here came Heathers, a film whose key image is that of a bomb-toting high school student hoisting his middle finger, and getting it shot… Read More

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‘Nymphomaniac’ Is a Pure Dose of Uncut Lars von Trier

Running at nearly four hours in this, its two-part, “audience friendly” version (there’s a five-and-half-hour uncut version out there as well), Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac is less a disciplined, focused motion picture than an all-you-can-eat buffet where the director overloads his plate, and encourages his audience to do the same. It’s a wandering, freeform exploration of the themes, subjects, and ideas of particular interest to the filmmaker — and sex is among them, certainly, but it doesn’t seem to be his primary focus, or destination. … Read More

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10 Talented Actors Who Doom Every TV Show They’re On

NBC’s newest sitcom About a Boy premiered Sunday night. The show, based on the popular book-turned-film and created by Jason Katims, could very well be a hit for the network. However, it already has one strike against it: David Walton. Walton is a talented actor, but he’s yet to catch a break — all of his shows have been canceled after just one season. And he’s not the only one with this bad luck. Here are ten great actors who unfortunately doom the shows that they’re… Read More

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10 Great Performances by Terrible Actors

Forgive the perhaps unwarranted level of enthusiasm, but Joy Ride is out on Blu-ray today, and YIPEE. It’s a crackerjack little thriller from eternally underrated director John Dahl, co-written by a young J.J. Abrams, starring Steve Zahn, Leelee Sobieski, and, yes, Paul Walker. Though second-billed behind Zahn, this is indisputably a vehicle for the handsome and unaccountably dull future star of the Fast and Furious franchise — and believe it or not, he’s not distractingly terrible in it. Make whatever stopped-clock, blind-squirrel analogies you’d like, but occasionally even the worst of actors stumbles into a decent performance. Here’s a few… Read More

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James Gandolfini’s Most Underrated Performances

Because he was too young, because he was so admired, and because he made possibly the first great television show of the 21st century, James Gandolfini’s untimely death is an enormous loss. I, like many others, will never shut up about what Gandolfini brought to The Sopranos. Yes, in the post-Goodfellas era, it wasn’t hard to see a big, dark dude with a North Jersey twang and suspend your disbelief. Gandolfini’s physicality and heft didn’t hurt, nor did the fact that he often appeared on screen surrounded by actors from the Scorsese canon. The man knew how to play a gangster, and there were moments in The Sopranos when he performed on the level of James Cagney. … Read More

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The Funniest ‘Saturday Night Live’ Halloween Skits

Everyone has their own holiday traditions, so there are no rules when it comes to celebrating the spookiest time of year, Halloween. For 37 years, Saturday Night Live has been helping audiences get into the spirit of the season with their comedic twist on iconic creepy characters and other macabre shenanigans. We’ve selected ten of the funniest Halloween skits from the series that are at least as funny as this “sexy” Big Bird costume — which is pretty hard to top. Venture past the break for more hair-raising hilarity, and add to our list by mentioning your favorites in the comments, below. … Read More

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The Darkest Teen Movies of All Time

There are two kinds of teenagers: those who get all choked up with happiness at the end of movies like Dirty Dancing or Can’t Hardly Wait and those who prefer ice-cold comedies like Heathers. As your Flavorwire editors have always fallen into the latter camp, we were intrigued (and cautiously optimistic) to learn, last week, that Heathers is getting a small-screen reboot. In fact, the news inspired us to compile a list of the dark teen movies we love the most, all of which we’ll probably re-watch in anticipation of the TV series. The selections after the jump range from black humor to true tragedy (but we’ve left out teen horror flicks because that’s a whole other post). What ties them together is the rare acknowledgment that high school isn’t all dances, football games, and makeovers. … Read More

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10 Movie Stars Who Bombed on TV

A couple of weeks back, while assembling our post on the shortest-running shows in TV history, we noticed a bit of a pattern: an awful lot of them were vehicles for movie stars, who keep getting TV shows even though their track record for success is surprisingly low. There are exceptions, of course, but more often than not, it seems that TV executives value the built-in recognition factor of a big star over quality writing and the kind of ensemble work that the best television thrives on. As a result, an audience may tune in for the first week or two, but if they don’t see big-screen quality right away, they tune out. We thought of this pattern again when we noticed the single season of ABC’s canceled Missing among today’s DVD releases — a show starring Ashley Judd, who was headlining very big movies just a few short years ago. Ms. Judd can take solace, however, in the fact that many a movie star before her has flopped on the tube; after the jump, we’ve collected ten of the most notable examples. … Read More

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Know Your Evil Movie Teens

We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsay’s critically acclaimed indie drama, expands into a (somewhat) wider release this weekend, and if you live in one of those ever-elusive “select cities,” it’s worth checking out; it’s a tough, frightening picture that gets into your head, and it features not only the by-now-expected brilliant (if overlooked by the Academy) performance by Tilda Swinton, but a bravura turn by Ezra Miller as the title character. He plays Swinton’s son, a teen boy with, um, some problems. We’ll leave at that, in case you haven’t yet had the exact nature of his wickedness spoiled for you yet; suffice it to say, he’s a bad kid, which got us wondering how he’d stack up in the rich history of evil cinematic teenagers (and pre-teens). After the jump, we’ll take a look (with some spoilers of years-old movies, so consider yourself warned). … Read More

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The Worst January Film Releases of All Time

January is upon us, and we film fans know what that means: nothing good. The first month of the year is traditionally the dumping ground for Hollywood studios, the month in which they unload the films that aren’t quality enough for the Oscar-courting fall, but not commercial enough for the lucrative holiday, spring, and summer seasons. January is where bad movies go to die, and where studios hope we won’t notice them. They’re usually right; viewers either tend to catch up on the prestige pictures that are going into wider release, or just stay at home and watch football. But our nation’s film critics, fat and happy after the holiday feast of smart, highbrow entertainment, are often subjected to the sugar crash of January dogs, and as a result, their reviews often pack a little bit of extra vitriol. After the jump, we’ve assembled the ten worst movies released in the month of January — according to the reliable aggregators at Rotten Tomatoes — along with a few choice words from the scribes who sat through them. … Read More

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