denzel washington

Our All-Time Favorite Actor/Director Movie Teams

Dark Shadows opens this week, whether we like it or not, but it does give us cause to pause for numerical consideration. No, we’re not talking about the amount of time since Tim Burton’s last film that was based on an original idea — that would be seven years, since Corpse Bride. Before that, you have to go clear back to 1990’s Edward Scissorhands, which was also (coincidentally enough) his first time working with Dark Shadows star Johnny Depp. Dark Shadows marks their eighth collaboration, which got us thinking about some of our favorite (and most productive, with a minimum of four pairings) actor/director teams. After the jump, we’ve compiled a dozen of the best from movie history; add your own in the comments, won’t you? … Read More

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Video Essay: "Encore — More Famous Faces in their Film Debuts"

We had no idea everyone was so interested in seeing the first film appearances of your favorite stars when we posted our video essay “And Introducing…” a month ago, but the damn thing up and went viral, so as with anything movie-related that does well, there has to be a sequel. After the jump, you’ll find 30-plus more famous faces in their first feature films, all in just about three minutes. Enjoy! … Read More

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12 of the Most Memorable On-Screen Impersonations

Last week, we took a look at a few of Hollywood’s stranger casting decisions for previous (and upcoming) biographical films. But with the Oscar-winning Iron Lady out today on DVD and Blu-ray, we thought we might also take a look at some of the more successful actor/biographical subject match-ups—with a particular eye on those that most convincingly embodied the figures they were playing.

Playing a well-known and well-documented actor, musician, or public figure can’t be easy, even for the best of actors — they not only have to assemble a serviceable performance in the conventional sense, but must also work up a convincing impersonation. They’re playing people that we’re used to seeing, whose look and speech have become familiar and distinctive, and must thus be replicated. The great performances in biographical movies must also then transcend the mere imitation, and create a compelling character beyond that. After the jump, we’ve assembled a dozen of the actors who memorably got into someone else’s skin; add your own in the comments. … Read More

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Oscars Acceptance Speeches by the Numbers

In anticipation of this evening, when we will watch four more actors add Oscars to their shelves, Slate has put together a fascinating interactive infographic about who thanks whom — and in what order — breaking down the 39 acceptance speeches given by actors during the ceremony in the past ten years. Perhaps not… Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Hooray! Stephen Colbert will resume taping his show tonight after taking some time off last week to reportedly care for his 91-year-old mother. “My family and I would like to thank everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers,” he tweeted to fans. “We are grateful and touched by your concern.” [via … Read More

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The Weekend Box Office: Explain Yourself, America

The pre-Valentine’s Day weekend was an unexpectedly big one at the box office, with four new movies bringing in over $20 million in receipts — only the second time in history that such an event has occurred, and the first time, as some outlets are reporting, that it’s happened on a non-holiday weekend. (We’ll let you decide whether a few days before Valentine’s Day counts as a “holiday weekend” or not. I’ll refrain from comment, in the interest of not upsetting anyone on the eve of said maybe-holiday.) What’s even more remarkable about this considerable fiscal accomplishment is that it was achieved with four movies that no one here at Flavorpill can actually imagine going to see. Neat trick, Hollywood! … Read More

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Know Your Evil Movie Cops

Rampart, Owen Moverman’s tough urban drama featuring Woody Harrelson as a somewhat less than principled LA police officer, goes into limited release tomorrow (following a brief Oscar-qualification run in November), and while the movie itself is pretty good, we must take some exception to its bold poster and trailer tag line: “The most corrupt cop you’ve ever seen on screen.” Well, that is a might tall claim. After the jump, we’ll run down ten previous movie cops who could give Harrelson’s Dave Brown a run for his money. … Read More

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Video Essay: “Being Denzel Washington”

Two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington teams with one-time Green Lantern Ryan Reynolds in this week’s Safe House, the latest of Washington’s midrange action movies. His recent output has been so heavy on popcorn flicks like Unstoppable and The Book of Eli that it’s easy to forget his wide range and occasional risky projects, so we decided to make Mr. Washington the subject of a video essay, spotlighting some of his more interesting (and less widely-acclaimed) films and performances. Watch it after the jump. … Read More

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The Worst Acting Snubs in Oscars History

Now that we’ve all had the chance to let last week’s Oscar nominations sink in, the general consensus of complaint (and that’s always what they boil down to) appears to have settled on the acting nominations — specifically, the rather shocking number of brilliant performances that were snubbed outright, against expectations. Tilda Swinton, for example, was presumed a shoo-in; same goes for Albert Brooks and, to a lesser degree, Charlize Theron and Kirsten Dunst. We won’t rehash everyone who got shafted; the point is, it happened, as it seems to every year. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has a long and storied history of shutting out great performances; after the jump, we’ve assembled ten iconic acting turns that we were stunned to discover weren’t even nominated for the Oscar. … Read More

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10 Great Sports Movies For Non-Sports Fans

When you have to keep an obsessive eye on film, music, books, visual art, television, the Internet, and all other manner of popular culture, something eventually has to give, and for us — well, for this author, anyway — it’s sports. An almost-complete disinterest in professional and collegiate sporting events can make one feel a bit of an outcast (and it certainly makes for a confusing Facebook feed; apparently some guy who’s really into Jesus won something important on Sunday?), but after faking it through high school and college, I can’t pretend to care anymore. Maybe it makes me a pencil-necked geek, but the idea of spending three hours watching a football going to and fro — particularly when there are still Hitchcock movies I haven’t seen — is simply unacceptable.

However, many of the same film fans who are patently disinterested in a Sunday afternoon of TV sports will gladly spend that same time planted in front of a sports-themed movie — basically the same thing, albeit with better camera angles and a scripted ending. (And the angles are the only difference in a wrestling movie, HA HA!) And that’s fine with this viewer; as I told a friend after its release, “I’d watch football every week if it looked like Any Given Sunday.” But cinephiles more sport-phobic than I (and they’re out there!) might prefer films that keep the game play squarely off-screen. In honor of today’s DVD release of Moneyball, one of the best of the bunch, we offer ten genuinely good movies about sports that are notable for their minimal sports action. Check them out after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More

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