Emily Blunt

Where Did Disney’s ‘Into the Woods’ Go Wrong?

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My first exposure to Into the Woods came as a high school theater student, shuttled in with my fellow drama nerds to the auditorium of a nearby university for a “preview” of their forthcoming production of Stephen Sondheim’s Brothers Grimm mash-up. The preview consisted, as such things often do, of half the show — the first act, with the assumption that you’ll be so hooked, you’ll return (and buy a ticket) for the second. But that proved rather a dicey proposition for Woods, whose first conclusion seemed, to us high schoolers, perfectly satisfactory.
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50 Great Pre-Fame Performances by Famous Actors

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This week, the Criterion Collection is releasing a double bill of the mid-‘60s Westerns The Shooting and Ride the Whirlwind, a treat not only for fans of revisionist Westerns and director Monte Hellman, but also for those who admire Jack Nicholson, here seen in two terrific performances that predate his breakthrough in Easy Rider. There’s a specific kind of pleasure in revisiting the early work of actors who would later become famous — not the roles that made them stars, but their earlier, quieter gigs, in which we glimpse an actor just trying to do good work, yet already exhibiting the spark that would mark them for fame. Here are a few of our …Read More

Why Isn’t ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Director Doug Liman a Household Name?

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The overwhelmingly positive reviews that are greeting the new Tom Cruise actioner Edge of Tomorrow (out, erm, tomorrow) are a hearty mix of enthusiasm and surprise — enthusiasm at the film’s brainy wit and overall inventiveness, surprise that such elements are contained in such a blandly titled, seemingly generic Summer Action Blockbuster. Some have decided that the responsible party here is Tom Cruise, and the appreciations have followed suit; LA Weekly’s Amy Nicholson dubs him “our last real movie star,” Movies.com’s Jacob S. Hall calls him “the greatest living movie star.” Fair enough; Cruise has a long and storied filmography, a history of well-chosen collaborators, and he’s terrific in the film. Yet oddly little of this high praise has made its way to Edge of Tomorrow’s director, Doug Liman. Then again, this is nothing new; Liman is one of the most successful and reliable directors in Hollywood who somehow still has not become a household name.
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Your Favorite Actors on Their Favorite Actors

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The Ryan Gosling fan club is getting even more crowded. Recently, James Franco took to the Huffington Post to do what countless fans and stalkers have spent the past several years doing: writing on the Internet about Ryan Gosling. “I want to make love to this section,” Franco writes of the first, Gosling-heavy hour of The Place Beyond the Pines. “He played the role to a T. Look at the funny glasses he wears when he robs banks, green on the sides; look at the writing on the bike before he paints it black; Gosling touches, all, I’m sure of it.” Actors obsessing over actors — they’re just like us! And let’s be honest: there’s something kind of wonderful about actors and actresses who genuinely love each other’s work, and who can articulate what makes it great. So we went on the hunt for the favorite actors of some of our favorite actors, to find out who they love, who inspires them, and …Read More