You can’t judge a book by its cover, as we’ve recently discovered with not only books, but also music. That holds true with film as well — not just with movie posters, which have their own problematic elements, but when it comes time to sell you the movie in physical form. For years, DVD distributors have uglified some of our favorite movies — often even eschewing the classy and striking movie posters for Photoshopped, Frankensteined monstrosities of their own making, designed to move units at all costs. We’ve assembled some of the ugliest and most terrifying DVD images for movies we actually like — and provided their original posters as well, just so you can see how far they can fall. … Read More
Sergio Cobucci’s 1966 Spaghetti Western Django was such a phenomenal hit that it begat dozens of unofficial sequels — only one involving the personnel of the original film, which means that Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained falls well within the tradition of filmmakers reconfiguring the character for their own means. Though he’s endlessly respectful of his picture’s namesake, adopting its distinctive theme song and casting (with a lovely “friendly participation of” credit) original Django Franco Nero, he is, as usual, up to more than friendly borrowing, or creating in-jokes for his fellow cinephiles. The Spaghetti Western, as a subgenre, wasn’t immune from occasional silliness. But these were big, extravagant, and often emotional vehicles — they dealt in mythology and iconography, and Django Unchained finds Tarantino digging in to that element of the form with relish. … Read More
We often bemoan the fact that Saturday Night Live buries its hosts — much too often, we get really excited to see a certain actor, and then they get about two great moments that are overshadowed by Bill Hader anyway. But Jamie Foxx, who ushered SNL back from a three-week hiatus last night, was everywhere. And it was usually a good thing. The episode got off to a shaky start, but picked up serious speed after Weekend Update. Maybe they just needed half a show to recover from the long break? Either way, the sum total is not too shabby. Watch the best and worst sketches after the jump, and let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments. … Read More
As we close in on Labor Day — you can do it, c’mon, four short days, and you know you can get away with sneaking out early on Friday — the summer movie season is winding down, so you know what that means: the fall movie season is winding up! (Can’t not be in a movie season, ya know.) It’s something of a changing of the guard at the multiplexes; the superheroes, action heroes, and animated animals march off, replaced by (mostly) serious actors and prestige projects. It’s that special time of year when Hollywood pretends like they make intelligent, grown-up movies all the time, so let’s play along! Our ten most anticipated fall flick are collected here, organized by release date; agree, disagree, and add your own in the… Read More
Everyone loves celebrity conflict, which is why we’re assuming our post a couple of weeks back on actor/filmmaker feuds generated such a huge response. It’s humanizing to see that cultural icons squabble about the same petty stuff that we do in the workplace. Performers and auteurs aren’t the only source of on-set friction however; the Hollywood history books are filled with cases of co-stars going after each other with everything they’ve got. After the jump, you’ll find a few of the most famed examples. … Read More
Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. This weeks, we’ve got new trailers from the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emma Watson, John C. Reilly, and more; check ‘em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments. … Read More
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
Hey, guess what: 2012 is like, four days away. Exciting, eh? Well, aside from that whole Mayan calendar/end of the world business. And that there’s going to be a Presidential campaign all damned year, and the economy’s still in the toilet, and Community is on a “hiatus”… On second thought, 2012 is already looking pretty terrible, and it hasn’t even started yet.
No, wait! There will be new movies! Many, many new movies. And don’t kid yourself: plenty of them are going to be terrible (I mean, there’s a Battleship movie coming out, for God’s sake). But some of them look awesome! So in the spirit of cautious optimism, join us after the jump for a look at ten 2012 releases that we’re genuinely looking forward to. … Read More
There are an abundance of reasons to put “see Moneyball” on your weekend to-do list: First film since Capote from director Bennett Miller; Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillan adapting a Michael Lewis book; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, and Chris Pratt (aka Andy Dwyer) in supporting roles; the baby blues of one William Bradley Pitt. And then there is our old friend Jonah Hill, who has taken the opportunity here to make the leap we’ve come to expect from any comedic performer of note: the transition to “serious acting.”
Now from the looks of the trailer, it doesn’t appear that Hill is exactly doing Hamlet — Moneyball is a fast, witty, seriocomic drama, allowing Hill some comedic opportunities within a larger and more serious context. That is one way to go; there are others. After the jump, join us for a look at the strategies that Hill’s predecessors adopted in making their move towards drama, and how they fared. … Read More
A 2011 Oscar winner, another nominee, an acclaimed director, and the writer/star of one of TV’s most delightfully subversive comedies couldn’t convince audiences to see Your Highness, which opened last weekend to odious reviews and bad box office. What went wrong? Well, it is certainly possible that the target audience for a stoner parody of sword-and-sorcery movies was a little too narrow to justify a $50 million budget. Or it could just be the execution; “Like members of some post-Dadaist collective,” Time’s Richard Corliss notes, “the filmmakers have dedicated themselves to memorializing every first, wrong impulse that popped into their heads, while ruthlessly excising any vestige of wit or narrative niceties as being too linear, dude.” Whatever the reason, it certainly seems like yet another strange choice for Natalie Portman, whose first release after her Oscar nomination was a dopey, formulaic “friends with benefits” sex comedy. (As for James Franco, we’ve given up on guessing his motives for doing anything.)
Putting together a filmography is always a crap shoot for actors; the process of assembling a major studio production involves so many variables, from studio interference to directorial whims to budgetary concerns to a million other little things that sometimes you just can’t know what the final product will be. But in some cases, you just can’t imagine what a seemingly intelligent, acclaimed actor saw on the page, and how he ever imagined it could be a good movie — and we’re not talking about early on, when a hungry actor takes any role available. We’re talking post-fame, sometimes post-Oscar. After the jump, we’ll take a look at some of our favorite actors, and some of their most absolutely inexplicable choices. … Read More