The Emmys last night were very long and very boring. I’m not sure poor Neil Patrick Harris got to crack a single funny joke all night, and by the time he lifted the champagne glass at the end, he really seemed to need it. So did the audience, I think. This was an unusually pointless Emmys, and it’s not like there was a high bar to begin with. But 2013 distinguished itself with too many in-memoriam segments and long interludes, and not a single speech of note other than the one near the top of this list. Luckily, Flavorwire watched the Emmys so you didn’t have to. Here are the 10 moments everyone will be talking about this… Read More
What gets your attention first about Rian Johnson’s Looper is its speed — on a basic level, it’s just a very fast movie, the text, cuts, and exposition coming at the audience hard and sharp. That pace is established in its opening scene, in which its hero (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) stands in a field, checks his watch, takes out his earbuds, and waits. The second a hooded body magically appears in front of him, he blows the poor soul away. Boom, cut, next scene.
Looper is a movie that wears its jazzy, ebullient style on its sleeve. Writer/director Johnson, who previously crafted the smashing Brick and the enchanting Brothers Bloom, is one of our giddier filmmakers — he’s intoxicated with the sheer act of movie making, and his enthusiasm is infectious. But he’s also got a magician’s gift for diversion; in retrospect, one of the most remarkable things about Looper is how it starts as one movie, and then slyly transforms itself into something else entirely. … Read More
We — and every other TV connoisseur in America — have been counting down the days till the debut of Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO drama, The Newsroom, since the show was announced several months ago. But while we’ll still be watching the premiere this Sunday, the sheer number of negative reviews that have already been published is starting to worry us. While a few critics are sticking up for the show — The Hollywood Reporter praises its strong cast and engagement with complex issues — the majority seem fairly unhappy. How could critics possibly like an Aaron Sorkin TV show about cable news (Metacritic score: 56) less than the Dallas reboot (62)? After the jump, we take a look at the reviews to see what’s turning them off. … Read More
1. Ashton Kutcher has signed on to play Steve Jobs in a new indie film that “chronicles Jobs from wayward hippie to co-founder of Apple and one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of our time.” While it seems like a bit of an odd casting choice, we suppose there is a slight resemblance. [via… Read More
The weekend’s big movie, as you well know, was The Hunger Games, while DVD and Blu-ray players have been firing up Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo since its release last week. The two films have a lot in common: powerful female protagonists, adaptations of bestsellers, probable franchise kick-offs. As such, they were also each objects of carefully considered casting. It’s become part of the pre-production process, the bandying about of potential name actors for high-profile roles; Fincher reportedly talked to Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Kristen Stewart, and Scarlett Johansson before settling on Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander, while Hunger Games director Gary Ross’ alternate Katnisses included Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Emma Roberts, Chloe Moretz, and Saoirse Ronan.
Contemplating proxy casting choices is a fun parlor game for movie fans (perhaps second only to considering movies that never came to pass at all). After the jump, we’ll take a look at a dozen iconic movie roles, and the actors who almost, almost filled them. … Read More
In this biopic of famed American poet Allen Ginsberg, Jon Hamm, Mary Louise-Parker, Treat Williams, and Jeff Daniels join lead actor James Franco to reenact the 1957 trial following the publication of Howl.
A year after printing the epic Beat poem, publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti was arrested and charged with obscenity. The film takes us up to that point through insightful chronicling of Ginsberg’s early years as a writer and revolutionary, carrying us through to the case that represented American society’s conflicting values during a time of change. … Read More
When we first saw God of Carnage last year, we were blown away. Yasmina Reza’s tightly constructed one-act packs a wallop of a theatrical punch into eighty minutes on stage. The brutally funny comedy of (bad) manners stems from a playground altercation between two preteen boys that escalates to full-on war when their parents get involved.
The curtain comes up as Henry and Benjamin’s parents Michael (Jeff Daniels) and Veronica (Janet McTeer)/Alan (Dylan Baker) and Annette (Lucy Liu) respectfully, fine-tune an official statement on the incident over coffee and clafouti (kind of like fruitcake), which gives way in real-time to brandy and cigars. Blame is doled out, and uncomfortable truths are revealed, such as what really happened to a certain pet hamster. Translator Christopher Hampton sets the mayhem in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn for a refreshing New York feel. Director Michael Warchus‘ fast-paced staging teems with physical comedy that’s explosive. … Read More
1. Leftist historian Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States and a favorite of celebrities like Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, and Bruce Springsteen, has died at 87. [via NPR]
2. Charlize Theron and David Fincher are collaborating on a new drama series for HBO called Mind Hunter that will… Read More