This week, the Criterion Collection releases Watership Down, Martin Rosen’s 1978 adaptation of Richard Adams’ novel. It’s one of the few animated films in the collection to date, but don’t go gathering up the kids, movie nerds — from the moment little Fiver gets his apocalyptic vision, wherein “The field… the field… it’s covered with blood!,” it’s very clear that this is one cartoon that’s not for the kiddies. But it’s also a terrific movie, reminding us that too often, the seemingly malleable form of the animated feature film is consigned to family entertainment and left there. Here are a few notable …Read More
Thanks to the advent of the Internet, fan outrage surrounding Hollywood casting decisions can help make or break a role before films even enter theaters. We’ve seen several instances of this kind of outcry, which we explore past the break, but the latest big-screen casting fans are questioning relates to Emile Hirsch playing John Belushi in Steve Conrad’s biopic about the outrageous comedian. Read about other casting controversies, below.
Earlier this week, Conan O’Brien’s website commemorated the 20th anniversary of his audition for Late Night by releasing a short clip from it, an abbreviated “mock show” in which he interviewed Mimi Rogers and Jason Alexander in front of a live studio audience. O’Brien is clearly nervous (and can you blame him?), but Lorne Michaels and the Late Night producers saw something in that performance, and gave him a shot. That’s the beauty of the great comic audition — even when a talent is a little rough around the edges, the joy of discovering someone fresh, new, and funny wins out. After the jump, we’ll take a look at that tape and several other killer auditions from very funny folks.
A couple of weeks back, we perused the entirety of film history and pulled out our very favorite break-up lines — the meanest, the sharpest, and the funniest. For a follow-up, we decided to focus on the latter: selecting some of the best punchlines ever uttered in movies. By definition, a punchline isn’t just a funny bit of dialogue or an amusingly awkward moment: it’s the payoff to a setup, whether in situation or dialogue, and thus must be carefully teed up and smoothly executed. We think these 25 examples do just that, with panache.
Gallery 1988, you’ve done it again. Our favorite pop culture-obsessed art gallery unveiled a new show last weekend, and it’s a doozy: Is This Thing On #2 Too, featuring art inspired by Saturday Night Live, with everyone from Matt Foley to the Blues Brothers to the Church Lady to Toonces the Driving Cat immortalized on canvas (and even in ceramic). After the jump, have a look at some of our favorites for the exhibit — and click on the title of each piece to grab a print of your own via Gallery 1988’s online store.