I suppose one of the drawbacks of being the “editorial director” of a big site like Variety is that it might be hard to find an underling brave enough to give you proper editorial guidance. That’s the best explanation I can come up with for “Movies Stars are Endangered Species as Actors Struggle to Stay Relevant,” an aimless, toothless, and generally worthless op-ed from Peter Bart, the once-savvy Hollywood insider who these days pens the show-biz bible’s equivalent to those rambling, ellipsis-heavy nightmares Larry King used to write for USA Today. Bart, who was last heard weakly advising Jon Stewart not to direct movies because non-directors doing so never works out (Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, and Orson Welles be damned), mostly just uses the “death of the movie star” canard as a weak peg for his incoherent ramblings about which actors he does and doesn’t like. But even if he’d bothered to mount a strong argument about the death of the movie star, he’d be wrong, and here’s why: … Read More
It’s a big day for fans of ’80s television, cop shows, and, basically, things that are good: after first and second season releases that ended in 2006 and never resumed, the pop culture saviors over at Shout Factory have stepped up with a massive, full-series DVD box set for Hill Street Blues, the ground-breaking dramatic series that continues to influence quality television to this very day. And while it’s easy enough to earmark Hill Street as one of the best police series of all time, how do all those perp-chasing, car-crashing, rule-bending, good-cop-bad-cops actually stack up against each other? … Read More
Wally Pfister has been in it for a minute. He started out in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, first as a camera operator and then cinematographer for straight-to-VHS erotic thrillers and horror films with titles like Animal Instincts II, Secret Games 3, and Amityville: A New Generation. But in 2000, he hooked up with director Christopher Nolan for Momento, and he’s shot every Nolan film since (along with Moneyball, The Italian Job, and a few others). Now he moves into the director’s chair, orchestrating a high-caliber cast in the big-budget sci-fi thriller Transcendence (out today). But even if you view it without this thumbnail bio in the back of your head, you might guess the pedigree, because it’s a terrible movie that looks amazing. … Read More
Only Lovers Left Alive, the ultra-cool vampire hangout flick from indie legend Jim Jarmusch, is out tomorrow in limited release, marking an even dozen feature films from the creatively coiffed auteur. It’s a fascinating filmography, encompassing multiple genres (from comedy to Western to action movie to horror) without fully turning over to any of them; all of his movies are, above all else, Jim Jarmusch Movies, which has sort of become a genre of its own. Yet the film that you pick as your favorite says a lot about you as a person — and thus we give the Jarmusch filmography our signature “stereotyping you by” treatment. … Read More
Well, 2013 is over, and thank goodness for that. Sure, it was one of the best years in recent memory for movies, but the year-end box office returns indicate it was a year where people mostly wanted to sequels and remakes. And there are plenty of those on tap for 2014 — and a few of them even look promising! (A very few.) So in the spirit of looking forward, let’s have a glance at some of the films we’re most looking forward to in the new… Read More
Everyone knows that the holidays are a time for tradition, so here’s one of Flavorwire‘s long-time favorites: doling out gifts to some of contemporary culture’s biggest and boldest icons. Whether they’re dead or alive, naughty or nice, whether they’ve been a cultural touchstone for five decades or five minutes — everyone deserves presents this time of year, right? So with that in mind, click through to find the perfect gift for the Miley Cyrus, Joss Whedon, or J-Law in your life. You know you’ve got… Read More
I have a confession to make. This is tough, but it’s important for me to be truthful about it to my colleagues, my family, my readers… and most of all, myself. Here goes: I am a serial killer.
Whew. Feels good to get that off my chest.
I didn’t realize it, of course. I guess when you’re truly sick, you don’t know; it all seems normal to you. I was just going through my daily life, doing my job, caring for my loved ones, engaging in what seemed to me a perfectly average, everyday routine. But then I saw this video of Lone Ranger stars Jonny Depp and Armie Hammer and producer Jerry Bruckheimer talking about what I, and people like me, had done to their precious baby: … Read More
Every year, Forbes releases its lists of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors and actresses, presumably to give schoolteachers and cops and social workers an opportunity to think a little harder about their choices. This week saw the release of the ten highest-paid actresses list, topped by Angelina Jolie at $33 million a year. Putting aside the rather glaring issues of gender pay — that top $33 million paycheck would barely land Jolie in the top ten of male actors — here’s a question: Angelina Jolie? Seriously? Angelina Jolie hasn’t appeared in a movie since 2010. (The year, not the forgotten 2001 sequel.) That film, The Tourist, is mostly remembered these days as the punchline for Golden Globes stories. It made a little bit of money, but certainly not enough that its leading lady should still be coasting on it. Yet this year’s Forbes lists are mostly interesting as confirmation of what we’ve been suspecting for a while: that movie stars don’t matter anymore. … Read More