Out on DVD today is one of our favorite rom-coms in many a moon, Jennifer Westfeldt’s Friends with Kids, which stars the writer/director and… Adam Scott, which seems sort of strange considering that Ms. Wesfeldt’s S.O. for the past decade and a half has been Mr. Jon Hamm, who would seem an obvious choice for the film’s leading role. Instead, as in Bridesmaids, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and The Town (and in sharp contrast to his television work), Hamm plays a secondary supporting role in the picture — and continues to carve out a niche for himself as a leading man who chooses to be a second banana. After the jump, we’ve got ten more name actors who decided to step back and play supporting roles, to great effect. … Read More
One of our favorite movies of the year, Sarah Polley’s heartbreaking Take This Waltz, hits theaters this Friday (but, heads up, you can watch it on demand right effing now, and should). In it, Michelle Williams plays a writer who jeopardizes her seemingly happy marriage when she falls for the handsome fellow down the street. Thinking back on the movie, we couldn’t help but muse that Williams seems an actress particularly unlucky in love on screen; in fact, she’s one of many actors who seem to have made a specialty of playing characters who are perpetually getting screwed, romantically speaking. After the jump, we take a look at the unlucky cinematic love lives of Williams and nine of her contemporaries (to keep it simple, we stuck with modern actors). Some spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk, etc.; agree, disagree, and add your own nominees in the comments. … 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
The best of this week’s (admittedly lean) DVD releases is Coriolanus, the sleek and muscular Shakespeare adaptation from star and first-time director Ralph Fiennes. He’s been angling to bring the play to the screen for nearly a dozen years now, since he first played it on the London stage, and when the time came to do so, he did what many a filmmaker before him has done to make Shakespeare tenable to today’s audience: he modernized it. But the text is so open, and his staging is so robust, that the interpretation works; it couldn’t feel more timely and appropriate, with (perhaps intentional, perhaps accidental) allusions to the Tea Party, Congressional dysfunction, and the Occupy movement that land without the clumsiness that so often batters political cinema.
In honor of a job well done, we’ve assembled ten other films that altered the Bard’s plots and texts in a similarly entertaining fashion. Check them out after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we found out what as seen on TV products actually work. We felt Kathie Lee Gifford’s mortifying embarrassment. We enjoyed Neil Patrick Harris’ Tony Awards promos. We adored this artist’s comic strips about failed mobile apps. We got to know Mrs. Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan. We gave a… 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. We’ve got a boatload of new trailers this week — many of them from Cannes, which is after all not just a film festival but a film market, where foreign rights are sold and trailers are thus trotted out. So we’ve got new films from name directors like Paul Thomas Anderson, Sam Mendes, and Baz Luhrmann, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Carey Mulligan, Jackie Chan, Joaquin Phoenix, and his late brother River. Check ‘em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments. … Read More
We had no idea everyone was so interested in seeing the first film appearances of your favorite stars when we posted our video essay “And Introducing…” a month ago, but the damn thing up and went viral, so as with anything movie-related that does well, there has to be a sequel. After the jump, you’ll find 30-plus more famous faces in their first feature films, all in just about three minutes. Enjoy! … 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
Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar Hoover biopic J. Edgar is out on DVD today, following a fall theatrical run notable mostly for its lack of awards consideration; the film, and particularly Leonardo DiCaprio’s leading role in it, had been the object of much presumptive Oscar buzz (hitting, as it does, multiple circles in the Oscar Venn diagram: slightly villainous, based on a real person, wide range of aging, secretly gay). But the film underwhelmed, for one very simple reason: we’re just getting tired of biopics.
The biographical film portrait has been a venerable institution since the early days of cinema; Georges Méliès made a Joan of Arc biopic clear back in 1900. And while there have been scores of great ones, the tropes of the form (the birth-to-death chronology, the trials and triumphs, the romantic struggles, etc.) are so firmly established that the only biographical films that really make an impression any more, it seems, are those that buck the trends and experiment, or at least futz with the form a bit. After the jump, we’ll take a look at ten great biopics that made an impression, and float some theories as to why. … Read More
Given the vast array of imaginative things that Hollywood is capable of crafting, it seems strange that moviemakers still struggle with some of the basics. Traditional makeup techniques that age actors stands as one of the biggest culprits and has often ruined entire films thanks to sloppy, weird, or unbelievable results. As many movies have proven, donning wrinkles and age spots doesn’t automatically equal a successful makeover. In the digital age, it’s easier for filmmakers to get a little help so that grandpa and grandma look more like live, actual people than a Halloween prop — but that’s what makes those who transform actors into senior stars old school-style so impressive. It’s an art form.
Leonardo DiCaprio underwent a dramatic transformation for the upcoming J. Edgar Hoover, and we definitely feel like it’s not one of his best-looking moments. The FBI’s first director didn’t win any beauty contests in his day, but DiCaprio appears to be drowning in his prosthetics, and the whole thing just seems awkward. This got us thinking about other cruddy elderly makeovers. Click past the break to see who made the leap to long in the tooth, in order from most convincing to least. Leave us your list in the comments. … Read More