Michael J. Fox

Watch the Trailer for the ‘Back to the Future’ Documentary, ‘Back in Time’

It’s hard to think of a more consistently beloved cultural phenomenon than Back to the Future: but even by its recent 30th… Read More

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NBC Pulls ‘The Michael J. Fox Show’

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Woody Allen’s 10 Most Underrated Movies

With Woody Allen’s new movie Blue Jasmine hitting screens this weekend, several outlets have taken the opportunity to rank Allen’s extensive filmography. But instead of taking on that job (which, lets face it, usually ends up with some cluster of Annie Hall, Manhattan, Purple Rose of Cairo, and Crimes and Misdemeanors at the top anyway), let’s take a look at some of Allen’s less-recognized… Read More

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10 Great Multi-Character Movie Performances

In Cloud Atlas, the ambitious adaptation of David Mitchell’s sprawling novel by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer (out tomorrow), six interlocking but initially unrelated stories are told, decades or even centuries apart, and to further the film’s everything-is-connected theme, the filmmakers had most of their cast take roles — large and small — in each of the stories. Some do it more successfully than others (Hugo Weaving is as versatile as ever, but Tom Hanks’ Cockney gangster is, erm, a bit of a stretch), but it’s an endurance test that actors love to take, the kind of challenge that makes a thesp’s mouth water. Cloud Atlas marks one of the few occasions that multi-role performances (and by that we mean more than two) have been taken on in service of a serious film, however; it’s usually, but not always, a gimmick for character-based comedians. At any rate, we’ve assembled a few of our very favorite performances by actors who decided to flex their chameleon muscles; check them out after the jump. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. While sources yesterday suggested that director Tony Scott, who died in an apparent suicide Sunday, had inoperable brain cancer, his family has denied those reports. [via LA Times]

2. You know that new Michael J. Fox sitcom that’s caused a bidding war among major netowkrs? Increasingly desperate NBC has won the series… Read More

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Video Essay: “All of Woody’s Surrogates”

Woody Allen’s flawed but funny new film To Rome with Love opens this Friday, and while it marks his first acting appearance in one of his movies since 2006’s Scoop, he plays the role of a retired father while continuing his tradition of writing his leading man as a “Woody Allen role” — played, in this film, by Jesse Eisenberg. In his early works, Allen would occasionally engage a young actor to play himself as a child, but as he got too old to play the leading man (okay, let’s face it, after he’d gotten a little too old to play the leading man), he began putting younger actors in roles that were still distinctively Woody-esque, and which said actors played as varying degrees of imitation. We’ve assembled a montage of those actors and some of their most Allen-inspired moments; check out our latest video essay after the jump. … Read More

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12 of the Greatest Movie Roles Almost Played

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

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10 Entirely Unwelcome Movie Sequels

As you’ve surely noticed from the lines of ecstatic moviegoers camped out on the sidewalks of your local cineplex (/sarcasm), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is out tomorrow. Try to contain your excitement. Yes, in their infinite wisdom, Hollywood has spent $75 million to grind out a sequel to Ghost Rider, a film that nobody liked and nobody wanted to see more of. So why on earth does Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance exist? Ah, here we go: because beloved or no, the first film grossed $115 million, and while that may be a meager profit on a reported $110 million budget (seriously? SERIOUSLY?), it pretty much doubled that gross overseas. As they say, it’s show business, kids, and if there are that many ticket buyers who’ll pony up once to see Nicolas Cage flambé motorcycling around for justice, maybe they’ll do so twice. (Not to worry, though: the sequel is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who did Crank and, um, Crank 2. And, oh dear, Jonah Hex. Enjoy, moviegoers!)

GR:SOV (as the kids are calling it) is just the latest in Hollywood’s long, long, long history of churning out utterly inexplicable sequels. Look, let’s be clear, we’re not cinema snobs, railing against sequels on general principle: movies from Godfather II to Aliens to The Dark Knight to Harry Potter 3-7.5 have proven that you can follow up a film with equal (or even advancing) returns. But there has to be a compelling reason for it to exist: a story worth returning to, say, or even a general positive opinion of the initial outing. After the jump, we’ll take a look at a few occasions where we got a sequel, whether we wanted one or not. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we learned how Matthew Weiner is planning to end Mad Men. We wanted to take a bite out of these adorable Muppets Cake Pops. We went inside of the personal libraries of some of our favorite authors. We couldn’t believe that a high school… Read More

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