Owen Wilson

Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Is a Breezy, Bizarre Blast

Paul Thomas Anderson took five years to make his 2007 oil epic There Will Be Blood. He took another five years to make 2012’s Scientology-inspired The Master. He banged out his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice in two, and you can feel the difference—in the best possible way. The two films that preceded it marked the filmmaker’s transition from wunderkind to Serious Artist; by turns wrenching, challenging, and borderline impenetrable, they plunged the depths of American history and the American soul. Vice, by contrast, is a slang-y, breezy lark, a picture whose two-and-a-half-hour running time, Oscar-friendly release date, and premiere as the Centerpiece selection at the New York Film Festival make it sound like a more important movie than it is—or, more importantly, than Anderson seems to think it is. After a decade spent making two films that are like pressure cookers, he was clearly ready to blow off some steam. … Read More

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At Last, Here’s Your First Trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’

With its December release creeping up rapidly, movie geeks were starting to get downright impatient, what with Warner Brothers… Read More

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10 Wildly Unsuccessful Movie Reunions

Buried among this week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases is a movie that, by the looks of it, was supposed to be one of the summer’s big hits: Blended, the third onscreen teaming of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Their first film, 1998’s The Wedding Singer, reshaped Sandler into a romantic lead and got him less-vicious-than-usual reviews, while grossing $80 million domestic; its follow-up, 2004’s 50 First Dates, did $120 million. But stars can fall over a decade, and Sandler and Barrymore’s big reunion was a big disappointment, only pulling $46 million total (barely more than First Dates’ first weekend). In other words, lightning doesn’t always strike twice, and for every Hope and Crosby or Redford and Newman, there are plenty of cinematic reunions that didn’t quite pan out. … Read More

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Why Can’t TV’s Beloved “Difficult Men” Make Good Movies?

Considering the kind of dancing in the streets that greets every new season of Mad Men (particularly now that we’re in the home stretch), you’d think Are You Here, the feature filmmaking debut of Mad Men creator/mastermind Matthew Weiner, would be accompanied by a bit more fanfare. But it’s getting a muted, multi-platform, limited release today, after a Toronto Film Festival premiere under a different title, to decidedly mixed reviews. If you see the film — and this is not much of an endorsement to do so — it’s easy to see why; Are You Here is a bit of a mess. But there’s an odd and interesting trend at work here, where genuinely gifted television creators, with distinctive voices and unique styles, try their hand at filmmaking and whiff that transition completely. … Read More

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The Strange, Frustrating Reason Why Matthew Weiner’s Feature Film Debut, ‘You Are Here,’ Was Retitled ‘Are You Here’

This Friday, the feature film debut of Mad Man mastermind Matthew Weiner will open in select cities, but it’s not exactly the same film that premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival. It’s not that just that the writer/director re-edited the Owen Wilson/Zach Galifianakis/Amy Poehler comedy/drama, changing some music and expanding the running time. The film’s title has also been altered, from the definitive You Are Here to the questioning Are You Here (and don’t even get me started on that missing question mark). The flip-flopping of those three words isn’t just a tactic to hide the picture’s mixed festival reception. There’s a much simpler explanation: Are You Here is also debuting On Demand this week, and the new title’s placement is much more desirable on alphabetical VOD menus. And this kind of thing happens all the time. … Read More

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Is ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ the Quintessential Wes Anderson Movie?

When it was released back in the fall of 2009, Fantastic Mr. Fox (out today in a new DVD and Blu-ray special edition from the Criterion Collection) seemed a peculiar detour in the career of co-writer/director Wes Anderson — why on earth was this idiosyncratic indie auteur making what was, by any measure, a kids’ movie? It was a question being asked elsewhere that fall as well; Spike Jonze had just released Where the Wild Things Are, his long-in-the-making adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s iconic picture book, while Martin Scorsese had just announced his next film, a family-friendly adaptation of the young adult novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret. But what is fascinating about Anderson’s film (and Jonze’s, and, ultimately, Scorsese’s) is how little he had to adjust his vision to make a “kids’ movie.” In fact, there is an argument to be made that Fantastic Mr. Fox may be the purest distillation of Anderson’s specific, inimitable style. … Read More

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What 10 of Your Favorite Cultural Icons Were Up To in College

Thanks to BuzzFeed’s entertaining roundup, we’ve discovered Mindy Kaling’s college comic strip, Badly Drawn Girl. A shrewd look at the facts of coed life, from frat bros to dining hall food, it’s a peek at what Kaling’s comic sensibilities were like long before she wound up in The Office‘s writers’ room. Other cultural notables have had their fair share of cool college projects, too. We took the liberty of looking up what some of our favorite famous people were up to while they were still living in dorm rooms. … Read More

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Woody Allen to ‘Toy Story': Pop Culture’s Greatest Homages to Picasso

For a man who passed away 40 years ago, Pablo Picasso has had little trouble getting his name out these days. This week, his masterpiece Guernica, which depicted the bombing of a Basque village during the Spanish Civil War, will be welcomed as a source of inspiration in the conflict-weary National Center for Modern Art in Tunisia. Earlier this month, the apartment where Picasso painted Guernica became an object of dispute when the Chambre des Huissiers de Justice, which donated the space to a local arts group, decided the apartment was too valuable to give away, and sought to reclaim it. And yesterday, a Picasso painting worth $11.5 million was seized by US authorities in New York. According to the Associated Press, it will be held for the Italian government indefinitely, pending the outcome of criminal proceedings in an Italian court against the collector Gabriella Amati, who stands accused of smuggling. … Read More

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The Problem With ‘The Internship': It Isn’t Actually About Internships

Before it lost out to Betas and Alpha House and it was packed off to wherever promising pilots go once they’re tragically passed over, Amazon original series hopeful Browsers showed us what a comedic take on the internship could be. Though obviously fiction — it’s a musical soundtracked by shamelessly tactless original numbers like “Someone With Whom Not to Fuck” — the would-be series’ basic premise rang true. The protagonists felt like exaggerated versions of real interns; their workplace felt like an exaggerated version of a real office. These are the minimum requirements for a solid internship comedy, and despite its name, The Internship does not meet them. … Read More

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