The Academy Awards ceremony has, after many, many decades, become an event we both eagerly await and woefully dread. The latter emotions come from the overwrought parade of celebratory adulation for the Hollywood system, an annual ritual that regularly surpasses the three-hour mark. It doesn’t help that in between the awards and tributes to cinematic history are often awkwardly placed musical numbers that seem to make the night drag on even longer. Looking back at the last 25 years, there have been some awesomely atrocious performances in Oscar history. We’ve narrowed down these many missteps and present ten of the most memorable. … Read More
In case there was any doubt that we’re rapidly approaching Peak Internet Outrage, I refer you to The Atlantic, where the order of the day is issuing sharply worded rebukes to the crimes of 25-year-old Disney movies. In the 3500-plus-word (!) essay “Dead Poets Society Is a Terrible Defense of the Humanities,” Pomona College English Department Chair Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, PhD Kevin J.H. Dettmar takes Peter Weir’s 1989 drama to task for inaccuracy, romanticism, and anti-intellectualism, and blames it for the current crisis in the humanities. He stops short of pinning climate change and the infant mortality rate on the picture; maybe that’s in the 5000-word version. … Read More
Celebrity photographer Matt Hoyle’s wonderful new book Comic Genius: Portraits of Funny People (out today from Chronicle Books) gathers over 130 of comedy’s biggest legends for portraits that are funny, clever, and downright gorgeous. Of his desire to create the project, Hoyle told Flavorwire, “I love comedy and decided to do the book to make a sort of photo album of all the times I’ve laughed in my life. So I naively made a wishlist and we spent the last year and a half begging, bugging and shooting as many of those names that said yes.” Some of our favorites from the book are collected after the jump. … Read More
A few weeks back, we pointed you in the direction of some great movies streaming free on YouTube. Now, if you wanna watch free TV online without a Netflix or Hulu Plus membership, the proposition gets a little trickier — those copyrights are guarded a bit more zealously, and the viewing experience can be, to put it charitably, spotty. That’s why sitcoms are so good for YouTube viewing; as long as you have a passing familiarity with the characters, it’s easy to sample an episode here and there on a lunch break and not have to worry about serialized arcs and continuity issues. Here are some of the best sitcoms in television history that have at least a handful of episodes on… Read More
Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, we’ve got new stuff from Jennifer Lawrence, Sean Connery, Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson, Richard Gere, Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, Elizabeth Banks, Andy Garcia, Robin Williams, Woody Harrelson, and Val Kilmer, plus three terrific documentaries. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
Argo, Ben Affleck’s true story of American hostage extraction by way of Hollywood fakery, hits DVD and Blu-ray today on its way to a possible Best Picture prize at Sunday night’s Oscars. But as with its fellow nominees Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln, Argo has been the object of some concern over historical accuracy, culminating in yesterday’s proclamation by Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir that “Argo doesn’t deserve the Oscar” because it “uses its basis in history and its mode of detailed realism to create something that is entirely mythological.” While Affleck’s film is certainly not our favorite of the Best Picture nominees, we’d have a hard time arguing that a film’s fast/loose play with the facts should be a disqualifying factor. In fact, plenty of pictures we’ve been rather fond of weren’t exactly slavish to historical accuracy; we’ll take a look at Argo and its “true-ish story” brethren after the jump. … Read More
As we move into Thanksgiving week, DVD players and cable networks across the land will be cuing up our favorite turkey day movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. One of its viewers may very well be Flavorwire favorite Emma Stone, who recently told Entertainment Weekly that Planes is the movie that made her want to be an actor — specifically, Steve Martin’s late-night motel “Chatty Cathy” tirade. Miss Stone explains, “You go from laughing hilariously at Steve Martin to your heart breaking for John Candy in that one scene, and that was, I think, the first time that I saw that you could do both.” Planes, Trains wasn’t the first movie to prove that you could “do both” — i.e., mesh the funny and the sad with equal effectiveness. But it’s one of the best, and after the jump, we’ll take a look at that and a few other very sad comedies. … Read More
1. We find President Obama’s tweeted response to Clint Eastwood‘s speech at the Republican National Convention kind of amusing. Almost as amusing as the fact that The Simpsons predicted the whole old man yelling at inanimate object thing years ago.
2. If for some reason you thought Nas was done dredging… Read More
You wouldn’t think that the cold-blooded murder of a defenseless old woman would make for big laughs, but that’s just one of the surprises found in Bernie, Richard Linklater’s wickedly enjoyable Texas comedy, out today on DVD and Blu-ray. And it’s all true — or, as the opening title card notes, “What you’re fixin’ to see is a true story.”
As the old saw goes, truth is stranger than fiction, and in ruminating about the pleasures of Bernie, we discovered that several of our favorite comedies were, in fact, based on real events. After the jump, a few thoughts on that film, and nine others based on (varying degrees of) true stories. … Read More
Critics and audiences weren’t entirely enamored of The Lorax (out today on DVD and Blu-ray), but it was tough to complain about the casting of the title character: Danny DeVito is spot-on, investing the character with the curmudgeonly lovability that’s always been part of his screen persona, and is a perfect fit for the orange creature who speaks for the trees.
Voice-over acting, whether in live action or animated films, is in many ways a tougher task than conventional on-screen work; the performer must do all of their acting with only the voice, unable to rely on other tools (movement, eyes, facial expression, etc.) to convey meaning and emotion. After the jump, we’ve selected — with considerable difficulty — our ten favorite voice-only performances in feature films (let’s face it: if we were just talking shorts, it’d be a list of ten Mel Blanc roles). Check them out after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More