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
Next week, The Dark Knight Rises will hit theaters, and holy cow, even we’re tired of talking about how excited we are. But if you can’t wait until next week to get your Christian Bale fix, may we recommend this week’s new DVD release The Flowers of War? What’s that, you haven’t heard of it? Well, no wonder; it only made it to 30 theaters during its very limited release last January, and took in a paltry $311K. (Don’t fear for Bale and director Zhang Yimou — it grossed $93 million in China.) It just goes to show — movie stardom isn’t certain, and even the biggest names in the business can make a picture that comes and goes with nary a ripple. Bale is far from the only one to have a movie sink without a trace in spite of his fame; after the jump, we’ve assembled (in descending order of gross, with the invaluable help of Box Office Mojo) a list of ten big movie stars, and their films that barely made a peep. … Read More
Welcome to Flavorpill’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 films from Ryan Gosling, Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Mel Brooks, Bill Murray, Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Robin Williams, plus new documentaries and an ‘80s classic. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
Nestled among this week’s new theatrical releases is The Big Year, a rather syrupy looking Bucket List riff co-starring Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson. Let’s be clear: we have not yet seen it. But we’re not holding out much hope for a movie that puts those three guys together and cannot find one single laugh to put in a trailer.
How could you combine three men as (granted, not always reliably) funny as these and not come up with a laugh riot? Quite easily, turns out. The recent cinema is all but littered with pictures that teamed up established comedic talents and thus sounded like sure-fire crowd pleasers, but which ended up tickling the funny bones of neither critics nor moviegoers. After the jump, we’ll run down ten comic combinations that misfired. … Read More
There are an abundance of reasons to put “see Moneyball” on your weekend to-do list: First film since Capote from director Bennett Miller; Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillan adapting a Michael Lewis book; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, and Chris Pratt (aka Andy Dwyer) in supporting roles; the baby blues of one William Bradley Pitt. And then there is our old friend Jonah Hill, who has taken the opportunity here to make the leap we’ve come to expect from any comedic performer of note: the transition to “serious acting.”
Now from the looks of the trailer, it doesn’t appear that Hill is exactly doing Hamlet — Moneyball is a fast, witty, seriocomic drama, allowing Hill some comedic opportunities within a larger and more serious context. That is one way to go; there are others. After the jump, join us for a look at the strategies that Hill’s predecessors adopted in making their move towards drama, and how they fared. … Read More