Samuel L. Jackson

The Best Celebrity Instagrams from the 2014 Tony Awards

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As you may or may not have heard, depending on how many musical theatre nerds you know, the 2014 Tony Awards happened last night. Hosted by Wolverine, er, Hugh Jackman, the evening’s highlights included Jackman, LL Cool J, and T.I. performing a rap version of “Rock Island” from The Music Man; Audra McDonald winning her sixth Tony to become the first person to win in four different acting categories; Neil Patrick Harris unsurprisingly winning Best Actor in a Leading Role for Hedwig and the Angry Inch; and Carole King joining her fictionalized younger self from Beautiful onstage.
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‘Captain America’ Star Anthony Mackie Is Right: Kids Deserve More Diverse Superhero Movies

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Anthony Mackie is one of those underrated and substantially gifted actors who livens up just about any movie he shows up in, and his unique fusion of genuine warmth and unflappable cool is particularly welcome in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But his most important contribution to the comic-book movie universe may well have occurred off-screen, at a recent promotional roundtable, when he said this about playing a black superhero: “When I first got this role I just cried like a baby because I was like, ‘Wow, next Halloween, I’m gonna open the door and there’s gonna be a little kid dressed as the Falcon.’ That’s the thing that always gets me. I feel like everybody deserves that. I feel like there should be a Latino superhero. Scarlett does great representation for all the other girls, but there should be a Wonder Woman movie. I don’t care if they make 20 bucks, if there’s a movie you’re gonna lose money on, make it Wonder Woman. You know what I mean, ’cause little girls deserve that.” Or, to put a more cynical spin on his comment: why are all the comic book superhero movies about white guys?
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How to Make a Great Superhero Movie: Hire a Comedy Director

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If you look up the filmographies of Anthony and Joe Russo, directors of the new (and very good) Captain America: The Winter Soldier, you’re not going to see much that screams SUMMER TENTPOLE ACTION MOVIE MAKERS. Their only two previous features were the mostly unseen Big Deal on Madonna Street remake Welcome to Collinwood and the mostly unloved Owen Wilson comedy You, Me and Dupree. And then you will find lots and lots of television comedy, everything from the monkey-doctor comedy Animal Practice to more acclaimed programs like Arrested Development, Happy Endings, and Community. The natural assumption is that the powers-that-be at Marvel who handed the Russo brothers the keys to Captain America were taking a big chance. But Marvel has reached a point where it’s actually more unusual for them to pick conventional action directors for their films — in fact, what’s making their big-screen efforts stand out from the blockbuster pack is their tendency to place them in the hands of, when you get down to it, comedy filmmakers.
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The 25 Best Sports Comedies Ever Made

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These kinds of things are always hard to say definitively, due to rampant deterioration and poor documentation, but Harold Lloyd’s 1925 masterpiece The Freshman may well have been the cinema’s first sports comedy. It was certainly the first sports comedy to prove a monster hit, setting up nearly 90 years of athletics-related laughs at the movies. In celebration of The Freshman’s Blu-ray and DVD release today (thanks to our good friends over at the Criterion Collection), here’s a look at some of the finest and funniest sports comedies ever made.
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10 Movies to Stream Before They Disappear from Netflix Instant

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It’s not quite Streamageddon, but as you may’ve heard, Netflix apparently had some contracts that end with 2013, and thus we have one of the streaming service’s occasional purges of valuable catalog titles. And it would’ve happened fairly quietly too, were it not for good ol’ Reddit, where someone painstakingly checked out the individual pages for God-knows-how-many titles and came up with a list of nearly 100 movies and TV shows scheduled to disappear from Netflix Instant on 1/1/2014. There’s some genuinely great stuff in here, proving yet again that this whole “phasing out of physical media for ephemeral streaming that comes and goes as it pleases” thing should give us all pause, but there’s no time for that—there’s barely twelve hours of 2013 left, and you’re about to lose some great movies. So if you’re planning on making New Year’s Eve a movie night, here’s a few soon-to-expire suggestions:
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How Does Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Remake Stack Up Against the Original?

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Shortly before Gus Van Sant released his inexplicable shot-for-shot remake of Psycho, there was a weird rumor going around that the entire project had been a fake-out — that it was only a remake until the shower scene, after which it veered off in a completely different, unexpected, and unexplored direction. In retrospect, that would’ve been a lot more compelling than the Xerox that Van Sant cooked up, and I couldn’t help but think of that story while watching Spike Lee’s new remake of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 South Korean film Oldboy. It’s not that Lee’s film is a slavish imitation of Park’s. It’s that when you’ve got a property like Psycho or Oldboy where so much of the impact is predicated on surprises at its conclusion, the already dubious duty of creating a remake can feel like even more of a lost cause.
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10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Pulp Fiction’

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Over the weekend, the wonderful folks at the Tallgrass Film Festival (the annual Wichita, Kansas fest that we’ve previously described as one of the best under-the-radar film fests in the country) were kind enough to fly in your film editor for their excellent weekend of movies, interactivity, and Midwestern hospitality. I was there for a 35mm screening of Pulp Fiction, tied to the release of my book Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece. They also brought in Ronnie Yeskel, Pulp’s casting director, and Karyn Rachtman, the film’s music supervisor, for a post-movie Q&A which I had the pleasure of moderating. In the course of that discussion, I learned a few new things about the movie (which turned 19 last week), and confirmed a few of the more interesting rumors about its production.
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Flavorwire’s Guide to Movies You Need to Stream This Week

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Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, Netflix did a big drop of catalog titles, some of them (like the ever-fluctuating 007 movies) returning after the notorious “Streamageddon.” So we’ve got great stuff from Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Elizabeth Banks, Seth Rogen, Kevin Spacey, Julia Stiles, Taye Diggs, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Harvey Kietel, David Fincher, John Hughes, Spike Lee, Errol Morris, Kevin Smith, and more. Check them out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now.
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Hollywood’s Cleverest Bait-and-Switch Casting Stunts

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If you visit the IMDb page for Pedro Almodovar’s new movie I’m So Excited (out this Friday), you might think a reunion is in the works: the top-billed actors there are Almodovar favorites Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz. So it’s a bit of a surprise to see the film itself, wherein the perversely prankish filmmaker brings in two of the world’s biggest movie stars to appear only in the first scene, running maybe three minutes, before disappearing. Because he knows how we presume these two actors will dominate the film, Almodovar is effectively toying with our expectations; he’s not the first filmmaker to do so.
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