Steve Martin

No Collar Victory: David Letterman’s Goodbye to Late Night

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The lead-in to David Letterman’s goodbye to television was a mercilessly long Survivor special that concluded a season of experimental class warfare. Pitched as a battle between “white collar,” “no collar,” and “blue collar” contestants, the show canceled itself out predictably in the middle. While watching dutifully, I couldn’t help but wonder if this new Survivor, with its “no collar” victory, was nothing but a pale simulation of David Letterman’s 33-year-long “no collar victory” — his everyman’s war of attrition against all competitors in late night television.
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9 Great Movies to Stream This Holiday Weekend

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As the long holiday weekend looms, the to-do checklist stretches out in front of us: buy food, buy booze, attempt insanely complicated recipe that sounded so delicious in the Times, drink, toss recipe away half-finished and just make a goddamn ham, drink more, order a pizza because the ham couldn’t possibly take that long, drink more, fill up with pizza and go buy a Christmas tree, drink more, leave the Christmas tree half-decorated to deal with the ham we totally forgot about, spend the rest of the night in a drunken stupor trying to decide what the hell to watch on Netflix. Well, we can help with the very last item on that list; watch or queue our suggestions now by clicking the title link.
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Bill Hader Made an Epic List of Essential Movie Comedies; Here’s Where to Stream Them

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We all know Bill Hader’s a funny guy; with the release this month of The Skeleton Twins and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, he’s proving himself a pretty damn fine actor as well. But your film editor was heretofore unaware that Mr. Hader is such a movie geek — at least, that’s the impression I’m left with from his epic list of “200 Essential Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See.” It’s part of the new book Poking a Dead Frog by Mike Sachs, shared in full over at xoJane, and it’s a pretty remarkable (and esoteric) gathering of comedies and seriocomic dramas from the 1920s up to the present day. (And, I might add, there’s a good deal of crossover with our own list of the 50 Funniest Movies Ever Made.) So, with an eye on adding to your holiday weekend viewing queue, we combed through Netflix and Hulu Plus to see how many of Hader’s picks are available for your streaming needs. Links, and a few thoughts on his selections, after the jump.
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10 Delightfully Subversive Movie Musicals

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Today, the Criterion Collection issues a sparkling new DVD/Blu-ray special edition of All That Jazz, Bob Fosse’s mini-masterpiece. Based on its reputation (and, in a great part, thanks to the subsequent film version of Fosse’s Chicago, whose opening number provides the title), the casual viewer might presume it to be a standard, formulaic musical — when, in fact, it is anything but. After the jump, we’ll take a closer look at All That Jazz, and a few other musicals that buck the genre’s long-held traditions.
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The Best Life Advice From Movie Dads

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Father’s Day is coming right up, and you know what that means: time to make a run to your favorite tie shop, or cigar store, or butcher. But why not put forth a little more effort for dear old dad this year, eh? After all, fathers are an endless source of vital life advice — at least, according to the movies. So, in the continuing spirit of gleaning tips for living from cinematic parents, we present some of the best advice from movie dads:
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25 Years of Oscar Hosts, Ranked

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The perceived success of Oscar night hinges on many factors — how dull the speeches are, how interminable the musical numbers are, whether Debbie Allen is involved, etc. — but no element, it seems, is more important than the host. A good Oscar host has to be something of a miracle worker: they keep the show moving, react spontaneously to whatever clusterfucks occur (and they always do), rib the royalty but only gently, and make the night edgy enough for home viewers, but not too edgy for the Cryptkeepers in the audience. Many have tried, but only a few have succeeded, so in anticipation of Ellen Degeneres’ second run at the job, we’ve ranked every Oscar host from the last 25 ceremonies (save 1989, which had no host).
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25 Great ’80s Movies Time Has Forgotten

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Buried among the also-rans within this week’s Blu-ray releases, you’ll find the HD debut of Tequila Sunrise, Robert Towne’s 1988 mystery/love triangle thriller starring Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Kurt Russell. It’s the kind of movie studios don’t make that much anymore — an entertaining and reasonably intelligent picture for grown-ups, done on a medium budget with the expectation of a medium return. There’s nosurplus of love out there for mainstream American moviemaking in the 1980s — and for good reason. But there are also a handful of films from that much-maligned era that have stood the test of time, and deserve more retroactive attention than they …Read More