John Goodman! He’s SNL royalty. The actor with the gravelly baritone has hosted the series 13 times, and is most famous for his cameo as Linda Tripp during that whole Monica Lewinsky thing with the Clinton administration. Last week’s episode ended with a Bill Brasky sketch (the first one in 15 years), so Goodman seems like the logical choice to continue the old-school SNL vibe. Kenan Thompson had the most screen time with our host, and two special guests dropped by to share the stage. Goodman has the chops, the versatility, and the presence — but despite all that, this week’s sketches were largely one-note creating some weird timing issues and average returns. See what you make of Goodman’s appearance, below.
A few weeks back, we had a very good time sifting through the whole of literature and plucking out the very best of the very trashiest books. Because film is an inherently more populist medium, the intellectual engagement with film trash is, historically, a bit more consistent. Of the films that qualified as “great trash,” Pauline Kael wrote, “What gives this trash a lift, what makes it entertaining is clearly that some of those involved, knowing of course that they were working on a silly shallow script and a movie that wasn’t about anything of consequence, used the chance to have a good time with it.” These 50 movies meet that …Read More
Next week brings the Blu-ray debut of Psycho IIand Psycho III, two 1980s horror films that had the gall, the downright temerity, to follow up Hitchcock’s groundbreaking horror classic. But here’s the thing about these movies: they’re not half bad. There’s no denying that the vast majority of sequels are both unnecessary and terrible, less continuations of stories or honest entertainments than filmed deals. But it’s also unfair to paint all follow-ups with that broad brush; there are a fair number of sequels that are far better than their reputations would have you …Read More
Forgive the perhaps unwarranted level of enthusiasm, but Joy Ride is out on Blu-ray today, and YIPEE. It’s a crackerjack little thriller from eternally underrated director John Dahl, co-written by a young J.J. Abrams, starring Steve Zahn, Leelee Sobieski, and, yes, Paul Walker. Though second-billed behind Zahn, this is indisputably a vehicle for the handsome and unaccountably dull future star of the Fast and Furious franchise — and believe it or not, he’s not distractingly terrible in it. Make whatever stopped-clock, blind-squirrel analogies you’d like, but occasionally even the worst of actors stumbles into a decent performance. Here’s a few …Read More
This just in from the Mostly Unobserved Anniversaries Department — yesterday marked 20 years since the release of Manhattan Murder Mystery, Woody Allen’s cracklingly entertaining 1993 reunion with Diane Keaton. But that film also marked the film debut of one Zach Braff, who (circle of life) will star in Allen’s forthcoming Broadway musical adaptation of Bullets Over Broadway. Braff is just one of the many actors who got an early break in a Woody Allen movie; it’s a rite of passage for a young actor, and everyone from Sylvester Stallone to Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Larry David to Henry Cavill turned up in Allen films early in their careers. Here are some of the best appearances by actors in Woody movies, before they were famous:
Examining the weekly box office reports can be a depressing business, watching every week as terrible movies top the charts and great ones disappear into the wind. But this summer, as we’ve discussed, things have been a little different. Turkeys like The Lone Ranger and R.I.P.D. have taken deserved belly flops; low-budget efforts like The Purge and The Conjuring were surprise hits. And the news got better this weekend: Woody Allen’s wonderful Blue Jasmine expanded to 50 screens and landed in the top 15 with a robust $40K per-screen average — second only to The Spectacular Now, which earned a healthy $50K on each of its four screens. In this money-driven business, it’s always a relief when the bad movies tank, and the good movies make money. Here’s ten more examples of small movies that earned both the acclaim and the box office they deserved:
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, there’s great stuff from George Clooney, Catherine Zeta Jones, Robert De Niro, Woody Allen, Aubrey Plaza, Diane Keaton, Billy Bob Thornton, Ray Liotta, John Cusack, Mia Farrow, Harvey Keitel, Sylvester Stallone, Jeff Bridges, Jake Johnson, and more. Check them out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now.
Say what you will about its other flaws — and there’s plenty to say — but Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (out today in wide release) delivers what it promises: giant goddamn robots fighting giant monsters in the ocean. Gazing upon the magnificence of the film’s enormous machines, it’s easy to marvel at how far moviemakers have come in their onscreen portrayals of mechanical beings. A brief history: