Tobey Maguire

Jason Reitman’s ‘Labor Day’ is 2013’s Most Fascinating Film Failure

Jason Reitman has had a pretty easy go of it so far. The progeny of Hollywood royalty, his four films to date — Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air, and Young Adult — were met with mostly good reviews and decent box office, as well as two Academy Award nominations for Best Director. Sure, there’s been a backlash (there always is), but it was mostly a quiet one. Until now. Reitman’s latest, an adaptation of the Joyce Maynard novel Labor Day, premiered to decidedly mixed reviews (and worse buzz) at Telluride late last summer. Paramount had initially pegged it for a December, Oscar-friendly limited release — as they’d done with Up in the Air and Young Adult — but as that date approached, they quietly shuffled it off to January (leaving only a week-long Oscar-qualifying run in L.A. for December). In other words, Labor Day is likely to get ignored in the crush of December and presumed stinky in the graveyard of January. Both sentences are a shame, since it’s a risky and genuinely unusual piece of work. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Movies You Need to Stream This Week

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 Leonardo DiCaprio, Julianne Moore, Carey Mulligan, Greta Gerwig, Alexander Skarsgård, Guy Pearce, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tobey Maguire, Steve Coogan, Billy Bob Thornton, Robert Duvall, Christopher Walken, Ben Stiller, Rosario Dawson, and more. Check them out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Ultimate College-Themed Movie Syllabus

Pixar’s charming and sweet Monsters University hits theaters today, and while its primary subject matter is the scare-propelled world of monsters and magic doorways laid out in 2001’s Monsters Inc., it also falls easily into the long and distinguished tradition of college movies (including several direct shout-outs to Animal House). In acknowledgment of this tradition, and as a handy summer viewing guide for those of you entering (or returning to) the collegiate world come fall, Flavorwire presents a detailed syllabus of movies about college, a step-by-step and course-by-course rundown that enables you to have the college experience without actually going to… Read More

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Why Can’t Hollywood Get ‘The Great Gatsby’ Right?

Hollywood took its first stab at adapting The Great Gatsby for the screen only a year after its publication, and has been trying intermittently ever since — and, for the most part, failing. What is it about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic that makes it so impossible, so utterly untraslatable? It’s certainly not that the film industry hasn’t been trying hard enough: Baz Luhrmann’s new film is the fifth official adaptation. In the course of a week, I watched all of them that can be seen (and another, looser adaptation besides), and came up with a few theories. … Read More

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10 Impossible-to-See Movies Starring A-List Actors

Hey, Game of Thrones/Community/True Blood/Firefly fans: how’d you like to see a major motion picture starring Peter Dinklage, Danny Pudi, Ryan Kwanten, and Summer Glau? So would we! Would you be surprised to learn that such a motion picture not only exists, but has been sitting on a shelf for two years? So would we! Such is the strange tale of The Knights of Badassdom, director Joe Lynch’s horror comedy that’s been the subject of much discussion and confusion this week. Badassdom, which was previewed at the San Diego Comic-Con clear back in 2011, is hardly the first film that sounded like a good bet, only to sputter in post-production and after due to unforeseen difficulties in financing, distribution, or rights. After the jump, we’ll take a look at ten movies that you’d think you would have heard of, and be able to see, based on the personnel involved — but you can’t, for all sorts of strange reasons. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in November

We’re getting into serious Oscar-bidding season, and the month of November is chock full of movies we’re excited about: Skyfall, Lincoln, Life of Pi, Hitchcock, Anna Karenina, Silver Linings Playbook, Killing Them Softly, and on and on. But the majors aren’t the only ones trotting out smarter-than-average fare; as usual, the indies have got a full slate of strong stuff this month as well. After the jump, we’ve got a few that are worth checking out in the weeks ahead. … Read More

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Video Essay: “All of Woody’s Surrogates”

Woody Allen’s flawed but funny new film To Rome with Love opens this Friday, and while it marks his first acting appearance in one of his movies since 2006’s Scoop, he plays the role of a retired father while continuing his tradition of writing his leading man as a “Woody Allen role” — played, in this film, by Jesse Eisenberg. In his early works, Allen would occasionally engage a young actor to play himself as a child, but as he got too old to play the leading man (okay, let’s face it, after he’d gotten a little too old to play the leading man), he began putting younger actors in roles that were still distinctively Woody-esque, and which said actors played as varying degrees of imitation. We’ve assembled a montage of those actors and some of their most Allen-inspired moments; check out our latest video essay after the jump. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and The Backstreet Boys are among the many pop artists whose songs have recently been banned by China’s Ministry of Culture for containing “vulgar content.” The offending tracks must be removed from Chinese websites by September 15, or their owners will face prosecution. [via Guardian]

2. … Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: KAWS

The first publication dedicated to the full range of work by subculture hero KAWS, this amazing eponymous monograph highlights a superstar from a new generation of pop artists.

A graffiti artist, painter, illustrator, sculptor, toymaker, and product designer, Brian Donnelly, aka KAWS, made his name altering public advertisements with X-eyed, skull-and-crossboned, spermazoidal characters, before turning his talents to editorial collaborations, collectible toy figures, design objects, and colorful canvases. A wildly successful crossover artist, KAWS cleverly makes Mickey Mouse, the Simpsons, Smurfs, and SpongeBob SquarePants anew. … Read More

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Video of the Day: Every Line of Dialogue in ‘The Lost Boys’ Is ‘Michael’

One of our favorite underrated movies is Wonder Boys, director Curtis Hanson’s film version of Michael Chabon’s terrific novel. It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s heartwarming, and it’s got a livewire Robert Downey Jr., an understated Michael Douglas, a pre-Spider-Man Tobey Maguire, a pre-Xenu Katie Holmes, and Frances McDormand (who requires no qualifications) — and, on top of all of that, Bob Dylan’s Oscar-winning “Things Have Changed.” Yep, Wonder Boys is pretty much a perfect movie — except for one flaw. … Read More

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