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A Letter To Rian Johnson

It feels a little bit like Christmas morning around the house this morning, even though we’ve still got a week and change to go before the actual day, and that’s undoubtedly because all the women here are rousing themselves a bit early to get ready for what amounts to Christmas 2017, Hollywood style. (The cats have been up for some time already, and they too are very excited, but you know, that’s just their way.) You see, in a couple hours we’re all piling into the car and making the pilgrimage up the hill to Universal City to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi. When it comes to buying advance tickets for a big movie for the whole family to see together my dear wife knows no restraints, and if the movie is prefixed with the words “Star Wars,” then all bets are most assuredly off.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

1941: A Great Comedy For Slim Pickens Day

On Monday, August 28, 2017, Turner Classic Movies will devote an entire day of their “Summer Under the Stars” series to the late, great Louis Burton Lindley Jr. If that name doesn’t sound familiar, well, then just picture the fella riding the bomb like a buckin’ bronco at the end of Dr. Strangelove…, or the racist taskmaster heading up the railroad gang in Blazing Saddles, or the doomed Sheriff Baker, who gets one of the loveliest, most heartbreaking sendoffs in movie history in Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

Lindley joined the rodeo circuit when he was 13 and soon picked up the name that would follow him throughout the length of his professional career, in rodeo and in movies & TV. One of the rodeo vets got a look at the lank newcomer and told him, “Slim pickin’s. That’s all you’re gonna get in this rodeo.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The 100 Greatest Comedies of All-Time, According to BBC’s Critics Poll

After polling critics from around the world for the greatest American films of all-time, BBC has now forged ahead in the attempt to get a consensus on the best comedies of all-time. After polling 253 film critics, including 118 women and 135 men, from 52 countries and six continents a simple, the list of the 100 greatest is now here.

Featuring canonical classics such as Some Like It Hot, Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall, Duck Soup, Playtime, and more in the top 10, there’s some interesting observations looking at the rest of the list. Toni Erdmann is the most recent inclusion, while the highest Wes Anderson pick is The Royal Tenenbaums. There’s also a healthy dose of Chaplin and Lubitsch with four films each, and the recently departed Jerry Lewis has a pair of inclusions.

Check out the list below (and my ballot) and see more on their official site.

100. (tie) The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Awfj Debuts “Wonder Women” List

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists (Awfj) debuts the first in its countdown of the most fascinating, inspiring and singular fictional female characters who have appeared in movies as selected by the Awfj membership. The project, Awfj’s Wonder Women, commemorates the 10th anniversary of the organization’s founding.

Numbers 55-44 as voted by the Awfj membership are Olivia Evans from “Boyhood,” Elle Reid from “Grandma,” Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games” series, Mammy from “Gone with the Wind,” Jean Harrington/Lady Eve Sidwich from “The Lady Eve,” Laine Hanson from “The Contender,” Ada McGrath from “The Piano,” Tess McGill from “Working Girl,” Jane Craig from “Broadcast News,” Lucy Honeychurch from “A Room with a View,” Sally Bowles from “I Am a Camera/Cabaret” and The Bride from “Kill Bill: Vols. 1 & 2.”

The Wonder Women list appends Awfj’s Top 100 Films list, published in June 2007, in response to AFI’s 100 Years.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates – Review

Summer’s in full swing with big family gatherings and social events. It’s the perfect time for some raunchy laughs at the multiplex. Eleven years ago (no, really!) R-rated movie comedies made a big, big comeback when Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were Wedding Crashers. Four years later, the lead up to nuptials ignited a comic trilogy with The Hangover. Then the ladies got in on the act just two years later with Bridesmaids. This weekend’s new flick doles out a bit from all those entrees in the funny flick buffet, expanding on a comedy staple (or main course in the food analogy), namely the comic team. This doesn’t quite harken back to Stan and Ollie or Bud and Lou, rather the inspiration may be a bit over twenty years ago to Harry and Lloyd, those Dumb & Dumber dudes, continuing through Harold and Kumar, on to various unions of Rogen,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

The Forgotten: Allan Dwan's "Black Sheep" (1935)

Relatively few films from Fox Pictures (before they became Twentieth Century Fox) are readily available: Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans is the big one. The modest caper Black Sheep wouldn't be high on the list for reissue: stars Edmund Lowe and Claire Trevor aren't too well-remembered, though he's in Dinner at Eight and she's in Stagecoach. Despite a large cast of supporting players, rotund character man Eugene Pallette is the only other really familiar figure, though founding Keystone Kop Ford Sterling has a good bit as a ship's detective.We're on a transatlantic liner, see, and there are warnings posted about professional gamblers: The Lady Eve territory, before Sturges thought of it. Lowe is such a gambler, but he's a swell guy really. Trevor plays an actress, which is no stretch, and the two have real chemistry. He has a debonair manner and a mellifluous voice—and a drunk scene,
See full article at MUBI »

The Forgotten: Hobart Henley's "The Big Pond" (1930)

  • MUBI
I find it impossible to believe anyone called Hobart Henley could ever be a great film director, but on the other hand, I also find it impossible to dislike a film director called Hobart Henley. It's too much fun reading his name in a credits sequence.Henley had been an actor, which seems to account for his preposterous, alliterative name, except it seems that really was his name, not a stage contrivance. He directed numerous silent films from the teens on, all of them obscure, but his late-career outpouring of a few cute pre-Codes is better remembered. Night World (1932) is enjoyable, and Roadhouse Nights (1930) is remarkable for being the only official adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest (unofficial source material for Yojimbo, A Fistful of Dollars, Last Man Standing...), only you wouldn't know it because it reached the screen as a Jimmy Durante musical. The only thing it has
See full article at MUBI »

The Lady Eve's slippery 75 years

David here. There are many things about The Lady Eve we could discuss to celebrate its 75th anniversary today - it is, after all, one of Hollywood’s most perfect films - but there’s one particular delight that we’re treated to right off the bat.

Warner Bros. employed Leon Schlesinger’s animation studio - the masterminds behind the Looney Tunes cartoon - to craft the genius opening credits sequence starring the cheeriest snake you’ll ever meet. Even in these halcyon days where the credits came at the film’s beginning, the brevity of them meant you rarely got much beyond an ornate border. Here, though, the snake winding his way across the screen is practically a fully rounded character in himself - just witness his pure joy as he shakes his maraca, and his venomous indignity as he’s conked on the head.

With this minute and a half of introductory magic,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Preston Sturges: how a master of daftness conquered Hollywood

Sturges’s screwball comedies play with big ideas and serious themes. So what makes them some of the funniest films ever made?

It was a sprint worthy of his greatest farces: between 1937 and 1944, Preston Sturges made some of the funniest films Hollywood ever produced, including The Great McGinty, The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, The Palm Beach Story, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, and Hail the Conquering Hero. Then suddenly, as if his frantic, frenzied comedies had exhausted not only himself but his form, Sturges ran out of steam. Blending the comical and serious, farcical and cerebral, high and low, Sturges found catalytic energy in mixing formulas like a madcap scientist; as if he had released actual kinetic energy, he went ricocheting through Hollywood cinema, until he fell to earth with a thud. Happily, the BFI season celebrating Sturges offers audiences the chance to rediscover golden-era Hollywood’s minister of misrule.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

BFI Review – The Lady Eve (1941)

The Lady Eve, 1941.

Directed by Preston Sturges.

Starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.

Synopsis:

A con-woman, and her family, have their eyes on a rich man who joins their cruise ship. But love is in the air…

We know Eve. The temptress seducing Adam to take a bite out of the apple in the Garden of Eden. Preston Sturges The Lady Eve, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda, takes this temptress and places her in America, whereby an affluent and naïve chap is the Adam to the money-hungry Eve. The Lady Eve takes some of the memorable screwball comedy clichés of the era, including some pratfalls from the silent comedians, and mixes it together as a sprightly concoction of romance and wealth amongst the elite members of society.

He is the son of a successful ale merchant, travelling back from South America to New York after researching snakes. She is
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The Lady Eve Saturday Morning at The Hi-Pointe

“I need him like the ax needs the turkey!”

The Lady Eve screens this Saturday morning, February 13th at The Hi-Pointe Theater (1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117) as part of their Classic Film Series.

Barbara Stanwyck should have been court-ordered to keep a safe distance from any future cast member of My Three Sons. In Double Indemnity she cons the future Pa Douglas (Fred McMurray) into a deadly scheme. In the 1941 Preston Sturges comedy The Lady Eve, she messes with William Demarest, Uncle Charley himself, by whisking gullible Henry Fonda from under his protective glare.

Fonda plays the young heir to the Pike’s Pale Ale brewery fortune, who prefers spending his time chasing snakes in South America while his guardian Muggsy (Demarest) looks on. On a boat for home, young Pike catches the eye of Jean Harrington (Stanwyck) who sets out to scam the boy but winds up falling in love with him instead.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

The WGA Names the 101 Funniest Screenplays of All Time

  • Cinelinx
Let’s end the year with a celebration of the funniest comedy scripts ever written. The Writer’s Guild of America has chosen the 101 best laugh-getting screenplays. Keep in mind that this is all about the writing, not the cast or the director.

1.Annie Hall (1977)

2. Some Like it Hot (1959)

3. Groundhog Day (1993)

4. Airplane! (1980)

5. Tootsie (1982)

6. Young Frankenstein (1974)

7. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

8. Blazing Saddles (1974)

9. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

10. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

11. This is Spinal Tap (1984)

12. The Producers (1967)

13. The Big Lebowski (1998)

14. Ghostbusters (1984)

15. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

16. Bridesmaids (2011)

17. Duck Soup (1933)

18. There’s Something About Mary (1998)

19. The Jerk (1979)

20. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

21. His Girl Friday (1940)

22. The Princess Bride (1987)

23. Raising Arizona (1987)

24. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

25. Caddyshack (1980)

26. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

27. The Graduate (1967)

28. The Apartment (1960)

29. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

30. The Hangover (2009)

31. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

32. The Lady Eve
See full article at Cinelinx »

10 hilarious movie monologues by female characters

  • Hitfix
10 hilarious movie monologues by female characters
I miss hilarious monologues. Comedy of the 21st century is a science of awkward pauses and ratatat dialogue, and thus the great tradition of cinematic monologuing has been largely resigned to dramas. Worse, it's usually only male characters whose rants are lionized; Al Pacino in "Dog Day Afternoon" or Alec Baldwin in "Glengarry Glen Ross" spring immediately to mind when I think of celebrated speechifying.  So today I'm toasting the opposite of those dead-serious, dude-driven monologues: These are 10 hilarious monologues by actresses. Enjoy. And then enjoy again.  1. Madeline Kahn, "Paper Moon" Trixie Delight just wants to get in the car and have a little fun, but Addie here is holding out. Using some coaxing and a little bit of frustration, Trixie prevails. It is basically ridiculous that we watch movies without Madeline Kahn in them. 2. Alicia Silverstone, "Clueless" Leave it to Cher Horowitz to perfectly understand violence in the media.
See full article at Hitfix »

Woody Allen's 'Annie Hall' Voted Funniest Screenplay of All Time

Woody Allen's 'Annie Hall' Voted Funniest Screenplay of All Time
Woody Allen's groundbreaking 1977 comedy Annie Hall triumphed over 100 other films – including a handful of the director's other works – to land at Number One on the Writers Guild of America's list of the 101 Funniest Screenplays. The comedy's Allen- and Marshall Brickman-penned script beat out a Top Five that included 1959's Some Like It Hot (Number Two), 1993's Groundhog Day (Three), 1980's Airplane! (Four) and 1982's Tootsie.

In total, Allen placed seven scripts on the 101 Funniest Screenplays list, with Sleeper, Bananas, Take the Money and Run, Love and Death, Manhattan
See full article at Rolling Stone »

The 101 Funniest Screenplays of All-Time, According to the WGA

Perhaps the most subjective genre in cinema, the same comedy can cause one viewer to have tears of laughter and another to not crack a smile. So, while knowing there can be no definitive list of the finest in the genre, the Writers Guild of America attempted to narrow down the 101 funniest screenplays. Noting the distinction from the best in the genre, these 101 films should simply produce the most laughs.

Topping the list is Woody Allen‘s Best Picture-winning Annie Hall, a choice difficult to argue with. Rounding out the top five were Some Like it Hot, Groundhog Day, Airplane! and Tootsie, while films from the Coens, Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson, and Edgar Wright were also mentioned. There are also some genuine head-scratching inclusions, including The Hangover at 30, and, as much as I enjoy the film, Bridesmaids nearly making the top 15, but overall, if one is looking to brighten their mood,
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Annie Hall’ Named Funniest Screenplay by WGA Members

‘Annie Hall’ Named Funniest Screenplay by WGA Members
Annie Hall” has been named the funniest screenplay in voting by the members of the Writers Guild of America.

The script by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman topped “Some Like it Hot,” “Groundhog Day,” “Airplane!” and “Tootsie,” which make up the rest of the top five. “Young Frankenstein,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House” rounded out the top 10.

The awards for the 101 funniest screenplays were announced at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood at the conclusion of two hours of panel discussions and clips, hosted by Rob Reiner. He noted that his “This Is Spinal Tap” script had finished at the No. 11 spot — a coincidence that recalled the “go to 11” amplifier joke in the film.

The “Annie Hall” screenplay won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1977. Allen had six other scripts on the list — “Sleeper,” “Bananas,” “Take the Money and Run,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

13 Summer Movies that Deserve Oscar Nominations

13 Summer Movies that Deserve Oscar Nominations
The Academy has a bad habit of forgetting movies that open early in the year. Of the 17 best picture nominees for the last two Oscars, only one (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) had a release date that was before September. But as the ceremony continues to grasp for new energy, following a ratings slide with this year’s show hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, one big improvement would be if the telecast tried to recognize movies from throughout the year. Here are 13 films—from the both indies and studios—that opened this summer that deserve to be celebrated on the Oscars stage.

1. “Inside Out

For Your Consideration: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay

With the expanded best picture race, Pixar’s box office juggernaut ($344 million so far) set inside a young girl’s head—amidst a sea of conflicting emotions like Joy, Sadness and Fear—will probably be nominated in the top category,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

75 Years Later, ‘The Great McGinty’ is still as relevant as any political satire since

When we think about the “writer/director” we often think about the works of Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Paul Thomas Anderson, Jean-Luc Godard or Lars Von Trier. The auteurs who charge into the uphill battle of putting their own story to film. It’s more than a credit, it’s a type of filmmaker – one that more often than not starts outside of the studio system, one that more often than not considers themselves a writer first and a director second, one that falls in love with their own dialog. It’s very common now but it didn’t used to be.

75 years ago this week a film was released with the first “Written and Directed by” credit, making official something that had been going on in movie making since the evolution of narrative filmmaking and giving birth to the modern day writer/director. The first credited writer/director: playwright Preston Sturges,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

BBC Culture curates 100 best American films, courtesy of 62 international film critics

BBC Culture has this week unveiled a new list of the top 100 American films, as voted for by a pool of international film critics from across the globe. The format of the poll was that any film that would make the list had to have recieved funding from a Us source, and the directors of the films did not need to be from the USA, nor did the films voted for need to be filmed in the Us.

Critics were asked to submit their top 10 lists, which would try to find the top 100 American films that while “not necessarily the most important, but the greatest on an emotional level”. The list, as you may have guessed, is very different to the lists curated by say the BFI or AFI over the years, so there are certainly a few surprises on here, with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (2013), Terrence Malick
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Scratching our heads at the BBC's top 100 American Movies of All-Time

  • Hitfix
Scratching our heads at the BBC's top 100 American Movies of All-Time
First off, let's make one thing clear. We're not scratching our heads at Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" making the BBC's 100 greatest American films. That movie, of which an image accompanies this post, not only made the list, but ranked appropriately at no. 25. It's the rest of the selections that have us scratching and, yes, shaking our heads in disbelief. A wonderful page view driver, these sorts of lists make great fodder for passionate movie fans no matter what their age or part of the world they hail from. There is nothing more entertaining than watching two critics from opposite ends of the globe try to debate whether "The Dark Knight" should have been nominated for best picture or make a list like this. Even in this age of short form content where Vines, Shapchats and Instagram videos have captured viewers attention, movies will continue to inspire because
See full article at Hitfix »
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