Hollywood

How Long Can Noah Tread Water?

Featured image The Daily Show has announced little known South African comic Trevor Noah as Jon Stewart’s replacement, and going with an unknown talent is an understandable move for such an iconic show. (Some initial media reports predictably referred to this South African as “African-American” because they’re afraid to say “black,” because PC.) But speaking of PC and compromised comics, the furor that has erupted over some of Noah’s old un-PC tweets »

Missing Paddy Chayefsky

Featured image We already noted yesterday the tendentiousness of the “gender pay gap” theme that made an appearance at the Academy Awards Sunday night—an entertainment moment that seems to be reverberating like like Cady Stanton at Seneca Falls or something.  (In his typically provocative way, Glenn Reynolds suggests Republicans pass a bill mandating equal salaries for men and women lead actors of equivalent billing in all Hollywood productions, and watch hilarity ensue. »

Introducing the Mnemosyne index

Featured image I have for the longest time employed two simple criteria to screen out movies for viewing. First, I want to know whether a film is aimed at an intelligent adult audience. I can’t believe how many films are aimed at teenage boys and teenage girls. Second, I want to know if the resolution of a film’s plot employs some gratuitous attack on the United States or a politically correct variant »

Thinkin’ about “Lincoln” again

Featured image We’ll be celebrating the anniversary of Lincoln’s birth tomorrow in the usual way, but I wanted to warm up with this look back at the 2012 film Lincoln. Until reading David Brooks’s obtuse column about the film, I was unsure that I knew enough to comment intelligently about it. Brooks persuaded me that I know at least as much as he does, however, and accordingly prompted me to offer the »

Michael Moore Film Festival! (Not)

Featured image If you’re on Twitter, dial up the thread under #MichaelMooreMovies.  If you’re not on Twitter, you’re missing some great suggested movie titles for Michael Moore (and some good photos. a few of which I’ve excerpted below).  For example: Journey to the Center of the Girth Around the Waist in 80 Days Lord of the Onion Rings Diet Another Day Fahrenheit 7/11 The Ten Condiments The Hunt for Red Lobster Live »

The Best Star Wars News Yet

Featured image I’m not sure I’m completely sold on the genius of J.J. Abrams—look, his TV show “Lost” was appropriately named—but I am glad he’s made the right call about dumping George Lucas into Hollywood’s celluloid ash heap, as reported deliciously by TMZ: Disney thinks the Force is no longer strong with George Lucas … because the legendary filmmaker says all his ideas for the new “Star Wars” film were tossed out the nearest »

There’s something about Louie: Billy Graham and after

Featured image Gary Schneeberger of Grace Hill Media (a marketing firm established to reach “religious America”) has sent us the message and accompanying video below. Although it is a form message, it follows up where I left off in “There’s something about Louie.” Here is the message: By now you may have heard that UNBROKEN, the inspirational true-life story of war hero Louis Zamperini, blew away all industry estimates at the box »

There’s something about Louie

Featured image We went to see the film Unbroken on Christmas day at a suburban St. Paul multiplex. We arrived punctually for the first afternoon showing only to find that it had long since sold out, as had each subsequent showing until 10:30 p.m. They had a few tickets left for that one, but we bought two tickets for a mid-afternoon showing yesterday. It also sold out. Indeed, although we arrived 40 »

Dr. Evil Versus the Norks

Featured image I suppose it shouldn’t surprise us that Saturday Night Live had a better response to North Korea than President Obama did, starring Mike Myers as “Dr. Evil.”  I especially like the predictable “There’s already a GOP,” because—what took so long? »

Hollywood Got the Hillary Memo

Featured image Hollywood is already caving in to liberal guilt over its capitulation to North Korean intimidation, apparently agreeing with Hillary Clinton that we need to empathize with our enemies. In an article out this afternoon in the LA Weekly that ostensibly laments giving in to threats, it isn’t long before the article goes full tilt boogie for liberal guilt: The movie about a talk TV crew’s CIA-initiated plot to assassinate a »

Profiles in Hollywood Courage: Sony Caves

Featured image No sooner than I suggest that Hollywood order up a whole slate of movies mocking North Korea than the news comes that Sony is pulling theatrical release of “The Interview,” about which the hackers have threatened terrorist violence.  Call me a cynic, but I wonder if this isn’t a brilliant marketing play on behalf of a movie that was heading for total bomb status at the box office.  Sony will »

How To Deter the Norks

Featured image So far most news reports about the massive Sony hack are expressing “uncertainty” about whether North Korea is behind the cyberattack. Today Variety reports that the hackers are threatening 9/11-style terrorist attacks on theaters that screen “The Interview,” the Seth Rogan/James Franco vehicle making fun of the latest Little Kim to tyrannize the unfortunate northern half of Korea. Frankly this threat makes me skeptical that the Norks are behind this. »

Think Hollywood Is Unpatriotic? You’re Right

Featured image As you probably know, Sony Pictures was hacked, allegedly by someone in North Korea, and a lot of data has leaked into the public domain, at least some of it via Gawker. Among the documents that have become public are Sony marketing materials in Power Point form that show how the studio intended to promote various movies. This one is for “Captain Phillips,” a relatively rare hit for the studio. »

Interstellar and the Climate-Culture War

Featured image Although I am a sucker for high concept sci-fi movies (I actually made my mother take me to see 2001: A Space Odyssey at Grauman’s Chinese Theater the Cinerama* in Hollywood when I was just 10 years old—I think I understood it better then than I do now), I haven’t seen Interstellar yet, so there won’t be any spoilers in this post. Instead, I’m spoiling for a fight about how the »

Environmentalists Show How to Make the Best Comics Epically Unfunny

Featured image How do you take the best comics in the country and make them duller than wet cardboard?  You dragoon them into plying their chops on behalf of environmental organizations, which the NRDC did this week at their “night of comedy.”  The three-minute clip below really makes you feel sorry for Seth Meyers, Larry David, et al. Here’s a sample of the comic fare from the actual event, from Seth Meyers: “Let’s »

And now for something completely different, part deux

Featured image The first half of The Big Lebowski may the funniest half-movie ever, and is certainly right up there with the other funniest half-movies of all time. Not surprisingly, the film in its entirety has generated its own cult following and annual Lebowski Fest convention. In the film Jeff Bridges plays the dissolute leading character, Jeff Lebowski (“the Dude,” photo at left). His daily attire is a bathrobe, except when he »

Tonight it’s “Christmas in July”

Featured image For readers who might be interested I want to note that TCM is playing the rarely seen comedy Christmas in July tonight at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) as part of its tribute to Dick Powell today. Why should you care? The film was both written and directed by Preston Sturges, a director known for the subgenre of “screwball” comedies that he perfected with what his admirers came to call “the Sturges »