The characters are not people, but rough drafts of simplistic character-traits, and the actors (game as they all are) cannot create something out of nothing.
* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.
Scout Tafoya's series on overlooked or under appreciated films continues with screenwriter John Patrick Shanley's debut feature, a comedy starring Tom Hanks as a put-upon factory worker and Meg Ryan in three roles as three different muses.
This is an excerpt from the August 2014 issue of "Bright Wall/Dark Room" on "Joe vs. the Volcano."
An excerpt from "Film Firsts" about the production and influence of "The Blair Witch Project."
For serious cinema fans, romantic comedy have become dirty words in the post-Meg Ryan era. That's what makes the films of Seattle-based indie writer-director Lynn Shelton so refreshing: They're romantic and comedic without ever being formulaic.
Something nice happened to us while we were preparing the schedule for Ebertfest 2012, which plays April 25-29 at the Virginia Theater (above) in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. We'd invited Patton Oswalt to attend with his "Big Fan. He agreed and went one additional step: "I'd like to personally choose a film to show to the students, and discuss it."
APRIL 25, 2008--Every year I keep meaning to include "Joe vs. the Volcano" in Ebertfest, and every year something else squeezes it out, some film more urgently requiring our immediate attention, you see. The 1990 John Patrick Shanley film, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, was about a wage slave in a factory where dark clouds lower o'er the sky; he is told he has a Brain Cloud, with only five months to live. How this leaves him to become a candidate for human sacrifice in the South Seas follows a long and winding road, in a film that was a failure in every possible way except that I loved it.
"Forgetting Sarah Marshall": Kristen Bell and Russell Brand. P to the V.
Excerpt from an Apatowian appreciation I wrote for MSN Movies, covering "Freaks & Geeks" to "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" to "Knocked Up" and "Superbad" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (with the inconspicuous omission of "Drillbit Taylor"): Writer/director/producer Judd Apatow, the man Entertainment Weekly recently crowned the 'Smartest Person in Hollywood,' has made a solemn promise to put a penis -- at least one penis -- into every movie he makes from now on. He's slipped penises into his pictures before, of course: all those obsessive-compulsive drawings in "Superbad," his own on comically disconcerting display in "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story," and Jason Segel's for a humiliating breakup in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." Sometimes, too, his films include breasts and vaginas. And there are perfectly good reasons for that. Not the least of which is that all genitalia and externally visible glands are funny.
CANNES, France--In a stunning surprise, Gus Van Sant's "Elephant," a low-budget independent film inspired by the Columbine shootings, won both the Palme d'Or and the best director award here Sunday at the 56th Cannes Film Festival.
Walter Matthau, who claimed that "Foghorn" was his middle name, is dead at 79. The beloved actor, whose face was mapped with laugh lines, died of a heart attack early Saturday morning. He was brought into a Santa Monica hospital in cardiac arrest, and pronounced dead at 1:41 a.m. PDT.
`I have this terminal condition called bitchiness, right?" Linda Fiorentino smiled, and tossed her hair back from her forehead. Straight, black hair, framing dark eyes that level with you. Just the way she looked in "The Last Seduction," and just the way she looks in "Jade."
Q. I do some computer programming on the side and I have learned much about the machine's capabilities. Seems that it might be possible one day to produce a movie completely by computer without the need for actors, props, sets, or human music. Would the public accept this? How about yourself? I doubt if I would like a Clint Eastwood movie with no Eastwood--just computer art and sound. How far should Hollywood go? Could everything become like that Holodeck on the new Star Trek? (Mike Jordan, Snow Camp, N.C.)
Q. I felt compelled to write after reading your glowing praise for the movie "Speed." I am all for checking my brain at the box office, but there is a limit to how much unbelievability I can accept. 1) No bus can make such turns at high speeds. 2) Does LAX have the longest runways in the history of airports? They must, because the bus never had to make a turn while Keanu Reeves was trailing underneath by a thin wire. 3) Why could Keanu accelerate the train, but not decelerate it? Doesn't every car on a subway have emergency brakes? 4) If the bomb were attached to the front wheels of the bus, wouldn't it have exploded as the bus was flying through the air? After all, the front wheels only move when the back wheels are propelling the bus. 5) No bus, and I mean no bus, could make that jump! (Peter Kahl)
There is, of course, no such thing as a movie "so bad, it's good." If it is good, it is not bad. This is obvious to everyone except those who make up lists of "good bad movies." Nor should there be such a thing as a film you're ashamed to admit you like. If it is a good film, where is the shame?
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