Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
* 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.
RIP Harper Lee; Hell in Oz; "The Witch" reawakens childhood nightmares; How to hire women directors; How David Milch gambled away his fortune.
Blu-ray reviews for films including Charley Varrick.
An excerpt from the August issue of Bright Wall/Dark Room on "Charade."
Rare interview and review excerpts with Roger Ebert are brought to animated life by Blank on Blank and others.
A review of CBS's "The Odd Couple" with Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon.
An appreciation of Joseph Sargent, Director of many classic television and theatrical films, including "The Taking of Pelham 123."
Sam Fragoso reports on the Eberfest screening of Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" with Patton Oswalt.
Happy New Year from the Ebert Club!TRAILERS
Marie writes: It's that time of the year again! The Toronto International Film Festival is set to run September 6 - 16, 2012. Tickets selection began August 23rd. Single tickets on sale Sept 2, 2012. For more info visit TIFF's website.
"The Captains" is available on Netflix, EpixHD.com, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu and DVD. It will screen on HBO Canada March 21.
Stardate 65630.8 (1 March 2012)
What made "Star Trek" the most "durable and profitable franchise" in entertainment history? In his documentary, writer-director-producer William Shatner makes a convincing argument that it was "The Captains" -- they set the tone and they brought the theatricality and Shakespearean linguistic grace to TV.
"The Captains," appeared in October, 2011, in Canada, had one-night screenings here and there across North America, and helped launch EpixHD.com. That all seems in keeping with Shatner's impressive role as a new-media barnstormer. No, he's not making political speeches, but he's on Google+ and Facebook, and he's traveling around North America promoting and preserving what may be his most lasting legacy, his role as Captain James T. Kirk. He's even returned to Broadway in a one-man show covering his career before, during and beyond "Star Trek." (Yes, "returned.")
In Hollywood, people joke about the William Shatner School of Acting. He's corny. He's melodramatic. And he has a sizable ego. But he's really not a bad actor. We forget that before "Star Trek," Shatner seemed destined to become a fine stage actor. He first made the trip to Broadway from his native Canada in 1956 with a small part in "Tamburlaine the Great" in 1956. The production had two Tony nominations. He scored the starring role in "The World of Suzie Wong," which ran for two years. Both he and the female lead won Theatre World Awards for their work. In 1962, he was one of the main performers in "A Shot in the Dark," for which Walter Matthau won a featured actor Tony. All that momentum got sidetracked when he went Hollywood.
Marie writes: Having recently seen a stage play, I was reminded again of how much I enjoy them. And the buildings they're often performed in. Which sent me off looking for old ones and hopefully Theatres you never hear about - as then it's like stumbling upon a secret known only to a lucky few. And thus how I found "Minack Theatre Portcurno Cornwall" with a view over-looking the Cornish sea...
Roger and Chaz outside the CBC Studios. They were recently featured on CBS News Sunday Morning to discuss the launch of their new show "Ebert Presents At The Movies".
Q. I'm so glad you reviewed "Robin Hood" as a "loss of innocence." I couldn't agree with you more. I would much rather see people laugh, love, and be absurd in movies, rather than hate, fight, and disembowel. I'm so glad you felt this way, because most of what Russell Crowe does falls into the latter. Modern guys feel they have to have a certain level of intensity about them or else they are wimps I guess. I for one am glad I retain something of the dreamer, the wanderer, and the lazy laugh of my childhood. I rarely go to the movies anymore because i don't want images of violence or gore impressed upon my subconscious, regardless of whether they are "real" or not. (Stephen Sian, North Vancouver, BC)
One of my favorite pastimes, especially when I should be doing something else, is moseying around the blogs of my readers. You may have noticed that when the name of a poster is displayed in blue, that means it's a link -- usually to the author's blog, although you might be surprised. Assembled here is a distinctive readership of interesting people, not least because I am vigilant about never posting idiotic or perfunctory comments. A certain civil tone is (usually) maintained, avoiding the plague of flame wars.
More than a year ago, when the blog was somewhat new to me, I wrote: "Your comments have provided me with the best idea of my readers that I have ever had, and you are the readers I have dreamed of. I was writing to you before I was sure you were there. You are thoughtful, engaged, fair, and often the authors of eloquent prose. You take the time to craft comments of hundreds of words. Frequently you are experts, and generous enough to share your knowledge."
Q. There are several reports about extreme reactions of early cinema audiences that I find hard to believe. It is said that viewers of the first movies were frightened by what they saw, such as moving images of an incoming train.
In his review of "The Waterboy" (1998), Roger Ebert wrote: "Do I have something visceral against Adam Sandler? I hope not. I try to keep an open mind and approach every movie with high hopes. It would give me enormous satisfaction (and relief) to like him in a movie. But I suggest he is making a tactical error when he creates a character whose manner and voice has the effect of fingernails on a blackboard, and then expects us to hang in there for a whole movie."
Read Roger Ebert's 1968 interview with Ossie Davis.
"The Fortune Cookie" (1966)
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.
Q. Re your discussion of the time travel paradox in "12 Monkeys:" To understand what's going on, one merely needs to disregard the common perception of time as a linear dimension. The time theory at work in "12 Monkeys" is that time does not start at point A and travel along to point B, but rather that all moments in time occur simultaneously. Time is not like a line, extending, stretching, and leaving a path behind, but rather like a painting, with each point and brushstroke being a different moment in time. At any given moment in time, we only see one little point in the painting, but all the others are still there, including present, future and past, and together they make up the universe, which is timeless. (Dominic M. Armato, Winnetka, Ill.)
LOS ANGELES -- I had been told to look for the groove. Grumpy old Walter Matthau has a groove worn into the end of one thumb, a friend said. It has been created over the years by the opposite thumbnail, during basketball games and horse races and anything else Matthau has money on.
CANNES, FRANCE -- The great galleon Neptune rides high in the old yacht harbor, attracting thousands of gawkers who admire its weathered timbers, its 18th century riggings and its bizarre 20-foot figurehead. But Roman Polanski's "Pirates," the movie that used this ship as a prop and location, sank on launching at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
ANNES, FRANCE - Outside on the beaches of the Mediterranean, there were small riots taking place as the paparazzi stalked the stars, and would-be starlets stalked the paparazzi across the topless sands and into the sea. But here, in the cool of the royal gray room of the expensive gray D'Albion hotel, all was calm and a little subdued, and a Muzak version of "Lazy River" played while Ann-Margret studied her menu.
Jack Lemmon has got to be kidding when he says he doesn't resemble Scottie Templeton. He exactly resembles Scottie Templeton. But here he is denying it:
HOLLYWOOD - It's this great big movie set with a tiny little girl in the middle of it. The set is an extravaganza on the back lot of Universal Studios, and it's supposed to look like a wire room for a bookie operation. It does.