Fred Willard

Reviews

Max Rose (2016)
Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014)
Wall-E (2008)
A Mighty Wind (2003)
Best In Show (2000)
Roxanne (1987)
Americathon (1979)

Blog Posts

Ebert Club

#381 May 26, 2020

Matt writes: Steve James' acclaimed 2014 documentary "Life Itself," chronicling the life and legacy of our site's co-founder, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert, premiered in virtual cinemas this past Friday as part of Magnolia Pictures' new screening series entitled, "A Few of Our Favorite Docs." Each of the films will have a virtual Q&A on the Wednesday following their premiere, while ten percent of the ticket sales will be donated to a charity of the filmmakers' choice. One of the subjects in "Life Itself", RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert, will take part in a virtual Q&A with Steve James TOMORROW, May 27th.

Ebert Club

#169 May 29, 2013

Marie writes: Every once in while, I'll see something on the internet that makes me happy I wasn't there in person. Behold the foolish and the brave: standing on one of the islands that appear during the dry season, kayacker's Steve Fisher, Dale Jardine and Sam Drevo, were able to peer over the edge after paddling up to the lip of Victoria Falls; the largest waterfall in the world and which flows between Zambia and Zimbabwe, in Africa. It's 350 feet down and behind them, crocodiles and hippos can reportedly be found in the calmer waters near where they were stood - but then, no guts, no glory, eh? To read more and see additional photos, visit "Daredevil Kayakers paddle up to the precipice of the Victoria Falls" at the DailyMail.

TV/Streaming

The Magic of Belle Isle: Press the Easy Button

"The Magic of Belle Isle" (109 minutes) is available via iTunes, Amazon, Comcast, DirecTV, VUDU and other outlets. A limited theatrical release begins July 1.

Rob Reiner's "The Magic of Belle Isle" is an Easy Button of a film, as generic and conventional as its title. If you ever wondered what a Hallmark Channel original movie would be like if you threw some A-list talent at it -- namely Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen instead of, say, Jeffrey Nordling and Kristy Swanson -- here's your answer.

Freeman stars as Monte Wildhorn, an alcoholic in a wheelchair and "writer (of westerns) nobody reads." His books, once popular, are now out of print. Monte's nephew (Keenan Thompson) deposits him in the idyllic lakeside town of Belle Isle to housesit. Nephew's ulterior motive, of course, is that he will be inspired to stop drinking and start writing again, but the embittered Monte is a hard case. "Toss it in the garbage," he says of his typewriter. "She's a black-hearted whore, and I'm done with her."

So what will it take to turn this curmudgeon into a softie? Guy Thomas' simplistic script leaves nothing to chance. How about saddling Monte with a lazy old dog named Ringo (yes, Ringo) that has a penchant for licking itself? No? Well then, how about introducing a single mother (Madsen) who is going through a divorce with three -- count 'em -- daughters: one adorable, one precocious, and one sullen? Still not enough? Well then how about adding to the mix a mentally challenged boy who hops around the neighborhood and whom Monte takes under his wing as his "sidekick?"