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Entries in Drew Barrymore (8)

Friday
May152015

Beauty Break: Cool Riders

We hope you enjoyed National Bike to Work Week. We didn't make too big a thing about it but for Tim's trip back to The Triplets of Belleville, Nathaniel's childhood awe at seeing Kermit ride a bike, Lynn's recall of the kid's bike fantasy channeled in E.T. The Extraterrestial, and two instant watch recommendations with gays quite attached to their cycles.

RDJ showing off. What else is new?

I wanted to play along physically but I couldn't bike to work because I work from home and that would be highly impractical going from bedroom to work station. 

To close out this little detour, please blast some Stephanie Zinone while you lust after these cool riders aka beautiful actors on bikes. Which of these bikes would you hop on and whose handlebars would you ride?

Many more beauties and hot wheels after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May112015

Question of the Week: Assign Those "Inside Out" Emotions

Tomorrow night the Q&A series in which Nathaniel answers reader questions returns. But here's an appetizer you didn't order, courtesy of the chef, our Question of the Week. What does Carlos, who dreamt it up, win? He wins the choice of the next banner theme (to replace the food one up top). It has to be a theme that can be conveyed in small pics, otherwise it's hard to read in banner form. So let me know, Carlos.

CARLOS: Inside Out opening at Cannes makes me wonder: which performer or specific performance do you think excels at enacting each of the emotions (joy, fear, disgust, anger and sadness) featured in the movie?

NATHANIEL: What a fun question! But before I answer it with gendered actors show of hands -- were you irritated that they gendered these emotions on their computers over at Pixar? They did that with monsters too and why? There's no reason why pure emotions or monsters for that matter should have to read feminine or masculine.

Since the question hangs on pure expression of emotion, these are literally my purest answers in that I didn't censor myself and named the very first actor that came to mind.

My choice for "Joy" is Ewan McGregor because of how pure and transcendent and contagious his giddy romantic open-hearted smile is (in Moulin Rouge! especially). "Fear" I have to give to Drew Barrymore who made one of the most memorable opening scenes and characters out of only that in Scream. "Disgust" is Catherine Keener who always looks put out by everything (but truth be told I'd prefer her to take a year or two off now for some creative rejuvenation so this isn't the only thing she's giving).  

"Anger" is an emotion that's all too well represented in our macho cinema so let me come at this answer sideways with a surprise. Hear me out. I will take Heather Graham as Rollergirl in Boogie Nights from that scene in the back of a limo where they're trying to do an improv porn shoot and years of degradation finally busts some sort of dam in her and *stomp stomp stomp" byebye-prettyboy-face, sorry not sorry. It's still one of those chilling and exhilarating 'pure' emotions I've ever seen smeared across a movie screen. (It's actually my current banner on our Facebook page)

"Sadness"... that one is reserved for Michelle Pfeiffer since I always need her back on the screen and since the movie that made me fall for her was Ladyhawke (1985) where she literally has the line

I am sorrow."

...and I believed everything her face told me from that day forward.

 

Friday
Mar132015

A Twist On a Classic With "Ever After" (1998) 

Cinderella Week continues with abstew ...

The Barrymores and the Hustons. Two dynasties that over decades and generations left their legacy on stage and screen, taking their place as acting royalty. It's fitting that the classic tale of the young cinder girl that manages to actually become royalty would finally bring these two families together on film. Other than a 1939 documentary about the history of America called Land of Liberty which contained footage of John and Lionel Barrymore and Walter Huston (and if you look at the cast list from IMDB, apparently every star in Hollywood at the time...), it was 1998's Ever After that marked the first time a member of the Barrymore family acted alongside a member of the Huston family. And for Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston, representing their respective families, the pairing proved to be as enchanting as the timeless tale. 

Unlike the other magical, musical versions of Cinderella that we've been discussing, in this version, made during the height of late '90s "Girl Power" our main character is far from passive and pet mice aren't trying to help win her the love of a prince. Renamed Danielle de Barbarac, you are more likely to find her reading a tattered copy of Sir Thomas More's Utopia and debating the worth of all human beings than you are to see her harmonizing with songbirds. Tough, determined, and able to fend for herself, thank you very much (punches, daggers, and apple throwing employed when need be), at one point in the film she even rescues the prince (Dougray Scott) by throwing him over her back and carrying him away. Screenwriter Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) created a modern woman (that just happens to be living in the 16th century) for modern audiences perfectly embodied by modern-day Drew Barrymore. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct082014

Drew & Toni together at last!

Manuel here catching up on a female-helmed, female-centered film coming our way in 2015 (one hopes!).

Have you guys heard about Miss You Already? The pic starting shooting in London just this past month and it stars none other than Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette. The film is directed by Catherine Hardwicke, whose filmography seems endlessly baffling to me: Thirteen (2003), Lords of Dogtown (2005), Nativity Story (2006), Twilight (2008), Red Riding Hood (2011), and something called Plush (2013; anyone seen it? IMDB tells me it stars Cam “Amos cookies” Gigandet). I mean, I know female directors have a hard time getting passion (or any other kind of) projects made, but can someone explain to me this set of films? I guess one could make a thorough-line about Hardwicke’s interest in young women’s lives, which makes Miss You Already an interesting departure.

The film centers on Milly and Jess “who have been best friends since childhood. Their friendship is put to the test as Jess struggles to have a much longed-for baby and Milly finds out she has breast cancer.” Barrymore gets the struggling mom-to-be role while Collette gets the cancer-stricken role. Maybe it’s the combination of these two endlessly watchable stars (and the semi-serious plot description), but I can’t be the only one who’s getting a Beaches vibe from this, or am I? Maybe it’s the dearth of two-female led films to choose from as a comparison (we usually see them in packs of three), though of course both Drew and Toni have great entries on that mini-genre what with Grey Gardens and In Her Shoes.

Then again, we also need to talk about that supporting cast: on top of Dominic Cooper (!) and Paddy Considine (currently in Pride), they’ve just announced the addition of Tyson Ritter (he of “The All American Rejects” fame). So many pretty boys for our leading ladies! Plus Jacqueline Bisset is playing Collette’s mother. Okay, so this cast may just be as eclectic as Hardwicke’s filmography.

Oh, and did I mention Toni shaved her head for it? She proudly showed it off earlier this week on People's Style watch:

Is a Barrymore/Collette film one of your fan-fic ideas come alive? What do you think of Toni's new look (especially given how beautiful her locks look in that earlier pic)?

Tuesday
May272014

Box Office Holiday: Mutants, Reunited Stars, and Immigrants

Amir here, with the long weekend’s box office actuals. All was well in America (and all other markets in the world) as audiences stormed to see X-Men: Days of Future Past. The film’s haul was impressive, even though it fell short of the series’ best (The Last Stand) despite the inflation of 3D tickets, but it’s safe to say fatigue hasn’t yet kicked in with this group of superheroes. In the process, X-Men knocked Godzilla off the top spot perch. Nathaniel quite liked the film, despite its limitations. I haven’t yet seen it, and with the news that Edgar Wright has been kicked off the director’s chair of Ant Man, have vowed never to see another superhero film, but that’s a gripe for another article.

X-Men: Weekend of Godzilla Past

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST $110.5 *new* Review
02 GODZILLA $38.4 (cum. $155.7) Review & Podcast
03 BLENDED $17.7 *new*
04 NEIGHBORS $17.1 (cum. $116.8) Review & Podcast
05 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 $10 (cum. $187.1)

06 MILLION DOLLAR ARM $9.1 (cum. $22.7)
07 THE OTHER WOMAN $4.5 (cum. $78.6)  
08 RIO 2 $3.4 (cum. $122.5)
09 CHEF $2.9 new (cum. $4.2)
10 HEAVEN IS FOR REAL $2.7 (cum. $86.5)
11 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER $2.2 (cum. $254.1) Review
12 BELLE $2.1 (cum. $4.3) Review

The other big opening of the weekend was Blended, for which the $18m dollar sales is being branded a flop but this isn’t true when you stop to consider just how unappealing everything about this film is. The title sounds like a youtube compilation of mishaps to people who are making smoothies. The trailer sucked the life out of every single theatre I saw it in, and a lot has changed for the leading duo since they starred together in their hit 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer, most notably the fact that they weren’t has-beens then.

Marion Cotillard in The ImmigrantOn the limited side, the Sundance critical hit Cold in July was the most significant release, but without much advertising muscle or star power, it managed a modest $4k per screen average. James Gray’s The Immigrant pulled in similar averages but on a much larger scale as it expanded to 147 theatres. If you live in the vicinity of any of those 147 screens, you Must. Go. Now! It is one of the best of the year.

Nathaniel was on a viewing/reviewing spree this weekend with X-Men, The Normal Heart, Mad Men, and some 1941 pictures (vote!) but I didn’t watch a film. Instead I had the pleasure of talking to Godfrey Cheshire for a few hours! Amazing, right? It was a hoot!

How did you spend the weekend?  

Sunday
Oct282012

Oscar Horrors: Drew's Great Aunt Ethel

Here Lies... "Mrs. Warren" the bedridden matriarch of a Victorian mansion that's haunted by a serial killer.

Hasn't Team Experience been doing a great job with the Oscar Horrors series? I figured, after passing out all these assignments, that it was time I chimed in, so I filled in one of my own Supporting Actress viewing gaps with Ethel Barrymore's Oscar nominated work in The Spiral Staircase (1945). This black and white horror flick, an early member of the neverending serial killer subgenre, is set almost entirely in an old mansion where our mute protagonist Helen (Dorothy McGuire of Gentleman's Agreement fame) works. It's not at all clear what her job is since she's neither nurse nor maid nor cook, those duties being performed with "hey, I'm in this movie, too!" gusto by How Green Was My Valley mama Sara Allgood and the Bride of Frankenstein herself, Elsa Lanchester.

We first meet "Mrs. Warren" twenty minutes into the picture. Nurse Barker (Allgood) warns Helen that their boss is in a mood...

She's sly, too. Even with her eyes closed she seems to be watching you like an evil spirit."

...but the nurse's warning doubles as an impossibly truthful, succinct and funny description of Ethel Barrymore's entire performance. I half imagined Nurse Barker tweeting it with the hashtag #ItsBarrymoreBitch 

"Do you like scary movies?"

Ethel Barrymore died 17 years before her great niece Drew Barrymore was born but I kept thinking of Drew during the movie. Perhaps it was the through line of Barrymore Girls & Acclaimed Performances in Horror Flicks? Drew Barrymore was, infamously, the first kill in Scream (1996). Tough demanding Mrs. Warren might have rescued poor Casey by insisting she hang up that phone immediately and hide under her bed.

In horror parlance Ethel's "Mrs Warren" is no Victim or Final Girl but something like a cross between Psychic "Tangina" and overbearing monster mom... "Mrs. Norma Bates" ? Barrymore makes excellent use of her eyes and modulation of her voice but it's a very limited role consisting of essentially the same three point scene on repeat: 

 

  1. Sassy Rudeness #ItsBarrymoreBitch
  2. Fade into Ill Health/Sleepiness
  3. Sudden Snap Back to Life for either:
    a) Ominous Pronouncement: "There's been another murder hasn't there? No one told me. I always know everything."
    or...
    b)  Direct Warning: "You're not safe here my dear. Leave this house at once."

 

The Spiral Staircase is something of a predictable dud now since horror movies have been so endlessly dissected, parodied, and Screamed in the last few decades and this is an old school blueprint -- the women here are always doing stupid things like walking into dark basements when they hear noises / feel a draft! --  but it's worth a watch for its quartet of Supporting Actress: domineering Ethel, put-upon fussbudget Sara, drunk funny Elsa and emotional hussy Rhonda Fleming. They all run circles around McGuire, a Damsel in Distress with only her muteness as a defining characteristic, but someone's got to keep your pulse up when you're watching a horror movie. Actresses to the rescue!... in the case of Ethel Barrymore, quite literally.

previously on Oscar horrors