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Entries in Seth MacFarlane (10)

Wednesday
Jun042014

Review: A Million Ways to Die in the West

Howdy, y'all! Here's Dancin' Dan with a contrarian opinion on last weekend's 'other' new release, which was not greeted so kindly. - editor.

Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West is not Ted. That much should be obvious. It does not include a talking teddy bear and takes place in the Old West. But it bears repeating: A Million Ways to Die in the West is not Ted.

Frankly, I hate even making the comparison, but I kept doing so all throughout MacFarlane's seriously funny send-up of Old Hollywood Westerns. Right from the opening moments, it's a step up from Ted's television-quality visuals: Cinematographer Michael Barrett sends us soaring through Monument Valley, site of many of the greatest Westerns ever made, and Joel McNeely concocts a perfect old-fashioned Wild West score. But what really makes the difference here is the humor. For the most part, it's less foul-mouthed than Ted, except when it comes to Sarah Silverman's prostitute Ruth, who giddily talks about all the things she does with her male clients but not with her fiancée Edward (Giovanni Ribisi).

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun012014

Box Office: Jolie's Star Continues to Shine

Amir with the weekend’s box office report. One of the things that has always fascinated me about Angelina Jolie is how she ranks among the greatest film stars in the world – possibly the biggest female star of this century? – without having ever been in a great film. Her off-screen life makes it really hard not to love her, but on screen, she’s mostly been better than her films, none of which are memorable in any way. Maleficent won’t change that at all, but it has become her biggest debut by a wide margin. Make of that what you will, but it is clear that four years away from the silver screen hasn’t taken the shine off . Will this financial success lend a hand to Unbroken in its chase for Oscars? My guess is that the answer is a yes.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 MALEFICENT $70 *new* 
02 X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST $32.6 (cum. $162) Review
03 A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST $17 *new* 
04 GODZILLA $12.2 (cum. $174.6) Review & Podcast
05 BLENDED $8.4 (cum. $29.6)
06 NEIGHBORS $7.7 (cum. $128.6) Review & Podcast
07 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 $3.7 (cum. $192.7)
08 MILLION DOLLAR ARM $3.7 (cum. $28)
09 CHEF $2 new (cum. $6.9)
10 THE OTHER WOMAN $1.4 (cum. $81.1)  

The weekend’s other big opening also had an Oscar connection with the pairing of former host Seth MacFarlane and former winner Charlize Theron at its centre. A Million Ways to Die in the West seemed to be targeting MacFarlane’s demographic though, and it was hard to find anything appealing for the crowd that doesn’t find his brand of crude humour appealing. The promotional material did nothing to prove the opposite and the film crashed with a disappointing $17m at third place behind X-Men. I’m interested to see where he takes his career from here.

On the limited front, Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves opened in select cities this weekend. Despite the presence of three recognizable faces, distributor Cinedigm Entertainment has decided against opening the film on more than two screens. It’s a baffling strategy to me, given that the genre elements of the film could have been emphasized in advertising leading to a much bigger opening than $24k but a slower rollout seems to be the plan. Critics are comparing this to Reichardt’s previous films and calling it her weakest. I seem to be in the minority on this one, but I resolutely believe this is the director’s most accomplished work. It made my top ten list of 2013 after I saw it at TIFF. Take my word - watch it!

What did you see this weekend?

Friday
Apr192013

A Second Oscars For Seth?

JA from MNPP here - according to JustJared, everybody's favorite (heh) Oscar host Seth MacFarlane has been asked to return to host the awards next year. It's not terribly surprising since the ratings were great and that's what most matters to the people who run this televised spectacle, but I have a feeling that those of us who were critical of Seth's performance won't take too kindly to this news. MacFarlane is on the record as not wanting to do it again, but who knows? Now that the offer's on the table he might just have spent the past few weeks thinking up new lyrics to rhyme with "boobs." So... what do we think about that?

Saturday
Mar022013

All Hands on Link

IndieWire ABC may forge a miniseries out of Oscar nominated AIDS doc How to Survive a Plague
Hollywood who said it: The Pope or "Fifty Shades of Grey"?
MNPP ways not to die celebrates King Kong for his 80th anniversary 
The Advocate interesting take on Seth MacFarlane's Oscar night hosting gig, in which the author believes his entire performance was satire of sexism. I think that's an optimistic forgiving stretch but more power to you for enjoying the show so much! 

Clothes on Film the shoes in Stoker
Empire Emma Watson may play Cinderella
French Films about Trains points to 14 directors whose films are worth obsessing about in advance  
/Film Whoa. They're STILL trying to get Pride & Prejudice & Zombies made? You'd think Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter's fate and the free zombies on TV would have finally decapitated that project.
The Talks with Brian de Palma on violence in cinema and the staying power of Scarface
Unreality a pitch to Netflix. If you're going to revive beloved series, why not Firefly?
The Credits talked to Gavin Bocquet production designer for Jack the Giant Slayer about his work and the new visual fx demands of Production Design:

...if we were around during the Gone With The Wind time, you know the production designers job was more or less the same, you still had to create what you wanted to be the image, and then you broke it down into how you produced it. So the process is the same for the production designer, but the tools and the palette are a lot more variable in terms of what you can do, and also at times much more expensive. 

Weekend Must Watch
Brava to Chelsea Davison for this incredible mimicry job & spoof: here's "Lena Dunham" auditioning for Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty. So funny.

So... you know this silence is literally torturing me. And yes I do realize now that in this situation that choice of words might have been a little inappropriate. But, you know, it makes *me* feel like an asshole that I have to threaten to torture you every day. So... if you could just tell me I'd really appreciate it and we wouldn't have to keep doing this"

 

Monday
Feb252013

Why Does Anyone Want the Job of Hosting The Oscars?

All That (85th Oscars) Jazz
The Big Night: Fun ArrivalsWinner's ListJennifer Lawrence in the Press Room
The Look Back: Funniest Tweets, & Season Finale Podcast
The Fashions: Fifteen MenThe Ten Nominated LadiesGoodbye Glamour

The Opening Monologue
As today's reviews will surely attest, Seth MacFarlane bombed badly last night in the unenviable host position. Why anyone would want the job is beyond me. Occasionally someone will get 'good job' reviews (Hugh Jackman, Billy Crystal, etcetera) but those positive reviews almost never come directly after the show but later in context once they're sized up in memory against newer worse hosting gigs. Nearly everyone gets mixed to negative reviews in the moment. Fact: people love to hatewatch the Oscars. To his credit (eep), MacFarlane understood this and even attempted to get out in front of the criticism by mocking it. In his interminable opening monologue (18 minutes!) he was visited from the future by Captain Kirk (William Shatner) - a joke more suited to the Emmys which he'd be a better host of given that he's a television personality -- who showed him the headlines from the next morning.

It was funny because it was true. But the gag continued. As the monologue progressed his reviews improved until he got somewhere around "mediocre". It wasn't funny because it wasn't true. [Editor's Note: The "worst" part isn't true. That title will obviously and forever belong to James Franco who couldn't be bothered to show (in spirit) though he undoubtedly cashed the check.] 

See, Captain Kirk was right. His jokes were "inappropriate and offensive" and we all DID wish it were Tina & Amy hosting instead (a weird shoutout to the Golden Globes, which were without question the highlight of this awards season as televised events go though Oscar Night usually plays "no comment" on that precursor). Worse than MacFarlane's fratboy jokes though was that the humor seemed entirely centered around HIM, as if we were watching The Oscars to send 3½ hours with MacFarlane and not with the biggest movie stars in the world. Oops. Somehow doesn't know why people tune in to the Oscars.

Each year the media and the producers and even the general public play a little complicit game of "OOOH, ____ IS HOSTING AND NOW WE'RE EXCITED". But it's never the hosts. It's the movies and the movie stars! Mostly the hosts do best when they show up for brief intervals and make a funny but stay out of the way so we can gawk at stars and remember the year's most celebrated pictures and, for the less devoted, make a mental grocery list of movies we want to see now. 

Perhaps Captain James T Kirk can tell us if any future Oscar Producers and Hosts figure that out.

The three most terrible moments:

 

  1. That joke about Quvenzhané and Clooney. I've since blocked it out but I have a vague memory of being offended.
  2. Flight reenacted with sock puppets. (Somehow there was a lot of laughter in the Dolby. Please tell me that was a laugh track and not actual enjoyment)
  3. That weird flying nun / seducing Sally Field skit. 

So as not to be a total downer --  I enjoy the Oscars even when they're lame! --  here were a few things I think worked about Seth's performance.

 

  1. He sings well. His love of musicals was obvious and gave us fun expected moments like Charlize Theron (originally a dancer) and Channing Tatum dancing together and even a kickline with Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Daniel Radcliffe who both have a song & dance man inside of them.
  2. As stupid as that "we saw your boobs" number was -- it would have been much funnier if it were shorter -- the actresses who filmed reaction shots were good sports with solid comic timing and the Kate Winslet punchline was great. (Oh shut up, I bet she laughed from home). In an evening full of dumb jokes, inevitably some of them will land. 
  3. Later in the show when he wasn't taking up so much space he was better. His introductions were sometimes amusing (loved the Channing Tatum / Jennifer Aniston intro) and I especially enjoyed the "needs no introduction" introduction for you know who, didn't you? I mean, she doesn't! 

Do you have against-the-grain kind words for Seth MacFarlane or are you already making a mental list of 500 celebrities who would have done a better job last night? (If so care to share a few of them?) 

And why does anyone want the job of hosting -- beyond the cash -- given that it's rather like having a worldwide target on your tuxedo'ed back? 

P.S. Don't forget to like The Film Experience on Facebook. Please and thx

Monday
Feb252013

Morning After Links

BuzzFeed "The 16 Most Epic Faces Jennifer Lawrence Made on Oscar Night" ...my favorite (pictured below) is the "i can't remember your name" face
Slate who was wrongest in their Oscar predictions?
Gawker all of Seth MacFarlane's sexist, racist and homophobic jokes collected
i09 Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 wins all the Razzies... speaking of did we ever figure out why Kristen Stewart was on crutches... was it the crushing weight of her own celebrity?

Salon on why Lincoln lost
Nick's Flick Picks I think in the Oscar Glut yesterday, a lot of you missed this fun group party wherein a bunch of us picked our favorite wins from past years. Super fun. And more to come. 
Nick's Flick Picks also live-blogged the whole show. I haven't read this yet but since it's Nick, you know it'll be good. 
Pop & Hiss Adele and Dame Shirley Bassey saved the Oscars
The Great Showdown celebrates the Best Pics in Scott C's wonderful way 
Hulu for the first time you can watch the Oscars online in full (for a limited time)
IndieWire watch Quvenzhané Wallis get down at the after party!  

And behold, my favorite photo I've yet seen from the After Parties

Answer me these questions three:

  • How much do you love both of these men?
  • What do you suppose they were saying to each other here? 
  • Which Ang Lee movie do you think Daniel Day-Lewis loves most? 
Friday
Jan112013

Thank God It's Link Day

In Contention talks to Oscar nominated sound designer Paul N.J. Ottoson on Zero Dark Thirty 
Film.com Joe Reid does the research we wanted done on most winningest acting lineups of all time -- but, yes, Supporting Actor 2012 is the only ALL winners acting lineup at nomination time.
We Are Movie Geeks collects all the new official Oscar posters and Oscar promos so click on over if you wanna fill up on Seth MacFarlane.

Heat Vision Christopher Nolan in talks to direct Interstellar. The internet's mind is blown because it's a) Nolan and b) sci-fi and c) a & b together and d) because it's supposedly a surprise... but since Jonathan Nolan wrote it I can't figure how the "d" is true. What did I miss?
National Post contemplates Bradley Cooper's hair, awards schmoozing amd career highs in Palm Springs 

Worthy Long Read
New York Times Magazine "Here is what happens when you cast Lindsay Lohan in your movie" an epic piece on Paul Schrader and the making of Canyons 

Today's Funny
Have you seen College Humor's "accurate movie titles" Best Picture edition. It's funny. Argo and Amour are the ones that made me lol. 

see them all