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Entries in Tina Fey (20)

Wednesday
May182016

Henry & Eleanor, Frank & Bram, and The Breakfast Club

On this day in movie related history... 

1152 King Henry II marries Eleanor of Aquitaine. Their romance is later fictionalized in the ever popular play/movie The Lion in Winter which we've written about several times

1897 Frank Capra is born in Italy. He'll immigrate to the US at five years old and become one of the most famous film directors of all time.  Across the ocean in London a public reading of Bram Stoker's new novel "Dracula, or, The Un-dead" is staged. Frank Capra never makes a movie influenced by Dracula but everyone else does.

Meredith Wilson writing music1902 There's trouble right here in River City Mason City when Meredith Wilson is born. He'll later write The Music Man but not before accruing Oscar nominations for film scoring (The Little Foxes, The Great Dictator)

1912 The first Indian film Shree Pundalik is released in Mumbai. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of movies will follow in its wake from the ever prolific Indian film industry, better known as "Bollywood". Over in the US, Richard Brooks is born and will go on to become a famous screenwriter and director. Four must-sees from his filmography: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Elmer Gantry (1960), In Cold Blood (1967), and Looking for Mr Goodbar (1977)

1931 Robert Morse is born, becomes darling cross media actor winning 2 Tonys and 1 Emmy.

...Unfortunately Emmy, given the opportunity to reward him with a career capping statue, robs him blind decades later for his unforgettable farewell on Mad Men

1970 Tina Fey is born so that we might have 30 Rock and Mean Girls.

1985 Simple Minds hits #1 with Don't You Forget About Me" the theme song from teen classic The Breakfast Club. Oscar forgets about it in the Best Original Song category. Do you think it deserved to knock one of these songs out? Let's readjudicate the race in the comments.

Oh come on you know you want to!

Illustration to the right by Johanna The Mad

2003 Musical sensation Les Misérables closes on Broadway after 16 years and 6,680 performances. Becomes super-divisive big-grossing Oscar-winning movie 9 years later. Is nominated for Best Original Song

Friday
Mar042016

Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Eric here with a take on the new Tina Fey film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, an adaptation of journalist Kim Barker’s memoir of her three years as a war reporter in Afghanistan. 

It’s hard to watch WTF and not think of the film’s clear antecedent, Barry Levinson’s Good Morning, Vietnam with Robin Williams:  both films are custom-tailored star vehicles that take a Western audience into a foreign culture, finding a tone between the comedy we expect from the leads, and light drama that allows them to expand their personas a bit...  

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec302015

Q&A: Oscar Ceremonies, Sex Work, and... The Warlocks of Eastwick? 

Soon, we'll be buried in an avalanche of awards news again so tonight a brief respite from the current Oscar race. It's Q&A time. Here are eight reader questions I chose to answer. I skipped anything on Category Fraud because I feel so exhausted by that fight ("though undeterred in my moral superiority!" he says arms akimbo and chin up, like a superhero with cape billowing behind him, sworn to upheld 'the Awards Way') and I might have to freak out all over again on nomination morning so let's ignore it for now.

MDA: What 2015 release that you were looking forward to watching disappointed you the most?

NATHANIEL: It feels stranger to answer with a film I liked, especially one that's already getting a critical rethink by way of surprise top ten placements but maybe Magic Mike XXL? While I admire its super cajzh vibe and its focus on female pleasure, I'm puzzled as to why they went more demure with the sequel when they kept promising it would be more stripperific i.e. what everyone expected from Soderbergh's first brilliant film (which you'll remember was a Bronze medalist for Best Picture right here.)

Another big disappointment was Sisters. It's totally funny don't get me wrong. But that's all it is. It's strange that we know that Tina Fey can write brilliant comic masterworks (30 Rock, Mean Girls) but keeps wasting her star power and comic gift on propping up other people's wildly underwritten cliché-filled scripts. I'm beginning to wonder is she even wants to make another comedy classic? Perhaps she's fine coasting until retirement. But it's hard to not wonder what could be if she'd only apply herself again. 

EZ: I hereby grant you special powers to go back in time and attend an Academy Awards Ceremony of your choosing. Which year do you choose and why?

NATHANIEL: This question sounds nice until you realize the genie has only granted you one wish instead of three.  So stingy!

Retro Oscar Races, Domnhall Gleeson, Bridget Jones's Baby, and more after the jump...

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Friday
Dec182015

Review: "Sisters"

Remember friends, The Force Awakens isn't the only film arriving today, even though it may be taking the lion's share of your multiplex's screens and dominating the cultural landscape. Limited audiences finally have Cannes favorite and Foreign Language Oscar frontrunner Son of Saul and the masses also have Sisters and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip *shhhh, keep walking*.

Sisters is an interesting choice for counter-programming against the behemoth, but should satisfy its own crowds looking for a steady stream of laughs. The film would face more trouble without the trustworthy chemistry between stars Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, as it strains to set up relationships (and not just of its leads) and conflict in a murky and bumpy first act. Once Poehler and Fey are given the room to shine, the film finally finds its footing and becomes the laugh riot you were hoping for.

More...

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Wednesday
Sep022015

Two-Hosted Oscars

News broke this morning that the Oscar ceremony will have two hosts this year. That's only happened twice in the 21st century, but it wasn't always James Franco / Anne Hathaway disastrous...

Alec Baldwin & Steve Martin hosted in The Hurt Locker's year

We can assume the announcement of two means they're already negotiating with a pair. It's not like Oscar to go for sloppy seconds and the last time they did (Neil Patrick Harris) it was a bomb. So don't expect the Golden Globe wonders Amy Poehler & Tina Fey. They'd be excellent but it would be shocking. Here are the previous Oscar ceremonies that used two hosts -- this isn't new as much as the internet is like "whoa, TWO!" this morning -- but it is relatively uncommon in modern Academy Award ceremonies. There have been twelve ceremonies with three to six hosts but let's ignore them because that's a lot of names to type. 11 of the 87 ceremonies have had 2 hosts.

Pre-Televised Ceremonies with 2 hosts
1st Oscars - Douglas Fairbanks & William C deMille (Wings)
5th Oscars - Lionel Barrymore & Conrad Nagel (Grand Hotel)
17th Oscars - Bob Hope & John Cromwell (Going My Way)
18th Oscars - Bob Hope & Jimmy Stewart (The Lost Weekend)
20th Oscars - Agnes Moorehead & Dick Powell (Gentleman's Agreement)

Televised Ceremonies with 2 hosts
In the early days they had a side ceremony in NY so the two host system came in handy
25th Oscars - Bob Hope & Conrad Nagel (The Greatest Show on Earth)
26th Oscars - Donald O'Connor & Fredric March (From Here to Eternity)
27th Oscars - Bob Hope & Thelma Ritter (On the Waterfront)
29th Oscars - Jerry Lewis & Celeste Holm (Around the World in 80 Days)

The Opening of the 27th with Bob Hope in LA and Thelma Ritter in NYC
From the mid 50s to the mid 00s it was either group hosting or just one host

82nd Oscars -Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin (The Hurt Locker)
83rd Oscars - James Franco & Anne Hathaway (The King's Speech)

Which twosome are you hoping for? Here are some other ideas... with absolutely no attention paid to what's actually plausible. Vote for your favorite!

Pick a dream couple to host the Oscars
Jackman & Hathaway
Lily & Meryl
Jennifer Lawrence & Amy Schumer
Charlize & Channing
Stewart & Colbert
Tina & Amy (sloppy seconds!)
Chris Pratt & Anna Faris
Kristen Wiig & Melissa McCarthy
Emma Thompson & Helena Bonham-Carter
I HAVE A BRILLIANT IDEA. I'll tell you in the comment section.
Quiz Maker

 

 

Sunday
Jul192015

Titus Andromedon and the "GBF"

Please welcome new contributor Kyle Turner to the team, who has previously Smackdown'ed right here. In the wake of the Emmy nominations, he's here to talk about one very particular film & tv trope - Editor
 

In Tina Fey’s book of autobiographical essays Bossypants, she describes with delight and nostalgia her time growing up working at the Delaware County Summer Showtime program for the arts. And while her experiences about her background in theater are the surface, it’s her relationship to the queer community that serves as, perhaps, the thesis and thematic core of the essay. She writes carefully, balancing emotional reaction of the present juxtaposed against examining the events in hindsight. She talks about the lesbian best friends she had for several years, the way her hometown was like “Gay Wales” (“What Wales is to crooners, my hometown may be to homosexuals – meaning, there seems to be a disproportionate number of them and they are the best in the world!”), and, most important, the role of LGBT people in her personal narrative(s). She writes

I thought I knew everything after that first summer. ‘Being gay is not a choice. Gay people were made that way by God,’ I’d lectured Mr. Garth proudly. But it took me another whole year to figure out the second part: ’Gay people were made that way by God, but not solely for my entertainment.’ ”

In one quote, Fey pinpoints a problem that mainstream media often has when depicting queer (usually male) characters: they’re often asexual, thinly written, or designed with tropes built in as opposed to given the benefit of complexity that their straight counterparts more reflexively are given. They are, in a word, tokenized. [More...]

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