Tag Archives: movies

Robin Williams

A Tribute to Robin Williams: Therapist, Housekeeper, and Legacy

Robin Williams 2

In honor of Robin Williams’ incredible talent and in light of the tragic news of his passing this week, we want to take a moment to honor his legacy. Robin was an incredible actor with a career that spanned both television and film. A graduate of Julliard, Robin first entered into the film industry on NBC’s The Richard Pryor Show. With his charismatic presence and ability to truly assume his acting roles, Robin Williams quickly became a legacy in the American movie industry.

Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting is one of Robin Williams’ most amazing performances. Playing Dr. Sean Maguire, the therapist of super-genius Will Hunting (Matt Damon), Williams received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. After getting in an altercation with a former bully, Will Hunting is required to undergo behavioral therapy while studying mathematics to cultivate his untapped intellectual abilities. Sean and Will become close, as Sean is able to break down some of Will’s emotional barriers and Matt Damonconnect with him in a way that even Will’s closest friends and girlfriend cannot. Both Sean and Will have had painful pasts, and Sean challenges Will to see past his emotional trauma, pursue jobs commensurate with his intellectual abilities, and form meaningful, lasting relationships with others. In the end Will eventually follows in Sean’s footsteps of pursuing the woman he loves, and Sean decides to reconnect with his estranged college roommate. Although the plot is compelling, the acting genius of Robin Williams sets this movie as one of the best.

Mrs. Doubtfire

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Unlike the serious Good Will Hunting, Mrs. Doubtfire is a clever comedy that has become a staple in American film. Robin plays Daniel, an unemployed actor recently divorced from his wife, Miranda (Sally Fields). Because Miranda receives full custody over their children due to the fact that Daniel is unemployed, the heartbroken father resorts to unconventional methods of seeing his children. When Daniel sees Miranda’s ad for a housekeeper, he decides to dress up as the fictional Mrs. Doubtfire and apply to be their housekeeper. Not only does he get the position, but he does such a fantastic job caring for the children that Miranda and the children agree that life is better with their new nanny. Daniel eventually gets a small acting job, and once his double life is exposed due to conflicting schedules between his acting job and Mrs. Doubtfire’s commitments to the family, Miranda recognizes his contribution to the family and agrees to allow him back into the children’s lives.

 

Although both of these movies are wonderful examples of Robin Williams’ acting expertise, his contribution to American culture is so much more that what can be expressed in a single article. While we mourn his passing and will miss his charismatic acting, we will always remember him for the legacy that he has left behind. Thank you for a wonderful 63 years, Robin Williams.

What do you think is Robin Williams’ greatest legacy?

Jon Hamm

What Happens When Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift Join Forces?

Meryl_Streep_by_Jack_MitchellWith The Giver coming to theaters in a few days and plenty of other great movies coming out, August is the perfect time for the movies. Use our quick guide to plan movie outings with friends, a date night with that special someone, or family bonding time! Although there are several worthwhile movies debuting in August, these three standouts are especially exciting.

 

The Giver

Genre: Drama; Science Fiction

Release date: August 15

Rating: PG-13

 

Taylor Swift

Lois Lowry’s famous book “The Giver” comes to life through the all-star cast of Phillip Noyce’s rendition of the book. The book’s plot is genius and unforgettable, and the cast is promising. A young boy, Jonas, is chosen among all of the members of the idealistic community to take on the responsibility of training to become the town’s Giver, a crucial role in their community. Jonas slowly learns that his responsibilities are more enormous than he ever anticipated. Even if the promise of a good story isn’t convincing enough, a chance to see the 18 Academy Award winner Meryl Streep is a good reason alone to see this film. Other stars include Brenton Thwaites as the protagonist, Jonas, Oscar-winning Jeff Bridges, and even Taylor Swift.

 

Helen MirrenThe Hundred-Foot Journey

Genre: Drama

Release date: August 8

Rating: PG

The Hundred-Foot Journey uses culinary establishments to touch upon complex issues like displacement, culture differences, and human relationships. The Kadam family, uprooted from their native India, start to build roots in their new French home as they begin an Indian restaurant business. Their new business does not sit well with the established, highly rated French restaurant that is one hundred feet from the new restaurant. The two businesses become rivals until Hassan Kadam’s culinary talent brings peace to the two restaurants by combining elements from both cultural food types. Manish Dayal from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010) performs the role of Hassan, and Academy Award winning Helen Mirren plays the French restaurant’s proprietress.

 

Robin_Wright_2009The Congress

Genre: Drama; Science Fiction

Release date: July 24

Rating: N/A

An actress, well past her prime, agrees to one final job before retirement – digitally recording her likeness to be preserved and used in future film productions. This plotline was originally portrayed in a 2013 French-Israeli version of the movie, and Drafthouse Films saw enough potential in the plot to purchase the rights to produce their own 2014 rendition of the movie.  Robin Wright, especially famous for her role as Jenny in Forrest Gump, promises to put on a good show, while Jon Hamm, Mad Men’s Don Draper, continues to break into the film industry in this film.

 

Escape the heat and spend some time enjoying these films, and let us know what you think of our recommendations!

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5 of Our Favorite Movies About the Presidency

The American PresidentWith election mode in full swing, we’re taking a look at how the nation’s highest office has been portrayed on the big screen. Here are our top five picks.

Naturally, every four years—give or take a few for campaigning and such—the national spotlight shines brightly on the highest office in the land.

But as this election winds down to its final days of fundraising, stumping, endorsements and media appearances, we thought we’d take a look at the sheen that Hollywood’s silver screen has cast on the presidency.

Here’s five of our top presidential movie picks. Which is your favorite?

1. All the President’s Men (1976): Based on the non-fiction book of the same name, this is the Academy Award-winning, big-screen account of reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s Watergate investigation that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

2. The American President (1995): Ranked No. 75 on the American Film Institute’s list of America’s Greatest Love Stories, this film examines the intersection of politics and romance, as the widower president pursues a relationship with a D.C. lobbyist hired to get a controversial crime bill passed.

3. Dave (1993): The comedic journey of a temporary employment agency owner, Dave, who innocently impersonates the president at community events, but must continue his act when the real president becomes injured and falls into a coma and a power struggle for the nation’s highest office ensues.

4. The Ides of March (2011): A highly acclaimed political drama that delves into scandal, misdeeds, blackmail and behind-the-scenes maneuvering as two rivals seek the Democratic party’s endorsement in their pursuit of the presidential nomination.

5. JFK (1991): An Academy Award winner for Best Picture, this Oliver Stone-directed thriller follows the events leading up to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, as well as one of the many conspiracy theories surrounding it. The film was both praised and panned by critics, some of whom said it took too many liberties with historical facts.

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Why You Should Be Reading Rolling Stone Magazine

Rolling Stone magazine September 13, 2012 issueThink Rolling Stone and you may think up-and-coming bands and album reviews, but there’s more than entertainment coverage inside. You’ll find award-winning reporting as well.

It should go without saying that Rolling Stone is for music lovers. After all, the magazine releases some sort of “all-time” list every year that may attempt to rank the 100 greatest singers, 500 greatest albums, 100 best songs, etc.

But Rolling Stone, despite what its title may suggest, is about more than music—and probably about many more genres of it than you’d think. Sure, that’s the obvious reason you should be reading the magazine, but here’s a few more.

The Sound of Music: OK, so this one bears repeating. The latest issue ranges from a Taylor Swift feature on her new pop direction to a piece on jazz funk music, which is detailed in a recently-released book, “Telegraph Avenue.” That, of course, comes in addition to the magazine’s playlist of its favorite songs and albums of the moment, album reviews and the chart listings in the back.

That’s Entertainment: What can you look forward to on the big screen (at home and in the theaters) this fall? Previews (and reviews) of upcoming flicks, dramas and sitcoms are featured in every issue. The latest includes insightful pieces on why typically outspoken filmmaker Michael Moore is keeping quiet these days or how the portrayal of the traditional family unit is changing on television.

Political Commentary: It’s no secret the magazine’s politics are liberal-leaning, and even if you don’t agree with them, its articles provide a well-written and entertaining read. Longer features delve into the issues of the moment, so expect a focus on the upcoming presidential election. In recent years, the magazine’s political coverage and its reporting on the Gulf oil spill notched it two highly coveted Polk Awards for journalism.

Celebrity Sightings: Even Rolling Stone offers the type of stargazing typically found in gossip magazines, but this collection of pics features the musicians it follows, sometimes on vacation (love Taylor Swift’s retro red polka-dotted two-piece in the latest issue) or caught performing in free or impromptu concerts.

Getting Acquainted: Candid snippets from interviews provide an interesting peak into the lives of our favorite musicians and other celebrities. For example, Art Garfunkel places his books on shelves in the order he reads them. No. 1,165? The controversially popular “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which he describes as “Hot stuff.”

For a limited time, get 12 issues of Rolling Stone magazine for just $5. Additional 12-issue subscriptions may be purchased as gifts. Hurry, the offer expires September 23.

Entertainment Weekly_Dark Knight Rises_featured

A Summer Escape at the Movies

Entertainment Weekly magazineThe blockbuster movie is back this summer with every weekend in July having another big release. We’ve compiled a list to get on your calendar that can’t wait for a RedBox rental.

Every summer, the movie theatres fill up with viewers who are looking to get out of the heat and enjoy a nice escape from summer. Huge blockbusters are back this year with superheroes taking over the screen with some comedy and family friendly sequels mixed in.

The Hollywood Reporter came out with a great list of their top summer movies, but I figured I would break it down for you with a highlight of a movie each weekend of July.

The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3): I have already seen this in the theatre with my 3D glasses and loved every minute out of the 136. It filled my void for some great visual effects and kept my attention with the lovely Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.

Ice Age: Continental Drift (July 13): My nephew loves the Ice Age movies almost as much as the adults in our family do too. The humor and plot is great for all ages and I am sure this fourth installment will not disappoint.

The Dark Knight Rises (July 20): As one of the most anticipated movies of the year, I have already pre-ordered my tickets to this final Batman release in the trilogy. It promises to wrap up all of the questions still lingering from the first two installments with such an epic display that can’t be topped.

The Watch (July 27): After being tense in our seats watching Spider-Man and Batman save their respective cities, this new comedy with a trio of Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill is sure to be popular amongst audiences. Although they are saving their neighborhood from an alien invasion, this neighborhood watch is sure to provide some laughs.

The Hollywood Reporter's November 25, 2011, issue

What to See: Your Awards Season Movie Guide

The Hollywood Reporter's November 25, 2011, issue

Director Martin Scorsese, seen here on the Nov. 25, 2011, cover of The Hollywood Reporter, can bank on some Oscar attention for his latest film, "Hugo."

Oscar nominations are more than a month away, but you can be in the know by catching these buzzed-about films.

It’s that time of year when movie buffs–and those who fancy themselves movie buffs–are treated to the best movies Hollywood has to offer. And there’s a reason for it: ‘Tis awards season, folks, and every studio in Tinseltown is hoping to garner some extra industry praise (and cold, hard box office cash) just in time for the big dance with a fella named Oscar.

Of course, there are hints as to which films will be singled out, and they come via magazine movie guides and early award shows. When a film gets enough buzz, you know it’s worth seeing. Here are the films worthy of your consideration.

1. “The Descendants,” starring George Clooney, Shailene Woodley. Entertainment Weekly calls it “sharp, funny, generous, and moving.” I’ll tell you it’s definitely heavy but incredibly thoughtful. This is a film that will keep you engaged long after you leave the theater. Early nods: National Board of Review of Motion Pictures prize for Clooney (Best Actor) and Woodley (Best Supporting Actress) as well as Independent Spirit Award noms for Clooney (Best Actor), Woodley (Supporting Actress), and Alexander Payne (Best Director, Best Screenplay).

2. “Hugo,” Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield. When you think “kids’ movie,” director Martin Scorsese probably doesn’t come to mind. But “Hugo,” based on Brian Selznick’s spectacular children’s book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” isn’t just for kids. It’s a sophisticated 3-D film The Hollywood Reporter calls “a dazzling family friendly film” and that effortlessly “conjoins the earliest days of cinema with the very latest big-screen technology.” Need more convincing? The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures named it Best Picture, and Scorsese Best Director.

3. “Beginners,” Christopher Plummer, Ewan McGregor. It might only be writer-director Mike Mills’ second film, but this one–autobiographical in nature–is both poignant and funny. It tied for Best Picture (with “Tree of Life,” see below) at the Gotham Independent Film Awards, and New York magazine describes it as “a marvelously inventive romantic comedy … pickled in sadness, loss.”

4. “Tree of Life,” starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn. Terrence Malick’s take on the meaning of life seemed to marginalize American audiences–they love it or hate it. Entertainment Weekly dubbed it as “profound–and more than a little puzzling.” However, the film nabbed the Palm d’Or (Best Picture) at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and tied for Best Picture (with “Beginners”) at the Gotham Awards.

5. “Melancholia,” starring Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgard. Dunst won best actress at the Cannes Film Festival in May for her portrayal of a clinically depressed woman facing the end of the world–literally. The film also garnered three awards at the European Film Awards earlier this month, including Best Actress for Dunst and an award for cinematography. Entertainment Weekly hailed it as a “movie masterpiece,” “a work of genius,” and “a giant achievement” for Danish director Lars von Trier.

6. “The Artist,” Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller. For a film paying homage to silent movies, “The Artist” sure is making a lot of noise. Most recently, it picked up Best Film at the Washington, D.C., Area Film Critics Association. Entertainment Weekly suggests that the real romance of the film is between us, “the jaded 21st-century audience, and the mechanical innocence of old movies.”

None of these films is necessarily a “blockbuster” right out of the gate, but with a little awards season help, their studios will be rolling in it.

What films are you anticipating?