Tag Archives: Showbiz

I Love You, Daddy

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Release Date: September 9, 2017 (Toronto International Film Festival)
Screened: September 9, 2017 (Toronto International Film Festival)
Runtime: 123 minutes
Rating: No Rating Yet (it will be R for language, I’m willing to bet)
Studio: None (self-financed by Louis C.K.)
Director: Louis C.K.
Cast: Louis C.K.; Chloë Grace Moretz; Charlie Day; John Malkovich; Rose Byrne; Edie Falco; Pamela Adlon; Helen Hunt; Ebonee Noel

Louis C.K. produces and films a movie under the cloak of secrecy from Hollywood and it proves to be a big, fun, surprisingly poignant treatise on the modern relationship between parent and child. Continue reading

King Cobra

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Release Date: Screened April 18, 2016 – Tribeca Film Festival
Runtime: 91 minutes
Rating: Not Yet Rated (but let’s be real..it’ll be R)
Studio: Yale Productions/SSS Entertainment/Digital Ignition Entertainment/RabbitBandini Productions
Director: Justin Kelly
Cast: James Franco; Garrett Clayton; Christian Slater; Molly Ringwald; Keegan Allen; Alicia Silverstone

A movie as salacious and lurid as the story it’s telling, “King Cobra” has its flaws, but is generally an effective, lean, and very mean piece of “ripped-from-the-headlines” cinema. Boasting a cast including James Franco, Molly Ringwald, Alicia Silverstone, Keegan Allen, a hasn’t-been-this-good-in-years Christian Slater, and former teenybopper Garrett Clayton, ejecting himself from tweendom straight into the tighty-whities of grown-up films, “King Cobra” offers a stylish though straightforward, yet not uncompelling, dramatization of this tawdry tale of murder and sex. Continue reading

Marjoe

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Release Date: July 24, 1972
Runtime: 88 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Cinema 5 Distributing
Director: Howard Smith; Sarah Kernochan
Cast: Marjoe Gortner

It might be tempting to call Marjoe Gortner a con man. He was a noted evangelist in the days before Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, “saving” people in exchange for them forking over money to his ministry, money that sometimes people couldn’t really afford to give. He moved from town to town like a one-man travelling sideshow, preaching the gospel of Jesus to those willing and needing to believe it. He was a consummate showman. The interesting thing is, even he would agree with that. Continue reading

Rock of Ages

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Release Date: June 15, 2012
Runtime: 123 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Studio: Warner Bros. / New Line Cinema
Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Julianne Hough; Diego Boneta; Alec Baldwin; Russell Brand; Paul Giamatti; Catherine Zeta-Jones; Bryan Cranston; Malin Akerman; Mary J. Blige; Tom Cruise

The Broadway musical upon which this movie is based, while not great art by any stretch, is better. Period. Adam Shankman’s adaptation of the hit jukebox musical that’s been rockin’ the Helen Hayes Theatre for years, has style and some fun performances, but this show really doesn’t translate well to film. I think the main reason is this: these songs (“Don’t Stop Believin,’” “Sister Christian,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It”) are the types of rock anthems that are best heard live, blaring through speakers at deafening decibels, sung by singers who look like their vocal chords are about to pop out of their necks! Continue reading

The Canyons

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Release Date: August 2, 2013
Runtime: 99 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Studio: IFC Films
Director: Paul Schrader
Cast: Lindsay Lohan; James Deen; Nolan Gerard Funk; Amanda Brooks; Gus Van Sant

You would think that a collaboration between the writer/director of “American Gigolo” and “Hardcore” and the writer of “American Psycho” and “Less Than Zero” would make for some titillating cinema. As it turns out, it’s more lukewarm bath than sizzling heat. Continue reading

Lovelace

Screened at the Provincetown International Film Festival – June 22, 2013

Lovelace

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Release Date: January 22, 2013 (Sundance Film Festival)
Runtime: 92 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: RADiUS – TWC
Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Cast: Amanda Seyfried; Peter Sarsgaard; Sharon Stone; Chris Noth; Hank Azaria; Robert Patrick; Bobby Cannavale; Eric Roberts; Juno Temple; Debi Mazar; Adam Brody; Wes Bentley; James Franco

American porn legend Linda Lovelace gets a loving tribute from “The Celluloid Closet” directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and an all-star cast. Continue reading

Showgirls

Showgirls

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Release Date: September 22, 1995
Runtime: 131 minutes
Rating: NC-17
Studio: United Artists (MGM)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Elizabeth Berkley; Kyle MacLachlan; Gina Gershon; Gina Ravera; Glenn Plummer; Alan Rachins

Let’s not bullshit each other, folks. You know you love this boondoggle of a flick from 1995, to date the most widely released NC-17 movie ever produced. Yes, it is far from a perfect film, the final print perhaps not representing what most of the actors, if not the production team, had envisioned when they initially signed on. That is arguably the precise reason why “Showgirls” has achieved the kind of rarified cult status that puts it in the same company as “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Mommie Dearest,” “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” among others. Continue reading

Hitchcock*

Hitchcock

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Release Date: December 14, 2012
Runtime: 98 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Director: Sacha Gervasi
Cast: Anthony Hopkins; Helen Mirren; Danny Huston; Scarlett Johansson; Jessica Biel

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Psycho,” set against the backdrop of Hitch’s relationship with wife Alma…..and therein lays the problem.

This movie, I proffer, wants to be a study of a relationship between a high-profile movie director and his collaborator-wife, who mainly stays in the background.  The problem is the execution is backwards. Continue reading

Soapdish

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Release Date: May 31, 1991
Runtime: 97 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Michael Hoffman
Cast: Sally Field; Kevin Kline; Cathy Moriarty; Robert Downey, Jr; Elisabeth Shue; Whoopi Goldberg; Teri Hatcher

A riotous farce set in the world of glamorous daytime soap operas, “Soapdish” is hilarious!  Admittedly, you have to have a taste for films with screaming, hysterical dialogue, over-the-top acting, and melodramatic plot twists.  But if you do, you’re in for one hell of a treat. Continue reading

Inserts

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Release Date: February 13, 1976
Runtime: 117 minutes
Rating: NC-17
Studio: United Artists (MGM)
Director: John Byrum
Cast: Richard Dreyfuss; Bob Hoskins; Veronica Cartwright; Jessica Harper; Stephen Davies

This early Richard Dreyfuss starrer is essentially a chamber piece centered on an alcoholic former film director in the 1930’s, now reduced to making quickie silent-movie porn. A feel-good movie, to be sure, yet not without its pleasures, namely the sublime performances from all five actors.

Dreyfuss is a former great movie director, now an alcoholic recluse in his Hollywood home. Once known as the Boy Wonder, he is in the midst of production on his latest quickie skin flick, starring the drug-addicted Harlene (Veronica Cartwright – she’s the one who puked cherries in “The Witches of Eastwick”) and Rex, the Wonder Dog (Stephen Davies), a dim bulb wannabe heartthrob. Showing up to check on his investment is the film’s financial backer Big Mac (Bob Hoskins), who totes his trophy girlfriend, Cathy Cake (Jessica Harper), along with him. Before dusk sets on this fateful day, the porno will be finished, but dreams will be shattered and one person will end up dead. Continue reading