All posts tagged: Bill Murray

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MOVIE REVIEW: “St. Vincent” (2014)

To say that Bill Murray is getting better with age is an understatement; that he chooses interesting, meaty roles would probably be an accurate assumption.  Going back to his masterfully world-weary Herman Blume in Rushmore, he’s been consistent and worth the time spent watching, even if some of the films overall weren’t great.  With St. Vincent, he’s once again mastered the art of the curmudgeon with a soul. Murray stars as Vincent MacKenna, a Vietnam vet and retiree from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn; he’s irascible, unlikable, consistently drunk and broke due to gambling.  He has a wife in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s who he visits weekly.  He has regular encounters with a pregnant prostitute/dancer named Daka, played wonderfully by Naomi Watts.  Even though he’s a louse, people seem to like Vincent.  The always-brilliant Melissa McCarthy is his new neighbor, Maggie Bronstein, a newly-divorced single mom with an older-than-his-years son, Oliver – stunningly played by Jaeden Lieberher – they meet Vincent after their moving truck breaks a tree branch, which damages Vincent’s old LeBaron and destroys …

'Pixels' opens July 2015.

10 movies to look forward to that aren’t ‘Star Wars’

As I’m sure you’re aware if you’re a watcher of movies, if you were to put together a pie chart measuring anticipation for movies being released in 2015, about 60 percent of it would be taken up by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” 25 by “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and 10 by “Jurassic World,” with a tiny little 5 percent sliver for everything else, both with colons in their titles and without. It’s not right. So to give those other flicks a fair shake, I’ve listed here my top 10 OTHER movies that haven’t come out yet, in as many disparate genres as possible, followed by my top 5 most likely stinkers of 2015, because pop culture writers can never be completely positive. It’s a law. POTENTIAL WINNERS: 1) “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water” (February): If you thought they couldn’t improve upon the first SpongeBob movie, in which SpongeBob meets David Hasselhoff, think again: This one features live-action 3-D versions of SpongeBob and friends. And while it doesn’t have Hasselhoff, it does have Antonio Banderas, Seth Green …

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In Memoriam: Harold Ramis (1944-2014)

If you were one of the many (and there were many) who found yourself delving into a list of actor-writer-director Harold Ramis‘ achievements upon hearing of his sudden death yesterday at the age of 69, you may be wondering where all that time went. One minute you were probably minding your own business, the next you were realizing that this seemingly unassuming, nerdy-looking Chicagoan had a hand in at least 10 of the most influential comedic institutions of the last half century. As if we could hold one over the other. Was Ramis best known as a writer, who cut his teeth in the pages of The National Lampoon and on the staff of SCTV before writing or co-writing the likes of National Lampoon’s Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Back to School, Groundhog Day and Analyze This? Was he most accomplished as the director of Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Groundhog Day or Multiplicity? Would he be immortalized for his acting work, whether Russell Zinsky, the withering straight man to Bill Murray’s off-kilter John Winger …

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10 Movies…That Are Remakes of Classic Horror Films

Horror movies derive most of their power and enjoyment (you sicko) from a combination of novelty and surprise.The novelty: how the filmmakers will have this particular bad guy stalk and kill the good guys. The surprise: OHMYGODLOOKOUTBEHINDYOUDREWBARRYMORE! Nevertheless, because horror movies are eternally popular, Hollywood remakes the biggest ones, as they would any genre of film. However, horror movies also boast extremely devoted and defensive cult bases, so time will tell if this weekend’s Evil Dead reboot is as good as Sam Raimi’s original 1981 classic, despite Sam Raimi’s seal of approval and active involvement. Here then are 10 more notable horror remakes. Friday the 13th (2009) There was once a rumor that they were going to eventually make 13 Friday the 13th movies. But after sending camp drowning victim/supernatural hockey mask-wearing murderer Jason Vorhees to space, hell, and Freddy Krueger, the franchise ran out of steam at 11 movies. So in 2009 they rebooted the franchise by remaking the original 1980 film, set at the proven horror setting of a summer camp full of …

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Film Review: “Moonrise Kingdom”

You don’t go see a Wes Anderson movie expecting much in the way of depth or character development—or at least, I don’t. I enter the theater or select the rental knowingly, well aware of the fact that I’m likely in for a sensory spectacle and a flat—albeit immensely charming—storyline. It’s all eye candy, soundtrack, costume and set design, meticulously stylized to the nth degree. Moonrise Kingdom, the latest in the Wes Anderson catalog, is gorgeous and keen and funny. It stars some Hollywood greats—Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Ed Norton, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzmann, Bruce Willis—but leading the charge are two screwy kids, Suzy and Sam, played by Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman. Both troubled, possibly even deeply, after meeting and becoming pen-pals, Suzy and Sam decide to escape the angst and confusion of their home lives and run away together, creating their own little (short-lived) paradise on the far side of their island. It’s 1965 and though the sepia is of the Technicolor bent, nostalgia is very much a presence in this film.

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SXSW Notebook Dump: Jack White/Third Man Records Showcase

Note: This review was written by Lily Angelle, the junior member of our reporting team. AUSTIN – Friday’s official Third Man Records Texas Stand-Off showcase was surreal, something out of a music junkie’s fantasies. As I stood in the crowd, there was a trending statement amongst Jack White fans: “This is the best night of my life!” What’s troublesome yet kind of poetic was the strict policy prohibiting photography or video recording of any time within the venue – I have no documentation from Friday’s showcase save for the sweet memories within my cranium, but I’ll try to lay down what happened as best I can. Around 5:30 Friday evening, the Third Man Rolling Record Store honked its way down Sixth Street to The Stage (an intimate concert venue), and set up shop. That’s about when the badge holder line got a little out of control – as the line to get inside that night stretched back a couple blocks, my hope for gaining access in began to wane. Nevertheless, with a little luck and …

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SXSW Day Three – Up Close and Way Too Personal

AUSTIN – Perhaps at this junction it might be helpful to briefly summarize the physical nature of the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival, so it can serve as a road map of sorts for the stories that will follow today. SXSW is a four-day (or five, depending on who is doing the counting) conference for anyone interested in music: industry insiders, artists, publicists and fans. “Official” participants have purchased a badge or a wristband that allows one access to various panels, speeches, keynote addresses (like Bruce Springsteen’s talk on Thursday) and exhibits in the Austin Convention Center. Once each day’s events are complete in the convention center, the night begins as participants spill out onto the streets of Austin to attend music performance “showcases” held in venues in and around the downtown area. This year more than 2,000 bands and acts are participating in the official SXSW, but there’s more. Non-official events, employing at least another 2,000 acts, spill out from downtown and reach south on Congress Avenue, one of the city’s top drags; …

World Cup: Matchday 18 Recap and Matchday 19 Previews

Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia After all of yesterday’s drama, this game was bound to be a return to what we expect in the group stage: a perpetual favorite dispatching an overmatched opponent without too much trouble. Arjen Robben’s return to the starting lineup gave the Dutch a menace that Rafael Van der Vaart couldn’t bring. That said, Slovakia had their chances, and I’m sure Robert Vittek’s agent is on the phone right now fielding offers from bigger clubs. But the Netherlands will have to do much better if they’re going to trouble Brazil. Brazil 3-0 Chile I can’t tell if Brazil are merely toying with their opponents or if they simply haven’t shown us what they’re capable of for a full 90 minutes. You see it in spurts, mainly when they cause a turnover in the middle third and open up a defense with the deftness of a neurosurgeon. But when Chile had the time to set up their defense, Brazil, especially Kaka, often looked uninspired. In short, they play exactly as their coach, Dunga, did. …

DVD Review: “City of Ember”

City of Ember, the most recent film from Walden Media, starts on a bit of a downer. In a post-apocalyptic era, a city has been built deep in the earth’s core, presumably to protect the human race from nuclear fallout. The great minds that created this underworld, City of Ember, have also come up with an exit plan to be initiated 200 years after the human race is sent below the surface. The plans for this escape are kept in a steel box with special key card and directions to help humans begin anew up top. In the course of the 200 years, the care of the metal box was passed down from mayor to mayor, each one given instructions of what to do once the 200 years is up. Unfortunately, one of the mayors died suddenly, taking the secrets to preserving humanity with him. When the film begins, the city is falling apart. The huge generator that powers the City of Ember is running out of juice, creating treacherous blackout; food is scarce; and …

Exit Music (For a Film): “Lost in Translation”

When I was living in Johannesburg, I spent about four months dating a woman who worked as a professional editor for film and television commercials. She put together a video of surfing clips for me to help me promote “Groundswell,” and while I was thrilled with what she did, I never had a full appreciation of just how much work video editing is until I tried my own hand at the task. As you might have seen three weeks ago, my own project was ridiculously simple. It consisted of a single image, a few simple fades, a sequence of white text scrolling over a black background, and a single splice of video pilfered from the end of a movie to include the final few logos that are standard issue for every credit reel. Getting these few things done kept me up until 4 AM during one evening and 2 AM on another. I think editing is, from the audience’s perspective, the most underrated aspect of filmmaking. A film cannot be great without great editing. Lousy …