All posts tagged: John Malkovich

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Film Review: “Penguins of Madagascar”

Don’t blame the filmmakers of Penguins of Madagascar for the recent troubles at Dreamworks Animation. The movie may feel like the company just cashing in on the most popular characters of their Madagascar franchise (the animated TV show certainly did), but this movie is original and funny, two words I didn’t think I’d be writing about it. Moreover, I liked Penguins of Madagascar more than Big Hero 6, Disney’s Academy Award nominated blockbuster. The film opens in fine fashion with a prologue that explains how the four penguin heroes met at children. Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller) and Rico (Conrad Vernon), break away from their colony and rescue a lost egg from hungry leopard seals. All of this is done while Werner Herzong provides commentary and a human documentary crew films – quite funny. The egg hatches and turns out to be cuddly Private (Christopher Knights). After escaping a fiery boat explosion, the four young penguins drift off to sea on an iceberg, their future uncertain. Jump ahead ten years and the action picks …

This Is the End

10 Movies…In Which People Play Themselves (To Prepare You For ‘This Is the End’)

This is the End looks funny, and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are excellent screenwriters, and it stars a great cast which consists of every notable comic actor and institution of the last 10 years. However, everybody in it plays “themselves,” which is both so ironic it’s so longer ironic and almost as self-indulgent and oblivious to the audience as one of those movies where Adam Sandler dicks around Hawaii for 90 minutes. It’s been done before, of course, actors playing themselves. No cameos here, though. I’m not talking Mike Tyson in The Hangover or Lance Armstrong in Dodgeball. I mean real-life stories portrayed by the person who actually lived them. Alternately, it’s silly and fun to have an actor play against type, and even more fun if they play that character as “themselves,” as if that wacky character is their real, off-screen persona. The Jackie Robinson Story When the first filmed take on Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier was made in 1950, it was kind of cheesy to cast Robinson as himself. …

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10 Movies…About Magicians (To Prepare You For ‘Now You See Me’)

I’m not sure Now You See Me is a real movie—I’m pretty sure it’s part of the massive viral marketing campaign for last weekend’s huge Arrested Development revival. Evidence: it stars Michael Cera look-alike Jesse Eisenberg, new A.D. cast member Isla Fisher, and the plot concerns both the theft of money and cheesy, Vegas-style magic—I mean illusions. (“A trick is something a whore does for money. Or cocaine.” — GOB Bluth.) Here then are 10 certifiably real movies about magic anyway. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone If they’d made that Arrested Development movie, and it was solely about GOB and his rival magician, Tony Wonder, this would be that movie.   Scoop The ghost of a man played by a notable actor hamming it up (Ian McShane) helps a cute young girl (Scarlett Johansson) and her bumbling friend (Woody Allen) solve a mystery. Fun fact: Woody Allen wrote this in 1971 as a Scooby-Doo spec script.   Hugo It’s about movies, and magic…but really the “magic” of “movies.” Awww….   The Geisha Boy Jerry Lewis stars …

Sugar Water: Adieu, “Water” Lou

A nation mourned Wednesday night, as CNN’s Lou Dobbs, an outspoken critic of illegal immigration, announced his retirement from the network. Though it’s still unclear which nation is in mourning, experts have conclusively ruled out Mexico. According to the Associated Press, the controversial newsman “angered CNN management this summer by pressing questions about President Obama’s birth site after CNN reporters determined there was no issue.” I myself was skeptical of the president’s birthplace until he drank a domestic beer — Bud Light — at the July 30 “beer summit.” Then I remembered that Anheuser-Busch, the makers of Bud Light, sold their company last year to InBev, a Belgian company. Thanks to CNN’s shortsightedness, we may never find out if InBev is secretly run by Kenyan expatriates. This isn’t the first time Dobbs has left CNN. He was one of its original anchors back in 1980 when it debuted, overseeing financial news and hosting Moneyline. But in April of ’99, after being reprimanded by the network’s then-president, Rick Kaplan, for cutting away from a speech by President Bill …