Five Questions for Admission Director Paul Weitz

by Ethan Alter March 18, 2013 6:00 am
Five Questions for <I>Admission</i> Director Paul Weitz

Tina Fey's post-30 Rock career begins in earnest with Admission, a romantic comedy set in the high-stakes world of college admissions. Don't think that qualifies as a "high-stakes" world? Then you clearly haven't had to apply to college recently. Fey plays career-minded Princeton admissions officer Portia Nathan, who enjoys a meet cute with the personable principal of a progressive New England high school (Paul Rudd). Admission's director Paul Weitz, whose previous films include American Pie, About a Boy and last year's Being Flynn, spoke with us about collaborating with Fey and his own experience with higher education.

Need for Speed: Braking Bad

by Aly Semigran March 14, 2014 9:18 am
<i>Need for Speed</i>: Braking Bad

It's easy to see why Aaron Paul was cast as the all-American mechanic and underground street car racer Tobey Marshall in the latest video game-turned-movie Need for Speed. Paul's inviting baby face and general good guy demeanor -- the same one that made Jesse Pinkman so damn likable despite all of his fuck-ups and faults on Breaking Bad -- is pretty much the only thing that keeps you from absolutely hating Tobey and his moronic band of road carnage-producing pals.

Captain Phillips: Rough Waters Ahead

by Ethan Alter October 11, 2013 6:05 am
<i>Captain Phillips</i>: Rough Waters Ahead

Though it barely made a ripple when it was released in theaters earlier this year, the Danish-made A Hijacking remains one of 2013's best movies, a white-knuckle depiction of modern-day piracy that plays out largely at the negotiating table rather than on the seized ship. It's no big surprise that the American-made pirate picture Captain Phillips reverses that order, emphasizing the on-board action rather than the behind-the-scenes negotiation. What is a real surprise, though, is that Phillips turns out to be almost every bit as good as A Hijacking despite playing out in a different key. If you see Captain Phillips in theaters -- and I highly advise that you do -- make sure to track down A Hijacking immediately afterwards (provided your nerves can stand it) since the two movies inadvertently complement each other quite well.

Prisoners: Lock This Movie Up and Throw Away the Key

by Ethan Alter September 20, 2013 5:55 am
<i>Prisoners</i>: Lock This Movie Up and Throw Away the Key

For those folks who though Se7en was too cheery and Zodiac too fast-paced, here comes Prisoners, a sprawling crime drama in the tradition of David Fincher, but minus his level of artistry. Given that it's predicated on one of the worst nightmares for any parent -- the sudden, unexplained disappearance of a child -- I can't deny that the movie often unnerved me, particularly during its first half-hour in the immediate aftermath of the crime. But as Prisoners plodded along for 153 minutes, I grew increasingly detached from the scenario and more conscious (and resentful) of the way director Denis Villeneuve and writer Aaron Guzikowski were manipulating events in the cause of false profundity. A movie like Zodiac (and Se7en to a degree, although Andrew Kevin Walker's script is far from subtle) amounts to far more than the details of its central mystery precisely because Fincher doesn't grab viewers by the neck and force them to look between the clues. Prisoners wants us to know it's, like, all metaphorical and stuff… even at the expense of the facts of the case.

I Want My VOD: August 2013

by Ethan Alter August 29, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My VOD: August 2013

New movies from Brian De Palma and Billy Bob Thornton are more than worth your VOD dollars this month. Paul Schrader, on the other hand, not so much.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, July 9, 2013

by Ethan Alter July 9, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Best Spring Break ever...

Admission: Put It on the Reject Pile

by Ethan Alter March 22, 2013 6:01 am
<i>Admission</i>: Put It on the Reject Pile

As the driving creative force behind 30 Rock (and, to a certain extent, Saturday Night Live during her tenure as head writer) for its seven-season run, Tina Fey generally tried to cut against the television comedy grain, unafraid to chase after comedy that was offbeat, ambitious and downright weird, particularly for a network sitcom. Perhaps that's why Fey's feature film career has been, for the most part, so disappointing. Instead of letting her freak flag fly, she's pursued middle-of-the-road mainstream star vehicles, from the pregnancy-themed Baby Mama (which was more sitcom-y than 30 Rock), to the "zany" night-on-the-town adventure Date Night (which managed to waste the combined talents of Fey, Steve Carell, Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, James Franco) and now Admission, which feels like an American version of those refined (re: pleasantly dull) British comedies -- think Waking Ned Devine and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel -- that only people over 40 go and see. It's mostly harmless, but also pretty lifeless.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

by Ethan Alter February 26, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

We talk about PTA's The Master once more, with feeling. Read Full Entry »

<i>Cloud Atlas</i>: Five Other Unadaptable Books We’d Like to See As Movies

We've already listed some of the other unlikely book-to-film translations that Cloud Atlas put us in mind of. But seeing what writer/directors Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski achieved with this challenging adaptation of David Mitchell's unique novel made us eager for some brave visionary to bring the following five seemingly unadaptable books brought to the screen.


Smashed: Five Things This Movie is Not

by Rachel Stein October 12, 2012 6:00 am
<i>Smashed</i>: Five Things This Movie is Not

Based on the actors -- Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World's Mary Elizabeth Winstead, The Help's Octavia Spencer and royal comedy couple Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally -- Smashed sounds like indie movie gold. Writer/Director newcomer James Ponsoldt and his co-writer Susan Burke even debuted the film at Sundance and won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film Producing. Unfortunately though, unless you're going into the film with fairly low expectations, you'll be sorely disappointed. To get you ready for what's to come, here are five things Smashed certainly is not.

1 2 3

SHARE THE SNARK

X

Get the most of your experience.
Share the Snark!

See content relevant to you based on what your friends are reading and watching.

Share your activity with your friends to Facebook's News Feed, Timeline and Ticker.

Stay in Control: Delete any item from your activity that you choose not to share.

MOST RECENT POSTS

BLOG ARCHIVES

Movies Without Pity

March 2014

16 ENTRIES

February 2014

22 ENTRIES

January 2014

21 ENTRIES

December 2013

25 ENTRIES

November 2013

21 ENTRIES

October 2013

26 ENTRIES

September 2013

16 ENTRIES

August 2013

22 ENTRIES

July 2013

22 ENTRIES

June 2013

21 ENTRIES

May 2013

22 ENTRIES

April 2013

19 ENTRIES

March 2013

28 ENTRIES

February 2013

16 ENTRIES

January 2013

16 ENTRIES

December 2012

21 ENTRIES

November 2012

19 ENTRIES

October 2012

20 ENTRIES

September 2012

19 ENTRIES

August 2012

19 ENTRIES

July 2012

17 ENTRIES

June 2012

24 ENTRIES

May 2012

21 ENTRIES

April 2012

22 ENTRIES

March 2012

26 ENTRIES

February 2012

25 ENTRIES

January 2012

25 ENTRIES

The Latest Activity On TwOP