Acting, in its basest form, is not a mystery. It is a person pretending to be someone else. But it may appear to the public that an actor who gets to a certain level in their career has an aura about them that the average person doesn’t.
Inside the Actors Studio (1994 to present) was a talk show that initially aired on Bravo before moving to the Ovation network. Originally hosted by the late James Lipton, each episode featured one actor. Focusing on their life and career, it became more than just an opportunity for the performer to talk about their resume. The audience watching on TV got to know that person on a deeper level and the young performers sitting in the auditorium had the opportunity to learn from someone who was once in their shoes.
I remember watching Inside the Actors Studio. It was a fascinating inside look at the act of performing and those who have made a success of it.
It appears that their dream will be just that. Then an opportunity reveals itself. But like any dream, there are roadblocks. Lar’s father, Erick (Pierce Brosnan) is a cold fish when it comes to his son.
Alexander (Dan Stevens) is a Russian competitor who appears to be romantically interested in Sigrit. He also might be using Sigrit to break up the duo. But Sigrit and Lars have been doing the will they/wont they dance for years. Can they win the contest and finally admit of their feelings for one another?
I have mixed feelings about this movie. It is supposed to be part absurdist comedy and part inspirational film. The inspirational half of the film works just fine. But the absurdist comedy falls flat on it’s face. I should have been laughing out loud, but I wasn’t.
Politics has a way of creating divisiveness like few things.
Back in the early 2000’s, former President George W. Bush was, like any President, liked or disliked based on where one stood on the political scale.
Just this morning, a news story caught my eye. Fifteen years ago, the former President Bush was on vacation and reading a book about the 1918 Pandemic. This book spurred him to push his administration to create a plan if a pandemic should occur in the future.
I was not a fan of his politics or his actions as President back then. But knowing now that they were preparing for a future pandemic, especially given the inaction of the current Presidential administration, I appreciate President Bush’s stubbornness in regards to the subject.
In 2017, Will Ferrell became President Bush once more at the Not the White House Correspondence Dinner. He asked the audience how they liked him now. If anyone would have asked me that question fifteen years ago, my answer would have been different than it is today. Right now, I like him as President much more than the current occupant of the White House.
Steve and Doug Butabi (Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan) have one dream: to own to coolest dance club. Or at least if they cannot own one, get into the Roxbury, the coolest club in town. Their father, Kamehl (Dan Hedaya) would prefer that his sons have normal jobs and live normal lives. Will Steve and Doug achieve their goal or will they be forced into the normal daily grind with the rest of humanity?
The idea of these two clueless guys within the context of a four or five minute sketch was very funny at the time. But stretched into a full length movie required some imagination on the part of the screenwriter. That imagination was not the best. But sometimes, we need a dumb, but funny movie to take us away from our troubles for a short period of time. And this movie definitely makes me laugh.
For every brand new idea that has come out of Hollywood, there are reboots and revivals that try to present an old idea in a new way. Sometimes, these reboots and revivals are successful. But most of the time, these reboots and revivals fall flat on their faces. Such is the case with Bewitched (2005) and The Stepford Wives (2004).
Based on the 1960’s television series of the same name, this remake stars Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. Isabel Bigelow (Nicole Kidman) is a witch who is determined to live her life without magic. Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell) an actor with an ego bigger than the state of Texas, is trying to revive his career. The vehicle to revive his career comes in a remake of Bewitched. Meeting Isabel randomly at a cafe, he offers her the part of Samantha opposite his Darrin. Isabel finds herself attracted to Jack, but Jack sees an unknown actress who can unknowingly play second fiddle to him.
Were the critics wrong? Nora Ephron was the director and co-writer on this movie. Nicole Kidman is an excellent performer, but not in this haphazard, sad attempt of a movie. Will Ferrell is one of the best actors Saturday Night Live has ever had on their stage, but he is not a rom-com leading man material. I will have to side with the critics on this movie.
The Stepford Wives
A modern reboot of the 1975 book and movie of the same name, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick star as Joanna Eberhart and Walter Kresby, a couple whose marriage is on the rocks. Trying to revive their relationship, they move from Manhattan to the suburbs of Connecticut. But the town they move is very odd. The wives are oddly docile and submissive to their husbands. The husbands disappear behind the door of The Stepford Men’s Association.
Were the critics wrong? To be fair, I have never seen the original movie, nor have I read the book. Again, Nicole Kidman is an excellent performer. But she and Matthew Broderick are lacking in the chemistry department. The movie is trying to be a comedic thriller. While the original movie was commenting on the then burgeoning feminist movement, this movie just tries too hard. For the second time, I will have to side with the critics on this movie.
Over it’s forty year history, Saturday Night Live has seen introduced it’s audience to many interesting and sometimes crazy characters.
Among the few (and only female) character who has made it to the big screen is Mary Katherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon). The 1999 movie, Superstar, expanded Mary Katherine’s world from a five minute weekly sketch to a full length movie.
Mary Katherine is an orphaned high school student who has been labelled an outcast by her classmates. She has one dream: to be kissed soulfully. With the announcement of the school talent contest, Mary Katherine has only one dance partner in mind, Sky Corrigan (Will Ferrell). But Sky’s girlfriend (Elaine Hendrix) is in the way. Guided by her grandmother (Glynis Johns), Mary Katherine and her follow special ed students will put on a performance that will hopefully turn Sky’s heart and mind.
What I love about this movie is that underneath the silliness is the truth of being an social misfit in high school and having dreams, despite the obstacles that stand in front of us. Mary Katherine fervently believes in her dreams, despite what some of her classmates are saying.
Anchorman is a comedy classic. The movie came out only 9 years ago and was instantly quotable.
The sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, is as brilliant and funny as the original. More often than not, many movie sequels suffer from sequelitis. Anchorman 2 is not afflicted.
The movie starts 7 years after the original ends. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are married with a young son and co-anchor the news. After Veronica is offered and accepts her own solo anchor seat, Ron, who has been fired from his position forces her to choose between him and her job. When he is offered an opportunity to anchor a new 24 hour news network, he brings back the crew: Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and Champ Kind (David Koechner).
This movie is funny. Even after 7 years, Ron Burgundy is still Ron Burgundy. Even when trying to be to open to diversity and meeting his boss Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), he is still the same.
I won’t give the details away, but the fight scene and the cameos in that scene is just the icing on the cake. It’s 2 hours, but a funny 2 hours.