Hocus Pocus is most definitely a movie for kids, but the nostalgia factor for those who grew up watching it makes it a Halloween necessity. For other adults, the delight of watching Bette Midler, Kathy Najimi, and Sarah Jessica Parker play the Sanderson sisters makes for good October entertainment.
Scariness Factor: 💀 2. The Addams Family (1991)
The perfectly cast movie adaptation of the classic TV show makes for great family-friendly viewing around Halloween, especially since there are enough jokes in here to keep the grown-ups entertained. You could watch Addams Family Values, too, but that’s best saved for Thanksgiving.
Scariness Factor: 💀
3. Beetlejuice (1988)
Scary only in the most cartoonish, Tim Burton–ish sort of way, Beetlejuice sets the perfect tone for Halloween without specifically being a Halloween movie. Also, Michael Keaton is a national treasure.
Scariness Factor: 💀
4. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
If you’re feeling a little more bold, you can check out the first movie in the Cornetto Trilogy, Shaun of the Dead. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star as lovable losers who face the zombie apocalypse with their friends and family, armed with nothing but their wits, a cricket bat, and maybe a pint if they’re lucky. Sure, there are zombies, but the comedy cuts down on the scariness.
Scariness Factor: 💀💀💀
5. Casper (1995)
This 1995 movie hasn’t aged particularly well, but Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci are just charming enough to make it worth a watch if you’ve exhausted some of your other Halloween viewing options.
Scariness Factor: 💀
6. Coraline (2009)
Based on the book by Neil Gaiman, Coraline is a beautifully animated stop-motion movie about a girl who finds an enticing but dangerous parallel world in the house her family just moved into. Don’t let the whimsy fool you: This one gets a little spooky at points.
ParaNorman comes from the same studio that made Coraline, and the animation is just as gorgeous this time around. There are tense moments in ParaNorman, but ultimately the monsters are less scary and more sympathetic.
Scariness Factor: 💀
8. Fun Size (2012)
If you’re looking for something that ditches the magic and macabre for more real-life situations, Fun Size is your jam. The movie is more of a teen comedy that just so happens to take place on Halloween than a traditional Halloween movie, which makes it a nice departure from the norm.
There’s a Charlie Brown special for pretty much every holiday, and Halloween is no exception. If you want something with absolutely zero scares, you won’t be disappointed with It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Or, at least you’ll be less disappointed than Linus is every year.
More love story than ghost story and more sweet than scary, The Corpse Bride is another Tim Burton offering that works perfectly for the Halloween season. The movie’s charm is only strengthened by the voice work of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
Scariness Factor: Nonexistent
13. Practical Magic (1998)
Rom-coms at Halloween? Sure, why not? Nothing wrong with a few spells and murders as long as it’s Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman doing the deeds. There’s some crime and witchcraft here, but not a lot else that would be considered scary.
Scariness Factor: 💀
14. Teen Witch (1989)
A teen comedy about using witchcraft to become more popular in high school, Teen Witch is one of the more family-friendly Halloween options out there. The only thing truly scary about it is how quintessentially late ’80s/early ’90s it is.
Scariness Factor: Nonexistent
15. The Witches (1990)
Since it’s based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name, The Witches is bound to have some scary parts — or at least grotesque ones. Dahl could get a little intense at times. Still, the movie is kid-friendly enough to work for families or those who would prefer to not have nightmares thank you very much.
Scariness Factor: 💀💀
16. Young Frankenstein (1974)
One of Mel Brooks’s greatest comedies is also a great Halloween movie for the horror-averse. Is there anything scary about Frankenstein’s monster singing “Puttin’ On the Ritz”? We think not.
Scariness Factor: Nonexistent
17. Cabin in the Woods (2012)
A horror movie from Joss Whedon was bound to be brilliant, and Cabin in the Woods did not disappoint. There are scary moments to be sure, but the comedy and the meta-ness of it all removes you from the fray just enough so you are more of an observer of the violence, rather than a participant. You’ll definitely be frightened at points, but chances are you’ll lie awake thinking about the movie’s brilliance instead of worrying about monsters.
Ten Or Twelve Of The Greatest Stand-Up Comedy Movies Of All-Time
SEPTEMBER 2, 2014 BY THE NUTTY PROFESSOR
Bette Midler on stage in Paris in 1978. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
Gabriel Iglesias is one of the funniest and most likable stand-ups working in comedy today. He sells out shows all over the world and his DVDs always threaten the million-units-sold plateau. That’s why it’s a surprise to learn that his concert film, The Fluffy Movie, opened with a $1.3 million weekend. As of Sept. 1, the genial funny man’s live performance flick has earned a total of $2.8 million at the old box office.
I think Guardians of The Galaxy earned more than that in its first 17 minutes of release.
The Fluffy Movie was filmed during two Gabriel Iglesias tour stops—one on Feb. 28 and another on March 1. The movie was directed by Manny Rodriguez and it dropped July 25. The project was filmed and released in less than five months.
Don’t feel bad for Iglesias or his release. Despite the seemingly underwhelming returns, The Fluffy Movie is the tenth highest grossing comedy film of all-time (if time started in 1982). By the way, the list was compiled by the Web site Box Office Mojo.
If you think about it, this is not only one of the smallest cinematic genres of all-time but it’s also on life support—only two of the two dozen films are from this decade. Not only have YouTube and Netflix killed the stand-up comedy concert film but so has the price of movies tickets.
If I’m going to take out a mortgage to go to the Cineplex, the movie better have at least three dimensions and enough explosions to permanently damage my hearing. I’m not the only one who thinks like this. Combined, the 24 films on BOM’s list earned less than $232 million.
Eddie Murphy Raw (1987)
The highest grossing stand-up comedy concert film of all-time is Eddie Murphy Raw. It made more than $50 million. At the time, and until 1990, Raw held the record for the most utterances of the f-word. That iniquitous curse was spoken 223 times. Now, the movie isn’t even in the top 30.
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
The Original Kings of Comedy was directed by Spike Lee and contained sets from Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac. The film was a huge success making more than $11 million in its opening weekend. It also inspired a bunch of similar enterprises like The Original Latin Kings of Comedy, The Blue Collar Comedy Tour, The Queens of Comedy, and The Comedians of Comedy.
Anecdotally, The Comedians of Comedy (starring Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, Brian Posehn, and Maria Bamford) was released on Nov. 11, 2005. It was shown in two theatres and grossed $354 in its opening weekend and $549 overall.
Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982)
Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip was the most lucrative concert film of the legendary comedian’s career. That’s saying something because his 1983 concert film, Richard Pryor: Here and Now, is sixth on the list with $16 million. Remember, Pryor invented this genre in 1979. His Richard Pryor: Live in Concert is the first movie ever released that was devoted to one guy doing nothing but telling jokes on a stage. In Live on the Sunset Strip, Pryor discusses the infamous incident when he was freebasing cocaine and lit himself on fire.
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (2013)
Let’s look at the numbers. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain grossed $32 million at the box office and cost $2.5 million to make. His traditional film, Ride Along (2014), grossed $153 million and had a budget of $25 million. I wonder what kind of movie Hart will make next? The diminutive comic’s 2011 stand-up film, Laugh at My Pain, comes in at number eight (thanks to $7.7 million in gate receipts). Let Me Explain was filmed at Madison Square Garden while Laugh at My Pain was recorded at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat (2002)
Martin Lawrence has two stand-up concert films in the top ten: Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat is fifth with $19 million and 1994’s You So Crazy is seventh with $10 million. Runteldat was filmed at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C the same venue where Eddie Murphy shot his television special Delirious. You So Crazy was originally rated NC-17. It was then sold to another studio who released it as “unrated.”
Divine Madness (1980)
I’ve mentioned directly, or indirectly, nine of the top ten stand-up comedy concert films of all-time. The only film I have yet to enumerate is number nine, Divine Madness. Yes, the one with Bette Midler. Although the 94-minute film has the Divine Miss M singing 16 songs it also has her performing several stand-up comedy routines. Apparently, that qualifies it as a stand-up comedy film. The $5.3 million it earned at the box office qualifies it for ninth place.
If you reject Divine Madness then The Fluffy Movie moves to number nine and Comedian, starring Jerry Seinfeld, slides to number ten. You can argue that Comedian should be disqualified from consideration because it’s more of a documentary than a performance concert. If that’s the case then our new number ten is Eddie Griffin’s DysFunKtional Family (2003), which grossed $2.25 million.
For the sake of argument let’s not count Divine Madness or Comedian. If we do then all ten of the top grossing stand-up comedy concert films star minorities. All but one, Iglesias’ The Fluffy Movie, star African-American comedians.
Also, of all the comedians in the top ten (or 12 if you include Midler and Seinfeld) only Iglesias and Hart are in their 30s. In fact, everyone but Eddie Griffin (46) and Martin Lawrence (49) are in their 50s. While many on the list still perform stand-up, all most all are working in film or television. The only member of the top ten (twelve) that’s primarily a stand-up comedian is Gabriel Iglesias.
When it comes to the villains in my entertainment, I excel at overthinking. I’ve touched on where they went wrong, what they did right, and the musical scores that accompany them as they stalk about, raging about how hard it is to find a decent minion these days. What I haven’t covered yet are the songs they sing, and the songs others sing about them.
If you know me at all, you know that there is no escaping the fact that Poor Unfortunate Souls is going to be on this list. Ursula has great powers, and that song is waaay too much fun to sing in the car. The list is going to be a little Disney-heavy because they have the lion’s share (haha, lion joke!) of the Villainous Song Market these days, but I did go out of my way to find some non-Disney options! Villain songs are as diverse as the characters they represent: some are humorous, some are sad, and others are threatening. Many are all three at once! Without further posturing on my part, and in no particular order – here are some of the best villain songs I could find, and why I like them!
1.) “Be Prepared” – The Lion King
Yeah, we’ll be prepared! For Scar to tell you in terrifying detail how his nefarious plan is going to go down! Yeah, Scar was a jerk of a lion. He planned to murder his brother and his brother’s heir, throw the food chain and the Circle of Life to the wind, and be King of Pride Rock – but, he was also entertaining as heck. The song is incredibly catchy, and I mean …
“What does that make you, Uncle Scar?”
“A monkey’s uncle.”
I rest my case. Almost. If you want to see some people really enjoying getting into the Disney Villain spirit, check out All Night Yahtzee, an a cappella group from Florida State University’s take on the subject! The woman who sings Ursula’s song is amazing, but just wait until the 4:25 mark for the guy who sings “Be Prepared”! His maniacal laughter at the end is so good he might actually be practicing for a career as a cartoon villain!
2.) “The Last Midnight” – Into the Woods
I loved the recent movie version of this. I think Meryl Streep did an amazing job as The Witch, and the rest of the cast was wonderful as well. That said, there is no one in this world who sings the role of The Witch better than Bernadette Peters. “The Last Midnight” is somehow both threatening and sad, and I think that whichever version you prefer, it’s a damn good show.
3.) “Poor Unfortunate Souls” – The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie and Ariel is my favorite Disney princess. And, Ursula is my favorite Disney villain. By a landslide. Just the way she says, “And I help them, yes, I do!” at about 1:24! And, can we just take a minute to appreciate Ursula’s clever manipulation of pronouns?
4.) Come Little Children and I Put a Spell on You – Hocus Pocus
1993’s Hocus Pocus was weird and fun in that particular way that only things from the 1990s seem to be able to pull off. Just writing this makes me want to watch it again, if for no other reason than getting to see Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker gleefully embrace their villainous natures and … express themselves musically. You know, like villains do? Feeling bad? Let’s sing it out!
5.) Still Alive – Portal
Who would have thought that a passive-aggressive computer could sing such a lovely song? Okay, so there’s this:
Hal and his Daisy aside, GLADOS from Portal really stole the show with Still Alive. It’s a pretty song—really, really pretty! But, when you get into the lyrics, it’s amazing and chilling and so incredibly passive-aggressive that it’s brilliant. Thanks, Jonathan Coulton! That’s never leaving my head. My default sing-setting is set to, “Go ahead and leave me. I think I prefer to stay inside. Maybe you’ll find someone else to help you. Maybe Black Mesa. That was a joke, haha. Fat chance.
Anyway, this cake is great. It’s so delicious and moist. Look at me, still talking when there’s science to do, when I look up there it makes me glad I’m not you! I’ve experiments to run, there is research to be done on the people who are still alive!” Yeah. She’s still alive.
6.) Where There’s a Whip – The Rankin/Bass The Return of the King
Otherwise known as The Ballad of How Much It Sucks to be a Lesser Orc or Goblin. “We don’t want to go to war today, but the Lord of the Lash says nay, nay, nay!” And now, someone needs to make me a gif of orcs dancing the Nae Nae. So, in this version of Tolkien’s tale, the lesser orcs and goblins are driven to battle by the threat of physical punishment. I’m not saying they’re not evil, too—I’m pretty sure the only reason they don’t want to go to war is because they’re either too lazy to fight or don’t care enough to fight, and that they’d totally eat some delicious man-flesh given half a chance. This is a surprisingly funky-sounding song for a bunch of marching fuglies being menaced by the lash. And, it troublingly springs to mind whenever I’m stuck in traffic.
7.) Every Little Piece – Pete’s Dragon
Pete’s Dragon is one of my favorite live action Disney movies. Not in small part because Nora is an amazing character. Seriously, watch her stand up to the Goguns all by herself! She’s like, “Look out, or I’ll take you apart!” They mock her, but I wouldn’t recommend it—she runs a lighthouse and regularly dances on beer barrels while wrangling drunks. Okay, now that I’ve got my love for Nora out of the way, check out Jim Dale (yep, the same guy who reads you Harry Potter on the audiobooks!) as Dr. Terminus sing about killing and cutting up a dragon for monetary gain along with Red Buttons! Seriously. Money, money, money by the pound, indeed.
8.) In the Dark of the Night – Anastasia
This is the second time voice actor Jim Cummings appears on this list—he recorded parts of Be Prepared when Jeremy Irons had some vocal issues during the recording process. The man can sound like anyone, and that includes Rasputin, the Mad Monk in the not-Disney animated movieAnastasia. Rasputin’s speaking voice was played by Christopher Lloyd, but his singing voice was performed by none other than Jim Cummings, my favorite voice actor! (Seriously, he was Darkwing Duck, Ray the Firefly, AND Don Karnage!) If you want to hear a villain really, really revel in his evilness, listen to this one!
9.) Brand New Day – Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Remember when I said that sometimes villain songs were sad, sometimes they were threatening, and sometimes amusing? Well, of course Joss Whedon had to put all of the emotions in his Bag of Holding, stir them up, and pour me a Feels Cocktail, right? Dammit, Neil Patrick Harris! Why are you good at everything? ;-D
Between the execution and the composition, I never stood a chance with this song! Threatening (you’re gonna die), poignant (and Penny will see the evil me, not a dork, not a joke, not a failure) and hilarious (shiny new Australia, anyone?), all in one song? Totally. And, for the record, I think Billy was just trying for the wrong kind of girl. Penny was too kind and gentle for him. He needed a gal who would freaking appreciate the key to a shiny, new Australia! Not that I know anyone like that … I mean, I hear Australia has, like, a LOT of poisonous snakes, right?
10.) Let Me Rest In Peace – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
While we’re on the subject of the Whedon Feels Cocktail, let’s just get this out in the open—I had no idea that James Marsters wasn’t actually an Englishman until I saw him being interviewed on some talk show and was like, “Whaaaaaaa???” Color me surprised. I might need some hot chocolate. You know, the kind with the little marshmallows?
Ahem. So, Spike is a character who starts out as a villain, becomes a reluctant ally, and then goes through a complicated set of transformations even after that. Marsters’ portrayal of Spike is one of my favorite villains in TV history. He’s weird, complex, alternatively depressed and gleeful in his villainy. And, of course, so is the song. One part passion, one part evil, and one part pure entertainment. Because that’s kinda who Spike is.
11.) Gaston and Mob Song – Beauty and the Beast
This one is presented as a double whammy because they represent two distinct types of evil. Gaston is presented as a bully, not intelligent, but cunning. The kind of “popular guy” who could, for example, incite a crowd to riot to go and kill a beast they haven’t even seen before. The song Gastonis mainly sung to us by Lefou about how great of a guy Gaston supposedly is (while Gaston interjects, not-so-subtly showing us how awful he is): “As a specimen, yes, I’m intimidating!” and “I use antlers in all of my decorating!”Mob Song illustrates the true evil of mob psychology and manipulation: “We don’t like what we don’t understand, it frankly scares us, and this monster is mysterious at least!” and “It’s time to take some action, boys! It’s time to follow me!”
12.) You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch – How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Every year, ever since I was a little kid, I watch this around the holidays! I love the song for its incredibly clever use of imagery to describe the state of the Grinch’s heart, soul, and personality. Thurl Ravenscroft (I totally thought it was Boris Karloff my entire life!) is thoroughly disappointed and disgusted with you, Mr. Grinch! “You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel. You’re a bad banana with a greasy, black peel.” How’s that for imagery? Yuck. Is anything as profoundly icky as a greasy, rotten banana? I think not. “You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile,” and it seems that Thurl Ravelscroft would choose the seasick crocodile! No one needs a heart full of unwashed socks. Pull it together, Grinch! Grow that heart!
13.) The Bad Horse Chorus – Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
This one is pure comedy. I mean, Bad Horse? He’s an actual horse. Who is bad. And, to top that off, he votes, “Nay.” Get it? He’s a horse! It might legitimately be the only word he can say! Yeah, I love puns. Sue me.
We’ve run the gamut of villainous emotion from pride to fear to sadness to mania, and I’ve come to the end of my list, but I simply can’t let you escape without providing you with my favorite ridiculous villain song clip in the entire world:
Sky Pirates from the original version of Plunder and Lightning, the pilot (no pun intended) episode of TaleSpin! “When a village needs a pillage, or my pockets need a fillage!” No one enjoys the hard work of piracy quite like Don Karnage, which brings my Jim Cummings Count up to three for this article. Three times, Mr. Cummings. What is this magic? I think … it might be evil sorcery! I think I need to sing it out.
Sara Goodwin has a B.A. in Classical Civilization and an M.A. in Library Science from Indiana University. Once she went on an archaeological dig and found awesome ancient stuff. Sara enjoys a smorgasbord of pan-nerd entertainment such as Renaissance faires, anime conventions, steampunk, and science fiction and fantasy conventions. In her free time, she writes things like fairy tale haiku, fantasy novels, and terrible poetry about being stalked by one-eyed opossums. In her other spare time, she sells nerdware as With a Grain of Salt Designs, Tweets, and Tumbls.
Mister D: Support This artist! A great comeback with great tunes to boot!
— Darlene Love, Introducing Darlene Love – No. 134 — Darlene Love — a vocalist who is both a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Award-winner — finally makes her Billboard 200 chart debut with Introducing Darlene Love. The set (which starts at No. 134 with 5,000 units) is her first full-length album of original pop songs in 27 years, and includes tunes written by Bruce Springsteen, Desmond Child, Joan Jett and Elvis Costello. Love was featured in the 2013 Academy Award-winning documentary film 20 Feet From Stardom, and whose voice has been heard on numerous hits that have charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Perhaps most famously, Love was the lead vocalist of the No. 1 single “He’s a Rebel,” which was credited to The Crystals, though actually performed by Love with her group The Blossoms. Love also provided background vocals on smashes like The Ronettes’ No. 2 hit “Be My Baby,” Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers’ chart-topper “Monster Mash” and The Righteous Brothers’ No. 1 “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.’” She has sang background on albums for everyone from Cher and Aretha Franklin to Luther Vandross and Bette Midler.
Seeing double: 10 actors who played identical twins
Hoai-Tran Bui, USATODAY
October 2, 2015
Sometimes there aren’t enough twin actors in the world to star in a movie together. Or sometimes, the temptation of playing two different people who look alike is just too strong (or Oscar-baity).
Tom Hardy is tackling the long-lauded tradition of playing twins on film with his newest movie Legend — a practice that has become even more common in movies and television thanks to the powers of split-screen and CGI. Heck, Tatiana Maslany plays like seven versions of herself in Orphan Black. And don’t even talk to us about the numerous soap opera storylines where an evil twin comes to town to take over the main character’s life.
Here are 10 actors who have tackled the dual roles of identical twins, and held their own against, well, themselves.
Lindsey’s best movie after ‘Mean Girls’ tbh.
Lindsey’s best movie after ‘Mean Girls’ tbh. (Photo: LOREY SEBASTIAN, XXX WALT DISNEY PICTURES)
Lindsey Lohan’s most iconic role to date (we loved Mean Girls, but come on, that movie belonged to Rachel McAdams) was one of her first ones — as the couldn’t-be-more-different twins who met at camp after they were separated by their divorced parents. The Parent Trap was a 1998 remake of the 1961 film (also with star Hayley Mills pulling double duty), about Lohan’s twins getting into shenanigans as they clash at camp, then deciding to impersonate each other to bring their parents back together.
Armie Hammer, The Social Network
The Social Network is littered with great lines, but one of the best ones is uttered by one of Armie Hammer’s Winklevoss twins: “We can do that ourselves. I’m 6’5″, 220, and there’s two of me.” We honestly couldn’t really tell the difference between them other than their hair parting, but that was probably the point — why else would Mark Zuckerberg keep referring to them as the Winklevii?
This movie was peak Nicolas Cage.
This movie was peak Nicolas Cage. (Photo: NONE, XXX COLUMBIA PICTURES)
In a not-so-true movie about Charlie Kaufman’s writer’s block, Nicolas Cage plays Kaufman and his fictional twin brother. This is one of those few times that an actor actually got nominated for an Oscar for portraying two twins, and Cage is pretty brilliant in it. It’s like his wacky, over-the-top acting actually got divided into two people for Adaptation, and he becomes incredibly fascinating to watch. It also helps that it’s a Kaufman-penned, Spike Jonze-directed movie also starring Meryl Streep.
Bette Davis, A Stolen Life and Dead Ringer
You know you’re a great actress when you get hired to play twins in two separate movies. Iconic Classic Hollywood actress Bette Davis is brilliant as a pair of twins in both A Stolen Life and Dead Ringer — the first about two twins who get entangled in each other’s love affairs and the other about an estranged twin who kills her sister and takes over her life.
Remember this movie? We don’t really either…
Remember this movie? We don’t really either… (Photo: Andrew Cooper, Paramount Pictures)
Before he played a severely creepy Norman Bates in Bates Motel, Freddie Highmore was a precocious British child actor. In the height of his pale, doe-eyed popularity, he played identical twins Jared and Simon in the adaptation of the Spiderwick Chronicles fantasy series. Not only did he have to act against himself, he had to react to CGI fantasy creatures who were trying to attack him and his sister (played by Sarah Bolger). It’s a fun, silly fantasy romp that Highmore is probably the best part of.
Christian Bale, The Prestige (spoilers!)
The twist at the end of The Prestige (because it’s a Christopher Nolan movie, and those are probably required by law to have a twist) was that Christian Bale’s ambitious magician Alfred Borden was actually two people. The reason that he could perform his physics-defying tricks (and drive Hugh Jackman’s Robert Angier to madness) was because twins Alfred and Freddy masqueraded as one person their entire lives. And the biggest magic trick of all was that this was actually a great twist ending to a weird sci-fi-saturated magic movie.
What’s better than one actress playing twins? Two! Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin are hilarious as two sets of twins who were switched at birth (yeah, this is a common plot), with one set going to a rich family and the other going to a poor family. It’s a classic 1980s slapstick comedy — an era which, for some reason, was obsessed with doppelgangers — and Midler and Tomlin are perfect.
Two Leo’s? Swoon.
Two Leo’s? Swoon. (Photo: ETIENNE GEORGE, XXX UNITED ARTISTS PICTURES)
Poor Leo. This was early in his career and he was not yet at full Oscar-bait power, but man, he was awful in this movie. Probably the only actor to go for the dual roles and walk away with a Razzies Award (the parody awards ceremony that rewards the worst in film), Leonardo DiCaprio played King Louis XIV and Philippe in the adaptation of one of Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers stories, but without any of the fun of a Three Musketeers movie.
A psychological thriller that gave Jeremy Irons his first critically acclaimed performance, Irons plays two twin gynecologists who operate a successful fertility clinic and women-seducing operation. Ignoring the fact that the plot is highly unethical, Irons was lauded for his performance as the more charismatic and confident twin Elliot, and the shyer twin Beverly, which he claimed to play by using the “Alexander technique” to give them “different energy points.”
Bette Midler arrived on this earth about four decades too late — the first 20 minutes of “For the Boys” proves that once and for all. As Dixie Leonard, a bawdy big-band singer who rises to fame with an old show biz song-and-dance man named Eddie Sparks (James Caan), she has the exuberant, larger-than-life personality of a bygone era. One look at her and you’re certain that she was born to be painted on the nose of a bomber.
The dazzling performer we see inthese opening moments is completely without equal. Performing “Stuff Like That There” before a crowd of entertainment-hungry World War II airmen, she emits a transcendental radiance. Her whole personality — the naughty sexuality, the beaming, big-toothed generosity and twinkling charm — is fully on display, and the occasion is one for genuine celebration. The critic Kenneth Tynan once called stars in her class “high-definition performers,” and for an instant during these blissful early scenes’, we’re giddy with anticipation.
Unfortunately, this momentary’ exhilaration quickly gives way to the darkest disappointment. And the betrayal of our expectations – our hopes that, at last, Midler has found her proper showcase — turns first to indifference and, later, to bitter impatience. What we get from Midler and her director, MarkRydell, is the same shameless schmaltz we got in “Beaches” and “Stella.”
The real shame of “For the Boys,” though, is just how recklessly Midler squanders her own abundant talents. And since it’s her company that produced the film; the blame, at least in large part^has to fall on her shoulders. What “For the Boys” represents is a waste of a great natural resource.
Maybe we should print up bumper stickers: Free Bette Midler — from herself.
Gabriel Iglesias is one of the funniest and most likable stand-ups working in comedy today. He sells out shows all over the world and his DVDs always threaten the million-units-sold plateau. That’s ...
Larry BraggAs much as the other actors and critics ragged on Bette, I thought the other actors were horrible! She did the best with what there was to work with.
14 hours ago · 4
Art RekerAs Bette said, she and the director did not get along. She ended up punching him. He ended up cutting a movie together that was retribution, using really lousy takes and never letting Bette look good. There's a much better movie there, but unfortunately it ended up on the cutting room floor.
Charlene Susanne GoldsmithI remember trying to get this movie.....it wasnt avaliable to buy any more and then one day it was on tv :) I have it on vhs but still don't have the dvd.I like this movie :) and must get the dvd!
When it comes to the villains in my entertainment, I excel at overthinking. I’ve touched on where they went wrong, what they did right, and the musical scores that accompany them as they stalk about...
“You know, I wanted to leave you with the memory of the good beneath the gaudy, the saint beneath the paint, the pure little soul that lurks beneath this lurid exterior… but then again I figured: Fuck’EM IF THEY CAN’T TAKE A JOKE!” ... See MoreSee Less
EXCLUSIVE: Trudie Styler will produce and direct the film adaptation of James St. James best-seller Freak Show which already has Bette Midler, AnnaSophia Robb, Ian Nelson and Lorraine Toussaint on board. The film is in pre-production and is expected to roll before the cameras at month’s end. The lead role has not yet been set … wish we were a fly on the wall for that casting session. Would be fun.
The book was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men’s Debut Fiction. The Lambda’s recognize the best in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender books.
Freak-ShowFreak Show tells the story of Billy Bloom, a funny, good-hearted, cross-dressing teen who becomes the new student at an ultra-conservative high school. Although accosted with Bible thumpers, the jocks, the bullies, Billy takes a stand. Determined to be who he is and not bow to peer pressure, he refuses to change his outlandish outfits or behavior. Instead, he decides to run for Homecoming Queen for outcasts and underdogs everywhere.
Midler is set to play Muv, Billy’s mother. As the Divine Miss M., Midler began her career singing in a bathhouse in the 1970s and gathered quite a following from the gay community before becoming a mega-star.
Robb and Nelson will play Billy’s friends ‘Blah Blah Blah’ and ‘Flip,’ while Toussaint portrays Billy’s nanny, Flossie.
Celine Rattray (The Kids Are Alright) and Charlotte Ubben are also producing with Styler through their Maven Pictures banner along with Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen’s Flower Films (Chris Miller, Ember Truesdell), Jeffrey Coulter, and Bryan Rabin. Adapting the book is Beth Rigazio and PJ Clifton.
Maven Pictures, which was co-founded by Rattray and Styler (Still Alice, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Moon), most recently produced five-time BIFA nominated film Filth, starring James McAvoy. It also executive produced Miss You Already.
Midler just wrapped a concert tour this summer. She is repped by CAA and Morra, Brezner, Steinberg, and Tenenbaum.