Nollywood, Bollywood and a Little Bit of Hollywood

Nollywood, Bollywood and a Little Bit of Hollywood (photo)

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A little lightness this week to offset last week’s doom and gloom in theaters; love is in the air, as we enjoy imported romance alongside some family friendly animation and docs on the film industry and its players.

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“The Beaches of Agnès”
While most people commit their memoirs to the page, Belgian octogenarian auteur Agnès Varda has constructed a nostalgic visual document of her life, times and work. Flitting between past and present, Varda assembles a collage of memory and experience channeled to us through whimsical reconstruction, archival photographs, home movies and abstract compositions (including a room where the walls are entirely comprised of 35mm prints from her failed stab at fantasy, “Les Créatures”) that frame the rich tapestry of her life in her own inimitable style.
Opens in New York.

“The Girl From Monaco”
Courtroom drama meets bedroom farce in this breezy multigenerational romantic dramedy from French co-writer/director Anne Fontaine. Veteran thesp Fabrice Luchini stars as Bertrand Beauvois, a slick defense attorney who’s a smooth talker in the courtroom, but a fumbling neurotic in the bedroom. Fortunately, he has his buttoned-down bodyguard Christophe (Roschdy Zem) to rely on for advice with the ladies when the trial of Bertrand’s life is complicated by his burgeoning relationship with weather girl Audrey (former real-life celebrity weather girl Louise Bourgoin). In French with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”
With the spectacularly poor “Titan A.E” now a distant memory, Fox Animation has given Pixar and DreamWorks something to think about, with their Blue Sky Studios delivering a succession of solidly entertaining animated hits in recent years. This third installment to the sub-zero family saga from returning director Carlos Saldanha finds expectant mammoth couple Manny and Ellie (Ray Romano and Queen Latifah) and smart ass saber-tooth Diego (Denis Leary) on a mission to rescue Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), who’s nabbed himself some dinosaur eggs. The real star of the show remains Scrat, the squirrel-rat whose inept pursuit of the perfect nut is now complicated by competition from a wily female.
Opens wide.

“I Hate Valentine’s Day”
Less than a month after she returned to screens with “My Life in Ruins,” Nia Vardalos is reuniting with her “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” co-star John Corbett, as this most profitable of indie screen pairings try their hand at the unromantic romantic comedy subgenre. In her directorial debut, Vardalos stars as Genevieve, a perennially unlucky in love New Yorker whose serial disappointment with the dating scene has led her to adopt a hard and fast rule of five dates max. After a newly arrived restaurateur (Corbett) with commitment issues turns her head, Genevieve seizes her opportunity to woo him with the idea of commitment-free dating.
Opens in limited release and on demand.

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Documentary Now! Robert Evans Mansion

The Reel Deal

Everything You Need To Know About “Mr. Runner Up” Inspiration Robert Evans

Watch the two-part finale of Documentary Now! this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

In its upcoming two-part finale, Documentary Now! spoofs the crown jewel of docs: The Kid Stays In The Picture. It’s the autobiographical documentary about Robert Evans, the unlikely Hollywood mogul whose mix of self-aggrandizing bravado, classic good looks and extremely circumstantial good luck took him from being a salesman to an actor to the head of Paramount Pictures.

If you’ve never seen the film, it’s totally worth it. Rotten Tomatoes agrees, with a staggeringly-high approval rating. Watch it before, or watch it after — doesn’t matter. You’ll appreciate it whenever.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of background that will come in handy…

Robert Loves Robert

Robert Evans desk

USA Films/Everett Collection

Robert Evans is the ultimate Robert Evans fan. The movie was narrated by Robert Evans and based on his memoir of the same name. It is totally unbiased.

He’s Kind Of A Big Deal

Robert Evans, Chinatown
Paramount Pictures

Evans produced some of Hollywood’s true classics: Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story…the list goes on. Totally legit and amazing movies.

He’s Also Kind Of A Joke

Wag The Dog
New Line Cinema

Evans has been parodied in TV shows and movies like Entourage and Wag The Dog. He is the quintessential “producer” you already have in your head.

So Wrong He’s Right

Robert Evans Slap
20th Century Film Corp

Robert Evans is a notorious narcissist whose love of self is so blind and sincere that it’s actually adorable.

There’s Something Missing

via Giphy

Entire sections of Robert Evans’ life are left out of the documentary. Maybe it’s because of timing. Maybe it’s because real life isn’t a tidy narrative. Who knows.

He Blew It

Spider coke

Evans had a pretty spectacular fall from grace. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the early 80’s, and was connected to a contract killing during the production of The Cotton Club. Oops.

Losing Is For Losers

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

In the Robert Evans mythology, all tragedies are just triumphs in disguise, and every story has a happy ending…for Robert Evans.

Bill Hader Jerry Wallach

With these simple facts in hand you are now prepared to thoroughly enjoy the two-part finale of Documentary Now! starting this Wednesday at 10/9c on IFC.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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