Tag Archives: Sandra Bullock

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The 10 Best Movie Gangs Who’ve Gotten (Back) Together

Elle The 10 Best Movie Gangs Who’ve Gotten (Back) Together BY R. ERIC THOMAS JUN 13, 2018 Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Window Washer Photo, FWC

The crowds who flocked to theaters this past weekend to make Ocean’s 8 the number one movie in America probably left with two thoughts in mind: 1) Wow, Anne Hathaway is G.O.A.T., and we’re lucky to have her. No slander for our Oscar-winning queen; 2) Can’t wait til this gang gets back together. The Ocean’s films, of which the all-female iteration is both a sequel and a reboot, excel at one of the greatest tropes in all entertainment: the ragtag gang of old friends and newcomers who combine their skills for one so-crazy-it-just-might-work mission. Sometimes participants are lured in with the promise that this is “one last mission,” which—let’s be honest—it never is. Sometimes the draw is the promise of wealth; sometimes it’s a devil’s bargain as repayment for a past crime; sometimes it’s all in service of an old friend who could really use the specific skills of a disparate group who somehow found their way into each other’s lives. Sometimes is a highly mobile pair of pants. ...  Read More

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Female Buddy Movies: And Bette Is The Queen

Miami Herald Buddy movies: Is it time for women to get their share? Published: June 25, 2013 426905_215581848538276_214468311982963_418659_1088933609_n   When “The Heat” premieres in theaters on Friday, it may show Melissa McCarthy changing movies yet again. McCarthy was part of the ensemble in “Bridesmaids” – and to many, the most memorable part – which showed that women could star in a successful movie that was as unapologetically raunchy as male fare like “Superbad” and “The Hangover,” but without the upper-class gloss of “Sex and the City.” With “Identity Thief” earlier this year, she demonstrated that an actress did not have to be a little twig to carry a box-office blockbuster. Now, she and Oscar winner Sandra Bullock are out to revive an only intermittently visible form with “The Heat.” Directed by “Bridesmaids'” Paul Feig, it stars Bullock as an uptight FBI agent and McCarthy as a rules-breaking cop, who are pushed together for a case. Even in a trailer for the movie, Bullock fans will quickly note similarities to her characters in the hits “Miss Congeniality” and “The Proposal,” while McCarthy is once again as unhinged as she was in “Bridesmaids” and “Identity Thief.” But whatever they have done elsewhere, Bullock and McCarthy together are offering a relatively rare movie form: a buddy movie starring two women – even more specifically, an action-comedy starring two women. Ask about famous buddy movies and get ready for a long list: “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” the various “Lethal Weapons,” “48 HRS.” (and its sequel), “I Love You, Man,” “Trading Places,” the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby movies, the Richard Pryor-Gene Wilder films, Sidney Poitier-Bill Cosby, Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau (who even starred in a film called “Buddy Buddy“), Wayne and Garth, “Dumb and Dumber,” “Bad Boys” (and its sequel), “Swingers,” “The Other Guys” (which both embraced and poked fun at the action-buddy movie). And now try the same thing, only with movies starring women. There’s “Thelma & Louise.” And? (Crickets …) When CNN.com greeted “The Hangover Part III” with a rundown of 20 great buddy films, 18 were about males while only two starred women: the aforementioned “Thelma & Louise,” which dates to 1991, and the comedy “Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion,” from 1997. Whereas most male-centered buddy movies tend to be about two men – the “Hangover” films are among the more noteworthy exceptions – women-buddy films seem to need larger groups to qualify. Toronto Film Scene’s list featured a trio (“First Wives’ Club”), quartet (“Friends With Money”) and quintet (“The Jane Austen Book Club“). That and other lists of women as buddies have cited “Bridesmaids,” “Waiting to Exhale,” “Sex and the City,” “Steel Magnolias” (done twice, with different casts), “The Women” and its remake, “Enchanted April” and other group efforts. (TV, however, has been a regular home to pairs like “Mary and Rhoda,” “Cagney and Lacey” and, currently, “Rizzoli and Isles.”) It could be argued that the golden age of female-buddy movies was the ’80s, and that Bette Midler was the unofficial queen of the form. In 1987 and 1988 she had three movies that have made it onto women-buddies lists: “Beaches” (with Barbara Hershey), “Big Business” (with Lily Tomlin) and “Outrageous Fortune” (with Shelley Long). She was also part of the oft-cited, later “First Wives’ Club” with Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton. Only even there, we are dealing with movies that are often about bonding and more than a few tears, and not so ready to have their leads strap on a shoulder holster and take down some perps. Let’s not forget how things ended for Thelma and Louise. Women are active in the military and in law enforcement. Kathryn Bigelow is one of the most tough-minded directors working (see “Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Hurt Locker”). But, as Daniel Johnson noted on Screen Rant, this kind of film tends to be male-dominated. If we see tough women, they often tend either to be solo performers (as Angelina Jolie has been in several films) or part of a larger, and mostly male, ensemble. So can things change with “The Heat”? As with just about anything in Hollywood, a big box-office success will get studios and stars thinking about ways to replicate the formula. “The Heat” trailer, as mentioned, recalls earlier hits with the two stars. And, with Bullock and McCarthy, “The Heat” has put the buddy formula in the hands of two of the most-liked current stars. But a real test may be how “The Heat” does against another movie opening the same day: “White House Down.” It’s an action movie with a familiar premise – the White House under siege, also the subject of Olympus Has Fallen earlier this year – and a popular lead, Channing Tatum. At least one of the movie’s trailers has played up a buddy relationship between Tatum’s tough guy and the U.S. president (Jamie Foxx). Will the audience opt for that combination, or turn to the gender shift of “The Heat”?
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Our critics recommend..

Philly.com By Steven Rea June 23, 2013 USA: Bette Midler's 12th Annual Spring Picnic Our critics recommend… The Heat A mismatched buddy cop comedy with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy trying out the 48 Hrs. formula, chasing down a Beantown drug lord. A sequel is already in the works. R 20 Feet from Stardom A rocking doc about the unsung singers standing just to the right and left of Mick Jagger, Bette Midler, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and other music superstars. Backup vocalists finally get their due. PG-13 White House Down Didn’t we just see this 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue siege thing with Gerard Butler in Olympus Has Fallen? This time around, it’s Channing Tatum as a Capitol cop who teams with the Prez (Jamie Foxx) to battle a gang of terrorists. Roland Emmerich directs. PG-13
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Heat: Could This Be The Best Buddy Movie Since Outrageous Fortune?

Newsday ‘The Heat’: Can Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock make it funny? Originally published: June 18, 2013 3:36 PM Updated: June 21, 2013 3:43 PM By JOHN ANDERSON Special to Newsday 389778_223684461038532_221327031274275_541464_1865321525_n The venerable Jerry Lewis got himself caught in the crosshairs of comedy at the Cannes Film Festival last month, when he said, once again, that women aren’t funny. Maybe they’re not. But judging by “The Internship,” “The Hangover Part III,” “This Is the End” and the trailer for the upcoming “Grownups 2,” neither are men. Although he may be a man, Paul Feig directed what plenty of people think was the funniest film of the past several years, “Bridesmaids,” a movie comedy populated almost entirely by — yes, Jerry — women. And if the advance word is any indication (“Better than ‘Bridesmaids’!” decreed Indiewire’s Anne Thompson), Feig’s latest, “The Heat,” may be the comedy hit of the summer. It opens Friday. Starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy — whose gastrointestinal distress in “Bridesmaids” caused plumbers to shudder all over America — “The Heat” is an odd-couple-crime-buddy-cop-road movie, a genre-hopping, multihyphenated plotline that reflects Hollywood’s current strategy of making audiences think they’re getting more of everything. Which, in this case anyway, includes the cast. Bullock, the star of such popular romantic comedies as “While You Were Sleeping” (1995), “Miss Congeniality” (2000) and “The Proposal” (2009) and who gave an Oscar-winning performance in “The Blind Side” (2009), can certainly open a movie on her own. So can McCarthy. The star of TV’s “Mike & Molly,” the recent “Identity Thief” and “The Hangover Part III” (in which she had a small but memorable role, in a forgettable movie) is among the more formidable and funniest of today’s female comedy stars. Together, they imply that what you’re going to get is a double dip of laughs. With a screenplay by “Parks & Recreation” writer Katie Dippold (a woman!), “The Heat” has a predictable enough setup: Bullock plays uptight, by-the-book FBI agent Sarah Ashburn; McCarthy is Shannon Mullins, a slovenly Boston cop with anger issues. They don’t like each other, but they are cast together, to their great irritation, to bring down a nasty Russian drug czar and save the world. =&0=& The premise for “The Heat” as a cop comedy is one of the hoariest constructs in the history of movies — the old “48 Hrs.”-style, “Lethal Weapon”-inspired mismatch of temperaments, crime-fighting techniques and personal habits. The only thing that keeps “The Heat” from conforming to the classic “I Spy” format is that Bullock and McCarthy are both white (although Bullock certainly seems WASPy and McCarthy and her character are obviously Irish). What makes the real difference, of course, is that they’re both women: The closest the buddy-cop movie genre has come to that was “White Chicks,” in which Shawn and Marlon Wayans played women in whiteface drag. =&1=& And women aren’t funny, right Jerry? Actually, there may be a real disparity between the sexes when it comes to a sense of humor. Researchers at the University of New Mexico, linking humor to intelligence and intelligence to sexual attractiveness, said that “males showed higher average humor production ability. These results suggest that the human sense of humor evolved at least partly through sexual selection as an intelligence-indicator.” Research at the University of Maryland in 1996 said that women who posted personal ads sought partners who made them laugh twice as often as they offered to be the source of humor; men offered to be the jokester a third more often than they sought it in a mate. A researcher at the University of Western Ontario in 2006 elaborated on this, saying that, “Although both sexes say they want a sense of humor, in our research women interpreted this as ‘someone who makes me laugh,’ and men wanted ‘someone who laughs at my jokes.’ ” So it may in fact be that men are hard-wired to be funnier than women, for the oldest reason there is — survival of the species. Which doesn’t explain Kristen Wiig. Or Sarah Silverman. Or Joan Rivers. But it may prompt readers to give Lewis a break. Because what he was talking about in Cannes wasn’t just comedy. “I cannot sit and watch a lady diminish her qualities to the lowest common denominator,” he told The Associated Press. “I just can’t do that.” Although he was talking across a deep generational divide, what he was really saying was that he doesn’t like it when women act like men — the mechanics of comedy almost always demanding, however subtly, that a comedian debase himself. In “The Heat,” McCarthy’s character, in particular, acts and looks like a particularly uncouth man. Which is what makes her funny, even if Lewis finds it too much to bear. ‘The Heat,” which pairs Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as mismatched partners in a police investigation, is the rarest of creatures — a female-buddy-cop movie (TV’s been more liberal: see “Cagney & Lacey”). Almost as unusual, though, are simple one-on-one female buddy movies — films in which women characters are posed opposite each other without aid of a coterie, clique or claque. Movies in which women interact in groups are famous and plentiful — “The Women,” “The Group,” “Steel Magnolias,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “A League of Their Own,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Bridesmaids” — all feature three or more women dealing with their problems. The following couplings are really unusual. And all were directed by men. =&2=& =&3=& (1988) — A 30-year friendship (Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey) seen via flashback is the basis for this Garry Marshall-directed weeper, which has become the defining movie in the movie war of the sexes — men recoil in horror, women generally like it, and no one knows why. =&4=& (1991) — A seminal (if that’s the word) moment at the movies, in which the title characters head for Mexico after killing an assailant, but have to go around Texas to do it. Both Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis earned best actress Oscar nominations for the Ridley Scott-directed film (written by Callie Khouri), but lost to Jodie Foster (“The Silence of the Lambs”). =&5=& (2001) — Terry Zwigoff (“Crumb”) directed this story of high school girlfriends, social outcasts whom one just knows are going to become remarkable people. Thora Birch is Enid, a brunette Scarlett Johansson is Rebecca and Steve Buscemi is Seymour, the slightly odd duck whom Enid adopts. =&6=& (2009) — Based on the 1975 documentary by the Maysles brothers, this updated semibiography focuses on the eccentric lives of Edith Bouvier Beale (Drew Barrymore), aka Little Edie, and her mother, Edith Ewing Bouvier (Jessica Lange), aka Big Edie, cousins of Jacqueline Kennedy and the charmingly strange inhabitants of a dilapidated Long Island mansion. =&7=& (1997). Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michelle (Lisa Kudrow), 28-year-old airheads, prepare for their upcoming high school reunion by manufacturing better lives for themselves. Nothing goes as planned, there’s a certain amount of cringing involved and, despite what would seem like common sense, there was a TV prequel in 2005.
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