Andie MacDowell


It was revealed this week that Matthew McConaughey is not returning to the glitz and glamour of the Magic Mike stage to resume his role of Dallas, godfather of all strippers. It’s like you win one Oscar and you just can’t wear a pair of casual leather chaps for the amusement of some Tampa cougars, geez. But blessedly, the several other stars from the cast are returning for the sequel — including  Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Gabriel Iglesias and Joe Manganiello – all unlimitedly talented when it comes to wearing tearaway pants, flirting with drug abuse and maybe crafting some custom furniture in their downtime. The second installment, titled Magic Mike XXL and directed by Gregory Jacobs, will also brings a trio of talented women into the mix: Andie MacDowell, Jada Pinkett Smith and Amber Heard. While it’s unclear who MacDowell is playing, the plot involves our intrepid band of male exotic dancers heading on a road trip together to a strippers’ convention. It’s not exactly “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” with your siblings cross-country to Grandma’s, but family’s what you make it, right? Aside from the road trip premise, XXL‘s details are being held tightly under wraps. Aside from the stripping, of course. So, so much stripping.


Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in GROUNDHOG DAY

I made plans late last week to feature Groundhog Day as my next Commentary Commentary title, and immediately discovered that I didn’t own a copy of the film. A quick trip to a nearby video store graced me with a used Blu-ray which I brought home, watched, and fell in love with all over again. It’s that rare, near-perfect movie where everything seems to fall beautifully in place, a film that never weakens on repeat viewings, and one that says more about humanity than many examples of far more serious cinema. Harold Ramis died this past Monday, and while it’s a tragedy for his wife, children, and friends, it also leaves a void for the millions of fans who’ve loved much of his work over the years. Meatballs, Caddyshack, Stripes, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Ghostbusters, Back to School, Groundhog Day, The Ice Harvest… all fantastically fun films that wouldn’t have been the same without his involvement as writer and/or director. Keep reading to see what I heard on Harold Ramis’ commentary for Groundhog Day.



In good news for people who love bad movies, the current trend of putting together projects that are named after holidays and feature the largest ensemble casts ever assembled seems to be continuing. Director Garry Marshall and New Line Cinema had so much success with their relationship compendiums Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve that some new players are looking to get into the game. Writer/director Paul Duddridge is all set to bring us Mother’s Day, a film that will examine the relationships of twelve different mother/daughter pairings. Not much is yet known regarding the specifics of Mother’s Day’s plot or character descriptions, but Deadline Astoria has all the latest scoops regarding the casting details. Already cast in undisclosed roles are the real-life mother/daughter duo of Susan Sarandon and Eva Amurri Martino, and joining them in keeping the theme of familial authenticity going are the newly cast team of Andie MacDowell and her daughter Rainey Qualley. Christina Ricci is also said to be signed, but there’s no mention of her real-life mother, so boo to her for ruining a nice theme.



When Craig Brewer was announced to direct the Footloose remake, there were a more than a few heads being scratched. The director behind the fantastic Hustle & Flow as well as the excellent fable Black Snake Moan taking on material which is considered by most to be cheesy was a surface-level surprise. But once you dig deep into the original, there are more than a few themes that tie to Brewer’s work — expressing yourself through art, family issues, sexuality, etc. There are some mature themes in the original. Themes that didn’t quite hit their mark. However, Brewer managed to make those themes fly. The 1984 film had major tonal issues. After witnessing Chris Penn have a five-minute dance montage, you see Ariel (now played by Julianne Hough) get beaten by her boyfriend. Dance montages and girlfriend beatings usually don’t go hand in hand, tonally speaking. This time around, there’s a real care for tone. Footloose is a movie that has its cake and eats it too. Apologies for that dreadful expression, but it’s true. It strives for a seriousness, which is earned. Brewer also aims to make a great crowd-pleaser, and that’s where the film exceeds wonderfully. As someone who despises not only High School kids, but also dancing, I never thought I’d say, “That’s cool,” when the two joined forces.

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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