Rob Reiner

And So It Goes Trailer

The “______ with a heart of gold” trope is a longstanding one in the romantic comedy genre. The hooker with a heart of gold! The womanizer with a heart of gold! The criminal mastermind with a heart of gold! The murderer with a heart of gold! The disabled puppy with a heart of gold! Whatever, etc. All those hidden hearts need is a little love, affection and a long walk on the beach or two and — ding! — instant gold reveal. And after those plated hearts show themselves, what follows is romance and a bit of comedy and some good fun. Rom-coms have no problem introducing kinda-jerks, setting them up to meet the love of their life and then allowing them to be “worthy” of such love because they’re willing to change. In romantic comedies, you can be a total goddamn asshole and still get the girl (or the guy). That’s the charm, right? Everyone deserves love! Even the horrible people. Wrong. This is stupid and idiotic and it needs to stop now — but that doesn’t mean that there’s not one more film in the can that’s all about a horrible man (in this case, Michael Douglas) apparently changing, thanks to the love of a good woman (Diane Keaton) and some fluffy hijinks. It’s Rob Reiner‘s And So It Goes! And it makes us miss When Harry Met Sally! Watch Diane Keaton settle for what should be every woman’s worst nightmare, after the break.

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Christoph Waltz

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily roundup of all the casting news you care about, and maybe (probably) one or two items you don’t. Some info has finally leaked about James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller’s upcoming sequel to The Muppets. Turns out it’s going to be a caper movie, somewhat along the lines of The Great Muppet Caper, but with more of an international flair. How international? So international that THR is reporting they’re closing in on signing Christoph Waltz to play one of the main, non-Muppet roles—that of an Interpol inspector. Other important parts for humans are said to include a Russian femme fatale and a male lead with mysterious intentions. Actors looking to land the part should start sending in their shifty-eyed head shots now.

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Commemorating the 25th anniversary of The Princess Bride, director Rob Reiner, screenwriter William Goldman (also the author of the source novel) and stars Robin Wright (“Buttercup”), Wallace Shawn (“Vizzini”), Chris Sarandon (“Prince Humperdink”), Mandy Patinkin (“Inigo Montoya”), Carol Kane (“Valerie”), Cary Elwes (“Westley”), and Billy Crystal (“Miracle Max”) all gathered at NYC’s Alice Tully Hall on Tuesday as part of a New York Film Festival special event screening. This marked the first time in almost 26 years that they have watched the film with an audience, re-experiencing the saga of Buttercup and her Westley (and all swordsmanship and kissing involved). Throughout the film, which sold out the 1,086-seat Lincoln Center venue, attendees of all different ages loudly applauded and hooted for their favorite lines and for the first appearances of their favorite characters. They were worked up into a fervor, more closely resembling a ribald grindhouse crowd than one at a typical NYFF screening. This large-scale showing injected new life into The Princess Bride, and it is especially great that the audience was so responsive, given that the cast sat through the film and were able to witness the extreme appreciation of their work firsthand.

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Last Tuesday was the 25th anniversary of the theatrical openings of The Princess Bride, and this coming Tuesday sees the release of a 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray of the movie, which features a new two-part retrospective documentary. Also on Tuesday, a new print of the fantasy adventure classic will screen during the New York Film Festival, complete with a reunion of actors Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal and Carol Kane and director Rob Reiner (no Fred Savage? Inconceivable!) for a post-film conversation. So, we’ve got a new Scenes We Love this week to honor the beloved comedic romance (don’t call it a rom-com), and maybe this sounds like an impossible task. After all, if you love one scene from The Princess Bride, you love them all. We could just say, we love that 100-minute-long scene in which a stable boy-turned-pirate fights a giant, a genius and a swordsman in order to rescue a princess from kidnappers and then stop her from marrying an evil prince, all as it is told by an old man to his grandson. Then just embed the film in its entirety (if it were available this way). But we can isolate a handful of favorites — that’s six scenes, if we go by Count Rugen’s hand — and if there are any others you wish to bring up, we invite you to do so.

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Rob Reiner

The creepiest picture of Rob Reiner of all time brought to you by the news that he’ll be taking a break from romantic comedies and non-romantic comedies to make You Belong to Me – the ominously-titled thriller from writer David Murray. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie focuses on a psychiatrist who shares his own life with his patients. According to Reiner, the story involves “a deep psychological bent to it and a big twist in the end that [he] didn’t see coming.” It’s easy to forget that Reiner was the director who made Misery in 1990. Under the fluffy pile of When Harry Met Sally and Princess Bride, he knocked out one of the best Stephen King adaptations on the books. The point? He’s got cold blood somewhere in him, and it’s more than a little exciting to see him return to the genre. Maybe he can convince Kathy Bates to cameo.

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When Jeremy said he needed someone to fill in on Commentary Commentary so that he could focus his energies primarily on South by Southwesting, I simply replied, “As you wish.” But then I was left with a conundrum. What movie should I watch the commentary track for? After rifling through my DVD collection I ended up with a handful of possibilities, and I wound up choosing The Princess Bride for one reason: when else would I ever listen to the commentary tracks on this movie, if not now? The Princess Bride is so much fun, such a whimsical experience, that if you’re going to put the DVD on, you want to watch the movie. You don’t want to hear some old guy rambling over all of the classic lines. Consequently, this thing has been sitting on my shelf essentially since DVDs began, and I still haven’t listened to either the Rob Reiner or the William Goldman commentaries. So, here we go, I’ll take the hit and give them a listen, pick out all the interesting stuff, and you can go about your usual business of properly soaking in all the action, adventure, and romance the next time you need to get your Princess Bride fix.

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Over Under - Large

The mockumentary is a relatively recent genre of storytelling whose origins are probably as recent as the last hundred years. And that’s including all stories that could be considered mockumentaries by stretching the definition. The actual term, “mockumentary,” is even newer. By some accounts it first came into use when Rob Reiner used it to describe his 1984 cult classic This is Spinal Tap. Adding a word to the lexicon could be seen as a pretty big accomplishment for a goofy comedy, but, despite its subject matter, the legacy of this film shouldn’t be downplayed. Few movies live on as long and remain as popular as Spinal Tap has. Every few years a new generation of college kids discover this thing, and its legend just keeps growing. Far from being an originator, A Mighty Wind is a later film from the crew of mockumentarians led by Christopher Guest. And despite the fact that it’s full of a lot of good work, it often gets a bad rap. Guest and crew’s previous efforts, Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show, were so ridiculously funny that A Mighty Wind gets unfairly judged in comparison. And that’s unfortunate for a couple reasons. For one, those first two Guest-directed mockumentaries were such a high water mark for the genre that it was probably unfair to expect them to keep producing at such a level. And secondly, A Mighty Wind goes for funny a bit less that its predecessors, and plays a bit more in […]

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Criterion Files

Tune into VH1 Classics on any given day, and this is something you’re likely to see: a rock video of a mid-80s hair band playing on a giant stage, complete with sleek cinematography, wide camera angles, and a stadium-sized audience packed to the brim. At first you might be confused, thinking that this is possibly some Whitesnake or Guns N’ Roses song that somehow escaped your memory. But then the music video ends and in the bottom left corner the band’s name comes up. You’ve never heard of them before, and you’ve definitely never heard this song before. Yet this video depicts monstrous popularity that suggests nothing less than massive cultural phenomenon. While it’s possible for a one-hit wonder to develop this degree of renown for a certain frame of time, it becomes something of a schizophrenic moment when you consider that this hit single both inaugurated the now-forgotten band’s moment of popularity and depicted it simultaneously. With so many hair bands, how is it possible that every single one of them sells out stadium-size crowds? The answer, of course, can only be one thing: an association with mass popularity is, for hair bands, only a reality for the privileged few, but for the rest it’s a fabrication that’s all part of the musical aesthetic – it’s what makes this subgenre of rock that’s reliant on spectacle so spectacular. It’s fitting, then, that one of the landmark mockumentaries of American filmmaking chose as its subject a genre that itself relies […]

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as MrSmith1939 and 2BorNot2B in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the two daydream the ultimate reboot – an entire era of filmmaking brought back to life through the lens of modern directors. What styles should we bring back and homage? It is a good idea to let nostalgia drive us artistically? Will people in 30 years be harkening back to the Abramsian style?

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Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movies, Your Alternate Box Office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend. With apologies to everyone scratching at the walls of their play pen to see Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, this week features one major release. Trains, nostalgia bombs, and a coming of age story the likes of which haven’t been seen since Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, J.J. Abrams is back with a tribute to everything he loved when he was just Jefferey. If you plan on catching Super 8, here are 3 films you should watch with it.

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Here’s the infamous “Cheese Rolling” trailer for This Is Spinal Tap. The picture quality isn’t ideal, but it may be the single most hilarious trailer of all time. Rob Reiner pitches sex, comedy, big nipples, stars, and begs the audience to let him break into film so he won’t have to go crawling back to television. It’s a trailer written in the saddest key with no footage from the movie itself – just the director giving us some information about how many awards he’s won and how the fine tradition of cheese rolling began. If you love Spinal Tap, but have never seen this trailer, you owe it to yourself to watch it three or four thousand times.

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For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous 36 Dramatic Situations by examining a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today. Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t tie us to a bed and break our feet. Part 1 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Falling Prey to Cruelty and Misfortune” with Misery.

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Tom Cruise

Whether you love him, hate him, love to hate him, or hate that you love him there’s no denying that Tom Cruise’s career decisions in terms of what directors he will work for have been second-to-none. Or, maybe they have been. You decide.

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Movies We Love: Stand By Me

There was a time when Rob Reiner’s name being mentioned meant that there was a project we should watch out for; in a good way. Stand By Me is one of the big reasons that was so and is one of the best films of its kind, no matter what kind of film you categorize it as.

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mwl-whenharrymetsally

I’m not ashamed to say that I love a good romantic comedy. Unfortunately, for every good one, there are about a hundred terrible ones. For this week’s Movies We Love, we take some time to appreciate one of the very best: When Harry Met Sally.

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The Bucket List is a classic example of how a film can take a fine premise, and not only not live up to its full potential, but sink into the pits of mediocrity.

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The Bucket List is a wonderful film, though it would fit pretty well in the tearjerker category, even more for men than women.

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