Steve Martin

Father of the Bride

In the 1995 sequel to the charming 1991 comedy, Father of the Bride, a crazed George Banks (Steve Martin) is thrown into a dizzy (his default state, at least going on his behavior in the previous film) when he discovers that both his wife (Diane Keaton) and his daughter (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) are pregnant at the exact same time. George, never one to roll with the punches, freaks the heck out and is only cowed when Keaton’s ever-lovely Nina kicks him out and he gets a glimpse of what his life would look like without her (and, because he’s behaved so badly, probably also without their kids, their grandkids, and their sweet son-in-law). Nina is the brains of the Banks operation, a steadying force that somehow manages to weather every storm with grace and style. George, well, isn’t like that at all. The formula for the second Father of the Bride film wasn’t entirely original — again, it was still all about George not being able to handle big life changes — but the feature wasn’t afraid to go with a slightly offbeat and surprisingly progressive plotline. George and Nina were about to become grandparents just as they were becoming actual parents again, and although George couldn’t handle most of the action, the film didn’t smack of ageism or anything of the sort — it seemed like the Banks clan was creating a new, modern family, even though it was one that happened sort of accidentally. If Father of the Bride is going to continue on, why […]

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planestrainstruth-1

It’s hard to find a movie for this time of year. I’m not talking about Christmas movies. Lord knows, Hollywood is lousy with Christmas movies. Instead, I’m talking about Thanksgiving movies. Usually Hollywood skips Turkey Day altogether and starts releasing Christmas movies in early November (including relatively recent releases like A Christmas Carol in 2009, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas in 2011, and The Best Man Holiday just this year). Still, there are a few Thanksgiving movies knocking around, and they’re not all as bad as Free Birds. One of the most loveable and endearing Thanksgiving movies is John Hughes’ 1987 comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The film follows businessman Neal Page (Steve Martin) trying to get home to Chicago from New York City two days before Thanksgiving. He stumbles into an unlikely travel buddy in Del Griffith (John Candy) and ends up on a three-day misadventure using almost every known form of ground transportation. As a traveler myself, I know it can be extremely costly as much as it is time consuming, and that got me thinking: How much would a trip like this actually set Neal and Del back?

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Missing in the Mansion Hatbox Ghost

Films have been shot at Disney theme parks since before Disneyland even opened in 1955. The year before, Walt Disney personally offered a sneak peek of what was to come in the pilot episode of Disneyland. And specials made for TV and souvenir videos continued from there, whether it was to show the attraction on its opening day or offer virtual tours of the park or introduce new additions or to celebrate some anniversary or another. The same goes for Walt Disney World following its opening 16 years later. Once in a while, though, something makes its way out of the parks that’s not made by Disney. Even then, it might be with permission, as in the 1962 Universal release 40 Pounds of Trouble, which features an extensive chase sequence through Disneyland (watch Tony Curtis and some Keystone-esque cops run around Main Street here). And the Matterhorn scene in That Thing You Do (directed by the guy who would later portray Disney). But there’s also Randy Moore’s Escape From Tomorrow, a movie that shocked audiences at Sundance this year with its unauthorized guerrilla shoot at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Escape is hardly the first movie to get away with secretly capturing material on location at Disneyland, however. And now that it’s out in theaters and on VOD, this is a good time to highlight three such clandestine pieces of cinema.

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One week from today, everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, turns 25 years old. By a certain logic, we should therefore make next Sunday’s Scenes We Love post devoted to the John Hughes classic. But that would make it late for the holiday this Thursday — on or before which many sites will post their obligatory write-up on the wacky road comedy, which stars John Candy and Steve Martin as unfortunate traveling companions on their way home for turkey day. Also an occasion and a beloved film like this deserve the eight days of celebrating. Unlike some other memorable and highly quotable works, this one is not the sort that we could include every single scene as a scene we love. Mostly, we just refuse to feature the famous “those aren’t pillows!” bit, and not just because of the homophobic aspect. It’s just really not that funny. Not that all the scenes below are funny. What we love about PT&A is how even though it’s a comedy it’s quite sad. Sure it kinda ends happily, but just before that warm final greeting there’s something depressing about the story. Hughes was great at making us laugh enough for someone who clearly had a lot of gloomy ideas in his head.

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All of Me Movie

Oh, how the 1980’s loved their body-switching comedies. There was Big, Vice Versa, Dream a Little Dream, 18 Again, Something Special, and Like Father, Like Son. Of course, all that body-switching love came full circle, and the past decade has yielded its own bumper crop of switcheroos, including Freaky Friday (a remake of the 1977 film), 17 Again, 13 Going On 30, and The Change-Up. That said, it should come as little surprise that Hollywood is now going back to those ’80s sorta-classics for a new body-switching film. But wait! This one isn’t so much about switching as it about sharing. THR reports that DreamWorks “is quietly developing a remake of All of Me” (oops! not so quiet now!), a body-switching comedy (again, sort of) that starred no less than Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin. Don’t remember All of Me too well? It’s okay, neither do I, but the 1984 hit is the sixth highest ranked “Body Switch Comedy” on BoxOfficeMojo’s list of the same name, making over $36m at the box office. Oh, and Carl Reiner directed it.

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If you’re “too old” to skulk around all hunch-backed in your own yard looking for the painted eggs your little cousin hid for you, why are you holding that remote with the Pause Button at the ready? We all love hunting. It’s in our nature. Just like we love discounted Criterion titles, free scotch and foot massages that don’t mean anything sexual. So here are some Movie Easter Eggs to hunt down. Bonus one? They involve movies, so you have a solid excuse to just watch movies all week. Bonus two? If you can’t find them, they won’t smell rotten after a few days. And be sure to add your favorite in the comments section for fellow hunter/gatherers:

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Steve Martin‘s talents extend far beyond just stand-up comedy, acting, sombrero-wearing, and banjo-playing, as the multi-hyphenate has also dabbled in the writing world, including a swim with fiction with three novels (fine, “Shopgirl” was a novella). That first novel(la) was turned into a film back in 2005, and now Martin’s latest work of grown-up fiction will join it on the big screen. An Object of Beauty will be based on Martin’s 2010 novel of the same name, and the project is now getting outfitted with not only three producers, but an Oscar-nominated star. Amy Adams will lead the film as central character Lacey Yeager, as well as producing it alongside Maven Pictures producers Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray. There’s no word yet on the rest of the film’s cast and crew, including whether or not Martin will adapt his own book for the big screen (as he did with Shopgirl). Adams’ producer duties prove that she’s got more than just a passing interest in the role – which is of particular note, as the complicated character of Lacey is quite distant from the sunny, smiling image that Adams has cultivated over the past few years (The Fighter notwithstanding). Martin’s book focuses squarely on Lacey, a go-getter in the New York art world who starts off as a plucky intern at Sotheby’s, before some questionable choices (both in terms of career advancement and actual legality) force her to reinvent herself as a gallery owner. Told through the narrative voice of a male […]

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Patton Oswalt in Big Fan

I’ve found that this list comes up fairly often on the Internet – however every time I read one I’m surprised by how many redundancies they all share. While a few of said redundancies will also appear in the following (because sometimes you just can’t deny a good performance) I’m going to try and mix this up and give a you a few of my personal favorite and slightly less talked about non-funny roles some real funny people took on. Let’s get started with a picture of a pen jabbed into Jon Stewart’s eye.

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The Muppet Movie Dinner Scene

Editor’s Note: As part of our week-long Guide to The Muppets, Gwen Reyes takes a look at one of the funniest, most intimate and lovely scenes from the 1979 classic. Setting the Scene: 1979 was a pivotal year for cinema. Not only did modern classics like Alien, Apocalypse Now, and Caligula (!!) make their way into local movieplexes, but in the summer a little green frog and his lovable band of merry men (and pig) leaped from American homes to the big screen. Thanks entirely to the popularity of The Muppet Show Jim Henson’s iconic Muppets were in high demand. Considering how Hollywood obsessed Kermit and company were on their TV series, it only made sense the first film in a long line of Muppet features would be about the crew’s showbiz aspirations. Intentionally self-aware, the film begins with Kermit (voiced by Henson) introducing the final cut of The Muppet Movie in a private studio screening room for all the Muppets we know in love. The camera bounces around from face to face, stopping at everyone from Fozzie Bear (voice by Frank Oz) to Miss Piggy (Oz). Kermit explains to his nephew Robin (voiced by Jerry Nelson) that the film is a loose adaptation of how the Muppets met and made their way to Hollywood—read: meta moment if we ever saw one. And just as Hare Krishna jokes become a running gag anytime says they are looking for direction, The Muppet Movie’s self-consciousness allows the audience to feel as if […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that has no problem closing out another fine week of coverage. Why? Because it’s got a hot and heavy weekend planned with its new girlfriend, Siri. It even used her to book a quality hotel, make restaurant reservations and order adult party props. You know, just in case she’s into that sort of thing. We open this fine, crisp Friday evening with a shot of Ecto-1, the vehicle driven by everyone’s favorite guys to call if you is, in fact, afraid of some ghosts. It was captured by our friends at Primer Magazine at the Arclight in Los Angeles in celebration of Ghostbusters returning to theaters. It’s one of four original production cars used in the films, fully restored to its former glory. And glorious, it is.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets ready to celebrate Halloween in style with some horror releases… and he’s not just thinking of Footloose. Unhappy with his life, he follows the bucket list path of Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black, traveling to the bottom of the world where he finds himself in a small Antarctic town that has outlawed dancing. So Kevin takes it upon himself to help the people get their groove on only to discover they’ve been taken over an alien species that duplicate human form. Later, he takes a trip back to the heartland where he finds a feral woman chained in a cellar… pretty standard for some of the towns he’s been to. Finally, not being able to find a theater that is still playing Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), he checks it out On Demand and promptly throws up.

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For those of us who are not predisposed to spend hours of our time spying on birds in a forest, birding aficionados can seem like an awfully strange lot. That’s not to suggest that their hobby isn’t understandable. After all, the satisfaction in finding a rare bird seems similar to the sense of accomplishment one feels upon finishing a difficult puzzle, or upon finally locating Waldo. Still, anyone who’s ever accompanied a birder on his mission knows that once the object of prey is spotted there will be a long, frenzied staring and photographic session, with any slight movement met with enthusiastic “oohs” and “aahs.” If you’re not of the niche birder community, this is an insufferable experience. So it’s hard to fathom why director David Frankel and screenwriter Howard Franklin imagined anyone would be especially entertained by a movie about it.

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When Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin teamed up to host the 2010 Academy Awards, they had an easy chemistry and were generally pretty charming, but they didn’t exactly set the world on fire with a mind-blowing show. But then James Franco and Anne Hathaway teamed up to host the 2011 Awards and suddenly Baldwin and Martin look like geniuses. Because of this, and because of their continued chemistry on a recent episode of Saturday Night Live, Adam Shankman (the guy who produced Baldwin and Martin’s Oscar telecast) is trying to put together a movie starring the duo. It’s said to still be in the early stages of development, but it would be a comedy that borrows elements from movies like Trading Places and Grumpy Old Men. I guess that means Baldwin and Martin are now considered old guys. Sorry about your luck, gentlemen.

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Movie Drinking Games

The worst thing that can happen this week in the world of DVDs and Blu-ray is for your mom to call you up and invite you over to watch It’s Complicated. After all, who wants to watch old people doin’ it with their mom in the room? So, grab a bottle of wine and get your three sheets to the wind before the real jumbly bits start to show up in this senior citizen rom com.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Merry Christmas from the Fat Guys! Kevin got Neil the gift of respect for just one episode, and Neil got Kevin the gift of seeing only one movie. The Fat Guys rip through the next Christmas movies, including Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, It’s Complicated and Sherlock Holmes.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Sherlock Holmes and It’s Complicated can make the grade.

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itscomplicated-header

Alec Baldwin is randomly crying. Meryl Streep is a little bit of a slut. Steve Martin, still crazy. And writer/director Nancy Meyers is back again for another round of romcom

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Pink Panther 2 is not the worst movie ever.

I come not to bury Pink Panther 2 but to praise it. Not from the hilltops or anything, but it’s not like I want to write an open letter to the filmmakers or anything.

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews the movies the studios didn’t allow him to see early this week: Pink Panther 2, Coraline and Push.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil finally returns to the Magical Studio in the Sky with stories from the land of milk and honey, otherwise known as the Sundance Film Festival. Kevin celebrates the return by berating him for only seeing one movie this week, although Neil defends himself because he saw 143 movies at the festival.

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