Saturday, June 25, 2011

Flavorwire Archive, Part 1

As I've mentioned, I'm working this summer as Film Editor for Flavorwire (where I interned in the spring), doing a post a day--usually on film matters, but with overlap into TV, music, books, and comedy. I've been filing daily for over a month now, and keep forgetting to post the links, so here they are.

The 10 Worst Dads in Film History

Well kids, Father’s Day is Sunday, so we hope you’ve bought your tie or drill or whatever. Dads always get the shaft in the holiday sweepstakes; mothers get flowers, candy, elaborate gifts, songs written for them, shout-outs on television, and, let’s face it, fathers sorta get taken for granted. But if the movies have taught us one thing, it’s that the potential being a terrible father is limitless. We’ve compiled a list of the worst fathers in movie history; check it out after the jump, and maybe give Dad an extra hug on Sunday.

10 Long-Awaited Movie Sequels

When Disney spent big bucks on the making and marketing of Warren Beatty’s adaptation of the comic strip Dick Tracy back in 1990, they were hoping that it would launch a tentpole franchise along the lines of the previous summer’s Batman. And they might finally get their wish—over 20 years later. In a lengthy Q&A following a screening of Dick Tracy last Thursday (as part of the Los Angeles Times “Hero Complex Film Festival”), the famously hard-to-pin-down Beatty said, firmly, “I’m gonna make another one.”

The 10 Most Memorable ’80s TV Theme Songs

Sad news this week: Singer/songwriter Andrew Gold died of a heart attack at 59. Film fans will most likely recognize his biggest (and, frankly, kinda only) hit “Lonely Boy” from its use in Boogie Nights. Okay, and in The Waterboy. But that pop epic was not Mr. Gold’s pop culture legacy; it seems that back in 1978 he wrote and recorded a little number called “Thank You For Being a Friend,” which was re-recorded by Cynthia Fee and used as the theme song to The Golden Girls. And if I threw a party, etc.

The 10 Most Memorable ’90s TV Theme Songs

Last week, prompted by the death of Andrew Gold (composer of “Thank You For Being a Friend”, aka the theme to The Golden Girls), we put together a list of the most memorable TV theme songs of the ‘80s. Some folks got worked up about it! (Fine, yes, the exclusion of Knight Rider was a gross oversight.) So, in true ‘80s sprit, we took something that did pretty well, and made a sequel—this time selecting from the television shows of the ‘90s, a decade that became the last gasp of the opening theme song. As we moved into the 2000s, shows started forgoing the opening credit sequence (lest viewers have the opportunity to switch away), instead crashing right into the show and running credits under the opening scenes.

10 Remakes That Were Better Than the Original

Good news for Coen Brothers fans (and really, if you’re not one, we’re not quite sure what to do with you): their long-circulating script for Gambit, a remake of the 1966 British caper, goes before the cameras this May, with freshly Oscared Colin Firth in the leading role, Cameron Diaz as his leading lady, and Soapdish director Michael Hoffman at the helm. While we’d be a tiny bit more excited if the Coens were directing it themselves, this is still good news—especially because their True Grit was that rarest of beasts, a remake that respected (and, in our eyes anyway, topped) the original.

Friday Afternoon Time-Killers for Film Fans

Happy Friday afternoon, everybody! How’s your summer? Big plans for the weekend? More importantly — shouldn’t you be working? Our crack Flavorpill research teams inform us that over 93%* of our daytime traffic consists of people reading the site from work, where their browser window is open behind whatever Excel spreadsheet or TPS Report they’re supposed to be working on, along with Solitaire and Angry Birds and Gawker and the Blake Lively naked pictures (we’re not judging) and that vintage lunchbox that’s been on your eBay watch list for like three days (just buy the damn thing already).

Hit Movies That Became Broadway Flops

With costs (and ticket prices) ballooning, Broadway producers seem only interested in sure things: revivals, big stars, so-called “jukebox musicals.” The theory is that the tourists who keep the New York stage solvent will only part with Broadway dollars if they’re spending them on a brand they’re familiar with; hence the Spider-Man musical, say, or The Million Dollar Quartet. And then, of course, there is the movie-to-stage adaptation—why not come see a live production of something you’ve already seen on film? Movie-to-musical shows have popped up sporadically for decades, but after the smash success of The Producers a decade ago, we’ve seen an onslaught; this season saw the debuts of Catch Me If You Can, Sister Act, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, in addition to long-running hits like The Lion King and Billy Elliot. But successfully staging a beloved movie is harder than it looks; it’s important to remember that for every Hairspray or Little Shop of Horrors, there’s an Urban Cowboy or High Fideltity. After the jump, we’ll take a look at ten popular movies that tanked on the boards.

Which Weekend Movie Is Right For You?

Now that summer movie season is in full swing, we at Flavorwire feel it is our obligation to help you navigate the week’s new theatrical releases. Going to the movies is an expensive proposition, what with the inflated ticket costs, extra charge for 3-D, extra charge for IMAX, extra charge for RPX (anyone know what RPX actually is?), and gourmet restaurant-priced concessions. Nobody likes blowing that kind of change on a turkey, so we’ve worked up a simple, three-question quiz to help you determine which of the weekend’s films best fits your personality type. It’ll be fun! Take the quiz after the jump, and then peruse this week’s new picture shows with us.

Flavorpill’s 12 Most Anticipated Summer Movies

If you really love movies, if you truly cherish them as an art form, then holy cow is the summer movie season depressing. For three months—or four, or six (Fast Five’s ad line was “Summer Begins April 29,” which goes to show that posters for Vin Diesel movies are no subsititute for calendars)—we’re fed a steady diet of sequels, remakes, “reboots,” comic book adaptations, gross-out comedies, mindless blow-shit-up movies, sequels to remakes, sequels to reboots, sequels to comic book adaptations, sequels to gross-out comedies, and sequels to mindless blow-shit-up movies.

10 Modern Movies That Are Better in Black and White

A few weeks back, we mentioned that list of Steven Soderbergh’s “cultural diet” (films viewed and books read and TV watched over the course of one year), noting that, in one week, he took in Raiders of the Lost Ark no less than three times — and that he carefully pointed out that each viewing was in black and white. In writing about that list, I said that this was something "we're totally going to do now," and last week, I did. Guess what? Soderbergh’s right. Raiders is way better in black and white. That little experiment got me thinking about other modern movies that might play better in this decidedly less-than-modern format.

A Lot Can Happen in One Day: 10 Great “24 Hour” Movies

We love our commenters, who are smart and sweet and supportive, always. (Almost.) So big ups to “Jax” for making this writer’s life a little easier by writing, in response to the inclusion of American Grafitti and Dazed and Confused on our “10 Great Summer Nostalgia” movies list: “Speaking of 24-hour movies, has Flavorwire done post on best 24-hour movies? Or movies set within specific time limits?” We hadn’t, Jax. But we have now.

10 Great Summer Nostalgia Movies

Finals, graduations, barbeques, baseball, summer jobs, summer camp, vacations… yes, friends, summer is upon us. What’s more, summer movies are upon us—more giant robots and superheroes and pirates and Vin Diesels than you can shake a stick at. It’s all pretty depressing, frankly. So instead of looking at those summer movies, let’s take a look at some of our favorite films that are set in the summer. Summertime nostalgia is a powerful thing, and few screenwriters worth their salt can resist the opportunity to pen an introspective voice-over about the summer that changed their lives (“Nothing was really the same after that summer of 1963…”). After the jump, a brief survey of some of our favorite slices of summer nostalgia.

10 Important Movies You Don’t Really Have to See

The tragedy of the British list was that there were so many genuinely great movies on it, and those would-be viewers were really missing something by skipping them. On the other hand, there are plenty of movies that it’s perfectly fine to lie about—pictures that, as Kois points out, are more of an obligation and a chore to get through, because they are iconic or important or influential. We’ve compiled our own list of those films after the jump.

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