william friedkin

nb_entertainment-guide-2014

2014 is halfway over.

For many film fans, this realization will be met with the usual impatient reaction of “can’t we just get to Fall and the good stuff already?” However, if I’m being completely honest, it’s somewhat surprising that it isn’t September by now. My year has been a blur; a frightening reminder that, though it may have moments of interminability, existence is ultimately finite and perpetually chugging toward oblivion, no matter how much I might’ve been entertained along the way.

But you didn’t click on this article to read my existential ramblings. What you really want to know is: what made up the best of the best of the first six months of 2014? Like every year, there was gold to be mined at the local cineplex, art house, on TV, VOD and via the numerous repertory lines established by studios to release their respective back catalogues. Sometimes the gifts are so great that an EOY list just will not suffice. You need a guide to the riches you might’ve missed during the first part of the calendar year as well. Thankfully, I’m looking out for your interests and have compiled the Bastards Guide to Entertainment — a fifteen slot list that details the superlative pieces of cinematic and televised entertainment this year has offered thus far. (more…)

Words Good! Read Now!: Volume 4

Welcome to the fourth Words Good! Read Now! aka the least read column on the internet. Last time we saw a video of Mark Twain, heard from Howard Chaykin, and  went over the best of Mystery Science Theater 3,000 all from the comfort of our couches with the help of some fantastic writers. This time we’re checking out 100 odd, mind blowing movies whose corpses litter the floor of development hell, an interview with the legendary William Friedkin, and an interview with Neil Brennan (Chappelle’s Show). Before we jump on the magic carpet or hang glide off a Reading Rainbow, let’s put our hands over our arc reactors and repeat the Words Good! Read Now! oath:

We do this because we love writers and we love words and if 100 of you read this and go read these articles and then maybe some of you recommend those articles… well, then that will be a decent amount of people reading these things. Blah, blah, blah — Words Good! Read Now!

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Mel Valentin speaks with director William Friedkin on the bent shape of Hollywood, the worthlessness of politicians, and getting the most out of Gina Gershon and Mathew McConaughey on Killer Joe. The article appears on VeryAware.com (Full Disclosure: I write there as well) and it can be read here in all of it’s amazingness.

Phil Deyess-Nugent looks back at how The Honeymooners changed TV and reveals 10 groundbreaking episodes of the classic series for The AV Club. Wondering how this falls into the Nerd/Geek spectrum? Ever watch Big Bang, Community, Spaced, or any other nerdy sitcom? Well, respect the elders that helped birth the form. Here’s the article.

Speaking of ground breaking comedies, Neal Brennan co-created The Chappelle Show, and then that went away and he was left to sink or swim. Brennan opted for another tact though, and threw himself into stand-up comedy while also doing Hollywood on the side — which is a bit of a reversal. In this interview with Phil Davidson and Splitsider, Brennan talks about the future of sketch comedy and why he values stand-up over the possibility of mainstream movie success. Click here for the article.

I saved the best for last, but this is a long one. Charlie Jane Anders over at IO9 went and collected tales from 100 movies that almost happened but never quite made it. Everybody who reads this will take something else away from this, but for me the biggest shocker is this part: “Ivan Reitman was going to film it at one point, but he thought the answer the question of Life, the Universe and Everything being 42 was “too anticlimactic.” Click here for the article.

Alright, go read!