Having such a dejá vu moment with this week’s Thursday Movie Picks theme. The reason, back in December our Across the Universe Podcast topic was exactly the same – movies about movies. So I’m going to cheat a little and post the same list again. If you want to hear more of my thoughts, and find out what other’s picked, feel free to listen to the podcast.
1. ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO (2008)
When life gets hard and you need money, why not turn to porn industry and crack out a movie of your own? That’s a good plan, right? Or at least Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) think so in this Kevin Smith directed/written comedy movie. There are laughs, there are embarrassing moments, there is some dirty stuff. But most of all, there’s just a lot of fun things happening on the screen.
2. BOWFINGER (1999)
Taking it all back, back to the 90’s and to Eddie Murphy’s golden era. Bowfinger tells a story of making a movie without the leading actor actually knowing he’s in a movie. It’s sort of a reality show like concept but taken a step further, with Steve Martin taking the lead with a script he himself wrote.
3. TROPIC THUNDER (2008)
How can I not mention one of the funniest comedies ever made about making a movie? With Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black, Tropic Thunder explores the wild and dangerous jungle. The fun part is that the actors playing actors in a movie think they are in a movie, while they’re actually not. Plus, it has fake trailers, which could make for amazing movies!
THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES3
I haven’t seen any of these but I’ve been meaning to watch Zack and Miri Make a Porno for ages. I’m glad to read it’s fun.
It is. I find that with comedies, you can enjoy them if you don’t take them too seriously.
Tropic thunder is one of my favorite comedies ever! And Zack and Miri, love it, hilarious but so uniquely romantic
Both are pretty good and is it just me, or does it really feel like they don’t make movies like this anymore?
I haven`t seen your first film but I lobe Bowfinger! Steve Martin wrote a killer film that made fun of Scientology, the goofy sci-fi flicks from the 1950`s and how some take film so seriously (love the Mexican cameramen now reading Cahiers De Cinema). It shows how a Grade Z studio(ha!) just loves making films. Tropic Thunder is hilarious! I loved Robert Downey in this part.
Hey, we share a pick in Tropic Thunder.
Woop! That’s a rare occasion so we should celebrate! 😀
Zack & Miri had its moments but not enough of them to make me a fan of the film by the time it ended. I do love Elizabeth Banks though. Bowfinger is a very fun film with both Martin and Murphy bringing out the best in each other. While I thought Tropic Thunder was okay I wasn’t as blown away by it as everybody else seems to be. I’ve never been inclined to return to it after that first watch.
I went further back to one of my favorites about the film making process (my second) and two others I enjoyed very much.
Hollywood Story (1951)-Producer Larry O’Brien (Richard Conte) decides to make a film of the infamous unsolved murder of a silent film director that had occurred decades earlier and remained shrouded in mystery. As he attempts to investigate during pre-production the truth begins to emerge and he finds his life in danger. We see behind the scenes of at the time modern filmmaking as well as the appearance of several one-time silent stars. Slightly reworked (probably because many of the participants were still living) version of the infamous real life murder of silent film director William Desmond Taylor which remains officially unsolved to this day and destroyed the careers of silent stars Mabel Normand and Mary Miles Minter and rocked the 1922 film community.
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)-Movie producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas), ruthless and opportunistic claws his way from bottom of the barrel movies to the apex of studio system success. Along the way he enlists, uses and betrays movie star Georgia Lorrison (Lana Turner in her best screen work), director Fred Amiel (Barry Sullivan) and writer James Lee Bartlow (Dick Powell) making sworn enemies of each. Now down on his luck Shields, though his agent (Walter Pidgeon), attempts to involve them in a collaborative project but old wounds are not so easily healed. Nominated for six Oscars it won five including Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actress (Gloria Grahame-a great actress but her role is a nothing).
Contempt (1963)-Writer Paul Laval (Michel Piccoli) is hired by boorish American producer Jeremy Prokosch (Jack Palance) to contemporize his current film’s script about Ulysses which he feels director Fritz Lang (who plays himself) is making too prosaic. Heading to the Isle of Capri with wife Camille (Brigitte Bardot) in tow he becomes enmeshed in the process of filming as his marriage disintegrates in large part due to Camille’s resentment that Paul is using her to leverage his position in the production. Directed by Jean-Luc Godard.
Well comedies depend a lot on the mood of the viewer in my opinion. One day I hate every comedy, next day, I like one that everyone dislikes. Generally I do dislike comedies but with these three, everything clicked.