Screen Junkies » JOAN RIVERS http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:27:26 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 The Film Cult Presents: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-film-cult-presents-joan-rivers-a-piece-of-work/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-film-cult-presents-joan-rivers-a-piece-of-work/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:22:35 +0000 Philip Harris http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264721 On August 15th, I wrote about my favorite Robin Williams film, Hook, in tribute to his untimely and heartbreaking death. If you had told me then that less than a...

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On August 15th, I wrote about my favorite Robin Williams film, Hook, in tribute to his untimely and heartbreaking death. If you had told me then that less than a month later I’d be reviewing Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work because Joan Rivers—THE Joan Rivers—would also be dead, I wouldn’t have believed you. I would’ve told have told you to go fuck yourself because Joan Rivers was going to live forever.  And yet, here I sit. It hasn’t even been twenty-four hours that she’s left us.

I knew a lot about Joan Rivers before the documentary came out. I grew up with her daytime talk show. I watched her E! fashion recaps before they became what we all now know as Fashion Police. I’m a gay man; what can I say?  Loving Joan Rivers is kinda in the description. I knew that she was funny, that she had a daughter named Melissa, and that she had been around forever. But, when my best friend and I sat down one Saturday afternoon in the Laemlle theater in Pasadena to watch A Piece of Work, I realized I knew nothing of Joan Rivers.

A Piece of Work pulls no punches. Joan commented that there’d be no reason to allow a documentary to be made if she didn’t give full access to an outside production company. An in-house made documentary would wreak of bias, invalidity, and vanity. To let an independent, no-agenda crew come into your life is a brave concession. Thank god she did it. The Joan Rivers revealed in that hour and a half is a strong, complicated, workaholic with the eye of a tiger.

Following one year in her life, the documentary captures the end of a career slump for Joan. She had no heat in the industry. Fashion Police wasn’t back. Her reality show with Melissa wasn’t on, and everyone really only saw her as a plastic surgery freak who used to be on the red carpet. Starting at the end of that slump, during which she performed in the Bronx at four-thirty in the afternoon, A Piece of Work follows her into the beginning of what would be her third act. We’re right there with her as she struggles to get an autobiographical play off the ground and fails. We feel as tired as she does at three thirty in the morning when she hobbles into a Minneapolis hotel room and tells the man at the front desk, “I don’t care if it’s god himself. No one is to call my room until 6:30.” And when she books the Comedy Central Roast and wins Celebrity Apprentice  we cheer for her just as much as her staff does.

Celebrities are not squeaky clean. This has always been true. Everyone has a different side to them. Anyone who was as successful as Joan had to work doubly, triply, hard behind the scenes to make it look effortless. But not until A Piece of Work had there been a celebrity truly brave enough to allow the public so far behind the curtain. You know it’s going to be an honest portrayal of celebrity life when the opening montage is of Joan herself getting her make up done, foundation coating the plastic mask that show business made her get to stay relevant, her eyes peering through, ready to attack.

Other celebrities have been pouring their hearts out all afternoon, with Lena Dunham winning the award for greatest commemoration. Upon news of Joan’s death, she tweeted: “That being said, Joan is gone but a piece of her lives on: her nose, because it’s made of polyurethane.” That’s Joan’s legacy. She never apologized for a joke and knew that the only way to get through something, the only way to deal with pain was to laugh about it. Once you can laugh about something–death, homophobia, racism, national tragedy, body image–you can deal with it. A Piece of Work takes this head on when she’s heckled at a rural casino gig (“Where are we? I was in the casino earlier, put money into a slot machine and fish came out.”) by a man who has taken offense by a joke she’s made about Helen Keller. After he storms out, she says, “If we didn’t laugh, where the hell would we all be?”

Well, Joan, right now I feel a little lost. In moments when I didn’t think I could get my work done, when I felt my schedule was too crazy, or when I knew I should say yes to an opportunity when I wanted so badly to say no, I just thought about you walking through airports at four thirty in the morning all to make us laugh. Knowing you’re not out there right now telling off a heckler or quietly delivering meals to an AIDS patient kinda freaks me out. Without you fighting for the truth, without you hilariously using the very stereotypes that so many others use for hate, the world feels a little scarier and a whole lot less funny.

And finally, thank you for making me laugh. When you looked and smiled at that cheap wine bottle in A Piece of Work and giggled, “May.” Or when the thought of doing the Comedy Central Roast was so awful and you said to your driver, “Mohammad, can you stop the car so I can get out in front it?” Or on your reality show when you were showing your grandson the thirteen colonies and said, “See there used to be Indians all up and down here. Now they all have casinos, and thank god, cause if they didn’t Grandma wouldn’t have a job. [beat] We wouldn’t be able to buy you two different color grapes.”

In the last few months, Elaine Stritch, Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, and Joan Rivers have died. It’s almost too much for a gay man to deal with. But, I will deal with it because Joan wouldn’t want me to stop because she’s gone. She’d want us all to keep working, keep loving, and most definitely to keep laughing. The world is less funny without you, but I know you and Robin are making the angels piss themselves at this very moment.

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R.I.P. Joan Rivers http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/r-i-p-joan-rivers/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/r-i-p-joan-rivers/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 20:13:02 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264706 The brash comedienne famous for her cutting take-downs of the rich and famous, has died at 81.

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Joan Rivers, the brash comedienne famous for her cutting take-downs of the rich and famous, has died at 81.

Rivers had been on life support for the past few days following complications from minor throat surgery but as her condition worsened, the family needed to make the tough decision to remove her. “It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,” daughter Melissa Rivers said in a written statement today. “She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.”

The outspoken comic entered comedy back when it was dominated by old white men and rose to fame thanks to her appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Since that time she’s hosted several talk shows and become a regular fixture on the red carpet at awards shows where she pulled no punches when it came time to insult a Kardashian. She’ll be remembered and missed by her many fans for her wit and commitment to her craft.

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R.I.P. Joan Rivers: Her Nine Most Controversial Moments http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/joan-rivers-dies-most-controversial-moments/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/joan-rivers-dies-most-controversial-moments/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 20:02:09 +0000 DustinSeibert http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264665 The sharp-tongued comedy legend has passed away at the age of 81. We look back at a few times she failed to give a single f**k — even when she probably should have.

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Joan Rivers, everyone’s favorite surgically-altered comedian/insult artist, passed away today in New York at the age of 81, after suffering cardiac arrest during a “minor throat procedure” last week. And so, another comedy legend has left this mortal coil.

Rivers is inarguably a trailblazer for female comedians, having delved into blue stand-up comedy in the 1960s when it was still taboo for any comedian, let alone a pretty young lady from Brooklyn. Amy Schumer, Whitney Cummings, Lisa Lampanelli and the like owe a tremendous debt to her; in the coming days, you’ll undoubtedly hear and read lots of elegies pointing this out.

In her later years, however, Rivers became known more for her unapologetic brand of comedy that often fell into inappropriate and politically incorrect territory. Luckily, the combination of her advanced age and the universal understanding that Joan Rivers has never given a single f*** made all her “controversies” somewhat short-lived.

Rivers said a lot that landed her in trouble throughout the decades, but here are some of her more recent moments of cold-bloodedness. Rest in peace, Joan Rivers: A sharp-tongued legend who never stopped going in.

1. Calling Michelle Obama a “Tranny”: Dime-store “reporters,” including TMZ and the like, discovered that the octogenarian Rivers was even less restrained than in her younger years, so they all approached her with the same agenda: Get a potentially viral video out of her. Indeed, she rarely disappointed: Here, she called the leader of the free world “gay” and his wife a “tranny” in an under-40-second clip. After the fallout, she gave a deliciously bulls**t non-apology that was actually more outrageous than the original statement.

2. Rivers on Palestine: Less than a month ago, TMZ got their hooks in Rivers (again) by getting her to talk about the renewed Israel-Palestine conflict. She said the Palestinians “deserve to be dead.” In very rare form, she actually apologized for her comments. Looks like even she has some limits.

3. Heidi Klum Holocaust Joke: Now, this was a rare example of a Joan Rivers compliment that just went pear-shaped. Rivers was praising Heidi Klum’s ensemble from the 2013 Oscars on her show Fashion Police, saying, “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.” Since Rivers is Jewish, I’m not sure if she has more leeway to make a crack like this, or less. Either way, people were pissed, and she wasn’t sorry.

4. Comments on captive women: Quick but dirty: On her WEtv reality show Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best? Rivers lamented on the lack of space in her daughter’s guest bedroom by saying, “Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more room.’’ Of course, she was referencing the women held captive, raped and tortured for years by sadist Ariel Castro. Hardly ever one for regrets, Rivers refused to ever apologize for the comments.

5. Rivers bounces from CNN Interview: CNN anchor (and my future second wife) Fredricka Whitfield interviewed Rivers about her book Diary of a Mad Diva. The interview was going just fine until Whitfield started nicely asking her about her tendency to, y’know, piss people off. Then Rivers got defensive, unhooked her mic mid-invective and stormed off. CNN sucks more often than not, but Rivers was definitely reaching.

6. Lindsay Lohan Miscarriage Jokes: Oprah Winfrey and company, for some strange reason, had the shining beacon of an idea to give Lindsay Lohan her own eponymous “docu-series” that no one ever really cared about. On that show’s series finale, she admits to having had a miscarriage that messed up the show’s production for a while. TMZ (big surprise) encountered Rivers and her daughter Melissa on the street; likely knowing she would say something spectacularly screwed up, they asked her opinion on Lohan’s miscarriage. She didn’t let down. Even Melissa was grossed out.

7. North West ugly comments: Now I’m more open-minded than most, but even I think this is a tad grimy. I wish all the hate the world can muster to be rained down upon Kim Kardashian‘s and Kanye West‘s vapid noggins, but bringing their spawn into the mix is another thing. Mind you, the phrase, “I’ve never seen a 6-month-old so desperately in need of waxing” is pretty damn funny, but that poor girl already has plenty of crap to deal with growing up with the parents she has (and her name).

8. Cracking on Adele’s Weight: This one is mean only because Adele hasn’t done anything we know of to feel any sense of schadenfreude toward her. Sure, Adele is on the larger side of things, but Rivers pretty much went hard on Twitter to let everyone know exactly what she thought about her, and even dragged Adele’s baby in the mix.

9. Kim Kardashian Sex Tape Spoof: This one is pretty self-explanatory: two B-list celebrities grasping for straws by making fun of that devil of a tape which made Kim Kardashian a “star.” It made baby sister Khloe so angry she bailed on co-hosting Rivers’ Fashion Police show. I’m sure Khloe’s absence totally resulted in the show missing out on an Emmy.

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Chet Hanks and the Most Embarrassing Children In Hollywood http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/chet-hanks-and-the-most-embarrassing-children-in-hollywood/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/chet-hanks-and-the-most-embarrassing-children-in-hollywood/#comments Thu, 13 Jan 2011 18:52:12 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=15994 Clearly, Chet is embarrassing the living hell out of his old man, but he’s new on the scene. If he hopes to be the most embarrassing child in Hollywood, he’s got some stiff competition.

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As we reported yesterday, Tom Hanks has a son (besides Colin), and he likes to rap. Meet Chet Hanks (a.k.a. Chet Haze), the most embarrassing thing to happen to Tom since That Thing You Do.

From an early age, it was clear that Chet was a black sheep, so his parents sent him far, far away to an exclusive private school in the Midwest. But the Internet has rendered distance and location meaningless, and it’s nearly impossible to prevent even the dullest of bulbs from shining their untalented light on the world (for example, look around this site). Yesterday, it was Chet’s turn to shine, when his college-themed rap single, “White and Purple,” blew up the Internet.

Being a man of action (a douchey tattoo on his right arm reads, “fortune favors the bold”), Chet quickly sought to cash in on the attention, and tweeted out a second song, “West Side L.A.,” the lyrics of which clearly demonstrate his ability to read a map. I haven’t been this impressed since I discovered a little band called the Imperial Stars.

Clearly, Chet is embarrassing the living hell out of his old man, but he’s new on the scene. If he hopes to be the most embarrassing child in Hollywood, he’s got some stiff competition. Here are 7 contenders for the title (including Chet).

Chet Hanks – Son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

Just to recap, this kid raps (and by ‘raps,” I mean “talks” over remixes and samples) about going to a private school and living on the mean streets of West L.A. (West Hollywood, I assume). He has a Latin tattoo on his arm. And last night, he tweeted the following: “much love to both the fans and the haters for helping me pop off.” That’s right; Chet Hanks thinks of all the haters while he masturbates. Well played, ass hat. You’re making your brother Colin look legitimate.

Captain Miller deserves better than this.

Melissa Rivers – Daughter of Joan Rivers

It’s not as if Joan Rivers‘ career is flying high. Yeah, she makes the rounds on reality TV, but who doesn’t? I’ve been on “Tool Academy” twice.

Her daughter Melissa turns up on a lot of reality shows, as well. Unfortunately, she’s usually accompanied by her mother. If the only way for someone to get on “Celebrity Apprentice” is to bring their decrepit mother along, that’s got to be embarrassing for the parent.

Cameron Douglas – Son of Michael Douglas

It’s not uncommon for the children of celebrities to end up on drugs. After all, they don’t call it a life of privilege because they’re out digging ditches. Having millions of dollars at your disposal just lends itself to getting coked up. But even a rich, coked up jackass should have enough sense to know that when you already have millions of dollars at your disposal, there’s really no need to deal. Poor people deal drugs and risk going to jail so they can get rich. If you’re already rich, it’s all downside. I guess Cameron Douglas didn’t get the memo.

Last spring, Cameron was sentenced to five-years for dealing large amounts of coke and meth. Even his father couldn’t argue with the sentence, calling it “adequate,” and adding that it may have saved his drug-addicted son’s life. So while watching his son get sent to the pokey was certainly an embarrassment, maybe it’s all for the best (prison rape, notwithstanding).

Jake Busey – Son of Gary Busey

Jake Busey must be a major disappointment to his father, Gary. It’s not because of anything Jake has done. Rather, it’s what he hasn’t done, which is go completely batshit insane. A father always wants his son to follow in his footsteps, and I’m sure Gary is let down by the fact that Jake isn’t out their spouting Busey-isms (“Freedom: Facing Real Exciting Energy Developing Out of Miracles”) or playing evil organ-harvesting Jew doctors. Try harder, Jake.

Kim Kardashian – Daughter of Robert Kardashian

This is more of an honorable mention, since the parent in question is deceased. Even so, wherever Robert Kardashian resides these days (I have a general idea where that is), I hope he’s able to see his daughters.

For those of you who don’t remember, Robert Kardashian was a high-profile lawyer who helped his close friend O.J. Simpson get off the hook for killing two people. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2003, four years before a video of his daughter Kim getting railed by a low-life rapper named Ray-J was released to the public. It’s a shame he wasn’t around to see that. I’m sure he would have been proud.

I would have mentioned his wife Kris on this list, but she is clearly incapable of feeling shame or embarrassment.

David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie – Son of Madonna

When Madonna adopted an African baby, it catapulted her right back into the spotlight. Take that, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie!

But now, five years later, he’s not an African baby any more. He’s just a black kid, and that’s not enough to get you on the cover of People. Madonna better hope this kid turns out to be gay real soon, or else this whole adoption was a huge waste of time. How embarrassing.

Montana Fishburne – Daughter of Laurence Fishburne

When all is said and done, Montana Fishburne is probably the most embarrassing entry on this list. Last year, Montana (a.k.a. by her stage name, Chippie D.) embarrassed the living shit out of her father, actor Laurence Fishburne, by appearing in a sex vid.

Celebrity sex vids are nothing new, but they usually come to light after being stolen (or in some cases, intentionally leaked). This gives the celebrity the opportunity to feign outrage and act like a victim, while at the same time demanding a cut of the profits. What makes Montana’s video unique is the fact that it was not stolen or leaked, but rather produced. In an attempt to kick-start her career, she decided to cut out the middle man and go straight to the source: Vivid Video. At the age of 18, Montana became a full-fledged pornographer. Throw in a previous arrest for prostitution, and it’s easy to see why her father wishes he could take the red pill…or maybe just a whole bottle of sleeping pills.

Fun fact: Montana Fishburne credits Kim Kardashian with inspiring her to become a prostitute. Of course she does.

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WHAT’S ON TV THIS WEEKEND: FRIDAY AUGUST 7th – SUNDAY AUGUST 9th http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/whats-on-tv-this-weekend-friday-august-7th-sunday-august-9th/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/whats-on-tv-this-weekend-friday-august-7th-sunday-august-9th/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Terrorism, theft, abominations of nature, and old people. This weekend's TV preview asks, Who would you rather go on a romantic ski trip with? Giant spiders or Joan Rivers??CHECK OUT WHAT TO WATCH AFTER THE JUMPNOTE: ALL TIMES EASTERN AND PACIFIC!!!

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Terrorism, theft, abominations of nature, and old people. This weekend’s TV preview asks, Who would you rather go on a romantic ski trip with? Giant spiders or Joan Rivers??

CHECK OUT WHAT TO WATCH AFTER THE JUMP

NOTE: ALL TIMES EASTERN AND PACIFIC!!!

 

 

FRIDAY AUGUST 7th, 2009

DIE HARD
Network:
FMC
Time: 8-10:30PM

Reasons to watch: The original entry in the Die Hard quadrilogy. John McClane possesses that rare mix of bad luck and exceptional talent for getting out of tight situations. It’s as if the Good Lord put him here on this Earth to keep us safe from all the bad mother%@#$ers out there.

 


PSYCH
Network:
USA
Time: 10-11PM

Reasons to watch: The boys of (late) summer are back with a new season. In tonight’s premiere, Cary Elwes guest stars as an art thief who may not be what he may seem. If he turns out to be a bottle blonde as opposed to a natural blonde, my world will tail spin into crisis.

WHO’S ON LATE?

LETTERMAN
Joaquin Phoenix, Anthony Hamilton, Bar Refaeli

CONAN
Eric Bana, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Flo Rida

KIMMEL
Quentin Tarantino, Rachel Nichols

FERGUSON
Don Rickles, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

FALLON

Paul Giamatti, Ken Jeong, Julian Plenti

SATURDAY AUGUST 8th, 2009


ICE SPIDERS
Network:
Syfy
Time: 7-9PM

Reasons to watch: Giant spiders escape from a top-secret lab to wreak havoc on a nearby ski resort and only three former Melrose Place cast members can stop them. Could happen.


BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER
Network:
CARTOON NETWORK
Time: 8-9:30PM

Reasons to watch: Fifty years after his death the Joker has returned to Gotham without having aged a single day. How is this possible? Cryogenics? Time travel?? Botox??? Raw foods diet???? Fans of Batman the Animated Series should definitely tune in as this movie elevates Batman Beyond to the quality level of its predecessor.

SUNDAY AUGUST 9th, 2009


WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?
Network:
ABC
Time: 8-9PM

Reasons to watch: Regis Philbin returns to the popular game show for a special  two week series of 10th Anniversary episodes. Wow. Ten years already? How friggin’ old is Regis? Anyway, watch the old codger make it rain on them Ho’s.


ROAST OF JOAN RIVERS
Network: COMEDY CENTRAL
Time: 10-11:30PM

Reasons to watch: Comedy Central takes pot shots at an old woman tonight. Roast Master Kathy Griffin leads Tom Arnold, Greg Giraldo, Carl Reiner, Jeff Ross, Melissa Rivers, Brad Garrett, and Whitney Cummings in an assault against the legendary comic.  These roasts are usually a fun time and if anyone can take it, it’s Joan Rivers. For instance, Rivers retorts with, "Brad Garrett, the only thing lower than your show’s ratings are Carl Reiner’s balls." The second lowest thing is Kathy Griffin’s balls.

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