Screen Junkies » kevin bacon http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:08:41 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Billy Bob Thornton Loads ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’ With Cast http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/billy-bob-thornton-after-a-decade-returns-to-directing-with-jayne-mansfields-car/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/billy-bob-thornton-after-a-decade-returns-to-directing-with-jayne-mansfields-car/#comments Tue, 14 Jun 2011 23:12:44 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=216124 Robert Duvall and Kevin Bacon are just some of the actors that will speak slowly and deliberately in this film.

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Billy Bob has decided to return to directing for the first time since 2001′s Daddy and Them with Jayne Mansfield’s Car. Reports today indicate that he’s assembled a pretty crack team that matches his earnest sensibilities as a writer and director. Stepping in front of the camera will be Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick and Ray Stevenson. The addition of Billy Bob himeslf to that lineup creates a cyclone of homespun country charm that could endanger audiences, so bring a helmet.

Thornton co-wrote the story with frequent collaborator Tom Epperson. The plot focuses on two rival families on different continents in 1969. What that has to do with Jayne Mansfield’s car or how that is logistically even possible is beyond me, but it’s got Robert Duvall!

Thornton has also found funding for the project, but all things considered, that’s not nearly as interesting as the participation of ROBERT DUVALL.

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See Some Questionably Spoilery ‘X-Men: First Class’ Photos http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/see-some-questionably-spoilery-x-men-first-class-photos/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/see-some-questionably-spoilery-x-men-first-class-photos/#comments Mon, 16 May 2011 21:56:28 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Gallery&p=212330 Could use more boobs.

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On the off-chance that you’re not sick of promotional material for X-Men: First Class, here’s another handful or two of photos from the movie. They’re being called “spoilers,” but unless the existence of January Jonesbreasts is a spoiler, I don’t really see it. There’s also a demonic-looking red guy in there, so maybe that’s a spoiler.

There’s also some choice shots of Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Bacon, James McAvoy, and more. So enjoy, and remember: With great power comes great responsib– uh, mutants. (Movieline)

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Kevin Bacon Shows His Skills In New ‘X-Men: First Class’ Trailer http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/kevin-bacon-shows-his-skills-in-new-x-men-first-class-trailer/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/kevin-bacon-shows-his-skills-in-new-x-men-first-class-trailer/#comments Fri, 22 Apr 2011 22:33:22 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=208427 Umm... cool power, Kevin Bacon??

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With the Internet just filled to the fucking brim with X-Men: First Class trailers, stills, and posters, it was only a matter of time before we got to see Kevin Bacon‘s Sebastian Shaw use his mutant ability. Which apparently is to blossom into a fireball and grow a lot of arms. Umm…. didn’t see that one coming.

It’s definitely not as cool as some of the other powers out there. Like Magneto, the guy who does stuff to magnets. Or Mystique, who can turn into anyone she wants including the guy who does stuff to magnets. Or Super Mario when he catches an invincibility star.

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Mutants Won’t Look At Each Other In New ‘X-Men’ Poster http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/mutants-wont-look-at-each-other-in-new-x-men-poster/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/mutants-wont-look-at-each-other-in-new-x-men-poster/#comments Wed, 20 Apr 2011 02:20:56 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=207873 In Fox's new poster for 'X-Men: First Class', we see Beast, Mystique, and a bunch of non-blue muties all walking in different directions. Or standing around. Whatever.

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Professor Charles Xavier brought together a team of mutants to promote peace and fight prejudices from humans. However, just cause the X-Men are a team, doesn’t mean they have to look at each other. I mean, come on. Some of them look really, really weird.

In Fox’s new poster for X-Men: First Class, we see Beast, Mystique, and a bunch of non-blue muties all walking in different directions. Or standing around. Yeah, it’s a little awkward, but nowhere near the train wreck that was the last set of posters, which featured some ridiculous floating-head-on-crotch action. And I do like the tag-line, though I would have considered switching Mystique and Emma Frost. The White Queen has two things I want to see more up close, if you know what I mean, and what I mean are her long boots and cape. I also mean her boobs.

The X-Men assemble in theaters June 3rd, starring Michael Fassbender, James McAvoyJanuary Jones, Kevin Bacon and a soon-to-be-Hunger-Games-ing Jennifer Lawrence. (EW)

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‘Crazy Stupid Love’ Looks Neither Crazy Nor Stupid http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/crazy-stupid-love-looks-neither-crazy-nor-stupid/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/crazy-stupid-love-looks-neither-crazy-nor-stupid/#comments Wed, 06 Apr 2011 17:16:40 +0000 Dave Horwitz http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=205618 A romantic comedy that doesn't immediately look like garbage? I was as surprised as you are.

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The new ensemble romantic comedy Crazy Stupid Love has a shiny new trailer, and it looks better than the usual crop of mid-to-upper level romcoms. Steve Carell heads a top notch cast including Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, and Marisa Tomei. The film appears to be about a recently divorced/separated man (Carrel) who gets a bit of a “Hitch” treatment from younger, suaver, and all around alpha-er male Ryan Gosling. Oh, and then Emma Stone shows up and I got all distracted and couldn’t focus on anything else that happens. It’s directed by Bad Santa duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and comes out July 29th.

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Ellen Page Looks Inappropriately Good In Trailer For ‘Super’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/ellen-page-looks-inappropriately-good-in-trailer-for-super/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/ellen-page-looks-inappropriately-good-in-trailer-for-super/#comments Fri, 04 Mar 2011 20:59:53 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=100840 You won't have to join NBC Comedy Night's secret fight club anymore, if you want to see Rainn Wilson beat someone over the head with a wrench.

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You won’t have to join NBC Comedy Night’s secret fight club anymore, if you want to see Rainn Wilson beat someone over the head with a wrench. And it’s all thanks to this trailer for James Gunn‘s vigilante comedy Super.

I always wondered how The Punisher would have reacted if his wife up and left him, rather than being viciously murdered. Would he still feel the urge to take back the streets? Probably not. And the world would have to go without one sweet-ass skull design. But, that’s exactly what happens in Super.

Rainn Wilson’s wife leaves him for Kevin Bacon‘s smooth-talking drug dealer and a war on crime is born. And, honestly, it’s about time that someone was brave enough to step forward and tell crime to shut up.

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See A New Photo From ‘X-Men: First Class’ That’s All Blue And Stuff http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/see-a-new-photo-from-x-men-first-class-thats-all-blue-and-stuff/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/see-a-new-photo-from-x-men-first-class-thats-all-blue-and-stuff/#comments Wed, 02 Mar 2011 17:17:20 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=31097 It's all blue.

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The prequel to the X-Men series  X-Men: First Class appears to be trying to distinguish itself visually from the other movies in the series, partly as a service to its swinging 60s setting. And this new photo would appear to bear that out, with its neon blue glow and 60s costumes – it almost looks like a shot from a particularly flashy James Bond movie, albeit one that stars Kevin Bacon and January Jones.

The photo originally comes from Empire magazine, which will also have additional quotes from the actors about the movie once it goes to print. Until that glorious day, you must feast your eyes on the image in all of its shiny blueness. Enjoy:

(/Film)

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‘X-Men: First Class’: First Trailer http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/x-men-first-class-first-trailer/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/x-men-first-class-first-trailer/#comments Thu, 10 Feb 2011 22:48:23 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=26167 Our patience has paid off. Finally, a good look at the swinging 60's of X-Men: First Class. Not to mention the little outfit that Matthew Vaughn convinced January Jones to slip into.

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Fox kept us waiting with another Facebook debacle, but our patience has paid off. Finally, a good look at the swinging 60′s of X-Men: First Class. Not to mention the little outfits January Jones was convinced to slip into.

X-Men: First Class takes us back to the early days of the X-Men where you should pretty much forget everything you saw in the other movies. Beast and Mystique are kids, Wolverine is nowhere in sight, and your girlfriend wants to do it with Professor X now. Is that the Brave New World that Charles Xavier dreams about?

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The X-Men Get All ‘Mad Men’ In Three New Stills http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-photos/the-x-men-get-all-mad-men-in-three-new-stills/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-photos/the-x-men-get-all-mad-men-in-three-new-stills/#comments Thu, 20 Jan 2011 00:33:18 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=18994 These pictures give us what the earlier ones didn't: A chance to see our X-Men looking all mod and 60's-cool.

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Two days ago, we got pictures. Today we get good pictures via Playlist. There should be no question now that these X-Men: First Class photos are official and aren’t the product of a photoshopping fan boy. These pictures give us what the earlier ones didn’t: A chance to see our X-Men looking all mod and 60′s-cool.

First off, we have Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw looking like Chris Walken in “The Continental,” and January Jones‘ Emma Frost looking like a woman with a delicious rack. Notice the wet bar in the back left. “Omit no detail,” say the producers!

Then we have a picture that some would construe as a “metaphor.” We’ve got young Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) engaged in a battle of wits over a chess board. While many might say that this 60′s throwback is a case of notalgia fever run amok, the fact remains that these stills demonstrate a warmth we haven’t seen in this franchise before. So even if it takes some ascots and a wood-and-leather study, it’s well worth it.

Finally, we’ve got the money shot. The group looking like the cast of a British detective series. Reaction to the earlier “official” photo was hostile, and with good reason. If the producers are going to jump along the timeline of the story to give us a fresh look at the characters, a generic, shadowy picture that graces the poster of every superhero movie is probably not called for. These stills convey a very different atmosphere that will probably be the source of more than a few laughs in the film knowing Matthew Vaughn. Ascots for everyone!!!

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Kevin Bacon’s a Big Fan Of Kevin Bacon http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/kevin-bacons-a-big-fan-of-kevin-bacon/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/kevin-bacons-a-big-fan-of-kevin-bacon/#comments Thu, 02 Dec 2010 17:46:17 +0000 Col. Longshanks http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=10739 In this commercial for Logitech Revue with Google TV, Kevin Bacon plays Kevin Bacon's number one fan. It leaves me wondering if this is what Kevin actually looks like when he's not in front of the cameras. When Kyra Sedgwick rolls over in the morning, is this what she sees?

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In this commercial for Logitech Revue with Google TV, Kevin Bacon plays Kevin Bacon’s number one fan. It leaves me wondering if this is what Kevin actually looks like when he’s not in front of the cameras. When Kyra Sedgwick rolls over in the morning, is this what she sees? Thinning hair and greasy skin? I’m on to you, Bacon. I knew that thick mop on your head had to be a wig. It’s too much luster for one man to possess. (BuzzFeed)

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9 Inappropriate Movie Costumes http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/9-inappropriate-movie-costumes/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/9-inappropriate-movie-costumes/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Halloween is only a few weeks away, which means there’s not much time to nail down a costume. And as the clock winds down, many people will look to Hollywood for inspiration. That being said, does the world really need another moron running around in a Scream mask? Do we really want another group of douche bags dressed up like the guys from The Hangover. I think not. If you’re going to dress up like a movie character, at least do something that hasn’t been done before! Granted, that’s a tall order, considering pretty much everything has been done before. But we here at Screen Junkies are here to help. We came up with this list of characters that, for the most part, have remained an untapped Halloween resource. Sure, they might be a tad “offensive,” but wouldn’t you rather be hated than unoriginal?

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Halloween is only a few weeks away, which means there’s not much time to nail down a costume. And as the clock winds down, many people will look to Hollywood for inspiration. That being said, does the world really need another moron running around in a Scream mask? Do we really want another group of douche bags dressed up like the guys from The Hangover. I think not.

If you’re going to dress up like a movie character, at least do something that hasn’t been done before! Granted, that’s a tall order, considering pretty much everything has been done before. But we here at Screen Junkies are here to help. We came up with this list of characters that, for the most part, have remained an untapped Halloween resource. Sure, they might be a tad “offensive,” but wouldn’t you rather be hated than unoriginal?

Here are 9 inappropriate movie costumes you can use for Halloween…if you dare.

Rocky Dennis – Mask (1985)

Everyone wears a mask on Halloween. But I’ve never seen anyone be the Mask. No, not the shitty Jim Carrey movie. We’re talking about the shitty Eric Stoltz/Cher movie about a young boy with disease called lionitis that causes massive cranial disfiguration (a.k.a. a big, weird face). All you need is a red wig, some face putty, and the willingness to ruin all chances of getting laid that evening. Oh, also, you’ll most certainly be going to hell.

Mr. Yunioshi – Breakfest at Tiffany’s (1961)

If you want to stand out from the crowd this Halloween, why not go as Mr. Yunioshi from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Played by Mickey Rooney, Mr. Yunioshi is one of the most beloved characters in the history of American cinema. Well, it’s beloved by people who like to bitch about racist stereotypes in film, so technically that statement was true. Just buy some black hair dye, think-round glasses, and some false teeth, and you’re set. Don’t forget to squint and roll your R’s! You’ll be the toast on the town. Well, maybe not Chinatown. Then again, Yunioshi is Japanese, so maybe the Chinese would get a laugh out of it.

Christy Brown – My Left Foot (1989)

Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for his heart-wrenching yet dignified portrayal of Irish author Christy Brown, a victim of cerebral palsy. Something tells me your portrayal this Halloween will not be quite as tactful. No matter. If you can reenact the scene above, you’re sure to be the life of the party.

Andrew Beckett – Philadelphia (1993)

We were hesitant to put this one on the list. No, not because it’s offensive, but because it’s probably been done before. No matter; odds are it will be new to most people. This article will tell you how to make skin lesions. Then all you need is scarf, a coat, and a hat with a ‘P’ on it. If anyone asks you about the sores, be sure and tell them you were hit with a racquetball.

Sam – I Am Sam (2001)

For this costume, the Starbucks outfit will be easy enough to pull off. But that doesn’t really imply you’re Sam, as opposed to just a regular Starbucks employee. How do you convey that you’re supposed to have the IQ of a seven-year old? Maybe you could add a “Christine O’Donnell” support button on the apron lapel. Setting all politics aside, anyone who tells me not to masturbate must be mentally challenged, just like Sam!

Sarah Tobias – The Accused (1988)

The Accused, staring Jodie Foster, contains one of the most disturbing scenes of sexual assault in the history of cinema, which is probably why no one ever uses her character as the basis of a Halloween costume. But beggars can’t be choosers, and you’re begging for a costume. Copy the outfit Jodie is wearing in the picture above, and then walk around all night with a cardboard pinball machine on your back.

Bogs Diamond – The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

People love The Shawshank Redemption. People love prison rape. So this Halloween, why not combine the two and go as America’s favorite fictional prison rapist, Bogs Diamond! Just get an old prison uniform, add some fake blood to the crotch, and carry around a picture of Tim Robbins with a heart around it. Mix it up a bit by adding a wheelchair to the mix, just like Bogs had to use after his vicious beat down. Need a group costume? Add a few more inmates and go as "The Sisters," the gang of prison rapists Bogs lead. Get creative!

Colonel Hans Landa – Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Everyone loves a man in uniform, unless of course it’s a Nazi uniform and the man in question is known as “The Jew Hunter.” But having that giant tobacco pipe is going to look pretty sweet. Plus, if you have a fake swastika scar carved into your forehead, you might just be able to pull it off without offending too many people. Now, if you have a real swastika scar carved into your forehead, that’s a different story. Although I’m sure it’s a hell of a conversation starter. Just ask Charles Manson.

Jakie Rabinowitz (Jack Robin) – The Jazz Singer (1927)

Out of context, Al Jolson’s use of blackface in The Jazz Singer could easily be dismissed as racism. However, the film actually employs the controversial practice in a way that explores ethnic and racial divisions in early 20th century America while at the same time expressing empathy toward blacks. It is also worth noting that Al Jolson was an early champion of equal rights and is credited with introducing the world of African American music to mainstream white audiences. This Halloween, be sure to explain that to the angry black dudes who kick the shit out of you when they see you’re wearing blackface.
 

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Kevin Bacon in Talks To Terrorize Children in ‘X-Men: First Class’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/kevin-bacon-in-talks-to-terrorize-children-in-x-men-first-class/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/kevin-bacon-in-talks-to-terrorize-children-in-x-men-first-class/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Thank you Internet. Thank you for all that you do.We've got even more X-Men: First Class casting news to share today. Earlier in the week, we learned that Beast and Banshee had been cast. Today, we have news that actor/master sculptor Kevin Bacon is in talks to play the film's as-of-now-unrevealed villian.But who will Bacon play? I hate not knowing. Will he be some dickhead general, or a self-hating mutant with the power of invisibility and radical dance moves? Too soon to tell, though online chatter and speculation has him playing Mr. Sinister, a powerful mutant who gains his abilities by stealing others' "genetic material." Sick, dude. Just like that director-marrier Milla Jovovich. (Deadline)

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Thank you Internet. Thank you for all that you do.

We’ve got even more X-Men: First Class casting news to share today. Earlier in the week, we learned that Beast and Banshee had been cast. Today, we have news that actor/master sculptor Kevin Bacon is in talks to play the film’s as-of-now-unrevealed villian.

But who will Bacon play? I hate no knowing. Will he be some dickhead general, or a self-hating mutant with the power of invisibility and radical dance moves? Too soon to tell, though online chatter and speculation has him playing Mr. Sinister, a powerful mutant who gains his abilities by stealing others’ "genetic material." Sick, dude. Just like that director-marrier Milla Jovovich. (Deadline)

 

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Calling All Fancy Boys: Paramount Begins Casting for ‘Footloose’ Remake http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/calling-all-fancy-boys-paramount-begins-casting-for-footloose-remake/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/calling-all-fancy-boys-paramount-begins-casting-for-footloose-remake/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Are you a male, age 18 or older, who has a natural rhythm and loves to dance? If so, would you be interested in driving your father to alcoholism by playing a high school senior in the upcoming remake of the Kevin Bacon classic, Footloose? Well then, what are you waiting for, Cinderella? Let's get you ready for the ball!Paramount has begun casting for the film and has put out a call for digital audition videos to be sent in via email. Nothing could go wrong there; just ask Chris Klein.As the casting call clearly states, applicants do not need to be a trained dancer, provided they are a quick learner (i.e. you've learned to keep your damn mouth shut about the casting couch).Click here for your chance to be in Footloose.

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Are you a male, age 18 or older, who has a natural rhythm and loves to dance? If so, would you be interested in driving your father to alcoholism by playing high school senior in the upcoming remake of the Kevin Bacon classic, Footloose? Well then, what are you waiting for, Cinderella? Let’s get you ready for the ball!

Paramount has begun casting for the film and has put out a call for digital audition videos to be sent in via email. Nothing could go wrong there; just ask Chris Klein.

As the casting call clearly states, applicants do not need to be a trained dancer, provided they are a quick learner (i.e. you’ve learned to keep your damn mouth shut about the casting couch).

Click here for your chance to be in Footloose.

 

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10 WORST BASKETBALL SCENES IN MOVIES http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/10-worst-basketball-scenes-in-movies/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/10-worst-basketball-scenes-in-movies/#comments Tue, 05 May 2009 01:38:49 +0000 Defy Media The NBA Playoffs are (finally) into the second round and at long last we have gotten over an unbelievably uneventful NCAA Tournament. So, needless to say, we’ve seen some good basketball lately (apart from the Utah Jazz - jab!). Why not take a look at some of Cinema’s darker basketball moments? You know the ones - super-leaping little children tomahawk-dunking on some white doofus’ face when the glass shatters at the buzzer and the crowd goes wild. Those are the moments when people realize, and movies preach, life is not all about basketball. It’s about love, friendship, hard work, and sweat. Lots and lots of sweat.   It’s all still about basketball, though. That’s why the hero gets carried off the court on people’s shoulders. No one gave a damn about anyone learning a lesson, they cared that their team won the game at the last friggin’ second! Not only that, the team showed those jerks over at Opponent High (Fighting Muskrats) that they were the better basketball players and therefore the better people. 

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The NBA Playoffs are (finally) into the second round and at long last we have gotten over an unbelievably uneventful NCAA Tournament. So, needless to say, we’ve seen some good basketball lately (apart from the Utah Jazz – jab!). Why not take a look at some of Cinema’s darker basketball moments? You know the ones – super-leaping little children tomahawk-dunking on some white doofus’ face when the glass shatters at the buzzer and the crowd goes wild. Those are the moments when people realize, and movies preach, life is not all about basketball. It’s about love, friendship, hard work, and sweat. Lots and lots of sweat.

It’s all still about basketball, though. That’s why the hero gets carried off the court on people’s shoulders. No one gave a damn about anyone learning a lesson, they cared that their team won the game at the last friggin’ second! Not only that, the team showed those jerks over at Opponent High (fighting Muskrats) that they were the better basketball players and therefore the better people.

Basketball is not an easy game to translate to the screen, but so many people have tried. Here are the worst Hollywood had to offer:

 

TEEN WOLF

It’s not enough that Scott was inexplicably talented (and by that I mean, more athletic) as a werewolf, but somehow we are to believe that Michael J. Fox (all 4’6” of him) and his ragtag bunch of teammates (including the Fat Guy, as lovable as most fat guys) defeat the best team in the league? I mean, the Dragons even have a black guy or two on the team. Meanwhile, Michael J. jumpshoots his free throws. What’s that about? I think the lesson that the Beavers needed to learn was not about how they had the talent all along – it’s that their lack of fundamentals surprisingly got them this far.

As a side rant, I want to give special mention to Beavers’ forward #45. He has a smooth game, and is always following shots. He went down as an unsung hero to the Beavers’ amazing comeback, despite obviously being the star on both sides of the court. Subconsciously, I must have chosen to wear 45 in m high school playing days in his honor. Must have.

 

GLORY ROAD

A quick disclaimer. This is not a bad basketball movie, really. They get most of it sort of right. Sort of. But there are a couple things to mention. The 1966 Texas Western men’s basketball team was historically relevant. They were college basketball’s answer to Jackie Robinson. They took on the giants of Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky basketball factory. They were not, however, an AND1 MixTape team. They played smart motion offenses, and didn’t rely on exuberance and showmanship to win games.

And, on a storytelling note, is it really necessary to stick nose prosthetics on actor’s to make them look more like the real life characters they are depicting. Were there Rupp lobbies trying to get Jon Voight to look more like the foul-nosed coach? I’m pretty sure 99.999% of Americans would not have second-guessed Voight, sans nose prosthetic, as Adolph Rupp. Call me crazy, but it just seems to show the loosely knit seams in filmmaking when I see a badly made, and unnecessary, face prop.

 

ABOVE THE RIM

This movie raises more questions than answers, and fails Storytelling 101 in the first five minutes of the film. All basketball relevance and authenticity is lost when we see some kid smash his hand through the backboard then falling to his untimely death before the credits. C’mon. I didn’t even know that slapping the backboard was such a great feat. If that was the case, I should have been recruited to play college ball.

From that ridiculous scene on, the movie’ fighting an uphill battle – one not unlike the rest of the basketball games in the films on this list. And note that Marlon Shawn* Wayans has a role here. Just keep that in mind.

*Editor’s Note: Thanks for the correction, Anonymous.

 

SLAM DUNK ERNEST

Ernest has practically done everything. Actually, there’s very little he cannot do, probably because of some unbelievably improbably coincidence or magic shoes. In this one, like so many other basketball movies that try and teach kids that “it’s not about the shoes,” it is about the shoes. Ernest just wants to play basketball in a sort-of semi-pro league with his janitor buddies – but being a white hick – he sucks. Until, that is, he finds a pair of magical shoes that make him grimace his face when he leaps 12 feet into the air.

If that isn’t cringe-worthy enough, they decided to give the shoes a high-lilting coo every time he addresses them in conversation. They make Snarf from Thundercats someone you’d want to have a conversation with.

Cast note: Miguel A. Nuñez Jr.

 

JUWANNA MANN

See above cast note I am guessing that Miguel A. Nuñez Jr. had a bit of “star power” in the early 00s. He was probably ready to call the shots on his next acting gig, and I am guessing that he decided Slam Dunk Ernest didn’t showcase enough of his talent as a budding basketball player. So he brainstormed some star-vehicle basketball movie ideas that didn’t have him playing second fiddle to Ernest (that’s gotta sting).

His idea was about as well-rounded as the basketball in it. I won’t pretend I am a fan of the WNBA, but they should be greatly offended by the massacre this movie did to any credibility for women’s team sports. The sports film is usually an uplifting one, empowering a certain group of people – usually underachievers, but this destroyed that mold and is just a slap in the face. I am choking on my contempt. I apologize.

Quick cast note: Kim Wayans (aka Shawn Wayans’ sister), stay tuned.

 

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR

I don’t understand the HSM movies. And I won’t pretend to. They are not for meant for me. I haven’t seen any of them all the way through. I know that Zac Efron is some sort of teen hearthrob and all, but I’m just not sure to which sex he’s a hearthrob. I was aware, though, that Zac’s character is into basketball, and that in the world of HSM, basketball is the jock sport of choice. That’s all fine, but I’m not sure they are playing basketball.

I can understand that teams have a trick play or two – especially any sports team in any movie, ever, but I don’t think singing while playing basketball would really throw the other team off. If anything, it probably just confirms the opponents superiority as they thromp the sissy, singing team.

I also admit, I had to read the title of the movie a couple times to make sure it was HIGH SCHOOL Musical, because those kids out there are middle schoolers. There’s usually a good amount of size, strength, and athleticism to real high school ball players. I may have been Zac Efron’s size in fourth grade (and, as long as he played his soprano offense, I think I could have taken him even then).

 

LIKE MIKE

 

 

It’s the shoes, but it’s not. Christ! Li’l Bow Wow probably had way too much to do with this film getting made, which proves an old adage: “Hollywood is run by 12-year-olds.” Some producer, trying to not lose his tenuous grasp on the key pre-teen demographic, decided that the “so in” young rapper and that cute kid from Jerry Maguire (who had already grown out of his cuteness by the third act) should star in a movie where a kid plays in the NBA.

Interesting side note: even the Wayan brothers stayed away from this movie.

Do yourself a favor, put this one back on the shelf and watch Rookie of the Year, if anything you’ll see the original version.

 

AIR BUD

If kids playing in the NBA isn’t enough for you, how about dogs? Okay, it’s not the NBA, but it’s one of the great copouts of movie sports – middle schoolers. If you’re not going to be able to translate the sport on the screen in an authentic way, why not bring in the kids who aren’t supposed to be superstars yet. Perfect. Add a pinch of canine and you’ve got a movie franchise!

The dog is cute enough, and I can be on Air Bud’s side most of the time, but really, once I take off my homer glasses (for the Timberwolves – the last time they were ever successful – uppercut!), shouldn’t he be called for about a hundred turnovers? Traveling? Moving screens? He has his nose in the kid’s crotch for chrissake, that has to be a foul. What is he? The John Stockton of doggie basketball?

It was because of this movies, the filmmakers didn’t make Most Foul-Prone Primate.

 

THE AIR UP THERE

Kevin Bacon had to do a basketball movie. He had done everything else. So what better movie to do than one where he plays an assistant coach looking for the next Hakeem Olajuwon or Dikembe Mutombo? That way, you’re doing a basketball movie and a heartfelt tribute to Africa. Unfortunately, they butchered the basketball and destroyed any semblance of cultural sensitivity to African tribal nations.

I will say it has it’s golden moments, most of which are Bacon’s facial expressions as he re-injures his knee.

 

THE SIXTH MAN

Marlon Wayans. In the 90s, the Wayans brand had some real comedy firepower, that was, until Damon and Keenan Ivory grew out of their comfortable adolescent humor, and gave the reins over to Marlon and Shawn. And, since the Wayans’ were employable black guys, white producers decided they should be basketball players. It was almost every basketball casting decision in the late 90s and early 00s.

WRITER: It’s about a basketball team. It’s a comedy.   

PRODUCER: Get Wayans, the young one! Marlon!  

WRITER: But it’s about a women’s basketball team.  

PRODUCER: Doesn’t he have a sister?

The Wayans are a smorgasbord of casting choices for inept producers, and The Sixth Man suffers from not at least getting a funny black man in his role.

 

DISHONORABLE MENTION:

Celtic Pride – Damon Wayans, anyone?

Eddie – The downfall of Whoopi Goldberg (how it art akin to the fall of Rome)

Rebound – The downfall of Martin Lawrence (it art closer to the fall of Orange Julius).

– ROSS CONKEY

Ross Conkey is a freelance writer living in Chicago.  He likes the Trailblazers and thinks basketball fundamentals should start with fun.

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