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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Stiller’

A Look Back at LIFE Magazine’s ‘Most Moving’ Photo Essay

LIFECareerGirl_CoverThanks to Ben Stiller‘s remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which premieres this weekend at the New York Film Festival, we’re going to be hearing a lot more than usual about LIFE magazine. In the Twentieth Century Fox film, Stiller plays a photo editor at the publication, which ceased print publication in the spring of 2007.

Right on schedule, LIFE takes a look back at a May 1948 photo spread by Leonard McCombe that it deems to be the most moving and surprising in the publication’s history. That’s some praise. The cover story profiled Gwyned Filling, a University of Missouri School of Journalism grad selected from over a thousand candidates to help convey the day-to-day of a post-Word War II “career girl:”

The reaction of LIFE’s readers ranged (perhaps predictably) from outrage and moral indignation at Gwyned’s “unladylike” pursuits to a kind of celebratory relief that LIFE chose to show on its cover “a young woman with a serious, purposeful, intelligent face” rather than “some vacuous-faced female with the molar grin that has come to be regarded in America as a smile.”

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Reporter Recalls the Time She Broadsided Ben Stiller with the Wrong Yiddish

Ben Stiller’s recent American Cinematheque honor has prompted Los Angeles magazine associate editor Kari Mozena to think back to the time she first met the actor.

It was at an after-party at the Mondrian Hotel following the premiere of Neil LaBute’s 1998 film Your Friends and Neighbors. She and another journalist started chatting with the actor. All was going well until Mozena confused her sch-words:

“You play such a schlub in this movie.” It’s not a question, it’s simply an awkward statement. Stiller stops talking. The reporter beside me just stares at me. “Interview over,” Stiller says and walks away.

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A Santa Anita Celebrity Trifecta That Can Always Be Counted On for Laughs

Santa Anita Park is doing a lot to raise the profile of its annual Breeder’s Cup races kicking off tomorrow. Per an article in the Pasadena Star-News by Brenda Gazzar, they’ve got Tony Bennett singing Saturday before the big $5 million race and a host of new celebrity supporters across the country.

But in terms of old school PR, Santa Anita has for years been able to count on the all-star comedy stable of Mel Brooks, his close friend Dick Van Patten and the Conway family duo of Tim and Tim Jr. Among the memorable anecdotes in Gazzar’s piece is this one, about a father passing on some life skills:

After returning from a day at the races with his father, Conway Jr. improvised a Show and Tell [at Encino Elementary] by teaching his classmates how to “box an exacta.”

When the Encino school’s principal told Conway Sr. it was “borderline child abuse” to teach a kid to gamble, he deadpanned: “Let me tell you what child abuse is. (He picks horse 3 and 5), it comes in 5-3, and he doesn’t have it boxed” and loses. “That’s child abuse.”

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Today’s Egregious Movie Blurb Critic: Joel Amos

When we read the words – “The Best Comic Cast Ever” – we think perhaps of a Billy Wilder classic or something more recent like Tootsie. Never in a million years would FishbowlLA connect that sentence to a new release arriving on the weekend of July 27, 2012.

Which separates us from LA-based moviefanatic.com contributor Joel Amos. On page D2 of today’s LA Times Calendar section, in large white font against blue background, those credited words of flattery adorn the top of a two-thirds-of-a-page sized ad for the Ben Stiller-Vince Vaughn offering The Watch.

As is so often the case with this sort of hyperbolic praise, 20th Century Fox has taken some creative license. What Amos wrote in his original review was that “It [The Watch] is close to being the best comic cast ever.”

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Universal Pictures Pulls Plug on Tower Heist VOD

Due to backlash from movie theater operators, Universal Pictures decided to squash plans to show Tower Heist on Comcast’s video on demand service.

“Universal Pictures today announced that in response to a request from theater owners, it has decided to delay its planned premium home video on demand (PVOD) experiment,” Universal said in a statement. “Universal continues to believe that the theater experience and a PVOD window are business models that can coincide and thrive and we look forward to working with our partners in exhibition to find a way to experiment in this area in the future.”

The original plan involved Comcast cable customers with a high-definition TV in Portland, Oregon and Atlanta paying $59.99 to watch Tower Heist from their home starting on Nov. 23. A number of theaters worried about losing customers were prepared to not show the Eddie Murphy-Ben Stiller comedy in protest.

In the end, the pressure was too much and Universal caved … for now.

You Can Watch First-Run Films at Home for $60

Universal Pictures and Comcast are testing out a new concept that will allow you to watch a movie that’s still in theaters from your living room couch.

The only catch?

It’s going to cost you $60.

Comcast cable customers with a high-definition TV in Portland, Oregon and Atlanta can test out the service starting Nov. 23 with Tower Heist, starring Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller. You have a 48-hour window to watch an unlimited number of times.

I can see this concept working for families. When you factor in the cost of parking, four tickets and food, $60 is a steal.

In the future, let’s hope the film selections are better than Tower Heist. You would have to pay me $60 to sit through that one.

VMA Ratings May Contain Message for Globes, Oscars

Last year, with Chelsea Handler on board, the MTV Video Music Awards notched their best ratings since 2002. This past weekend, with no one hosting, the show recorded its best ratings ever.

So let’s perhaps forget the notion of Ben Stiller for the Oscars or the idea of a second encore for Ricky Gervais with the Globes. At this fractured, social media-driven juncture, when everyone on Twitter is a wise-cracking comedian, the best option may well be to dispense with the idea of awards show hosts altogether.

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#StupidIdeas | Bush Speaks | Guessing Game

  • AllTwitter: People are getting tattoos of trending topics. Maybe they should skip the middle man and just get Justin Bieber’s name inked on their butts.
  • FishbowlDC: NatGeo is going to premiere the documentary, “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview,” on August 28. The film contains an extensive interview with the former president, which will be interesting to hear.
  • FishbowlLA: Will Ben Stiller will host the next Oscars? No one is sure, but you can be sure he will star in several terrible movies before then.

Oscar Watcher Predicts: Ben Stiller Will Host Next Show

We like Sasha Stone‘s way of thinking. In reaction to the latest wave of media speculation about Billy Crystal returning for a ninth turn as Oscar show host, the AwardsDaily.com maven instead has her money on another, younger, more logical star:

Somehow I doubt if they’re going to all the trouble to hire the presumed “young and hip” Brett Ratner to produce, it seems unlikely they will veer off that path and head into more traditional waters with Crystal.  More likely, Ben Stiller is the one they’ll get to host.  Stiller is starring in Ratner’s upcoming Tower Heist.  I have my money on Stiller hosting.

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KCRW to Air Marc Maron’s WTF

No idea how they’re going to pull this off, but KCRW has decided to air 10 episodes of Marc Maron‘s wonderful podcast WTF–which, if for some reason you can’t figure it out, stands for “What the Fuck.” And therein, seemingly, lies the trouble. Maron begins each and every show by saying fuck no less than 12 times, and isn’t shy about using it during his interviews either. Why should he be shy? It’s his podcast.

But the FCC might have something to say about the matter if anything close to an unedited podcast goes over the airwaves. Especially on Sundays at 11AM, which is when KCRW plans to run the program.

The shows KCRW chose to air are all old, so they’ll have plenty of time to scrub them clean. It will be interesting to see what’s left.

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