Gilbert Gottfried Documentary

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is best known by general audiences for being a wholly inappropriate comedian with an extremely grating voice. They may not know his name, but they recognize that signature voice, the same one that brought Jafar’s parrot sidekick Iago to life in Disney’s Aladdin. But they definitely don’t know the real Gilbert Gottfried.

Gilbert is a documentary that debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival this past spring, and it’s finally arriving in theaters this year. You might be surprised when you hear Gottfried speak during interviews in this documentary, because his voice isn’t piercing your ears as it usually does. Because Gottfried doesn’t talk like that all the time – it’s part of the calculated character he’s created for his stage persona, and the real Gottfried is even more fascinating, sweet and wonderful than you could have ever imagined.

Watch the Gilbert Gottfried documentary trailer below to see what we’re talking about. Read More »

tribeca reviews my friend dahmer

Another Tribeca Film Festival has come and gone, bringing a new slew of films you should look out for. This year’s festival was particularly jam-packed, with some incredible special events, including a 25th anniversary screening of Reservoir Dogs (using Quentin Tarantino’s personal 35mm copy) and cast panel, talks with industry legends such as Tom Hanks, Kathryn Bigelow and Dustin Hoffman, VR showcases, the premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale, and the literal godfather of all events, an all-day screening of The Godfather and The Godfather II with the cast and director Francis Ford Coppola assembled for a 45th anniversary retrospective panel and reunion to close out the festival.

Sandwiched in-between these star-studded events were some truly incredible films which I had the pleasure of screening and discovering during this sleepless stretch of two weeks. Here are the narrative titles that stood out, that shocked me, thrilled me and left me in dumbfounded awe by the end credits. Here are my Best of Tribeca 2017 films!

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Almost Paris Trailer

In Hollywood, there are some families who have been in the business of making movies for years. Francis Ford Coppola, John Cassavetes, John Landis, Ron Howard, and Carl Reiner all have offspring who have gone on to work in the entertainment industry and are still working to this day. Now one more member of Hollywood royalty is beginning their filmmaking career.

Domenica Cameron-Scorsese is the daughter of Martin Scorsese, and she delivered her first feature film this year in the form of Almost Paris, a family drama that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Now the first trailer for the movie has arrived, and we can see if she inherited any of the filmmaking talent that has made her father such a respected name in cinema.

Watch the Almost Paris trailer after the jump. Read More »

J.J. Abrams and Chris Rock Discussion

Last weekend Tribeca Film Festival hosted a special chat between filmmaker J.J. Abrams and comedians Chris Rock (who is also a filmmaker himself) as part of their 15th anniversary festivities. We already featured some tidbits when their discussion turned to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, mainly its similarity to Star Wars: A New Hope and Mark Hamill’s hesitancy to return for the sequel. But now you can watch the whole discussion yourself.

Tribeca Film Festival has made the entire 74-minute J.J. Abrams and Chris Rock discussion available to watch online, and it’s chock full of some great moments between the two entertainment icons. Read More »

Elvis and Nixon review 1

At first glance, the 1970 picture of Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon shaking hands in the Oval Office looks flat-out bizarre. The flamboyantly attired musician makes for a striking contrast to the staid politician, and it’s a little jarring to realize that not only did these two people once inhabit the same universe, they actually crossed paths once. Somehow, the story behind that picture is even stranger: To Elvis, at least, this was no mere photo up but a meeting to discuss his swearing-in as an undercover federal agent-at-large for the Bureau of Narcotics.

Liza Johnson‘s Elvis & Nixon is about that how that meeting came to be and what happened when these two larger-than-life figures finally collided, with Michael Shannon as the King and Kevin Spacey as Tricky Dick. But it’s less about the vast differences between this two men than the one thing, even more than a shared distaste for the counterculture of the times, that truly bound them together: the strangeness of fame.  Read More »

Dean review

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a successful young(ish) creative type hits the film festival circuit with a semi-autobiographical dramedy about a somewhat less successful young(ish) creative type who struggles to pull his life together, grow up, and move on. That’s the very familiar premise of comedian Demetri Martin‘s directorial debut Dean, which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. Fortunately, Dean‘s got a few fresher tricks up its sleeve that justify retracing this very familiar pattern.

One is that Dean is less about the precious ennui that all young(ish) creative types seem to suffer from in indie dramedies, than it is about the strange and complicated and even ugly process of grief. Another is a gently played subplot about Dean’s father (played by Kevin Kline). And the third and perhaps most important are the many wry cartoons Martin uses to emphasize and comment on Dean’s mental and emotional state.  Read More »

benefactor

Richard Gere is one of those movies stars who’s probably slightly undervalued as an actor because of his stardom. But for the past decade, aside from the occasional hokey romance or two, he’s been doing some of his most thoughtful work as a performer. He’s taken on smaller and more intimate projects, frequently playing some wonderfully unlikable and deeply human characters (see The Hoax or The Hunting Party, if you haven’t already). His next film, The Benefactor, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year, and it was met with mostly positive reviews.

After the jump, watch the trailer for The Benefactor.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger in Maggie

If nothing else, Maggie deserves credit for approaching zombies from a whole new angle. While the angst of watching a loved one get infected is a common trope of the genre, it is rarely if ever the main focus of a zombie movie. But as Maggie shows, it’s a premise with great potential. Unfortunately, Maggie also shows there are many ways to sell that potential short.  Read More »

Man Up

There are those who mourn the death of the classic romcom, and those who prefer the genre in its newer, more Apatovian incarnation. Both groups would do well to watch Man Up, a British charmer that has one foot firmly planted in each camp. It’s full of meet-cutes and grand romantic gestures, just like your favorite ’90s classics, but it’s got the grounded messiness and R-rated jokes of a more modern affair. And it absolutely nails the most important aspect of any romcom: a lead couple with chemistry, in this case played by Simon Pegg and Lake Bell.

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Live From New York release date

You can’t overstate the cultural significance of Saturday Night Live. The live sketch comedy show has been airing for 40 years and developed some of our biggest stars, coined our favorite catch phrases, and created some of our favorite characters. It’s a massive, rich history that’s chronicled in the new documentary Live From New York! directed by Bao Nguyen. The doc is going to open the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival this month and now everyone will officially be able to see the film soon after.

Live From New York! will open June 12 in major cities, via Abramorama and everywhere else, based on demand via Tugg. See the full poster and read more about the Live from New York release date. Read More »