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Tag: Quentin Tarantino (31-40 of 45)

Grammys: Was Stephen Colbert out of his element?

Well, yes, Walter. Of course he was. You need only watch Jay-Z’s Bish Please face at 0:38 during Colbert’s “Welcome, folks!” speech (embedded below) to figure that out. Colbert’s good-natured quips like “The Pink-Eyed Green Peas” fell flat with the cool kids, even though that one would have gone over great as a word puzzle with special musical guests on Sesame Street. Tough crowd for Colbert. It’s okay, though. No one really needs to “fit in” at the Grammys. And Colbert certainly doesn’t care. He is a GRAMMY WINNER; plus, his adorable teenage daughter finally thinks he’s cool. And anyone who’s prepared Lady Gaga zingers to fire off backstage is a Grammys winner in my children’s picture book. (For the alien visitor’s next outfit, Colbert predicted, “They’re just going to spray her down with glue and run her through a Build-a-Bear workshop.”)

A bit more jarring for me was the trotting out of random CBS TV stars to present awards to people in the music industry. I have nothing against Kaley Cuoco or Chris O’Donnell in theory, and Simon Baker’s glasses deserved Accessory of the Year, but I couldn’t help but roll my eyes when they came out. Like, ugh, I get it, CBS, TV on the Grammys, lame! Still, I’d rather hear Chris O’Donnell present an award 30 times than Quentin Tarantino pretend he’s a rapper and plug his own movie once. What about you?

SAG Awards 2010: We give the show our own awards! (And give you some backstage info!)

I’m Kate Ward, and I’m not an actor — though I would love to be, if only to get the opportunity to stroke Jon Hamm’s luxurious beard. (Mmm.) After an unusually somber and sober Golden Globes ceremony last Sunday, things were decidedly cheerier at Saturday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. In fact, our actors were so happy to receive their awards, the show began running too long: Near the end of the program, during the commercial break, winners were asked to limit their acceptance speeches to 45 seconds. (Not that they listened — I’m looking at you Jeff Bridges.)

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet: With no host, the show began with an introduction that featured some great lines from a motley crew of actors. (The best in that introduction goes to Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Jeff Garlin: “Wow, my IMDB star meter is up eight percent in popularity this week. I’m Jeff Garlin, and I’m an actor.”) And then, just as quickly as you can say “Justin Timberlake’s denim-blue shirt,” it was onto the awards! In the spirit of the season, I thought I would present my own awards, based on the show. (And some behind-the-scenes info from EW’s John Young, who was backstage during the ceremony.)  So, without further ado, here are my awards for the night! (And look here for a complete list of winners — we’re just touching on the show’s highlights here.)

Funniest acceptance speech: Really, is it any contest? The funniest acceptance speech goes to lifetime achievement award winner Betty White, who still can rile up a room after 88 years. After buddy Sandra Bullock lightly teased White during her introduction (said Bullock: “She starred in four different television shows called The Betty White Show. Four. Most people would stop naming shows after themselves after the third one.”), White approached the podium and thanked her pal: “Isn’t it heartening to see how far a girl as plain as she is can go?” But she was just getting started: “I am still to this day starstruck. I look out at this audience and I see so many famous faces. But what really boggles my mind is that I actually know many of you. And I’ve worked with quite a few. Maybe had a couple.” (Props to George Clooney, who, while presenting best performance by a cast in a motion picture, told the audience: “I think it was 1987, I did an episode of The Golden Girls, and I would like to thank Betty White for her discretion.”) And you have to respect White, if only for that high-slit dress. Backstage, she told reporters, “You got to use everything you possibly can!” READ FULL STORY

Which scenes were cut from the year's best movies?

The fun of a director’s cut, of course, is being able to watch an elongated version of one of your favorite films, and constantly wonder, “Why did [insert director name here] take that scene out?!” (One of the most egregious cuts in my opinion: Christopher Guest cutting “This Bulging River” from his finalized version of Waiting for Guffman. Why, oh why?!)

Well, even before you see all the director’s cuts of this year’s most celebrated films, you’ll get some answers to that question, thanks to the L.A. Times’ “Envelope Roundtable.” The media outlet gathered some of this year’s award-worthy directors — James Cameron, Jason Reitman, Quentin Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow, and Lee Daniels — to chat about their films and careers. This is one interesting clip from the roundtable, in which the five discuss the scenes they cut from their acclaimed films.

One common thread between all the slashed scenes? They all seemed to be cherished by the directors. (Well, except for a seemingly ill-advised dream sequence from Up in the Air.) But even if the subject matter of this clip doesn’t interest you, you should check it out anyway: The awkward tension between Bigelow and Cameron — who, at one point, teases his ex-wife about her low budget for The Hurt Locker — is simply too good to miss.

Tell me, PopWatchers, if you had the five directors in one room together, what would you ask them? And what, in your opinion, was the most egregious cut scene from a film?

Quentin Tarantino: Black-belt Japanese dog-phone-speaker salesman extraordinaire

All has been quiet on the Quentin Tarantino front since Inglourious Basterds hit theaters in August. But you knew that the silence wouldn’t last. Recently, the director turned up in a totally bizarre Japanese commercial for a telephone speaker that’s shaped like a dog.

You read that right. A telephone speaker in the shape of a dog.

While most Hollywood celebrities have no problem shilling for foreign products abroad in exchange for giant sacks of cash (as long as it’s kept hush-hush, of course), you have to at least respect Tarantino’s idiosyncratic endorsement. No Michelob or Subaru for him! After all, if you’re going to feather your retirement nest with stacks of yen, why not do it for a product that no one in America wants…or, for that matter, can even really wrap their heads around? (Again, it’s a phone speaker…shaped like a dog.)

There’s something about the surreal editing of this utterly wackadoo spot (and Tarantino’s talking dog co-star) that makes this thing kind of a nice addition to the QT oeuvre. And frankly, as long as the check cleared, I’m less concerned about Tarantino putting on a silk kimono, speaking choppy Japanese, and busting out some crazy-eyed kung fu moves than I am about why the Japanese are buying phone speakers that look like dogs.

Really, I could go on about this. But maybe it’s best to just check out the video below and tell us what you think. READ FULL STORY

'Pulp Fiction' music mashup masterpiece: A bad motherf--ing clip

I’m filing this in two places: 1) Incredibly awesome and 2) thing I will never have the time to try and do.

Is that not the coolest thing you’ve seen all day, or what? I want someone to do that with The Empire Strikes Back. (Not me, of course, because I’m busy with that thing I’ve got to get back to doing. Right. Carry on.)

'Kill Bill 3': Are you thirsty for more blood?

killbill_lThe Bride’s back! Or, at least, will be back: Yesterday, Quentin Tarantino announced plans to helm Kill Bill Vol. 3, turning his popular bloody franchise into an official trilogy. Of course, there’s a catch—audiences will have to wait until about 2014 for the third film, as the director is hoping to space 10 years between the second Kill Bill film and his third.

It’s an interesting choice if you ask me. Coming off the heels of Inglourious Basterds, which has picked up enough dough in the box office to satisfy the Pillsbury mascot, Tarantino could pretty much do whatever he wanted. (Even, say, judge American Idol.) Yet he’s returning to an old faithful. I, however, am hopeful. After all, the guy’s smart. How else could you explain his decision to wait 10 years for the follow-up? Sure, he could start production on the third film now, but good things come to those who wait. Plus, who wouldn’t like to see a 44-year-old Uma Thurman slicing and dicing her way through the film with a Samurai sword?

Tell me, PopWatchers: Are you glad Tarantino is revisiting his Kill Bill franchise? Do you, like me, think more women of a certain age should be given kick-ass roles like this? And will the film be the same sans David Carradine?

Photo credit: Andrew Cooper

Quentin Tarantino: An awesome movie critic?

Regardless of your opinion of Inglourious Basterds, there’s no denying Quentin Tarantino’s cinematic knowledge. Watching one of his movies is akin to taking a class on genre history, with Quentin as the ultimate professor. Furthermore, the filmmaker clearly loves talking about movies just as much as making them. Case in point: Sky Movies Indie, a British TV channel, recently let Tarantino “take over” their programming for a weekend. Tarantino selected six movies that he admired and filmed 10-minute introductions for each. Watching these “mini-reviews” is a blast. You get both sides of Tarantino’s personality — snobbish film connoisseur and impressionable fanboy — filtered through his astute observations and undying enthusiasm.

Below is Tarantino’s video commentary on There Will Be Blood, and after the jump are his intros for Taxi Driver, Sunshine, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and his own Death Proof (he also filmed a segment on Gus Van Sant’s 1998 Pscyho remake, but sadly, I couldn’t find it online). PopWatchers, should Tarantino host more intros like these? And would you ever sign up for a film class taught by the director?


Must List Live!: What's the best Quentin Tarantino movie?

With Inglourious Basterds hitting theaters Friday, Josh Wolk and I got to thinking: What’s the best Quentin Tarantino movie ever? Reservoir Dogs? Pulp Fiction? Kill Bill? Well, the answer one of us came up with might surprise you. And when I say “one of us” I’m referring to the smart one. The brave one. The one whose name does not rhyme with Posh Folk. Watch the latest Must List Live! video below to see if you agree with my pick for the ultimate in QT quality time, or if you feel the shameful need to hide your predictability and incorrectness behind a beard like my man Wolk. And then let us know your choice for the ultimate Quentin Tarantino film. Warning: This debate may get a little bloody. And when you’re done with that, see how well you do on our Quentin Tarantino quiz.

Tarantino and the original 'Bastards'

uwu_logoTake your seats, class: Senior writer Chris Nashawaty is kicking off his in-depth weeklong tutorial on all things Quentin Tarantino for the latest installment of EW University. Check out our gallery of 20 Tarantino movie and movie poster faves and our Quentin Tarantino trivia quiz.

The Original Bastards: ‘Guys on a mission’ Italian-style

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably already hip to the fact that Quentin Tarantino has a new (and badly spelled) new film coming out on August 21 called Inglourious Basterds. And depending on your level of interest in the Pulp Fiction auteur and his well-chronicled movie-geek obsessions, you may also already know that the Brad Pitt WWII epic is loosely based on a fairly obscure (and better spelled) Italian-produced action flick from 1978 called Inglorious Bastards.

I’ve seen Tarantino’s Basterds already and I think it’s absolutely fantastic — the best thing he’s done since John Travolta did the Twist with Uma Thurman. Better than his interminably talky Death Proof. Better than Kill Bill (both parts). And better than Jackie Brown. I’ve also seen Enzo G. Castellari’s original Bastards (you can read EWs review of the 2008 three-disc DVD edition) and I can honestly say that not only is Tarantino’s film a gajillion times better, it also has virtually nothing to do with Castellari’s B-movie beyond the title and the whole guys-on-a-mission-during-WWII thing.

But hey, that shouldn’t stop us from dipping our cinematic piggy toe into the original Bastards in anticipation of Tarantino’s homage. READ FULL STORY

'American Idol' re-run: Did you like anyone better the second time around?

I know. I’m obsessed. I couldn’t help myself. When Cat Deeley announced on last Thursday’s So You Think You Can Dance results show that American Idol would re-run an episode for the first time in eight seasons, I couldn’t help but set my DVR right away. Sure, I had already seen the season 8 Top 13 telecast, featuring songs from Michael Jackson’s catalog, but like any Idol-obsessed TV watcher, I had to see it again. Not just because re-running the show was a fitting way to remember the King of Pop (it was). But also because this was a landmark in American Idol history, and I’m just fanatic enough to force myself to follow through and celebrate it.

And before I get to the episode itself, I should mention something: Like any Idol fan will tell you, it is an incredibly stressful experience to follow the show. You constantly root for your favorites, hoping that they won’t get knocked out by some lark (think Scott Savol besting Constantine Maroulis back in season four). When a contestant you don’t care for garners praise from the judges, your heart knots up a little in fear for whatever non-pimped underdog you’re hoping makes it past the week. That’s what made watching last night’s top 13 show so interesting. Knowing that my favorites (Kris Allen, Anoop Desai) had made it into the top 11, I was able to actually enjoy contestants that I loathed the first time around. Most notably, Michael Sarver, whose “You Are Not Alone” I found to be boring, average and not worthy of the praise he received the first time around. But since I went into last night’s viewing knowing full well that Anoop made it past the travesty that was “Beat It”—and two deserving contestants went home—I decided to put my bias aside and actually listen. And you know what? When I closed my eyes (I still can’t tolerate the boy band hand movements, sorry), Michael was really good. He actually delivered a sincere, above average performance (embedded below).

My newfound respect for Michael made me wish that Idol would choose to re-run other episodes. Would I change my poor opinion about Syesha Mercado? Nikki McKibbin? John Stevens? (Okay, probably not). But some performance shows were so stellar, I’d love to see them again in their entirety. (Especially since some performances are still not on YouTube.) A few of my favorites: season one’s big band night (see Kelly’s awesome performance after the jump), season two’s movie soundtracks night, season three’s movie soundtracks night (with Quentin Tarantino as judge!), and season seven’s first Beatles night.

Tell me, PopWatchers: Did you watch last night’s Idol re-run? Who was better on the second listen? Worse? And which performance night would you want to see Idol re-run?


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