Christopher Guest

Christopher Guest

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Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story Of National Lampoon Trailer


In the 1970s came the most controversial and accessible comedy ever seen. The National Lampoon was a magazine featuring some of the most socially terrifying taboos and became a groundbreaking publication in the world of American humour. Unafraid were the editors to approach subjects regarding politics, war, sex, drugs and culture, and nothing was allowed to stay censored; it was, indeed, best known for the highly outrageous cover art that ranged from parodic images of Van Gogh and Hitler to a gun threat against a dog. From pages full of laughs came a multimedia comedic world with radio shows, music and television all spawning from that one paper. The most memorable incarnations of the Lampoon were the 'Animal House', 'Class Reunion' and 'Vacation' movies which took the whole franchise to a new level of fame.

Continue: Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story Of National Lampoon Trailer

Jamie Lee Curtis Goes ‘Incognito’ In ‘Streetfighter’ Costume For Evo 2015


Jamie Lee Curtis Christopher Guest

Jamie Lee Curtis went undercover at Evo 2015 at Las Vegas this weekend. On Twitter, the 56-year-old shared a photograph of her family dressed up as characters from the videogame series, Streetfighter. Curtis’s own costume was that of Vega, a mask-wearing, clawed fighter who first appears in the second of the Streetfighter games.

Jamie Lee CurtisJamie Lee Curtis at Comic Con 2015 in July.

Read More: Emma Roberts Stars in Scream Queens Teaser Trailer.

Continue reading: Jamie Lee Curtis Goes ‘Incognito’ In ‘Streetfighter’ Costume For Evo 2015

Jane Lynch Honored On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Leron Gubler, Ryan Murphy, Christopher Guest, Jane Lynch and Guests - Jane Lynch Honored On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame - Hollywood, California, United States - Wednesday 4th September 2013

Leron Gubler, Ryan Murphy, Christopher Guest, Jane Lynch and Guests
Jane Lynch and Christopher Guest
Christopher Guest and Jane Lynch
Christopher Guest and Jane Lynch
Leron Gubler, Ryan Murphy, Christopher Guest, Jane Lynch and Guests

Christopher Guest's 'Family Tree' Scores Strong Reviews Ahead Of Premiere


Christopher Guest

Christopher Guest isn’t the originator of the mockumentary but he’s undoubtedly been one of the most influential practitioners of the format, so it feels long overdue that he’s finally made a move to the small screen with new show The Family Tree, after the likes of The Office, Parks and Recreation and Modern Family all have taken notable influence from Guest.

The good news is, Guest doesn’t lose anything by bringing his skills to TV, and the HBO comedy is going down well with the critics. “It is still a distinctly Guest production: often poky, always charmingly whimsical and, from time to time, so astoundingly funny you seem to have shot into a distant stratosphere of pure comedy” writes People Weekly of the show, which revolves around Chris O’Dowd’s character Tom Chadwick who has lost his job and girlfriend; receiving a box of odds and ends from his Great Aunt, he tries to piece the bits together to re-make his family tree. “It helps to be a fan of Christopher Guest--the genius mockumentarian responsible for movies like “Best in Show” and “Waiting for Guffman”--if you’re going to love his new HBO series, Family Tree” the New York Post.

Hitfox meanwhile write “Tom Chadwick is a man with a fixation that’s both reasonable and relatable, and he becomes our tour guide to the familiar, funny Christopher Guest worldview.” The premiere is this Saturday (May 11th).

Continue reading: Christopher Guest's 'Family Tree' Scores Strong Reviews Ahead Of Premiere

Family Tree: New Comedy From Spinal Tap Star Christopher Guest


Christopher Guest Chris O'Dowd

Christopher Guest, the king of improv comedy and best known for hit movies such as Spinal Tap and Best In Show, returns to our screens with Family Tree, a show that he has created along with Jim Piddock and which stars Chris O’Dowd, Tom Bennett and Nina Conti. O’Dowd plays the central character Tom Chadwick, who loses his job and his girlfriend and starts to look into his family tree after he receives a surprise box from a great aunt that he has never met. As he delves deeper into his family history, he gains a greater understanding of who his family really is.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly back in January, Guest explained that each episode of the new HBO series was crafted with just eight pages of script, or plot guidelines and the rest was improvised. “Each of these episodes is an eight-page outline,” he explained. “But we've written a huge back history for every character, which took us six or eight months to come up with. We've done an entire family tree going back to the 1700s. So when I talk to the actors prior to shooting, everyone knows who they are. It's not just ‘Hey, let's start yapping here.'”

A trailer for the show has been released online and it shows O’Dowd’s character arriving in California to uncover some of his relatives. 

Continue reading: Family Tree: New Comedy From Spinal Tap Star Christopher Guest

Spinal Tap Mark II? Christopher Guest And Chris O’Dowd For 2013 Improv Comedy


Chris O'Dowd Christopher Guest

Chris O’Dowd will star in a new ‘mockumentary’ from Spinal Tap star Christopher Guest. Guest, who played the hapless Nigel Tufnell in the rock comedy Spinal Tap, has good form when it comes to semi-improvised, faux-documentary comedy such as this. He also worked on Best In Show, the applauded comic dog show movie and now, the BBC have snapped him up to write, direct and star in a new series, Family Tree. The series follows the story of 30 year old Tom Chadwick (played by O’Dowd), who suffers an identity crisis after losing his girlfriend and job.

The series will require actors to improvise material, as Chadwick gains a “growing sense of who he is,” after receiving a mysterious box of possessions from a great aunt that he never knew he had, The Independent reports. Janice Hadlow, the Controller at BBC2, said “I am delighted to welcome Christopher Guest to BBC Television. It will be his first television series for British audiences and one I am proud to have here on the BBC. It has a stellar cast led by the fantastic Chris O’Dowd and is an exciting collaboration with NBCU International and HBO. Family Tree will form a key part of the channel’s comedy next year.”

O’Dowd has become hot property in the comedy world, after his role in the hit movie Bridesmaids. When asked about working with Christopher Guest, he said “I’m terribly excited and monumentally under-qualified to work on an improvised show with Chris Guest. I call him Chris ‘coz we are friends. He calls me George. I don’t know why.”

Los Angeles Premiere of Flipped held at the Cinerama Dome / ArcLight Theatre

Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest - Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest Hollywood, California - Los Angeles Premiere of Flipped held at the Cinerama Dome / ArcLight Theatre Monday 26th July 2010

The Invention Of Lying Trailer


Watch the trailer for The Invention Of Lying

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For Your Consideration Review


Weak
Anyone who watched last year's Oscar ceremony surely had to take a deep breath of exhaustion at what became the culmination of a solid decade of congratulating mediocrity. In the last two decades, Hollywood has offered up more self-deprecation, but it doesn't come close to its flabbergasting self-congratulation, and Oscar is a big part of that. The last time the Academy awarded the best film of the corresponding year was 1993, when it dutifully handed the little gold man to Clint Eastwood's unflinching revisionist western, Unforgiven. So, who better to attack this institute of imbecility than comic revisionist Christopher Guest? As it turns out, For Your Consideration isn't quite the snappy attack dog one might have hoped for. In fact, it comes on with the ferocity of a mildly-disgruntled schnauzer.

It begins with director Jay Berman (Guest, doing the Jewish thing) and his film, Home for Purim, a family drama about a young woman's return home to a dying mother. The mother in question is played by Marilyn Hack (Catherine O'Hara), a washed-up aging actress who is best known for playing a blind prostitute in another film. Through the wonders of the internet, she gets wind of a rumor that she might be nominated for an Academy Award. Shortly after, Victor Allan Miller (the invaluable Harry Shearer), the male lead, gets hint of a nomination for his performance, along with Callie Webb (Parker Posey), who plays the daughter. The buzz makes life sweeter, and inevitably more complicated, for everyone involved, including Callie's boyfriend and co-star Brian (Christopher Moynihan), Victor's agent (Eugene Levy), and the producer (riotous Jennifer Coolidge). It also brings out studio heads (Ricky Gervais and Larry Miller), the PR guy (John Michael Higgins), and two Hollywood news anchors (Fred Willard and Jane Lynch) to make the film more palatable.

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The Princess Bride Review


Extraordinary
Who among us has never uttered the line, "My name is Inigo Montoya..."? Standing as one of the most eminently quotable films ever made -- this side of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, anyway.

Ostensibly a children's fairy tale about a farmer's daughter (Robin Wright), her poor lover Westley (Cary Elwes), the prince (Chris Sarandon) who catches her eye, and the battle that develops among them all. Filled with memorable supporting characters -- Wallace Shawn's Vizzini ("Inconceivable!!!"), Mandy Patinkin's Inigo, Andre the Giant's Fezzik, and Christopher Guest's six-fingered man, The Princess Bride is as much fun as you can have in a film. Even the fringe characters (Peter Cook's priest, Carol Kane's nagging wife, Mel Smith's albino torturer) are hilarious and unforgettable. And director Rob Reiner has imbued this film with so much pure joy that you can't help but want to watch it over and over.

Continue reading: The Princess Bride Review

For Your Consideration Review


Weak
Anyone who watched last year's Oscar ceremony surely had to take a deep breath of exhaustion at what became the culmination of a solid decade of congratulating mediocrity. In the last two decades, Hollywood has offered up more self-deprecation, but it doesn't come close to its flabbergasting self-congratulation, and Oscar is a big part of that. The last time the Academy awarded the best film of the corresponding year was 1993, when it dutifully handed the little gold man to Clint Eastwood's unflinching revisionist western, Unforgiven. So, who better to attack this institute of imbecility than comic revisionist Christopher Guest? As it turns out, For Your Consideration isn't quite the snappy attack dog one might have hoped for. In fact, it comes on with the ferocity of a mildly-disgruntled schnauzer.

It begins with director Jay Berman (Guest, doing the Jewish thing) and his film, Home for Purim, a family drama about a young woman's return home to a dying mother. The mother in question is played by Marilyn Hack (Catherine O'Hara), a washed-up aging actress who is best known for playing a blind prostitute in another film. Through the wonders of the internet, she gets wind of a rumor that she might be nominated for an Academy Award. Shortly after, Victor Allan Miller (the invaluable Harry Shearer), the male lead, gets hint of a nomination for his performance, along with Callie Webb (Parker Posey), who plays the daughter. The buzz makes life sweeter, and inevitably more complicated, for everyone involved, including Callie's boyfriend and co-star Brian (Christopher Moynihan), Victor's agent (Eugene Levy), and the producer (riotous Jennifer Coolidge). It also brings out studio heads (Ricky Gervais and Larry Miller), the PR guy (John Michael Higgins), and two Hollywood news anchors (Fred Willard and Jane Lynch) to make the film more palatable.

Continue reading: For Your Consideration Review

Mrs. Henderson Presents Review


Grim
The best reason for making Mrs. Henderson Presents seems to be we haven't had a cheeky film about curious Brits getting naked since, oh, Calendar Girls. Given the lackadaisical construction of this pallid backstage fairy tale it's hard to imagine any other driving force behind its production. Writer Martin Sherman is an old hand at transforming the theatrical into the cinematic, with works such as Bent and Callas Forever under his belt, so it's no surprise he'd be drawn to the interesting (definitely not incredible, but interesting nonetheless) true story of Laura Henderson and the Windmill Theatre.

The film opens on Mrs. Henderson, played by the indomitable Judi Dench as an imperviously imperious lady of vast wealth and even vaster arrogance, dealing with all the troublesome nonsense of burying her husband. Having spent most of her life in India, she seems at odds in prewar London, with the money to do practically whatever she wants but no patience for the typical pastimes of the upper-class widow (needlepoint, charities, and so on). On a lark, she decides to buy the decrepit Windmill Theater and is well into refurbishing it before realizing she doesn't really know what kind of shows she'll put on. That's where Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins) comes in. A crusty old showbiz type with nice suits, big cigars, and even bigger ideas, Van Damm realizes what he's up against when Henderson announces to him, "Of course you're Jewish - look at you!"

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Best In Show Review


Extraordinary
Just when you thought the mockumentary had mocked everything worth mocking, here comes a new gem of the genre that will have you rolling in the aisles once again.

Up for skewering this time around is the dog show, as Best in Show takes the absolutely inane shenanigans of dog breeders and handlers, impaling their obsession with a caliber of wit unseen since This is Spinal Tap made rock gods look like buffoons.

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Waiting for Guffman Review


Excellent
"I hate you, and I hate your ass face!"

A minor masterpiece of improv comedy, I found a new appreciation for Waiting for Guffman after watching its DVD release. Very obviously the product of a lot of nutcase actors completely off their rockers and masterminded by Christopher Guest, one of the masterminds of Spinal Tap.

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The Big Picture Review


Extraordinary
This tragically underrated look at Hollywood isn't exactly realistic (if it was this easy to become a celebrity director, I'd quit this gig in a heartbeat), but damn if it isn't funny as hell. From the twisted mind of Christopher Guest, who undoubtedly has a few Hollywood tales of his own to tell, The Big Picture takes us through one man's (Kevin Bacon) brief ride from the top of the Hollywood heap to the bottom and back to the top again, all carried by an absurd wave of hype. Dozens of A-listers appear in roles large and small, none of whom quite approaches the hysterical level of Martin Short as Bacon's effeminate agent.
Christopher Guest

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