Writer, actor and producer Tina Fey stars in a new movie out today called Admission, a film that's nominally about getting into college. Fey plays an admissions officer at Princeton University, one of those diligent bureaucrats who cull thousands of applications in search of a small cadre of brilliant young people who will be the freshman class.
It's probably best not to think of Olympus Has Fallen as a movie released in 2013. Antoine Fuqua's film — about a band of North Koreans who invade the White House — feels from start to finish like a throwback to the action cinema and military thrillers of decades past.
It's like an ersatz reproduction of an archaeological relic, if the archaeologists in question had just thrown together a bunch of random artifacts from different eras, taken a blurry photograph and then asked someone to make an accurate model based only on their memory of that photograph.
It's the final act of Ask Me Another's collection of favorite movie games. Find out what gets lost in translation when American movies go global. We wonder if it's true what they say: is there really no such thing as an original idea? And we wrap things up by examining films with hilarious subtitles. Air Bud: Golden Receiver, anyone? Ophira Eisenberg and puzzle gurus Art Chung and Will Hines take you through "Movies In Other Languages," "All Movies Are The Same" and "Electric Boogaloo."
Ask Me Another goes Hollywood with an hour of games and puzzles inspired by Tinseltown. Ever think that Gone With the Wind should really be a TV series, and each episode should start with Rhett, Scarlett and friends at a coffee shop? If so, play along as host Ophira Eisenberg leads "Small Screen Adaptation." Plus, we rework some movie theme songs in the style of Randy Newman in "Let's Get Randy," with a cameo appearance by music duo Paul and Storm.
We continue the hour of our favorite games about the silver screen. Can you think of a movie that does not star Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, or Anthony Hopkins? Go on, name one; or just play along with "He Was In That?" Then guess the titles of mashed-up movie plots in "Double Feature." Plus, it seems even movie monsters have a hard time finding love — so we make Godzilla an online dating profile in a game called "E-Horror-Mony." Join host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton as they lead the show.
Set in a seaside town in Wales in the summer of 1976 — the U.K.'s warmest summer on record — Hunky Dory follows the passion project of Vivienne (Minnie Driver), a free-spirited high school teacher who wants her senior students to stage an unconventional production of The Tempest that David Bowie would be proud of. When Viv promises contemporary music and a freer classroom environment, the students are sold. That is, until the last two weeks of school arrive.
The makers of the animated Vikings comedy How to Train Your Dragon have come up with an animated caveman comedy that might as well be titled How to Train Your Father. Instead, they've called it The Croods, and centered it on a cavegirl named Eep (Emma Stone) who has a dad she sees — entirely accurately, let's note — as a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.
Half an hour into Paul Weitz's new comedy, Admission, it dawned on me that I was watching an Americanized About a Boy -- which admittedly was also directed by Weitz. Both movies are adapted from other people's novels; both cobble together families out of the waifs and strays of modern life.
But where About a Boy was both funny and wise about urban alienation, Admission settles for skin deep.
In the '70s and even into the '80s, exploitation movies used to come to us naked and innocent, rarely pretending to be anything more than what they were. Now, pictures intent on delivering cheap thrills tend to arrive dressed in art-house costumes, much like the ones Harmony Korine's killer college girls wear in his arch little sociological study, Spring Breakers.