TV Reviews

“Ziwe” Wants to Make White Women Uncomfortable

In Episode 1 of her new SHOWTIME and A24 series, "55%," Ziwe interviews Fran Lebowitz, Gloria Steinem, and makes white people cringe.

Ziwe on SHOWTIME

Ziwe Fumudoh's highly anticipated eponymous comedy show, Ziwe, premiered on Sunday, May 9th.

The Showtime and A24 collaboration brings the success of Ziwe's Instagram Live series, Baited, to television in a series which blends interviews with sketch comedy and musical numbers. Frankly, its so good it makes SNL all but redundant (if Elon Musk's cringey appearance as SNL host on May 8th didn't already prove that).

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Top Stories

What To Stream in May 2021

Here's the most anticipated original content coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, SHOWTIME, and more

Ziwe on Showtime

May 2021 offers many promises: The new CDC rules for vaccinated Americans mean the return of a more normal social life, more activities, and less time spent indoors.

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Film News

Buy Props from Your Favorite A24 Films For Charity

The entertainment company is auctioning props from Midsommar, Uncut Gems, and more for NYC charities in the wake of the virus.

As far as entertainment companies go, A24 Films is arguably one of the coolest.

Besides a remarkable track record for distributing some of the most hair-raising, heartbreaking, and flat-out terrifying films of the past five years, A24 has become known for bolstering and giving unprecedented creative freedom to rising directors, like Ari Aster of Hereditary and Midsommar fame as well as Greta Gerwig of Lady Bird. They've also got their marketing strategy down to a T, drawing the sort of cult fanbase and loyalty that mirror those of successful indie record labels. And now, in the wake of the worldwide health crisis, A24 is flexing their philanthropy muscles, too, selling items from their films for the good of New York City charities.

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Film Features

How A24 is Saving Movies

How the Small Distribution Company is Giving a Much Needed Voice to First-Time Directors

a24films.com

My first proper date with my first ever girlfriend was to see Spring Breakers, the weirdest movie granted a wide theatrical release in 2013.

Directed by the mostly-underground Harmony Korrine, the film became notorious for James Franco's performance as Alien, an off-beat, very colorful gangster with a head covered in dreadlocks and an accent somewhere between a Tallahassee truck driver and Marcellus Wallace. I saw that movie in theatres. I didn't know it at the time, but the A24 Productions logo that kickstarted the experience would go on to become one of the most important symbols you could pin to a movie in the 2010's. It's since become a mark of excellence. Now, in 2020, you see a movie distributed by A24, and you know one thing: that movie will certainly be awesome, but might even be visionary, too. A24 is very quietly saving movies, and they're doing it by going against the most time-held and obvious of box office rules: They invest in uncertainties.

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FILM

2020 Golden Globes Nominations: 5 Exciting Surprises and 5 Outrageous Snubs

Where is the love for "Little Women" and Adam Sandler?

Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, and Eliza Scanlen in Little Women

Sony

Awards season is about to kick into high gear after the release of the 2020 Golden Globes nominations.

The Golden Globes are one of the more chaotic and entertaining award shows. Between the abundance of star power in the room and the amount of alcohol they consume, the Globes are a fun watch from start to finish. With that being said, the Globes and its voting body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are also an important feature of awards season. If actors, actresses, and their films are hoping for an Oscar nomination, a successful stint at the Globes will strengthen their campaign.

After the 2020 film nominations were announced, Twitter users, not surprisingly, had their opinions. There were some great surprises involving Parasite and Knives Out. There were also some disappointing snubs regarding Little Women and Uncut Gems. Here are five exciting surprises and five outrageous snubs.

Surprise: Bong Joon Ho, Best Director for Parasite

Madman Films

Choi Woo-shik, Song Kang-ho, Jang Hye-jin, and Park So-dam in Parasite.

Bong Joon Ho wrote and directed the masterpiece that is Parasite, but receiving a best director nomination was no guarantee. Remember that both Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig missed out on Best Director at the 75th Golden Globes (Peele and Gerwig received Oscar nominations for directing), so Bong receiving a nomination is a tremendous surprise. Parasite is not only one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year but of the decade.

FILM

Before "Uncut Gems": Why Does Adam Sandler Choose Bad Movies?

The Sandman will remind the world why he's one of today's best working actors in Uncut Gems.

Adam Sandler

Rodin Eckenroth via Getty Images

With his role in the Safdie Brothers' Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler is ready to make his Oscars push. More importantly, Sandler is reminding the world that he's one of the world's best actors.

Adam Sandler is a modern day Renaissance Man. The 53-year-old first made us laugh as "Opera Man" and "Canteen Boy" on Saturday Night Live. Then, he serenaded us with his witty verses and smooth guitar playing on "The Hanukkah Song" and in The Wedding Singer. Sandler has become one of the biggest box office stars of the last 30 years, with his movies grossing over $2 billion worldwide.

Now, Sandler is positioned to be in contention for Best Actor at the Oscars thanks to his upcoming role in Uncut Gems. Sandler stars as Howard Ratner, a jewelry store owner and dealer to the rich and famous in the diamond district of New York City. When his merchandise is taken from one of his top sellers, Ratner must find a way to pay his debts. The growing consensus around Sandler's performance is that it's one of the best of his career and will most certainly be a factor this awards season.

Uncut Gems | Official Trailer HD | A24 www.youtube.com

While Sandler is known for his comedic roles, it's his dramatic turns that are most impressive. In particular, Sandler excels as a psychologically troubled entrepreneur who falls in love with an English woman in 2002's Punch Drunk Love; in 2009, he embodied a depressed, terminally ill comedian who tries to fix the relationships in his life in Funny People. Both performances were met with critical acclaim and proved that Sandler could reach dramatic depths as an actor.

But as talented as Sandler is, he's equally as frustrating with his career choices. Sandler poignantly played a man who lost his family in 9/11 in Reign Over Me, but he also played an alcoholic, dimwitted father in the disturbing That's My Boy. Sandler beautifully played a divorcé who must confront his personal failures in The Meyerowitz Stories, which makes it hard to believe he's the same actor who played a set of twins (one of them female) trying to reconnect with one another in the awful Jack and Jill.

One obvious reason why Sandler continues to do silly and critically panned films: They make money. Sandler signed four-picture deals with Netflix in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Regardless of the movies' quality, it seems that Netflix users keep watching Sandler's movies. While 2016's The Ridiculous 6 has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, it was the most-watched movie on Netflix in the first 30 days of release at the time. His most recent work for Netflix, Murder Mystery, which received mixed to negative reviews, had the biggest opening weekend ever for the streaming service, with over 30 million accounts tuning in.

But there's a reason why some of the best directors in the world work with Sandler; when Sandler turns on that switch from silly to dramatic, magic can happen. Academy Award-nominated director Paul Thomas Anderson ( Punch-Drunk Love) and Academy Award winner James L. Brooks (Spanglish) both crafted entire films around Sandler. Judd Apatow (Funny People) cast Sandler because of his dramatic turn in Reign Over Me. Noah Baumbach (The Meyerowitz Stories), who will be in the awards race this year with Marriage Story, helped garner Sandler some of the greatest reviews of his career. Clearly, some of the most talented and well-respected filmmakers today work with Sandler because he's a phenomenal actor. Too bad he has a history of choosing bizarre and preposterous cash grabs, as well as meaningful roles.

Maybe Sandler will go back to making terrible and unfunny films like Jack and Jill after this year. Maybe he won't, and Uncut Gems could start a career revival for Sandler as a dramatic powerhouse. Either way, we'll never fully heal from seeing him play his own, frumpy twin.

Adam Sandler playing two roles in Jack and Jill Adam Sandler in Jack and JillSony Pictures Entertainment