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Dreamworks Animation

Trailer Thursday: Tina Fey, Morgan Freeman and... Lindsay Lohan?!

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Dreamworks Animation

Welcome to Trailer Thursday, where we help you decide what to do with your Friday night. Here’s what’s coming out tomorrow.

The Croods

Same old story: Cavegirl meets caveboy. Boy creates fire. The end of the world is imminent. You know how it is. Nicolas Cage plays an overprotective cavedad who isn’t too thrilled that his cave daughter, voiced by Emma Stone, wants to see the world. He’s even less thrilled when she brings a CaveRyan Reynolds home. The good news is that he won’t have to put up with any of it for long, because extinction is just around the corner.

See it if:

  • You liked Madagascar. It’s by the same people.
  • You’re a Cloris Leachman fan. She plays a feisty mother-in-law who is considered extremely old for her time (she’s 45).
  • You always wondered what The Flintstones would be like with Nicolas Cage as family patriarch.


Princeton admissions officer Tina Fey visits a high school run by her former college classmate, Paul Rudd, and finds out that his son may be the child she put up for adoption a long time ago. Also, Wallace Shawn! Lily Tomlin!

See it if:

  • You love Tina Fey. Which is pretty much everyone except Sarah Palin and Taylor Swift.
  • You’re fascinated by the fact that Paul Rudd hasn’t aged since Clueless.
  • You liked About a Boy. Admission is directed by Paul Weitz, who also co-directed the 1998 Hugh Grant movie alongside his brother.

InAPPropriate Comedy

Apparently a tablet containing the most offensive apps ever created causes “cultural anarchy.” See for yourself.

See it if:

  • You’re going to desperately miss seeing Lindsay Lohan while she’s in rehab for the next 90 days.
  • You love seeing Oscar winners fall from grace. Really, Adrien Brody?

That’s really all I can come up with.

Love and Honor

A Vietnam soldier dumped by his girlfriend goes home on his one-week leave to win her back. When he gets there, he finds out that his one true love is a hardcore anti-war protester. Oh yeah, and Liam Hemsworth is there.

See it if:

  • You can’t wait until the next Nicholas Sparks movie comes out.
  • You prefer Gale to Peeta.
  • You’ve been wondering what Julie Taylor has been up to since Friday Night Lights ended (protesting the war, apparently).

Olympus Has Fallen

Gerard Butler is a disgraced Secret Service agent who has been stuck with desk duty. Then terrorists attack the White House, and, unbeknownst to the bad guys, he's the only one left on the inside to save the President. As the Speaker of the House, Morgan Freeman serves as the acting POTUS. I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised when the Vice President doesn’t make it.

See it if:

  • You’ve been waiting for another Air Force One. I mean that in a good way.
  • You want a good action movie this weekend. 

Spring Breakers

Faith, Candy, Brit, and Cotty (who totally got the short end of the name stick) rob a convenience store so they can afford to go on Spring Break. That goes alarmingly fine, but then they’re arrested on drug charges while vacationing and a gangster named Alien—played by James Franco, obviously—has to bail them out. The girls are then indebted to him, of course, which means they end up shooting a lot of guns while wearing bikinis. It’s like a hybrid of Sugar and Spice and MTV’s Spring Break circa 1995.

See it if:

  • You thought Sugar and Spice was a cinematic masterpiece.
  • You like Skrillex?
  • You’re fascinated by James Franco. One reviewer said Franco turns in a performance that’s “a cross between Bo Derek in 10 and Richard Kiel in Moonraker."
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The Night the Brat Pack Was Born
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If Emilio Estevez had opted to pay for his movie ticket, the Brat Pack might never have been born. It was spring 1985, and Estevez—then the 23-year-old co-star of St. Elmo’s Fire—was being profiled in New York Magazine. The angle was that Estevez had just signed a deal to write, direct, and star in his own feature, That Was Then... This is Now, an opportunity that was rarely afforded to young Hollywood talent. Estevez was two years younger than Orson Welles was when he performed similar duties for 1941’s Citizen Kane.

That youthful exuberance was on display as New York writer David Blum followed Estevez in and around Los Angeles for several days gathering material for the story. With Blum in tow, Estevez decided that he wanted to catch a screening of Ladyhawke, a fantasy film starring Matthew Broderick. For reasons not made entirely clear, he preferred not to have to pay for a ticket. According to Blum, Estevez called the theater and politely asked for free admission before entering an 8 p.m. screening.

It's likely Estevez was just having a little fun with his celebrity. But to Blum, it was indicative of a mischievous, slightly grating sense of entitlement. Blum’s assessment was that Estevez was acting “bratty,” an impression he felt was reinforced when he witnessed a gathering of other young actors at LA’s Hard Rock Cafe for the same story.

What was supposed to be a modest profile of Estevez turned into a cover story declaration: Hollywood’s “Brat Pack” was here, and they had decided to forego the earnest acting study preferred by their predecessors to spend their nights partying instead.

The day the story hit newsstands, Blum received a call from Estevez. “You’ve ruined my life,” he said.

The June 1985 cover of New York magazine
New York, Google Books

Blum’s label had its roots in the Rat Pack of the 1960s, so named for the carousing boys' club led by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. Whether it was accurate or not, the performers developed reputations for squeezing every last drink, perk, and joke they could out of their celebrity well into middle age.

That dynamic was on Blum’s mind when New York dispatched him to cover Estevez. After he arrived in California, Blum took note of the fact that a tight cluster of actors seemed to have formed a group, both on- and off-screen. Estevez was close friends with Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise, and all of them appeared in 1983’s The Outsiders; Lowe and Estevez were co-starring in St. Elmo’s Fire, a coming-of-age drama that also featured Andrew McCarthy and Judd Nelson; Estevez and Nelson gained a lot of attention for 1984’s The Breakfast Club.

To Blum, Estevez was more than just a multi-hyphenate; he appeared to be the nucleus of a group that spent a lot of time working and playing together. And in fairness to Blum, Estevez didn’t dissuade the writer from that take: Fearing he was coming off as too serious in the profile, Estevez asked Lowe and Nelson to hang out with him at Los Angeles’s Hard Rock Cafe so Blum could see the actor's lighter side.

Nelson would later recall that he felt uneasy around Blum. “Why is this guy having dinner with us?” he asked Estevez. Lowe, meanwhile, was busy flirting with women approaching their table. The group later went to a "punk rock" club, with a Playboy Playmate tagging along.

As celebrity hedonism goes, it was a tame evening. But Blum walked away with the idea that Estevez was the unofficial president of an exclusive club—attractive actors who were soaking up success while idling late into the night.

Blum returned to New York with a different angle for his editors. He wanted to capture this “Brat Pack,” a “roving band” of performers “on the prowl” for good times. Although the magazine had just run a cover story about a teenage gang dubbed “the wolf pack” and feared repetition, they agreed.

As far as Estevez and the others were concerned, Blum was busy executing a piece on Estevez’s ambitions as a writer and director. When Estevez, Nelson, and Lowe appeared on the cover—taken from a publicity still for St. Elmo’s Fire—with his newly-coined phrase, they were horrified.

Blum began getting calls from angry publicists from each of the actors mentioned in the article—and there had been a lot of them. In addition to Estevez, the de facto leader, and lieutenants Lowe and Nelson, Blum had dubbed go-to John Hughes geek Anthony Michael Hall the “mascot”; Timothy Hutton was said to be on the verge of excommunication for his film “bombs”; Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage, and Matt Dillon were also mentioned.

To the actors, the effect was devastating. Independent of how they spent their free time, all of them were pursuing serious careers as performers, with producers, directors, and casting agents mindful of their portrayal in the media. Being a Brat Packer was synonymous with being listless, or not taking their craft seriously.

Nelson recalled the blowback was immediate: Managers told him to stop socializing with his friends for fear he’d be stigmatized as unreliable. “These were people I worked with, who I really liked as people, funny, smart, committed to the work,” he said in 2013. “I mean, no one was professionally irresponsible. And after that article, not only [were] we strongly encouraged not to work with each other again, and for the most part we haven’t, but it was insinuated we might not want to be hanging out with these people.”

Universal Pictures

Some of the actors went on The Phil Donahue Show to criticize the profile, asserting that their remarks to Blum had been off-the-record. (Blum denied this.) Lowe told the media that Blum had “burned bridges” and that he was “no Hunter S. Thompson.” Andrew McCarthy called Blum a “lazy … journalist” and found the idea of an actor “tribe” absurd—he had never even met Anthony Michael Hall.

Unfortunately, the name stuck. “Brat Pack” was infectious—a catch-all for the kind of young performer emerging in the ‘80s who could be seen in multiple ensemble movies. While Blum would later express regret over the label, it’s never quite left the public consciousness. In 2005, Universal released a DVD boxed set—The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, and Sixteen Candles—as The Brat Pack Collection.

Nelson, Estevez, and Lowe never again appeared in a movie together. “Personally, the biggest disappointment about it is that ‘Brat Pack’ will somehow figure in my obituary at [the] hands of every lazy and unoriginal journalist,” Estevez told a reporter in 2011. “Warning: My ghost will come back and haunt them.”

Nelson was slightly less forgiving. In a 2013 podcast, he chastised Blum for his mischaracterization of the group of young actors. “I would have been better served following my gut feeling and knocking him unconscious.”

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Pop Chart Lab
Keep Tabs on 100 Classic Films With This Scratch-Off Poster
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Pop Chart Lab

Do you get a weird kind of buzz from scratching off the silver foil coating on instant lotto tickets? Do you like watching movies? Then Pop Chart Lab has something for you. The company is set to release a 100 Essential Films Scratch-Off Chart, an 18-inch by 24-inch wall hanging that lets you keep track of which classic films you’ve seen and which are still in the queue.

A look at a scratch-off poster featuring 100 classic films

The curated films are arranged in chronological order, from the works of Buster Keaton all the way to 2017’s Get Out. The silver foil obscures a portion of the artwork, which reveals more iconography from the movie when etched away with a coin. The $35 poster is due to begin shipping in September; you can purchase your copy now.


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