Alfred “Weird Al” Yankovic, gifted singer and accordion player, took the music world by storm by parodying well-known tracks. Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” became an ode to food called “Eat It;” Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” transformed into a medical anthem called “Like a Surgeon.” It only makes sense, then, that a Weird Al biopic be just as bizarre and eccentric as he is. Directed by Eric Appel and co-written by Weird Al himself, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story tells the story of the musician’s life from childhood to the heart of towering stardom: A true story replete with a healthy assortment of exaggerations and fabrications.
Just like Weird Al isn’t your typical musician, Weird isn’t your typical musician biopic. Based on a 2010 Funny or Die sketch, the film operates as a scathing satire of the subgenre. Appel goes to great lengths to establish his film’s self-awareness from its opening scene: An energetic, anarchic sequence during which Al (Daniel Radcliffe) is wheeled through the corridors of an emergency room, seemingly on death’s door, only for him to spring out of bed and request a pen and paper. This delightfully absurd moment is followed by a musical biopic staple: The record scratch, “I bet you’re wondering how I ended up here” moment. From this moment onward, it is clear that Weird is as much a biopic as it is a parody of a biopic (just like Weird Al’s songs are equal parts songs as they are parodies of songs, get it?).
Read more in Paste.
Hulu’s Welcome to Chippendales is without a doubt one of the biggest surprises that TV has to offer this year. Following Chippendales founder Steve Banerjee (Kumail Nanjiani), the show starts out as an exciting underdog tale about an Indian emigrant who goes on to create one of the world’s most popular establishments. But then, as Chippendales becomes more and more of a success, the show metamorphoses into a stranger-than-fiction story of arson, racketeering, and murder – to just scratch the surface.
Is this story actually stranger than fiction? Below, we investigate the contents of Chippendales, episode by episode, breaking down what actually happened, and what was fabricated — or completely made-up — for the series. We’ll update this post each week as each new episode debuts.
Read more in Consequence.
In 1937, English author J.R.R. Tolkien penned a children’s book called “The Hobbit,” or “There and Back Again,” which ignited what would become one of the most popular franchises of all time across books, film and television. That means there’s a whole lot to watch, so we’ve put together a handy guide for anyone wondering how to watch all the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” movies in chronological or release date order.
Tolkien followed the success of “The Hobbit,” which features a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins and his adventures in the Third Age of the fictional, mystical world of Middle Earth, with a sequel series called “The Lord of the Rings.” Set 60 years after “The Hobbit,” “The Lord of the Rings” follows an ensemble of different characters traveling to defeat the evil One Ring. The “Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” books later spawned some of the most popular on-screen adaptations of all time, which comprise a total of six films and one TV show.
Read more in The Wrap.
Everyone has their favorite classic Christmas movies that they turn to year after year, but sometimes you need something new — and if you’re looking for new Christmas movies in 2022, streaming services have you covered more than ever before.
Hallmark has a new holiday hub on Peacock, Lindsay Lohan is singing ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ again in “Falling for Christmas,” Food Network stars Bobby Flay and Duff Goldman pop up in new Discovery+ originals; even Will Ferrell is back in the Christmas biz nearly 20 years after “Elf,” co-starring alongside Ryan Reynolds in the AppleTV+ Christmas musical “Spirited.”
Read more in The Wrap.
It's impossible to talk about prank shows without mentioning the genre's crown jewel, "Impractical Jokers." Premiering on TruTv in 2011, the show follows four guys — Brian "Q" Quinn, James "Murr" Murray, Sal Vulcano, and Joe Gatto — who partake in a series of dares in each episode. The cast member who scores the lowest on the dares is forced to embarrass themselves in public with actions delegated by the other three.
The show has amassed more than 200 episodes (and counting), with each featuring wildly creative and cringeworthy dares. And while the dares themselves are always unpredictable and fun, the thing that really makes "Impractical Jokers" stand out against similar shows is its cast members, who are fearless and creative with wicked senses of humor, and never afraid to make (huge) fools of themselves.
Read more at Looper.
In 2000, Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu hit Hollywood full force with his astronomical feature debut, Amores Perros. A fearless story of intertwining lives, the film unsurprisingly earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film. After that, the director went on to make history time and time again, from becoming the first Mexican filmmaker to be nominated for an Academy Award for directing or producing, to being the first one to win for Best Picture or Screenplay.
Decades after Amores Perros, Iñárritu remains one of our greatest living filmmakers, churning out a new poignant, philosophical masterwork every handful of years. Each of the director’s films peels back another layer of his psyche—whether it be a contemplation on the brutal connection between man and wilderness that he explored in The Revenant, 21 Grams’ meditation on the afterlife, or Babel’s dissection of the language’s power.
Unsurprisingly, Iñárritu’s most recent film, black comedy Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, which studies the life and regrets of a famous documentarian, is equally thoughtful and provocative, easily re-confirming the director’s status as one of Hollywood’s giants. With Bardo proving that Iñárritu seemingly can’t make a wrong move, we saw it was high time to rank the master’s feature-length works from great to greatest.
Read more in Paste.
For the past couple of decades, the rom-com has been sorely missing one crucial element: the genre’s golden child. Indeed, 1990s favorite comedic leading lady, Lindsay Lohan, hasn’t appeared in one in almost a decade. So when it was announced that she was officially on board for Janeen Damian’s feature directorial debut, Netflix’s newest holiday jaunt Falling for Christmas, fans young and old naturally erupted with excitement.
Falling for Christmas stars Lohan as Sierra Belmont, a spoiled, wealthy heiress to a hotel empire. Things are going well in her dazzling world until her vain influencer beau, Tad (George Young), takes her on a snowboarding soirèe and the two get into an accident. Next thing Sierra knows, she is at the bottom of a snowy hill with a big bump on her head and no memory of how she got there, or who she is.
Read more in Film School Rejects.
Robert Siegel's "Welcome to Chippendales" tells the shocking, stranger-than-fiction story of the rise of Chippendales — the famous all-male strip tease with a history that is filled with vicious crime.
Based on the 2014 nonfiction book "Deadly Dance: The Chippendales Murders" by K. Scot Macdonald and Patrick MontesDeOca, this Hulu original series dissects the personal life of Chippendales founder Steve Banerjee and the gruesome things he did to keep his club at the top.
However, audiences aren't just looking forward to "Welcome to Chippendales" because it promises to be a great, highly bingeable new entry into the beloved true-crime drama genre — nor simply because some of its episodes are directed by "Game of Thrones" and "WandaVision" visionary Matt Shakman. The show also boasts an incredible all-star cast. From Kumail Nanjiani to Andrew Rannells, "Welcome to Chippendales" has secured some of Hollywood's best of the best. Here is where you've seen the actors who appear in "Welcome to Chippendales" before.
Read more at Looper.
The Pitch: If you don’t live under a rock, chances are you’ve heard of Chippendales: the elegant, trailblazing first-ever all-male strip-tease troupe that has been bringing delightfully scandalous thrills to audiences since the 1970s. What you may not know, however, is that the burlesque’s history is brimming with conspiracy, racketeering, arson, and murder.
Over the course of 10 episodes, Welcome to Chippendales, Robert Siegel’s limited series based on K. Scot Macdonald and Patrick MontesDeOca’s 2014 literary exposée Deadly Dance: The Chippendales Murders, shrewdly examines and unravels the club’s shocking, harrowing history. The show rigorously dissects the troupe’s inception, rise to fame, and subsequent descent into the deepest, most gruesome bowels of corruption.
Read more in Consequence.
It’s the 1950s in Brighton, England, and love is in the air. The moment schoolteacher Marion Taylor (Emma Corrin) lays her eyes on devastatingly handsome policeman Tom Burgess (Harry Styles), she becomes utterly besotted with him, and before the sweltering summer is over, the young romantics are deep in the throes of a passionate affair. But Marion isn’t the only one pining after Tom. The policeman has also been partaking in a forbidden relationship with sophisticated museum curator Patrick (David Dawson)—a liaison that not only jeopardizes Tom’s budding relationship with Marion, but also runs both men the risk of being arrested for homosexuality.
Adapted from Bethan Roberts’ 2012 novel of the same name, My Policeman tells two stories. The first takes place in the 1990s and sees an older, now married Marion (Gina McKee) and Tom (Linus Roache), take in Patrick (Rupert Everett) to care for him after a stroke. During this time, the three are unable to ignore the harrowing truths of their shared past. Their attempts to accept things lost play out in lengthy flashbacks that chronicle the tempestuous love triangle that took place 40 years prior.
Read more in Paste .
Contributor Paste Magazine, Film School Rejects, Consequence, Looper, CBR, & Screen Slate. First cow in the territory.