• Harold Ramis’s 14 Greatest Contributions to Hollywood

    Bill Murray in 'Groundhog Day'; Harold Ramis in 'Ghostbusters'; Chevy Chase in 'Caddyshack' (Everett)

    Harold Ramis, perhaps best known for his role as Egon Spengler, the brainiest and most hilariously understated of the "Ghostbusters," died today from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels, according to Chicago Tribune. He was 69.

    The man who made us imagine a Twinkie that was "35 feet long, weighing approximately 600 pounds," claimed that "Print is dead" back in 1984 and taught us never to "cross the streams" has left behind quite the Hollywood legacy, as he's one of the creative forces behind not only "Ghostbusters" but also quite a few of the other greatest comedies of all time.

    [Related: Harold Ramis, Star of 'Ghostbusters,' Director of 'Caddyshack,' Dies at 69]

    Here are the highlights of Harold Ramis' career as a writer, director and actor, in order of release.

    1. "Second City Television (SCTV)" (1976-1981)

    Harold Ramis was the head writer on the groundbreaking television series during its first season

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  • For Alfonso Cuarón and his team to pull off the series of seamless cinematic feats they did with his 10-time Oscar-nominated space drama "Gravity," it took some pretty out-of-this-world ingenuity and collaborative spirit from all involved — especially from its leading (and, for much of the film, lone) star Sandra Bullock.

    "So much had never been done before," explains the Best Actress nominee in this online exclusive half-hour behind-the-scenes look at the flick called "'Gravity': The Impossible Journey," produced by Warner Bros. Pictures. Bullock said, "It was an extraordinary advancement in film."

    Indeed, much would be accomplished over the years after Cuarón and his son, writer Jonás Cuarón, first conceived of the epic drama with a relatively spare set of ideological blueprints — even if at the time they had no idea of the scale they were creating.

    Sandra Bullock and George Clooney on the set of 'Gravity' (Warner Bros.)Sandra Bullock and George Clooney on the set of 'Gravity' (Warner Bros.)

    "When we were writing it, we were not writing a special effects film," director Cuarón remembers. "I thought it was going to be much

    Read More »from Inside ‘Gravity’: How Sandra Bullock Went From a ‘Torture Chamber’ to an Oscar Nom
  • How Leonardo DiCaprio Turned Early Childhood Struggles Into Oscar Success

    by Kara Warner

     

    At this point in Leonardo DiCaprio's increasingly successful career, it's hard to remember a time when the 39-year-old actor wasn't a Hollywood fixture. Yet before he was the Oscar-nominated "Wolf of Wall Street" actor or a "Titanic" heartthrob, or even a standout young guest star on TV's "Growing Pains," he led a very unglamorous life exposed to crime, drug use, prostitution, and violence while living in a rough neighborhood near Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue in Los Angeles.

    "I grew up very poor and I got to see the other side of the spectrum," DiCaprio recently told the Los Angeles Times when asked how a Hollywood actor can relate to the great divide between the impoverished and wealthy in America — the latter of which is on full display in the most excessive way possible in "Wolf of Wall Street." DiCaprio has described his old neighborhood like a scene out of "Taxi Driver": "I try to tell my godson, who lives close to that area, what it was like, how there

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  • Stars remember Harold Ramis on Twitter

    Harold Ramis (Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

    Comedy icon Harold Ramis passed away on Monday, the Chicago Tribute reports. The “Ghostbusters” star died from complications related died to auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis. He was 69.

    Though he may be best known for his on-screen work, particularly for his work during the early days of “SCTV” and his role as the laconic parapsychologist Egon Spengler in the two “Ghostbusters” movies, Ramis was far more prolific behind the camera as a screenwriter and director. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that as a filmmaker Ramis was instrumental in shaping modern comedy.

    Ramis directed some of the most influential comedies of the past forty years, including “Caddyshack,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” and “Groundhog Day,” and either wrote or co-wrote equally important comic masterpieces like “Animal House,” “Stripes,” “Ghostbusters” and “Ghostbusters II.” Countless comedy writers, directors, and actors, including the likes of Judd Apatow, David Wain, and Seth Rogen, have cited Ramis as

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  • Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wall Street." (Universal Pictures)

    Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” has turned a whole lot of heads with its over-the-top and, at times, downright offensive depiction of white-collar criminals gone wild.

    Though it's made more than $300 million at the box office, the film has turned many people off in the months since its release, most notably voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Scorsese reportedly received an earful from several Academy members after a screening of “Wolf of Wall Street” in mid-December. Shouts of “Shame on you!” and “You ought be ashamed of yourself” were said to be leveled at the director after the screening. It’s not clear what exactly the peeved voters were offended by, but there's no shortage of offensive possibilities when discussing "The Wolf of Wall Street."

    Oscar voters weren't the only offended parties, either. New York Times movie critic A.O. Scott offered a glowing review of "The Wolf of Wall Street" but was particularly troubled by how the film

    Read More »from ‘Wolf of Wall Street’: Can you make a movie about glorifying misogyny without endorsing it?
  • The upcoming superhero movie stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and Dave Batista as a misfit band of thieves and criminals who end up working together to stop a major galactic threat. Standard comic book movie stuff, right?

    However, though “Guardians of the Galaxy” may be set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the same continuity as “The Avengers,” “Iron Man,” “Thor,” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”), it’s worlds apart (quite literally) from anything the studio has brought to the big screen in the past.

    While there’s no shortage of colourful characters and superheroes in the pages of Marvel comics, perhaps none are stranger than the Guardians of the Galaxy. The inter-planetary super team is made up of the half-human, half-alien adventurer Star-Lord (Pratt), the violent alien assassin Gamora (Saldana), the muscle-bound rage monster Drax the Destroyer (Batista), the talking, gun-toting raccoon Rocket (Cooper), and the monosyllabic tree creature known only as Groot

    Read More »from Is Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ too ‘out there’ for its own good?
  • New ‘Fantastic Four’ Cast Named, Reactions Torch the Internet

    The newest squad of Marvel movie superheroes has been assembled now that Fox has finally picked its cast quartet for "The Fantastic Four," and, as one should probably come to expect in today's climate of insta-feedback, the fan reactions are very split at the outset.

    Fantastic Four cover (Marvel)As long suspected, "Fruitvale Station" and "Friday Night Lights" actor Michael B. Jordan will become Johnny Storm, "The Human Torch" for the pic, re-teaming with his "Chronicle" director Josh Trank for the project. After months of speculation and tongue-in-cheek responses to the rumor, this is not surprising — or news, really.

    However, the three add-ons that join Trank's team of cosmic radiation-exposed astronauts do come as a bit of a jolt. According to Variety, Kate Mara ("House of Cards") joins the fold as Johnny's sister Sue Storm, aka the Invisible Woman. No details have yet emerged as to how that relationship will be presented in the reboot, though many suspect adoption or half-parentage will come into play.

    Read More »from New ‘Fantastic Four’ Cast Named, Reactions Torch the Internet
  • Amy Adams Tearfully Salutes Philip Seymour Hoffman

    One among several of this year's Academy Award contenders whose competitive or celebratory spirits have been tempered by the emotional toll of Philip Seymour Hoffman's sudden death earlier this month is current Best Actress nominee Amy Adams.

    The "American Hustle" star – who had appeared opposite the late screen giant in three films and was also set to headline his second directorial effort – wore a very fragile heart on her sleeve during Wednesday's episode of "Inside the Actors Studio" as she discussed the loss of her former colleague and friend through broken sobs.

    [Related: 5 Great Philip Seymour Hoffman Performances You Might’ve Missed]

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis, and Amy Adams at the New York premiere of 'Doubt' in 2008 (Yahoo Movies) "I just really loved him, and I know so many people did," she managed to declare before admitting, "I just don't know how much more I can talk about it right now, sorry."

    Adams also expressed regret that the show's student audience would never get a chance to share her experience of having known him on a professional level. "I wish you all could

    Read More »from Amy Adams Tearfully Salutes Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Mortensen and Cronenberg at the 2012 Genie Awards. (George Pimentel/WireImage)

    There’s a running joke about lifetime achievement awards: Receiving one is a polite way for one’s peers to tell them that that they’re past their prime. You get a trophy and are then promptly taken out behind the proverbial barn to be put out of your misery.

    That’s why it’s slightly odd that the upcoming Canadian Screen Awards (essentially Canada’s answer to the Oscars and Emmys) are set to give just such a prize to legendary Toronto director David Cronenberg -- a filmmaker who most would agree is definitely not past his prime. Perhaps the awards show is trying to take advantage of the Hollywood star power that the director is able to attract.

    Cronenberg’s frequent collaborator Viggo Mortensen (“A History of Violence,” “Eastern Promises”) will present the lifetime achievement award to the Canadian filmmaker during the live CSA broadcast on March 9. Mortensen won a Canadian Screen Award in 2011 (back when it was still called a Genie) for his performance as Sigmund Freud in Cronenberg’s

    Read More »from Viggo Mortensen to honour David Cronenberg at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards
  • Director Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-nominated film “Gravity” is about as close as moviegoers get to a perfect cinematic experience. The white-knuckle space thriller has two compelling leads (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney), it has drama, it has action, it has spectacle, and basically every other element that audiences want when they go to the movies.

    That said, “Gravity” is not without its flaws, as the latest Honest Trailer from the folks at Screen Junkies aptly demonstrates (see above). Whether it’s the film’s at-times stilted dialogue, its somewhat repetitive structure, or the seemingly uplifting but ultimately very bleak ending, the truthful fake trailer takes just about everything wrong with “Gravity” to task. (Except of course the movie’s incredible and lengthy opening shot. No one can argue with how awesome that was.)

    (Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

    In other “Gravity” news this week, we’re finally getting a better idea of why actor Robert Downey Jr. left the project early on. Downey was originally attached to

    Read More »from What if the ‘Gravity’ trailer were more honest? (VIDEO)

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