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A few weeks ago, we got the first look at the ridiculous mockumentary 7 Days In Hell starring Andy Samberg and Kit Harington. Set up to appear like a real HBO sports documentary special, the film looks a lot like the work of Christopher Guest. Now, HBO has unveiled a new trailer with additional footage that proves two things: tennis can be hilarious and so can Kit Harington. Crammed into this brief... Read More »
- Alex Maidy
Read More: Provincetown Film Festival Releases Lineup For 17th Edition Jennifer Coolidge, the actress best known for her role as Stifler's mother in the "American Pie" franchise and her work with director Christopher Guest on his beloved improvised comedies "Best in Show," "A Mighty Wind" and "For Your Consideration," made a trip to the beachside town of Provincetown, Massachusetts over the weekend to pick up the event's Faith Hubley Career Achievement Award. The actress, who got her start as a member of The Groundlings comedy troupe alongside Will Ferrell, has worked non-stop since the late '80s in both TV and film. On top of the "American Pie" and Guest movies, Coolidge has memorably appeared on the small screen in "Seinfeld," "Sex and the City" and most recently "2 Broke Girls," and in the two "Legally Blonde" films as a daffy beautician who perfects the Bend and Snap to bag a man. »
- Nigel M Smith
They may be two of this season’s “It” showrunners, but Jill Soloway and Jennie Snyder Urman aren’t exactly overnight successes. They’ve both paid their dues with staff jobs (Soloway on “Six Feet Under,” Urman on “Gilmore Girls”) and showrunner gigs (Soloway on HBO’s “How to Make It in America,” Urman on the CW’s “Emily Owens, M.D.”). Soloway’s “Transparent” has put Amazon originals on the map, winning Golden Globes for best comedy and lead Jeffrey Tambor, while Urman’s “Jane the Virgin” earned CW its first Globe noms, and scored a win for breakout star Gina Rodriguez. In a wide-ranging conversation with Variety they discuss the challenges of binge-viewing vs. 22-episode seasons, blending comedy with drama, and Caitlyn Jenner.
When did you realize your show might work?
Urman: Right before the TCAs when all the critics watched it, before it started airing. I read those pre-reviews — “Oh my gosh, »
- Geoff Berkshire
Though one’s now starring in a drama, the other in a comedy, Lizzy Caplan (“Masters of Sex”) and Allison Janney (“Mom”) have both famously spent time in the other category — and agree that the lines are now getting blurred. Their back-and-forth banter at Variety’s “Actors on Actors” studio proved the point, as the actresses chatted about the thrill of doing theater, and the emotional toll of getting into character.
Lizzy Caplan: I was wondering what your first job on television was.
Janney: I’m not kidding you!
Caplan: Did he give you any…
Janney: Nothing untoward happened! He wanted me to play a janitor and then I was a school teacher. He kept changing what my part was. I don’t remember what the show was called. And that was my first TV show! »
- Debra Birnbaum
What if a tennis match lasted 7 days? That's the premise behind 7 Days in Hell, a mockumentary in the style of Christopher Guest's work that follows the two tennis players during the legendary match in 2004. In comparison to real life, the longest tennis match lasted 3 days, which is actually quite long considering it's a set of tennis games that just won't end. In 7 Days in Hell, Andy Samberg battles Kit Harington on the court and it looks like it's going to be hilarious. This first teaser is only 60 seconds and plays more like a sports promo for Espn, but I love it, they've totally sold me on this. You just need to see the footage below. Here's the first teaser trailer for HBO's 7 Days in Hell, from YouTube (found via SlashFilm): 7 Days in Hell is a fictional documentary-style expose on the rivalry between two tennis stars who battled it »
- Alex Billington
For those of you who dig your Christopher Guest-esque mockumentaries, HBO has you covered! Coming to HBO on July 11th is 7 Days In Hell, a fictional documentary-style expose that covers the rivalry between two tennis stars who battled it out in a 2004 match that lasted seven days. The players in question are Aaron Williams and Charles Poole, played by Andy Samberg and Kit Harington (Game of Thrones'... Read More »
- Sean Wist
Jon Snow isn’t exactly known for his lively sense of humor, but actor Kit Harington clearly doesn’t mind getting in touch with his silly side from time to time. Even as Game of Thrones races toward another (we assume) grim finale, HBO has released the first funny promo for Harington’s other HBO project, 7 Days in Hell. The Christopher Guest-style […]
- Angie Han
The Simpsons recently got picked up for an additional two seasons, which will bring the show through its 28th season. But one cast member who has been with the show from the beginning, Harry Shearer, will not be joining it.
The International Business Times reported at the start of the week that the announcement of the new season was being held up due to contract negotiations between Harry Shearer and the producers, and this morning Shearer confirmed the news by tweeting the following:
from James L. Brooks’ lawyer: “show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.”. (1/2)
— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
This because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best. (2/2)
— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support. — Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
Simpsons producer Al Jean then confirmed »
- Brian Welk
Right before my screening of Pitch Perfect 2, I gave the first film a rewatch. I remembered very little of 2012's Pitch Perfect aside from a few funny quips from John Michael Higgins, my annoyance with the lip-syncing, and the delightful nature of its lead, Anna Kendrick. Watching it again, there is a lot to like. When the film leans in a more Christopher Guest direction by simultaneously making fun of and embracing the a cappella world, it is quite funny and heartfelt. When it shifts over into Judd Apatow territory, with schticky performers like Rebel Wilson and Adam DeVine just riffing, the whole movie just gets boring. Unfortunately (for me at least), the surprise audience the original found gravitated towards those schticky bits, which means the sequel is filled with twice as many, if not more, of these moments. Any scene involving Wilson's Fat Amy cannot progress without her »
- Mike Shutt
Editor's Note: This post is presented in partnership with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand in support of Indie Film Month. Today's pick, "What We Do in the Shadows," is available now On Demand. Need help finding a movie to watch? Let TWC find the best fit for your mood here. Imagine asking Christopher Guest to film an episode of "Real World: Vampire Mansion," and you've got New Zealand duo Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement's bloody fantastic creation, "What We Do in the Shadows." This is no garden-variety vampire movie: Rife with that particular brand of absurdist humor Clement brought to fruition in "Flight of the Conchords," the comedy catapults banal circumstances into the realm of the ridiculous by training the camera on some very idiosyncratic vampires. Waititi, whose 2010 Sundance entry "Boy" became the top-grossing film in New Zealand, first worked with Clement in college where they formed the comedy. »
- Emily Buder
When Beyonce’s brisk female-empowerment jam “Run the World (Girls)” kicks off a key musical number in “Pitch Perfect 2,” it plays as something of a mission statement for the film itself: Both behind and in front of the camera, women call every shot of consequence in this ebulliently entertaining, arguably superior sequel to the 2012 musical comedy hit. Continuing the bawdy misadventures of all-girl college a cappella group the Barden Bellas — this time as they get their motley act together on a global stage — Kay Cannon’s script is even lighter on narrative than its predecessor, but fills any resulting void with a concentrated supply of riotous gags, and a renewed emphasis on the virtues of female collaboration and independence. Actress-producer Elizabeth Banks’ eminently credible feature directing debut should, in its own parlance, crush it at the global box office, sustaining a franchise with potential to outlive the “Glee” fever that inspired it. »
- Guy Lodge
Written and directed by Preston Sturges
At the start of Sullivan’s Travels, movie director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) has been screening his latest effort. The picture within the picture concludes with an intense rooftop fight aboard a train. It’s almost absurd in its inflated action and Sullivan is not at all pleased with his creation. This type of escapist entertainment may be all right for some, but it’s social commentary he now seeks. These are troubling times, he argues, with war in Europe and strikes on the home front, and the ambitious, idealistic filmmaker wants something beyond mere cinematic frivolity. Apparently, so did the director of Sullivan’s Travels, the great Preston Sturges. At least that’s what he ended up with anyway.
Sullivan’s Travels, “By” Preston Sturges, as the opening credit proclaims, lending the filmic fable something of a storybook »
- Jeremy Carr
Zack Little has landed the dream role. For 88 years, a small town in the foothills of Wichita, Oklahoma has been home to a yearly Easter pageant, the longest running Passion play in American history set against the bizarre backdrop of a detailed replication of the Holy Land smack dab in America’s Heartland. Drawing a local cast of hundreds, and the technical support of hundreds more, the spectacle of Wichita’s yearly tribute to the death and rebirth of Jesus Christ is a production on par with many Hollywood blockbusters. Now, Little is the star of this multi-generational effort, playing the role of a lifetime as Jesus Christ, but Zack has a secret that may call his capacity to play the King of Kings into question amongst the highly religious participants of the production.
Although Jesus Town, USA may be a true story, it’s incredibly difficult not to see »
- Adam A. Donaldson
An exclusive clip from the doc Misery Loves Comedy.
"Watch Christopher Guest Explain How He Used Funny Noises to Get Other Kids In Trouble" was originally published on Film School Rejects for our wonderful readers to enjoy. It is not intended to be reproduced on other websites. If you aren't reading this in your favorite RSS reader or on Film School Rejects, you're being bamboozled. We hope you'll come find us and enjoy the best articles about movies, television and culture right from the source. »
- Scott Beggs
Over the course of film history, we've seen plenty of long-time actors step behind the camera to take up their directorial ambitions. Clint Eastwood did it. Mel Gibson did it. George Clooney did it. What do these three have in commonc Well, for starters, they are all men, so there's that. Further, they are all white, but more on that later. More to the point of the article, these men all eased into their directorial careers by starring in their respective debuts, using their presence on screen to help market their talents off it. And with his feature directorial effort The Water Diviner, which hits limited theaters this week, Russell Crowe is just the most recent addition to a growing list of actors who have decided to try their hand behind the camera. Like Eastwood, Gibson, and Clooney before him, the Best Actor winner stars in his first feature as director, »
- Jordan Benesh
What amazed me most about Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels (1941), watching it for the first time on this newly released Criterion Blu-ray, is just how utterly unpredictable it is. Sure, we know where it may end once we are introduced to John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea), a big Hollywood director, who's decided to hit the road as a hobo to attain a greater understanding of human suffering before embarking on a serious adaptation of the fictional novel "O Brother, Where Art Thouc" (Yes, it is this fictional book Joel and Ethan Coen were name-checking with the title of their 2000 comedy.) But as much as we know what the end will offer, it's the path to that ending we don't see coming, even when it arrives. Set during the Great Depression, Sullivan, known for his comedies, isn't seeing anything funny in the world. When his producers suggest making a "nice musical »
- Brad Brevet
As opposed to most comedic efforts that hit television these days, FX‘s latest, The Comedians, starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad, is one of those concept efforts that is either going to take off, or crash, and you aren’t going to have to wait around to see if it “catches on,” or, “hits its stride.” You either love it, or hate it, and you aren’t going to change your mind.
With hints of The Office, Episodes, Christopher Guest mockumentary films, and a host of other comedic turns, some going back to the earliest days of “screen” comedy, The Comedians is as much a kind of love letter to comedy itself as it is a true effort to join the ranks.
While there is a solid background to the show’s, somewhat meandering, statement on the comedic world in general, and the one in which we now find ourselves, »
- Marc Eastman
What does it take to make people laugh? A strong will to survive and the ability to deal with failure better than anyone else sure helps, as evidenced in the first trailer for Misery Loves Comedy. Tribeca Film has released this first sneak peek, which includes such comedy luminaries as Jimmy Fallon, Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, David Koechner, Steve Coogan, Maria Bamford, Jim Gaffigan, Larry David and Tom Hanks.
There are over 60 famous funny people featured in this hilarious twist on the age-old truth: misery loves company. In-depth, candid interviews with some of the most revered comedy greats who each share their unique path and a life devoted to making strangers laugh. With arresting anecdotes and insights from the comedy underbelly that reveal a performer's deep desire to connect with audiences, Kevin Pollack's Misery Loves Comedy is the definitive master class on the art of humor that details a »
The thought of snapping your fingers to the tunes of your favorite fictional bands in film seems rather unreal. After all these movie music-makers seem like the “reel” deal in terms of their celluloid artistry and sense of colorful on-screen showmanship.
However, some of the fictional bands or musical acts we know very well and consider so fondly actually morph into real-life acts. Also, there are real-life bands that share a “fictionalized existence” on screen as well (for instance one can try and divide the musical phenomenon of The Beatles as treasured pop cultural entities from the mop top maniacs they portrayed on the big screen in A Hard’s Day Night or Help. Some may argue they were the one in the same in front of and away from the rolling cameras).
Whatever your definition of what constitutes a favorable fictional band in film at the present moment just »
- Frank Ochieng
If you asked Christopher Guest to shoot an episode of "Real World: Vampire Mansion," you'd have New Zealand duo Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's "What We Do in the Shadows." The comedy, which can only be described as an absurdist vampire mockumentary, derives its particular brand of humor from the marriage of the extraordinary and the mundane: Four blood-sucking roommates coexist as roommates are wont to do, with their idiosyncrasies, growing pains, werewolf adventures, dirty dishes and all. Committing themselves entirely to the authentic creation of these characters, Clement and Waititi capitalize on the tropes of the vampire genre while subverting it entirely. "What We Do in the Shadows" is a uniquely smart, zany and hilarious film that's sure to quickly amass a cult following. What's innovative about the film isn't limited to its sharp sense of humor. To avoid being denied a theatrical release, Clement and Waititi harnessed the power of. »
- Emily Buder
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