17 items from 2015
Writer/director Rick Alverson ("The Comedy") returns with this nightmarish account of a traveling entertainer lost on the brink. In Alverson's immaculately bleak portrait, Gregg Turkington stars as The Comedian, caught in a struggle between being the center of attention and the object of alienation, occasionally challenged by an unexpected cast of characters played by Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, and Amy Seimetz. An aging comedian tours the California desert, lost in a cycle of third-rate venues, novelty tourist attractions, and vain attempts to reach his estranged daughter. By day, he slogs through the barren landscape, inadvertently alienating every acquaintance. At night, he seeks solace in the animation of his onstage persona. Fueled by the promise of a lucrative Hollywood engagement and the possibility of rekindling a relationship with his daughter, he trudges through a series of increasingly surreal and volatile »
- Anya Jaremko-Greenwold
Sebastian Silva is one of the most interesting and likable filmmakers working at the moment, creating movies that are loose and relaxed, but also risky, tapping into dark secrets and deep wells of the human experience. He’s also got a knack for working with comedic performers and allowing them to play in a new realm, against type. His films “Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus” and “Magic Magic” debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, both starring Michael Cera, and Silva returns to the festival this year with “Nasty Baby,” starring himself, Kristen Wiig, and Tunde Adebimpe. Again, he creates a world of amicable and fun characters that you enjoy being around, but the film takes a hard left in the last act that leaves one feeling a bit confounded about the overall story. But first: Silva plays Freddy, an artist living with his boyfriend Mo (Adebimpe) and attempting to impregnate his best girl friend, »
- Katie Walsh
Over the past decade, we've seen the rise of the bromance, mostly popularized by Seth Rogen and James Franco with films like Pineapple Express and The Interview, or even Jonah Hill with Michael Cera and Channing Tatum in Superbad and 21 Jump Street repectively. But the new indie The D-Train starring Jack Black and James Marsden takes the bromantic comedy to a whole new level, and it makes for an absolutely hilarious and wild ride. If you want to keep aspects of this comedy in the dark (which I recommend), then stop reading after the fourth paragraph and then just come back for the final paragraph. Dan Landsman (Black) is one of those guys who just tries too hard, and it really gets on the nerves of most people, especially those on the high school alumni committee who are having trouble rounding up people to attend the 20-year reunion. Dan keeps giving himself nicknames like D-Fresh, »
- Ethan Anderton
Not everyone found much to laugh about in director Rick Alverson’s 2012 Sundance competition entry “The Comedy,” an extravagantly rude, confrontational and surprisingly poignant study of a dissolute New York slacker waiting to inherit his dying father’s fortune. And not everyone will be entertained by Alverson’s new “Entertainment,” an even darker, weirder odyssey through a soulless American nowhere, with perhaps the world’s most abrasively unfunny insult comic as our guide. But take it or leave it, Alverson’s fourth feature is singular stuff, and it reconfirms the director as one of the truly bold voices in the all-too-homogenous U.S. indie film scene. General audiences will keep a safe distance, but “Entertainment” should have no trouble finding a fervent cult to call its own.
- Scott Foundas
The Museum Of Modern Art and the Film Society Of Lincoln Center announced the first nine films in the long-lived showcase for new work. They include Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s winner of the Critics’ Week grand prize at Cannes, which is set in a Ukrainian school for deaf and mute coeds and is told entirely in sign language, with no subtitles. The Tribe is one of four films that will make their way to Manhattan from Park City, Utah, where they’re also on the Sundance roster: Charles Poekel’s Christmas, Again, about a heartbroken Christmas-tree salesman; Rick Alverson’s Entertainment, a follow-up to The Comedy, about a broken-down comedian doing stand-up across the Mojave Desert and Kornél Mundruczó’s White God, winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes about a dog’s journey back to its owner after being abandoned in the city.
Representing 11 countries from around the world, »
- The Deadline Team
Chicago – This Thursday marks the beginning of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and yours truly will be in attendance to cover the fest for HollywoodChicago.com. Last year, the Park City, Utah event introduced the world to its 2014-defining sensations like “Whiplash” and “Boyhood”.
Those titles followed in the paths of indie landmarks such as “sex, lies and videotape,” “Clerks,” “Hoop Dreams,” “American Movie,” “Memento,” “Frozen River,” “Winter’s Bone,” and “Fruitvale Station,” among many others.
In pursuit of new favorite films for a new year, I’ve composed a relatively solid schedule so that I can devour as much diverse Sundance goodness as possible. Narratives, documentaries, white supremacists, nasty babies, Neil Hamburger, Chiwetel Ejiofor, stolen cop cars, and much, much more are all in play. But with hopes that everything I witness is the next “Boyhood”-like zeitgeist, I’ll be sure to report back here on what’s worth, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Directed by Edgar Wright
UK, USA, Japan 2010
When the film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim was released in 2010, it was like an explosion of colour and two-tone jingles. To the casual eye, the film is a classic – albeit awkward – love story between Scott (Michael Cera), a loveable loser, and the intriguing yet aloof Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). In order to date her, Scott has to defeat the League of Evil Exes - Ramona’s exes. All seven of them.
Scott Pilgrim’s overindulgence of video game references – both retro and lesser-known – not only places the film in a different league to the conventional comic-book/video-game film adaptation, but its distinctive blend of styles manages to bridge the generation gap, widening its appeal.
When we talk about arcade games, the memories of tiny joysticks, frantic shuffling in pockets for »
- Katie Wong
David Cross is betting online video audiences will pay to download his film as well as see it in theaters. The Arrested Development actor plans to release his directorial debut Hits via BitTorrent Bundle on February 13, 2015, making it the first feature film released through the Bundle format.
Hits looks at the enigmatic nature of YouTube fame by telling the story of a family from small town New York whose father becomes recognized nation-wide due to a video of his city council rant going viral. The film stars Amy Sedaris, Michael Cera, Meredith Hagner, Matt Walsh, and Jason Ritter. David Cross originally debuted the independent comedy at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014.
But instead of seeking a larger, Hollywood-level distributor, Cross has chosen to sell Hits using BitTorrent’s unique file-sharing system. The torrent site’s Bundles essentially put several files together in a large group and allow users to download »
- Bree Brouwer
The film will open on February 13 in what Honora founder Giles Andrew described as an unprecedented distribution agreement.
Viewers will also be able set their own pricing in theatres at pay-what-you-want screenings throughout the Us and Canada and on Vhx.
This will coincide with a traditional theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles as well as digital launch on iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo and other platforms.
Hits takes place in a small town in upstate New York populated by people who trade in unrealistic expectations.
“With the release of Hits, we’re giving audiences what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in and at a price that they choose,” said Andrew.
“As far as we know, this experiment is the first of its kind and was borne out of »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Comedy legend David Cross, who created the classic skit series Mr. Show with Bob and David and the cult sitcom The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, marks his feature directorial debut with Hits. This timely expose examines Youtube cultural and the dangers of viral celebrity in our tech-based society. The first trailer has arrived, and it delivers an ensemble cast that is sure to get any comedy fan excited.
Hits takes a dark look at the nature of fame in 21st century YouTube America. David Cross brings his camera into a small town in upstate New York populated by people who trade in unrealistic expectations. It's a story in which fame, delusion, earnestness, and recklessness meet, shake hands, and disrupt the lives around them.
Watch the first footage, which finds one small-town girl with dreams of making it big on the internet fall into the shadow of her well-meaning »
After years of acting in films both awesome and terrible, David Cross is finally making his directorial debut with Hits. The indie comedy centers on a small-town girl (Meredith Hagner) who dreams of fame, while her father (Matt Walsh) accidentally stumbles into it. Cross has stuffed the cast with familiar faces, including Michael Cera, Wyatt Cenac, […]
- Angie Han
David Cross’ new film Hits has received its first full trailer. Written and directed by Cross, the film has a killer cast, led by the always hilarious Matt Walsh (Veep), and appears to have all of the expected offbeat style and sense of humor that fans of the Arrested Development star have come to love.
Hits premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and then subsequently screened at the Sundance London Film Festival the following April. It is a dark comedy that explores the strange phenomenon of 21st century YouTube fame in America. The film takes place in a small town in upstate New York and deals with the townsfolk riddled with unrealistic expectations and delusions of grandeur. The trailer shows Walsh as a regular “Joe” as he hits sudden fame after his insane rant at the local town meeting goes viral on YouTube.
Alongside Walsh, the film stars Michael Cera, »
- William Fanelli
David Cross has been a constant presence in cinema and TV for quite some time now, though he usually seems more comfortable supporting bigger stars in their respective roles. He gained cult status with the likes of the brilliant Mr. Show and later as Tobias Funke in Arrested Development. Now Cross is darting behind the camera for his first film as director in Hits.
In Hits, an unsuspecting father becomes famous after lashing out at a town meeting concerning potholes. He’s embraced by the online community, much to the dismay of his daughter, who wishes to become famous herself. Obviously satirical, and already looking quite dark and funny, Cross’ debut seems to pinpoint the current state of online fame and people’s perception of achievement.
- Luke Ryan Baldock
A hit at 2014′s Sundance Film Festival, Hits is the story of a small-town dad (Matt Walsh) who becomes a viral video star overnight after ranting and getting arrested at a town hall meeting. Things escalate when a group of activists come to rally behind him and when his daughter, jealous at her own lack of fame, begins making a scene to capitalize on the media firestorm. David Cross is making his directorial debut with this screwball indie comedy about fame in the Internet age, bringing together all his comedian buddies like James Adomian, Wyatt Cenac, David Koechner, and Arrested Development co-star Michael Cera.
Hits doesn’t yet have a release date, but you can now watch the first trailer below, and read our review of the film from Sundance London. Let’s hope it goes viral.
- Brian Welk
It’s been a year since David Cross’ feature directorial debut premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, but a Hits trailer is finally here. Meredith Hagner plays Katelyn Stuben, a fame-obsessed girl who’s convinced she’s going to be discovered by becoming a viral sensation. Trouble is, her dad beats her to it. Dave Stuben (Matt Walsh) frequents city council meetings to air his grievances and one outburst turns him into a YouTube sensation. Hits came out of the festival with mixed reviews, but as presented in this trailer, the timely concept, the sassy humor and snappy pace look like good fun so I lean towards taking the promo's pull quotes to heart. Hit the jump to check the new Hits trailer for yourself. No word on when the film will get a release, but according to the trailer, it’s coming soon and apparently via BitTorrent. Hits also stars James Adomian, »
- Perri Nemiroff
If the endless rise and fall of internet celebrities has you continually shaking your head, then "Arrested Development" star David Cross might have the comedy for you. The comedian makes his feature directing and writing debut with Hits, a film that premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival nearly a year ago, and skewers the concept of internet celebrity. Matt Walsh ("Veep") plays a man whose City Hall rant goes viral online, and his 15 minutes of fame begins. But soon everyone wants to ride that wave to their own fame. Michael Cera and Amy Sedaris also star in the film, which doesn't look great, but could be funny. Here's the first trailer for David Cross' Hits from Honora (via SplitSider): Hits is written and directed by David Cross ("Arrested Development," "Mr. Show with Bob & David"). The comedy follows a paranoid municipal worker named Dave (Matt Walsh), his "The Voice"–obsessed 19-year-old daughter, »
- Ethan Anderton
Remember Antoine Dodson? He was the guy who, after an impromptu appearance on a local news show, became an instant (internet) celebrity and for five hot minutes burned brightly around the world before fading away. Such is fame these days, and it's in that environment that "Arrested Development" star David Cross has delivered his feature length directorial debut, "Hits." Originally premiering at the Sundance Film Festival last year, Matt Walsh leads the movie as regular guy living in a small town in upstate New York who finds his rant at City Hall has suddenly gone viral, and soon, everyone wants a piece. As far as targets for comedy go, the current bar of fame is pretty low hanging fruit, though the film's ensemble of players, which includes Michael Cera, Amy Sedaris, Wyatt Cenac and David Koechner, is enough to capture our interest. No release date yet, but it looks like »
- Kevin Jagernauth
17 items from 2015
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