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Welcome to today's edition of Nerd Alert, where we have all the quirky, nerdy news that you crave in one convenient spot. What do we have in store for you on this wondrous Wednesday? A parody of video essays targets The Dark Knight, a supercut of every punch Jason Statham has ever thrown on camera and Straight Outta Compton gets a hilarious Batman-themed mashup. But first, Mad Max: Fury Road gets an honest trailer that you surely won't want to miss. Sit back, relax and check out all that today's Nerd Alert has to offer.
Mad Max: Fury Road Honest Trailer
The Screen Junkies crew is back with yet another Honest Trailer, this week turning their snarky gaze to Mad Max: Fury Road. While this video is far less critical than most of the others in this long-running series, they do take director George Miller to task for essentially turning »
When Catherine Hardwicke was first tapped to helm the adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s “Saga” starter “Twilight,” the film was pegged as an indie romance with a small-to-mid-sized budget and zero expectation of the cultural phenom (read: loot machine) the series would eventually become. But the film — yes, sparkly vampires and all — wound up raking in almost $400 million, more than ten times the production budget, and kicked off a five-movie franchise equipped with one of the most dedicated fanbases the entertainment world has ever known. So, you might think that the door would be held wide open for her when studios start combing the director pool for just about anything, but that’s just not the case. And, as humorously depicted in this “Funny or Die” sketch featuring Hardwicke and four other accomplished female directors — including Shira Piven (“Welcome to Me”), Nisha Ganatra (“Transparent”), Nicole Holofcenter (“Enough Said”) and Anne Fletcher »
The Real Reason Women Don’t Direct More Action Movies from Funny Or Die
Patty Jenkins is going to find herself in very select company when she gets the opportunity to direct Wonder Woman come 2017. She’s a woman in a largely boys’ club when it comes to superhero films. And yet contemporaries like Michelle MacClaren and Ava DuVernay were all rumored to join into the superhero fun, only to leave their respective projects due to “creative differences”.
We can only imagine what that might mean, and Funny or Die seems to have done that for us, taking us inside the board room with meetings with female directors like Catherine Hardwick (Twilight), Shira Piven (Welcome to Me), Nisha Ganatra (Transparent), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), and Anne Fletcher (Hot Pursuit). I mean, bro, can’t you just make it go “Kaboom”?
Watch the video above.
The post Votd: Here’s why »
- Brian Welk
Funny Or Die has always produced topical content, but their latest short might just be one of their most spot-on satires yet, mostly due to the direct involvement of some of the industry's leading female directors. Read More: No More Excuses: Hollywood Needs to Hire More Female Directors Entitled "The Real Reason Women Don't Direct More Action Movies," the two-and-a-half-minute web video depicts a group of talented filmmakers -- Catherine Hardwicke ("Twilight"), Shira Piven ("Welcome to Me"), Nisha Ganatra ("Transparent"), Nicole Holofcener ("Enough Said") and Anne Fletcher ("The Proposal") -- who can't seem to land a directing gig for the upcoming action sequel, "Super Cops 4." In a pitch meeting for the job with a trio of immature businessmen, including "New Girl" star Max Greenfield, the women all provide sensible answers to their ludicrous questions ("'Twilight made $400 million »
- Zack Sharf
Warner Bros. Pictures
Reese Witherspoon manages to undo all the career steps and feminist flag-waving she made with her Oscar-nominated turn in Wild in this criminally unfunny action comedy. Directed and produced exclusively by women, it inexplicably has no understanding of how women actually think, with a cycle of gross-out period gags and lengthy lesbian-mocking sequences that turn its slight 87 minute runtime into a gruelling endurance test. Paul Feig’s incessant “Women are funny, seriously” schtick looks restrained next to this.
Witherspoon is Cooper, a cop who is bad at her job because the script says she is, goddammit. She’s passionate, knowledgable and serious, yet also oblivious, impersonable and incompetent. Just pick a flaw and go with it. Worse than that layered confusion though is what she goes through to sort everything out. Ostensibly Cooper must learn to be less by the book to succeed, but the real »
- Alex Leadbeater
Director: Anne Fletcher; Screenwriter: David Feeney, John Quaintance; Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Sofía Vergara, Matthew Del Negro, Michael Mosley, Robert Kazinsky; Running time: 87 mins; Certificate: 12A
Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara are on the lam in Hot Pursuit, an oestrogen-fuelled odd couple comedy that runs out of steam very early on. Director Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses, The Guilt Trip) drags it out with one or two jokes that revolve around the height difference and the fact that both women talk kinda funny. That's a shame because the chemistry between the two is fairly good, and perhaps could have caught fire with better material.
Witherspoon gamely offers herself as the unsexy one, a neurotic by-the-book cop in sensible shoes who is tasked with hauling state's witness, Daniella Riva (played in typical hypersexual style by Vergara) across Texas - along with her trunkful of designer heels. Riva is set to testify against a Colombian »
Sophia Vergara and Reece Witherspoon in Hot Pursuit
The trailers for this new comedy from Warner Brothers did promised big things, and I giggled all of the way through each one of them, but I didn’t once laughduring Hot Pursuit.
The plot of Hot Pursuit is simple. Reese Witherspoon is a disgraced policewoman working the evidence room at her local precinct, who, following a few years being punished in the bowels of a San Antonio police department following a botched arrest, is given a shot at the bigger time by escorting Sophia Vergara’s crime witness across state to Dallas. As you may expect, things don’t go according to plan, and much hilarity ensues. Or so you’d hope from this mid-budgeted comedy fare from seasoned comedy helmer Anne Fletcher, »
- Paul Heath
The most recent stumble was the tepid buddy romp “Hot Pursuit,” which went nowhere despite some promising elements. It had a female director, Anne Fletcher, with a solid track record (“27 Dresses,” “The Proposal”). It featured two popular funny ladies as a mismatched pair, Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. And it employed a time-tested premise of using crime as a backdrop for humor. But its makers forgot one thing: A good script that somehow avoided relying on such material as menstruation and faux lesbian make-out sessions to draw laughs. Film historian Jeanine Basinger notes that after “The Hunger Games” opened the gates for more franchises based on literary series aimed primarily at girls, “Studios are too busy trying to prove women are action stars. They are working so hard on that, they forgot to make these comedies funny. How many really great female comedians have been seen in motion pictures from 1960 onward? »
- Susan Wloszczyna
Hollywood got the memo. Women like movies too.
It’s a “duh” moment, but one that took a shockingly long time to arrive. The opening weekend numbers for”Pitch Perfect 2,” which annihilated the competition with a staggering $70 million bow, illustrate the financial power of this frequently ignored consumer group.
“It’s a validation of the fact that if you make movies by women for women starring women they’re going to do well,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.
What makes “Pitch Perfect 2″ something of a rarity is that it not only stars women like Rebel Wilson and Anna Kendrick, but its behind the scenes talent, director Elizabeth Banks and writer Kay Cannon, are also female.
- Brent Lang
Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic Bale at the Oscars Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic on the Academy Awards' Red Carpet Eventual Best Supporting Actor winner Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic Bale are seen above on the Red Carpet of the 83rd Academy Awards, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Welsh-born Bale took home the Oscar statuette for his performance as a boxer turned coach and junkie in David O. Russell's boxing drama and sleeper hit The Fighter. His co-stars were Mark Wahlberg (who also co-produced the film), Best Supporting Actress winner Melissa Leo, and Best Supporting Actress nominee Amy Adams. Christian Bale movies The Fighter was Christian Bale's first Academy Award nomination. Among his other movie credits are: The Dark Knight (2008). Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Christian Bale. Heath Ledger. Maggie Gyllenhaal. Aaron Eckhart. The Prestige (2006). Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Hugh Jackman. »
- D. Zhea
Hot Pursuit has opened to critical panning and unfavorable audience reactions today. The $35 million Action-Comedy’s 6% rottentomatoes score, lack of persistent marketing and generally-unfunny jokes in its major trailer all point at a financial loss for Warner Bros. But there lies the hope for women filmmakers in this article: this movie was still released amidst all the panning, the negativity generally-aimed at female filmmakers, and the recent backlash from the leaked emails between Marvel CEOs concerning the perceived lack of appeal for female superhero films.
The leaked emails remind us of the general sexist attitude towards female filmmakers, specifically directors. The major studios, including Warner Bros, nowadays produce and distribute just a few dozen films a year with an average budget of over $100 million. All those superhero and mega-expensive films we’ve come to love, hate, and blog about are the proof. By now, we’ve all noticed that a »
- Christopher Ortiz
New Line Cinema (Warner Bros.), MGM released their new comedy/action film, "Hot Pursuit," into theaters this weekend, and all the top,major critics have turned in their reviews for it. It turns out that most of them weren't too please with what they saw, giving it a very low, overall 30 score out of a possible 100 score across 33 reviews at the Metacritic.com site. The film stars: John Carroll Lynch, Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Richard T. Jones and Rob Kazinsky. We've supplied blurbs from a few of the critics,below. Sara Stewart from the New York Post, gave it a not so great 50 score, saying: "Witherspoon’s charge, Sofía Vergara as a recalcitrant witness in need of police protection, is an adept slapstick comic likewise hamstrung by director Anne Fletcher’s sluggish pacing, which reliably stays with a scene for three beats beyond the punch line." John Anderson from the Wall Street Journal, »
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is looking slightly better than initial projections with a projected $90 million for its second weekend — and this time, the Disney-Marvel movie won’t battle a slew of competing sporting events.
But Warner Bros.’ Reese Witherspoon-Sofia Vergara comedy “Hot Pursuit” isn’t so sizzling, looking at just $12 million-$14 million in its opening weekend despite prospective Mother’s Day moviegoers. Though “Hot Pursuit” provides a female-friendly alternative to “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” it has garnered a sad 6% on Rotten Tomatoes, and box office is looking even softer than initial projections.
The first “Avengers” movie tallied $103 million in its second weekend after its record-breaking $207.4 million opening. While the sequel could have trouble matching the first film’s $623.3 million domestic gross, overseas markets could more than make up for it, with Chinese grosses in particular growing fast. »
- Pat Saperstein
When Hot is Cold: Fletcher’s Tone Deaf Comedy a Frivolous Altercation
For those familiar with director Anne Fletcher’s studio track record, including the rom-com platitudes of The Proposal (2009) and the broad mother and son road trip comedy The Guilt Trip (2011), it will hardly be surprising to find a similar lack of comical finesse on hand in the shrill insistence of her latest venture, Hot Pursuit. Basically another blacktop jaunt desperately trying to amuse with a countless host of familiar squirming scenarios, television alums David Feeney and John Quintance try to inject their small screen inclined tropes into the old odd couple formula with a surprising lack of success. This had to have been something that seemed like it could have worked thanks to the talent it attracted to headline, but the vehicle serves a complete disserve to its leading ladies, on both content and visual fronts.
- Nicholas Bell
Hot Pursuit director Anne Fletcher has been quoted as saying in essence she’s only concerned — presumably, in this case — about making a movie for audience satisfaction, not critics. All well and good but, as I say in my video review above, this movie is one hot mess that even easy-to-please average moviegoers are going to recognize is just. not. funny. Sorry. And this Reese Witherspoon-Sofia Vergara vehicle comes from a director I have admired for smart… »
Reese Witherspoon got an Oscar nomination for starring in “Wild” last year, but she’s not getting any love for “Hot Pursuit,” her new buddy comedy with “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara. The PG-13 Warner Bros. release directed by Anne Fletcher (“The Proposal”) has a measly 8 percent approval rating from 81 critics counted on Rotten Tomatoes. That means only six of them could recommend it to their readers. “The joyless and perfunctory ‘Hot Pursuit’ would be a black mark on anyone’s résumé, but it’s an especially disheartening one for Witherspoon at this point in her career,” TheWrap‘s Inkoo Kang wrote in her. »
- Greg Gilman
Hot Pursuit, the odd-couple comedy starring Reese Witherspoon as a joyless cop and Sofia Vergara as the wife of a drug boss, opened in theaters Friday to blistering reviews. ‘Hot Pursuit’ Review Roundup Directed by Anne Fletcher (The Proposal, 27 Dresses), Hot Pursuit follows Witherspoon’s uptight cop Cooper, as she tries to protect Vergara’s Daniella Riva […]
- Chelsea Regan
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, May 8. [Synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.] Wide Hot Pursuit Director: Anne Fletcher Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Michael Mosley, John Carroll Lynch, Richard T. Jones, Jodi Lyn Brockton, Robert Kazinsky, Matthew Del Negro, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Mike Birbiglia Synopsis: "An uptight by-the-book cop must protect the widow of a drug boss from crooked cops and gunmen." Limited 5 Flights Up Director: Richard Loncraine Cast: Morgan Freeman, Diane Keaton, Michael Cristofer, Cynthia Nixon, Claire Vanderboom, Korey Jackson, Carrie Preston, Sterling Jerins, Josh Pais, Miriam Shor Synopsis: "A couple (Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton) must decide whether or not to sell their Brooklyn walk up of 40 years. The story takes a comedic turn when the dynamic couple have to contend with eccentric open house guests, their pushy realtor niece, and the health of their beloved »
- Steve Greene
Chicago – I get it. The old fashioned buddy movie, except with the twist of the femme-flavor-of-the-moment Sofia Vergara and runty Reese Witherspoon. It practically writes itself. In fact, that might be the only legitimate excuse for the mess that is “Hot Pursuit” – it wrote itself.
With a title so lazy it should come with its own hammock, “Hot Pursuit” recycles every plot point and joke stylings from every buddy picture ever made. What could have been an interesting twist – Sofia Vergara has established herself as a funny character on TV’s “Modern Family” – turns into a shriek fest with Vergara doing most of the unfunny shrieking, with a philosophy of “If we say the jokes louder maybe they’ll be funny…” Reese Witherspoon, who is no slouch when it comes to doing comedy (Her Tracy Flick role in “Election” is one of the funniest characters of the past 20 years), seems lost as well, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The superheroes started the Summer with a bang (and a pow and lotsa’ crashes) last Friday, so it’s now time for what is turning out to be another warm weather cinema staple: the female-driven, often raunchy comedy, which can probably be traced back to the surprise smash of 2011, Bridesmaids. Its breakout star, Melissa McCarthy, then became the unofficial queen of Summer R-rated gagfests with The Heat and Tammy. So, is this the 2015 model Mm comedy? Nope, we’ve got a few weeks to go before she reteams with director Paul Feig for Spy (also to premiere shortly is the feature film debut of cable TV firebrand Amy Schumer). This is an attempted funny flick that riffs on one of her previous hits. It’s an action-cop-buddy-comedy which pairs an Oscar-winning actress (like Sandra Bullock in The Heat) with funny lady mostly known for her broadcast TV work (Melissa still »
- Jim Batts
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