7 items from 2016
At the time, Todd Phillips’ box office smash went on to become the biggest R-rated comedy of all time, pulling in close to $470 million worldwide. Such success naturally gave Phillips and Warner Bros. the impetus to fast-track a sequel, though both it and the derided The Hangover Part III in 2013 served up a classic class of diminishing returns critically and financially. By that point, the Wolfpack had lost their charm.
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History has taught us that comedy sequels are a difficult feat to accomplish in that they often lead to recycling old jokes to little effect – 22 Jump Street is the shining exception to the rule. Five years ago, The Hangover Part II essentially churned out the same »
- Michael Briers
Todd Phillips’ The Hangover was one of the biggest comedy successes in recent memory; a runaway success at the box office, it also made stars out of its three leads Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms. Sadly, it was followed by two abysmal sequels, which virtually everyone agrees should never have seen the light of day. Including Zach Galifianakis.
“We’re contracted up to 12, I feel a real appetite out there for more,” joked the star on the Wtf Podcast with Marc Maron. “Look, that was a good chunk of my life that I do not regret at all but I wished we had just done one. I think leave well enough alone sometimes. [However] in 10 years, when this all dries up, I’m sure I’ll be knocking on people’s doors, ‘Hey, I got this idea… look, I’m still weird!’”
Galifianakis’ new TV show Baskets debuted on FX this past week, »
- Gary Collinson
There are no volunteer events, community service or positive team-building exercises to be found in Goat. Director Andrew Neel is focused instead on the most vile tendencies related to frat life, notably hazing, but also the larger picture of the addictive cycle of mutually assured self-destruction. Zeroing in a perverse voyeurism of the degrading activities carried out, the environment effectively convinces even if the script (written by Neel, David Gordon Green and Mike Roberts) often comes up short.
Based on Brad Land‘s memoir, we first find Brad (Ben Schnetzer) leaving a party early, foolishly deciding to give two sketchy men a quick ride home. Things start to get uneasy as they drive far past the initially promised distance, and eventually, Brad gets beat to a pulp and his car stolen. Spending the summer healing, he contemplates going back to school at Brookman University (a fictitious place, but shot in Cincinnati, »
- Jordan Raup
When it works, it works — and, more often than not, Dirty Grandpa lands big, sometimes awkward laughs. While more Todd Phillips than Solondz, director Dan Mazer infuses the film with an uncomfortable sense of irony right up until its post-credit gag, which perhaps proves the shelf-life of a fetish might be longer than just a temporary phase. Those seeking the meaning of life ought to look elsewhere. The formula is familiar, while Zac Efron and Robert De Niro make an unexpectedly funny duo, with De Niro delivering zingers that would be inappropriate to mention on a site such as this.
Efron plays Jason, a recent law-school grad marrying the uptight Meredith (Julianne Hough) with the approval of his equally uptight father, David (Dermot Mulroney). After his grandmother passes, his grandfather, Dick (DeNiro), begs his grandson to take him across state-lines to his condo in Boca Raton. Against, of course, the wishes of Meredith, »
- John Fink
A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. During Dan Fellman’s retirement party at the Four Seasons on Nov. 11, Clint Eastwood announced to the VIP crowd — among them Adam Sandler, Brett Ratner, Sylvester Stallone, Todd Phillips and Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara — that though the studio’s longtime president of domestic distribution was stepping down, he’s “going to release my next picture, whenever that is.” Eastwood wasn't kidding. That film looks to be Eastwood's Miracle on the Hudson drama Sully,
- Chris Gardner, Pamela McClintock
Warner Bros. Pictures has unveiled brand new photos from their upcoming lineup of films hitting cinemas in 2016.
Above is Tom Hanks with director/producer Clint Eastwood on the set of the upcoming film Sully. On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger (Hanks) glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.
Sully also stars Aaron Eckhart (“Olympus Has Fallen,” “The Dark Knight”) as Sully’s co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, and Oscar nominee Laura Linney (“The Savages,” “Kinsey,” Showtime’s “The Big C”) as Sully’s wife, Lorraine Sullenberger.
Eastwood is directing the film from a screenplay by Todd Komarnicki, based on the »
- Michelle McCue
Auteurs working within the confines of the studio system tend to disappoint, though we try to keep hope alive by anticipating the best for talented directors braving compromised visions. 2015 wasn’t without its fair share of standout studio fare, particularly with George Miller’s comeback for Mad Max: Fury Road, Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Inarritu’s The Revenant, and J.J. Abram’s revitalization of Star Wars. Of course, there were just as many disappointments, including David Gordon Green’s Our Brand is Crisis and the Wachowski Siblings’ rather derivative Jupiter Ascending. While a couple items from our top 25 studio list last year were held over, we’ve noted a bright clutch of hopeful auteur items to look forward to in 2016. You’ll notice a common theme among our top items, including supernatural or extraterrestrial elements.
25. The Accountant – Gavin O’Connor
23. The Disaster Artist »
- Nicholas Bell
7 items from 2016
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