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Magnolia Pictures is taking U.S. rights to Douglas Tirola’s Sundance and Tribeca entry Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story Of National Lampoon. The documentary chronicles the ups and downs of the humor magazine, which was an iconic benchmark during the 1970s and ’80s and an entertainment franchise brand ahead of its time spanning films (i.e. Animal House, Vacation), records, stage and radio shows. No stone in the realm of religion, politics or entertainment went… »
Magnolia Pictures has bought all U.S. rights excluding TV to Douglas Tirola’s documentary “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon.”
The film was financed and produced by History Films, in association with Sky. Producers are Tirola and partner Susan Bedusa of 4th Row Films, while executive producers are Molly Thompson, Dirk Hoogstra, John Battsek and Celia Taylor.
Ben Koningsberg described the movie, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, as “briskly entertaining” in his review for Variety.
The script, written by Tirola and Mark Monroe, covers the period from the 1970s to the 1990s when National Lampoon pushed the limits of taste and acceptability. The magazine eventually went on to branch into successful radio shows, record albums, live stage revues and movies, including “Animal House” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” and helped launch the careers of John Belushi, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner. »
- Dave McNary
When we visited the set of Magic Mike Xxl, Channing Tatum made several lofty promises for this Summer's sequel, but costar Joe Manganiello (returning as "Big Dick Richie") is almost seeking to outdo him. With more definitive answers for the kind of movie this is (definitely a comedy) and how racy it's going to be (it's going to be "out there," he pledged), Manganiello has us even more excited for the movie. And not just that, in our interview with him and several other reporters on the Savannah, Ga, location, Manganiello spilled about fiancée Sofia Vergara, who was visiting him on set that day. Yes, he said the things you'd expect him to say, along with a little Tmi that might make you blush. Ready for Manganiello's antics? What are we going to learning about your character that we didn't learn in the last film? Joe Manganiello: This movie is an ensemble, »
We’d like to welcome the awesome podcast The History of Bad Ideas to Nerdly, starting with episodes 76 and 77! If you haven’t caught the podcast yet (why not?) you can check out previous episodes of The History of Bad Ideas on iTunes and look out for new episodes here on Nerdly each and every week…
Emanating from their studio in Cincinnati, Ohio, The History of Bad Ideas sees hosts Jason, Jeff and Blake talk about all things geeky on their podcast. Whether it’s rumors of the latest comic book movies, debating who really is the worst villain of all time, discussing the latest comic issues or just wondering about life in general, you are sure to have a fun time with them! In theory.
Episode 76: What’s a Duggar?
The Hobi Gang misses Jeff Nau who is out again due to sickness so Scab Jeff Morris sits in again on the show! »
- Phil Wheat
One thing we'll always love about John Belushi, apart from his iconic stint on Saturday Night Live and his classic roles in movies like Animal House and The Blues Brothers, are his unique and inventive facial expressions. Over the years they've become a trademark of his bombastic comedic style, and we'll never get enough of 'em. So in honor of the 35th anniversary of The Blues Brothers -- a movie that first danced into theaters on June 20, 1980 -- here are...
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“How much trouble can one poet be?” we’re asked early on in Set Fire to the Stars, an account of a visit to the U.S. made by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas in 1950. We then get a typical, ironic smash cut to Thomas himself (played by the disarmingly magnetic Celyn Jones, who also co-wrote the script) at a crowded, raucous party, hoisting a woman on his back and carrying her around, both of them drunkenly screaming. It’s an alarming and all too predictable bit of filmmaking: We might worry that we’re about to see a cross between Dead Poets Society and Animal House, a no-holds-barred indulgence in the myth of the poet as irrepressible wild man. Luckily, Set Fire to the Stars turns out to be a more delicate, intelligent film than that.The events here, inspired by the remembrances of literary critic and poetry teacher »
- Bilge Ebiri
Just a couple of weeks ago, the film, I’LL See You In My Dreams, explored and celebrated love and late in life happiness for the Aarp demographic. And now, here’s the flip side. It, like the 2011 Oscar for foreign film winner Armour, proves the saying usually attributed to Bette Davis, “Old age is not for sissies”. For the retirees in this film, there’s no pot parties or lunch time sea cruises with Sam Elliot to eagerly anticipate. Nope, there’s only pain, suffering, and death in their futures, along with some very tough decisions. Even though there’s little cause for the celebration, we’re invited, via your local cinema, to The Farewell Party.
The “party” really centers around one couple. Yehezkel (Ze’ev Revach) and Levana (Levana Finkelstein) are reveling in their golden years together as they share a cozy home in a Jerusalem retirement center. »
- Jim Batts
Yesterday, I wrote about my first year in Los Angeles, which was all just a matter of settling in. Remember, when I moved to La, I knew a grand total of zero people who lived or worked here. I was not laden with contacts and strolling into a situation where everything was guaranteed to work out. Scott Swan and I took a huge chance when we packed up and moved out, and I am so horrified by how little money we had saved that I'm almost embarrassed to say the number. I was insanely naive when I arrived in town. I am still haunted by a choice we made in those early days, when we answered an ad in one of the trades that was looking for writers willing to work on a "per sketch" basis. I forget how much the rate was… $100 or so, but definitely not more than that… »
- Drew McWeeny
Chicago – He’s not a household name, but he has certainly rocked a few houses…with laughter. Writer/director Paul Feig has a new film called “Spy,” in which he re-teams with two of the supporting cast of his “Bridesmaids” romp, Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne. “Spy” opens on Friday, June 5th.
“Spy” is a perfect tonic to today’s super serious movies depicting undercover chicanery. McCarthy portrays Susan, a ex-teacher-turned CIA desk jockey, who often is paired with superspy Bradley Fine (Jude Law). When Fine is disposed of, it is up to Susan to complete his international mission, under the disguises of cat lady and unmarried tourist. Like Feig has done in his previous films, “Spy” loves the juxtaposition of having the unlikely Melissa McCarthy as the world’s greatest operative.
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Debuting a comedy in the summer is no laughing matter.
Competition to attract moviegoers looking to have their funny bone tickled has never been fiercer, producers and analysts say. Between May and September, 13 wide-release laughers are slated to open, among them such hotly anticipated titles as “Ted 2”; “Spy,” with Melissa McCarthy as an unlikely secret agent; and “Trainwreck,” with Amy Schumer as a monogamy-avoiding woman. Just last week, Relativity Studios yanked gymnastics satire “The Bronze” from July and repositioned it in October, fearing it would be cannibalized in the seasonal glut.
“It’s an era of compelling comedies,” said Paul Brooks, the producer of the summer smash “Pitch Perfect 2.” “The bar has been raised so high in recent years that the films that pass it have a better chance of reaching a wider audience, so there are more getting released in summer.”
- Brent Lang and Dave McNary
The Werewolf film. A staple of the horror genre since Lon Chaney, Jr. got all out of sorts in The Wolf Man (1941), it’s popularity (like the moon itself) , has come and gone in cycles. Leading the pack in 1981, An American Werewolf in London showed the world that there was life in those old lycanthropes yet.
Released in August, An American Werewolf in London earned over 30 million in North America alone. It was a hit, and the reviews were generally favorable, especially in regards to the groundbreaking effects work by Rick Baker (he would go on to win the inaugural Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup for this film – deservedly so).
Our tale goes like this: David (David Naughton - the Dr. Pepper guy from the TV commercials – ask your parents) and Jack (Griffin Dunne – After Hours), two Americans, are backpacking through the English countryside. They stop for a »
- Scott Drebit
When it comes to letting loose, Animal House, for many of us, provided our first lesson on partying. From John Belushi who played the beloved John Blutarsky to John Vernon's role as Dean Vernon Wormer, the head of the fictional Faber College, the characters in the frat boy film are timeless—and we'll admit, we were never able to look at a toga in the same way after watching the 1978 classic. 25 years later, Old School introduced audiences to Frank the Tank (played by Will Ferrell) while simultaneously schooling us in the art of beer bong. And just four years after its release, Superbad hit the big screen, which illustrated why having a fake I.D. pretty »
A few nights ago, Warner Bros. hosted a very canny event that our own Louis Virtel attended at the Playboy Mansion, a screening of "Entourage" that may have felt like virtual reality for those who attended. While I doubt being surrounded by scantily clad bunnies influenced Louis one way or another on the film, it's likely you'll see a number of reviews that are perhaps more enthusiastic than they would otherwise be, and it'd be hard to blame anyone who fell for it. One of the reasons the setting seemed so right for that particular film is because much of the charge of "Entourage" is watching the core ensemble swagger their way through Hollywood, doing whatever they want and rarely if ever facing any consequences as a result. It's always presented with a wink and a smile, just a case of boys being boys. We live in a world right »
- Drew McWeeny
If Christian Kane gets hungry this weekend at Wizard World Comic Con in St. Louis, he’ll likely head over to the Tenacious Eats Presents Super-8 Marvel Munchies event Saturday at 2.
Tenacious Eats “Movies for Foodies’ is a one-of-a-kind event where food is prepared and plated in front of you while you watch a film on the big screen. We’ve covered many of the movie-dinners here at We Are Movie Geeks. Now we’ll be teaming up with Tenacious Eats this Saturday at Wizard World Comic Con for an event we’re calling Tenacious Eats Presents Super-8 Marvel Munchies. It will be from 2pm to 2:45pm in Room 106 at America’s Center.
The astronomical success of The Avengers Age Of Ultron and its $200 Million worth of state-of-the-art CGI effects show how far the Marvel Universe has evolved. Marvel Comics very first foray into film was a 1966 syndicated package »
- Tom Stockman
HitFix's recent spate of "Best Year in Film History" pieces inevitably spurred some furious debate among our readers, with some making compelling arguments for years not included in our pieces (2007 and 1968 were particularly popular choices) and others openly expressing their bewilderment at the inclusion of others (let's just say 2012 took a beating). In the interest of giving voice to your comments, below we've rounded up a few of the most thoughtful, passionate, surprising and occasionally incendiary responses to our pieces, including my own (I advocated for The Year of Our Lynch 2001, which is obviously the best). Here we go... Superstar commenter "A History of Matt," making an argument for 1968: The Graduate. Bullit. The Odd Couple. The Lion in Winter. Planet of the Apes. The Thomas Crown Affair. Funny Girl. Rosemary's Baby. And of course, 2001, A Space Odyssey. And that's only a taste of the greatness of that year. "Lothar the Flatulant, »
- Chris Eggertsen
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Check here for a complete list of our essays. Just one glance at the Oscar nominees for 1998 might make it seem less a questionable choice for “best year in film” — and more an insane one. Instead of a 1974 – The Godfather II, The Conversation, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc – or even a 1994, where Shawshank, Quiz Show, and Pulp Fiction lost to Gump – you choose a year where the Oscars would allow Roberto Benigni to climb atop both the figurative and literal chairs of the Shrine? Fine, step away from the Oscars. Would you still celebrate a year that saw not one, but two movies about asteroids threatening the Earth? A year that saw such scars carved across cinematic history as Patch Adams, My Giant, Stepmom, and Krippendorf’s Tribe? It bears repeating: Krippendorf’S Tribe? »
- Michael Oates Palmer
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
It's really difficult to not brag when you've had the same kind of conversation I recently did with John Landis, the same human who directed Animal House, The Kentucky Fried Movie, The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London, ¡Three Amigos!, Trading Places, Michael Jackson's "Thriller," and dozens of other great moving pictures you and I adore. So, for this article, you are going to need to bear with a few of my gloats, please. I'm a nice guy who loves cats and grandmothers, so you can manage for a few paragraphs of crowing. (Or, just skip what I have to say and listen, I'll never know unless you comment that you skipped, which is just mean.) Landis was in Dallas over the weekend...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Our weekly series in which writers revisit for the first time in ages their youthful passions and reconsider how well they hold up with the passage of time. When “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: was released in 1986, I was 17 years old ( a surly, difficult 17 years old); which is to say,I was the exact same age as the character Ferris Bueller; which is to say, the worst possible age to enjoy a film about him. To this put in some context, growing up in the late 1970’s and early 80’s was a glorious time to be a very young movie-goer. Comedies in particular – were at their most bawdy and anarchic, which is exactly what a 10 year old boy wants. We were allowed to see on the screen in those days all sorts things that it is now horrifying to imagine a 10 year old was allowed to see; but as a 10 year old, »
- Richard Rushfield
Those of us who lead hapless lives know how frightening getting up in the morning can be. Instead of rising and embracing the daylight with an ardent cuddle and a zealous "Yahoo!" we see grey clouds overhead and wonder aloud, "What now?" Another egg carton with broken shells? A second bedbug infestation within twelve months? Still no replies to our Christian Mingles ad even though we've noted we can recite the Book of Revelation by heart in Latin?
Ah, if only we were born into a family of elites. The ultra-rich. Aristocrats with an enviable gene pool.
But instead we're impoverished and pear-shaped with squinty eyes and in need of Proactiv+.
On top of these misfortunes, we really know the gods are against us if while fingering the remote, we accidentally come across Joshua Jackson in The Skulls (2000), and begin to watch it out of inertia. This incapacitating thriller was inspired by Yale's secretive society, »
- Brandon Judell
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