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The "How I Met Your Mother" Redemption Tour is in full effect at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Jason Segel has received the best reviews of his career for his gimmick-free performance as David Foster Wallace in "The End of The Tour." Cobie Smulders is proving her mettle as a leading lady in "Unexpected." And Josh Radnor is nowhere to be seen with a follow-up to "Liberal Arts." [Sorry. Easy punchline. I actually thought "Happythankyoumoreplease" was a perfectly respectable sign of Radnor's potential as a writer-director.] Meanwhile, Neil Patrick Harris has been too busy winning Tonys and preparing to host the Oscars to be in anything Sundance-y this year, while Alyson Hannigan remains chronically underused. Smulders also stars in "Results," which premieres at Sundance on Tuesday, but at least her Festival got off to a solid start with "Unexpected." Directed by Kris Swanberg, who co-wrote with Megan Mercier, "Unexpected" is a very slight movie, almost absurdly short »
- Daniel Fienberg
Kris Swanberg makes a huge leap into the indie mainstream with her delicate and beautiful third feature, “Unexpected.” The logline could sound like a gimmick: A 30-year-old Chicago high-school teacher and one of her students both discover they’re pregnant around the same time, but Swanberg’s film remains utterly down-to-earth. Small-scale and warmhearted in the best ways, this is an accomplished piece of work deserving special consideration in the indie marketplace and the care of a distributor savvy enough to market a story made by and about women.
For something as fundamental to human existence as pregnancy, surprisingly few movies tackle the experience head-on, and those that do are often broad comedies (“Knocked Up,” “Juno”) or horror films (“Rosemary’s Baby”). That’s just one way in which “Unexpected” immediately establishes itself as something different.
Sam (Cobie Smulders) enjoys her job teaching science at an inner-city school, but the »
- Geoff Berkshire
Sundance is always good for some infuriatingly early — as in 12 months early — awards predictions (though the hive mind wasn’t wrong about Whiplash’s J.K. Simmons or Damien Chazelle last year). But no one was expecting Jason Segel to be the first actor at this year’s Sundance to be Twitter-nominated as a 2016 Oscar contender before we even know who the 2015 Oscar winners are.Yes, Jason Segel. The guy who awkwardly wooed us all and Lindsay Weir by reciting Styx’s “Lady” as Nick Andopolis on Freaks and Geeks. The guy who did slap bets as Marshall Eriksen on How I Met Your Mother. The guy we saw full-frontal in the opening scene of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. That guy. He plays David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour, which debuted last night here in Park City. And he was great. The announcement of Segel’s casting, a gifted »
- Jada Yuan
Park City - It would be wrong to pigeonhole Jason Segel as simply a comedic actor. Whether playing the romantically scorned Nick in "Freaks and Geeks" (or Peter in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"), the psychotically romantically scorned Eric on "Undeclared," the romantic but, in a key arc, grieving Marshall on "How I Met Your Mother," Segel has always been able to infuse his clowns with a grounding of real pain or disappointment or passion. But thinking back over Segel's resume, it was hard to point to any role that indicated Segel might be a chameleon. He's always come across as too large in stature, too modern in tone to be invited to do period films or biopics or really any kind of project skewed towards the dramatic. I'd never have described Segel as limited in his acting range, but whether by his choice or Hollywood's perception of him, Segel's CV was »
- Daniel Fienberg
As someone who is a huge admirer of Bollywood cinema, I also happen to be a big fan of Us sitcoms. I have seen many great shows from beginning to end that include Friends, Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond and of course How I Met Your Mother. Although the classic TV show ended last year, I only recently finished watching the final season where the male lead Ted Mosby (played by Josh Radnor) ultimately ends up with the love of his life Robin Scherbatsky (played bv Cobie Smulders). As someone who happens to be a fan of both Bollywood and Us sitcoms, I cannot help but notice that How I Met Your Mother is ultimately a tribute to all the love stories that are told in the world of Bollywood. It is something which I have rarely seen in a Us television show before, but How I Met Your Mother has »
- Bodrul Chaudhury
Sony Pictures has released a new international poster for the upcoming comedy sequel Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and we have it for you here…
See Also: First trailer for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
In this sequel, in which Kevin James reprises the role of Paul Blart, the security guard is headed to Las Vegas to attend a Security Guard Expo with his teenage daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) before she departs for college. While at the convention, he inadvertently discovers a heist – and it’s up to Blart to apprehend the criminals.
Directed by Andy Finkman, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 features a cast that also includes Eduardo Verastegui (Bella), Nicholas Turturro (I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry), Gary Valentine (The King of Queens), Daniella Alonso (Revolution), Neal McDonough (Captain America: The First Avenger) and David Henrie (How I Met Your Mother).
- Gary Collinson
Since saying goodbye to CBS's mega-hit sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" last year in a series finale that left fans of the show divided, Canadian actress Cobie Smulders has remained in the spotlight thanks to her ties to Marvel and their "Avengers" franchise. As Agent Maria Hill, she appeared in last year's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and on the small screen in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," and this summer she'll reprise the role for "Avengers: Age of Ultron." But at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Smulders is set to receive a lot of attention not because of Marvel, but her performances in two other the most hotly anticipated films premiering in the U.S. competition: "Results" and "Unexpected." In the former, directed by Sundance alum Andrew Bujalski, Smulders stars with Guy Pearce as a pair of personal trainers whose lives are upended by the actions of a new client. »
- Nigel M Smith
Those hoping for some resolution as to what happens after A to Z‘s central couple is done dating will have to keep on hoping.
Thursday’s de facto series finale, “M Is for Meant to Be,” found Andrew and Zelda pondering their own future when his seemingly perfect ex-girlfriend Madeline (Dreama Walker, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23) arrives in town following a breakup.
Zelda is convinced the gal is there to win back Andrew, so she sets up Madeline with her own ex. After convincing Andrew she just came for his support, Madeline reveals to Zelda »
Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…
* All 10 episodes of Golden Globe Award winner Transparent will be available to watch for free on Amazon Prime Instant Video this Saturday.
Arts critics tend to get a rough time of it in the movies. Even looking at this year's awards season hopefuls, Birdman casts a wonderfully scabrous Lindsay Duncan as a theatre critic who is determined to kill the hero's play, and Mr. Turner presents John Ruskin as a lisping, pretentious fop, a representation that has led some to take mild umbrage.
To look even further back, at Ratatouille's sneering Anton Ego, or Lady In The Water's film-savvy 'straw critic', or Theatre Of Blood's gleefully murderous tract, there's not a whole lot of love for critics in film. Any of this might give way to the preconception that critics, especially film critics, don't actually like films and that they're out of touch with both the filmmakers whose works they »
I know that you were waiting with bated breath to find out who would play Ronald Reagan in the upcoming (and cleverly titled) Reagan, so I shall keep you in suspense no longer. Ronald Reagan will be played by…David Henrie!
Who is David Henrie, you ask? I am not really sure, but some of the younger crowd among us might know. Henrie is a Disney star, apparently, renowned for his roles on Wizards of Waverly Place and That’s So Raven. The slightly older members of the TV-going community might know him from How I Met Your Mother, on which he played the role of the son. Now he’s going to take on the part of a young Ronnie Reagan, back when he was a bad actor and stern anti-communist.
Reagan will be told from the perspective of a Kgb agent keeping tabs on our man Ronald in »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
Henrie will play a young Reagan in the film told from the point of view of a Kgb officer who kept a close eye on the man throughout his career.
Reagan was an actor and later SAG president before he became Us president, and was known for being a staunch anti-communist.
Henrie also featured in How I Met Your Mother.
Reagan will be portrayed in the upcoming second season of Fargo as well. »
NBC has ordered two more comedy pilots for its 2015-2016 slate.
The net confirmed pilot pickups Tuesday for multi-camera comedies “People Are Talking” and “Take It From Us.”
“People Are Talking,” from exec producers DJ Nash and Will Packer, will add diversity to the Peacock’s programming. The series is described as a comedy examining sex, race and “everything else your parents told you to never talk about.” Nash, who previously produced “Growing Up Fisher,” “Guys With Kids,” “Bent” and “Up All Night” for NBC, will pen the pilot from Will Packer Productions for Universal TV.
“Take It From Us” follows a couple who tells their son the lessons they learned from growing up in the ’90s, in hopes he’ll avoid making the same mistakes. Greg Malins (“How I Met Your Mother,” “Will & Grace,” “Friends”), Barry Schwartz and Jonathan Berry serve as exec producers, with Malins and Schwartz writing the pilot. »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
The projects follow a couple telling their son about being raised in the 90s, and the another that ventures into taboo subjects
From Universal and Will Packer Productions, executive producer/writer DJ Nash (“‘Til Death”) and executive producer Packer (“The Wedding Ringer,” “Ride Along”), comes “People are Talking.” The comedy examines sex, race and everything else parents told youth to never talk about.
See photos: The Faces of Pilot Season 2014
And from Sony Pictures Television and 3 Arts, »
- Alicia Banks
Josh Radnor returned to Broadway this season in Disgraced, and now the How I Met Your Mother star has locked down another role for next season—of a much more musical variety. Radnor will star alongside Laura Benanti in Roundabout Theatre Company’s romantic comedy She Loves Me, the first musical Roundabout ever produced and the first musical announced for the company’s upcoming 50th anniversary season (which also includes Keira Knightley’s Broadway debut and a new production of Noises Off). Roundabout’s associate artistic director Scott Ellis will direct the limited engagement, which will play Broadway in the »
- Marc Snetiker
Soon, Larry Wilmore will be famous-famous. Right now, he's what he calls "cable famous": Many people already know him as the "senior black correspondent" from The Daily Show, and hardcore fans know his work as a TV writer (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, In Living Color), showrunner (Black-ish, The Bernie Mac Show), and actor (How I Met Your Mother, The Office). But when his new talk show, The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, premieres tonight on Comedy Central, he'll get noticed on a whole different level. "I have the best type of fame for this moment," he told EW late last year, »
- Melissa Maerz
Technically speaking, The Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore is the new guy on the late-night television circuit, but the former Daily Show correspondent and in Living Color writer has been making us laugh — at all hours of the day — for quite some time.
The writer/actor/stand-up comedian, who got his start on The Facts of Life, has been seen on the small screen (Happy Endings, How I Met Your Mother, and The Office, which he also worked as a consulting producer on) and big screen (I Love You, Man, Dinner for Schmucks, Vamps) alike for a career that’s already spanned more than 30 years.
While Wilmore has long been a memorable “Oh, that guy!” kind of character actor, he has been making just as many waves off-screen. The Los Angeles native co-created the hit comedies The PJs, with Eddie Murphy, and The Bernie Mac Show, with the late, »
The Sundance Film Festival’s Premieres section is “A showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly anticipated narrative films of the coming year.”
Mississippi Grind — Image courtesy of The Sundance Institute
From the writing and directing duo that brought us Half Nelson and It’s Kind of a Funny Story comes Mississippi Grind, starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn as a pair of desperate gamblers on the road. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have thus far earned a solid indie reputation, so there’s not much reason to doubt that they’ll deliver engaging content even if one’s unsure of the acting team that’s being put to task. Reynolds’ name may suffer from overexposure in big studio flops like X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Green Lantern, whereas Mendelsohn’s growing respectability flies well below pop culture’s radar. »
- Lane Scarberry
The last panel of NBC's press tour day (and my last panel of this particular tour, though Fienberg will be here for Fox, FX and PBS) should be a good one: a farewell press conference for "Parks and Recreation," featuring Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Retta and Jim O'Heir, plus co-creator Mike Schur. (It's a shame Nick Offerman and Aubrey Plaza won't be here, but it feels like a miracle that Pratt has time, given how many different movies he's starring in these days.) I'll be live-blogging the whole thing, as often as my fingers and the ballroom wi-fi will allow, so hit reload early and often. (All times Pacific.) 5:30 p.m.: Bob Greenblatt introduces the panel, calls it "one of the best shows that have ever been on television." It's easy to be magnanimous when the show's on the way out the door, I suppose. »
- Alan Sepinwall
Neil Patrick Harris has unveiled his latest Academy Awards promo.
The How I Met Your Mother star shows off his illusion skills in the new commercial, following yesterday's nominations announcement.
Who votes for the Oscars? The ins and outs of Academy voting explained
Who got snubbed? Oscars nominations leave Lego Movie out in the cold
Polishing what appears to be a supersized Oscar statue while standing on a ladder, it is soon revealed that some clever camera trickery has been used.
The clip follows previous promos starring Harris that featured Christmas gifts and New Year's resolutions.
Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead the nominations for the 2015 Academy Awards, which Neil Patrick Harris will host live on Sunday, February 22 at 7pm on ABC.
Oscars 2015 - nominations in pictures: »
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