14 items from 2015
Making a comedy that gets recognized by the Oscars is an almost impossible pursuit. Best Picture nominees that are comedies are few and far between, let alone winners. Still, there are some filmmakers who traffic in laughs and you really feel can make a mark with the Academy. Judd Apatow is one of them. He had a few brushes with awards attention early in his directorial career, but his recent efforts haven’t done much for voters, even as the material has been baitier and baitier. Will a return to simplicity with his Amy Schumer vehicle Trainwreck be the cure? We shall see, but it looks hilarious, if nothing else. When Apatow moved from producing and writing to also directing, he burst on the scene with The 40 Year Old Virgin. Teamed up with now Academy Award nominee Steve Carell, they crafted an uproarious sex comedy that also managed to have a ton of heart. »
- Joey Magidson
Worry not, Justified fans, for Walton Goggins will not be gone from the small screen for long once that FX series draws to a close. He will follow it with a jump to HBO, where he will join the new comedy,Vice Principals. The series comes from two of the creators of Eastbound And Down – Danny McBride and Jody Hill.
McBride also co-stars with Goggins in this new venture, which focuses on the team of people that have not quite made it to the top of the educational management tree – the Vice Principals. McBride plays divorcee Neal Gamby and Walton Goggins plays Lee Russell – a manipulative politician who finds himself in something of an alliance with Gamby.
The show will also feature Busy Phillips (Cougar Town) as Gamby’s ex-wife, while Shea Whigham (Agent Carter) will play her new husband, Ray Liptrapp. Liptrapp is characterized as a supportive and sincere person, »
- Sarah Myles
Pascal, who will remain at Sony in a new role as a producer, has long been known around town for her keen eye for winning projects. Though her reputation has suffered recently as a result of North Korea’s infamous hacking attack on the studio, which revealed a few unseemly email exchanges in which Pascal and other execs criticized the attitudes of A-listers and made racially tinged jokes at the expense of President Obama, Pascal steered the studio through her share of triumphs.
Any career as long as Pascal’s is bound to have its peaks and valleys. From the highest heights (“Skyfall,” “Spider-Man 2”) to the lowest lows (“Jack and Jill,” “Sparkle”), Pascal led Sony through it all. Here’s a look »
- Kevin Noonan and Marianne Zumberge
The news that Amy Pascal will step down as chairwoman of Sony Pictures is not shocking. In fact, it was expected.* This is how Hollywood works. You spend years running a studio or acting as president of production and then something goes wrong and you segue to a “producing” deal. That’s the way it’s been for almost 30 years and that’s the way it will be for the foreseeable future. Surviving any controversy, even one outside of your own control, is simply impossible. *Although forgive our surprise this wasn’t left to a late Friday afternoon announcement to quell reaction from the cable news talking heads. Pascal’s fate was sealed when numerous E-mail conversations she was a part of were leaked after a massive security breach credited to North Korean hackers took place on Nov. 24. Her E-mail exchange with producer Scott Rudin about the President of the »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Interview, 2014
Dave Skylark and producer Aaron Rapoport run the celebrity tabloid show “Skylark Tonight.” When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission.
Back in 1994, it was announced that Guns N’ Roses were working on a new album, the first with all-new material since 1991’s simultaneous release of Appetite for Destruction I & II. And as the years dragged by and members came and went, the hype and anticipation for Chinese Democracy only grew and grew. When it was released some 16 years later in 2008, the album was met with a tepid reaction. Chinese Democracy wasn’t terrible, but the problem was that it took too long to come out. »
- Luke Owen
★★☆☆☆ Considering all the hubbub surrounding The Interview (2014), the film's childish humour, struggling punchlines, and relentless need to portray Seth Rogen and James Franco as virtually the same characters they played in Pineapple Express (2008), make it unfortunate that the actual picture doesn't live up the national rallying and boisterous petitioning Americans took upon themselves to see it get released. Franco plays TV host and celebrity personality Dave Skylark, a cruder, dumbed down version of America's ever-so-popular Ryan Seacrest. Rogen, who always seems to need to be the alpha male in every movie he and Franco partner up in, plays his newshound executive producer Aaron Rapaport.
- CineVue UK
James Franco is no stranger to Sundance, and this past week, he premiered two films at the film festival: True Story, where he stars as an accused murderer who steals the identity of a disgraced journalist (Jonah Hill), and I Am Michael, where he plays real-life figure Michael Glatze, a former gay activist who leaves his boyfriend (Zachary Quinto) behind after declaring himself straight and becoming a pastor. The latter film has gotten audiences talking, especially since it touches on the sort of hot-button issues of sexuality that Franco often seems compelled to. Yesterday, the actor and his I Am Michael director Justin Kelly sat down with Vulture to explain their movie, Franco's homophilia, and the unlikely love scene he almost shared with his Pineapple Express co-star Danny McBride.James, many people won't be surprised to see you in a movie like this, because as a major male movie star, »
- Kyle Buchanan
Bathed in fluorescent lights, the telemarketing office where Evan (Fran Kranz of The Cabin in the Woods) works seems to be sucking the life out of his soul, but he’ll have to worry about the same thing happening to his lifeblood when a vampire takes his sought-after promotion. Such is the horror-comedy setup in Bloodsucking Bastards, a recent Slamdance screening that Shout! Factory just picked up:
Press Release - “Los Angeles / New York / Park City (January 29, 2015) – Shout! Factory, a leading multi- platform entertainment company, has acquired the North American rights to Bloodsucking Bastards, a vampire comedy-horror feature directed by Brian James O’Connell and penned by the comedy troupe Dr. God from an original script by Ryan Mitts. The announcement was made today by Shout! Factory’s founder Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos, and the producers of the film.
In this picture deal, Shout! Factory secured exclusive »
- Derek Anderson
When Johnny Depp‘s mustache comedy “Mortdecai” brought in less than $5 million on opening weekend, it marked the A-list actor’s fifth straight box office bomb. But he’s far from the only top billed actor to endure a tanker or two.
Also Read: 19 Biggest Box-Office Bombs and Bummers in 2014: From ‘The Giver’ to ‘Winter’s Tale’ (Photos)
- Travis Reilly and Todd Cunningham
Park City - I would guess there is no working actor right now more suited to playing the lead in "I Am Michael" than James Franco. Walking into the film this morning, I didn't know what it was about. That's how I like to try to see as many movies as possible at Sundance, because it leaves the opportunity for surprises. As soon as it started, though, I recognized the material, and I became intrigued to see how they were going to approach telling the story of MIchael Glatze, who is best known for being a former high-profile advocate for gay rights who "went straight" in a very public way after a health scare, eventually becoming a Christian pastor and proclaiming himself heterosexual. That's a tough story to tell without demonizing either side of things, and I wasn't sure I really wanted to see a movie that played Glatze as a hero. »
- Drew McWeeny
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
New hashtag features movie titles mocking both liberals and conservatives
The controversy surrounding “American Sniper” has spread to social media as a new hashtag #LiberalWarMovies trended on Twitter Tuesday.
The hashtag is a series of tweets skewering both liberal and conservative politicians and actors.
#LiberalWarMovies Taxing Private Ryan
— Bella Pelosi (@BellaPelosi) January 20, 2015
American Snipper #LiberalWarMovies pic.twitter.com/RYoIfTwX36
— Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Jenn Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ (@StenoJenny) January 20, 2015
— The Morning Spew (@TheMorningSpew) January 20, 2015
#LiberalWarMovies Let’s Invade The Correct Country
— Political Nerd (@Sttbs73) January 20, 2015
#LiberalWarMovies Dodging Hillary pic.twitter.com/875l4WgLo9
— BuffaloWingWear. »
- Jordan Chariton
From the writers of Superbad and Pineapple Express, and the directors of This Is the End, the new film The Interview arrives on "Freedom Edition" collectible Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 17. The action-comedy stars Academy Award nominee James Franco (Best Actor, 127 Hours, 2010) as a celebrity talk show host and Seth Rogen (Neighbors) as his producer longing to make the jump to serious news. After snagging an exclusive in-person interview with North Korea's Kim Jong-un (Randall Park, Fresh Off the Boat), the unlikely pair are recruited by a covert CIA agent (Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex) to embark on a mission to take out the reclusive dictator.
The "Freedom Edition" Blu-ray disc comes packed with 90 minutes of bonus feature content, including 14 deleted scenes, multiple behind-the-scenes featurettes, a seven-minute blooper reel that shows the outrageous gags and goofs from the set, as well as three "line-o-ramas" (where cast shot several alternate takes of »
The action-comedy stars Academy Award nominee James Franco (Best Actor, 127 Hours, 2010) as a celebrity talk show host and Seth Rogen(Neighbors) as his producer longing to make the jump to serious news. After snagging an exclusive in-person interview with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un (Randall Park, “Fresh off the Boat”), the unlikely pair are recruited by a covert CIA agent (Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex”) to embark on a mission to take out the reclusive dictator.
The “Freedom Edition” Blu-ray disc comes packed with 90 minutes of bonus feature content, including 14 deleted scenes, multiple behind-the-scenes featurettes, a seven-minute blooper reel that shows the outrageous gags and goofs from the set, as well as three “line-o-ramas” (where cast shot several alternate takes »
- Michelle McCue
14 items from 2015
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