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Written and directed by University of Texas graduate Michael Bilandic (who we interviewed before Austin Film Festival began), Hellaware is a playful modern morality tale that explores the ups and downs a young photographer experiences while trying to make himself a part of the New York art scene.
Hellaware stars Keith Poulson (Somebody Up There Likes Me) as Nate, a slacker with abstract dreams of fame and just a few vague ideas about how to actually achieve it. After his girlfriend (Kate Lyn Sheil) dumps him to be with the pigtail-wearing Brooklyn artist of the moment, he descends into a downward spiral of self-pity and complaints. One night while attempting to mute his sorrows with booze, drugs and the internet, Nate and his friends (played by Sophia Takal and Duane C. Wallace) stumble across something on YouTube that is mesmerizing in its repulsiveness.
An absurd rap/rock video made by »
- Caitlin Moore
Austin Film Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, features an eight-day program of panels and films specifically focused on screenwriters. Along with a handful of highly anticipated festival favorites bolstering the lineup (among them 12 Years a Slave and Inside Llewyn Davis), the film schedule contains dozens of features, documentaries and shorts chosen for their original points of view and creative storytelling techniques. Of course several of these have Austin or Texas ties -- they were either made by local filmmakers or were filmed in the state.
Here are a few potential gems found on this year's Aff Features lineup that happen to have strong Texas connections:
All of Me (Documentary Feature Competition) -- This documentary was filmed here in town and features a group of friends who met through Austin's Big Beautiful Women community. The dynamic of their social club begins to change when many of the women choose to undergo weight loss surgery, »
- Caitlin Moore
What is it about Nick Offerman that you find so damned alluring? Is it his droll portrayal of Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation? Perhaps it's the bristly manliness of his mustache? Offerman himself has a theory about his own appeal, and he'll share it with you in this exclusive Vulture video: It all has to do with the Golden Ratio, obviously. Not sure what that means? Press play and let Offerman explain it to you, but be aware that this theory involves both his giant cranium and his nicely shaped posterior, the latter of which is on display in Offerman's comedy Somebody Up There Likes Me, out on DVD today. If you've ever hoped to hear Offerman wax rhapsodic about his own ass at length ... well, we at Vulture are in the dreams-come-true business. Cheers! »
- Kyle Buchanan
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? Based on the real-life Bling Ring crew, Sofia Coppola's film tells the story of the Los Angeles teens whose claim to infamy was robbing the homes of celebrities. The teens who used the internet to track the whereabouts of rich celebs are portrayed by Emma Watson, Katie Chang, Taissa Farmiga, Israel Broussard, and Claire Julien.
Watch: Go behind-the-scenes with Taissa Farmiga (Video)
Why We're In: Coppola's approach to the tabloid-heavy story is one of the most compelling aspects of "The Bling Ring"," as she neither praises the characters, criticizes, or satirizes them. We get to watch the teens from an honest perspective and arrive at our own deduction of how technology and youth obsession with fame impact contemporary culture. "The Bling Ring" was also one of Moviefone's Best Movies of 2013 (So Far).
Rt & Follow to win #TheBlingRing »
- Erin Whitney
Some filmmakers know how to make the most of an opportunity. The group behind "Hellaware," an independent comedy set to premiere at the BAMcinemafest on June 22, has released a YouTube video to promote their film. While not a revolutionary act per se, the execution has left many confused internet viewers wondering what, if anything, the video is about. Let's start at the beginning. The film itself focuses on an "aspiring but less than ambitious" New York City photographer who discovers the Young Torture Killaz — an extremely vulgar band sporting excess amounts of clown makeup — on YouTube. He becomes fascinated with them and hopes they'll prove to be his big break. Starring Keith Poulson ("Somebody Up There Likes Me") and directed by Michael M. Bilandic ("Happy Life"), "Hellaware" is meant to be a satirical take of New York City's underground art world. Meanwhile, in the real world, the fictional Young Torture »
- Ben Travers
Directed by Bob Byington
Written by Bob Byington
It may seem like a fool’s errand to ascribe deeper meaning to a 75-minute lark of a movie, but it’s not terribly difficult to spot a theme recurring throughout Somebody Up There Likes Me, specific to the very meaning of life. Of course, because this comedy (closer to an anti-comedy, really) is content staying in the lowest possible key throughout its brief running time, the analysis of what it is to be an adult in the modern world isn’t too incisive. Still, Somebody Up There Likes Me is consistently entertaining enough to get by.
Keith Poulson plays Max, an aimless young waiter in Los Angeles who’s given a mysterious briefcase one day, which he’s instructed not to open. So, of course, he opens it as soon as he has a chance. »
- Josh Spiegel
Summer in suburbia is what you make of it. For some, it’s a parent-controlled prison. For Joe Toy, it’s an opportunity for freedom.
In the trailer for The Kings of Summer (which premiered at Sundance as Toy’s House), we meet Joe (Nick Robinson), a not-completely-gawky teenage boy, delivering a shoddy-looking project to his teacher, who casually informs him that his final was due a week earlier and that school is in fact over for the year. Who is this kid who doesn’t realize it’s summer?
At home, Joe is at the disposal of his father, »
- Lindsey Bahr
Thirteen years ago, Louis C.K. was not a name everyone knew. And even fewer people knew Nick Offerman. This provided them an opportunity to star in extremely indie movies like 2000's Tuna. What's Tuna? A movie written by Adam DeCoster (who by day is a successful Foley artist) and directed by Bob Byington (director of Offerman-featuring movies like Harmony and Me and Somebody Up There Likes Me) about people talking in their cars while driving around Los Angeles. DeCoster put the full film up on YouTube earlier this week. Watch a bleached-blond, fresh-faced Offerman, youngish C.K., and a cast that also features Kevin Corrigan, David Krumholtz, Jon Glaser, and a 4-year-old Angus T. Jones. Just to reiterate, before you complain about the production values, the thing is super-extremely indie. »
- Jesse David Fox
There are some pretty sexy GIFs of Alison Brie floating around the internet (GIFs that I feel too dirty even to link to), so a super dapper Paul F. Tompkins gave Brie a chance to create some moments that could be made into unsexy GIFs. Tompkins had Brie do things like check for bugs in a used wig, ask a shrunken witch head for advice, and debate whether or not to purchase Selena on VHS.”I hope you’re ready for that to be turned into absolute filth,” Tompkins joked at the end. Brie laughed, ”I always forget not to open my mouth. »
- Sarah Caldwell
Somebody Up There Likes Me, 2012.
Written and Directed by Bob Byington.
A comedy about a man, his best friend, and the woman they both adore watching their lives fly by.
Bob Byington’s Somebody Up There Likes Me is the kind of quirky comedy drama that will eschew sense, warmth and reason for the sake of a gag. Think Wes Anderson, minus the very formal visuals. Serious investment in the characters or their plights is near-impossible, because Somebody Up There Likes Me so often is willing to sacrifice it all for a quick, oddball laugh; lead character Max taking flowers from a memorial and gifting them to his ex-wife, for example. And yet, somehow, the film manages to work on an emotional level.
- Flickering Myth
Evil Dead. This week, these two words are all that matter to horror fans, as the long-awaited reworking of the cult classic The Evil Dead hits theaters. (Actually, two other words matter just as much: Bruce Campbell. I'm not into horror flicks, but yeah, he is the coolest.)
For the rest of us, there is the homegrown comedy Somebody Up There Likes Me (pictured above). Fellow River City film fans, I beg, urge and implore you to see this terrific Austin movie. Sadly (and unsurprisingly), the Friday night show with director Bob Byington and star Nick Offerman in attendance is sold out. But worry not -- there are plenty of other screenings. You also might like the Slamdance 2012 awardwinning feature Welcome to Pine Hill, screening at 9 pm Monday at Stateside.
True cinephiles won't want to miss this week's Austin Film Society Essential Cinema Plus series, which presents four recent films »
- Don Clinchy
Newsflash: There was more to yesterday’s episode of Parks and Recreation than Ron getting sued and guest appearances by Annabeth Gish and J.K. Simmons. As USC doctoral candidate George Carstocea points out on his blog, the whole half-hour was one long homage to David Foster Wallace’s massive novel Infinite Jest — the number one book you pretend to have read in college.
Parks and Rec showrunner Michael Schur — a.k.a. the guy who occasionally plays Mose on The Office — is an admitted Dfw-phile. He wrote his undergraduate thesis on Wallace, directed a Decemberists video based on Wallace’s 1,079-page opus, »
- Hillary Busis
I've seen Somebody Up There Likes Me twice now -- once at SXSW 2012 with a lively local-heavy audience, once via screener with no one else but the cat -- and found the movie terribly funny both times. In fact, after I watched it the second time, I restarted the film so I could to see how the beginning tied into the end (it does, so pay attention) ... then had to stop myself from watching it a third time. The movie opens Friday at Violet Crown Cinema and I'm sorely tempted to go.
I liked it a lot, obviously. But I don't know whether you'd like it. Local filmmaker Bob Byington's universe is not for everyone.
Somebody Up There Likes Me is a comedy, but not in a broad sense -- its humor is very specific. I don't mean that it's full of obscure pop-culture references, either, because the movie »
- Jette Kernion
Of course you do! You may not even have a mustache, but why would you pass up the opportunity to win a mustache comb made from the Offerman Woodshop? The Parks and Recreation star is making the offer ( … man) in conjunction with this weekend's release of his comedy, Somebody Up There Likes Me: In addition to Offerman-hosted Q&A sessions today and tomorrow at Bam Cinematek, fans can enter a "Combing Attractions" contest where they vote on their favorite Offerman mustache in the hopes of winning that comb. Retail value is $75, but the chance to possess it is priceless. Watch the video below, enter the contest, and then reread our history of Offerman's marvelous marriage to Megan Mullally, because why not? »
- Kyle Buchanan
Nick Offerman has become famous to millions of Parks & Recreation fans as the imperious and eternally cranky Ron Swanson, which is why you might be surprised by the version of him you see in Somebody Up There Likes Me. As you can see in the exclusive clip above, Offerman plays a guy who works at a restaurant, and has been doing so for a long, long time-- way too long, in fact. Fresh off the dissolution of his marriage to a woman (Jess Weixler) who is also his buddy's (Keith Poulson) ex-wife, he's clearly looking for a new start-- and as we all know, the only safe investment in this world is in pizza and ice cream. An indie comedy currently available on VOD, Somebody Up There Likes Me is also playing at Brooklyn's Bam Cinematek throughout the weekend, with live Q&As from Offerman himself on Friday and Saturday »
At a time when celebrity marriages are crumbling at a speed that makes us question our core assumptions that star love is the greatest kind of love, we can always make ourselves feel better by looking at the union of Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally. They've been very together for the last thirteen years, working and spending time together, sharing one e-mail address, and exuding a palpable sense that they really enjoy each other's company and silliness. So with the couple co-starring in the comedy Somebody Up There Likes Me, which opens in theaters today and is available on VOD, we thought it the perfect opportunity to look at the history of Earth's greatest love.1985 Megan Mullally moves to Los Angeles after years in the Chicago theater scene. 1997 Nick Offerman moves to Los Angeles after years in the Chicago theater scene. Nick's reason for moving: "I had a girlfriend at »
- Jesse David Fox
At first blush, Bob Byington's Somebody Up There Likes Me goes down like early Wes Anderson: tableaux that pass for scenes, a delicate pointillism in the soundtrack, and a shot at redemption among characters suffering from the unbearable rudderlessness of twee. The plot is fairly Andersonian, too, following the tragically impassive Max (Keith Poulson) as he lapses from one picturesque and well-scored marriage to another over the course of 25 years. The only fixture in Max's life is Sal (Nick Offerman, of Parks & Recreation immortality), a bearded would-be sage who serves alongside Max as a waiter at a steak house. Intermittent animations that recall Richard Linklater's Waking Life demarcate the five-year increments by which Byington works his time-lapse magic. A mag »
Title: Somebody Up There Likes Me Director: Bob Byington Starring: Keith Poulson, Nick Offerman, Jess Weixler, Kevin Corrigan, Kate Lyn Sheil, Stephanie Hunt, Marshall Bell, Jonathan Togo, Megan Mullally A delightfully deadpan relationship comedy that plays like a cross between something from Quentin Dupieux and Jared and Jerusha Hess, “Somebody Up There Likes Me” is an imaginative paean to world-weary nonchalance. Directed by Bob Byington, this subversive little treat flirts with absurdism but never tips over into hipster posturing in chronicling a bunch of domestic ennui and professional unhappiness that its characters pretty much seem to all shruggingly accept. After listless waiter Max Youngman (Keith Poulson, looking like a cousin [ Read More ]
The post Somebody Up There Likes Me Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
Note: Tribeca Film has just added an additional week-long run of the film in Los Angeles beginning on March 22 at the Sundance Sunset Cinema (8000 Sunset Blvd). Nick Offerman can add “theater usher” to his official resume. The heavily-mustached “Parks and Recreation” star literally held the door for me as I stepped into a screening of his latest film - writer/director Bob Byington’s indie comedy “Somebody Up There Likes Me” - at the Silent Movie Theater on L.A.’s Fairfax Avenue yesterday evening. Dressed casually in a beanie, jeans and cowboy boots, Offerman was on hand for a post-screening Q&A with special »
- Chris Eggertsen
As if specifically putting that theory to the test, the promo for Offerman's latest film, "Somebody Up There Likes Me," first presented by our fraternal twins at Cinemablend, is bizarre on a level that makes a David Lynch movie seem like the gag reel of Adam Sandler's "Grown Ups" by comparison.
Graced with more celebrities per capita than your everyday disaster relief telethon, the promo starts with Offerman's "Parks & Recreation" co-star Adam Scott confronting Offerman in his wood shop about not showing up to the P&R set for work that day.
Things get decidedly Nsfw from there.
- Nick Blake
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