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Arriving on Blu-ray/DVD this week is Mike Birbiglia‘s impressive sophomore feature, Don’t Think Twice, starring Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, and Tami Sagher. We’ve now teamed with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to give away one Blu-ray to a reader. All entries must be received by 11:59 Pm Est on Sunday, December 11th.
To enter, do the first two steps and then each additional one counts as another entry into the contest.
1. Like The Film Stage on Facebook
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3. Comment in the box on Facebook with your favorite comedy of the year so far.
4. Retweet the following tweet:
We're giving away @birbigs' #DontThinkTwice on Blu-ray. Rt this & follow us to enter. Details: https://t.co/JlILglmeYe pic.twitter.com/uO2WDtlXFO
— The Film Stage »
- The Film Stage
Editor’s Note: Click here for more information about the indie films available from Movies on Demand.
Comedian Mike Birbiglia first showed his filmmaking chops with his 2012 debut “Sleepwalk With Me,” which won the Best of Next Audience Award at Sundance, but he truly came into his own as a director with this year’s wonderful “Don’t Think Twice.” A favorite at SXSW and Tribeca, the comedy-drama opened to rave reviews over the summer and continues to chart on the list of the highest grossing indies of 2016.
Birbiglia plays an improv comedian along with other favorites like Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher and Chris Gethard. Their group is shaken up by a “Saturday Night Live”-style sketch comedy show that could give certain members a next leg up on the road to success, which creates tension among the members and forces each to get self-relfective about their artistry. »
- Zack Sharf
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
An ecstatically original work of film-history-philosophy with a digital-cinema palette of acutely crafted compositions. Amour Fou seamlessly blends together the paintings of Vermeer, the acting of Bresson, and the psychological undercurrents of a Dostoevsky novel. It is an intensely thrilling and often slyly comic work that manages to combine a passionately dispassionate love story of the highest order with a larger socio-historical examination of a new era of freedom, »
- The Film Stage
Awards season is a brutal one in Hollywoodland. Plenty of worthy — but perhaps “smaller” — films get left behind as other, larger, starrier features push to the front to collect their accolades. But filmmaker and comedian Mike Birbiglia is hopeful that his latest film, “Don’t Think Twice,” doesn’t suffer the same kind of fate as other exciting offerings that never quite push past the gold-plated finish line.
“Don’t Think Twice” marks Birbiglia’s second directorial outing, following the also well-received “Sleepwalk With Me,” and has enjoyed a slow-burn theatrical release that kicked off quite auspiciously with a July limited release from The Film Arcade that saw it earn a very impressive $92,835 in its first weekend in just one theater. (All these many months later, it’s still playing »
- Kate Erbland
As the specialized film industry concentrates on the Toronto International Film Festival, new movies do continue to open around the country.
$42,000 in 34 theaters; PTA: $1,235
The key number isn’t the slight theatrical take. It’s the reported $400,000 initial take on streaming platforms, where it is ranked best among independent and documentary releases. “Star Trek” and Leonard Nimoy fans found the vehicle to connect with for the 50th anniversary of the original TV show’s debut.
What comes next: Expect ongoing interest for this, mostly in home viewing.
“Author: The Jt Leroy Story” (Magnolia) – Metacritic: 74; Festivals include: Sundance, San Francisco, Seattle 2016
$25,000 in 5 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $5,000
A disappointing »
- Tom Brueggemann
This weekend brings a rare event as three very different specialty films face off nationally on between 800-900 theaters. Debuting “Southside With You” (Roadside Attractions) and “Hands of Stone” (Weinstein) go up against “Hell or High Water” (Lionsgate) in its third week.
The winner is “Hell or High Water,” which after this weekend’s success could wind up the year’s highest-grossing specialized release. “Southside With You” also scored high numbers, with “Hands of Stone” not up to its level.
Five Sundance releases are among this week’s new films, ranging from relatively wide opener “Southside” to Video on Demand entry “The Intervention.” As the Toronto Film Festival looms, the Park City event, despite offering half as many films, remains the biggest festival for acquisition titles.
$3,065,000 in 813 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $3,762
A strong initial result »
- Tom Brueggemann
Playing in 100 locations around the country right now is the sophomore writing/directing effort of comedian turned filmmaker Mike Birbiglia. He made a splash at Sundance a few years ago with the charming, semi-autobiographical Sleepwalk with Me, and now he’s back with a movie called Don’t Think Twice, focusing on a group of tight-knit friends […]
The post Lol: The ‘Don’t Think Twice’ Cast Gets Infected with the Viral Video Virus appeared first on /Film. »
- Ethan Anderton
Late August is not prime release time for top-end specialized films. While the quality of new entries this week is better than usual, two Sundance premieres, A24’s “Morris from America” and Werner Herzog’s documentary “Lo and Behold” are also hitting prime exposure on Video on Demand.
The best limited theatrical opening went to rookie director Natalie Portman’s “A Tale of Love and Darkness” (Focus), shot in her native Israel. The breakout of the month is CBS Films’ second-week expanding “Hell or High Water” (Lionsgate), which looks headed for Top Ten-level grosses over upcoming weeks.
“A Tale of Love and Darkness” (Focus World) – Metacritic: 55; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2015
$36,000 in 2 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $18,000
Natalie Portman’s Israeli-made drama did not garner strong critical response at its Cannes debut last year. But the movie star is campaigning hard to make it work, with appearances on both »
- Tom Brueggemann
After one of the best openings of the summer, Texas western “Hell or High Water” could become one of the strongest specialized releases of 2016. This bank robbery and pursuit thriller debuted at Cannes and scored among the best reviews of the year. CBS Films and Lionsgate opted to take the easier commercial route rather than chase awards via the standard September festival rollout.
“Hell or High Water” (Lionsgate) – Metacritic: 86; Festivals include: Cannes 2016
$592,000 in 32 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $18,500
A gamble paid off big-time for CBS Films, who acquired this independent Texas story of two struggling brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) who rob a bank to save the family farm. Distributed by Lionsgate, “Hell or High Water” debuted well at Cannes. Knowing it had rave reviews, CBS decided to go broader than »
- Tom Brueggemann
It’s not easy being thirty. At least that seems like the case for Mike Birbiglia. The comedian, actor, writer, and now director isn’t quite at the level of Eeyore, but he’s definitely one of indie cinema’s recent favorite sad sacks. A consistent theme in his work is a male character (always himself) self-analyzing his life and career and pining after the “shoulda been me” moments that could have propelled his career. Part of this introspection is centered around how the thirties is ultimately the final nail in your budding professional career. At that point you might as well turn off the microphone and settle down into a life of domesticity. Well… at least in the eyes of Birbiglia.
I admit that I wasn’t much of a fan of his previous film – the directorial debut Sleepwalk With Me. It’s consistent down beat tone became a slog to get through. »
- Michael Haffner
For years, an improve group called The Commune have been the stars of their small New York improv theater. The members of the group, Mile (Mike Birbiglia), Samantha (Gillian Jacobs), Jack (Keegan-Michael Key), Allison (Kate Micucci), Bill (Chris Gethard), and Lindsay (Tami Sagher) entertain audiences night after night by performing as a finely-tuned troop. But, by day, they have to support themselves by working soul-crushing menial jobs.
Then, after they learn that their beloved theater is closing down and a hit comedy television show, ala Saturday Night Live, is looking for talent, the group dynamic begins to fracture and it may be time for the group to stop dreaming and get on with their lives.
- Mike Tyrkus
Summer is chugging along at the specialty box office.
Another acclaimed Sundance 2016 entry, Ira Sachs’ “Little Men” (Magnolia), showed a credible opening in New York and Los Angeles, as two of last week’s Park City 2016 premieres, “Indignation” (Roadside Attractions) and “Gleason” (Open Road), expanded this weekend to varying results.
The biggest recent success, Woody Allen’s “Café Society” continued to do well, but it’s still below three of his recent hits. Mike Birbiglia’s “Don’t Think Twice” continues to impress. Comedy is the common denominator in their broader appeal.
As usual, Netflix reported no grosses for its token theatrical dates for Mark Osborne’s animated feature “The Little Prince,” the children’s classic adaptation that was initially scheduled to be a Paramount release last March.
“Little Men” (Magnolia) – Metacritic: 86; Festivals include: Sundance 2016
$32,250 in 2 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $16,125
Ira Sachs’ most recent film joins the »
- Tom Brueggemann
In 11 Questions, The A.V. Club asks interesting people 11 interesting questions—and then asks them to suggest one for our next interviewee.
At this point Ira Glass and his voice are synonymous with This American Life. But radio isn’t his only medium these days. He’s also a film producer. In 2006 his name was on the pre-Bridesmaids Paul Feig comedy, Unaccompanied Minors, based on a This American Life segment. Since then, however, he’s mainly worked on Tal storyteller Mike Birbiglia’s directorial efforts: 2012’s Sleepwalk With Me, which he co-wrote, and the recently released Don’t Think Twice. Don’t Think Twice follows the members of a team of improv comedians as they navigate their careers, their friendships suffering friction as they achieve varying degrees of success. It’s one of the few movies Glass has seen more than once, thanks to his ...
- Esther Zuckerman
Three Sundance premieres are boosting the late summer specialty box office as “Indignation” (Roadside Attractions), “Equity” (Sony Pictures Classics) and “Gleason” (Amazon/Open Road) lead openers. Several more including Woody Allen’s “Café Society” (Amazon/Lionsgate) are holding well with positive results beyond just initial dates.
Several documentaries getting play continue to impress, and two more beyond “Gleason” scored initial New York attention: “Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil” (Kino Lorber) and “Miss Sharon Jones!” (Starz).
$89,072 in 4 theaters; PTA: $22,268
After a long career as a producer-screenwriter (Ang Lee’s”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Brokeback Mountain”) and distributor (Focus Features before Universal revamped the company), James Schamus directed his adaptation of Philip Roth’s early 1950s Oberlin-set story of a Jewish working class kid trying to adapt. After his earlier run of success, the reaction to his debut is gratifying. »
- Tom Brueggemann
Following loosely in the footsteps of Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, and countless others, Birbiglia pulled from what he knew best in his 2012 film to play a comic who, like himself, suffers a severe sleepwalking disorder. The movie was culled from his one-man off-Broadway show and book of the same name.
Continue reading »
- Nigel M Smith
Chicago – When comedian/writer/director Mike Birbiglia is in his element, as during the interviews he conducted at The iO Theater in Chicago, he is relaxed and ardently philosophical. He has written and directed a new film, “Don’t Think Twice,” which is about a improvisation comedy troupe, but it’s also about life.
“Don’t Think Twice” – besides being a clever play on the famous Bob Dylan song title – is essentially about the stages of life, and how we react to our own ambitions. The members of the comedy troupe – portrayed by (clockwise in the picture below, starting top left) Mike Birbiglia, Kate Miccuci, Chris Gethard, Gillian Jacobs, Keegan-Michael Key and Tami Sagner – are at a crossroads in their professional and personal lives, and have to deal with the sudden uptick of fame to one of their members. As Birbiglia did with his first feature, ‘Sleepwalk with Me,’ he »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Mike Birbiglia is pulling back the curtain on the feuds and resentments that consume comedians when one of their own hits it big.
In his second feature, “Don’t Think Twice,” Birbiglia depicts a tight-knit improv troop that starts to unravel when one of its members gets cast on a popular comedy program that seems a lot like “Saturday Night Live.”It’s an opportunity for the stand-up comic to explore the nature of success, the fear of failure, and the way that people in their thirties began to grapple with the realization that they may not make it after all.
Birbiglia not only directs, he wrote the film, produced it, and stars alongside Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs. Best known for his stand-up comedy and one-man shows, he previously directed 2012’s “Sleepwalk With Me,” an autobiographical look at his sleepwalking disorder. “Don’t Think Twice” opened in a single »
- Brent Lang
Mike Birbiglia’s “Don’t Think Twice” (The Film Arcade) is the latest mid-summer hit, joining the recent turnaround in art house fortunes. Following his template for “Sleepwalk With Me,” Birbiglia & Co. boosted box office via frequent appearances at their New York cinema. The already strong film surged to a huge initial $90,000 number with many sold out shows on multiple screens.
Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society” (Lionsgate) continued to improve on the director’s recent performance, and could end up besting two other recent strong openers. “Captain Fantastic” (Bleecker Street) and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (The Orchard) continue to have strong expansions; both could end up over $10 million as well.
Asian wide-audience commercial releases are performing well in domestic play, with entries from South Korea, India, the Philippines along with China continuing to deliver strong niche results.
“Don’t Think Twice” (Film Arcade) – Metacritic: 83; Festivals include: South by Southwest, »
- Tom Brueggemann
“Star Trek Beyond” debuted to a solid $59.6 million this weekend, signaling that after six television series, 13 movies and 50 years in the pop culture conversation, there’s still life left in one of Hollywood’s most durable franchises.
And there are more intergalactic missions to come. As boon to Trekkies, Paramount took the unusual step of announcing yet another sequel was in the works even before this latest USS Enterprise adventure sailed into theaters. The studio has lined up Chris Hemsworth to reprise his role as Capt. Kirk’s father despite the fact that he was incinerated in a spaceship disaster in a previous film. In science-fiction, it seems, death is merely a temporary predicament.
“You can count on one hand the brands that have this kind of longevity and viability over time,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “These characters are so clearly defined and people just respond to their sense of camaraderie. »
- Brent Lang
Ira Glass thinks it’s crazy for anyone to make a film. Ever.
But when his “This American Life” contributor Mike Birbiglia wanted to follow their 2012 collaboration “Sleepwalk with Me” with a film about an improv comedy troupe, Glass went along for another ride.
“It’s very hard for anybody who tries to make things for a living,” Glass said in our video interview at SXSW the morning after the film’s rousing premiere. “It’s hard to make anything that’s good… It struck me even more this time how many things have to go right, in every scene, every sound cue, it’s almost like every minute of the film is another 15 things that you can screw up.”
But Birbiglia, who learned a lot writing, directing, starring, and releasing “Sleepwalk with Me,” was up for the challenge. “It’s like nine art forms — you’ve got photography, acting, »
- Anne Thompson
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