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(2012)

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Lemon Review

Humans. Such a savage tribe. Complex beings who view heartwarming triumphs and delusional meltdowns with the same excitement. Life deals a bum hand now and again, which we like to see in our movies – something Janicza Bravo’s Lemon understands. A quirky, deadpan descent into emotional abandonment that tears one man apart day by day. Arthouse to the core, but with detrimental and divisive results. You can only endure so many jump-away cuts and vapid characters before dialogue becomes Charlie-Brown-teacher monotone. “Wah wah, wah wah,” cut to thrown cake. “Wah wah,” enter Megan Mullally. A formula always followed by the same question – “Why?”

Brett Gelman stars as Isaac, whose blind wife of 10 years just walked out for good. At the same time, his star theater pupil Alex (Michael Cera) is leaving for a major motion picture filming in Denmark. It doesn’t help that his agent (played by Jeff Garlin
See full article at We Got This Covered »

‘Drib’ Review: Brett Gelman Stars In a Bitter and Bizarre Mockumentary Satire of Branding Gone Wrong

‘Drib’ Review: Brett Gelman Stars In a Bitter and Bizarre Mockumentary Satire of Branding Gone Wrong
Okay, so let’s establish the facts about “Drib,” an unclassifiable meta-documentary satire that burns down the marketing industry and everyone in it: In 2014, a Los Angeles advertising company flew over a stunt comic/performance artist named Amir Asgharnejad (born in Iran, raised in Norway) in the hopes that he might anchor a high-concept advertisement for an unnamed energy drink company. Internet famous at the time thanks to a series of viral videos in which he gets the shit kicked out of him by strangers he antagonized on the street, Amir was hired to replicate his beatdowns as part of a broader content initiative of some kind. The plan hadn’t been fully approved, and the agency didn’t know that all of the assailants in Amir’s videos were paid accomplices, but the idea was to shoot the risqué footage, “leak” the faux-vérité spots to the media as part of a “cancelled” campaign,
See full article at Indiewire »

How Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, and Jody Hill Are Revolutionizing American Comedy and Beyond

How Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, and Jody Hill Are Revolutionizing American Comedy and Beyond
Audiences may not realize it, but Rough House Pictures has been a pivotal force in American filmmaking over the past decade.

People know Danny McBride as the snarky, self-aggrandizing star of HBO’s “Eastbound and Down” and “Vice Principals,” shows he created with fellow North Carolina School of the Arts alumni Jody Hill and David Gordon Green. But while McBride’s is the most public face, all three men have become influential figures in the film industry.

Green and McBride are writing the Blumhouse reboot of “Halloween,” while Hill is finishing his third film, a comedy starring Josh Brolin. Green has oscillated from the quiet, Southern gothic tales of “George Washington” and “All the Real Girls” to boisterous comedies like “Pineapple Express.” Hill’s debut, “Foot Fist Way,” got the attention of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who launched Hill’s TV career and gave him the momentum to direct his first studio film,
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Lemon’ Review: A Bizarre Comedy of Confused People From Janicza Bravo and Brett Gelman — Sundance 2017

‘Lemon’ Review: A Bizarre Comedy of Confused People From Janicza Bravo and Brett Gelman — Sundance 2017
Ever since her 2011 short film “Eat,” filmmaker Janicza Bravo has presented a baffling vision of absurd circumstances that defy simple categorization. Throughout subsequent shorts such as “Gregory Go Boom” and “Man Rots From the Head” (both of which star Michael Cera, in the former as a suicidal paraplegic), Bravo’s peculiar style maintains an unnerving quality that feels like cringe-comedy but often takes a sharp turn into odd and alarming glimpses of angry, pathetic characters.

Lemon,” her feature-length debut, continues that indelible tendency with its deranged portrait of a self-involved man (Brett Gelman, the director’s husband and co-writer) so ruthlessly unpleasant that everything he does contributes to the destruction of his life. Enhanced by a number of notable comedic actors entering uncharted terrain, it’s the kind of movie that makes you laugh and flinch in equal measures, and despite some messier twists, never ceases to move in surprising directions.
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Wilson’ Review: Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern Are Cruel, and Kind of Funny, in Daniel Clowes Adaptation

‘Wilson’ Review: Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern Are Cruel, and Kind of Funny, in Daniel Clowes Adaptation
Wilson” is pitched somewhere between “Bad Santa” and Rick Alverson’s “The Comedy,” inhabiting a familiar strain of American movies about profoundly unlikable people. It’s based on the 2010 graphic novel of the same name by Daniel Clowes, who excels at examining the lives of somber characters trapped in drab, isolating worlds. But even as the screenplay (which Clowes adapted) contains much of the source material’s pitch-black humor, it also falls short of realizing its subtle vision of an angry recluse learning to make peace with his surroundings.

A crazy-eyed Woody Harrelson portrays Wilson, a loudmouthed, middle-aged creep, and his performance captures the character’s fundamental appeal. Tackling this material was a tricky proposition, but the movie pulls off some endearing qualities thanks to director Craig Johnson, who last achieved a balance of gloomy comedy and a dark backdrop with “Skeleton Twins.” With “Wilson,” he appropriates the graphic novel
See full article at Indiewire »

Weekly Rushes. Sofia Coppola Starts Shooting, Friedkin Witnesses Exorcism, Jia Zhangke's Noodle Restaurant

  • MUBI
NEWSSofia Coppola has begun shooting her remake of Don Siegel's cult favorite The Beguiled, a genre defying Gothic about a Civil War soldier who recovers from injuries in an all-girl school in an old mansion in the South.American distributors Kino Lorber have launched a Kickstarter to fund "a collection of landmark American films directed by women, digitally restored from archive film elements." There's 16 days and a little over $10,000 to go to meet their goal. Give a helping hand if you can!Wellsnet reports on the excruciating wait for Orson Welles' unfinished film The Other Side of the World, whose crazy legal and editing history was supposed to have been resolved by now.Chinese director Jia Zhangke has opened a noodle restaurant named after his last film, Mountains May Depart, in Shanxi Province's Fenyang, the hometown of Jia and the setting of so many of his great movies.
See full article at MUBI »

Danny McBride, David Gordon Green and Jody Hill Sign On as Executive Producers of New Documentary ‘Fraud’

  • Indiewire
Danny McBride, David Gordon Green and Jody Hill Sign On as Executive Producers of New Documentary ‘Fraud’
Rough House Pictures, the joint venture between David Gordon Green, Jody Hill and Danny McBride, announced today that they have signed on as executive producers of the new documentary “Fraud,” ahead of its Los Angeles premiere at the AFI Festival next week. Written and directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp (“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”), the film features a family’s home movies that document a crime spree and the bid to outrun the consequences. Born from a series of innocuous YouTube videos, “Fraud” reveals one family’s struggle for the American Dream and the types of stories we tell online.

Read More: ‘Vice Principals’ Cast and Producers Defend the Show’s Depiction of White Guys Taking Down an African-American Woman

“The whole time I was watching it I was thinking, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this before,'” said Jody Hill. “I couldn’t look away. I had to
See full article at Indiewire »

Stake Land Sequel The Stakelander Completes Production

Stake Land Sequel The Stakelander Completes Production
Fans of the apocalyptic vampire film Stake Land have been looking forward to the continued adventures of Martin and Mister since the film was released in 2010, and while a Stake Land TV series was previously in development, Dark Sky Films, Glass Eye Pix, and Syfy have announced that filming has finished on a Stake Land sequel film called The Stakelander, with Connor Paolo and Nick Damici reprising their roles from the original movie.

Directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen (2015’s Body) from a screenplay by co-star Damici (who also co-wrote Stake Land), The Stakelander will be released on the Syfy Channel. An official premiere date has yet to be revealed, but we’ll be sure to keep Daily Dead readers updated on further announcements. For full details, including the sequel’s synopsis and additional cast members, check out the official press release:

Press Release: Dark Sky Films, Glass Eye Pix
See full article at DailyDead »

[Tribeca Review] Always Shine

With the excess of low-budget, retreat-in-the-woods dramas often finding characters hashing out their insecurities through a meta-narrative, a certain initial resistance can occur when presented with such a derivative scenario at virtually every film festival. While Sophia Takal‘s psychological drama Always Shine ultimately stumbles, the chemistry of its leads and a sense of foreboding dread in its formal execution ensures its heightened view of a fractured relationship is a mostly successful one.

Beth (Caitlin FitzGerald) is a rising actress, internally battling with the requested nudity for her various gigs, yet sheepishly enjoying the money and increased attention it brings as she makes her way into the spotlight. Meanwhile, her best friend, Anna (Mackenzie Davis), is struggling to break through in the same field, acting in anything that comes her way — even if it’s an avant-garde short that may or may not feature a paycheck. With the pair feeling disconnected over the past months,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Round-Up: Mezco’s Chucky Action Figure, Shudder Labs, Hologrid: Monster Battle, Volumes Of Blood Blu-ray / DVD, Haunting At Foster Cabin VOD

This five-inch Chucky figure from Mezco Toyz doesn’t ship until this fall, but he can be pre-ordered right now. Also in this round-up: an update on Shudder Labs’ 2016 filmmaking programs, gaming details and a trailer for HoloGrid: Monster Battle, Volumes of Blood Blu-ray / DVD info, and Haunting at Foster Cabin‘s VOD debut details.

Chucky Action Figure: Press Release: “Chucky, the homicidal doll who contains the spirit of Charles Lee Ray, a serial killer better known as “The Lakeshore Strangler,” is now a 5-inch action figure, Mezco’s latest edition to its ever-expanding line of Chucky merchandise.

Mezco’s designers have created an all-new sculpt in an all new scale that not only captures the look of Chucky but the very essence of his red-haired menace. Every detail has been captured; from his classic coveralls to his striped shirt. His glistening, insane eyes, his sneering lips, and his shocking
See full article at DailyDead »

New to Streaming: ‘The Revenant,’ ‘James White,’ ‘A Brighter Summer Day,’ ‘The Pearl Button,’ and More

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 the interwebs. 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 Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Baskin (Can Evrenol)

It starts off with a late night dinner scene between a quintet of cops telling crazy stories and losing their temper with the help straight out of a Tarantino movie and continues on its descent to hell with a writhing, mashing, sexual bloodletting orgy calling to mind E. Elias Merhige’s Begotten. This is Can Evrenol‘s debut feature Baskin (adapted from his
See full article at The Film Stage »

Recommended Discs & Deals of the Week: ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Spotlight,’ ‘The Big Sleep,’ and More

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks)

L.A. private eye Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) takes on a blackmail case…and follows a trail peopled with murderers, pornographers, nightclub rogues, the spoiled rich and more. Raymond Chandler‘s legendary gumshoe solves it in hard-boiled style – and style is what The Big Sleep is all about. Director Howard Hawks serves up snappy character encounters (particularly those of Bogart and Lauren Bacall), brisk pace and atmosphere galore. This Blu-ray doubles your pleasure,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Round-Up: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Docu Trailer, Judas Ghost DVD Contest, Like Me, Everlasting, Hidden, The Final Project

A new Indiegogo campaign has been launched for the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark documentary. Also in this round-up: a Judas Ghost DVD giveaway, Like Me production details, the trailer for Everlasting, the short film Hidden, and a look at The Final Project.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Press Release: "Chicago, Il - January 20, 2016 - Hot off the heels of news that Guillermo Del Toro is producing a film based on the nostalgic children's books Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, a documentary about the books is in the works. It has been in production for two years, is armed with an official trailer, and is now trying to finish in 2016.

The upcoming documentary is backed by the family of the late author, the trailer featuring both his wife and grandson. The doc will explore subjects such as the banning of children’s books in America,
See full article at DailyDead »

Interview: Director Rick Alverson Knows That’s ‘Entertainment’

Chicago – It’s original, it’s off-kilter, it’s different – it’s the new film “Entertainment.” Rick Alverson has fashioned a road picture, with an offbeat stand up comic trying to get home. The director has some fiery talent behind that journey, including Gregg Turkington as The Comedian, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera and Tim Heidecker.

Rick Alverson is from Richmond, Virginia, and has had a varied career directing music videos, as well as being a musician himself. His feature directorial debut was “The Builder” (2010), followed by “New Jerusalem” (2011) and the festival favorite “The Comedy” (2012). “Entertainment” is an expression of a radical voice, one that challenges the conventions of storytelling and character.

Gregg Turkington is The Comedian in ‘Entertainment,’ Directed by Rick Alverson

Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures

Rick Alverson spoke to HollywoodChicago.com via phone about his expression.

HollywoodChicago.com: One of the best realities of the film is that
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Interview: Director Rick Alverson Talks 'Entertainment,' Deleted Scenes, And Going Widescreen

Rick Alverson's "Entertainment" is a bit like a Rickroll, only instead of the video for "Never Gonna Give You Up" popping up on your browser unexpectedly, the breezy film ushers you into a world of deserted nightclubs where the universe's most aggressively terrible comedian recites jokes to an audience that only becomes hostile when they can be moved from indifference. Fans of Neil Hamburger's anti-comedy will recognize Gregg Turkington's purposefully abrasive stylings, but when that act, which Turkington has been honing for more than twenty years, typically ends when the lights come up, "Entertainment" follows the Hamburger character offstage, where his life is even more miserable and unsettling than you'd expect. Like the director's previous "The Comedy," Alverson's "Entertainment" attacks and eventually disintegrates the boundary between satirical discomfort and full-body agony; you don't want to watch, but you must. Read More:...
See full article at The Playlist »

Review: Rick Alverson's Nightmarish And Hilarious 'Entertainment' Starring Gregg Turkington

Filmmaker Rick Alverson has made some absorbing and intimate indie works. "The Builder" is a terrifically underrated gem, and “New Jerusalem” coaxes another strong lead performance from musician Will Oldham. But it's Alverson’s provocative and pointed collaborations with comedian Tim Heidecker that have proven to be layered and rich next-level works. The deeply misunderstood “The Comedy” — a hilariously confrontational, but also alarming examination of the age of ironic distance — is an incendiary piece de resistance. But Alverson may have outdone himself with “Entertainment,” an even more abrasive, alienating, and nightmarish masterwork about the cruel futility of connection, performance, and existence. Read More: Gregg Turkington Goes To The Edge In Exclusive Clip From Rick Alverson's 'Entertainment' Comedian Gregg Turkington stars as Neill, essentially playing a loose riff on the actor's alter ego Neil Hamburger (the world’s worst, most insufferable...
See full article at The Playlist »

New to Streaming: ‘Entertainment,’ ‘Shaun the Sheep,’ ‘American Ultra,’ ‘Anna Karenina,’ and More

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 the interwebs. 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 Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

American Ultra (Nima Nourizadeh)

From its first few shots, it’s clear that American Ultra is removed from the relatively grounded drama of Greg Mottola’s underrated Adventureland, the last film that paired Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. We first meet Eisenberg’s bloodied and beaten Mike Howell detained and chained to a table in a septic interrogation room. As an agent throws photographic evidence of
See full article at The Film Stage »

Rick Alverson Talks ‘Entertainment,’ Neil Hamburger, and Finding a Movie’s Shape

For as unpleasant and uninviting as his films might sometimes feel, Rick Alverson is rather friendly and open in conversation. I wasn’t surprised, having spoken to him when The Comedy was released three years ago, but the latest endeavor, Entertainment, might be even more savage an indictment of certain mentalities and mindsets that its star has become (in)famous for. At the center is Gregg Turkington, whose character — despite only being called “The Comedian” — is his own Neil Hamburger, a rough-voiced, abrasive-beyond-reproach stand-up who’s earned a reputation through years of touring. (Click here to get a sample.)

I wasn’t interested in asking about the meaning behind specific moments or how he really feels about these characters. There’s plenty to consider, no matter how you feel about Entertainment in the long run — a week after viewing it, I’m still not certain — which meant our time together
See full article at The Film Stage »

That's 'Entertainment': The Story Behind the Cringe-Comedy of the Year

That's 'Entertainment': The Story Behind the Cringe-Comedy of the Year
If you were to meet Australia-born, Arizona-raised musician Gregg Turkington, you'd find a somewhat shy, easygoing 47-year-old guy, the kind of person who seems more comfortable doing voiceover work for shows like Adventure Time than baiting a paying audience. But if you were to encounter his alter-ego in the indie cringe-comedy Entertainment — a sweaty, Borscht Belt-style stand-up with a penchant for phlegmy throat-clearing and telling rancid, rat-a-tat-tat one-liners like "Why did God create Domino's Pizza? To punish humanity for their complacency in letting the Holocaust happen" — you might be tempted
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Gregg Turkington and Rick Alverson talk ‘Entertainment’ and getting inside Neil Hamburger

The comedian at the center of the new film Entertainment takes the stage of a prison in a cheap, ill-fitting tuxedo and oversized glasses. He has an oily, stringy comb over that reveals more than it conceals. He’s clutching three water bottles under his arm and his grating, high-pitched squeal of a voice repeating the word “Wuuhhyyyy???” does not make his act any more endearing, let alone “entertaining”. Thankfully, his offensive, vulgar joke about the difference between Courtney Love and The American Flag (you wouldn’t urinate on the flag, he says) kills.

Those in the know of anti-comedy on the par of Tim and Eric will recognize this comedian as Neil Hamburger. But Rick Alverson’s new film Entertainment, opening today in theaters and on VOD, stands apart from the cult cred Hamburger brings with him. It’s not a documentary or a behind-the-scenes look and doesn’t
See full article at SoundOnSight »
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