Akiva Schaffer

Lonely Island The Wack Album

It’s been four years since anyone thought a Saturday Night Live sketch deserved a shot at full-length featuredom. Four sweet, blissful years, unburdened by thoughts of Bill Hader’s Stefon twitching his way through 90 minutes of disappointment. But now that heavenly streak has been broken. Deadline reports that Universal has bestowed a grand “you know, this might not suck” to a Lonely Island movie. All three Islanders — Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer — will star in and produce the flick, with Taccone and Schaffer co-directing. Judd Apatow will also throw his weight behind the boys and also act as producer on the film, which will be “set in the world of music.” No word if that actually means a musical, but this is The Lonely Island, so we can stamp that with a definitive yeah, probably a musical. Saturday Night Live should be patting itself on the back. The Lonely Island are, without a shadow of a doubt, the most humongous thing the show has birthed in a very long time. The cast right now? Weak sauce, at least while still staffed with a pack of newbies and Kenan Thompson (who will continue his run on SNL until death then be stuffed and propped up on set so that he can remain a cast member for centuries to come). Hitching its wagon to a Lonely Island film is the smartest thing SNL could do right now.

read more...

It can be difficult making friends once you’re past a certain age because the older people get the more set in their ways they become. Youth offers any number of bonding experiences that bring people together from grade school up through college, but once you enter the real world those opportunities start to dwindle. Husbands and wives, children, jobs, existing friends…these things tend to limit the time you have for meeting new people, becoming familiar with them and building new relationships. Past the age of thirty a catalyst of some kind is required to draw people together on short notice. Something big is good. Something of planetary importance is even better. Evan (Ben Stiller) is constantly on the lookout for friends and has formed more clubs than Tracy Flick ever dared to dream. He keeps busy with running club and Spanish for Senior Citizens, but when one of his Costco employees is viciously murdered Evan decides to form a Neighborhood Watch. Franklin (Jonah Hill) failed every test the police department threw at him, so the opportunity to join a “vigilante squad” appeals to him greatly. Bob (Vince Vaughn) is a recent transplant to town with his wife and teen daughter, and he jumps at the chance to hang out with the guys. And Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) is simply a responsible newcomer to our American shores. Together they form a local neighborhood watch. Together they will decide Earth’s fate as they discover and attempt to stop an alien invasion. Together, if […]

read more...

The Dark Knight Rises

Alright, so June didn’t exactly kick us into high gear the way it should have. We didn’t get another Avengers, a movie everyone lost their nuts over. From the blockbusters to the little guys, there was a lack in unanimous love and praise to be found. We did finally get Prometheus, a movie which could go down as this summer’s main topic of movie conversation over whether “It was awesome! No, it sucked!” but we get those all too often during this time of year. If we’re going to get one movie to feed the millions with true, big summer entertainment where all the harshest critics will be beaten across the world, then we got one ‘lil superhero movie coming up that may provoke such a reaction… The Amazing Spider-Man! Actually, no, but Marc Webb‘s reboot does pass the time nicely and, at the very least, gives us a new Peter Parker we can care about. But that doesn’t mean it made this list. Find out what did:

read more...

Andy Samberg‘s comedic sensibility isn’t exactly what one would label as mainstream. From the epic Laser Cats series, the Lonely Island sketches, to the overlooked Hot Rod, his brand of humor can be somewhat of an acquired taste. Since leaving SNL, it’ll be interesting to see if he’ll stick with that tone or, as he says he hopes to, give a grounded Apatowian performance someday. In the latest Happy Madison Picture, That’s My Boy, Samberg doesn’t give that realistic performance he’s talking about. When you’re acting with Vanilla Ice or going one-on-one with James Caan, realism certainly isn’t the goal. But, as Samberg explains, the film also features the sentimental side Sandler’s broad comedies usually play up. Here’s what That’s My Boy star Andy Samberg had to say about his knack for taking a beating, over thinking comedy, and why an even more bizarre cut of Hot Rod deserves a Criterion release:

read more...

After five long years of waiting for Akiva Schaffer to direct a big screen follow-up to his ludicrous 2007 comedy, Hot Rod, the teaser trailer for his new film, Neighborhood Watch, finally hit the Internet back in February, promising more hilarity to come. But before excitement could really build for the film, its marketing efforts hit a pretty huge snag. A Florida teen named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a member of his local neighborhood watch, the story became national news, and suddenly Neighborhood Watch’s teaser – which featured its protagonists suspiciously eying and threatening neighborhood children – looked to be in really poor taste. In response to the incident, the trailer was pulled from theaters. Though the aftermath of the Martin shooting is ongoing and is still fresh in everyone’s minds, Schaffer and company still have a movie to promote, so Neighborhood Watch is back with a new title and a new red band trailer. From this point forward the film seems to be going by the name The Watch, and its new marketing has shifted its focus away from a group of overzealous men terrorizing their neighborhood and turned the spotlight more toward its alien invasion elements.

read more...

Neighborhood Watch

The tragic killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin is such a widely reported and consistently commented-upon national news item that it was bound to have impact beyond the family of the victim and the community in which it took place. The details of the shooting have yet to be poured over in a courtroom setting, which will probably entail another long stretch of media attention, and already the effects of the story have started to hit Hollywood. More specifically, they’ve affected the marketing of Akiva Schaffer’s upcoming comedy, Neighborhood Watch, which stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade as a quartet of overzealous members of their local neighborhood watch program. The story and the movie are being connected because Martin’s shooting came at the hands of a man who was both a member of a similar program, and also thought to be by many overzealous in his pulling of the trigger. The real big problem is that the film’s teaser trailer features a moment in which Hill’s character makes a gun with his finger and pulls the trigger while it’s pointed at a group of neighborhood kids. As you can imagine, that plays as being fairly offensive in light of recent events, so Fox has pulled the ad and the film’s first poster from Florida markets.

read more...

Neighborhood Watch

The first glimpse we’re getting of Akiva Schaffer’s star-studded new comedy Neighborhood Watch certainly isn’t giving us much of a look at what the plot is going to be—and I guess that’s why they call it a teaser—but there still seems to be something a little off with the way they’re introducing this one to the world. The slow motion footage of lame suburban guys trying to look hard while driving, the slightly out of date rap song that makes up the soundtrack, somehow it all adds up to make something that feels a little less like a wide-release comedy that’s about to hit theaters and a little more like the funny new show that’s about to debut after Weeds on Showtime.

read more...

Neighborhood Watch has had a pretty dicey past, but under the eye of director Akiva Schaffer it seems to now be coming together nicely. The film has a new script penned by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg ready to go, and a bunch of casting maybes have become casting confirmations. Ben Stiller is set to star as a city guy who moves out to the suburbs and gets roped into joining a nutty neighborhood watch program. Big time comedic talents Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill have signed on to fill out the watch. Rachel Getting Married actress Rosemarie DeWitt has been tapped to play the Stiller character’s wife. And now another big name is in negotiations to hop on boar as well. Almost Famous actor Billy Crudup is the latest addition, and according to Heat Vision, he’s negotiating to play the character of a creepy and weird neighbor who catches the watch’s attention. Seeing as past synopsis of the film’s plot have pointed to the fact that Stiller and his new buddies find themselves stumbling into an alien plot to overthrow the planet, I think it’s probably a good bet that we’ve just found ourselves our first alien. Seems like a good choice to me. Crudup is just too handsome. It’s… suspicious.

read more...

Things seem to finally be coming together quite nicely for the long troubled comedy Neighborhood Watch. After a period of uncertainty where it was having trouble getting financed, it now has two big name comedic actors signed on to star in Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. Sure, they may not be the freshest faces in Hollywood, and they might have been even bigger names a few years ago, but they’ve got a couple of in-the-now screenwriters, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, to take a pass at and freshen up the long gestating script they’re working with. Plus, they’ve got an up and coming voice in The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer to direct. After failing as a Will Ferrell vehicle, Neighborhood Watch might be set up to be the most relevant things that Stiller and Vaughn have done in a while. One sign that a film is really going full steam ahead in its production is when it starts filling out its supporting cast, and this one seems to be doing that right now. In the last day or so there have been several stories popping up about new faces being added. The first rumor, and the one that’s most likely, is that according to Heat Vision, Rachel Getting Married actress Rosemarie DeWitt is close to signing on as Stiller’s wife. If you remember the synopsis of this one, Stiller plays a city boy who is forced to move out to the boring suburbs, and DeWitt’s character would be the reason […]

read more...

Way back in 2009 there was supposed to be a movie called Neighborhood Watch starring Will Ferrel and directed by Wedding Crashers’ David Dobkin, but talent clashed with studio to the point that it didn’t ever happen. Fox isn’t a studio to just lie down and die however. I guess somebody in charge must really like the project, because a whole new wave of talent has been tossed at the script. Things didn’t work out with Ferrell and Dobkin creatively, but recently Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have written a new draft of the script. You might have heard of them, they did stuff like Superbad and Pineapple Express. Oh yeah, and Rogen has acted in so many movies over the last five years that you’re probably sick of him. But don’t worry, Rogen isn’t the new guy rumored to star. Now that there’s a spiffy new version of the script written by top talent comedy mega-star Ben Stiller is being courted to star in the film. Oh. His character would be a city boy who ends up moving to the suburbs and joining the neighborhood watch. What might seem like a pretty boring gig proves to be nothing of the sort when he finds himself right in the middle of some sort of extraterrestrial cover-up. Sounds goofy, so it’s probably going to need a goofy guy to direct.

read more...

Bill Hader has been pretty successful in spinning his Saturday Night Live exposure into a film career so far. Chances are, if a comedy was released in the last three years, Bill Hader was probably in it for at least a couple minutes. But usually all he does is show up in a small role, do some of his clueless, uptight, Bill Hader shtick, and then move on to the next one. Now that he’s paid some dues, it looks like the funnyman is finally looking to move in a more serious direction. He’s got a couple movies in the works that not only put him in bigger roles, but also look to allow him to expand his acting experience in different directions. Hader and Hot Rod director Akiva Schaffer are working together on a film called Henchman, which Hader described to The Playlist by saying,  “The film is about two guys who don’t realize it, but they’re two henchman for like the badguy in a Bourne movie and then they slowly figure who that they’re working for the wrong guys, but like doing it in the actual style of a Bourne movie.” Sounds like more of a blending of the action and comedy genres than it does a straight gag fest to me. At first glance, using the Bourne trilogy as inspiration for a comedy might seem strange, but Hader explains, “The aesthetics of a ‘Bourne’ movie, the shaky and handheld camera, that documentary feeling is how they shoot […]

read more...
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3