Alan Tudyk

42 Trailer

The historical drama, the meditation on race relations, and the inspirational sports story: separately they’re all crowd-pleasing film genres that tend to do well at the box office and earn plenty of recognition during awards season. But put them all together and you get some kind of unstoppable super movie. Or, at least, that’s probably what writer/director Brian Helgeland was hoping when he made 42, a biopic of baseball player Jackie Robinson. For anyone out there whose nerdom doesn’t travel over into the sports world, Robinson was the first black player to cross the color line and play in Major League Baseball during the modern era. Which, you might imagine, was something that a number of tobacco-spitting ballplayers and drunken fans in the stands didn’t take kindly to back in the late 1940s. 42 seems to focus on the struggle of going somewhere you’re not wanted, so that you might pave the way toward opportunity for those who come after you; a noble goal that’s ripe with dramatic potential.

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People like to see the same plots rehashed over and over again. That’s how James Bond became such a long and successful series, isn’t it? Following Pixar’s success with Toy Story, the animation studio looked to follow a sort of pattern, but it wasn’t so much in terms of the storyline as the setup of having an ensemble of characters where each was representative of a different kind of some such (usually titular) thing. Toy Story starred different toys, then A Bug’s Life involved different types of bugs, Monsters, Inc. involved different types of monsters, Finding Nemo had different fish and other sea creatures and Cars had, of course, different models of automobile. Fortunately, Pixar has gotten a bit more inventive with their basic pitches, but now Disney has borrowed the model for Wreck-It Ralph. It could have easily been titled “Video Game Life” or “An Arcade Story.” There is a bit more to it than this, and in fact I was surprised to find that a lot of the movie is more about sweets than video games, especially where Alice in Wonderland-esque puns are concerned (the “laughing taffy” made me laugh). Overall, I had a good time watching the movie and appreciate the greatest addition to the Disney Princesses roster in years. But it didn’t really feel like something that will become a “Disney Classic,” and not just because our grandchildren will have no understanding of what arcade games are in a way they could relate to it. It […]

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Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph is a nice trip down memory lane. During a packed screening for the film I could hear whispers and gasps, and I saw audience members pointing to the screen in awe and excitement of seeing their favorite video game characters. They were swept up, maybe even more so than the children in the audience. That doesn’t mean it won’t win over kids, however, because the movie is more than an empty piece of nostalgia. Case in point: the big gamble that starts the film. The opening animated short, “The Paperman,” is a beautiful black-and-white silent love story. Right after it ends, the daunting question becomes, “How is Wreck-It Ralph going to top that?” Director Rich Moore (Futurama) instantly responds, giving the audience an equally charming experience. Ralph (John C. Reilly) is your typical working stiff. For almost 30 years, he has served his sole purpose of smashing. Ralph is a wonderful video game villain, but his work has always been overshadowed by the game’s hero, Fix-It Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer). With the arcade game’s 30th anniversary coming up, Ralph has hit an existential crisis. He is tired of playing the bad guy. After facing the rejection from the game’s anniversary party, Ralph sets out to become the hero. Since his own game won’t allow him to do that, he decides to jump to a different game.

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge, so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis: Two lovable and charming rednecks find themselves tangled up in one mother of a misunderstanding when they cross paths with a group of teenagers out for a relaxing weekend. When their good intentioned rescue of a damsel in distress is mistaken for a kidnapping, teenager after teenager falls all over themselves in a misguided rescue attempt that almost always ends up with a confused redneck and a very dead teenager.

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Horror-comedies are a mixed bag. Often they’re not scary or violent enough to satisfy your horror boner, nor are they funny enough to tickle your funny bone(r). When they work well, you get an Evil Dead II or a Dead and Breakfast. When they fail you get…I don’t know, who remembers shitty horror-comedies? Tucker & Dale vs. Evil follows two lovable, well meaning rednecks through a series of misunderstandings that result in a group of vacationing college kids being convinced the duo are out to murder them. Like any educated group, the kids decide the best thing to do is to take the war to the hillbillies and try to kill them and rescue their “kidnapped” friend. Things go comically and fatally awry to great effect.

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Drinking Games

It’s the week after Thanksgiving, there’s Christmas music playing non-stop on the radio and people are getting pepper-sprayed at Wal-Mart during Black Friday video game stampedes. This can only mean one thing… it’s time for a kick-ass hillbilly horror comedy to come out on DVD and Blu-ray. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil had a fun little jaunt through limited release this fall, along with some premium-priced On Demand options. Now, everybody’s favorite West Virginia rednecks can come to your DVD or Blu-ray player and fight the evil that is college kids camping in the woods. And like our heroes Tucker and Dale, it’s best enjoyed with a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon (in a non-ironic way), or better yet: simple generic beer!

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After a painfully long time sitting around, waiting for the right distributor to come along, playing the festival circuit (I’m pretty sure it played South by Southwest two years in a row), the excellent genre comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is finally available for viewing in your home right effing now. For those who don’t remember, this is the Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine led comedy about two rednecks who are mistaken for Deliverance-esque killers by some backwoods camping coeds. The coeds think that Tucker and Dale kidnapped their uber-hot friend (30 Rock‘s Katrina Bowden), so they go on the attack. From there, hilarity ensues. For more of a refresher, please consider my glowing Tucker & Dale review from Sundance 2010. If I can’t convince you to see this movie on VOD, I’ve failed as an advocate of fun cinema. For information about which VOD services Tucker & Dale will be on, visit Magnolia Pictures’ website to see the list. I’ve also left a few great clips from the film after the jump. If you’d like to see this film in theaters, it opens limited on September 30.

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The cast for Timur Bekmambetov’s upcoming Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter keeps filling out. Already we’ve been told about Benjamin Walker as Lincoln himself, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Todd Lincoln, Robin McLeavy as Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Jimmi Simpson as Joshua Speed, Anthony Mackie as William Seward, and Dominic Cooper as Henry Sturgess. Well, now you can add to that Alan Tudyk as Stephen Douglas. Everybody knows Stephen Douglas as the other half of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. But what most people don’t know is that in addition to being a political adversary to Lincoln, Stephen Douglas was also an ally of the dangerous vampire clans of the mid 1800s. With this film a hidden, shameful part of Douglas’ past will finally be brought to light. Some people may vaguely recognize Tudyk as that funny character actor guy that they kind of know. And then there are the rabid fans of Firefly who would berate those people for saying such an ignorant thing because Alan Tudyk is Wash and you need to show some respect. Either way, I imagine that everyone who knows Tudyk as an actor is probably a fan. I’m especially excited to see him further explore his villainous side, as I really enjoyed him as a psychopathic sleaze ball in the short lived and otherwise unspectacular show Dollhouse. Could we be looking at a new direction for Tudyk’s career with him playing villains? Whatever keeps him up on the big screen is fine by me. Source: Cinema Blend

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Michael Bay seems to be trading one type of bloat for another.

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Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Are you tired of negative hillbilly stereotypes in horror films? I didn’t know I was. As a southern-born gent and lifelong film geek, whether I’ve wanted to or not, I’ve continued to possess a keen awareness of how the people of my region are represented in film.

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Do you like movies in which people are killed in creative ways? Do you like movies that will make you laugh so hard you may pee yourself? Do you like movies that do both? If so, this is your movie.

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TuckerandDaleversusEvil

Remember all those times that rednecks attacked you and your friends on Spring Break in the woods? Turns out you were the assholes.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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