Andy Samberg

Brooklyn Nine Nine

When Liz Lemon left the airwaves nine months ago, she didn’t leave behind any daughters. The female-driven sitcoms that remain on the current network rotation owe little to 30 Rock. Parks and Recreation‘s sunny Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and New Girl‘s hipster-cute Jess (Zooey Deschanel) are about as far as you can get from prickly, taped-together bra-wearing Liz. Likewise, The Mindy Project‘s boy-crazy Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) and 2 Broke Girls‘ gum-smackingly unambitious Max Black (Kat Dennings) have few concerns in common with the TGS showrunner and owner of Lesbian Frankenstein’s shoes. But Liz may have gifted us with a son in Andy Samberg. The Lonely Island frontman’s new show on Fox, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, seems to have adopted 30 Rock‘s heavy use of sketch-comedic flashcuts as its own. Tina Fey’s show wasn’t the first to use digressive asides, of course. Family Guy is notorious for its ADD-addled, plot-irrelevant side gags like the Peter vs. Giant Chicken fistfight, while mockumentaries like Arrested Development, Modern Family, and the aforementioned Parks and Rec occasionally use them, usually in the form of flashbacks, to add context to a scenario while squeezing in an extra laugh. It was The Simpsons that arguably pioneered the flashcut, but that show’s animated nature undercuts its absurdism; when everything is possible, nothing seems all that outlandish. On the other hand, the live-action quality of sketch comedy, especially when performed by known actors or comedians, accentuates the silliness.

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Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Transylvania is an unrestrained, unabashed kids movie. Even with all the classic monsters involved, director Genndy Tartakovsky has no interest in joining this year’s ParaNorman in being unafraid to scare a few kids. Surprisingly, that happens to be Hotel Transylvania‘s most charming trait. As the classic mythology goes, Dracula (Adam Sandler) runs a high-end, invisible hotel for all his fellow monster buddies, from “Frankenstein” to the invisible man. It’s not exactly a business venture, though, as it was mainly created to keep his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), safe from the world of humans. Now, turning 118 years old, Mavis is coming of age and wants to explore the world, and Dracula will do everything he can to make sure that doesn’t happen. With all the talk of humans, it’s no surprise one of them, Jonathan (Andy Samberg), actually turns up to both drive Dracula mad and fall in love with his daughter.

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The To Do List Red Band Trailer

A movie about Aubrey Plaza giving out hand jobs, under any other name, would be just as sweet. So it’s with great anticipation that we’ve been awaiting Funny or Die vet Maggie Carey’s debut directorial effort The To Do List. The good news is, today that wait got a little bit easier, because not only has CBS Films released a red band trailer for the film, but they’ve also revealed that it will be this Valentine’s Day (February 14) when we finally get to take in this story of a virginal nerd who tries to systematically experience all the sex acts she missed out on in high school before entering college. So, based on this first teaser, does it look like The To Do List will live up to the lofty expectations that its premise creates? Maybe. Honestly, it looks a little low rent, like we’re looking at a trailer for a series of web short rather than a feature film, and while there are some amusing moments in this 90 seconds of clips, there aren’t really any of the big belly laughs that one would expect from a raunchy comedy.

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Editor’s note: Celeste and Jesse Forever opens in limited release this Friday, but back in June, we saw the film at LAFF and positively loved it (so much that we’d marry it). This review was originally published on June 22, 2012. You’d be correct in mistaking Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) for a happy couple. All the signs are there – inside jokes, Celeste’s shiny “C & J Forever” pendant, dinners with friends, professions of love, even a special sign language – but, alas, you’d be wrong. Celeste and Jesse are not forever, in fact, they’re getting a divorce. The opening credits of Lee Toland Krieger’s Celeste and Jesse Forever (penned by Jones and co-star Will McCormack) zip us through Celeste and Jesse’s relationship – from shy happiness in high school, to high stakes sexual chemistry in college, to blissful young marriage, to now (and now is exactly when things get messy). When we meet Celeste and Jesse, the pair are still acting as if they are romantically involved – and that’s the problem. Jesse has taken up residence in the couple’s backyard cottage (his studio), but other than that, everything else is status quo – the affection, the bond, the connection – and while the two of them seem content with the situation, it unquestionably needs to change. And fast.

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Hotel Transylvania

The first thing you notice in the new trailer for Hotel Transylvania is Adam Sandler doing his impression of Adam Sandler doing a vampire voice. It’s unmistakable, it’s annoying, and it’s a key argument against movie stars taking jobs from trained voice over actors. However, the feature directing debut from the remarkably talented Genndy Tartakovsky looks about as charming as they come. The plot is simple: Dracula creates a hotel haven for his monster pals (and to keep his daughter Mavis safe from the Hawaiian shirted humans), but a couch surfer stumbles upon their hideaway and proceeds to fall in love with the blood-sucker’s offspring. Some of the jokes are obvious – Kevin James’s character falls down a lot even in the world of animation – but it definitely shows potential. Check it out for yourself:

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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:

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It’s no secret that Adam Sandler‘s resume is studded with films that the critical mass has turned firmly against – of his thirty most recognizable starring roles, only four have managed to ring in as “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, and his last run of films (including Just Go With It, Jack and Jill, Zookeeper, and Grown Ups) have signaled that Sandler the actor has no interest in continuing any of the thoughtful, nuanced work he turned in with stuff like Punch-Drunk Love and Funny People. If that’s how he wants to play, that’s just fine – Sandler’s career decisions are his own and good luck with them, but things have simply gone too far with his latest feature, the revolting, moronic, despicable, deeply unfunny, wildly offensive, and frankly disturbing That’s My Boy. Make your money how you want to, Sandler, but count me out of watching it – forever.

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The first trailer for That’s My Boy showed us what would have happened if a pubescent Adam Sandler had become a father. The results…well, they looked a lot like an Adam Sandler movie. But at least it seemed like Sandler was finally going back to his raunchy roots and not giving us something as saccharine and lame as his most recent works (though I’m certain That’s My Boy’s third act will segue into Sandler’s trademark sentimentality). Well, the marketing team behind the film is back, and this time they’ve given us a red band trailer that provides us with an even better idea of the depths of depravity Sandler is willing to reach with his latest endeavor. The material here is certainly dirtier than what we got the first time around, but unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be any funnier. Sandler’s silly voices, sexual references, and slapstick humor feel like relics of the ’90s at this point, and dressing it all up with a bunch of F-bombs only goes so far toward making you forget how many years ago it was that we all first listened to “Fatty McGee” and laughed at the foul-mouthed crudity. At this point, Sandler’s best chance at continued relevance is likely to come from acting in other people’s films, rather than putting these lackluster – though I’m sure more profitable for him personally – Happy Madison movies together.

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Seeing as he’s largely built his entire career on doing stupid voices, it’s kind of strange that Adam Sandler hasn’t done more voice work. It seems like working in animation would work well with his approach to acting, which basically consists of showing up on set wearing shorts and a hoodie, and then looking into the camera and yelling something like “gobbledy-goo!” Give the man something more appealing to work with than 8 Crazy Nights, and animated movies could be the perfect way to utilize his talents. It’s probably too early to go jumping to conclusions, but the new trailer for Hotel Transylvania shows some indication that this might be that material. The big thing that Hotel Transylvania has going for it is that it was directed by the great Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars), and if this new ad is any indication, that’s going to translate into a lot of impressive visuals and attention to detail. The Gothic scenery here is certainly more pleasant to look at than the wall-to-wall product placement that we get in most Sandler movies, so that’s going to put this head and shoulders above something like Just Go With It right out of the gate. And somehow, hearing Sandler do a goofy Dracula voice alongside animated visuals is so much easier to digest than hearing him do a goofy lady voice while dressed in drag was in Jack & Jill.

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It wasn’t until watching the newest green band trailer for That’s My Boy that everything became clear. Underneath the baffling, annoying voice Adam Sandler makes through the whole thing, the simple truth remains: this is the unofficial sequel to Big Daddy. In that 1999 comedy, Sandler played a terrible man-child who let his fraudulently adopted son become the smelly kid in class by being lazy and moronic. In the film from Sean Anders and John Morris, Sandler plays a terrible child-child who becomes a father after knocking up his middle school teacher and now (many years later) has to deal with an estranged, very successful son played by Andy Samberg. In a movie world where Sandler doesn’t evolve or grow up in Big Daddy, this is what little Frankenstein would have become. He ate the terrible candy he wanted to, he dressed how he wanted to, he had zero discipline and here’s how it all turned out:

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I am fully aware that I after I reveal what I am about to reveal, I may very well have my Official Lady Card revoked – but I’m willing to accept that. Deadline Harriman reveals that Ryan Murphy has signed a “preemptive deal” in the seven-figures with Sony Pictures to make a film titled One Hit Wonders, a musical comedy that will center on three washed-up pop singers from the ’90s who join together to make a super group. The film has yet to be penned, but it will be written specifically for Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, and Cameron Diaz, who will play the singers, along with Beyonce, Andy Samberg, and the rest of the Lonely Island boys in unspecified (but obviously musical) roles. Here comes the part where I throw myself onto the fire – I think this sounds eighteen shades of awful, almost unspeakably terrible. The real kicker for me is this tidbit – “The project came out of a dinner that Murphy had at the Soho House, with Paltrow, Diaz and Witherspoon. They wanted to do something fun together, and kicked around ideas until they settled on One Hit Wonders.” How I wish this had just stayed a funny jag between friends and not something that the rest of us have to be subjected to. While musical comedies are usually delightful, something about a pack of Hollywood A-list friends getting together just for the sake of getting together turns my tummy, and the attachment of Ryan Murphy, […]

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It’s often said that believing you will spend forever with the person you fall in love with in high school is a naïve notion and, while the opening montage of Celeste and Jesse Forever seems to prove that the opposite is true, once the film begins we realize that our leads, Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg), are actually separated and looking to get a divorce. The strange thing is, they still spend every second together and are only “separated” by their back yard, with Jesse now living in his studio out back rather than in the main house with Celeste. It is clear from the start that Celeste and Jesse are more than just a couple, they are each other’s best friends, complete with inside jokes and hand signals clearly established over years and years of knowing one another. There is a level of comfort and familiarity between the two that neither seems ready to let go of, which frames the central conflict of both their relationship and the film. Over dinner one night, two of their friends, Tucker (Eric Christian Olsen) and his fiancé (Ari Graynor), call them out on the odd state of their relationship stating that they either need to end things for good or get back together. Neither Celeste or Jesse think their behavior is strange, but the fact that they still say, “I love you,” to each other and can’t seem start their days until acknowledging one another seems to support their friends’ […]

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Scientists have heatedly argued as to whether Adam Sandler‘s career is still in existence or went extinct after Jack and Jill stepped on the last egg. Since then, millions have headed into the wild to see if they could spot some sort of proof that the comedian is still allowed on film sets. Or still inviting himself onto the the ones he’s financing. Luck struck Cinema Blend today when they acquired the highly sought-after evidence that Sandler is still, in fact, working. There’s no explanation as to why Sandler is wearing a Bon Jovi costume here, but it beats a fat suit any day. Hopefully, Donny’s Boy (retitled from I Hate You, Dad) will be the home run that knocks the old big leaguer out of his slump. He’s got Andy Samberg co-starring in a role that almost ensures a ton of comedic sparring between the two, and Leighton Meester on board as Samberg’s character’s fiancee who does not get along with dear old dad. Sitcom set up, possible gold. Why? Because the script was rewritten by The State alumnae Ken Marino and David Wain who also delivered Wet Hot American Summer. It’s the feature directing debut of third film directed by Sean Anders and John Morris, who used their Sex Drive writing cred to get work on Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Hot Tub Time Machine. The hope/dread factor is still up in the air, but scientists need something to argue about. Correction: In a previous version of the article, […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr is all giddy because apparently Joseph Gordon-Levitt has decided to copy his signature hairstyle. Undeterred by folks telling him Gordon-Levitt shaved his head to play the role in 50/50, Kevin tries to lobby other Hollywood actors to copy his image. Unfortunately, What’s Your Number? star Chris Evans refuses to grow a huge belly and Dream House star Daniel Craig just won’t latch onto Kevin’s charming American accent.

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We weren’t really sure if last week’s Commentary Commentary was gross enough for the lot of you. So a poll was taken – it pretty much consisted of Brian Salisbury and myself – and it was decided the ante needed to be upped this week. Especially in honor of Fantastic Fest, we felt it was time to really turn on the gore and mindlessly fun commentary tracks. So we’re heading back with the South Park boys to Cannibal! The Musical, Trey Parker‘s first feature film which was subsequently picked up by Lloyd Kaufman and the fine (?) people at Troma Entertainment. What we got shocked and amazed even our gore-filled hearts and minds. A grotesque but absolutely hilarious look at the real-life trial of Alferd Packer, a 19th Century prospector who was accused of cannibalism in Colorado. The film isn’t the most accurate depiction of the events, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t entertaining. Equally entertaining is this commentary track featuring cast, crew, and ample amounts of consumed alcohol, something most commentary tracks are lacking in. Here’s what we found out. Note: it isn’t much.

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Normally, when I hear that either Adam Sandler or Kevin James has a new movie coming out, I wince in anticipation of it. Kind of like when you know you’re about to get hit by a baseball. I didn’t quite have this reaction to the news that they’ve signed on to Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania, however, and there are a couple reasons for that. The first reason is that the new film is set to be directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who has done some great TV work with Samurai Jack, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Dexter’s Laboratory. Everything I’ve seen from Tartakovsky has been slick, stylish, and interesting. I’m excited at the prospect of what he might come up with when jumping from small screen to big, and Sandler and James’ recent track records aren’t enough to deter me from seeing this one.

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Susan Sarandon

If you’ve been keeping track of Adam Sandler’s career (and in 2011, who hasn’t?), then you have probably already heard that he’s going to be playing Andy Samberg’s dad in the upcoming film I Hate You, Dad. This is an interesting proposition because Samberg is a young comedian who has utilized digital media to skyrocket his career into the stratosphere and Sandler is an aging funnyman who hasn’t done anything good in over a decade, yet still keeps making billions of dollars on name value alone. What will happen when the irresistible force meets the immovable object, funny or no funny?

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up article that would like you to know that it’s glad you weren’t Raptured. It loves having you around so that it can share links with you, bring you the latest news and provide you with a few laughs along the way. It didn’t want to see you vanish into thin air and leave the rest of us to fend off apocalyptic chaos. It’s also confused, as all the toilet paper in the Reject HQ bathrooms seems to have disappeared. How does toilet paper get Raptured? I’m always skeptical when small groups of journalists get a very early look at a major studio picture and come out of it with mostly positive things to say. I don’t question their enjoyment of what they saw, but it’s clear that someone is massaging the timing of the message. So when we see reviews starting to pop up for X-Men: First Class, I can’t help but look at them through cynical eyes. That said, I respect the hell out of Drew McWeeney at HitFix and his piece on Matthew Vaughn’s latest calls it ambitious, claiming that the story is tight and focused. That’s worth some consideration. Also, the above art depicts Muppets as X-Men. Brilliant, found via Geekologie.

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We’ve seen her on TV shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation, she shows up in a lot of Internet videos at places like Funny or Die, and she even gets a handful of smallish film roles whenever she has time off from all that other stuff. But now Rashida Jones is set to get her own starring vehicle, and she also co-wrote the script. The film is called Celeste and Jesse Forever, it’s set to be directed by Lee Tolan Krieger, and it will star Jones and Andy Samberg in the male and female leads. Celeste and Jesse will tell the tale of a married couple who is trying to figure out how to get a divorce, but still remain friends afterward. I’ve had a crush on Rashida Jones that’s been growing exponentially over the last six months or so, and after this quote from the writer/actress making fun of casual sex comedies; my crush might have hit critical mass. Jones says, “Our movie is about two people who love each other a ton but they don’t know what to do with that love, and how do you let that person go. It’s very different from: ‘I like having sex with this person because I’m so modern but then, ooh, maybe I like them.’ I’m less interested in that story.” That sounds interesting to me, and God bless her for taking the piss out of the lame state of the modern romantic comedy.

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The comedy talent for The Handjob is swelling with Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman, Donald Glover, Connie Britton, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, and Johnny Simmons. The film is being written and directed by Bill Hader’s comedian wife Maggie Carey. That’s not to say that he has a drama wife, too. It’s meant to show that she’s also professionally funny. The modifier placement is just weird. Regardless, Hader expounded on the plot to The Playlist recently, saying “It’s about her playing an type-A, studious girl who graduates high school and hasn’t done anything with a guy. The summer before college she decides that she has to find out how to do everything in order to be properly prepared, so she makes a very serious bullet list of everything, like… hand-job, titty-fuck, blow-job, fingering, and just kinda checks one off every time she does it. She’s being the aggressor and is very straight-forward about it, like ‘Okay, so I’m going to give you a hand-job now.’ And the guys are very taken aback about it, especially her straight-laced friends.” Sold.

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published: 04.20.2014
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published: 04.20.2014
B+
published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+

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