Cedar Rapids


It’s probably safe to say that The Office was one of the biggest network TV successes of the last decade. It lasted for 9 seasons, spawned countless imitators, and made names out of an ensemble cast of character actors. Steve Carrell, Ed Helms, John Krasinski, and Rainn Wilson especially were all able to parlay their exposure there into lead roles in feature films. Of the four of them, Steve Carell has to be seen as the most successful, however. With The 40-Year-Old Virgin he proved that he could open a film as its star, and with the movie we’ll be talking more about here, Little Miss Sunshine, he proved himself to be a versatile actor who didn’t necessarily need to do comedy. Largely based on the hype behind Carrell’s performance, that movie made close to $60 million at the box office, and then rode its buzz straight into awards season, where it walked away with two Oscars. Not bad for a tiny little indie film. When Helms’ turn to try and make the jump to movie stardom came, it came in the form of the 2011 film Cedar Rapids. Already he had become a box office commodity thanks to the success he saw as part of the Hangover ensemble, but this one was going to be his big chance to prove that he could anchor a film as its centerpiece actor. Cedar Rapids got released in the movie wasteland known as February though, and when all was said and done, […]


Miguel Arteta

The idea of The Kids Are All Right director Lisa Cholodenko helming an adaptation of a children’s book was an interesting one. But, unfortunately for her fans, recently she had to drop out of making Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Fans of Judith Viorst’s book about a young kid named Alexander going through the worst day of his young life and experiencing an existential crisis complete with fantasies of moving to Australia as a result shouldn’t fret though, because Deadline is now reporting that another very capable director is being looked at to take her place. According to their sources, Disney is currently in negotiations with Miguel Arteta to take over Cholodenko and screenwriter Rob Lieber’s adapted screenplay. If Arteta’s name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, he’s the guy who directed the criminally underrated Ed Helms comedy, Cedar Rapids, from 2011. His experience from that film makes him look like a promising choice, because if he should take on this job it will see him working with another The Office vet in Steve Carell, who’s still attached to play Alexander’s dad in the film.


Sacha Baron Cohen

In the grand tradition of movie-making teams like Jim Abrahams and David Zucker, Keenen Ivory Wayans and his entire family, and Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (okay, maybe not those last two), comes a new duo of creative types hoping to make a mint and produce laughter by spoofing the works of others, Sacha Baron Cohen and Phil Johnston. THR reports that the duo has just sold a pitch to Paramount that will see them making a spy comedy in the vein of a silly James Bond. Think Rowan Atkinson’s Johnny English character, but less…something, and more…I don’t know. Okay, so just think Rowan Atkinson’s Johnny English character. According to sources at the studio, this still untitled comedy will tell the story of a spy who “is forced to go on the run with his long-lost brother, a moronic soccer hooligan.” Six years ago Cohen was coming off of his hit series Da Ali G Show and its subversive and successful feature film spin-off Borat, and he seemed like he was pretty much the most vital and progressive comedian working in films. But since then his career has taken a huge downswing because of disappointments like Brüno and his recent mess of a movie The Dictator. I guess the big question here is, given Cohen’s sudden downturn in quality output, is there any reason why we should be excited for him doing a spoof of spy movies?



Remember all the way back to last night when the Gothams announced their annual awards and thus declared that awards season was like, so totally on? No? Really? It was just last night, come on. In that vein, the Film Independent Spirit Awards have just announced their nominations for their annual awards (held in February, on the beach, as ya do in Los Angeles), and their picks come with their own surprises. Remember (no, seriously, I need you to remember back less than twenty-four hours) how the Gothams didn’t give squat to Take Shelter or 50/50 or Martha Marcy May Marlene? Or Drive? Or The Descendants? Well, the Independent Spirit nominations are here to ease that pain. Leading the nominations pack are just those very films, along with Gotham darling Beginners and black and white sensation The Artist, with Take Shelter and The Artist tied for the most nominations, with five each. Following the lead, with four nominations each are Beginners, Drive, The Descendants, and Martha Marcy May Marlene, with 50/50 logging three noms. And, coincidentally, it’s those top nomination-getters (save MMMM) that are all nominated for Best Feature. Funny how that works out, right? Other nominations of note include Best First Feature (Another Earth, In the Family, Margin Call, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Natural Selection ), Best First Screenplay (Another Earth, Margin Call, Terri, Cedar Rapids, 50/50), and the John Cassavetes Award, which is given to the best feature made for under $500,000 (Bellflower, Circumstance, Hello Lonesome, Pariah, The […]



This Week in Blu-ray, we adjust our own futures, laugh at grumpy gingers, take a business trip with Ed Helms and that guy who said “Sheeiiiitt” on The Wire, fight back for the Wimpy Kid, find love in movies with unmarketable titles, figure out who Liam Neeson really is, and watch Channing Tatum get dressed up like a Roman soldier and make a complete fool of himself. It’s not exactly a busy week, but there’s still plenty to talk about. The Adjustment Bureau In a week that saw its share of competition for Pick of the Week (it really didn’t), it seemed that a ginger comedian would eventually emerge as the winner. Then I popped The Adjustment Bureau into the ole’ Blu-ray player and 106-minutes later, I was sold. This incredibly stylish, meticulously crafted adaptation of work by Phillip K. Dick is well acted, creatively conceived and impressively ambitious. Matt Damon plays a politician who meets the girl of his dreams, then uncovers a secret group of “adjusters” who are tasked with keeping the world “on plan.” Unfortunately for him, that plan doesn’t include him dating this girl (Emily Blunt). Unfortunately for them, he’s Matt F&*king Damon, and he’ll fight for the girl he loves. It’s a stylish love-letter to New York, a taught thriller and a resonant love story all wrapped into one. The Blu gets extra points for its Interactive Map of New York City that plays around with some of the concepts and locations explored in the […]


Rocko's Modern Life

One of the best aspects of DVD/Blu-ray is the ability to catch up on movies and shows that you may have otherwise missed when they first hit theaters. The best of this week’s releases fall into that category as small films that never quite got the exposure they deserved. Movies like Ceremony and Happythankyoumoreplease are fantastic celebrations of love, laughs, and life and should not be missed on DVD like they were in theaters. And while this week’s Pick is well known to its fans and others who grew up in the nineties it’s new to me on DVD and one of my favorite releases of the week. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Rocko’s Modern Life: Season One Rocko is a wallaby who’s moved from Australia to the United States and along with an oddball group of friends, acquaintances, and strangers struggles to make it through life’s absurdities. This is one of Nickelodeon’s most beloved shows from the 1990s and it’s finally hitting DVD in an official, complete season format. I had never seen the show prior to this DVD release and seeing as I never understood the love for Ren & Stimpy or Spongebob Squarepants I expected a similar reaction here… but this show is hilarious. The writing is sharp, effortlessly moves between parody and scatology, and most impressively, it walks the fine line between writing for kids and writing for adults. Children will find much to love in […]



Bear with us while we explain to you why you need to purchase a new insurance plan. Trust us, it’s important, and if you want to be taken care of, you should buy your insurance exclusively from Tim Lippe. He’s definitely a guy you can trust… until he makes it to an insurance convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Columbus, Ohio may not be Cedar Rapids, but it’s in the Midwest where the film is expanding on March 4. However, fans of Ed Helms, Miguel Arteta and John C. Reilly have a chance to catch Cedar Rapids for free before it opens locally. FSR is here to help by hosting an early screening in Columbus, Ohio. If you live in the Columbus area, you can use this super-secret code that allows you to print out two tickets to the Columbus screening of Cedar Rapids on Thursday, March 3 at the AMC Lennox at 7:30 PM.


The Reject Report

Not really. However, this week does see the release of concert footage from the Bieb (along with his life-long struggle to become famous and have Ellen Degeneres’ haircut). Plus, Adam Sandler adds to his tally of generic romantic comedies and Ed Helms finally makes it out of the house. The big question – which one of these masterpieces will take the top spot?


Movie Watchers Guide to February 2011

We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them. Strange, we know. Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of January combing through Wikileaks, calling Cleo, and building balsa wood trailers to make sure that you, dear reader, are in the know about what’s coming out in February. You watch movies, so this guide’s for you.


Hobo With a Shotgun

Sundance 2011 marks my first time at the festival, and the overwhelming task of having the chance to see literally hundreds of films and shorts makes it a daunting and exciting task to look forward to in my first adventure in snow-capped Park City. Many of these films will only be seen at this one time at the festival and then possibly never again due to various rights, distribution, unseen film politics, or just plain shoddy filmmaking (sad to say). So besides all of that hub-bub, here are the 11 films I can’t wait to see as the year’s festival kicks off from this Thursday, January 20th to the following Sunday of the 30th.



Ed Helms is breaking free of the office grind, leaving his friends on a roof in Las Vegas, and taking an earnest shot at playing the leading man. This new trailer for Cedar Rapids – the story of a completely sheltered dweeb who lets loose at an insurance convention (thanks to the bad influence of John C. Reilly) – is very, very funny. Plus, it hints at the movie being a bit more heartfelt than the average fish out of water story. Mark my words. At some point, either Ed Helms or John C. Reilly’s character will break down on a roof somewhere. Maybe it’ll be both of them. But mostly there will be John C. Reilly drunk with a trash can lid on his head. Check it out for yourself:

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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