Charlie Day

Warner Bros.

By their very nature movie sequels are designed to offer audiences more of the same with the logic being that if something worked once it will of course work again. This laziness is nowhere more apparent than with follow-ups to comedies built around jokes and personalities as opposed to a strong story, and the apathetic greed inherent in that core idea is what leads to unfunny and increasingly painful sequels like Porky’s II: The Next Day, Beverly Hills Cop III, Rush Hour 3 and sweet jesus the stink piles that are The Hangover Parts II and III . When done right though, a sequel to a successful comedy can recapture that magic and deliver just as many (or more) laughs. Evidence for that argument could include films like A Shot in the Dark, 22 Jump Street and — surprisingly — Horrible Bosses 2. Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) have reaped the benefits of their adventure from the first film and have become their own bosses. It’s a triumph that they’ve channeled into a new invention set to be manufactured and distributed by their very own small company, but the caveat is that they need a little bit of funding to get them on their way. The help they need comes from local millionaire Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and his son, Rex (Chris Pine), but when the father/son pair screws them over it’s not long before their experienced criminal minds are put to use once again.

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Chris Hemsworth as Shirtless Thor

Sometimes it’s scary how much people wind up being just like their parents. They try to fight it, but there they are, 30-something years later, dragging their own kids in the trusty family car down the same winding roads that they once had to travel on some wacky adventure. You’d think Rusty Griswold would have learned some lessons back in the ’80s after just a few failed family bonding attempts, but the long-gestating reboot of National Lampoon’s Vacation is still underway, with a couple new faces now added to the cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter: Chris Hemsworth and Charlie Day. In the new incarnation of Vacation, written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, Rusty (Ed Helms) is all grown up and taking his own family (including wife Christina Applegate) on a whirlwind road trip that way or may not have an end goal of visiting Walley World. You think that place is still open? While the details of Griswold 2.0’s grand plans are still under wraps, the whole family will play at least some part in the fun and frustration. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are set to have cameos as the original Mr. and Mrs. Griswold (Does Clark have anything to do with the terrible idea of going on a road trip again?) and sister Audrey will play some role to the main story, though that part has yet to be cast.

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Horrible Bosses

The great thing about this Horrible Bosses 2 teaser is that it doesn’t tell you anything about the movie at all. It exists only to raise questions, show off some impressive physical comedy and to put dirty words in Jennifer Aniston‘s mouth. Familiar faces are flashed, and we learn that Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bateman are back to perpetrate a kidnapping. But why? They wanted to murder their bosses in the first film because they were awful. Now, their criminal path isn’t so clear. Yet, Aniston’s character’s proclivities are back in full force. See for yourself:

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LEGO Movie Batman

With the release of The LEGO Movie on DVD and Blu-ray this week, we’re taking a look behind the scenes of the movie with the cast and crew. Christopher Miller and Phil Lord lead the commentary, joined by many of the actors in the studio, as well as Elizabeth Banks who phones in her contributions from an undisclosed location. Miller and Lord are riding a wave of cinematic goodwill with two of the biggest openings of 2014 (is a 23 LEGO Jump Street far of?), but they managed to tear themselves away from counting their cash and diving into piles of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck to devote an hour and forty minutes to the cause of pulling the curtain back from the magical world of LEGOLAND.

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3166992-pacific-rim-charlie-hunnam-rinko-kikuchi2

Depending on where you look, Pacific Rim is either in 2nd or 3rd place at the box office this weekend. But it should make enough money to warrant a sequel, especially with international business. And those of us who are into this new original property from Guillermo del Toro are really, really into it. There’s certainly franchise potential, what with its whole background mythology (and back story, which you can find in graphic novel form). Plus it’s going to at least gross more than del Toro’s first Hellboy film, and that spawned a part II. There’s also the fact that Legendary Pictures began moving ahead on developing Pacific Rim 2 way back in December, hiring the first film’s screenwriter, Travis Beacham, to start penning another installment. In the months since, he and del Toro have been sharing some bare bits and pieces and possible ideas for what happens next. The details are thin but these teases about the direction part 2 would go in allow for some educated guessing and speculation as to what we’d see as far as more monster and robot battles. Below I highlight some of what’s been officially said, some of what’s been drawn from those reports and some of what we’re simply hoping for with Pacific Rim 2. If you haven’t yet seen Pacific Rim, there are spoilers to be found ahead. So get off the computer, go see it and then come back to read further.

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Pacific Rim Robots

Another trailer for Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pacific Rim has been released, just in case you’re not already on board. The thing is, there’s not a whole lot that’s different about this new spot and the WonderConone we saw at the end of last month. You’ve got giant monsters battling giant robots in the sea and on land. You’ve got Idris Elba doing his best audition for the next rousing speeches supercut. You’ve got the tagline telling us to “Go Big or Go Extinct.” And you’ve got little bits (littler this time) of the likely comic relief characters played by Charlie Day and Ron Perlman. Honestly, I’d like to see more of the character stuff. Or something else besides big creatures and the kind of action that could just as easily sell a Michael Bay movie. At least the previous trailer hinted at some themes involving the humanity inside the robots. That which make them different from the monsters in spite of them initially being noted for their equal measure — big bad weapons of defense to go up against big bad weapons of offense. Knowing Del Toro, the big ideas are probably there, but of course that stuff doesn’t sell a movie to most people the way explosions and fighting behemoths do.

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup with the stiff upper lip, committed to carry on even as we lose Google Reader. Click through for news about what gentlemen like Robert Duvall, Jared Harris, and Charlie Day are doing next.

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Pacific Rim Charlie Day

Charlie Day joins us this week to talk about the inventive offensiveness of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as well as what it was like to play a hipster scientist for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Plus, Sasha Grey gives us some romance tips after scaring us in Would You Rather, Craig Mazin shares the creation of four Identity Thief script pages, and we answer a listener question about finding viable production partners. That’s a lot of ground to cover, and we’re all hung over on discount champagne, so let’s get started. Download Episode #6

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Pacific Rim Comic-Con Poster

At last weekend’s Ain’t It Cool News Butt-numb-athon, Guillermo del Toro called Pacific Rim a “film made by fans, but not a fan film,” and it’s easy to see what he’s talking about in this first full-length trailer for the film. He isn’t making Hellboy this time around, but a big, accessible summer blockbuster for everyone. Considering all the massive action on display here, this could be what makes del Toro an actual household name. Who can’t get behind human-controlled gigantic robots defending Earth from monstrous aliens? We may have said the same thing about Cowboys & Aliens all those many naive years ago, but del Toro is a filmmaker we can trust with a high-concept as good as this. Check out the first trailer for Pacific Rim after the break!

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While Universal may be scraping to get together a sequel to their comedy hit, Bridesmaids, New Line and Warner Bros. are having significantly better luck with their latest incarnation of a comedy hit. The studios have closed a deal with Horrible Bosses screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein for a second film, one that is expected to see its three leads, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, all back in front of the camera. And behind the camera? Original director Seth Gordon is also “in early talks” for the sequel. Now that’s how you get a band of merry murderers back together. The summer release was a surprise hit – made on the relative cheap for $35m, it racked up $209m worldwide. A cross between workplace comedy and hitman flick, the film saw Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis as three best friends who all hate their bosses (played by Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell, respectively) for very different reasons. In the film, the three knuckleheads conceive of a plan to knock off each other’s headache-inducing supervisors, the sort of plan that sounds okay-ish on paper, only to crumble spectacularly (and hilariously!) in execution. The film was Daley and Goldstein’s first project together, and they have also written another New Line comedy, the upcoming Burt Wonderstone (filming early this year), along with the sequel to the charming Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

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Years ago director Seth Gordon made a big impression with his critical doc darling, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. The film made our own best 30 films of the decade and you’d be on a fool’s mission to find someone who doesn’t enjoy that unique story. To no surprise, the heavily pirated documentary kicked down a lot of doors for Gordon. Just recently he’s been attached to direct the WarGames remake, so it’s obvious he’s come quite a long way in a quick amount of time. His latest comedy, Horrible Bosses, also represents how rapid the filmmaker is rising. The greatest surprise of the film is that, tonally, the film isn’t all that mean. The story’s about three guys plotting to murder their respective bosses, but even with that dark concept and some bastardly antagonists it never goes to the extreme. Gordon flirts with some darkness and satire, but it stays relatively safe. Here’s what director Seth Gordon had to say about the doors The King of Kong opened up for him, going with a lighter version of Horrible Bosses, and the nature of comedic filmmaking:

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Horrible Bosses features some of the most inspired casting you’ll find in any big studio comedy this year, with three actors playing against type with exceptional success. Unfortunately, those three performers — Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston — are the supporting acts here, the titular vile bosses of three of the most boring white guys imaginable. Sure, they’re played by Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day, funny men all, but the stars lack the charisma, the comic energy and the overall appeal of the aforementioned A-listers, who go to some truly whacked-out places. It’s a fundamental miscalculation that filmmaker Seth Gordon can’t overcome.

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Much has been made of the fact that this month’s Comic-Con in San Diego is looking to be a fairly empty one when it comes to upcoming blockbusters from the studios. Sure Tv shows like Game Of Thrones, True Blood, and The Vampire Diaries will be there, but Marvel, Pixar, and Warner Bros. are sitting it out this year and saving themselves a boatload of cash. This means fans won’t get a glimpse at hotly anticipated titles like Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, or Andrew Stanton’s John Carter. But not everyone’s upset that the heavy hitters are absent this year… because now some of the lower profile films have a chance to make some noise and get noticed. Per Collider (and the press release they received) Legendary Pictures is leaping on the opportunity and has announced a panel featuring four of their upcoming films. Granted, none of the movies are due out until 2012/2013, but everyone loves seeing celebrities talk about future projects! The highlight is Guillermo del Toro who’ll be on-hand for his giant monster movie, Pacific Rim, and will be bringing his recently announced cast with him including Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, and the lovely Rinko Kikuchi. Also along for the Comic-Con bump will be Alex Proyas and Bradley Cooper discussing their adaptation of Paradise Lost (and how Cooper dodged a bullet with Green Lantern), Jeff Bridges and friends to talk up their supernatural thriller Seventh Son, and Mass Effect creator […]

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This red-band trailer probably gives away too much. Unlike most red-band trailers, though, it doesn’t giveaway all the best gags. I’ve seen Horrible Bosses, and it’s awesome. What the fellow ensemble summer comedy The Hangover II got wrong, Seth Gordon’s (director behind the incredible The King of King: A Fistful of Quarters) comedy got right. The leads aren’t annoying morons, the jokes feel fresh, and there’s at least some sense of reality.

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Have you ever had a horrible boss? Got a good story about that? If you tell us your horrible boss story, and we like it, you can win a pass to an early VIP screening of New Line Cinema’s new flick Horrible Bosses in Columbus, Ohio, hosted by FSR’s resident Fat Guy Kevin Carr. (Please note… former employees of Donald Trump are excluded from this contest because that’d be just too easy. You too, Rob Hunter.) Here’s how you can get in to see Horrible Bosses before it opens and enjoy a VIP reception before the film. Search your brain for your best (and hopefully true) story about a horrible boss you’ve had in the past. Recount your story in the comments section of this post. Please remember to change the names of people and businesses to protect the guilty. Or not. Either way.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s an obsessively curated column that collects the most interesting links from around the movie blogosphere. It includes a bit of commentary, but only when the mood strikes. Which, for the purposes of this column’s author, is all the time. Gird your loins and put on your power rings, because it’s about to get wild in here. Getting ready to see Green Lantern this weekend? Our review will be live tomorrow. But if you need a primer before then, I would defer you to io9’s very thorough beginner’s guide to Green Lantern. It should bring you up to speed just in time to become angry about whether or not the film is faithful.

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Seth Gordon’s new comedy Horrible Bosses has a trailer. If you don’t know who Seth Gordon is, he’s not only the guy who directed the amazing Donkey Kong documentary King of Kong, but he’s also directed episodes of pretty much every amazingly funny comedy that’s on TV right now. So, I imagine his movie is going to be pretty great, and while this trailer isn’t exactly revolutionary, it does its job of making this look like a barrel of laughs. Horrible Bosses tells the story of three guys, played by Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, who have three exceptionally evil bosses, played by Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, and Kevin Spacey, and who get together and decide to have them killed. Of course, they’re just a couple of working class dweebs, what do they know about killing people? Problem solved; just hire Jamie Foxx as your “murder consultant” Motherfucker Jones. Doesn’t sound like enough for you to check out this movie already? Just wait; there’s more. Aniston eats hotdogs, Popsicles, and bananas while wearing lingerie, Day seems to be just about as stupid as he is on Always Sunny, Colin Farrell is looking super creepy with a balding comb over and a finely manicured beard, Modern Family’s Julie Bowen is somewhere in this movie being pretty and funny, and when they guys get arrested for speeding who is their arresting officer but Bunk from The Wire. Plus there’s car crashes, discrimination against the handicapped, comedic cocaine use, and white […]

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Drinking Games

With the fifth season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on DVD this week and the sixth season ready to premiere on FX later this month, what better way to get into the spirit of the gang at Paddy’s Pub than by knocking back a few while you watch them make total asses of themselves. So here’s our simple rules to help you out.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr jumps feet first into the world of exploitation pictures. He rips off his shirt to show his prison tats when he sees Machete and then becomes a weapons expert to go head-to-head with George Clooney in The American. Finally, he cringes and rolls his eyes at yet another crappy real-life couple love story with Going the Distance. It’s sad when the highlight of his moviegoing weekend is a Lindsay Lohan nip slip.

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You’re lying in bed with the clock reading some un-Godly hour in red analog, and you reach out your hand to find only the cold space of the other side of your bed. You want to pull the one you love close to you, but you can’t, because they’re gone. They aren’t on vacation or out of town for work. They are – for the foreseeable future – living in a completely different city. Most people have found themselves in this position. Even though the concept of the long distance relationship was probably invented when the first tribe realized there was a second tribe (or at least when war starting sending soldiers away for long periods of time), the struggle to keep the fire burning with mileage looming in between is especially appropriate for an age where you can find love on the other end of an internet connection. It’s the challenge of cross-country romance that the main characters of Going the Distance find themselves facing.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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