Chris Pratt

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A fair amount of critics are touting Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty as her masterpiece. While Bigelow has definitely directed films in her decades of filmmaking that are comparable to the overall quality of Zero Dark Thirty, it is great that between this and her Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, she is getting the acclaim that she deserves. What does set Zero Dark Thirty apart from the rest of the Kathryn Bigelow oeuvre is that is a far more deliberate and slower paced film that her others. At about two-and-a-half hours, it includes only perhaps two or three major “action/suspense” scenes, which are all impeccably executed in her usual fashion. Mostly, however, the film follows the mental unraveling and rise to power of CIA agent Maya (Jessica Chastain) as she follows a seemingly-circumstantial hunch, which results in her looking over Osama bin Laden’s body bag. The film certainly is successful in what it sets out to do. Through Chastain’s Maya, it is a more nuanced study of the disappointments of losing the war on terror against Al Qaeda and then fighting back, resulting in less of a fist pump of exultation, but more of a quiet recognition of accomplishment.

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Movie 43 Trailer

It’s been a really long time since a sketch anthology movie got released in theaters. I’m not some sort of human trivia machine, so I don’t know exactly how long, but let’s just say that it’s been quite a while since somebody showed somebody else their VHS copy of Kentucky Fried Movie in a college dorm room. The people at Relativity Media are making a big play at bringing the form back though, by recruiting an army of funny filmmakers and a legion of talented actors to put together a new sketch comedy anthology called Movie 43. Who do they have directing segments of this thing? People like Bob Odenkirk, James Gunn, Elizabeth Banks, Peter Farrelly, and tons others. Who’s starring? People like Halle Berry, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman, and many more than can be typed without having your fingers cramp up. This movie cast Gerard Butler as its leprechaun, so you know it’s star-studded.

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10 Years Review

The high school reunion film genre has been so flooded with entries that it’s reached the point of being nothing short of played out, so any new entry needs to justify its existence by offering some kind of unique spin on the usual, or at least by featuring characters that transcend the normal archetypes. Writer-director Jamie Linden fails on both counts in his 10 Years and seems to think that the film’s all-star cast compensates for those deficiencies. It doesn’t. No matter how much you love Channing Tatum, Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, or any of the other notables who turn up here, there’s no getting around the simple, basic fact that Linden’s movie doesn’t tell a story. It merely brings to life the world’s least interesting reunion, featuring a swath of staggering dullards played by talented people.

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Cobie Smulders

Canadians have created many good things: instant mashed potatoes, poutine, the electric streetcar, the foghorn (maybe not that one), insulin, the Wonderbra, the indie film Starbuck, and actress Cobie Smulders. Surely, the country has invented a number of other top items (there’s even some debate about peanut butter!), but these are obviously the very best, and now two of them will be united together in one splashy cinematic endeavor. Variety reports that How I Met Your Mother and Avengers star Smulders is currently in negotiations for the female lead in Ken Scott‘s remake of his own smash film (Scott directed the original, and will now serve double duty as writer and director on the DreamWorks project), the sperm donor laughfest, Starbuck. 

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10 Years Trailer

The high school reunion comedy is a sub-genre that’s ripe with drama and conflict. You’ve got the lost loves, the old rivalries, the people who have improved their stations in life butting up against those who have been taken down a peg, the people who have refused to grow up interacting with those that have gotten completely lame, and probably a handful of other familiar tropes that always seem to pop up. But that means that the high school reunion comedy is also a sub-genre that’s ripe with cliché, because, let’s face it, every single movie that falls into it always covers these exact same things. What’s the secret of making a good one then, if there isn’t much room for being unique? Probably making sure that the familiar material is at least infused with wit, and getting a talented cast to deliver it. Just from the trailer for 10 Years, it’s clear that this movie has the latter part of that equation taken care of. Just look at the names in this cast: Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Oscar Isaac, Justin Long, Ron Livingston, Kate Mara, Ari Graynor, etc… Whether this movie feels a little familiar or not, with a cast like that there’s guaranteed to be something in there worth watching.

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Though the idea of making a movie about Legos initially sounded like a really bad one, once Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller pitched their take on the material it actually sounded pretty promising. Could a movie about little plastic blocks tell an engaging story that teaches children an important message? That’s a question that we won’t be able to answer for quite some time, but thanks to a report from Variety we now know a whole lot more about what this upcoming Lego movie will look like. First of all, the project’s working title has now been confirmed as the project’s official title – that would be Lego: The Piece of Resistance. Thematically this makes sense, as Lord and Miller’s initial comments said that their main character would be an average guy living in Lego City who has to unlearn the town’s strict rules of always building things according to the instructions and figure out how to create something wholly original. It would seem that The Piece of Resistance’s protagonist is being set up as something of a revolutionary; both figuratively and literally according to new information from the Variety report.

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Compared to Nicholas Stoller‘s two previous films, The Five-Year Engagement has a lot going on. While his prior efforts only covered a few days, Engagement‘s timeline, if you couldn’t guess, goes well over… five years. Fitting all that time in one movie mustn’t be easy, as well as all the drama and comedy that takes place in that same period. As Stoller described the long writing process, it wasn’t easy, but life saves such as When Harry Met Sally helped him get through it, along with the help of co-writer Jason Segel.  With their dramatic comedy, the frequent collaborators took on an idea not discussed enough in love stories: that no one is ever going to be 100% perfect for you. As you’d expect from Stoller and Segel, said idea is milked for every comedic turn possible. Here’s what co-writer/director Nicholas Stoller had to say about the long writing process, why he never screams, and how the world almost got the Eminem animated show it deserved:

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Everyone is currently lining up to fictionally kill the mass-murdering asshole Osama Bin Laden (South Park) for Kathryn Bigelow. It’s obviously a wonderful opportunity for actors to work with the Oscar winner, especially considering how Jeremy Renner’s career blew up after defusing bombs for her. The good news is that all the names that are signing on the line happen to be worth their weight in statues. According to Deadline Destry, Jessica Chastain might continue her dominance with the now-untitled project alongside Mark Strong and Edgar Ramirez (Carlos). Meanwhile, Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) is now confirmed, and Joel Edgerton is double confirmed. Bringing on Chastain, Strong and Ramirez would be a strong move for the production. Bigelow is of course re-teaming with writer/producer Mark Boal for a project that will most likely be controversial due to the subject matter. They’re currently slated for a December release (a date conspicuously after the Presidential election). It’s possible that the date might be moved back due to a congressional investigation into whether the production was given information it wasn’t supposed to have, but December is what to watch for currently. And all of it sounds fantastic. The big question is how star-spangled this thing can get.

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For their latest juicy (and exciting) scoop, Twitch reports that Chris Pratt is in talks for “the lead role” in Kathryn Bigelow‘s upcoming Navy SEAL true life tale (often referred to by Kill Bin Laden, but currently without a new official title). Joel Edgerton was originally cast in the film, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, and Jason Clarke took on a role in November. It’s unknown if Clarke has taken on what was to be Edgerton’s role, but this news might well signal that’s not the case and that Pratt’s assumed “lead role” is the lead role. He’s an off-beat pick, but Bigelow has proven with The Hurt Locker that she’s more than capable of directing emerging talents into star-making performance (hi, Jeremy Renner, Brian Geraghty, and Anthony Mackie). Pratt is slowly morphing into a very interesting actor who is more than able to pull off some different roles with aplomb. Consider his work in 2011 alone – playing a jerk-off in Take Me Home Tonight, a gross dude in What’s Your Number?, and a pivotal (and oddly heart-tugging) part in Moneyball, all while pulling regular duty on Parks and Recreation as one-half of my current favorite television couple (eating off Frisbees and hilarious role-play are my hallmarks of a successful relationship). But a hard-core action role with enough drama to keep intellectual hearts pounding? That’s different, and damn if I don’t like the sound of it. Producers are reportedly aiming to start shooting the film […]

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The trailer for The Five-Year Engagement doesn’t make it look like a movie I’m too excited to see. Which is strange, because it’s not just the latest film from director Nicholas Stoller, it’s also his latest writing collaboration with Jason Segel, and I love pretty much everything that these guys do. I think the problem is that this one looks like it’s going to be a romantic comedy that’s a little bit heavier on the relationship drama than it will be on the comedy. I like my Jason Segel more silly and whimsical than the one I’m seeing here, dealing with the trials and tribulations of loving a woman who’s career path is taking his life in a different direction than he saw it going. On the flip side of the coin, this little two-and-a-half minute trailer is pretty much the most comedy I’ve ever seen Segel’s co-star Emily Blunt do, and she seems to be rather good at it. Not every actor can do comedy, so you’re never sure what you’re going to get until they try. The image of Kate Hudson getting shot in the leg with an arrow really doesn’t do much for me, but when it happens to Blunt here I got my one solid laugh from the trailer. Emily Blunt certainly isn’t my issue. Check out the first trailer for The Five-Year Engagement after the break.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr decides he’s going to learn history from Hollywood. After all, why not when three out of the four major releases are based on or inspired by a true story. He learns about the true history of baseball with Moneyball (and was sorely disappointed it wasn’t called Monkeyball because a movie about monkeys playing baseball would have been awesome). Then he learns all he needs to know about marine mammals and depressed children in Dolphin Tale. Finally, he faces the cadres of screaming tweenage girls to see Taylor Lautner in ABduction. That’s based on a true story, right?

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It’s been six long years since director Bennett Miller‘s Capote, and he’s finally returned with a very commercial, very accessible, and very good film, Moneyball. On the surface, the awards contender looks like a simple star vehicle for Brad Pitt. On a deeper level, it’s a film about ambition, being an outsider, and striving for greatness. Clearly, that fits nicely into Miller’s wheelhouse. Although this is only the filmmaker’s third film, the themes that spark Miller’s interest are apparent. Despite Moneyball being a commercial juggernaut and his 2005 critical hit being a breakout indie, they couldn’t be more thematically similar; both films are about men searching for career success, but finding something unexpected at the end. Speaking with Miller, you get a perfect sense of why the director is drawn to these ambitious figures. Here’s what the Moneyball director had to say about ambition, the adaptation challenges of his character drama, and taking advantage of the medium he works in:

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I was already pretty pumped just at the announcement that Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel were going to be working together again. Their first film collaboration Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one of my favorite comedies of the last decade and the idea of them reteaming for Five Year Engagement had me at hello. But since then they’ve just kept making this movie sound cooler and cooler. From the very beginning Emily Blunt was cast as Segel’s love interest in the film. I defy you to find someone who doesn’t like them some Emily Blunt. Score one point. movie. But it didn’t stop there. The wonderful people behind this film then went on to cast the funny and adorable Alison Brie to play Blunt’s younger sister. After that they filled things out by adding the ridiculously charismatic Rhys Ifans and the next big thing in comedy Chris Pratt for supporting roles. Could things get any better? Well, yes, and they have.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets an added dose of tiger’s blood and Adonis DNA to make it through all the movie-watching he endures. He bats about .500 in his screenings, really liking some but struggling through others. After a visit to the wild west of Rango, he finds his fate adjusted by a mysterious fleet of men with stylish hats. Then, he realizes how ugly Number Four really is before staying out all night, drinking with Topher Grace and Teresa Palmer… who looks a lot like Number Six.

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Nicholas Stoller directed both Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek. I liked both of those movies to varying degrees. I found Get Him to the Greek to be an enjoyable enough romp, but I thought Forgetting Sarah Marshall was one of the top few comedies of the decade. I would be interested enough in his next project no matter what it was. So when I look over the cast that has been announced for this one so far, I start to feel myself go from interested to fanboy meltdown. Stoller and Jason Segel, the same team that wrote both of the previously mentioned films, wrote the script. Personally, I’ll see anything that Jason Segel has a creative credit on. I find the man to be completely charming and his upcoming film The Muppets is something that I’m just giddy over. Segel is set to star in this one alongside my current crush Emily Blunt (who I’m watching flashing leg on Conan the very moment I type this). It tells the tale of the high and low points of a relationship, hopefully less depressingly than Blue Valentine did. But whichever way they go, I have faith that they’ll find a way to tell the story with humor and heart. Community’s Allison Brie has already signed on to play Blunt’s younger sister, and that’s great because she’s funny and pretty. Tell me all of this and I’m already on board. Adding in the new news is some delicious icing […]

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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