Comedies

Price Check Trailer

The trailer for Michael Walker’s (Chasing Sleep) latest comedy, Price Check, starts off looking like it’s going to be an ironic-in-tone workplace comedy along the lines of things like Office Space or The Office, but then, halfway through, there’s a shocker of a line that puts a whole new spin on the story and probably shouldn’t be given away. So we’re not going to talk much about what this movie is about here in this trailer write-up. What we should talk about though are the performances on display, and, more specifically, how fun Eric Mabius (Ugly Betty) and Parker Posey (Waiting for Guffman) look like they’re going to be in this. Price Check debuted this year at Sundance, where our own Kate Erbland saw it and called it “laughably uneven,” but also made clear that it “features a solid comedic performance from star Posey.” If this trailer accomplishes anything, it successfully sells that performance. Posey’s going big here with the obnoxious enthusiasm and the uncomfortable directness, basically assaulting everyone around her with her personality, and it looks like Mabius is going to be a great foil for her, being the straight man who is, at the same time, conflicted and frightened by their interactions.

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Jorma Taccone

Whether he’s making web shorts with his fellow Lonely Island members Akiva Schaffer and Andy Samberg, (formerly) writing for NBC’s long-running sketch show Saturday Night Live, or directing cult favorite films like MacGruber, Jorma Taccone is always finding ways to keep busy. It almost seems like he enjoys getting paid to make funny stuff all the time, or something. While everybody clearly still enjoys his past work on SNL and the web, it seems like the really big bucks must be in the movies, because more and more it appears that the man is turning to feature film directing as a way to fill up his work calendar. Earlier this year we heard that he had been attached to direct an Image Comics property called The Great Unknown, which is a story about a deluded, self-proclaimed genius on a quest to discover how all of his first-rate ideas are being stolen on a worldwide level. And now we have word from THR that he’s been attached to direct yet another film, this one called Spy Guys.

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The bad thing about The Exorcist is that it has been so influential that we’re coming up on 40 years since its release and still we’re getting a handful of cheap knockoffs released in theaters every year. From The Devil Inside, to The Rite, to The Last Exorcism, to The Exorcism of Emily Rose, demonic possession movie after demonic possession movie is made with the same plot, the same characters, and the same tone. And every time you watch the whole thing play out, it manages to hit with slightly less impact than it did the time before. It was with great enthusiasm, then, that I watched J.T. Petty’s (The Burrowers) latest film, Hellbenders, which is finally, finally an exorcism movie that’s nothing like all of the other exorcism movies that have come before. There are no creepy little girls and wise but weary priests here. Instead, Hellbenders populates itself with foul-mouthed, hard-partying priests who seem to be more comfortable sinning than they do going to Sunday mass. You see, the conceit is this: in order for a priest who deals in exorcism to be ready to take a demon into his body and escort it to hell — by offing himself — he must always have enough sin wracked up to actually be worthy of going to the place. So, the merry band of miscreants that this film follows have checklists to make sure that they’re on top of their sinning. They curse, they steal, they blaspheme, they engage in […]

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Nature Calls Red Band Trailer

Whether he’s taking a stand against KFC bowls in his standup act, lampooning sports-obsessed weirdos in Big Fan, or snarkily dismissing small town group think in Young Adult, Patton Oswalt has firmly established himself as being one of the preeminent critics of modern culture. Nature Calls keeps that momentum going by casting him as a man in an epic struggle against the rampant douchebaggery running wild in our youth. The basic story is this: Oswalt plays a Boy Scout troop leader frustrated with the modern generation’s lack of interest in things like going outside and not staring at a screen all day. Johnny Knoxville plays his brother, the sort of manic idiot whose idea of being a role model is loading kids full of sugar and showing them bum fights on Youtube. This impasse of ideals leads to Oswalt kidnapping a crew of rambunctious children and forcing them to spend time out in the woods doing the sorts of things that men do. An epic manhunt and “Lord of the Flies” shenanigans soon follow.

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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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Jennifer Garner in Butter

What exactly is Butter? Is it a mock-heroic portrayal of a small town woman’s overblown political aspirations? A domestic story about a man addicted to strip clubs? An inspirational tale about a hard-luck orphan discovering talent and motivation? From what can be discerned by watching its new trailer, Butter would appear to be all of these things. And it would also appear to be a semi-comedic look at the world of competitive butter carving (which is a real thing, and totally worth a Google). At first glance all of that seems likely to be, both figuratively and literally, pretty messy. Can one movie pull off packing in this many disparate plot threads without losing focus and collapsing under its own weight? And are we really expected to watch a comedy about people carving butter that isn’t being brought to the screen by Christopher Guest and his usual cast of players? No, under most circumstances Butter wouldn’t look like a movie worth giving a chance at all – but just look at that laundry list of great people involved.

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John Goodman in The Hangover Part III?

Though he’s had a long and storied career full of great roles both dramatic and comedic, sometimes it still feels like John Goodman is still an underutilized and under-appreciated actor. No matter what movie you put him in, his presence alone is guaranteed to class the production up and serve as one of its highlights. The guy is just that good, and the fact that he hasn’t had a real starring role since the days of King Ralph and The Babe is kind of a shame. Of course, beggars can’t be choosers, so when it comes to watching John Goodman work, us film fans will take what we can get. And though it is a bit bittersweet, Variety has word that this status quo is looking to continue. The latest development in the man’s career is that he’s negotiating to take a small role in The Hangover Part III, which is said to be a villain role, similar to the one that Paul Giamatti played in the first sequel.

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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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So far all of the news we’ve gotten about the development of a third Bill & Ted film has come from the franchise’s Bill S. Preston, Esquire, Alex Winter, so it’s about time that the other half of the equation, its Ted Theodore Logan, Keanu Reeves, got into the beans spilling game. The last we heard about the potential project, Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot had been attached to helm, but the film, which was written on spec, still hadn’t found funding. Well, that’s still where we’re at as far as development goes, but recently Reeves talked to GQ (via Movies.com) about the project, and he managed to give us a better idea of what the script Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson wrote is all about. We already knew that the film would involve an aging Bill and Ted who are still trying to get their Wyld Stallyns thing together, but Reeves explains exactly where the duo is at as far as their music career is concerned: “One of the plot points is that these two people have been crushed by the responsibility of having to write the greatest song ever written and to change the world. And they haven’t done it. So everybody is kind of like: ‘Where is the song?’ The guys have just drifted off into esoterica and lost their rock. And we go on this expedition, go into the future to find out if we wrote the song, and one future ‘us’ refuses to tell us, […]

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The last time we checked in on the progress of Bill & Ted 3, the screen’s Bill S. Preston, Esq., Alex Winter, informed us that both he and the actor who portrayed “Ted” Theodore Logan, Keanu Reeves, were very much on board to make another sequel, a script for the film had been completed, and everybody was very happy with how it read. Unfortunately, the movie still wasn’t officially green lit by anyone, and wasn’t guaranteed to ever actually happen. Happily, there’s some new movement regarding the project that suggests we may be one step closer to the glorious fantasy of Bill & Ted 3 getting financed becoming a reality. Vulture is reporting that Bill & Ted creators Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson (who wrote this third Bill & Ted movie on spec) have attached director Dean Parisot to their script, joining both principal actors in a tidy little package that’s likely to look fairly attractive to studios. Parisot mostly busies himself with TV work, but he did also direct the well-liked satire Galaxy Quest back in 1999, so he’s no stranger to big screen comedy.

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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?

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The only way you can describe the new trailer for This Is 40 is to say that it looks, unmistakably, like a Judd Apatow film. Not only are his wife and kids front and center, but so are a ton of other actors that he’s known for collaborating with, they’re all engaging in that stoner-shenanigans-that-still-tug-on-the-heartstrings humor that Apatow perfected if not invented, and it’s all set to a George Harrison song that feels like it was written precisely so it could accompany the sentimental hard sell of a trailer for a Judd Apatow movie.

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Though Idiocracy was a bit too uneven to be the Office Space followup that fans of Mike Judge were hoping for, it was full of enough funny concepts that it’s gradually built up a cult following of its own, nonetheless. When Idiocracy first hit theaters, Fox gave it a paltry seven city release and almost no promotion, and seeing as this was well before the days of simultaneous theater and VOD distribution, the film initially came and went without too many people being aware of it at all. But six years of gradual growth in awareness due to word of mouth recommendations means that, these days, if one were to make casual reference to Idiocracy gags like “Ow My Balls!” or “Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator,” chances are a couple people in the room are going to know what they’re talking about. One of the most memorable parts of Judge’s bleak look at our increasing stupidity was the man who becomes the President in this future world, former porn star and professional wrestler Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. It turns out that not only have comedy fans kept a place for Camacho in their hearts over this last half-decade, but so has the actor who portrayed him, Terry Crews.

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The odds don’t seem so great that The Internship is going to end up being a funny movie. First off, it’s being directed by Shawn Levy, a man who’s known for putting together safe, boring studio stuff like Cheaper by the Dozen and Night and the Museum, and who even managed to disappoint when working with hilarious comedic leads Steve Carell and Tina Fey on Date Night. Secondly, it’s coming from a script that was penned by Vince Vaughn, and when Vince Vaughn is the one doing the writing, he gives us films like The Break-Up and Couples Retreat – not exactly titles that would make anyone’s top ten list of recent comedies. That’s not to say that the upcoming film is doomed to failure, however. It’s got a premise that’s relatable to modern times and an impressive-on-paper cast working in its favor, and that may be enough to help it beat the odds. The Internship stars Vaughn and Owen Wilson as a couple of old school salespeople who find that their jobs are being made obsolete due to the rise of online marketing and shopping. Not taking their newfound lack of employment lying down, the duo decide to reinvent themselves and become the two most aged interns at a major tech company. Bumbling presumably ensues.

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Bachelorette Movie 2012

Not only did last year’s Kristen Wiig-starring vehicle Bridesmaids become a surprise success at the box office, it also became something of a cultural hot button, starting debates all over media and the web about whether or not women could be as funny as men, or, more specifically, if they could get away with delivering material as dirty as the stuff in most comedies made by dudes. If Bridesmaids was the first experiment towards proving that they can, then Bachelorette is cranking things up a notch and further testing the limits. While Bridemaids featured some good-natured raunch and family-friendly poop jokes, Bachelorette appears to be downright salacious in how sans morals its main character are. By having a very similar plot and a very similar comedic style to Bridesmaids, just one year after that film was released, Bachelorette is all but setting itself up to be called a lame ripoff. But, if its new red band trailer is any indication, it’s still going to be hilarious anyway. That’s maybe not so surprising when your movie is starring funny ladies like Isla Fischer, Lizzie Kaplan, and Rebel Wilson, but – holy crap – Kirsten Dunst even seems like she’s knocking her lines out of the park. Who knew that she had comedic timing? Add in Adam Scott and James Marsden for all your man-crush needs, and Bachelorette has the cast that won’t quit.

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With his last film, Rubber, French director Quentin Dupieux proved that he could make a movie that has an inanimate object serving as its main character and have it not only refrain from being completely ridiculous, but actually turn out kind of moody and interesting. His tale of a serial-killing tire wasn’t exactly high art, but it wasn’t the sort of non-self-aware schlock that you might expect from a film with such a ludicrous plot description either. So it’s interesting to see that his new project, Wrong, takes a completely mundane plot and seems to inject it with more craziness than you could shake a stick at. On its surface, Wrong is the story of a man (Jack Plotnick) who loses and then goes on a quest to recover his dog. But, if the film’s new trailer is any indication, said quest doesn’t go at all how he imagined it would. What results is a mind-bending mixture of comedy and thriller that doesn’t seem like it should work on the page, but which looks interesting enough that you have to hope Dupieux has what it takes to pull it off.

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Why should you go see Frankie Go Boom this October 12? If not to support a burgeoning talent in newcomer writer/director Jordan Roberts, do it because it stars names like Charlie Hunnam (who you might know from Undeclared or Sons of Anarchy), Lizzy Caplan (who is awesome in everything she does), Whitney Cummings (who has a lot to make up for after making us sit through her sitcom) and Chris O’Dowd (who charmed the world as the love interest in Bridesmaids and most likely has big things ahead of him). And, if all of those names aren’t enough to convince you to buy a ticket, see Frankie Go Boom in order to take in just how beautiful Ron Perlman looks when he’s dressed up as a woman.

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If you were one of the many people who complained that The Hangover Part II was nothing more than a tired retread of everything that had already been run into the ground about the original (and why wouldn’t you have been?), then it might come as good news that the makers of The Hangover Part III seem to already be taking steps to differentiate it from the first two films in the franchise. Then again, you might not end up thinking it’s good news at all. According to THR, perennial Hangover supporting actor Ken Jeong has officially signed on to once again appear in this third film, but unlike in the first two installments, where his character’s role in the story consisted of little more than popping in and out of the action to show us his penis, this time around Jeong will see his presence greatly expanded. While details of the plot are still safely guarded, it’s known that the latest set of party fouls will send the boys to Tijuana, and this new news indicates that Jeong’s Mr. Chow will presumably be along for the ride. Could this mean that he’s in line to be officially inducted into the Wolfpack?

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Whether it’s been as a comedian, writer, storyteller, or frequent contributor to This American Life, Mike Birbiglia has made a living just talking about his experiences and getting audiences to relate to his day to day struggles. The latest development in his career progression is this new film, Sleepwalk With Me, a tale of struggling in a new career, dealing with societal pressure to start a family, and living through an insane medical condition that makes you do crazy shit while you’re asleep; all material ripped straight out of Birbiglia’s real life experiences. Sleepwalk With Me started as a stage show called “Sleepwalk With Me Live,” which later got recorded and became a best-selling comedy album of the same name. The next step was to turn the stories into written memoirs, so “Sleepwalk With Me & Other Painfully True Stories” was born, and went on to become a New York Times Bestseller. This new film adaptation of the material features Birbiglia acting in the starring role, co-directing with Seth Barrish, and co-writing with a handful of collaborators. That’s a lot of Mike Birbiglia.

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It’s been fifteen years since Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold packed up the family for the last National Lampoon’s Vacation movie, probably because that most recent attempt at cashing in on this comedy franchise didn’t go so well. New Line seems to think that there’s still some juice left in the formula however, because they’ve hired Horrible Bosses scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to co-write and co-direct a new entry in the franchise. This isn’t set to just be the same old Vacation movie where Clark and Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) take their teenage kids on some sort of oppressively family oriented adventure though. The characters are finally being allowed to age, and the lead of the film is set to be an adult version of Rusty Griswold, who will be taking on the duty of being head of family leisure planning.

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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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