Comedy

Kevin Durant Thunderstruck Movie

Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder are waiting to see whether they’ll face Miami or Boston in the finals, so in the meantime, Durant is most likely working on emoting and memorizing lines. The forward has pulled an MJ by starring in a new family-friendly movie called Thunderstruck. Instead of the old body-switching model, he (playing himself) faces difficulty because of a talent-transfer which leaves him as terrible as a small child. On the other end of that swap is Brian (Taylor Gray), a kid obsessed with basketball, Durant and making his school team. When he gets Durant’s talent, that last bit comes easy. Why he wants to join a team coached by Jim Belushi is unclear. It sounds low-rent, but the trailer proves that expectation wrong. Produced by Warners, it’s got a sort of Air Bud feel to it (except with a human instead of a Golden Retriever Receiver). It’s probably more than a little cheesy, but imagine you’re 10-years-old and dream of playing in the NBA. This movie is going to be magic for kids. Check out the trailer:

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Ashley Tisdale

It’s sort of crazy to know that Ashley Tisdale is 26 years old. Her acting career has been stuck firmly in the High School Musical world of teenage-dom with little in the way of grown-up roles. It’s also crazy to know that she was in Donnie Darko (as the “chut-up girl”). Just kidding. She was this girl. Well, that dorky girl concerned about her sister’s eating habits is about to graduate. According to a press release, she’ll be starring in Scary Movie 5 – which delivers the fantastic opportunity for her to spoof herself and HSM. It’s rare that a gag movie gets the star of a set of movies rife for parody. And you know the entire movie will be pop culture references. It’s not like the fifth movie in a flagging franchise that should have been direct-to-video a long time ago is an electric property, but at least it will get her beyond the doors of the cafetorium. After all, the original was a career-maker for Anna Faris. The plot, as previously reported, focuses on spoofing Black Swan, Final Destination and Paranormal Activity, so presumably, Tisdale will be playing a perfectionist ballerina who makes out with Mila Kunis a ton while taping ghosts who are killing everyone with Rube Goldberg devices. Can’t wait.  

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? It’s Kevin Spacey. And a dummy. With a mind of its own. This short from writer/director Benjamin Leavitt shows off Spacey’s incredible talent – placing the drama and comedy firmly on his shoulders while working with a piece of wood with a face. It’s shot and scored well, but it’s the great physical work on display that shines brightest. What will it cost? Only 10 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? The beginning of Daryl Della‘s Oldtimers is a string of reminders that Hank (Henry Della) is old. The 85-year-old is reminded to take things easy by his pharmacist and given shit about a friend who had a heart attack. He’s no Spring chicken, but when he decides to sell his pills to some local thugs for extra cash and they rip him off, he proves what he’s capable of. It’s funny, interesting work that shows off a great script (and an opening that fantastically homages The Big Lebowski). Like Walter White, Hank is facing death (although not really an untimely one…) and he’s descended into the underworld of drug dealing and violence. What will it cost? Only 20 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Seeing Rubber was a highlight of 2010. Quentin Dupieux proved his fierce, uncompromising imagination and a flare for nihilism which made the strange journey of a murderous tire ingenious. His follow-up was Wrong, which hit festivals a while back, but he’s now premiered a short at Cannes that’s not a sequel. He’s just lazy with titles. Wrong Cops, hilarious in its towering self-confident commitment, features the kind of sleazebag authority figure that would make Harvey Keitel smile. Just kidding. Harvey Keitel never smiles. Still, this short is like exploring a place you’ve been before and finding something different. Insane and wondrous, it also asks a profound philosophical question that demands several minutes of contemplation: does Marilyn Manson want a picture of your dick? What will it cost? Only 13 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Last year’s Transcendent Man dealt with Ray Kurzweil and the possible future where human life is extended thanks to computer memory, The Cloud and our own egos. In Tom Scott‘s new short, we find that death might be preferable once the lawyers have taken over. It’s straightforward sci-fi that pulls off the storytelling magic of placing you at the center of it – a movie that directs its attention to you and manages to nail down a universal humor. You’re dead. Now what? What will it cost? Only 5 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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Larry David has reigned as the king of cable comedy for quite a few years now due to the continued success of his HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. His largely improvised look at what it’s like to be a rich, curmudgeonly Hollywood type getting in fights with everyone, everywhere he goes, is a comedy goldmine, and has proved that his network success with Seinfeld was in no way a fluke. To this point though, David hasn’t been able to successfully make the transition to being a feature film presence. When David takes a film role, more often than not, we end up with something like Whatever Works, the Woody Allen film that was probably his least acclaimed work of the past decade. But, if news being reported today is to be believed, Larry’s luck might be about to change. THR has a report that David is currently in negotiations to star in a new comedy from Superbad director Greg Mottola, that’s coming from a treatment by Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and David Mandel – all writers who David is familiar with from their work on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Reportedly, the still-untitled comedy is going to be largely improv-based – much like David’s current television work – with a loosely scripted plot that’s being kept under wraps used as a framework for heat-of-the-moment riffs.

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Sacha Baron Cohen is a bit of an odd duck. An understatement, true, but he’s an outlier as a lead in studio comedies because thus far, instead of receiving a script and playing a character, he’s been making features based on characters created for his short lived HBO show. From the appropriately titled Da Ali G Show, Baron Cohen’s alter egos Borat and Bruno sprang forth assaulting the minds, eyes and morals of moviegoers the world over in what were essentially feature-length sketch shows more so than films (though Borat does get extra credit for the Pam Anderson narrative thread). Cohen’s new studio comedy, The Dictator, represents a departure from his norm and thus a challenge. Despite his involvement in the writing process, this wasn’t a persona he was used to slipping in and out of for years. Moreover, this would supposedly be a film with a narrative, filled with Cohen’s trademark humor for sure, but an actual story with a beginning, middle and end. All that remained to be seen was whether or not Cohen could pull that off.

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The teaser trailer for Anchorman 2 is in front of The Dictator, which means it should be swimming its way onto the internet any second now. Wait for it. Wait. For it. But while you’re waiting, scope out this new poster for the forthcoming film which seems to have taken forever to greenlight and yet no time at all to film. It’s nowhere near being done, but doesn’t it feel that way? With Will Ferrell announcing the project on Conan, a trailer that’s already ready to roll and now one sheet work, it almost seems like we should be seeing Ron Burgundy in theaters next week or something. Nevertheless, by great Odin’s raven, here’s the poster:

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Moonrise Kingdom appears to be a delicate fancy of a film – an assessment you suspect might entertain Wes Anderson – offering no more ground-breaking a story than young love, with the director’s traditional preoccupation with whimsy, and creating such artfully created landscapes and characters that they flirt outrageously with magic realism, though without explicit realisation of that concept. But there are weightier issues at hand, of parental neglect, of revolution (not just sexual but also anti-establishment), and it seems completely appropriate that Anderson chose to set it in as provocatively important a time as 1965. The film follows two young lovers – Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) – who escape their lives to run away together, and the ensuing chaos of their parents and the local authorities’ attempts to find them: no more than a gentle plot that suggests nothing of the drama and comedy that subsequently unfolds.

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Dark Shadows, the old ABC gothic soap opera, is such natural material for Tim Burton and Johnny Depp that you almost wonder why they bothered. Of all the movies and TV shows to remake, it’s perhaps the most logical choice for the men who brought us Beetlejuice and Captain Jack Sparrow, respectively, not to mention Edward Scissorhands and other offbeat luminaries in their partnership. Lighthearted macabre quirk is the tandem’s specialty and the primary operating mode of their new movie, a visually-pleasing haunted house/vampire comedy. But even if Dark Shadows is a case of safe, smooth sailing for its makers, it’s still far more spirited and thoughtfully made than most summer movie counterparts.

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The Coroner

Doghouse, which was called Zombie Harlem in Japan (I can’t tell if that’s better or worse), is a British horror-comedy that’s been resting in my Netflix queue for the better part of two years. One of those films that sounds interesting, but has an air of uncertain quality about it. The official synopsis goes a little something like this: a group of men head to a remote village to help their friend get over a divorce, only to find it overrun with women who hunger for flesh. Sounds titillating right? And by titillating, I mean it should have a lot of boobs in it, right? And carnage? And death? Correct! That’s what it sounds like. But that’s not what it is.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Like you’re not watching for the title. Yes, it’s cool as hell, with its tequila-soaked narrator getting as lofty as a 120-degree sun and a mythological monster-battling hero who crosses cultural boundaries. More than that, the production design here is excellent, and this wild, funny flick seems to be the tip of a much larger (possibly feature-length) iceberg. What will it cost? Only 3 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve got Time For More Short Films Hat tip to Kiki for submitting it.

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Channel Guide - Large

With most of the sitcoms that debuted in the fall (and managed to escape cancellation) winding down this week, I think it’s time to crown a winner. Which one of these brand new sitcoms most deserves to stick around?  Which was the most memorable? Which came out on top? Zooey Deschanel’s New Girl has already been renewed, Whitney was a thing that happened, but the show that worked the best for me was NBC’s Up All Night. Executive produced by Lorne Michaels and created by former Saturday Night Live writer Emily Spivey, Up All Night is a funny and relatable look at the life of a married couple, played by Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, trying to adapt to life with a new baby. Arnett is Chris, a former lawyer who has decided to stay home with their daughter while Appelgate’s Regan returns to work where she struggles to balance motherhood with the demands of her larger than life boss Ava—an Oprah-like talk show host played by Maya Rudolph. The show was this season’s best new sitcom and here are four reasons why.

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Even when the studio flies you up and puts you in a nice hotel, movie press conferences are usually incredibly dull. They largely consist of general questions and meaningless answers. If you’re lucky/unlucky, the foreign press will be there punctuating the conversation about story structure with inquiries into what color underwear stars are wearing or who they’re currently bedding. So, it’s all pretty boring. Unless it’s performance art. Enter Sacha Baron Cohen. Instead of appearing to answer bland questions about The Dictator, he arrived in character with a host of female body guards and proceeded to make brashly anti-semetic statements, call for fairer treatment of dictators, and to take at least one planted question about how glorious and wise he is. The fine folks at IndieWire got his introduction on video. It’s not monumental, but history has been made. Minutes into the press conference, almost no one in the crowd looks asleep.  

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You know what this Klown Red Band Trailer is all about? Hospitality. It’s about repaying a woman who is nice enough to invite you into her home, let you crash there and make you pancakes. It’s sweet really. Even if it gets a little smelly. The film played at Fantastic Fest, where Adam Charles laughed his ass off to its absurd male bonding, and Drafthouse Films picked it up for distribution. The movie, based on a television show, focuses on two men who are on a wild Tour de Pussy. Trying to boldly prove that he’s fatherly material to his girlfriend, one of the men kidnaps her 12-year-old son and brings him along. Check out more good parenting with the trailer:

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? “One take. We do this in one take.” The latest flick from Boo Ya Pictures is hilarious. It tells the inspiring story of a band of idiots who break into a jewelry store to shoot a scene for their indie heist movie. It’s heavy on the creative cursing, mad absurdity and a dick-swinging piss take on a common action trope. Plus, it comes with an endearing low rent quality and a group of comedians that you’d want to grab a beer with. What will it cost? Only 8 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Blood Creek, as it turns out, is an incredibly popular spot for duels. Also, coordinating different duels was pretty confounding, and there were a shit ton of them back in the day. This short from Leo Burton layers chaos upon poetically insulting language and manages to build a strong, funny story out of what could have easily been a 5-minute sketch. Instead of toying with one odd concept, it toys with 2 or 3 to create something truly special. Plus, it’s aided by great camera work and the star of the show – a boisterous, rousing old-timey score. Oh, and talk about a finish. Genius. Pure genius. What will it cost? Only 14 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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In the latest issue of Empire, writer/director/custodian Adam McKay explained that a sea of change was going to attack the news team from Channel Four in the upcoming Anchorman 2. After dealing with sexual politics and women in the work place, the sequel will jump ahead just a few years to the issue of racial diversity. “It’s right when all the news started changing with the 24-hours news cycle in ’78 or ’79,” said McKay. “All of a sudden, local news stations diversified and had Latino anchors and African-American anchors, and any time you’re talking about diversity and the Action News team, that’s always fun to deal with.” A fantastic idea. McKay has never shied away from making political statements, but it’s both surprising and unsurprising that Anchorman 2 would take this tilt. After all, the original isn’t touted as a champion of social consciousness. The fact that it should be is why it’s excellent to see diversity on the menu for the next adventure for Ron Burgundy and friends.

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The legendary Cloris Leachman is a salty woman with brass buttons. Her latest conquest is the suspense thriller – working alongside, seriously, Tara Reid in The Fields. Kevin Carr sits down the Oscar winner to discuss what scares her, her work with Mel Brooks and why she owns a porn shop in an upcoming movie. Plus, Eric D. Snider and Rob Hunter go head to head Movie News Pop Quiz-style, and the discussion turns to spoiler sensitivity. Download Episode #130

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