Craig Robinson

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Trio

Nobody will ever have the balls to remake Back to the Future or The Terminator. They are the untouchable time travel classics. And without them we couldn’t have a movie like Hot Tub Time Machine, which paid it all back in homage in ways that wouldn’t make a lot of sense for people unfamiliar with those earlier cultural staples (and who’d just be confused now if there were multiples of them). Not a whole lot about the 2010 comedy mirrors BTTF, yet the ending has a similar, albeit more extreme, case of the present being altered for the better thanks to changes made via a trip to the past. The movie concludes with a brilliant joke: Rob Corddry‘s character has used his knowledge of the future (present) to invent Google before Google (he calls it “Lou-gle”). Sorry to spoil that for anyone who hasn’t seen the first HTTM already, but them’s the breaks when sequels happen — they tend to lead off from the ending of the original. It’s like The Terminator. You can’t not know how it ends if you know anything about Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Of course, back then you had seven years to catch up. This time you only have only four, as Hot Tub Time Machine 2 hits theaters this Christmas. The sequel continues to follow in the footsteps of the BTTF series. Back to the Future Part II didn’t need to happen, but it did happen, and it also kind of elaborated on a joke that concluded the original. And also […]

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This-Is-The-End-Rogen-Franco-Hill

A lot of people make fun of Adam Sandler for choosing his projects based on whether or not their filming would make for a good vacation for him and his friends. He picks a story set in an exotic local, shoehorns a bunch of product placement into the script to make sure everything gets paid for, casts his buddies in all of the supporting roles, and then they go hang out. It’s not a bad scam. And if the trailers we’ve been getting for This is the End are any indication, it’s a scam that the next generation of comedic actors have finally gotten hip to.

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Rapturepalooza

Will Rapturepalooza actually be funny? Even after watching its entire red band trailer, which is chock-full of gags, the answer to that question still doesn’t really become clear. There are so many jokes that fly by here, some good and some bad, that it’s near impossible to tell what the hit-to-miss ratio is going to be like when you actually sit down to watch the thing in the theater. Has this trailer basically given away every joke the film makes, or are there still plenty more waiting to be discovered? Are the jokes we do see the broadest, silliest ones, meant to attract a general audience, or is broad silliness all the movie has to offer? It’s tough to say. But what’s clear is that director Paul Middleditch and writer Chris Matheson haven’t pulled any punches with what they’re willing to satirize. They shoot Jesus out of the sky with a laser cannon. They make light of Orlando being decimated in a nuclear explosion. You don’t have to go into Rapturepalooza worried about it half-stepping as far as the comedy is concerned.

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Hot Tub Time Machine

According to The Hollywood Reporter, MGM is in exploratory talks (aka dipping their toes in the water) with Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke to see if there’s a possibility of making a Hot Tub Time Machine sequel. Apparently John Cusack isn’t involved right now (which is curious, because he’s the ball game), but there’s a chance Corddry might work with Steve Pink on the script. Pink is, as you can guess, in talks to return to the director’s chair. Hot Tub Time Machine was a funny enough movie, and bringing these comedians back together would certainly be better than, say, watching Grown Ups or being clawed to death by a horse-sized duck. Still, with the way the original ended, it’s going to take some narrative hopscotch to get the guys back in time. Think about it. If you saw all your dreams of wealth, fame, love and success come true, you probably wouldn’t go near another hot tub again. So what entices everyone to take the plunge? That’s the inexplicable part, but there’s no doubt that — if this moves forward — Pink will find something appropriately ridiculous to bring everyone into the second act. So MGM wants it, but do you? And where do they go? A Reality Bites-style look at being 20-something in the 90s?

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This Is the End

Just in time for (insert tons of played out end of the world jokes here), the first teaser trailer for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s This Is the End (formerly known as The End of the World) has arrived. And, guess what? It’s a film about Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and Jonah Hill living through an apocalypse in Los Angeles, getting trapped in a house together, and trying to survive – of course it’s funny. If the world doesn’t end tomorrow, the prospect of seeing this movie next summer is more than enough reason to keep living. Check it out for yourself:

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Charles Matthau’s upcoming adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Freaky Deaky was all set to be a star studded, A-list affair. First, it scooped up William H, Macy in a starring role. Solid, sturdy, that’s a good choice. Then it began filling out the ranks of its cast with big names put in supporting roles. Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Craig Robinson, they were all on board, and it was looking like this could end up being a big hit like one of Leonard’s other page to screen adaptations, Get Shorty. But then, suddenly, the entire cast dropped out of the pic and were recast with names that are more, uh… B-list. Uh-oh, that can’t be a good sign.

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Charles Matthau’s big screen adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Freaky Deaky has been hiring actors right and left to fill out some of its bigger roles. Being a Leonard novel, I’m sure you can imagine the complexity of the plot, and the amount of roles that need to be filled, so it’s encouraging that Matthau and his casting crew seems to be off to a good start. We already knew that everybody’s favorite actor William H. Macy has signed on to play a drunken, irresponsible movie mogul, and that saucy young dish Camilla Belle is attached to do something as well, but today there’s a trio of casting announcements that really put what this project is going to end up looking like in better perspective. The film’s plot involves two former political activists and bomb experts who intend to use their pyrotechnic expertise to intimidate and trick Macy’s character out of millions of dollars. One of the activists, Skip Gibbs, we now know will be played by Brendan Fraser. Matt Dillon has signed on to play Chris Mankowski, a bomb squad officer who stumbles on Fraser and company’s plot and therefore gets sucked into the whirlwind of nonsense that is an Elmore Leonard story. And lastly, Craig Robinson has been hired to play Donnell Lewis, a former Black Panther who has become the assistant to Macy’s character due to a newfound love of capitalism. All of these actors have their strengths, and it sounds to me like the roles […]

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Culture Warrior

Episodes and seasons and weeks after its inspiration and its humor have peaked, I still continue to watch new episodes of The Office week in and week out. I don’t know why – I never do this with dramatic shows, only with comedies – but I tend to stick with comedy shows whose legacy I appreciate even if their time has passed, either out of respect, blind hope, or simply the desire to have some noise in the room while I take a break to eat a meal or fold laundry. While The Office certainly isn’t what it used to be, even before Steve Carell left, it’s still an inoffensive and enjoyable way to pass some time. I can’t deny that the affinity I developed for the show’s characters early on in the series has carried me through a lot of its creative droughts (in other words, I hardly watch it only for its comedy) even as more recent network sitcoms like Modern Family, Community, and (especially) Parks and Recreation have made me LOL significantly more often. But in the bizarre cameos leading up to a strange and dry seventh season finale, The Office seems to have encountered much greater problems than a rudimentary lack of inspiration typical for the (possibly cyclical) lifespan of a long-running television show. The Office seems to have rejected the defining characteristics that made it unique in the first place.

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Rapturepalooza – a movie where Anna Kendrick and John Francis Daley (Freak and Geeks) team up to go fight the antichrist (who is, of course, played by Craig Robinson) – already sounds brilliant. High concept comedy, especially where the end of the world is in the mix, never fails to excite. Fortunately, Variety is reporting that the movie now has Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel and Thomas Lennon on board for the possible destruction of all reality as well. It’s great news, but it’s hardly surprising. Comedies like this tend to draw in names from the same extended group of comedy veterans that continue banding together to take smaller roles or cameos in each other’s projects. Still, here’s hoping that Thomas Lennon plays an old fashioned guy. Could other State members be far behind from signing on?

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What is Movie News After Dark? Like your collegiate sex life, it will be in and out quick with nothing very interesting to say. It will, however, deliver unto you all the magical and wondrous movie news of the day. And it promises to call you the next day, because you’re a person, dammit. We open tonight with images of humans running away from fireballs. It must be time for a Michael Bay update. This one is from Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and it includes zero robots. Not quite as interesting as the ones that include robots, but still quite ‘splosiony.

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Lionsgate is trying out a radical new approach to making movies – one in which you don’t spend a bajillion dollars producing, distributing, and advertising every film. Their new initiative, which focuses on what they’re calling microbudget films, is set to start releasing 10 films a year that all cost under 2 million dollars to produce. Seeing as the normal practice seems to have become releasing one film that costs 200 million to produce, you can see how this is such a change of pace for the industry. Lionsgate executive Joe Drake explained the strategy, “Microbudget films involve minimal overhead and very little risk, but a potentially high reward. This initiative allows us to add another layer to our slate of movies that work both financially and creatively.” That doesn’t seem so hard to figure out, make more movies for less money and each one becomes less of a risk, and you have more chances for something to hit big and recoup all your money. I sincerely hope it works out. The first three films to be produced under the initiative have been announced. The first is called Rapturepalooza, a comedy set after the religious apocalypse. It’s being directed by Paul Middleditch, written by Chris Matheson, and has Craig Robinson set to star. They refer to it as Zombieland meets The Big Lebowski in the press release, but that sounds too good to be true. If I was trying to sell movies that’s probably how I would describe everything. The […]

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Hot Tub Time Machine Review

There are two very excellent reasons why you should be interested in the Hot Tub Time Machine soundtrack. Check ‘em out inside.

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kevin-reportcard-header

This week, chubby man about town Kevin Carr takes a look at How to Train Your Dragon, Hot Tub Time Machine (which sounds right up his alley) and Greenberg. You may want to wear a helmet.

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Hot Tub Time Machine Review

Knock back a few beers, snort some coke and hop in the Hot Tub Time Machine! Wait that’s a terrible idea. Better just see the flick.

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Hot Tub Time Machine

Trying to talk seriously with a bunch of comedians is like trying to milk a frog. It’s silly and wet. Either way, we got to do so, got very little information, but put it together for you anyways.

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In the beginning, there was something kitschy about the next comedy from Accepted director Steve Pink. Now, it just looks dumb.

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The sporadically funny movie from Zach Cregger and Trevor Moore of ‘The Whitest Kids U’ Know’ proves the difficulty of transitioning from the world of sketch comedy to narrative filmmaking.

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If you squint, you can see John Cusack.

Apparently the punch line to this joke is a feature-length script about men, sexual tension, and a magic hot tub.

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Chicago Film Festival: Zack and Miri Make a Porno

As part of the media accreditation I get passes to a bunch of non-gala films (mostly foreign films whose directors won’t be in attendance), but as a writer for FSR I took it upon myself to tackle the subject I know you care about most: porn.

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The Office: Crime Aid

In an effort to help Pam afford art school, Michael gets her a job at corporate. Holly and Michael get an early start at getting it on, and Dwight makes an ultimatum to Angela.

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