Danny McBride

Eastbound and Down

“I’m a bad man. I’m a very bad man.”  Kenny Powers’ road to redemption came to an end on Sunday’s Eastbound and Down finale. After a stellar fourth season that found Danny McBride’s MLB has-been unexpectedly making a living through his bullying and bullshitting skills as TV sportscaster, Kenny finally discovered that men — or at least some men — just can’t have it all. “I was never unhappy with you guys,” he admits to his ex-wife about the family he broke apart. “I was unhappy with myself.” Thus another manchild bites the dust. Eastbound and Down couldn’t have ended any other way. After last week’s episode [spoilers], when Stevie was on the verge of putting a bullet through his brain for not being able to buy Christmas presents for his kids, the show’s bathos graduated to genuine, compelling pathos. (“Trying to kill myself was the best thing I ever did,” Stevie decides later in the company of his ever-doting wife.) Kenny has a better head on his shoulders than Stevie does, but an ending that finds “Kenneth Powers” giving up on his humanity to become sadistic kajillionaire Ronny Thelman’s (Sacha Baron Cohen) mulleted pit bull might have been too dispiriting a conclusion.

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Eastbound and Down

In just a few more days, the new TV season will be upon us. That means this weekend is the last chance for a binge-watch to catch up on a show you’ve been meaning to see but haven’t gotten around to yet. If you’re looking for one last mini-marathon, you could definitely do a lot worse than HBO’s Danny McBride vehicle Eastbound and Down. With only seven half-hour episodes in each season, it’ll be a cinch to run through the previous seasons before the fourth premieres on Sunday, September 29. For the duration of its existence, Eastbound has been the towheaded stepchild of HBO’s comedy lineup, itself a mere offshoot of the cable network’s programming. Curb Your Enthusiasm exploited the absence of new Seinfeld episodes to neurotic glory, while Veep enjoys star power in Julia Louis-Dreyfus and a BBC pedigree — it sure looks and sounds like a great show. But both series have a bitter-tasting tinge of rich people whipping themselves into a froth over trivialities.

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dashes

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s being written from the waiting area of a body shop today, because the Hollywood machine never stops, and we’ve got to keep up. Today we’ve got news about new jobs for Carey Mulligan, Jessica Alba, and that guy whose name keeps popping up everywhere, James Badge Dale. Bradley Cooper provided a pretty big casting bombshell regarding Cameron Crowe’s next film while he was giving an interview to the Huffington Post. What exactly Crowe’s next venture is going to be about is still being kept under wraps, but the general rumor is that Cooper will be starring in it, he’ll be playing a defense contractor of some sort, the film will be set in Hawaii, it will feature roles for Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams, and—now the important part—according to Cooper, This is the End scene stealer Danny McBride is going to be part of the cast as well. Crowe and McBride together is likely going to be the craziest thing that’s happened since Matt Damon bought that zoo.

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franco

What is Casting Couch? It’s still got its ear to the RSS feeds looking for casting news, even though the studios are probably waiting until the holiday is over to release any more. Still, we were able to find out about some new jobs for child actors, as well as who John Stewart has been busy recruiting for Rosewater. When James Franco announced that he wanted to make a movie adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, pretty much everyone said it was a bad idea and shouldn’t be done. But he did it anyway, and now the film has played Cannes. Never being one to stop tempting fate, Franco’s success has led to him deciding he now wants to adapt another, even less structured for the cinema Faulkner story, The Sound and the Fury. Not only does he feel like he’s cobbled together enough sources of financing to get it done, but according to a report from the LA Times, he also feels like he can get Mad Men star Jon Hamm to appear in the film as the family it feature’s patriarch, Mr. Compson, his brother Dave Franco as Quentin Compson, and Danny McBride in a role that’s still undisclosed. Scheduling issues just need to be ironed out, and then it’s all a go. Franco himself intends on appearing in the film as well.

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Pineapple Express

Yes, April Fools jokes are, by and large, just kinda silly and essentially pointless in movie-land (except for this one!), but every now and then, a good one comes along. Such is the case with this fake trailer for Pineapple Express 2, a little slice of movie trickery that actually functions as trailer for this year’s Seth Rogen and James Franco team-up, their apocalyptic comedy This is the End. With Pineapple Express co-star Danny McBride also starring in This is the End, no wonder the team felt the need to cook up a couple minutes of laughs that make us jones for such a sequel. Very clever. Check out the special April Fools trailer for Pineapple Express 2 (aka This is the End) after the break, and relive the glory of McBride saying “thug life,” Franco and Rogen professing their love for each other, and the sweet sounds of music that relies on gunshots for nearly one-half of its runtime.

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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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Considering the dazzling assortment of projects that multi-hyphenate/total lunatic James Franco gets involved with, tossing around the term “passion project” as it applies to any of them might be a bit moot – after all, the guy seems to be passionate about everything he does (including directing commercials for phones or pulling guest gigs on soap operas). Yet, Franco does seem to have a deep love for his next project – directing an adaptation of William Faulkner‘s “As I Lay Dying” from his own script. Showbiz411 passes on word that the project will start filming this October in Mississippi. Showbiz411 also first reported the news that Franco had penned a script for the project and was looking to direct it way back in January of 2011. At that time, the rumored cast included Paul Dano, Michael Shannon, Joaquin Phoenix, and Richard Jenkins, all big talents that would contribute to telling a classic story that is memorably told in a number of different voices and from different perspectives. Of course, the months-long delay for the film has meant that most of it has been recast (though Franco himself is still expected to have a small role in the film), and the current slate of talent is not nearly as impressive as the first round.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column that’s picking up the pieces as Hollywood takes off for an extended mid-week holiday weekend. Sure, the streets of Burbank are empty at the moment (quick, someone sneak onto the Paramount Lot and steal a rough cut of Star Trek 2!), but there’s plenty of news and notes to go around. We’re just that good, friends. We begin this evening with a shot of Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) and Rinko Kikuchi (The Brothers Bloom) in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim wearing futuristic robot driving suits. Not only did Shock Till You Drop pull these from the pages of Entertainment Weekly, they also scored a pretty in-depth synopsis.

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Eastbound and Down ended on the perfect note last season. Whether there would be a fourth season was still up in the air, but Jody Hill and company gave their series a sense of closure. Unlike that cheap slap in the face Entourage gave to its fans – “It may not really be over because of that silly movie idea, but it might be!” – Kenny Powers’ arc and the show itself felt completed. However, apparently HBO disagrees, considering that they’ve recently ordered a fourth season.

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Danny McBride’s particular brand of humor seems to be one of those “love it or hate it” forms of entertainment. Some people watch what he does on Eastbound and Down and laugh hysterically, others just shake their head at it with a look of disapproval on their faces. So when Deadline Dragør breaks the news that he’s going to be starring in a new film that has the tagline, “two men and a 13-year old boy embark on an R-rated vacation,” you can probably guess how you’re going to react to it already. Those of you who will be disgusted should probably just move on to the next article, but for those of you who feel like such a film would tickle your funny bone, read on. Klovn is a Danish TV show turned feature that follows the misadventures of two characters named Casper and Frank. In the original film version they’re all set to go on a canoeing trip that they’re calling the “tour de pussy” when the bad news hits that Frank’s girlfriend is pregnant. Fearing that Frank is a total nincompoop who can’t take care of a kid, she wants to terminate the pregnancy. This doesn’t jibe with Frank’s sensibilities, however, so they strike a deal that if he can take her 11-year-old son along on the canoeing trip and not have any mishaps, then they can keep the new baby. This, of course, is a flawed plan, because the canoeing trip is planned not to be […]

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Channel Guide - Large

If I were to call The Vampire Diaries stupid, I don’t think that too many people would be outraged or even ask me to explain why I had that opinion. Everyone would probably just assume that I wasn’t in to vampires or diaries or good-looking men with smoldering eyes and leave it at that. The show definitely has its fan base, and it’s a very devoted fan base, but it’s socially acceptable to not like The Vampire Diaries. Now, what if I were to call Mad Men stupid? The kind of inarticulate assessment that it’s perfectly OK to make when talking about The Vampire Diaries probably wouldn’t fly when talking about Matthew Weiner’s acclaimed drama (mainly because the show isn’t stupid and, even if it isn’t your cup of mid-afternoon booze, there are certain things about it that you have to concede—it’s thematically complex, well-written, pretty to look at, etc.). I happen to be a faithful Mad Men viewer but I know that there are people who find it painfully unwatchable and I also know that these people aren’t hillbillies (no offense to hillbillies) or unintelligent. Disliking a popular show is, of course, alienating—even when you’re steadfast in your opinion—but it’s also just incredibly frustrating; there’s a kind of emperor’s new clothes aspect to it where you’re left asking, what is it that I’m missing here?

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It seems that when it comes to tales of good and evil – we often see anything besides good winning and evil losing as some kind of a cop out. Like… we’d rather see the villain fall to their death or be eaten by hyenas than learn the error of their ways -something that’s more than evident in Disney films, which have featured both killer hyenas and high places. But, you know – when a bad guy ultimately turns good, if done right, it’s way better to watch. More often than not they still usually end up dying horrible, so there’s that too, but at least they die good. There’s probably going to be a lot of spoilers below.

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When you really think about it, Eastbound and Down is one of the HBO’s most depressing shows — no small feat. The hero’s journey Kenny Powers has been wandering through gets sadder and sadder with each season, as the character falls hard from the top, unlikely to ever obtain the glory he once had. This show challenges its characters to the fullest, and that’s something Jody Hill, David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and the rest of the creative team behind Eastbound and Down seem to revel in. Not many television characters can match the sheer narcissism, misogyny, delusion, sadness, and hilarity of Kenny Powers. Somehow, the worse he acts, the more human and oddly lovable Hill & Co. make him. Powers is about as anti-heroic as a television character can get. Here’s what Jody Hill had to say about what we can expect from season three, the highs and lows of Kenny Powers’ arc, Stevie Janowski’s warped coming-of-age Stevie story, and more:

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David Gordon Green is one of those rare filmmakers who has the comic power to make fairly despicable or unlikable characters oddly sympathetic, and oddly, likable . While Green believes everyone in the world is likable – and how he thinks that I have no idea – he certainly seems to love his antiheroes. Very few David Gordon Green characters one would want to hang out with in real life, but on the big screen, he makes oblivious, frustrating, and moronic fools highly watchable. Hopefully that’ll remain the case with his latest R-rated comedy, The Sitter. Thanks to David Gordon Green being able to say a 1,000 words a minute, similarly to Danny McBride, in my 15-minute conversation we were able to cover a lot of ground. From the greatness of breakfast tacos, a topic I didn’t foresee being discussed, to Soul Surfer topping Your Highness earlier this year, Green goes in every direction possible with any mentioned topic. Here’s what The Sitter director had to say about why one should live in Austin, going through hell with actors, dealing with ego, and when too much Sam Rockwell crying becomes self-indulgent.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr makes big plans to publish a best-selling book that women across the nation will read in hoity-toity book clubs. Step one: Move to the deep south and get raised by an African American maid. While Kevin tries to figure out how to move past that step, he gets a job delivering pizzas and lives in constant fear he’ll be used in a bank heist. Then he cheats death by avoiding the Glee concert movie, but lives in even more constant fear that the flick will hunt him down and make him watch it.

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Director Ruben Fleischer seems to have cashed in all his chips from Zombieland and made a small, dark, action comedy. Underneath its obvious commercial appeal, chances are taken with the humor of 30 Minutes or Less. Whether it be with Michael Pena‘s performance or being unafraid to have actual stakes, the film doesn’t always play it safe. One would think Fleischer would jump right away into the world of tent-pole filmmaking, but he decided to wisely follow-up his hit film with a project that’ll allow his sensibilities to show. Fleischer won’t be staying in the comedy world forever, though. With his next film, The Gangster Squad, the director will be tackling an epic L.A.-set gangster picture through a digital camera lens. The director was kind enough to make the time to talk while prepping The Untouchables-esque epic, where we discussed the darkness of 30 Minutes or Less, grounding comedies, and his love for digital filmmaking:

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In 2003 a man walked into a bank in Erie, PA with a bomb strapped to his chest. He claimed he was being forced to wear the explosive device and that if he didn’t succeed in robbing the bank his captors would detonate it. The police caught up with him in nearby parking lot, handcuffed him, and waited around (at a safe distance) for the bomb squad to arrive. They waited too long. As the man pleaded with police as to why no one was coming to remove the bomb it exploded, blew a hole through his chest, and killed him instantly. Sounds like ripe material for a comedy to me! 30 Minutes Or Less is the new film from Zombieland director, Ruben Fleischer, and while it isn’t actually based on the real life incident it has potential to be a very dark comedy indeed. Jesse Eisenberg plays a pizza delivery driver who has a bomb forcibly attached to his body and is then instructed to rob a bank. Aziz Ansari plays his best friend who tries to help him through this fairly difficult situation, and Danny McBride and Nick Swardson play the diabolical masterminds behind the plan. Check out the trailer and share your thoughts below.

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The Week That Was

What is The Week That Was? Nothing much, just a recap of all that was great and wonderful here on Film School Rejects over the course of the last week. And in a week such as this, when we reviewed controversial and conversation-worthy films from the minds of Ayn Rand, Wes Craven and Robert Redford, it’s important to take a look back at the best of what was written. That, and we interviewed Takashi Miike, so we’ve got that going for us. Also, I have access to the traffic stats. I know that all of you did not read every one of our best articles. What’s the deal with that, beloved readers? Lets right those wrongs on a pantsless Sunday afternoon. Start with the articles listed in this compilation and work your way back. Do it now.

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The fact that a major studio made Your Highness is both reassuring and baffling. The commercial appeal is there, obviously, but this isn’t your standard comedic fare. David Gordon Green’s 80s fantasy throwback is filled with crudeness and audacity. This is a film with a child molesting puppet; isn’t that such a thing of genius which defines ambition? I believe so. A film like Your Highness is, as stated before, reassuring because we’re witnessing such talents as Green and co-writer/star Danny McBride getting to further explore their divisive sensibilities in a rather sizable studio film. Danny McBride didn’t just set out to make a parody or a satire, but a genuine adventure film that, which he admits, isn’t for everyone. Your Highness is not the pot comedy one expects, but a road movie about lovable and immature idiots. McBride’s Thadeous is a moron in all senses of the word, except an actual self-aware moron. There’s a charm to his baboon-like nature. Your Highness is almost a coming of age story, but about a grown, pot-smoking, and crude man. Here’s what Danny McBride had to say about getting a comedy with a large scope, not making a spoof, crafting lovable idiots, and the difficulty of practical effects:

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Let’s play a game. I’m going to tell a joke, you decide if it’s funny. Ready? Why did the chicken cross the road? Balls. If you chortled at that, then have I got a movie for you. It’s called Your Highness, and in addition to a once ambitious director and a cast filled with actors who really should know better it features a script that never met a punchline it couldn’t replace with a swear word or a drug reference. Why build complicated gags when you can just say ‘fuck?’ Why give depth to your characters when you can just have them wear a severed cock around their neck? All the dirty words and phallic props in the world aren’t going to ruin a movie, but using them in place of real comedy, actual jokes, and smart writing sure as hell isn’t going to help. A king has two sons of opposite worth who could only be related in Hollywood. Fabious (James Franco) is heroic, righteous, and fabulously coiffed while his brother Thadeous (Danny McBride) is foul-mouthed, portly, and socially retarded. One of Fabious’s many adventures nets him a fair maiden named Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel, speaking barely a line or two more than she spoke in Avatar) who he plans to marry. Their happy day is spoiled when the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux) kidnaps her with plans to use her virginal vagina as a dragon egg incubator. The two brother set off on a quest to rescue the maiden […]

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