David Cross

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Newly-minted feature film director David Cross makes his stance on his debut film’s subject matter before a single image even flickers across the screen, as a title card announces “Based on a true story” before tacking on “that hasn’t happened yet.” Hits, the comedian’s first feature film as screenwriter and director, cleverly mocks and satirizes social media insanity, celebrity obsession, fame hunger, and most of what makes modern pop culture at large utterly ridiculous in a mostly neat little package. Matt Walsh stars as small town shit-starter Dave Stuben, a disaffected citizen who spends most of his free time showing up at city council meetings and bitching about the latest government conspiracy to stiff its population. Dave may not be popular around town, but he’s about to make it big, all thanks to the Internet (and also YouTube and a pack of hipsters desperate for a cause).

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jenny slate obvious child

First of all, let’s not get confused. There are two films at Sundance next month with almost the same name. There’s The Obvious Child, a 12-minute animated short by Stephen Irwin (trailer here). And there’s the feature rom-com Obvious Child by Gillian Robespierre, which is the focus of this week’s column. To clear up more confusion, yes, there was already a film called Obvious Child by Gillian Robespierre. That 23-minute short from 2009 (which was once accessible on Vimeo but is now password protected — boooo!), is the precursor to this feature, which expands upon its story of a young woman who has an abortion and it’s not that big a deal. Like the original version, the new one stars Jenny Slate, the comedienne who infamously said the F-word on SNL on her debut episode. Now she’s maybe better known for her hilariously bonkers role as Mona-Lisa on Parks and Recreation. That’s where I know her from best, anyway (not counting the Marcel the Shell shorts that I always forget are voiced by her). I guess she also stars in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. Good for her. So does David Cross, who also co-stars in Obvious Child. Others in the cast include former child star turned Indie Spirit Award nominee Gaby Hoffman, late regular on The Office Jake Lacy (Pete aka “Plop”), Slate’s Bestie x Bestie partner Gabe Liedman and the always lovable character actor Richard Kind.

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One Day

Why Watch? Yes, Arrested Development is back, and yes, David Cross is hilarious in it (yet again), but it’s important to remember a time when Cross was dressed up in a giant feces costume. The actor donned the suit (complete with toilet paper scarf) to chase Michel Gondry around the city in the writer/director’s One Day…. Coincidentally, this short came out the same year that Gondry emerged as a feature film director with Human Nature. Fate’s timing is not without a sense of humor. As for One Day…, the absurdity of The Turd screaming at The Man about being his child is wonderful, and the guerrilla style prank overtures makes it feel a little like Jackass by way of the art house. As if the plot is all pretext to get Cross out in public in a crap costume. Plus, it solves an age-old dispute, finally confirming that pieces of shit have goatees. What Will It Cost? About 7 minutes. Keep Watching Short Films

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review its a disaster

You wouldn’t think large-scale death and destruction would be good fodder for comedy, but last year’s Seeking a Friend For the End of the World proved otherwise with its sweet mix of laughs and heart. This year sees two higher profile attempts at the formula with Seth Rogen’s This Is the End and Edgar Wright’s The World’s End, but the odds are both of these will lean far heavier on the comedy aspect. Unfairly allocated to the limited release indie circuit though is a little film that may just be the best of the bunch. Or should I say, the best of the brunch… (don’t worry, I didn’t write the movie). Pete and Emma (Blaise Miller & Erinn Hayes) host a regular “couples” brunch for their favorite fellow couples, but today’s get together won’t be going entirely to plan. Judging by how some of the regular attendees despise the mundane nature of the gathering that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Except in this case it totally is a bad thing. In addition to Pete and Emma’s real motive for the brunch, issues arise between the others as well. There’s a reason Shane and Hedy (Jeff Grace & America Ferrera) have been engaged for five years, Buck and Lexi (Kevin M. Brennan & Rachel Boston) have made some questionable choices when it comes to infidelity equality, and Glen and Tracy (David Cross & Julia Stiles) are just trying to get through their third date unscathed. Oh, and there’s a man at […]

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Its a Disaster

There’s nothing like the end of the world to mess up a Sunday brunch. The only way to make up for it is to ask David Cross politely for a three way. In the movie, four couples get together for a delightful afternoon only to find out that they might all be killed. Considering all of their interpersonal drama, that might just be the third worst thing to happen all weekend. Todd Berger’s It’s a Disaster had a big premiere on Vine 6 seconds at a time, and it thrilled Kate at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and now we get to see what happens when you try to share Cross sexually in this exclusive clip.

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Todd Berger

One of our very favorite festival hits from last year, Todd Berger‘s side-splitting It’s A Disaster, is due to hit theaters (and VOD for all you shut-ins out there) in the next few weeks, so we’re pleased the production has debuted a new trailer. Berger’s film centers on the domestic catastrophe that is brunch amongst couple friends. Kidding. Well, sort of. Starring a large ensemble (including Julia Stiles, David Cross, America Ferrera, and many more), It’s A Disaster starts off with a tough enough situation – Stiles’ character is tasked with bringing her new paramour, played by Cross, to meet all of her friends at their traditional Sunday brunch – and then ratchets that up significantly. Oh, how significantly? Apocalyptic significantly. With an apparent worldwide disaster knocking on their front door (along with Berger himself, who makes an amusing cameo), the group must begin to deal with all kinds of fallout (emotional and possibly nuclear). It’s the funniest apocalyptic film you’ll see all year. After the break, ready your mimosas for the new It’s A Disaster trailer.

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The jokes write themselves – It’s a Disaster is, in fact, not a disaster at all (though a brief glitch during the film’s final screening at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival did result in half of the audience tittering “it’s a disaster!” to a temporarily blank screen). Todd Berger‘s film takes some familiar ingredients – an end-of-the-world plot, a cast of characters who are stuck with each other, suburban brunch at its absolute worst – and mixes them up into one heck of a funny and acutely realized comedy stew (quiche?). Amusingly acted, incredibly well-written, and surprisingly adept at mixing and mingling disparate tones, It’s a Disaster is the exact kind of fresh comedy that audiences hope to find at film festivals. The film centers on a Sunday brunch that is already going to get a bit weird – hosts Pete (Blaise Miller) and Emma (Erinn Hayes) have an ulterior motive for bringing together their best pals for their traditional couples brunch, and it’s not just to meet Tracy’s (Julia Stiles) latest boyfriend, Glenn (David Cross). Likewise, it’s also not watch the Kivels (Kevin M. Brennan and Rachel Boston) go at it when they’re not talking about their latest adventures with drugs and music. And it’s not even to dance around the delicate topic of just when Hedy (America Ferrara) and Shane (Jeff Grace) are going to tie the knot. Of course, all that will happen – along with the most unplanned event of all: a decidedly unnatural disaster […]

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Like comedians of comedy that have to pray five times a day, The Muslims Are Coming! is a new documentary featuring stand-up performances, personal diary moments, and talking heads attempting to show a different angle on what it means to be Muslim in America. Featuring luminaries like Jon Stewart, David Cross, Russell Simmons and Soledad O’Brien , it focuses specifically on the comedy of Negin Farsad (who directed) and Dean Obeidallah (who also directed). Judging from the trailer, the flick looks really lighthearted even as it tackles an unavoidable social responsibility. There’s no real way to make a documentary about Islam without taking on the All-American baggage that comes along with it. Fortunately, this doc seems content to battle fear with jokes. Check it out for yourself:

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr goes rogue and infiltrates his local IMAX theater. First, he scales the wall of the plus-sized building and slides in undetected through the air vents. He slowly lowers himself into a theater seat to enjoy an early screening of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Unfortunately, he finds himself in the middle of a wild crowd of six-year-old kids for the early screening of the latest Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. To deal with the psychological damage, Kevin then stumbles into the Sherlock Holmes sequel and later finds an extra seat in Young Adult, where he can imagine that his chubby caboose could land a hottie like Charlize Theron.

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There is absolutely no satisfying way to explain and introduce Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked in a classic film review format, because of one major hurdle – it’s a film about singing chipmunks that get shipwrecked (sigh, chipwrecked) on a seemingly unpopulated island. It’s hard to believe this is a real film (it’s nearly impossible to also believe that it’s the third film in a franchise), and it’s even harder to attempt to talk about it in a critical and professional manner. But let’s try. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked opens with human moron Dave Seville (Jason Lee) and his six-pack of fuzzy (children? paychecks? vermin?) heading off on what is meant to be restful holiday cruise. Dave is understandably exhausted after spending years of his life raising six chipmunks – Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Brittany, Jeanette, and the other one – who are also international signing superstars. The seven of them plan to use the cruise to relax before hitting the International Music Awards (sort of like the MTV Video Music Awards, but somehow even less important), where the boys (Alvin and the Chipmunks, so much for Simon and Theodore’s name recognition) and the girls (The Chipettes, much more equal opportunity) will likely rack up a bevy of awards. Of course, the Chipmunks and the Chipettes ultimately get marooned on a tropical island, thanks to (shockingly!) a move by ol’ troublemaker Alvin, a plan so stupid that even these damn singing chipmunks should have realized the depth of their idiocy […]

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Since its cancellation in 2006, fans of the extremely cult-hit Arrested Development have been clamoring for a film continuation to their beloved series. In the years since, the project has been off and on more times than Edward and Bella’s wedding plans, but today series creator Mitch Hurwitz, along with the rest of the cast at The New Yorker Festival dropped some news that should send all fans into a tail spin. If the announcement is to believed, it has been confirmed that the series is set to return for a 9-10 episode mini-series that would lead directly into a motion picture. The mini-series would serve the purpose of explaining what all the various lead characters have been doing for the last five years and each episode would focus on a single character. In addition to this, Deadline was able to obtain information that Showtime and Netflix were in talks with 20th Century Fox Television (who owns the property) to broadcast the mini-series which is supposedly set for an early 2013 air date. Got all that? Good, because here’s the hitch…

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Why Watch? Because everyone loves playing with their food. There are several reasons to watch this clever short film, but chief among them is David Cross voicing a tragically courageous ham sandwich. Do you really need more incentive? Fantastic concept. Fantastic execution. Five minutes of sheer film-watching bliss. What does it cost? Just 5 minutes of your time. Check out Meltdown for yourself:

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr follows Jamie Chung to Thailand, hoping to get married. Unfortunately, someone slips him roofies, which made him black out and spend a drunken night in Bangkok. Once he got out of that city, he headed over to China to become the new pot-bellied dragon warrior. After all, if a cartoon panda can do it, why can’t he? That didn’t stop him from spending another night in the hospital, and maybe a little time in a Bangkok jail. And then the real horror happened… Kevin saw The Tree of Life.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr hits the road with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis to see if the new Todd Phillips comedy will be as funny as The Hangover. He also faces off with Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt in a very mega way. It’s the first official weekend of the holiday movie season, so Kevin will hand out the mid-term grades and let you know if these films are worth checking out.

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Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves Maurissa Tancharoen. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs.

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David Cross in Arrested Development

It pains me to report such news, but if actor and comedian David Cross is to be believed — and we have no reason not to believe him at this point — the Arrested Development movie is dead in the water.

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Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Sherlock Holmes and It’s Complicated can make the grade.

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Set your guns to adorable. Then shoot these little bastards.

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews this week’s new movies: The Proposal and Year One.

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Kung Fu Panda Preview

We continue our week long Kung Fu Preview with some awesome behind the scenes features that show off the voices behind the lovable characters of Kung Fu Panda!

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