David Koechner

Cheap Thrills

Director E.L. Katz‘s Cheap Thrills was the first movie to get picked up for distribution at this year’s South by Southwest, and it’s also the third movie in a row actor Pat Healy has had at the festival, following Compliance and The Innkeepers. All three movies have featured Healy in a starring role, but, according to Healy, that doesn’t mean he still isn’t crashing on people’s couches to make it to a film festival.

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tiko and shark

Much of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is more of the same from Ron Burgundy and the gang. As the lead character, Will Ferrell does the news, does some ladies and has a few meltdowns. Brick says idiotic things, Champ says inappropriate things and Brian Fantana has a special cabinet alluding to his assumed sexual prowess. Oh, and Veronica Corningstone is back and mad at Ron again. There is even another cameo-filled brawl. But there are a few things added in that we didn’t see in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, like Ferrell wrestling with a shark that calls to mind scenes with a cougar and a bear in Talladega Nights and Semi-Pro, respectively. The sequel reminded me of some other movies besides those in the filmography of its star. Sometimes this was the intention of the filmmakers via a direct reference. Other times it was just the usual wandering of my brain making relevant associations. Occasionally the reminders came externally from another writer’s comparison. Regardless of where this week’s list of recommendations came from, I’ve wound up with a nice variety of titles about broadcast journalism and keeping sharks as pets plus selections highlighting some of the cast’s other work worth checking out. Queue them up for your holiday week, why don’t you. As always, the following may involve SPOILERS as some of the titles below are linked to specific plot points of the movie.

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review cheap thrills

Editor’s note: Our review of Cheap Thrills originally ran during this year’s SXSW Film Festival, but we’re re-running it here as the film plays Fantastic Fest. Hey, did you guys know the economy sucks? It’s pretty evident from the price of gas to the unemployment rate to the housing market that we’re still not out of the woods yet. So it’s the perfect climate for a movie critiquing how money rules all and offers peace and stability to those who desperately crave it. Cheap Thrills is both thriller and dark comedy at the same time. The lead character is Craig (Pat Healy), a regular guy doing his best to provide for his wife and small child, but his best isn’t good enough, and with an eviction looming he loses his job at a mechanic shop. Hurting from being kicked while he’s down, he heads to the nearest bar to drown his sorrows. He runs into Vince (Ethan Embry), an old friend he hasn’t seen in awhile, and the two are drawn into a conversation with Colin (David Koechner) and his wife Violet (Sara Paxton) who are celebrating and throwing money around the shithole dive bar. But it’s when Craig and Vince head back to the couple’s house that the stakes go way up and the money really starts flowing… as long as Craig and Vince are willing to play along.

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anchorman-commentary1

One of the funniest films of the new century is Adam McKay’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. While it didn’t necessarily launch Will Ferrell’s lucrative film career, it definitely put him on the map as a comedy A-lister. However, it did help Steve Carell go from a somewhat obscure TV and movie bit player to a funny man in movies. While Anchorman was still in release, Ferrell and McKay sat down to record an unconventional commentary, which includes mostly random (and often facetious) discussions with no relevance to the film. There are also surprise guests who drop by, including call-ins from Paul Rudd and Christina Applegate, as well as an in-person visit from David Koechner. In line with the film’s absurdity, some people who have nothing to do with the film whatsoever (including Andy Richter, Tenacious D’s Kyle Gass, and even legendary musician Lou Rawls) join in. This commentary is not to be taken seriously, and quite possibly the same can be said for this article. Still, who knows? There might be some nuggets of truth in here as well.

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Brick Anchorman 2 Teaser

We’ve got another half year before our eyes, ears and funny bones get ahold of Anchorman: The Legend Continues. The highly anticipated sequel is not even finished filming — though it is close to wrapping up, with shooting moved from Atlanta to New York City this week. To further whet our appetites, and probably to give official supplement to all the set photos of cameo appearances being regularly leaked, Paramount has unveiled a new trailer for the movie. You still won’t find any footage from The Legend Continues, however. Like the teasers we got a whole year ago, this is a simple promo  featuring our four favorite newsmen saying “something fun about the movie.” Well, except for Brick, of course, who doesn’t understand what to do. Again. He gives us some advice on how to avoid being mistaken for a pedophile and wishes us a belated happy Easter. The holiday greeting is kind of fitting, though, we’ll give him that. Narrator “Bill Lawson” introduces the latest teaser talking about returned figures such as Jesus and Jay-Z. Easter pertains to the former, obviously. See, Brick isn’t dumb after all. But Ron Burgandy sure is mean. He calls us fat face. And he thinks we’re going to come see his movie after such an insult? Okay, we will. We can’t wait to hear him call us names and for Champ and Brian to intoxicate us with their alcohol breath and snake venom cologne, respectively.

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This past weekend, a new teaser trailer for Adam McKay’s highly anticipated comedy sequel Anchorman 2 played in theaters, but not many people got to check it out because it was attached to The Dictator and paying movie ticket prices and sitting through over an hour of Sacha Baron Cohen’s stale act just to see a few seconds of Anchorman goodness wasn’t a proposition for the weak at heart. But everybody who missed out can stop crying and start rejoicing, because not only has that teaser trailer now hit the net, but there’s also an alternate version of said trailer being hosted over at Funny or Die. Both trailers have a similar set-up: the guys strike iconic poses, get a chance to riff a funny line, and liberal use is made of that Alan Parsons Project song that Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat used to come out to in the ’80s and the Chicago Bulls used to come out to in the ’90s. But you should give each a look, because the one that appeared in theaters is dirtier and the one that’s exclusive to Funny or Die brings back Anchorman narrator Bill Kurtis. Hurry up and hit play before I keep typing and give away all the gags:

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When it was finally announced that Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and company would be coming back and making a sequel to their 2004 modern classic Anchorman, the world rejoiced. But, with as many people as there are who love this movie, and with the way it’s continued to remain a relevant part of popular culture, why did it take so long to make a sequel? McKay spills some details on the long road to this highly anticipated sequel in a recent interview with THR. Apparently the delay between Anchorman movies came down to two things: first there was a lack of interest in sequels from the creative end of things, and then there were budget concerns from the accountants. Or, as McKay puts it, “the movie came out and did really good but then got even bigger on DVD and cable. So then, when he (Adam Goodman) was at Paramount, he said to me, ‘Would you ever do a sequel?’ And at first we were like, ‘No, we don’t want to do sequels, we have too many ideas. Why do sequels?’ And then finally, we kept hearing the question so much from fans, and we’re like, ‘Shit, man, there’s almost something original about doing a sequel,’ like, can-we-do-a-sequel suddenly became an interesting challenge to us. We got our heads around on it and said, ‘All right, we’ll do it,’ and Goodman was really excited. But then it went in the numbers machine over there.”

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There hasn’t been much good news surrounding Piranha 3DD so far. From the very beginning, the fact that Alexander Aja and his writers weren’t coming back for this sequel to their delightfully nihilist 2010 film was a disappointment. Then the studio started monkeying with the release date, a sure sign that signals were crossed and expectations weren’t being met at some level of the production. It got to the point where it was pretty easy to write Piranha 3DD off as a missed opportunity before anyone had ever even seen it. But this new trailer that Shock Till You Drop has dug up throws a monkey wrench in those plans. How could anyone hate a movie with a cast like this? First off, Christopher Lloyd returns as the crazy scientist, which is something that should happen in about every third movie made. Secondly, David Koechner is playing the owner of a water park who has hired strippers for life guards. Thirdly, they’ve included David Hasselhoff, who shows up playing himself, but while dressed in his Baywatch gear. Then you also have to consider the fact that Katrina Bowden seems to have a baby piranha in her vagina, the only thing that can stop these fish may be Gary Busey biting their heads off, and eventually things get so bad that Ving Rhames has to go all Planet Terror and pull out a set of gun legs.

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Back when he was getting his start torturing celebrities on the Ashton Kutcher produced MTV prank show Punk’d it would have been hard to predict that comedian Dax Shepard would get to where he is today. He’s gone from wearing silly fake mustaches and telling Justin Bieber that his dad died to starring in big Hollywood movies, getting engaged to the criminally hot Kristen Bell, and now even making features of his own. Deadline Milford is reporting that Outrun, a movie that Shepard wrote and directed himself, has been acquired for domestic release by Open Road Pictures. This isn’t just a little project that Shepard made in his backyard either, this is a big comedy with an ensemble cast. Shepard himself stars as an ex-getaway driver who must break out of jail to drive his girlfriend to L.A. so that she can get the job of her dreams, Kristen Bell is playing the girlfriend, Tom Arnold is playing a federal agent on their tail, Bradley Cooper is playing the leader of the gang Shepard used to be a part of, and somehow names like Beau Bridges, Kristin Chenoweth and David Koechner are all involved as well.

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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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Dax Shepard doesn’t know martial arts, but he wants to leave comedy behind in order to reinvent himself as an action star. How? By starring, writing, producing, and executive producing Brother’s Justice. This trailer proves that Joaquin Phoenix shouldn’t have tried to trick anyone with a fake documentary, because this honest look at Shepard attempting to get his fake movie made, getting in fights with Brazilian Jujitsu practitioner Bradley Cooper, and trying to get James Cameron on board looks far more entertaining (even if it might be less thought-provoking). If anything, it’s finally gotten Ashton Kutcher and Tom Arnold into the same flick. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Remember a few years ago when we reported on Jason Sudeikis planning a flick called A Good Old Fashioned Orgy? Well, we do. Why? Because Publisher-in-Chief Neil Miller forces us to memorize the site and read it to him as he falls asleep. It doesn’t ever come in handy until a day like today. A bit over two years later, Sony and Samuel Goldwyn have teamed to snag US distribution rights for the movie. That gets this story of one final party (which Sudeikis’s character hopes to turn into a giant orgy) one step closer to getting made. Sudeikis is a great, underrated talent from an otherwise dreary SNL line-up. Plus, according to The Hollywood Reporter, he’ll be joined by Leslie Bibb, Will Forte, Lake Bell, Martin Starr (Bill!), Nick Kroll, Lindsay Sloane (The Other Guys), Lucy Punch (Dinner For Schmucks), Michelle Borth (TiMER), and David Koechner. This will be the first feature film as writer/directors for television veterans Peter Huyck and Alex Gregory.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr looks ahead to this week’s movie releases, taking aim at Gamer and All About Steve while being a little kinder to Extract..

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Fat Guys at the Movies

So here we are with another weekend of movies that Hollywood deemed unfit for critical consumption. Meh! Such is Labor Day weekend. Go rent a DVD or Blu-ray instead of heading to the cinemas. There’s much more quality stuff out at the video store than in the theaters this week.

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Channel 4 News Team: Anchorman

Today, we are more than happy to bring you more good news about the future of the Channel 4 News Team, as two more participants have expressed their willingness to come back for another round.

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Hells yeah! Another Anchorman movie!

McKay, who helmed the brilliant first film four years ago said that Anchorman 2 is happening “for sure,” unless they can’t get the cast together. However, “They’re dying to do it.”

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Does it surprise anyone in America that a film like The Comebacks sucks? After all, it’s a Fox Atomic release, a genre studio arm for 20th Century Fox that, with the exception of 28 Weeks Later, doesn’t have a great track record. Add to this the fact that they didn’t screen this movie for anyone, and I mean anyone.

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