Dax Shepard

21 Jump Street bike cops

For someone who grew up with a painting of CHiPs hanging in the entryway of his house (my step-dad did it for a “TV Guide” ad or something), I don’t remember much about the actual TV series. It had a pair of cops on motorcycles, made a star out of Erik Estrada and for a brief moment near the end of its six seasons featured former Olympian and future Kardashian father figure Bruce Jenner. I honestly have no memory of the tone of the show when it was on, but it does seem to have become more comical in retrospect (is it the tight pants?). Enough to be perfect fodder for one of those movies based on a TV show that’s closer to parody than faithful adaptation. When Wilmer Valderrama was reportedly in the running to play Ponch (the Estrada role), in a big-screen version, that made total sense. Especially after he’d spoofed the part in a sketch for Mad TV. That plan never went anywhere, and now we’re onto CHiPs movie attempt number two. In this round, Ponch will be played by the more serious, more talented actor Michael Pena (who has played plenty of cops, including those in End of Watch, World Trade Center and TV’s The Shield). The part of his straight-laced partner, Jon Baker (originally portrayed by Larry Wilcox), is to be filled by Dax Shepard, who will also write and direct according to Deadline. While Shepard is well-known for his comedic work in movies such as Let’s Go […]

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Channel Guide - Large

NBC’s Parenthood is a drama deserving of the kind of veneration normally reserved for Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and other cable TV darlings. Based very loosely on the 1989 Ron Howard-directed comedy of the same name and developed by Friday Night Lights writer Jason Katims, the series is a deft mix of humor and gut-wrenching poignancy that can, rather amazingly, turn its audience into bunch of sobbing fools without having to resort to emotional manipulation. Parenthood revolves around the Bravermans: Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille (Bonnie Bedelia); their four adult children, Adam (Peter Krause), Sarah (Lauren Graham), Julia (Erika Christensen), and Crosby (Dax Shepard); and the significant others and kids of the four siblings. They’re a family so close-knit and mutually supportive that they’d seemingly rather die than not do everything together—they attend little league games and school plays as a 16-member unit. They are the kind of “fight hard but love harder” crew that should be nauseating to watch. Yet, these characters are written and portrayed with so much honesty and as a result Parenthood is never repellently schmaltzy.

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Hit and Run Movie

Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard) has something of a troubled past. For starters, his real name isn’t even Charlie Bronson, that’s the one he chose after he was put into witness protection for ratting out the bank robbers he was working for as a getaway driver. All of that unpleasantness is behind him now though, as he’s built a nice, quiet life in a nice, quiet town, and he has a girlfriend that he’s very much in love with (Kristen Bell). Problem is, his girlfriend doesn’t know about his past, and she’s just gotten a new job that’s going to force Mr. Bronson to move back to the town where his ex-partners (led by a dreadlocked Bradley Cooper) are waiting to kill him. Wacky situations, fast-driving, and a dangerous game of cat and mouse that also involves his witness protection officer (Tom Arnold) and his girlfriend’s crazy ex (Michael Rosenbaum) ensue. The best thing about Hit & Run is how likable the performances are. But the strongest of them aren’t coming from the actors who you may expect. Shepard and Bell get most of the film’s focus, and they’re largely enjoyable as the protagonists, but they’re playing the most boring characters who appear. True, they’re dealing with career stuff, clingy ex-boyfriends, and attempted murders that all act as big stumbling blocks in their path to potential happiness, but they’re never all that vexed by anything that they’re going through. They’re too thoroughly the perfect guy and the perfect girl to be […]

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The action-comedy is theoretically one of the best movie genres ever, because it lets you laugh and watch stuff explode at the same time. The danger with them is, if the comedy gets too silly, the action scenarios don’t hit with any weight, and if the action sequences get too intense, it’s hard to find any humor in the life and death stuff happening on the screen. You have to skirt the line just right and maintain the perfect tone in order to make an action-comedy successful, and I’ll be a monkey’s uncle, but the new trailer for Hit and Run makes it look like writer/co-director Dax Shepard has hit the nail on the head. Hit and Run is the story of an ex-wheelman in the witness protection program (played by Shepard) who has left his wicked ways behind him and found himself in the incredibly fortunate situation of shacking up with Kristen Bell. Everything in his new life is just peachy – until his former cohorts find out where he is and start hitting people in the noses with golf clubs and demanding untold sums of money. Lots of chase scenes and yelling ensue.

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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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Welcome to the Saturday edition of Channel Guide in which Merrill Barr takes a look at an episode from that past week in the world of television that really stood out above the rest. If there isn’t a good episode, well there’s always plenty of back logged TV to be brought into the spotlight for you to check out. There are very few television shows that actually improve over time. Usually nothing ever comes close to matching the magical discovery of who a show’s characters are, and how they interact than what takes place in that first season. The season where everyone is fresh faced and bright eyed before their lives take a one eighty with either tragedy, comedy, action or all of the above. One could probably count on two hands the shows that really surpassed their first season. Well now we can add another show to that list: Parenthood. And there is no greater proof of that than in the season 2 finale “Hard Times Come Again No More.”

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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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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if Edge of Darkness and When in Rome can make the grade.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil is still off galavanting at Sundance TwentyTen, so Kevin welcomes Merrill Barr from The Film Stage to the Magical Studio in the Sky to talk about Edge of Darkness and When In Rome.

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If there’s one thing that has come of the rise of the likes of the Duplass Brothers and the mumblecore (or something like it) movement, it is a slew of honest movies about relationships. But those Duplass guys should watch out, because Katie Aselton is about to take over.

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Baby Mama

There’s a lot of love out there for Tina Fey, and for good reason. She’s a funny, funny lady. And her presence and influence in the new film Baby Mama is easily what helped this film not become lost in the wash of pregnancy movies we’ve had over the past year.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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