The Comedy Trailer

Whether you like the work Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim do on their cable show, Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!, or not, you have to admit that what they produce is so unique and absurd that it’s hard to explain to those who haven’t seen it. And the trailer for a new film that they star in, The Comedy, is exactly the same way. You can sit through over two minutes of this preview, you can get introduced to the lives and struggles of this group of characters, but when it’s all over, it’s still kind of hard to explain what you’ve watched. Despite the head-scratching nature of some of this material, The Comedy isn’t rampant silliness like Tim and Eric’s other work. It’s looks gritty, indie, kind of dark, and it sees the famous comic duo taking acting roles in a project that was the creative work of someone else. From director Rick Alverson and his co-writers Robert Donne and Colm O’Leary, The Comedy tells the story of an aging, trust fund hipster (Heidecker) who has begun to feel trapped by his life of convenience and irreverence, so he’s started to act out in destructive ways.



If you’re looking to make a talking heads movie that’s able to create big drama using little more than simple dialogue scenes, then populating your cast of characters with a bunch of sensitive, insecure creative types is probably a good strategy. And it’s exactly the strategy that first time writer-director Josh Boone has used for his debut picture, Writers. The film focuses on an unusual family that includes a critically acclaimed author (Greg Kinnear) as its patriarch, a daughter (Lily Collins) who has just published her first work, a teenaged son (Nat Wolff) who is developing his craft through journal writing, and a mother (Jennifer Connelly) who has been excommunicated from the family, probably because the guy she left the father for doesn’t have an impressive enough personal library. Each character has a struggle to go through. Kinnear hasn’t been able to get through the dissolution of his marriage, and he has found himself in a slump of depression that has not only affected his work but also turned him into the sort of creepy weirdo who hides in his ex’s bushes and peers through her windows. Collins, still processing the loss of innocence she experienced due to the infidelity in her parents’ marriage, has built a wall of acting out and defensiveness between herself and the rest of the world and may be in danger of becoming permanently bitter. Wolff is dealing with the pitfalls of being a sensitive young man in a world where thoughtlessness is a more […]



This could have been the year that Taylor Kitsch became one of the biggest working actors on the planet. He already had a cult following for playing the dreamboat, bad boy role on TV’s Friday Night Lights coming into 2012, and that was before two of the biggest studios in Hollywood put him in the position to star in their big budget, tentpole summer releases. By starring in Battleship and John Carter, Kitsch experienced a few months of marketing blitz and media saturation that have only been matched by rare names like Will Smith and Tom Cruise. If his movies had become hits, he would be seen as one of the hottest faces in the movie industry today. But his movies weren’t hits. Kitsch got back-to-back shots at breaking into the world of blockbuster superstardom, and he experienced back-to-back failures. If anything, studios must be looking at the kid like he’s box office poison. So, what should the young actor do now that his career is visibly faltering? Taking a step back from the blockbusters and making something less hyped and less ambitious seems about right. How about an English language remake of a well-liked Québécois dramedy?


Bruce Dern and Will Forte

Alexander Payne probably achieved his greatest level of success and recognition after casting a huge movie star, George Clooney, in his most recent film, The Descendants. Given the taste of mainstream acceptance that this director of pitch-black dramatic comedies got by working with a well-known name, you might think that he would be tempted to go back to the well and snag more big stars to play the father/son duo in his upcoming road movie, Nebraska. It seems like we should have been hearing rumors over the past few months that he was courting Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Douglas, or something of the like. Not Payne though, who seems to be wholly concerned with finding the right actors to fit the parts, and if a report from Deadline Benkelman is to be believed, he’s found an off-the-beaten-path duo that look on paper like they could make for a delightful pair. The report says that Payne has been meaning to make Nebraska his next film for quite some time, but he didn’t want to move things forward until he could find the right actor for the father role. For the longest time he was fixated on Gene Hackman, but that screen legend’s continued retirement made his casting an impossibility. Payne feels like he’s found his man now though, in Bruce Dern, and he also wants Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte to play the son.



Ever since French actress Lea Seydoux dropped my jaw playing back-to-back roles in Midnight in Paris and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, I’ve vowed to follow her career very closely. You see, it’s not stalking, because I write about movie news. The first news about Seydoux’s career that perked up my ears was word that she was going to be starring in a new telling of the Beauty and the Beast story opposite acting powerhouse Vincent Cassel which, to that point, I thought was about the best news ever. But now there’s a new development in the lovely young lady’s career that just might rival it. According to Variety, Seydoux is set to star in a film called Blue Is a Hot Color, from Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche. It’s set to be a relatively low budget adaptation of a graphic novel by Julie Maroh that tells the story of a girl who, quite unexpectedly, falls in love with another woman and then has to face the judgment of her friends and loved ones. This not only sounds like a story that’s ripe with both dramatic and comedic potential, but it also sounds like a movie that will be full of moments that I’ll have no problem shamelessly ogling. If any of my other favorite, young, French actresses get cast as the love interest, then I just might keel over from excitement.



When thinking about which films I consider to be overrated, I keep coming back to two different categories. First there are the art films that get embraced by the movie geek community and praised to high heaven for their crafting, whether they really makes for an exceptional overall movie-going experience or not. And then there are the movies that get overrated by the mainstream. They’re mostly sentimental movies that tug on the heartstrings, with characters that hit low lows, but then achieve some new victory. Robert Zemeckis’ Forrest Gump is definitely the latter. It’s a movie that seems designed solely to make parents and grandparents nod knowingly at historical incidents they remember and then tear up when a sad part rolls around; but they love it for it. Being There was nominated for the Palme d’Or and even won Melvyn Douglas an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor back when it came out, but it’s a movie I never hear mentioned these days. As a matter of fact, other than the little bit of nostalgia that remains for Harold and Maude, I would say that Hal Ashby is a director whose career has been kind of forgotten by my generation of film fans. That’s a shame, because the man did some great work, and this film in particular has one of the last great performances by the legendary Peter Sellers.

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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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