Due Date

Jorma Taccone

Whether he’s making web shorts with his fellow Lonely Island members Akiva Schaffer and Andy Samberg, (formerly) writing for NBC’s long-running sketch show Saturday Night Live, or directing cult favorite films like MacGruber, Jorma Taccone is always finding ways to keep busy. It almost seems like he enjoys getting paid to make funny stuff all the time, or something. While everybody clearly still enjoys his past work on SNL and the web, it seems like the really big bucks must be in the movies, because more and more it appears that the man is turning to feature film directing as a way to fill up his work calendar. Earlier this year we heard that he had been attached to direct an Image Comics property called The Great Unknown, which is a story about a deluded, self-proclaimed genius on a quest to discover how all of his first-rate ideas are being stolen on a worldwide level. And now we have word from THR that he’s been attached to direct yet another film, this one called Spy Guys.

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So I was watching the film The Descendants, and I couldn’t help but to laugh my ass off when the grandfather points to Nick Krause’s dumb-ass character and says “I’m going to hit you.” – Then, without any room for discussion he proves to be a man of his word. It got me thinking about some of the other great comedic punches out there, and soon enough I was assigning my wonder into list form. Violence and comedy together at last!

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Fear not worshippers at the house of Ferrell, the comic force of nature known to mortals as Will Ferrell once again be returning to big screen comedy after his lackluster series of guest stars on the past its prime TV series The Office. This guy is a big dang movie star and movies are where he belongs! This time Ferrell will be playing a hedge fund manager, one of those guys responsible for the recent financial crisis, whose life changes when he sees a vision of God. Whether this vision turns around his sleazy life in the classic Gordon Bombay tradition or just makes him go crazy in the classic Margery Kempe tradition is unclear, but the name of the film is Swear to God.

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Drinking Games

Who wouldn’t want to take a road trip with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis? Probably no one… unless they’re acting like their characters in the film Due Date. Then you’ll want to run screaming from them, protecting your coffee cans. You’re likely to do the same thing if you were offered a road trip with one of the Rejects, ‘cause we cannot all guarantee we don’t follow the same nightly ritual as Galifianakis’ character at an occasional rest area. Even if you won’t be taking any road trips with us or them in the near future, you can pretend to do so by drinking alone and watching Due Date, which is due out on DVD and Blu-ray this week.

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This Week in DVD

This week sees several new releases hitting shelves from big budget comedies like Due Date and Megamind to smaller films like Fish Tank and Psych 9, but the largest grouping seems to fall under the foreign film heading. Lisbeth Salander gets an attractively packaged trilogy box-set, French gangsters run rampant, a Russian teen fights crime in a flying car, and two flexible women spend a sex and talk-filled night in a hotel room. So yeah… foreign films seem to be the way to go this week. Alien vs Ninja Everyone knows aliens and ninjas are cool, but for some reason no one thought to put them together until now. Not surprisingly, it took one of the creators of The Machine Girl to make it happen. And that association should also tip you off as to the tone and aesthetic of the movie… this isn’t a big budget, brilliantly scripted action pic. But it is a tale of warring ninja clans fighting each other in the woods of Japan until they’re interrupted by the arrival of an alien ship. The aliens onboard look like bipedal dolphins crossed with a bowling ball, and they’re hungry for Japanese cuisine. There’s a rather dull half hour early on, but stick with it for the final 45 minutes or so which is chock full of some ridiculously fun action, solid fight choreography, and some inappropriate touching. Check out my full review here.

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray is all about the unexpected. I expected to put Christopher Nolan’s breakout drama Memento on page one as my pick of the week, but was swayed instantly and heavily by the latest contemporary classic being added to the Criterion Collection. I’ve also found comfort in another season of Weeds, even though it’s not the best work of the Botwin clan. We also dig deep into some intentional schlock-and-awe, pull the rug out from under the latest Galifianakis joint, explore the crisis in America’s public schools and without warning, I sing to you. Yes, dear readers of the high definition affliction, I bet you didn’t expect me to break out into song, did you? Fish Tank Most people know The Criterion Collection for their work in the realm of classic films — restorations, remasterings and the cataloging of cinema history’s most important works. So when they take a contemporary film and add it to their collection, you know that’s something special. Take Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, a tough-as-nails portrait of a girl on the cusp of womanhood, dealing with life in the housing projects of Essex, forced to live in close quarters with Michael Fassbender. In all honesty, I would probably try to sleep with that man if given the chance. Alas, that’s not part of the equation here, so I’ll tell you what is. A quality film, a meticulously crafted presentation (as only Criterion can deliver) and plenty of extras, including three short films from director […]

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There are two reasons why looking at the best movie posters is fascinating. The first is the inherent interest that all advertising brings. It’s art that’s meant to sell something that can’t admit it’s trying to sell anything in order to succeed. The second is that rating the best of the best in the poster world has the most potential to showcase films that never end up on lists this time of year. This is a celebration of the beauty and effect that movie posters can have. It’s for the films released in 2010, and it’s the posters from the studios (or else Tyler Stout and Olly Moss would completely dominate). The awards are broken up into five categories in order to recognize the wide array of styles and concepts, and because there were a lot of great posters this year (among the absolutely terrible photoshop jobs that still haunt us). See if your favorite made the cut.

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The Reject Report

Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows and cowboys and Samurai and ballet dancers and princesses with bad perm jobs and Vincent Cassel. If you thought Thanksgiving brought the buffet of eclectic tastes, wait until you get a load of these leftovers. Even with only one film opening wide this weekend, there’s a lot to talk about with the familiar and a few highly anticipated limited releases, so let’s get this microwaved plate of deliciousness on the table, shall we?

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, the editor of The New Ledger and podcast host of Coffee and Markets Ben Domenech brings his velvety voice to the show to suggest that John Lithgow play a werewolf-hunting FDR, question the Spider-Man casting, and create a list of movie characters that should run for office (we’d totally vote for Judy Dench’s M). Plus, we find time to review Megamind, Due Date, and implore you to see Four Lions. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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The Reject Report

Just as expected, DreamWorks Animation proved once again they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of animated feature films. Their latest outing, Megamind, led the charge this weekend, the largest opening weekend to the Fall movie season in box office history. When compared to other films in the DreamWorks Animation camp, Megamind topped the openings of such massive successes as the first Shrek, Madagascar, and How to Train Your Dragon. When also comparing these opening numbers, it seems a fairly safe bet that Megamind will both end up topping out around $200 million domestic and garner a sequel in the coming years.

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At first glance, Due Date might seem a lot like Roadtrip for Schmucks. There’s an uptight, business-savvy prick who has an important goal to achieve, and there’s a moronic man-child that continues to ruin things for him. The difference between the two movies is related to the casting and the mind of director Todd Phillips. What would happen if Dinner for Schmucks was filmed on the road, and instead of giving Zach Galifianakis a side role, they made him the co-lead against someone not nearly as huggably soft as Paul Rudd? The result is exactly what you might expect. Two leads that aren’t particularly likable, but who spend the entire road trip across the country earning, losing, and re-earning each other’s trust or (at least) toleration.

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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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The Reject Report

Halloween has past. October is no more. We have now entered the cool, gray month of November, and with it comes the Fall holiday movie season. They’re kicking it off early this year, right here at week number one with two big releases. Both of them, Megamind and Due Date, will surely come out of the gate full force. Even Tyler Perry’s new film will add to the collective change being pulled in this weekend. The theaters are going to be jammed packed this weekend, and it probably won’t matter who comes out on top. Everyone’s sure to be a winner.

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It’s a seminal element of the human experience. We grab a few friends, hop into the car that has the least chance of breaking down (but will end up breaking down anyway), and go off in search of that bottle of Dom we buried/that porn tape we accidentally made/Brad Pitt and the nearest cliff. It’s the road! The appeal of the freedom promised by the very founders of this fine country themselves. Fresh air, endless pavement, and the anticipation of leaving yourself open to new experiences in towns large and small alike. Will you end up having a fireworks fight in a graveyard? Will you fall in love with the girl behind the counter at Dairy Queen? Will you go skinny dipping as the Summer sun sets in a blaze of oranges, purples and pinks? Not in these films. In these road trippers, the situations are all a bit different. Buckle up and reset the odometer for 12 Unconventional Road Trip Movies.

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Even though he’s had many of the famous comedians of the day on his talk show, Zach Galifianakis has never interviewed Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns. Hopefully with his continued success, and the recently divulged information that he’ll be in the new Muppets movie, that will change. Interviewing Galifianakis was a great pleasure, and it would be nice for Galifianakis himself to have that pleasure. Co-star of Due Date, Robert Downey Jr let the news slip and was immediately kicked out of Galifianakis’s wolf pack. However, it’s great news for fans of comedy, because his style should blend well alongside Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and the Muppet gang. [E!]

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Boiling Point

There was a time when viewing trailers brought great joy into my life. I was a trailer whore. I’d watch them all the time. What better way to kill a few minutes than to get a brief glimpse of what was coming to theaters over the next few weeks. Then, things changed. It wasn’t me, trailers, it was you. You got selfish. You let yourself go. I don’t even recognize you anymore. The trailer game has seemingly changed over the years, in two big ways, both of which I find disagreeable to say the least. Perhaps this first aspect should be for a separate column, but trailers give away far too much. Trimming it down could definitely remove some of this excess information. I mean, who really wants to know who lives and dies before they walk into the movie? Who wants to know every little detail? The most recent trailer for Paranormal Activity 2 straight up shows a freaking ghost in it. Like, legitimately, just a scene of a ghost standing behind someone. Why would you put that in the trailer?

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Due Date

The combination of Todd Phillips and Zach Galifianakis worked once with The Hangover. Why can’t it work again? I don’t see why it wouldn’t, especially considering the fact that their next film Due Date includes the charismatic and very talented Robert Downey Jr. Together, Iron Man and bearded guy play two schmucks who are trying to get back to their home city before one of them (Downey) becomes a father. For whatever reason, they are stuck together. And despite a few jokes that land flat in this first trailer, most of it hits — at least it gave me a case of the sillies. I guess you’ll have to watch it for yourself, then decide. The full synopsis and trailer await you after the jump.

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Iron Man Header

CinemaBlend’s Josh Tyler is stretching things a bit with his story about Iron Man 3, making a few assumptions about the possible Marvel double-trouble mix of both a third Iron Man film and The Avengers being released in the same summer. However, it does raise an interesting hypothetical situation.

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ZachGalifianakisPussinBoots

The beard enthusiast (and sometimes actor) is in talks to voice Humpty Dumpty. Beats getting high and agreeing to G-Force.

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ZachGalifianakisFunnyStory

Can Zach Galifianakis successfully change his image from a crazy slacker to a crazy slacker who is in a mental institution? And, more importantly, will Nurse Ratchet be there?

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