Ed Helms

Chris Hemsworth as Shirtless Thor

Sometimes it’s scary how much people wind up being just like their parents. They try to fight it, but there they are, 30-something years later, dragging their own kids in the trusty family car down the same winding roads that they once had to travel on some wacky adventure. You’d think Rusty Griswold would have learned some lessons back in the ’80s after just a few failed family bonding attempts, but the long-gestating reboot of National Lampoon’s Vacation is still underway, with a couple new faces now added to the cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter: Chris Hemsworth and Charlie Day. In the new incarnation of Vacation, written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, Rusty (Ed Helms) is all grown up and taking his own family (including wife Christina Applegate) on a whirlwind road trip that way or may not have an end goal of visiting Walley World. You think that place is still open? While the details of Griswold 2.0’s grand plans are still under wraps, the whole family will play at least some part in the fun and frustration. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are set to have cameos as the original Mr. and Mrs. Griswold (Does Clark have anything to do with the terrible idea of going on a road trip again?) and sister Audrey will play some role to the main story, though that part has yet to be cast.

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Ed Helms

Is it possible to take a film called Epic Fail seriously? It’s been years since that particular piece of slang was big; when any embarrassment or grievous bodily harm was met with a cry of “ha ha, epic FAIL!” Seriously, years- since our legitimate newspapers now chronicle the rise and fall of internet memes (thanks, journalism), we can see “Epic Fail” enter the public lexicon around 2008/09. By 2011, it was already passe. And once “Epic Fail” was included alongside other hep phrases like “Pwn” and “Noob” in a how-to guide for parents to speak like today’s youth (and embarrass the unholy hell out of their children), it was safe to say that “Epic Fail’s” time in the slang spotlight had passed. So when Deadline reports (as it just has) that Ed Helms is starting in a new comedy entitled Epic Fail, any kind of legitimate reaction to the movie has to take a backseat. Excited? Uninterested? Cautiously optimistic? Who cares! The movie’s called Epic Fail- we can talk about the movie once the involuntary, “Epic Fail”-induced groan is over.

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The Naked Gun

Twenty-five years later, another funnyman with not-as-beautiful white hair is stepping into Leslie Nielsen‘s shoes to reboot the Naked Gun franchise. Ed Helms will become the next Detective Frank Drebin in a new script conjured up from the minds of Thomas Lennon and R. Ben Garant. If you ignore this summer’s atrocious Hell Baby, they’re the highly talented writing duo behind Reno 911! and Night at the Museum. Garant and Lennon have been tapped to tackle the franchise with a new spin on the detective, which is probably good news considering the enormity of what they have to live up to with this project. Nielsen was Drebin, and to make this a straight redo would be a large misstep; no matter what Helms does with the role, people are going to see the cracks in the character and remember what they loved about the original. The Naked Gun franchise was a peculiar, particular brand of spoof comedy that many writers have attempted since, but have not succeeded in replicating. The creative trio of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker made something unique — a blend of deadpan delivery, cheap laughs and clever lines that melded together into an absurd, perfect mess. Garant and Lennon are gifted writers, but they have to replicate, or at least pay homage to, a certain type of comedy that is not easy to create.

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helmscedarrapids

It’s probably safe to say that The Office was one of the biggest network TV successes of the last decade. It lasted for 9 seasons, spawned countless imitators, and made names out of an ensemble cast of character actors. Steve Carrell, Ed Helms, John Krasinski, and Rainn Wilson especially were all able to parlay their exposure there into lead roles in feature films. Of the four of them, Steve Carell has to be seen as the most successful, however. With The 40-Year-Old Virgin he proved that he could open a film as its star, and with the movie we’ll be talking more about here, Little Miss Sunshine, he proved himself to be a versatile actor who didn’t necessarily need to do comedy. Largely based on the hype behind Carrell’s performance, that movie made close to $60 million at the box office, and then rode its buzz straight into awards season, where it walked away with two Oscars. Not bad for a tiny little indie film. When Helms’ turn to try and make the jump to movie stardom came, it came in the form of the 2011 film Cedar Rapids. Already he had become a box office commodity thanks to the success he saw as part of the Hangover ensemble, but this one was going to be his big chance to prove that he could anchor a film as its centerpiece actor. Cedar Rapids got released in the movie wasteland known as February though, and when all was said and done, […]

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helms-undies

What is Casting Couch? A compilation of casting news that touches on the Veronica Mars movie, Clint Eastwood’s plans for the Jersey Boys movie, and other things you may or may not find interesting. It all depends on how into casting news you are, really. Due to his work in The Hangover and The Office, we’re mostly used to seeing Ed Helms being funny and whatnot. But Joe Carnahan seems to think he’s got some dramatic chops, because word from Heat Vision is that Helms is in negotiations to join his upcoming thriller, Stretch. The movie is set to star Patrick Wilson as a gambling-addicted limo driver who’s trying to get his life back on track and Chris Pine as his current customer, who’s a sleazy criminal and is described as being “the passenger from hell.” If he signs, Helms will be playing another dude who drives limos, a nicer one, who serves as the Wilson character’s conscience.

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Hangover Part 3

Summarizing the plot of a movie like Hangover 3 is a little pointless. Let’s face it, the plot is pretty much here just to get us from one joke to the next and to throw in some hijinks along the way. So Alan’s (Zach Galifianakis) been off his meds for six months, which causes typical Alan behavior which leads to the death of his father due to a stress-induced heart attack. The Wolfpack is called in to help stage an intervention, and Alan agrees to go to rehab in Arizona if Doug (Justin Bartha), Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) will drive him there. On the way, they’re kidnapped by a kingpin named Marshall (John Goodman) who’s looking for a fresh-from-escaping-Thai-prison Chow (Ken Jeong). Marshall keeps Doug (of course) and sets Alan, Phil and Stu free to find Chow and bring him back to swap him for Doug. That’s pretty much the gist of it. If it sounds familiar that’s because these films have never made it huge point to stray from the formula. The second entry is nearly a carbon copy of the first, but while this one goes slightly farther off the reservation, poor Doug is still missing for much of the film and they’re chasing Chow yet again. If you loved the first two, don’t worry, you’ll feel right at home with number three.

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trailer were the millers

Can we all just agree that Jennifer Aniston has a great body? Not just for a 44 year old mind you, but a great body period? I think if she knew we were all in agreement she might stop relying on the need to expose it in movies and instead focus on finding smart scripts with interesting characters. Not that I’m making any kind of premature judgement on her latest film, We’re the Millers, based on the brand new red band trailer below. Jason Sudeikis stars as a drug dealer who agrees to smuggle a smidge of pot across the border from Mexico for a very wealthy man (Ed Helms). The plan is simple. Rent a wife, two children, and an RV, and then avoid border suspicion by looking like nothing more than a happy family on vacation. Aniston plays a stripper he hires as his wife, and Emma Roberts and Will Poulter play their lovable children. The rest of the cast includes Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Thomas Lennon and Tomer Sisley. Check out Aniston’s fleshy bits in the trailer below!

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Andy Bernard The Office

In addition to its American counterpart, Ricky Gervais’s The Office has been remade in at least a half dozen different countries, including Chile (La Ofis) and Israel (HaMisrad). It’s often reductive to declare any cultural phenomenon universal or ubiquitous, but, more so than any other television series concocted during the twenty-first century, The Office approaches omnipresence. There’s something about the show’s droll depiction of quotidian cubicle drama that resonates across borders, languages, and cultures. It’s a profound statement about globalization that so many different countries recognize such a similar work environment to the point that such similar comic situations can be structured around it. For every fluorescent-lit cathedral of number-crunchers and quota-seekers, there seems to be an inevitable David Brent or Michael Scott. Since Steve Carell’s departure from the US Office, the show nose-dived into forced and contrived relationship drama. Despite its acts of trading in its trademark (and incredibly effective) cringe-humor for uninspired quirk, I’ve stuck with the show. Every now and then, The Office still delivers an inspired set-piece that reminds me of why I used to wait anxiously for a new episode each Thursday. And every now and again, characters connect genuinely and develop that way that pays off when you’ve been sticking with a sitcom through its ups and down for nine straight seasons. But The Office has made a remarkably different transition late in its last season, where the show’s focus has switched from depicting the droll absurdity of everyday middle class labor to something […]

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The Hangover Part 3

It should come as no surprise that the first teaser trailer for this summer’s The Hangover Part III isn’t so heavy on the plot – after all, who cares about the plot when Todd Phillips’ final entry into his trilogy of idiocy just threatens to blow shit up, smother monkeys (not a euphemism), and get Ke$ha-style wasted? Let’s get stupid. Witness (some of) the mayhem after the break.

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The Hangover Hits the Road

As the vast majority of criticisms that were lobbed at Todd Phillips‘ The Hangover Part II derided the director for essentially remaking his own first film (this time, set in Thailand), it’s comforting that the third film in the franchise will move away from the structure of its predecessors. We’ve long had suspicions about where The Hangover Part III will go, and now the currently-filming production’s first official logline confirms – the Wolfpack is going on the road. Warner Bros. has just revealed (via ComingSoon) the official plot description for the film, which simply tells us: “This time, there’s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.” Points to WB for knowing exactly what we want to hear (if this description had included any words like “baby shower” or “vow renewal,” I would have eaten my hat).

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John Goodman in The Hangover Part III?

Though he’s had a long and storied career full of great roles both dramatic and comedic, sometimes it still feels like John Goodman is still an underutilized and under-appreciated actor. No matter what movie you put him in, his presence alone is guaranteed to class the production up and serve as one of its highlights. The guy is just that good, and the fact that he hasn’t had a real starring role since the days of King Ralph and The Babe is kind of a shame. Of course, beggars can’t be choosers, so when it comes to watching John Goodman work, us film fans will take what we can get. And though it is a bit bittersweet, Variety has word that this status quo is looking to continue. The latest development in the man’s career is that he’s negotiating to take a small role in The Hangover Part III, which is said to be a villain role, similar to the one that Paul Giamatti played in the first sequel.

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It’s been fifteen years since Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold packed up the family for the last National Lampoon’s Vacation movie, probably because that most recent attempt at cashing in on this comedy franchise didn’t go so well. New Line seems to think that there’s still some juice left in the formula however, because they’ve hired Horrible Bosses scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to co-write and co-direct a new entry in the franchise. This isn’t set to just be the same old Vacation movie where Clark and Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) take their teenage kids on some sort of oppressively family oriented adventure though. The characters are finally being allowed to age, and the lead of the film is set to be an adult version of Rusty Griswold, who will be taking on the duty of being head of family leisure planning.

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Ed Helms might not be the first person that comes to mind when you think of comedy superstars, but his comedic take on uptight, preppy white people has taken him pretty far in the business up to this point. He’s proved that he can be an important part of an ensemble by enduring as a reoccurring character on TV’s The Office, he’s proved that he can anchor a film as a relatable protagonist in the underrated Cedar Rapids, and he’s proved that he can be a key component in a hugely successful franchise with the Hangover films. If Helms plays his cards right going forward, he could possibly become one of the biggest comedic actors working. So what’s he got on his horizon? Well, in addition to his continued work on The Office and a planned third film in the Hangover series, Deadline Alpharetta is reporting that the sweater-vested one has signed on to two new projects. The first is said to be something of a cameo. He’ll be appearing as Jason Sudeikis’s shady boss in director Rawson Thurber’s (Dodgeball) upcoming comedy We’re the Millers. The film, which Sudeikis stars in, is said to be about a crew of experienced drug smugglers who pose as a fake family and try to get a large amount of marijuana  across the US/Mexico border. The film is also said to have Jennifer Aniston and Nick Offerman on board, which is good news because Offerman is always hilarious and Aniston, well…she always looks pretty?

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Given the lukewarm critical response for Todd Phillips’ The Hangover Part II, there might not be many of you out there interested in seeing a third installment of his hard-partying series. But, the fact remains that the second film made enough money during its opening days to make an additional sequel pretty much an obligation, so a release date for The Hangover Part III has been set. This second sequel will hit theaters on May 4, 2013, with the whole gang back on board. For those keeping track, that’s a Memorial Day release, the same scheme that led to Part II raking in $581.5m worldwide. Those that fear a third film might as be as much of a retread as the second should keep in mind that we’ve been given indication this won’t be the case. There’s already been some comments made that point to the fact that this third film will deviate from the rigid plot structure of the first two; and a new quote from Phillips released by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures seems to back that up. “We’re going to surprise a lot of people with the final chapter we have planned,” Phillips claims. “It will be a fitting conclusion to our three-part opera of mayhem, despair and bad decisions.”

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Mark and Jay Duplass like people. No matter how much their characters screw up or how mean they get, they love them. There’s no cynicism or condescension from their part. When you’re dealing with a character who lives his life based on the ways of M. Night Shyamalan‘s Signs, it wouldn’t be too hard to poke fun at him. The Duplass brothers don’t do that. Their newest film, Jeff, Who Lives at Home, is pretty in line with their past films. It’s a story of good-hearted people who are completely lost, all looking for the right signs. And, as Rev. Graham Hess did in Shyamalan’s alien-invasion film, they find them in unexpected places. Here’s what Mark and Jay Duplass had to say about Jeff’s adoration for Signs, how they build their characters, and the importance of improvisation:

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In one sense, Mark and Jay Duplass continue their march toward the mainstream with Jeff, Who Lives at Home, their latest writing-directing effort. After all, the Judd Apatow and Todd Phillips bloodlines merge in the form of co-stars Jason Segel and Ed Helms. But Jeff isn’t the sort of vulgar but heartfelt comedy one might expect from that those leading men. There’s no Segel nudity to speak of, and Helms tones down his familiar likable-frat-boy comic relief shtick. Segel plays a slacker, sure, but one imbued with a higher purpose. He’s stuck home, planted on the couch, waiting for a sign to point him toward his destiny. The Duplass brothers’ latest is exactly the sort of whimsical, slight indie enterprise that would be centered on such a character, the sort of movie that begins with Segel’s Jeff waxing poetic about the deeper meaning of M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs before the start of an ordinary day-in-the-life that spins ever so slightly out of control. Helms plays his estranged brother Pat, who has business lunches at Hooters and buys Porsches he can’t afford. When Pat discovers his wife Linda (Judy Greer) might be having an affair, he enlists Jeff in some reconnaissance.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr grabs his camcorder and tries to find the biggest all-night party in Pasadena, filled with slutty, dancing high school girls who looks amazingly like they’re in their early twenties. Of course, he never finds that because this sort of 15-year-old wet dream fantasy doesn’t exist. So he sets his sights on finding something far more realistic than any of the events that take place in Project X: the short, hairy peanut with a mustache and Danny DeVito’s voice known as The Lorax.

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Everyone involved in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, from co-directors Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda to the Universal Pictures marketing division, has been faced with a tricky balancing act. On one hand, there’s the need to remain true to the spirit of Seuss’ anti-consumerist work, his most earnestly activist effort. On the other, there’s the requisite allegiance to 3D animated family movie standards and the obligatory corporate tie-ins that come with promoting such an effort. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve seen Seuss’ mystical mustachioed creation across the advertisement spectrum lately, in everything from IHOP ads to printer spots and Mazda car commercials. Sure, Universal has made a point of pursuing advertising partners with “green” tie-ins/messages, or so they claim, but the Lorax’s ubiquitous commercial presence leaves the sort of rotten taste that only comes with the betrayal of a sacrosanct legacy. Fortunately, the film itself fares better. It’s a pleasant, minor-key affair that gives appropriate attention and weight to the important environmentalist message. The picture asks that its young viewers sit up and take notice of the world around them; it demands that they put down the video games, learn to care about nature and seek to preserve it.

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Despite opening to generally poor reviews due to its been there, done that approach to joke crafting and storytelling, The Hangover Part II still got a ton of people out to the theaters and pulled in record amounts of money. You know what that means: The Hangover Part III is now as inevitable as death and taxes. And, sure enough, THR has a report that the principal cast are negotiating as a team to get a deal for a third film in the books. Because of Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Bradley Cooper’s all-for-one attitude when it comes to negotiating, getting this deal together has taken longer than usual. Their united front is allowing them to demand quite a bit of money to get a third Hangover movie made, and of course the studio has been doing whatever they can to drive that number down. They’re not really in any position of power, however, as a third Hangover is pretty much guaranteed to bring in truckloads of greenbacks, so the actors’ demands that each of them bank $15m a piece to come back and get drunk again are looking like they’re going to be met. Comparatively, each only made $1m for doing the modest budgeted original film.

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Drinking Games

One of the biggest hits of 2011 was The Hangover: Part II, raking in tons of money this summer and giving fans a chance to watch the same shenanigans from the first movie played out again. With recent news that The Hangover: Part III will start shooting next year, this trend doesn’t look like it will stop. Whether you liked the first movie, the second movie or both – or if you hated them – this choice for a drinking game is a no-brainer. Toast the Wolf Pack and get started on your own hangover.

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