Geoffrey Arend

Strangelove Pie Fight

Why Watch? This week we’ve highlighted a few Oscar winning short films, but now it’s time to turn our eyes to a music video that channels a Best Picture nominee. With Wake Up and Scream, Geoffrey Arend (who you’ll know from Super Troopers and (500) Days of Summer) lends an alien hand, doing his best Peter Sellers impression in front of a war council before glamming out with the sort of bizarre energy that Danny Elfman and his Forbidden Zone crew would be psyched about. It’s style over narrative to be sure, but they have the geeky cinephile sense to include a pie fight, and the whole thing is a crazy amount of fun. What will it cost? Around 3 minutes. Skip Work. Watch More Short Films.

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Save the Date trailer

Editor’s note: Save the Date arrives in theaters this Friday. RSVP now with a re-run of our Sundance review, originally posted on January 25, 2012. It would be foolish to deny that there is a certain kind of “Sundance romance” film – minor affairs that chronicle the beautiful and directionless as they stumble through the motions in an attempt to find something real. Most of the time, these films take place somewhere in East Los Angeles (Echo Park, Silverlake, Los Feliz), and usually there’s someone in a band. There is always a bevy of navel-gazing that occurs. Meeting those criteria for this year’s festival is Michael Mohan‘s Save the Date. The film centers on a pair of sisters (Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie, charmers both) who have very different expectations of and desires for love. Caplan’s Sarah is a commitment-phobe who is about to move in with her long-term boyfriend (Geoffrey Arend as Kevin), while Brie’s Beth is about to marry Kevin’s best friend and bandmate, Andrew (Martin Starr). Cue conflicts.

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Save the Date trailer

Will film audiences ever tire of watching indie romances about twenty-somethings struggling to find love set against the backdrop of their struggling to break into creative fields? Or is there something just so satisfying about wallowing in other people’s struggles and acknowledging that you’re not the only one who’s completely confused about life that we’ll continue to line up for these movies time and time again? Filmmaker Michael Mohan is clearly betting on the latter notion, because his latest project, Save the Date, looks like every romance about confused young people that you’ve ever seen. There are a few big reasons why his work could be a step above the last couple you’ve seen though, a few reasons that look a lot like Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend, and Mark Webber. Caplan has been putting in strong supporting performances for years now, so the chance to see her step up and take the lead should be a pleasant one. And Alison Brie, this girl is so beloved that an entire Internet subculture has sprung up around celebrating just how amazing she is. Strong casting there, indeed.

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There’s a new romantic comedy in the works, and the cast that it’s assembled so far is an awesome mix of people I love from Judd Apatow shows, people I love from Party Down, and girls that I have crushes on (with some Mad Men connections thrown in for good measure). Save the Date is based on characters from the graphic novels of Jeffrey Brown. Brown’s comic work is smaller, more autobiographical than the super hero stuff that typically gets adapted from the world of sequential art. This story is about two sisters, one who is relatively unconcerned about the future and is therefore dating a musician, and another who is obsessed with planning her upcoming wedding down to every detail. Michael Mohan will be co-writing with Brown and directing. But that’s not really the exciting part of this news for me. The exciting part is the cast.

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Devil is the first of the “Night Chronicles,” a series of films in which M Night. Shyamalan comes up with the story and serves as producer but passes on the screenwriting and directing reins to others. So although Devil is “from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan,” it’s written by Brian Nelson (30 Days of Night, Hard Candy) and directed by John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine). Two names that shouldn’t elicit the same groans of disappointment.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr is stuck in an elevator reviewing movies, but he realizes that being in there with the Devil isn’t nearly as bad when you’re also stuck in there with faux-slut Emma Stone. To pass the time, he robs a few banks in The Town of Boston with Ben Affleck and embroiders a scarlet Easy A on his chest. Sigh… if only he had worn a shirt when he did that…

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The name of M. Night Shyamalan may have been greatly tarnished by M. Night Shyamalan, but there’s no denying that this trailer for Devil makes the film that he produced (but didn’t direct, if that helps) look engaging and deadly. It begs the classic question of what you’d do if you were trapped inside an elevator and, instead of a porn star played by Carla Gugino, it’s the great Satan himself hiding amongst your crew. Answer the question yourself, and take a look at the trailer after the jump.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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