Gillian Jacobs

Well Go USA Entertainment

A cast can go a long way towards making a mediocre movie watchable, and while it’s always best to have a script and direction to match sometimes the best you can hope for is a parade of familiar, engaging and talented faces. Several such faces appear in the overly busy and cluttered new film, The Lookalike, and — wait for it — they make this mediocre movie watchable. A pair of drug dealing/club owning crime bosses (Steven Bauer, John Corbett) have a deal with a major supplier (John Savage) to provide him with a particular girl (Gillian Jacobs) for a night of expensive fornication in exchange for his drug business. When she dies in a freak chandelier accident they’re forced to find a passable substitute, and through a series of convenient coincidences involving their bartender Joe (Jerry O’Connell) and his brother Holt (Justin Long) they settle on a young woman named Lacey (Jacobs). Also along for the ride are Gina Gershon as a detective, Luis Guzmán as a heavy and Scottie Thompson as Mila, a one-legged deaf woman with cancer. Like I said, it’s cluttered, and it only gets more so as the various plot threads and characters come together in a tale that boils down to the sad conclusion that everyone has their price. It’s far from an original idea — although so few movies are these days — but the problem rests in the execution outside of the actors’ hands. The script is convoluted and contrived, and it doesn’t […]

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Tribeca Films

We all handle grief in our own ways. Where one person may seek to drown their sorrows in busy work or the bottle, someone else might just shut down and bury themselves in bed for a few weeks. And then there’s Andrew (David Krumholdtz). His mother’s death from cancer has been increasingly hard on his mental state, and in an effort to heal he and his girlfriend Hannah (Melanie Lynskey) invite four of their closest friends to a rental house in Arizona to celebrate his birthday. Owen (Jason Ritter) and Emily (Gillian Jacobs) are dating, and Dave (Zachary Knighton) and Zoe (Ahna O’Reilly) are pre-engaged. It’s expected to be a week of relaxation, conversation and libation, but Andrew has a special request — the fulfillment of which he believes with heal his soul. He wants to have group sex with Hannah, Emily and Zoe. Andrew poses that question in the opening minutes of The Big Ask, and the fallout that follows explores both the fragility and strength of the relationships we form with lovers, friends and even ourselves.

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Life Partners movie

Indie features about the growing pains and pangs of twentysomethings are a dime a dozen in the film world – good luck hitting a film festival without being inundated with such fare – so when a film rises above the fray, it’s both somewhat remarkable and deeply welcome. Susanna Fogel’s Life Partners is, fortunately enough, one of the rare features about approaching thirty that hits the right levels of humor, heart, and honestly, all while being adorably entertaining and charmingly relatable. The film focues on the relationship between BFFs (and, yes, acronyms apply here) Paige (Gillian Jacobs) and Sasha (Leighton Meester), whose codependent relationship has apparently worked for so long that it’s kept both of them from realizing that it might be holding them back from other things (and other people). The dynamic duo does everything together – march in the local gay pride parade, hang out with their pals, hike, watch America’s Next Top Model, drink pink wine– and it doesn’t appear that there is room for anyone else in their lives. Let’s put it this way – when Sasha calls Paige, the caller ID reads “Husband,” and when Paige calls Sasha, her phone tells her that her “Wife” is ringing.

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Its not you its me

Why Watch? Aggressively well-crafted, this short from Matt Spicer uses invasive sound and camera design to make a dull life maddening before kicking it over the edge. Gillian Jacobs plays a young woman trapped in a crushingly mundane existence with an out-of-work boyfriend (Fran Kranz), but when she lets things get out of hand, it’s time to pack some very special suitcases. Everything here is first-rate, including the gut-punching comic story. Spicer and the team do something magical by using structured bits of disorientation to make the first shock pop like a starting pistol. From there it’s an intentionally jerky ride that alters the boring daily grind by erasing the rules. It also treats the Falling Down-style outburst and its consequences with a guilty sense of humor, so you may need to train your face to drop its jaw and smile at the same time before you see it. While many short films strive to be visual punch lines, It’s Not You, It’s Me manages to pull off a handful while delivering great characters and chaotic atmosphere as a bonus.

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Bad Milo

There’s no better way to enjoy the afternoon than by watching a horrible little demon crawl out of someone’s butt. Thankfully, a new red band trailer for Bad Milo presents that very opportunity. Bad Milo seems like the very definition of “polarizing.” Either you very much want to see a demon crammed up someone’s rear end, or you’ll do everything within your power to avoid seeing that very image. But for those in the “interested” column, Bad Milo has a lot to offer. The cast is a huge plus – composed entirely of extraordinarily talented, under-the-radar character actors (Peter Stormare, Stephen Root), or alumni from TV shows with rabid fan followings (Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Patrick Warburton). A cast like this would imply that Bad Milo would lean heavily on comedy over horror, but the trailer makes it quite clear: this is not a film to skimp on the blood and guts. Most of what we see in these two minutes is a lot of blood spray and cutaway gore, but seems more a product of the trailer than the actual film. All those quick cuts hint at something much more devious (and disgusting) – Milo separating a doctor from his nose, and another character getting chomped in a place far worse than where Milo came out of. By definition, Bad Milo is going to drive a lot of people screaming in the opposite direction. But those who don’t will be in for a seriously good time. Watch the new trailer below if you dare. Seriously, though. This one’s a redband, so expect lots of gore and also […]

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Ben Affleck

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that finally gets to stop talking about Walk of Shame, which was really being something of an attention hog lately. Some real bad news hit today for everyone looking forward to seeing what a trainwreck Ben Affleck and Kristen Stewart starring opposite of each other as romantic interests would have been. Affleck announced that, due to his busy schedule of being a busy person, he’s not going to be able to act in Focus after all. This means that the Glenn Ficarra- and John Requa-helmed pic will have to find someone else to vibe with Stewart as its in-the-mood-for-romance con artist, and Affleck is going to have to stick to directing movies, a place everyone seems to feel way more comfortable with him being in anyway. [Variety]

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Michael Shannon

What is Casting Couch? It’s the roundup of casting news that knows what Gillian Jacobs is going to be doing with her upcoming break from Community. All that time in the bushes finally paid off. Most people probably thought Wild Things director John McNaughton’s career hit its zenith when he directed Wild Things. That movie was basically the most ’90s thing ever, and it practically introduced the concept of the three-way to the square community through the communicative power of Denise Richards’ boobs. He may yet top that work though, because Deadline reports that he’s just recruited the best actor in the world, Michael Shannon, to star in his upcoming thriller The Harvest. The film will star Samantha Morton as a successful heart surgeon and Shannon as her co-dependent husband. Its conflict comes in when their sick son meets a new friend, and suddenly the very controlled routine that Morton’s character has created starts to break down. Sounds like a creepy mom.

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Who would you want to be with when the world ends? While we here at FSR have been bringing you the various movies you should watch before the world is set to end come this December, writer/director Lorene Scafaria takes on the idea of who you would want to stand with in those final moments. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World follows Dodge (Steve Carell), an insurance salesman (oh, the irony) who seems lost as the rest of the world is falling apart around him. One night, while watching the grim news (anchored with class by Mark Moses), Dodge encounters his quirky neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) and they bond over the unspoken need to have someone to spend time with, even if it means just sitting and watching television together. When Penny gives Dodge a stack of his mail (which she’d been accidentally receiving for months), he finds a letter from an ex-girlfriend (one he considered the love of his life) which prompts Dodge to find her and spend his last days with his one true love. After a terrifying riot breaks out around their apartment building, Dodge grabs Prius-driving Penny to save her (and bum a ride.) Promising to bring her to one of his friends who has a plane (which could get her to England to see her family one last time), the duo (and Dodge’s inherited dog, Sorry) embark on a road trip to get to those people they realize are most important to them.

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Everybody knows that the world is going to be ending sooner rather than later. Heck, the end of days is getting so close that we’ve been counting down our must-see apocalypse films. But until I watched the trailer for the upcoming comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, it didn’t occur to me how much fun those last few days we all spend on Earth are going to be. I mean, other than when faced with impending asteroid-related doom, when else is a guy like Steve Carell going to get a chance at a girl like Keira Knightley? Stress-induced romantic hook-ups aren’t the only perks of the world ending, either. There’s slacking off at work, taking part in some cathartic looting, and who knows how many other base pleasures to partake in. Heck, this movie sees Patton Oswalt turning into some sort of hedonistic little Satyr, Gillian Jacobs kissing everyone on the mouth, and Connie Britton hosting dinner parties for her single friends. Not only are these all great ideas for how to spend your last days, they’re also glimpses at a movie that seems to have a stellar supporting cast. Check out how the end times might look with the first trailer for Seeking a Friend for the End of the World after the break.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column. But would you say that El Column has a plethora of news items? Yes, yes, I know it has a lot of news items. But does it have a plethora? Empire recently brought Martin Short, Chevy Chase and Steve Martin back together to recreate some of the Three Amigos magic that delivered one of the most underrated comedies of the last 25 years. Even director John Landis was on-hand for the photo shoot, celebrating the quarter decade anniversary of the film. It’s a personal favorite of mine, and part of my “cinematic friend litmus test.” If you don’t like this movie, we simply won’t ever be close friends. Them’s the rules.

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Just when you thought you were safe, or that I’d forgotten about our SXSW 2010 preview. I come flying in and hit you with a preview of another little film — this time, one that is in competition — that has my interest going into this year’s festival.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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