I Love You Phillip Morris

Superman 3 Computer

The life of a film critic is one of the swankiest and most lucrative jobs you’ll ever have. Forget doctors and lawyers. Forget international business. Forget technology. Film criticism, particularly that which involves publishing on the internet, has me rolling in money like Scrooge McDuck. I’m not just rich, I’m stupid rich. Still, when it gets to be the middle of the month, and I’m paying bills, I can come up a little short. There never seems to be enough money in my bank account to comfortably live. It’s around this time that I start to think creatively about how to make even more money than my swag-filled, jet-setting life already brings me. Sure, there’s always the possibility of becoming the trophy companion of a supermodel. I certainly have the rippling muscles, two-percent body fat, and inguinal arch of Ryan Gosling. Then again, I’m happily married, and that might be a deal-breaker for a sugar momma. After recently watching Superman III and Office Space, I realized that the best way to make ends meet might be a life of crime. After all, I live most of my life on computers. Just ask my 2,693 Twitter followers. That’s got to be worth something. This got me thinking: Could I use the banking glitch we saw in Superman III to get even richer than I am today?

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Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are starting to become known as quite the filmmaking duo. Already they’ve worked together on cult hit Bad Santa, indie darling I Love You Phillip Morris, and mainstream romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. And it looks like they’re just getting started. For a couple of guys who have worked in such a wide array of genres already, what comes next? Not sequels to films they’ve already made, according to an interview they recently did with Movie Hole. When asked about the possibility of Bad Santa 2, they confirmed that it was happening and said that they were asked to direct but turned down the offer. When asked about a sequel to Crazy, Stupid, Love. they said that they left the characters where they wanted them to be and that if any sort of sequel happened it wouldn’t be for another twenty years or so. Ficarra and Requa don’t seem to be very into making sequels. The more I learn about these guys the more I like them. So what are they working on? Apparently they’ve written a script based on an idea from Crazy, Stupid, Love. star Steve Carell.

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As many fellow conflicted yet faithful Netflix subscribers know, last week marked the beginning of the separation of Instant and disc-only memberships. I had been trying to whittle down my streaming queue for a few months, but we all know that is a nearly impossible task with that devilish recommendation list appearing every time you go to the site’s homepage. Suffice it to say, my queue had actually grown since the announcement, making the budgeting decision for me. One of the films at the top of my queue was 2010’s long-awaited gay love story I love You Phillip Morris starring the forever not-sexy Jim Carrey and the always delicious Ewan McGregor as two convicts head-over-heels in love with each other. I could spend an entire column writing about this rapid, surprisingly honest and tender romance sprinkled with deception and humor, however my greatest take away from this man on man sexiness was the unexpectedly hot chemistry (and subsequent love scenes) between Carrey and McGregor.

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With Crazy, Stupid, Love, writer-director duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are coming off of the criminally under-seen I Love You Phillip Morris. Very few saw commercial appeal in their Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey-starring love story, and the box office numbers were further proof that there was a definite, and very sad, truth to those predictions. It doesn’t appear they have anything to worry about when it comes to their new, star-filled romantic comedy though. I Love You Phillip Morris has a dark and divisive sensibility. Crazy, Stupid, Love is the opposite and shows obvious mass appeal. In making a film for a broader audience, Ficarra and Requa managed to make love stories — it is an ensemble film — that are neither cynical nor dopey. Here’s what Glenn Ficarra and John Requa had to say about taking on the commercial project, their 3-hour version of the film, and their important lessons at film school:

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This Week in DVD

Welcome to the first week of April! Now that all of the internet jokes, gags, and pranks are out of the way it’s time to settle in with another week of movies and TV shows on DVD to keep you entertained at home. Like every other week of the year this one features a fairly interesting array of titles that run the gamut from the good to the bad, but we also get two offbeat comedies that I think are worth a purchase for fans of oddball romances and charmingly humorous characters. Oh. And two shitty Tron movies hit shelves this week too. Year Of the Carnivore A young woman named Samantha Smalls (Cristin Milioti) has a terrible sexual experience with her guitarist crush, and he suggests she cut loose, have fun, and gain some more experience in bed. And so she does… and along the way she learns everything you’d expect her to in an oddball, indie comedy from Canada. Milioti is adorable, endearing, and truth be told pretty damn sexy as the shy tomboy who giggles whenever guys touch her, and the movie features more than a few laugh out loud scenes of highly inappropriate self discovery.

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray, it’s off to the late 70s, early 80s, mid 90s and the future as seen through the mind of a computer. I won’t even dare mention the trip back to the home of The Fockers, as it’s but a slight detour on our road to an excellent week of Blu-ray releases. So get ready for the old, the new and all of the best in-betweens, because it’s time to go shopping. TRON: Special Edition It’s time to go back to where it all began. That’s what Disney did with this wonderful release, they went back to a time when TRON was new and incredible and captured it. We often see releases touting a “restored” or “enhanced” version of a pre-DVD era film, but rarely to we see a release with such a noticeable restoration. There is a vibrancy and pulsing energy to the world of TRON on Blu-ray that was never included on any DVD release. The journey of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) inside the computer has never been so life-like, nor has it ever looked so now. As the cherry, the TRON Blu-ray is lined with special features — several hours worth, to say the least. The best of them is “The TRON Phenomenon,” a look at the pop culture impact of Steven Lisberger’s technoventure. If you found yourself wondering why folks were so emotionally invested in TRON: Legacy‘s release, this featurette helps give you the why. The Blu-ray itself is a big slice of […]

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Rob Hunter drops by to help us countdown our favorites of 2010 while looking forward to the New Year’s Resolutions the filmmakers of the future should adhere to. Out with old, in with the old. Plus, we would have found time to review the releases of the week if there were any. We can’t wait for the executives to get back to work, either. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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As I expressed earlier in the week as our 2010 Year in Review began, I take it as a great honor that I am able to put together my list of the Best Films of the Year as part of my Editor’s Picks entry. And while I’m a massive fan of my own perspective and opinions, I’m an even bigger fan of the writing and ever-diverse tastes of the Film School Rejects reviewing staff. These are the folks who, through their sensational (and often divisive) review-writing, keep you coming back for more each and every day. They travel the world and brave the crowds at festivals, conventions, preview screenings and special events to bring you some of the industry’s sharpest, most honest film coverage. And I for one am honored to have them all on this team. Just as I did last year, I couldn’t wait to see which films each writer would put on their Top 5 lists as the best films of the year. And just as they did last year, they didn’t disappoint with their unique, ever-fascinating selections. So read on dear reader, as we present the crown jewel of our 2010 Year in Review: The Staff Picks.

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I Love You Phillip Morris has taken its sweet ‘ole time getting to the big screen. It’s been over a year and a half since its Sundance premiere, and who would have thought a Jim Carrey starring vehicle would have such a difficult time finding distribution? Well, the material makes it understandable. But it’s pretty sad considering it’s not too often we get a good Carrey film, and, even rarer, one with a great performance. What many will be thrown off guard by is the tone of the film. This isn’t wacky Jim Carrey, sorry Fun with Dick and Jane fans. Instead, it’s a comedic drama. It’s a difficult blend to create. Writing (and now directing) duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa know that. If you don’t know Ficarra and Requa by name, they scribed the cult classic Bad Santa and the original Cats & Dogs; this is more similar to the former. This is their directorial debut. Instead of turning out a 90-minute film with easy, on-the-nose gay jokes, they made a love story about a truly delusional (and lovable) protagonist. Here’s what directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa had to say in our brief phone interview:

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Rob Hunter drops by in order to explain why he got circumcised, explain why there was no movie news this week, and to drool professionally over Natalie Portman(‘s career). Plus, we find time to review movies that aren’t coming anywhere near you! Including I Love You Phillip Morris, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, and Black Swan. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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The Week That Was

Another rousing week of film industry news, reviews and discussion have come and gone here at Film School Rejects. And as some of us look to relax for the weekend, you may be on the hunt for some of the best reads the web has to offer. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Because we’ve got most of them… So here we go again with another round of my favorite Saturday afternoon Sunday morning column, The Week That Was, a tribute to all of the best FSR content that you probably missed this week. And while we’d normally be angry that you missed so much of the good stuff, we’re willing to let it slide. But just this once. At least until next week…

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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, Fat Guy Kevin Carr thumbs his nose at the major studio releases like The Warrior’s Way and The Nutcracker in 3D. Not only do they look like direct-to-DVD releases at best and stinkers of the year at worst, the studios didn’t let him see any of them. So he turns his sights on some award-bait films in limited release: Black Swan and I Love You, Phillip Morris.

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Movies just don’t typically exhibit the wild, go for broke attitude on full display in I Love You Phillip Morris and get away with it. So it’s no surprise that distributors had no idea how to handle the movie, which premiered at Sundance in 2009, or that it’s run through a ringer of missed release dates and legal action before finally hitting theaters this weekend. Yet, somehow, co-writers/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have turned a script comprised of wildly fluctuating tones, divergent scenes of broad comic flourishes and carefully calibrated drama, satire mixed with heartfelt personal insight, into a final product that’s a sharp, smart comedy. The rails could have come off Phillip Morris in so many ways, it’s a veritable miracle that the film sticks together as well as it does.

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We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them. Strange, we know. Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of November dumpster diving in studio lots, mailing in proof of purchase codes on cereal boxes, and building trailers from old plywood to make sure that you, dear reader, are in the know about what’s coming out in December. You watch movies, so this guide’s for you.

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For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous 36 Dramatic Situations by presenting a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today. Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t stick your penis in our anus. Part 26 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Obstacles To Love” with I Love You Phillip Morris.

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Great movies come from all around the world, and so do great DVDs and Blu-rays. Import This! is an irregular feature here at FSR that highlights discs and/or movies unavailable in the US that are worth seeking out for fans of fantastic cinema. Jim Carrey was one of the biggest box-office draws in Hollywood once upon a time, but recent years have seen a perceived slide in popularity. ‘Perceived’ because his last two live-action comedies aren’t considered hits by many people, but they collectively grossed over $400 million worldwide. And yet his latest comedy, one that’s both critically acclaimed and the funniest film he’s done in years, can’t find a distributor in the US. Steven Russell (Carrey) is a god-fearing, happily married family man. Except that he isn’t. A near-death experience forces him to re-evaluate his life and be true to who he really is… and that’s a gay man with flexible morals. Russell heads off to Miami, falls for a younger man, and proceeds to scam and con his way into a lifestyle that he can’t actually afford. His world crashes down when he’s arrested and thrown in jail, but his spirits are soon lifted when he meets and falls madly in love with Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). His number one priority becomes staying in Morris’ life, and if that means using his conman skills to arrange transfers, early releases, new homes, and more, then that’s a risk he’ll happily assume for love.

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Even if it’s a bit broad-sounding, can you really go wrong with Steve Carell and comedy? Keep it Dane Cook-free, and I’ll be there.

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Poster goodness for I Love You Phillip Morris and A Christmas Carol.

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One of my favorite films from this past year’s Sundance Film Festival, the Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor led comedy I Love You Phillip Morris, has finally found distribution this week.

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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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