Jared Stern

escape-from-tomorrow-11

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears, a world of hopes and a world of fears. There’s so much that we share and it’s time you’re aware that the worst ride in the existence of Disneyland and home to the song that never left your head for weeks after taking a trip down the chlorine filled waters of forced cultural diversity, It’s A Small World, is being turned into a movie. It was inevitable that this was going to happen, really, what with the history and success of other ride-to-movie deals in the park. But it doesn’t make the news any less worthy of an eye roll or two. There are questions to be asked. The ride from hell debuted at the New York World’s Fair, then moved to Disneyland 50 years ago (in fact, the 50th anniversary was just this Tuesday). It’s an iconic piece of the park that has also been replicated at four other Disney theme parks. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of taking a cruise through Fantasyland, It’s a Small World involves strapping into a low-riding boat with about 10 of your closest new tourist friends to travel down a rank river of reclaimed pool water. Along the way, you move through all the lands of the world as over 300 audio-animatronic dolls dressed in the finest stereotypical representations of their countries sing their little hearts out about peace and unity. It’s a small world after all. Nine times out of 10, your boat will […]

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Lego Movie

Film critics are heaping it with almost universal praise, with The Lego Movie sitting pretty at a 96 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes thus far. Warner Bros. is wasting little time in greenlighting a second installment to what is expected to be an enormously successful opening weekend family film. Early predictions have The Lego Movie pushing $40m or more in first weekend gross, which suggests the movie will easily outpace its competitors, Vampire Academy and The Monuments Men. Screenwriters Jared Stern (Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Wreck-It-Ralph) and Michelle Morgan (Girl Most Likely) have been tapped by Warner Bros. for co-writing duty for the sequel. The Lego Movie is one of the first pieces in what is designed to be the studio’s return to prominence in animated fare, having last year hired a stable of writers and filmmakers to bolster their ranks in that department. Including Stern, they have onboarded Chris Miller and Phil Lord (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs), John Requa (Cats & Dogs), Glenn Ficarra (The Angry Beavers), and Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets).

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It can be difficult making friends once you’re past a certain age because the older people get the more set in their ways they become. Youth offers any number of bonding experiences that bring people together from grade school up through college, but once you enter the real world those opportunities start to dwindle. Husbands and wives, children, jobs, existing friends…these things tend to limit the time you have for meeting new people, becoming familiar with them and building new relationships. Past the age of thirty a catalyst of some kind is required to draw people together on short notice. Something big is good. Something of planetary importance is even better. Evan (Ben Stiller) is constantly on the lookout for friends and has formed more clubs than Tracy Flick ever dared to dream. He keeps busy with running club and Spanish for Senior Citizens, but when one of his Costco employees is viciously murdered Evan decides to form a Neighborhood Watch. Franklin (Jonah Hill) failed every test the police department threw at him, so the opportunity to join a “vigilante squad” appeals to him greatly. Bob (Vince Vaughn) is a recent transplant to town with his wife and teen daughter, and he jumps at the chance to hang out with the guys. And Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) is simply a responsible newcomer to our American shores. Together they form a local neighborhood watch. Together they will decide Earth’s fate as they discover and attempt to stop an alien invasion. Together, if […]

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