Jason Bateman

Last August, during that first rush to pin down Bridesmaids stand-out Melissa McCarthy, we reported on a McCarthy-starring project that would pit her against Jason Bateman. The film was then titled ID Theft and was set to revolve around McCarthy’s character stealing Bateman’s character’s identity. Hijinks would, of course, ensue. The film has now gotten a slight title change and a not-wholly-unexpected director. Identity Theft will be directed by Seth Gordon, who has already directed Bateman to reasonable hilarity in Horrible Bosses. Written by The Pursuit of Happyness scribe Steve Conrad (with a rewrite by Craig Mazin), the project already has a bit of notoriety, as Bateman (who is also producing) reportedly asked that the film’s script be tweaked to see a man and a woman face off (it was previously a dueling dude affair) after being bowled over by McCarthy’s performance in Bridesmaids. Gordon’s name has already been bandied about for the Horrible Bosses sequel and he’s currently set to direct that bizarrely inevitable War Games remake. [Deadline Plainfield]  

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While Universal may be scraping to get together a sequel to their comedy hit, Bridesmaids, New Line and Warner Bros. are having significantly better luck with their latest incarnation of a comedy hit. The studios have closed a deal with Horrible Bosses screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein for a second film, one that is expected to see its three leads, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, all back in front of the camera. And behind the camera? Original director Seth Gordon is also “in early talks” for the sequel. Now that’s how you get a band of merry murderers back together. The summer release was a surprise hit – made on the relative cheap for $35m, it racked up $209m worldwide. A cross between workplace comedy and hitman flick, the film saw Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis as three best friends who all hate their bosses (played by Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell, respectively) for very different reasons. In the film, the three knuckleheads conceive of a plan to knock off each other’s headache-inducing supervisors, the sort of plan that sounds okay-ish on paper, only to crumble spectacularly (and hilariously!) in execution. The film was Daley and Goldstein’s first project together, and they have also written another New Line comedy, the upcoming Burt Wonderstone (filming early this year), along with the sequel to the charming Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

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What is Movie News After Dark? As per usual, it’s a nightly movie news column that finds a way to get a little silly on Monday nights. It’s mostly weekend hangover related, but also a product of its own environment. On weekend, it plays a clown in a traveling circus. It lives a diverse life like that. We begin tonight with an image of the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. As you know, Halloween is coming up and we’re all looking for good costume ideas. Over at io9, the nerds from the future have it listed as one of their 20 zero-effort, high-concept Halloween costumes guaranteed to alienate your friends. For those of us who dislike both effort and friends.

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Since its cancellation in 2006, fans of the extremely cult-hit Arrested Development have been clamoring for a film continuation to their beloved series. In the years since, the project has been off and on more times than Edward and Bella’s wedding plans, but today series creator Mitch Hurwitz, along with the rest of the cast at The New Yorker Festival dropped some news that should send all fans into a tail spin. If the announcement is to believed, it has been confirmed that the series is set to return for a 9-10 episode mini-series that would lead directly into a motion picture. The mini-series would serve the purpose of explaining what all the various lead characters have been doing for the last five years and each episode would focus on a single character. In addition to this, Deadline was able to obtain information that Showtime and Netflix were in talks with 20th Century Fox Television (who owns the property) to broadcast the mini-series which is supposedly set for an early 2013 air date. Got all that? Good, because here’s the hitch…

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Ever since Melissa McCarthy stole our hearts and upset our stomachs with a breakthrough, gross out performance in Bridesmaids, we’ve been tracking the skyrocketing of her career very closely. In rapid succession it was announced that Bridesmaids director Paul Feig was developing a project specifically for her, that she landed a role in Judd Apatow’s next directorial effort This is Forty, and also that she scored a big part in the upcoming Jason Bateman-gets-pushed-around-again comedy ID Theft. That’s not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the things that McCarthy has been up to since Bridesmaids was released, however. The Hollywood Reporter has a cover story on the actress that talks about her winning an Emmy for her role on Mike & Molly, getting the opportunity to host Saturday Night Live, starting her own production company, and even starting up her own design label. She’s like the Jay Z of comedic actresses. The part of the article that interested me the most though, was the announcement of a couple more film projects she has in development. They did not give too many details about the first one, but apparently it’s a dark comedy that McCarthy is co-writing with The Help writer/director Tate Taylor. They know each other from their days of being in The Groundlings together and the script is currently half-finished. The other project, that we get a couple of plot details about, is called Tammy. It’s the project that McCarthy says she is most excited about, […]

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Since her hilarious, Guy Fieri-inspired turn in Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy has been flooded with praise (including an Emmy nomination for Mike & Molly) and offers for new work (including a part in Judd Apatow’s next and a role written for her by Bridesmaids helmer Paul Feig), along with selling a pitch to Paramount with Bridesmaids scribe Annie Mumolo. If that wasn’t impressive enough, McCarthy’s work in the summer smash was apparently enough to get Jason Bateman to flip the script on his next film, ID Theft. Bateman will star in and produce the film, which gave him the clout to ask that the script (from Steve Conrad with a rewrite by Craig Mazin) be tweaked to focus on a male lead and a female lead, not the dueling males it first called for. Bateman will star as a guy who gets his identity stolen by McCarthy’s character. Bateman reportedly asked not only that the sex-changing rewrite happen, but that it happen specifically for McCarthy to take the role. We can only guess that Bateman will play a hapless everyman who gets his identity jacked by McCarthy’s thief, which sounds like a battle of the wide-eyed goofball titans, and the only way that identity theft could ever be even somewhat amusing. The film is set to start filming in April of next year when McCarthy’s Mike & Molly is on hiatus. [Deadline Scottsdale]

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Press conferences can be many things – informative, entertaining, boring, long, short, disastrous, fluffy, bullshit, and sometimes even honest. Happily, sitting in on the junket for The Change-Up, I found this press conference to be three of my favorites: entertaining, brief, and honest. With a movie like The Change-Up, you’re really going to come across any ground breaking information – after all, it’s just a comedy. Not to belittle comedies or anything, but it’s not a gigantic science fiction beast, a gigantic budgeted translation of a famed comic-book, nor is it a gigantic spectacle of shit blowing up. If you’re looking for brilliant insight into the film-making process, you’re barking up the wrong tree. However, if you want to hear me talk about who the most attractive men in the room where, Leslie Mann’s breasts, and David Dobkin’s color pallete, well keep on readin’ on.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr heads into a lab to liberate some apes, but they rise up, beat him down and fling their poo all over him. He washes up and heads home to his family, secretly longing for the swinging lifestyle of fellow FSR staffers like Neil Miller, Robert Fure and Rob Hunter. But since he doesn’t get a chance to pee in a fountain with any of them, he doesn’t get a chance to switch bodies with them, a la The Change-Up. This is probably a good thing because few people can take the awesomessness of his body.

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It’s a tale as old as time and as stale as those left-over everything bagels you brought home from the office two Fridays ago. Two humans living organisms, as different as night and day, cats and dogs, pee pee and poo poo, by some magical occurence swap bodies. Or minds. Or something. With literally dozens of iterations over the years, one would correctly wonder what was left to explore in the body swap comedy. As it turns out, there is, or was, at least one viable and comedic avenue left unexplored: the R-Rating. Make no mistake, The Change-Up strives to be R-Rated. Perhaps falling short of the hard R of The Hangover (John Lucas & Scott Moore wrote both), director David Dobkin peppers the screen with breasts (more on those later), urination scenes, two instances of diarrhea, a thumb in the asshole, and plenty of other inappropriate gags and the endangerment of children.

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Years ago director Seth Gordon made a big impression with his critical doc darling, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. The film made our own best 30 films of the decade and you’d be on a fool’s mission to find someone who doesn’t enjoy that unique story. To no surprise, the heavily pirated documentary kicked down a lot of doors for Gordon. Just recently he’s been attached to direct the WarGames remake, so it’s obvious he’s come quite a long way in a quick amount of time. His latest comedy, Horrible Bosses, also represents how rapid the filmmaker is rising. The greatest surprise of the film is that, tonally, the film isn’t all that mean. The story’s about three guys plotting to murder their respective bosses, but even with that dark concept and some bastardly antagonists it never goes to the extreme. Gordon flirts with some darkness and satire, but it stays relatively safe. Here’s what director Seth Gordon had to say about the doors The King of Kong opened up for him, going with a lighter version of Horrible Bosses, and the nature of comedic filmmaking:

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Horrible Bosses features some of the most inspired casting you’ll find in any big studio comedy this year, with three actors playing against type with exceptional success. Unfortunately, those three performers — Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston — are the supporting acts here, the titular vile bosses of three of the most boring white guys imaginable. Sure, they’re played by Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day, funny men all, but the stars lack the charisma, the comic energy and the overall appeal of the aforementioned A-listers, who go to some truly whacked-out places. It’s a fundamental miscalculation that filmmaker Seth Gordon can’t overcome.

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Have you ever had a horrible boss? Got a good story about that? If you tell us your horrible boss story, and we like it, you can win a pass to an early VIP screening of New Line Cinema’s new flick Horrible Bosses in Columbus, Ohio, hosted by FSR’s resident Fat Guy Kevin Carr. (Please note… former employees of Donald Trump are excluded from this contest because that’d be just too easy. You too, Rob Hunter.) Here’s how you can get in to see Horrible Bosses before it opens and enjoy a VIP reception before the film. Search your brain for your best (and hopefully true) story about a horrible boss you’ve had in the past. Recount your story in the comments section of this post. Please remember to change the names of people and businesses to protect the guilty. Or not. Either way.

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Hot off the heels of playing body swapping best friends with Ryan Reynolds in The Change-Up, Jason Bateman is gearing up to star in a best friends whose kids bone each other comedy with Vince Vaughn called The Insane Laws. Which I guess is some sort of play on the word in-laws. The story of the film is that Bateman and Vaughn’s characters are best friends whose lives have followed the exact path all the way up to their kids getting into and attending the same college. Sounds like a pretty ideal situation for best friends, right? Being there together, sharing everything, every step of the way. Well not once Bateman’s son gets a hold of Vaughn’s daughter and a pregnancy happens. That puts the lifelong friendship in what is sure (not sure?) to be hilarious upheaval.

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Seth Gordon’s new comedy Horrible Bosses has a trailer. If you don’t know who Seth Gordon is, he’s not only the guy who directed the amazing Donkey Kong documentary King of Kong, but he’s also directed episodes of pretty much every amazingly funny comedy that’s on TV right now. So, I imagine his movie is going to be pretty great, and while this trailer isn’t exactly revolutionary, it does its job of making this look like a barrel of laughs. Horrible Bosses tells the story of three guys, played by Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, who have three exceptionally evil bosses, played by Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, and Kevin Spacey, and who get together and decide to have them killed. Of course, they’re just a couple of working class dweebs, what do they know about killing people? Problem solved; just hire Jamie Foxx as your “murder consultant” Motherfucker Jones. Doesn’t sound like enough for you to check out this movie already? Just wait; there’s more. Aniston eats hotdogs, Popsicles, and bananas while wearing lingerie, Day seems to be just about as stupid as he is on Always Sunny, Colin Farrell is looking super creepy with a balding comb over and a finely manicured beard, Modern Family’s Julie Bowen is somewhere in this movie being pretty and funny, and when they guys get arrested for speeding who is their arresting officer but Bunk from The Wire. Plus there’s car crashes, discrimination against the handicapped, comedic cocaine use, and white […]

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By the end of 2010, fans will see Olivia Wilde on House, in theaters for The Next Three Days and Tron: Legacy, and will hear more about her role in Cowboys and Aliens. She’s going to be everywhere, and that’s not even counting television appearances, magazine photo shoots, and co-starring roles in dreams. Now, she’ll appear alongside Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds for The Change Up – a film that sees uptight Bateman switch bodies with slacker Reynolds for the record-breaking 2,000th body changing movie. The best possible outcome? A twist ending where Batemen finds himself permanently stuck inside Jodie Foster’s body.

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Romantic comedy makers, here’s some advice: When you’re pinpointing a male lead to star opposite a genre stalwart such as Jennifer Aniston, skew more toward the Jason Batemans of the world than the Matthew McConaugheys. The Arrested Development veteran’s appearance in The Switch, a top-notch valentine to New York City and parenthood being released during the summer doldrums, epitomizes the wisdom of this approach. As neurotic, repressed financial analyst Wally Mars, Bateman turns the standard leading male archetype on its head. Out of a morass of clichés, from the When Harry Met Sally components of the narrative to the big climactic reveal, he makes stability sexy, offering an appealing regular-guy counterpart in the cold war with Patrick Wilson’s dreamboat Roland for the heart of Kassie (Aniston). Beneath the bundle of obsessions and fears is a smart, lonely man fighting for self-respect and the right to feel happy.

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The Switch

The Switch is the newly renamed comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman about artificial insemination, mistaken identity, and the perils of sticking kitchen utensils up your bajango. It was originally called The Baster… a title that’s simultaneously better and worse then the new one.

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When any member of the Arrested Development cast speaks, the press listens. Even when they’re saying nothing of consequence.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if Avatar, Did You Hear About the Morgans? and Up In the Air can make the grade.

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up-in-the-air-movie-review1

‘Up in the Air’ is Jason Reitman’s first flat-out masterpiece.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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