Jennifer Aniston

Adam Sandler in Men Women and Children

It’s an understood rule of comedic actors that they can all do drama, as well. Comedy is harder, of course. But then not every comedic actor is truly an actor. Not every comedic performance is about more than good line readings and having the necessary timing to tell a joke. Stand-up comedians often get starring gigs on sitcoms, but that doesn’t mean they’ll wind up with an Oscar nomination someday. (Sorry, Sinbad.) Those who do end up with Academy recognition are those who were always set to shine on the big screen and wound up on TV as a short little detour along the way. Jennifer Lawrence, for example. And Tom Hanks. And Leonardo DiCaprio. But there are also former TV comedy stars who do great work in dramatic movies and never garner Oscar attention, and then they have to go back and do a Dumb and Dumber sequel. There is hope and buzz for quite a few former sitcom stars this fall. They could join the likes of Helen Hunt, George Clooney, Sally Field, Melissa McCarthy, Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Mo’Nique, Sandra Bullock, Marisa Tomei, Will Smith, Diahann Carroll, Woody Harrelson, John Travolta, Judd Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Patty Duke, Pat Morita, Kate Winslet, Billy Bob Thornton, Jamie Foxx and Robin Williams. I’m sure I’m forgetting some others (and not even thinking of all the variety TV players like George Burns, Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Cher and Goldie Hawn). Or they could be the next Jim Carrey. Check out […]

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Cake

Claire Simmons (Jennifer Aniston) is in pain. Chronic pain, actually, the kind she tries to relieve by attending a support group for women who live with the same kind of chronic pain. Claire Simmons has been violently hurt in the past. Does the support group help? Not really. They’re much more concerned with the recent death of Nina (Anna Kendrick), a favorite of the group who recently killed herself in an excessively grim manner. We learn all this within the opening seconds of Daniel Barnz‘s Cake, not because of a clever script or neat direction, or because Aniston or anyone else in her group are able to convey what’s going on with snappy conversation or finely tuned physical expression, but because it is all handed to us without question. We know Claire is in pain because she moves stiffly, we know it’s the result of an accident because she’s covered in scars, we know that Nina is dead because a giant portrait of her is ringed by heartbroken women. We even know that Claire is in a support group for women with chronic pain, because a large chalkboard reads “WOMEN’S CHRONIC PAIN SUPPORT GROUP.” Even from its first moments, Barnz’s film doesn’t trust its audience to unravel his predictable, rote film for themselves. It will only get worse.

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Lionsgate

Ordell (Mos Def) and Louis (John Hawkes) have planned the perfect kidnapping. Their target is Mickey (Jennifer Aniston), wife to a sketchy businessman named Frank (Tim Robbins) who’s hiding a fortune in a secret bank account. The plan is simple. Kidnap Mickey, tell Frank to pay the ransom if he ever wants to see his wife again and then retire in style. But they never considered the possibility that Frank might not want his wife back. Chronology is a funny thing. The inclination will be (and has been if you check the IMDB page) to label Life of Crime a straight-up rip-off of 1986’s Ruthless People. In actuality though this is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard‘s 1978 novel, The Switch. Keep moving backward and you’ll find that all of these incarnations share an inspiration in O. Henry’s 1907 short story, “The Ransom of Red Chief.” The problem for this film then is how to stand apart from the crowd, and unfortunately, it’s a problem the film never really solves.

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Horrible Bosses

The great thing about this Horrible Bosses 2 teaser is that it doesn’t tell you anything about the movie at all. It exists only to raise questions, show off some impressive physical comedy and to put dirty words in Jennifer Aniston‘s mouth. Familiar faces are flashed, and we learn that Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bateman are back to perpetrate a kidnapping. But why? They wanted to murder their bosses in the first film because they were awful. Now, their criminal path isn’t so clear. Yet, Aniston’s character’s proclivities are back in full force. See for yourself:

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Ferris Bueller TV Show

We’re still a few years away from being able to hop a quick flight into space (after our self-driving car parks itself in the terminal), but if you want to feel like you’re standing on another planet, you should watch the Ferris Bueller TV show. Created for NBC’s lineup in 1990, it’s an odd pop cultural artifact that plays like a window into an alternative universe that somehow exists in our own without melting all physical laws into shoe-ruining mud. In it, Charlie Schlatter is Ferris Bueller, Jennifer Aniston is his pissy sister Jeannie, and Richard Riehle (before he became rich inventing the Jump To Conclusions Mat) is the stuffy Principal Ed Rooney. The natural response is that these are impostors, that you’re somehow being tricked, and that instinctive mindset colors everything that the show does. It would probably be even stranger if the characters felt right while not looking right, but fortunately for everyone’s sanity, the show gets everything about continuing the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off story hilariously wrong.

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Life of Crime trailer

Few horrors can compare with the Friends curse. “I’ll be there for you,” we all sang in time to our TVs just a few short years ago, happy and contented and all sporting the exact same Jennifer Aniston haircut. But we’re not there for the Friends now. No one is. Not in a world where headlines like, “Fat, grey and struggling for work- would you be Friends with them now?” exist. It’s a tough life, not only for the Friends cast, but for the brave officers of the NYPD who stand guard around that Central Park fountain, fending off repeated attempts from a Matt LeBlanc or a Lisa Kudrow to break in and splash around like the glory days. When the fountain’s on, no one can see the tears. Technically, none of the Friends cast have ever done that, as far as you or I might know. But the fountain isn’t even in Central Park — just some WB backlot in Los Angeles, so it’s a moot point anyway. But of the Friends, Aniston’s the only one to keep her head above water in recent years. Horrible Bosses and We’re The Millers have no doubt kept her pockets lined with green, and that steady string of not very good, yet somewhat successful rom-coms can’t hurt either.

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L14A4445.dng

There are some performers, like Zach Galifianakis or Will Ferrell, who can pretty much just stand there alone on screen and be funny. There are other performers though, like Owen Wilson or Vince Vaughn, who do their best work opposite someone else who they can play off of to laugh out loud effect. Jason Sudeikis seems to belong to the latter category. He can get laughs, but he gets more when he shares both the screen and some chemistry with another actor. He shares the screen quite a bit in We’re the Millers, but that chemistry is a bit harder to come by on a consistent basis. David Clark (Sudeikis) is living the dream. He’s in his mid-30s with no wife, no kids, no real responsibilities and he seems to like it that way. He even has a cushy job, so to speak. He sells weed. Not a huge amount or anything, but enough to make a living and still put some back into savings. But when he gets caught up trying to help a well-meaning kid from his apartment building, he ends up getting robbed, losing all of his cash and product. Stuck and desperate he agrees to do a drug run to Mexico for his supplier who has agreed to wipe out his debt and even pay him $100,000 on top of that to bring back a small amount of weed. David decides that a family would attract less attention so he grabs the kid (Will Poulter), a […]

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millers finger

It’s likely you’ve already seen 8,000 ads for We’re the Millers, director Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s latest comedy. But if you have some raw, unstoppable urge to see what a We’re the Milers trailer would be like with the addition of several F-bombs (and a few bombs of other letters, too) then click on down to the video below. Bear in mind that this is a red band trailer, so as always it is NSFW.

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Picture Perfect

Next Wednesday marks the release of Rawson Marshall Thurber’s raunchy comedy, We’re The Millers, a Jason Sudeikis- and Jennifer Aniston-starring affair that aims to make international drug smuggling fun for the whole family (even if that family is a fake one, like the one in the film). It’s also another film that aims to convince America that both Sudeikis and Aniston are bonafide movie stars, a claim that we’re still not entirely sure is true (even if we do think that Sudeikis is well on his way). The problem lies with Aniston, an actress that has never been better, funnier, or more interesting than she was on the television show that made her (we’re talking about Friends here, you’ve probably heard of it). Aniston has starred in plenty of films over the course of her career – including Leprechaun, She’s the One, The Object of My Affection, Office Space, Rock Star, The Good Girl, Along Came Polly, Bruce Almighty, Derailed, Rumor Has It…, Friends With Money, Management, Marley & Me, Love Happens, The Break-Up, He’s Just Not That Into You, The Bounty Hunter, The Switch, Horrible Bosses, Just Go With It, and Wanderlust – and her work has spanned a hearty number of genres. Aniston has done it all (seriously, just go back and look at that list), but she’s never really broken through as a bankable big screen star who can carry a film simply due to her own merits and name recognition. Look at it this way – […]

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trailer were the millers

Can we all just agree that Jennifer Aniston has a great body? Not just for a 44 year old mind you, but a great body period? I think if she knew we were all in agreement she might stop relying on the need to expose it in movies and instead focus on finding smart scripts with interesting characters. Not that I’m making any kind of premature judgement on her latest film, We’re the Millers, based on the brand new red band trailer below. Jason Sudeikis stars as a drug dealer who agrees to smuggle a smidge of pot across the border from Mexico for a very wealthy man (Ed Helms). The plan is simple. Rent a wife, two children, and an RV, and then avoid border suspicion by looking like nothing more than a happy family on vacation. Aniston plays a stripper he hires as his wife, and Emma Roberts and Will Poulter play their lovable children. The rest of the cast includes Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Thomas Lennon and Tomer Sisley. Check out Aniston’s fleshy bits in the trailer below!

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Drinking Games

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this weekend, and we know everyone is looking for any excuse to drink some green beer or slam a few shots of Irish whiskey. Sure, we could enjoy a few drinks to Darby O’Gill and the Little People, but why not celebrate with a true cinematic classic like 1993’s Leprechaun? There have been six Leprechaun films to date, and honestly, this game could work for almost all of them to a degree. However, it’s Warwick Davis’ original turn as the offensive Irish stereotype that is most enjoyable. Cheers, and Éirinn go Brách!

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Sandra Bullock

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news compilation that has word of a new action movie starring the Muscles From Brussels himself, JCVD. Buckle up. It seems like there’s always been a segment of the filmgoing audience that has something against Sandra Bullock. Maybe that’s because she teased everybody by starring in Demolition Man and Speed in the early ’90s and then went on to make a bunch of lame romantic comedies where she tries too hard to be goofy instead of doing more action stuff. Whatever the reason, she might finally be able to channel those bad tidings and use it in her next job, because Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the usually sugary-sweet actress is going to be voicing the new villain in the upcoming Despicable Me spinoff, Minions. As you may have guessed, she’ll be playing an evil lady who has her life ruined by her little, yellow, inept minions. This time it’s okay to hate, go ahead.

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Ed Helms might not be the first person that comes to mind when you think of comedy superstars, but his comedic take on uptight, preppy white people has taken him pretty far in the business up to this point. He’s proved that he can be an important part of an ensemble by enduring as a reoccurring character on TV’s The Office, he’s proved that he can anchor a film as a relatable protagonist in the underrated Cedar Rapids, and he’s proved that he can be a key component in a hugely successful franchise with the Hangover films. If Helms plays his cards right going forward, he could possibly become one of the biggest comedic actors working. So what’s he got on his horizon? Well, in addition to his continued work on The Office and a planned third film in the Hangover series, Deadline Alpharetta is reporting that the sweater-vested one has signed on to two new projects. The first is said to be something of a cameo. He’ll be appearing as Jason Sudeikis’s shady boss in director Rawson Thurber’s (Dodgeball) upcoming comedy We’re the Millers. The film, which Sudeikis stars in, is said to be about a crew of experienced drug smugglers who pose as a fake family and try to get a large amount of marijuana  across the US/Mexico border. The film is also said to have Jennifer Aniston and Nick Offerman on board, which is good news because Offerman is always hilarious and Aniston, well…she always looks pretty?

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr fights a battle of wits between the stuffy and overly dramatic Oscar contenders that will be buzzing through the weekend and the genre-specific schlock that is being released with no hope of winning any sort of award at all. Before hunkering down on the couch to watch Billy Crystal time warp back into the mid-90s on Sunday, Kevin skydives into the multiplex to check out Act of Valor. Then he joins a commune to be a modern hippie while watching Wanderlust. Finally, he leaves the multiplex to stalk Amanda Seyfried and her on-screen sister because he believes he’s at least as creepy as the legions of creepy guys in Gone. Oh, and that Tyler Perry movie? He skips that with a wave of the hand and a snap of the fingers. If it ain’t got Madea in it, it ain’t worth watching!

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George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) live for the fast-paced lifestyle of New York City. Until, that is, things go wrong and they decide they just can’t deal with it any longer. The married couple then head to Atlanta to live with George’s obnoxious brother, but end up spending the night at a roadside bed-n-breakfast that turns out to be a hippie commune. After sampling a combo platter of drugs and other alternative lifestyle trappings, they have second thoughts about returning to any life outside of the commune…and then have third thoughts about their second thoughts. Director David Wain and actor Ken Marino penned the script for Wanderlust, just as they previously did for Role Models. The problem is that where Role Models is a mildly absurd situational comedy peppered with fully developed characters who grow as people without betraying who they are, Wanderlust is a flaccid, one-note joke with possibly  some of the most wishy-washy leads in recent cinematic history, and nary a likable character to otherwise be found. Wain and Marino have created a joke dome in the Elysium Community outside of which they seem to have very little confidence in their ability to make us laugh. They therefore construct contrivance after contrivance to drop their leads back at the commune and mistakenly assume that the dramatic tension will be inherent in their repeated exit from it.

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A quick search of the site archives tells me that we haven’t done much reporting on the upcoming movie Switch yet, and that’s kind of a shame because it’s an interesting project for a number of reasons. The biggest and most obvious of these reasons is that it’s an adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel, and a sort-of prequel to Jackie Brown. What does that mean exactly? It means that this story features some of the earlier shenanigans of the Louis and Ordell characters that Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson played in the Quentin Tarantino adaptation of Leonard’s “Rum Punch,” which became Jackie Brown. I said this was a sort-of prequel to Jackie Brown though, so don’t expect to see Tarantino or either of those actors back. This is a completely new take on Leonard’s material involving completely new people. But, the good news is that all of these new people kind of rule, too.

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Watching the trailer for Wanderlust – the new movie directed by Wet Hot American Summer director David Wain – makes me want to watch every episode of The State all over again. In short, I wanna dip my balls in it. Starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston as rat-racers in New York who have to leave the race and find themselves learning the communal life, the trailer looks knock-down, drag-out hilarious. Some great gags from some truly disturbed/gifted comic minds are on display here. Check it out for yourself, and see how many State alumni you can spot:

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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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This red-band trailer probably gives away too much. Unlike most red-band trailers, though, it doesn’t giveaway all the best gags. I’ve seen Horrible Bosses, and it’s awesome. What the fellow ensemble summer comedy The Hangover II got wrong, Seth Gordon’s (director behind the incredible The King of King: A Fistful of Quarters) comedy got right. The leads aren’t annoying morons, the jokes feel fresh, and there’s at least some sense of reality.

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


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