Jesse Eisenberg

In 2003 a man walked into a bank in Erie, PA with a bomb strapped to his chest. He claimed he was being forced to wear the explosive device and that if he didn’t succeed in robbing the bank his captors would detonate it. The police caught up with him in nearby parking lot, handcuffed him, and waited around (at a safe distance) for the bomb squad to arrive. They waited too long. As the man pleaded with police as to why no one was coming to remove the bomb it exploded, blew a hole through his chest, and killed him instantly. Sounds like ripe material for a comedy to me! 30 Minutes Or Less is the new film from Zombieland director, Ruben Fleischer, and while it isn’t actually based on the real life incident it has potential to be a very dark comedy indeed. Jesse Eisenberg plays a pizza delivery driver who has a bomb forcibly attached to his body and is then instructed to rob a bank. Aziz Ansari plays his best friend who tries to help him through this fairly difficult situation, and Danny McBride and Nick Swardson play the diabolical masterminds behind the plan. Check out the trailer and share your thoughts below.

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What is Movie News After Dark? When it was first being written tonight, it was going to be a very silly column. Then some serious (and seriously awesome) links were found and you were saved from a fate far more ridiculous than usual. We’ll save that for another time. In this moment, on this night, Movie News After Dark presents you with all kinds of interesting things, words and doo-dads. But most of all, there will be fun. Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg are just around the building, ready to do something that will undoubtedly lead to hilarity in Ruben Fleischer’s 30 Minutes or Less, the film that will combine pizza delivery with the plot concept of Speed. Doesn’t that just make you urgently hungry? This new look is part of a slew of Entertainment Weekly magazine clippings found over at The Playlist.

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Stop me if you’ve heard this all before. In the world of big screen animation, there’s Pixar and there’s everybody else. There’s something special about those Toy tale telling animators from Emeryville, something that indicates up front that each of their films has the potential to be a deeply emotional experience for an audience of any age. This review is not about one of those kinds of movies, nor is it about Pixar. It’s about Blue Sky Studios and their new film Rio. But it’s important to note the difference that Pixar films have up front, because the desire to compare and contrast is unavoidable. And it’s that emotional element that could be the only differentiator between this, Blue Sky’s best effort to date, and the industry’s gold standard.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in a fabulous blue feather outfit and takes a trip to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. There, he runs into a couple blue macaws trying to escape exotic bird smuggles, but he’s too busy getting his freak on to help out. Later, he comes back to the states to visit the quaint town of Woodsboro, only this time he’s traded in his fabulous blue feather outfit for a long, black cloak and a “ghost face” mask. After making some calls to random twentysomething girls who are supposed to be teenagers and asking them what their favorite scary movies are, he spent a night in the hospital from a stab wound to the face. Oh, the humanity!

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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This article is part of our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. If you want to separate the actors who are just good from the ones who are truly great, the best way to do it is to look at the winners of the Best Actor Oscar. Without exception the greats are the ones who win the award, and the ones who don’t are proven to just not be elite level actors. It’s science. Or, probably, none of that is true at all. The fact is: there are a lot of reasons someone might be nominated for an Academy Award and someone else might not be. And there are even more reasons why one of those nominees goes on to win and the others don’t. Quality of performance is not necessarily the end-all be-all. But the Best Actor award is probably one of the Oscars that has best retained its credibility over the decades. There aren’t a lot of stinker performances that have been wrongly praised muddying up the list. To have your name appear alongside greats like Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman, Robert De Niro, and Sir Nicolas Cage is still seen as being a rare honor. So what does the field look like this year? With my guess highlighted in red, the nominees are…

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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Jesse Eisenberg wasn’t on Facebook when he took the job to star as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, so he spent a few weeks under an alias trying to understand the experience that the man behind his role created for millions upon millions of users. With his performance, it seems to have paid off. Luke Mullen sits down with the star to talk about playing a sympathetic villain/hero, to drop a few Terminator references and to better understand how someone manages to fit all of Aaron Sorkin’s words into their mouth.

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Culture Warrior

The Social Network is nothing new, but that’s kind of the point. Its structure creates a story of uniquely American ingenuity, individualism, and capital that we’ve seen often, one that follows beat-for-beat the formula of young, ambitious, humble beginnings to meteoric rise toward contested success to the people that really mattered being inevitably pushed out of the way. It is in The Social Network’s belonging to that subgenre which draws apt comparison to films like Citizen Kane, Sweet Smell of Success, or There Will Be Blood – not qualitative comparisons, mind you (the very title of Citizen Kane has become an inescapable and meaningless form of hyperbole in that regard), but comparable in terms of basic narrative structure and genre play. Such narratives are perhaps more common in films depicting less legitimate business practices – gangster films – which also catalog the rise in stature but fall in character of an outcast who uses the system for their own advantage. From starry-eyed associations with questionable made men (Timberlake’s Sean Parker and the debaucheries of success associated with him) to the inevitable “hit” on one’s kin in the best interest of the business (Zuckerberg and Parker firing Eduardo Saverin), The Social Network is something of a Goodfellas for geeks. Why is it that the first major studio film about the phenomenon of social networking feels like such a familiar movie? Why does it resort to well-honed, expertly crafted but familiar cinematic territory instead of pioneering unexplored terrain analogous to the phenomenon […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr strikes out against… well, pretty much everyone reviewing movies by taking issue with The Social Network. Sue him if you don’t agree, or friend him at Facebook.com/FatGuysattheMovies. But while he cringes under the weight of Jesse Eisenberg’s smug Michael Cera impression, he also rejoices in October being officially here and all the horror movies the month of Halloween promises to bring. Up first, he cowers in a dark theater to the likes of Let Me In and Case 39.

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Be it good or bad, The Social Network has certainly caused some extreme reactions. It was met with almost universal skepticism when it was first announced and has now seen nearly universal praise leading up to its release in theaters. Initially referred to as “the Facebook movie” in a way clearly meant to belittle it, audiences at early screenings across the country have discovered that description simply isn’t accurate. Is the movie about Mark Zuckerberg and the inception of Facebook? Of course it is.  But to say that this is a detriment to the film’s potential is just plain wrong. The Social Network follows the story of Mark Zuckerberg, a young computer genius attending Harvard University. After breaking up with his girlfriend and some drunken blogging, Mark decides to create a site to rank the sex appeal of Harvard co-eds. He uses his exemplary computer knowledge to download pictures from the online photo catalog’s that each house or dorm at Harvard has for students to get to know one another.  He compiles the photos into a website which he dubs facemash.com similar to hotornot.com where visitors are presented with two pictures and asked to click on the one who they find sexier. The site crashes Harvard’s computer network in a matter of hours, garnering tens of thousands of htis and drawing the ire of the administration. This leads to Mark developing a new website which he calls The Facebook. Eventually changed to just Facebook with the help of Napster-founder Sean […]

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Even though calling the film “one of the best of 2010″ is missing the usual power a statement like that can have (thanks to the lack of quality films  far), the true meaning is definitely not lost. There has been a fever pitch of interest in “The Facebook Movie,” and the reviews coming from early screenings and out of TIFF are roundly positive. Find out what critics are saying after the jump:

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The most obvious problem to creating a movie about Facebook is that it’s a movie about Facebook. It’s the least mysterious of all beasts, and no matter how fascinating some of its social implications are, it all comes out sounding incredibly masturbatory when you say it out loud. It’s like questioning the emotional depth of Twitter. Sure, Marshall McLuhan would wet himself if he 1) saw the kind of communication possibilities we have today and 2) was still alive, but at the end of the day, it’s still that place where your frat brother posts that bong picture and your girlfriend talks about how much she loves Coldplay. Unfortunately, the marketing team behind The Social Network decided to either get out in front of the issue or missed the boat completely. Choral version of Radiohead song? Check. Slow pan shots of people’s Facebook pages? Double check. Faux sense of importance lobbed on ubiquitous blue buttons that say “poke?” Check please.

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The Social Network

Columbia Pictures announced today that David Fincher’s upcoming drama The Social Network, which chronicles the turbulent behind the scenes action during the rise of Facebook, will make its debut at this year’s New York Film Festival. They’ve also released a clunky new teaser trailer that is just like the last teaser trailer, but with chat room lingo and photos of the players involved. It’s supposed to deliver some high drama, I’m sure, but it’s ultimately a silly way to present the film. Especially now that we’re on to trailer number two. The first teaser being all voice-over was fine, but this one doesn’t work. Perhaps its time to dust off some of the footage that was actual shot and give us a real trailer, am I right? Check out the new teaser and get more details on the NYFF premiere after the jump.

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It seems so long ago that people were laughing about the idea of a Facebook movie. Then David Fincher signed on. Then Aaron Sorkin signed on. Then things didn’t seem so funny anymore. It’s a film that’s been almost over-exposed even before launching its first trailer, but that moment has arrived, and it’s time to see truly how much over-exposure this bad boy can get.

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You don’t see too many protagonist like Ben Kaleman in Brian Koppelman and David Levien’s latest film Solitary Man. For some, he’ll be considered a slimy and perhaps somewhat misogynistic creep getting what he deserves. For others, he’ll be a sympathetic and understandable man trying to figure out where everything went wrong. We sat down with writer/directors Brian Koppelman and David Levien and learned (literally) everything there is to know about their latest film in an epic interview about family, smooth-talkers and subtle redemption.

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The first image from Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life has emerged online, featuring Jessica Chastain. And so begins today’s rundown of entertainment news on The B-Roll.

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In Holy Rollers Bartha plays a Hasidic Jew that loses his faith just in time to find the alluring nature of the drug game.

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The rising star and already-risen indie presence took some time to talk about playing a Hasidic Jew who smuggles drugs.

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A man is told he has just days to live and sets out to ensure his place in people’s hearts and minds. This of course involves bourbon, a prostitute, ritual goat murder, and his one-woman play about the antebellum South.

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published: 04.20.2014
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published: 04.20.2014
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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+

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