Johnny Knoxville

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014

One would not have thought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was such a controversy-generating machine. They’re heroes. They’re in a half-shell. Just not that complicated. Until word got out that the 2014 versions of these intrepid Renaissance artists who also beat people up with kung-fu would be outer space aliens instead of mutants, causing a fan outcry so fierce and furious that producer Michael Bay had to author a post on the Official Michael Bay Forums, urging everyone to “take a breath, and chill,” and that the supposed changes were not as huge as our turtle-centric news media made them sound. Problem solved. At least until the trailer came out and people got their first look at the films heroes. The phrase “Jose Canseco in reptilian form” was thrown around. As was “babies with penis heads.” I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether the new TMNT actually look like babies with penis heads, and also to decide what babies with penis heads would actually look like. You may also choose to abstain from this line of thought altogether.

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JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA

Johnny Knoxville and his Jackass friends have an appreciation for the classics. In their movies they’ve paid tribute specifically to Buster Keaton and Busby Berkeley, and more generally to the many slapstick comedians and masters of choreography — of both the stunt and musical varieties — who’ve come long before them. Now with Bad Grandpa, they honor another old-fashioned hero, Allen Funt. This is basically a feature-length version of Candid Camera, with the pranks linked together through a basic fiction plot involving a horny old man (Knoxville in age-disguising makeup) on a road trip with his profanely precocious 8-year-old grandson. It’s not just that the shtick here is influenced by Funt’s long-running and oft-recycled hidden-camera shows. Most of the gags are familiar old tricks that likely were first done on Candid Camera or its copycats. In one well-worn bit, the grandpa, Irving Zisman, is having a tag sale in his home and shocks customers with a demonstration of his adjustable bed, which keeps collapsing, folding his body in seemingly harmful ways. Later he pays a visit to a UPS Store (or similar) to ship the kid to his deadbeat dad’s house in a giant box. I’m sure we’ve seen that kind of thing in numerous incarnations on various hidden-cam shows over the years.

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If there was one flaw in the Jackass series, it’d be a lack of narrative coherence. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa seeks to right this past mistake by weaving a story out of its pranks, pratfalls, and general bodily harm; a story of a doddering old man (Johnny Knoxville) with a tendency to end up in the exact same painful situations we’ve seen in all those other Jackass movies. Yet the first official clip from Jackass: Bad Grandpa demonstrates that Knoxville being launched through a window while wearing old man makeup is no different from Knoxville being launched through a window without wearing old man makeup. He makes a scene beforehand (leering at some poor woman who doesn’t deserve any of this), goes through a pane of glass and then gets to do a little yelling afterward.

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Jackass: Bad Grandpa

Truly, what this world needed was a feature film based entirely around Johnny Knoxville wearing old man makeup. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa offers just that- Knoxville cracking wise and debasing himself horrifically in front of total strangers, this time with the help of Jackson Nicoll (best known as the kid from Fun Size). Prepare to cringe, then watch after the break.

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Jackass Bad Grandpa

Be still, our dumb teenage hearts, for the Jackass team has decided that it is that special time for us to see them do things we shouldn’t try at home once more. Paramount and MTV Films announced (via The Hollywood Reporter) that they have already completed shooting on Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, a film based on Johnny Knoxville’s elderly Iriving Zisman character. Zisman, as you might recall from the previous three Jackass films (okay, 3.5 if you count the straight-to-DVD special) and from the MTV show was an elderly man unleashed on the unsuspecting public with his shocking, gross antics. These included and were not limited to: defecating in the street and pretending he didn’t know where he was, hitting on college girls, popping wheelies in his Hoveround, and if I recall correctly, a truly terrible moment where a dog stole his prosthetic leg, much to the horror of onlookers. He got away with this because he was just Knoxville in (very poor) age makeup and some high-waisted khaki pants. It just seems strange that the Jackass guys chose to focus an entire film on this specific character, which was never even that popular, rather than go their normal “staple genitalia to a 2×4” route. It’s a solid formula that has tested true in the box office – enough to get this fourth film greenlit. But Paramount apparently has so much faith in Bad Grandpa that they’re willing to give it an October 25th release date, the spot usually reserved […]

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laststand19

As written, The Last Stand is not an interesting movie. It’s a simple modern-day western as action flick with dialogue that’s nearly 100% expositional and a plot that offers nothing in the way of surprise, suspense or subtlety. It could really have been made at any time and starred any major or minor actor and been roughly the same as what we’re looking at this weekend with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the leading role. But The Last Stand is arriving now and indeed with Schwarzenegger’s name on the top of the marquee, his first starring vehicle in ten years. That makes the movie of note all by itself, in such a way that it might as well be actually titled “The Return of Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Or “Arnold is Back,” although this would imply that it’s an opportunity for winking bits of self-awareness. Surprisingly, there’s not a lot of silly references to the Arnie classics and signature lines. He thankfully got the obvious “I’m back” shtick out of his system in last year’s The Expendables 2.

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The Last Stand Movie

Despite the stellar filmography of The Last Stand’s director Jee-woon Kim and the excitement surrounding its star Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to acting, the film doesn’t seem to be building all that much buzz online. To be fair, it seems to tell a rock simple story, there haven’t been any mind blowing action scenarios in any of the trailers, and when its advertisements go for humor it’s more of the “Is Johnny Knoxville making fun of handicapped people?” variety than the actually funny variety. To this point, it hasn’t been clear if there was any reason to really give The Last Stand a chance other than its director’s reputation. The debut of its red band trailer finally gives us a reason to root for this one though. And that reason is—plain and simple—over the top, bloody violence. We get to see Schwarzenegger tear people in half with a chain gun, we see a dude blown apart with a grenade launcher, and there’s even a well placed F-bomb that gets you juiced up to take in the final fight.

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Nature Calls

Editor’s note: Yet another SXSW feature is hitting limited release, so please relieve yourselves with this Nature Calls review, originally published on March 11, 2012. Filmmaker Todd Rohal‘s third feature film, Nature Calls, returns to a world similar to that of his The Catechism Cataclysm – a world marked by complete madness by way of a poorly planned excursions to the outdoors. Rohal is again concerned with pushing the envelope, particularly when it comes to poking fun at organized religion, but a sweet edge of sentimentality and emotions sets Nature Calls apart from his previous outing. Unfortunately, Rohal’s film cannot quite join its disparate parts – wacky antics, inspired upbraiding of modern consumer life, physical danger, and fractured familial relationships – into one cohesive piece, and while the film’s laughs are frequent, they are fleeting and don’t have any weight behind them. Also, goddamn can this thing be offensive.

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The Last Stand

When The Last Stand hits theaters in a few months it will finally put an answer to two congruent question marks. One, can Arnold Schwarzenegger still carry an action film? And B, can Kim Ji-woon manage the same level of quality with his American debut that he’s enjoyed with his Korean films? The first teaser for the film gave us little to judge (aside from too much of co-star Johnny Knoxville), but now a true trailer has debuted. It fleshes out the supporting cast to include Forest Whitaker, Peter Stormare, Luis Guzman and Jaimie Alexander (who was kind enough to bring along the tiny town from Thor), but the story remains similarly simplistic. A high-profile prisoner escapes federal custody and makes for the Mexican border in a souped-up sports car and protected by a small army of thugs. The only thing standing between him and freedom? A small-town sheriff, his ill-equipped deputies and the guy who pretended to be mentally handicapped from The Ringer. Check out the full trailer below.

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Nature Calls Red Band Trailer

Whether he’s taking a stand against KFC bowls in his standup act, lampooning sports-obsessed weirdos in Big Fan, or snarkily dismissing small town group think in Young Adult, Patton Oswalt has firmly established himself as being one of the preeminent critics of modern culture. Nature Calls keeps that momentum going by casting him as a man in an epic struggle against the rampant douchebaggery running wild in our youth. The basic story is this: Oswalt plays a Boy Scout troop leader frustrated with the modern generation’s lack of interest in things like going outside and not staring at a screen all day. Johnny Knoxville plays his brother, the sort of manic idiot whose idea of being a role model is loading kids full of sugar and showing them bum fights on Youtube. This impasse of ideals leads to Oswalt kidnapping a crew of rambunctious children and forcing them to spend time out in the woods doing the sorts of things that men do. An epic manhunt and “Lord of the Flies” shenanigans soon follow.

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While not officially announced, Aint It Cool has dug through the entire internet to find Paramount registering a ton of websites for Jackass 4 which 1) point to it being in the works and 2) point to it being subtitled or otherwise linked to the phrase Bad Grandpa. As the piece points out, core member Ryan Dunn died in a drunk driving incident in June of last year. Still, is there a more fitting tribute to a fallen friend than daring another friend to squeeze an entire bottle of mayo up his anal cavity before riding a Vespa down a playground slide? The question is rhetorical. Of course there isn’t. So get ready. Registering domain names is often an indicator that a movie is in development (although it doesn’t always prove that the movie will be greenlit) and with the money these movies make, there’s a common sense element to the news as well. There’s a better than average chance that Jackass 4′s rascal grandfather will be hitting screens sometime in 2013. To the betterment of all of society    

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Today’s major casting press release might be the first I’ve heard of Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios’ upcoming 3D CG “action-adventure comedy,” Epic, but it’s just about all I need to get certifiably pumped over whatever the heck is going to get tossed at the screen with this one. Why? Let’s just take a look at the cast, shall we? Epic will star Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Knoxville, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Blake Anderson (who?), and Judah Friedlander. Because why the heck not, right? The only thing that is disappointing about this cast is that Epic is not live-action, so there’ s no guarantee that any of these giant, hilariously-cast talents will ever be in the same room together. Pity. I suppose you want to know what Epic is actually about, right? Apparently, the film comes to use from the creators of Ice Age and Rio, and it “tells the story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and the forces of evil.  When a teen age girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters in order to save their world…and ours.” So, it’s FernGully?

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The skin-crawling world of Small Apartments is presented without irony or judgment – so it’s not surprising that, in such an off-kilter environment, Matt Lucas’ Franklin Franklin (yes, that’s really his name) sounds relatively sane. Even when he’s off-handedly confessing to the murder of his landlord, Lucas’ delivery is so deadpan that no one takes him seriously – after all, why would Franklin kill anyone? Oh, possibly because (like everybody else in his crumbling apartment building) he’s totally deranged?

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Jee-Woon Kim’s Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring story about a western sheriff running afoul of a Mexican drug cartel leader seems to be getting closer to shooting, because a bunch of names have been added to the cast list. We already found out that Friday Night Lights star Zach Gilford would be joining the cast as Schwarzenegger’s young deputy, but now a whole host of pretty diverse, kind of interesting actors have been added to support that duo. The biggest of the new names on the Lionsgate cast list are probably Forest Whitaker and Johnny Knoxville; one man who is famous for acting in a bunch of movies over the last three decades and another for getting hit in his balls a lot. Okay, that’s not fair, Knoxville has been fine in the few films I’ve seen him in, and I’m sure he’ll be fine with whatever they give him here. And Whitaker is always at least interesting to watch, even when he goes super hammy. But that’s a weird couple of actors to pair with Schwarzenegger if you ask me. I’d probably feel more comfortable with the choices if I knew what kind of characters they were playing. Whitaker and Knoxville aren’t the only new names though, a handful of less famous but still notable actors have been added as well. Let’s run through them: there’s Jaimie Alexander, Luis Guzman, Harry Dean Stanton, and Eduardo Noriega. Jaimie Alexander I’ve only seen in her small role in Thor, but she was playing a […]

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If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing Johnny Knoxville and Patton Oswalt play bickering brothers on screen, as imagined by the guy who brought us The Catechism Cataclysm, co-starring a bunch of young boys, have I got a movie for you. Knoxville and Oswalt will co-star in Todd Rohal’s next film with precisely all of those elements, plus camping! The as-yet-untitled film follows Knoxville and Oswalt’s characters, “a pair of battling brothers who attempt to honor their ailing father by taking a troop of boys on a last ditch camping trip that goes wildly wrong.” I suppose every family has its different ways of honoring its elders and, in this case, that means participating in something that sounds almost exactly like a terrifying horror film with an upbeat “hijinks ensue!!” tacked on the end of its plotline. We should also expect the unexpected, and ready ourselves for hilarious consequences. However, if you’re at all familiar with Rohal’s work (particularly Sundance’s The Catechism Cataclysm), you’ll know that the writer and director’s films tend to skew a bit more twisted than such a standard “be ready for crazy laughs!” plotline would typically hint at. And, as the film is apparently “loosely based on Rohal’s experiences growing up,” his brand of off-kilter comedy may also find itself infused with some genuine familial emotion.

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What was interesting about Fun Size back in January remains its most interesting feature today. That, of course, is director Josh Schwartz, perhaps known best as the showrunner for Chuck. That television show will be coming to a close soon, and Schwartz looks to be shifting to bigger screens with his first feature film here (and a few other projects in development). The story is fairly standard – about a teenage girl who has to take her little brother trick ‘r’ treating and, instead, takes him to a party. For some reason he goes missing, which means the party is either a raging mind-bender or way too boring for a pre-pubescent kid. Disney alum Victoria Justice has already signed on as the lead, and Bloody Disgusting is now reporting that Johnny Knoxville, Thomas Middleditch, Thomas McDonell, Osric Chau, Ana Gasteyer, Josh Pence, Holmes Osborne, James Pumphrey, William Belli, and Peter Navy Tulasosopo have also been cast alongside Jackson Nicoli who will play the brat that goes missing. Almost all of those names sound made-up, especially the one that sounds like a porn actor alias. You know the one. Regardless, it’s a big, varied cast which should offer a lot of crazy characters for Jackson to run into during the frantic search for her brother.

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Culture Warrior

The categories of responses from critics with the release of yet another Jackass film and in the face of its massive, record-breaking box office intake have been to dismiss it entirely, make some hyperbolic rant about the fall of Western civilization, or celebrate Jackass 3-D not as a movie, but as a social ritual — or, perhaps more accurately, as an anti-social ritual. Consider me in the latter camp. Jackass doesn’t only take the role of social ritual in terms of being popular entertainment; it isn’t merely the most transparent of gimmicks (as the 3-D makes clear) or the most unapologetic brand of cinema in the long-prevailing, prevailingly false idea of cinema-as-escapism-and-nothing-else. The function of Jackass is instead to provide what has been long-standing need within Western cultures: the need of a temporary and safe space in which to transcend and reject social hierarchies and order, a space in which to revel in unacceptable behavior.

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If you are rabid fan of the disgusting, this was your weekend. Jackass 3D hit theaters and took depravity to a whole new dimension. Already flirting with box office records, albeit in extremely specific categories, it’s hard to deny Jackass 3D is a hit. As much as I want to denounce all the lowbrow shenanigans, Jackass came onto the scene at the perfect time to wedge a silly little place in my heart. The show and the first movie came out when I was in high school; the second movie when I was in college. Though my tastes may have evolved since then, I wasn’t surprised to find 10 things I liked about Jackass 3D, and only 5 things I didn’t

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr makes a complete and total jackass of himself by enjoying the hell out of Red and being more excited than he should about the prospects of Jackass 3D. He realizes that it may be the beginning of award season, but that won’t stop him from watching a movie about bodily fluids flying at the camera in 3D and getting mildly turned on by Helen Mirren firing a Gatling gun while wearing an evening gown.

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It’s not every day you can make the claim that something has just revolutionized the film industry. It’s also not every day that you see liquid shit fire out of a man’s ass like a volcano, gushing three feet into air before splattering down onto that man’s own buttocks in three dimensions. Well, unless you’re a member of the Jackass crew, because then stuff like that is pretty much a day to day activity. In theaters October 15th, Jackass 3D is the… well, not exactly third installment, considering Number Two was overflowing with enough stunts to create Jackass 2.5. So technically I guess this is the fourth film and it is without a doubt the best looking of all of them. That’s what you get when you use Phantom 3D cameras, which are capable of capturing amazing slow-motion, three dimensional footage, and have a price-tag that involves six digits. So what happens when you give equipment like that to guys like these? Well, they throw up on them, of course.

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