Justin Long

A24

Kevin Smith‘s attempt to reinvent or re-brand himself as a genre director began in 2011 with the uninspired and fairly forgettable (aside from Michael Parks) Red State, and now three years later he’s ready to take another stab at a dark and possibly horrific story. But while his last film featured extreme members of the religious right as the villains his latest appears to be focused on someone even nuttier. Tusk is about a man (Michael Parks again) who lures a podcast host (Justin Long) into rural Canada on the pretense of telling a weird and mesmerizing account involving a disaster at sea and the walrus who saved his life. The man is after more than just one night’s companionship though, and the podcaster discovers too late that he’s become a part of the tale… and the tail a part of him. Check out the first trailer for Kevin Smith’s Tusk.

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Michael Parks Red State

Since dropping out of film school, Kevin Smith has learned how to be a director in the public eye. However, that process has really only taken shape with his last two movies — Cop Out and Red State. Everything before was like watching a friend who’s naturally good at drawing make comic books that everyone seems to like. Smith had the walk-and-talk down, and he’d tapped into a realistic brand of slackerism that came with grand romantic gestures, but he hadn’t pushed to where real learning happens: outside his comfort zone. Cop Out was definitely outside, and Red State became the equal, opposite reaction to the maligned studio comedy. There were flaws (Smith still doesn’t know how to frame or edit a shootout), but the good ideas and potential were there the way they’d be with any student trying something new. That’s why it was disappointing when he announced his retirement just as he was entering adolescence. Fortunately, it seems like his retirement is a bit like Steven Soderbergh’s “retirement” — Smith is making another horror film before launching into the capstone course of Clerks III. Oh, and it sounds as crazy as the neighbor who has binoculars on the windowsill facing your house. According to Indiewire, Smith will be reteaming with the astoundingly talented Michael Parks for Tusk, the story of a mad man who lures a guy (presumably Justin Long) to his house to turn him into a walrus using fake blubber. They’re shooting this October with an […]

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The Dink

I’ll be honest with you, folks. A Case of You doesn’t seem like it has a lot going for it. It’s got a basic romantic/indie comedy setup, and (as our own Caitlin Hughes pointed out), it holds hard and fast to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype that’s been so badly overworked these past few years. A Case of You has a pretty basic setup. Justing Long is fast approaching the time where all his friends are getting married, and yet he’s hopelessly alone. But then the Rom-Com gods grant him a love interest in the form of Evan Rachel Wood. Not wanting to screw things up, he begins stalking her on Facebook, using every page, activity and lifestyle choice she’s “liked” to craft himself into her perfect man. As you can probably guess, something goes horribly awry and then Long must save his last shot at love (or something like that, anyway). But here’s what A Case of You does have: Peter Dinklage. With a mustache. Playing a sassy barista. What more could you possibly ask for? Witness his mustachioed glory in the trailer below:

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Best Man Down

If the world of wedding-based reality TV has taught us anything, it’s that a wedding can be ruined by a multitude of factors, from drunk relatives to the table linens not being the right shade of pink that the bride designated in her order. But I think having your best man die the night of the wedding in his hotel room really shut up even the women from Bridezilla in terms of its awfulness. The trailer for Ted Koland‘s Best Man Down wastes no time sparing you the icky details. Scott (Justin Long) and Kristin (Jess Weixler) have a beautiful wedding and are preparing to jet off to their honeymoon when they discover  Scott’s best friend Lumpy (Tyler Labine) collapsed in his hotel room, dead of apparent alcohol poisoning. Instead of reveling in their marital bliss, the newlyweds have to fly home and use the money for Lumpy’s funeral, and as they discover, they actually didn’t know that much about their friend.

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Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 11.18.51 AM

Director Kat Coiro‘s (L!fe Happens) latest feature,  A Case of You will undoubtedly enter the pantheon of “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” movies. You know the kind – movies that glorify the precious nature of spritely, eccentric leading ladies who make their “normal” suitor’s heart got pitter-patter. Our MPG here is named Birdie Hazel (Evan Rachel Wood), a barista at a Brooklyn coffee shop – she wears fedoras, draws caricatures in Prospect Park, and takes ballroom dancing with a pack of admiring senior citizens. She also has an unparalleled taste in music literature, as she appreciates the likes of both Joni Mitchell and Walt Whitman. When struggling writer Sam (Justin Long, who co-wrote the film with his brother Christian Long and co-star Keir O’Donnell) falls for her, he looks to her Facebook page as inspiration and makes all of her quirky interests his so that she will fall for him.When Birdie does fall for Sam, will he need to keep up the façade forever so that he remains interesting in her eyes? A Case of You rests on this game of Sam’s, which is somewhat of a flimsy premise. This and other problems aside, Long and Wood are delightful to watch and have great chemistry, and on the whole, the film is, despite my better judgement, quite enjoyable.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Today was basically Godzilla day on the Internet. All sorts of news regarding Legendary Pictures’ reboot of the big green guy’s film series broke, and some of it involves casting. THR broke the news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was being looked at to star, but one of their writers, Borys Kit, was then quick to point out that his potential involvement in the film is long dead. Variety writer Justin Kroll then jumped in with the news that a few names that are still possibilities for the project are Henry Cavill, Scoot McNairy, and Caleb Landry Jones. All of this news comes with a special thanks to /Film, who compiled all the chatter into a tight little narrative. Even though things between Gordon-Levitt and Godzilla didn’t work out, don’t let that make you think that he’s going to go an entire week without being attached to a high profile project. In more Gordon-Levitt news, Deadline has word that the in-demand actor has just signed on to play a big role in Robert Rodriguez‘s Sin City sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Apparently he’s going to be playing Johnny, a role that was meant to go to Johnny Depp at one point, and that is said to be a core character in the overlapping parts of the film’s story lines. This comes at the same time as news that Gordon-Levitt’s possible involvement in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t going to end up happening, which is essential information if you happen to be exhaustively journaling all […]

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10 Years Review

The high school reunion film genre has been so flooded with entries that it’s reached the point of being nothing short of played out, so any new entry needs to justify its existence by offering some kind of unique spin on the usual, or at least by featuring characters that transcend the normal archetypes. Writer-director Jamie Linden fails on both counts in his 10 Years and seems to think that the film’s all-star cast compensates for those deficiencies. It doesn’t. No matter how much you love Channing Tatum, Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, or any of the other notables who turn up here, there’s no getting around the simple, basic fact that Linden’s movie doesn’t tell a story. It merely brings to life the world’s least interesting reunion, featuring a swath of staggering dullards played by talented people.

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For A Good Time, Call Review

Sex complicates relationships. Sex talk complicates friendships. In Jamie Travis‘ For A Good Time, Call…, a pair of mismatched gal pals attempt to navigate the murky waters of sex line proprietorship while also exploring what it means to be a loyal and true friend. That may sound cheesy, but that’s okay, because For A Good Time, Call… is cheesy, and in the best possible way. It’s also dirty, smutty, raunchy, silly, charming, funny, heartfelt, honest, sexy, and did we mention dirty, smutty, and raunchy? It’s a movie about a sex line. It has to be. But it doesn’t have to be this charming. We open with good girl Lauren Powell (Lauren Miller, who also wrote the film’s script with Katie Anne Naylon), bored, bra-ed, and in bed with her boyfriend, mid-coitus. This is not a relationship built on passion, and when Lauren’s boyfriend, Charlie (James Wolk) finally lays it on her and confesses to Lauren that he’s bored – not just bored! “Crazy, out of my mind bored” – it’s already a relief. Even when Charlie tells Lauren he’s heading off to Italy for a summer gig, we’re breaking up, see you never. Oh, and get out of our apartment. Left homeless in a city notorious for its horrific (and overpriced) housing, Lauren has precious few options – but her good pal Jesse (Justin Long, outrageously funny in his supporting role) has a plan. Too bad it involves making Lauren move in with his other good pal, Katie (Ari Graynor), […]

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10 Years Trailer

The high school reunion comedy is a sub-genre that’s ripe with drama and conflict. You’ve got the lost loves, the old rivalries, the people who have improved their stations in life butting up against those who have been taken down a peg, the people who have refused to grow up interacting with those that have gotten completely lame, and probably a handful of other familiar tropes that always seem to pop up. But that means that the high school reunion comedy is also a sub-genre that’s ripe with cliché, because, let’s face it, every single movie that falls into it always covers these exact same things. What’s the secret of making a good one then, if there isn’t much room for being unique? Probably making sure that the familiar material is at least infused with wit, and getting a talented cast to deliver it. Just from the trailer for 10 Years, it’s clear that this movie has the latter part of that equation taken care of. Just look at the names in this cast: Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Oscar Isaac, Justin Long, Ron Livingston, Kate Mara, Ari Graynor, etc… Whether this movie feels a little familiar or not, with a cast like that there’s guaranteed to be something in there worth watching.

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Channel Guide - Large

With fall shows wrapped, Mad Men and Game of Thrones winding down, and the Louie and True Blood season premieres still weeks away, it’s the perfect time to curl up in front of your television set or computer (which actually seems really uncomfortable) and indulge in a little vintage TV series binge. While most of your old favorites are probably available to you on DVD, Netflix, or Hulu, several noteworthy classics inexplicably and unjustly aren’t. In some cases, no one even had the foresight to record every single episode back when they originally aired and then do their duty to mankind by illegally uploading the series onto YouTube or selling bootleg copies through shady-looking websites and, honestly, that’s just infuriating. If Emily’s Reasons Why Not – a 2006 Heather Graham snoozer that only aired one episode – is on DVD, then surely the following superior series should be released.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr goes rogue and infiltrates his local IMAX theater. First, he scales the wall of the plus-sized building and slides in undetected through the air vents. He slowly lowers himself into a theater seat to enjoy an early screening of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Unfortunately, he finds himself in the middle of a wild crowd of six-year-old kids for the early screening of the latest Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. To deal with the psychological damage, Kevin then stumbles into the Sherlock Holmes sequel and later finds an extra seat in Young Adult, where he can imagine that his chubby caboose could land a hottie like Charlize Theron.

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There is absolutely no satisfying way to explain and introduce Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked in a classic film review format, because of one major hurdle – it’s a film about singing chipmunks that get shipwrecked (sigh, chipwrecked) on a seemingly unpopulated island. It’s hard to believe this is a real film (it’s nearly impossible to also believe that it’s the third film in a franchise), and it’s even harder to attempt to talk about it in a critical and professional manner. But let’s try. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked opens with human moron Dave Seville (Jason Lee) and his six-pack of fuzzy (children? paychecks? vermin?) heading off on what is meant to be restful holiday cruise. Dave is understandably exhausted after spending years of his life raising six chipmunks – Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Brittany, Jeanette, and the other one – who are also international signing superstars. The seven of them plan to use the cruise to relax before hitting the International Music Awards (sort of like the MTV Video Music Awards, but somehow even less important), where the boys (Alvin and the Chipmunks, so much for Simon and Theodore’s name recognition) and the girls (The Chipettes, much more equal opportunity) will likely rack up a bevy of awards. Of course, the Chipmunks and the Chipettes ultimately get marooned on a tropical island, thanks to (shockingly!) a move by ol’ troublemaker Alvin, a plan so stupid that even these damn singing chipmunks should have realized the depth of their idiocy […]

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File this under “irrelevant for another couple of years” but news has arrived on the next installment of the Die Hard franchise. If you’re surprised that there’s going to be another one then you clearly haven’t been paying attention. The fourth film, Live Free or Die Hard, is commonly thought to the worst of the series, but that distinction is actually held by Renny Harlin’s Die Hard 2: Die Harder. More important than quality though is the fact that the last installment was the highest grossing of the four. And since it was also the first to be rated PG-13 expect that to be the standard going forward. Twitch is reporting two bits of news on the film. First up, while the director’s chair is far from locked down they’ve learned that an offer has gone out to John Moore and the job is his if he wants it. He’d be a fool to pass it up… his last movie was the visually impressive but otherwise stupid Max Payne, and his best work remains his feature debut, Behind Enemy Lines. Go ahead and laugh, but it’s a fun flick that looks solid and gets a worthwhile performance out of Owen Wilson. And second, a minor plot detail has arrived in the form of location and characters. It appears the plan is for McClane and his son to encounter trouble in Russia that inevitably results in gunfire, explosions, and a fight scene while balancing on the whirring blades of a helicopter. […]

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Everyone remembers where they were when they first heard that President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated. I was in third grade, under the creepy Catholic tutelage of Sister Hermina (she refused to die!), and the lesson on Lincoln’s presidency had come to dramatic and shocking conclusion. Granted, those aren’t the words I would have used to describe it at the time, but I do recall feeling frustrated, confused, and angered at the tall, bearded man’s death. So why open a film review with a reference to a grade school history lesson? Because the film in question, Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, feels like a two-hour lecture on some of the very same material. Viewers learn about the coordinated assault against Lincoln and two members of his cabinet, the capture and conviction of those responsible, and their subsequent hangings for the crimes. While the material here is more detailed than the lesson taught by zombie nun it’s also presented dryly, without any real energy, emotion, or drama, and very much in the spirit of a made-for-television movie. It doesn’t help matters that Redford uses his directorial lectern to include some incredibly unsubtle and politicized comparisons to our own modern day battles between personal freedoms and national security.

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I’m going to share something with you. I have a sick obsession with sex movies. I don’t mean I always watch them with salacious intentions, because I have to draw the line between art and pornography somewhere. Let me be clear, I really enjoy a movie whose sole purpose is to titillate a viewer so much that they question what they are really watching. I’ve spent many nights snuggled up on my couch cringing my way through Catherine Breillat’s many sex shockers. I made a boyfriend attend a viewing party for the highly controversial, yet exceptionally boring, 9 Songs. I’ve even gotten into fights with Netflix over its recommendation of Salo based on my high rating of Irreversible. Those last two movies have nothing in common, by the way. Sex-centric dramas have been a secret, back alley passion of mine. But in all my years devouring these movies, I rarely see comedies that both deal frankly with sex and show it. Sex is usually the butt of a joke in comedies, rather than a catalyst for moving a couple forward.

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Robert Redford has directed a movie starring James McAvoy, Robin Wright Penn, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Danny Huston, Stephen Root, Colm Meaney, Toby Kebbell, and Evan Rachel Wood. That should be enough to cause excitement. The Conspirator tells the story of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the ensuing police action and trial of the conspirators – including Mary Surratt, who became despised by an entire country. She was guilty until proven innocent. Check out the intense trailer for yourself:

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Geoff LaTulippe is at a rare crossroads in his life – he’s just had his first script produced into a major film called Going the Distance. He’s already lined up a next project that sees him writing a zombie romantic comedy, but before he disappears completely into Hollywood, FSR and Reject Radio will get him for one night only. This should be a great opportunity for those listening live on Sunday (10pm EST/9pm CST/5am Khartoum) to get in some questions about starting off in the business of screenwriting and creating a comedy career. Or to just generally harass him about writing in a nude scene for Justin Long. Be there, be square or listen later during that important business meeting you download podcasts specifically for.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr jumps feet first into the world of exploitation pictures. He rips off his shirt to show his prison tats when he sees Machete and then becomes a weapons expert to go head-to-head with George Clooney in The American. Finally, he cringes and rolls his eyes at yet another crappy real-life couple love story with Going the Distance. It’s sad when the highlight of his moviegoing weekend is a Lindsay Lohan nip slip.

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You’re lying in bed with the clock reading some un-Godly hour in red analog, and you reach out your hand to find only the cold space of the other side of your bed. You want to pull the one you love close to you, but you can’t, because they’re gone. They aren’t on vacation or out of town for work. They are – for the foreseeable future – living in a completely different city. Most people have found themselves in this position. Even though the concept of the long distance relationship was probably invented when the first tribe realized there was a second tribe (or at least when war starting sending soldiers away for long periods of time), the struggle to keep the fire burning with mileage looming in between is especially appropriate for an age where you can find love on the other end of an internet connection. It’s the challenge of cross-country romance that the main characters of Going the Distance find themselves facing.

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A free-wheeling photographer finally wants to settle down with a Swedish pixie dream girl, and even thought neither of them might be ready for the responsibility, they get pregnant. Over the course of nine months, the full spectrum of relationship drama plays out as well as the back stories for the major characters, culminating in the birth of the young human being these two have brought into the world.

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