Kevin Hart

Seth Rogen in Superbad

Way back in the dark ages of 2012, Paramount snatched up a little untitled comedy pitch from a guy named Rodney Rothman. A little comedy pitch … with Seth Rogen and Kevin Hart attached to star and Rogen and Evan Goldberg attached to produced. So, more like a really, really huge pitch, I guess. Oh, also Rothman did a bunch of work on Undeclared and executive produced Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which is probably worth something. Well, the dark ages are over, and now word has gotten out about this untitled pitch (now a mostly-titled screenplay), from the guy who’s planning on directing it: Nicholas Stoller. Him, you might remember from the time he directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek and The Five-Year Engagement, as well as from when he shared writing duties on the last two Muppets movies. Also, his Neighbors is poised to hit in a big way this summer –so he’s got that going for him, which is nice. Now Stoller is taking to the streets (the streets of the Internet, anyway) to pump up this film that he might be directing but hasn’t yet signed on to. First, he went to Slashfilm, where he reaffirmed what the movie was about: the first (fictional) time a black and white cop were partnered up. And he mentioned that this new picture’s got marijuana and hip jazz music and that he really, really wants to direct it. Also, he mentioned that it’s “kind of a Baz Luhrman world mixed with Tarantino […]

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review about last night

This week sees the release of three movies based on films from the 1980s, and believe it or not, it’s possible that the best of the bunch stars Kevin Hart. Of course, this raises the question: why so many remakes? Movies should only be remade if there’s room for improvement, and although that was arguably the case with RoboCop, Jose Padilha’s reboot/reimagining doesn’t really live up to its full potential. On the other hand, Edward Zwick’s 1986 romantic drama About Last Night is so painfully mediocre that it’s the perfect film to be remade, and count me among the many to be surprised at just how good the remake turned out to be. Both movies are based on the David Mamet stage play, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” and both follow the same basic story beats, opening at a bar (this time in Los Angeles) where the loutish Bernie (Hart) recounts the events of his most recent sexual conquest to best friend and co-worker Danny (Michael Ealy). The two guys are awaiting the arrival of Joan (Regina Hall), who’s essentially Bernie’s female equivalent, and her roommate Debbie (Joy Bryant) for a double date of sorts at their favorite hangout spot. It’s a desperate attempt by Bernie and Joan at setting up their down-in-the-dumps friends with one another, and though neither Danny nor Debbie are looking for love at the moment, they immediately hit it off.

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Thanks to Ride Along, Kevin Hart can do whatever he damn well pleases. With a cool $47.8M, the buddy-cop flick nearly doubled its budget in a single weekend, and as a plus, it’s also the highest-grossing film to ever open on a Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. So if it wasn’t already official (which it probably should be, given Hart already walloped the box office with his stand-up concert film Let Me Explain and currently has at least three more films slated for 2014), it’s now become law: Kevin Hart is the film equivalent of a large sack with a dollar sign on it. The comedian has wasted absolutely no time in capitalizing on Ride Along‘s success. MLK day was yesterday, and today Hart’s found himself another starring role: one of the leads in Dreamworks‘ upcoming Captain Underpants movie. Sure, it might seem a little strange at first. Hart is huge right now, and the first thing he stakes his name to is an animated film based on a 17 year-old book series? Featuring characters like “Professor Pippy Pee-Pee Poopypants?” A film from Rob Letterman and Nick Stoller, the creative team behind the Jack Black-starring Gulliver’s Travels?

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review ride along

Ah, the mismatched buddy cop movie. Films like 48 Hrs, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Rush Hour have established this particular type of action/comedy as a genre unto itself. Both halves aren’t always cops, but they’re most definitely an oil and water-type pairing kept alive through friction, wisecracks, and an escalating series of action-fueled escapades. Of course not every outing can be a Lethal Weapon. Sometimes we get stuck with more of a Lethal Weapon 4. Sometimes we get Ride Along. Ben (Kevin Hart) is a security guard dreaming of becoming a cop. The job change is due in part to his desire to make himself into a man worthy of his girlfriend Angela’s hand in marriage, but he also thinks being a cop would impress her brother, Detective James Payton (Ice Cube). Payton knows otherwise, so after Ben receives notice he’s been admitted into the police academy James takes him out for a celebratory ride along hoping to scare him straight into another profession and out of Angela’s bed.

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GRUDGE MATCH-FILM

The idea of Rocky vs. Raging Bull is almost irresistible, and when it comes to that factor, Grudge Match has its moments. However, those moments aren’t enough to make a good movie. Indeed, Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro have been cashing their nostalgia bitcoins for a while now. De Niro seems to be taking every film that comes his way – good or bad – and relying more and more on his reputation rather than giving a good performance. It’s not just the Meet the Parents films that capitalize on this. In fact, The Family from earlier this year had a huge plot point to the film hinge on De Niro’s long career playing a Mafioso (resulting in a scene almost as awkward as the Julia Roberts gag in Oceans 12). Similarly, Stallone has been trying to spin his once-top-rated box office name into modern success. It worked with The Expendables and The Expendables 2, but pretty much everything else he’s tried to reclaim his 80s glory days has fallen flat. While I thought Bullet to the Head wasn’t bad and thoroughly enjoyed Escape Plan this past fall with Arnold Schwarzenegger, few others did.

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2014 is shaping up to be the Year of Kevin Hart. The actor’s steady rise to fame has landed him major roles in four films next year - Grudge Match, Ride Along, About Last Night, and Think Like a Man Too. Now all he needs to do is lay low after 2014, pop back up twelve years later for another Year of Kevin Hart, and he might finally become part of the Chinese zodiac. But twelve years is a long time to wait, so entertain yourselves with the newest trailer for About Last Night:

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GetHard

When we first heard that comedic powerhouses Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell were planning on teaming up for a project called Get Hard, all that we knew about it was that it was coming from a pitch Key & Peele showrunners Ian Roberts and Jay Martel gave to Warner Bros, and that it would likely star Farrell as a yuppie investment banker who was being sent to prison and Hart as the street tough who he hires to teach him how to handle life on the inside. Well, today Get Hard is back in the news, and not only does it appear that the script is getting close to being done, but it also appears that a first time feature director whose name you nonetheless probably know has been hired to come on board and direct. Oh, and also a little bit more has been revealed about the lead characters. Apparently Farrell is innocent of the crime he’s going to jail for and Hart starts off the film as the guy who cleans Farrell’s car. Let’s get to the stuff about the director though.

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Kevin Hart

What is Casting Couch? It’s a handy one-stop source for all the casting news that broke while you were sleeping in over the weekend. Not only are Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart two of the most hilarious comic actors working today, they’re also two of the most famous funny people on the planet. So the fact that they’re going to be teaming up for a new comedy from Key & Peele showrunners Ian Roberts and Jay Martel is potentially big news. The pitch they’ll be working from, which Deadline says Warner Bros. is currently negotiating to acquire, is for a film called Get Hard, which will cast Ferrell as a yuppie investment banker who gets sentenced to a maximum security prison, and Hart as the streetwise guy he hires to teach him how to handle life on the inside before he has to report in 30 days. Montage fans should take note, because it sounds like this is the sort of movie that’s going to have a lot of them.

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Kevin Hart in Think Like a Man

According to Deadline Hollywood, Steve Pink (Accepted, Hot Tub Time Machine) is in talks to direct a remake of About Last Night… which will take the original David Mamet play’s title as its own. So, in all fairness, Sexual Perversity in Chicago isn’t so much a remake as it is a second adaptation of the Mamet play. Only 237 more to go before he reaches Shakespeare status. The movie, written by Leslye Headland (Bachelorette), has Michael Ealy and Kevin Hart set to co-star and Regina Hall rumored for a third role. The production is still looking for the second female lead. Here’s where I go out on a limb, so hear me out. The studious will notice that all three acting talents involved are 1) great at what they do and 2) all African-American. Thus, Screen Gems has a unique opportunity here, and I sincerely hope that they will not bury this project with niche-only marketing that hits the Tyler Perry sweet spot without reaching out organically to a broad base. Yes, I see the irony in me pointing out the obvious in order to ask Screen Gems not to point out the obvious, but there’s no reason they shouldn’t give the kind of advertising money necessary to treat this like anything other than a standard romantic dramedy. Except, you know, history.

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The power of casting Kevin Hart is now so overwhelming that the actor/comedian can rescue even the most plagued of projects. Hart, recently cast in such varied fare as the About Last Night remake, an uninspired Kevin James comedy, and a buddy cop comedy with Seth Rogen, has now signed on to star alongside Ice Cube in Ride Along for Universal. The comedy will be directed by Tim Story, and it reunites the director with his Think Like a Man star (Hart) and producer (Will Packer). Ice Cube will also produce the project, alongside Matt Alvarez and Larry Brezner. The film was first announced back in 2009 (via a report from Variety), but has languished at New Line until now, with Universal Pictures picking it up out of turnaround. Deadline Venice reports that this was “partly over trying to figure out the leads, but Universal was ready to move quickly in reteaming Story, Hart and Packer after Think Like A Man, a sleeper hit that has grossed $91 million domestic for Screen Gems.” However, the comedic script has apparently gone through a number of drafts, including the original one from Greg Coolidge, a pass from Steve Faber and Bob Fisher, a “quick rewrite” from Cube himself, and at least one more version from The Dictator star Jason Mantzoukas. Casting issues aside, a script that’s been touched by at least five different writers (especially a comedy that sounds relatively straightforward) is also cause for both a bit of pause and some concern. […]

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Recently, our own Nathan Adams bemoaned comedian-turned-actor Kevin Hart’s decision to sign on to Valet Guys, as a sidekick to Kevin James in a surely unfunny Kevin James vehicle. But while that was perhaps a bad idea on Hart’s part, we should not forget Hart’s other recent project pick-up: a buddy cop comedy with Seth Rogen that has a misleading and/or totally brilliant tagline. Paired with today’s announcement that Hart is taking cues from Jim Belushi, it seems as if the funny man is seriously interested in mixing up his comedic outings – and, as is so rare when it comes to talking about Jim Belushi’s career cues (Snow Buddies, really?), that’s probably a fantastic idea. THR reports that Hart has joined the cast of Screen Gems’ remake of About Last Night. The 1986 film was directed by Edward Zwick and comes from no less than David Mamet‘s play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago. The film centered on a pair of twentysomethings (Rob Lowe and Demi Moore) who have a one night stand and attempt to make an actual go of it (in the form of a real relationship). All sorts of things bog them down – especially their disapproving best pals (played originally by Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins) who have no bones about trying to break them up.

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Blink and you may have missed it, but Kevin Hart is now pretty much the biggest comedian in the world. Though he’s not yet a household name in some Middle American holdouts, at some point in the last few years the diminutive loudmouth has gone from working the stand-up circuit and impressing in side roles in Judd Apatow films to filling arenas full of people late-80s Andrew Dice Clay style with his stand-up routine and starring in films like Think Like a Man, which just made more than seven times its budget back at the box office. Right now, the world is his oyster and all he has to do is reach down and pluck out the pearls. So what’s a guy in such an enviable position got planned for his next move? If Deadline Jenkintown is to be believed, it’s obviously got to be co-starring in a Kevin James comedy.

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There are few types of movie news stories that feel better to read than those reporting on an original spec script has been bought by one of the big studios, and that’s exactly the sort of story this is. Variety has word that comedy writer Rodney Rothman (Late Show With David Letterman, Undeclared) has sold a script to Paramount. Being ludicrously billed as the “first interracial police pairing in law enforcement history,” Rothman’s still untitled police comedy is notable not just because it’s an original work without any ties to a pre-existing property, but because it’s landed a couple of big names as its interracial police pairing. Seth Rogen and Kevin Hart are on board to not only star in the picture, but they will both produce alongside Rothman as well. With Rogen being one of the few working actors that seems to be a proven box office draw and Kevin Hart’s stand-up career getting more and more monstrously successful by the second, this movie has to instantly be considered one of the big upcoming comedies in Hollywood.

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