Kristen Wiig

Raiders of the Lost Ark Story

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Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig in the Skeleton Twins

The Skeleton Twins is the kind of movie that you can watch and know, with 100% certainty, that it premiered at Sundance. It features big-time comedic actors turning in subdued, “against type” performances in a story heavy on melancholy and dark themes, which wraps up said themes in a suspiciously tidy fashion that runs counter to real emotional insight. It’s perfectly suited for the limousine liberals who flock to Park City each year, looking to be engaged but not challenged in any big way. All of this might sound harsh (because, well, it sort of is), but The Skeleton Twins actually isn’t bad — just aggressively average. Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader plaly Maggie and Milo, twins who were once thick as thieves, but who haven’t spoken in ten years. They’re brought back together after Milo unsuccessfully tries to kill himself (and hearing news of this interrupts Maggie’s own suicide attempt). Milo moves in with Maggie and her husband Lance (Luke Wilson) to recuperate, and the two brood over their lives and what exactly went wrong with them.

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Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig in the Skeleton Twins

After reigning supreme on Saturday Night Live for seven years, Kristen Wiig made her voice in film loudly and rightly known in 2011 with Bridesmaids, which she starred in and cowrote with Annie Mumolo. Punching giant cookies, wooing Irish cops and forcing her friends to defecate in sinks at bridal salons set her up as an invaluable asset to a host of comedies and dramedies in the years since, like Friends with Kids, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Girl Most Likely. Meanwhile, Bill Hader, probably one of the greatest talents from the SNL stage, has always had a healthy career as a bit player in comedies. While he hasn’t had a vehicle like Bridesmaids yet to largely showcase his worth, he’s been the supportive wing man, henchman, insert-assistant-title-here, delivering the best lines and effectively stealing the show in everything from Superbad to The To Do List. But his side-character status might be changing to leading man now that he’s teamed up with his former TV costar. (This is what I’ve been waiting for since watching Hader burst into tears during Wiig’s “Ruby Tuesday” sendoff from SNL in May 2012. When Hader cries, I cry.) The duo plays siblings in Craig Johnson‘s The Skeleton Twins, a dramedy that puts less focus on their wacky and slapstick energy and more on subdued and quiet humor. But that doesn’t mean things can’t be as weird as always. The first trailer for the film shows the estranged brother and sister reuniting after 10 years of not talking or seeing […]

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Ben Stiller in a still from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

*Editor’s note: Our review of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty originally ran during this year’s NYFF, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens wide on Christmas Day.* The joke of Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is an old one – far older than both the James Thurber short story that inspired it and the 1947 Danny Kaye-starring film of the same name – centering on a man so prone to daydreaming that he has ceased to live his life inside the “real world.” It’s hard to blame Walter (Stiller), however, because the real world hasn’t been especially kind to him for a long time. It hasn’t been particularly cruel, either, but Walter has long suppressed his dreams of something more (and of being someone more), and his more creative and individual instincts come out to play in the vivid (and overly effects-laden) daydreams that Walter periodically lapses into (so frequently, in fact, that those closest to him just refer to it as Walter “zoning out” and that’s all there is to it). The regular life issues that Walter faces are hard enough – a dead dad, an aging mother (Shirley MacLaine), a wacky sister (Kathryn Hahn), a job in a changing industry, a hopeless crush on a clueless co-worker (Kristen Wiig, who isn’t given nearly enough to work with to make the romantic element of the film stick) – so it’s understandable that he would slip into fantasy when things get rough. But Walter’s […]

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

With the first trailer for Ben Stiller‘s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, we were treated to something fairly magical, as Walter’s (Stiller) daydreams and mundane realities meshed together while he embarked on beautiful but unexplained journey around the world. And now, with the second trailer Walter’s actions are finally given some explanation and substance (pretty as the score in the first trailer might have been): it’s about a girl and ambition and getting a life. And from the trailer, it looks like it tackles several genres at once: romantic comedy, fantasy, adventure, drama, and maybe even a little bit of action. It’s hard to tell what parts are real, and what exists in Walter’s head as soon as he leaves the office. Flock of birds forming the shape of Kristen Wiig‘s head: not real. Getting attacked by a shark: maybe real? Check out the trailer here:

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller‘s no stranger to the dramatic role. His career has been dotted with films like The Royal Tenenbaums and Greenberg, projects that demonstrate his abilities in a role not played for yuks (although it’s probably fair to say that the former makes a much stronger case than the latter). Now Stiller’s at it again with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which will see the actor/director as, not surprisingly, both actor and director. Walter Mitty may show off Stiller’s dramatic side, but that doesn’t make it a tearjerker – the trailer has its fair share of that same slightly dry, slightly funny indie-film quirk present in both Tenenbaums and Greenberg. It’s especially apparent towards the end, as Stiller sports a wry look while a branch thwacks him in the face and he makes his choice of red or blue car. I’m not sure whether a soft chuckle or a sigh is more appropriate. The quirkiness on display here does seem a little played out. But everything that comes beforehand is much more refreshing. With no dialogue (up until the end), little hints at some stellar supporting players (Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn, and Adam Scott), and an inviting look at Stiller’s daydreams, the trailer has far more positive than it does negative. ake a look at that trailer down below.

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clip girl most likely

Girl Most Likely, the Kristen Wiig film that premiered last year at TIFF as Imogene, has been shrouded in a bit of mystery since its festival debut. Aside from a trailer that popped up a couple months ago, the film’s marketing department has been fairly quiet. But with Girl Most Likely hitting theaters this Friday, they’ve stepped up their game by releasing some new clips and a slew of stills all at once. The film, directed by Shari Springer Bergman and Robert Pulcini, centers on Imogene Duncan (Wiig), a troubled woman who is forced to move back in with her estranged mother (Annette Bening) after suffering a nervous breakdown. In her grand return to her childhood home, Imogene quickly realizes that things aren’t quite how she left them; namely that a boarder (Darren Criss) is renting out her old bedroom and mom is currently dating a “CIA agent” named George Bush (Matt Dillon). Check out the clips below.

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Despicable Me 2

Three years removed from his dastardly (fine, his despicable) ways, reformed super-villain Gru returns to the big screen to do, well, what exactly? Prove that he’s actually reformed? (He is.) Continue working on his parenting technique? (By borrowing from Parenthood.) Adopt a few more Annie-styled orphans? (Thankfully, no.) In Despicable Me 2, Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and his kiddos (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, and Elsie Fisher) are indeed back for more cuddly and only slightly villainous hijinks, as the former supreme bad guy is drafted into service with the Anti-Villain League alongside an alluring new partner, both bent on bringing down another scary-yet-PG-appropriate meanie. Parenthood suits Gru. Sort of. Softened up by the love of his girls, the former super-villain now invests his time in planning parties for the little ones, trying to shake the lingering feeling that they need a mother, and setting the Minions and his sidekick (Dr. Nefario, again voiced by Russell Brand) on a new quest to make the best jams (and jellies!) the world has ever tasted. It’s working out okay, and surprisingly so, but the (very funny) arrival of Anti-Villain League agent Lucy Wilde (voiced by Kristen Wiig) threatens to derail all that adorable domesticity.

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wiig-girl-most-likely

Kristen Wiig is one of those one in a million comic talents. She doesn’t have to do anything funny, she just is funny. Even if you were to stare at her just sitting still and not really doing anything, it’s unlikely you’d be able to last for more than a few seconds without cracking a smile. We’ll call it the Chris Farley effect, and it’s the sort of thing that allows her to effortlessly elevate the material she’s delivering to heights it likely wouldn’t reach if handled by anyone else. But can even a talent on the level of a Kristen Wiig help make the material that this trailer for her new film, Girl Most Likely, is serving up go down any smoother?

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kristen-wiig

What is Casting Couch? It’s basically a casting news bonanza. Learn who the big names Melissa McCarthy has recruited for her movie Tammy are, as well as what Kiefer Sutherland is getting himself into, after the jump. Though we’ve yet to see for ourselves what the results of teaming Kristen Wiig up with the Anchorman crew in Anchorman 2 are going to be, the film’s director and star, Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, must be happy with what they’ve seen so far, because THR is reporting that they’re now in talks to make her the star of an indie comedy they’re producing called Welcome to Me. McKay’s wife, Shira Piven, will be directing the film, which is said to be about a woman with dissociative personality disorder who stumbles into a fortune and uses her newfound cash to create a cable access show where she talks about her life. Sounds like it’s going to be like that live tour thing that Charlie Sheen did, only not scary because it isn’t real.

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despicable-me-2

While the plot for Despicable Me 2 has been mostly kept under wraps, the sequel’s new trailer does introduce us to a pair of new characters – uptight Agent Lucy Wilde (voiced by Kristen Wiig) and straightlaced Ramsbottom (is that Steve Coogan?) – and their just-as-uptight-and-straightlaced-occupation – working for the Anti-Villain League. It appears that a new villain has surfaced (a joke that’s much funnier when you consider that the AVL is set up under the sea) and they need Gru’s (Steve Carell) help to get into the mind of the new baddie. Which might be a bit more tough than they were expecting, because Gru’s girls have made him more of a softie than ever… Hey, at least there are fun gadgets! Learn all about lipstick tasers and little swimming cars after the break.

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Sean Bean

What is Casting Couch? It’s full of casting news! Read on to find out what Charlize Theron is up to. Sean Bean was already a star on the rise before he took one of the lead roles in HBO’s Game of Thrones, but since then he’s reached a whole new level of stardom that led to the spawning of a “Sean Bean dies in everything” meme here on the Internet. That’s how you know you’ve arrived. Makes sense, then, that he should finally get the chance to be one of the promoted names in a big-budget tentpole film and see how it works out. According to Deadline, makers of epic film Lana and Andy Wachowski have just signed Bean to play the Han Solo-type for their next big project, Jupiter Ascending. He joins Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, and Eddie Redmayne in a cast that’s starting to look like the strongest the Wachowskis have ever worked with.

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Garrett Hedlund

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that was compiled today with the help of Daft Punk musical accompaniment. You may not remember much about TRON: Legacy’s story, because other than its glowing lights and its pumping soundtrack, that 2010 sequel to Disney’s cult classic TRON was pretty dull. So, let’s refresh your memory. The movie starred Garrett Hedlund as the son of Jeff Bridges’ character from the first film. He went into the computer world, found his dad, and then there was a big battle. Remember all this? Good, because Next Movie just confirmed that Hedlund will be back for whatever TRON 3 ends up being called. Disney apparently started getting a script together for a third film just last week. This, of course, means that we’ll all now be keeping our eyes open for the real news regarding this new sequel: whether or not Daft Punk is coming back to do another soundtrack.

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What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting roundup that has news about Timothy Olyphant putting on cowboy boots again. Read on! Is Kristen Wiig going to be joining the cast of Anchorman: The Legend Continues? Maybe. The Wrap has a report that she’s being looked at to play the love interest (presumably replacing lamp) of Steve Carell’s dimwitted Brick Tamland in Paramount’s upcoming sequel. Of course, this one is far from starting filming (the script isn’t even done yet), and Kristen Wiig is being looked at for essentially every comedy that calls for a female part right now, so it’s hard to say if everyone’s schedules are going to synch up or not when all is said and done. Wiig getting thrown into the mix of the Anchorman crew does sound pretty dang promising though, doesn’t it? We’ll be watching this one for new developments very closely.

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George Clooney

What is Casting Couch? The day’s casting news, all in one place, because you’re a very busy person. At this point we don’t know anything concrete about the secret project Brad Bird is directing over at Disney. It’s largely being developed under the code name 1952, but for a minute it was being called Tesla. It’s rumored to be a science fiction film involving aliens, but in what regard isn’t clear. It’s said that Disney is thinking of it as a major tentpole release, but why it would have such mass appeal is being kept under wraps. All we have is rumors. And the latest rumor for the pile, courtesy of Variety, is that The Facts of Life star George Clooney is currently negotiating to star. If this proves to be true and Bird lands Clooney, that would be a pretty big step toward making this the blockbuster sort of feature that Disney wants it to be. And, generally, what Disney wants, Disney gets.

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What is Casting Couch? It’s not an actual couch, you guys. Seriously, stop it. Kristen Wiig may have walked away from her regular gig on Saturday Night Live to focus on her film career, but she would be insane to walk away from the chemistry she has with her former SNL cast mate Bill Hader; getting those two together is always a comedy goldmine. And though they’ve appeared together as a big screen duo before, they’ve never really gotten the chance to anchor a film together as the stars. That all changes now! Variety is reporting that the twosome have signed up for an indie comedy called Skeleton Twins, where they will play two estranged twins who reunite after both have near death experiences on the same day. Luke Wilson is also set to appear as Wiig’s husband, a character who is described as being a “nature frat boy,” whatever that means. Regardless, the results are bound to be hilarious.

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Will Forte in MacGruber

I’ve got a better idea: yes fucking way. Jorma Taccone‘s MacGruber didn’t really make a big splash when it opened back in the spring of 2010 after a riotous premiere at SXSW (fine, it tanked), but the action comedy has proven to have the kind of staying power and cult appeal that only outstanding comedies can garner. To put it simply – the movie is funny, but it gets to be hilarious after multiple viewings. Of course, with Will Forte‘s idiot ex-special operative always down to blow things up, could there possibly be a sequel to MacGruber on the way? Maybe? Please? Well, according to an awesome exclusive over at ScreenCrush, who recently sat down with Taccone, the answer is yes. As far as details, they are slim, but Taccone did reveal that “it would be me, Will and John [Solomon] writing it again. Every time I hang out with Will, we talk about all our cool ideas for the sequel. We have the idea for it and we have a title, but I won’t tell you what it is.” He also let on that they “don’t want to jump the shark that soon” when it comes to a MacGruber and Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) baby. Taccone did, however, share that the next MacGruber would take place at Christmas, just like his favorite film Die Hard.

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At a certain age, everyone has them – people they love, friends they’ve grown up with, beloved compatriots that have turned into frazzled, mewling monsters. Let’s call them what they are – Friends With Kids. In Jennifer Westfeldt‘s film, she stars as one half of a non-couple with no kids – her Julie Keller has a great apartment and a great job and a great pack of friends, but she’s nowhere near the stage of life when she’ll announce at a dinner that she’s pregnant, or move to Brooklyn to have more space for the rugrats, or to turn into a shell of herself after months of no sleep and no sex and a crying baby. Her best friend, Jason Fryman (Adam Scott) is in the same boat – a bit of a playboy, he’s loose with both his morals and his money, and in absolutely no state to settle down and have a kid. Which doesn’t quite explain how much they both secretly want to. When the other four members of their inner circle (including Bridesmaids veterans Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Jon Hamm, and Kristen Wiig), already paired off and married, start having children, Julie and Jason are both struck by two thoughts. One – they want kids. Two – they don’t want to have them the way their friends have them. All Julie and Jason can see is the disintegration of romance, beaten down by babies screaming for binkies, lack of sex, and abject exhaustion – which is why […]

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I may not have been completely on the Bridesmaids bandwagon like a lot of other people, but I love Kristen Wiig as a performer and might go as far as to say she’s the most talented female to ever work on Saturday Night Live; so I’m very interested in where her film career is going to go now that she has some clout in Hollywood. And, according to a report from Variety, her next movie is one that is going to be well worth my attention. Wiig has reportedly attached herself to star in a new action comedy written by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, or as they’re otherwise known, Nat Faxon and Dean Pelton from Community, or as they’re otherwise known, the two guys who just won an Effin Oscar for writing The Descendants. Add Wiig’s unparalleled skill as a comedic performer with these guy’s obvious skill in crafting big screen stories, and it sounds like we might be in for something special. Factor in that all three of these talents know each other from back in the day when they performed in The Groundlings together, and we may just be looking at one of those perfect pieces of synergy that becomes an all time great. I mean, this new movie is being described as an action comedy, for the love of Mike. That’s a genre I generally can’t get enough of, and when’s the last time you’ve seen a good action comedy made in Hollywood? If this movie’s […]

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Oscar 2012 Predictions: Best Original Screenplay

Hey, who says there are no original ideas in Hollywood? Well, us actually, whenever we have to write about the next 80s-era television show getting a big screen reboot that no one on God’s green earth could possibly want to flash in front of their eyeballs on a giant cinema screen. But this year, there were at least five films that sprung from original ideas that were solid enough to get the ol’ Best Original Screenplay nod. Really, at least five. There’s five in this category! There could be more, but I’m too busy thinking about the Valley Girl reboot to come up with any of them right now. Giggles and bad jokes aside, this year’s Oscar race for Best Original Screenplay is actually pretty, well, original. We’ve got an awards season frontrunner, a raunchy lady-centric comedy (how often do you hear “raunchy” when it comes to the Academy Awards? Not often, that’s how often), a Sundance flick about the financial crisis, a foreign film getting all sorts of (well-deserved) praise, and the latest from one of the Academy’s most nominated filmmakers. This category is truly one hell of mixed bag. What’s perhaps most interesting about this race is that it four of its nominations belong to newcomers to the Oscars, while its fifth nominee is Woody Allen, who has received more nominees in this category (15) than any other screenwriter in the history of the awards. But does that little bit of trivia spell “winner”? Read on for the […]

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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