Luke Wilson

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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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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Director George Clooney

What is Casting Couch? Proof that not everyone’s tracking Hurricane Sandy’s path on Twitter. Some are still out there casting movies. The big casting news over the weekend was all of the big names that were announced for George Clooney’s next project as a director, The Monuments Men. Deadline had the scoop that this period drama about a group of art historians and museum curators trying to recover important and historical works from the clutches of the Nazis is going to star names like Bill Murray, Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, and Bob Balaban. As far as I know none of these people can even speak German, but you’ve still got to look at that list and be impressed. You could cast this crew as an office full of telemarketers and everyone would still watch the movie, making them heroes during the dying days of the Nazi regime is just icing on the cake.

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The Royal Tenenbaums Wes Anderson Commentary Track

Wes Anderson loves family dramas dressed as fantasies, and this notion is no less palpable with The Royal Tenenbaums, the film that essentially set him on the map. A lot of us remember finding Bottle Rocket in video stores or trekking out with friends to see Rushmore, but that was mostly because of Bill Murray. The Royal Tenenbaums was the movie that made people realize this voice in the world of independent film making had arrived. 11 years later, and Anderson’s latest, Moonrise Kingdom, another light-hearted drama made to look like a fable, is upon us. However, we felt it was time to go back and see exactly what the writer/director had to say about his pinnacle film, The Royal Tenenbaums. There’s sure to be references of French movies and anecdotes about writing with Owen Wilson, but that’s the obvious stuff. We’ve got 28 more items beyond that. So help yourselves with what we learned from the commentary for The Royal Tenenbaums. Cue the Elliott Smith.

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It looks like Jennifer’s Body director Karyn Kusama isn’t quite done journeying into human darkness with an “insidious” edge, as Deadline Brooklyn reports that the filmmaker is set to start shooting her next film this summer – one that appears to come with a possibly inhuman and definitely weird bite to it. The film is tantalizingly titled The Invitation, and will star Luke Wilson as a man who is “invited to his estranged ex-wife’s dinner party. Over the course of the evening, he’s gripped by mounting evidence that something insidious has taken hold of his ex, and that she and her new friends have a mysterious and horrifying agenda.” The script has been penned by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who previously wrote Kusama’s take on Aeon Flux, and who have also penned such varied projects as R.I.P.D., Clash of the Titans, and Crazy/Beautiful to their names. The film’s ensemble will also include Zachary Quinto, Topher Grace, and Johnny Galecki, most of whom we can assume are part of that creepy group of new pals that unhinge Wilson.

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Meeting Evil writer/director Chris Fisher joins us to talk about how necessary movie stars are to getting financing in the indie world (and how to talk to Samuel L. Jackson on set). Plus, we go beyond the headlines to explore the Alamo Drafthouse‘s expansion into New York City with CEO Tim League and to push the envelope of film festivals with Tribeca Executive Director Nancy Schafer. Download Episode #129

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Before he gets his eye patch on for The Avengers this summer, Samuel L. Jackson is taking Luke Wilson on a bizarre killing spree. From director Chris Fischer, Meeting Evil tells the story of a man facing foreclosure and joblessness who helps out a man who comes to his house looking for some help with his car. That helpful hand pulls him into dangerous territory with a man capable of ending lives. Shockingly, it’s Jackson who plays the BAMF waving a gun around. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Over Under: A New Perspective on Films New and Old

Recently, I found myself looking for a movie to watch that was Christmasy and festive, but not necessarily something so holiday-themed that it had Santa Clauses, reindeer, and Jesuses in it. You know, something about normal people but set around the time of the holidays. While perusing all of the top ten holiday movie lists that I could find around the web, I saw one title keep popping up again and again, Richard Curtis’s Love Actually. I never saw this one when it came out, it just looked like another generic romantic comedy to me, but it turns out a lot of people love to watch it every year around the Christmas season. And further research led me to the fact that a lot of people mention it as one of the few romantic comedies that’s actually good from the last decade as well. Sounded strong enough for me to give it a watch. It turns out I didn’t much care for the film, though, and my need for something Christmasy had been left unsated. Not willing to go out on another limb, I decided to revisit a film that I had already seen before, one that I remembered enjoying much more than I was expecting to back when it was released. This second choice was Thomas Bezucha’s 2005 film The Family Stone, which already seems to be rather forgotten. Luckily for me, time did not prove my idiocy, because upon a second watch I found that I still enjoyed […]

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Criterion Files

Part of me is in complete disbelief that the release date of Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums will have been a decade ago next month. It doesn’t feel so long ago that I was sixteen years old, seeing it for the first time in a movie theater and spending my subsequent Christmas with The Ramones, Elliot Smith, and Nico playing on repeat in my car (two years later, after hearing of Smith’s death, my friends and I gathered together and watched Richie Tenenbaums’s (Luke Wilson) attempted suicide with new, disturbing poignancy). And ten years on, even after having seen it at least a dozen times, and armed with the annoying ability to know every beat and predict every line, something about Tenenbaums feels ageless and fresh at the same time. But when you look at the movie culture that came after Tenenbaums, the film’s age begins to take on its inevitable weight. Tenenbaums was Anderson’s first (and arguably only) real financial success. Previously, Anderson was perceived as an overlooked critical darling following Rushmore, a promising director that a great deal of Hollywood talent wanted to work with (which explains Tenenbaums’ excellent cast and, probably, its corresponding financial success). With this degree of mass exposure, other filmmakers followed suit, establishing what has since been known as the “Wes Anderson style,” which permeated critical and casual assessment of mainstream indies for the following decade and established a visual approach that’s been echoed in anything from Napoleon Dynamite to Garden State to less […]

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It seems like somebody working for the upcoming NU Image/Millenium production Straight A’s has been burning up the phone today trying to get word out about the project. So far Variety has come out with not one, but two casting reports for the film. First, a little bit about what the movie is. James Cox, who has not done much, but is probably best known for his last film, 2003’s Wonderland, is set to direct. The script, from writer Dave Cole, is about a man who has been in and out of rehab for a decade, and who is haunted by the ghost of his dead mother. This pesky old ghost continually gripes at him that he needs to seek out his family and make amends with the people that he turned his back on long ago. Armed with a cache of pills and weed, this man makes his way back to his hometown of Shreveport to spend some time with his brother and his brother’s wife, who still pines after our main character, as he was her first love. Oh what a tangled web we weave.

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Middle Men

Paramount Pictures has released a full red band trailer for their upcoming internet porn opus, Middle Men. For those who missed it when we posted the first trailer — of the green band variety — this film tells the story of the guy who invented the method of collecting money for subscriptions to adult websites. His innovation almost singlehandedly led the rise in the internet pornography business, which is now one of the world’s most lucrative entertainment sectors. Why? Because they made it fast and easy — and people like fast and easy, especially when it comes to porn. Check out the film’s synopsis and the new red band trailer after the jump.

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Middle Men

This far into the age of the internet, we all just know and accept it as a porn filled cesspool – but do you know the story behind the digital hooters? The Middle Men explores the unexpected birth of the online porn blow-up.

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terra-header

If you are like me, then you are sick and tired of Earth and humanity being the victims in alien invasion movies. Get over it, pesky humans — no one really wants to come down to our dying planet and take over. Now we finally have a movie that tells it like it is…

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post-fatguys.jpg

Controversy is all over the place as Kevin calls for a boycott of Tropic Thunder due to insensitivity to fat people while Neil takes some shots at Tim Shriver. Nothing is sacred, and everyone should be offended at this week’s Fat Guys at the Movies.

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Henry Poole is Here Barack Obama Poster

Sometimes we just can’t avoid a little commentary that veers into the world of politics — especially not in an election year and especially not when studios are releasing movie posters like this.

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Kate Beckinsale

One of our snoopy readers gives us an update on the straight-to-dvd horror prequel.

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At root, Vacancy is a horror movie about two characters who gradually become aware that they’re two characters within a horror movie, but Antal keeps the tone straight-faced, blessedly avoiding any Scream-style, self-aware cheekiness. Packed full of conventional set-ups, the film stars Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as a married couple on the verge of divorce, on their way home from Beckinsale’s mother’s home on a side road, having made the fundamental mistake of getting off the interstate. (Never get off the main road!) A lot of “we’re not lost!” bickering ensues, then the car breaks down, the mechanic can’t fix it till morning and there’s a nearby motel with no other guests, only a creepy night clerk (a mustachioed Frank Whaley). Beckinsale refers to their stay in the filthy room they rent as their “one last great adventure together,” but she is unaware of the real adventure about to unfold! In a well-crafted sequence of Wyler/Toland-esque close-ups—the film is full of artsy angles and is gorgeously lit, courtesy cinematographer Andrzej Sekula, of Pulp Fiction fame—Wilson starts popping-in video tapes lying on top of their room’s television set, finding a series of gruesome snuff films that he slowly begins to realize have been filmed in the very room he and his wife occupy. With hardly a moment to think, the events that start off the tapes begin to happen to them: there’s deafening banging on the wall; the power flicks on and off; the door, chained shut, rattles on its […]

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