Mae Whitman


You’d be forgiven if you watched the first trailer for Ari Sandel‘s The DUFF and believed that you were watching a trailer for a new parody feature, in the vein of Not Another Teen Movie or Epic Movie. After all, this first trailer hits all the beats of parody, filled with the kind of worn-out tropes and flaccid observations about teen life that would not be out of place with a poorly received nineties teen comedy or a tongue-in-cheek send-up from the aughts. The problem, of course, is that The DUFF is a straightforward feature. In short terms, it’s all real. As our friends over at UpRoxx note, “someone has made an unsatirical Not Another Teen Movie,” one that even uses the old “this girl who wears overalls is unattractive and we know that because she wears overalls” trick. And it’s certainly an old trick. It’s just too bad it hasn’t gone anywhere since 1999, when She’s All That used it as a plot point, or even 1986, when Pretty In Pink did it, too. Some things don’t change, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t — or that films like The DUFF have irreparably broken the very cycle that is responsible for giving us modern teen classics.


Channel Guide - Large

NBC’s Parenthood is a drama deserving of the kind of veneration normally reserved for Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and other cable TV darlings. Based very loosely on the 1989 Ron Howard-directed comedy of the same name and developed by Friday Night Lights writer Jason Katims, the series is a deft mix of humor and gut-wrenching poignancy that can, rather amazingly, turn its audience into bunch of sobbing fools without having to resort to emotional manipulation. Parenthood revolves around the Bravermans: Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille (Bonnie Bedelia); their four adult children, Adam (Peter Krause), Sarah (Lauren Graham), Julia (Erika Christensen), and Crosby (Dax Shepard); and the significant others and kids of the four siblings. They’re a family so close-knit and mutually supportive that they’d seemingly rather die than not do everything together—they attend little league games and school plays as a 16-member unit. They are the kind of “fight hard but love harder” crew that should be nauseating to watch. Yet, these characters are written and portrayed with so much honesty and as a result Parenthood is never repellently schmaltzy.


After his break-out performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin, it looked as if Ezra Miller would be permanently doomed to creeper status, haunting the edges of our collective cinematic nightmares forever, so I was predictably cagey about his casting as Patrick in Stephen Chbosky‘s The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. Author Chbosky has adapted his own (beloved) novel for the film (which he also directs), and while so much of the film’s other casting – namely Logan Lerman as protagonist Charlie – seemed spot-on, Miller bothered. Patrick is one of the first people who makes Charlie feel accepted in high school – a profound feat once you’re aware of how much young Charlie has already endured and how much Patrick himself is going through – and Miller hasn’t previously seemed to be the type of actor who could pull off such a kind-hearted character. Wrong. In the first trailer for Perks, Miller steals the show as Patrick – he’s hilarious, zingy, vibrant, and about as far removed from his We Need to Talk About Kevin character as humanly possible. Everyone else looks totally radical, too (after all, the book is set in the ’90s), but Miller is the main attraction here. Check out the first trailer for The Perks Of Being A Wallflower after the break!


Welcome to the Saturday edition of Channel Guide in which Merrill Barr takes a look at an episode from that past week in the world of television that really stood out above the rest. If there isn’t a good episode, well there’s always plenty of back logged TV to be brought into the spotlight for you to check out. There are very few television shows that actually improve over time. Usually nothing ever comes close to matching the magical discovery of who a show’s characters are, and how they interact than what takes place in that first season. The season where everyone is fresh faced and bright eyed before their lives take a one eighty with either tragedy, comedy, action or all of the above. One could probably count on two hands the shows that really surpassed their first season. Well now we can add another show to that list: Parenthood. And there is no greater proof of that than in the season 2 finale “Hard Times Come Again No More.”


The comedy talent for The Handjob is swelling with Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman, Donald Glover, Connie Britton, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, and Johnny Simmons. The film is being written and directed by Bill Hader’s comedian wife Maggie Carey. That’s not to say that he has a drama wife, too. It’s meant to show that she’s also professionally funny. The modifier placement is just weird. Regardless, Hader expounded on the plot to The Playlist recently, saying “It’s about her playing an type-A, studious girl who graduates high school and hasn’t done anything with a guy. The summer before college she decides that she has to find out how to do everything in order to be properly prepared, so she makes a very serious bullet list of everything, like… hand-job, titty-fuck, blow-job, fingering, and just kinda checks one off every time she does it. She’s being the aggressor and is very straight-forward about it, like ‘Okay, so I’m going to give you a hand-job now.’ And the guys are very taken aback about it, especially her straight-laced friends.” Sold.


As the only literate Reject, it’s my duty to find the latest, the greatest and the untouched classics that would make great source material for film adaptations. I read so you don’t have to. This week, Print to Projector presents: American Virgin by Steven T. Seagle Art by Becky Cloonan and Frank Quitely “I’m a virgin.” Synopsis Young Christian author and evangelist Adam Chamberlain extols the beauty of abstinence on speaking tours but has his faith and humanity tested when he learns that his girlfriend Cassie has been beheaded while doing missionary work in Africa. He joins up with his sexually liberal step-sister to go find out what happened, leaving his Neocon mother and delinquent brother behind to spin further down a rabbit hole of cross-dressing, pornography and God.


Tinker Bell

I have a very special little treat for all of our readers who are big Disney fans. For the first time in history, one of Disney’s most beloved characters will find her voice. Tinker Bell, long known as Peter Pan’s helpful, yet silent partner, will be seen for the first time in her own film, this time with a speaking part. Walt Disney has hooked us up with a first look at the film, which includes two video clips. First up is the film’s official trailer, which can be seen below: Next up is a special clip that includes an introduction by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios: The voice of Tinker Bell is played by Mae Whitman (Independence Day, One Fine Day) with a supporting cast that includes America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Raven-Symone (College Road Trip), Lucy Liu, Jesse McCartney and Anjelica Huston. As a fan of Disney movies, I will admit that this new Tinker Bell film is intriguing, but it is interesting to note the differences that can be seen between how Tinker Bell was animated back in the day with this new CG animated version. Sure, it looks clean, but it is quite a bit different in my mind. I’m not sure if it will have the same effect for other fans but for me, the film loses something in the transition to CG. Despite what I think, Tinker Bell will still hit shelves on DVD and Blu-ray October 28, […]

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published: 12.19.2014
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