Nick Offerman

The Gunfighter Short Film

Why Watch? If you want to mine this short film for its most profound nugget, you’ll find a question of what it’s like to live in a completely transparent society, one where your deepest shames and desires aren’t secret. How do you live when your inner world is made public? If you don’t want to look that deep, you can still revel in Nick Offerman playing a trickster god narrator who tries his best to send bullets flying in a stereotypical Western saloon. Marked by poetic voice over, it’s also fantastically funny. Written by Kevin Tenglin and given cinematic life by director Eric Kissack, The Gunfighter twists the plot conceit of Stranger Than Fiction into a commentary on genre tropes, whiskey-slinging and itchy prostitutes. Clever and thorough in its execution, everyone on the production team is game for the absurdity, showing both the love required to truly lampoon something and the wit to find the flaws in the object of that love.

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silent movie theatre

“Movie Houses of Worship” is a regular feature spotlighting our favorite movie theaters around the world, those that are like temples of cinema catering to the most religious-like film geeks. This week, FSR and Nonfics contributor Dan Schindel chose one of his favorite theaters. If you’d like to suggest or submit a place you regularly worship at the altar of cinema, please email our weekend editor. The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre Location: 611 Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA Opened: Originally built in 1942 as the “Old Time Movies” theater by John Hampton. History: A tremendous silent film enthusiast, Hampton used the theater to exclusively showcase the old greats for decades. The theater closed in 1979 and remained shuttered until 1991, when Lawrence Austin convinced Hampton’s widow to sign ownership over to him. He rebranded the location as the Silent Movie Theater. It continued to screen only silents until 1997, when Austin was murdered by a hitman contracted by one of his coworkers. The theater was then purchased in 1999 by Charlie Lustman, who gave it a million dollar remodeling. In addition to silent film screenings, it now served as a trendy venue for upscale private events. The Cinefamily as we know it was born when brothers Dan and Sammy Harkham and Cinefile Video founder Hadrian Belove bought the Silent Movie Theater from Lustman in 2006. The theater is now a nonprofit, supported by sponsors and those who sign up to be members. No. of Screens: 1 Current First-Run Titles: The Act of […]

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Cocaine Music Video

Why Watch? There are few things in life as glorious as watching the man who embodies manliness let loose on the streets of Los Angeles in an aggressive effort to prove that it’s better to get pissed off than pissed on. It’s been a while since we’ve featured a music video as a short, but this one’s definitely worth it. Not only does it stretch a one-note gag to its breaking point, it also offers a thick sense of catharsis by proxy. Don’t pretend you’ve never wanted to do this. Because you have. We all have. Plus, the song from FIDLAR plays like Jello Biafra and Elvis Costello smashing stuff in a woodshed. A perfect marriage of music and a drunken stupor of a story to tell.

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kings of summer

Parents have the capacity to be very annoying. When you’re a only freshman in high school, you don’t exactly have the luxury of avoiding them completely by just ignoring their phone calls. They are on you. All the time. In The Kings of Summer, fifteen-year-old Joe Toy (Nick Robinson) has officially had it with his overbearing father (Nick Offerman) and decides to move out on his own, albeit with friends Patrick and Biaggio (Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias) into the wilderness, where he can finally be his own man. Joe quickly learns that becoming one with nature – as well as living outside of the parental safety net – isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The film’s director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, making his feature film debut here, shows incredible promise. He creates a world that is very relatable and true in terms of how it deals with adolescent angst, but at the same time, there is an element of the fantastic peppered throughout, making the film consistently refreshing and entertaining. Though the film is somewhat mired by some predictable plot points, it wins on the whole with Vogt-Robert’s creative voice and the completely engaging performances from the three young leads.

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Kings of Summer

I knew I recognized Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts‘ name, and it took me a second, but then I realized that he’s the mind behind the incredibly funny short film Successful Alcoholics — a realization that instantly put this coming of age tale on my personal must-see list. Of course I’m late to the game because tons of people have been eagerly awaiting this one since it emerged from Sundance with a lot of love, showcased a fun trailer, and boasted a stellar cast that includes Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Megan Mullally, Mary Lynn Rajskub and several newcomers. Now its red band trailer is here, and while there aren’t a ton of adult situations in it, it’s easy to see why the road to maturity detours through a phase of slicing fruit mid-air in your own personal paradise. Check it out for yourself:

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Toy

Sharp-tongued Joe Toy (Nick Robinson) is frustrated with his life – his overbearing father (Nick Offerman) does not understand him, his older sister Heather (Alison Brie) no longer lives at home, and he cannot seem to get a minute to himself without someone barging in on him. Joe is not alone in his frustration, his best friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) is also feeling trapped with two helicopter parents (Megan Mullally and Marc Evan Jackson) who are constantly bombarding him with inane questions. The two boys want (need) to get out, and Joe comes up with a plan to let them do just that. After escaping a party that was suddenly broken up, Joe finds himself lost in the woods alongside the very strange (but insanely funny) Biaggio (Moises Arias.) The two happen upon a secluded section of the forrest and as Joe looks around at the lush landscape, inspiration strikes and he rushes home to tell Patrick he has a solution to their problems – they are going to build their own house to live in.

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What is Casting Couch? Today it’s proof that if you star in something about sexy young vampires, you will continue to get more work. Warner Bros.’ Lego movie already had names like Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, and Morgan Freeman signed for its voice cast, thus making a stupid-sounding idea suddenly seem promising, but now they’ve really gone and made Lego into a movie that you can start looking forward to. Deadline reports that the film has just added Will Ferrell to its cast as the bad guy, President Business, Liam Neeson as the bad guy’s main henchman, Bad Cop, Parks and Rec’s mustachioed Nick Offerman as a revenge-obsessed pirate, and Community’s cheery-voiced Disney Princess Alison Brie as a member of the protagonist’s team who holds a powerful secret. That may just be the weirdest/most fun cast ever assembled, and it almost makes up for the fact that the movie is going to be in 3D.

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Mary-Elizabeth-Winstead-and-Octavia-Spencer-in-Smashed

Editor’s note: With Smashed hitting limited release this week, please delicately sip (or chug down, your preference) our Sundance review of the film, first published on January 24, 2012. Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) seems to lead a charmed life – she has a loving husband, friends, and a job teaching first grade that she is passionate about. But the one thing that is always present in Kate’s life is alcohol. She and her husband, Charlie (Aaron Paul), spend every night getting (wait for it) smashed on beer, liquor, really just whatever alcohol is available. The drinking (while excessive) appears to be just a harmless part of their lifestyle, but when Kate shows up hungover to work (and throws up in front of her class), one of her students asks if she is pregnant and Kate confirms the lie, figuring it is a better excuse than the truth.

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TIFF Review Smashed

Smashed takes a look at alcoholism through the eyes of a married couple, Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul), who should so happen to both be alcoholics. Their relationship is completely based on their shared love of a bottle of beer, wine, whiskey, tequila, and such other recipes for liver disease. After an incident at her job (elementary school teacher, oops), Kate decides to try getting sober, which proves to not only be a massive personal undertaking, but one that puts a huge strain on her marriage. Smashed quickly proves that Kate’s alcoholism, while not good for her, is exactly what makes her relationship with Charlie seem great. Before we reach the point where it’s clearly more than a just little problem and the audience is ready to call for their own intervention, the scenes of Paul and Winstead together on screen (while obviously self-destructive) are fantastic to watch. We see the couple doing such mundane things as playing croquet and riding their bikes, but these scenes are so beautiful that we really get a sense of their connection. 

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Culture Warrior

Two nights ago, Aaron Sorkin’s heavily-anticipated and rather polarizing new show The Newsroom aired its debut on HBO. With the pilot’s central focus on the BP oilrig explosion, the premium cable network has established itself (alongside with their recent TV movies) as the primary venue for dramatizing recent political history. However, other contemporary television shows have addressed political issues well beyond the headlines of the past few years. In this election year, it seems that TV comedies and dramas from several networks have a surprising amount to say about the political process in a way that resonates with this uncertain, often frustrating moment. Here’s how The Newsroom stacks up against a triumvirate of other TV shows with overtly political themes…

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What is Movie News After Dark? Usually it’s just a nightly column dedicated to the best news and links from around the movie blogosphere. Tonight it comes with a disclaimer: Its author has just returned from a bender of Pixar films and is in the midst of a Marvel films marathon as he writes this. This sort of situation may cause over-zealous Avengers coverage, animated goofiness and spontaneous, uncontrollable bouts of crying — that is, if the score from UP comes on. Be prepared. We begin tonight with an awesome image of Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bruce Lee in 1978 courtesy of the Tumblr blog of film critic Shawn Levy. Beyond being an exceptionally nice guy, Levy also has a taste for the moving pictures and the icons of said medium. This shot, in my opinion, is certified awesome.

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Though he went to great lengths to become cool in Project X, it looks like actor Thomas Mann is right back to being a dork. But that’s okay, because unlike Project X, his new endeavor, King Dork, actually sounds like it has a chance to be funny and entertaining. According to a report from Variety, King Dork was the first project that Gary Sanchez Productions bought when it was formed by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell back in 2006. Adapted from a Frank Portman novel of the same name, D.V. DeVincentis’ (High Fidelity) script tells the story of a couple of late 80s-era outsiders who bond over a love of classic rock and form a friendship that helps get them through high school. Mann is in talks to play the lead kid, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story star Keir Gilchrist his friend. Parks and Recreations’ Nick Offerman is in negotiations to play the Mann character’s stepdad; and if everybody ends up signing on they will all be directed by Gary Sanchez vet Matt Piedmont (Casa de mi Padre).

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Billed as “a deadpan fable about time sneaking up on and swerving right around us” by the SXSW programmers, Bob Byington‘s Somebody Up There Likes Me is boring twaddle masquerading as something more exiciting and more important, thanks to a barely hidden high concept conceit that frequently make the production just look sloppy and inattentive. The film and its often blank-faced lead, Keith Poulson, are without any of the charm and cheekiness of Byington’s previous films, namely the lovely and funny Harmony and Me. Poulson’s Max Youngman is a typical shiftless twentysomething – a waiter, he doesn’t appear to have many life or professional goals and, personally speaking, he’s not doing so hot either. His ex-wife (Kate Lyn Sheil) doesn’t want to get back together, which she proves handily by having sex with another dude within minutes of Max leaving her house. Max’s only friend is his waiter co-worker Sal (Nick Offerman) who, even later in the film after over thirty years of friendship and a number of job changes, Max still calls “the waiter.” A slightly spur-of-the-moment date with co-worker Lyla (Jess Weixler) appears to signal a positive change in Max’s life, and thus the film, but while Somebody Up There Likes Me tracks decades in Max’s life and innumerable changes, there’s little actual evolution to be found.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in skinny jeans and bling-bling (‘cause that’s what the kids nowadays are wearing, right, dawg?) so he can sneak into his old high school and pose as a student. After spending the following night in jail, he heads to the multiplex to watch the biweekly Channing Tatum movie spectacular. Unfortunately, he goes in the wrong theater and ends up seeing a movie that requires him to read the whole time. And he doesn’t even get to see Genesis Rodriguez’s breasts. It’s a sad day.

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When I first heard details about Diablo Cody’s upcoming inaugural foray into the directing world, Lamb of God, I was kind of on the fence with whether or not I was looking forward to seeing it. I hadn’t liked any of Cody’s work up to that point, but a cast that included names like Holly Hunter and Octavia Spencer didn’t sound so bad at all. Add in names like Julianne Hough, who surprised me by doing a good job in Footloose, and Russell Brand, who is always more enjoyable in movies than I give him credit for, and I was thinking that I might be ready to give Cody another chance to get on my good side. Things have changed since then. First off, the latest movie penned by Cody, Young Adult, came out and was generally well liked. I wasn’t as enamored with it as most seemed to be, but it did show me that there was some potential in Cody as a filmmaker, and I liked the way she handled Patton Oswalt’s character in that one quite a bit. And now a bomb has been dropped that completely changes the whole complexion of Cody’s career in my eyes. According to Deadline Pawnee, Nick Offerman has agreed to join the Lamb of God cast.

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Last April, an amazing trailer hit the web that was subsequently taken down. While it lasted, it showed Will Ferrell playing a character named Armando Alvarez in a ridiculous Spanish-language film that looked a heck of a lot like one of those super-sexy and deadly dramatic Mexican telenovelas that you can catch on Telemundo during the day. It had comedic actors like Nick Offerman, dramatic actors like Gael Garcia Bernal, and a mocha-skinned (TM Ricky Martin) hottie named Genesis Rodriguez. It instantly became one of my most highly-anticipated films on the release date horizon, but after the trailer got jerked, I had not heard hide nor hair of it. That all changed today when I read a report from THR that Pantelion Films has announced that they have acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the film, and will be putting it out in theaters on March 16, 2012. Pantelion CEO Paul Presburger said of their acquisition, “We cannot imagine a better vehicle than Casa de mi Padre to demonstrate how a Spanish language film can appeal to a broad mainstream audience. We are enthusiastic about joining forces with NALA Films on this project and feel that Will, Matt and Andrew have proven that if it’s funny, we all laugh in the same language.” These are, truly, deeply poetic and moving words from Mr. Presburger. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go call my Mexican friend Eric.

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In a week where a trailer was released where apes take over the planet, I think that this trailer for the upcoming Will Ferrell comedy Casa de mi Padre is still the coolest, weirdest thing I’ve seen. In former SNL writer and Funny or Die contributor Matt Piedmont’s first film, you’ve got Will Ferrell playing a Mexican named Armando Alvarez and speaking only in Spanish, Nick Offerman in full Ron Swanson mustache asking people if they speak American, awesome dramatic actors like Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal trading ridiculous dialogue, and a hottie named Genesis Rodriguez two palming Will Ferrell’s bare ass. The film plays like a big budget telenovela, and while it is clearly a ridiculous comedy, it seems to get the telenovela feel right by taking itself terribly seriously. In Casa de mi Padre’s own mind, it is the awesomest movie that ever existed. The trailer goes as far as listing for you all of the awesome things it features, up to and including, guns, cigarettes, special effects, and slaps. I don’t know how you can argue with that.  Take a load off and give it a gander, you won’t be sorry.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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