Paul Rudd

Marvel Ant-Man Test Sneak 3

When Edgar Wright left Ant-Man, a lot of excitement for the film went out the door with him. His involvement is what made the project so appealing in the first place. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World showed the director isn’t interested in making a run-of-the-mill comic book movie, but doing something fresh, new, and its own thing. Of course, that’s not the kind of comic book movie we see often enough. Since Wright left Ant-Man over creative differences, was it a matter of Marvel balking over taking some risks? That’s what a lot of fans understandably suspect. After seeing James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s difficult to fathom Marvel getting cold feet over taking another risk. Guardians of the Galaxy is a superhero movie with a talking raccoon, some good old-fashioned dick jokes, and, basically, more of what you’d expect from James Gunn (Slither). Guardians doesn’t feel like a project Gunn had to make compromises on, but instead got to make a movie he can call his own that happened to cost $150m. Perhaps taking chances wasn’t the problem with Ant-Man. Maybe it really was just two different visions that couldn’t see eye-to-eye.

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Lionsgate

Joe (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) have a funny story about how they met, but it may be one you’ve heard before. David Wain and co-writer Michael Showalter pull together some familiar faces for They Came Together which sends up the romantic comedy genre with funny, and surprisingly layered, results. As Joe and Molly recount their story over dinner with their friends Karen (Ellie Kemper) and Kyle (Bill Hader) the classic tropes are quickly laid out for all four characters – Joe worked for a large corporation that threatened to put Molly’s quirky shop out of business while Karen and Kyle’s marriage may (not so secretly) be on the rocks. The script’s on-the-nose descriptions of each character (as described by the characters themselves) actually works to frame them as self-aware people forced to play out roles we have seen before and allows the hilarious cast to play within those lines.

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Marvel Ant-Man Test Sneak 2

In a crushing blow to fans of both Edgar Wright and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was announced this afternoon via the Hollywood Reporter that the director has walked away from Ant-Man due to creative differences. It’s a surprise given that Wright has been attached to this movie in some form or another for the better part of a decade, and he appeared to be extremely excited and optimistic and, most importantly, creatively satisfied with how it was all going. Apparently that wasn’t the case, at least not of late. Marvel claims its an amicable separation, which is fine for them but like any children of divorce can tell you, it’s not just about the ones going their separate ways. The studio also claims it already has a replacement in mind, which is like hearing Mom already has a step-father on tap for us. And he’s someone more accepting of the orgiastic lifestyle that Mom is accustomed to. Oh, and the release date remains as July 17, 2015, which is like telling us that the vacation to Disney World we’d been planning on for the whole family is still happening, only now with that new guy coming with instead of Dad. 

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They Came Together

Although the romantic comedy genre isn’t what it used to be — or perhaps because the genre isn’t what it used to be — that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh about the tropes and tricks that litter the best and worst films that the wide world of rom-com has to offer. In David Wain‘s They Came Together, the director and his frequent screenwriting collaborator Michael Showalter take on the genre with their brilliant brand of satirical skewering (hey, Wet Hot American Summer, thinking of you) for one hell of a send-up of modern romances. Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler star in the film, which debuted back in January at Sundance, as a pair of unlikely (obviously) lovers who overcome some super-standard odds on the road to romance. And also comedy. A lot of comedy. The film is unrepentantly a satire, and Wain and Showalter have pulled from a stunning number of genre pictures to make their own film. They Came Together is rife with nods to other romantic comedies, and considering how many we can pick out from just two minutes of footage, we can’t wait to tally up what the finished film has to offer. But for now, let’s count all the rom-com tropes we can find in the first They Came Together trailer.

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Will Ferrell and friends in ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

“It’s done. I think that’s it. It was great to do it, and it was so fun to work with those guys again, but I think that’s it for Ron Burgundy.” So says Adam McKay, director, co-writer and producer of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, when asked about a potential third installment. Will Ferrell, along with castmates Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner will make their final run together on the big screen starting today, with an R-rated, extended cut of the most recent theatrical release, with over seven hundred new jokes, which essentially turns this version of the film into a massive comedy stew of scenes that didn’t make the final cut, and a whole lot of improvisational comedy. It’s a seven day run in theaters, and according to McKay, that’s the last new Burgundy you’ll be getting from the Gary Sanchez Productions crew. Though it made $169,268,368 USD total gross worldwide, McKay appears content to move on to new projects, additionally shooting down another prospective sequel in Step Brothers 2 with some finality whilst discussing an Anchorman trilogy.

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They Came Together

If you’re someone who’s not immediately enchanted and enthralled by the premise of older romantic comedies that would typically star someone like, let’s say, Meg Ryan, first of all, how dare you, and secondly, you’re probably in the target demographic for David Wain‘s new film. They Came Together is a charming rom-com starring the delightful pairing of Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd — yes, Leslie Knope and Bobby Newport have to overcome their differences to mack — with a bit of a difference from what we’re used to seeing. It’s a parody of all things romantic comedy, in this case You’ve Got Mail, the 1999 Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks masterpiece in particular, and it seems like it’s not going to hold back from nailing all the cliches that these types of characters fall into when haphazardly falling in love.

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douglas

Fans of Marvel Comics have been wondering how the Marvel cinematic universe was going to handle the character of Hank Pym for a while now. The real confusion started when it was announced that the Avengers sequel would be subtitled Age of Ultron, it would feature the evil robot Ultron as its primary antagonist, and it would be released before Edgar Wright’s long-gestating Ant-Man project could hit theaters. You see, in the comics the Ultron character was created by Pym, who is also one of the founding members of the Avengers and is probably better known as the title character of the Ant-Man movie. So how could the Marvel movies introduce a creation of Pym’s before they introduce Pym himself? Would they actually have the character appear in Avengers 2, before he could be properly introduced in his own standalone film? In a word, no. But fans who have been keeping a close eye on the development of all these Marvel movies can tell you that there are perfectly reasonable answers to all of these questions already out there, and a new announcement that involves Michael Douglas being cast in Ant-Man has just come along and wrapped everything up into a nice little package.

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mckay

As their world keeps evolving, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his news team remain the same guys we met 10 years ago in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. They’re stuck in their adolescent and ignorant mindsets, which Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues challenges. For a man like Burgundy, real drama is having to accept a black woman as his boss. Heavy stuff. The old Channel 4 news team may not have changed, but their sequel has. Co-writer/director Adam McKay and his characters were barely bound by structural rules, giving Anchorman 2 some wild directions to go in. To no surprise, McKay took full advantage of those opportunities, and 60% of the time it worked every time. I spoke with McKay, who explained his improv method for the film in depth, described his minor battles with the MPAA and revealed the cameos he wanted but couldn’t get.

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Ant-Man

Well, that was fast. Overnight, news broke that Paul Rudd was in negotiations to star as Ant-Man for Edgar Wright’s Marvel movie. Now we’ve got some footage of the actor testing out the suit from an inside source. It’s obviously not theater quality, but it’s a clear look at the design for the character, and the action is far more intense then you’d expect from a typical screen test. It starts deep in a forest where the hero is fighting (rather futilely) against a diabolical, technologically advanced piece of weaponry — and it’s all downhill from there. For those doubting Rudd can handle the badass nature of a superhero, prepare to be sold:

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Paul Rudd - The Shape of Things

There’s your Hank Pym everyone. To be fair, he could be Scott Lang or Eric O’Grady, but he’s definitely Ant-Man. According to The Wrap, Paul Rudd has begun negotiations to play the shrinking superhero for Edgar Wright‘s 2015 film. The only thing the article gets wrong is in calling Ant-Man a comedic character. There’s no doubt that Wright will bring some dry humor to the project, but the main character is a committed man of science, often singularly-focused, majorly conflicted and (thanks to Ultron) sometimes deeply unstable. But it’s easy to make the comic connection to Rudd. In the past few years, he’s settled into a public image as a semi-Straight Man comedian. Judd Apatow and Anchorman have ensured that, but his range as an actor is far larger than a disarming smile and unblinking delivery. For some, be’ll always be Josh from Clueless (or some grown-up variation), but the reason Rudd’s casting in Ant-Man is so perfect is his work as the desperate loser Adam Sorenson in The Shape of Things. Weakness, aggression, massive inner conflict, uneasiness and a profound lack of self-esteem were all present alongside genuine joy and kindness. I’m not saying those attributes will color Ant-Man, but it’s reassuring to know that Rudd can build a rounded character with the ability to drop jaws and break hearts. If you don’t need that in your CGI-fest, no sweat. Personally, I think it’s time we expect more from our superhero movies. Marvel has earned a lot of trust with their track record […]

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review anchorman 2

Comedy sequels hardly ever inspire confidence. Most attempt to recapture what worked about the first movie, but that’s never proved to be the right way to go about it. That decision tends to lead to a calculated and stale result, missing the point of why its predecessor caught on with an audience in the first place: it was unexpected. Thankfully we have one exception to the rule, and it’s called Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Co-writer/director Adam McKay‘s sequel stays in tune with the spirit of the first movie, and sometimes revisits beats as well, but that approach is fitting for characters aren’t exactly fond of change. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), Champ Kind (David Koechner), Bryan Fantana (Paul Rudd), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) are more or less the same people we saw in the first movie. The world is going through changes, but these four haven’t developed in the slightest. Some of the film’s best laughs come from them having to embrace these changes, like, having a black female boss. The movie starts with Ron Burgundy being fired, pushed away from his home, and, worst of all, working at SeaWorld. It’s the beginning of the end until a man, played by Dylan Baker, offers him an unlikely position as an anchor on a 24 hours news station. At first Burgundy scoffs at the idea, but when money comes into the equation, he takes the job and goes on a road trip to wrangle up his old news team. Bryan Fantana is […]

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cc prince avalanche

David Gordon Green‘s Prince Avalanche is a small, simple film with a pair of recognizable faces in Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. It wasn’t seen by many people in theaters, and that’s a real shame because it remains one of the year’s best films. Audiences will get a second chance starting next Tuesday though when it comes to Blu-ray and DVD. It’s the story of two men, Alvin and Lance, who discover a friendship and some unexpected self-realizations during an isolated summer spent working rural back roads after a devastating fire. They have nothing in common but loneliness, and while that sounds like a setup for drama the film finds joy in their conversations, disagreements, and personalities. After four acclaimed indie dramas and a mixed-bag of three studio comedies, this is easily Green’s best and purest film in years. Don’t let that scare you off though… it’s also incredibly funny. Keep reading to see what I heard during David Gordon Green’s commentary for Prince Avalanche.

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all-bright-640x426

We’ve seen Nicolas Cage lose his shit. Not just on the big screen, but with an infamous compilation of Cage’s finest moments of insanity. The only question is: why hasn’t Paul Giamatti gotten a video of his own? His performance in Ironclad alone would provide enough content. That’s just one example in a long line of Giamatti’s more bizarro choices — choices that Giamatti is proud to be able to make. As for his newest film, Phil Morrison’s All is Bright, Giamatti is fairly grounded as Dennis, an ex-con who heads to New York to sell Christmas trees with his old partner in crime Rene (Paul Rudd). All is Bright is a New Yorker dramedy with two Canadians at the center of it. We discussed the film, along with a wide range of topics, with Paul Giamatti at its press day:

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All is Bright

Ahhh, Christmas. Family get-togethers and warm cozy fireplaces and a significantly increased likelihood of depression. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the first trailer for All is Bright brings us just a little bit closer to the holiday season. All Is Bright touts your basic Christmas setup. Ex-con Dennis (Paul Giamatti) gets released on parole and wants to give his estranged daughter the greatest Christmas ever by buying her the piano she’s always wanted. But the only way to get the cash (and stay out of prison at the same time) is to hawk Christmas trees with his old buddy Rene (Paul Rudd). Check out the trailer for All Is Bright below.

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Prince_Avalanche_EmileHirsch_and_Paul_Rudd

Editor’s note: Rob’s review of Prince Avalanche originally ran during this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release this weekend. There are two David Gordon Greens. But this is news to no one, so I won’t bother breaking down the differences between the Green who directed the bleak, dramatic and emotionally oppressive Snow Angels and the one who made The Sitter, but let’s all just acknowledge the massive rift in quality, character and narrative and move forward from there. His first move away from serious dramas, Pineapple Express, was surprisingly funny and exciting, and Your Highness was a highly inconsistent mix of chuckles and misfires, but by the time The Sitter hit theaters in 2011, even his most ardent and highest supporters were silently slinking away. Hopefully they booked a return trip, though, as Green’s latest film, Prince Avalanche, is one of his best and manages a fantastic blend of big laughs and affecting characters with an honest look at an unlikely friendship between two very different men.

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david-gordon-green-the-sitter-movie-image

It’s been a rough few years for David Gordon Green. The once revered indie darling began to explore new territory as a filmmaker, making studio comedies with mixed results. Pineapple Express was met with a lot of love, but his two followups Your Highness and The Sitter were either dismissed or outright loathed. For those that shook their heads at his recent output, Prince Avalanche will be a welcome return to form for the director, and not only because it’s free of the studio system and a large budget. For Green, it’s a logical extension to the more under-the-radar work he’s been doing lately. The movie (which stars Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd as two sparring highway road workers) didn’t get a major press release when it began filming, it’s presented a low profile marketing-wise, and according to Green, there’s a reason for that.

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anchorman-commentary1

One of the funniest films of the new century is Adam McKay’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. While it didn’t necessarily launch Will Ferrell’s lucrative film career, it definitely put him on the map as a comedy A-lister. However, it did help Steve Carell go from a somewhat obscure TV and movie bit player to a funny man in movies. While Anchorman was still in release, Ferrell and McKay sat down to record an unconventional commentary, which includes mostly random (and often facetious) discussions with no relevance to the film. There are also surprise guests who drop by, including call-ins from Paul Rudd and Christina Applegate, as well as an in-person visit from David Koechner. In line with the film’s absurdity, some people who have nothing to do with the film whatsoever (including Andy Richter, Tenacious D’s Kyle Gass, and even legendary musician Lou Rawls) join in. This commentary is not to be taken seriously, and quite possibly the same can be said for this article. Still, who knows? There might be some nuggets of truth in here as well.

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avalanche

If you’ve been dying for David Gordon Green to stop making broad studio comedies and go back to making more interesting and unique projects like he did earlier in his career, then the new trailer for his upcoming indie dramedy Prince Avalanche is likely going to be a real treat for you. Because man does it look weird. The movie is a remake of an Icelandic comedy called Either Way, and basically it just involves Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch playing a couple of eccentrics who are forced to spend way too much time together while spending the summer painting lines on a long stretch of isolated roads. In many people’s hands that sort of non-story could potentially bore, but when it’s being handled by actors as charismatic as Rudd and Hirsch and it’s being shot by a filmmaker with an eye for photography as strong as Green’s, there’s really no need to worry. As you’ll see if you click through and watch the ad.

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Brick Anchorman 2 Teaser

We’ve got another half year before our eyes, ears and funny bones get ahold of Anchorman: The Legend Continues. The highly anticipated sequel is not even finished filming — though it is close to wrapping up, with shooting moved from Atlanta to New York City this week. To further whet our appetites, and probably to give official supplement to all the set photos of cameo appearances being regularly leaked, Paramount has unveiled a new trailer for the movie. You still won’t find any footage from The Legend Continues, however. Like the teasers we got a whole year ago, this is a simple promo  featuring our four favorite newsmen saying “something fun about the movie.” Well, except for Brick, of course, who doesn’t understand what to do. Again. He gives us some advice on how to avoid being mistaken for a pedophile and wishes us a belated happy Easter. The holiday greeting is kind of fitting, though, we’ll give him that. Narrator “Bill Lawson” introduces the latest teaser talking about returned figures such as Jesus and Jay-Z. Easter pertains to the former, obviously. See, Brick isn’t dumb after all. But Ron Burgandy sure is mean. He calls us fat face. And he thinks we’re going to come see his movie after such an insult? Okay, we will. We can’t wait to hear him call us names and for Champ and Brian to intoxicate us with their alcohol breath and snake venom cologne, respectively.

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published: 12.22.2014
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