Paul Schneider

Paul Schneider

You enter with a compliment. This is how professional courtesy works – when you’re entering a room (typically a hotel room, often a nice one, usually stripped of things like beds and dressers, which gives most interview settings the feeling of intended disarray) to interview the talent associated with a film or a book or a television show or whatever it may be, you enter with a compliment. I really enjoyed the book, reading is a cool thing. I loved your performance in the season finale, especially when you died. I liked that scene where you have phone sex while in the same room as the other person. You were so good in this! It’s an icebreaker, and an expected one, and it normally doesn’t lead to anything beyond a pleasant start to a ten-minute chat that is recorded for later use. This is not what happened with Paul Schneider. 

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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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Goodbye to All That Casting

Schneider. Lynskey. Sedaris. Weston. Sold! Variety reports that indie film MVPs Paul Schneider, Melanie Lynskey, Amy Sedaris, and Celia Weston have all joined the cast of Angus MacLachlan‘s feature debut, Goodbye to All That. Additionally, other newly-announced cast members include Heather Lawless, Heather Graham, Anna Camp, and Ashley Hinshaw. That’s one heck of a wonderful cast but, considering that MacLachlan’s feature screenwriting debut was the critically lauded Amy Adams career-launcher Junebug, it’s no surprise that so many great talents would want to hitch their wagons to MacLachlan’s star. The film centers on “what happens to a man who’s unexpectedly divorced by his wife and forced to adapt to a new life, balancing the well-being of his daughter with his newly-complicated sex life.” While official casting notes on who is playing who have not yet been reported, it’s probably safe to say that Schneider will star in the central role (and the man knows his complicated sex, see: All the Real Girls). Perhaps Lynskey is set for the difficult role of unexpected ex-wife? Sounds wonderful. The film is set to start lensing in Winston-Salem, N.C. later this month.

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The Babymakers

You know that comedian at open mic night who provides too many tangential details in his set up and takes forever to get to the simplest of punchlines? This is the movie equivalent. With its thoroughly modern concept, The Babymakers follows a husband (Paul Schneider) who has to break into a sperm bank in order to get back his last viable batch of swimmers and impregnate his wife (Olivia Munn). It’s a fantastic spin on heist stories, and with Jay Chandrasekhar at the helm, there’s a sense of comedic prowess, but the movie itself gets bogged down in its gag set ups, leaving little room for pay off. There are some great moments, but the difficulty in making a story revolving around a sperm bank heist is that, as writers Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow most likely found out early on, it’s not all that hard to break into a sperm bank. It turns out that security is pretty lax considering the low resale street value of their stored goods. Unfortunately, instead of building up a natural set of situations leading up to the theft, the film wanders about aimlessly, backtracks, returns with a force, recants and then leaves its high concept for its climax.

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Jay Chandrasekhar’s twist on the bank heist film, The Babymakers, takes a somewhat clever and fun premise and buries it under muffled performances, piles of unfunny jokes, and a complete disregard for clarity of theme. The film is packed with all of the markers that we’ve come to expect from current Hangover and Apatow-inspired comedy – it’s raunchy and dirty and even occasionally offensive – but there’s no bite or originality behind any of it, it just feels tired and wrung out. Chandrasekhar’s shtick has worn thin since his best and ballsiest comedy, Super Troopers, and lensing a flick from writers Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow (best known for stuff like Black Knight and Say It Isn’t So) hasn’t done him any favors. The film centers on happily married pair Tommy (Paul Schneider) and Audrey (Olivia Munn) who decides it’s high time to conceive a baby. After months of trying, it becomes evident that there’s something amiss with either one or both of them, and when they discover it’s Tommy and his “confused sperm,” he lets slip that there’s no way that could be so. After all, he paid for Audrey’s engagement ring with money from donating his sperm for twenty weeks in a row. Oh – oops! She didn’t know that. Determined to win back his wife, Tommy and his pack of moronic pals (including Kevin Heffernan and Nat Faxon) cook up a plan to rob the sperm bank that’s holding Tommy’s last batch hostage, with help from a […]

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Over Under - Large

Today is Valentine’s Day, and a big part of what that entails is time spent thinking about the one you adore. And, for me, it means thinking about romantic movies. So what has happened is I’ve found myself reflecting a lot on my current mancrush Ryan Gosling, what films he’s done that explore the concepts of love and romance, and how I feel about each of them. And surprise, surprise, a column idea sprung forth. Today I’ll be looking at The Notebook, a film that a lot of people respond to very strongly, a film that most every girl you know loves, and a film that’s an instant panty dropper when thrown into casual conversations with hormonal coeds. Also, I’ll be looking at Lars and the Real Girl, a movie that’s well regarded among the people that have seen it, but that was too strange for many moviegoers to take a chance on, or for any mainstream award shows to champion. And also, it’s a movie that can mean instant death if you try to explain it to a girl in a bar.

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Olivia Munn

If you woke up this morning and felt you needed to see a trailer frothing over with semen jokes, it’s as if the planets have aligned to tell you that you need more therapy and that the redband trailer for Babymakers has poked its little head out onto the internet. This is the Broken Lizard movie that isn’t a Broken Lizard movie. Instead of the gang from Beerfest trying to impregnate everyone, it stars Olivia Munn and Paul Schneider (Away We Go, Lars and the Real Girl) as a couple who have trouble conceiving. Fortunately, Schneider’s character donated a bunch of great sperm years ago. Unfortunately, it’s all gone, so he has to try to steal some of it back. Good old Kevin “Farva” Heffernan is on board as the sidekick, and Jay Chandrasekhar is directing and playing an Indian mafia killer (complete with genuine Indian accent!). As for the rest of the Broken Lizard gang, they look like they’re relegated to the background here. 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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Say what you will about any of their movies, but Broken Lizard takes chances. They’re one of the only comedy groups that have successfully navigated the waters to continue translating their brand of humor to movies. If you don’t think it’s that hard, just ask The Whitest Kids U Know. Their latest is The Baby Makers – which should prove an interesting challenge since it wasn’t written by the group. The script from Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow (Black Knight, seriously, Black Knight) focuses on a man who discovers he can’t make baby juice anymore, so he hatches a plan with his friends to rob a sperm bank that has some of his deposits. Paul Schneider will be bringing his nuanced talent to the lead role, and now Variety is reporting that Olivia Munn has joined the cast as well. Her role isn’t clear at the moment, but it very well may be the wife of the newly impotent robber. Munn played a small role in Slammin’ Salmon – as the bitchy, trying-too-hard girlfriend of a man trying to propose – and her appeal is pretty obvious (considering she’s willing to dress up like Chun Li and lick an Apple TV), but her personality is way too caustic. It doesn’t seem to fit with the overall (sometimes mindless) joy that Broken Lizard brings to projects, although it might make a nice foil. Who knows. Maybe her character will call for exactly what she has to offer.

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The next film from Broken Lizard, the comedy troupe behind such movies you’ve probably watched in a college apartment as Super Troopers and Beerfest, is now in development and has a leading actor signed. The Baby Makers will be directed by Broken Lizard mainstay Jay Chandrasekhar from a script by Ice Age: The Meltdown writers Peter Gaulke and Jerry Swallow. As for that leading actor, the comedy troupe has scooped up indie darling Paul Schneider for the starring role. You may know him from such things as All the Real Girls, Lars and the Real Girl, and plenty of other things that don’t have the words ‘real’ and ‘girl’ in the title. The film will be about a young couple who are having trouble conceiving, which leads to the husband convincing his friends to help him break into a sperm bank and retrieve a donation he made there when you was younger. In addition to Schneider, The Baby Makers will also star Kevin Heffernan as the nutty best friend, Chandrasekhar as an Estonian thief, and other Broken Lizard members such as Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske doing who knows what. I’m not as big a fan of Broken Lizard’s movies as many other people seem to be, but they’ve had some strong moments, and I do have kind of a giant man crush on Paul Schneider, so I’m looking forward to giving this one a chance. [Variety]

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brightstar-review1

Jane Campion’s ‘Bright Star’ is an intensely romantic film that’s never trite or dated, despite its PG rating and early 19th century setting.

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