Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe in Sex Tape

Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) used to love to fuck. Having hooked up in college, they would screw in her dorm, in his car, in the library stacks, even behind a tree. Ten years, two kids and one marriage later, that spark has apparently vanished, prompting the desperate couple to film a comprehensive reenactment of “The Joy of Sex” in a bid to get it back. However, this being 2014, their exploits have been filmed with an iPad and not on a video camera, allowing the file to handily vanish into the little-understood Cloud for storage. As a radio DJ, Jay has an unlikely amount of iPads at his disposal and hands them off to friends and family once he’s done with them, and as a mommy blogger, Annie is dreadfully worried that their three-hour lovemaking session might be seen by anyone they’ve given a device, including her wholesome new employer, Hank (Rob Lowe). To watch Sex Tape is to gloss over the practical hurdles of file-sharing and the leads’ repeated reminders of the Apple tablet’s many merits. To watch it is to reinforce the shameful, fearful mindset with which many Americans regard sex while ignoring the distancing effect technology can have on our everyday lives. Furthermore, to watch it is to endure a constant strain as director Jake Kasdan (Zero Effect; Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) struggles to mine the panicky high-concept premise for three acts’ worth of story, let alone 90 minutes of laughs.

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sex tape roller skate sex

A couple weeks ago on an episode of the Broken Projector podcast, Scott and Geoff discussed movies that became dated by the technology on display, particularly if that tech was integral to the plot. I could only think of them doing a follow-up piece while watching the new Red Band trailer for Sex Tape. The comedy, which stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel as a couple who accidentally share their three-hour personal porn with all their friends and family and bosses, is so filled with references to iPads, the Cloud, Siri and Macbooks that not only do I feel the whole thing was financed by Apple but that it resembles a landfill from 2017 — not necessarily a physical one but a garbage dump of culture. These are things that eventually will be outdated, and when that happens, this movie is going to resemble You’ve Got Mail. Only without the sweetness that is making that AOL commercial of a movie celebrated after 15 years (can you imagine a You’ve Got Mail Red Band trailer?). Sex Tape is, instead, a raunchy comedy with plenty of intercourse, cocaine usage, animal cruelty and I bet Segel’s balls wind up on screen at some point, too. It’s also about people with enough money to give out iPads as gifts to everyone they know — see, the way their sex tape is shared with everyone from grandma to Robs Corddry and Lowe (he’s Diaz’s boss) is that it’s uploaded to the Cloud and rained down […]

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lowe

Now that Rob Lowe has broken the world’s hearts by announcing that he’s going to soon be stepping away from his regular role on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, he’s going to have to work awful hard to make up for the disappointment he’s made us all feel. In particular, he’s going to have to make up for it by taking lots of movie roles, and preferably in comedies, so he can continue to exercise that bulging laugh-making muscle he proved to us he had with his sitcom work. The good news on that front is that Lowe has already signed up for a post-Parks comedy. According to Deadline, art is going to imitate an unfortunate incident from the early part of Lowe’s life in the spotlight, as he’s agreed to appear in the new comedy from director Jake Kasdan (Walk Hard, Bad Teacher), Sex Tape.

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review knife fight

Politics is a dirty, mean-spirited, no-good business, and even the purest of souls who enter come out the other end tainted by the unavoidable compromises necessary to survive the experience. This comes as news to no one of course, least of all the filmmakers behind the new film Knife Fight… but that doesn’t mean they fully agree with it. Paul Turner (Rob Lowe) is a campaign manager happily saddled with the nickname “The Master of Disaster.” When politicians are discovered in bed with a dead girl, a live boy or a quadriplegic orangutang Turner and his assistant Kerstin (Jamie Chung) are the ones they rely on to spin things back in their favor. His current slate includes an infidelity-prone Kentucky governor (Eric McCormack) in a tight re-election race and a California Senator (David Harbour) accused of sexual impropriety during a massage. Also begging for his assistance is a Mission District doctor (Carrie-Ann Moss) who’s decided she can reach and help the most people by running for governor. When Turner’s actions lead directly to a near tragedy though he’s forced to reconsider how best to employ his particular skill set.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr hunkers down and braces for award season. He also prepares for an onslaught of celebrity guest stars in New Year’s Eve, which features a poster that looks like a “Friends available to chat” sidebar on Facebook. In order to watch all the movies for the week, Kevin hires the only babysitter available… Jonah Hill. What could possibly go wrong with that? Fortunately this frees him up to see some of the smaller releases, like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, W.E. and I Melt with You. And he wraps up the week wondering why everyone needs to talk about him.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Ben Solovey explains why he’s personally restoring a 16mm print of Manos: The Hands of Fate, one of the worst movies ever made. Plus, I Melt With You director Mark Pellington talks drugs and demons, and it’s Fat Guy Kevin Carr versus Geek Tyrant editor-in-chief Jim Napier in a Movie News Pop Quiz that will change everything forever and ever. Download This Episode

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What happens when four grown men get together for a weekend away from their families and jobs? They turn into drugged-up, sexed-up frat guys! (Naturally?) College buddies Richard (Thomas Jane), Jonathan (Rob Lowe), Ron (Jeremy Piven), and Tim (Christian McKay) come together for a weekend not just away from their lives, but apparently also away from their own minds. As soon as Doctor Jon shows up with his medical bag full of enough pills, powders, and injections to make you the most popular person at an NA meeting, the boys jump down the rabbit hole of excess and never look back. Mark Pellington‘s I Melt With You will make you thankful that most frats (or guys that age) do not have access to expensive toys like cars, boats, cliffside vacation homes, and more drugs than Michael Jackson would even know what to do with (sorry, MJ). I understand escapism and wanting to indulge every so often, but I Melt With You crosses the line from self-destruction into just plain destruction so quickly that it will leave you feeling as if you are reeling from your own all-night bender.

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Sundance trainwrecks are of particular interest to me. You would think that a film being accepted into Sundance would somehow guarantee that it would be of of a certain quality – yet, sometimes, that “certain” quality just means “bad.” Or, at least in the case of Mark Pellington‘s I Melt With You, it means divisive and different. At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, a few films became infamous almost immediately, thanks to mass walkouts during screenings – the two most publicized examples were The Son of No One and I Melt With You. Pellington’s film reportedly saw a large number of walkouts during its first press screening at the fest (the number bandied about said to include fifty people, and I can vouch for knowing a number of people who did walk out, though not nearly fifty). I didn’t catch the film at Sundance, but our own music guru Allison Loring did, and said of the film, “it’s like a really long, really fucked up music video, just lots of fast cuts – booze, sex, drugs, booze, craziness, drugs, LOUD MUSIC.” The film centers on four middle-aged buds (Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Christian McKay, and Rob Lowe) who go on a boys’ weekend at Big Sur to blow off some major steam. But there’s a twist. Check out the new red band trailer for I Melt With You after the break. Be ready to prove your age (by way of a very sophisticated drop-down menu).

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After initially enjoying the quiet dramatic concept of I Melt With You as well as the directorial work of Mark Pellington, it was inevitable that we’d keep a close eye on any news that came out about the project. After all, four college friends reuniting because of a death/murder pact is interesting territory, and Tom Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, and who we’ve heard is playing the fourth friend are all names to keep on the radar. Now here’s another. Sort of. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sasha Grey is in close talks to co-star in the film as a “free spirit who helps one of the men realize that nirvana can only be achieved by death.” I’ll have to assume that the article meant “interracial gang bang” instead of “death.” This will be a second shot at an acting world that doesn’t involve double penetration, but Grey didn’t exactly wow the pants off of me when she starred in The Girlfriend Experience. She had some moments, but overall her acting skills leave a lot to be desired. The production has also gained television’s Zander Eckhouse as Grey’s character’s writer boyfriend, Abhi Sinha from The Social Network, and Arielle Kebbel.

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dvd-drinking-game

This week’s drinking game teaches us to lie with The Invention of Lying and how to murder people in a show storm with Whiteout… or it’ll just get you drunk.

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inventionoflying-header

Ricky Gervais’ new movie is funny, for sure, but most notable for its genuine sweetness.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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