The Five-Year Engagement

Interstellar flooding

With all the talk right now focused on the science of Interstellar, what it gets wrong and what it gets right, I think it’s time to switch the conversation over to the more appropriate discussion: the fiction. Yes, the genre label “science fiction” has two parts, and it’s the latter part that is more pertinent. Sci-fi is not supposed to be about authenticity. It doesn’t even have to be too plausible. Could we really be headed into a future when the Apollo missions are taught as having been a hoax? It doesn’t matter, no more than the likelihood that we’ll ever eat food made of people or that we’ll ever bring back the dinosaurs or ban sex or be able to travel inside others’ dreams or that the Nazis have secretly been on the Moon since World War II. The last is extremely silly, but in a relative manner to its tone, that doesn’t make it much different from any other speculative sci-fi plot. Interstellar is a movie. It’s cinematic storytelling inspired by the theories of Kip Thorne, not a lecture on them. As Christopher Nolan says in an interview with The Daily Beast, “to really take on the science of the film, you’re going to need to sit down with the film for a bit and probably also read Kip’s book. I know where we cheated in the way you have to cheat in movies, and I’ve made Kip aware of those things.” The question might be, considering all the criticisms, […]

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Quick A motorcycle courier finds himself targeted by police after a mysterious man forces him to deliver bombs to various addresses while an ex-girlfriend unlucky enough to have strapped an explosive helmet to her head comes along for the ride. This Korean effort takes the single plot thread of Speed and combines it with a lot of goofiness. The action runs the gamut of cartoony to thrilling, but it’s never less than entertaining. There’s also a little bit of heart to add more weight to the matter, but it’s never enough to extinguish the goofy fun. I’ll be honest… this is casual entertainment and a rental at best for most folks, but those of you as partial to Korean films as I am may want to pick it up too. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Making of, trailer, featurettes]

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The Reject Report - Large

No one was expecting this. The chances The Avengers had of breaking the opening weekend box office were slim. They were there, but few thought it was anywhere near reality. There’s a lot of egg on a lot of faces today. Not only did The Avengers beat Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s opening weekend take of $169.1m, it left every film that has ever been released in its dust. The first film to ever break $200m in its opening three days of US release – That’s to say nothing of the $441.5m it’s already made overseas – this is a milestone in Hollywood’s history that everyone thought would come one day. Not many thought it would happen in 2012.

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The Reject Report - Large

Cue the Don Henley, because the boys of Summer have arrived. The girls are here, too. We don’t want to sound like Moviefone over here. Boys, girls, aliens, piranha. They’re all being represented this Summer, and the first of many earth-shattering weekends is upon us. As with opening weekends of Summer’s past, the team over at Marvel have it all to themselves, this time with the culmination of years of tiring work. Will all the work be for naught? Hell naw. The Avengers is going to completely rule this weekend. The only question is what, if any, records will it be breaking. You take a look. We’re going back to Henley for the time being.

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Think Like a Man

Four new movies hit theaters this weekend, a few of them looking like valid candidates to take a strong win at the box office. However, it was a returning film, Think Like a Man, who stepped up, led the pack, and made every other film – including those newbies – look downright mediocre by comparison. Producer Will Packer, whose union with Screen Gems has created such timeless films as Obsessed and Takers, hasn’t had a film top the chart two weekend in a row since 2007 when Stomp the Yard came on strong. That film ended its run with $61.3m domestic and not much else overseas. Think Like a Man, with its current trajectory, is a lock to be Packer’s biggest movie for Screen Gems, as it’s nearing the $68.2m Obsessed pulled in during its release. Posters for Think Like a Man 2 have already been Photoshopped.

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Compared to Nicholas Stoller‘s two previous films, The Five-Year Engagement has a lot going on. While his prior efforts only covered a few days, Engagement‘s timeline, if you couldn’t guess, goes well over… five years. Fitting all that time in one movie mustn’t be easy, as well as all the drama and comedy that takes place in that same period. As Stoller described the long writing process, it wasn’t easy, but life saves such as When Harry Met Sally helped him get through it, along with the help of co-writer Jason Segel.  With their dramatic comedy, the frequent collaborators took on an idea not discussed enough in love stories: that no one is ever going to be 100% perfect for you. As you’d expect from Stoller and Segel, said idea is milked for every comedic turn possible. Here’s what co-writer/director Nicholas Stoller had to say about the long writing process, why he never screams, and how the world almost got the Eminem animated show it deserved:

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The Reject Report - Large

Movie fans can feel it. The Summer movie season is in the air, and we’ll be analyzing what it’s opening attack has to offer. For now, though, we’ve got four new films squaring off to soak up as much pre-Summer sun as they can, some of them sure to be more successful at that than others. Here’s a hint: the movie set in foggy Baltimore in the 1800s won’t be getting much sun. Another action film for the adult crowd and an animated yarn have better chances, but it’ll end up being the romantic comedy hitting that top spot here just before we’re flooded with superhero blockbusters. It’s the final Reject Report before Summer hits, and the flood of new movies this weekend is just one more indication that the industry has no urge to slow down now.

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Dynamic duo Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel continue their tangled professional careers together in The Five-Year Engagement, unlike the last film in which the pair split writing, with Stoller directing and Segel starring, Get Him to the Greek, their new film tackles some tough stuff in name of the comedy – marriage. The film centers on Segel’s Tom and Emily Blunt‘s Violet and their stumble to the altar. From the film’s first scenes, it’s obvious that Tom and Violet are very much in love, but a series of big life events that have nothing to do with their nuptials steadily pile up until it looks as if their five-year engagement will be just that, an engagement, with no wedding at the end. In the style of Stoller and Segel’s previous works, the film is both funny and true, and the addition of Judd Apatow as producer and a cast that includes Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Mindy Kaling, Rhys Ifans, Kevin Hart, Chris Parnell, and Brian Posehn only pumps up the film’s improv-influenced laughs. The press junket for The Five-Year Engagement was a laidback affair, and one that drove home the point that the film was a collaborative effort between people who actually like each other. Comprised of four roundtables of paired talent, your faithful Reject and a group of other online journalist spent time talking to Segel and Blunt, Nicholas Stoller and Judd Apatow, Brie and Kaling, and Parnell and Posehn. Revelations from the junket were not just confined to […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? A lot of nightly movie news columns are about life, this one is like a slice of cake. We begin tonight with the master himself, Alfred Hitchcock. More appropriately, we begin with Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock, the story of the making of Psycho. He’s got a bit of the look, in so much as he had the Nixon look. But as we know, even if he looks like Don Rickles playing Alfred Hitchcock, he’s likely to bring the thunda.

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Actress Emily Blunt has reportedly nabbed the female lead role in one of Tom Cruise‘s next projects, a sci-fi actioner not be confused with his Oblivion/Horizons that went through a long cycle of “short list” casting choices before settling on its two female leads. Fortunately, Doug Liman‘s All You Need is Kill has not subjected the movie news-consuming public to another drawn-out casting process and has just gone ahead and picked a dazzling lead. Variety reports that Blunt and Warner Bros. have ended a “long flirtation” for the part, with the Brit currently in talks for the role. The film is being adapted from a “light novel” of the same name by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, that centers on a new soldier (named Keiji Kiriya) who dies in his first battle – which happens to be against evil aliens who are taking over the Earth. Oddly enough, Keiji’s death is not the end of his life, as he wakes up every morning and relives the battle (and his death) over and over. It’s like a war-set sci-fi Groundhog Day. Blunt will reportedly play “another solider who fights alongside Cruise.” While I have not yet read the film’s highly lauded source material, a brief trip to the book’s Wikipedia page reveals a possible character for Blunt – “Rita Vrataski: A U.S. special forces soldier. Highly decorated and peerless in battle, she is seen as a hero by the entire world. In reality, she was caught in a time loop just like Keiji.” That […]

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Last month was eclectic. We got Disney‘s like-it-or-hate-it box-office bomb, a sweet and violent comedy following the goons of hockey, one ass-kicking and nonstop action picture, an 80s TV show adaptation that was better than it originally had any right to be, and a Tarsem kids’ film that defied most expectations based on that horror story of a trailer. A pretty strong March, and that’s not even counting The Hunger Games. Before we head into the unpredictable summer movie season, we got 30 days filled with a plenty of excellent and probably not-so-excellent releases coming out. Here are 8 1/2 movies worth seeing this month.

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It’s already the second day of 2012, which means we’ll all be sober within the next day or two. It also means that we can officially start looking (through blurry eyes) ahead to the future. A future of promise and potential. A future of hope. A future of tingling anticipation that the road stretched out in front of us that leads to the cinema will be paved with gold. Will there be piles of excrement along the way? Of course, but we don’t know how many or how badly they’ll tarnish our yellow-bricked roller coaster ride. All we can see from this far out is the shimmering wonder of movies to come – the vast unknown that looks wonderful (and might just live up to the hype). In past years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), we’ve gone with a fairly arbitrary count of 20-30 movies. This year, we decided to prove that there were 52 movies worth prematurely celebrating (even though what we found were many more). That’s one for every week (even if there are some weeks with a few and some weeks with none at all). Regardless of the number, Rob Hunter, Neil Miller, Kate Erbland, Allison Loring, Landon Palmer, Brian Salisbury and Cole Abaius have joined forces to remind us all that there are a lot of great movies to hope for this year. Go grab a calendar and pencil in everything that gets your blood pressure up toward unsafe levels. It’s going to be a busy, flick-filled […]

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The Best Movie Trailers of 2011

They say it’s hard to judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to world of cinema and movie marketing (and the plethora of films that hit theaters each weekend), it’s hard not to use a film’s three-minute long trailer to judge whether or not it will be something you’ll be interested in seeing (and with movie prices on the up and up, it’s hard to go in blind these days). The illustrious Jack Giroux and Allison Loring rounded up the top 11 trailers released over the past year. They’re both for films that came out in 2011 and either lived up to or fell short of their promise and for films due to be released next year that have begun teasing us early. Plus a few honorable mentions because Jack and I aren’t super great at math (we’re writers, and I’m pretty sure you can only be good at one or the other). From horror to action to comedy (and much discussion about the merits of underwear – you’ll see), our picks spanned the genres proving that it does not matter what type of film you are promoting, just whether or not you are able to grab people’s attention. Listed in no particular order, let us know in the comments if you agree, disagree or if there was a trailer you loved that we missed on our list.

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The trailer for The Five-Year Engagement doesn’t make it look like a movie I’m too excited to see. Which is strange, because it’s not just the latest film from director Nicholas Stoller, it’s also his latest writing collaboration with Jason Segel, and I love pretty much everything that these guys do. I think the problem is that this one looks like it’s going to be a romantic comedy that’s a little bit heavier on the relationship drama than it will be on the comedy. I like my Jason Segel more silly and whimsical than the one I’m seeing here, dealing with the trials and tribulations of loving a woman who’s career path is taking his life in a different direction than he saw it going. On the flip side of the coin, this little two-and-a-half minute trailer is pretty much the most comedy I’ve ever seen Segel’s co-star Emily Blunt do, and she seems to be rather good at it. Not every actor can do comedy, so you’re never sure what you’re going to get until they try. The image of Kate Hudson getting shot in the leg with an arrow really doesn’t do much for me, but when it happens to Blunt here I got my one solid laugh from the trailer. Emily Blunt certainly isn’t my issue. Check out the first trailer for The Five-Year Engagement after the break.

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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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