Todd Phillips

Bradley Cooper in The A-Team

Although Bradley Cooper was not physically onscreen during this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy as the feisty and volatile Rocket Raccoon, his role voicing the smallest defender of the universe put him squarely on the path to becoming a bonafide action star. That raccoon knew what he was doing around a ray gun. And no, starring in the 2010 reboot of The A-Team definitely does not count. Cooper has never been an actor who has sat idly in his roles, picking parts that run the gamut from comedy, to romance, to drama and satire; it’s a natural progression that transforming into an action star would be next. Warner Bros. has a plan, acquiring the book rights to Mack Bolan, a character created by Don Pendleton, to create a starring vehicle for Cooper. The author chronicled Bolan in 37 novels often referred to as “The Mafia Wars,” but ghostwriters kept him alive in hundred of other serializations over the years. Bolan is a tough as nails anti-terrorist operative who is all-American and bleeds red, white and blue. He’s often in extremely sticky situations, but pulls himself out unscathed — usually with a new romantic conquest at his side at the end of the adventure. Think along the lines if James Bond were from Massachusetts and served as a Green Beret.

read more...

Hangover Part 3

Summarizing the plot of a movie like Hangover 3 is a little pointless. Let’s face it, the plot is pretty much here just to get us from one joke to the next and to throw in some hijinks along the way. So Alan’s (Zach Galifianakis) been off his meds for six months, which causes typical Alan behavior which leads to the death of his father due to a stress-induced heart attack. The Wolfpack is called in to help stage an intervention, and Alan agrees to go to rehab in Arizona if Doug (Justin Bartha), Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) will drive him there. On the way, they’re kidnapped by a kingpin named Marshall (John Goodman) who’s looking for a fresh-from-escaping-Thai-prison Chow (Ken Jeong). Marshall keeps Doug (of course) and sets Alan, Phil and Stu free to find Chow and bring him back to swap him for Doug. That’s pretty much the gist of it. If it sounds familiar that’s because these films have never made it huge point to stray from the formula. The second entry is nearly a carbon copy of the first, but while this one goes slightly farther off the reservation, poor Doug is still missing for much of the film and they’re chasing Chow yet again. If you loved the first two, don’t worry, you’ll feel right at home with number three.

read more...

Hangover 3

The Hangover series has always been pretty self-aware. At least in ways that winked at the audience. With the trailer for Part III, they’ve all but winked down the fourth wall entirely. It doesn’t matter that terrible things happen whenever the Wolf Pack gets together because it’s funny. That’s the whole point, and it’s nice to know that our old friend Leslie Chow gets it. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s stolen some money from a very dangerous man (played, yes, by John Goodman) and now that man is taking a hostage (guess who) to ensure that The Pack gets that money back for him. The adventure brings them back to where their bond was forged, and it looks like they learn a valuable lesson about highway height clearance and zoo animals along the way. Check out the trailer for yourself:

read more...

003OSC_Will_Ferrell_009

This should make some of you feel old and question what you’ve accomplished since graduation: Old School turns 10 this Thursday. Maybe it doesn’t seem like it’s been around that long since you really started appreciating it on DVD, which played on a loop in your first off-campus apartment that you shared with your buds. But yep, the movie debuted in theaters February 21, 2003, coming in second at the box office behind the surprisingly steady Daredevil. And while it never reached #1 or made it to $100 million at the box office or wound up winning any major accolades (it was nominated for two MTV Movie Awards), it’s definitely one of the most memorable releases of that year and one of the most influential comedies of the decade — if not the most. And if you were in college around the time it came out, you should take a decade-later look. I can attest that it’s particularly hilarious if you’re in your mid to late 20s and still trying to hold on to your youth (as I was then) and even funnier once you’re in your mid to late 30s and married with a baby and nostalgic about those days thankful you’ve come so far since then. Let’s have a little reunion with Old School by watching a few favorite clips. Maybe later we’ll celebrate the anniversary by going streaking to Bed, Bath and Beyond if we have time.

read more...

The Hangover Hits the Road

As the vast majority of criticisms that were lobbed at Todd Phillips‘ The Hangover Part II derided the director for essentially remaking his own first film (this time, set in Thailand), it’s comforting that the third film in the franchise will move away from the structure of its predecessors. We’ve long had suspicions about where The Hangover Part III will go, and now the currently-filming production’s first official logline confirms – the Wolfpack is going on the road. Warner Bros. has just revealed (via ComingSoon) the official plot description for the film, which simply tells us: “This time, there’s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.” Points to WB for knowing exactly what we want to hear (if this description had included any words like “baby shower” or “vow renewal,” I would have eaten my hat).

read more...

Todd Phillips

After dominating the world with the comedic stylings of three hungover delinquents, Todd Phillips is making the wise decision to transition into serious drama. It makes sense. There’s a whisper thin line between laughs and abject sorrow, especially the kind of laughs that Phillips is used to eliciting, and he’s the kind of storyteller that can almost assuredly handle both with equal skill. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Phillips is about to take over the seat for The Gambler from a huge name in filmmaking. Martin Scorsese was previously planning on directing from a William Monahan script (which is, you know, not a bad partnership), but now Scorsese is out and Phillips is in talks with Paramount to craft a remake of the 1974 Karel Reisz movie starring James Caan as a literature professor who demolishes his own life with a gambling addiction. Obviously, obsessed men with behavioral problems fit right into Phillips’ wheelhouse, but the question is how he’ll work Mr. Creepy into the script. If the Monahan screenplay is still in play, Phillips may have just landed in a hell of a position to surprise a lot of people. Paramount would be wise to draw up the paperwork.

read more...

If you were one of the many people who complained that The Hangover Part II was nothing more than a tired retread of everything that had already been run into the ground about the original (and why wouldn’t you have been?), then it might come as good news that the makers of The Hangover Part III seem to already be taking steps to differentiate it from the first two films in the franchise. Then again, you might not end up thinking it’s good news at all. According to THR, perennial Hangover supporting actor Ken Jeong has officially signed on to once again appear in this third film, but unlike in the first two installments, where his character’s role in the story consisted of little more than popping in and out of the action to show us his penis, this time around Jeong will see his presence greatly expanded. While details of the plot are still safely guarded, it’s known that the latest set of party fouls will send the boys to Tijuana, and this new news indicates that Jeong’s Mr. Chow will presumably be along for the ride. Could this mean that he’s in line to be officially inducted into the Wolfpack?

read more...

Jay and Mark Duplass cut their teeth in the film world writing and directing weird, super-indie movies like The Puffy Chair and Baghead, and have only more recently started tipping their toes ever so slightly into the mainstream with works like Cyrus and Jeff, Who Lives at Home. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that Deadline Metairie is reporting the brothers have taken a job writing a film for Todd Phillips, king of the mainstream comedy. Especially since the brothers are famous for writing loose scripts that are heavy on improvisational acting, and this particular job requires that they adapt a novel. Let’s back up a bit. Back in February it was announced that Todd Phillips had renewed his first look agreement with Warner Bros., and there were a number of projects mentioned that he might be developing for the studio. One of them was called Mule, and was an adaptation of a Tony D’Souza novel of the same name. Amazon describes D’Souza’s book by saying: “James and Kate are golden children of the late twentieth century, flush with opportunity. But an economic downturn and an unexpected pregnancy send them searching for a way to make do. A friend in California’s Siskiyou County grows prime-grade marijuana; if James transports just one load from Cali to Florida, he’ll pull down enough cash to survive for months. And so begins the life of a mule.”

read more...

Danny McBride’s particular brand of humor seems to be one of those “love it or hate it” forms of entertainment. Some people watch what he does on Eastbound and Down and laugh hysterically, others just shake their head at it with a look of disapproval on their faces. So when Deadline Dragør breaks the news that he’s going to be starring in a new film that has the tagline, “two men and a 13-year old boy embark on an R-rated vacation,” you can probably guess how you’re going to react to it already. Those of you who will be disgusted should probably just move on to the next article, but for those of you who feel like such a film would tickle your funny bone, read on. Klovn is a Danish TV show turned feature that follows the misadventures of two characters named Casper and Frank. In the original film version they’re all set to go on a canoeing trip that they’re calling the “tour de pussy” when the bad news hits that Frank’s girlfriend is pregnant. Fearing that Frank is a total nincompoop who can’t take care of a kid, she wants to terminate the pregnancy. This doesn’t jibe with Frank’s sensibilities, however, so they strike a deal that if he can take her 11-year-old son along on the canoeing trip and not have any mishaps, then they can keep the new baby. This, of course, is a flawed plan, because the canoeing trip is planned not to be […]

read more...

Given the lukewarm critical response for Todd Phillips’ The Hangover Part II, there might not be many of you out there interested in seeing a third installment of his hard-partying series. But, the fact remains that the second film made enough money during its opening days to make an additional sequel pretty much an obligation, so a release date for The Hangover Part III has been set. This second sequel will hit theaters on May 4, 2013, with the whole gang back on board. For those keeping track, that’s a Memorial Day release, the same scheme that led to Part II raking in $581.5m worldwide. Those that fear a third film might as be as much of a retread as the second should keep in mind that we’ve been given indication this won’t be the case. There’s already been some comments made that point to the fact that this third film will deviate from the rigid plot structure of the first two; and a new quote from Phillips released by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures seems to back that up. “We’re going to surprise a lot of people with the final chapter we have planned,” Phillips claims. “It will be a fitting conclusion to our three-part opera of mayhem, despair and bad decisions.”

read more...

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Michael Bacall, co-screenwriter for Project X, has been hired to create a treatment for a possible sequel. Both producer Todd Phillips and Warners will get to decide whether they want to move forward with it, but only a money allergy (or some sort of artistic integrity) would keep them from doing so. With films like this, we’re all entering a new era where studios have gotten wise to the pitfalls of shelling out $400m for a budget and advertising on one movie. It’s no surprise then that movies made for $10m-$20m that provide steady returns are looking a bit shinier, and Project X2 would certainly fit that bill while piggybacking on sequel success. This is all about as unsurprising as Rush Limbaugh saying something offensive about women on air, but the real question is whether or not a movie like Project X will inevitably succumb to the don’t-wash-don’t-rinse-but-repeat story problems of The Hangover 2. With Phillips’s name attached, it’s an easy comparison, but it’s also easy because with movies that are exercises in one-upmanship, it seems natural that the sequel can do little but repeat and continue that challenge. Is there enough meat to the movie to transfer its characters over into a second helping? It doesn’t seem likely, but maybe Bacall has a trick up his sleeve. Or maybe it’ll just be another outrageous party…this time in college!

read more...

A character in Project X touts the onscreen house party as the most epic one of all time. There’s no doubting that. Filmmaker Nima Nourizadeh and screenwriters Michael Bacall and Matt Drake have conceived the most monumental scenes of suburban destruction that you’ll see outside of a Michael Bay film. The debauchery in this Todd Phillips-produced project, which was kept weirdly secretive under production and cast with mostly unknowns, reaches staggering heights. So in that sense the movie, shot as a faux-documentary, achieves what appears to be its only goal.

read more...

So I was watching the film The Descendants, and I couldn’t help but to laugh my ass off when the grandfather points to Nick Krause’s dumb-ass character and says “I’m going to hit you.” – Then, without any room for discussion he proves to be a man of his word. It got me thinking about some of the other great comedic punches out there, and soon enough I was assigning my wonder into list form. Violence and comedy together at last!

read more...

Director Todd Phillips has made three films for Warner Bros. so far: The Hangover, Due Date, and The Hangover Part II. Say what you will about their varying degrees of quality, but there’s no denying the fact that they were all huge financial successes for both Phillips and the studio, so Warner Bros. is obviously very committed to being in the Todd Phillips business. To that end they’ve signed him to a new first look deal that will keep him making movies for the studio until at least the end of 2013, and will give him first crack at quite a few potential projects. Deadline Dix Hills has a rundown of four different scripts that are all being put together as potential Phillips vehicles.

read more...

Have you noticed that songs about getting completely, vomitously, blacked out drunk are getting popular now? From Taio Cruz talking about his hangover and drinking until he throws up, to Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” and Far East Movement and whatever Ke$ha is, it’s a sobering trend. The generation that’s in high school and college right now is trying to get on dialysis as fast as possible. It’s a noble goal, but it’s still no excuse for buying Natty Light. Meanwhile, at least one film is celebrating the act of celebrating. Project X‘s first trailer was manic and hurried, but this second trailer (via Coming Soon) effectively gives as much backstory as the movie can muster: three high school kids want to make an impact after floating through unknown by their classmates. A party ensues, and then the party goes viral. Check out the party for yourself:

read more...

In our wondrous world of too much information, Todd Phillips has said zero words about Project X (except for a few that sounded like he was mocking people for being so hungry for news). Now, the trailer is out and so is the word. The story Phillips has produced with first-time feature director Nima Nourizadeh focuses on three high school boys who throw a house party in order to turn their reputations around, and as word of the party spreads, it grows to impossible proportions. So, yes, Phillips has kept word from spreading about a movie that’s plot is based on word spreading. The trailer is a fun, disastrous sizzle reel that looks like a rave promoter’s favorite footage, but there’s no hint to what the meat of the movie will be. There’s no personality here. On the other hand, there are a ton of bikini-clad ladies-who-are-far-too-attractive-to-actually-be-in-high-school and enough explosions to insinuate that the party gets attacked by the Cloverfield monster at some point.

read more...

Seeing as comedian/actor Zach Galifianakis is pretty much the closest modern equivalent we have to a mythical trickster, the things that he says should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Especially things he says in interviews, which he seems to hate doing. So, grain of salt firmly in place, in a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine Galifianakis has said that the plot of Hangover Part III would be about his character, Alan, getting locked up in a mental institution and the rest of the crew having to come together and break him out. Personally, I think that this sounds like a whole lot of nonsense that Galifianakis is pulling out of nowhere, but there is one quote in the article that rings very true. When initially talking about the possibility of a third Hangover, Galifianakis said, “They want to do a Hangover III. I’m getting fricking phone calls already.” The film already has a plot, and one of the leads is leaking it before the second one is even out of theaters? That’s not so believable. Execs are champing at the bit to get all of the main actors signed on to do a third film already? That’s something I very much believe. Despite the fact that The Hangover Part II debuted to a lukewarm critical reception, fans of the first film still came out in droves to get some more drunken obscenity. There is no way that the people in charge of writing and cashing the […]

read more...

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr follows Jamie Chung to Thailand, hoping to get married. Unfortunately, someone slips him roofies, which made him black out and spend a drunken night in Bangkok. Once he got out of that city, he headed over to China to become the new pot-bellied dragon warrior. After all, if a cartoon panda can do it, why can’t he? That didn’t stop him from spending another night in the hospital, and maybe a little time in a Bangkok jail. And then the real horror happened… Kevin saw The Tree of Life.

read more...

What do you do when you’ve made the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever? Well, you make a sequel and hope you strike gold one more time. And thus we have The Hangover Part II. Todd Phillips reunites the Wolfpack once again for yet another pre-wedding day disaster, this time set in the seedy underbelly of Bangkok. Stu (Ed Helms) prepares to marry anew, and much to the dismay of Phil (Bradley Cooper), intends to avoid any and all possibility of a repeat of his last bachelor party by, well, not having one. With a last minute, half-hearted wedding invite to Alan (Zach Galifianakis), the entire gang is on their way to Thailand. Following an uncomfortable dinner with the family of Stu’s soon-to-be wife Lauren (Jamie Chung) at the resort they are to wed, Stu is convinced to allow Lauren’s younger brother Teddy (Mason Lee) to accompany the boys to a simple beach bonfire with only a six pack to split between them. …and then The Hangover happens, or at least a pretty pale shadow of it.

read more...

This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with The Hangover Part II screenwriter Craig Mazin and continue the screenwriting/sequel theme with Kung Fu Panda 2 writers Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger. Plus, Katey Rich from Cinema Blend battles Jordan Raup of The Film Stage in the Movie News Pop Quiz Arena of Death. The result? You’ll have to listen to find out, but we end up talking about the bad week that 3D has been having. Reject Radio brings it on home this week, so kick off you shoes and stay awhile. Listen Here: Download This Episode

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3