Tony Hale

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This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. In a few days, The Kings of Summer opens in theaters. One of our favorites out of Sundance this year (where it was titled Toy’s House), the coming-of-age dramedy is filled with big laughs, a huge amount of heart and great performances from a handful of young actors who are all sure to go places. Also on the rise now is director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, a veteran of web and TV work who now enters the big time with this feature directorial debut. In an interview with AFI this year, he declared that this is only the beginning for him with feature filmmaking: “That’s why i’m here. I grew up falling in love with movies and the worlds they created. That’s my priority and that’s where I want to be.” Fortunately for us short subject lovers, he’s not against continuing non-feature stuff on the side. He admits to enjoying all mediums, including commercials, and wants to do a second season of his Comedy Central show with T.J. Miller, Mash Up. Hopefully he also makes more legitimate short films, because he’s shown a terrific grasp for not just concise storytelling but also an awareness for what sort of running time suits a particular story. Thanks to Vogt-Roberts having a well-stocked Vimeo page, we’re able to see a lot of his prior short and sketch work, and this week I’d […]

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Since its cancellation in 2006, fans of the extremely cult-hit Arrested Development have been clamoring for a film continuation to their beloved series. In the years since, the project has been off and on more times than Edward and Bella’s wedding plans, but today series creator Mitch Hurwitz, along with the rest of the cast at The New Yorker Festival dropped some news that should send all fans into a tail spin. If the announcement is to believed, it has been confirmed that the series is set to return for a 9-10 episode mini-series that would lead directly into a motion picture. The mini-series would serve the purpose of explaining what all the various lead characters have been doing for the last five years and each episode would focus on a single character. In addition to this, Deadline was able to obtain information that Showtime and Netflix were in talks with 20th Century Fox Television (who owns the property) to broadcast the mini-series which is supposedly set for an early 2013 air date. Got all that? Good, because here’s the hitch…

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Happythankyoumoreplease unfolds in familiarly quirky, coming-of-age indie territory. Yet, despite its propensity for clichés and occasionally sappy tone, as exemplified by the film’s tagline – “go get yourself loved” – there’s an uncomfortable honesty at the heart of writer-director-star Josh Radnor’s first behind-the-camera effort. Somehow, the manifold plot devices (alopecia, photography, a cute foster kid) never detract from the picture’s winning evocation of the peculiar status of life spent as a struggling twenty-something, barely afloat in New York City. Radnor’s script is well-attuned to the lonely disorientation of being young and less than wealthy in the increasingly gentrified, high-end Big Apple and the daunting soul-searching that comes with the realization that maybe you were never meant to make it.

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There is a fine line to walk as an indie dramedy, and HappyThankYouMorePlease seems to walk right up to the line and then raise its eyebrow. On the optimistic front, Neil really loved it when he saw it at Sundance last year and talked it up as the natural next step in the evolution of romantic comedies signified by 500 Days of Summer. The comparison seems obvious even from just the trailer, but Josh Radnor (of How I Met Your Mother) seems to want to juggle more than one relationship here with his writing/directing/starring debut. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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In My Sleep

Here’s an exclusive look at an interesting film currently making the rounds on the festival circuit, gearing up for a limited release at the end of the month. It’s called In My Sleep, and it’s from first time director Allen Wolf.

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Kevin Carr takes a look at this week’s movie releases, including Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Informant! and Jennifer’s Body.

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The 2009 competition lineup for the Sundance Film Festival has been announced, and among the entries are some big names and some small ones, all of which are intriguing nonetheless.

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It was just last week that we were talking about how we are glad to see the whole Jill storyline end, and it was also wonderfully comforting to see Chuck back in his old, spy skill-free ways. And it appears that this trend is going to continue…

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Completely aware of how lazy I am for missing two weeks of Chuck recaps, I return with a big, geekirific update on all things Chuck — including the show’s ever growing bank full of geek cred.

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Chuck Versus The Ex

Chuck’s former flame shows up in the form of Jordana Brewster, who brings with her a crazy biochemical weapon to town, forcing Chuck to fight both old feelings and terrorism at the same time.

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The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah

From the elongated name to its Sahara-dry wit, An American Messiah is indie all around the edges. It borrows from the awkward-stare classroom of comedy that Christopher Guest perfected and Michael Scott made new again, but director Christopher Hansen and company have chosen to focus on The Almighty. Sort of.

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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