Tropic Thunder

IntroAwardShows

It’s silly to think that the outcome of Sunday’s Academy Awards is going to somehow change anything about the films nominated, just like it is silly to get any kinds of worked up about it unless you yourself happen to be up for an award. Really, the fun of the Oscars is watching all those unquenchable egos sitting under one roof, patting each other on the back in the form of golden naked men. So in the honor of emotional extremity, let us look back on the greater award show moments in films – some of which portraying the very ceremony they hope to be a part of.

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As far as I can tell, regular folk don’t care for movies about movies or films about filmmaking. They used to, back when Hollywood was a more glamourous and idolized place for Americans. Classics like Sunset Boulevard, Singin’ in the Rain, The Bad and the Beautiful and the 1954 version of A Star is Born were among the top-grossing releases of their time. But 60 years later, it seems the only people really interested in stories of Hollywood, actors, directors, screenwriters, et al. are people involved with the film industry — the self-indulgence being one step below all the awards nonsense — and movie geeks, including film critics and fans. If you’re reading Film School Rejects, you’re not one of the aforementioned “regular folk,” and you probably get more of a kick out of stuff like Living in Oblivion, Ed Wood, Get Shorty, State and Main, The Hard Way, The Last Tycoon, The Stunt Man, The Big Picture, The Player, Bowfinger, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Argo than those people do. While it is true that The Artist faced the challenge of being a silent film, another major obstacle in the way of box office success must have been its Hollywood setting. Argo isn’t really literally about filmmaking, though, and that might be working in its favor. Ben Affleck‘s period thriller, which is expected to finally take the top spot at the box office this weekend, is about not making a film, so it should have the opposite result of most movies in which […]

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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!

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Boiling Point

They say laughter is the best medicine and well, world, I’m dying here. I need my medicine. I need to laugh. I need to be entertained, but it seems every time I try to chuckle these days, someones standing right there to make me feel bad about it. Over the last few weeks in this column, I’ve mostly pointed the finger at big corporate entities bowing to some outside force, whether it’s a perceived notion that they must be politically correct to the point of being historically incorrect or whether it’s removing a joke that probably cost thousands of dollars to animate to not offend a small handful of people in a far off land with a disease that’s rapidly disappearing. Today, I point my finger elsewhere. I point it at you. I point it at them. I point it at us, a society that has lost its sense of humor – and that is a damn shame.

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Boiling Point

As much fun as it would be to pick on SOPA/PIPA some more and make some jokes about how “SOPA,” when said aloud, is Spanish for soup, this is something entirely different. Oh, it still has to deal with censorship, but this is some self-imposed completely idiotic and maddening censorship. On air, movies and television have to play by a set of rules. These rules aren’t totally set in stone, but basically there are some words you can say and some you can’t say. Then there are some you can sort of say, but mostly only in the right context. An example? Pretty much any show on at any time could say “bitch” meaning female dog, because that’s just the definition of the word. If you want to call someone a bitch, generally that’s kept to after 8pm. Cable gets a bigger break than network, as it’s a paid service, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to fines and more importantly, advertiser backlash, so everyone kind of plays with kid gloves. Of course, it’s parents who should be responsible for policing the television. If a show wants to say bad words, let them. Put it on after 8pm, put a “Language” notice on it, and parents can set their TVs to block it. Easy cakes. I mean, I still don’t understand why HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax won’t show hardcore porn, because why not, amirite? But I’m getting distracted by the thoughts of boobies. This boiling point is specifically about language. […]

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Let’s face it. If you need to threaten an enemy from a middle range distance, clear a ton of jungle in a hurry or carmelize the top of a crème brûlée, there’s nothing better for the job than a flamethrower. It’s a gun that throws fire. As your head wraps around that awesome concept (just as it does on a daily basis when you daydream about owning one), consider this beautiful instrument of destruction’s place in film. Sure, Bellflower comes out this week (and should energize you to convert daydreaming into action), but there’s a storied history here to uncover, and a future that’s assured to be bright enough to demand protective gear. Here are just a handful of movies that put the flamethrower on the burnt pedestal it deserves to sit upon.

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While attending the first-ever Comedy Awards Bill Hader stopped to have a chat with MTV cameras and gave up a few details about the Les Grossman spinoff of Tropic Thunder that has been rumored for a while. As it turns out, the project is not only still going forward, but the script has been completed. Hader says that Michael Bacall, one of the screenwriters on last year’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, wrote the script and that, “he’s told me some really funny scenes from it.” When the Grossman film was first reported last June, Neil Miller posited whether or not the character would be rich enough in story to anchor his own film, with the ultimate theory being that Cruise had enough clout to gather together the talent to make it work. I’d say that with the hiring of Bacall to write the script, this scenario is looking very possible. I loved what Bacall and Edgar Wright were able to do with their Scott Pilgrim adaptation, and I’m interested in seeing something of his that’s original. Factor in that Cruise has enough enthusiasm for the Grossman character to have already revisited him for vignettes leading up to the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, and I’m sure they chose very carefully when deciding who they wanted to write the script. Hader, at the very least, seems to already be confident in the project. He has gone on record as saying, “it’s gonna be great.” So, yeah, an actor has told MTV […]

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Les Grossman

Spin-off movies are interesting territory. Most often, the concept behind a spin-off film involves a character who got very little, but meaningful screen time getting fleshed out into their own movie. This is where problems arise — sometimes there simply isn’t enough fleshing to be done. Such is the (possible) case with the character of Les Grossman, as played by Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder.

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This Les Grossman stuff never gets old. This time he — and by he, I mean Tom Cruise’s most hilarious character to date — is giving style tips to Twilight stars Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.

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Coming soon: Blue Steel vs. Ask Me About My Wiener. All things are possible, if you’re Justin Theroux.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we laugh and cry about the state of independent filmmaking while eating leftover Halloween candy.

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BanksLiTherouxMortonCasting

Casting announcements shoot across the net almost every day, but not every announcement, rumor, or speculation deserves its own post. Of course we’d be remiss in our duties as the web’s premier source of movie news, reviews, and snark if we didn’t cover them in some fashion… so welcome to the Casting Net!

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Jay Baruchel Falling Over Himself to do Slapstick.

Last year, we got blackface back as a performance art. Now Jay Baruchel seeks to bring another vaudevillian art form back into the mainstream.

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mcadamsholmes-1

We’ve got some first look pictures of Rachel McAdams in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, as well as Robert Downey Jr. talking about his Oscar nomination for Tropic Thunder.

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2008review-memorable

With such a memorable year, it was hard to pick the top ten memorable scenes from all the films. Of course, to be fair, I had to choose only one scene from any given movie (otherwise, The Dark Knight would easily take five or six spots on the list).

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2008review-dvd

As part of our Year in Review, we’ve asked our resident DVDologist Brian Gibson to lay down his 15 favorite releases from 2008.

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2008review-editorspicks

As is customary this time of year, it is my duty (and honor) to present you my list of the Ten Best Films of 2008. And in the past year we’ve seen an interesting range of films, have we not?

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2008review-posters

It is time once again for the FSR Year in Review, our annual week of lists and recaps, counting down the very best in film for the year. We begin our quest with the place where most cinematic journeys start, with a great movie poster.

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2008review-disappointments

How (puke-colored) green was our valley in 2008? I offer ten instances in film that did not live up to a certain amount of hype, didn’t get the credit they deserved, or just flat-out disappointed the general public.

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awdsmustsee-header

Are you an awards season junkie? Do you love to be able to sit there and look smart in front of your friends and family, most of whom only make it out to the movies once a year to see the latest Jim Carrey comedy, by being able to talk endlessly about all of the “important” movies of the year? If so, consider this your awards season to-do list.Fr

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