Tyler Labine

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

A planet where apes evolved from men? Well, not exactly, if you follow the film versions of the Planet of the Apes series. Based somewhat on the fourth film in the series Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), Rise of the Planet of the Apes tells the story of how tinkering with genetic make-up of a species might just lead to humanity’s demise. Rise of the Planet of the Apes re-rebooted the more-than 40-year-old franchise and sets the stage for the much buzzed about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (we liked it a lot). It also gave an opportunity to show the nuance and artistry involved in performance capture, courtesy of Weta Digital and Andy Serkis For its initial Blu-ray and DVD release, director Rupert Wyatt sat down with his film and talked about the production in his stand-alone commentary. Along with some gushing over James Franco and an answer to the greatest meme of 2011 (“Why cookie rocket?”), Wyatt examines the technical side of the film as well as the performances for both human and non-human characters.

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Best Man Down

If the world of wedding-based reality TV has taught us anything, it’s that a wedding can be ruined by a multitude of factors, from drunk relatives to the table linens not being the right shade of pink that the bride designated in her order. But I think having your best man die the night of the wedding in his hotel room really shut up even the women from Bridezilla in terms of its awfulness. The trailer for Ted Koland‘s Best Man Down wastes no time sparing you the icky details. Scott (Justin Long) and Kristin (Jess Weixler) have a beautiful wedding and are preparing to jet off to their honeymoon when they discover  Scott’s best friend Lumpy (Tyler Labine) collapsed in his hotel room, dead of apparent alcohol poisoning. Instead of reveling in their marital bliss, the newlyweds have to fly home and use the money for Lumpy’s funeral, and as they discover, they actually didn’t know that much about their friend.

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Horror-comedies are a mixed bag. Often they’re not scary or violent enough to satisfy your horror boner, nor are they funny enough to tickle your funny bone(r). When they work well, you get an Evil Dead II or a Dead and Breakfast. When they fail you get…I don’t know, who remembers shitty horror-comedies? Tucker & Dale vs. Evil follows two lovable, well meaning rednecks through a series of misunderstandings that result in a group of vacationing college kids being convinced the duo are out to murder them. Like any educated group, the kids decide the best thing to do is to take the war to the hillbillies and try to kill them and rescue their “kidnapped” friend. Things go comically and fatally awry to great effect.

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Drinking Games

It’s the week after Thanksgiving, there’s Christmas music playing non-stop on the radio and people are getting pepper-sprayed at Wal-Mart during Black Friday video game stampedes. This can only mean one thing… it’s time for a kick-ass hillbilly horror comedy to come out on DVD and Blu-ray. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil had a fun little jaunt through limited release this fall, along with some premium-priced On Demand options. Now, everybody’s favorite West Virginia rednecks can come to your DVD or Blu-ray player and fight the evil that is college kids camping in the woods. And like our heroes Tucker and Dale, it’s best enjoyed with a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon (in a non-ironic way), or better yet: simple generic beer!

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With a title like A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, you should pretty much know what you’re getting yourself into. You’d be expecting things like drinking, nudity, funny situations, and hopefully, an actual orgy sometime in the third act. And in this case, you’d be pretty much right on the money. Co-writers Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck step behind the camera to try their hand at co-directing in this new comedy that does a lot right. Jason Sudeikis stars as Eric, a lovable guy in his 30s who lives to chew bubblegum and party…but he’s all out of bubblegum. Each weekend of the summer season, he and his Manhattan-dwelling friends break the bonds of their monotonous urban lives and escape to the breezy beauty of the Hamptons to throw epic soirees at his dad’s sweet beach house. These fancy fiestas are typically themed nights of debauchery designed to one-up the last drunken bash. Conflict occurs when Eric’s dad decides to put the beach house up for sale, basically forcing Sudeikis and the gang to throw one last huge blowout.

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After a painfully long time sitting around, waiting for the right distributor to come along, playing the festival circuit (I’m pretty sure it played South by Southwest two years in a row), the excellent genre comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is finally available for viewing in your home right effing now. For those who don’t remember, this is the Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine led comedy about two rednecks who are mistaken for Deliverance-esque killers by some backwoods camping coeds. The coeds think that Tucker and Dale kidnapped their uber-hot friend (30 Rock‘s Katrina Bowden), so they go on the attack. From there, hilarity ensues. For more of a refresher, please consider my glowing Tucker & Dale review from Sundance 2010. If I can’t convince you to see this movie on VOD, I’ve failed as an advocate of fun cinema. For information about which VOD services Tucker & Dale will be on, visit Magnolia Pictures’ website to see the list. I’ve also left a few great clips from the film after the jump. If you’d like to see this film in theaters, it opens limited on September 30.

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Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Are you tired of negative hillbilly stereotypes in horror films? I didn’t know I was. As a southern-born gent and lifelong film geek, whether I’ve wanted to or not, I’ve continued to possess a keen awareness of how the people of my region are represented in film.

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Do you like movies in which people are killed in creative ways? Do you like movies that will make you laugh so hard you may pee yourself? Do you like movies that do both? If so, this is your movie.

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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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