Vince Vaughn

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Brett (Chris Pratt) is a family man at the end of his rope. His career is in tatters after losing his law license, his wife is probably cheating on him, and his four young children, while adorable, will probably be the death of him. His status as a stay at home dad hasn’t earned him any more respect from his kids, and on the rare days when he wakes up feeling pretty good about his life a single call from his mother is all it takes to remind him of his multiple failures. A chance at redemption comes when he discovers his best friend has just been named in a civil lawsuit. It seems some sperm donations made two decades prior resulted in a few children, and the now grown-up progeny are suing for the right to know the identity of their biological father. It has the potential to be a groundbreaking case, and the idea of being the lawyer at the center of it all both excites and terrifies Brett. He gets his license reinstated, packs his kids’ lunches, and dives in to the deep end for the trial of his life. Ah what could have been. Unfortunately, Delivery Man is not about Brett, his struggle for self-respect, or a trial with far-reaching moral and legal implications. Instead it’s the story of his best friend, David (Vince Vaughn), a mediocre man who discovers 533 reasons why he should be a better one.

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The terms “Vince Vaughn” and “action thriller” don’t exactly gel, but expect that to change in the near future. The Wrap reports that the Vaughn-starring action thriller Term Life (nope, still doesn’t sound right) has just added another name to its cast- Hailee Steinfeld.

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frost-marsden

Given Vince Vaughn’s recent output, it’s kind of hard to be too enthusiastic about the news that he’s set to star in an upcoming comedy with the generic title Business Trip—especially since it’s being brought to us by a director who we haven’t yet seen all that much from. But given that this is the reality we’re living in, it would behoove us to find a silver lining in this comedy cloud, and so far that silver lining seems to be the supporting cast that director Ken Scott is putting together. Already we’ve gotten word that the younger, cuter, less weird Franco, Dave Franco, is going to be playing a supporting role in the film, and now The Wrap has a report that two more actors who are known commodities are negotiating to come on board as well—one who is a proven comedic powerhouse, and one who has shown some potential for doing well in the genre.

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vaughn_bestof

In honor of the release of The Internship being the largest release upon the masses this weekend, we’ve got it in our heads that we should talk about the film’s biggest star, arguably Vince Vaughn, and try to settle the question of his best performance. Known mostly for more recent comedic work in things like Dodgeball, Wedding Crashers, Old School and the like, the Minneapolis, MN native has had a fairly long and interesting career. From his early work in television (he once had a guest roles on Doogie Howser, M.D. and 21 Jump Street) to his breakout performance in Swingers, he’s been around for a while and he’s done more than just speak jokes written by Adam McKay. With that in mind, we put the entirety of our career to our panel of writers, asking simply: what is Vince Vaughn’s best performance to date. Their answers (and a place for your own) can be found below.

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The Internship

It starts promisingly enough. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are in a convertible, cruising to a highly important business dinner, chattering away incessantly, and alternating between their brand of fast-talking bullshit and slightly outdated cultural references. It feels familiar (because it is), but it also feels funny and zippy and like a very fine start to the long-desired follow-up to the duo’s wildly popular Wedding Crashers. It goes downhill quite quickly. The boys may be back at their old confidence game – but whereas they spent the vast majority of Wedding Crashers pulling off gags they were well suited for, Shawn Levy’s The Internship is about what happens when your confidence doesn’t match your skill set (in the least). Of course, the highly important business dinner doesn’t pan out – Vaughn’s Billy and Wilson’s Nick are a working team who have long squeezed direct sales for John Goodman’s old school joint, and such organizations just aren’t cutting it anymore – and the two are tossed out on their collective asses. Jobless, penniless, and skill-less, the two come up with a harebrained scheme to enter the modern market in a big way – by lying about their qualifications to land a pair of highly competitive internships at Google. Unbelievably enough, they get the gigs and soon ship out for sunny California and the veritable paradise that is Google (sick of hearing about Google yet? Imagine how you’ll feel after two hours of Google chatter).

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Shawn Levy

The Internship is kind of a bizarre comedy. It removes the potential for mean-spirited humor by not featuring two leads consistently bust each other’s balls. Director Shawn Levy‘s film is somewhat of an anti-ironic comedy, to the point where that type of self-impressed smirking is literally put down in the movie itself. That makes sense when you consider Levy’s body of work. His movies are as innocent and audience-friendly as one can imagine. From The Night at the Museum movies to, a personal favorite, Big Fat Liar, there’s zero cynicism in their content. For his reunion film between Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, Levy explores potentially depressing material: two friends whose lives fall out from under them and, once they start interning at Google, the possibility of failure is always high. In spite of their low chances of obtaining a full-time position at Google, the two characters, and Levy, remain optimistic. This comedy represents another new direction for Levy, who doesn’t want to remained branded as “the family comedy” guy. With Real Steel, The Internship, This is Where I Leave You, and a slew of future projects on his plate, Levy says he’s “just getting warmed up” as a filmmaker. I briefly encountered Levy a few years ago at the premiere for Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian where his enthusiasm level was high, and now four years later, speaking with him at 5 a.m. his time, that enthusiasm was still somehow intact. Here’s what came out of our early morning discussion:

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Editor’s note: Lay The Favorite hits limited release this Friday, though it doesn’t seem like a solid bet for your movie-going dollar. Find out why with the following Sundance review, originally published on January 23, 2012. There’s one thing that becomes quite clear, quite quickly as Stephen Frears‘s Lay The Favorite begins: not everyone should do voiceover work. Rebecca Hall (who stars as Beth Raymer) sadly falls squarely into that category and her baby voice stays with her throughout the entire film, grating on already-frayed nerves. Lay The Favorite tells Beth’s baby-voiced story as she tries to figure out her purpose in life at a job that will be stimulating and make her good money (don’t we all, Beth). The best place to pursue such a dream? Las Vegas, of course! Beth packs up her life (and dog Otis) and heads west with stars in her eyes. Ready and willing to do anything, Beth quickly makes friends with Holly (Laura Prepon) who turns her on to a job with Dink Heimowtiz (Bruce Willis) who runs a legal (at least in Vegas) gambling company (Dink Inc., of course) that bets on anything and everything, but mainly sporting events. Dink’s world is filled with exactly the type of excitement and stimulation Beth was hoping for and despite her baby talk, daddy issues (no matter what she says) and constant hair chewing, Dink takes a shine to her and agrees to bring her on.

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Christoph Waltz

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily roundup of all the casting news you care about, and maybe (probably) one or two items you don’t. Some info has finally leaked about James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller’s upcoming sequel to The Muppets. Turns out it’s going to be a caper movie, somewhat along the lines of The Great Muppet Caper, but with more of an international flair. How international? So international that THR is reporting they’re closing in on signing Christoph Waltz to play one of the main, non-Muppet roles—that of an Interpol inspector. Other important parts for humans are said to include a Russian femme fatale and a male lead with mysterious intentions. Actors looking to land the part should start sending in their shifty-eyed head shots now.

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Cobie Smulders

Canadians have created many good things: instant mashed potatoes, poutine, the electric streetcar, the foghorn (maybe not that one), insulin, the Wonderbra, the indie film Starbuck, and actress Cobie Smulders. Surely, the country has invented a number of other top items (there’s even some debate about peanut butter!), but these are obviously the very best, and now two of them will be united together in one splashy cinematic endeavor. Variety reports that How I Met Your Mother and Avengers star Smulders is currently in negotiations for the female lead in Ken Scott‘s remake of his own smash film (Scott directed the original, and will now serve double duty as writer and director on the DreamWorks project), the sperm donor laughfest, Starbuck. 

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The odds don’t seem so great that The Internship is going to end up being a funny movie. First off, it’s being directed by Shawn Levy, a man who’s known for putting together safe, boring studio stuff like Cheaper by the Dozen and Night and the Museum, and who even managed to disappoint when working with hilarious comedic leads Steve Carell and Tina Fey on Date Night. Secondly, it’s coming from a script that was penned by Vince Vaughn, and when Vince Vaughn is the one doing the writing, he gives us films like The Break-Up and Couples Retreat – not exactly titles that would make anyone’s top ten list of recent comedies. That’s not to say that the upcoming film is doomed to failure, however. It’s got a premise that’s relatable to modern times and an impressive-on-paper cast working in its favor, and that may be enough to help it beat the odds. The Internship stars Vaughn and Owen Wilson as a couple of old school salespeople who find that their jobs are being made obsolete due to the rise of online marketing and shopping. Not taking their newfound lack of employment lying down, the duo decide to reinvent themselves and become the two most aged interns at a major tech company. Bumbling presumably ensues.

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It can be difficult making friends once you’re past a certain age because the older people get the more set in their ways they become. Youth offers any number of bonding experiences that bring people together from grade school up through college, but once you enter the real world those opportunities start to dwindle. Husbands and wives, children, jobs, existing friends…these things tend to limit the time you have for meeting new people, becoming familiar with them and building new relationships. Past the age of thirty a catalyst of some kind is required to draw people together on short notice. Something big is good. Something of planetary importance is even better. Evan (Ben Stiller) is constantly on the lookout for friends and has formed more clubs than Tracy Flick ever dared to dream. He keeps busy with running club and Spanish for Senior Citizens, but when one of his Costco employees is viciously murdered Evan decides to form a Neighborhood Watch. Franklin (Jonah Hill) failed every test the police department threw at him, so the opportunity to join a “vigilante squad” appeals to him greatly. Bob (Vince Vaughn) is a recent transplant to town with his wife and teen daughter, and he jumps at the chance to hang out with the guys. And Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) is simply a responsible newcomer to our American shores. Together they form a local neighborhood watch. Together they will decide Earth’s fate as they discover and attempt to stop an alien invasion. Together, if […]

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Dodgeball DVD Commentary

Sometimes you just want to cover a classic, you know? The Frat Pack has been around making movies for about 16 years. That is if you count The Cable Guy, which you totally should. Films with comedians like Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, and Jack Black (to name only a few) have become go-to hits for people looking for movies that are simply story. There’s little drama to be found in these film and even less sincere conflict, but if they don’t split your side from all the nonstop laughter, you might need to check yourself for signs that you are a robot. With that, we’re cracking into one of these bad boys, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story to be precise. In this commentary, we’ll hear Ben Stiller make jokey jokes every five minutes, Vince Vaughn will likely throw out sarcastic jabs and the occasional, goofy giggle, and writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber will hopefully be talking about the movie at hand. Regardless of their roles here, there’s little doubt this commentary track will bring us loads of laughs, so let’s get started shall we?

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Vince Vaughn is reportedly in negotiations for a role almost too perfectly suited for the comedian’s talents. Variety reports (via ComingSoon) that the actor is looking to sign on for DreamWorks’ remake of Starbuck. The 2011 Canadian hit centers on a schlubby, middle-aged loser named David whose life is up-ended by the news that he’s fathered over 500 children. By sperm donation, of course! Thanks to a twist of fate (and, let’s be honest here, some sub-par work by the sperm bank’s staff), the bank doled out only David’s sperm, meaning that the manchild now has 533 children. That news is bad enough, but it’s compounded by the fact that 143 of those kids have filed a class action lawsuit to have the name of their father revealed to them. Made aware of this news, David wrestles with whether or not he should fess up, a decision made still more complicated by his choice to begin acting as a guardian angel to his unknowing kids. The film was released in Canada in July, with a smaller release in other international territories following that. It also won audience awards at some American festivals, including Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, and Sonoma. The original film was directed by Ken Scott from a script he wrote with Ken Petit. Scott will write and direct this new remake, which should start filming later this year. The original film’s IMDb page goes much more in-depth on Starbuck‘s plot summary, so check it out after the break […]

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After five long years of waiting for Akiva Schaffer to direct a big screen follow-up to his ludicrous 2007 comedy, Hot Rod, the teaser trailer for his new film, Neighborhood Watch, finally hit the Internet back in February, promising more hilarity to come. But before excitement could really build for the film, its marketing efforts hit a pretty huge snag. A Florida teen named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a member of his local neighborhood watch, the story became national news, and suddenly Neighborhood Watch’s teaser – which featured its protagonists suspiciously eying and threatening neighborhood children – looked to be in really poor taste. In response to the incident, the trailer was pulled from theaters. Though the aftermath of the Martin shooting is ongoing and is still fresh in everyone’s minds, Schaffer and company still have a movie to promote, so Neighborhood Watch is back with a new title and a new red band trailer. From this point forward the film seems to be going by the name The Watch, and its new marketing has shifted its focus away from a group of overzealous men terrorizing their neighborhood and turned the spotlight more toward its alien invasion elements.

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Perhaps the news that Robert Downey Jr. would be taking on the role of Perry Mason in a big screen reboot should have clued us in, but the announcement that Vince Vaughn is taking a stab at his very own cinematic adaptation of a classic television series that continues to live on in syndication (and in your grandparents’ living room) is still a bit of a surprise. Are there really no original ideas left? Deadline Calabasas reports that Universal Pictures is currently developing a feature based on NBC’s 1974-80 series The Rockford Files that is shaped as a “star vehicle” for Vaughn, who will take on the role James Garner played in the original series. Screenwriters David Levien and Brian Koppelman will pen the feature, and there’s no word yet on possible directors. Koppelman and Levien are certainly having a great couple of days – their script Runner Runner got the green light from New Regency just last week, with Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake to star in the film about offshore gambling.

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Neighborhood Watch

The tragic killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin is such a widely reported and consistently commented-upon national news item that it was bound to have impact beyond the family of the victim and the community in which it took place. The details of the shooting have yet to be poured over in a courtroom setting, which will probably entail another long stretch of media attention, and already the effects of the story have started to hit Hollywood. More specifically, they’ve affected the marketing of Akiva Schaffer’s upcoming comedy, Neighborhood Watch, which stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade as a quartet of overzealous members of their local neighborhood watch program. The story and the movie are being connected because Martin’s shooting came at the hands of a man who was both a member of a similar program, and also thought to be by many overzealous in his pulling of the trigger. The real big problem is that the film’s teaser trailer features a moment in which Hill’s character makes a gun with his finger and pulls the trigger while it’s pointed at a group of neighborhood kids. As you can imagine, that plays as being fairly offensive in light of recent events, so Fox has pulled the ad and the film’s first poster from Florida markets.

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Neighborhood Watch

The first glimpse we’re getting of Akiva Schaffer’s star-studded new comedy Neighborhood Watch certainly isn’t giving us much of a look at what the plot is going to be—and I guess that’s why they call it a teaser—but there still seems to be something a little off with the way they’re introducing this one to the world. The slow motion footage of lame suburban guys trying to look hard while driving, the slightly out of date rap song that makes up the soundtrack, somehow it all adds up to make something that feels a little less like a wide-release comedy that’s about to hit theaters and a little more like the funny new show that’s about to debut after Weeds on Showtime.

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If you look at Tony Scott’s IMDB page, the first thing you notice is that he has 31 movies listed as being in development. This is a guy who really likes to talk about what he might be doing next, so whenever his name is involved I generally take the news with a grain of salt. Fact is, Scott hasn’t actually sat down and got to work on directing anything since 2010’s Unstoppable, and any talk about him doing Top Gun 2, a Warriors remake, Hell’s Angels, or what ever else, has so far amounted to just that; talk. With that in mind, Deadline North Shields has their eye on a story that they say seems different from the usual Tony Scott big show and no results. They say that things are heating up around a project called Lucky Strike in a very real way, as Emmett/Furla Films is on board to fund the film’s $80m budget and Vince Vaughn is supposedly attached to star. If Scott signs on officially, the film would look to have a late summer or early fall start date.

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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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Since we all have a million dollars, our minds are almost always tuned to the day dream of what kind of movie we’d make with all that loose cash just lying around (since banks do nothing but lose things). Would it be a romantic horror film? Would it be a silent action film? Would we blow of all of it on lighting and forget the other elements of production design? Probably. Fortunately, we’ve all had a few filmmakers tread before us in using their million bucks with efficiency and artistry. In a world where Michael Bay needs 200 suitcases full of $1m, these directors made it happen with only one of those suitcases (or no suitcases at all), and they created a lasting legacy despite their lack of foldin’ money. If they can do it, why not us? Here are 8 great films made for under a million dollars that we can all learn from. (And if you enter our contest sponsored by Doritos, you might actually win that $1m you need for all those lights.)

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