Will Arnett

Lego Batman

Time to rip off this Band-Aid: The Lego Movie 2 is being postponed. I know how you must feel — take as much time as you need to fume, or sob, or ragepunch a hole through a few fully built LEGO sets. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Lego Movie 2 is being pushed into some shadowy date beyond 2017, because — and here’s the good news (our anti-Band-Aid) — their priority is now a Lego Batman movie. Feel better?

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Crimson Gold

As our review has already pointed out, the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is a disaster. Even for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie. Don’t get me wrong, I have a soft spot for the first one, released in 1990. But even though it has a certain goofy charm, it’s not a good movie. That’s a shame for someone like me, who actually enjoyed the cartoon quite a bit and before that grew up on the old, slightly more mature Eastman and Laird comics. This time both the Turtles and their movie are ugly and utterly unlikeable, but the worst part is probably in how ridiculously unoriginal the plot is. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is awfully similar to the story running through the first two Amazing Spider-Man movies, but it makes them look like Nolan’s Dark Knight films by comparison. The TMNT movie also reminds us of Tim Burton’s Batman, xXx, Howard the Duck and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. And very slyly of the TV series Arrested Development. But this week I don’t want to just recommend mainstream movies you should know, even bad ones to make a point that even Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Howard the Duck are better than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A movie this bad requires a real cleansing afterward. Therefore, I’ve selected 10 films you’d likely find in an art house theater, all docs, foreign films and classics to help wash away the filth staining your soul following the latest adventures of Leonardo, Donatello, […]

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TMNT 2014

New York City is under attack by a heavily armed gang of thieves called the Foot Clan, and while they’ve been happy committing a string of robberies their villainous leader, Shredder, has plans for something for more deadly. The city’s only hope rests with a quartet of ninja warriors who also happen to be obnoxious, horny, anthropomorphic turtles. April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is a NYC fluff reporter who longs for a big story, the kind that matters, and she thinks she’s found it when she witnesses one of the turtles successfully interrupting a Foot Clan robbery. Her investigation reveals the truth behind the turtles, Shredder’s plans and why she’s been stuck doing puff pieces her entire career. (They’re mutants! He’s hungry for murder! She’s not that bright!) There are several questions raised by the big-screen reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The vast majority of them involve idiotic plot turns, continuity errors, who exactly the film is made for and what the screenwriters have against their dads, but one question stands out among all the rest. Could this entire movie be part of producer Michael Bay‘s elaborate and expensive revenge plan against Megan Fox?

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LEGO Movie Batman

With the release of The LEGO Movie on DVD and Blu-ray this week, we’re taking a look behind the scenes of the movie with the cast and crew. Christopher Miller and Phil Lord lead the commentary, joined by many of the actors in the studio, as well as Elizabeth Banks who phones in her contributions from an undisclosed location. Miller and Lord are riding a wave of cinematic goodwill with two of the biggest openings of 2014 (is a 23 LEGO Jump Street far of?), but they managed to tear themselves away from counting their cash and diving into piles of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck to devote an hour and forty minutes to the cause of pulling the curtain back from the magical world of LEGOLAND.

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Batman and Wyldstyle in The Lego Movie

It’s late, so let’s party. Circulating around the Internet today is a blooper reel for The Lego Movie. It’s so indescribably lovely to see this movie getting some lasting attention, especially when it leads long remembrance pieces about Clone High, the MTV ‘toon by the same very talented filmmakers. And when it gives me a reason to remind you of the time we talked them into telling us about what Clone High season two would’ve been like. That, and The Lego Movie is one of the happiest filmgoing experience of this and many other years. And its blooper reel is exactly the delight you’d expect from Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Also, Alison Brie says “hoo-hoos,” and we mean the naughty kind. Watch below.

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The Lego Movie arrives in theaters February 7, 2014, but there’s been no shortage of video content introducing us to the world and characters the interim leading up to the release. There are a lot of characters. And oh, what fun it appears we’ll be in store for. I’ll admit, I’m already kinda sold, but I’m highly biased. My love of Lego is borderline unhealthy.

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The Nut Job

There’s a fascinating duality to an early afternoon showing of former Pixar animator Peter Lepenotis’ The Nut Job. Prior to the lights going completely down and the numerous company logos running in front of the film, the audience is (most likely) treated to a viewing of The Lego Movie, in which Will Arnett voices a Lego Batman. In The Nut Job, Arnett voices a raspy squirrel named Surly, who rebels against a city park dictatorship as the other small mammals struggle to find food to store for the winter. By the end, we’re not sure Surly is the hero the park deserves, but we know he’s the one it needs right now. In short, this movie is about Batman, a role Will Arnett was apparently born to voice. And more than a little about North Korea. It also has an animated Gangnam Style Psy in the credits. It is this combination of oddities that make The Nut Job as notably weird as it is forgettably flat.

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The Nut Job

There’s a universal truth for all people, and it’s that everyone loves seeing animals do human things. No matter who you are or what films you like, if a dog suddenly morphs into a dog who can dunk, you’re watching. That’s why this trailer for The Nut Job, a movie about squirrels setting up a heist on a nut store, is indicative of a film that’s about to do very well in theaters. Just look at those tiny thieves. Look at them. Will Arnett voices Surly, a squirrel who discovers that he and his band of rodent pals can survive the winter a lot easier if they just rob their local nut store, rather than gathering nuts like a bunch of shmucks. But their plans are constantly sabotaged by a villain raccoon, voiced by Liam Neeson. This animal gang’s mission sounds a lot more plausible (in the grand scheme of talking animal super intelligence) than the one set forth by the turkeys in Free Birds; robbing a store might be easier to pull off than time travel. Which is not to say that this is somehow more highbrow than the turkey film. The kids are going to love this one. Surly and his rat pal dance to dubstep when they discover the nut store. There’s a “fire in the hole” fart joke AND an explosion. The trailer doesn’t give a good estimate, but I’m working under the assumption that the movie makes approximately six nuts-related jokes per 10 minutes. Brendan […]

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zoesaldanalist

What is Casting Couch? It’s the easiest way to stay abreast of who’s going to be doing what in the world of acting. Today we have casting news regarding the Veronica Mars movie as well as a look at what Chloe Moretz might be working on next. Given her experience playing a big, blue badass in James Cameron’s Avatar, Zoe Saldana is no stranger to embodying characters who aren’t exactly human—so that’s probably why James Gunn is looking at her to take the female lead of his upcoming Marvel Studios ensemble, Guardians of the Galaxy. Heat Vision is reporting that Saldana is currently in talks to join the film as Gamora, the Guardians’ resident green-skinned, sword-wielding assassin. If Saldana signs on, that would be all of the more human members of the Guardians taken care of, which would leave Gunn with only a walking tree and a talking raccoon to cast. Wish him luck when it comes to figuring that out.

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What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s ready for the weekend. Colin Firth is kind of a sneaky hunk. At first glance he’s pretty handsome, but not the most attractive dude in the world, and then he’s got this charm to him that just grows on you until you’ve scrawled his name on all of your Trapper Keepers. He’s such saucy dish that it looks like he can make even a big name star like Nicole Kidman develop a schoolgirl crush. THR is reporting that she liked playing his wife in the recent World War II drama The Railway Man so much that she’s now actively recruiting him to join her in her next project, Before I Go to Sleep. Apparently, Before I Go to Sleep is an adaptation of a S.J. Watson novel about an amnesiac woman whose husband must reintroduce himself to her every morning. Early attempts at titling the film The Rich Man’s 50 First Dates were reportedly rejected by the studio.

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Though the idea of making a movie about Legos initially sounded like a really bad one, once Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller pitched their take on the material it actually sounded pretty promising. Could a movie about little plastic blocks tell an engaging story that teaches children an important message? That’s a question that we won’t be able to answer for quite some time, but thanks to a report from Variety we now know a whole lot more about what this upcoming Lego movie will look like. First of all, the project’s working title has now been confirmed as the project’s official title – that would be Lego: The Piece of Resistance. Thematically this makes sense, as Lord and Miller’s initial comments said that their main character would be an average guy living in Lego City who has to unlearn the town’s strict rules of always building things according to the instructions and figure out how to create something wholly original. It would seem that The Piece of Resistance’s protagonist is being set up as something of a revolutionary; both figuratively and literally according to new information from the Variety report.

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Channel Guide - Large

With most of the sitcoms that debuted in the fall (and managed to escape cancellation) winding down this week, I think it’s time to crown a winner. Which one of these brand new sitcoms most deserves to stick around?  Which was the most memorable? Which came out on top? Zooey Deschanel’s New Girl has already been renewed, Whitney was a thing that happened, but the show that worked the best for me was NBC’s Up All Night. Executive produced by Lorne Michaels and created by former Saturday Night Live writer Emily Spivey, Up All Night is a funny and relatable look at the life of a married couple, played by Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, trying to adapt to life with a new baby. Arnett is Chris, a former lawyer who has decided to stay home with their daughter while Appelgate’s Regan returns to work where she struggles to balance motherhood with the demands of her larger than life boss Ava—an Oprah-like talk show host played by Maya Rudolph. The show was this season’s best new sitcom and here are four reasons why.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr takes the week off because the studios didn’t screen the new releases anywhere near him. In fact, he was specifically told not to come to one particular screening. And that can’t be a good sign, can it? What else can you expect for the movies in the weeks leading up to the Oscars, ‘cause the new ones in the theaters don’t stand a chance of winning anything next year. To take away the pain of not seeing movies this week, Kevin makes a deal with the devil, selling his soul for the ability to set his skull on fire whenever he sees a bad movie. Unfortunately, the light from said flaming skull got him kicked out of the theater because someone thought he was using his cell phone to pirate the film.

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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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Culture Warrior

Episodes and seasons and weeks after its inspiration and its humor have peaked, I still continue to watch new episodes of The Office week in and week out. I don’t know why – I never do this with dramatic shows, only with comedies – but I tend to stick with comedy shows whose legacy I appreciate even if their time has passed, either out of respect, blind hope, or simply the desire to have some noise in the room while I take a break to eat a meal or fold laundry. While The Office certainly isn’t what it used to be, even before Steve Carell left, it’s still an inoffensive and enjoyable way to pass some time. I can’t deny that the affinity I developed for the show’s characters early on in the series has carried me through a lot of its creative droughts (in other words, I hardly watch it only for its comedy) even as more recent network sitcoms like Modern Family, Community, and (especially) Parks and Recreation have made me LOL significantly more often. But in the bizarre cameos leading up to a strange and dry seventh season finale, The Office seems to have encountered much greater problems than a rudimentary lack of inspiration typical for the (possibly cyclical) lifespan of a long-running television show. The Office seems to have rejected the defining characteristics that made it unique in the first place.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr found himself awake on a distant planet being hunted by macho Rastafarian aliens. Then he realized he was still dreaming. Sucked back into reality, he dove into the 3D experience of Despicable Me and reached for a dunce cap for Predators.

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Despicable Me

I’ve been looking forward to Despicable Me for a while; having seen trailers, the 3D animated film out of Universal looked like it had the potential to be a lot of fun. While I was far from unhappy with the final product, what seems increasingly to be a universal truth surfaced once again — all computer animated film fare is measured against the visual and storytelling juggernaut that is Pixar… and they remain the unwavering king of the mountain. Despicable Me is the story of Gru (Steve Carrell), a past-his-prime villain heavy on unsavory aspirations but lacking in execution. One day Gru learns that every baddie, himself included, have been left eating dust when a mystery evil genius steals one of the Great Pyramids. Not content to be outdone, Gru devises a plan to infiltrate a secret base, swipe their experimental shrink ray, and steal the moon.

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kevin-reportcard-header

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr opens up his toy box to look at Toy Story 3D and Jonah Hex.

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David Cross in Arrested Development

It pains me to report such news, but if actor and comedian David Cross is to be believed — and we have no reason not to believe him at this point — the Arrested Development movie is dead in the water.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if Edge of Darkness and When in Rome can make the grade.

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


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