Will Forte

Lionsgate

Ordell (Mos Def) and Louis (John Hawkes) have planned the perfect kidnapping. Their target is Mickey (Jennifer Aniston), wife to a sketchy businessman named Frank (Tim Robbins) who’s hiding a fortune in a secret bank account. The plan is simple. Kidnap Mickey, tell Frank to pay the ransom if he ever wants to see his wife again and then retire in style. But they never considered the possibility that Frank might not want his wife back. Chronology is a funny thing. The inclination will be (and has been if you check the IMDB page) to label Life of Crime a straight-up rip-off of 1986’s Ruthless People. In actuality though this is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard‘s 1978 novel, The Switch. Keep moving backward and you’ll find that all of these incarnations share an inspiration in O. Henry’s 1907 short story, “The Ransom of Red Chief.” The problem for this film then is how to stand apart from the crowd, and unfortunately, it’s a problem the film never really solves.

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The Last Man on Earth trailer

Here’s the only problem with Will Forte being the eponymous last man on Earth in Fox’s, uh, The Last Man on Earth: there’s no one left to laugh at his jokes. Well, except us. In Fox’s upcoming high concept comedy, series creator and writer Forte plays Phil Miller (and, yes, that’s definitely a play on the names of producers and pilot directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller — yes, that Phil Lord and Chris Miller, so obviously you should be clearing your calendar for this one ASAP), the last man on Earth. Probably. Most likely. And we get to watch. As the show’s official website tells us: “The year is 2022, and after an unlikely event, only one man is left on earth: PHIL MILLER (Forte), who used to be just an average guy who loved his family and hated his job at the bank. Now, in his RV, Phil searches the country for other survivors. He has traveled to every city, every town and every outpost in the United States, Mexico and Canada, and has found no one, which leads him to the painful realization that he is almost certainly the last living being on the face of the earth.” Let’s imagine the (hilarious, but also heartbreaking) future after the break.

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It’s been a few weeks since Fox declared war on the long-held tradition of TV pilot season. And no, “declared war” isn’t really an exaggeration; Fox’s Kevin Reilly is quoted as saying “R.I.P. pilot season,” presumably with scythe in hand and an icy wind rustling his hooded black cloak. And in the weeks since, Fox has stuck to that audacious (and spooky) claim. They’re producing less pilots and developing full series orders without any kind of seasonal timetable, with Gotham and the Tina Fey/Margaret Cho joint Cabot College being the first to benefit from the new and improved network. And now comes a third: Last Man on Earth. Created by Will Forte, the series will see the Nebraska actor as, well, the last man on Earth. Originally, the series was meant to feature “two strangers who must ensure the survival of the human race,” but somewhere along the line, Forte must have figured out that you can’t call something Last Man on Earth when it has more than one person in it. Thankfully, the show is now being billed as having a single lead in Forte.

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jonah hill wolf of wall street

If there’s one thing I’ll feel is missing in tonight’s Golden Globes ceremony (even more than an award for best documentary), it’s Jonah Hill‘s name in the supporting actor category. I’ve still not seen a few of the movies represented in that group so I can’t say Hill deserves it more than those nominees, but he is my pick for the best supporting actor of last year and he certainly belongs in the bunch more than Bradley Cooper. The question is whether Hill might earn an Oscar nomination in place of Cooper, or perhaps they’d both be excluded in place of, say, James Gandolfini. Both Cooper and Hill are actors who started out in comedy who have been recognized once each for their moves into dramatic work and who now are basically back with comedic performances in contention for the Academy Award. And that’s a tough nut to crack. Comedy has always been a tough nut with the Oscars in general. It’s not ignored, not at all, definitely not as much as some would think, but it is true that what slips through is mostly hybrid movies, dramas with a good helping of comedy or drier comedies that have some dramatic elements. More common, actually, is comedic performances, especially in the supporting acting categories. That’s where we tend to find traditionally comedic talents earning nominations and often awards for providing the comic relief in a drama. Think Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, Octavia Spencer in The Help and Alan Arkin in […]

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review nebraska

Editor’s note: Our review of Nebraska originally ran during this year’s Cannes film festival, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens in limited release today. From the old-school Paramount logo that opens the film, it’s clear that Alexander Payne‘s latest has no aspirations to being a hip meditation on the turmoils of modern life in much the same way that his previous film, The Descendants did. More a quaint drama with modest ambitions that nevertheless hits a sure stride, Nebraska should please the Payne devout despite this being the first of his films which he did not also write (instead relying on a deft screenplay from Bob Nelson). Needless to say, while entrusting the words to a confidante, this is another coolly controlled, wickedly funny and subtly heartfelt drama from the master filmmaker. Cantankerous, alcoholic, senile old Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) has become convinced that he has won a million dollars on account of a (clearly phony) sweepstakes certificate mailed to his home. Son David (Will Forte) and wife Kate (June Squibb) try to talk sense into Woody, but he’s having none of it; he’s going to head to Lincoln, Nebraska no matter what, so David volunteers to drive him all 850 miles, in the hope that they might get to spend some quality father-son bonding time together along the way.

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review nebraska

The difference between Will Forte‘s aging father in the trailer for Nebraska and any of our elderly loved ones is that this man makes good on our fear that they’ll follow through with phone scammers or that poor Nigerian prince who emailed them last week. And despite his son’s insistence that this sweepstakes does not actually exist and he is not, in fact, an overnight millionaire, dear old dad (Bruce Dern) just tunes out the news like it’s coming from one of the more liberal TV stations. The Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways) film could end there, but it takes a sweet turn when Forte’s character decides to humor his dad and pretend that the $1m prize exists, setting off on a road trip to claim it. That decision in itself is worth it just to make up the bulk of the trailer where you get to see the weird and wonderful faces of their family members, who all look like roughly varied versions of Forte’s dad wearing flannel. Adding to the strange surreality of the trailer is the fact that the film is shot entirely in black and white, which makes their roadtrip and that $1m seem so much more dire. Check out the trailer for yourself here:

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small-chives

Ever been curious to see how many food puns you can take before losing all grasp on reality? Well, with six new posters debuting for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, you can finally test your limits of culinary wordplay. Peeking out from all the corners of the web, each poster features one of the film’s characters escaping from the clutches of a hungry food-imal (although it’s unclear whether a food-imal has the anatomy to actually consume a human being). Take a gander below to view the Hippotatomus, Tacodile Supreme, Double Bacon Cheespider, Watermelophant, Bananostrich, and a group of Pickles (whose name could seriously use a little punning up).

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For its first  sequel, the newly-minted Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs franchise has decided to take things in a slightly different (and tastier) direction. Instead of putting Flint Lockwood (voice of Bill Hader) and his lovely lady Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) back into harm’s (meatball’s?) way in another town besieged by giant food, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 has organically grown its fresh story, piling on to the logic of the first film in a clever new way. In the new film, Flint has joined The Live Corp Company, run by his idol Chester V (Will Forte) and his “highly evolved orangutan with a human brain” Barb (Kristen Schaal), and he’s happily working away, unaware that his disaster-prone FLDSMDFR machine is actually still running, and it’s evolved quite spectacularly. The FLDSMDFR is now churning out food-animal hybrids, food-imals, and as totally adorable as some of them may be (seriously, they’re cute), not all of them are just around to be squishy-cute (like the tacodiles probably!), and they’re taking over Flint’s island hometown of Swallow Falls. USA Today got the exclusive on some adorable new images (via ComingSoon) of some of the food-imals in the new film, which you can check out after the break. While they are all both cute and inventive, if we had to choose a favorite, it’s easily those pudgy, butter-tongued baked potato hippos (they are called, wait for it, Hippotatomus). Good God, those things are charming. There are also delicious looks at Bananostrich, Cantalope, […]

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Jack Reynor

What is Casting Couch? It’s a casting roundup that’s knee deep in nostalgia as it reports on movies based on comic books and toys from its childhood. Due to a little bit of inspiration from the Internet, Michael Bay gave Mark Wahlberg a pretty big part in his upcoming fourth Transformers movie. It’s always been understood that Wahlberg was playing a placeholder character though, who would pass the franchise off to a couple of young kids who would be pushed into the forefront as it went forward. Well, today Bay announced that he’s found the male half of this new duo. Apparently little known Irish actor Jack Reynor is his guy. Bay says that he saw Reynor in an Irish movie called What Richard Did, which a quick Googling tells me has nothing to do with acting opposite giant robots, so let’s all hope he knows what he’s talking about.

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Bob Odenkirk and Stacy Keach

As if the news that The Descendants director Alexander Payne was going back to his filmmaking roots and making a low-key road trip movie set in Nebraska wasn’t exciting enough, when the news broke that he had cast Bruce Dern and Will Forte as his main characters, a curmudgeonly old man and his estranged son, suddenly Nebraska really started to get interesting. Which is probably the first time anyone has ever expressed that sentiment, ever.

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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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Will Forte in MacGruber

I’ve got a better idea: yes fucking way. Jorma Taccone‘s MacGruber didn’t really make a big splash when it opened back in the spring of 2010 after a riotous premiere at SXSW (fine, it tanked), but the action comedy has proven to have the kind of staying power and cult appeal that only outstanding comedies can garner. To put it simply – the movie is funny, but it gets to be hilarious after multiple viewings. Of course, with Will Forte‘s idiot ex-special operative always down to blow things up, could there possibly be a sequel to MacGruber on the way? Maybe? Please? Well, according to an awesome exclusive over at ScreenCrush, who recently sat down with Taccone, the answer is yes. As far as details, they are slim, but Taccone did reveal that “it would be me, Will and John [Solomon] writing it again. Every time I hang out with Will, we talk about all our cool ideas for the sequel. We have the idea for it and we have a title, but I won’t tell you what it is.” He also let on that they “don’t want to jump the shark that soon” when it comes to a MacGruber and Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) baby. Taccone did, however, share that the next MacGruber would take place at Christmas, just like his favorite film Die Hard.

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Alexander Payne probably achieved his greatest level of success and recognition after casting a huge movie star, George Clooney, in his most recent film, The Descendants. Given the taste of mainstream acceptance that this director of pitch-black dramatic comedies got by working with a well-known name, you might think that he would be tempted to go back to the well and snag more big stars to play the father/son duo in his upcoming road movie, Nebraska. It seems like we should have been hearing rumors over the past few months that he was courting Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Douglas, or something of the like. Not Payne though, who seems to be wholly concerned with finding the right actors to fit the parts, and if a report from Deadline Benkelman is to be believed, he’s found an off-the-beaten-path duo that look on paper like they could make for a delightful pair. The report says that Payne has been meaning to make Nebraska his next film for quite some time, but he didn’t want to move things forward until he could find the right actor for the father role. For the longest time he was fixated on Gene Hackman, but that screen legend’s continued retirement made his casting an impossibility. Payne feels like he’s found his man now though, in Bruce Dern, and he also wants Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte to play the son.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the day’s best movie news and links exploding onto your computer screen. Can you handle that? MSN has debuted a new image of two new characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. “Two of the youngest Dwarves, Fili (Dean O’Gorman) and Kili (Aidan Turner) have been born into the royal line of Durin and raised under the stern guardianship of their uncle, Thorin Oakensheild. Neither has ever travelled far, nor ever seen the fabled Dwarf City of Erebor. For both, the journey to the Lonely Mountain represents adventure and excitement. Skilled fighters, both brothers set off on their adventure armed with the invincible courage of youth, neither being able to imagine the fate which lies before them.” Quick, get me a Tolkein nerd to translate that. Are these guys cool, or not? Because they look cool.

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Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are a couple of goofy weirdos known best for their insane Adult Swim show Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. Also, they’ve done quite a few memorable bits for Funny or Die. Their humor is absurdist, their show is short, low budget, and very hand crafted; and they’re one of those things that either you find funny or you just don’t. Personally, I enjoy a lot of what they do, and a lot of other people must too, because somebody has given them a bunch of money to make a feature. Check out the cast: Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Robert Loggia, Jeff Goldblum, Will Forte, and William Atherton. Yes, that’s right, THE Robert Loggia; the guy from the orange juice commercial. Either this cast is making you roll your eyes in disgust right now, or it’s making you jump for joy. If you’re sick of watching these guys goof around you should probably stop reading. Just move on to something else. But if you’re like me and you love most of these stupid jerks, continue on to read some quotes from Eric.

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Remember a few years ago when we reported on Jason Sudeikis planning a flick called A Good Old Fashioned Orgy? Well, we do. Why? Because Publisher-in-Chief Neil Miller forces us to memorize the site and read it to him as he falls asleep. It doesn’t ever come in handy until a day like today. A bit over two years later, Sony and Samuel Goldwyn have teamed to snag US distribution rights for the movie. That gets this story of one final party (which Sudeikis’s character hopes to turn into a giant orgy) one step closer to getting made. Sudeikis is a great, underrated talent from an otherwise dreary SNL line-up. Plus, according to The Hollywood Reporter, he’ll be joined by Leslie Bibb, Will Forte, Lake Bell, Martin Starr (Bill!), Nick Kroll, Lindsay Sloane (The Other Guys), Lucy Punch (Dinner For Schmucks), Michelle Borth (TiMER), and David Koechner. This will be the first feature film as writer/directors for television veterans Peter Huyck and Alex Gregory.

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When Jack insists that Liz see a therapist to deal with her relationship issues, she instead finds a willing ear in Kenneth, who despite his good intentions, develops his own neuroses from being unable to handle Liz’s emotional baggage. Kenneth in turn dumps his re-surfaced issues on Jack, who finds that his mental vice is unable to handle the burden after his daddy issues manifest in full force.  This doesn’t bode well for Tracy, who’s taking fatherly advice from Jack on how to financially cut off his son, who is dumping huge amounts of Tracy’s money into a failing themed restaurant called Staples. Meanwhile, Jenna has to re-evaluate her relationship with Paul (Will Forte) when the question he pops on their 6-month anniversary is not the kind where he asks her to make a sex tape they can leak online, but the kind where he wants her to meet his parents.

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Drinking Games

I know, I know… very few of you actually saw MacGruber in the theater. I know… waaaaay more people have seen the MacGruber sketches on Saturday Night Live than even considered seeing this movie. I know… less than $9 million domestic box office. But this is bound to be a hit with a cult following on home video. Trust me.

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kevin-reportcard-header

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr hands out grades to Shrek: The Final Chapter 3D, MacGruber and Human Centipede.

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Our non-stop coverage of MacGruber appears to be coming to a stop. This is interview two of two from my time spent with the principle cast and creatives on the film during their trip to Austin during SXSW.

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