Zach Galifianakis

Millennium Entertainment

If Matthew Weiner‘s name wasn’t on Are You Here, you never would’ve guessed this movie came from the mind behind Mad Men. The focus, power, subtlety and charms of his AMC drama are nowhere to be found in his feature directorial debut. The staggering drop in quality is disappointing, but worse than that, even on its own terms, Are You Here is a notable misfire. Are We Here is about two seemingly different friends, Steve (Owen Wilson) and Ben (Zach Galifianakis), and how the death of Ben’s father challenges and enriches their friendship and those around them. Ben — who is considered a failure by his family — inherits most of his father’s money, which he was left to clean up his act. This delights the selfish and greedy Steve, while disappointing Ben’s sister, Terri (Amy Poehler). She had plans for her father’s shop, land and money. Since Ben is slightly unstable, she tries to fight in court that he’s not responsible enough to handle more than two million dollars. There’s more to this story, though: Steve is hovering around Ben to make sure he gets the land; Terri can’t have children; Steve is annoyed by a tree is blocking his view of a girl undressing across his apartment; and, perhaps the most sloppily handled portion of the film, Steve falls for Ben’s dad’s much younger wife, Angela (Laura Ramsey). There’s literally about five to ten minutes spent on that expendable tree subplot, by the way. It doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know about Steve, it adds […]

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Are You Here Trailer

While Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Dax Shepard and crew are dealing with their own family dysfunction and trying not to stare at Jane Fonda’s chest in Shawn Levy’s This is Where I Leave You, the three comedians who didn’t get to join in the festivities have joined forces for a familial drama of their own. Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler are taking bitter sibling politics to a whole new place, guided by the man who kind of knows how to do messed up families better than most — Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. The first trailer for Are You Here (formerly titled You Are Here) is supposedly for a comedy, but doesn’t offer up as many laughs so much as it thrusts its comedians in a terrible, bleak reality. We meet Ben Baker (Galifianakis) as he desperately attempts to break past security and bust into a local news studio; it’s where his friend, local sleazy weatherman Steve Dallas (Wilson) works, and he’s in need of someone to share his sorrow with when he finds out his father has died. The duo takes a trip to the funeral, where they meet up with Baker’s uptight sister (Poehler) — who has really perfected her suburban princess ice stare. Of course, at the reading of their father’s will, the siblings find out that dearly departed dad left his entire estate to Ben, the family screw-up; the rest of the film will see Ben duke it out in court with his sis while leaning on […]

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Zach Galifianakis and Jon Hamm

Some may have thought Zach Galifianakis‘ star was on the wane (it’s been what, ten months since the last Hangover movie?), but that’s no longer the case after last week. One sitting President and six minutes of verbal abuse later, Galifianakis has awkwardly shuffled back into spotlight. And his newest move, post-Obama smackdown, involves another former Between Two Ferns guest: Jon Hamm. The two are negotiating to star in Keeping Up With the Joneses, a new comedy from Fox 2000. Details are scarce, but with a little creative sleuthing we can figure out the basics. Deadline‘s exclusive story has the logline as follows: “A quiet, suburban cul de sac is turned upside down when an unfulfilled married couple begins to suspect that there’s something nefarious afoot with their sexy and charismatic new neighbors.”

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Hangover Part 3

Summarizing the plot of a movie like Hangover 3 is a little pointless. Let’s face it, the plot is pretty much here just to get us from one joke to the next and to throw in some hijinks along the way. So Alan’s (Zach Galifianakis) been off his meds for six months, which causes typical Alan behavior which leads to the death of his father due to a stress-induced heart attack. The Wolfpack is called in to help stage an intervention, and Alan agrees to go to rehab in Arizona if Doug (Justin Bartha), Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) will drive him there. On the way, they’re kidnapped by a kingpin named Marshall (John Goodman) who’s looking for a fresh-from-escaping-Thai-prison Chow (Ken Jeong). Marshall keeps Doug (of course) and sets Alan, Phil and Stu free to find Chow and bring him back to swap him for Doug. That’s pretty much the gist of it. If it sounds familiar that’s because these films have never made it huge point to stray from the formula. The second entry is nearly a carbon copy of the first, but while this one goes slightly farther off the reservation, poor Doug is still missing for much of the film and they’re chasing Chow yet again. If you loved the first two, don’t worry, you’ll feel right at home with number three.

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hangover iii

With The Hangover Part III’s May 24th release date rapidly approaching, it’s now officially crunch time for its marketing people. They’ve got a few short days left to convince anyone who might be on the fence about coming back for a third helping of Hangover-style decadence that this is a movie that can’t be missed. So, in order to round up every last box office dollar they can possibly find, they’re pulling out the big guns—a red band trailer. If there are two things in this world that everyone, no matter what their age, class, or background, responds well to, they’re nostalgia and dirty jokes, so this new trailer makes liberal use of both. After you click through the link and give it a watch, prepare to be pled with to remember how fun that first movie was, and prepare to plug the ears of any kids who might be in the room.

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The Hangover Part 3

It should come as no surprise that the first teaser trailer for this summer’s The Hangover Part III isn’t so heavy on the plot – after all, who cares about the plot when Todd Phillips’ final entry into his trilogy of idiocy just threatens to blow shit up, smother monkeys (not a euphemism), and get Ke$ha-style wasted? Let’s get stupid. Witness (some of) the mayhem after the break.

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hr_The_Hangover_Part_III_3

Perhaps it was optimistic to think that the fair city of Las Vegas could possibly survive the third Hangover film, but the latest poster for The Hangover Part III promises that the entire joint will go up in flames, it will “all end” (a la Harry Potter), and either Zach Galifianakis or Ken Jeong won’t survive the outing. Don’t drink, kids, just…don’t. The Hangover Part III drunkenly stumbles into theaters on May 24th. [Warner Bros., via ComingSoon]

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Drinking Games

By now, you have to be sick of pretty much any political campaign. Just think, in a short week, this will all be over and you’ll either cheer or cry, depending on your candidate of choice. Don’t you love American politics? In this last week of the 2012 election season, you can watch the absurd election comedy The Campaign, and then you can realize that in the context of the races going on around the country, it’s really not all that absurd. That thought alone should drive you to drink, so why not enjoy some structured drinking as you enjoy the movie?

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The Hangover Hits the Road

As the vast majority of criticisms that were lobbed at Todd Phillips‘ The Hangover Part II derided the director for essentially remaking his own first film (this time, set in Thailand), it’s comforting that the third film in the franchise will move away from the structure of its predecessors. We’ve long had suspicions about where The Hangover Part III will go, and now the currently-filming production’s first official logline confirms – the Wolfpack is going on the road. Warner Bros. has just revealed (via ComingSoon) the official plot description for the film, which simply tells us: “This time, there’s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.” Points to WB for knowing exactly what we want to hear (if this description had included any words like “baby shower” or “vow renewal,” I would have eaten my hat).

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John Goodman in The Hangover Part III?

Though he’s had a long and storied career full of great roles both dramatic and comedic, sometimes it still feels like John Goodman is still an underutilized and under-appreciated actor. No matter what movie you put him in, his presence alone is guaranteed to class the production up and serve as one of its highlights. The guy is just that good, and the fact that he hasn’t had a real starring role since the days of King Ralph and The Babe is kind of a shame. Of course, beggars can’t be choosers, so when it comes to watching John Goodman work, us film fans will take what we can get. And though it is a bit bittersweet, Variety has word that this status quo is looking to continue. The latest development in the man’s career is that he’s negotiating to take a small role in The Hangover Part III, which is said to be a villain role, similar to the one that Paul Giamatti played in the first sequel.

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Jay Roach directing Will Ferrell in The Campaign

The Campaign is much edgier than director Jay Roach‘s previous comedies. While many of them features titans going head-to-head — Mike Myers vs. Mike Myers, Stiller vs. De Niro, and Rudd vs. Carrell — he’s never taken it to this extent. From how Roach describes it, that darker side derives from the film’s R-rating, which Roach, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, & Co. fully embrace. There’s an inherent meanness to the lengths Ferrell and Galifianakis’ characters go. When The Campaign takes a slightly sentimental turn towards the end, it works in part because of their, as Roach describes it, undeniable likability. To make their face-off work, Jay Roach went through his fair share of neurosis, a character trait part of all the comedies he’s made.

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Channel Guide - Large

Bunheads, back-to-back-to-back Law and Order: SVU and Big Bang Theory reruns—so far this month, I’ve really just been aimlessly watching TV, waiting for the Louie premiere (and spoiler alert/alert nerd, you’ll probably be reading about that here in the very near future) but Comedy Bang Bang, IFC’s new strange talk show-sketch show hybrid born of a podcast of the same name, has given my life purpose. That purpose: watch Comedy Bang Bang a lot.

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If you’ve never seen Jonathan Ames’s recently cancelled HBO show Bored to Death, you might want to brush up on the premium cable mystery/comedy show, for costar Ted Danson recently suggested in an interview with French journalist Pierre Lenglas (according to Lenglas’s Twitter account) that a feature-length Bored to Death movie might be in the works. To be fair, nothing official has been announced and, according to Vulture, HBO qualified Danson’s statement my stating that the creators and talent of the show are only in the early stages of conversation. But with Jason Schwartzman and Zack Galifianakis rounding out the show’s cast, a Bored to Death movie might make quite a bit of sense. Bored to Death ran for three seasons from 2009-2011, and chronicled the misadventures of Jonathan Ames (Schwartzman), a struggling writer who becomes an amateur detective in order to get over being dumped by his girlfriend Suzanne (Olivia Thirlby). His best friend Ray (Galifianakis) is a deeply insecure comic book artist who struggles to maintain power in his relationship with his on-again, off-again girlfriend Leah (Heather Burns). Danson plays Ames’s boss, George Christopher, the editor of a New Yorker-style magazine and a ginormous pothead. While the show lost steam for me in its third season, Bored to Death was a clever and surprisingly warm show about the difficulties of commitment, the changes in New York City’s boroughs, the death of the printed word, and narcissism. It’s the type of show that could only have aired on HBO.

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Confederacy of Dunces

John Kennedy Toole never got to see his lone novel, “A Confederacy of Dunces,” get published, as it was only ever made public eleven years after his death. And names like John Belushi, John Candy, and Chris Farley never got the chance to play the novel’s main character, Ignatius Reilly, as they all passed away before the various adaptations they were proposed to be parts of ever came together. At this point, it probably wouldn’t be much of a stretch to call any possibility of this beloved novel ever becoming a movie doomed. It appears as though its valve has closed. Or not. Vulture has news that the Confederacy of Dunces adaptation, which has been trying to get off the ground since 1982, is once again looking like it might be a go. And this time the talents involved in its resurrection are all so appealing that you might not even make yourself sick with worry that Toole’s wildly entertaining but constantly meandering story—which details a corpulent, over-educated, and outdated curmudgeon’s traversing of the exotic world of 60s era New Orleans—is completely unadaptable as a film.

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Whether you appreciate his work or not, there’s no arguing that director Jay Roach solidified his place in the world of big screen comedies by launching both the Austin Powers and Meet the Parents franchises. As many tickets as those movies sold, he probably never had to work in the movie business again. Unfortunately, he did, and he made Dinner for Schmucks, a movie that hasn’t had very many nice things said about it by anyone. After a brief break from the comedy world, directing the HBO dramatization of the 2008 presidential campaign, Game Change, Roach finds himself back in the comedic sphere, perhaps utilizing some of his more ridiculous experiences putting together Game Change, to bring us The Campaign. Roach’s new comedy was already introduced to us a few days ago, when the film put a couple of fake political ads for its two main characters, Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) and Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), up on Facebook. But now the marketing team is back and eager to impress with the film’s first full-length trailer; a somewhat reassuring trailer that already contains more laughs than the entirety of Dinner for Schmucks.

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Though Jay Roach’s upcoming political comedy is no longer called Dog Fight, it does still star Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as two Southern political rivals running for the same congressional seat, and it does still have the potential to be pretty hilarious. These days the movie is going by the name The Campaign, and it looks like it’s about to hit us with a pretty big marketing blitz. Facebook pages have been set up not just for the film itself, but also for the two fictional politicians that Ferrell and Galifianakis will be playing, Cam Brady and Marty Huggins. On each of their respective pages you can also find the politicians’ first TV ads, which exist somewhere in a state of limbo between viral ads and traditional trailers. What you’re getting is really just chunks of footage from the film slightly edited to look more like political ads than they do your typical movie trailer; so they’re not going to make even the most unwitting and least discerning advertising target think they’re watching anything other than footage from an upcoming movie.

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Seeing as he served as a writer/producer on Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Matthew Weiner is considered something of a TV god. Also, I hear that he has some new show called Mad Men that’s showing some promise; so he’s got the TV game locked down. But a transition into feature films has eluded him up to this point. Weiner wrote a dramedy called You Are Here back in the early 2000s. It’s about a freewheeling weatherman who goes on a road trip with his bi-polar best friend. The friend is kind of a man-child, but he’s in line to inherit some big responsibilities, which causes complications between the two. It sounds like something of a coming-of-age movie, but for grown-ass men. Over the years several incarnations of the film have almost made it into production with names like Matt Dillon, Jack Black, and Matthew McConaughey attached in various roles, but up to this point it’s never completely worked out. That’s all set to change though, because – dang it – this guy wrote on Andy Richter Controls the Universe, and if he wants to make a goofy comedy, then he’s allowed to. THR has news that Weiner is determined to put the project in front of the camera sometime around April, and if that doesn’t sound official enough for you, he’s already signed Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis to star.

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Given the lukewarm critical response for Todd Phillips’ The Hangover Part II, there might not be many of you out there interested in seeing a third installment of his hard-partying series. But, the fact remains that the second film made enough money during its opening days to make an additional sequel pretty much an obligation, so a release date for The Hangover Part III has been set. This second sequel will hit theaters on May 4, 2013, with the whole gang back on board. For those keeping track, that’s a Memorial Day release, the same scheme that led to Part II raking in $581.5m worldwide. Those that fear a third film might as be as much of a retread as the second should keep in mind that we’ve been given indication this won’t be the case. There’s already been some comments made that point to the fact that this third film will deviate from the rigid plot structure of the first two; and a new quote from Phillips released by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures seems to back that up. “We’re going to surprise a lot of people with the final chapter we have planned,” Phillips claims. “It will be a fitting conclusion to our three-part opera of mayhem, despair and bad decisions.”

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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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Despite opening to generally poor reviews due to its been there, done that approach to joke crafting and storytelling, The Hangover Part II still got a ton of people out to the theaters and pulled in record amounts of money. You know what that means: The Hangover Part III is now as inevitable as death and taxes. And, sure enough, THR has a report that the principal cast are negotiating as a team to get a deal for a third film in the books. Because of Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Bradley Cooper’s all-for-one attitude when it comes to negotiating, getting this deal together has taken longer than usual. Their united front is allowing them to demand quite a bit of money to get a third Hangover movie made, and of course the studio has been doing whatever they can to drive that number down. They’re not really in any position of power, however, as a third Hangover is pretty much guaranteed to bring in truckloads of greenbacks, so the actors’ demands that each of them bank $15m a piece to come back and get drunk again are looking like they’re going to be met. Comparatively, each only made $1m for doing the modest budgeted original film.

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