Zoolander

Zoolander

We’ve been hearing rumors about a second Zoolander feature for what seems like years now — hey, it has actually been whole years! — and while we never exactly gave up hope that we would (one day!) suck back another hot batch of orange mocha Frappuccinos with the gang again, we haven’t been holding our breath on the feature. Turns out, that’s a good thing! We, like, totally would have died! But Zoolander 2 does apparently live, and it’s started casting to prove it. Deadline reports that Zoolander 2, set to be directed by star Ben Stiller and with a script by Justin Theroux (remember, he penned Tropic Thunder for Stiller), will feature a part for Penelope Cruz of all starlets, with Stiller back as the Blue Steel-faced model moron, and rumors that we can expect to see both Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell back for more vigorously persisting. There’s no word on what we can expect to see from the film beyond this particular line-up of talents, but we’ve got some ideas. Here’s what we need — nay, require — from Zoolander 2:

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Zoolander

From Robin Williams’ suicide to James Foley to the shooting death of Mike Brown and the ongoing tension in Ferguson, Missouri, that it inspired, it’s been a really crappy month. The idea that there’s always something bad going on seems to have reached new heights, obliterating the Rule of Three and morphing social media into a daredevil experience – stay current if you dare. In times like these we need moments of recalibration, feel-good experiences that allow us a reprieve from the negative. As movie fiends, film is the perfect safe-haven, or so one would think. During the mess of drama this week I started Googling feel-good movie lists and was shocked to see how many required the viewer to feel bad before they felt good (if at all). Lists included the melancholic Little Miss Sunshine, Robin Williams’ own dark suicide comedy World’s Greatest Dad, the Holocaust drama Schindler’s List, and Up, which requires you to go through cinematic devastation before the sweet journey. One list of movies “that instantly make your day better” even includes Magnolia. Another at IMDb is labeled as “feel-good melancholic atmosphere.” Sure, these films might make some viewers feel good, for whatever reason – we all have beloved films that other people can’t understand – but they aren’t “feel-good” films guaranteed to brighten everyone’s day. They are not movies someone who is feeling bad can turn on to lighten their mood and take them out of their angst and pain. So, in an attempt to […]

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Tom Cruise in Goldmember

There was a time when the comedic cameo was a special, timeless treat. It would blend fiction and reality in an irresistible way, one that that might accentuate the rant of a neurotic New Yorker, like Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall, elaborate on the subtext of comic books like Stan Lee in Mallrats, set the scene of the narrative like the many grunge cameos in Singles, or embody the dream of every struggling college student when paper-subject Kurt Vonnegut pops up to give Rodney Dangerfield some help in Back to School. The above are all contextual, rare and so particular that they’re still remembered all these years later. They were both a viewer treat and an addition that added legitimacy to the film’s message. But what about today? Cameos have shifted from the exception to the norm – I Love You Man, This is the End, Veronica Mars, Zombieland and The Hangover are some of the many modern comedies that throw in a cameo just to have one (some good, others not so much). There are films that get away with it – one can’t blame the 21 Jump Street folks for wanting some source material cameos, for instance – but generally, it’s about a wacky pop culture fun. Ten years ago it was already wearing thin. In a piece at Slate, Adam Sternbergh wrote of the rising ironic cameo culture during the release of Dodgeball, and concluded: “the satire fizzled. So many people were in on the joke that it […]

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IntroAwardShows

It’s silly to think that the outcome of Sunday’s Academy Awards is going to somehow change anything about the films nominated, just like it is silly to get any kinds of worked up about it unless you yourself happen to be up for an award. Really, the fun of the Oscars is watching all those unquenchable egos sitting under one roof, patting each other on the back in the form of golden naked men. So in the honor of emotional extremity, let us look back on the greater award show moments in films – some of which portraying the very ceremony they hope to be a part of.

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Culture Warrior

When cinema history is written, what gets highlighted most often are the films that made an indelible mark: films that were beloved by critics, represented a particular cultural moment, or become a popular phenomenon. The films that aren’t often written about are the outliers: films that don’t make much sense in their context, didn’t function as an index of a larger cultural moment or trend, or didn’t make for significant hits or misses. However, with hindsight, those strange films that don’t belong, films orphaned without a definite place in history that can be made sense of, can eventually reveal themselves to be the most interesting, be they good or bad. 2001 was a strange year for comedy. In the latter part of that year, it seemed we needed a laugh more than ever, but no single film really filled that void. Unlike Meet the Parents in 2000 or My Big Fat Greek Wedding in 2002, 2001 was without a mammoth comedic hit. The once-crowned Farrelly brothers released the first of a string of underwhelming, forced films, and a gap in popular comedy cinema persisted until Judd Apatow turned a litany of non-photogenic sitcom stars into bona fide movie stars in 2005. Sure, 2001 had the expected combination of the hit sequel (American Pie 2), the romantic comedy (Bridget Jones’s Diary) and one genuinely inspired star-maker (Legally Blonde), but the comedy movies that existed just on the margins of the radar, if not off it entirely, reveal a crop of strange, […]

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Life comes before art, always. When life is lost – the first priority is the people who were most affected by it, and being respectful of the loss they had to endure. Because of this, the upcoming film Gangster Squad has opted to possibly eliminate or re-shoot an entire scene that touches a little too close to the heartbreak which occurred last week in Aurora, Colorado. It is a difficult situation that you can look at from two very different perspectives, both of which are quite valid. The first is the aforementioned need for respect, which does take precedence over everything else. However there is also the need to carry on, to not let a singular son of a bitch affect our lives so much that we’re completely submitting to the melancholy to the point of letting it win the day. That said – it’s just a movie, and it can be changed. After all, it’s happened before…

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Paramount passed on Anchorman 2 last week, and Zoolander might be struggling. Why isn’t the studio chomping at the bit?

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Coming soon: Blue Steel vs. Ask Me About My Wiener. All things are possible, if you’re Justin Theroux.

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decade_junkfoodcinema

Here is my list of this decade’s films that fell well short of critical acclaim but still found their way into my favor and, in many cases, my DVD collection.

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cultwarrior_decadeinreview

This week’s Culture Warrior gives an exhaustive review of the decade that you won’t find anywhere else on the Interwebs.

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Rainn Wilson in The Rocker

The Rocker starring Rainn Wilson opened in theaters Wednesday. We decided this warranted a list, but instead of just hashing out a list about 10 movies about rockers that rocked, we wanted to give you ten rockers who rocked in movies that may or may not have even been about rocking.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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