It's funny how career paths can suddenly shift. Comedian and actor Ed Byrne, who was born on April 10, 1972 in Swords, Ireland, went to the University of Strathclyde with an intent to study horticultu...
Jill Soloway, the writer/director of Afternoon Delight, recently coined the term "funcomfortable" in her New York Times profile to describe that squeamishly funny genre of movies that combine raunchy-wry humor with moments that are just so honest that you can’t help but get a little fidgety (think: every episode of Girls). Here's a sampling of "funcomfortable" flicks if you’re hankering for an awkward evening of unsexy sexuality. Bridesmaids
If you can picture the scene when Melissa McCarthy brilliantly defiles a sink in a prissy bridal salon, then you can understand why Bridesmaids fits this category. But "funcomfortable" is more than just scattalogical humor. It’s about those clumsy, embarrassing, human moments where female sensuality is presented in real, sometimes unglamorous ways. Enter any scene where our heroine, Kristen Wiig throws herself on John Hamm.
Bachelorette *Skip this clip if you're at work or sitting next to somone you've hooked up with.
Do not watch this film if you’re in the planning stages of a wedding. If you’re "single-to-mingle," please enjoy this hyper-real depiction of friendship, jealousy, party drugs and sexuality in their most pure and pathetically funny incarnations.Knocked Up
If you're wondering how pregnant people have sex, what will happen to your boyfriend if he doesn't move out of the house he shares with his college roommates, or what your marriage will be like if your husband's idea of cheating is seeing Spiderman in theaters without you, then watch this classic Apatow movie and giggle while you squirm during every scene featuring Katherine Heigl (aka, every scene).
For a Good Time Call
Two women – one prude, one bawdy, figure out how to monetize sex (legally) and learn about the almighty female bond along the way. If dirty talk makes you blush, you’ll have to fast-forward through most of this playful film.
Slums of Beverly Hills
If you're going through "Orange is the New Black" withdrawal, watching Natasha Lyonne explore her newly sprouted femininity in this sweet, yet frank feature film will be your perfect fix. (Ed Note: I saw this movie in theaters with my mother. That was neither fun nor comfortable).
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Good news for fellow fans of Insidious — production on the 2010 hit's sequel is set to begin on January 15, for an August 30, 2013 release. And while we're certainly not surprised that a cheap, successful horror flick is getting a sequel, we're perplexed by some of the names on its roster: The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Ty Simpkins are all set to reprise their roles. Wait — what? [This is the point where, if you haven't seen Insidious yet and want to, you might want to stop reading. Spoilers abound.)
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Okay. So at the end of Insidious, Wilson's character came back from the far beyond possessed by the spirit of a scary old lady demon, and he most definitely strangled Elise (Shaye) to death. His wife and formerly comatose son (Byrne and Simpkins) were about ten feet away, so the common assumption is (was) that all four of them were f***ed. So, unless they appear only in flashbacks — which is unlikely — they all made it out alive.
This has me a bit worried. Part of what made the first Insidious so great (besides the clever plot) was seeing an actually scary version of the classic suspenseful haunted house story come alive, with modern twists. Insidious didn't rely on heavy gore (Saw, Texas Chainsaw, everything else) or the currently tired trope of fear what you don't see (Paranormal Activity franchise) to scare its audience — it came up with a seriously scary idea and nightmarish creatures like that old lady, and had them jumping out at every corner. Ah!
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If Insidious 2 picks up where it left off — presumably, with a family on the run from or trying to save its Daddy Demon — we won't experience the slow burning tension that added so much to the visceral effect of the first one. And if Shaye lived through that strangling... well, that's just cheap. We've met the family's demons, we know the twist — what's left to explore? Of course, I'm hoping that the James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell prove me wrong, but my gut feeling here is that I'd rather explore a whole new house and family, with a different insidious terror lurking in the background. Hey, it worked for American Horror Story. Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna [Photo Credit: FilmDistrict] MORE: Patrick Wilson to Guest Star on 'Girls' 'Insidious' Sequel in the Works 'Bridesmaids' Stars: What's Next?
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Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.
Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.
Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.
As the rush of the Fall TV season inches closer and closer, we naturally get more news about which actors and actresses we'll see making appearances on a few new series.Bridesmaids' Wendi McLendon-Covey is a longtime fixture in television comedy. You might remember her from Reno 911, or the lesser-known Lovespring International, in which she had a starring role. The latest McLendon-Covey news has her guest-starring on the upcoming season of Fox's I Hate My Teenage Daughter. The actress will take the role of Principal Diego at the high school of Jamie Pressly's and Katie Finneran's loathesome teenage daughters. I Hate My Teenage Daughter premieres November 30 at 9:30 p.m. ET on Fox.
Rachael Harris is memorable as Ed Helms' horrific live-in girlfriend in the first Hangover movie, but has also had a long line of guest spots on impressive sitcoms, including Friends, Modern Family and Party Down. We will be seeing Harris in a guest role on the new NBC comedy Free Agents, starring The Simpsons' heavy-lifter Hank Azaria and frequent Will Ferrell-supporter Kathryn Hahn. Free Agents enjoys a soft premiere Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 10:30 p.m. ET and will premiere in its regular timeslot on Sept. 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Steering away from the comedy, we have news that American Horror Story will be receiving a new guest star: Sarah Paulson. Paulson will enjoy a four-episode arc as a medium named Billie Dean. Paulson's previous television work has included Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Deadwood and American Gothic. American Horror Story premieres on October 5 at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
Source: Laughspin, TVGuide, TVLine
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
It's funny how career paths can suddenly shift. Comedian and actor Ed Byrne, who was born on April 10, 1972 in Swords, Ireland, went to the University of Strathclyde with an intent to study horticulture. He wound up being named the entertainment convener at the Student Union when he was in his second year and he forgot all about plants. The comedy bug bit him and he wound up creating shows at the school and then after being able to successfully book a lot of acts, he left Strathclyde and plunged into the world of comedy. He became known for his observational comedy and became a huge international success, appearing on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" (NBC 1993-2009) five times and regularly appearing at comedy festivals around the world. Several of his stand-up shows were released on DVD, including "Different Class" (2009). Along with his stand-up career, Byrne appeared in movies like "Zemanovaload" ( 2005) and "Round Ireland With a Fridge" (2010) and became a regular fixture on British TV quiz and chat shows due to his improvisational wit.