Short of the Week/Vimeo
It's always good to be able to laugh at yourself, and thanks to Shia LaBeouf's short film HowardCantour.com, online movie critics everywhere have the chance to do just that.
The 12-minute short, which originally screened earlier this year at the Cannes Critics' Week, follows the online film critic Howard Cantour (played by comedian Jim Gaffigan) who is faced with writing a review of the latest work by a director that he has idolized for decades. Cantour also goes up against some verbal and psychological abuse from two other critics/competitors/snobs (played by Thomas Lennon and Portia Doubleday). From free cookies at press junkets, to the behind-the-scenes politics that goes into deciding who gets to interview who, to the relationships between fellow critics, LaBeouf creates a sardonic and (relatively) on-point image of critics through the lens of an outsider. As Gaffigan's character so courageously says, "A critic is a warrior. Each one of us on the battlefield have the means to glorify or demolish."
In an interview with Short of the Week, LaBeouf explained his inspiration for making the short: "I know something about the gulf between critical acclaim and blockbuster business. I have been crushed by critics (especially during my Transformers run), and in trying to come to terms with my feelings about critics, I needed to understand them. As I tried to empathize with the sort of man who might earn a living taking potshots at me and the people I’ve worked with, a small script developed."
Well, thanks to LaBeouf, the criticism has come full circle with the criticizee criticizing the critic. Did you get that? Good. (Oh, and in case you're wondering, yes, I am definitely laughing.)
Check out the actor-turned-director's cinematic jab at online reviewers below:
What makes the destructive conclusion of Stephen King's Carrie so powerful is the absolute plainness that kicks off the story. Carrie White is the daughter of a fundamentalist Christian mother who dresses her in outdated, drab clothing so hideous, no beauty can escape its black hole of style. The look inspires the worst reactions imaginable from Carrie's high school classmates, who torture her so badly, she lashes out with telekinetic fury.
An absolutely terrifying scenario, but one we can't wait to see the young Chloe Moretz tackle in the upcoming remake from director Kimberly Peirce. The first photos from the set of Carrie have crept online and now we've got our first look at Moretz in one of the character's signature outfits. Green dress, blue cardigan, a cross necklace — yup, that's the modest Carrie. Moretz is a good looking gal and a solid actress, but even the simplest outfit instantly transforms her into the titular social outcast. Spot on.
Costarring Julianne Moore, Judy Greer and Portia Doubleday, Carrie is currently in production and is expected to hit theaters on March 15, 2013.
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One of the funniest and cunning performers working today, Judy Greer is still a relative unknown. Thanks to her ability to slip into every role, she's carved out a niche as being the perfect supporting actress, never making that big leap to leading lady status. Hopefully that'll begin to change with her recent string of high profile roles — after knocking it out of the park in last year's Oscar-nominated The Descendants and keeping things interesting on Two and a Half Men, CinemaBlend reports that Greer is set to join the upcoming remake of Carrie, where she'll play the nurturing high school gym teacher Miss Desjardin. And Carrie needs nurturing — she is a bit demonic, after all.
Greer joins an already killer cast including Chloe Moretz as the titular teen and Julianne Moore, as her unhinged mother. Also set to appear in the Stephen King adaptation is actress Portia Doubleday, who appeared in the little-seen (but quite hilarious) Michael Cera comedy Youth in Revolt. Doubleday will play Chris Hargensen, Carrie's mentally-abusive classmate who pushes the troubled gal over the edge. The recognizable horror title should help give both of these actresses a deserved career boost — or perhaps they'll continue being amazing supporting performers. Either way, there presence in Carrie gives the skepticism-worthy project another bump up in the talent department.
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"I never actually met Ray Liotta. I wanted to, but he's so scary in his movies." Actress PORTIA DOUBLEDAY couldn't summon up the courage to meet the Goodfellas star on the set of new film Youth In Revolt.
Hormones can wreak havoc on the teenage brain causing it to contemplate all sorts of mischief in its drive to sate its carnal appetite. In the R-rated teen comedy Youth in Revolt directed by Miguel Arteta and starring Michael Cera (Juno Superbad) and newcomer Portia Doubleday the volatile combo becomes downright hazardous.
The “teen” label is highly debatable here as Youth in Revolt’s hapless protagonist Nick (Cera) and his impish paramour Sheeni (Doubleday) are both too quick-witted and hyper-articulate to qualify as mere high school sophomores. It’s the Juno debate: I don’t know if any teens actually talk like this but if they do I guarantee none are as sophisticated or attractive as our Nick and Sheeni. No Youth in Revolt is more like a hipster’s whimsical projection of what his adolescence might have looked like if it weren’t spent buried in an issue of McSweeney’s. And on that level — as a sort of Porky’s for intellectuals — it actually works.
Though his vocabulary is highly advanced 16-year-old Nick shares one important trait in common with most boys his age: He’d like to lose his virginity preferably as soon as possible. But his chances seem woefully slim until he meets Sheeni an attractive girl possessing a mind as sharp as his but without the nagging insecurity and sexual inhibition. To top it off Sheeni appears more than willing to escort Nick into manhood; circumstances however conspire to thwart them at nearly every turn driving Nick to increasingly desperate lengths to be joined with her. Egged on by an imaginary wingman his shrewdly Machiavellian alter ego Francois Dillinger (also Cera) Nick’s actions escalate from mere lies and manipulation to arson and auto theft with startling speed and he soon earns the attention of the authorities.
With the cops hot on his trail Nick spends the last third of the film in a sort of hormone-fueled version of The Fugitive racing against time to crack the case of his virginity before being dragged away to juvenile hall. It’s one of the many odd shifts in tone that plague Youth in Revolt as Arteta can’t seem to decide between raunchy sex comedy and surreal coming-of-age tale. Thankfully he’s able to fall back on the talents of Cera and Doubleday whose amusing and endearing — if suspiciously mature — repartee carries the film.
Youth in Revolt hits theaters on Friday and stars Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Justin Long, Ray Liotta and Zach Galifianakis. The film is an adaptation of C.D. Payne's epistolary novel by the same name.
The film has been getting some great feedback and we've got four exclusive new photos of one if it's stars - Portia Doubleday as Sheeni Saunders. Check them out, below.