The man-child: a staple character for modern comedy and notoriously known for being played one-note. They get the laugh they get out.
But turning the lovable goofball or zoned-out knucklehead into something more is no easy task—which makes Paul Rudd's work in Our Idiot Brother that much more impressive. Rudd's Earth-friendly farmer Ned (the closest thing to a new Lebowski we've seen since the original) finds himself down on his luck after being entrapped by a police officer looking for pot. After a stint in jail he abandons his rural hippie commune for the big city to take shelter with his three sisters. Unfortunately for Ned his three siblings Liz (Emily Mortimer) Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) are as equally displaced and confused from the ebb and flow of life—albeit with severely different perspectives of the world.
Liz struggles to put her kid in private school and keep her marriage to documentary filmmaker/scumbag Dylan (Steve Coogan) intact. Miranda claws her way to the top of Vanity Fair's editorial staff and shuns her flirtatious neighbor (Adam Scott). Natalie stresses over her commitment issues with girlfriend Cindy (Rashida Jones) leaving little time or patience for Ned's bumbling antics. Sound like a lot of plot? While the manic lives of Ned's sisters click symbolically with his journey to get back on his feet it makes for one sporadic narrative.
Like a series of vignettes Our Idiot Brother never gels but when director Jesse Peretz finds a moment of unadulterated Nedisms to throw up on screen the movie hits big. Whether it's Ned teaching his nephew how to fight accidentally romancing his sister's interview subject or infiltrating his ex-girlfriend's house to steal his dog Willie Nelson the movie relies heavily on Ned's antics and its smart to do so. But thin throughlines for its supporting don't hold a candle to Rudd doing his thing.
And its a testament to Rudd's versatility—the man has done everything from Shakespeare and raunchy Judd Apatow comedies after all—that makes the movie watchable. Rudd gives dimensionality to his nincompoop character allowing darker emotions to creep in when necessary. There's a point in the film when Ned gives up fighting for his type-A sisters' affection and it's some of the best material Rudd's ever delivered. But like one of Ned's lit joints Our Idiot Brother can quickly fizzle out leading to plodding plot twists and sentimental conclusions. Mortimer Banks and Deschanel are great actresses—here they drift through their scenes and come out in the end changed. Because they have to.
Our Idiot Brother tries to take the Apatow model to the indie scene and comes through with so-so results. Only Rudd's able to find something to latch on to to build upon to warm up to. In an unexpected twist it's the man-child who seems the most grown up.
Since separating from husband David Arquette in 2010, the Friends star has been romantically linked to her Cougar Town co-stars Brian Van Holt and Josh Hopkins - and she even vacationed with the latter in St. Barts last week (ends01Apr11).
But Cox insists her co-stars are just friend who have been offering her their support at a difficult time in her life.
She tells Harper's Bazaar, "He's (Brian Van Holt) a really good friend of mine, so I don't care. It just doesn't matter. He's a great guy, and he's definitely been a part of my support system.
'We (Brian Van Holt and I) were doing a scene out on a dock in Marina del Rey (California), and there were pictures of the two of us. As if that's where I'm going to go (to) have a private moment.
"How about the camera that was right there and all the cast members to the left that were completely cut out? But I'm used to it. It happened on Friends... That's just a part of life."
The former Friends star separated from husband David Arquette late last year (10) and she was subsequently linked to her Cougar Town co-star Brian Van Holt.
Cox denied the romance reports but now she has been paired with another co-star - her onscreen lover Hopkins, who was previously rumoured to be dating her close pal Jennifer Aniston.
The pair was photographed holidaying in St. Bart's and enjoying time on the beach together earlier this week (beg28Mar11), sparking gossip they are more than friends.
But Cox's rep has now spoken out to explain the pictures, telling People.com, "The relationship is strictly platonic and they are away with a group of friends on vacation."
The 1969 heist classic, about a group of criminals who attempt to steal a van full of gold, notched up 15 per cent of votes in a survey of 1,000 film fans to find the best movie to come out of the U.K.
Monty Python's Life of Brian came in second, while The Full Monty trailed in third with six per cent of votes in the Sky Movies HD poll.
Meanwhile, Sir Anthony Hopkins was crowned Britain's favourite actor with 12 per cent of the vote and Laurence Olivier was a close runner-up with 10 per cent. The Italian Job's lead actor Caine rounded out the top three.
Dame Judi Dench was hailed the country's top actress with a quarter of the votes cast, while her closest rival, Dame Helen Mirren, took 14 per cent.
Rear Window director Alfred Hitchcock was voted Britain's best filmmaker.
Ian Lewis, Director of Sky Movies, says, "The results of the Greatest British Film poll speak volumes about the nation's favourite homegrown talent, and the dream line-up would be a truly spectacular film. As we approach awards season and the competition escalates, we wanted to celebrate the best of British talent... We are rooting for the likes of Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Christopher Nolan during this year's awards."
What happens when a supervillain loses his superhero? The peculiar mutual dependence of the comic book protagonist/antagonist relationship and the strange emptiness that arises upon its dissolution forms the basis of Dreamworks’ Megamind an exuberant new animated comedy from director Tom McGrath (The Madagascar films) and writers Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons.
Funnyman Will Ferrell lends his voice to the title character a blue-skinned green-eyed alien whose mammoth hairless cranium has over the course of his career as a supervillain given life to an endless array of exotic inventions and elaborate schemes all in the service of his lifelong dream of conquering his adopted hometown of Metro City. Despite his creativity and obvious intelligence he’s been continually thwarted in his efforts by the city’s champion Metro Man (Brad Pitt) a preening show-off whose otherworldly physical gifts seem destined to forever trump Megamind’s cerebral ones.
Accustomed as he is to defeat Megamind is as surprised as anyone when he learns that his latest attempt at vanquishing his arch-rival has met with success. At a press conference convened to celebrate his newfound dominion over Metro City he is utterly flummoxed when the town’s ace reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey) presses him to reveal what sinister plans he has in store for the panicked populace. So focused was Megamind on his rivalry with Metro Man that he hadn’t bothered to ponder what he’d do in the unlikely event that he won.
Together with his sidekick a fish-headed cyborg named Minion (David Cross) Megamind rampages unhindered through Metro City terrorizing its citizenry and amassing untold riches. But these pursuits don’t yield nearly the joy he’d anticipated they would and having belatedly discovered that the evil journey is more important than the evil destination he begins pining for his old nemesis Metro Man.
I found myself missing him as well. From Dr. Evil to Despicable Me humanizing supervillains for comedic effect has been an exceedingly popular pastime in Hollywood in recent years. Less common is the examination of insufferably pompous “heroes” like Metro Man whose massive egos and diva antics are made tolerable only by their immense contributions to society. (Think Steve Jobs or Eliot Spitzer or Bono ...) Megamind opts to take the road more traveled and at times its story can’t help but feel like a bit of a re-hash despite how artfully rendered it is.
What it lacks in inventiveness Megamind makes up in wit intelligence and customarily gorgeous animation. After a truly dazzling opening act it wanders through a mid-point malaise before gradually gaining momentum as Megamind recognizing how hollow and meaningless his existence is without a worthy adversary with which to spar decides to literally manufacture one. But he is appalled to find that his new creation Titan (Jonah Hill) is far more interested in playing video games and acquiring shiny new toys than re-igniting the age-old battle between good and evil. When Titan's increasing nihilism imperils Metro City it's Megamind who emerges to defend it completing his unlikely journey from villain to hero to finally superhero.
While the first two Shrek films scored high praise from both critics and audiences the third installment of the animated saga 2007’s Shrek the Third was widely considered a letdown a signal that Dreamworks’ wildly successful franchise had finally jumped the shark. But that didn’t deter the studio from greenlighting a fourth Shrek film Shrek Forever After with the somewhat dubious assurance that it would be the last to feature the titular green ogre.
The plot of Shrek Forever After in many ways reflects the creative fatigue the filmmakers clearly feel: After fathering triplets with his wife Fiona (Cameron Diaz) Shrek (Mike Myers) has settled into a wearisome domestic routine of morning feedings clogged bathrooms and neighborhood pot lucks. But a domesticated Shrek is a boring Shrek and he soon longs to escape the tedium of family life and return to the carefree days when all the creatures of the forest feared his roar. But how? He's stuck.
Or so it seems until a lispy local charlatan Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn doing a solid Paul Reubens impression) offers Shrek a magical “deal” enabling him to turn back the clock for a day and spend 24 hours without the oppressive dictates of family life which the beleaguered ogre eagerly accepts. But fairytale contracts rarely come without hidden caveats and Shrek soon awakens in a nightmarish bizarro world where his family and friends have vanished and ogres are hunted by vicious gangs of witches. Worst of all Rumpelstiltskin has managed to install himself as Far Far Away’s decadent dictator turning the castle into some sort of crazy lesbian nightclub where his witchy subordinates gyrate to pounding techno music.
Call it It’s a Wonderful Shrek — or even Shrek to the Future if you will. It’s not the most original storytelling scheme but it allows the filmmakers to essentially hit the reset button on the Shrek canon and re-introduce familiar faces like Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) in slightly tweaked form. Fiona is no longer a dainty princess awaiting her savior but the butched-out (this emerges as a trend in the film) leader of an underground ogre resistance plotting to free Far Far Away from its effete Napoleon and his haggish minions. In order to avoid vanishing from history entirely Shrek has to woo her all over again — a task made harder by her newfound independent streak.
Fans of Shrek will be happy to know that Shrek Forever After — its weird butch/femme dynamic notwithstanding — marks a definite improvement over its predecessor. That said it won’t likely inspire any grassroots campaign to convince Dreamworks to reconsider its supposed decision to retire the character for good. The film works partly because it carries more modest aspirations largely shunning the laugh-a-minute pace and copious pop-culture humor that characterized the first three installments. The franchise is clearly running on fumes but this film has just enough laughter in the tank to make it to the finish line intact.
One final note: The 3D aspect of Shrek Forever After is surprisingly mundane adding little to the overall viewing experience. It’s disappointing considering that Dreamworks just recently did such terrific work on the 3D sequences in How to Train Your Dragon. Save your cash and hit a 2D showing instead.
Source: Heat Vision Blog
Hopkins to Play Villain in 'Arabian Nights'?
Anthony Hopkins might be adding another bad-guy role to his resume, albeit a decidedly different type than Hannibal Lecter.
The Oscar winner is reportedly very close to joining the cast of Arabian Nights -- as the villain.
Liam Hemsworth is already attached to play the lead role of a commander who teams up with Sinbad, Ali Baba and the Genie (yes, the one from the magic lamp).
Hopkins would play their chief adversary, Pharotu, in Arabian, which is expected to start shooting at the end of the summer.
Parodies are a dying art. I hate to say it — because I love them so much — but over the last few years the unrelenting hacks known as Friedberg and Seltzer have systematically killed the art form with their brainless pop culture-stroking disguised as commentary. I remember the good ole’ days of Abrams and Zucker (prior to their Scary Movie entanglements) when parodies where funny precisely because they established their own voice and didn’t use the material they were lampooning as a crutch. Airplane! mercilessly mocked the bizarre run of airport disaster movies in the '70s but it also transcended easy jokes and script aping. Today thanks to inexplicable box office validation an entire generation now thinks that the “Random celebrity what are you doing here?” gag is the appropriate formula for parody.
Kick-Ass is going to put a giant boot in the face of that mentality. It is a pitch-perfect send-up of everything that is characteristic of superhero films. It is versed enough to cite convention but clever enough to find the humor in the genre’s absurdity. And the biggest advantage Kick-Ass has in the parody department is that it is unrelentingly entertaining. It seems that in the last few years terrible parodies have made undeserved fortunes at the box office while better-crafted entries have gone largely unseen. Kick-Ass on the other hand has all the necessary components to clean up at the box office and be well deserving of its success.
The performances in the film are all top notch. Nicolas Cage showcases yet again how he can make his personal lunacy work very effectively under the right conditions. The overly Leave It To Beaver dialogue he and his daughter exchange prior to assuming their crime-fighting alter egos is charmingly silly and if you don’t get a kick out of his channeling of Adam West from the 60’s Batman series when he is in the suit I highly suggest a humor implant immediately. Aaron Johnson in the title role plays the lovable loser to perfection. He brings a lot of heart to the character that drives the emotional crux of the film. And as much as Christopher Mintz-Plasse is the most recognizable young actor in the film it’s Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl who totally McLovins the film; stealing every scene she’s in. The personality comedic timing and ruthlessness that she brings to this character demonstrate a talent level well in advance of her age.
In terms of the treatment of the teenaged characters in the film this script is tantamount to something written by the late great John Hughes in so much as the teens are allowed to speak honestly and in their own limited vocabulary without the pretense of wit. I think teen comedies are improving dramatically of late but the obsession with making teens pithy wordsmiths baffles me to no end and I’m glad they were allowed to just be vulgar. And my God this thing is vulgar…and violent to boot. We get to watch an 11 year-old drop f-bombs and stab thugs in the forebrain. I mean come on the movie is called Kick-Ass for a reason and while it is a comedy the action sequences are unstoppably exhilarating.
A smart somewhat genre subversive parody Kick-Ass is also action-packed and entertaining enough to stand on its own two legs as a film and not just a lampoon. The costumes the music the fight choreography all work in harmony to bring us a blockbuster superhero film that is legitimately humorous in both its homages and honest characterizations. Do not miss this film.
Kat Dennings has joined the cast of Thor -- according to the movie’s leading lady, Natalie Portman.
Portman told MTV of the news while promoting her soon-to-be-released drama Brothers: "Kat Dennings is going to be in it with me and she's a good friend and an amazing actress, so I'm looking forward to that."
It's not yet known which role Dennings (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) would fill (the Enchantress?!), but the up-and-coming actress joins a strong cast that already boasts Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Hemsworth as the title character.
Thor, directed by Kenneth Branagh, will be released on May 20, 2011.
Movie star Shia LaBeouf had a one-date wonder with Rihanna -- but the couple failed to hit it off as potential lovers.
The Transformers star reveals he became "infatuated" with the "Umbrella" hitmaker and was stunned to find out Rihanna was trying to get in touch with him.
A mutual stylist friend eventually passed Rihanna's details to LaBeouf while he was filming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystall Skull in Hawaii.
He recalls, "(I was) filming a sword fight when I got the message. I said to myself, 'Can this be my life?'"
The actor tells Playboy magazine he texted the R&B pin-up and they set up a dinner date: "It never got beyond one date. The spark wasn't there. We weren't passionate about each other in that way, so we remain friends."
LaBeouf admits the passion definitely was there on the Transformers movie sets -- between him and co-star Megan Fox, who plays his girlfriend in the action blockbusters.
And the actor still holds out hope he and Fox can become lovers in the future.
He admits they both had to be professional about their relationship while they were working together: "It hasn't been a romantic thing because you're trying to respect the work environment. You don't push anything. And, with sex and romance, things become convoluted so fast... You're playing with the devil.
"We could be shooting, and the relationship is suddenly on the rocks and then what? So we just never did anything about it. We were very smart. We're attracted to each other, and I think you can see that in our scenes together. It's very real and tangible, and you can tell something exists.
"I'm going to know the girl forever. She's a beautiful, intelligent girl, and when you make a movie with someone like that... you feel things. I know a relationship between us isn't an option for us right now for a variety of reasons... (but) I get to kiss her in the fantasy world."
Fox is involved in a committed relationship with actor Brian Austin Green, but the couple recently called off its engagement.
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