How would you react to hearing you're miraculously the father of 533 children? Go into panic mode as your jaw drops to the floor? Yep. That sounds just about right– and that's exactly what happens in the first trailer for Vince Vaughn's comedic flick Delivery Man.
Directed and written by Ken Scott, Delivery Man stars Vaughn as mid-age slacker David Wozniak. A mix-up at a fertile clinic two decades ago sends Wozniak into a state of solid shock after he hears that his anonymous donation back in the day somehow led to him becoming the inadvertant father of a slew of children, 533 to be exact. And now 142 of them are filing a lawsuit for Wozniak to disclose his identity. Now that's complicated. But hey, at least Wozniak has a high sperm count to brag about!
As Vaughn grapples with whether or not he should step forward as the father of 533, he develops a sense of guilt, which drives him to act as a guardian angel figure as he lends himself to watch over his 'children'.
While on the brink of heartfelt goop and pure obscurity, Deliver Man catapults Vince Vaughn in the same dull role that he always plays out, but with far less laughs than Wedding Crashers or even The Internship for Pete's sake!
The comedy, which is a remake of Ken Scott's Starbuck from 2011, stars Vince Vaughn alongside Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders and is set for release on November 22, 2013.
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A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.
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.
Salt the propulsive new thriller from Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger Patriot Games) has been dubbed “Bourne with boobs ” but that label isn’t entirely accurate. In the role of Evelyn Salt a CIA staffer hunted by her own agency after a Russian defector fingers her in a plot to murder Russia’s president Angelina Jolie keeps her two most potent weapons holstered hidden under pantsuits and trenchcoats and the various other components of a super-spy wardrobe that proudly emphasizes function over flash.
But flash is one thing Salt never lacks for. Its breathless cat-and-mouse game hits full-throttle almost from the outset when a former KGB officer named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) stumbles into a CIA interrogation room and begins spilling details of a vast conspiracy. Back in the ‘70s hardline elements of the Soviet regime launched an ambitious new front in the Cold War flooding the western world with orphans trained to infiltrate the security complexes of their adopted homelands and wait patiently — decades if necessary — for the order to initiate a series of assassinations intended to trigger a devastating nuclear clash between the superpowers from which the treacherous Reds would emerge triumphant.
The Soviet Union may have long ago collapsed (or did it? Hmmm...) but its army of brainwashed killer orphan spies remains in place and if this crazy Orlov fellow is to be believed they stand poised to reignite the Cold War. It’s a preposterous — even idiotic — scheme but no more so than any of our government’s various harebrained proposals to kill Castro back in the ‘60s. As such the CIA treats it with grave seriousness even the part that that pegs Salt who just happens to be a Russian-born orphan herself as a key player in the conspiracy.
Salt bristles at the accusation but suspecting a set-up she opts to flee rather than face interrogation from her bosses Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). A former field agent she’s been confined to a desk job since a clandestine operation in North Korea went south leaving her with a nasty shiner and a rather unremarkable German boyfriend (now her unremarkable German husband). She’s clearly kept up her training during while cubicle-bound however and in a blaze of resourceful thinking and devastating Parkour Fu she fends off a dozen or so agents of questionable competence and takes to the streets where she sets about to clear her name and unravel the Commie orphan conspiracy before the authorities can catch up with her. That is if she isn’t a part of the conspiracy.
The premise which aims to resurrect Cold War tensions and graft them onto a modern-day spy thriller is absurdly clever — and cleverly absurd. But Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay isn’t satisfied with the merely clever and absurd — it must be mind-blowing. Salt is one of those thrillers that ladles out its backstory slowly and in tiny portions every once in a while dropping a revelatory bombshell that effectively blows the lid off everything that happened beforehand. No one is who they seem and every action every gesture no matter how seemingly trivial is imbued with some kind of grand significance. The effect of piling on one insane twist after another has the effect of gradually diluting the narrative. When anything is possible nothing really matters.
But spy thrillers by definition trade in the preposterous and the principal function of the summer blockbuster is to entertain. In that regard Salt more than fulfills its charge. Noyce wisely keeps the story moving at pace that allows little time for asking uncomfortable questions or poking holes in the film’s frail plot. And he has an able partner in the infinitely versatile Jolie who having already exhibited formidable action-hero chops in Wanted and the Tomb Raider films proves remarkably adept at the spy game as well.
It’s well-known that Jolie wasn’t the first choice to star in Salt joining the project only after Tom Cruise dropped out citing the story’s growing similarities to the Mission: Impossible films. But she’s more than just a capable replacement; she’s a welcome upgrade over Cruise not least because she’s over a decade younger (and a few inches taller) than her predecessor. Should Brad Bird require a pinch-hitter for Ethan Hunt he knows where to look.
A Cab for Three was awarded the Golden Shell for best film at Spain's San Sebastian Film Festival. According to CNN, the film, directed by Orland Lubbert, was not among the favorites to win. French director Claude Chabrol was booed by the press and critics when he announced the award.
At a time when television talk show hosts are showing restraint and respect in dealing with the complexity of the terrorist attacks, the self-proclaimed King of All Media Howard Stern is taking a more tasteless approach. In the aftermath of the attacks, Stern has blamed the U.S.' lack of military response on the feminization of America. Entertainment Weekly quotes Stern as saying, "What's all this peace and love crap? [Let's] offer up someone from the Middle East."
Singer Tori Amos is addressing the issue of female victimization in her latest album, Strange Little Girls. According to SonicNet.com, Amos covers 12 songs written by men, giving them each a distinctive, female voice. Songs on the album include Eminem's "97 Bonnie & Clyde," the Velvet Underground's "New Age," Tom Waits' "Time," and the Beatles' "Happiness is a Warm Gun."
A coalition of entertainment companies on Monday will try to strike down legislation requiring music labels to offer the same licensing deal at the same price to all online music ventures, Variety reports. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Rick Boucher (R-Va.) this summer over concerns that major record labels would somehow lock up the online music business.
The Directors Guild of America has agreed to early negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, Variety reports. While the DGA's current three-year contract with the AMPTP does not run out until June 30, 2002, they are hoping to avoid showbiz disruptions like this year's writers and actor's sagas.
Producer Quincy Jones has an autobiography coming out Oct. 9, aptly titled Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones. According to The Associated Press, Q will cover his days of working with Count Basie to Michael Jackson's Thriller. "[Jackson] was so shy he'd sit down and sing behind the couch with his back to me while I sat there with my hands over my eyes with the lights off," Quincy says.
Country singer Naomi Judd will act as honorary chairwoman for a campaign to build Kentucky's first freestanding hospice facility for the dying, The Associated Press reports. The group hopes to raise $1.5 million for the 10-bed, 12,000-square-foot Community Hospice.
At a Friday summit in Washington sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, rap leaders were urged to help others understand rap music as a positive force. According to Variety, the panel included the president-CEO of the Recording Industry Assn. of America Hilary Rosen, Def Jam Records' founder Russell Simmons and NAACP president-CEO Kweisi Mfume.
Spirited Away, a Japanese animated movie, has set a new audience record in Japan, Variety reports. The film, which debuted on July 20, has reached 16.9 viewers and grossed about $184.14 million. Distributor Toho Co. expects the film to surpass Titanic's gross in the next few weeks. As of Wednesday, the film was $4.27 million shy of Titanic's all-time high.
Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, is starting a two-year course in International Relations at Oxford University. According to Reuters, father and daughter arrived in London on Sunday surrounded by British and U.S. security officials. Clinton, who attended Oxford from 1968-1970, has been quoted as saying he is taken with the idea of returning to his alma mater in a teaching role.