Sacha Baron Cohen is not someone you would describe as uncontroversial. Now, his over-the-top antics may have gotten him banned from the 84th Annual Academy Awards. He’s been a British hip-hop artist (Ali G Indahouse), a Kazakhstani immigrant (Borat) and a flamboyant Austrian fashionista (Bruno), each one more polarizing than the last. Apparently his new character from The Dictator, General Aladeen, is not welcome at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual awards show. Hit the jump to find out what got The Dictator banned and to see why this might all just boil down to a publicity stunt one way or another.
These days romantic comedies have to be “not your normal romantic comedy” to be interesting at all. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Judd Apatow’s efforts, etc. may follow the same inherent structure of a Katherine Heigl or Kate Hudson film, but it’s the difference between a gourmet burger and McDonalds. And with those Heigl and Hudson efforts, the end result is usually the same, an hour and forty five minutes or so of high concept ridiculousness. Anna Faris has been smart about her work, but What’s Your Number? is a by-the-numbers rom-com. It’s also not very good, but it’s hard to get worked up over such blandness. Chris Evans and a host of supporting comics co-star in this tepid affair. Our review of What’s Your Number? on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
Paramount has released the first trailer for the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator. Cohen stars as a despot who “risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.” The trailer has a lot of great jokes. Cohen is like Mike Myers if Myers was still funny, relevant, had smarter comedy, and–most importantly–was willing to offend the shit out of people. This trailer doesn’t pull any punches and I love that it’s a green band that will play to families across America this holiday season.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, J.B. Smoove, and John C. Reilly. The Dictator opens May 11, 2012. [We've updated the story with the teaser poster, which you can also check out after the jump.]
20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the third movie in the series, and it’s absolutely painful. Really and truly. It’s basically Lost with annoying pop song-singing Chipmunks. The story finds Jason Lee and his Chipmunks “chipwrecked” on a desert island after a luxurious cruise. Lee is split up from his chipmunks, and said chipmunks wonder how they’re ever going to find their master in between singing Lady Gaga songs. I guess kids will enjoy it, but this is one of those kids movies that has zero appeal to the parents that are dragged along.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The voice cast features Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Amy Poehler, Anna Faris, and Christina Applegate. Jason Lee, David Cross, and Jenny Slate will reprise their live-action roles. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked is scheduled for release on December 16th.
I had nothing to do with the making of What’s Your Number? and yet I feel compelled to apologize to women everywhere for its existence. The movie is the shameful philosophy of women’s magazines slapped onto the big screen as a moral lesson that feels painfully outdated in the 21st century or really anytime after 1960s. It is a cruel, thoughtless picture that wants women to feel ashamed if they’ve slept with more than arbitrary number of men while casting no blame on guys who have racked up countless notches on their bedposts. I can’t fathom why talented comic actors like Anna Faris and Chris Evans would decide to lead such a despicable picture, and not only are they wasted in this movie, only a handful of jokes get through. But nothing can make up for the film’s awful subtext.
In the raunchy comedy What’s Your Number?, Ally Darling (Anna Faris) has a bit of a crisis moment, when she reads a magazine article warning that people who have had 20 or more relationships have missed their chance at true love. So, on a quest to find the best ex on her list, she sets out to reconnect with the colorful and sometimes bizarre assortment of lovers from her past, hoping that one of them will be marriage material. Throughout it all, Ally’s partner in her quest is her neighbor Colin (Chris Evans), the guy across the hall who has serious relationship and commitment issues of his own. As they get to know each other, what starts out as a friendship of convenience quickly evolves into something much more, as they both realize that they can be accepted for who they really are, instead of changing for someone else.
At the film’s press day, co-stars Anna Faris and Chris Evans talked about how they got attached to the project, that they’ve looked up an ex or two of their own, how they were game for the nudity because it had a humorous purpose, how you can never compromise your integrity for someone else, and that the double standard for women being seen as sluts while men are seen as studs is unwarranted today. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
The new season of Saturday Night Live kicked off this past weekend with host Alec Baldwin, and next weekend Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy takes the stage for her first time as host of the late night sketch comedy series, but now we have word on two more hosts for October. Today NBC announced that Ben Stiller will return for his second time as host on October 8th with musical guest Foster the People and Anna Faris will also make her second SNL appearance to host the show on October 15th with musical guest Drake.
You may not remember, but Stiller was a featured player and writer on SNL back in 1989, so his return to the stage is a bit of a homecoming. As for Faris, despite the fact that her comedies aren’t always of the best quality, she’s certainly dedicated to the genre, and I respect her continued efforts as a straight-up comedy actress. This season seems to be off to a strong start, so here’s hoping the momentum continues into October.
by Jason Barr Posted: September 17th, 2011 at 10:23 am
With director Mark Mylod’s (Ali G Indahouse, Entourage and United States of Tara) comedy What’s Your Number? hitting theaters soon, we’ve been provided with six clips. Starring Chris Evans, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Martin Freeman, Zachary Quinto and Andy Samberg, the pic centers on Ally (Faris), a woman who, for fear of ending up alone, embarks on a mission to deduce the best ex she has ever had. Hit the jump to check out the clips. What’s Your Number? opens on September 30th.
New images have gone online from the Hammer Films gothic-thriller The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe, and the insipid-looking romantic comedy What’s Your Number? starring Anna Faris and Chris Evans. In The Woman in Black, Radcliffe plays a young lawyer who travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals. And they don’t teach you how to deal with that in law school. As for What’s Your Number?, Faris plays a woman who thinks that because she’s slept with 20 different guys, she already passed by Mr. Right and so she has to revisit all of her exes with the help of her handsome neighbor (Evans). The movie’s message is apparently “Women, if you sleep with a bunch of guys, then you have probably missed out on a committed relationship, you giant slut.” If the movie was about a guy who had slept with 20 different women, there would be no movie because watching a dude get high-fives for 90 minutes has no narrative momentum.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The Woman in Black opens February 3, 2012. What’s Your Number? opens September 30th.
New posters have been released for the Sundance films Buck, The Art of Getting By (formerly titled Homework), and The Ledge. There’s also a new poster for the Anna Faris romantic comedy What’s Your Number? Hit the jump to check out the posters along with a synopsis for each film and its release date.
Two upcoming Relativity Media films may not have titles, but they now have release dates. First up, James McTeigue’s Untitled Raven Project (previously titled The Raven) will open on March 9, 2012. Per the press release, “The film is a gritty thriller in which Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) joins forces with a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) to hunt down a mad serial killer who’s using Poe’s own works as the basis in a string of brutal murders.” The untitled movie also stars Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen.
Relativity has also set the date for the Untitled Farrelly/Wessler Comedy that has an absolutely ridiculous cast starring in a series of interconnected stories. Just some of the names on board include Johnny Knoxville, Gerard Butler, Anna Faris, Seann Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, Halle Berry, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Terrence Howard, Liev Schreiber, Elizabeth Banks, Justin Long, Kristen Bell, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Stephen Merchant. Hit the jump for the full press release.
We have a few casting tidbits to bring you tonight. First up, Deadline reports that Anna Faris has been offered the female lead in director Larry Charles’ (Borat) comedy The Dictator. Already starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Kingsley, the film tells the story of a dictator who risks his life to keep democracy out of his finely oppressed country. Cohen will take on dual roles in the film as both the dictator and a goat herder whereas Faris’ character would be the owner of an organic food store who begins to turn around Cohen’s dictatorial outlook. You may remember that Faris faced competition in the form of Kristen Wiig and Gillian Jacobs for the role. The Dictator is scheduled to be released by Paramount on May 11th, 2012.
Next up, Variety confirms that both Greta Gerwig (Arthur) and Orlando Bloom are settling in for roles in the romantic comedy Lola Versus. Per the report, Gerwig has already accepted the starring role of a girl who is dumped only weeks before her wedding by her college sweetheart. Bloom is still in final negotiations to join the film for an unspecified role (perhaps Gerwig’s aforementioned college sweetheart?). Daryl Wein (Breaking Upwards) is set to direct the script he co-wrote with Zoe Lister-Jones. Production on the film is scheduled to begin in New York next month.
Casting for the next Sacha Baron Cohen film The Dictator is heating up, with producers looking to fill the part of the female lead. Kristen Wiig, Anna Faris and Gillian Jacobs (Community) are among the frontrunners to play opposite Baron Cohen in the Borat-esque comedy. Larry Charles, who also helmed Borat and Bruno, is directing the film which tells the “heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed,” with Cohen playing a dictator who gets lost in the US.
THR reports that Jason Mantzoukas (The League) is already attached to play Cohen’s sidekick in the film. Producers are looking for actors with very strong improvisational skills, and understandably so given the unscripted nature of Borat and Bruno. The report stresses that Cohen and Co. are still looking to fill the female lead role, and it could very well end up going to someone other than Wiig, Faris or Jacobs. Filming is set to begin in May in New York and Morocco for a May 11th, 2012 release date.
An international trailer for the comedy What’s Your Number?. Anna Faris stars as a woman who realizes upon sleeping with her 20th guy that she may have missed Mr. Right along the way. Chris Evans, Zachary Quinto, Matthew Bomer, Chris Pratt, Andy Samberg, Joel McHale, and Thomas Lennon had all been previously announced as being in the cast, but this new trailer shows that Martin Freeman (BBC’s Sherlock) and Anthony Mackie (The Adjustment Bureau) are also in the mix. As for the trailer itself, it looks it could be a solid comic showcase for the talented Faris as long as the script doesn’t fall into too many rom-com cliches.
Mark Mylod (Entourage) directed the script by Jennifer Crittenden (The New Adventures of Old Christine) and Gabrielle Allan (Scrubs). Hit the jump to check out the international trailer. What’s Your Number? opens September 30. Watch the trailer after the jump.
Paramount has picked up a comedy pitch from Anna Faris, centering on a troublesome roommate. The actress developed the pitch after recounting a real-life incident that happened to her. No plot details are known at this time, but THR reports that the story revolves around Faris and a new roommate who turns out to be “the stalker from hell.” I’m hoping that’s a literal description, because demonic roommates are always funny.
The pitch was further developed by screenwriter Deanna Kizis (Camp Rules for Montecito) who will now write the script. Joe Roth and Palak Patel are producing through Roth films, while Faris will star in and executive produce the comedy. The actress will next be seen in the comedy What’s Your Number? alongside Joel McHale, Chris Evans, Zachary Quinto, and Matt Bomer.