First Look at DreamWorks Animation’s B.O.O.: BUREAU OF OTHERWORLDLY OPERATIONS

by     Posted 97 days ago

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I’ve got a soft spot for cute, pet-like animated characters so when news first broke that DreamWorks Animation was making a movie about a ghost who needs to attend ghost school in order to become a better scarer, I was hooked.  However, that was a few years ago and since, the narrative and title of Boo U has changed.

Now we’ve got B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations on the way and it tells the story of a pair of ghosts who go to work for the B.O.O., an organization dedicated to protecting humans from evil spirits.  The scenario still sounds fun and also has Seth RogenMelissa McCarthyRashida JonesOctavia Spencer, Matt Bomer and Bill Murray leading the voice cast, but the very first look at the characters just surfaced and it’s not really what I was hoping for.  Hit the jump to check it out.  B.O.O. is scheduled for a June 5, 2015 release.

NEIGHBORS Deleted Scene Spells Trouble for Zac Efron’s Original Frat House

by     Posted 102 days ago

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Universal Pictures has released the alternate opening scene of Neighbors online.  I loved director Nicholas Stoller’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Five-Year Engagement) new film when I saw it in theaters, but couldn’t help but think there were a ton of party images in the trailer that were absent from the film.  Now I know which scene many of them came from, this deleted opening scene that introduces us to the frat members and the house they burned down (necessitating their move to a new neighborhood).  This is actually only the first half of the deleted scene (which I’ve seen via iTunes extras), so it doesn’t get into the explosive stuff yet.  But it’s still hilarious.  I actually think the whole movie is pretty great except for a few moments in the third act when they try to include unnecessary characters in the action.

Hit the jump to check out the Neighbors deleted scene, which is one of the many special featurs on the upcoming Blu-ray. The film stars Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jake Johnson, Ike Barinholtz, and Lisa KudrowNeighbors hits Blu-ray on September 23rd.

THE POLITICIAN: Vince Vaughn Could Be on the Upswing in New Comedy

by     Posted 110 days ago

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It looks like Vince Vaughn is willing himself out of a career rut with some of the projects he’s been signing onto recently, which is something I’m pretty happy about.  I’ve always loved his comic timing and have found him to be a relatable, charismatic and funny screen presence more often than not.  But the shine started to come off of him over the past few years as his comedies grew more formulaic (in my opinion this fallow period stretches from Fred Claus up until Delivery Man).  But with a role in Season 2 of True Detective and what sounds like a darker film coming up in Term Life, maybe Vaughn truly is taking back his career á la Matthew McConaughey.

The Politician could be another step back in the right direction.  At first glance, it appears possible that this studio project could be another paycheck gig, but with the addition of What If writer/director Michael Dowse behind the camera, its prospects brighten.  Also, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are two of the producers.  Another encouraging sign.  Hit the jump for more on Vince Vaughn as The Politician.

Watch a 20 Minute MTV Special for THE INTERVIEW Introduce James Franco and Seth Rogen’s Characters

by     Posted 125 days ago

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The Interview is one of my most anticipated movies of the year (though it did inch down half a notch on the list when they decided to censor it to appease a military dictator), and I can’t wait to see it at Christmas.  The release date delay was probably made after Sony and MTV had agreed to air this special (this is now a bit of a long lead for such specific awareness), but it’s here and it’s hilarious.

The Dave Skylark Very Special VMA Special aired last night on MTV and very nicely introduces the newsman and producer characters James Franco and Seth Rogen play in the film (along with roasting celebrity guests Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea, and Jason Derulo).  It’s about 20 minutes long, so unfortunately it actually has commercial breaks, but you should give it a whirl regardless.  Hit the jump for The Interview character introduction.  The film itself was written and directed by Rogen and his creative partner Evan Goldberg and will be released on December 25th.

First THE SOUND AND THE FURY Images Featuring James Franco, Danny McBride and Seth Rogen

by     Posted 132 days ago

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Not only is James Franco due to receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award at the Venice Film Festival in September, but he’s also got a film screening out-of-competition too, his adaptation of the William Faulkner novel, The Sound and the Fury.  With the 71st edition of the festival set to kick off on Wednesday, August 27th, promo material for the official selections is starting to surface and we’ve got four new stills from Franco’s film in the mix.

The assortment features Danny McBride and Seth Rogen looking strikingly different donning their period wardrobe, a shot of Franco’s Child of God star, Scott Haze, looking far more put together than he did as Lester Ballard, and then two more of Franco himself as Benjy Compson.  Hit the jump to check out those The Sound and the Fury images.  The film also stars Jacob Loeb, Ahna O’Reilly, Tim Blake Nelson, Joey King and Loretta Devine.

Lizzy Caplan and Jillian Bell Join Seth Rogen Christmas Comedy; Matthew Rhys Set Opposite Bradley Cooper in Chef Film

by     Posted 135 days ago

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We’ve got casting for two untitled films to report on this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Masters of Sex star Lizzy Caplan and 22 Jump Street scene-stealer Jillian Bell have joined the cast of the untitled Christmas comedy starring Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
  • The Americans star Matthew Rhys will play the antagonist opposite Bradley Cooper in the untitled chef movie.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

THE INTERVIEW Gets a New Release Date; Now a Holiday Movie

by     Posted 136 days ago

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There’s good news and bad news.  The bad news is that The Interview is no longer opening on October 10th and that it has been pushed back by about ten weeks.  The good news it that it’s now opening on December 25th.  While it may be a bit harder (or easier, depending on your family’s holiday schedule) for you to catch the movie on that date (or wait the extra two months), this is still a good thing.  It means Sony’s confidence in the Seth Rogen and James Franco-starring movie is extremely high.

And I’m not surprised.  Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg have an amazing track record with films like This is the End, Pineapple Express and Superbad.  Even The Green Hornet wasn’t all that bad.  Even better, they directed it this new film as well (the incredibly funny This is the End was their feature debut in that regard).  Hit the jump for more on The Interview release date.  And be sure to check out the film’s trailer while you’re at it.

THE INTERVIEW Trailer: Seth Rogen and James Franco Have to Assassinate Kim Jong-un [Updated with Images]

by     Posted 193 days ago

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Sony has released the first The Interview trailer on the heels of the poster release earlier todayJames Franco and Seth Rogen star as a talk show host and his producer, respectively, who travel to North Korea to interview dictator Kim Jong-un and legitimize themselves as real journalists.  Their plans are upended when the CIA recruits them to instead assassinate Kim Jong-un.  The trailer makes it clear directors Rogen and Evan Goldberg are willing to go big and broad to serve the funny premise.  The laughs will come with good execution, and these guys have earned our trust on that front.  Like other Rogen/Goldberg scripts (Superbad, Pineapple Express, This Is the End, and hey, even The Green Hornet), The Interview appears to strive for an emotional reality with a focus the talk show host/producer relationship amid the crazy.

Hit the jump to watch the Interview trailer.  Lizzy Caplan and Randall Park also star in the action comedy.  The Interview opens October 10. [Update: We've added three debut images from the film after the jump as well.]

THE INTERVIEW Poster: Seth Rogen and James Franco Become Propaganda

by     Posted 193 days ago

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In anticipation of the trailer debut later this week, Sony Pictures has released the first The Interview poster for directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s new film.  Following their incredible debut with This Is the End, Rogen and Goldberg tackle the action-comedy genre with The Interview, which stars James Franco and Rogen as a talk show host and his producer, respectively, who travel to North Korea in order to interview dictator Kim Jong-un and legitimize themselves as real journalists.  Their plans are upended, however, when the CIA recruits them to instead assassinate Kim Jong-un.  This debut poster takes the North Korea setting and runs with it, as Rogen and Franco are painted gorgeously as dictatorial propaganda.  It’s ridiculous and fantastic (especially the credit line at the top), and I cannot wait to see what they have up their sleeve with this one.

Hit the jump to check out the first The Interview poster, and check back tomorrow to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Lizzy Caplan and Randall ParkThe Interview opens in theaters on October 10th.

Author Blake J. Harris Talks CONSOLE WARS, Exploring the Behind-the-Scenes Battle between Sega and Nintendo, the Film Adaptation, and More

by     Posted 207 days ago

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If you’re around my age and a gamer, you might have gotten wrapped up in the fight over which was “better”: the Sega Genesis or the Super Nintendo.  Kids personally identified with these systems, and I can still remember all the minor developments that would cause long debates between me and my friends.

In his new book Console Wars, author Blake J. Harris went behind the scenes of the many battles between Sega and Nintendo.  During our exclusive phone interview, he and I talked about how the book came about, the influence of marketing on consumers, why kids personally identified with these gaming consoles, the film adaptation, his documentary based on the book, and much more.  Hit the jump to check out the interview, and click here to order the book.

Weekend Box Office: NEIGHBORS Moves in with $51 Million; THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Slides to Second

by     Posted 224 days ago

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The news on Neighbors kept improving as the weekend progressed.  After securing a better than expected $19.6 million debut on Friday, the Universal comedy wound up with $51 million for the three-day weekend.  That’s the second-highest debut ever for an original R-rated comedy, and beats the film’s most optimistic pre-launch projections by almost $20 million.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fell to second place, down an estimated 59% in North America as its international grosses crossed the $400 million mark – so it’s a good news/bad news morning for Sony.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Neighbors $51,070,000 $51
2.  Amazing Spider-Man 2 $37,200,000 $147.9
3.  The Other Woman $9,250,000 $65.7
4.  Heaven is for Real $7,000,000 $75.2
5.  Captain America 2 $5,619,000 $224.9
6.  Rio 2 $5,125,000 $113.1
7.  Mom’s Night Out $4,200,000 $4.2
8.  Legends of Oz $3,705,000 $3.7
9.  Divergent $1,700,000 $145
10.  Brick Mansions $1,480,000 $18.3

Full story after the jump.

TOP 5: NEIGHBORS, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, First Trailer for GOTHAM, New Live-Action POWER RANGERS Movie, SNOWPIERCER Trailer

by     Posted 225 days ago

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Now available via On Demand and iTunes, and in limited theaters June 6th, is writer/director Ti West‘s The Sacrament. I wrote about my anticipation for the film a few months ago and I finally got the chance to check it out last night. For those unaware, the pic utilizes the found footage conceit to immerse viewers in a story akin to that of the Jonestown Massacre of 1978. West fans will likely note how the found footage approach and the emphasis on psychological terror over more conventional scares set The Sacrament apart from the filmmaker’s previous work. In spite of those differences, it utilizes the same slow burn before all hell breaks loose in the final act approach employed by The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers to great effect. Anchored by fantastic pacing and a mesmerizing performance from Gene Jones as the sect’s leader “Father”, the result is West’s most disturbing and lingering film to date.

In addition to a wholehearted recommendation for The Sacrament, this week’s Top 5 also features our review of and interviews for Neighbors, the new trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the first trailer for Fox’s Gotham, word of a new live-action Power Rangers film, and an excellent red-band trailer for Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer. Discover a brief recap and link to each of the above after the jump.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne Talk NEIGHBORS, Working with Nicholas Stoller, the Way They Like to Improvise, and More

by     Posted 225 days ago

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All week I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: director Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors is an extremely funny movie filled with laugh-out-loud sequences.  You should definitely see it this weekend in a crowded theater.  If you haven’t seen the trailers or read our previous coverage, the film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a married couple with a newborn baby who must deal with a fraternity—fronted by Zac Efron—when it moves in next door.  Neighbors also stars Dave FrancoChristopher Mintz-PlasseJake JohnsonIke Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Jerrod Carmichael, and Lisa Kudrow.  For more on Neighbors, read Matt’s review.

At the New York City press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne.  They talked about how much of their improvisation is done in the moment and how much is thought about in advance, what it was like working with Nicholas Stoller, why they filmed in L.A., the rehearsal process for the film, what it was like for Byrne co-starring with the producer, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

NEIGHBORS Review

by     Posted 227 days ago

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Even though Nicholas Stoller‘s Neighbors is packed with great jokes, the through line is about growing up without losing your identity.  Too often, “maturity” simply means “the absence of youth”.  We put away the fun, unencumbered life for the staples of a steady job and a loving family.  Neighbors seeks to find the balance between the responsibility of an adult without obliterating our young, joyful selves.  The movie not only manages to find the humor in this struggle, but it also provides a good metaphor for Stoller’s growth as a director.  By stepping out of Judd Apatow‘s endlessly riffing shadow, Stoller has delivered his best film yet.

Seth Rogen Talks NEIGHBORS, Expanding Rose Byrne’s Role, the R-Rated Animated Comedy SAUSAGE PARTY, THE INTERVIEW, PREACHER, and More

by     Posted 228 days ago

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All week I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors is an extremely funny movie filled with laugh out loud sequences.  You should definitely see it this weekend in a crowded theater.  If you haven’t seen the trailers or read our previous coverage, the film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a married couple with a newborn baby who must deal with a fraternity—fronted by Zac Efron—when it moves in next door.  Neighbors also stars Dave FrancoChristopher Mintz-PlasseJake JohnsonIke Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Jerrod Carmichael, and Lisa Kudrow.

A few days ago at the New York City press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Seth Rogen.  During our wide ranging conversation he talked about transitioning from a struggling actor to being able to get movies made, how Neighbors changed from its inception to the final release, how and why they cast Rose Byrne, the status of The Interview and when we’ll see the first trailer, what’s going on with their adaptation of Preacher for AMC, the R-rated animated movie Sausage Party, how he really wants to be on an episode of Better Call Saul, Stoller’s Black and White that would star Rogen and Kevin Hart, director Jonathan Levine’s Christmas movie that would star Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

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