PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR Review

by     Posted 2 days ago

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Can scene-stealers carry a movie?  Or do some characters only work best in small doses?  Even though they don’t have big-name voice actors, the espionage-minded penguins from the Madagascar franchise have consistently been more appealing than the central characters.  They almost feel like they’re more for the adults in the audience and the kids can have the slapstick and fart jokes.  Now Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon), and Private (Christopher Knights) have taken center stage, and their spin-off, Penguins of Madagascar, easily surpasses the first two Madagascar films (I didn’t even bother with the third) through its rapid-fire wit, cuteness, and offbeat jokes that will amuse kids and adults alike.

New PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR Trailer: Young Skipper, Kowalski and Rico Meet Baby Private

by     Posted 23 days ago

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Remember that footage from the Penguins of Madagascar New York Comic-Con panel showing how a young Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller) and Rico (John DiMaggio) first meet Private (Patrick Stuart)?  The film’s latest trailer actually shows off a good deal of it, minus the leopard seal scuffle, before launching into a roll call montage featuring the penguins and their new cohorts, the North Wind.  Together, they’ll take on Dr. Octavius Brine (John Malkovich), an accomplished geneticist.  Or he is?  Turns out, Dr. Octavius Brine is really Dave, an Octopus who used to live at the Central Park Zoo until the penguins completely overshadowed him, compelling the zoo staff to ship him off to another location.

Hit the jump to catch the gang in action in the latest Penguins of Madagascar trailer.  The film opens in 3D on November 26th and also features the voices of Benedict CumberbatchKen JeongAnnett Mahendru and Peter Stormare.  And in case you missed it, you can also watch my interview with directors Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith right here.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller to Write THE LEGO MOVIE 2

by     Posted 32 days ago

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Filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller appear to be taking a bit of a well-deserved breather from the film world at the moment after essentially helming this year’s The LEGO Movie and 22 Jump Street simultaneously.  That both films turned out excellent speaks to their talent and wonderful sense of humor, and it’s no surprise that sequels to both are currently in development.  While the extent of Lord and Miller’s involvement in 23 Jump Street is unknown at this time, when it was first announced that The LEGO Movie 2 was in the works, we learned that Lord and Miller would remain involved in the franchise as producers while their animation co-director Chris McKay took point as director.  Now word comes that the duo will have a heavier hand in the film, as they have signed on to write the script for the highly anticipated LEGO Movie sequel.  More after the jump.

New THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR Clip Shows How the Gang Got Together

by     Posted 45 days ago

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DreamWorks Animation has released a new The Penguins of Madagascar clip that takes us through the beginning of the movie.  Directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted) and Simon J. Smith (Bee Movie), the film finds the scene-stealing penguins leading a film of their own as they’re joined by a wolf named Classified (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), who leads a covert team of protective animals.  This is one of the clips they showed at Comic-Con, and like everything else I’ve seen from this movie, it looks surprisingly charming and funny.

Hit the jump to check out the new clip from The Penguins of Madagascar.  The film also features the voices of John Malkovich, Andy Richter, Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, and Peter StormareThe Penguins of Madagascar opens in 3D on November 26th.

See the 22 JUMP STREET Sequel Posters from the End Credits

by     Posted 62 days ago

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This summer’s 22 Jump Street was not only one of the best and funniest comedy sequels to come our way in years, but also one of the most self-aware.  Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller infused the entire film with nods and meta references to the nature of sequels to hilarious results, culminating in one of the best end credits sequences of all time.  As if anticipating the audience’s question over whether there would ever be another Jump Street sequel, Lord and Miller crafted short clips and posters for over 20 follow-ups with increasingly ridiculous premises.  With the film being released on iTunes on October 28th and on Blu-ray and DVD on November 18th, the posters for all of the “sequels” have now landed online, and I have to wonder if one of these will actually be culled for the real 23 Jump Street currently in development.  It’s tough to pick out a favorite, but I think the tagline I admire the most is from 37 Jump Street: Scuba Class.

Hit the jump to take a look at some of the 22 Jump Street sequel posters.

Phil Lord & Christopher Miller Circling Adaptation of THE ROSIE PROJECT from (500) DAYS OF SUMMER Screenwriters

by     Posted 65 days ago

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Phil Lord & Christopher Miller are among my favorite directors working today.  I will be excited for and watch any movie they make.  I just re-watched The LEGO Movie the other night for the fourth or fifth time and it just gets better (“I think I heard a whoosh.”).  According to Deadline, the duo are circling an adaptation of the novel The Rosie Project with (500) Days of Summer screenwriters Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber handling the script.  At this point, Miller and Lord are only developing the project, but they have an eye on directing.  However, they won’t commit unless they’re satisfied with the script.

Hit the jump to learn more about The Rosie Project.

22 JUMP STREET Outtakes: Channing Tatum Gets Tickled By a Rainbow, Peter Stormare Has a Dance Party

by     Posted 83 days ago

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22 Jump Street doesn’t arrive on Blu-ray and DVD until November 18th, but about two of the 100 minutes of bonus footage set to come with the Blu-ray edition hit the web early and it’s loaded with wacky and absolutely hilarious outtakes.  In fact, I could probably just watch a full feature’s worth of material with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum messing around while filming that bad trip scene.

Hit the jump to catch Tatum getting tickled by a smiling football and rainbow, hear Hill’s abundance of bleeps and to see Peter Stormare dancing it up at a Spring Break concert in the 22 Jump Street outtakes.  The film also stars Wyatt Russell, Amber Stevens, Jillian Bell, Ice Cube and Nick Offerman.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller to Bring Back THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO

by     Posted 90 days ago

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The Greatest American Hero was before my time and looking back at it now, it’s definitely dated and a little silly, but there’s no denying that the core concept has some serious potential, and perhaps now more so than ever.  We’ve got loads of superheroes on screen who have powers because they were injected with a special serum or bitten by a radioactive spider, but what if you just got hold of a suit that came with all the powers?

Apparently Phil Lord and Chris Miller are into the idea because it’s being reported that the 22 Jump Street and Lego Movie duo are developing a Greatest American Hero reboot for 20th Century Fox.  Hit the jump for more on the project.

New THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR Trailer Fights Squids and Struggles with Skype

by     Posted 113 days ago

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DreamWorks Animation has released a new The Penguins of Madagascar trailer.  The spin-off features Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private joining with a group of spies to fight the nefarious Dr. Octavius Brine.  This trailer goes into more detail about the plot, but it also provides more of the great humor that was showcased at the film’s Comic-Con panel.  I’m rarely excited for DreamWorks Animation movies, but I expect to have a big smile plastered on my face when I go see this one.

Hit the jump to check out The Penguins of Madagascar trailer.  The film opens in 3D on November 26th, and features the voices of Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Chris Knights, John Malkovich, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annett Mahendru, and Peter Stormare.

THE LEGO MOVIE Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 117 days ago

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The idea of making a movie out of LEGO toys sounds stupid on paper.  Though you have no narrative you’re stuck to (which is both good and bad), the film’s existence seems based on shilling a product.  That Phil Lord and Chris Miller were able to transcend that and deliver a movie with heart and great jokes is nothing short of a miracle.  The LEGO Movie is not only excellent, it could very well be an all-time great movie.  My review of the 3D Blu-ray of The LEGO Movie follows after the jump.

Chris Miller and Phil Lord Talk 22 JUMP STREET, How Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum Weren’t Contracted for the Sequel, Why Brie Larson Isn’t in the Film, and More

by     Posted 145 days ago

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What’s frustrating about the movie world nowadays is it feels like we are always looking forward rather than enjoying the moment.  We spend years anticipating a movie and the moment it gets released it’s on to the next thing.  It’s frustrating.  Yet I’m as guilty as anyone; I do the same thing.  Which is why, during this holiday weekend, I want to take a second to talk about 22 Jump Street.  While many of you have seen Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s awesome sequel, a bunch of you have heard the buzz but haven’t found the time to go.  Trust me, if you want to laugh and have a good time, see this film, especially this weekend when the theater is crowded.  I normally hate crowded theaters but with comedies I’ll admit it’s a lot more fun to laugh with strangers than on your own.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review and check out all our previous coverage.

At the New York City press day I landed an extended video interview with Chris Miller and Phil Lord.  While I already posted a lot from that interview, I saved a bit for today so I could have something to remind you guys to see their film.  During this portion of the interview they talked about when Sony approached them to do the sequel, how Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum weren’t contractually obligated to do it, how Amy Pascal, the head of Sony Pictures, was laughing the most at the table read during the jokes about things being “too expensive,” the sequel budget, why Brie Larson isn’t in the sequel, and if they might make a 3rd Jump Street movie.  Hit the jump to watch.

Emmet Tours the LEGO Factory in Exclusive Clip from THE LEGO MOVIE Blu-ray

by     Posted 163 days ago

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It’s going to be incredibly hard for any animated film to top The LEGO Movie this year, let alone any other comedy period (though for some reason, I feel 22 Jump Street has a strong shot).  Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller crafted a hilarious, inventive, and soulful film based on a toy with zero mythology or backstory, and I personally can’t wait to revisit the film on Blu-ray in a few weeks.  In anticipation of the home video release of The LEGO Movie on June 17th, we here at Collider are happy to debut an exclusive clip from the collection of bonus features.  In this clip, Lord, Miller, and producer Dan Lin tour the actual LEGO factory with little Emmet in tow, giving fans a humorous look at how all LEGO figures are made.

Hit the jump to watch the The LEGO Movie Blu-ray clip.  The film is currently available as a digital download and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 17th.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller Talk Will Forte’s “Crazy and Wonderful” Fox Series THE LAST MAN ON EARTH; Reveal It Will Consist of 10 Episodes

by     Posted 167 days ago

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Though directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have gained considerable notoriety in recent years with excellent films like 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie, the duo actually got their start in television with the short-lived animated series Clone High.  They dipped their toes back into the TV waters last year by helming the pilot for Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but they’ll have a more hands-on role in the ambitious upcoming Fox comedy The Last Man on Earth.  Lord and Miller hatched the idea for the series with Will Forte, who stars as the literal last human being on Earth.  The teaser trailer promised something unlike anything else on network TV, and that’s exactly what Lord, Miller, and Forte are crafting.

While speaking with Lord and Miller in anticipation of the upcoming 22 Jump Street, Steve also asked the two about their involvement with The Last Man on Earth.  They revealed that the season will likely consist of just 10 episodes, they’re directing the first few, and they’ve been in the writers room working on the first set of scripts.  Hit the jump for more.

22 JUMP STREET Review

by     Posted 168 days ago

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Over the past couple of years Phil Lord & Christopher Miller‘s 21 Jump Street has become one of my favorite comedies.  I can watch it any time, quote it, and find new things to love about it every time.  It set a high bar for a sequel, and the bar gets even higher when you consider that comedy sequels rarely eclipse or even meet the quality of the original.  Rather than strictly go by the rules of comedy sequels, Lord & Miller have once again done what they do best: play against expectations.  Following Captain Dickson’s edict from the first film to “Embrace your stereotypes!”, 22 Jump Street happily acknowledges its sequel status, and tries to derive comedy from its trappings.  Like the first movie, the sequel delivers plenty of laughs, brilliant jokes, weird moments, and excellent chemistry from stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum even if their characters’ relationship is strained a little too far and a little too reliant on gay jokes derived from their bromance.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller Reveal They’ve Been Offered a Superhero Movie; Talk the Possibility of Directing a Drama, Playing the “Failure Card”, and THE REUNION

by     Posted 169 days ago

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Coming off the success of 21 Jump Street, The LEGO Movie, and now 22 Jump Street, many are wondering what directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller will do next.  They’re both exciting and talented filmmakers who have shown a knack for tackling pretty much any kind of material and turning it into gold, and some have been wondering if/when they might apply their talents to the biggest genre around: the superhero movie.  The genre seems to be at the height of its popularity with no signs of slowing down, and though there are a litany of projects that would benefit from Lord and Miller’s involvement, comics fans are interested to see what they might do with superhero-centric material.

During an extended conversation in anticipation of the release of 22 Jump Street, Steve asked Lord and Miller if they’ve been offered any superhero films (no surprise: they have) and what it would take for them to sign on to such a project.  With regards to future films, they addressed playing “the failure card” (ie. doing an offbeat passion project directly after a big success) and discussed the prospect of directing a drama sometime in the future, citing the work of the Coen brothers as a tonal aspiration.  Moreover, they provided a brief update on The Reunion.  Read on after the jump.

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