Whether you’re a gamer or not, if you have the slightest interest in pop culture happenings then you probably know that Microsoft announced its next-gen console, the Xbox One, earlier this week. As someone who has already decided to throw all of my console eggs into Microsoft’s basket, I was a little disappointed that my two primary questions: 1) “When can I get it?” and 2) “For how much?” weren’t answered. Nevertheless, the Interwebs are also filled with grumblings from undecided consumers who thought Microsoft’s big reveal focused too much on the other entertainment features of the One as opposed to the gaming experience (see this amusingly edited video of the announcement as an example of their frustration). Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t care less about using my Xbox to check fantasy football stats and/or being able to power the console on with my voice as opposed to the physically intensive act of pushing a button on my controller. That said, I would offer that those ready to commit to Sony’s PS4 at least give Microsoft a few weeks to roll out more details of the One’s games at E3. If we come out of that still talking about our ability to seamlessly switch between The Price is Right and a Skype call then we may have something to complain about.
If the above paragraph whetted your appetite for more console talk from a novice gamer then you’re in luck. This week’s Top 5 includes more on Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal, the final trailer for Man of Steel, The Hangover Part III interviews with Bradley Cooper and more, the U.S trailer and a couple of new posters for Edgar Wright‘s The World’s End, and Before Midnight interviews with Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy. A brief recap and link to each of the above awaits after the jump.
With director Todd Phillips’ comedy sequel The Hangover Part III opening this week, I recently sat down with him for an extended interview. In the final installment to the popular franchise, we find Stu (Helms), Phil (Cooper), and Doug (Justin Bartha) en route to taking Alan (Galifianakis) to a psychiatric hospital when the gang is side-trekked by a mysterious man (John Goodman) who kidnaps Doug and forces the wolf pack to track down Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), who stole $21 million from Goodman’s character. As you might expect, chaos ensues. For more on the film, watch the red band trailer or check out over forty images.
During the interview, Phillips and screenwriter Craig Mazin talked about his first cut versus the theatrical release, deleted scenes, what can fans expect on the Blu-ray, what it’s like working for Warner Bros. and the creative freedom he’s allowed, the writing process, how the story changed, film versus digital, thoughts on doing a 3D comedy, and more. In addition, Phillips reveals they’re talking about doing the ultimate Hangover box set which would include new interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and more. Hit the jump for what they had to say.
The Hangover feels like a franchise created by a studio rather than a storyteller. The original film was a huge sleeper hit, and Warner Bros. wanted to chase that high. We get sequels because audiences presumably want more, and the assumption was that we wanted to see more of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis), a.k.a. “The Wolfpack”. The Hangover Part II gave audiences more of the same to the point where it felt like a remake rather than a sequel. Once again, the filmmakers have responded not by really buckling down on a good story, but reacting to the response towards the previous movie. This time we would get an original story—a Hangover without the hangover. But The Hangover Part III is a case of being careful what you wish for, and even though sequels are supposed to provide more, Part III somehow gives us less. The chemistry between the Wolfpack is diminished, the pacing is lethargic, and the humor is sporadic. The only thing Part III gives us more of is Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) in an attempt to personify the insanity of the previous plots, but who only serves to distract from what should be the franchise’s last hurrah.
Last weekend I finally had the chance to check out director Rodney Ascher‘s The Shining analysis doc Room 237 on Xbox Live. The film garnered a rave review from Matt when he screened it at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and for the most part I share his enthusiasm for the pic. On one hand, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen and I admire it for that exact reason. The extensive scenic analysis Room 237 employs, the hypnotic score, and its refusal to show the faces of those presenting their theories makes it an absolutely captivating ride that never lets you come up for air. On the other hand, I now have to live the rest of my life looking for Stanley Kubrick‘s airbrushed face in the clouds during The Shining‘s opening scene. And when/if I ever find it, what am I supposed to do with that information? Sigh.
I could go on about the film’s individual parts, but suffice to say that I consider it required viewing for anyone with even a fleeting interest in film analysis, Kubrick, and/or The Shining. And with that I’ll move on to the reason we’re all here. In this week’s Top 5 you’ll have the pleasure of checking out a stellar new trailer and a slew of other assets from Man of Steel, our set visit recap for The Hangover Part III, the first trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, more set visit goodness for Now You See Me, and all of our CinemaCon 2013 coverage. The “Continue Reading” button below is your ticket to a brief recap and link to each of the above.
Just before Thanksgiving of 2012, a group of journalists were invited to the set of Warner Bros.’ The Hangover Part III, where screenwriter Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II) participated in a roundtable interview. Mazin talked about the plan – and the difficulty – of drafting a concluding film for The Hangover trilogy, just how many places the story will take the Wolfpack, familiar faces who will reprise their roles and new characters – like John Goodman as a “very dangerous man” – who will take us by surprise.
The film stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Heather Graham, Mike Epps and Jeffrey Tambor. The Hangover Part III opens on May 24th and, if you haven’t seen it, you can check out the recently-released trailer here. Hit the jump for our full interview with Mazin.
The most remarkable thing about Identity Thief is how a movie this dumb could keep insulting its audience’s intelligence. Aside from being a comedy with no laughs, screenwriter Craig Mazin rests almost his entire plot on coincidences, and one-dimensional characters. The comic talents of stars Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy are absolutely wasted on a limp road movie that gets lazier and more tiresome with every passing moment. The best joke the film can conjure is a punch to the throat, which would almost be preferable to sitting through this chore of a picture.
Identity Thief is the hilarious new comedy, from director Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) and screenwriter Craig Mazin (The Hangover 2), that follows what happens to a regular guy when he is forced to extreme measures to clear his name after a woman who loves to live it up steals his identity and ruins his life. When Sandy Bigelow Patterson (Jason Bateman) is accused of a series of crimes, the innocent man realizes that a woman named Diana (Melissa McCarthy) is using his ID to do and buy whatever strikes her fancy, and decides to track the woman down and confront her, in order to get his life and name back.
At the film’s press day, Craig Mazin spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about how he came to the project, collaborating with Jason Bateman on the idea and tone for the film, and how it affects his writing process to know which actors he’s writing for. He also talked about the experience of being a part of the highly successful The Hangover franchise, whether he and Todd Phillips took the criticism of the second film into account when writing The Hangover Part III, making films for audiences to enjoy, and the animated feature Turkeys (featuring the voices of Amy Poehler, Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson), which he’s writing and producing.
Identity Thief is the hilarious new comedy, from director Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) and screenwriter Craig Mazin (The Hangover II), that follows what happens to a regular guy (played by Jason Bateman) when he is forced to extreme measures to clear his name after a woman (played by Melissa McCarthy) who loves to live it up steals his identity and ruins his life.
At the press day for the film, Collider spoke to Craig Mazin about making the film, finding the right tone, and the importance of keeping the heart in the story. While we will run that portion of the interview closer to the film’s February 8th theatrical release date, we did want to share what he had to say about the experience of being a part of the highly successful The Hangover franchise, whether he and Todd Phillips took the criticism of the second film into account when writing The Hangover 3, making films for audiences to enjoy, an the animated feature Turkeys (he reveals Amy Poehler has joined the cast which also featuring the voices of Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson), which he’s writing and producing. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
The Hangover‘s success has lead to plenty of imitators and spin-offs, but it became such a juggernaut in its own right that it has expanded into a trilogy (but will we also get a Hobbit-esque origin story eventually? Stay tuned …). Principle photography is underway for the finale of the Hangover trilogy, which will reunite its steadfast cast (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha) as well as their on-screen wives (Gillian Vigman, Sasha Barrese and Jamie Chung) and other familiar faces (Ken Jeong, Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor) as well as a new one (John Goodman).
Todd Phillips is also returning to direct the Warner Bros. picture as well as co-write it along with his collaborator from the second movie, Craig Mazin. Hit the jump for more on the production, as well as a hint to what the new film will be about.
I guess Adventures in Babysitting, Home Alone, and Mrs. Doubtfire will carry director Chris Columbus forever (the Harry Potter movies don’t count; they were successful because they were Harry Potter). Despite having almost three times as many flops as hits, Columbus continues to get work. He’s attached to direct a remake of the Korean comedy Hello Ghost and now Deadline reports that he’s in talks for the action comedy The Secret Lives of Road Crews. The story is “about a clandestine group of road crew workers who are the last line of defense against a subterranean alien race.” I expect and demand plenty of traffic cone-based humor.
Kevin Lund and T.J. Scott wrote the original script, Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II) did a rewrite and now the script is out again to writers for a new rewrite. To the writer that gets the gig, remember: that “Stop/Slow” is comedy gold.
The Hangover Part II co-writer Craig Mazin has been hired to write the script for The Hangover Part III. Warner Bros. is wasting no time in moving forward on a sequel to the box-office record-breaker and I’m honestly a little surprised that they hadn’t already started moving on a new film when the Hangover 2 was tracking through the roof. Mazin, whose previous credits include Scary Movie 3 and 4, co-wrote The Hangover Part II with director Todd Phillips and screenwriter Scot Armstrong (Semi-Pro), although “wrote” may not be the best way to describe it. I’m not sure if copy-pasting the script from the first film and making minor changes counts as “writing”.
When Steve spoke with Phillips during the press junket for Hangover Part II, Phillips said that Part III would be the finale to the series but would be a new template and a new idea. Hit the jump for his full quote. [The Tracking Board via The Wrap]