Jason Bateman Talks BAD WORDS, Directing His First Feature, Finding the Tone, His Next Project THE FAMILY FANG, and More

by     Posted 27 days ago

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Bad Words, the feature directorial debut of Jason Bateman, is the subversively funny story of Guy Trilby (played by Bateman), a 40-year-old man who finds a loophole in the rules of The Golden Quill national spelling bee and decides to hijack the competition.  The overly ambitious 8th graders are no match for Guy, who is determined to crush their dreams of winning. The film also stars Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Philip Baker Hall and Rohan Chand.

At the film’s press day, actor/director Jason Bateman spoke at a roundtable interview about why he wanted to take on the responsibility of directing a film, finding the tone of the story, bringing the flaws and vulnerabilities out of the character, having so many swear words, the process of directing himself, making the best use of pre-production, working with his young co-stars, and coming from a funny family.  He also talked about going into production on his next directorial effort, The Family Fang, in May, why directing is the greatest job in the world, and that he prefers contributing to an already existing script over writing something himself.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

BAD WORDS Review

by     Posted 34 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Bad Words opens today in limited release.]

As I’ve said in previous reviews, I’m a Jason Bateman fan. I think his critics are wrong when they say he only plays the straight man role. That’s the role he’s best known for, and even then “straight man” is a bit of a misnomer. Instead, Bateman’s adept at playing an outwardly nice guy with a not-very-nice guy deep down. Sometimes the inner guy is moderately deceptive like Arrested Development, sometimes he’s aggressive like Horrible Bosses, and in the case of Bateman’s directorial debut, Bad Words, he’s one of the meanest motherfuckers around. Bateman’s secret weapon is that he still looks and talks like a nice guy, and because he pushes this new character to a level of remarkable despicability, Bad Words is a damn funny flick that plays it safe by the script, but hits hard with the jokes.

Jason Bateman Talks Making His Feature Directorial Debut, Why He Chose This Script, Shooting Digitally, and More on the Set of BAD WORDS

by     Posted 41 days ago

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One of my favorite films at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival was Jason Bateman‘s directorial debut Bad Words.  Andrew Dodge’s awesome script centers on a high-school drop-out (Bateman) who uses a loophole to compete in an 8th grade spelling bee, enraging teachers and parents alike, but befriending an awkward young contestant along the way.  And while the film could easily be a family friendly, PG movie that plays it safe, I’m happy to report Bateman has crafted a wholly R-rated movie that’s loaded with inappropriate dialogue and hysterical situations.  It also explains why Focus Features snapped it up during an all night bidding war following the world premiere.  Bad Words also stars Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Philip Baker Hall and Rohan Chandz and opens in select theaters March 14th and expands across the country on March 21st and March 28th

Last year, when the production was filming in Los Angeles, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  During a break in filming, we landed a great interview with Jason Bateman.  He talked about why it took so long to direct his first feature, why he wanted to make Bad Words, his character, how it was always going to be rated R, why he shot with digital cameras, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Win Tickets to BAD WORDS Los Angeles Premiere

by     Posted 50 days ago

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One of my favorite films at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival was Jason Bateman‘s directorial debut Bad WordsAndrew Dodge’s awesome script centers on a high-school drop-out (Bateman) who uses a loophole to compete in an 8th grade spelling bee, enraging teachers and parents alike, but befriending an awkward young contestant along the way.  And while the film could easily be a family friendly, PG movie that plays it safe, I’m happy to report Bateman has crafted a wholly R-rated movie that’s loaded with inappropriate dialogue and hysterical situations.  It also explains why Focus Features quickly snapped it up during an all night bidding war following the world premiere.  Bad Words also stars Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Philip Baker Hall and Rohan Chandz. 

With the film opening in limited release March 14 and expanding across the country March 21 and March 28, Focus is holding a Los Angeles premiere on March 5th and we’ve got five pairs of tickets to give away to some of our readers!  Hit the jump for details on how to win.

15 New Images from BAD WORDS Starring Jason Bateman, Rohan Chand, and Kathryn Hahn

by     Posted 54 days ago

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We’ve got 15 new images from Jason Bateman’s feature directorial debut Bad Words to share with you today.  Bateman also stars in the comedy as Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who exploits a loophole to compete in a national spelling bee competition.  The crux of the film is the relationship between Trilby and a naïve, 10-year-old contestant named Chaitanya (Rohan Chand), as the two strike up a rapport despite Trilby’s mean-spirited nature.  Watch the red-band trailer here, and check out Matt’s review from TIFF 2013.

Also starring Kathryn HahnAllison JanneyBen Falcone, and Philip Baker HallBad Words opens in theaters in limited release on March 14th, expanding March 21st, and eventually going wide on March 28th.  Hit the jump to check out the images.

New Clip and Images from Jason Bateman’s Directorial Debut BAD WORDS

by     Posted 62 days ago

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Focus Features has released a new clip from Jason Bateman’s feature directorial debut Bad Words.  Bateman stars in the comedy as Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who exploits a loophole to compete in a national spelling bee competition.  The crux of the film is the relationship between Trilby and a naïve, 10-year-old contestant named Chaitanya (Rohan Chand), as the two strike up a rapport despite Trilby’s mean-spirited nature.  This clip is a scene towards the beginning of their friendship, as Chaitanya explains to Trilby that when he finds a girlfriend, she’s definitely going to have nipples.  I caught the film at TIFF last fall and while it’s very funny, it’s not for the easily offended; much of the comedy comes from just how terribly Trilby treats the other spelling bee contestants, all of whom are children.

Hit the jump to watch the clip and to check out some new images, click here to read Matt’s review, and click here to watch Steve’s interview with Bateman about the film.  The pic also stars Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, and Philip Baker HallBad Words opens in theaters on March 21st.

New Clip and Images from BAD WORDS Starring Jason Bateman and Rohan Chand

by     Posted 77 days ago

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Focus Features has released new images and a clip from Jason Bateman‘s directorial debut, Bad Words.  Bateman stars as Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who exploits a loophole to compete in a national spelling bee competition.  Guy has a larger motive than just winning, but his mean-spirited nature allows him to berate and humiliate kids along the way.  In the clip, Guy meets 10-year-old Chaitanya (Rohan Chand), an innocent, naïve competitor, and their odd relationship provides the heart of the picture, or at least what little heart it has.  As I said in my review from TIFF, Bad Words is delightfully mean-spirited, and this clip is fairly tame compared to other moments in the picture.

Hit the jump to check out the clip and new images, and click here for Steve’s interview with Bateman.  The film also stars Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, and Philip Baker HallBad Words will play at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival, and open in theaters on March 21st.

New Trailer for BAD WORDS Starring Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, and Rohan Chand

by     Posted 99 days ago

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Last month, Focus Features released a red-band trailer for Jason Bateman‘s funny and foul-mouthed comedy Bad Words.  The film stars Bateman as the Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who exploits a loophole to compete in a national spelling bee competition.  Guy has a larger motive than just winning, but his mean-spirited nature allows him to berate and humiliate kids along the way.  The studio has now released a green-band trailer, and here’s what’s interesting:  Curse words?  Not okay.  Racist jokes?  Totally fine.  I’m a horrible human being, so those get a laugh out of me (I thought they worked in the context of the movie; Adam thought they took it too far), but I’m surprised that the MPAA thinks they’re A-OK for all audiences.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer, click here for Steve’s interview with Bateman, and click here to read my review from TIFF.  The film also stars Kathryn Hahn, Rohan Chand, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, and Philip Baker HallBad Words opens March 21st.

Red-Band Trailer for Jason Bateman’s BAD WORDS

by     Posted 129 days ago

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Focus Features has released the red-band trailer for Jason Bateman‘s directorial debut, Bad Words.  The film stars Bateman as the Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who exploits a loophole to compete in a national spelling bee competition.  Guy has a larger motive than just winning, but his mean-spirited nature allows him to berate and humiliate kids along the way.  It’s really funny.  When I saw the film at TIFF, I was worried the trailer would give away too many of the jokes, and this red-band trailer does drop a few of the good ones (especially an insult near the end), but it manages to keep most of them a secret by focusing on Guy’s relationship with his competitor Chaitanya (Rohan Chand).

Hit the jump to check out the trailer, and click here for Steve’s interview with Bateman at TIFF.  The film also stars Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, and Philip Baker HallBad Words opens March 21, 2014.

Jason Bateman to Direct THE FAMILY FANG Starring Nicole Kidman

by     Posted 167 days ago

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Jason Bateman recently made his directorial debut with Bad Words earlier this year, and has wasted no time in returning to the helm.  He’s now set to direct The Family Fang, an adaptation of the 2011 Kevin Wilson novel scripted by David Lindsay-Abaire that stars Nicole Kidman.  The story centers on the children of performance artist parents who rope their kids into participating in all manner of bizarre activities.  When the grown children return home to deal with a family crisis, they’re once again forced to take part in their parents’ final performance.  Hit the jump for more.

DISCONNECT Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 176 days ago

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The sad fact that contemporary technology has crippled human communication, intimacy, and privacy is nothing new.  While Henry Alex Rubin‘s film Disconnect doesn’t provide any revelatory insight on this subject, it is a realistic drama that strongly reflects one thing society doesn’t want to admit: no matter how tech savvy and sophisticated we think our gizmos make us, mankind will always be a race of hopeless suckers.  Predictable but never disengaging, Disconnect stars Jason Bateman, Andrea Riseborough, Max Thieriot, and Alexander Skarsgard.  More on Lionsgate’s Disconnect Blu-ray after the jump.

HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 Set for November 26, 2014 Release

by     Posted 202 days ago

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Warner Bros. has dated the comedy sequel Horrible Bosses 2 for next year’s Thanksgiving weekend.  The pic will open in theaters on November 26, 2014, where it will square off directly against Fox’s animated film Home.  Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Disney’s sports drama McFarland will get a jump on the weekend by opening on November 21st, but Horrible Bosses 2 should prove to be a nice bit of R-rated counter-programming for the holiday.

Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis return for the follow-up, which will be helmed by That’s My Boy director Sean AndersHorrible Bosses scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein penned the initial draft of the script, but Anders and his We’re the Millers co-writer John Morris subsequently performed a rewrite.  If you missed Steve’s recent video interview with Bateman in which the actor spoke briefly about the project, click here.

Jason Bateman’s Directorial Debut BAD WORDS Set for March 21, 2014 Release; ANNIE Remake Shifted to December 19, 2014

by     Posted 204 days ago

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Focus Features has slated Jason Bateman’s directorial debut Bad Words for a limited release on March 21, 2014, followed by a wide expansion on March 28th where it will square off against the futuristic thriller Divergent, the sequel Muppets Most Wanted, and Joe Carnahan’s action comedy Stretch.  Bateman stars in the very R-rated comedy as a man who, through a loophole, enters a nationwide 8th grade spelling bee and proceeds to the finals—much to the dismay of the parents and organizers.  I caught the film at TIFF and it’s really funny, but Bateman does not hold back when it comes to his character saying terrible, terrible things to his fellow child contestants.  Read Matt’s review here and watch Steve’s interviews with Bateman here and co-star Kathryn Hahn here.

Additionally, Sony has shifted the release date of director Will Gluck’s (Easy A) musical remake Annie from December 25, 2014 to December 19th.  The Quvenzhané Wallis-fronted pic will now square off against the third and final (?) entry in Peter Jackson’s trilogy, The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

TIFF 2013: BAD WORDS Review

by     Posted 216 days ago

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As I’ve said in previous reviews, I’m a Jason Bateman fan.  I think his critics are wrong when they say he only plays the straight man role.  That’s the role he’s best known for, and even then “straight man” is a bit of a misnomer.  Instead, Bateman’s adept at playing an outwardly nice guy with a not-very-nice guy deep down.  Sometimes the inner guy is moderately deceptive like Arrested Development, sometimes he’s aggressive like Horrible Bosses, and in the case of Bateman’s directorial debut, Bad Words, he’s one of the meanest motherfuckers around.  Bateman’s secret weapon is that he still looks and talks like a nice guy, and because he pushes this new character to a level of remarkable despicability, Bad Words is a damn funny flick that plays it safe by the script, but hits hard with the jokes.

New Images from NEED FOR SPEED Featuring Stars Aaron Paul and Kid Cudi, Plus Images from the Sets of HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 and IN THE HEART OF THE SEA

by     Posted 217 days ago

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We’ve cobbled together a collection of new images from the following films:

  • Need for SpeedScott Waugh’s film adaptation of the street racing video game franchise starring Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Dakota Johnson, Kid Cudi, Imogen Poots and Michael Keaton opens March 14, 2014.
  • Horrible Bosses 2 – The Sean Anders-directed sequel (which star Jason Bateman recently talked about in an interview with Steve) is about to kick into production with stars Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis.
  • In the Heart of the SeaRon Howard’s film about the whaling ship Essex that inspired Herman Melville’s famous whale tale stars Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson and Benjamin Walker.

Hit the jump to check out the images.

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