First Trailer for Zach Braff’s WISH I WAS HERE Starring Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, and Josh Gad

by     Posted 11 days ago

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Focus Features has released the teaser trailer for director Zach Braff’s comedic drama Wish I Was Here.  Braff co-wrote, directed, and stars in the film as a struggling actor, father, and husband who is seeking purpose in life and trying to come to terms with the impending death of his father (Mandy Patinkin).  I am in no way surprised that this trailer is set a song by The Shins (they provided two of the tracks on the Garden State soundtrack) and plays like a music video minus the musicians.  It’s a montage of clips from the movie, and based on the tone, it’s not going to change anyone’s mind about how much they want to see this flick.

Hit the jump to watch the Wish I Was Here trailer, and click here to read Adam’s review from Sundance.  The film also stars Kate Hudson, Joey King, Josh Gad, Pierce Gagnon, Ashley Greene, Jim Parsons, and Donald FaisonWish I Was Here opens in limited release on July 18th.

FROZEN Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 19 days ago

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It’s no shock that Frozen — the great animated film by Disney — became a hit, but it’s a little surprising it became a phenomenon.  Currently the film is still in theaters, even though it’s now on DVD and Blu-ray, and it’s about to cross the $400 Million dollar mark domestically, while it’s now the twelfth highest grossing film of all time worldwide (unadjusted, of course), and could cross into the top ten when all is said and done.  What made this so special? Kristen Bell, Josh Gad and Idina Menzel lead the voice actors, and my review of Frozen on Blu-ray follows after the jump. 

Josh Gad and Kevin James in Early Talks to Join Chris Columbus’ Long-Gestating PIXELS; Adam Sandler to Star [Updated]

by     Posted 53 days ago

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Sony Pictures’ long-in-the-works adaptation of the short film Pixels is finally moving towards a production start.  The studio teamed up with Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company to adapt Patrick Jean’s short film of the same name three years ago, but movement on the video game-themed project has been slow.  Now, after setting family friendly filmmaker Chris Columbus (Harry Potter 1 and 2) to direct last year, Josh Gad and Kevin James are in line to possibly lead the pic as champion arcade gamers who are needed to help defeat alien attacks who have an affinity for 80s arcade games.  Hit the jump for more, including the original short.

[Update: The Wrap adds that Sandler will also be leading the cast of Pixels with Jennifer Aniston in the mix for the female lead, though scheduling may ultimately prevent her from signing on.]

JOBS Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 74 days ago

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Biopics are tricky beasts.  At their best, they can provide deeper insight into their protagonists–even when certain details are combined, eliminated or otherwise fictionalized.  On the other end of the spectrum lie a plethora of problems, such as blasé regurgitation of known facts, focusing on either too much or too little of someone’s life, and/or reducing the subject’s life to a highlight reel show with no real substance.  One would hope that a movie such as Jobs, about one of the great creative visionaries of our time, would be inspired by the same creative spark.  Alas, that hope is sadly not realized.

Hit the jump for my review of Jobs on Blu-ray.

Josh Gad Rumored to Play The Thing/Ben Grimm in THE FANTASTIC FOUR

by     Posted 82 days ago

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At this point, Fantastic Four fans should be ready for the upcoming film reboot, The Fantastic Four, to be a radical reinvention of the famous Marvel family.  It’s likely that they will be casting young on this one with names like Miles Teller, Kit Harington, and Richard Madden being rumored for Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara and Saoirse Ronan rumored for Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, and Michael B. Jordan all but officially confirmed to play Johnny Storm/The Human Torch.  The only piece of casting news that hasn’t come up yet is who will play Ben Grimm/The Thing.  Today, we have the first casting rumor for the big, orange rock monster: Josh Gad.

Hit the jump for more.  Filming on The Fantastic Four is set to begin filming on March 31st for a June 19, 2015 release date.

Sundance 2014: WISH I WAS HERE Review

by     Posted 91 days ago

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It’s been ten long years since Zach Braff directed a feature film.  Those that fell hard for Garden State—myself included—looked forward to seeing another directorial effort from Braff, and now the time has finally come with Wish I Was Here.  Written by Braff and his brother Adam Braff, the story explores late-blooming maturity through the eyes of a struggling actor living in L.A. with his wife and two children.  Braff weaves in plenty of themes about loss, marriage, and parenthood throughout the film, but he throws so much into the pot that not all of it sticks.  The result is a disappointing mixed bag as some of the film hits just the right note while the rest of it falls completely flat.  Read my full review after the jump.

GILLIGAN’S ISLAND Movie Surfaces with Josh Gad Writing and Starring for Warner Bros.

by     Posted 124 days ago

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Fresh off of his Frozen performance as an animated snowman, Josh Gad is set to star in Warner Bros.’ big-screen adaptation of Gilligan’s Island.  The project has been in the works for some time; we last reported on it almost four years ago.  The title property was a 1960s TV series about seven castaways who took a three-hour tour about the S.S. Minnow only to wind up stranded on a tropical island after a terrible storm.  We’re not sure just which of the seven roles Gad will take on, but I’d put money on either Gilligan or the Skipper.  Gad is also writing the screenplay along with Benji Samit and Dan Hernandez.  Hit the jump for more.

TOP 5: FROZEN, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE Trailer Cut Like THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, HOMEFRONT, What to Watch Online, OLDBOY

by     Posted 141 days ago

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Last night I rewatched Man of Steel for the first time since catching it in theaters back in June. Previously, I wrote that the film had me emotionally invested in Supes in a way that only Grant Morrison‘s All-Star Superman had done before. While I’ve since been blown away by Alan Moore‘s For the Man Who Has Everything tale, my second Man of Steel viewing from yesterday corroborates my previous statement. I see the pic as being good, borderline great thanks in large part to the outstanding performances of Michael Shannon and Kevin Costner. The tragedy of Zod’s story was somewhat lost on me during my first screening (perhaps it was dulled by the impressive array of action set pieces). This time around, though, I felt the full brunt of it and I couldn’t help but sympathize with him for knowing no other purpose than to defend the people of Krypton at any cost. Also, the scene where he introduces himself to the citizens of Earth? Downright frightening. Regarding Pa Kent: although I loved every facet of Costner’s performance the first time I watched the film, I was surprised at how much his scenes still resonated with me on the repeat viewing. Kudos to Zack Snyder and Co. for limiting his screen time and, in doing so, making every single second with him in the frame mean that much more.

My Blu-ray pick of the week aside, this week’s Top 5 features Frozen interviews with Kristen Bell and more, an It’s a Wonderful Life trailer cut in the style of Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, Homefront interviews with James Franco and more, the first installment in Allison’s new monthly list of recommended streaming, and Oldboy interviews with Spike Lee, Josh Brolin, and more. As tradition dictates, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.

FROZEN Review

by     Posted 145 days ago

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In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Disney Animation Studios had a marvelous revival and created some of their best films with (in chronological order) The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.  Since then, the luster has faded but there have been bright spots like Mulan, The Emperor’s New Groove, Lilo & Stitch, Tangled, and Winnie the Pooh.  They even had terrific one with The Princess and the Frog, but as 2D animation dies and the 3D becomes default, the 2009 picture looked like the end of an era.  But with Frozen, directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee have conjured up a film that is among the best in the studio’s history.  The movie gracefully glides around conventions, and combines magnificent music and lovable characters with an artistry and style rarely seen in 3D animated family films.  It is a picture that recalls Disney’s classic films, but also strides boldly into the 21st century.

Josh Gad Talks FROZEN, His History with the Project, the Songs, the Status of TRIPLETS, Playing Sam Kinison, and More

by     Posted 146 days ago

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Over the past few years, Disney Animation Studios has really impressed me.  I thought both Tangled and Wreck-it-Ralph were huge steps forward for the studio, but nothing could have prepared me for how much I loved Frozen.  Loaded with amazing songs (written and composed by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez), great characters (wait until you meet Olaf), and enough humor to keep both kids and parents interested, I’m planning on taking my entire family to see it over Thanksgiving weekend and think it’s going to a huge hit at the box office. If you’re not familiar with Frozen, the story centers on a young dreamer named Anna (Kristen Bell) who teams up with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an extreme mountain man, to find her sister Elsa, the Queen of Arendelle (Idina Menzel) who has accidentally trapped their kingdom in eternal winter.

At the recent New York City press day I landed a great interview with Gad.  He talked about his history with the project, the songs and improvising some of his dialogue, when he realized Frozen might be a special movie, the status of Triplets (which he’s writing) and the Sam Kinison movie.  Hit the jump to watch, and make sure to see Frozen in 3D when it opens November 27th.

Josh Gad Gives Update on TRIPLETS Script; Says It’s “Reverential” but Also Has Tongue Firmly Planted in Cheek

by     Posted 173 days ago

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While Arnold Schwarzengger’s return to the film world has been a bit rougher than he likely expected, the actor has a couple of projects in the works that are poised to resurrect some of his previous characters.  One such project is a sequel to the 1988 Schwarzenegger/Danny DeVito comedy Twins, aptly named Triplets.  The pic is poised to reunite Schwarzenegger and DeVito onscreen with their long-lost sibling, played by Eddie Murphy.  Last year Josh Gad and Ryan Dixon were tapped to pen the screenplay for the film, but news on the project in the subsequent months has been quiet.  However, while promoting his latest film Frozen, Gad recently provided a promising update on the project and discussed the tone of the script in relation to the original movie.  Hit the jump to read on.

New Trailer for FROZEN Features Elsa and a First Listen to One of the Film’s Musical Numbers

by     Posted 184 days ago

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Until this point, I had been underwhelmed by what I’d seen from Disney’s new animated movie musical, Frozen.  It seemed kind of cute, but with too much emphasis on the goofy snowman Olaf (Josh Gad).  But now Disney has released a new trailer that makes me incredibly excited to see the film.  The film centers on a young dreamer named Anna (Kristen Bell) who teams up with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an extreme mountain man, to find the Snow Queen, Elsa (Idina Menzel), and put an end to a spell that has trapped their kingdom in eternal winter.  Elsa is also Anna’s sister, and this trailer shows that Elsa isn’t some one-dimensional villain.  She has a power she can’t control and is being persecuted for it.  Anna and Elsa are sisters, and seeing Anna try to help her sister rather than defeat some super-powered baddie is far more interesting.  The trailer also gives us a sample of one of the musical numbers, it sounds good.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also features the voices of Alan Tudyk, Santino Fontana, and Chris WilliamsFrozen opens in 3D on November 27th.

First Full Trailer and New Images for Disney’s FROZEN Featuring the Voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Josh Gad

by     Posted 206 days ago

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Disney has released the first theatrical trailer for its upcoming animated film Frozen.  Directed by Chris Buck (Tarzan) and Jennifer Lee (Wreck-It Ralph), the film features Kristen Bell as the voice of a young dreamer named Anna who teams up with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an extreme mountain man, to find the Snow Queen (Idina Menzel) and put an end to a spell that has trapped their kingdom in eternal winter.  While the film certainly looks cute and funny, I’m a tad disappointed that this trailer doesn’t showcase the film’s musical numbers.  That being said, the trailer does show hints of a return to the fantastical, cynic-free films that Disney used to make, so here’s hoping we see more of that in subsequent trailers.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to check out a couple of new images.  The film also features the voices of Josh Gad, Alan Tudyk, Santino Fontana, and Chris Williams.  Frozen opens in 3D on November 27th.

THANKS FOR SHARING Review

by     Posted 212 days ago

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A striking cinematic portrayal of sex addiction hit screens two years in the form of Steve McQueen‘s Shame.  McQueen’s searing film is unrelenting to the point where it drowns us in the misery of its central character, but at least there’s honesty at the core of the picture.  Director Stuart Blumberg attempts a somewhat lighter tone with Thanks for Sharing, and while that’s not necessarily problematic, he goes about it such a superficial, ham-fisted way as to undermine almost all of the drama.  Putting aside the efficacy of “Anonymous” groups like Sexaholics Anonymous, two-thirds of the movie plays out like a PSA ad but with real actors struggling to sell the horrendous and preachy dialogue.  Blumberg and co-writer Matt Winston‘s script struggles to be anything more than a cheap attempt at easy drama as it prays on addiction rather than making an earnest try at conveying it.

Alecia Moore & Josh Gad Talk THANKS FOR SHARING, What Kind of Research They Did for Their Roles, What They Collect, and More

by     Posted 212 days ago

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Opening this weekend is the sex addict comedy/drama Thanks for Sharing, which marks the directorial debut of The Kids Are All Right scribe Stuart Blumberg.  The film tells the story of three sex addicts struggling to function in normal society.  The central focus is on Mark Ruffalo, who plays an addict who’s trying to strike up a relationship with a woman who has sworn off dating other addicts (Gwyneth Paltrow).  The other main addicts include Book of Mormon star Josh GadAlecia Moore (aka Pink), Tim RobbinsJoely Richardson and Patrick Fugit.  For more on the film, watch the trailer.

The other day I got to speak with Alecia Moore & Josh Gad.  They talked about working together, what kind of research they did for their roles, the types of roles they’d like to play, what they collect, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

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