LAGGIES Review

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  Laggies opens today in limited release.]

There is certain kind of movie that I would describe as a “Sundance Comedy”. They’re technically indie films even though they feature movie stars, and they’re almost always fairly tame. They’re cute at best and forgettable at worst, and Lynn Shelton’s Laggies has the distinction of being both. What begins as a moderately interesting coming-of-age tale eventually devolves into something so light and airy that it’s on the verge of floating away, especially when the characters’ implausible actions do nothing to keep the story grounded.

LAGGIES Trailer: Keira Knightley Runs from Adulthood with Chloe Grace Moretz in Tow

by     Posted 100 days ago

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A24 Films has released the first Laggies trailer for director Lynn Shelton’s (Your Sister’s Sister) coming-of-age comedy.  The film stars Keira Knightley as Megan, a 28-year-old woman who, being unable to cope with the pressures of adulthood when her longtime boyfriend proposes, runs off and befriends a 16-year-old named Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz).  I caught the film at Sundance and despite charming performances from Knightley and Sam Rockwell as Annika’s father, unfortunately the pic is pretty forgettable.  Though the film begins strong, it becomes quite frustrating as Megan’s actions grow more implausible and irresponsible.  This trailer does a fine job of conveying the tone and direction of the pic, so you should be able to gauge your interest accordingly.

Hit the jump to watch the Laggies trailer and to check out a teaser poster, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Mark Webber, Jeff Garlin, Gretchen Mol, and Kaitlyn DeverLaggies opens in limited release on October 24th.

First HAPPY CHRISTMAS Trailer Starring Anna Kendrick, Mark Webber, and Lena Dunham

by     Posted 157 days ago

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Magnolia Pictures has released the first Happy Christmas trailer for Drinking Buddies writer/director Joe Swanberg’s new comedy.  The film stars Anna Kendrick as an immature, hard-partying twentysomething who moves in with her brother (Swanberg), his novelist wife (Melanie Lynskey), and their young baby, only to shake up their idyllic life.  Swanberg’s films are always heavily improvised, and the loose nature of the dialogue in Happy Christmas is evident in this first trailer.  The cast is talented and Swanberg is coming off his most successful film yet with Drinking Buddies, so hopefully this one makes for a solid follow-up.

Hit the jump to watch the Happy Christmas trailer.  The film also stars Mark Webber and Lena DunhamHappy Christmas will be available VOD on June 26th and opens in theaters on July 25th.

First Trailer for Horror Thriller JESSABELLE Starring Sarah Snook and Mark Webber

by     Posted 183 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the first Jessabelle trailer for director Kevin Greutert’s (Saw 3D: The Final Chapter) horror thriller, which also marks the latest effort from Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and The Purge producer Jason BlumSarah Snook (Spirited) stars as a young woman recuperating from a terrible car wreck at her family home in Louisiana who finds herself haunted by a long-tormented spirit.  Somewhat surprisingly, the film was written by Reno 911! co-creator/writer Robert Ben Garant.  He appears to have made the genre switch quite successfully, as Jessabelle looks to be a promising spin on the haunted house/ghost story trope.

Hit the jump to watch the Jessabelle trailer.  The film also stars Mark Webber, Larisa Oleynik, David Andrews, Joelle Carter, Ana de la Reguera, Chris Ellis, Fran Bennett, and Amber StevensJessabelle opens in theaters on August 29th.

Mark Webber Talks 13 SINS, the Unique Rehearsal Process, Working with Real-Life Wife Teresa Palmer on THE EVER AFTER, and More

by     Posted 191 days ago

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Available now on VOD and in theaters this week is 13 Sins, a sinister thriller about a good natured, down on his luck everyman who must decide how far he’s willing to go to provide for his family.  Elliot (Mark Webber) is expecting a child with his fiancé (Rutina Wesley), caring for his mentally ill brother (Devon Graye), and about to take in his deadbeat father (Tom Bower), so when he’s unexpectedly fired his entire life is thrown into a tailspin.  That’s when he receives a mysterious phone call explaining that he has been chosen to participate in a secret game show – 13 tasks, if he can complete them all he walks away a millionaire, but as each task proves more perverse than the last, he discovers he may not be as in control of the gameplay as he thought.  13 Sins also stars Ron Perlman and Pruitt Taylor Vince.

At a recent L.A.  press day I sat down for an exclusive interview with Mark Webber.  He talked about director Daniel Stamm‘s unique rehearsal process, plans for the DVD, his favorite scene to film, portraying a character who undergoes such a big transformation, his passion for directing, working with real-life wife Teresa Palmer on The Ever After and more.  Check out what he had to say after the jump and please be aware there are some spoilers.

Sundance 2014: LAGGIES Review

by     Posted 276 days ago

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There is certain kind of movie that I would describe as a “Sundance Comedy”.  They’re technically indie films even though they feature movie stars, and they’re almost always fairly tame.  They’re cute at best and forgettable at worst, and Lynn Shelton’s Laggies has the distinction of being both.  What begins as a moderately interesting coming-of-age tale eventually devolves into something so light and airy that it’s on the verge of floating away, especially when the characters’ implausible actions do nothing to keep the story grounded.

Anne Hathaway, Chloe Moretz, Sam Rockwell, and Mark Webber in Talks to Star in Lynne Shelton’s LAGGIES

by     Posted 1 year, 211 days ago

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Director Lynn Shelton is rounding up a rather impressive cast for her next film.  Deadline reports that Anne Hathaway, Chloe Moretz, Sam Rockwell, and Mark Webber (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) are in negotiations to star the Touchy Feely and Your Sister’s Sister filmmaker’s dark comedy Laggies.  The story centers on a 28-year-old woman named Megan who is unable to cope with the pressures brought on by her boyfriend’s recent marriage proposal. In turn, she escapes into the comfort of adolescence by befriending a group of high schoolers.  Recent Oscar-winner Hathaway will lead the film as Megan, with Moretz eyed to play 16-year-old Annika, Webber in talks to play Megan’s boyfriend, and Rockwell set as an older character named Craig.

Andrea Seigel wrote the screenplay for Laggies, and the film marks the first time Shelton will direct something she hasn’t also written.  She most recently directed the drama Touchy Feely, which debuted at Sundance earlier this year.  This is one hell of an ensemble that Shelton has put together, and I look forward to checking out the finished product.

Shannyn Sossamon Talks THE END OF LOVE, Working with Mark Webber, MISTRESSES, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 236 days ago

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Set in Los Angeles, The End of Love is an intimate, honest and raw portrait of a young father (played by writer/director Mark Webber) in transition between the life he’s been working for and the one that’s already waiting for him.  When the mother of his two-year-old son Isaac (played by Webber’s real-life son) suddenly passes away, the struggling actor is forced to face his inability to grow up and begins to realize that he can no longer remain in denial about the real-life consequences that his choices have.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Shannyn Sossamon – who plays Lydia, a young single mother that Mark finds himself drawn to – talked about why she wanted to get involved with this unique project, how exciting it is to work without a set script and be able to improvise the dialogue, how they determined just what kind of character Lydia would be, how being a mother herself made her really comfortable about working with the young children in the film, and how inspiring Mark Webber was to work with.  She also talked about her role on the new ABC drama series Mistresses, premiering on May 27th, what she enjoys about working on television, her short film for Jaguar with Damian Lewis (Homeland), and her upcoming feature film The Jesuit, with Tim Roth.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Mark Webber Talks THE END OF LOVE, Approaching Filmmaking in a Different Way, Playing a Version of Himself with His Own Child, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 237 days ago

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Set in Los Angeles, The End of Love is an intimate, honest and raw portrait of a young father (played by writer/director Mark Webber) in transition between the life he’s been working for and the one that’s already waiting for him.  When the mother of his two-year-old son Isaac (played by Webber’s real-life son) suddenly passes away, the struggling actor is forced to face his inability to grow up and begins to realize that he can no longer remain in denial about the real-life consequences that his choices have.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor and filmmaker Mark Webber talked about how this whole project came about, why he wanted to approach filmmaking in a different way, how heady it was to play a version of himself with his own child, how he found himself reflecting on his own life while making the film, how crazy it was to screen the film for people and get their reactions, how the experience has changed him as an actor and the way he approaches roles, and what he looks for in a project now.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

First Trailer and Poster for Mark Webber’s THE END OF LOVE

by     Posted 1 year, 283 days ago

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The first trailer and poster for writer/director/star Mark Webber’s drama The End of Love have been released online.  It’s curious timing, as the film first premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival nearly a year ago, and the 2013 Sundance Film Festival gets underway later this week.  Webber stars in the film as a struggling actor and widower who must confront the real-life consequences that his choices have on his two-year-old son.  Scott Pilgrim vs. The World fans will be happy to see some of Webber’s co-stars pop up here like Michael Cera and Aubrey Plaza, but the central focus looks to be on an intimate and rather emotional father-son drama.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film.  The pic also stars Isaac Love, Shannyn Sossamon, and Amanda SeyfriedThe End of Love will be available VOD on iTunes on January 21st, and hits theaters in limited release on March 1st.

First Trailer and Poster for SAVE THE DATE Starring Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie

by     Posted 2 years, 4 days ago

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The first trailer and poster have gone online for director Michael Mohan’s romantic comedy, Save the Date.  Starring Lizzy Caplan (Party Down) and Alison Brie (Community) as sisters with drastically different views on marriage, Save the Date explores the familial and romantic bonds that tie us together and what happens when they break apart.  The trailer suggests that Save the Date might be just the right movie for those of you who despise typical, trite rom-coms with predictably nauseating endings.  It also suggests that it’s a movie to avoid if you despise hipsters.

Save the Date also stars Geoffrey Arend, Martin Starr and Mark Webber and will be available on a variety of online platforms starting November 8th, with a theatrical release beginning December 14th.  Hit the jump to check out the trailer, poster and synopsis.

Paul Dano Joins Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal in PRISONERS, Ron Perlman Joins Psychological Thriller ANGRY LITTLE GOD

by     Posted 2 years, 15 days ago

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A couple of casting headlines for you today:

  • Paul Dano (Looper) will join Hugh Jackman (Real Steel) and Jake Gyllenhaal (End of Watch) in the vigilante thriller, Prisoners, directed by Denis Villeneuve (Incendies).
  • Ron Perlman (Hellboy) has joined the psychological thriller, Angry Little God, from director Daniel Stamm (The Last Exorcism).

Hit the jump for more on these casting assignments and the movies themselves. 

4 Clips from Phone Sex Comedy FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL… Starring Lauren Miller and Ari Graynor

by     Posted 2 years, 63 days ago

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Four clips from the sex comedy For a Good Time, Call… have been released.  The film centers on a pair of roommates who bond when they go into business as phone sex operators.  It premiered at Sundance to a fairly positive response, with our own Matt Goldberg calling it an enjoyable little film (read his review here).  Lauren Miller and Ari Graynor star as the titular roommates, but a number of actors like Seth Rogen and Kevin Smith pop up for cameos as phone sex customers.

Hit the jump to watch the clips.  The film also stars Justin LongJames Wolk, and Mark WebberFor a Good Time, Call… opens in limited release on August 31st.

New Trailer for FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL…

by     Posted 2 years, 113 days ago

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I thought For a Good Time, Call… was an enjoyable albeit forgettable flick that relied heavily on dirty words for laughs.  The film centers on a pair of roommates who bond when they go into business as phone sex operators.  The red-band trailer did a good job of summing up the plot and humor, but the new green band trailer can only deliver the plot synopsis because dirty words are the devil’s language and thus not appropriate for all audiences.  I would recommend watching the red-band and green-band trailers back-to-back so you can marvel at the comparison of how bland the film looks when it can’t rely on its filthy-language hook.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film stars Ari Graynor, Lauren Anne Miller, Justin Long, James Wolk, and Mark WebberFor a Good Time, Call… opens in limited release on August 31st.

Steve Carell and Jake Johnson Join Untitled Mob Comedy; Joelle Carter Stars in JESSABELLE and Jose Maria Yazpik Joins THE BRIEF LOVERS

by     Posted 2 years, 193 days ago

 

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We’ve got a few bits of casting news to bring to you today.  Here they are at a glance:

  • Steve Carell and Jake Johnson ( New Girl) will join an untitled mob-themed comedy for Warner Bros.
  • Joelle Carter (Justified) joins Saw 3D director Kevin Gruetert’s horror-thriller, Jessabelle.
  • Jose Maria Yazpik (The Burning Plain) will star in Pedro Almodovar’s upcoming romantic comedy, The Brief Lovers.

Hit the jump for more on each project.

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