SXSW 2014: NEIGHBORS Review

by     Posted 38 days ago

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Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne versus a horde of out-of-control frat boys with Zac Efron at the helm; who wouldn’t want to see how that battle plays out?  Neighbors is light on character development, ridden with logic issues and doesn’t flow particularly well, but director Nicholas Stoller never loses sight of that chief appeal, resulting in a feature that may not be particularly memorable, but is still a fun watch. Hit the jump for my full review of Neighbors from the SXSW Film Festival.

TOP 5: Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons Join BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, NEIGHBORS, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, INTERSTELLAR, A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST

by     Posted 74 days ago

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With an Oscar nod for Best Documentary under its belt and Matt having named it his favorite film of 2013, the last thing Joshua Oppenheimer‘s The Act of Killing needs is an endorsement from me. And yet, here it is. I watched the film on Netflix several weeks ago and, to be honest, I’m still having trouble coming to grips with it. It’s the most the surreal and disturbing look at human atrocity I’ve seen and the more I think about its subjects and overall approach, the more I’m in awe of the fact that it exists. I drown in hyperbole when thinking of words to describe it because it’s so profound that calling it a “good film” seems not like an understatement but a complete inaccuracy. The Act of Killing is not a “good film”, it’s a stunning work of humanity that makes awards, critical reception, the sentence I’m typing at this very moment, etc., seem absolutely trivial.

Speaking of trivial, in what may go down as one of the worst segues in Collider history, I’ll now attempt to jump into this week’s Top 5. Highlighted today is Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons joining Zack Snyder‘s Batman vs. Superman, Steve’s Neighbors set visit coverage, the first trailer for The Fault in Our Stars, Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar being exempt from Paramount’s digital mandate, and the first trailer for Seth MacFarlane‘s A Million Ways to Die in the West. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

30 Things to Know About Nicholas Stoller’s NEIGHBORS Starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Dave Franco

by     Posted 76 days ago

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Last year, when director Nicholas Stoller’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) R-rated comedy Neighbors was filming here in Los Angeles, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  The film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a young couple with a newborn baby that has a fraternity–headed up by Zac Efron‘s character –move in next door.   The thirty-somethings soon find themselves the victims of pranks and other unsightly activities after an attempt to welcome the Delta Psi Beta chapter goes awry.  Neighbors also stars Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco, Jake Johnson, Ike Barinholtz, Jason Mantozoukas, and Lisa Kudrow.

During breaks in filming, I was able to participate in group interviews with Rogen, Efron, Mintz-Plasse, Franco, Barinholtz, Stoller, producer Evan Goldberg and screenwriters Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien.   They talked about making the film, what it’s about, the atmosphere on set, Mintz-Plasse’s massive penis, Efron’s abs, their extremely graphic, homoerotic handshake for the fraternity in the film, and so much more.  Hit the jump for 35 things to know about the film.  Neighbors opens May 9th.

Director Nicholas Stoller on the Extreme Amount of Male Nudity, the Secret to Shooting Party Scenes, and More on the Set of NEIGHBORS

by     Posted 76 days ago

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Last year, when director Nicholas Stoller was filming Neighbors in Los Angeles, I got to visit the set with a few other online reporters.  Since this was the third time getting to see Stoller direct (I got to visit the set of Get Him to the Greek and The Five-Year Engagement), I was pretty sure one thing was going to happen: I’d laugh a lot.  And like I predicted, that was exactly what happened.  If you’re not familiar with the film, Neighbors stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a married couple who must deal with a fraternity—headed up by Zac Efron—when it moves in next door.  From what I saw and learned on set, Neighbors is definitely loaded with some great jokes that range from crazy party scenes to male nudity.  There is no way Neighbors is PG-13.  It’s a hard R.

During a break in filming, I was able to participate in a group interview with Stoller.  He talked about how the project came together, why he’s shooting anamorphic widescreen, casting Efron, whose decision was it to do the extreme amount of male nudity, how Enter The Void was a big inspiration for the visual look, what’s the secret for shooting a party scene, and so much more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.  Neighbors opens May 9, 2014.

New Trailer and Poster for Nicholas Stoller’s NEIGHBORS Starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron

by     Posted 119 days ago

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Universal Pictures has released a new theatrical trailer and poster for director Nicholas Stoller’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) comedy Neighbors.  The film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a married couple who must deal with a fraternity—headed up by Zac Efron—when it moves in next door.  This trailer features some of the same jokes from the previous (and very funny) red-band trailer, but we also get a taste of just how wild things get as the film takes a promising premise and pushes things further and further.  The De Niro stuff with Efron and Dave Franco is still great, and Jason Mantzoukas (Raffi from The League) pops up at the end of the trailer in what’s sure to be a fun hospital sequence.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer and to check out the new poster.  The film also stars Jake JohnsonCarlo GalloLisa Kudrow, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.  Neighbors opens May 9, 2014.

Nicholas Stoller to Rewrite Adam McKay’s UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT Starring Denzel Washington and Will Smith

by     Posted 142 days ago

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Warner Bros.’ remake of the 1971 Bill Cosby/Sidney Poitier comedy Uptown Saturday Night is getting a rewrite.  Variety reports that Forgetting Sarah Marshall director and Get Him to the Greek scribe Nicholas Stoller has been brought on to pen a rewrite of the script in an effort to fast-track the redo.  The project has a promising pedigree, with Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) onboard to direct and Will Smith and Denzel Washington attached to star.  The original film revolved around two friends who sneak out to visit a high-class illegal club, only to find themselves in hot water.

McKay wants Uptown Saturday Night to be his next film after completing Anchorman 2 and Smith and Washington must both approve of the script before things move forward, so Stoller is hoping to have a draft ready by next month.  If the script delivers, all involved are geared up to start production next summer.

Rob Letterman to Direct CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS for DreamWorks Animation; Nicholas Stoller Adapted the Dav Pilkey Children’s Books

by     Posted 173 days ago

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In today’s unexpected adaptation news, Rob Letterman (Monsters vs Aliens) will be directing Captain Underpants for DreamWorks Animation.  Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets) penned the adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s series of children’s books that center on the adventures of the title hero, created by fourth grade students, George Beard and Harold Hutchins.  Originally published in 1997, Pilkey’s series now spans ten books and three spin-offs, plus a Disney Adventures Kids’ Choice Award in 2007.  Hit the jump for more.

First Red-Band Trailer for NEIGHBORS Starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and Rose Byrne

by     Posted 226 days ago

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Universal Pictures has released the first red-band trailer for director Nicholas Stoller’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) new comedy Neighbors.  Previously titled Townies, the film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a young couple who move in next door to a fraternity house.  The thirty-somethings soon find themselves the victims of pranks (and other unsightly activities) after an attempt to welcome the Delta Psi Beta chapter goes awkwardly awry.  There are plenty of great snippets of what are sure to be funny moments throughout the picture as Neighbors takes a look at the hard-partying Greek life of films like Old School, Animal House and PCU from the viewpoint of the squares on the outside.  And while Christopher Mintz-Plasse doesn’t get any dialogue, he sure does get a moment.

Hit the jump to watch the red-band trailer.  The film also stars Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Jake Johnson, Ike Barinholtz, Jason Mantozoukas, and Lisa KudrowNeighbors opens in theaters on May 9, 2014.

Dave Franco Talks NOW YOU SEE ME, Magic, Working with Louis Leterrier, Nicholas Stoller’s TOWNIES, and the 21 JUMP STREET Sequel

by     Posted 325 days ago

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With director Louis Leterrier’s (The Incredible Hulk) magician-centered thriller Now You See Me opening May 31st, I recently went to New Orleans to interview the cast.  For those unfamiliar, the story follows an FBI squad on the heels of a team of bank-robbing magicians who share their profits with the audience, and the pic boasts an impressive ensemble cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, Melanie Laurent and Morgan Freeman.  For more on the film, watch six clips, or check out all our previous coverage

During my interview with Dave Franco, he talked about how much fun he had making the movie, what he learned about magic, what it was like working for Louis Leterrier and  his always moving camera, and more.  In addition, he talked about if he’ll be in the 21 Jump Street sequel, and reveals Nicholas Stoller‘s Townies features tons of male nudity.  Hit the jump to watch.

Joel Kinnaman in Talks to Join Tom Hardy in CHILD 44; Rose Byrne Up for THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU and TOWNIES with Seth Rogen

by     Posted 1 year, 33 days ago

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Though his AMC series The Killing was just resurrected for a third season, star Joel Kinnaman isn’t leaving features behind anytime soon.  The actor most recently wrapped the starring role in the RoboCop reboot, and now Heat Vision reports that Kinnaman is in negotiations to join Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace in the thriller Child 44.  The film is based on the book of the same name by Tom Rob Smith and takes place in the 1950s, where it centers on a security officer in the Soviet Union who finds himself demoted and exiled while investigating a string of murders.

Kinnaman is in talks to play Hardy’s “ambitious and murderous nemesis.”  Should the deal go through, Kinnaman would be reuniting with his Snabba Cash director Daniel Espinosa on the project.  Espinosa is coming off the success of last year’s Safe House, and Child 44 boasts Ridley Scott and Michael Costigan as producers.  Filming is hoping to get underway this summer.  Hit the jump for casting news concerning Rose Byrne joining Tina Fey/Jason Bateman and Seth Rogen/Zac Efron in a couple of upcoming projects.

Warner Bros. to Produce One “High-End” Animated Film Per Year; Nicholas Stoller, Phil Lord, and Chris Miller Among Filmmakers Developing Projects

by     Posted 1 year, 99 days ago

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Warner Bros. is keen on ramping up its animated features division.  The studio is forming a creative consortium “that’s aimed at delivering one ‘high-end’ film per year.”  Said consortium includes John Requa and Glen Ficarra (Crazy, Stupid, Love., Cats & Dogs), Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street), and Jared Stern (Mr. Popper’s Penguins).  Apparently the filmmakers will work both individually and collectively in order to generate animated fare, but they’ll also continue to write and direct live-action films.  Hit the jump for the details on what kinds of films are in development.

THE MUPPETS Sequel Update: Filming Begins in Late January at Pinewood Studios in London; Bret McKenzie Writing New Songs

by     Posted 1 year, 162 days ago

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One of my favorite films of last year was director James Bobin‘s The Muppets.  Not only was the film a huge commercial hit grossing almost $160 million worldwide, The Muppets averaged an amazing 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song (Bret McKenzie‘s “Man or Muppet”).  While it might have been a while before Disney decided to release a further Muppets movie, the new film’s success led the studio to greenlight the sequel quickly and it currently has a December 20, 2013 release date (via IMDb).  As we’ve previously reported:

With the release date almost a year away, I figured filming must be starting soon.  I was right.  The other night I attended a Lionsgate/Summit holiday party where I ran into Muppet producer Todd Lieberman (he produced The Muppets with David Hoberman) and he gave me an update on the sequel.  Hit the jump for more.

Christoph Waltz to Play Interpol Agent in THE MUPPETS Sequel; Film Will Take Place in Europe

by     Posted 1 year, 166 days ago

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It’s been a while since we’ve had some Muppets news, but it now appears that we’ve learned who may be playing the new film’s villain.  We know that The Muppets director James Bobin has been working on the script for the sequel with Muppets co-writer Nicholas Stoller, and now Variety’s Marc Graser reports via Twitter that Oscar winner Christoph Waltz is set to play an Interpol agent in the film.  Stoller previously revealed that the film will be a caper, and Graser adds that the story will find the Muppets “running around in Europe.”

It’s a minor bit of news with few details, but Bobin, Stoller, and Jason Segel knocked last year’s redo out of the park so I’m eager to see where they take the characters in the sequel.  Segel won’t have a hand in the script this time around, but it’s possible that he’ll make a cameo in the follow-up.  Hopefully we hear more Muppets 2 news soon.

Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill in Talks to Reteam for ALOHA; Shawn Levy Will Direct

by     Posted 1 year, 268 days ago

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Though we’ll see Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill team up for next month’s sci-fi comedy The Watch, the duo is already planning another project together.  THR reports that Stiller and Hill are attached to star in the comedy pitch Aloha, with Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy set to helm.  Plot details are under wraps, but the story is described as an island-set comedy.  Hill hatched the idea for the project himself, which was then further fleshed out by Hill, Stiller, and Levy on the set of The Watch (which Levy produced).  Hit the jump for more details.

Nicholas Stoller to Direct TOWNIES, Starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron

by     Posted 1 year, 329 days ago

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Coming off of his latest feature, The Five-Year Engagement, director Nicholas Stoller is lining up his next project.  THR reports that Stoller is now in negotiations to helm the R-rated comedy Townies.  Universal snatched the project up last summer and set Seth Rogen to star as a regular guy who lives near an alpha male fraternity house and has to contend with a raucous member of the fraternity (Zac Efron) who wreaks havoc on his life.  The casting made the project interesting to begin with, and now the addition of Stoller—known for his strong infusion of heart and comedy—makes the project even more intriguing.

Five-Year Engagement wasn’t exactly a box office hit, but Universal must be happy with the pic as they’ve tapped the Forgetting Sarah Marshall director to helm Townies.  The script was written by Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Stoller and/or Rogen take a pass.  In addition to Five-Year Engagement, Stoller co-wrote last year’s The Muppets with Jason Segel and is currently scripting a sequel alongside Muppets director James Bobin.

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