NEIGHBORS Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 16 days ago

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Seth Rogen’s acting career took off fifteen years ago when he was cast in Freaks and Geeks, and over the last ten years he’s become a movie star.  And though he’s nowhere near finished, one gets the sense that if Rogen ever had a wild period, he’s past it (it seems his biggest public faux pas is making a film like The Guilt Trip).  He’s married, he’s a successful writer, producer, actor and director, and though he still has a bit of a baby face, he’s no longer capable of playing schlubby twenty-something losers, and it seems that he’s intentionally moving away from those types.  Neighbors, as directed by Nick Stoller, suggests that though Rogen still has some of that party animal in him, he’s also transitioned into being an adult both onscreen and off.  My Neighbors Blu-ray review follows after the jump.

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU Review

by     Posted 31 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my This Is Where I Leave You review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  The film opens in theaters nationwide today.]

Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans, or so the saying goes.  There are some trite phrases that, while clichéd, kind of ring true, and in the case of This Is Where I Leave You, director Shawn Levy’s adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel of the same name, the Altman family has certainly seen better days.  The patriarch’s dying wish was to have his entire family sit shiva for seven days to mourn his death, and when the Altman clan reunites to fulfill his request, old wounds are opened, past relationships are rekindled, and all are reminded that this isn’t exactly how they envisioned their lives turning out.  Buoyed by a stellar ensemble and a standout performance from Adam Driver, Levy mostly succeeds in bringing Tropper’s novel to the screen with plenty of humor, heart, and sentiment.  While Levy goes overboard with the schmaltz here and there and a couple of the storylines are undercooked, the film’s mix of sincerity and biting humor is ultimately a swell combination.

ADULT BEGINNERS Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 38 days ago

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Though the duo have nothing to do with the film beyond an executive producer credit, Adult Beginners definitely feels as though it falls within the brand of Mark and Jay Duplass.  It’s a humble little comedy about awkward adults struggling with that whole, “living in the world” thing that leaps from comedy to drama so frequently and smoothly that they start to feel like the same thing.  Ambitions aren’t particularly high.  It’s not a movie trying to change the world.  However, it is a warm, charming, and insightful little comedy with some wonderful central performances that’ll slap a smile on your face without insulting your intelligence.  That might not sound like much, but it’s also a surprisingly rare treat, so the movie is very much worthwhile. 

TIFF 2014 Acquisitions: TOP FIVE, BEFORE WE GO, STILL ALICE, PAWN SACRIFICE and More

by     Posted 38 days ago

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The Toronto International Film Festival is starting to wrap up, so we’ve got quite a few sales to report.  Here’s what’s coming at a glance:

  • RADiUS took the US rights to Adult Beginners starring Rose Byrne.
  • RADiUS also snatched up the US rights to Chris EvansBefore We Go.
  • Sony Pictures Classics closed a deal for the Julianne Moore-starrer, Still Alice.
  • Saban Films picked up the US rights to American Heist with Hayden Christensen.
  • Bleecker Street snagged Pawn Sacrifice starring Tobey Maguire.
  • Paramount put up $12.5 million for Chris Rock’s Top Five.

Hit the jump for more.

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The ANNIE Poster and the GOOD KILL Poster Have One Thing in Common

by     Posted 41 days ago

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The color red.  Sony Pictures has released a new Annie poster that features the film’s cast (after a teaser poster a few months back that only displayed the tagline).  The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) in the title role as a young, happy, street-tough foster kid living with the mean Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) who is taken in by New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) in a thinly veiled campaign move.  The film also stars Rose ByrneBobby CannavaleAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and David Zayas.  Annie opens on December 19th

You can also check out the teaser poster for Good Kill, the new film from writer/director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War) starring Ethan Hawke.  I didn’t love Niccol’s last film In Time, but I’m a fan of most of his other work so I’m really pulling for this one.  Good Kill premieres tonight at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Hit the jump for the posters.

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 43 days ago

this-is-where-i-leave-you-review

Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans, or so the saying goes.  There are some trite phrases that, while clichéd, kind of ring true, and in the case of This Is Where I Leave You, director Shawn Levy’s adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel of the same name, the Altman family has certainly seen better days.  The patriarch’s dying wish was to have his entire family sit shiva for seven days to mourn his death, and when the Altman clan reunites to fulfill his request, old wounds are opened, past relationships are rekindled, and all are reminded that this isn’t exactly how they envisioned their lives turning out.  Buoyed by a stellar ensemble and a standout performance from Adam Driver, Levy mostly succeeds in bringing Tropper’s novel to the screen with plenty of humor, heart, and sentiment.  While Levy goes overboard with the schmaltz here and there and a couple of the storylines are undercooked, the film’s mix of sincerity and biting humor is ultimately a swell combination.

Over 45 High-Resolution THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU Images Featuring Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver and Many, Many More

by     Posted 47 days ago

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You know what happens when you’ve got a movie starring Jason BatemanTina FeyAdam Driver, Corey StollJane FondaRose ByrneKathryn HahnConnie BrittonTimothy OlyphantDebra Monk and Abigail Spencer?  You’re going to need a lot of images to promote it and, sure enough, we just over 45 new ones for Shawn Levy’s adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s novel, This Is Where I Leave You. 

This one made Adam’s Most Anticipated Movies: July to September list and it’s no wonder; not only is the film’s trailer oozing with famous faces and cast chemistry, but it’s also just a total feel-good, crowd-pleaser.  We’ll have to wait until it hits theaters on September 19th to see the film in full, but in the meantime, enjoy 45 This Is Where I Leave You images after the jump.

It’s Still a Hard-Knock Life in New ANNIE Trailer Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne, Cameron Diaz, and Jamie Foxx

by     Posted 144 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released new Annie trailer.  The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) in the title role as a young, happy, street-tough foster kid living with the mean Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) who is taken in by New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) in a thinly veiled campaign move.  I want to be excited for this movie, it’s got a good cast, and I enjoyed director Will Gluck‘s Easy A, but the trailers are falling flat for me.  The jokes aren’t landing, and it seems like it’s trying too hard to update the classic musical.  But with its holiday release date, I’m holding on to the hope that it will be a crowd-pleaser.

Hit the jump to check out the new Annie trailer.  The film also stars Rose ByrneBobby CannavaleAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and David Zayas.  Annie opens on December 19th.

First THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU Trailer Features a Grieving Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, and Adam Driver

by     Posted 145 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first This Is Where I Leave You trailer for director Shawn Levy’s (Real Steel) adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel.  The story revolves around a dysfunctional family that is forced to come together and sit shiva when their father dies, opening old wounds and reigniting passions that have long-since been repressed.  This movie throws a lot of talented actors together, and it looks like they’re playing off each other wonderfully.  I was smiling throughout this trailer, and I’m glad that there appears to be so much chemistry among this amazing cast.

Hit the jump to watch the This Is Where I Leave You trailer.  The film stars Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Jane FondaRose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Ben Schwartz, Timothy Olyphant, Aaron Lazar, Debra MonkAbigail Spencer, and Dax ShepardThis Is Where I Leave You opens on September 12th.

“A Very Groovy Mutation”: Matt Revisits X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

by     Posted 153 days ago

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[With X-Men: Days of Future Past opening on Friday, I'm taking a look back at the X-Men movie franchise.  These reviews contain spoilers.]

As I said in my X-Men: The Last Stand review, Professor X and Magneto were the pillars of the franchise’s narrative.  X-Men Origins: Wolverine wasn’t an outright flop, but it certainly underperformed, and combined with the scathing reviews from fans and critics, the X-Men franchise wisely returned to a central problem about how to fight persecution—with peace or with fury? Then they brought these characters to the forefront, and wrapped the subtext in a movie with vibrant visuals, humor, charming performances, and terrific action.  By going back to the beginning in more ways than one, X-Men: First Class was giving the X-Men franchise a fresh start.

First Look at Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, and Many More in THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU

by     Posted 158 days ago

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The first This Is Where I Leave You image has landed online for director Shawn Levy’s (Real Steel) adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel.  The story revolves around a dysfunctional family that is forced to come together and sit shiva when their father dies, opening old wounds and reigniting passions that have long-since been repressed.  The fantastic ensemble cast of the comedic drama is led by Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Cory Stoll, and Adam Driver as the Foxman siblings, with Jane Fonda playing their psychologist mother.  I’ve read the book and it’s a sharply comedic and rather emotional chronicle of this relatable, dysfunctional family, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how Levy and his cast bring the story to life—especially with Tropper penning the script himself.

Hit the jump to check out the full cast in the debut This Is Where I Leave You image.  The film also stars Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, Corey Stoll, Connie Britton, Ben Schwartz, Timothy Olyphant, Aaron Lazar, Debra Monk, and the not-pictured Abigail Spencer and Dax ShepardThis Is Where I Leave You opens on September 12th.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne Talk NEIGHBORS, Working with Nicholas Stoller, the Way They Like to Improvise, and More

by     Posted 163 days ago

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All week I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: director Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors is an extremely funny movie filled with laugh-out-loud sequences.  You should definitely see it this weekend in a crowded theater.  If you haven’t seen the trailers or read our previous coverage, the film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a married couple with a newborn baby who must deal with a fraternity—fronted by Zac Efron—when it moves in next door.  Neighbors also stars Dave FrancoChristopher Mintz-PlasseJake JohnsonIke Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Jerrod Carmichael, and Lisa Kudrow.  For more on Neighbors, read Matt’s review.

At the New York City press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne.  They talked about how much of their improvisation is done in the moment and how much is thought about in advance, what it was like working with Nicholas Stoller, why they filmed in L.A., the rehearsal process for the film, what it was like for Byrne co-starring with the producer, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

NEIGHBORS Review

by     Posted 165 days ago

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Even though Nicholas Stoller‘s Neighbors is packed with great jokes, the through line is about growing up without losing your identity.  Too often, “maturity” simply means “the absence of youth”.  We put away the fun, unencumbered life for the staples of a steady job and a loving family.  Neighbors seeks to find the balance between the responsibility of an adult without obliterating our young, joyful selves.  The movie not only manages to find the humor in this struggle, but it also provides a good metaphor for Stoller’s growth as a director.  By stepping out of Judd Apatow‘s endlessly riffing shadow, Stoller has delivered his best film yet.

New Images from NEIGHBORS Featuring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, and Dave Franco

by     Posted 182 days ago

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Universal Pictures has released a batch of high-resolution Neighbors images from director Nicholas Stoller’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Five-Year Engagement) new comedy.  The film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a married couple with a newborn baby who must deal with a fraternity—fronted by Zac Efron—when it moves in next door.  Response to the pic’s premiere at the SXSW Film Festival was highly positive, and the trailers released thus far have promised an incredibly funny R-rated comedy.  That’s no surprise when you have comedic talents like Rogen and Byrne heading up the film, but Efron has drawn strong notice as well and I’m eager to see his interplay with the Rogen/Bryne pairing.

Hit the jump to check out the new Neighbors images, and click here to read Perri’s review.  The film also stars Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jake Johnson, Ike Barinholtz, and Lisa KudrowNeighbors opens in theaters on May 9th.

New NEIGHBORS Clip Featuring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Lisa Kudrow

by     Posted 193 days ago

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Universal has released a new Neighbors clip.  Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play a married couple who move next to a noisy fraternity (led by Zac Efron) with their newborn baby.  The clip sees Rogen and Byrne argue with a dean at the college (Lisa Kudrow) about the frat’s behavior.  Neighbors got great reviews out of SXSW, so it’s no surprise that the clip is funny, wringing every last drop out of a riff on headlines.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco, and Ike Barinholtz also star in the comedy.  Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek) directed the May 9 release.  Watch the Neighbors clip after the jump.

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