I GIVE IT A YEAR Review

by     Posted 357 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 SXSW Film Festival.  I Give It a Year opens tomorrow in limited release.]

Dan Mazer‘s I Give It a Year is the rom-com in reverse and two rom-coms in one. Mazer takes the difficult task of showing a marriage fall apart, and turns it into a surprisingly funny and witty comedy that never feels cynical. And it’s absolutely easy to be cynical when it comes to marriage because of the 50% divorce rate. But like any good comic writer, Mazer finds the humor in an unlikely topic, and succeeds with sharp dialogue, talented actors, and wisely keeping the tone of the film the same as an average romantic comedy.

DRUNK HISTORY Review; The Funny or Die Sketch Makes Its Way to Comedy Central

by     Posted 1 year, 22 days ago

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Moving something that’s successful online to TV isn’t a translation that always works.  Remember $#*! My Dad Says?  Memes flare brightly and die a pretty swift death online, and by the time TV execs (or morning talk show hosts) get in on the joke, the revival is like parading a corpse.

But Drunk History is a little different, in part because its creator, Derek Waters, is just very lucky.  In 2007, he filmed a friend imbibing a bottle of scotch and recounting the 1804 duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.  The rest is, well, Drunk History.  The original segment aired in 2010 on Funny or Die, the Will Ferrell and Adam McKay-created website.  Having had the backing of both the public and some of the most successful current comedy minds, the real question is why it took so long for Comedy Central to run with the idea.  Hit the jump for more on the new series.

Trailer and Poster for I GIVE IT A YEAR Starring Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Simon Baker, and Anna Faris

by     Posted 1 year, 43 days ago

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Magnolia has released the trailer and poster for Dan Mazer‘s reverse romantic-comedy, I Give It a Year.  The film stars Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Rafe Spall (Prometheus) as a mismatched couple and centers on their struggle to survive their first year of marriage.  This trailer shares some of the jokes with the one we saw last year, but it’s still very funny stuff.  I really enjoyed the film when I caught it at SXSW, and this trailer makes me want to see it again.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster.  The film also stars Anna Faris, Simon Baker, Stephen Merchant, Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, and Olivia Coleman. I Give It a Year hits VOD on July 3rd and opens in theaters on August 9th.

SXSW 2013: I GIVE IT A YEAR Review

by     Posted 1 year, 140 days ago

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Dan Mazer‘s I Give It a Year is the rom-com in reverse and two rom-coms in one.  Mazer takes the difficult task of showing a marriage fall apart, and turns it into a surprisingly funny and witty comedy that never feels cynical.  And it’s absolutely easy to be cynical when it comes to marriage because of the 50% divorce rate.  But like any good comic writer, Mazer finds the humor in an unlikely topic, and succeeds with sharp dialogue, talented actors, and wisely keeping the tone of the film the same as an average romantic comedy.

Stephen Merchant Talks MOVIE 43 and His New HBO Series HELLO LADIES

by     Posted 1 year, 187 days ago

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The ever-talented Stephen Merchant (co-creator of The Office and Extras alongside Ricky Gervais) has a penchant for playing the unsuccessful romantic. In his first team-up with The Farrellys – the underrated Hall Pass – Merchant steps out of his marriage and attempts to woo a bevy of women… all unsuccessfully.  In Movie 43, Merchant is at it again – this time attempting to seduce Halle Berry in one of the film’s numerous sketches.

In the following interview with Merchant, the comedian discusses working with Peter Farrelly once again for Movie 43, the anxiety of memorizing lines, whether he longs to ever be the lead in a film and his in-the-works HBO series Hello Ladies.  For the full interview, hit the jump. 

LIFE’S TOO SHORT Special to Wrap Up Series on HBO

by     Posted 1 year, 207 days ago

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Fans of HBO’s comedy series Life’s Too Short will be happy to know that they’ll be getting some closure on the Warwick Davis-led show.  The HBO/BBC comedy premiered on HBO last February with a seven episode first season, but executive producers/stars Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have opted to wrap the show up with a special in lieu of commissioning a full second season.  HBO announced at the TCA’s that they have indeed committed to a Life’s Too Short special that will wrap the series up, set to air later this year.  I watched the first couple of episodes of Life’s Too Short, and despite the amusing cameos I was never quite taken with the series.  That said, I’m sure there are plenty of fans that are happy to hear that the show will be given some finality.

Merchant is currently working on a new comedy series for HBO called Hello Ladies, while Gervais recently landed the lead role in The Muppets sequel.  Hit the jump to watch one of the highlights from Life’s Too Short, Johnny Depp’s cameo.

Exclusive TV Spot for MOVIE 43 Starring Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Halle Berry, and Many More

by     Posted 1 year, 221 days ago

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The comedy omnibus Movie 43 has something for everyone with its enormous, star-studded cast: Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Terrence Howard, Halle Berry, Jason Sudeikis, Gerard Butler, Kristen Bell, Chloe Moretz, Josh Duhamel, Johnny Knoxville, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Richard Gere, Anna Faris, Justin Long, Liev Schreiber, Uma Thurman, Seann William Scott, Kieran Culkin, Leslie Bibb, Jimmy Bennett, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Kate Bosworth, Patrick Warburton, Tony Shalhoub, Chris Pratt, Jack McBrayer, Aasif Mandvi, Bobby Cannavale.

Movie 43 opens on January 25, 2013, so Relativity sent over an exclusive TV spot.  If you can handle jokes about homeschool incest and inappropriate uses for hot sauce, watch it after the jump.  And make sure to check out the red band trailer.

New Trailer for I GIVE IT A YEAR Starring Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, and Stephen Merchant

by     Posted 1 year, 228 days ago

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A new trailer for the British romantic comedy I Give It a Year has been released online.  The film stars Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Rafe Spall (Prometheus) as a mismatched couple and centers on their struggle to survive their first year of marriage.  While the logline and “romantic comedy” description may sound a bit trite, this actually looks like a solid comedy.  The new trailer features some great stuff from Stephen Merchant and even a solid Justin Bieber joke for good measure.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  Written and directed by Dan Mazer (Borat), the film also stars Minnie DriverJason FlemyngOlivia Colman, and Jane Asher.  I Give It A Year opens in the UK on February 8, 2013. 

First Trailer for I GIVE IT A YEAR Starring Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, and Stephen Merchant

by     Posted 1 year, 251 days ago

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The promising first trailer for the British romantic comedy I Give It a Year has been released online.  The film focuses on a mismatched couple as they struggle to survive their first year of marriage.  Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Rafe Spall (Anonymous) star as the newlywed couple, while Simon Baker and Anna Faris appear in supporting roles as temptations for the duo.  The pic actually looks really funny, with strong turns from Byrne and Spall and some big laughs from Stephen Merchant.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here for images and a synopsis for the film.  Written and directed by Dan Mazer (Borat), the film also stars Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, Olivia Colman, and Jane AsherI Give It A Year opens in the UK on February 8, 2013. 

Red-Band Trailer for MOVIE 43 Features Jason Sudeikis Admiring Kristen Bell’s Crotch and So Much Ad-Libbing

by     Posted 1 year, 266 days ago

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If you like your movie trailers short on plot, heavy on the ad-libbing and redder than a Romney state, then you’ll love this new red-band effort from Movie 43.  The Peter Farrelly ensemble comedy stars everyone you’ve ever heard of in Hollywood and even some you haven’t.  Movie 43 has released another red-band trailer previously, but the new one mostly focuses on a stream of improv from Jason Sudeikis who is admiring Kristen Bell’s crotch.

Starring Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Leslie Bibb, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler and everyone else, Movie 43 opens on January 25th, 2013.  Hit the jump to see the new red-band trailer.

THE OFFICE’s Stephen Merchant To Write And Star in HBO Pilot HELLO LADIES

by     Posted 2 years, 7 days ago

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Though Stephen Merchant (or “Smerch” to fans, “lanky, goggle-eyed freak” to Ricky Gervais) may share plenty of HBO credits with long-time creative partner Gervais, such as on the great series Extras as well as voice credits to The Ricky Gervais Show, Hello Ladies will be his first solo foray.  HBO has reportedly ordered a pilot from the talented Brit, which he co-wrote with former The Office (UK) scribes Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (Merchant is also an executive producer on the American series, along with co-creator Gervais).

The series will star Merchant as an English guy looking for love in Los Angeles, and his attempts to crack into its polarizing, superficial world.  If the title sounds familiar, it’s because it was also the name of his recent stand-up comedy tour.  Merchant has appeared onscreen in all of his projects with Gervais, and also in a few forgettable films such as The Tooth Fairy and Hall Pass, but Hello Ladies will be his first starring role.  For more on the project, hit the jump.

AN IDIOT ABROAD DVD Review

by     Posted 2 years, 156 days ago

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An Idiot Abroad is a BBC travel series dedicated to the seven wonders of the world and the culture that surrounds them.  It isn’t a new idea.  Dozens of shows have tackled the exact same subject using a combination of stunning photography and a charismatic, informative host which can create a rich, in-depth look at some truly remarkable feats of architecture and ingenuity.  But Idiot Abroad offers something that none of those other documentary series has: a host who has no curiosity or interest in the subjects he is sent to cover.  Karl Pilkington is the host (or presenter) of Idiot Abroad and is either an Andy Kaufman-esque performance artist or, more likely, a man with unbelievably simple tastes.  Either way, his interactions and observations make this travel series extremely entertaining.  Hit the jump for our review of An Idiot Abroad on DVD.

LIFE’S TOO SHORT Series Premiere Review

by     Posted 2 years, 162 days ago

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After finding success with The Office in the UK, not to mention the US adaptation on NBC, writer, director and star Ricky Gervais returns to the mockumentary subgenre with his longtime friend and writing partner Stephen Merchant. However, this time the two British funnymen bring a new face into the comedic world as Life’s Too Short follows an exaggerated version of dwarf actor Warwick Davis, still clinging to his fame from starring in films like Return of the Jedi, Willow and the Harry Potter franchise and struggling to keep his life together as an agent for other dwarf actors and a smug star who might be too big for his britches. For my take on HBO’s new series hit the jump.

Liam Neeson Knows AIDS Is Ripe for Improvisational Comedy in New Clip from LIFE’S TOO SHORT

by     Posted 2 years, 262 days ago

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Last month, we showed you a clip from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant‘s new TV series Life’s Too Short starring Warwick Davis (Harry Potter).  The clip had Johnny Depp lampooning himself by going after Gervais’ hosting of the Golden Globes.  It was pretty funny and it was good to know that someone was looking out for Tim Allen.  This new clip absolutely blows it away.  In the latest clip, Liam Neeson comes in to talk with Gervais and Merchant about expanding into comedy.  Neeson, Gervais, and Merchant use Neeson’s dramatic gravitas to brilliant effect and show that improv, Oscar-nominees, and contracting AIDS from an African prostitute is an odd but hilarious mixture.

Hit the jump to check out the clip.  Life’s Too Short began airing yesterday on BBC Two and will air in the US on HBO next year.

Watch Johnny Depp Rip on Ricky Gervais About the Golden Globes in Guest Appearance on LIFE’S TOO SHORT

by     Posted 2 years, 278 days ago

Back in March we learned that the British comedy series Life’s Too Short from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the creators of the UK version of The Office, would feature some great guest stars like Jerry Seinfeld and Johnny Depp alongside series star Warwick Davis (best known for playing Wicket the Ewok and Professor Flitwick in the Harry Potter franchise). The series won’t hit HBO until sometime next year (though it will air across the pond before then), but now we have an absolutely hilarious clip of Johnny Depp meeting Ricky Gervais and absolutely tearing him a new one about his jokes during his hosting stint at the Golden Globe awards. Of course, it’s all in good fun as Depp has his fedora handed to him a couple times as well. And if there’s one thing you’ll learn from this clip, is that Depp is quite a big fan of a certain 90′s sitcom star. See the clip from Life’s Too Short after the jump.

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