TOP FIVE Clip: Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan Reveal Their Top Five Rappers

by     Posted 14 days ago

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Chris Rock hit it big at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September.  Not only was Top Five the biggest acquisition of the event with Paramount putting up $12.5 million for it, but it also won our own Phil Brown over as well.  In fact, Paramount just released a new clip from the film and it’s got a quote from Phil’s review in it.  Rock wrote, directed and also stars in the film as Andre Allen, a stand-up comedian trying to make it as a film star.

Hit the jump to check out the new Top Five clip and click here to read Phil’s full review.  The movie also stars Rosario DawsonJ.B. SmooveGabrielle UnionTracy MorganCedric the EntertainerKevin HartJerry SeinfeldAdam SandlerWhoopi GoldbergSherri ShepherdJay PharoahAnders Holm and Michael Che, and is scheduled to hit theaters on December 12th.

TOP FIVE Trailer: Chris Rock Writes, Directs, and Stars in Cameo-Filled New Comedy

by     Posted 33 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released the first Top Five trailer for the upcoming comedy from writer, director, and star Chris Rock.  The comedian plays a loosely fictionalized version of himself in the film, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist forces him to confront both the career that made him famous and the life he left behind.  The picture was the highest profile acquisition of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, with Paramount paying a whopping $12.5 million in a bidding war to acquire the distribution rights to the film.  The movie looks a little like Chris Rock’s Funny People, as it takes some digs at his own career path, and there are a ton of cameos from a wide range of familiar faces.

Hit the jump to watch the Top Five trailer and click here to read Phil’s review from TIFF.  The film also stars Rosario Dawson, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Anders Holm, and Michael Che, and features music by Questlove.

Full-Length THE BOXTROLLS Trailer Delves into the Plot of Laika’s Latest Stop-Motion Adventure

by     Posted 160 days ago

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Focus Features has released a new full-length The Boxtrolls trailer for Laika Studios’ new stop-motion animated feature.  Directed by Anthony Staachi and Graham Annabele, the film tells the story of the misunderstood titular trolls that live underneath the streets of Cheesebridge, where they attempt to raise an orphaned human boy as their own.  As with Laika’s other films, Coraline and ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls again revolves around outsiders, but it’s a story told with the studio’s signature charm and maturity.  This new trailer gets much deeper into the plot than the previous teasers, as we see that the young boy and his boxtroll brethren face danger in the form of the townspeople’s leaders.  Laika’s films are always a refreshing reprieve from many of the other same-feeling animation features that saturate the marketplace, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve put together with this latest adventure.

Hit the jump to watch the new The Boxtrolls trailer.  The film features the voices of Ben KingsleyToni ColletteElle FanningIsaac Hempstead-WrightJared HarrisSimon PeggNick FrostRichard Ayoade, and Tracy Morgan.  The Boxtrolls opens in 2D and 3D on September 26th.

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON Begins with a Slew of Cameos and the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing with Will Smith

by     Posted 273 days ago

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Jimmy Fallon engendered a lot of good will during his time hosting Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and it looks like that will carry over to his new gig hosting The Tonight Show.  It feels like a fresh start that has a good chance of luring a younger audience, or at least an audience that will likely tune in to check out clips the following morning.  For example, during last night’s show, Fallon was welcomed by a string of cameos including Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Seth Rogen, and most notably, Joan Rivers, who was banned by Johnny Carson from The Tonight Show in 1986.  Fallon also had a fun bit where he and Will Smith showed off the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing.

Hit the jump to check out the videos.  The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights at 11:35pm EST on NBC.

Watch: Kevin Spacey, Steven Spielberg, and Barack Obama Get Goofy in Sketches from the 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

by     Posted 1 year, 204 days ago

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The 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner was held on Saturday night at the Washington Hilton.  On hand to mingle with the White House press corps and the President were the likes of Sofia Vergara, Claire Danes, Psy, Kerry Washington, Gerard Butler and Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who finally got in the same room with POTUS!).  Of course, Barack Obama’s speech before the assembled journalists, politicians and celebs was the centrepiece of the evening; and it was full of jokes on his alleged socialism, super PACs, and Jay-Z’s Cuban adventure. A tough act to follow, no doubt, but Conan O’Brien did his best, delivering a lengthy address that took aim at the major news networks, as well as the President’s relationship with Congress. And of course, like any proper office party, there were sketches.

In the evening’s intro, Kevin Spacey‘s ruthless House of Cards character Frank Underwood got to test his mettle against real-life politicians like Senator John McCain; then, later on, Steven Spielberg popped in to discuss his (fictional) Lincoln follow-up, Obama, and the only man he could possibly trust to bring the 44th President to life on-screen: Daniel Day-Lewis.  Hit the jump to take a gander at speeches and sketches alike.

Laika Announces THE BOXTROLLS Featuring the Voices of Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Tracy Morgan and More, Plus the Film’s First Concept Image

by     Posted 1 year, 284 days ago

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Laika and Focus Features are teaming up once again for The Boxtrolls.  Their third production will be the 3D stop motion and CG hybrid animated adaptation of Alan Snow’s “Here Be Monsters.”  The story centers on a posh Victorian-era town of people obsessed with finery and stinky cheese, but are plagued by an underground society of foul monsters who steal their children…and cheese.  Similar in themes to their previous productions Coraline and ParaNorman, the under-dwellers are not exactly what the citizens’ legends say they are.

Directed by Anthony Stacchi (Open Season) and Graham Annable (a story artist on Coraline and ParaNorman), The Boxtrolls features an impressive voice cast featuring Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan.  The Boxtrolls is due out October 17, 2014.  Hit the jump to see the full synopsis along with the first concept image from the film.

Producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher Tell the Crazy Story Behind the Production and Shelving of David O. Russell’s NAILED

by     Posted 2 years, 87 days ago

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Many projects go through growing pains during development.  James Cameron’s Titanic was labeled the biggest bomb of all time before it even hit theaters, Martin Sheen had a heart attack during the year-long shoot of Apocalypse Now, and filming on Men in Black 3 halted for a few months so that they could work on the script.  David O. Russell’s Nailed, however, was a bona fide production nightmare.  The film has yet to be finished and it’s unlikely it’ll ever see the light of day, but none of this is the fault of the creatives involved.

The political comedy satire was filmed in 2008 with Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal, Catherine Keener, and Tracy Morgan and centered on three people with serious health issues that stormed Washington D.C. to demand treatment. Production was shut down multiple times during filming, and just as Russell was getting to the filming of the film’s centerpiece scene the project was shut down for good.  The story behind Nailed’s filming and subsequent permanent limbo is stranger than fiction, and Steve recently got a lot of background on what exactly went down from producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher (of Red Wagon Entertainment) when he spoke with them in anticipation of the release of Lawless.  Hit the jump for the full story.

First Trailer for WHY STOP NOW Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo, and Tracy Morgan

by     Posted 2 years, 137 days ago

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IFC Films has released the first trailer for Why Stop Now, previously titled Predisposed.  The trailer presents a likeable farce about a piano prodigy (Jesse Eisenberg) who needs to check his drug-addict mother (Melissa Leo) into rehab on the day of his audition for a prestigious music program.  Things go awry, which draws her drug dealer, Sprinkles (Tracy Morgan), into the quest.  Mixed reviews out of Sundance suggest directors Phil Dorling and Ron Nyswaner fail to keep the plot under control throughout the runtime.  But I’m intrigued by what I see here, even if the movie only manages to coast on the charms of its eclectic cast.

Sarah Ramos and Isiah Whitlock Jr. co-star in Why Stop Now, set for release on August 17.  Watch the trailer after the break.

PSA Sunday: This Memorial Day, Celebrities Got Your 6

by     Posted 2 years, 174 days ago

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Memorial Day is a holiday meant to honor the American soldiers who lost their lives in military service and to remind us all of their sacrifice.  Some Hollywood A-listers thought that the best way to show their support would be to literally turn their backs on them.  In this misguided attempt at drumming up awareness and support for veterans returning home and looking for jobs, celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas, Milla Jovovich and Bradley Cooper put their backs to the camera while talking to our nation’s service men and women.  I’m not blaming the celebrities for going along with this ridiculous gimmick, but rather the person who thought “I’ve got your six,” is an acceptable tagline while overlooking the metaphor of “turning your back on someone.”  The message is great, one that we should all remember, this weekend and every weekend; it’s just the delivery that’s unintentionally silly and borders on insulting.  Hit the jump to check it out.

NBC Renews PARENTHOOD; Orders 13-Episode Final Season of 30 ROCK [Updated]

by     Posted 2 years, 191 days ago

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Two on-the-bubble NBC shows have officially been given the order for new seasons.  The critical favorite yet ratings challenged drama Parenthood has been renewed for a 15-episode fourth season (per TV Line).  Showrunner Jason Katims is no stranger to ratings issues despite favorable reviews, as he led the stellar Friday Night Lights through five seasons of “will it be renewed?” drama.  I’m a fan of the ensemble and tone of Parenthood, but Katims will most likely have his hands full next season as his medical pilot County is said to be close to a pick up.  That show will star Jason Ritter, who led the doomed The Event and has been a frequent guest star on Parenthood.

Hit the jump for news regarding renewals for The Office and a final season for 30 Rock, as well as speculation about the fate of Community and Parks and Recreation. [Update: The Office hasn't officially been renewed yet, but with deals almost done for the main cast members a renewal is expected]

Alec Baldwin Says 30 ROCK’s Upcoming Seventh Season Will Be Its Last

by     Posted 2 years, 215 days ago

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This afternoon at a gathering of The National Press Club, during some lobbying for Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit group that advocates for increased federal funding of the arts, The Huffington Post reports that Alec Baldwin dropped some good and bad news for fans of the NBC comedy series 30 Rock. Apparently the actor will definitely be sticking around for the series’ entire seventh season this fall, but apparently that season of the Tina Fey show will be the last. Honestly, it makes sense considering the show would really lose one of its strongest parts if Baldwin were to really leave, and seven seasons is enough for almost any series, especially a comedy that runs an average of 24 episodes a season. The series is still going strong with outrageous jokes and hilarity, and while I’ll be sad to see it go, I’d rather see it finish on top rather than puttering out and getting canceled.

30 ROCK Plans Another Live Episode for April 26th

by     Posted 2 years, 233 days ago

Just as the series did back in 2010, 30 Rock is going even more meta again as the series, which has a sketch show similar to Saturday Night Live inside of the series (Inception!), will be doing another live episode. Tina Fey took on the task back in 2010, and now on Thursday, April 26th, the show will again be live from Studio 8H.

When their Kabletown bosses announce they will no longer pay for TGS to be a live show, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) and Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) realize their lives will actually be easier if they shoot canned episodes fast and cheap. Only Kenneth the Page (Jack McBrayer) objects, urging that nothing can replace the communal experience of live television. He tries to convince the TGS staff to fight for their right to be live by taking them and our audience through a magical look back at the illustrious history of Studio 6H. See what they did there? The episode will be done twice so both East and West coast audiences get the live treatment. The first live episode was a great success and it was clear the cast was having a lot of fun. There were plenty of cameos as well and this one should be no different.

Sundance Film Festival Adds PREDISPOSED, JOHN DIES AT THE END, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, and OSLO AUGUST 31ST; First Images from the Films

by     Posted 2 years, 334 days ago

While earlier this month the line-up for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival was announced, the fest has added four more films to the fest. Predisposed, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo, and Tracy Morgan will screen as part of the Premieres line-up and John Dies at the End starring Paul Giamatti, Chase Williamson, and Rob Mayes has been added to the Park City at Midnight line-up. Additionally, This Must Be the Place starring Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, and Judd Hirsch and Oslo, August 31st starring Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olav Brenner, and Ingrid Olava will screen as part of the Spotlight line-up.

Hit the jump to check out the first images from the films as well as a brief synopsis for each. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th. Click here for all our coverage.

30 ROCK Season Five DVD Review

by     Posted 2 years, 342 days ago

30 Rock has come a long way from being the “Untitled Tina Fey Project”. While it hasn’t been a ratings blockbuster, it’s crawled its way inside pop culture in a way other shows would kill for. It’s also launched (and relaunched) the careers of its leads, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. The fifth season of a show is a milestone of its success, since it now has enough episodes to sell to syndicators. Being able to sell the same work multiple times is always a good feeling. Does the show still have what it takes? Hit the jump to take a look at how season five pans out.

Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo, and Tracy Morgan Are PREDISPOSED

by     Posted 3 years, 263 days ago

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Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Oscar winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter), and 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan have reportedly signed on to star in the indie comedy Predisposed. According to Vulture, the trio will play a Julliard-hopeful, his drug-addicted mother, and said mother’s drug dealer, Sprinkles, respectively. Predisposed will be directed by Oscar nominated scribe/co-writer Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) with Philip Dorling sharing co-writing credit as well. Briefly, the comedy will center on the dysfunctional relationship between Eisenberg and Leo’s mother and son pair. The story is set on a day in which the son is interviewing for Julliard while his mother is busy feuding with her drug-dealer/checking herself into rehab while intoxicated so as to overcome her lack of health insurance.

Leo should be well prepared for her role as Eisenberg’s junkie mom as she made the same turn when Predisposed screened at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival as a short directed by the aforementioned Philip Dorling. Shooting on this promising feature length version of Predisposed is set to begin this summer.

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