Will Forte Talks NEBRASKA, Working with Bruce Dern and June Squibb, His Personal Takeaway from the Production, MACGRUBER 2, and More

by     Posted 51 days ago

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Will Forte is an incredibly charming actor, and while he’s known mostly for his comedic work, he turned in a subtle, moving performance in Alexander Payne‘s dramedy, Nebraska.  For those who haven’t seen the film, the story centers on Woody Grant (Bruce Dern), who believes he’s won a million dollars in a sweepstakes.  His son David (Forte), unable to convince his father that it’s a scam reluctantly drives with Woody to Nebraska to pick up the “winnings”.  It’s a wonderful picture, and because it was recently released on Blu-ray/DVD/digital download, I got the chance to talk about it with Forte.

During our conversation, Forte talked about getting comfortable working alongside his talented co-stars, the freedom to find the character, what he personally took away from working on the film, and more.  He also provided a brief update on the status of MacGruber 2.  Hit the jump to check out the interview.

Dwayne Johnson Comedy BALLERS Gets Series Order at HBO; Fox Picks Up Will Forte’s LAST MAN ON EARTH

by     Posted 70 days ago

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The TV comedy landscape just improved by two.  Firstly, THR reports that HBO has picked up to series the half-hour comedy/drama Ballers starring Dwayne Johnson.  The show hails from executive producer Stephen Levinson (Entourage) and revolves around the lives of a group of former and current football players, with Johnson playing the lead.  Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg are also onboard as executive producers, and the show marks Johnson’s first foray into the series regular TV world.  This comes on the heels of HBO recently picking up to series the political comedy The Brink, with Jack Black and Tim Robbins starring.

Hit the jump for series order news of a new comedy on Fox starring Will Forte and executive produced by the directors of The LEGO Movie, marking a Clone High reunion of sorts.

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 73 days ago

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It’s a shame that some still feel like animated films are primarily made for children.  The advent of Pixar and films like Shrek and The Fantastic Mr. Fox have more than proved otherwise, and in 2009 directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller delivered a wonderfully goofy animated take on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs that appeals to adults and kids alike.  That film reveled in its offbeat sense of humor, and while Lord and Miller stepped back into executive producer roles for the sequel, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is a worthy follow-up that delivers a hefty dose of adorable buoyed by colorfully inspired designs and a heartfelt theme of friendship.  Read my review of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 on Blu-ray after the jump.

THE LEGO MOVIE Review

by     Posted 77 days ago

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I loved LEGO when I was a kid.  I discovered a bag of LEGO bricks on a high shelf, and my collection expanded from there.  I was always an “instructions” kid, although I did try to combine sets from time to time.  But I always liked the minifigures the best.  I liked using them to come up with stories and adventures.  I mention all of this because The LEGO Movie is the best of all worlds.  Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have shown their genius once again through their unique blend of wit, humor, and heart to go far beyond what others would have boiled down to a crass, exploitative toy commercial.  While the movie will undoubtedly sell toys, it manages to respect the “instructions” kids while encouraging them to go beyond the box, build their own worlds, and discover their own creativity and personality through these adorable little toys.  But rather than aim for cheap sentiment, The LEGO Movie earns every emotion in a story that’s unabashedly silly and constantly hilarious.

Oscar Beat: Best Supporting Actor – Is Jared Leto on His Way to an Oscar Win?

by     Posted 131 days ago

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As we continue our in-depth look at the coming awards season, it’s now time to delve in the Best Supporting Actor race.  It’s a tough category this year, with a number of impressive turns from a variety of actors.  The two big standouts emerged at the Toronto Film Festival this past September with Jared Leto earning extremely high praise for his turn as a transsexual opposite Mattthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, and Michael Fassbender turning heads as a ruthless slave owner in the highly emotional 12 Years a Slave.  But there are plenty of other contenders as well, with both Jonah Hill and James Franco firmly in the race for a pair of more comic performances.

Hit the jump to read the latest edition of Oscar Beat, in which we examine the Best Supporting Actor category.

National Board of Review Names HER Best Film of the Year; GRAVITY, PRISONERS, and WOLF OF WALL STREET Land in Top 10

by     Posted 141 days ago

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The critics awards are off and running after the New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for the best of the year yesterday, and today the National Board of Review has named Her the best picture of 2013.  Spike Jonze was also named Best Director for the film, while the acting honors went to Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Will Forte (Nebraska), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station).  Always an eclectic list, the NBR’s Top 10 includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners.  Wholly absent from the Top 10 is the NYFCC’s pick for Best Film, American Hustle.

The NBR winner for Best Picture has failed to match up with Oscar since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, as last year’s award went to Zero Dark Thirty, but for the past 13 years every NBR winner has landed a Best Picture nomination, so this bodes well for Her‘s Oscar prospects.  Read the full list of NBR winners after the jump.

Will Forte Talks NEBRASKA, Acting Opposite Bruce Dern and Local Townspeople, the Taste of Bull Testicles, and More

by     Posted 144 days ago

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In the pursuit of ‘reality’, filmmaker Alexander Payne (The Descendants) has a penchant for casting untrained locals in supporting roles, adding an unquantifiable amount verisimilitude to his pictures.  In Payne’s latest Nebraska, the cracked and tanned faces of local townsfolk sneak into the foreground and background of nearly every shot.  The fact that these “real people” are cast opposite “real actors” (like Bruce Dern and Will Forte) somehow legitimizes the picture.  In talking with star Will Forte, he was quick to note just how accurate Nebraska (the film) is to the place it takes its name from.  Forte is a natural fit to the “reality” of Nebraska, his low-key charm and aw-shucks smile blending in naturally amongst the locals.  One could almost be mistaken into thinking the SNL veteran was some resident talent Payne discovered just before shooting.

In the following interview with Will Forte, he discusses shooting in Nebraska (the place), working opposite untrained actors and the taste of the Midwestern delicacy: bull testicles(!).  For the full interview, hit the jump.

12 YEARS A SLAVE and NEBRASKA Top 2014 Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

by     Posted 149 days ago

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The 2014 Independent Spirit Awards nominations have been announced, and director Steve McQueen’s excellent drama 12 Years a Slave tops the nominees with seven nods, including Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Actor.  Nebraska is not far behind with six nominations, and the Robert Redford drama All Is Lost also did well with four nods.  The much-beloved Short Term 12 failed to land a Best Feature nomination, but Primer director Shane Carruth’s twisty second feature Upstream Color landed nods for Best Director and Best Editing.  The Best Actor category is a strong mirror of the very tight Oscar race in the same category, and the wonderful Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress nominations for The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12, respectively.

Hit the jump for the full list of nominations and additional commentary.  The Independent Spirit Awards will be hosted on March 1, 2014.

Will Forte Talks NEBRASKA, His Greatest Fears During the Shoot, What he Learned from Bruce Dern, MACGRUBER 2, and More

by     Posted 158 days ago

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Will Forte, the comedic actor best known for his absurd SNL characters MacGruber and The Falconer, shows unforeseen dramatic range in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska.  Forte stars as David Grant, the youngest son to the mentally deteriorating Woody Grant (Bruce Dern).  When Woody mistakenly believes a Million Dollar Marketing Scam to be legitimate, his youngest son David obliges his father’s fantasy and takes him on a cross-state trip to collect the non-existent prize money.  Forte, who spends a vast majority of the film in one-on-one scenes with acting legend Dern, more than holds his own.  Forte ably imbues the pain and disappointment behind each kind act David does for his unreceptive father.  It’s an incredibly subtle and restrained performance from an actor renowned for the outlandish and the silly.

In the following interview with Will Forte, he discusses his greatest fears during the film shoot, the dynamic on set with Bruce Dern and what acting lessons Dern offered to him. In addition, Forte also touched upon how far along he is into writing MacGruber 2. For the full interview, hit the jump. 

Over 35 New High-Resolution Images from Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA Starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte, and June Squibb

by     Posted 178 days ago

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It’s always good news when a new Alexander Payne film is on the horizon, but the filmmaker’s latest effort feels particularly special.  Presented entirely in black and white, Nebraska stars Bruce Dern as Woody, a man who believes he’s won a million dollars in a sweepstakes, and plans to go to Nebraska to get it.  Complications arise when everyone in his town believes he’s already a millionaire.  It feels like the kind of small, intimate film that has now become a rarity in the current moviegoing climate, and critics are already raving about the pic’s stellar turns from Dern, Will Forte, and particularly June Squibb.  In his review from the New York Film Festival, Matt called the film a “funny and touching quest to find the good life at the end of life.”

Before the film opens in theaters on November 15th, Paramount has unveiled a collection of images from both in front of and behind the camera on Nebraska.  Take a look after the jump.  The film also stars Stacy Keach and Bob Odenkirk.

NYFF 2013: NEBRASKA Review

by     Posted 198 days ago

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In the past, I’ve made jokes about how progress on social issues is inevitable because the people holding antiquated values will die off soon.  Nebraska made me feel a little guilty about those jokes.  I don’t feel guilty because I’ve come to agree with their discriminatory viewpoints, and the movie doesn’t address those kinds of attitudes associated with the red-state heartland.  I feel guilty because I’ve been so casual with the lives of old people who probably never had much to begin with.  With his newest film, director Alexander Payne has created a deeply compassionate picture of elderly life, social decay, economic immobility, and put it into a moving father-son road trip story.  Anchored by strong performances from Bruce Dern, Will Forte, and June Squibb, Nebraska is funny and touching quest to find the good life at the end of life.

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 Review

by     Posted 210 days ago

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I adore Cloudy with a Chance of MeatballsPhil Lord and Christopher Miller’s adaptation of the classic children’s book is one of the most unexpected and successful book adaptations of the past several years.  Most movies based on children books are belabored, tiresome affairs, and Cloudy turned the simple idea of food falling from the sky into a weird, adorable, and hilarious animated comedy.  It set an incredibly high bar for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, but new directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn have come close to giving us a movie as wonderful as the original.  Everything that made the first Cloudy a success is still in place, even though there’s more reliance on some cheap gags.  The sequel has cemented the identity of the series even though the story leaves some residual guiltiness about being a carnivore.

2 Clips from Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA Starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte

by     Posted 218 days ago

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Yesterday, we saw the first trailer for Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska.  The film stars Bruce Dern as Woody, a man who believes he’s won a million dollars in a sweepstakes, and plans to go to Nebraska to get it.  Complications arise when everyone in his town believes he’s already a millionaire.  Judging by what I’ve seen so far, I like the look and feel of the movie, and if you’re looking at the Oscar chart, Nebraska‘s small scale currently makes it a stand-out among the big, star-studded dramas.  Two new clips have been released online, and one gives a good look at the comedy (Bob Odenkirk, who plays one of Woody’s sons, getting into a slap fight) and another provides the drama with Dave (Woody’s other son, and played by Will Forte) having a terse conversation with his dad.

Hit the jump to check out the clips.  The film also stars Stacy Keach and June Squibb. Nebraska opens November 15th.

Trailer, Poster, and New Images for Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA Starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte

by     Posted 219 days ago

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The first trailer, poster, and new images have been released for Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska. The film stars Bruce Dern as a man who believes he’s won a million dollars in a sweepstakes, and plans to go to Nebraska to get it.  Complications arise when everyone in his town believes he’s already a millionaire.  I like the 60s-70s vibe of the trailer and poster, and it looks like Payne is going for something subdued like Sideways rather than something more mainstream like The Descendants.  Either way, it looks damn good, and I’m excited to see it next month at the New York Film Festival.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer, poster, and new images.  The film also stars Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach, and June SquibbNebraska opens November 15th.

Watch 5 Clips from CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2

by     Posted 220 days ago

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Sony Pictures Animation has released five clips from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.  In the follow-up, Swallow Falls is under attack by mutant foods known as “foodimals”, so Flint (Bill Hader), Sam (Anna Faris), Brent (Andy Samberg), Manny (Benjamin Bratt), Earl (Terry Crews), and Steve (Neil Patrick Harris) must contain the creatures before they overrun the planet.  I’m going radio silent on the movie since I love the first one, and I like everything I’ve seen from the trailers, so I don’t need more to sell me on this flick.  However, if you still need some convincing, these clips are for your viewing please.  Also, if you live in Atlanta, you still have a time to enter for a chance to win passes to an early screening.

Hit the jump to check out the clips.  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opens in 3D on September 27th.

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