Thanks to the greatness that is VOD, last night I was able to check out David Wain and Michael Showalter‘s rom-com parody, They Came Together. Starring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, the film looks to deconstruct the romantic comedy much like Wain and Showalter’s Wet Hot American Summer sought to satirize summer camp films. From the standpoint of ripping the often shallow and happenstance conceits of the modern rom-com to shreds, They Came Together is wildly successful. Poehler and Rudd are great and Wain and Showalter know the genre so well that the script often feels like a template for a Valentine’s Day release waiting to happen. While its constant barrage of meta can be distracting at times (a scene where Rudd drowns his sorrows at a bar specifically comes to mind), more often than not I found myself laughing too hard at the absurdity of the genre’s conventions to care. In only 83 minutes, They Came Together manages to satirize every bland romantic comedy you’ve seen in the last 15-20 years and tops it off with a Christopher Meloni sequence that may go down as my favorite toilet joke of all-time.
My VOD recommendation aside, this week’s Top 5 features interviews for and Matt’s review of Sex Tape, the first image from Avengers: Age of Ultron, Power Rangers movie news, The Purge: Anarchy interviews and review, and the first teaser trailer for New Line’s The Conjuring spinoff film Annabelle. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
1. SEX TAPE Interviews and Review
As much as I like Jason Segel and several of director Jake Kasdan’s previous films, I just haven’t been able to conjure up much excitement for Sex Tape. Matt’s review describes the pic as “dull and flavorless” which is exactly what I was afraid it would be. I’m sure I’ll rent it at some point as it posits to be a movie that the wife and I can agree on when the video rental well has otherwise run dry. Doubtful that I’ll be seeing it in theaters, though. In spite of the fact that I’ve done everything but generate enthusiasm for the pic, I certainly won’t begrudge you for checking out Steve’s video interviews with Jason Segel & Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry & Ellie Kemper, and Jake Kasdan who talks a decent amount about Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story which is always a good thing.
2. First Image from AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and More
We learned a good amount about Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron this past week. Not only did we get our first image from the film, but we also received plot info and Ultron character details from Whedon and Robert Downey Jr. in so doing. For other tidbits from the film, I also recommend checking out this description of preview footage shown in the UK teasing a Hulk vs. Iron Man fight, Marvel’s Kevin Feige discussing the film and Avengers Tower, more images including Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch, and more story details revealed here.
3. POWER RANGERS Movie Gets Writers; Roberto Orci to Executive Produce
I waxed nostalgic when news of Lionsgate and Saban joining forces for a new live-action Power Rangers movie broke a few months back. Jump forward to this week and we learn that X-Men: First Class scribes Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz will take on screenwriting duties for the pic with the much-beloved punching bag Roberto Orci taking on the role of executive producer. Orci’s involvement is whatever as I just assume that he’s involved with Hollywood revamps of beloved children properties in some manner at this point. As for Miller and Stentz, I loved both First Class and the first Thor film so I look forward to seeing their take on the franchise.
4. THE PURGE: ANARCHY Interviews and Review
I thought writer/director James DeMonaco 2013 hit The Purge featured an excellent premise that ultimately fell flat due to, among other things, the questionable decisions of its main character and the constraints of its home invasion conceit. That said, the film earned almost $90 million worldwide on a $3 million production budget so it’s only fitting that we have a sequel one year later. The Purge: Anarchy looks to open up DeMonaco’s world outside the walls of Ethan Hawke’s house and, for that reason, I’m interested in checking it out. Whether you’re cautiously optimistic for the film or all-in from the beginning, I recommend checking out Matt’s review and our video interviews with James DeMonaco, Frank Grillo, and Zach Gilford.
5. First Teaser Trailer for THE CONJURING Spinoff ANNABELLE
James Wan’s The Conjuring was one of my favorite films of 2013 and a massive box office success. Having nothing to do with the former and everything to do with the latter, 2014 is now giving us a spinoff film based on The Conjuring‘s infinitely creepy doll. Directed by Conjuring DP John R. Leonetti, New Line debuted its first teaser trailer for Annabelle this past week and it looks to be effectively frightening even if it does lean heavily on the throwback aesthetic of its predecessor.