July 11, 2015

Tag Archives: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Judd Apatow hopes to tickle the Academy’s funny bone with “Trainwreck”

Making a comedy that gets recognized by the Oscars is an almost impossible pursuit. Best Picture nominees that are comedies are few and far between, let alone winners. Still, there are some filmmakers who traffic in laughs and you really feel can make a mark with the Academy. Judd Apatow is one of them. He had a few brushes with awards attention early in his directorial career, but his recent efforts haven’t done much for voters, even as the material has been baitier and baitier. Will a return to simplicity with his Amy Schumer vehicle Trainwreck be the cure? We shall see, but it looks hilarious, if nothing else.
When Apatow moved from producing and writing to also directing, he burst on the scene with The 40 Year Old Virgin. Teamed up with now Academy Award nominee Steve Carell, they crafted an uproarious sex comedy that also managed to have a ton of heart. Both Apatow and Carell (who co-wrote with him) were cited with a Writers Guild of America nomination, and I’d go so far as to say that if that had been a mandatory year of ten Best Picture nominees, we might have seen The 40 Year Old Virgin make it in. The same could be said of his follow up, Knocked Up, which again scored Apatow a WGA nod (a solo one this time). He made a star out of Seth Rogen, at the same time he was beginning to also shepherd other big comedies to the screen. He made the hits Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Pineapple Express, establishing himself as one of the most influential and powerful comedy voices in Hollywood, to say the least. That led to a move towards slightly more serious fare, possibly in an effort to finally break through with the Golden Globes and Oscar.
Even though I adore Funny People, it was met with modest reviews and was Apatow’s first modern box office disappointment. It showcased some of Adam Sandler’s best work to date, but it was to many a bloated film with far too much going on. It was more or less ignored by all precursors, with the same being said for his sort of sequel to Knocked Up, the relationship dramedy This is 40. Now, he’s opted to get back to basics a bit, making a comedy in Trainwreck that seems more like something we would have made during the […]

Spotlight on the Stars: Jason Segel

For this week’s spotlight piece, I wanted to take a look at a clear comedic A-lister, though for some the heights of his success might come as a bit of a surprise. It’s comedy leading man Jason Segel, a writer as well as an actor who has managed to consistently do amusing work both on the big and small screens. He’s appealed to the CBS crowd on How I Met Your Mother, the raunchy movie crowd with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, and more, along with also showing he can be kid friendly with The Muppets. He’s had hits everywhere, so he’s certainly an A-lister in my book.
Segel is one of the more successful alumni from the Judd Apatow group of actors/writers/directors that took over Hollywood after getting their starts on television with Freaks and Geeks as well as Undeclared. He became a star with the combination of a juicy supporting part in Knocked Up, which led to him getting his own leading role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, along with the break out hit that was How I Met Your Mother on TV. From then on, he’s gotten to be in studio comedies like Bad Teacher and I Love You, Man, while also having the opportunity to resurrect The Muppets in his own vision, which both honored the original and brought them into the present day.
I’m not sure how many people really are aware of his writing talent, but I’d argue that he probably should have an Academy Award nomination by now. His script for the now classic Forgetting Sarah Marshall is nearly perfect. Factor in terrific work on The Muppets as well as The Five Year Engagement and it’s clear that he’s a multitalented guy, to say the least.
This weekend, Segel again co-writes and stars in a raunchy comedy…this time the movie Sex Tape. While it’s not on the level of Forgetting Sarah Marshall or The Five Year Engagement, he’s still capable of mining laughter from uncomfortable situations, as well as shamelessly using his body for humor. Sex Tape continues his evolution into an A lister on the comedy circuit. Perhaps one day he’ll make the full pivot to drama like Jim Carrey before him, but for now he’s content to rule with laughter, with the exception of his upcoming film The End of the Tour, where he plays the late author David Foster Wallace. Perhaps that’ll be the […]

Walt Disney Studios Unveils Epic Adventure “Frozen”

HollywoodNews.com: Walt Disney Animation Studios presents an epic tale of adventure and comedy in “Frozen,” a computer-animated feature film slated for the big screen in November 2013. Directed by Chris Buck (“Tarzan,” “Surf’s Up”) and produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Winnie the Pooh,” “The Princess and the Frog”), “Frozen” features the vocal talents of film/TV/stage star Kristen Bell as Anna, a young dreamer about to take the adventure of a lifetime, and Tony Award ®-winning actress Idina Menzel as Elsa the Snow Queen. The movie will feature original songs by Broadway greats Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
In “Frozen,” a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, so Anna (voice of Bell) must team up with Kristoff, a daring mountain man, on the grandest of journeys to find the Snow Queen (voice of Menzel) and put an end to the icy spell. Encountering Everest-like extremes, mystical creatures and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.
Bell has starred in a variety of films, including the comedies “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Couples Retreat,” and the upcoming films “Hit & Run,” “Some Girls” and the Farrelly Brothers’ “Movie 43.” On the small screen, Bell is currently starring in the Showtime series “House of Lies” alongside Don Cheadle; she has also starred in “Heroes” and “Veronica Mars.” Broadway credits include “The Crucible” and “Tom Sawyer.”
Menzel, who won a Tony Award® as Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Elphaba in Broadway’s “Wicked” (2004), landed her first role on Broadway in 1995 in the Tony Award-winning musical “Rent.” Film credits include “Enchanted” and the feature film “Rent.” She has appeared in a recurring role on TV’s “Glee” and recently released “Idina Menzel Live: Barefoot at the Symphony,” a live concert with an orchestra led by composer/conductor Marvin Hamlisch. Menzel is currently on a North American concert tour.
Robert Lopez is a three-time Tony Award®-winning writer of the Tony and Grammy® Award-winning musical “The Book of Mormon,” which was co-written with Trey Parker and Matt Stone (“South Park”), and the musical “Avenue Q,” which ran for six years on Broadway and four years in London’s West End. Lopez teamed with wife Anderson-Lopez, whose Drama Desk-winning show “In Transit” is Broadway-bound, to write original songs for 2011’s “Winnie the Pooh,” a stage version of “Finding Nemo” and a new musical called “Up Here.”
Photo Courtesy […]

Jason Segel, Emily Blunt opening Tribeca with “The Five-Year Engagement”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) and Universal Pictures today announced that “The Five-Year Engagement” will open the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by American Express.
Director/writer/producer Nicholas Stoller and writer/star Jason Segel (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) reteam for the irreverent comedy, which also stars Emily Blunt, Rhys Ifans, Chris Pratt and Alison Brie.
The premiere will take place on Wednesday, April 18, and the Festival will run through April 29.
Here’s a plot synopsis, from the release:
Beginning where most romantic comedies end, “The Five-Year Engagement” looks at what happens when an engaged couple (Segel and Blunt) keeps getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle. The film, also produced by Judd Apatow (“Knocked Up,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”) and Rodney Rothman (“Get Him to the Greek”), was written by Segel and Stoller. It opens on April 27.
“The Tribeca Film Festival has always celebrated the power of creative collaboration, and there is no better example of that than The Five-Year Engagement,” said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. “We are so pleased to join with Universal Pictures to bring the wit and energy of this hilarious and affecting film to Tribeca as we kick off our 11th edition.”
“When Jason and I met during the production of Undeclared, we couldn’t have imagined that one day we would write a comedy that would open such a prestigious film festival as Tribeca,” said Stoller. “We are so honored that the festival organizers have given us this platform to premiere the film. To be honest, this is all just a ploy to stand on top of a building with Robert De Niro and look out over New York City at dusk.”
The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival will announce its feature film slate on March 6 and 8, 2012.
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Zach Galifianakis might meet the Muppets in their new movie

HollywoodNews.com: Hot off of winning the Hollywood Comedy Award, Zach Galifianakis is in talks to star in the upcoming Muppet movie reboot.
Should Galifianakis commit, he will join Jason Segel and Amy Adams in the film.
Entertainment Weekly had the news.
Segel and Nick Stoller, who wrote “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” are working on the Muppet script. Plot follows the furry gang as they attempt to save the Muppet movie studio.
Digital Spy reports, “Galifianakis has already appeared on film with a Muppet, after featuring in a comedy staring contest with Animal and members of the band OK Go at an awards ceremony in June.”
The stand-up comedian-turned-marquee name will next be starring alongside Robert Downey Jr. in “Due Date” out on November 5.
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Photo credit: Focus
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‘Despicable Me’ mini-movies coming to Blu-ray and DVD in December

HollywoodNews.com: Everyone’s favorite new hilarious animation film, “Despicable Me,” is finally coming to your home theater. On December 14, Universal Studios Home Entertainment will release the film with some bonus features.
For a limited time only a trio of all-new, hilarious adventures starring the film’s endearingly mischievous Minions, will be available only on the Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D Combo Packs and the DVD Double Pack. All three products include a digital copy of the movie to watch anytime, anywhere. A single disc DVD will also be available.
“‘Despicable Me’ is one of those rare titles that moviegoers of all ages have enthusiastically embraced,” said Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “It’s not only one of the highest-grossing movies of the year but also one of the most popular animated films of all time. Perfectly timed for the holidays, Despicable Me will be high on everybody’s wish list as the must-have Blu-ray/DVD of the season.”
The latest film from producer Chris Meledandri (executive producer of Ice Age and Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!) Despicable Me’s all-star cast of unforgettably funny heroes and villains includes Steve Carell (Date Night, Get Smart, Horton Hears a Who!, TV’s The Office), Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You, Man), Miranda Cosgrove (Nickelodeon’s No. 1 live-action show iCarly), legendary Academy Award® winner Julie Andrews (The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins , The Princess Diaries series), Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall ), Kristen Wiig (Date Night, Saturday Night Live), Will Arnett (Monsters vs. Aliens, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, Ratatouille), Danny McBride (Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express), Jack McBrayer (TV’s “30 Rock”, Forgetting Sarah Marshall ) and Jemaine Clement (“Flight of the Conchords”, Dinner For Schmucks). The hilarious tale of a wannabe super-villain whose life is unexpectedly changed by a trio of determined little orphans packed theaters and delighted families nationwide this summer.
The ultimate entertainment for the entire family, Despicable Me is packed with never-before-seen bonus features including games, behind-the-scenes featurettes and filmmaker commentaries that will keep the entire family enchanted for hours.
BONUS FEATURES EXCLUSIVELY ON BLU-RAY™ 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD Double Pack:
THREE ALL NEW, MINI-MOVIES Starring THE MINIONS — The fun continues with three all-new mini-movies, created exclusively for the Blu-ray Combo Packs and DVD Double Pack! Available for a limited time only! Get more […]

Kristen Bell to mentor ballerina in ‘Mirlitons’

HollywoodNews.com: Kristen Bell will play a fierce stage mom in the upcoming independent dance comedy feature “Dance of the Mirlitons.”
Story revolves around Bell’s character, who grooms her young, overweight ballerina daughter for stardom.
“Kristen’s combination of comedic timing and authenticity will bring this character to the next level, and give this crossover appeal,” said the film’s producer Daniel Dubiecki.
At present, a search is underway to discover the girl who will play Bell’s daughter.
A veteran from the cult TV teen drama “Veronica Mars,” Bell has segued into a comfortable motion picture career, mostly playing in broad romantic comedies including “Couples Retreat,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “When in Rome.”
Bell is really flexing her musical arms lately. She can be seen in the music video “Madder Red” by rock band Yeasayer. The video has been described as a moving tale between a girl and her pet blob monster.
Kristen Bell is also set to wow in the upcoming Thanksgiving release “Burlesque” from Screen Gems/Sony Pictures.
Photo Credit: Splash
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William Baldwin to join ‘Parenthood’ for multiple-episode arc

HollywoodNews.com: NBC announced that William Baldwin (“Dirty Sexy Money,” “Gossip Girl”) will join the cast of the network’s returning drama “Parenthood” for a multiple-episode arc.
Baldwin will be playing Gordon Flint, Adam’s (Peter Krause) wealthy, charismatic boss. Gordon is content to let Adam do the grunt work of running the company, preferring to spend his time thinking about the “big picture.” A dedicated bachelor, Gordon’s romantic life is the polar opposite to Adam’s relationship with Kristina (Monica Potter). Gordon brings tension to the Braverman clan when he sets his sights on Adam’s sister, Sarah (Lauren Graham).
Baldwin first gained recognition for his breakout performance in the feature film “Backdraft.” His other film credits include “The Squid & The Whale,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Adrift in Manhattan,” Flatliners,” “Internal Affairs,” “Three of Hearts,” “Primary Suspect” and “Born on the Fourth of July.” Baldwin will lend his voice to the upcoming animated feature “Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths” as well as the soon-to-be-released “1 a Minute.”
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Hollywood Movie Roundup: ‘Killers,’ ‘Splice,’ ‘Marmaduke’

By Kevin Crust
HollywoodNews.com: A soft May could turn into June gloom at the box-office if the pre-“Toy Story” (June 18) releases all fail to break out. Four new movies debut this week, but will all likely fall behind the ogre who looking to three-peat at number one.
GET HIM TO THE GREEK
A spinoff of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” from producer Judd Apatow and director Nicholas Stoller, the raunchy comedy features Russell Brand‘s naughty rock star character Aldous Snow being shepherded to L.A.’s famous open-air ampitheare by record company flunky Jonah Hill for a concert. Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs, Rose Byrne of “Damages” and “Mad Men’s” Elisabeth Moss co-star along with the usual array of Apatow stock company cameos. Stoller scripted.
Despite the high raunch factor, “Greek” is earning surprisingly good reviews. The sentiments of the Chicago duo of Roger Ebert of the Sun-Times and Michael Phillips of the rival Tribune are largely echoed in the words of A.O. Scott of the New York Times who writes that the signature “bawdy-sweet mixture”of Apatow films works here. Finding less to cheer about are Slate’s Dana Stevens, the Los Angeles Times’ Betsy Sharkey and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, who dubs it a “buzz-kill.”
Apatow and company are hoping for some R-rated, “Hangover”-like magic, but will be thrilled with half of that film’s $45 million opening. Positive word-of-mouth might help nudge it past Kutcher and Heigl into the number two spot, but if the overall numbers are down and “Prince of Persia” and/or “Sex and the City 2″ minimize their second-week drops, things could get mighty crowded behind “Shrek 4.”

KILLERS
An action comedy starring Katherine Heigl as a newlywed who suspects that hubby Ashton Kutcher is an assassin and their new neighbors have been contracted to rub them out. “Legally Blonde’s” Robert Luketic directed. Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara offer support. The screenplay was written by Bob DeRosa and Ted Griffin, credited as T.M. Griffin
Lionsgate didn’t bother to preview their most expensive movie ever for critics, a fairly certain sign that they wouldn’t have liked it anyway. When the reviews do roll out this afternoon you can count all the unflattering references to “True Lies” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”
The negative buzz from not being screened could have an impact in the crowded marketplace with audiences opting for the more touted “Greek.” The Los Angeles Times quoted a Lionsgate exec as saying if “Killers” clears $20M this weekend, […]

Watch now: the first 5 minutes of “Get Him To the Greek”

HollywoodNews.com: “Get Him to the Greek” starring Russell Brand and Jonah Hill opens in theaters everywhere tomorrow.
The film follows “a record company intern (Hill) is hired to accompany out-of-control British rock star Aldous Snow (Brand) to a concert at L.A.’s Greek Theater,” reports IMDB. To hold you over before the film is released, enjoy the first five minutes from the film below:
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