January 21, 2017

Tag Archives: Justin Long

Kevin Smith is having more fun than ever with “Yoga Hosers”

I think it’s safe to say at this point that most people have a pretty firm opinion about the films of Kevin Smith, as well as the filmmaker himself. Personally, I think he’s a hoot and actually is one of my favorite artists out there. This week, Smith unleashes Yoga Hosers into the world after a debut earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. As someone who enjoys his various podcasts, hearing the idea sort of birthed during one, much like with Tusk, had me eager to see it. Frankly, it doesn’t disappoint, though I freely admit this won’t be for everyone. It’s a strange beast, but kind of a perfect fit for Smith’s current interests at this point in his career.
Again, the movie is, like the aforementioned Tusk, based off of a conversation Smith had with Scott Mosier on SModcast, one of his podcasts. It actually mostly just is inspired by that chat, more directly spinning off two characters from the prior movie into their own Canadian horror comedy adventure. Teen yoga lovers Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) and Colleen Colette (Lily-Rose Depp) spend their days texting and working at a convenience store owned by Colleen C’s father Bob (Tony Hale). When they’re not there, they’re either at school or learning from Yogi Bayer (Justin Long), though priorities will soon be changing. You see, they’ve been invited to a senior party, but also, small Nazis made of sausage (and played by Smith) have risen up under the store, created by a mad scientist (Ralph Garman) with a very unique agenda. With the help of Guy LaPointe (Johnny Depp), they wind up using their yoga knowledge to try and save the day. Chaos and hilarity ensue. Smith writes, directs, and edits, as usual, while the eclectic ensemble cast also includes Adam Brody, Austin Butler, Natasha Lyonne, Jason Mewes, Haley Joel Osment, Vanessa Paradis, Tyler Posey, Genesis Rodriguez, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, and more. Christopher Drake provides the music, while James Laxton again handles the cinematography for Smith.

Call me crazy, but this flick worked for me. Yes, it’s messy, but there’s so much fun to be had, that it quickly wins you over. Smith continues to be a strong editor, while his direction here utilizes some new visual tics, showcasing something different. His writing may be hit or miss for some, but I think his directing has grown by leaps […]

Kevin Smith’s “Yoga Hosers” gets a quirky Trailer

Nobody does things quite like Kevin Smith does. For some, that’s a negative, but I’m all about what Smith chooses to do as a filmmaker, along with what he does as a podcaster and just entertainer in general. Chasing Amy is one of my top three favorite movies of all time, and I’ve yet to see a film of his that I haven’t liked. The True North Trilogy of Canadian horror titles that he’s concentrating on is fairly interesting, as Tusk was very underrated. Next up is Yoga Hosers, which dropped a strange little Trailer yesterday. You can see that below at the end of the article, but right now I wanted to discuss the film a bit and Smith’s current cinematic choices as well. Come with me on this journey…starting now!
The flick, for those who don’t know, is a teenage girl themed horror comedy. Teens Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) and Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Melody Depp) work at a convenience store and mostly want to text and make the senior boys’ party, but when ancient evil Nazis rise, specifically foot tall ones made of bratwurst (played by Smith himself), they have to put their yoga skills to the test to save the day, with help from detective Guy LaPointe (Johnny Depp). It sounds bonkers, but in the best way possible. Smith writes and directs, as well as edits the picture, with the eclectic ensemble cast also including Adam Brody, Austin Butler, Tony Hale, Stan Lee, Justin Long, Natasha Lyonne, Jason Mewes, Haley Joel Osment, Vanessa Paradis, Tyler Posey, Ralph Garman, Genesis Rodriguez, and more. Yes, Smith cast his daughter as well as Depp’s, and that seems like part of the fun.
As a big fan of Smith’s, I’m looking forward to the insanity he has in store for us here. It kind of feels like his take on something in the realm of Scott Pilgrim vs the World, which excites me quite a bit. Reviews out of the Sundance Film Festival weren’t too kind, but critics haven’t been his friend in some time. I disagreed with them on both Red State and Tusk, so there’s a good chance I’ll do the same once again here. Time will tell, but this Trailer is promising, since it just appears like Smith is having an infectious blast making it.
This True North Trilogy of his is an intriguing right turn for Smith’s career. He’s […]

Oscar Isaac – The biggest snubs from this week’s Spirit Award nominations

First of all, Happy Turkey Day to you all! With a Thanksgiving mention out of the way, let’s talk movies. Whenever there is a big precursor announcement that isn’t just a winners list, there’s going to be some glaring omissions. Such was the case with the 30th annual Independent Spirit Awards, which made some excellent picks but also some head scratchers as well. That’s always the name of the game, but this year there especially was some unexpected shut outs. As such, I’m going to be running down ten of the most egregious ones that I noticed. A few will be personal surprises, but the others will be ones that were clearly noticed by others. The Spirit Awards do a solid job, but like any other precursor, they’re far from perfect.
Here now are the ten biggest snubs from the Spirit Award nominations:
1. Oscar Isaac for A Most Violent Year – Voters apparently liked the film, but they didn’t like what I felt was the best part in Isaac’s performance. Strange, to say the least. Isaac is the lead and a huge reason why the movie works. His co-star Jessica Chastain was cited, but not him. For me, it was the biggest omission and one of the bigger head scratchers as well. It just makes no sense.

2. The Skeleton Twins – If ever there was an under the radar title in need of a Spirit boost, it’s this one. Not just the film itself, but even more so the lead performances of Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, both of whom could have at least stayed in the Oscar conversation had they turned a nomination into a surprise win. That didn’t happen though, so this contender is now pretty much DOA.
3. Bill Murray in St. Vincent – I’m sure The Weinstein Company was hoping that Murray popped up here in order to further their Oscar hopes for him. Considering all of the frontrunners are first time nominees (if they even get nominated), had Murray gotten nominated here and won, that could have helped fuel a potential Golden Globe win for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical, which in turn would have made him a likely Oscar nominee. That narrative is gone now though, so it’s the Globes or bust for Murray.
4. The Imitation Game – Easily the most surprising shut out, TWC saw their first chink in the armor for this big time […]

Kevin Smith’s “Tusk”: Ten Films to look forward to in September

Believe it or not, we’re now into the month of September, which is insane if you ask me. I’ll be updating my Oscar predictions later on this week, but right now, I’m going to preview the films of the month ahead. There’s no shortage of interesting flicks hitting screens, so we’re entering the start of the very best season for cinema. Tis the season for high quality movies, with the upcoming New York Film Festival really kicking off Oscar season for me. That’s not to say that the next week or two won’t have plenty to talk about, but once we’re in October it’s really the heat of the moment then, as it were. Even so, the whole month of September has plenty to be excited about, I assure you of that much. There’s no shortage of quality coming our way, so be excited folks.
Below you’ll see a total of ten titles (plus a pair of honorable mentions) that I feel represent the best of the month. I’ve seen a handful of the films to be discussed, so I can vouch for those personally. The rest? Well, I’ll be reporting in on them real soon. In the meantime, here you go:
10. The Guest – A throwback thriller, I saw this film from up and coming genre filmmaker Adam Wingard (who blew me away with You’re Next last year) recently and liked it a lot. It feels like a B movie from the 1980’s, a slow burn through and through. If you like the sort of thing where you laugh and cringe in equal measure, this one will be for you. It hits on the 17th.
9. The Zero Theorem – Any new work from filmmaker Terry Gilliam is worth taking note of. Even if this isn’t my favorite one of his (I’m currently embargoed from saying too much more), it’s far from boring and has a top notch cast (led by Christoph Waltz). This one comes out on the 19th and likely will divide audiences. Something tells me that Gilliam wouldn’t have it any other way though…
8. Two Night Stand – Another movie I’ve already seen, this romantic comedy is actually a lot better than the ads would lead you to believe. The flick is really charming, with winning turns from Miles Teller and Analeigh Tipton. Ignore the mediocre trailer and trust me here when I say this is rather good. […]

Blake Lively Photos: Hot Hollywood Celebrity Photo Gallery of the Day

HollywoodNews.com: Our selected celebrity to be included in our “Hot Hollywood Celebrity Photo Gallery of the Day” is Blake Lively.

Blake Christina Lively (born August 25, 1987) is an American actress and model who stars as Serena van der Woodsen in the television teen drama series, Gossip Girl. She has also starred in movies, including Accepted, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, The Town and Green Lantern.
Early life
Lively was born in Tarzana, Los Angeles to actors Ernie and Elaine Lively. She was raised as a Southern Baptist. The youngest of five siblings, Lively has a brother, Eric, two half-sisters, Lori and Robyn, and a half-brother, Jason. Both of her parents and all of her siblings are, or have been, in the entertainment industry. During Lively’s childhood, her parents would take her with them to acting classes that they taught because they did not want to leave her with a babysitter. Lively said that watching her parents teach acting classes helped her learn the “drills” of acting and gain confidence as she got older. Lively stated that as a child, her mother would bring her to Disneyland twice a week as an opportunity “to have some extra time to bond”; Lively has stated, due to all the time she spent there, she felt that she “grew up at Disneyland.”
Lively was not at all interested in acting, but during the summer between her junior and senior years, her brother, Eric, made his agent send her out on a few auditions over a period of a few months; of the few auditions, she got the role of Bridget for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Lively filmed her scenes in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants between her junior and senior years at Burbank High.
Lively at the New York premiere of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 on August 8, 2008 in New York City
Lively began her acting career at age 11, when she appeared in the 1998 film Sandman, which was directed by Lively’s father. Lively describes her role in the film as having been a “bit part”. Lively appeared in the film adaptation of the novel of the same name, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in 2005 playing Bridget, one of the four female leads. Lively’s performance in the film earned her a nomination for a Teen Choice Award for […]

Drew Barrymore can’t hide her girly crush

HollywoodNews.com: Drew Barrymore apparently has a thing for a certain woman and she can’t keep it secret any longer.
When Barrymore was asked about her current celebrity crush, she revealed a surprising answer, states E! News. She quickly offered up that her celeb crush is none other than MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
Makes you wonder how on-again, off-again beau Justin Long feels about her answer.
Who is your celebrity crush?
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Image courtesy of Splash News

Justin Long injured in car accident, misses “Conspirator” premiere

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Robert Redford’s Civil War courtroom thriller “The Conspirator” screened at the Savannah Film Festival last night. It was the fest’s Director’s Choice, a screening that is kept secret from the general public until the moment the curtain opens.
But one of the film’s cast members who was supposed to be in town to help promote the film couldn’t make it because he was in a car accident.
Justin Long, who plays a Union soldier and compatriot to James McAvoy, was injured in a car accident in Los Angeles and received a minor concussion, preventing him from traveling to Savannah for the fest.
“He’s completely fine now,” a source told PEOPLE magazine.
Redford’s drama was filmed in Savannah, and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. It tells the story of Mary Surrat (Robin Wright), a woman who went on trial following the assassination of Abrahama Lincoln.
It was purchased by Roadside Attractions, and will be released Spring 2011.
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TIFF ’10: Robert Redford’s ‘The Conspirator’ a compelling slice of American history

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: A last-minute invitation to Roy Thompson Hall had me sitting down for the Gala premiere of Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator” Saturday evening instead of heading back to the hotel room to write a longer “127 Hours” review. Last-minute schedule changes have been the norm at Toronto this year, which is fine – particularly when the end result is a ticket to an anticipated screening.
As a history buff (and proud Southern resident, where much of “Conspirator” was filmed), this one was on my list to check out while in Toronto. A recent story in the L.A. Times about Redford’s parallels to Sept. 11 — whether intentional or not — was top of mind, seeing as how this was the anniversary of those tragic attacks. And while Redford didn’t hook me with his last two films, his “Conspirator” returns the director to the sturdy period storytelling methods employed in “Quiz Show” and “A River Runs Through It.”
Redford is aided immensely by James McAvoy, who delivers a mature and complex performance as Civil War attorney Frederick Aiken. A veteran of the Union Army, Aiken begins practicing law near the end of the bloody conflict only to find himself defending Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), a Southerner accused of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth (Toby Kebbell) to kill President Abraham Lincoln.
Despite her claims of innocence, Surratt is railroaded through the Union-influenced justice system by a bloodthirsty Northern prosecutor (Danny Huston) while Aiken clings to the rights granted an individual in the Constitution, even though defending Surratt is far from the popular thing to do.
You don’t have to look too deep into “Conspirator’s” soul to unearth connections to post-Sept. 11 America. Following a national tragedy, protective (but misguided) government officials seek swift retaliation because “the people want that.” McAvoy and Wright do most of the heavy moral lifting between decently staged courtroom sequences, arguing whether the rights of a few should be sacrificed to appease the vengeful demands of many. Redford’s attention to period detail impresses, though his casting decisions are questionable. Not Tom Wilkinson and Kevin Kline. They could blend into any feature. But Danny Huston, Colm Meaney and Justin Long (!!) look as out of place in a Civil War drama as Maggie Smith or Judi Dench would look in “Saw VI.”
Overall, Redford’s “The Conspirator” is a solid effort. It’s a compelling legal drama and a […]

This Week In Movies – ‘The American,’ ‘Machete,’ ‘Going the Distance’

By Pete Hammond
HollywoodNews.com: Does this week in movies symbolize the industry’s fond farewell to its megabuck summer blockbuster season or the first blast of the more prestigious and thoughtful Fall movies? Seems it was a little of both with George Clooney’s euro-centric , deliberately paced “thriller”, The American taking the top spot at the Box Office and repping the kind of movie Hollywood is more likely to turn out in the Fall, and Warner Bros. dumping New Line’s rather raunchy Drew Barrymore/Justin Long chick flick, Going The Distance into the Labor Day slot trying to eek out whatever juice is left for mindless fare in the dying season. In the middle of it all was Robert Rodriguez’s lively but violent ode to his previous work on the Grindhouse flop, Machete which with its concurrent presence at the Venice Film Festival is a classic in-betweener. On the surface it’s surefire, young male-skewing summer stuff but look below and you see a genre sendup with a cool cast (any film with both Robert DeNiro AND Lindsay Lohan can’t be all bad) and hip indie credentials wanting to have its box office cake and critical acclaim too.

Interestingly the hardest of all these movies to see pre-opening for critics was the Clooney flick. The American from director Anton Corbijn whose previous film Control was a critics darling. Focus in a somewhat unusual strategy only had one screening in LA at the Harmony Gold room in Hollywood for reviewers and that was basically just a day and a half before the Wednesday Sept 1 release. The late review date created some pre-buzz among certain bloggers that this might be a problematic picture but it’s subsequent 61% Rotten Tomatoes rating and decent reviews including Roger Ebert’s four star rave that said, “it is so rare to see a film this carefully crafted”, makes the distributor’s decision curious. Or does it? Focus is in the business of making money and my guess is they weren’t consciously trying to hide a movie they thought was bad (they weren’t and it isn’t), but one they wanted to sell as a pure action thriller. Knowing the reviews were all going to contain the phrase “slow paced European style” was not in the marketing plan. Of course when you bring the wrong crowd into the tent the word of mouth can be lethal and that’s predictably […]

‘The American’ grosses a predictable $16.4 million over holiday

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: Despite stupidly opening on a Wednesday (and siphoning off $3 million before the traditional opening weekend), “The American” grossed a completely predictable $13 million over three days and $16.4 million over the four-day holiday. This is no less than the ninth George Clooney vehicle to open to around $11-13 million since “The Peacemaker” in 1997. And, as I’ve written before, every time this happens, the pundits jump up and down about how Clooney may not be a real movie star. As I’ve also said before, true stardom is when it’s just your face on the poster, especially when you’re selling a somewhat uncommercial bit of cinema. That was certainly the case with “The American,” which is a slow and ponderous European-style thriller, with only just enough action to fill up the third act of a trailer (film-goers felt duped, as the Film received a D- from Cinemascore). The fact that it will end up with $19.4 million between Wednesday and Monday is a testament to Clooney’s sheer constancy as an opener for relatively cheap (the Film cost Focus Features just $20 million) and arty projects. For what it’s worth, if you know what you’re getting into, the Film is a relatively satisfying character-driven tone poem. It’s a B-movie classed up and pruned down to resemble an art Film.
The next major opener was Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete.” It was another case of hardcore interest in the geek world not translating into much mainstream interest. Once again, advertising a film as ‘so bad that it’s good’ is a sure-fire way to turn off general moviegoers, and in the era of $10+ movie tickets, it’s a tough thing for any number of younger filmgoers to stomach as well. Still, with an opening three-day gross of $11.3 million and a $14 million four-day gross, the picture more than justified its cost (it had a $20 million budget, and Fox paid around $5 million to distribute it). At the end of the day, the cameo-filled comedic riff on 70’s exploitation was always destined to be more talked about for its nerd appeal and its immigration politics then seen in a theater. For what it’s worth, the Danny Trejo vehicle played to a 60% Hispanic audience. The geek-centric film is destined for cult status on DVD/Blu Ray and, if FX can cut the exceedingly violent and bloody film down to an acceptable TV version, […]

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