September 26, 2016

Tag Archives: Will Forte

Andy Samberg has his own comedy vehicle with “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping”

Depending on what you’ve seen him in, you might have a number of different takes on Andy Samberg. You could know him from his run on Saturday Night Live, his television show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a handful of supporting roles in films, or his highest profile turn in Celeste and Jesse Forever. There’s also his musical work with The Lonely Island, which combines with his comedic movie work this week to mark the release of Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, his attempt at a real comedy hit. It appears to be something a little on the unique side, so there’s a chance that Samberg is about to break through in a big way.
The film is a look at fictional superstar Conner4Real (Samberg), who was once a member of the pop/rap group The Style Boyz. When his solo career goes up in flames, Conner4Real is game to try anything in order to maintain the high life he’s grown accustomed to, as long as it doesn’t involve also reuniting with the group. Hilarity ensues. Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone co-write (along with Samberg) as well as co-direct here (while also taking on supporting roles too), while the cast on hand includes Imogen Poots, as well as the likes of Will Arnett, Joan Cusack, Will Forte, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Martin Sheen, Sarah Silverman, and many more, including a whole host of celebrity cameos.
I see it later today, but this is another comedy produced by Judd Apatow, who normally knows how to get the best out of people, so that’s a reason I’m looking forward to this one. He’s expanded out from the films he’s written or directed in order to produce some very strong works like Begin Again, Bridesmaids, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers, and more. Apatow is one of the more underrated producers in Hollywood, especially when it comes to comedy. but he’s got more to him than that. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping certainly is in his humorous wheelhouse, but it’s also not his first musically tinged outing.

For my money, Samberg really has shined brightest in the romantic dramedy Celeste and Jesse Forever. He co-starred there with Rashida Jones (who also co-wrote the movie) and made a fantastically believable pair. That film tackled the issue of a long term couple transitioning to friends, specifically when a married couple is going through a separation and then a divorce. Samberg is brilliant as […]

“Keanu” gives Key and Peele a cinematic showcase

There seems to be a bit of a pipeline that exists between Comedy Central stars and cinematic success over the past decade or so. From seeing Steve Carell move from The Daily Show to a hit film in The 40 Year Old Virgin to Amy Schumer moving from Inside Amy Schumer to last year’s terrific movie Trainwreck, it’s a formula that works. Now, we have the duo of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele going from their hit show Key and Peele to the action comedy Keanu. While this isn’t nearly as strong a flick as those other examples, it’s still something pretty entertaining and well worth checking out when it opens on Friday.
The film is both an action comedy as well as a bit of a satire. After a strange opening that only makes sense later, besides introducing the kitten, we see Rell Williams (Peele) upset over the end of a relationship. Buddy Clarence Goobril (Key) plans to go comfort him, but it’s not needed once he arrives, since just beforehand, Rell has found said kitten, christening him Keanu. Life is good, but when his home is broken into and the cat is stolen, an adventure begins. Posing as gang members and hitmen, they infiltrate a drug ring and attempt to get Keanu back, finding themselves in trouble at almost every single stop. Peter Atencio directs from a script that Peele co-wrote with Alex Rubens. The cast, besides Key and Peele, includes Darrell Britt-Gibson, Will Forte, Luis Guzmán, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Huebel, Nia Long, Jason Mitchell, Jamar Malachi Neighbors, and more. It’s all centered around Key and Peele, obviously, who pull double duty as other characters here as well, though everyone seems to be enjoying themselves a great deal.
Though not a perfect movie, this is worth seeing due to the occasional flashes of brilliance that it exhibits. A lot of mileage is gained by the cat being adorable and Atencio focuses on it quite a bit, but when the satire element of the production is remembered, it’s really strong. I just wish that was more consistent. The action comedy element is fine, but it’s less unique and doesn’t stand out quite as well. Key and Peele are certainly going to have more starring roles in the future (Key already is showing up in a ton of things, so he’s a bit ahead of the game), so this is just a […]

Nominees for the Critics Choice Television Awards include “24: Live Another Day” and many more

Yesterday, the nominations for the 5th annual Critics Choice Television Awards were announced. The sister group to the Critics Choice Movie Awards, this is what could be looked at as a bit of an Emmy Awards precursor, if you will. I’m not exactly an expert when it comes to TV and this awards season (it’s mostly film or bust for me in that regard), but I watch a handful of shows and follow along with the race. Not enough to accurately do predictions, mind you, but I did think this nomination announcement was worthy of a mention. As such, today we have the list of Critics Choice nominees, which I’ll be revealing to you shortly.
Among the titles that fared best this year with the nominations, we have Justified lead the way with five nominations. Following that, we have The Americans, The Good Wife, and Transparent with four apiece. Also doing quite well were 24: Live Another Day, Empire, The Leftovers, and Mom, just to name a few of the various titles that showed up here. It seems like this awards body spread the love around, opting to honor a ton of different works. In terms of frontrunners right now, I can’t say at all, but a lot of the races do seem like they could be on the tight side, so there is that to look forward to…
Anyway, enough talk. Here now is the full list of nominees:
BEST DRAMA SERIES
The Americans
Empire
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Homeland
Justified
Orange Is the New Black
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Eva Green, Penny Dreadful
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Keri Russell, The Americans
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Aden Young, Rectify
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Charlie Hunnam, Sons of Anarchy
Freddie Highmore, Bates Motel
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Timothy Olyphant, Justified
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Carrie Coon, The Leftovers
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Joelle Carter, Justified
Katheryn Winnick, Vikings
Lorraine Toussaint, Orange Is the New Black
Mae Whitman, Parenthood
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Christopher Eccleston, The Leftovers
Craig T. Nelson, Parenthood
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Walton Goggins, Justified
GUEST PERFORMER IN A DRAMA SERIES
Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away with Murder
Julianne Nicholson, Masters of Sex
Linda Lavin, The Good Wife
Lois Smith, The Americans
Sam Elliott, Justified
Walton Goggins, Sons of Anarchy
BEST COMEDY SERIES
Broad City
Jane the Virgin
Mom
Silicon Valley
Transparent
Veep
You’re the Worst
BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Chris Messina, The Mindy Project
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Johnny Galecki, The […]

Another great Hollywood Vanity Fair bash… Stars, Stars, Stars

Vanity Fair upped its Oscar game last night. They build a huge multi level tented building in the parking behind Sunset Plaza. Traffic snaked back and forth on Sunset Boulevard in both directions. There was a big security plan, with metal detectors at the check in. And then you arrived to find an avalanche of stars. Stars and stars. Two by two, or three by three, they came.
Inside the main room, just to the right, if you could find them through the fog of formally attired people, Jane Fonda and Anjelica Huston set up a beach head. Many stars, old and young, were crowded into this area including Jane’s beau, Richard Perry, and Sarah Paulson, plus Quincy Jones, who was busy looking for Petra Nemcova, and Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks. Rosaria Dawson and Gabrielle Union weren’t far away. Sitting on a couch in a section nearby, the fabulous oldies group– Mickey Rooney and Martin Landau. And they were hosting this year’s nominee June Squibb.
Praise god– Don Rickles and his wife were entertaining Don’s many fans. “Do you have any Oscar jokes? I asked Rickles. “If you’re paying me!” he said. I did get a photo.
Just at the entrance to this room I tripped over Bill Hader, who was reconnecting with Will Forte and Paul Rudd, with a big group of comics around them. Hader made a beeline to see Larry David. In time that group was joined by hit pop star Ed Sheeran, who’d just come over from playing at Elton John’s AIDS Foundation fundraiser. Only 23, Sheeran– who’d been hanging with Taylor Swift–is about to break out in a big way. His new single comes this week, with a new album in June.
From there I headed to the upper level party, where Bill Murray and a big group had come to occupy a huge round room with Art Deco-ish banquettes– a hold over from past VF parties. They store their sets! This is where a lot of guests were dining on In and Out Burgers. Here were lots of people carrying Oscars, from “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” crew to winner Lupita Nyong’o. Super model Karolina Kurklova and her husband Archie Drury were getting burgers. Amazing since it looks she only eats celery stalks!
And yes, chowing down, was our old pal Kerry Washington, a month away from giving birth, radiant and round.
The thing about Vanity Fair’s parties is […]

Oscars: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “Nebraska”

Directed by: Alexander Payne
Written by: Bob Nelson
Main cast members: Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk, and Stacy Keach
Number of Oscar nominations in total: 6
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Director (Payne), Best Actor (Dern), Best Supporting Actress (Squibb), Best Original Screenplay (Nelson), and Best Cinematography
Notable precursor wins: Won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival and Won Best Actor/Supporting Actor from the National Board of Review
Chances at winning Best Picture: At one point a more serious contender and currently still one of the five likeliest winners, it’s however most certainly a long shot at this juncture
Chances at other Academy Award wins: It’s likely to be shut out, but there’s an outside chance of an upset in the Best Actor race
ANALYSIS OF OTHER OSCAR NOMINEES: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and HER.
Nebraska is the seventh film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s another nominee that has to look at the nomination itself as the real reward here, since it’s likely to be completely shut out. Earlier in the season it was considered a major threat and a potential dark horse to win a number of Academy Awards, but the buzz has really died down now. That’s a shame too, considering how at one point Bruce Dern was a real top tier contender for Best Actor. He could still swoop in for the upset win, but the likely result is that Alexander Payne’s movie goes home empty handed.
Working in Nebraka’s favor is how it’s the one film that clearly has the senior citizen vote. Oscar voters have long been pigeon-holed as old white men, and despite that being an oversimplification of things, there’s no denying that these older voters are there and the Academy has quite a few folks who like movies that speak to them. This one certainly does that.
If you’re looking for something that’s not in this film’s favor, it’s the fact that it really never got a precursor win of note. Aside from a win for Dern at Cannes that launched his candidacy, nothing truly of any importance happened for the flick. Nebraska got plenty of nominations throughout the season, but never that all important win. Had something happened at the Golden Globes for example, it would have set the movie up as a potential winner somewhere just because it had been seen […]

Will Forte added to “Rock of Ages” cast

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Wait, MacGruber is joining the ensemble of “Rock of Ages?”
OK, it’s too much to hope that Will Forte’s clueless secret agent will be included in Adam Shankman’s adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, but THR does report that the “Saturday Night Live” comedian has been added to a cast that already includes Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Julianne Hough, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Forte will play Mitch Miley, the head anchor of a network news show. As the trade reports, the character wasn’t in the stage musical. And with Forte in the part, it’s unlikely he’ll just be seen on a TV in the background.
More on “Rock of Ages” as it develops.
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Scarlett Johansson spotted out with newly single Jason Sudeikis

HollywoodNews.com: Maybe Scarlett Johansson and ‘Saturday Night Live’ star Jason Sudeikis are keeping each other company now that they are single.
The two were reportedly recently spotted out with ‘SNL’ star Will Forte and another woman, states The Huffington Post (via Life & Style). Johansson and Sudeikis reportedly seemed to be flirting and getting cozy as they sat together.
Johansson recently split from husband Ryan Reynolds while Sudeikis and January Jones also recently broke up. Maybe this will turn into something a little more romantic.
Do you like these two together?
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Amy Poehler to host season premiere of SNL

HollywoodNews.com: Amy Poehler has been announced as Saturday Night Live’s host for the September 25 season premiere on NBC, according to Entertainment Weekly. Poehler, in addition to being an SNL veteran, earned a fourth Emmy nom this year for “Parks and Recreation.”
The episode will also feature Katy Perry as its musical guest. After Will Forte’s departure, SNL will additionally be adding four new troupe members this season: Taran Killam (Mad TV and “How I Met Your Mother”), comedians Paul Brittain and Vanessa Bayer, and Jay Pharoah of BET’s “One Mic Stand.”
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Will Forte signs off ‘SNL’ on a strong note

HollywoodNews.com: Will Forte, who has been on “Saturday Night Live” for the last seven seasons, is leaving the show.
Forte was best known on the show for the character he took to the big screen: MacGruber, a knock-off of ‘80s TV action star “MacGyver.” “MacGruber,” an economically priced comedy, bombed at the May box office making $8.5 million. Other Forte “SNL” alter egos include Tim Calhoun, a soft-spoken political candidate and Jon Bovi, a member of the Bon Jovi “opposite tribute band.”
In an e-mail message through his spokesperson, Forte was extremely gracious to the show’s producer Lorne Michaels: “After eight great seasons, Will has made the decision to move on from ‘S.N.L.’ to pursue new opportunities. He is eternally grateful to Lorne and all of the incredible people he worked with over the years.”
Forte is an alum of the Groundlings sketch comedy school who amped his showbiz resume as a story editor on “Third Rock From the Sun” and “That ‘70s Show” before joining “SNL.”
The New York Times had the news.
Weeks before the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live,” it is typical for the show to make new cast hires and fires. However, for many of the show’s respected vets’ exits in the past, i.e. Molly Shannon and Chris Kattan, “SNL” often gives them a ‘send-off’ episode at either the mid season or finale point.
Often, those actors, like Forte, who thrive on “Saturday Night Live” are those who create staple characters, typically whose ‘catch-phrase’ alter egos can be branded on T-shirts and mugs, i.e. Dan Aykroyd’s Coneheads, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey’s “Wayne’s World” hosts.
Photo Credit: Relativity
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Adam Sandler: 15 years after ‘SNL’, he’s still top dog at the B.O.

HollywoodNews.com: There’s usually a life expectancy for a “Saturday Night Live” alum at the box office, however, Adam Sandler is showing signs of beating that.
With his summer sleeper “Grown Ups,” about to chalk up $160 million, the comedian is seeing his best run at the B.O. in more than a decade.
The Los Angeles Times analyzes the comedy’s gross:
That’s four times its opening-weekend take, a very high multiple that indicates word of mouth on the film about high school friends who reunite in middle age has been unusually good.
Sandler hasn’t enjoyed a multiple that good on any of his trademark PG-13 comedies since 1998’s “The Waterboy” and 1999’s “Big Daddy,” both of which had box-office performances nearly identical to “Grown Ups.”

That’s amazing for a “SNL” alum who left the show 15 years ago in 1995. Typically due to waning tastes in comedy, and the emergence of fresh “SNL” talent on the screen, young male moviegoers turn their back on the titans. Recently, that hasn’t been the case as audiences turned their noses up to “MacGruber” starring current SNLers Will Forte and Kristen Wiig. The May comedy tanked making $8.5 million. A similar situation occurred with 2007’s “Hot Rod,” an Andy Samberg vehicle which only made $13.9 million at the August B.O.
It’s all a testament to Sandler’s strength as an actor, writer and producer. He knows the guffaws which moviegoers want. Like Stallone, who assembled, vintage action stars in this weekend’s No. 1 film, “The Expendables,” Sandler brought together his old “SNL” buddies Chris Rock, Rob Schneider and David Spade – making it more of a must-see film. Sony and Relativity Media, who financed “Grown Ups” spent from $70-$80 million on the film and it’s set to turn a decent profit.
Arguably, Chevy Chase’s hot streak at the B.O. lasted for 13 years after he departed the hit NBC sketch show in 1976. Chase hit his B.O. high with 1989’s “Christmas Vacation” ($71.3 million) before his grosses slid him into character actor work. Bill Murray also enjoyed a 13-year ride as a B.O. star after leaving “SNL” in 1980. 1993’s “Groundhog Day” ($70.9 million) was his last star comedy vehicle that did well before they crashed and he morphed into a highly coveted absurdist arthouse star which nabbed him an Oscar nom for 2003’s “Lost in […]

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