[The following contains spoilers for the first four episodes of Season 3 of Community.]

Every year, I eagerly anticipate any film or TV series that will engage me in the trials of its characters, and encourage me to consider how its using those trials to communicate something perceptive, challenging or entertaining about the world around us. Community, alongside FX’s Louie, is a rare example of a comedy show that succeeds at doing just that.

Every episode.

In under 22 minutes.

Arrested Development may have thrown down the gauntlet for most intricately layered TV sitcom, but Community has picked that gauntlet up and is running wild with it. I already feel comfortable proclaiming this week’s episode, “Remedial Chaos Theory”, to be the absolute best episode of Community thus far. Yes, better than the Goodfellas tribute “Contemporary American Poultry”. Yes, better than the zombie halloween episode “Epidemiology”. Yes, better even than the everyone’s favorite action parody, “Modern Warfare”.

High praise, no doubt. But what else is one to do when confronted with one of the best half hours of television in the history of the medium? Read More »

.

Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

Back in August of last year, I was flown out (along with a number of other press members) to Grand Rapids, Michigan to spend a day on the set of 30 Minutes or Less and talk with director Ruben Fleischer (Zomebieland) and cast members Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, and Dilshad Vadsaria. You can learn all about the experience here, and if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the film’s red band trailer to see what all the fuss is about.

Our group interviews with Ruben Fleischer, Danny McBride & Nick Swardson and Aziz Ansari & Dilshad Vadsaria have already been posted, and now, here’s our discussion with Jesse Eisenberg. Read More »

Back in August of last year, I was flown out (along with a number of other press members) to Grand Rapids, Michigan to spend a day on the set of 30 Minutes or Less and talk with director Ruben Fleischer (Zomebieland) and cast members Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, and Dilshad Vadsaria. You can learn all about the experience here, and if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the film’s red band trailer to see what all the fuss is about.

We’ll be posting our interview with Jesse Eisenberg a bit later — our group interviews with Ruben Fleischer and Danny McBride & Nick Swardson have already been posted — but for now, here’s our discussion with Aziz Ansari and Dilshad Vadsaria. Read More »

Back in August of last year, I was flown out (along with a number of other press members) to Grand Rapids, Michigan to spend a day on the set of 30 Minutes or Less and talk with director Ruben Fleischer (Zomebieland) and cast members Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, and Dilshad Vadsaria. You can learn all about the experience here, and if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the film’s red band trailer to see what all the fuss is about.

We’ll be posting the remaining interviews throughout the week — our group interview with Fleischer has already been posted — but for now, here’s our discussion with Danny McBride and Nick Swardson. Read More »

This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Rent It

BLUE VALENTINE
If you’re lucky, you won’t be able to identify with Blue Valentine. If you’re less lucky, it will remind you a great deal of your parents, siblings or friends. Pray though, that it doesn’t remind you of yourself. There’s nothing more miserable than being proven the futility and fleeting nature of romantic love, unless of course it perfectly encapsulates your biggest life decisions. This film is an all-too-real snapshot of both the best and worst parts of a relationship, which is really just another way of saying the beginning and end of one. It’s half Before Sunrise and half Revolutionary Road, slammed right up against each other to juxtapose the beauty and ultimate folly of one of life’s most fundamental goals: to fall in love and spend your life with someone. Many people will probably take sides while watching Blue Valentine, accusing the wife of being cold and distant or blaming the husband for being immature and without ambition. But that would be missing the point. These are two people, flawed but well-meaning, who made the choices they made and must live with them. They would like things to be different — and they would like each other to be different — but they’re not, and that’s just the way life is. It’s easy to point fingers, but not everything is somebody’s fault. Sometimes people just grow apart, and it takes time (and the mounting conflict that time permits) for them to accept it. Blue Valentine captures this aspect of life better than almost any film I’ve seen. It’s raw and devastatingly real, written and directed with an almost invisible hand by Derek Cianfrance, and acted with incredible earnestness by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. It won’t leave you smiling, but it will get you thinking about your own relationships — past, present and future — and will hopefully help someone out there to think twice before making the same mistakes.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – Deleted Scenes, Making of Blue Valentine, Commentary, and Home Movies.

BEST DVD PRICE
TargetBest BuyFry’s
$17.99$16.99N/A
Amazon – $16.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
TargetBest BuyFry’s
$22.99$19.99N/A
Amazon – $18.99

Read More »

Many of you have likely heard the perplexing tale of Brian Wells, a pizza delivery man who had a bomb strapped to his chest and was instructed to rob a bank. (For those who are unfamiliar, Wired wrote a fascinating and thorough recap of the event.) Such a tragic story would not seem to lend itself to a comedy, and yet, that very premise is serving as the basis for this summer’s 30 Minutes or Less. Some may find the approach tasteless, but if the film’s red band trailer is any indication, Zomebieland director Ruben Fleischer and his knockout cast (which includes Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, Michael Peña, and Dilshad Vadsaria) may just pull it off. After the break, we have some new images, a video blog sharing what it was like on the film’s set, and an interview with the film’s director. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Rent It

THE GREEN HORNET
(Blu-ray available as single-disc and Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD Combo)
The Green Hornet is a complete mess. Michel Gondry may be credited as its director, but it plays far more like a Seth Rogen comedy, with only occasional opportunities afforded to Gondry to inject his off-the-wall visual flourishes. Had Gondry and Rogen shared a more consistent overarching vision, the film might’ve been something special, but as it stands the story is too clumsy and shapeless to satisfyingly coalesce as a whole. And yet, I greatly enjoyed watching it. For all its faults, Rogen’s self-aware spin on the superhero genre overcomes its lack of narrative momentum by never running out of amusing conceits to play around with from scene to scene. Once again bringing a loose, parodic slant to heftily-budgeted material, Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg supplant a familiar formula with an array of clever, distinctive touches, ranging from the character dynamic (the superhero remains useless throughout, while the sidekick is forced to do all the work) to the subversive humor (a lengthy altercation between Britt Reid and Kato puts the brawl from They Live to shame) to the action scenes (the crime-fighting duo take a wild ride in the Black Beauty during the film’s appreciably ridiculous climax). The film may be a failure, but at least it’s a fairly unique and entertaining one.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – A filmmakers’ commentary, a gag reel, and 2 featurettes (“Writing The Green Hornet”, “The Black Beauty: Rebirth of Cool”). Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as additional featurettes (“The Stunt Family Armstrong”, “Finding Kato”, “The Art of Destruction”, “Double Barrel”), a Jay Chou Audition, The Green Hornet Cutting, and more.

BEST DVD PRICE
TargetBest BuyFry’s
$16.99$16.99N/A
Amazon – $15.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE*
TargetBest BuyFry’s
$19.99$19.99$19.99
Amazon – $19.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $24.99 at Best Buy and Amazon.

Read More »

Here’s some potentially frustrating news.

Last week, someone got possession of Samuel L. Jackson‘s copy of The Avengers shooting script, and attempted to sell it to any film sites and bloggers who were willing to pony up the cash. The good news: It appears as if nobody was thoughtless enough to do so.

We’ve resisted posting about the screenplay leak for fear that it would provide the seller a podium off which to auction his goods. The bad news: A site that shall not be named didn’t think their actions through, and posted several photographs worth of evidence of the script to prove the offer was legit. The images, which feature massively watermarked script pages strewn across a table, very clearly detail a scene where the Hulk transforms in front of Black Widow as Iron Man and Captain America frantically search a large boiler room. I suppose there’s no harm in telling you that now, since evidently the scene won’t be appearing in the film. Read More »

Not counting his Ali G Show creations and the trio of feature efforts that followed, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s winning presence has been put to use in only two films thus far, first in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and not long after in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. That’s going to be changing in the next couple of years though, as he adds two more films to his roster — the appreciably shorter-titled Hugo Cabret (directed by Martin Scorsese) and The Dictator.

We’ve already gotten an early peek at Cohen in Hugo Cabret, along with his Academy Award-winning co-star Ben Kingsley, and now a new bit of casting for The Dictator informs us that the duo will be joining forces once again. Is this the result of Cohen and Kingsley sharing strong chemistry on-set? We can only hope. Learn more after the break. Read More »