This past week, the reboot of Vacation hit the big screen, but it’s not a National Lampoon production anymore. The once thriving name in laughs has since become mostly a comedy memory, known for introducing us to bold and controversial material, future film and television stars, and a film franchise that took us into one of the craziest fraternities and also on one of the best road trips in the history of cinema.
Now a new documentary called Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon is on the way to theaters and VOD after a premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and the first red band trailer is now online. Watch the National Lampoon documentary trailer after the jump! Read More »
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Even if you call yourself a fan of stand-up comedy, there’s a good chance that you may never have heard of Barry Crimmins. The outspoken, sometimes controversial, and smart comic made waves in the 1970s and 1980s, and while his rage against the machine brought comedy, it eventually also helped bring about change and justice.
At a time when the internet was accessed predominantly by way of America Online, he uncovered a horrifying community online that was bolstering sexual abuse and child pornography, and used his voice, anger and personal horrifying experiences as a child to make a difference. And director Bobcat Goldthwait chronicles all of this in his documentary Call Me Lucky, and the trailer has just arrived.
Watch the Call Me Lucky trailer after the jump! Read More »
Making its way to theaters this summer after a premiere at the 2015 Sundance film Festival is the indie, coming of age tale Brooklyn starring The Lovely Bones, Hanna and The Grand Budapest Hotel star Saorise Ronan.
Set in 1950s New York City, the film follows a young Irish immigrant girl, fresh off the boat and hoping for the opportunity that America is known for across the world. Life isn’t easy at first, but then a budding romance enters the picture and everything changes. And if the trailer is any indicator, this one should be a touching charmer. Watch the Brooklyn trailer after the jump! Read More »
In a surprise run that doesn’t normally happen, Damien Chazelle‘s stupendous film Whiplash went all the way from a premiere at Sundance to a Best Picture nomination the following year. It didn’t take home the big prize, but J.K. Simmons ended up pulling off a deserved win for Best Supporting Actor, and the film also got the Film Editing and Sound Mixing awards.
In case you didn’t know, Whiplash was based on a short film of the same name that Chazelle directed in 2013. The film featured Simmons as the jazz band conductor still, but it had Johnny Simmons (co-star of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, no relation to J.K. Simmons) in the lead role instead.
And if you’ve ever wondered how the two compare, a YouTube video has a fantastic side-by-side comparison showing how the short and the feature length film are very similar, and nearly identical, in many key sequences. Watch the Whiplash short film comparison after the jump! Read More »
After making a splash at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the indie sensation The Diary of a Teenage Girl is coming to theaters next month. The film may not have made our list of the Best of Sundance 2015, but it’s certainly one of those indies worth seeking out this summer.
Now a new trailer from across the pond has surfaced, showcasing a tale of sexual exploration and coming-of-age, driven stupendously by a breakthrough performance from Bel Powley. And coming through with outstanding supporting performances are Alexander Skarsgard and Kristen Wiig too. Watch The Diary of a Teenage Girl UK trailer below! Read More »
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Right now you can get plenty of Lily Tomlin in the Netflix exclusive series Grace and Frankie, but later this summer she’s also got a new indie hitting theaters, fresh from the Sundance Film Festival and Los Angeles Film Festival this year.
The movie is called Grandma, but don’t think that just because Tomlin is old enough to play the title role that she’s some feeble old woman. In the indie comedy, Tomlin just might be the coolest grandmother you’ve ever seen, but she’s got a bit of an attitude problem, making it hard to get along with her granddaughter (Julia Garner of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) when they need each other the most.
Watch the Grandma trailer after the jump! Read More »
Note: This review was originally published during Sundance, in January 2015.
Four days in, Rick Famuyiwa‘s Dope is the best film I’ve seen so far at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. A coming of age story for the “post hip hop generation” best described as a mix of three films: Doug Liman’s Go, Greg Mottola’s Superbad and John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood. I’m posting this review the morning after the premiere and its being reported that six studios are rabidly bidding to distribute this film — its insanely accessible movie for a Sundance film and will sure to be a hit that lives on past its festival and theatrical runs. Read my Dope review after the jump.
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You can’t make a movie like Dope without a ton of passion. Every frame, every character, every decision comes from a love not just of cinema, but for pop culture as a whole. The film’s writer and director Rick Famuyiwa is a massive film fan and geek who cites Spielberg, Lucas, and calls Back to the Future his favorite movie of all time.
However, looking as Famuyiwa’s resume, odds are you didn’t know any of that. Before making Dope, he directed The Wood, Brown Sugar and Our Family Wedding. Three financially successful films, yes, but none of which are known for Dope‘s sense of youthful exuberance. It feels like, after that formidable foray into filmmaking, Famuyiwa is finally hitting his stride. Dope is a confident film, a fun film, and a great film to discuss.
Which is exactly what we did. We spoke with Famyuiwa on the occasion of Dope, which opens Friday June 19, and talked about the film’s complex tone. Its use of pop culture references, issues with music, how it changed from its Sundance premiere to now, as well as the meaning of “geek” in the film. We broke down two of the best sequences in the movie and found out whether or not the director has been approached to make any major studio blockbusters. Below, read our Rick Famuyiwa Dope interview. Read More »
If you’ve ever taken an introductory psychology class, you’ve probably heard of the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment. The idea behind the experiment was to take student volunteers and put them into a simulated jail where some of the students were made to be prisoners and others were made to be guards. The intention was to study human nature, but those conducting the experiment didn’t realize the humanity part of the experiment would go out the window so quickly.
The aptly titled indie The Stanford Prison Experiment chronicles the results of the test as the unfold, and the result is an unnerving drama that shows you how prison, whether you’re a prisoner or a guard, can change a person entirely.
Watch The Stanford Prison Experiment trailer after the jump! Read More »