Wanderlust, from director David Wain (The State, Wet Hot American Summer) and co-writer Ken Marino, outlines and explores a premise that will probably resonate with many people: a young couple, navigating the grind of city life but trapped by their own fears and inadequacies, is forced to leave the city and take refuge with family by dual economic misfortunes.

Well, that part of the premise might resonate. The next bit is perhaps less familiar: the couple’s final destination ends up being Elysium, a commune-like community where their frigid inability to relax is cracked and thawed by an ultra-crunchy lifestyle. (Admittedly, the attentions of a couple of sexually aggressive residents doesn’t hurt.)

For the most part, Wanderlust isn’t a deep character study or a particularly perceptive dissection of human nature. (For something closer to that, see Lukas Moodysson’s Together, which was likely an inspiration for Wain.) This is more like seeing the funhouse mirror caricatures of Wet Hot American Summer grown to adulthood. This film doesn’t quite celebrate the same sense of absurdity, and doing so — living up to one of the film’s own arguments, you could say — might make it more of a keeper. Yet Wanderlust is possessed of a strong  enough free spirit that you might want to join its (almost) free-love drum circle just the same. Read More »

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HBO has developed quite a reputation for attracting high-profile, high-quality talent, with the likes of Steve Buscemi and Dustin Hoffman leading shows on the network, and now they’ve brought on one of their biggest names yet. Ben Stiller has signed on to star, direct, and executive produce All Talk, a comedy from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, with Alan Alda in talks to co-star. Scott Rudin is set to executive produce with Foer, Stiller, and Eli Bush. More details after the jump.

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The first trailer released for Brett Ratner‘s new film Tower Heist was very obviously a trailer for a Ratner film, complete with pumping music, flying shots of the tower in which the action takes place, and a jokey introduction to the story and cast. (Which features Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Téa Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe, Casey Affleck, Stephen Henderson, Judd Hirsch, Michael Peña, and Alan Alda.)

This second trailer is much more focused on the crazy stuff the cast gets up to as they try to rob a Wall St. power broker who has defrauded the staff of his high-rise building. Check out the wacky action — which is also very recognizably Ratner — after the break. Read More »

Watch the trailer for Tower Heist, below, and see how long it takes to guess who made it. (Assuming you don’t already know.)

The film follows a group of people who work in a wealthy New York City high rise building. When the building’s penthouse resident (Alan Alda, playing a Bernie Madoff-like scumbag) defrauds everyone in the building, the motley crew (led by Ben Stiller and including Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, Téa Leoni, Michael Peña, and Gabourey Sidibe) recruits a criminal (Eddie Murphy) to help them steal their money back. Read More »

Briefly: We just saw a behind the scenes photo from Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist in Page 2 this morning, but here’s a real still, scanned from Entertainment Weekly. You probably don’t need the rundown on the lineup here, but from l-r that’s Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Michael Pena, Casey Affleck and, yep, Eddie Murphy. They’re the crew that works in a high-rise building where the penthouse is occupied by an unscrupulous businessman under house arrest. (He’s played by Alan Alda.) The Wall St. crook has taken the crew’s pension, and they aim to steal it back.

Not pictured are Téa Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe, and Judd Hirsch. It’s a hell of a cast, and my generally dismissive views of Brett Ratner notwithstanding, I’m hoping for something good here. Would be so good to see Eddie Murphy in a film that was worth a damn. Dreamgirls was a recent positive blip in an otherwise dismal late career. [via The Playlist]


Did you know that Alan Alda, Al Pacino, Eddie Muphy, Nicolas Cage, Prince, Bill Cosby, and Robin Williams auditioned for Back to the Future? No? Me neither. Probably because it didn’t happen. However, Saturday Night Live “uncovered” a set of never before released screen tests and premiered them on this weekend’s edition of the show. Gotta love Bill Hader as Al Pacino trying to deliver the classic “1.21 Gigawats” line. Hit the jump to watch them now.

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Brett Ratner‘s new movie, the thriller/action/comedy Tower Heist, is prepping to shoot in November in New York City. The cast is enough to earn at least an interested glance: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Pena. Now there are two new additions: Téa Leoni and Nina Arianda.

Jeff Nathanson is currently rewriting the Ted Griffin script that got this picture moving. It’s about a group of employees in a big NYC building who set out to rob the fat cat living in the penthouse when they learn he’s plundered their pension fund. I’ll refer back to our last casting note on the movie for my general thoughts: I like the cast and want to see Eddie Murphy do a movie that doesn’t suck, so I’m rooting for this one. Even if prevailing opinion has pre-decided that it’ll be a waste of time, thanks to Brett Ratner. But it’s a heist movie, after all, which is my key weakness. [Variety]

After the break, Glee‘s Lea Michele hits the big screen. Read More »

Is Tower Heist going to be the movie that helps turn around some of the prevailingly bad opinion on Brett Ratner? The guy was doing OK before taking over the X-Men franchise from Bryan Singer, at which point his approval rating went right in the toilet. But the cast for Tower Heist is pretty solid (Ben Stiller, Alan Alda and Eddie Murphy) and has just added Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Pena. I like the idea of an action-comedy heist — it fits right alongside Rush Hour in the lineup of ‘things Brett Ratner might be good at’ — and am actually harboring hopes it might be watchable. Read More »

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